What Green Are You Drinking

Non-oxidized tea
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Bok
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:33 am

Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:19 am

Interesting, I haven’t had any green teas from Taiwan, just the spectrum of oolong and blacks. I’m thinking as a result of the Japanese occupation from 1895-1945, and their suppression of green tea production from that time, culturally a silent self-imposed restriction was set in place.
From my observation, people just don’t like it. Different regional preferences I think. Primary settlers from China until the Japanese left were mainly Fujianese and Hakka so that is Oolong country as well. People have their habits and don’t like to change them too easily. Go around Shanghai and you have difficulty to find anything other than green and flower teas (talking general public not tea specialists). In Chaozhou people will hardly consume anything but Dancong and so on... hell, my teashops son went to study to England, brought some Black tea from Taiwan, his homestay hosts didn’t even want to try!

The greens in Taiwan are more or less lame copies of Chinese greens in my opinion. Next to a green Oolong that becomes even more obvious.

From the processing view point today’s common Baozhong is technically a green tea, @Tillerman correct me if I’m wrong here.
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Victoria
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:53 am

Bok wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:33 am
Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:19 am

Interesting, I haven’t had any green teas from Taiwan, just the spectrum of oolong and blacks. I’m thinking as a result of the Japanese occupation from 1895-1945, and their suppression of green tea production from that time, culturally a silent self-imposed restriction was set in place.
From my observation, people just don’t like it. Different regional preferences I think. Primary settlers from China until the Japanese left were mainly Fujianese and Hakka so that is Oolong country as well. People have their habits and don’t like to change them too easily. Go around Shanghai and you have difficulty to find anything other than green and flower teas (talking general public not tea specialists). In Chaozhou people will hardly consume anything but Dancong and so on... hell, my teashops son went to study to England, brought some Black tea from Taiwan, his homestay hosts didn’t even want to try!

The greens in Taiwan are more or less lame copies of Chinese greens in my opinion. Next to a green Oolong that becomes even more obvious.

From the processing view point today’s common Baozhong is technically a green tea, Tillerman correct me if I’m wrong here.
Yes, old habits and cultural norms are interesting that way, the older the lineage the more entrenched it seems. Baozhong is pretty green but I think it is an oolong. I just remembered I did have an excellent green oolong from Taiwan, from Living Tea, that I posted about in old forum;
https://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?t ... 15#p290637
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debunix
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:07 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:19 am
debunix I’ve been admiring Sou’s blue yunomi, is as it light and thin as it appears in photos ? They also look beautiful to handle.

Interesting, I haven’t had any green teas from Taiwan, just the spectrum of oolong and blacks. I’m thinking as a result of the Japanese occupation from 1895-1945, and their suppression of green tea production from that time, culturally a silent self-imposed restriction was set in place.
The yunomi is actually rather substantial, 195 grams, for a volume of about 200 mL. It is substantial enough to use with infusions done with water fresh off the boil, if you don't fill it more than half-way, without burning fingers. I love it.

And that's an interesting history note about Taiwan. I wonder how much of a green tea tradition they had before 1895, and if anyone is trying to recover their tea 'roots'?
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Bok
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:58 pm

debunix wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:07 pm
Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:19 am
debunix I’ve been admiring Sou’s blue yunomi, is as it light and thin as it appears in photos ? They also look beautiful to handle.

Interesting, I haven’t had any green teas from Taiwan, just the spectrum of oolong and blacks. I’m thinking as a result of the Japanese occupation from 1895-1945, and their suppression of green tea production from that time, culturally a silent self-imposed restriction was set in place.
The yunomi is actually rather substantial, 195 grams, for a volume of about 200 mL. It is substantial enough to use with infusions done with water fresh off the boil, if you don't fill it more than half-way, without burning fingers. I love it.

And that's an interesting history note about Taiwan. I wonder how much of a green tea tradition they had before 1895, and if anyone is trying to recover their tea 'roots'?
I doubt there was any. Before 1895 it was Qing dynasty and the Chinese in Taiwan were mostly from Xiamen just opposite of Taiwan (you can actually see it in one location in Taiwan, called window to China), this the place in China where gong fu tea was invented somewhere between Ming and Qing dynasty, for which roasted Oolong has been used, likely Yancha or Dancong. Green tea is more frequent in other areas of China. Furthermore underlines why the re-birth of gongfu brewing made it’s conquest of the tea world starting in Taiwan.
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Tillerman
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:53 am

@Bok, I agree with you that prior to 1895 there was very little green tea produced. Although the exact extent is unknown, the fact that sources from the time do not mention it suggests that it was small at best. During the Japanese colonial period, the Japanese actively promoted the production of black tea. Gardens around Sun Moon Lake were developed using cuttings from native mountain trees (these teas are still known as shancha.) The Japanese also established the research facility now known as TRES to develop the production of black tea. The branch at Yuchi is home to an impressive Japanese built black tea factory. The encouragement of black tea was to supply the Japanese market and to develop competition with the industries in India and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon.)

Green tea production did not really "take off" until after the Chinese Revolutionary War and the influx of some two thousand Chinese into Taiwan. This coincided with a dramatic drop in the availability of Chinese green teas, the names of which were appropriated by the Taiwanese. These teas were, at best, poor quality. Green tea continued to be a significant part of the market until the 1970's when the Taiwanese export market collapsed, the Agricultural Yuan actively worked to develop the domestic market and production shifted strongly to oolong tea. As to green tea from Taiwan today - my view is that they are to be avoided if quality is the object of the search.

@Victoria is correct in noting that bao zhong (or paochong) is really an oolong tea. Although the Taiwanese have always treated it as a separate category, it is produced using oolong techniques (bruising and oxidation prior to rolling and firing) but, of course, the oxidation levels are very low - +/- 10%.
luchayi
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Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:41 am

I recently discovered a green tea not famous in the west called Shijian from Zhuji, Zhejiang province, China.
I had the opportunity to taste it and its shape is similar to Tianmu qingding but the taste is brisk and it reminds me of the second harvest of Guzhu zisun.
It's not a new tea but it has a long history... It certainly already existed during the Ming dynasty, but in 1984 became popular and it was named "Zhejiang Famous Tea" (one of other 14 teas at that time). In May 1985 it was awarded in a renowned tea competition in its province and it was named "Premium tea"

mael
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Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:09 pm

I enjoy Life in a teacup Pre-Qingming Shi Feng Long Jing, fresh and rich tea.
luchayi
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Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:40 am

mael wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:09 pm
I enjoy Life in a teacup Pre-Qingming Shi Feng Long Jing, fresh and rich tea.
I have drunk it a couple of days I go, I posted some pictures on my profile. Do you know the cultivar? The one I had was really good because of the roasting was not too strong, so the it had chestnut aroma but it was also really fresh, floral with a lot of shades in every cup. Have you some photo?
mael
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Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:27 pm

Sweet and mineral, light umami.

No info about the cultivar, but leaves are really tiny and short.
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luchayi
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Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:28 am

Really similar tasting notes and leaves shape of the one that I received as gift. I think is 43 cultivar but I am not sure.
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Victoria
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Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:19 pm

Celebrating not being in an inferno of east coast heat and humidity. Last week was a scorcher there. Here along the west coast it is relatively cool at 75F so I’m enjoying multiple sessions of green today; Birouen’s award winning organic Kabusecha Sencha, O-cha’s Yutaka Midori and Uji Gyokuro Fujitsubo. I could drink Birouen’s sencha everyday it is so good, unfortunately I think they’ve run out of this batch. O-cha’s gyokuro is savory umami rich with notes of the seaside. I will order it again. His Yutaka Midori on the other hand was not a favorite of mine, the leaves were really small and broken up and liquor kind of disappointing, not as special as his very rich Sae Midori.
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Shine Magical
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Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:39 pm

I haven't felt very good for about a week now, so I haven't really been drinking tea. But this morning I couldn't hold back and went to T Shop and ended up having a tasting of the Yak Balhyocha. It's in a secret menu they have in the store that isn't really apparent to most people. A lot of Korean teas don't really fit the mold of traditional tea processing and this is one such case. It's something in between a green and yellow tea. I've had balhyocha before but they were much more oxidized. This was very nice.

What I found to be special about this tea was its warming effect on the body. After drinking, the warmth of the tea really went up and flushed my face with heat. My muddled head and upset stomach suddenly felt much clearer and better. It was surprisingly medicinal which is not something that happens often with me and tea. Perhaps this is a one-off scenario, perhaps not. Tea is fleeting and this session was very special to me. I was able to talk to the co-owner for almost 90 minutes about Korean teas and catching up since I haven't visited in a while. This tea was made because the grower likes to meditate in the morning with tea, but found that green tea was becoming too harsh for his stomach (I can relate right now!!!). Since this tea is somewhat withered, it isn't not as potent as a fresh green tea but still retains a lot of qualities. I can see why this tea is drank almost exclusively by the Buddhist monks in the temple that the grower participates in, it would be great to wake up and brew in silence.

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In the center is the Yak Balhyocha, right is some winter 2018 Da Yu Ling.
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debunix
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Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:23 am

Fascinating. The balhyochas I've had have all been quite oxidized, never such green leaves. A few years back Norbu carried some 'in between' teas from Nantou county in Taiwan--a 'white' and a 'green' tea that both had a touch of oolong withering--and they were both amazing teas (so good I wish I'd ordered & stockpiled as much as the budget could afford because he never carried them again). It sounds distinctively delicious--and if it was anything like those amazing 'in between' teas from Nantou, made with focus in small quantity by a Korean tea master, I'm sure it was utterly amazing.
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Shine Magical
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Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:13 pm

Yes it was rather special, I did some research afterwards but I didn’t find any other source for a low oxidation Balhyocha otherwise I would have bought right away.
carogust
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Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:21 am

Today I tried my second ever green tea: Longjing.
I had a chance to try out a chinese green tea with a sample I got. I liked it very much so I made the decision to get some when I need to start stocking up again.
It is from yunnan sourcing and its the premium grade.

It was a shock last time and this time as well, the aroma. I don't know why but I am very fond of that sulfur-ish note that green tea has. It is something very special and not something that I've smelled anywhere else really.
Second thing of shock was how beautiful longjing leaves are, both dry and brewed. Even the brewed liqour has a pleasant, jade like color.
Taste was pretty much what I was told that longjing tastes like. Beans & mint. There is also quite a bit of subtle tastes that I enjoy. Hard to pintpoint, but pleasantly complex.
Aftertaste was pretty remarkable. Long lasting and strong. After ~30 minutes after starting, if you take a break the aftertaste is very present. Had this happen on the previous green as well.
I'm pretty happy with this tea. It is more easy going than a yancha, doesn't feel as serious. It is a different rhythm than with oolong.
Also, green tea leaves truly are pretty nice to chew on.

I experimented with the brewing parameters. I still don't know what is the best, but I went for something like the following:
3 grams in a ~100ml gaiwan, uncovered.
~80C water for first steep, 2-3 minutes. Second steep I decided to try ~90C, and for the third I used boiling, rested for just a moment. The boiling water was surprisingly the best.
I also tried drinking straight from the gaiwan, but I prefer using the cup. I don't know why some are fond of drinking straight from the brewing vessel, to me it just feels that the cups shape is way better for appreciating the taste.
If some more experienced chinese green tea drinker would give me some directions, I'd be happy to listen and try them.
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