What Black Are You Drinking

Oxidized tea
Ethan Kurland
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:00 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:54 pm

Hong Yu means Ruby Jade. All these names depict the same tea essentially, Hong Yu, Ruby 18, or whatever 18, Sun Moon Lake 18, anything 18. It's just names. Maybe some vendors want to differentiate the same kind of tea from different sources.
Most of the time I would have guessed that & not thought that I needed to know for sure. This time, so many specific flavors were listed that I doubted Hong Yu is Ruby Jade. A couple of years back I was drinking & selling a Ruby Jade 18 that was exceptionally good; yet, I did not taste so many flavors distinctly.

More years back I liked finding specific flavors but now am concerned with enjoying what I drink without worrying about being able to name all that goes into the taste. (Stir-frying, cooks may use soy sauce, fish sauce, & salt (added separately at different stages) but those eating it would not know that 3 types of salting were used. If only 1 "salt" were used, they would know it did not taste quite the same but not which 2 flavor-enhancers were skipped.)

Thanks, bok.
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joelbct
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:36 am

Victor661 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:40 am
I am looking into some tips and hints related to mixing true teas together.
Funny you mention, I recently accidentally mixed together ~300 grams of previously blended 1st flush Darjeelings with a conglomeration of ~200g 2nd flush Assams.

They were all rather middling batches, the mediocre stuff left over from sampling splurges the past ~3 years. I'd try to drink a cup or so a day along with my regular known top-notch stuff, rather than toss it.

But I didn't intend on blending the Assam with the Darjeeling, that's a weird mix.

I'd left it all at a relative's, then the Pandemic hit, and when I found the two containers, I'd forgotten one was an Assam blend and one a FF Darjeeling. I knew they were a bit stale and I wasn't really paying attention, just dumped it all together and stirred.

At first they totally clashed, FF Darj with SF Assam, and I quickly realized my mistake.

But it kind of grew on me and I think I'll finish it ;)

On the whole, I try to order teas I know I love, usually single estates. I drink mostly deep-steamed Chiran Sencha, Halmari Assam, Early Spring 1t Flush Darjeeling batches, 2nd Flush and Autumnal Darjeeling, and sometimes black, green, oolong China teas mostly from teaspring and Hojo. So, good stuff.

But sometimes when sampling new teas, or if you don't know what you love yet, or comparing vendors, or chancing a bargain, one winds up with lower-grade teas.

It'd be fine to mix Trader Joe's wine with Gallo, but mixing high-end Bordeaux vintages together would be a waste (not that I know anything about wine).

So tldr, nothing wrong with mixing unspectacular teas of the same category, but the very good stuff, not so much.
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OCTO
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:06 am

Having some 2016 HongCha. Comparing brews from a 1950s BSLN and a 1970s Zisha/ZiNi after coming in highly recommended by @TeaTotaling.... I gave it a try. Both performed equally well. The Zisha/ZiNi got my vote. The high fired Zisha/ZiNi had a slightly more pronounced fragrance and body compared to BSLN. Both are equally worthy contenders.

Cheers!!
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TeaTotaling
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:14 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:54 pm
Ethan Kurland wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:58 pm
Teatotaling, is Hong Yu 18 the same as Ruby Jade 18?
Hong Yu means Ruby Jade. All these names depict the same tea essentially, Hong Yu, Ruby 18, or whatever 18, Sun Moon Lake 18, anything 18. It's just names. Maybe some vendors want to differentiate the same kind of tea from different sources.
@Ethan Kurland It is.

@Bok In this case, it's not just names. The name denotes specific meaning regarding the cultivar, growing location, and lineage 🌱
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TeaTotaling
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:09 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:00 am
Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:54 pm

Hong Yu means Ruby Jade. All these names depict the same tea essentially, Hong Yu, Ruby 18, or whatever 18, Sun Moon Lake 18, anything 18. It's just names. Maybe some vendors want to differentiate the same kind of tea from different sources.
Most of the time I would have guessed that & not thought that I needed to know for sure. This time, so many specific flavors were listed that I doubted Hong Yu is Ruby Jade. A couple of years back I was drinking & selling a Ruby Jade 18 that was exceptionally good; yet, I did not taste so many flavors distinctly.

More years back I liked finding specific flavors but now am concerned with enjoying what I drink without worrying about being able to name all that goes into the taste. (Stir-frying, cooks may use soy sauce, fish sauce, & salt (added separately at different stages) but those eating it would not know that 3 types of salting were used. If only 1 "salt" were used, they would know it did not taste quite the same but not which 2 flavor-enhancers were skipped.)

Thanks, bok.
Only a couple specific flavors were listed. I have tasted a few Ruby 18's, and they all have been slightly different. I can imagine processing skill plays a role, along with some other factors.

For me, being able to identify specific flavors doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the tea, nor do I worry about it. I feel it's more engaging, briefly describing the tea, if I choose to share it with the forum. Simply saying I'm drinking Ruby 18 seems pointless, to me.

Also, I have experienced that resetting my palate every few months helps bring newfound clarity, and enjoyment, to food and drink.
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TeaTotaling
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:13 pm

OCTO wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:06 am
Having some 2016 HongCha. Comparing brews from a 1950s BSLN and a 1970s Zisha/ZiNi after coming in highly recommended by TeaTotaling.... I gave it a try. Both performed equally well. The Zisha/ZiNi got my vote. The high fired Zisha/ZiNi had a slightly more pronounced fragrance and body compared to BSLN. Both are equally worthy contenders.

Cheers!!
@OCTO Cool comparison, and findings. Thanks for sharing!!
Ethan Kurland
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:36 pm

TeaTotaling wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:09 pm

Only a couple specific flavors were listed. I have tasted a few Ruby 18's, and they all have been slightly different. I can imagine processing skill plays a role, along with some other factors.

For me, being able to identify specific flavors doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the tea, nor do I worry about it. I feel it's more engaging, briefly describing the tea, if I choose to share it with the forum. Simply saying I'm drinking Ruby 18 seems pointless, to me.

Also, I have experienced that resetting my palate every few months helps bring newfound clarity, and enjoyment, to food and drink.
I have been away from Ruby Jade 18 for quite a while & don't plan to return to it; but, if memory serves me well, I agree with you that that tea showed a lot of differences in flavors when trying various sources for it. I'd add, that most Ruby Jade 18 that I tried was far from special & some was awful.

I did not mean to say that identifying specific flavors must take away from enjoyment of tea. I am wary of many flavors presenting themselves without creating a great taste or tea experience overall. Another comparison to food, is a dish that has many great ingredients but no perfect bite nor satisfaction.

I envy anyone who could control a reset of his palate. I try to broaden what I can enjoy sometimes; however, my palate is far from being under my control & is not even greatly influenced by my decisions.

Your descriptions of tea are more engaging than a brief description. I am thankful for them.
faj
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:07 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:36 pm
Another comparison to food, is a dish that has many great ingredients but no perfect bite nor satisfaction.
That is true. Further still, an aromatic similarity does not imply something is good (or bad). If I say a gyokuro reminds me of raspberries, it does not mean I like that gyokuro, even if I like raspberries. If I taste an aged tea that reminds me of my grandmother's humid basement, it does not mean it is bad. It can be fun using sensory memory to compare experiences and convey information when attempting the difficult feat of expressing sensory input in words, but it is mostly orthogonal to any judgment that something is subjectively good or bad.
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TeaTotaling
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:07 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:36 pm
TeaTotaling wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:09 pm

Only a couple specific flavors were listed. I have tasted a few Ruby 18's, and they all have been slightly different. I can imagine processing skill plays a role, along with some other factors.

For me, being able to identify specific flavors doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the tea, nor do I worry about it. I feel it's more engaging, briefly describing the tea, if I choose to share it with the forum. Simply saying I'm drinking Ruby 18 seems pointless, to me.

Also, I have experienced that resetting my palate every few months helps bring newfound clarity, and enjoyment, to food and drink.
I have been away from Ruby Jade 18 for quite a while & don't plan to return to it; but, if memory serves me well, I agree with you that that tea showed a lot of differences in flavors when trying various sources for it. I'd add, that most Ruby Jade 18 that I tried was far from special & some was awful.

I did not mean to say that identifying specific flavors must take away from enjoyment of tea. I am wary of many flavors presenting themselves without creating a great taste or tea experience overall. Another comparison to food, is a dish that has many great ingredients but no perfect bite nor satisfaction.

I envy anyone who could control a reset of his palate. I try to broaden what I can enjoy sometimes; however, my palate is far from being under my control & is not even greatly influenced by my decisions.

Your descriptions of tea are more engaging than a brief description. I am thankful for them.
@Ethan Kurland I hear you! :)

Regarding a palate reset. If you can, don't eat for a few days, just drink purified water. You would be amazed by what you can taste in the simplest of foods. Say an avocado, for example 🥑

Have a good weekend!
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Bok
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Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:39 pm

TeaTotaling wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:14 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:54 pm
Ethan Kurland wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:58 pm
Teatotaling, is Hong Yu 18 the same as Ruby Jade 18?
Hong Yu means Ruby Jade. All these names depict the same tea essentially, Hong Yu, Ruby 18, or whatever 18, Sun Moon Lake 18, anything 18. It's just names. Maybe some vendors want to differentiate the same kind of tea from different sources.
Ethan Kurland It is.

Bok In this case, it's not just names. The name denotes specific meaning regarding the cultivar, growing location, and lineage 🌱
I doubt that... in Chinese these names are all interchangeably used for what is essentially the same tea: A specific Assam based cross breed, harvested in a plateau around the greater Sun Moon Lake area.

Different names are just used to set themselves apart.

The difference in taste is mostly due to the individual farmer and tea makers skills or lack thereof...
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Baisao
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Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:47 am

2019 Da Xue Shan from Yunnan that I purchased from The Steeping Room: https://www.thesteepingroom.com/collections/black-tea

Strong berry flavors and it’s mildly energizing and isn’t too malty. I’ve gone through half a jin this summer.

I’ve also been drinking a Taiwanese hong cha from the early 90s. It has a deep cherry flavor and a wee bit of smokiness.

Regarding The Steeping Room, I heartily recommend their Shan Cha. It’s the native tea bush of Taiwan, Camilia formosiensis, and has very potent cha qi. It’s delicious!
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Baisao
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Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:57 am

Bok wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:39 pm
TeaTotaling wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:14 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:54 pm

Hong Yu means Ruby Jade. All these names depict the same tea essentially, Hong Yu, Ruby 18, or whatever 18, Sun Moon Lake 18, anything 18. It's just names. Maybe some vendors want to differentiate the same kind of tea from different sources.
Ethan Kurland It is.

Bok In this case, it's not just names. The name denotes specific meaning regarding the cultivar, growing location, and lineage 🌱
I doubt that... in Chinese these names are all interchangeably used for what is essentially the same tea: A specific Assam based cross breed, harvested in a plateau around the greater Sun Moon Lake area.

Different names are just used to set themselves apart.

The difference in taste is mostly due to the individual farmer and tea makers skills or lack thereof...
I agree: 18 is 18. Sun Moon Lake 18 will be the same cross as any other 18.

Anything else is added by the seller to differentiate themselves in the market. Real changes in flavor can be expected among different terroir and/or farmers, but the tea bush cross will be the same.
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debunix
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Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:11 am

Baisao wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:47 am
Regarding The Steeping Room, I heartily recommend their Shan Cha. It’s the native tea bush of Taiwan, Camilia formosiensis, and has very potent cha qi. It’s delicious!
This sounds very interesting. With black teas, I'm always wary because of bitterness, but if this one is processed similar to 'Ruby' and 'Sun Moon Lake' blacks, and is similarly low in bitterness, I would love to try it.
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TeaTotaling
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Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:36 am

Bok wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:39 pm
TeaTotaling wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:14 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:54 pm

Hong Yu means Ruby Jade. All these names depict the same tea essentially, Hong Yu, Ruby 18, or whatever 18, Sun Moon Lake 18, anything 18. It's just names. Maybe some vendors want to differentiate the same kind of tea from different sources.
Ethan Kurland It is.

Bok In this case, it's not just names. The name denotes specific meaning regarding the cultivar, growing location, and lineage 🌱
I doubt that... in Chinese these names are all interchangeably used for what is essentially the same tea: A specific Assam based cross breed, harvested in a plateau around the greater Sun Moon Lake area.

Different names are just used to set themselves apart.

The difference in taste is mostly due to the individual farmer and tea makers skills or lack thereof...
Yes. I took, “It’s just names” in the broader sense.

As it relates to this tea, or any other with synonymous names, you are right..just names.
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Bok
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Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:37 am

debunix wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:11 am
Baisao wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:47 am
Regarding The Steeping Room, I heartily recommend their Shan Cha. It’s the native tea bush of Taiwan, Camilia formosiensis, and has very potent cha qi. It’s delicious!
This sounds very interesting. With black teas, I'm always wary because of bitterness, but if this one is processed similar to 'Ruby' and 'Sun Moon Lake' blacks, and is similarly low in bitterness, I would love to try it.
Flavour should be quite different from the above mentioned. Bitterness can (but doesn’t have to) be more prevalent though in the “wilder” tea leaves.
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