What Black Are You Drinking

Oxidized tea
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Victoria
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Thu May 09, 2019 7:12 pm

Sipping on @Ethan Kurland’s Himalayan Orange Ruby, HOR, as I finally prepare a sampler set of black teas that I have for @Jo. This HOR is so good. I think Ethan you understand complex rich (spicy malty fruity sweet aromatic) black teas very well. Your Championship Black from Taiwan is also stellar. Going through my stash, I realize I am not as rigorous with my steeping notes for Indian black teas as I am for other teas from Taiwan, Japan, China. I guess all those years of British Earl Grey and English Breakfast tea bags while studying set the tone for a more casual approach.

On average, my steeping parameters for most Indian blacks are British style: 2.5gr/180ml/195F/3min.
If I oversleep, I just add more hot water. The longer the steep time, the fewer number of subsequent infusions.
I do though find some like Nilgiri and HOR are also very good using more leaf/less time gongfu style brewing: 5gr/100ml/195F/45sec.

Waiting for this year’s 1st flush Darjeeling. Any recommendations... anyone had very high quality 2019 yet?
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Bok
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Thu May 09, 2019 7:47 pm

@Victoria funny you mention HOR and gong fu steeping, I also did find it working very well prepared that way! I find it easier to adapt to the astringency that way. Character kept changing more in between rounds as well that way.
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Victoria
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Thu May 09, 2019 8:45 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:47 pm
Victoria funny you mention HOR and gong fu steeping, I also did find it working very well prepared that way! I find it easier to adapt to the astringency that way. Character kept changing more in between rounds as well that way.
Yes, gongfu steeping of HOR reveals many more nuances over each steep. How hot is your water? Because I was distracted I kind of blew British style steep just now, using 4.5gr/350ml/under boil/3 minutes. The 1st steep was delicious rich and complex, but because I used such hot water for 3 minutes, the leaves were over-extracted, so 2nd steep was not as good as it should have been. Lesson: keep temp at 195F. for longer steeps.
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Victoria
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Wed May 15, 2019 4:56 pm

Finally shipped to @Jo samples of some black teas I have. I’m now revisiting a few I forgot about like a Japanese black (Wakocha 和紅茶) from a 100 year old tree that was a gift from Asako. Seems black tea production started around 1877 in Japan, with the Japanese government wanting to ride the wave of a booming international black tea trade.

This black is highly aromatic and rich. The aroma is like aged fruits, flavor has plum and spices. Delicious. Steeped as recommended though, I had to add quite a bit of water to get it tasting to my liking. Might be the water I used (Trader Joe’s New Zeland) or something else lost in translation. Next time I’ll use less time instead of recommended 4min, will use 3min.

On the back of pack;
‘The harvest is made from tea tree "Yoshihara", the oldest tea garden in Toyota City (Aichi Prefecture) which was grown up with tea-barred tea leaves. This rare tea leaf is just a gift when it is possible to harvest only a limited amount each year. It is a Japanese black tea with a low astringency and a taste similar to that of black tea and sencha. It is easy to drink in a teapot and you can enjoy either hot ice.’
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Bok
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Wed May 15, 2019 9:51 pm

Had a sample of Wuyi black tea from Lazycat tea last night, cheers @octopus.

I do not have Chinese black tea very often, so my points of reference are few, but this is a very nice tea. Subtle and clean, no astringency or bitterness. A prominent kind of – what is for me – Assam flavour, yet some lingering fruitiness. Good, dry mouthfeel.

Compared to Taiwanese Black teas, it does not have the sweetness, which is not a bad thing – to the contrary, I'd say it is a quality in this case. TW blacks can get obnoxiously sweet at times.

It reminds me of a certain less frequent kind of TW black teas, Assam-like, yet very far from the likes of N.18 and similar, or the high mountain honey sweet blacks. Yet I did not have those in a similar quality as this one from Lazy cat.

While a N.18 is something very easy to like for someone new or inexperienced to tea, this Wuyi black is what you would call grown-ups tea in Taiwan. The qualities are less in your face and need more focus to be appreciated. Nice!
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Jo
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Thu May 16, 2019 7:57 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:56 pm
Finally shipped to Jo samples of some black teas I have. I’m now revisiting a few I forgot about like a Japanese black (Wakocha 和紅茶) from a 100 year old tree that was a gift from Asako. Seems black tea production started around 1877 in Japan, with the Japanese government wanting to ride the wave of a booming international black tea trade.

This black is highly aromatic and rich. The aroma is like aged fruits, flavor has plum and spices. Delicious. Steeped as recommended though, I had to add quite a bit of water to get it tasting to my liking. Might be the water I used (Trader Joe’s New Zeland) or something else lost in translation. Next time I’ll use less time instead of recommended 4min, will use 3min.

On the back of pack;
‘The harvest is made from tea tree "Yoshihara", the oldest tea garden in Toyota City (Aichi Prefecture) which was grown up with tea-barred tea leaves. This rare tea leaf is just a gift when it is possible to harvest only a limited amount each year. It is a Japanese black tea with a low astringency and a taste similar to that of black tea and sencha. It is easy to drink in a teapot and you can enjoy either hot ice.’

562130A4-5B08-4FC1-87CA-6F17D9DB19A2.jpeg

C0152C7B-ABA2-4447-B7E4-1BB9966B7FA3.jpeg
Victoria, thank you for the generous samples of tea for me to share with my friend. I have been very busy with work and have not had a chance to respond.
Looks like she will have lots of choices . She needs to join our forum.
Great choices from Ethan, can't wait to sample with her. Thank you for the parameters.😘
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Victoria
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Thu May 16, 2019 8:06 pm

Jo wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:57 pm

Victoria, thank you for the generous samples of tea for me to share with my friend. I have been very busy with work and have not had a chance to respond.
Looks like she will have lots of choices . She needs to join our forum.
Great choices from Ethan, can't wait to sample with her. Thank you for the parameters.😘
@Jo I hope you can try the samples with @Chip as well, and let us know your thoughts. Might be a nice change of venue to share blacks at home. Your friend may not have measuring devices like a scale, thermometer, ml cup so needs to be with you ;) .
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Tue May 21, 2019 9:01 am

The original Jin Jun Mei produced by its inventor Liang Junde!
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