Chinese Teas

(For the Horde!) #61

You mean air tight, right? I do think air tight (or nitrogen filled) and keep in cooler temperature help. Many good tea stores refrigerate the green tea. I personally won’t buy it longer than 1.5 year. “sous-vide” implies adding heat – which is not a good idea for storing tea. :joy:

“Although from the packing of Ming Cha, the leaves are just packaged in a tin can with air contact.” <-- there is probably another bag inside – I hope so. If not, then don’t buy it. If not, the tea won’t even last 3 months. Not at that high price level. US $200 for only 25 gram, and one year old. No way. But I do honestly think there is another airtight bag inside the canister. By the way, if you have the money and really like Dragon Well, I will say that MingCha (store) is sourcing in high quality Lion Peak tea. Remember I said that there is even distinction among tea within the Lion Peak region? MingCha is sourcing the better one among Lion Peak.

Both white tea and Pu erh can be stored.

Green Spring Spires is good. My grandmother most favorite tea. I think at the end it is personal taste. I would say different in my opinion. Different enough that most people can distinguish the taste.

“(although I don’t think they will show you the top pick Dragon Well for free”

That would be true for any tea shop for any expensive tea for that matter, otherwise random people just go in and sample all kind of expensive tea. Business practice.

I think Top Pick can mean very different thing than First Pick. First Pick has a real definition that it is the first harvest of the first tea leaves. No one can misrepresent it. Top Pick just means the store or the farm consider these as their top selections. So I would say beware what they really mean. Their Top Pick may be same as First Pick, but it may be something else.


You mean this type of packing will add heat to tea?

Sous-vide (vacuum packing)

Air does not circulate freely, but there is air in the packaging. (Meaning there will still be oxidation of tea.)

I used to have some Ming Cha tea, the format wasn’t in tin can, but rather glass tube with cork. Glass looks pretty but tea can be damaged by light, so need to be stored in a light proof cupboard.
Kind of like this:

What is the best temperature to store tea?


I think I will try to get some later this spring, just to get an idea of taste. I like the spiral shape and how the tea is made, so pretty.



I read this:

Funny that they talk about oxygen absorber:

Apparently, we still have to depend on the oxygen absorber as it is the only method that can maintain the freshness of tea for long term.

I always thought that this thing is useless.

(For the Horde!) #65

I mean the word “sous vide” means a type of cooking – the way I understand it.

“Sous-vide (/suːˈviːd/; French for “under vacuum”)[1] is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and then placed in a water bath or steam environment for longer than normal cooking times (usually 1 to 7 hours, up to 48 or more in some cases) at an accurately regulated temperature…”

For the golden color bags you showed up there, they should be filled with nitrogen (not just air). By filling tea bags with nitrogen, this essentially push out other gases, including pushing out oxygen and water. I actually like this method. I understand why some people believe in glass. Ok here are the reasons…

I think you and I can agree that the best way to enjoy fresh green tea is to simply drink it fresh. However, aside from that… what is the best way to preserve tea freshness?
Some people believe in vacuum because it removes all gas including elimination of oxygen and water vapor.
Some people believe in nitrogen filled because it does not change the pressure and remove oxygen and remove water.
The argument of using glass is that glass is very inert. Some people worry that aluminum bags and plastic bags introduce “flavor” to the tea leaves.

I mean the First Pick Lion Peak Dragon Well tea from MingCha looks to be in a can.


I think in general it is a good idea to keep the tea leaves in a refrigerated condition because cooler temperature slow down all reaction.
I actually don’t buy the argument of that guy using oxygen absorber. It help, but not the day and night he was talking about. If vacuuming only remove 99% of oxygen and that he complained about 1% of oxygen is bad enough… then I like to know if the oxygen absorbing bags can absorb what? 100%? What about the oxygen during the tea leaves process? The tea leaves have already seen the oxygen.

All of these will help the tea last a little longer, but at the end of the day, it is simply best enjoy the green tea within a year


Sous vide (in French) is vacuum packing when you use a French English translator. “Sous-vide” in an English context means low temperature cooking with a vacuum pack, I am not totally aware of that. Ha, that should be called sous-vide cooking.

(For the Horde!) #67

By the way, you want to remove moisture from tea because moisture can ruin green tea over time. However, it is not like the drier, the better. The reason? Green tea leaves have water content (6% for Dragon Well). It is never meant to dry the hell out of the green tea leaves.


I don’t know with tea, but I think you are right. But I am 100% sure about cheese, I vacuum packed some to keep them longer, but they lose taste and become dry and brittle, disappointed.

(For the Horde!) #69

Do you have a tea type you like so far?


I like mostly green and Oolong tea (Wuyi). I don’t drink enough good white or yellow tea to have any say.

Husband has a preference for smoked black tea: Lapsang Souchong family (Tarry Lapsang, Lapsang Imperial), I don’t really like the “red date” taste of LS tea, but can drink an occasional Tiger tea from Taiwan. I know that tea lovers look down on smoked tea.

I also have “cereal tea” like genmaicha, buckwheat and jasmine tea at home. They are easy and all purpose tea and please most of the guests. I am not particular fond of Kusmi tea (I don’t know you can find this brand outside France, kind of hipster thing here), but they are a bunch of blend western style tea mixed with essential oil and flowers. I bought some, and end up using them to make cakes! Or to serve people when they eat desserts.

Friends had gave me some ginseng tea, don’t know what to do with them.
Also I was gifted a huge bag of Wu Niu Zao tea and some fun stuff like this:

(For the Horde!) #71

Sound good. Ginseng tea as in ginseng with tea leaves or just ginseng? Many people call the latter tea even it has no tea leaves. I think you just add hot water to it.


With tea. Not very into medical herbal stuff. Maybe try to serve someone after a Korean meal.

(For the Horde!) #73

I see. Well, I would brew it based on the tea (when you have a tea mixture with ginseng). For most of these, the ginseng is already in powder form, and there isn’t tons of ginseng anyway. Most likely it is an Oolong Ginseng Tea King…etc. Have fun.


It seems you bought some of your tea from Taobao, how do you be sure of the quality and the sellers?


And yours, besides Pu Erh?

(For the Horde!) #76

Raw Pu Erh (生普洱) is my focus. After that I would probably said that I enjoy Japanese Sencha (煎茶), Gyokuro (玉露), and West Lake Dragon Well (西湖龍井) the best.
I have some Taiwanese Oolong and Fujian White Peony (白牡丹), but they are not the focus.
I do also really like the Chenpi Ripen Pu Erh (柑熟普茶).

Knowing myself, I may acquire some decent white tea in the very near future, but I haven’t really decided yet… Really eyeballing one… and tempting to get one… Basically, I have to make a decision where to invest: West Lake Dragon Well or White Hair Silver Needle (白毫銀針).


(For the Horde!) #77

Actually, no. I have not bought any tea from Taobao beside the Chenpi Pu Erh tea balls. In this case, I bought the Chenpi Pu Erh tea from a very famous Chenpi store. All of my teas are bought from brick and mortar stores… ok, I did buy one other from Amazon. This one:

Some I have tasted. Some I just took my chance at the stores.


Drinking that now. I still have few last leaves of that from MingCha. Also, I have some remaining Wuyi Hung Pao, Phoenix Suixian (single-bush), Anxi Iron Buddha, and Tanyang Golden Rim, similar to this box: They replaced Wuyi Hung Pao (武夷大红袍) by Wuyi Dark Rock (武夷正岩水仙).

I also have Wuyi Golden Key (金鑰匙) that I like a lot from Lock Cha.

Talking about white tea, last year my friend ordered some in a tea room, she made me had some, it was very floral and fresh, very good. Too bad, I didn’t note down the name, maybe it was a Yinzhen (White Hair Silver Needle).


I clarified with the shop-owner, who said, like what you said chem, the before Ming dragon well is out. But they are hkd30000 a catty. Demand has been high since the economy is good.

(For the Horde!) #80

Thanks so much for the information. HKD 30,000 for a catty (~600 gram)? Wow. That is like US $5000. That is a little pricey. He must be talking about the top of the very top. My gut feeling is that you can probably get the First Pick Lion Peak Dragon well $800-1500. I agree that the Chinese economy is really picking up and they are willing to spend quiet a bit on tea – especially teas like Dragon Well.

That is my hurdle with Dragon Well. I actually like it very much. However, good Dragon Well can cost quiet a bit and they don’t last.