What is blue tea?

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


Sep 4th, '15, 01:24
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What is blue tea?

by ClarG » Sep 4th, '15, 01:24

I was searching via google for temperatures and Darjeeling green tea and I found these sites where they mention blue tea.

Has anyone here had it? What exactly is it? Is it actual tea, or an herb?

http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/U ... table.html

http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/U ... T2317.html

Sep 4th, '15, 01:54
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Re: What is blue tea?

by Bok » Sep 4th, '15, 01:54

Blue tea is what the french call Oolong tea.
Mariages Freres is seriously overprized. Used to love it when I didn’t know much about tea… Very nice shops and packaging in Paris.

This brand was almost dying out, when the last heiress found two enthousiastic young guys to take over her brand. They invented “the french art of Tea” and made it famous (TWG is a right out copy of their style – on top they misslead customers with a date on their logo from 1837, when it was founded in the 2000’s).

Their Daarjeeling first flushes are not bad but I am sure they are way overprized too…

Tried their Thai-oolongs once which are pretty grassy and almost undrinkeable…

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Sep 4th, '15, 02:33
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Re: What is blue tea?

by kyarazen » Sep 4th, '15, 02:33

ClarG wrote:I was searching via google for temperatures and Darjeeling green tea and I found these sites where they mention blue tea.

Has anyone here had it? What exactly is it? Is it actual tea, or an herb?

http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/U ... table.html

http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/U ... T2317.html
not sure about darjeeling but in the oriental culture...

青 was regarded as blue
绿 was regarded as green.

so 青茶... is just more oxidized tea

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Sep 4th, '15, 07:10
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Re: What is blue tea?

by Rui » Sep 4th, '15, 07:10

I have also seen oolong teas being called blue in Germany.

http://shop.chadao.de/index.php?cat=c10 ... r-Tee.html

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Sep 6th, '15, 16:45
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Re: What is blue tea?

by miig » Sep 6th, '15, 16:45

yes, some few people do use that term here, but I believe "Oolong" is still more common. I'm not too happy about the potentially misleading term "semi-fermented tea" but that is also used quite regularly. ("halbfermentierter Tee")

But I'm quite sure the term "Blue Tea" is used outside of Europe as a translation of a Chinese term (I don't speak Chinese, so I can't verify). At least, the wikipedia article on tea processing quotes it, too.

On a sidenote: Technically, I might be argued that First Flush Darjeeling is similar to Oolong tea, since its oxidation level is rather low. Of course, there are many more factors involved in what makes an Oolong an Oolong, but this might be why you came up with that term. Since most other teas are named after colors, (green, white, red, black, yellow) it is quite consistent to adress the last grand family of teas with a color term also :mrgreen:

Sep 7th, '15, 01:04
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Re: What is blue tea?

by Bok » Sep 7th, '15, 01:04

I am pretty sure Blue tea has no relation whatsoever to the Chinese language. I have never ever heard anything remotely connected to the colour blue… my guess is that Mariages Fréres as the pioneers of tea drinking invented that term along with their French Art of Tea. Tea in France was almost non-existent before that. They mainly drank Tisanes (herbal teas) and of course coffee.

The only other term which one encounters in Asia is Qingcha 青茶, sometimes they even call it green tea Lucha if it is only lightly oxidized.
Oolong is often only used for the roasted varieties (in Taiwan at least).

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Sep 7th, '15, 01:31
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Re: What is blue tea?

by kyarazen » Sep 7th, '15, 01:31

Image

chinese blue white ceramics = 青白瓷
song yuan light blue ceramics = 隐青釉

oolong, naturally referred to as 青茶, would end up being translated as blue tea.

Sep 7th, '15, 03:15
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Re: What is blue tea?

by Bok » Sep 7th, '15, 03:15

Wow! I stand corrected.

Indeed, the dictionary finds:
青qīng​ = nature's color / green or blue / greenish black / youth / young (of people)

Sep 12th, '15, 04:35
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Re: What is blue tea?

by ClarG » Sep 12th, '15, 04:35

OK thanks for the information. I did not know that the French call oolong tea 'blue tea'.

I did not order from that site. I just found it while searching for tea on google.

I thought that it was a different type of tea like this type is:
http://modernfarmer.com/2015/03/bring-u ... ea-please/

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Sep 15th, '15, 00:27
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Re: What is blue tea?

by wyardley » Sep 15th, '15, 00:27

I'm not either a native speaker or a scholar of Chinese language, but as I understand it, "blue" tea for 青茶 is not a great translation, though I'm hard-pressed to explain it in a more detailed way.

Josh from J-Tea (who's quite a bit more literate in Chinese than I am) also wrote about this subject recently:
http://j-tea.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-c ... -blue.html

Another interesting thing to keep in mind is that I'm not sure the distinction between "blue" and "green" existed when qinghua porcelain and "qing" tea first came about; this article explains it a little better:
http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is- ... lor-2015-2

I have heard "semi-green" used as a general descriptor for wulong, but I think, regardless of the historical / linguistic background, that 'blue' is the result of a poor translation, or wanting to disambiguate 青茶 and 绿茶.

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