A Tea Addict's Journal

An old favourite

June 12, 2007 · 5 Comments

When I was trying to think up what to drink, I saw my little pot for nongxiang tieguanyin. It’s been underused this year… so, why not, I still have some of that tea.

I brewed it simply, filling the pot about a quarter full, and then just going through the motions. About 6 or 7 infusions later, the tea was done. It’s a tiny pot, so each cup takes only a little time to drink. I can be done with it in half an hour.

The tea was fine, not great, as it is pretty low grade stuff. It’s also been aged just a little. There is also a slight note of sourness, although managed properly it won’t show up at all. When I was done with the tea though, I felt dissatisfied… I think the infusion after infusion of puerh is, in some ways, quite nice, and an oolong, especially a tieguanyin or the like, just don’t cut it.

Looking at the wet leaves, I have my suspicion that this is a pretty thoroughly mixed tea, with some benshan involved, if not mostly benshan. I am terrible at telling apart the various varietals that are used in these mixtures, and it is not a surprise that almost nobody will label their tea benshan, or maoxie, or something other than tieguanyin. I really ought to go to a reputable store and learn. Yet… it’s a difficult question to ask. “Do you have benshan?” Sometimes I think even the vendors don’t know what they’re selling.

I did conduct an experiment today — I brewed the tea again, using fresh leaves in a gaiwan, and then pouring it into a fairness cup. Half went into my drinking cup, while the other half went into the now empty pot. I wanted to see if I could tell any difference between the two. I must say that it seems the tea that went through the pot comes out a little softer, and a little of the edge seemed to have been taken off. Yet, I wonder if it’s placebo. I really ought to do a blind test.

Categories: Old Xanga posts · Teas

5 responses so far ↓

  • Phyllo // June 12, 2007 at 9:18 pm | Reply

    You may remember from my blog that the LA group did a side-by-side test of TGY (iirc) brewed in a silver teapot vs in a hong ni yixing.  The one brewed in yixing was decidedly softer, while the tea coming out of the silver teapot was crisp.

  • MarshalN // June 13, 2007 at 1:36 am | Reply

    Ah, right, that’s true, and I’d imagine a gaiwan is probably more like the silver teapot…

    Might be interesting to try the silver teapot versus a gaiwan, blind.

  • Phyllo // June 13, 2007 at 2:10 am | Reply

    It (the silver pot) might even be harder than the gaiwan, because one of us felt a “metallic” taste.  It might be “psychosomatic” as the one of us said. : ) A blind tasting is the best way to determine if it’s true or if it’s just in our heads.  So far, I can’t justify buying a silver pot (yet) based on my very limited experience with it.

  • MarshalN // June 13, 2007 at 10:05 am | Reply

    I’m just not convinced that a silver pot is all that different from a stainless steel one…

  • lewperin // June 13, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Reply

    For years, Silk Road Teas, the company that pretty much introduced me to Chinese tea, carried both Ben Shan and Mao Xie. I just checked their web site – they didn’t always have a web site! – and they still have Mao Xie.

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