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85

I guess the good news, given I’m not a huge fan of this leaf, is that I’m already out of it!

Apparently I didn’t order very much.

I could see this tea working very well with dim sum, being light and soft but having a sufficient contrast to cut through all the pork fat and sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Spoonvonstup

Ack! Oh, I know we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one, but to my ears, wasting this tea with a meal sounds like blasphemy. Well, more for me!

Jim Marks

?!

Pairings with any premium beverage are always understood to enhance the beverage, not detract from it. This is common practice with the finest wines, beers, spirits, and teas.

David Duckler

I see both sides here- Mostly I want to share the experience I had conducting a tea and chocolate pairing with Colin Gasko of Rogue Chocolatier, possibly the finest bean-to-bar craftsman in America. I haven’t tried tea and meal pairings (except psychologically in that some sheng pu’ers imply a full meal through the course of the steepings), but when truly fine tea is allowed to synergize with something equally fine, interesting flavors comes through. It wouldn’t have worked with a milky cheap chocolate, but in this tasting, the aftertastes of the chocolate worked to bring out flavors in the tea that were previously hidden.

Rogue Chocolate and Potomac chocolate are both worth a try in this regard, as they engage the same parts of the palate as fine tea, but do not coat your tongue. Anything that coats the tongue has the tendency to dull the taste buds.

In general, fine teas are not commonly consumed with meals in China, but that definitely shouldn’t stop you from seeking out creative pairings for the sake of synergy. Just like, for example, I will choose an yixing pot whose nature I think will have a synergistic effect on the tea I am brewing. Occasionally however, and whenever trying a tea for the first time, I will brew it without having eaten anything for a while, in a non-reactive vessel like a gaiwan so that I can understand the “true” nature of the tea before moving into pairings.

Happy tasting.

Jim Marks

When I lived in Chicago, I would attend semi-private tasting events at the TeaGschwendner retail location on State Street hosted by their in house “tea sommelier” (who is, now, I believe, the manager of their Edmond’s collection rather than specifically connected to the retail store). At one point he began attempting pairings with chocolates — unfortunately the “best” (in the minds of all the local residents, anyway) in Chicago is Vosges — which I really don’t care for, personally. Probably because I got spoiled by the work of Andrew Shotts and his Garrison Confections line from my years living in Providence, Rhode Island.

I would boldly assume that fine teas are not consumed with meals in China, traditionally:

a) for simple economic reasons

b) because most meals are not a slow, deliberate activity for drawing out flavors, but for the consumption of daily nutrition

You don’t do a wine pairing on a random Tuesday afternoon with a sandwich, you know?

That’s why I specifically referred to yum cha rather than lunch or dinner. Something which is more of an occasion, and is supposedly about the tea as much as it is about the food — and is mostly about the experience of fellowship with other people. I was thinking about the mindset of chefs in the Imperial style in China where everything is about balance, control, contrast and interplay — and pork fat.

As a primary defense I will offer up both the matcha and sencha formal tea ceremonies in Japan — where a confection of some kind is always served between steepings and is considered crucial to appreciating the later steepings (which become bitter).

As I’ve indicated in previous tasting notes, while I recognize the extremely high quality nature of this tea, I don’t actually care for it all that much. So, I’m mentally thinking of ways to improve my experience with this leaf.

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Comments

Spoonvonstup

Ack! Oh, I know we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one, but to my ears, wasting this tea with a meal sounds like blasphemy. Well, more for me!

Jim Marks

?!

Pairings with any premium beverage are always understood to enhance the beverage, not detract from it. This is common practice with the finest wines, beers, spirits, and teas.

David Duckler

I see both sides here- Mostly I want to share the experience I had conducting a tea and chocolate pairing with Colin Gasko of Rogue Chocolatier, possibly the finest bean-to-bar craftsman in America. I haven’t tried tea and meal pairings (except psychologically in that some sheng pu’ers imply a full meal through the course of the steepings), but when truly fine tea is allowed to synergize with something equally fine, interesting flavors comes through. It wouldn’t have worked with a milky cheap chocolate, but in this tasting, the aftertastes of the chocolate worked to bring out flavors in the tea that were previously hidden.

Rogue Chocolate and Potomac chocolate are both worth a try in this regard, as they engage the same parts of the palate as fine tea, but do not coat your tongue. Anything that coats the tongue has the tendency to dull the taste buds.

In general, fine teas are not commonly consumed with meals in China, but that definitely shouldn’t stop you from seeking out creative pairings for the sake of synergy. Just like, for example, I will choose an yixing pot whose nature I think will have a synergistic effect on the tea I am brewing. Occasionally however, and whenever trying a tea for the first time, I will brew it without having eaten anything for a while, in a non-reactive vessel like a gaiwan so that I can understand the “true” nature of the tea before moving into pairings.

Happy tasting.

Jim Marks

When I lived in Chicago, I would attend semi-private tasting events at the TeaGschwendner retail location on State Street hosted by their in house “tea sommelier” (who is, now, I believe, the manager of their Edmond’s collection rather than specifically connected to the retail store). At one point he began attempting pairings with chocolates — unfortunately the “best” (in the minds of all the local residents, anyway) in Chicago is Vosges — which I really don’t care for, personally. Probably because I got spoiled by the work of Andrew Shotts and his Garrison Confections line from my years living in Providence, Rhode Island.

I would boldly assume that fine teas are not consumed with meals in China, traditionally:

a) for simple economic reasons

b) because most meals are not a slow, deliberate activity for drawing out flavors, but for the consumption of daily nutrition

You don’t do a wine pairing on a random Tuesday afternoon with a sandwich, you know?

That’s why I specifically referred to yum cha rather than lunch or dinner. Something which is more of an occasion, and is supposedly about the tea as much as it is about the food — and is mostly about the experience of fellowship with other people. I was thinking about the mindset of chefs in the Imperial style in China where everything is about balance, control, contrast and interplay — and pork fat.

As a primary defense I will offer up both the matcha and sencha formal tea ceremonies in Japan — where a confection of some kind is always served between steepings and is considered crucial to appreciating the later steepings (which become bitter).

As I’ve indicated in previous tasting notes, while I recognize the extremely high quality nature of this tea, I don’t actually care for it all that much. So, I’m mentally thinking of ways to improve my experience with this leaf.

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Bio

I am rarely, if ever, active here. But I do return from time to time to talk about a very special tea I’ve come across.

You can hear the music I compose here:
http://jimjohnmarks.bandcamp.com

I have a chapter in this book of popular philosophy
http://amzn.com/0812697316

I blog about cooking here https://dungeonsandkitchens.wordpress.com

I blog about composing music and gardening here
http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress.com

Location

Houston, TX

Website

http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress...