Apr 21st, '06, 12:16
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First Flush Spring Darjeeling My comments

by jashnew » Apr 21st, '06, 12:16

I wanted to discuss the Adagio Spring First Flush Darjeeling with everybody. I was a little hesistant at first to fork over 20+ dollars for less than 6 oz of tea. I figured why not. When I got it I was a little disappointed by the bitterness and astringant taste. I brewed it only for 3 minutes. Disregarding the 5 minute reccomendation. Today I thought I would try to seep it for only
1 1/2 minutes and I got the taste I was looking for. It was the fresh taste and crispness that was advertised. I really think Adagio is a great company but they really need to address their reccomended seep time. 3 minutes for green and 5 minutes for black varies from grade to grade. Some green teas are a minute to a minute and a half. Most black teas if high quality should only take 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. I'm curious to hear other peoples comments on the first flush.

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Apr 21st, '06, 12:51
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by Warden Andy » Apr 21st, '06, 12:51

We had a conversation in the chat room last night about the same topic. 7 minutes for white tea and wulong is way too long. White tea can go that long without getting bitter, but it's kind of wasteful to use up the leaves in one infusion, when you can get a few more infusions out of it by lowering the brewing time.

Some green teas can go for 3 minutes without becoming bitter, but most will become bitter.

From some of the instructions I've seen for brewing "black" tea, 5 minutes is the "correct" way, but I think it just makes it come out very bitter and astringent.

I haven't tried Darjeeling yet, but I'm curious to try it to see why it's considered "the champagne of teas."

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Apr 21st, '06, 15:23
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by MarshalN » Apr 21st, '06, 15:23

Unfortunately, if you have a blanket "white tea is x, green tea is y" instruction, then you're bound to have problems like this. 7 minutes for any white is too long, and you have all sorts of bitterness/unpleasant flavours that will come out in such a long time. How you should brew a good, heavier tieguanyin is entirely different from how a light bodied, green, and fragrant Taiwan oolong. Oh well

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Apr 21st, '06, 21:14
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by peachaddict » Apr 21st, '06, 21:14

It also depends on how strong one wants it. For stronger tea, brew longer; for weaker tea, brew for less time. It's more of a range of time than a certain amount of time, and it really depends on the tea and one's tastes.

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May 3rd, '06, 04:17
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by Phyll » May 3rd, '06, 04:17

This is what's so great about tea! To each his own in how they like to drink it. I'm not saying that there is no wrong way to brew a tea, but if one likes the tea that comes out from brewing it the "wrong" way than that from the "correct" way, then why not?

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May 3rd, '06, 09:44
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by Chip » May 3rd, '06, 09:44

...I haven't got the jump on 2006 first flush yet...gotta get on it.

Anyway, first flush Darjeelings, which are typically more astringent than 2nd flushes, in my experience, as long as they are full leaf and not a BOP, usually I go for 3 minutes with boiling water, and sometimes slightly off the boil (205 degrees). 2nd flush I always use boiling water. It is not set in stone, so experiment as you have been. BOP's depending on how fine the leaf is, I will usually go for as little as 1 minute. Some people brew Darjeelings at lower temps because the leaves are often greenish and their tea is astringent...Darjeeling is typically black tea, fully fermented and needs to be brewed at boiling to bring out the high notes that Darjeelings are famous for...adjust time not temp. Of course if the tea is labeled Darjeeling Green, that is a different story.

The 5 minutes that you mention are typical for Chinese Keemun blacks, full leaf ceylons, and the like. Label directions for brewing used to drive me nuts too, but now I rarely pay too much attention to label directions unless it states specific directions for say a high grade sencha, which will be completely different from a typical China green.

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May 5th, '06, 00:01
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by TeaFanatic » May 5th, '06, 00:01

I cannot wait to give this tea a shot, I have tried a few other darjeelings from adagio before, but I haven't been able to try a first flush yet. I will have to throw in a sampler on my next order!

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May 5th, '06, 00:19
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by Chip » May 5th, '06, 00:19

...I approach brewing this tea more...scientifically than as an art form. It is all about using all the right numbers in the right combination...let me know, teafanatic how you like it. Made correctly with a high quality fresh tea...there is nothing quite like it.

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