Monday, December 21, 2015
This is a Taetea (aka Dayi) ripe cake. Produced by Menghai Tea factory in 2007, this Dayi (logo name) tea cake blend is call 7592. 4 digit names were commonly used especially by Dayi to name their teas. Some very popular dayi tea cakes include 7542, 8582 and 7572.
This Dayi 7592 is a ripe cake. I had kept it in a large brown envelope and it had been sitting in my tea cupboard for about 6 years. I had taken pix of the cake to show you a few pointers of identifying a real Dayi. Yes, older or more expensive Dayi have fakes and I always advised my tea friends and readers if they are buying Dayi tea, to only buy from authorized retailers or from a reputable tea shop. Dayi wrapped their tea cakes in a unique way (see pix 3). The Dayi sticker and neifei changes with each year and you must know the characteristics of these labels. Newer labels will have special marking that will only show under a UV light.
Back to this tea. This is a very traditionally made ripe tea cake, blended well and will satisfy the ripe tea drinker. One of the best Dayi cakes I had drank this year. Nothing fancy, just a very aromatic and smooth ripe tea that had me drinking this tea on a daily basis for the past one week.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Chawan, aka Japanese tea bowls are mainly used in Japanese tea brewing of green matcha tea. The sides of the bowls are more upright, which helps keep the tea from spilling out of the bowl while the tea is being 'stirred' with a tea whisk.
The Japanese chawan you see in the above pix are from my own collection. The 1st 2 bowls are made by Eichi Kato, who is known for his more artistic interpretation of his chawans. Height of these bowls are about 3.5 inches (8.8cm) in height and 4.5 inches (11.5cm) in diameter. The last bowl is made by Kunio Uchida, a blue ribbon award winner for his contribution to Japanese pottery. The bowl measures 2.8inches (7cm) in height and has a diameter of 4.9 inches (12.4cm). These 3 bowls appear unused.
I am fascinated by Japanese chawan. Holding them and examining the details on the bowls is like going for an adventure.
Nuff said. Let the pictures do all the talking.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Oolong tea drinkers would tell you that the 4 most famous oolong varieties are Tie Lo Han, Da Hong Pao, Bai Ji Guan and Shui Jin Gui. Tea that are harvested from Wuyi Shan are highly sought after as these tea originated from this region and are considered to be of high quality.
There are many other varieties of oolong that are enjoyed by the oolong drinking community and some of these oolong would include Rougui, Shui Hsien, Buddha Palm, Pan Shen Yao (aka half waist tea) and Chien Li Xiang (thousand mile fragrance). There are many other varieties of tea and I will try to introduce these oolong to my readers whenever I can lay my hands on them.
One oolong variety is Yizhi Chun (aka a sprig of spring). Sea Dyke tea recently came out with a batch of these tea selling them in paper boxes containing 125g of Yizhi Chun in each box. Inexpensive.
You will noticed that this tea is rolled and highly roasted. The rolled tea leaves, is appropriate in that packing the tea in paper boxes will see little damage to the tea leaves during transit. If the tea leaves were not rolled, a buyer would end up with a fair amount of broken leaves.
I use about 9-10g of tea to a 150ml teapot. The high roast made this tea very aromatic, almost resembling coffee essence. It is very flavorful and makes this tea a value for money purchase. This tea is very good in both aroma and flavor. When I brew oolongs, I can appreciate the different nuances, the subtle differences in taste and character of each tea, but for this Sea Dyke Yizhi Chun, even though this is a very delicious high roasted tea, I could not detect any defining characteristic feature of Yizhi Chun from the tea session.
Readers will know that I am a fan of Sea Dyke tea. Sea Dyke had been producing their oolong using traditional methods and their tea has been exported worldwide. Sea Dyke had recently came out with a premium series of oolong harvested from Wuyi regions which I am impressed. I will introduce these tea to my readers next year.
But I digress….I will be in Toronto and St John NB during the Christmas week and if you like to have a tea session with me, please let me know so I can bring some tea for our meet up. Thank you.