However, I recently found Norbu Tea offering Xiao Hong Pao and on their page they say:
Xiao Hong Pao (小红袍, English: Little Red Robe) is a tea varietal which is known as one of the many Ming Cong (名丛, English: Famous Bush) that originally come from the Wuyi tea growing region of NW Fujian Province. Contrary to the common story that keeps getting re-told in Western tea circles, Xiao Hong Pao is actually its own separate varietal, not "Da Hong Pao" varietal plants that are a certain number of generations away from the original DHP bushes. It is entirely possible that some tea wholesalers misleadingly (either intentionally or unintentionally because of lack of knowledge) market some blend of several different Wuyi cultivars as "Xiao Hong Pao," but this just creates huge amounts of confusion with small tea sellers and consumers alike. According to our supplier, this Xiao Hong Pao was produced from Xiao Hong Pao cultivar tea plants only.
Is this correct? This is the first time I've encountered this information or this sort of claim. I'd be interested in sorting this out and clarifying this issue. If it is correct, this would be a pretty major piece of misinformation that is circulating very widely. But I'm cautious here, as this is the first time I've encountered the idea that Xiao Hong Pao is really a distinct cultivar.
A thread on TeaChat also brings this up (I found this after searching) and several people whose knowledge I trust, including Ginkgo Seto of Life in Teacup, verify that this is actually a distinct cultivar. I currently am unable to find anything that I would consider a reliable published source stating either way. However, in the absence of clear sources either way, I'd be inclined to trust Gingko Seto and Norbu Tea.]]>
I can tell a very dark-roasted oolong, as it has a more flaky appearance, due to losing water in the roast, and a more overtly roasted/toasty aroma. However, I'm not convinced that I'm able to tell a low-oxidized, heavily roasted oolong from one that is both highly oxidized and heavily roasted.
And I can tell when oolongs are both low-oxidation and very light roast, as they have a very green color and a strongly vegetal character.
But with more intermediate oolongs, I have trouble assessing either of these...I tend to just see them as "darker" vs. "lighter", and I'd like to get better at distinguishing between / separating the qualities of level of roast and level of oxidation.
Any advice about how to do this...what qualities / characteristics to look for?]]>
What online vendors carry this style? ( In a quick google Teasprings was one of the first to show up and it is actually an orange color)
If you happen to get a Bai Ji Guan of this style would you brew it differently than other Wuyi Yancha?]]>
I'm very new to the Gong Fu way of tea drinking. I am from Europe, but currently living in Fujian, China for almost two years. I was drinking some green tea for many years back in Europe, was buying it from supermarket, just putting some leaves, very little amount, in to the mug, filling with some hot water and drinking. That was just fine for me.
Here in China I started to drink really good Chinese tea, for example Tie Guan Yin, only few months ago and doing it like Chinese people do - using gaiwan, small cups and brewing tea only for some seconds - 10-30 seconds. Steeping for 4-6 times. Also, all the time when I'm going to buy or to taste some tea to the shop , Chinese sellers always doing like the mentioned style as well.
But many times when I'm google something about tea and I read brewing guides it is really strange for me, because usually it is written like this - "For a 12oz pot of light oolong tea, use one to one and one half teaspoons of tea in 176˚-185˚ water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes". So what that means - that you don't wash the leaves at first? And the tea gets really to bitter if you brew it for 2 minutes. For example today I tried to do like that - to keep the tea for 2 minutes - it was not possible to drink.
What all that means? Why they are writing about that kind of style brewing? Why just not to do in Chinese way - use gaiwan and keep it only for some seconds, because it's just the best way.
I hope you understand my question :)]]>
2006 Rou Gui...
And, uh, some other stuff along the way.
Other hits include Liu Bao, 70s Liu An, 99 7542, 'single bush' Shui Xian, Cheung Hing master roast Shui Xian, Kagoshima sencha, 90's Rou Gui, Li Shan.
A lot of un-oolongs, but what can I do?]]>
So here is what I am doing:
I have a Brita filter fridge tank, which gets refilled every 2-4 days, and is kept in the fridge. I then proceed to boil the water in my Lin's kettle, and brew has I always would.
I am thinking of acquiring Bamboo Charcoal and putting a piece or two in the Brita tank. Besides that I am a bit at a loss of what I could do to possible fix the situation.]]>
on the different pages about tea-knowledge and online shops, "aged oolongs" have a special position, concerning the quality and tast that develops during a long term aging process. So I asked myself about storing oolongs by myself.
To get sure, not to do the worst mistakes, I want to ask you about the basics of a right storage.
Sometimes I heard that moisture and oxygen are bad for any kind of oolong, so you have to roast the stored oolong every year (or two...). In this case, I was wondering, that just high-fired and/or strong oxidized oolongs were able to age well. Especially I´m thinking about to store an oolong called "fancy oolong old style", which I like very much. Does anybody know something about this tea and it´s special treatment??
For myself, I just started to develop some tea knowledge. So I´m very thankful for any information.
"Wuyi High Fire"
- Hou De Zhen Yan collection
- Jing Tea Shop, pretty much everything
- Red Blossom
- Pretty Much Everybody..
- Characteristics: fruitier, more floral, more astringent, harsh on throat when young.
- Long (early) brews are undrinkable
Lighter orange liquor. Mouthfeel less thick than "HK".
- More Charcoal taste, more charcoal in mouthfeel in early infusions
"Hong Kong High Fire"
- Tea Gallery 1980s/1990s Tie Luo Han
- Tea Gallery 2004/2009 High Fire Shui Xian
- The Mandarins Tea Room 2008 Shui Xian
- TeaCuppa El Cheapo Shui Xian (yeah, this isn't only in a 'premium' product!)
I've even tasted this same kind of Shui Xian at a Chinese restaurant out of a big stainless pot. (not saying it was killer, just in the same vein)
Thick, syrupy, cocoa, smooth! Dark brownish-red liquor. Long brews do not become bitter.
Seems to be associated with Hong Kong roasters. No apparent charcoal taste as in "high" or even "mid" fire teas from the mainland.
I've read all the Imen/Tea Obsession-generated discussion about brewing and drinking Dan Cong, but I still have some questions.
I just today got Phoenix Dan Cong (from YS) to yield its subtle but definite "orchid" aroma (Imen says "orchid" doesn't necessarily mean it smells like the flower). It was technically the first full infusion but after an initial wetting of the leaves. What I smelled was more like magnolia flowers I remember from my youth in the South -- not the late decadent ones but the early young ones, just bloomed. And maybe it was mixed with a little citrus at the very top.
I'd been disappointed in the aroma until today, especially after all the hype about it onlline. I brewed it with the green pot I posted in the teaware section -- a very hard, roundish pot with a comparatively quick pour. What worked well today I think was that I got the pot very hot BEFORE the first infusion. I then dribbled a small amount of water on the leaves, not a full pot, and shook it off very quickly (I had not been rinsing before per Imen's instructions). The first full infusion was about 10 seconds. The aroma didn't last for long. Later infusions returned to the more familiar "honey" that I had experienced before (no complaints about the honey; just had never gotten the magnolia).
However, I still think I can control Dan Cong better with a gaiwan. The timing seems very sensitive to me. But, as I said, I think the heat is more important than I realized. I tried heating up the gaiwan before infusing -- not warm like usual; hot. But I didn't get the magnolia in the gaiwan. But I still like the control so I'll keep trying.
Did any of you ever try the Choa Zhou pots? Are they so very magically different with Dan Cong? Do any of you prefer gaiwan, too?
Other experiences appreciated. Second wave of knowledge.]]>
I did find a 5 part series on Wuyi tea culture from CCTV they even have them on the English site.
starting with this video
http://english.cctv.com/program/e_docum … 1135.shtml
All 5 were made with (relatively) traditional methods (hence fragrance is more implicit than explicit, no vegetable soup taste even after long infusion, and generally strong sweet aftertaste). All are generally good tea free of even hints of any unpleasant flavor.
1A - The only heavy roast of all 5. It's said to be better after 3 months, so my current impression is just a rough one. It's gives a warm throat feeling, slight sweetness and roast corn taste. It doesn't seem very fragrant to me but it feels very warm and comfortable. I guess people who likes black tea will prefer this to the greener roast products. I've also noticed generally many western tea drinkers and some well-seasoned Chinese tea drinkers prefer heavy roast than greener roast. Yet this has the lowest price among my 5 samples, partially because Chinese market favors greener roast, and partially because tea with longer shelf life generally has lower price than tea with shorter shelf life. I constantly think, if one likes heavy roast TGY, it may be a little harder to find more sources but compared with greener roast, there are more chances to get good deals.
1B - price is comparable but slightly higher than 1A. Very pleasant, clear fragrance, not as strong fragrance as 2-4, lasts for about 5 infusions, while all the other samples last for 7+ tasteful infusions.
2 - compared to 1B, the flavor is a bit more "3-dimensional" in the mouth, overall stronger fragrance both in the tea and on the inner lid of gaiwan. When dry tea is put in hot gaiwan, the fragrance is stronger than that of 1B.
3 - Fragrance is stronger, fill entire mouth and calls for attention. Compared with 2, this is the one that makes you stop and stare at it.
4 - Fragrance is more complex. I even think I smelt some milky flavor from the inner lid, which I wasn't sure if is just illusion. Up to 4th infusion, the over all flavor is still richer than the 1st or 2nd infusion of 1B. I am also impressed by the tea water color. The other 3 (1B, 2 and 3) all bear a tiny bit of yellow hint in their tea color, but this one (4) has standard light green tea water, as they say, "green bean soup" color. I personally don't care much about what the tea color is like. The tea water color may reflect flavor to a small degree, but usually tea water color contributes to the price to a large degree.
I think I somewhat got lost between 3 and 4. When I had 4 right after 3, I didn't think it was that much better than 3 to worth a 60% price lift. I think I am happy enough with 3. But the other day when I had 4 alone, I thought it was so wonderful and probably the best TGY I'd ever had. But I never compared 3 and 4 side by side, so I am not sure how much more I like 4 over 3, or probably I would even like 3 a bit more. A few other friends say 3 has better quality price ratio than 4. Probably like me, they were also somewhat lost between these two.
One thing for sure is, 3 or 4 will be my upper limit. I simply have no desire to get samples of upper levels than 4. If destination brings better TGY to me, I will be glad to try it out and enjoy it. But I am happy to stay at this level for now :D]]>
Of course, the tea crops aren't as important as the people who live in the areas hit hard by the typhoon. I would love to see folks send some donations along (Rich's article has some suggestions on how to donate).
[edit: Here's one place with information on how / where to send donations. Looks like US Red Cross is not currently accepting donations directly earmarked for this disaster]
http://www.taiwanembassy.org/US/NYC/ct. … &mp=62
I personally like a decent roast on the tea, as I find the less roasted they are the more harsh they become when brewed strongly. And While I do like some of the floral notes that can be more prominent in the less roasted ones, I feel as though when I choose to brew a wuyi, I want a strong flavor, sometimes slightly sweet like a caramelized vegetable. I must say probably the best wuyi I have ever had was from Hou De, though I am anxious to try many other places.
Also feel free to turn this into information on Wuyi Yancha's, as I searched for quite some time today and found relatively little information.]]>