What Oolong Are You Drinking

Semi-oxidized tea
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1649
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:56 am

pizzapotamus wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:43 pm
Tillerman's Winter LiShan from the fundraiser, brewed in a wood fired pot acquired via Bok.
li.jpg
Nice to see it in action! Hope it brings you joy :)
User avatar
There is no self
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:16 am
Location: Northwestern Italy

Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:21 pm

Speaking of Taiwanese wulongs, the Alishan Tie Guan Yin I bought from thetea.pl has already become one of my favourites.
Far more oxidised than most Tie Guan Yin I've tasted, sugary, and overwhelming fruity notes!
Attachments
_20190108_192030.JPG
_20190108_192030.JPG (119.44 KiB) Viewed 850 times
User avatar
wuyiyancha
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Switzerland

Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:19 am

There is no self wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:21 pm
Speaking of Taiwanese wulongs, the Alishan Tie Guan Yin I bought from thetea.pl has already become one of my favourites.
Far more oxidised than most Tie Guan Yin I've tasted, sugary, and overwhelming fruity notes!
Then you finally got to taste a "real" TGY at least in my opinion. The chinese floral nuclear green oolongs are awful i think.

Having some really nice "Red Oolong" from the southeast of Taiwan in the southeast of Taiwan ;)
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:19 am
Location: Seattle, USA

Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:14 am

So I had never been a fan of Tie Guan Yin in the past, probably because all the ones I've tried have been the nuclear green version. I kinda gave up on it pretty quick in favor of high mountain taiwan oolong. I've never been quite clear on the difference between Chinese Tie Guan Yin and Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin, except that it originated in China. Is the Taiwanese version simply produced following the same method? Also, if one wanted to try the best non "nuclear green" Tie Guan Yin, where would one get it, @wuyiyancha?
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1649
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:02 am

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:14 am
Also, if one wanted to try the best non "nuclear green" Tie Guan Yin, where would one get it, wuyiyancha?
Only two places still have traditional TGY as far as I am aware. The north of Taiwan and Hongkong. Although in my opinion the HK is a far cry from the Taiwanese version. Taiwan is famous for TGY. Lots of different flavour profiles available, all roasted, never saw any green one here... more fragrant and more endurance than their HK counter parts. HK mostly over-roasted as well, not very delicate teas, good with food, but else...
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:19 am
Location: Seattle, USA

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:15 am

Hm, guess I'll have to try some taiwanese Tie Guan Yin then. I'll probably like it better than I liked the Chinese stuff.
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1649
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:02 am

Having a Shanlinxi in my new very old ROC Duanni Julunzhu. I always thought of Duanni as a more muting clay, so far this does not seem to be the case at all! High mountain turns out lovely in it! Very similar to the results I got with the Kobiwako clay recently. Surprising to say the least!

To be further investigated...
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1649
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:08 am

Forgot to mention, SLX is from Teaful, a pack Jason gave me when we met up for tea in Taipei on one of his sourcing trips. Nice representative of a SLX! Not good a describing the flavours, but the winter harvest taste is very present and a nice aftertaste. Does not seem to mind to be pushed, still not unpleasantly bitter when I try.
User avatar
wuyiyancha
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Switzerland

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:55 am

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:14 am
So I had never been a fan of Tie Guan Yin in the past, probably because all the ones I've tried have been the nuclear green version. I kinda gave up on it pretty quick in favor of high mountain taiwan oolong. I've never been quite clear on the difference between Chinese Tie Guan Yin and Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin, except that it originated in China. Is the Taiwanese version simply produced following the same method? Also, if one wanted to try the best non "nuclear green" Tie Guan Yin, where would one get it, wuyiyancha?
@Bok basically answered your question already sufficiently i'd say. If you are in the US i think Tillerman Tea has some in Stock. I think normally the taiwanese TGY sold in the west is called Muzha Tieguanyin after the place where most of it is produced.
I am not sure about why the taiwanese still do it in the traditional way but i figure they might have acted as a "time capsule" for TGY just like the Japanese in a way have acted as a "time capsule" for the way tea was made in the Tang Dynasty.

Another thing i am not sure about but maybe someone else can make this clearer. Is it true that the emergence of gaoshan in the 90ies in Taiwan and it's rising popularity that were also rather green and barely if at all roasted influenced the people over in Anxi to stray away from the traditional way of making Tieguanyin? Or is this theory total bullshit? I am curious about this and would appreciate some insight.
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1649
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:04 am

wuyiyancha wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:55 am
Another thing i am not sure about but maybe someone else can make this clearer. Is it true that the emergence of gaoshan in the 90ies in Taiwan and it's rising popularity that were also rather green and barely if at all roasted influenced the people over in Anxi to stray away from the traditional way of making Tieguanyin? Or is this theory total bullshit? I am curious about this and would appreciate some insight.
My theory is that in general, the Chinese mass market prefers green teas, which is what the majority is used to.
In addition, roasting and processing further is time consuming and laborious, so why do it if you can sell the green product?

Probably a sum of factors. Although Taiwanese tea teachers and scholars have a huge following in China, it seems to me that the drinking habits are still vastly different from region to region. Learned preferences and tastes, do change slowly if ever.
User avatar
Tillerman
Vendor
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:58 pm
Location: Napa, CA
Contact:

Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:48 am

wuyiyancha wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:55 am
Another thing i am not sure about but maybe someone else can make this clearer. Is it true that the emergence of gaoshan in the 90ies in Taiwan and it's rising popularity that were also rather green and barely if at all roasted influenced the people over in Anxi to stray away from the traditional way of making Tieguanyin? Or is this theory total bullshit? I am curious about this and would appreciate some insight.
One of the big problems in dealing with these aspects of tea history is that, even though the period in question is relatively recent, there is so little documentation available. That said, I believe the weight of evidence supports the theory you suggest. In the 90's Taiwanese gaoshan were becoming greener (though this was not an overnight phenomenon.) At the same time there was significant Taiwanese investment in the Anxi tea industry and Taiwanese methods were being brought into the region. For example, traditional Anxi TGY was a twisted leaf tea but in the 90's became a ball rolled tea of the sort we now know. So I think it is a fair assumption to say that the Taiwanese production strongly influenced the "greening of Anxi." As you know, of course, the Taiwanese gaoshan is produced predominantly using the Qing Xin Wulong cultivar, not Tie Guan Yin and I believe that difference is one of the major reasons these teas are favored by many over the Anxi teas. Bok also is correct, I think, in his observation that Chinese tend to prefer greener teas in general.

For what it's worth, I find modern Anxi TGY to be thin, weedy and vegital - wholly disagreeable. That said, however, I am not sure that Muzha TGY is really much like Anxi TGY used to be. For starters, the ball rolled method began in Muzha in about 1939 and, based on the samples of "traditional" Anxi TGY that I have tasted, is a heavier roast. Although it is not easy to find, there are vendors who carry traditional Anxi TGY. One of the very best of these is Zhen Tea (https://www.zhentea.ca/.) They offer a traditional Anxi TGY that is twisted, not ball rolled - and it is mighty tasty.
swordofmytriumph
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:19 am
Location: Seattle, USA

Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:28 pm

So much history is lost and I guess some things we’ll never know, which is sad. At least these days people are a bit more conscious of preserving traditional methods.
User avatar
wuyiyancha
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Switzerland

Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:13 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:04 am
My theory is that in general, the Chinese mass market prefers green teas, which is what the majority is used to.
In addition, roasting and processing further is time consuming and laborious, so why do it if you can sell the green product?

Probably a sum of factors. Although Taiwanese tea teachers and scholars have a huge following in China, it seems to me that the drinking habits are still vastly different from region to region. Learned preferences and tastes, do change slowly if ever.

Thank you for your perspective on this. If the chinese prefer greener teas i don't understand yancha anymore :D . But for the rest this rings quite true. I do understand the lazyness argument of greener oolongs requiring less labour. It sometimes pops up in my mind when drinking some "gaoshan" that's too green for my palate. In regions where the yield is lesser i think it might also be a question of reducing the risk of making mistakes. The longer the process the more mistakes can happen and ruin a batch of leaves. But it causes a loss of know-how among producers i think. And in the end you are right it can't be attributed to a single thing. Monocausal explanations often fall short. But it's always interesting to discuss which factors were involved and which of them might have had the biggest impact.
Tillerman wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:48 am
One of the big problems in dealing with these aspects of tea history is that, even though the period in question is relatively recent, there is so little documentation available. That said, I believe the weight of evidence supports the theory you suggest. In the 90's Taiwanese gaoshan were becoming greener (though this was not an overnight phenomenon.) At the same time there was significant Taiwanese investment in the Anxi tea industry and Taiwanese methods were being brought into the region. For example, traditional Anxi TGY was a twisted leaf tea but in the 90's became a ball rolled tea of the sort we now know. So I think it is a fair assumption to say that the Taiwanese production strongly influenced the "greening of Anxi." As you know, of course, the Taiwanese gaoshan is produced predominantly using the Qing Xin Wulong cultivar, not Tie Guan Yin and I believe that difference is one of the major reasons these teas are favored by many over the Anxi teas. Bok also is correct, I think, in his observation that Chinese tend to prefer greener teas in general.

For what it's worth, I find modern Anxi TGY to be thin, weedy and vegital - wholly disagreeable. That said, however, I am not sure that Muzha TGY is really much like Anxi TGY used to be. For starters, the ball rolled method began in Muzha in about 1939 and, based on the samples of "traditional" Anxi TGY that I have tasted, is a heavier roast. Although it is not easy to find, there are vendors who carry traditional Anxi TGY. One of the very best of these is Zhen Tea (https://www.zhentea.ca/.) They offer a traditional Anxi TGY that is twisted, not ball rolled - and it is mighty tasty.
Thanks to you as well for your points. Makes for interesting reading. Very interesting that anxi TGY only started being rolled tea 30 years back while the Muzha variety has been processed that way for a long time. I really must put in an order form Zhen Tea sometime then to taste the "original" style. Looks very interesting.
So do you think that the Qing Xin cultivar is just better suited to a greener/lighter processing method than the TGY and are favored over the Anxi teas because of that or do you see other differences?

Today i'm having a taiwanese Rougui from 2012 made by @Tillerman's Laoshi which i enjoy very much. Such smooth taste and really nice mouthfeel.
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1649
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:26 am

@wuyiyancha China is a very large country and one needs to separate mass market and the premium sector for tea people with lots of money. From what I have learned, tea is very regional in taste in China. You drink what you and your family always drank, unless you are a tea geek.

Yancha is but one region in a rather small area compared to the whole country. Production is so little that the premium harvest is hard fought for by the richest in China, with some crumbs falling off to the rest of the worlds tea enthusiasts...

Or so it seems to me.
User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:25 pm
Location: Penang, Malaysia

Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:29 am

Bok wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:26 am
wuyiyancha China is a very large country and one needs to separate mass market and the premium sector for tea people with lots of money. From what I have learned, tea is very regional in taste in China. You drink what you and your family always drank, unless you are a tea geek.

Yancha is but one region in a rather small area compared to the whole country. Production is so little that the premium harvest is hard fought for by the richest in China, with some crumbs falling off to the rest of the worlds tea enthusiasts...

Or so it seems to me.
Many of the high end YanCha , though reachable, is very much unattainable by many of us. The price is simply too high to pay for a brew of tea.

Cheers!!
Post Reply