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.’

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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 ;) .
luchayi
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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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Teaandme
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Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:14 pm

I am drinking Malawian Smoked Guava tea from Satemwa Tea Estate. The brand that sells it is Teasup tea and I have just found an absolute love for it. It smells like a bonfire but tastes just so warm and comforting. I love it. Sorry that the picture is so large haha
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Ethan Kurland
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Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:39 pm

Nice cup, teaandme. Why is guava in the name? Read your review and wondered how close this is to Lapsang Souchong.
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Teaandme
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Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:27 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:39 pm
Nice cup, teaandme. Why is guava in the name? Read your review and wondered how close this is to Lapsang Souchong.
I am not 100% positive, but I would assume that Guava refers to the wood used to smoke the tea.
https://www.tea-chronicles.com/thyolo-m ... black-tea/
This website better explains in detail the difference and what this tea is!

also...Thank you for reading my review :)
luchayi
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:43 am

I am drinking a Nannuoshan Dian Hong from ancient trees. Some black teas (also great dian hong l had) after 1 year or before start to lose floral or fruity notes and later the taste became more "warm" with the classic cocoa taste. This one is really interesting because fresh was a little bit pungent and too powerful, so I waited 2 years to drink it. Now it's perfect! Really elegant with rose fragrance and taste. It has also malty and cocoa notes, but these last not cover the floral one....
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Elise
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:09 pm

Today black tea (Hong cha) in David Louveau’s gaiwan and David Hden’s yunomi.
The tea is Yingpan shan 2019 from Farmer Leaf, I think it’s one of the best Chinese black teas I’ve ever had.
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YatraTeaCo
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Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:56 pm

Puttabong Estate's early invoice First Flush Darjeeling from March 2019.

I sourced a later invoice tea from this estate last year and it checked all the boxes for a FF Darjeeling. This season I opted for a slightly fancier grade (SFTGFOP1 vs. FTGFOP1) and a March plucking as opposed to an early April one.

Delicious tea, a lot more mellow than what I would expect from an early invoice Darjeeling.
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hopeofdawn
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:39 am

Yuchi wild black tea, from Taiwanteacrafts. This is from an older harvest--late 2017, I think?--as I was taking advantage of some sales to buy up a large lot. When it arrived, I was definitely reminded that 250g is a lot of tea! But it's a lovely mellow black with an amazing bouquet, and an easy brewer, so I think it will become a work staple.
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