Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tang Cha Club (唐茶会)

It is not a traditional tea house. You won't find Long Jing, Tie Guan Yin there. However, if you are in Shanghai, it worths a trip there. I like its décor..I like its casual, relaxing atomosphere...not to mention some of its flagship drinks. Here are some of my favorite décor... cute, right?


Monday, June 23, 2008

2008 Spring WuYi Rock Tea Expected to Hit Market in July

This year's spring WuYi Rock Tea starts to show up on market in the recent few days. Industry insiders are expecting all types of WuYi Rock Tea to hit market in July. Recent words from our Da Hong Pao producer were that their Da Hong Pao wouldn't be available till late June, early July. Due to large demand, overall price of this year's WuYi Rock Tea will raise 20% to 30%.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lightly Roasted vs. Heavily Roasted Tie Guan Yin

I have wanted to blog about green (lightly roasted) vs. traditional (heavily roasted) Tie Guan Yin for quite some time. Finally, I devoted this afternoon to do so. I have long formed my opinion between the two. To be fair, I brewed the two of the same grade (Grade AA) side by side this afternoon and started blogging while I was sipping....

I took a picture before brewing. You can easily differentiate the two by simply looking at dry leaves. Color of lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin dry leaves is green. That of heavily roasted Tie Guan Yin, on the other hand, is much darker – more of a brownish color. Dry leave aroma of the two are also quite different. While smell of lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin dry leaves is soft and floral, that of heavily roasted Tie Guan Yin dry leaves is heavy and roasty.

I brewed up the two and slowly sipped them down... The lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin filled my mouth with soft, long lasting orchid aroma infusion after infusion. It was refreshing, buttery, and sweet. The heavily roasted Tie Guan Yin offered more complex taste. At first, it was this mouth full of orchid aroma with a honey undertone, then a nutty aroma arisen from back of my mouth...It was thick, mellow, smooth with vivid long lasting sweet aftertaste.

Lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin started in the early 90s when Taiwan tea manufactures first entered mainland. It quickly gained popularity in mainland due to its pleasant aroma. Because lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin has some green tea characteristics, it has shorter shelf life and requires fridge storage . Heavily roasted Tie Guan Yin, on the other hand, remains seasoned tea drinkers' favorite because of its complex taste. It has longer shelf life and can be stored in room temperature. Unlike lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin, heavily roasted Tie Guan Yin does not hurt stomach. After several years' retreat, heavily roasted Tie Guan Yin is coming back to reclaim its market.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Comparison of Xi Ping, Gan De, and Xiang Hua Tie Guan Yin

Inner AnXi is famous for its Tie Guan Yin tea. Xi Ping, Gan De and Xiang Hua are the three most well known tea production areas in Inner AnXi. Tie Guan Yin from the three areas have different charateristics.

Xi Ping is the origin of Tie Guan Yin. Xi Ping Tie Guan Yin is famous for its excellent taste. Its aroma is relatively light. Xiang Hua is the major Tie Guan Yin production area. Xiang Hua Tie Guan Yin is famous for its high aroma and good taste. Mainly younger bushes, Gan De Tie Guan Yin has high aroma but light taste. Gan De is famous for its lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin.

By carefully blending Mao Cha (raw tea) from different areas, tea producters can now offer Tie Guan Yin of good taste and aroma.