Is There A Bad Tea?

by Tom Maynard
(Chicago IL USA)

What is my favorite type of tea? Without meaning to appear to be a smart alec: a freshly brewed cup!

There are so many types, with so many flavors, from a smoky, dark Lapsang Souchang ... to an earthy, even "fishy" Pu'er, it's hard to single out one "favorite."

I drink them all, trying to experience all the variety of teas. But the two I brew the most are Green and Oolong.

Of the greens I most enjoy Longjing, Biluochun and Japanese Gyokuro. These teas all share a grassy freshness (and Gyokuro a sweetness) that satisfy at any time of day. Just sniffing the freshly brewed tea is a treat ... tasting it is a treasure.

And the Oolongs: I love the lighter Pouchang, Tieguanyin, even Baijiguan. A cup wafting lilac or orchid scent is a joy to hold. Their mellow warmth is soothing, feeling silken on the palate.

For me the best cup of tea is 2.25 grams of loose tea for each 6 ounce (177 ml) cup of water at the proper temperature for the type of tea. I always weigh my tea to ensure consistent results, and I use an instant-read thermometer to guarantee proper temperature water (I can't help it: I was a chemist in a former life).

And there are so many! I have yet to explore the Black (Red) tea territory: I've never had a Keemun or Yunnan tea ... endless horizons await me.

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Feb 01, 2008
Baijiguan and Longjing
by: Julian

Thomas, thank for your excellent post! I get very intrigued when you mention Baijiguan (White Rooster), which is one of the "white" green tea I mention in the article.

As regarding the Longjing tea, do you find any differences between the different grades (Jipin, AAA an AA)? Which grade do you like best?

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