What Black Are You Drinking

Oxidized tea
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leth
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:37 pm

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:09 am

A simple Red Bi Luo Chun from Feng Qing.

Great for grandpa style while working in front of the computer.

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joelbct
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:14 pm

Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:44 am

Currently savoring a late night cup of 2017 Castleton 2nd Flush.

Both FF and SF Darj have become daily drinkers for me. I ought to restock soon, as a hedge against this year's harvest being adversely affected by garden neglect from 2017. I might give either darjeelingteaboutique or darjeelingtealovers a go in addition to my usual Vahdam. It looks like thunderbolt is mostly sold out.
Ethan Kurland
Vendor
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:01 am

Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:36 am

joelbct wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:44 am
Currently savoring a late night cup of 2017 Castleton 2nd Flush.

Both FF and SF Darj have become daily drinkers for me. I ought to restock soon, as a hedge against this year's harvest being adversely affected by garden neglect from 2017. I might give either darjeelingteaboutique or darjeelingtealovers a go in addition to my usual Vahdam. It looks like thunderbolt is mostly sold out.
Once I had come to appreciate the flavors & effect of drinking darjeeling, I've wanted it daily. To me & other drinkers, darjeeling is its own category. I am taking a rare break from the darjeeling-style "black" tea from Nepal that I drink & sell because I opened a 100-gram bag of white tea that is very similar in flavor though lighter in body. (For strong body & caffeine, I have black teas from Taiwan)

I don't feel it unwise to stock up on darjeelings that you like, Joel. I think they keep very well. After 2 years flavor seems to be the same to me, though the aroma in the air is weaker.
YatraTeaCo
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 pm

Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:31 pm

joelbct wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:44 am
Currently savoring a late night cup of 2017 Castleton 2nd Flush.

Both FF and SF Darj have become daily drinkers for me. I ought to restock soon, as a hedge against this year's harvest being adversely affected by garden neglect from 2017. I might give either darjeelingteaboutique or darjeelingtealovers a go in addition to my usual Vahdam. It looks like thunderbolt is mostly sold out.
I’m waiting to hear what the first flush looks like quality wise. I heard some people say good things about a couple of Autumn flush teas, but I was warned about poor quality.
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joelbct
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:14 pm

Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:31 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:36 am
Once I had come to appreciate the flavors & effect of drinking darjeeling, I've wanted it daily. To me & other drinkers, darjeeling is its own category. I am taking a rare break from the darjeeling-style "black" tea from Nepal that I drink & sell because I opened a 100-gram bag of white tea that is very similar in flavor though lighter in body. (For strong body & caffeine, I have black teas from Taiwan)

I don't feel it unwise to stock up on darjeelings that you like, Joel. I think they keep very well. After 2 years flavor seems to be the same to me, though the aroma in the air is weaker.
YatraTeaCo wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:31 pm
I’m waiting to hear what the first flush looks like quality wise. I heard some people say good things about a couple of Autumn flush teas, but I was warned about poor quality.
I ordered 250g each of 2017 Gopaldhara Wonder FF and Castleton SF from darjeelingtealovers, as these two were about my favorite 2017 selections from Vahdam. I hope they will be comparable as darjeelingtealovers prices are lower. Will report.

I read something that struck me at once as obviously true, that despite whatever we may hear or read about Darjeeling, the truth will be in the cup. I will probably hedge myself and at least stock up another kilo each of good FF and SF to last me until 2019, if possible.

Last time I had a > 1 Kg shipment of tea from India though, some customs agent (in either Kolkata or Germany) had cut open one of the bags for inspection, right down the middle, and not even bothered to tape it back up! just tossed it back in the box to spill its contents on the rest of the journey to me :/

For the black tea category, I also have a new Keemun from Seven Cups I'll report on tomorrow, and from Teaspring some Keemun and their Dianhong. Also 8 chinese greens from the aforementioned two vendors to work my way through... hopefully they will have kept well since last year, I trust both vendors to store their teas as well as any.
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Ragamuffin
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:26 pm

Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:27 pm

Spring 2017 Jinggu "Assamica Big Tree" black from Yunnan Sourcing. Huge, gorgeous leaves. It's hard to tell the scale of size from the picture, but some of these leaves are two or three inches long.

Image

Tasting notes: honey, malt, artificial chocolate, and pencil shavings (in a good way)
YatraTeaCo
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 pm

Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:50 pm

joelbct wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:31 pm
Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:36 am
Once I had come to appreciate the flavors & effect of drinking darjeeling, I've wanted it daily. To me & other drinkers, darjeeling is its own category. I am taking a rare break from the darjeeling-style "black" tea from Nepal that I drink & sell because I opened a 100-gram bag of white tea that is very similar in flavor though lighter in body. (For strong body & caffeine, I have black teas from Taiwan)

I don't feel it unwise to stock up on darjeelings that you like, Joel. I think they keep very well. After 2 years flavor seems to be the same to me, though the aroma in the air is weaker.
YatraTeaCo wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:31 pm
I’m waiting to hear what the first flush looks like quality wise. I heard some people say good things about a couple of Autumn flush teas, but I was warned about poor quality.
I ordered 250g each of 2017 Gopaldhara Wonder FF and Castleton SF from darjeelingtealovers, as these two were about my favorite 2017 selections from Vahdam. I hope they will be comparable as darjeelingtealovers prices are lower. Will report.

I read something that struck me at once as obviously true, that despite whatever we may hear or read about Darjeeling, the truth will be in the cup. I will probably hedge myself and at least stock up another kilo each of good FF and SF to last me until 2019, if possible.

Last time I had a > 1 Kg shipment of tea from India though, some customs agent (in either Kolkata or Germany) had cut open one of the bags for inspection, right down the middle, and not even bothered to tape it back up! just tossed it back in the box to spill its contents on the rest of the journey to me :/

For the black tea category, I also have a new Keemun from Seven Cups I'll report on tomorrow, and from Teaspring some Keemun and their Dianhong. Also 8 chinese greens from the aforementioned two vendors to work my way through... hopefully they will have kept well since last year, I trust both vendors to store their teas as well as any.
Its unfortunate about the bag opened and not re-taped. That happened to me the first time I imported tea, in 2014. Fortunately, it was done by the CBP in Boston and they were kind enough to leave a note.

I’m sure the other vendors have a bigger selection for you to choose from, but if either a DJ5 Goomtee or DJ39 Thurbo are of interest to you, let me know and I can figure out a suitable price for a kilo.

I still haven’t heard about quality this year, but you’re right, I’d need to determine for myself. 3 different sources have given me varying answers, though the one I trust most says quality should be fine. It’ll be a matter of how much the base price is, and how much that is driven up by big buyers out of Japan and Germany.

We’ll know soon enough!!
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Excelsior
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:13 pm

Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:45 pm

A rotation of Arya FF2016, Margret’s Hope FF2016, Namring Upper 2016. Currently drinking the Arya at my desk at work. The tea is good having all the flavors of a quality FF Darjeeling, yet when compared to the Namring Upper and Margaret’s Hope (MH being the better), The Arya falls short. This is why it is regulated as a tea I drink at work.

This is purely based on my preference as I like the later invoices, with a little bit less of a green taste, a little bit more body, and a little bit more of a bolder flavor, better. Not so much to the Summer extreme but maybe in between the Spring and Summer Flushes. Which brings me to the question of at what invoice number does the Spring change to a Summer Flush? For the time being, I’ll keep on buying the 2016 teas until more of the 2018 teas become available. Two 2018 Ambootia FF are already available from Mariage Freres.
davidmarkglass
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:13 pm

What about 1st flush darjeeling (Jungpana) from Siam Tea? Good or not good?
YatraTeaCo
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 pm

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:33 am

davidmarkglass wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:13 pm
What about 1st flush darjeeling (Jungpana) from Siam Tea? Good or not good?
Jungpana is a very reputable Darjeeling estate. Is this a First Flush 2018 or some other year?

Its hard to comment on “good/not good” without sampling first. What grade are we talking about? Based on reputation I would expect the estate to produce a good tea, but ultimately it comes down to individual preference.
davidmarkglass
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:05 pm

It's a 2018 first flush. I had a 2017 recently that had no flavor, so I decided to wait for the 2018 ones. I don't know whether vacuum packing preserves the freshness of older first flush teas.
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debunix
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:57 pm

Jin Jun Mei. I have a handful of single-serving packets left from a gift a couple of years ago. Fruity, sweet, a little floral. They were sealed but not vacuum packs, and a little of the most delicate freshness might have been lost, but still very fine stuff.
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ShuShu
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:36 pm
Location: New York

Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:31 am

debunix wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:57 pm
Jin Jun Mei. I have a handful of single-serving packets left from a gift a couple of years ago. Fruity, sweet, a little floral. They were sealed but not vacuum packs, and a little of the most delicate freshness might have been lost, but still very fine stuff.
How do you brew it?
I don't know why, but I find a few years old JJM to be really suitable for an afternoon grandpa style cupotea
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debunix
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am

Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:37 am

Today I used a whole packet in a small pot, and infused about 4 times, getting a richer brew than I'd done initially (where I was using a half-packet in a small pot or gaiwan), and I also did a last cooler infusion overnight, which is very lovely this morning. Unglazed Petr Novak pot, packets are 7 grams total (maybe 6 g tea?), about 120 mL water just off the boil, infusions something like 90 seconds, 30 seconds, 90 seconds, 3 minutes, overnight.
Janice
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:11 pm

Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 am

At home I don’t ordinarily drink black tea but .... when in Rome ..... Actually I’m in India, in Jaipur, so I’m having chai on the front terrace of our hotel. I expected a spiced tea but I’m very happy with the plain black tea steeped with milk that I was served.

The view from my seat:
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