What Black Are You Drinking

Oxidized tea
Ethan Kurland
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Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:23 pm

teaformeplease wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:32 pm
with some of the softest, blingiest leaves I've seen in a while. So many trichomes!
Got so cold walking in the wind by Boston Harbor; so, I could not enjoy Championship Black from Taiwan more than I am. Leaves are not big, particularly soft, nor bringing the word, "bling" to my mind. Taste is fruity and there is enough body and slight touch of malty sweetness. I'll look up "trichomes" and report on that later. Delicious!

Started weighing my tea and using the same temperatures for each round. 1.5 grams for 110 ml (about 4 oz.) of 98C water is perfect for me. Relatively short steeping allows fruit flavors to be appreciated more; so, I steep quickly for the first 2 rounds; third round I steep much longer (1 - 3 minutes instead of 20 - 40 seconds) to get a more traditional deeper drink of black tea (only slightly more dynamic this way than the cheaper black tea from Taiwan that I also drink).

Good to see you posting, teaformeplease. Cheers
luchayi
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Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:18 am

Unsmoked lapsang, I really like it!
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wave_code
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Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:06 am

finishing off a giant bag of Baoshan Yesheng Hongcha I got from Chawang Shop. I got a small bag to start and immediately ordered a bunch more... and might have to do it again. Other than shu this has been my go-to morning tea for a while now - it has some malty notes if brewed right but is much more on the fruity and juicy side and is super forgiving with steeping times and temperature which is great for when I am not fully awake. It isn't super fancy for gong fu but it still works nicely showing some different sides of the flavor, but I enjoy it best with just one or two long steeps in a big pot. Super mixed in terms of some really huge (supposedly wild grown) leaves with some smaller leaves and more broken bits, some stems, and pretty uneven oxidation with each piece of leaf almost being a different color from black to lighter oxidation and little bits that still seem kind of green. Seems more like a rough homestyle or farmer production which I find really interesting to try.
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mudandleaves
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Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:10 am

Drinking some Darjeeling Second Flush from Tea Campaign Canada. Not sure if it qualifies as black tea though as technically Darjeeling is a very dark oolong, although it is labeled and treated as black tea. Except for the occasional milk tea, Darjeeling is the only Indian tea I drink on a normal basis. It's quite nice, very pleasant aroma, smooth with a nice subtle sweetness. I can see why this tea has its devotees. A very good price for certified organic tea of this grade too.
luchayi
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Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:37 am

Another great Xiao chi gan lapsang, I love the unsmoked versions.

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Victoria
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Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:43 pm

luchayi wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:37 am
Another great Xiao chi gan lapsang, I love the unsmoked versions.
@luchayi Your tasting notes are great, sounds like a very good tea to share. I also prefer the un-smoked version. Who was your source?
luchayi
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Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:13 am

Victoria wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:43 pm
luchayi wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:37 am
Another great Xiao chi gan lapsang, I love the unsmoked versions.
luchayi Your tasting notes are great, sounds like a very good tea to share. I also prefer the un-smoked version. Who was your source?
Every unsmoked lapsang I have tasted is great... by the was this one comes from "eastcottandburgess", the previous was from teazaar.
Last edited by Victoria on Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mod edit: corrected quotes
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wave_code
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Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:09 am

have been trying out some black teas from Farmer Leaf the last couple of weeks. Very good leaf for the price I think. So far my favorite is the sun dried short oxidation which is on the bright and juicy side. Very similar to the baoshan yesheng I liked from Chawang but ran out of, although the Farmer Leaf is much more consistent in terms of oxidation and leaf size - no twigs and broken bits, so more carefully processed. I like how they offer different processing methods with lots of detail and care, makes for as educational an experience as you can get without being there. Only downside is that the batches aren't so big, so if you order something and find you like it best to order more immediately if it isn't already sold out.
luchayi
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Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:23 am

I am trying different kinds of jin jun mei; this one was amazing but I will have a really special version of this tea really soon, so I will write more about it. This is only a shot before one of my tea sessions.

sqt
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Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:15 pm

Having some georgian "wild"black today. Comforting as always. Love the mouthfeel on georgian teas.
luchayi
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Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:26 am

sqt wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:15 pm
Having some georgian "wild"black today. Comforting as always. Love the mouthfeel on georgian teas.
Never tried!
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Shine Magical
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Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:34 am

I'm drinking Hong Yun No. 21 sourced from Sun Moon Lake, Nantou by Tea Masters Blog. I've been fiddling around with the brewing of it and today is the last of my 25g packet.
I'm drinking the first brew of it now and I think I did a good job: 7g/130ml, 30 seconds with boiling.

The taste reminds me of a traditional black tea with lemon juice in it. The website describes the taste as combining cinnamon and menthol in a very powerful and fresh way. I don't get cinnamon but I do smell some faint blackberry in the wet leaf though not in the brew. Menthol could describe the way your tongue feels when breathing after drinking the tea.

Hung Yu red tea (TTES No 18) was obtained by crossing a Taiwan wild tea with a Burmese big leaf tea. The Taiwan Tea Extension Station announced the creation of this cultivar in 1999. This powerful red tea has since become very popular in Taiwan.

I haven't posted a picture of a session in a long time so I just snapped a quick one. I think I got a pretty nice red to the brew.
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Ethan Kurland
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Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:46 am

Shine Magical, thanks for your post. I think it has been about a year since I drank a #18 or #21. So everyone understands, "Ruby Jade" often precedes the #s.

It took me years to find an 18 or 21 that I liked. Finally did, but none were exactly the same as your description.

I am very happy with the black tea that I have; yet, your post tempts me to get some of these successful products of Taiwan's effort to make some new excellent black teas. (Lately I have been varying parameters & even water (only the last week) for variety.)

Cheers
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Shine Magical
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Sat May 04, 2019 12:18 pm

Today I drank Tan Yang Gong Fu - Mu Dan Xiang Series from Four Seasons Tea. The astringency in this tea was very balanced and the overall taste was rather refined. Not meant to be an everyday drinker.

What I've realized in regards to my black tea drinking is that as long as the astringency is very balanced and minimal, I am ok with drinking a lower priced/quality black tea. In a higher end tea, there is generally a little more flavor and brightness, but I don't appreciate it as much and would rather spend my money on high end gaoshan and puer. A lower quality fruity black tea with very little astringency makes me about just as happy and is better for my wallet.
Ethan Kurland
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Sat May 04, 2019 4:58 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 12:18 pm
... In a higher end tea, there is generally a little more flavor and brightness,... A lower quality fruity black tea with very little astringency and ...fruitiness makes me about just as happy and is better for my wallet.
I have found one may have quite a bit of control with some black teas' astringency by finding their optimum steeping times and leaves to water ratios. For me and my black teas from Taiwan: Quicker steeping has kept astringency in check. More leaves than necessary seem to bury fruit flavors. I enjoy my second best black tea almost as much as my best; however, cost per cup is really the same since I get 3 excellent infusions from the best while the other gives 2 excellent infusions and one that is good but not excellent. Like you, I want to spend more when I need to spend more. For me, I have found that I would not be wise to spend a lot on roasted oolong. I usually enjoy medium quality the same as better quality. Cheers
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