A Tea Addict's Journal

Entries from July 2006

Saturday July 29, 2006

July 29, 2006 · 2 Comments

The weather here is simply a little too hot to drink decent hot tea. Since I am poor and have no air conditioning, drinking some piping hot tea in sweltering 35 degrees temperature is just a little much.

That has driven me to iced tea, but I suspect that I drank an overabundance of iced longjing the other day. I used some of my mingqian longjing for iced tea (the dump in room temperature water and brew method), but I think it’s too “cold” for me, and yesterday I suffered from some serious stomach ailments.

A Chinese doctor has told me before not to drink much green tea, as I am natrually “cold” based and shouldn’t drink “cold” teas that much. I should really just listen and not do stupid things like this again 🙁

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Tuesday July 25, 2006

July 25, 2006 · 2 Comments

Among the many samples I acquired before I went down with the wisdom tooth extraction was a Pinlin Baozhong that Hou De sent me for free. I suppose this is a nice gesture of them — buy enough stuff from them, and they always throw in something for free.

The Baozhong is supposedly from the 80s. It is, of course, high fired. The leaves are slightly broken, smaller, and very dark.

When I brewed it, it yields a nice complexity of woody and charcoal flavours, while not being too overpoweringly charcoal like. It’s actually quite nice in that way — still retaining a decent amount of complexity. The problem with this tea, and this is pretty much true of any Taiwan tea, is that it smells better than it tastes, and ultimately, the tea disappoints in that the aftertaste is very flat to nonexistent. The tea goes into the mouth with a burst of flavours that dies as it exits. The feeling I always get drinking Taiwan tea (and this applies to both high and low fired oolongs) is that they are just a little too low on the aftertaste. The end result is always a little less satisfying than it really ought to be. Compared to a good, high fired oolong from Fujian, I will take that over this any day.

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Monday July 24, 2006

July 24, 2006 · Leave a Comment

Finally, some real, hot tea after a week of iced teas and other sundry things.

I had the Dadugang Tea Cake (2003) from Walt Park today that’s one of the entries in our puerh community tasteoff. I must’ve screwed up the brewing, because it’s mostly just rather bitter. There’s a good amount of cha qi and strength, but somehow, I am not tasting much else other than bitterness.

Thankfully, there’s enough of a sample to try it again.

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Tuesday July 18, 2006

July 18, 2006 · 2 Comments

Sorry for the lack of updates. Almost a week later, and I haven’t gotten back to hot tea yet.

I’m making the “dump water and tea leaves in jug and leave in fridge” kind of iced tea. It’s brewing. Let’s see how it turns out. I have high hopes. I’m using some Huangshan Maofeng for that.

Another trip, this time to Montreal (no, no wedding). I need to mail out a few tea samples before that, but otherwise, I fear I won’t get back to my hot tea until after I come back. It’s too hot…

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Saturday July 15, 2006

July 15, 2006 · Leave a Comment

I am going to experiment with some more iced tea, this time with the Athelier higher fired tieguanyin. I made it in a big gaiwan, since the last batch was really rather small (and my high fired tieguanyin pot is far, far too small). It’s in the fridge now, and I’ll see how it turns out tomorrow.

I still have many, many bags of puerh to taste though. After the purgatory of iced tea is over, it’s time to pursue puerh tasting again to rid myself of many of these samples before I head to Hong Kong. Then again, I will be drinking them in Hong Kong too, and I also will bring some to the teahouses I know and see what they have to say — as well as blogging about those particular establishments.

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Thursday July 13, 2006

July 13, 2006 · 2 Comments

The iced tea, I am happy to report, is a moderate success.

I made it gongfu style, using the FookmingTong qingxiang tieguanyin that I have leftover (there’s still some left). I overfilled the pot a bit, using about 1/2 leaves instead of 1/4, and then basically made infusions after infusions and dumped it into a jug. Then I put the jug into the fridge, while my girlfriend skimmed a few cups off when it was still hot.

The tea, when cold, comes out rather nicely. The floral notes are all there, and there is still that tieguanyin aftertaste that is so characteristic of that tea. It’s not as strong and not as lingering, but what do you expect…

There’s only one downside — massive caffeine overdose. Since I’m drinking it much faster than I normally would (over the course of a few minutes, rather than over an hour or two), so even after half of the iced tea, I’m really feeling it. Maybe I should water it down a little. Oh the horrors!

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Thursday July 13, 2006

July 13, 2006 · 6 Comments

8:45 am, and I’ll be in a dentist’s office getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Thankfully, it’s just one. But one or four, the result is the same — no hot tea for a few days.

So I guess I’ll have to give my very poor ice tea making skills a shot. Maybe some green? Oolong? What makes the best iced tea? How do you make them? Suggestions?

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Wednesday July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006 · 1 Comment

Finally back to some real tea. I was dying. Had a fix of my aged loose puerh yesterday, and it was like….. heaven. My puerh never tasted so good!

Among the other abominations I’ve had on this past trip was a “tea” at a sort of fusion restaurant in Oberlin OH, where my college is. The place is called Weia Teia (don’t ask me what it means, because I don’t know). The setup looks nice enough

(with quarter as scale – you can see it’s pretty big)

But the problem is that… I don’t know what I was drinking.

I ordered oolong. What came was some stuff that resembled the CHEAPEST LOOKING oolong I’ve seen in my life — broken bits of leaves, all amounting to no more than about 1.5 tsp of tea, unfurled, in a pot that is about 300-400ml. Moreover, there were bits of green stuff in it — rather different from the almost black “oolong” in the tea. I suspect it’s some mint, simply because I couldn’t figure out what else it might possibly be, but I also didn’t taste much mint. I just didn’t know what it was.

So mystery tea it shall remain. At least it was cheap, but my, was it bad. I’d rather take McDonald’s teabag than that. At least the McD stuff tasted something resembling tea. This was just mostly coloured water.

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Sunday July 9, 2006

July 9, 2006 · 6 Comments

Sorry for the lack of updates, but really, I am sinking rock bottom here in Wisconsin. I had, of all things… a McDonald’s teabag tea today!!! I’m basically in the middle of nowhere (try google map with Maribel, WI). There’s nothing around here other than farmlands. I was desperate. Later in the afternoon, at the bride’s family home, I had some sencha that must be about 5 years old, because it brewed a nasty brown/green liquor that had no frangrace, basically. I don’t even know if there was caffeine in it. Suffice to say, no good.

Ohio was slightly better. I at least had access to Tazo teabags, which is better than many others. I also had some tea at a restaurant in Oberlin OH, where I went to college. Some pics and commentary to follow, but it was a mystery tea that I couldn’t really figure out.

Can’t wait to get back to my regular stuff. This is killing me.

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Tuesday July 4, 2006

July 4, 2006 · 5 Comments

I made the dancong from Best Tea House today, and my girlfriend said it is “yummy”, which sounds good to me.

It is indeed one of the yummiest teas I have, I think. Very fruity, with nice notes all over from start to finish. I really like this particular one that they sell, and will be sure to get more when I get back to Hong Kong

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