Help me choose some chinese teas
EDIT: ok i’ve made this order now, see this image here
that is everything i’ve ordered, probably spent a little more than i planned, but whatever lol
anyways, feedback on the orders is appreciated, thanks for the input everyone
If you’re just getting into these teas now (a position I was also only recently in), I’d deffo recommend buying a small (~100 ml capacity, max) glazed Gaiwan. That way, you’ll be able to prepare all of the oolongs/puerhs/greens/“fine” Chinese teas in a more traditional way to, hopefully, get the best out of them! Plus, if it’s glazed, you can use it for all tea types and it’ll be excellent. Same goes with really small (100-150 ml) glazed tea pots – they’re ideal for general use, single/two-person brewing of fine Chinese teas, allowing you to use a fairly large amount of leaf and only brew for 5-10 seconds, near the beginning. You get loads of tasty infusions and get to experience the tea as it’s flavours develop/vary, throughout the session :-)
It’s also probably worth trying to get hold of a basket-style infuser for white/black/green teas that are OK to be brewed Western style etc etc. They’re obviously much more convenient and are all you need for some teas :-)
I can’t really comment on the teas you’ve already picked (as I haven’t tried those ones from that seller), but you may also want to consider some loose Bai Mu Dan too/instead, as I imagine it’s very different to the cake form. “Normal” BMD is really sweet, creamy, and fruity and makes for a lovely, warming Winter drink! :D
TGY is one of my absolute favourite teas too, so I’d strongly recommend you try some. I prefer the green/Jade varieties (though obviously that’s personal), and there seems to be plenty of choice. If you’ve never had TGY before, maybe order small quantities of two different types (a “fancy” grade and a more “normal” grade) and see if you can tell the difference? If you can’t (I’m not sure I’d be able to, sometimes), it’ll be a good sign that you can just opt for the cheaper ones in future!
I hope this helped a little! :D
These are good ones as well
All good sellers fast to ship.
Agreed with the Gaiwan recommendation from Red Fennekin as well.
Whoa, all but one of those listings are for 100g tea sizes (that last one is 300g!).
If you haven’t tried it that type of tea, I wouldnt’ buy that much in case you don’t like it. It is also a lot of tea, you’ll need to drink quite a bit to get through it.
Look for samples, 50g at most but some sellers have say 25g sizes.
A popular seller here is Teavivre http://www.teavivre.com/ They say they do world wide shipping.
+1 on this advice too! :-) Sample sizes/25 g bags (which make for 5-8 good sessions in a small pot/Gaiwan) are ideal for testing new teas :D
(Dunno if it’s worth it, to ship to Aus, but Verdant’s 5 for $5 deal might be worth trying, too! :-) )
I was going to suggest Teavivre too. They ship worldwide, their teas are delicious, and they have samples (and an awesome reward points system!)
Edited to add: and I THINK all of their teas are from China.
Yeah most sites you have to use the drop down function to select the size. The ebay ones in particular. I just listed the links for the three sellers I recommended. They will let you enter the stores they have on ebay.
For cakes, and such 300g is fairly typical, but for loose tea it’s an awful lot! It’s all down to you, though – if you’re happy to commit to buying a large quantity, go for it :-)
Yixing clayware is certainly ideal if you know that you just wanna use it for one type of tea forever. If you do already have a really clear idea of which type of tea (green oolong, roasted oolong, sheng puerh, shou puerh – whatever) you’d want to use with it, then go ahead – like you said, their porosity means that they absorb flavours of the tea you make in it, so after a while it will affect the flavour/character of the tea you make! A glazed gaiwan, though, allows you to use it for any type of tea (as it doesn’t take on the characters of the last tea you used etc etc).
It’s all down to preference, really – a Yixing pot is supposed to add the kinda “finishing touches” to a good tea, but you can certainly enjoy good quality teas without one! As you can’t (or, rather, shouldn’t) use the same Yixing pot for a variety of different teas, a glazed pot/gaiwan offers a greater degree of flexibility :-)
well, 300g might be a bit much, i kinda don’t want to be stuck waiting for packages from china very often though lol, i picked the 300g cake because it was the best grade they had, and they didn’t have smaller sizes of it, the others are 100g to last a while
looking at teavivre, their faster shipping options aren’t too expensive, surprisingly, i will have a look though this site, and compile a new list, and post it here for some opinions
also, glazed gaiwan?, i seen alot of suggestions on the yix ing porous clayware, to… idk, absorb character or some such thing… is there a noticeable difference?
edit: also, the prices didnt seem to scale up well on that store, it was like, $8 for 100g, or $16 for 300g
edit2: sorry fennekin, just decided to move this comment out of that reply stack
All the ones I listed generally get it to the US in about 10-14 business days. You could ask the sellers and see how long it would take to get to you.
Yeah, i was looking through streetshop to begin with, i will have a look at the other ones… have you ordered from any of them?
Ok, so i’ve been going through the site, their prices seem significantly higher than ebay, not sure if that indicates higher quality or not, but here’s the cart i have put together
most of their samplers are really tiny, like 7g, or 14g, they don’t sell the teas in 50g packs, the sample packs they sell seem a bit…. pricey (one that i looked at was something like $26 for 35g of tea), the search function doesnt seem to work very well either (search for “guan” as in tie guan yin, get one result, but can find many more by looking around the site), anyway, comment on my shopping cart pls, it might be worth making an order to both this shop, and ebay to save some money on some of the teas.
Samples are rarely a deal. However it is a deal if you don’t like the tea, so you didn’t lose much money. Ideally you dont’ want to buy too much, tea will go stale, especially greens and whites.
I’d pass on that 300g cake TBH. I figure I’m decently high tea drinker, especially since I teablog. I drank 470g last month, just to put into perspective how much tea that really is, especially with others you are getting.
Oh, you also get free samples with your order, so factor that in http://www.teavivre.com/news/free-tea-samples-with-order/
I’d check Ebay or Aliexpress for a Gaiwan, they might be cheaper than Teavivre. I know at Aliexpress I’ve seen gaiwans for $8. If you don’t already have, I’d consider a strainer. A pitcher (cha hai) and cups if you will have others drinking with you. Strainer as in this http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Stainless-steel-tea-infuser-strainer-with-fine-mesh-for-teapot-tea-set-coffee-tea-tools-free/32259771913.html
edit – and yeah, first search on aliexpress you can get a whole gaiwan set for $20 USD. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-11PCS-drinkware-Kung-Fu-Tea-mug-Teapot-Ceramic-Magpies-joy-Gaiwan-Tea-Set-Cup/2024831919.html I’m sure there’s more options.
Yeah, i was planning on having a look over ebay and seeing what i have found, i havent used aliexpress before, not keen on going through the hassle of sorting out the payment stuff if i can just find it on ebay, i will definately only need a few pieces, not an 11 pce set, i’m the only one in the household who will be interested in it, right now i’m just going over the teas from ebay, and teavivre, sorting out which ones i want from where, see which ones are worth the added cost on teavivre.
Also, i recall seeing small teapots, basically like a tiny kettle, about the same size of a gaiwan, , had a lid, and was just large enough for one cup.. how are those used?, cant recall the name of them atm
The prices on bai mu dan seems to vary greatly, that cake i posted earlier, it’s about $12 for 100g, twice the price on teavivre, and almost $40 for 100g from king teas http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nonpareil-Bai-Mu-Dan-White-Peony-White-Tea-Free-Shipping-/321622909455?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item4ae238220f , maybe i should get the aged cake and a sample of the non cake version from teavivre? anyone had experience with the cake? http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/331317536213?var=540512884951
So i think i have my tea choises mostly sorted out, i will post them in a bit for some feedback, i’ve been looking at clayware to make it in, the cups avaliable vary a bit in size, one set in teavivre’s store has 5 cups with 15ml each, which seems preeetty small, whats a good amount for that?
edit: ok so after a couple hours (too much time >.>) of looking at the cheap clayware, i ended up signing up on aliexpress, i ordered this gaiwan http://www.aliexpress.com/item/CHINESE-YIXING-ZISHA-tea-cups-high-quality-gaiwan-lid-cup-saucer-sample-order-gift-tureen-covered/2030808899.html
and these tea cups
i forgot to check how big the gaiwan is, but main objective was to find a nice one from the same store as the cups, i think it looks rather nice, and is pretty cheap, and also matches the cups, nice porous clay outside, and porcelain inside, the cups are 50ml, the largest size i saw was about 60 or 65ml, so 50 is okay
OKAY, here’s where i’m at right now
i also have to pick 2 tea samples from teavivre.. maybe someone can help me? otherwise i might just replace one of the samples i already have with them and save the dollars, someone also told me to get the golden monkey tea, but they didnt have any 50g sizes, the 14g sample sizes seemed to scale with the price pretty fairly, so i added 3 of those instead
edit: also, the blueberry / pu erh teas, i bought them mainly for soma family/friends to try, not sure if they’ll like the other ones
edit2: lol, almost forgot to add a jasmine tea, could someone suggest something?
Okay, i’ve placed all the orders now, all with fairly fast shipping, i’ve updated the opening post, so you can read that, or just click the link here
and post some feedback
Good choices! Can’t go wrong with some of those choices (not sure about the fruit teas but that’s just not my taste – You may love it). It’s good you ordered the pu’erh sampler. That will get you started on Pu’erh. RoyalTeaBay and StreetShop88 are two Ebay companies I’ve ordered from and they are both great. For Royal Tea Bay I’ve even made requests through the email and they have always been accommodating. Those look like great oolongs!
Yeah, mentioned in a previous post.. somewhere, the fruit teas are to share with people who dont like the traditional chinese stuff… or i might just keep it for myself anyway :P, i would have ordered more from the ebay stores, but teavivres ratings system is really good, some very similar looking teas, with greatly different reviews, whereas ebay doesnt have that, so it’s hard to tell.
It’s always good to try out a few companies. Over time you will get a feel for which ones are your favourites. Your tastes will change as well. I have teas that I loved a year ago and now I think they’re just okay, nothing special.