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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lazy Saturdays

HouDe DHP in Suzuki Sakazuki

I did not get nearly enough of these Saturdays this winter, and now the worst one happened to come when its nearly March.  I would say for the first time in the past 48 hours or so here in West Michigan the snow has stopped falling, but I have no reason to go out side.  I almost feel like there should be a saying "Have tea, will stay" to parody the famous Have _____ will travel idioms.

As I ponder the third tea to have today, I can't help but notice a general trend in how I seem to naturally line up teas to have in any given day, especially when I know I will be having multiple teas.  I somehow naturally pick them out to follow the well established trend in food/ drink tastings, you wish to go from lighter flavors to heavier/ overbearing flavors.  With tea this is almost most easily demonstrated in considering the color of the brewed tea, (with the exception of quite a few young sheng puerhs).  Green teas and white teas are great teas to start a day of tastings, as they tend to be by far the most delicate, I would also consider adding Gao shan ( High Mountain) oolongs into this list too.

Then to go darker think yellow teas, roasted teas and hong cha (Chinese style translates to red tea, known to westerners as black tea).  A little bit trickier on this level though, as its not unusual to try several teas from this category in one tasting, as rule of thumb go from less roasted/ less astringent, to more roasted/astringent.  As both roasted oolongs and hong cha can vary from actually being light  and delicate to extremely strong and almost overbearing.

Then last would be aged teas, or hei cha ( the Chinese style translates to black tea), known for being quite heavy and having very strong flavors.  Hei cha are mostly known as post fermented teas in the English language, the most popular example of which is Shu Puerh.
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