Author Topic: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts  (Read 590 times)

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Offline FatherGiryus

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Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« on: February 01, 2012, 04:33:08 PM »
Anyone on the Forum into Chinese Tea (e.g. oolong, pu erh, gongfu cha, etc.)?  I've been replacing my pot-a-day coffee habit, and discovering a whole lot about tea that I didn't know before.  Was wondering if there were any others out there as well who've moved 'beyond the bag.'
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Offline Golgotha

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 04:44:31 PM »
Gongfu all the way! There is no other way! ;D I would really like to age some puerh. I lack the money and patience atm. I have a tea corner :P

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 04:46:49 PM »
Big fan of Lapsang Souchong. I've become a bit of a tea-snob and good loose leaf tea seems impossible to come by down in the South. Coffee, while I prefer a better bean, I can still enjoy as Folgers or Maxwell House or what have you; but I can't get into Twinnings.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 04:47:29 PM »
Green Pu-Erh is my favorite. I think it is only fermented by being left to sit, so it ends up acquiring a powerful citrusy flavor instead of the pure compost-like flavor of black pu-erh.

Don't get me wrong, I like the black pu-erh too.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 08:28:38 PM »
Yes, green pu-erh is amazing and much better than the black!

I also like ti kwan yin and the cold oolong that comes in PET bottles.

Do the Japanese sen-cha and genmai-cha exist under more ancient names in the Chinese world?
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 08:47:12 PM »
As I understand it, Japanese green tea follows more ancient preparation methods using steam to prepare the leaves, which removes many of the variant flavors and leave it with different characteristics from Chinese green teas.  The Chinese abandoned steam methods before 1400.

We got a disk of aged pu-erh, and my kids have fallen in love with it.  We're going to head back to Chinatown soon for a few more varieties.

I bought a nice gongfu tea tray with a removable bottom tray, but it fills up too fast, so I had to make a new one with a drain hose to handle the amount of traffic it is getting.  rather than sitting in front of the TV, we gather around the tea tray and enjoy our evening pu-erh, a remarkable event considering our oldest is 10.  I think it is the aesthetics of gongfu that appeals to them as much as the flavors.

I drink genmai during the day (I've had to learn the 'real way' and dump the bag method as well).

Right now, I'm reading The Ultimate Guide to Chinese Tea by Bret Hinsch, which is turning out to be quite informative.

It is good to know there are others out there!


Yes, green pu-erh is amazing and much better than the black!

I also like ti kwan yin and the cold oolong that comes in PET bottles.

Do the Japanese sen-cha and genmai-cha exist under more ancient names in the Chinese world?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 01:33:49 AM »
Do the Japanese sen-cha and genmai-cha exist under more ancient names in the Chinese world?
Many Japanese teas are made by shading the leaves to concentrate their tannins or something, hence why they are often darker green and more bitter/potent. I'm not sure if this has a chinese analogue.
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Offline Golgotha

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 03:24:22 AM »
Father Giryus do you use a yixing teapot or giawan for gongfu? I've primarily been using an yixing, although gaiwans look like a lot of fun. I do have a Japanese kyusu tea pot to mix stuff up :P

I bought a nice gongfu tea tray with a removable bottom tray, but it fills up too fast, so I had to make a new one with a drain hose to handle the amount of traffic it is getting.  rather than sitting in front of the TV, we gather around the tea tray and enjoy our evening pu-erh, a remarkable event considering our oldest is 10.  I think it is the aesthetics of gongfu that appeals to them as much as the flavors.
I love the elaborate washing procedures to it. It's a lot of fun. I have a removable tray. It kinda is a pain to empty it. I'm considering getting a drain.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 03:25:55 AM by Golgotha »

Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 03:26:33 AM »
As I understand it, Japanese green tea follows more ancient preparation methods using steam to prepare the leaves, which removes many of the variant flavors and leave it with different characteristics from Chinese green teas.  The Chinese abandoned steam methods before 1400.

We got a disk of aged pu-erh, and my kids have fallen in love with it.  We're going to head back to Chinatown soon for a few more varieties.

I bought a nice gongfu tea tray with a removable bottom tray, but it fills up too fast, so I had to make a new one with a drain hose to handle the amount of traffic it is getting.  rather than sitting in front of the TV, we gather around the tea tray and enjoy our evening pu-erh, a remarkable event considering our oldest is 10.  I think it is the aesthetics of gongfu that appeals to them as much as the flavors.

I drink genmai during the day (I've had to learn the 'real way' and dump the bag method as well).

Right now, I'm reading The Ultimate Guide to Chinese Tea by Bret Hinsch, which is turning out to be quite informative.

It is good to know there are others out there!


Yes, green pu-erh is amazing and much better than the black!

I also like ti kwan yin and the cold oolong that comes in PET bottles.

Do the Japanese sen-cha and genmai-cha exist under more ancient names in the Chinese world?

If I remember correctly, the reason for the change was because the Chinese emperors quit demanding tribute in the form of tea bricks and began to demand loose-leaf tea as tribute. This changed the course of Chinese tea-making to focus on loose-leaf tea, with only a few styles, like pu'er which come in brick form.

As an aside to Akimori, I like ti kwan yin too. The name alone, "Iron Bodhisattva of Compassion," (or sometimes translated as Iron Goddess of Mercy; guan yin is such a rich cultural figure in China that I suppose she is untranslatable) is worth it. :P
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 12:18:46 PM »
Funny, I use my kyusu as well!  I have a gaiwan coming from Hong Kong (found a nice one  made out of Pyrex that is large enough for the family).  Since my wife wants a vote, we are going together to Chinatown to pick out some yixing pots.

Gaiwan pots are usually used for lighter teas.  Because they are glazed, they do not readily absorb flavors and are good for general use, like the kyusu.

The yixing (purple clay) zisha is unglazed, and absorbs oils from teas.  Here's a quick summary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5kwI77DrhM

We decided to get a dedicated puerh zisha and one for the oolong we decide to get with this trip.  Since the pots are not expensive, it won't break our meager budget (for the price of dinner and movie for the family, we can get a nice pot and enough eat to last half the year!).

You might want to think about just putting a drain in your pan.  You can get small 1/4" plastic fittings and glue them in.  That'll save you a few bucks.


Father Giryus do you use a yixing teapot or giawan for gongfu? I've primarily been using an yixing, although gaiwans look like a lot of fun. I do have a Japanese kyusu tea pot to mix stuff up :P

I bought a nice gongfu tea tray with a removable bottom tray, but it fills up too fast, so I had to make a new one with a drain hose to handle the amount of traffic it is getting.  rather than sitting in front of the TV, we gather around the tea tray and enjoy our evening pu-erh, a remarkable event considering our oldest is 10.  I think it is the aesthetics of gongfu that appeals to them as much as the flavors.
I love the elaborate washing procedures to it. It's a lot of fun. I have a removable tray. It kinda is a pain to empty it. I'm considering getting a drain.

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb

Offline Golgotha

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 12:22:21 AM »
Very cool. Thanks for the info Father!  Unfortunately I've been using my yixing for everything. I might get a gaiwan for the greens then so I don't mess up the yixing absorption more. I'll also consider making a drain then.

If I remember correctly, the reason for the change was because the Chinese emperors quit demanding tribute in the form of tea bricks and began to demand loose-leaf tea as tribute. This changed the course of Chinese tea-making to focus on loose-leaf tea, with only a few styles, like pu'er which come in brick form.
Very interesting!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 12:22:57 AM by Golgotha »

Offline Shiny

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Re: Chinese Tea Enthusiasts
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 12:25:14 AM »
A got a tea kettle for Christmas so I will try your guys' recommendations! Thanks!
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