Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

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Aug 9th 14 7:08 pm
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Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by Classica » Aug 9th 14 7:08 pm

Iam beginning to try new teas, mostly oolong and pu-erh, although I still have my go-to Irish Breakfast in the morning. I would love to "branch out" into different types of black tea, and since most of the tea I like is Chinese, I thought I might start there. Recommendations, anyone?

I am also wondering about brewing temperatures and multiple infusions for these teas. Though I've tried multiple steeps with my Irish Breakfast, the second steep is never satisfying. Can different back teas stand multiple brews? Also, should I use boiling water?

Thanks all for helping out with my black tea adventure!

Aug 9th 14 8:21 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by daidokorocha » Aug 9th 14 8:21 pm

You should try some Keemun tea. It is considered one of the most famous Chinese teas and blacks don't really rank up there as too famous in comparison to other Chinese teas. Boiling is best for blacks and you might be able to get two steeps out of it or even more if you're brewing high leaf/low water ratio.

You might want to try some blacks from Yunnan as well like Dianhong/Yunnan Gold. If you want something a tad different you could try Lapsang Souchong which is a Fujian black that is smoked over pinewood. For this many people really like the Jin Jun Mei, but I don't necessarily recommend starting out with that, as it is very...very expensive. Adagio's selection of keemun, yunnan gold (and other yunnan teas), and lapsang should be okay for starting out with.

There are many more but those are good ones to get a feel for, I think.

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Aug 9th 14 9:07 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by tinols » Aug 9th 14 9:07 pm

adagio has the black dragon pearl, which is nice. It's a Yunnan black. I know it's not Chinese, but I really enjoy Sun Moon Lake tea, which is from Taiwan. It's one of the better black teas I've had.

Aug 9th 14 10:09 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by Classica » Aug 9th 14 10:09 pm

Thanks all! Out of all those mentioned, I've only tried Lapsang Suchong, which I'm probably going to reorder soon as I love it in cold weather. I will have to try some samples. I've also been looking at Yunnan Sourcing. Really, my wallet isn't as find of tea culture as I am...

Aug 10th 14 12:02 am
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by daidokorocha » Aug 10th 14 12:02 am

Classica wrote:Thanks all! Out of all those mentioned, I've only tried Lapsang Suchong, which I'm probably going to reorder soon as I love it in cold weather. I will have to try some samples. I've also been looking at Yunnan Sourcing. Really, my wallet isn't as find of tea culture as I am...
I relate so much to the last line... Yunnan Sourcing sadly can have some expensive shipping! They have a very lovely selection though.

I believe this one has been well received around here
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-bla ... y-50_grams

Others like the "SPRING 2014 YUNNAN BLACK GOLD BLACK TEA" and "Jinggu Golden Strand", "Gold Bi Luo Chun" etc. etc. should be quite good too. This reminds me that I have a cart full of stuff waiting for a better time to order...

Aug 10th 14 12:24 am
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by Classica » Aug 10th 14 12:24 am

Yes, the shipping is not too great unless you want to wait three months, which is what I did with my last order. Of course, I only ordered a few inexpensive gongfu-cha necessities and a sample of pu-erh. It cost me about $25 altogether; now I'm kicking myself that I didn't at least get more pu-erh samples and oolong when I had the chance. Sure, I didn't spend too much introducing myself to pu-erh, but I could have capitalized on the shipping costs a bit. Sigh. So much good tea...

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Aug 11th 14 11:02 am
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by tst » Aug 11th 14 11:02 am

Definitely don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but I'm looking for some hong cha recommendations as well.

If you had to pick 3-5 hong chas from Yunnan Sourcing, which would you recommend? I'm looking for quality as well as some variety.

Much appreciated.

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Aug 11th 14 2:22 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by Tead Off » Aug 11th 14 2:22 pm

tst wrote:Definitely don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but I'm looking for some hong cha recommendations as well.

If you had to pick 3-5 hong chas from Yunnan Sourcing, which would you recommend? I'm looking for quality as well as some variety.

Much appreciated.
Ask http://www.jingjiatang.com about his gushu black tea. For me, this is a standout tea.

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Aug 11th 14 4:05 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by puerhking » Aug 11th 14 4:05 pm

tst wrote:Definitely don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but I'm looking for some hong cha recommendations as well.

If you had to pick 3-5 hong chas from Yunnan Sourcing, which would you recommend? I'm looking for quality as well as some variety.

Much appreciated.
These are my favs out of seven that I have tried:

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-bla ... -2014.html
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-bla ... k-tea.html
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/wuyimounta ... -2014.html

If you are looking for a more standard malty type hong cha this is good as well:
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-bla ... k-tea.html

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Aug 11th 14 11:56 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by tst » Aug 11th 14 11:56 pm

Thanks guys! I'll definitely take a run at all of these.

Best!

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Aug 12th 14 4:36 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by MEversbergII » Aug 12th 14 4:36 pm

Dianhongs are alright. I like them, but they're second fiddle to Minhongs in my pallet. That said, they're really inexpensive and I've yet to try the golden versions.

Seven Cup's Quimen was quite enjoyable. They have a breakfast version that I've been brewing casually in a steeping mug that turns out well.

M.

Aug 13th 14 2:25 am
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by Classica » Aug 13th 14 2:25 am

Wow, please hijack my threads as much as you like! Thanks for the recommendations guys!

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Aug 13th 14 2:10 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by MEversbergII » Aug 13th 14 2:10 pm

Classica wrote: I am also wondering about brewing temperatures and multiple infusions for these teas. Though I've tried multiple steeps with my Irish Breakfast, the second steep is never satisfying. Can different back teas stand multiple brews? Also, should I use boiling water?
Boiling water, or anywhere between 90-212 F really, should be fine. How much water and leaf are you using, and how long do you leave it in each time?

Generally, when brewing black tea I've had luck with 5.5g of leaf in a 250ml (~8.5oz) tea pot, steeped about 30-45 seconds with boiling water. I've not tried any Irish Breakfast blends, however to my understanding they're generally strong and (IIRC) based on Kenyan black teas - could possibly be poorly suited for this method.

What is unsatisfying about the follow up infusion? Too weak? Too bitter?

M.

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Aug 13th 14 3:55 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by puerhking » Aug 13th 14 3:55 pm

This Yin Jun Mei from DTH is quite tasty as well

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yin-Jun-Mei-Sil ... 84b8b64e7d

Aug 13th 14 4:51 pm
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Re: Chinese Black Teas, Recommendations?

by daidokorocha » Aug 13th 14 4:51 pm

MEversbergII wrote:
Classica wrote: I am also wondering about brewing temperatures and multiple infusions for these teas. Though I've tried multiple steeps with my Irish Breakfast, the second steep is never satisfying. Can different back teas stand multiple brews? Also, should I use boiling water?
Boiling water, or anywhere between 90-212 F really, should be fine. How much water and leaf are you using, and how long do you leave it in each time?

Generally, when brewing black tea I've had luck with 5.5g of leaf in a 250ml (~8.5oz) tea pot, steeped about 30-45 seconds with boiling water. I've not tried any Irish Breakfast blends, however to my understanding they're generally strong and (IIRC) based on Kenyan black teas - could possibly be poorly suited for this method.

What is unsatisfying about the follow up infusion? Too weak? Too bitter?

M.
Isn't Irish Breakfast usually largely Assam, which contributes to it being strong? Perhaps they blend it with a Ceylon tea, which is why they could use Kenyan tea as a substitute since they are both higher elevation while Assam is low elevation. I think historically if they blended it the teas would have been Ceylon and still may be in a lot of cases, but in the UK itself most of the tea these days is coming from Kenya to replace the Ceylon stuff. So, it really depends. Looking at Adagio real quick, I see that theirs is a mix of Assam with some Ceylon.