teataku said

Anyone on here read Chinese/Taiwanese?

Just a disclaimer, I don’t even know if there’s actually any difference between Chinese and Taiwanese, I just know they consider themselves different entities, so please forgive me if I gave any offense (or give any in the future of this thread).

I have a couple of teas that my aunt gave me. She says her son went to China (she may have mentioned Hong Kong also, but I don’t remember, which is why I mentioned Taiwan as well) and brought her back these teas, but she doesn’t drink them. I inherited them, because basically my whole family knows I like tea.

I’m 95% positive that one of them is a green tea and the other is an oolong… but beyond that, I have no clue what I’m even drinking. They’re old—she said that she’d had them for a while before she thought to give them to me (like, a couple of years).

The tins they are in have characters on them, and no English letters at all. I was just wondering, Steepster community, if there was anyone here who could help me to read them? The links to the pics are as follows:

Oolong tin:
Top: http://tinypic.com/r/213giex/5
Sides: http://tinypic.com/r/2i93z1k/5

and here are some more close ups: http://tinypic.com/r/2vtdvd5/5

I’ll post the pictures of the green tea tin in a few minutes. Right now my computer HAS to update and restart. xP

7 Replies
Will said

Taiwan and HK use traditional characters, while Mainland China generally has used “simplified” characters since the 50s / 60s. While China has a lot of spoken languages, the written language is more or less the same, aside from cases where specialized vocabulary or different grammar from spoken languages are written down. Most folks in Taiwan speak Mandarin also, but Taiwanese (Hokkien) is a spoken language which is part of the Min language family (these languages originally come from across the strait across Fujian province; Taiwanese is a variant of the Southern Min dialect).

The first picture link doesn’t seem to work; the second picture (gold tin) should be a Lóng Jǐng (龍井茶; “Dragon Well”), which is a green tea from Hangzhou, in Zhejiang, China (and, as the text on the back says, is one of China’s “10 famous teas”).

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teataku said

Whoa. That’s bizarre. The tea that’s contained in that tin is almost definitely an oolong. I made it yesterday, and the leaves looked and behaved exactly like oolong leaves, and the color of the liquor was the right color. Furthermore, it definitely didn’t look like a Dragonwell variety, which, to me, has always been very easy to identify. So confused…

Here’s a couple of pictures of what the leaves look like. Maybe everything I know about tea is wrong?

And here are some pictures of it as it is steeping:
After one minute – http://tinypic.com/r/2zojlgp/5
After two minutes – http://tinypic.com/r/2gxg3eg/5
Taking the leaves out – http://tinypic.com/r/n4dyiw/5

I have a tea like that that I received as a gift for Christmas. Leaves look the same. Tastes like an oolong. I haven’t been able to figure out the tea type or company, but it’s quite good

DC said

DJ, can’t help you there- the words are generic like ‘Praise of Tea’, ‘Tea history’ etc etc
Nothing that suggests the type of tea, maybe if you take a closer shot?

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Will said

You’re talking about the tea in this tin, right? http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2i93z1k&s=5

I couldn’t see the other image. You’re sure that the tea inside is the same one that was originally in the tin?

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DC said

This is strange, Will is right, the words on the tin say Longjing aka Dragon well. On the rear end it says ‘The foremost of China’s Ten Most Famous Tea’ plus storage instructions and 12 months shelf life.
The tea leaves however, is definitely oolong. Can’t tell which variety it is but the dark green curled leaves and the light brown tea liquid are oolong. I am guessing when you brewed it the aroma should be a clear indicator as well.
I am not an expert but it looks like a variety of Shuixian to me.
Maybe your aunt swapped the box?
In any case green tea will not last beyond 12 months- 18 if you store in a fridge?

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teataku said

@Will: No, I’m not entirely positive that the tea inside the tin is the original tea, but I don’t know why my aunt would have swapped it out (or anyone else, for that matter). It’s possible that her son got it second hand from someone who had put a different tea in it before they sold it.

Thank you to both of you for helping me translate the writing on the tin! I knew I could count on the people on Steepster to lend a hand. :)

I’m not at home right now, but I will post the pictures of the second tin, which I think has some sort of green tea in it (or perhaps white—sometimes it’s hard for me to tell the difference) later.

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