Become A Flavor Explorer!

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Tillerman
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:36 am

Why do our teas taste differently one from the other? What difference does elevation make? How does roasting alter the flavor of a tea. Do levels of oxidation really affect flavor? These are questions to which we all seek answers and Tillerman’s “Flavor Explorer” selection can help us get there.

We have selected six different teas: 3 gaoshan (high mountain) and 3 Dong Ding. The three gaoshan teas are all oxidized to about 20% and are not roasted. But each comes from a different elevation: the Alishan is grown at 1300 meters, the Cuifeng at 1800 meters and the Lishan at 2200 meters. Explore the differences in aromatics and mouth feel that these teas offer as you “climb the mountain.” Go back and forth among the teas. What can you discover?

Next, compare these unroasted teas to a Dong Ding that also is oxidized to roughly 20% but has been roasted. Notice the distinct character that roasting brings to the equation. Follow this with an examination of another Dong Ding that is roasted to the same level but has a much higher oxidation (about 33%.) Notice how this higher oxidation affects the complexity and balance of the tea.

Finally, taste a highly roasted Dong Ding. This tea is also oxidized to about 33% but has a much higher roast level. How do we perceive that both “on the nose” and “in the mouth.” For a little added fun, now go back and taste the first three teas. Are your impressions the same? Are the contrasts clear?

This offering includes .5 oz (14 g.) of each tea – 3 ounces in all. That’s easily enough for two full sessions with multiple infusions at each. Expand your horizons; become an intrepid flavor explorer! https://tillermantea.net/product/the-flavor-explorer/. Tea Forum members receive a special $3.00 discount on the regular price for this selection; simply enter the coupon code Tea Forum at checkout.

On March 10th at 9 a.m., PDT, noon EDT, we will be able to join together on this thread and discuss what these teas have taught us. In order for everyone to be ale to taste the teas in time for the discussion, Tillerman must receive your orders by March 5th for US orders and March 1st for orders from all other countries.

As to brewing, I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as "brewing instructions." There are, however, suggestions on where to begin. These suggestions are for a gong fu style brewed tea.

Use a gaiwan or small yixing pot for brewing.

For all of the teas use about 6 grams of leaf for each 100ml of water.

Use boiling water to brew all of the teas.

For the 3 gaoshan teas try an initial brew of about 25 seconds. Cut this back to 20 seconds for the second brew and then adjust the time upward in 5 second intervals for subsequent infusions.

For the Dong Ding teas, use the same procedure but start at 35 seconds for the initial brew and then 30 seconds for the second infusion.

Adjust any times to suit your tastes.

I hope you will find this to be an interesting learning experience and I look forward to the discussions on March 10th. If, in the interim, you have any questions you may reach me at: david@tillermantea.net.
Last edited by pedant on Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: mod edit: added updates
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Bok
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:50 am

Sounds like a fun package!
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debunix
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:52 am

Indeed!

Are the Dong Dings from the same growing area and harvest?

Are the mountain teas same harvest?
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Victoria
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:21 pm

This sounds like a fun group virtual tasting. When do we start :) 🍃.
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Tillerman
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:24 pm

debunix wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:52 am
Indeed!

Are the Dong Dings from the same growing area and harvest?

Are the mountain teas same harvest?
All tea offered is from the Winter 2019 harvest. All high mountain teas were made under the direction of the same person, Chen Chung-Chia. The first and third Dong Ding teas are made by Chen Kuan-Lin. The middle Dong Ding was made by Chen Huan-Tang (yes, it sometimes seems as though every other person in Taiwan is surnamed Chen.) All three Dong Ding teas are from the Lugu area. Some of the differences among the teas might be attributed to different makers, certainly. But in the main it is the characteristics I set out in the OP that clearly show themselves in this selection.
Last edited by Tillerman on Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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debunix
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:37 pm

Sounds wonderful. I'm in!
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teabooksart
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:11 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:21 pm
This sounds like a fun group virtual tasting. When do we start :) 🍃.
I was just thinking that!
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nasalfrog
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:19 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:21 pm
This sounds like a fun group virtual tasting. When do we start :) 🍃.
I am in for this!
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Victoria
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:33 pm

Maybe @Tillerman wants to lead the way towards a group tasting 🍃.
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Tillerman
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:50 pm

I'd be happy to do so. I can offer the tasting selection at a $3.00 discount to all Tea Forum members who wish to participate

To get your Flavor Explorer teas, go to the Tillerman Tea Flavor Explorer page https://tillermantea.net/product/the-flavor-explorer/ and add the Flavor Explorer package to your cart. On checkout, add the coupon Tea Forum and you will receive the discount of $3.00 off the regular price of $35.00. The coupon will remain active until May 5th at 11:59 p.m. (Don't forget that daylight savings time begins on March 8th.) On web page you also will find a complete description on how to proceed with the tasting. The tea packages you receive will be numbered 1 through 6.

Thanks for participating!

You can conduct your tasting at any time through March 9th. On the 10th, at 9:00 a.m. PDT (12:00 p.m. EDT) we'll discuss our findings and impressions in the Flavor Explorer thread. I look forward to being in touch again then.
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Victoria
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:04 pm

Thank you @Tillerman, this is very generous of you. I am happy to see other members are wanting to participate as well. By the Tea Explorers thread do you mean this thread for member tasting notes? 🍃
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Tillerman
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:06 pm

Yes, this thread.
faj
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:47 pm

Tillerman wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:50 pm
On checkout, add the coupon Tea Forum and you will receive the discount of $3.00 off the regular price of $35.00.
Thanks a lot for the offer. In case this is a glitch on your website, I am getting a "Coupon usage limit has been reached". Not that this would otherwise prevent me from joining!
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Tillerman
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:53 pm

faj wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:47 pm
Tillerman wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:50 pm
On checkout, add the coupon Tea Forum and you will receive the discount of $3.00 off the regular price of $35.00.
Thanks a lot for the offer. In case this is a glitch on your website, I am getting a "Coupon usage limit has been reached". Not that this would otherwise prevent me from joining!
Hi,
I think the error is now fixed. Please try again. It will take about a week to get a package to Quebec so please order soon.
faj
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Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:10 pm

Tillerman wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:53 pm
I think the error is now fixed. Please try again. It will take about a week to get a package to Quebec so please order soon.
Indeed, it worked. Thanks a lot for your help.

I must say group tastings are something I am greatly interested in. I just missed the gyokuro group tasting when I first became a member of the forum, unfortunately. I have no tea drinking peers around here and have been drinking loose leaf tea for a couple of years only. This is a really interesting opportunity for me to compare impressions with experienced tea drinkers.
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