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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hong Cha

Douji Yunnan Black Tea

I have been exploring quite a bit of Hong cha recently, and I would say that they are wonderful easy drinkers, but non of them come across as life changing. I am really starting to appreciate Hong cha for its purpose as a filler tea, or a tea to drink while distracted. A wonderful caffeine fix, presented in a much less in your face way than coffee.

Douji Yunnan Black Color

The down side is a lot of these teas come across as "generic tea" as malty with a bit of tannins. While quite better than most stuff found in tea bags, compared to the cornucopia of flavors found in oolongs, or the warm brothy umami flavors of Japanese greens. One thing I will say is even after drinking tea for many years, I still believe when trying a bunch of teas from a category you are not entirely familiar with, you need to get your "tea legs" so to speak.

By tea legs I mean, you need to try quite a few of them before you can adequately taste the differences between similar teas. I know when I first got into Sencha's they all tasted similar, but only after having them over and over again did I start to taste how different they really are. Somehow I feel when tasting a class of items for the first time, whether is is Sencha, Hong Cha, Coffee, etc. I tend to get a big picture of their general taste. It is only because the taste is still somewhat foreign in general, and it is harder to distinguish between what is common to the category, and what makes that tea unique.
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