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ronlangs said

residual smell in cup after drinking chinese greens

I am new here so forgive if this has been talked about. With some chinese green teas there is a smell left in the cup that is not particularly pleasant. I have had this smell in a wide variety of china green teas from different sources. Most recently from a Tian Mu Quing Ding (from Upton) and now from two Taiwan OOlongs ordered from Tea From Taiwan. It is difficult to describe this smell but it is the same smell no matter what tea. I have come to associate it with lower quality tea though I just spent a lot for the oolong tea and am disappointed that it is present. The tea itself tastes OK. I worry that it is a contaminant from processing or storage. Does anyone have a clue what this is from? Sorry that I cannot come up with the words to describe the actual smell at the moment. If you have had this experience I think you will recognize what I am saying. Thank you, Ron

6 Replies
Lala said

Not sure what this could be from but I know I get staining in my cups, especially with green tea. I think part of to might be due to the water that is used to make the tea. I have better results when using fresh filtered water vs hard water.
To clean my cups I use a mixture of white vinegar with hot water, and I use a scrubbing brush. That seems to do the trick.

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I have had several teas from Tea From Taiwan and I would not consider their offerings inferior. I am not sure what you’re describing, but here is a possible theory. Tea is sensitive to oxidation which can leave tea tasting metallic and bitter. The tea at the bottom of your cup would have a great deal of exposure to oxygen and its degenerating effects. Could this be what you are smelling?

ronlangs said

Thank you for your reply, What is puzzling is that it is only with certain teas, all so far from China (and now Taiwan). The teas that have this residue smell are not treated differently from the other teas I drink. By the way I agree that the Tea from Taiwan teas are of very nice quality. Even the two that are leaving this smell in the cup taste just great. A third oolong from them I just tried this morning does not leave an unpleasant smell in the cup. The word “unpleasant” is not a good way to describe.it is just a bit foreign. Again I am sorry I cannot yet describe this with greater clarity.

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ronlangs said

Thank you Lala,
Your reply helps me fill in the blanks about the issue. I use filtered water and drink my tea in small clear glass cups that I wash each day. The smell occurs only with some chinese green teas and only those of lesser quality. The smell is easily washed out. It is not a soap issue in the cup. The smell is almost vegetal, not metallic, and not related to the taste of the tea. Thanks again, Ron

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The scent (especially I find, of Oolongs), as well as the taste changes with subsequent brewings. I much prefer the initial sweet scent and taste to the scent after the leaves have been “brewed out”. To me it also smells more vegetal by the fourth brewing, rather than sweet, fruity or flowery. And that goes as much for the highest quality teas as the lower (albeit, I try to avoid lesser quality tea if possible).

If as you say, the tea tastes okay and the smell washes out of the cups, maybe the answer is to just stop sniffing the cups afterwards?

BTW, you only mention cups. Do you get that smell in your teapot(s) too? What kind of teapot(s) are you using?

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ronlangs said

Dear Foolongthehill, I love your solution and yet, call me masochistic, I cannot stop. I know the vegetal smell of spent leaves and this is not what I am referring to. Yes it is in the pot as well. Mostly I use a clear glass tea pot to brew. I love to see the color of the teas thus I tend toward clear or white tea pots and cups. I will tune in later for more. Have to go to work now. Thanks for your help. Ron

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