Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 World Tea Expo - Tea Infusion Challenge

This is the second year of Tea Infusion Challenge in World Tea Expo. I have the honor to be part of the program and serve as the judge for Oolong. The pictures are courtesy of World Tea Media. Enjoy the slideshow! (The four contenters for this Challenge: Steven Downer, Kasia Vermaire, Jonathan Munsayac, and Amy Lawrence; from the left to the right.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

An experiment on tender Green tea - Pine Needle (sku#35110) 2011.07.22

We were cupping a few teas in this Friday morning.
After our cupping, we thought of having fun to find out what will be the right combination to make this Pine Needle a unique enough cup. Follow us on this one:

1.) Take a close look on this tea...

2.) Have two upping sets ready... the heated water is controlled with the temperature...
3 grams of sample, set for 3 min infusion...
the one on the left, we will use heated water at 150F
the one on the right, with 175F

3.) Check the wet leaf, check the aroma, check the liquor and taste the tea... carefully...

We got the hint: to have the water temperature to be adjusted to 165F, and remain 3 minutes of infusion will give the tea enough heat and time to get well unfurled and extracted... This will make sure we serve it right. Well, it is not true this will satisfy all of you, but follow the way, you can always find the Harmony between you and the leaf. Enjoy your journey!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cupping two PiLoChun (20110721)

This morning we were cupping two Pi-Lo-Chun, both from Fujien, China. Per our vendor, these two teas are from same region, same cultivar...One is slightly tighter roll than another.
Which one should we take?

We did a comparison cupping and also tried on an intentional tasting...
Here are the photos, step by step...

I prepare the cupping sets, as usual, we measured 3 g of sample each and infused with rolling boiled water, without the lids on intentionally, to be infused for 5 minutes...

The right one - the liquor color is darker, and taste is a bit stronger...also the wet leaf is apparently indicating the leaf is more matured compared with the left one, tea leaf plucked in earlier days...tender leaf..

We use 175 F to infuse 2 g each leaf with 5 minutes... (1:50 ratio)
to see how the taste will be presented...

The right one seems more flavor and the cup is more complete. These two teas both are very nicely made...yet, if we have to make only one choice, I will go with the right one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cupping San Hsia Teas (20110720)

There is a small tea district inside New Taipei City...all by itself, unique Cultivar and serves a special tea market in Taiwan. Let us try to learn about the San Hsia Teas!
We've selected four samples for our cupping - These are all the same cultivar, Chinsin HuangGan, which is very special and not found in other tea regions in Taiwan.
#38107 San Hsia Lung-Jing
#38106 San Hsia Pi-Lo-Chun
#20601 San Hsia Formosa Bonita #FB-68
#20472 San Hsia Oriental Beauty

Taiwan has Lung-Jing and Pi-Lo-Chun?
There is a seldom known story. When KMT was forced to move from China to Taiwan after 1949... Chiang and his staff missed the green tea back home... so, for some reason, the green tea Lung-Jing and Pi-Lo-Chun were duplicated and made in San Hsia tea district. However, the farmers might be so used to Pouchong making...the Taiwan version are slightly different in appearances from their China origin. 2010 TOST members were there to see how the farmer manufactures his Lung-Jing with Japanese Sencha rollers instead of big pans with hand pressure. Pi-Lo-Chun also similar to Pouchong only tender leaf is lucked to be rolled.
Since Taiwan Green tea is limited and very different from China...the demand, even not in large scale, yet enough to keep these teas to be continuously produced. The recent trend for "Encouraging the Local Tea Industry" aadopted by one of the World's most famous beverage chain in Taiwan does help the San Hsia tea district moving along. Take a closer shots on these two teas:

This is #38106 Taiwan San Hsia Pi-Lo-Chun
With 180 F, infused for 3 minutes...naturally sweet, very refreshing.

#38107 Taiwan San Hsia Lung-Jing
Not exactly looks like Lung-Jing from West Lake, China...yet the flavor and taste is none the less. Compared with #38106, the leaf is a bit matured. Apply with 185 F, let the tea steep for 3 minutes to serve.

These two teas - Oriental Beauty and Formosa Bonita, are fairy new to this tea district. Very interesting to see Summer Crop became a Good to have season, which is not the case in old days. With TRES' guidance...the farmers here learn how to do Oriental Beauty, yet with different cultivar, expecting a different surprise if your are traditional Oriental Beauty fan. FB-68 is definitely a must trial, very good Honey touch in the cup and complex in flavor. Take a closer shots for these two teas:

#20472 - San Hsia Oriental Beauty, this sample might not be summer crop...not too much green leaf hopper's trace to be found in leaf... Yet, Chinsin Ganchong's character is giving me a very pleasant finish. Definitely, not the PonFonCha I used to have from Beipu/Omei, Hsinchu tea district. Yet, for the price, this will be a good deal for Oriental Oolong tea lovers. Infused with 195F and 3-1/2 minutes.

#20601 - San Hsia Brandy Oolong #FB-68, my favorite among these 4 samples.
Very soothing and a pleasant honey touch. Good tea to have. (200F for 3-1/2 minutes)

We are very glad to launch a new line grown and produced from this tea district, and these teas will be in our "Sanhsia Breeze" series...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2011 World Tea Expo - World Origins Tasting Tour

2011 World Tea Expo - Show is On

2011 World Tea Expo - Comparison on Milky Oolong

Please also enjoy YouTube movie of the cupping.

2011 World Tea Expo - Oriental Beauty vs Formosa Bonita

2011 World Tea Expo - Comparison on Baked Oolong

Please also enjoy the YouTube movie of the cupping.

2011 World Tea Expo - Focused Tasting: Ruby 18

2011 World Tea Expo - Taiwan Tea's Traceability

2011 World Tea Expo - Tea Decor

2011 World Tea Expo - Taiwan Tea Gala A&B

2011 World Tea Expo - Taiwan Tea Gala C&D

2011 World Tea Expo - Advanced Tasting

2011 World Tea Expo - Taiwan Tea Gala E&F

2011 World Tea Expo - Taiwan Tea x ForLife

2011 World Tea Expo - Samples Display

2011 World Tea Expo - 2011 TOST Registration

2011 World Tea Expo - TOST Members Reunion

2011 World Tea Expo - Behind the Scenes

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Opening

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Soul Mate

Please also enjoy a YouTube movie of the Presentation.

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Celebration

Please also enjoy the YouTube movie of the presentation.

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Maturity

Please also enjoy YouTube movie of the presentation.

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - After the Presentation

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Display No.1 Soul Mate

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Display No.2 Celebration

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Display No.3 Maturity

Taiwan Tea Gala (20110702) - Behind the Scenes