Actual tea plant flowers in gaoshan

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.


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Mar 16th, '14, 05:29
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Actual tea plant flowers in gaoshan

by Mureke » Mar 16th, '14, 05:29

High mountain tea is often referred to as possessing a "floral" quality. The definition is not clear, as it can be used to refer to different kinds of flavors. I believe that osmanthus or other flowering plants are often grown close to tea plants to flavor the tea. But what about flowers of the tea plant itself?

I've lately been enjoying the November-picked Shibi gaoshan (Lot 274) from TTC. I could find a few visible, yellow flowers amongst the rolled leaves. The flowers seem to taste somewhat like honey.

How common is it to use flowering tea plants to make oolong? Is it bad practice to let the tea plant flower, as this might divert energy away from growing precious leaves?

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Mar 24th, '14, 21:01
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Re: Actual tea plant flowers in gaoshan

by teaformeplease » Mar 24th, '14, 21:01

That does seem unusual as I think flowering occurs at a different time than harvesting. I've had tea flowers that were added to a Sri Lankan black tea and they did have a honey-like taste.

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Mar 24th, '14, 21:27
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Re: Actual tea plant flowers in gaoshan

by AdamMY » Mar 24th, '14, 21:27

Mureke wrote:High mountain tea is often referred to as possessing a "floral" quality. The definition is not clear, as it can be used to refer to different kinds of flavors. I believe that osmanthus or other flowering plants are often grown close to tea plants to flavor the tea. But what about flowers of the tea plant itself?

I've lately been enjoying the November-picked Shibi gaoshan (Lot 274) from TTC. I could find a few visible, yellow flowers amongst the rolled leaves. The flowers seem to taste somewhat like honey.

How common is it to use flowering tea plants to make oolong? Is it bad practice to let the tea plant flower, as this might divert energy away from growing precious leaves?



Do you have pictures of the flowers?

the flowers of the tea plant are white and actually not that small:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Camellia_sinensis_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-025.jpg

I think you likely have an Osmanthus oolong: http://goo.gl/aTH9cZ

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Mar 25th, '14, 14:16
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Re: Actual tea plant flowers in gaoshan

by Mureke » Mar 25th, '14, 14:16

Thanks for you views! It's interesting that what I've found doesn't seem common.

I didn't take pictures, but the flowers are composed of the yellow stamina (oxidized to more of a yellowish-brown color) found in the middle of the flower. They also have the sepals at the base of the flower that look exactly like in the picture you posted. The white petals are missing. They look like the flower buds, without petals, which is why the structure is still quite firm. It's definitely not osmanthus.

Philip from TTC gave me a nice answer for this. I actually found only one large flower in my 25 g sample, and it was apparently not an intentional part of the tea. However, this was Philip had to say:

- "it is not uncommon to find small flowers amongst the tea, especially since these 2 teas were late winter pickings. Usually, they would be pulled out during final sorting. I guess that one was missed by the sorters!"

- "Winter is the season when the bushes are flowering. This activity usually happens after the tea picking season but can overlap slightly as it seems to be the case with your tea."

Also, I heard from Philip that the season is a few weeks late this year due to cold weather. They'll be traveling the mountains from late April to late May to get this spring's teas available for sale.

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Mar 25th, '14, 15:14
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Re: Actual tea plant flowers in gaoshan

by William » Mar 25th, '14, 15:14

Mureke wrote:Thanks for you views! It's interesting that what I've found doesn't seem common.

I didn't take pictures, but the flowers are composed of the yellow stamina (oxidized to more of a yellowish-brown color) found in the middle of the flower. They also have the sepals at the base of the flower that look exactly like in the picture you posted. The white petals are missing. They look like the flower buds, without petals, which is why the structure is still quite firm. It's definitely not osmanthus.

Philip from TTC gave me a nice answer for this. I actually found only one large flower in my 25 g sample, and it was apparently not an intentional part of the tea. However, this was Philip had to say:

- "it is not uncommon to find small flowers amongst the tea, especially since these 2 teas were late winter pickings. Usually, they would be pulled out during final sorting. I guess that one was missed by the sorters!"

- "Winter is the season when the bushes are flowering. This activity usually happens after the tea picking season but can overlap slightly as it seems to be the case with your tea."


You can trust of Philip's explanation. :wink:

Mureke wrote:Also, I heard from Philip that the season is a few weeks late this year due to cold weather. They'll be traveling the mountains from late April to late May to get this spring's teas available for sale.


Very well. More time to accumulate more funds .. :twisted:

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