Since the beginning of 2014, I’ve dedicated each month to a specific type of tea. This means I drink that genre of tea in some form at least once a day. This could mean gong-fu, grandpa, or even a cold-brew. I’ll still consume other teas, but the primary focus is understanding and building a palate for a specific type/genre/region of tea through repetition. This the most personal blogging type style of post for TeaDB, and the goal is to stretch my palate as well as give recommendations to those interested.
Primary vendors ordered from:
Episode 49, Denny and James review a big Chinese supermarket staples, Sea Dyke. Retailing for $1.50/125grams, James picked this one up from a local (Seattle) Chinese market.
Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) is one of China’s ten most famous teas, owns a mythic origin story and is as close to a household name as exists in tea. Given this, it is unsurprising that the name Da Hong Pao is a great marketing term for purveyors of tea. The name Da Hong Pao or Big Red Robe simply sells. Vendors are well aware of this and tea marketed as Da Hong Pao or Big Red Robe is often the only Yancha offering sold by generalist tea vendors. Obviously these teas are not the Da Hong Pao from the original bushes of the legend. So, what are these vendors selling as Da Hong Pao? A simple question, but the answer is complex and often ambiguous. Continue reading
Posted in Oolong, Tea Learning, Wuyi Oolong
Tagged Dragon Tea House, Essence of Tea, Hou de Asian Art, Life in a Teacup, Red Blossom, Seven Cups, Tea Spring, Tea Urchin, Teacuppa, Vicony Teas
In Episode 48 Denny and James review a premium top-tier Yancha from Origin Tea. This one is a Shui Xian grown deep in the Wuyi natural reserve.
In Episode 47, Denny and James review another Yancha. This one comes from old, reliable Jing Tea Shop.
In episode 46 Denny and James blind gong-fu-taste a mystery black tea.
The Chinese tea industry is largely composed of big businesses, large factories and corporate brands. While this frequently results in inexpensive, mediocre tea for the casual tea consumer, some of these factories also dabble in higher-end commercially available tea. A few bigger brands can be purchased in North America, usually in a Chinese or Southeast Asian supermarket. These inexpensive teas are often the ideal way to begin your journey into Yancha (Wuyi Oolongs). Long and cumbersome shipping is avoided and supermarket Yancha is cheap. Often very, very cheap. For more seasoned drinkers, Chinese supermarket Yancha no longer serves as a gateway but a great daily drinker or grandpa style sipper. It is also not always a low-budget affair and brands like Wuyi Star and Huiyuan sell some pretty expensive tea (although these are more difficult to find in the US). Continue reading