Tips for a beginner? (Switching from coffee)

ChihuahuaTea
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Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:09 pm

FWIW,

My plan, after listening to advice on this thread, is not necessarily to boil a kettle daily. I am going to go teapot style for some of the better teas.

But there will be days I will go book kettle style. Those days I think the black teas should be able to withstand ok. We shall see. All part of the journey.
ChihuahuaTea
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Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:55 pm

An update:

Electric kettle for the water
Teapot (one large cup size)
Mesh really bag for the loose leaf (cleanup is easier)

Working great so far. Enjoying an oolong this morning, multiple steeps so far, exactly what I was hoping for in terms of a step up over just throwing a twining packet into a kettle.

Thanks to everyone for the advice!
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Baisao
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Tue Jun 21, 2022 4:12 pm

That’s great news. You are now on your way.
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bentz98125
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Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:01 am

ChihuahuaTea wrote:
Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:10 pm
Maybe I am missing something,
But is Japanese umami a flavor profile or is it a type of tea?
I checked out those sites and didn’t see a category called umami, but I see it listed within the profile of some of the selections.

(I also recognize umami from food channel viewing 15 years ago when they tallied about umami a lot)
Umami is a taste in the flavor profile of a tea (or food or anything that contacts the human palate). Japanese method of processing or "fermenting" the harvested leaves by steaming rather than sun drying, baking, pan frying and other methods used elsewhere is known and valued for being able to deliver a powerful umami punch. Though many Japanese green tea enthusiasts myself included vehemently disagree, there are those who (mistakenly) believe that umami is all Japanese teas are good for. BTW, by 'Japanese green tea' I mean the sub-categories of sencha, gyokuro, and matcha. As far as a particular tea's umami credentials, they are usually found in descriptions and reviews. But of course nothing beats the personal history of one's own empirical tasting experience.
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Bok
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Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:02 am

Not to forget that umami is also the result of liberal use of fertilisers as far as I understand it. The more unattended kinds of Sencha do not seem to have any umami notes at all.
ChihuahuaTea
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Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:53 pm

Baisao wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 2:54 pm


I've had both of these shou and they are nice. The fermentation level is compost-y without getting funky barnyard/fish odors. They are excellent for digestion:

https://www.thesteepingroom.com/product ... 18ac&_ss=r

https://www.thesteepingroom.com/product ... e94f&_ss=r

Full disclosure, I am personal friends with the owner and that's also why I am familiar with them. She is very picky about shou, disliking those low quality odors I mentioned above. She's pickier than I am about it.
These arrived today.
Looking To trying them.

Learning more on the topic.
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Baisao
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Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:30 pm

ChihuahuaTea wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:53 pm
Baisao wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 2:54 pm


I've had both of these shou and they are nice. The fermentation level is compost-y without getting funky barnyard/fish odors. They are excellent for digestion:

https://www.thesteepingroom.com/product ... 18ac&_ss=r

https://www.thesteepingroom.com/product ... e94f&_ss=r

Full disclosure, I am personal friends with the owner and that's also why I am familiar with them. She is very picky about shou, disliking those low quality odors I mentioned above. She's pickier than I am about it.
These arrived today.
Looking To trying them.

Learning more on the topic.
I hope you enjoy them. Shou is a unique flavor but can be very nice. There are lots of bad tasting shou around so the category gets more shade than it deserves. These taste clean. The body feeling of shou isn’t stimulating like most teas but it is the most coffee-like in my opinion. And it ages well for decades so long as it is kept dry and at room temperature.
ChihuahuaTea
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Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:17 am

I have read up on Shu versus sheng, and how shu more of a fermenting process versus a natural aged over time like shen. Also the durability of the leaf as opposed to the more delicate options like many green teas. Also that many Shus can be poorly made, and the quality of the ingredients and process are questionable, so it is important to find a reputable dealer.

So I do appreciate you guiding me to one you trust.

It’s actually wild going back and rereading this thread and seeing how naive I was at the start, and how much very good advice really went over my head at the beginning.
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Baisao
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Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:38 am

ChihuahuaTea wrote:
Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:17 am
It’s actually wild going back and rereading this thread and seeing how naive I was at the start, and how much very good advice really went over my head at the beginning.
This was all of us at some point. And it is worth noting that I appreciate a beginner’s mind look at things to shake loose things that I repeat or believe dogmatically. Sometimes these conversations open things up for more questions. For example, too much fertilizer makes sencha into an umami bomb, but why doesn’t too much fertilizer express this way with Taiwanese teas? There are a lot of unknowns so it is good to cover them again to see what we’ve learned.
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debunix
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Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:11 pm

From time to time it is very interesting to go back and think about what I do now by habit, or even rote, and to remember that it doesn’t have to be that way, and that there are other ways of doing it that might be just as good or better at times.

I also remember when the time when I was the beginner with so many questions all at once. I started out having learned how to make one tea a particular way, and I felt completely at sea when I could not find the tins of Sea Dyke Ti Kuan Yin red label on the shelves anymore. I had some horrible experiences with some teas that turned truly vile in my inexperienced hands (I honestly can’t say whether they were objectively good teas or not , just that my experience with them brewed western style in a mug was horrid). I quickly realized I needed help and soon I found my first tea forum, where the long time participants kindly helped me through my ignorance.

I’m still learning in this forum today— it’s been no more than one to two weeks since I last ordered a new-to-me tea based on a suggestion in the forum.
ChihuahuaTea
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Sat Jun 25, 2022 6:38 pm

Tried the Shou for the first time today. I can see why it is a good recommendation for a coffee alternative. I enjoyed it. Thank you.
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debunix
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Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:12 pm

Excellent
DailyTX
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Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:35 am

ChihuahuaTea wrote:
Sat Jun 25, 2022 6:38 pm
Tried the Shou for the first time today. I can see why it is a good recommendation for a coffee alternative. I enjoyed it. Thank you.
Now that you started your first step into the shu puerh, something worth trying is add chrysanthemum flowers or dried tangerine peel with the tea to brew. You can find both add-ons in Asian markets or Asian herb shops. Your tea will add another layer of flavor. Cheers!
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Baisao
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Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:25 am

ChihuahuaTea wrote:
Sat Jun 25, 2022 6:38 pm
Tried the Shou for the first time today. I can see why it is a good recommendation for a coffee alternative. I enjoyed it. Thank you.
IIRC the ‘Peace Forest’ shou should have some camphor-like aromas to it in addition to the fermentation. I may have to break it out and try to identify that aroma. I remember it was bright and volatile like mint/camphor or some Chinese medicines. Since camphor is a common aroma with puerh— from how they are stored— I have it in my memory that it’s camphor.

Anyway, that’s an aspect to look for with that specific shou.
ChihuahuaTea
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Sun Jun 26, 2022 1:22 pm

The one I have tried is peaceful forest. I don’t have enough context to make comparisons but appreciate your take so I have an idea what to look for.

I’m still a bit confused as to storage. Seems that some say pu’er needs ventilation or air circulation as it’s fermented? I might be reading bad adobe, or misinterpreting what I am reading.
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