What is your favorite tea?
suxiaoyaJune 22, 2010, 09:50 AM
As a Brit, I am partial to good old English Breakfast tea. Is that very boring?!
I do like Jasmine tea, but I am clueless about all the many varieties of Chinese tea... I'd be interested to know where to start.
suxiaoya, Have you tried Chinese black tea? Do you have a pot for brewing loose tea? We are drinking black tea at breakfast during our stay in China this summer. My wife is the expert in this.
I think hankfdh wrote a blog about tea drinking that I came across once. Is that right?
svik, Indeed I am trying to sample one Chinese tea a week ordering them from Taobao. With more than 100+ types of Chinese tea, I am going to be busy for the next two years. If you are interested the link is http://thenetworksense.com/.
svik, yes, I have a proper tea pot at home, so perhaps I'll get hold of some. Would be interesting as a comparison to my usual brew!
Where are you staying in China this summer, out of interest? I hope it's not raining where you are (it's horrible in Shanghai at the moment)!
We are in Hangzhou, but sadly, I realize that we have only a couple weeks left. It rained miserably all day yesterday, but the sun just popped out after lunch.
I think a lot of tea companies here make black tea as a side light to their better known green teas. They tend to be delicate, flavorful when fresh, so by all means try some!
I believe Hangzhou is especially famous for its 龙井茶 lóngjǐngchá, is it not? Have you tried it?
I'm not crazy about it myself, but I have yet to graduate to full-fledged appreciation of green teas.
svik - I hope you enjoy your last couple of weeks! I am so fond of Hangzhou; its mountain trails serve as the perfect retreat from Shanghai.
Regarding the tea in Hangzhou, I'm not a huge fan of 龙井茶 but it is a lot of fun to watch the ladies picking the tea leaves in the plantations there!
It is the famous tea of Hangzhou. I hope you can find a knowledgeable person to make some good green tea for you. The proper glass, and temperature of water, and of course, some really good tea. Green tea doesn't last very long, unless it is kept air tight.
On your other comment you mentioned 人参乌龙茶. Is the ginseng powdered or in pieces? I would think that would make the tea bitter? Well the wulong can be rather strongly aromatic also.
Those trails are great. You can come around a corner and there is a terraced field of tea. We have one more peak to conquer, weather permitting. Last year was more fun, we were here in the spring. I have a lot of tea photos, I need to get some organized to post.
Re: 人参乌龙茶, I assume the leaves are infused with the ginseng. When dry, the tea looks like small, dark army green pellets. As the tea steeps, the pellets unfold and the shape of the tea leaves is distinguishable. No bits and pieces of ginseng floating around, though.
Perhaps the process is similar to jasmine tea...my understanding is that the tea leaves are left on a table alongside a pile of jasmine blossoms. The two do not touch, but the aroma is so pungent that the tea leaves absorb it. I think the jasmine blossoms get "changed out" a couple times.
That's interesting about the ginseng. I have never seen that one. I guess there is no limit to the different kinds of tea. I did get a very nice present of jasmine tea in China once, but surprisingly to me, it was so strong that I didn't enjoy it. I found a friend to give it to, and she liked it. You might be right, because I don't remember seeing any flowers.
jen_not_jennyJune 29, 2010, 09:16 AM
My absolute favorite Chinese tea is 人参乌龙茶, rénshēn wūlóng chā, or ginseng oolong. I discovered it by accident at a yumcha house in Guangzhou.
I think it's a great beginner's tea, because the ginseng leaves the mouth with a sweet sensation, although there's no sweetner in the tea itself.
I quite like it with traditional Cantonese 点心 diǎnxin (dim sum), but it also goes quite well with more Western teatime foods, cookies/biscuits, scones, what have you. It's also great on its own!
svikJuly 02, 2010, 06:55 AM
@hankfdh, You said in your blog that you were favorably impressed with Huang Shan Mao Feng 黄山毛峰. I have heard that many people consider the Anhui 安徽 teas superior to Zhejiang 浙江 ones.
Did you get your teas this spring? I also heard that the weather was very poor in Zhejiang this year, and the green tea is not as good as normal.