Now let me say, at first I was quite skeptical of ordering tea from ebay but DTH’s rather nice and complete set of teas and decent prices lured me to try some out. I was really after a comparison between this and hand picked oolongs from another vendor. I opted for a Jin Xuan variety because I was hoping to get that nice milky undertone to the tea. DTH also sells its version of a “milk oolong” but I was afraid of it being that of being flavoured instead of natural.

I was also unsure if this was from this year or last year as DTH tends to lie about these things, the product description for all teas were updated to 2011 harvest at the same time. Mostly i was impressed that it actually came in a box and was vacuum packed. Again, my friends at the Canadian Border control had decided to open my tea for inspection. Anyways, I just dumped my 100g out into a freezer proof ziploc bag. For the most part it comes in nice intact pieces, but there are some small fragments and dust (about 10% of it all), I just dumped out the dust in the trash..

Brewing came about in a gaiwan, and it went to 7 infusions before I gave up on it. First 2 were slightly floral but not quite as much as it smelled. Mouthfeel was rather weak, and I didn’t get any milky taste or anything out of these. Light bodied and pretty much consistent brews for the most part. I did note that these come from Ali Shan which depending on what elevation it is grown at could be something of a higher quality. The tea came out rather plain, but decent quality. Nothing comparable to the high mountain stuff, but is alright as an everyday tea. Mostly, the leaves uncurled to full stems and leaf in full portions and produced light and really uninteresting brews. I got really bored by the 7th round, and while I’m sure it could probably go 2-3 more times I stopped and threw it out. Quality-wise though, it’s better than the typical oolong you would find at a mainstream North American tea store.

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Stopped drinking water, switched to tea. =)
(ok, this is a lie but still :) )

How I rate teas is pretty simple, different teas have different expectations based on quality and price. I’ll rate a tea based on how good it is for its category/price point. I think i rate pretty fairly, I’m not afraid to give a bad score to a bad tea, and it’s relatively hard to get perfect score (partially because i believe there are only so many that can attain such a title)

I like oolong/green teas the most
black, white, tisanes to a lesser part.

I re-steep EVERYTHING, as that’s how I’ve learned from my parents. Blacks teas normally to a max of two times.

I like it when the tea actually looks of quality (eg. whole unbruised leaves). I hate it when i get a tea, and half of it is cut up stems of the plant… give me leaves!

I drink all my teas black and occasionally with sweetener. I do drink coffee too, and love espressos and cappuccinos. Yup, I do my coffee black too. Guess, it is to say I like strong flavours.
My current way of steeping tea, is my french press which i just got a month ago. I love it (well maybe not my cheapy one; looking to get a bodum one day). I used to just dump leaves at the bottom of my cup..

Ok. Rating meanings…

0-49: Various degrees of suck. Either terrible value or just not good.
50-59: It’s drinkable. I’ll finish my cup.
60-69: Not bad… but not good.
70-79: okay to drink, nothing too special, will not be a re-buy.
80-89: Enjoyable cups.
90-99: Worth holding on to.
100: Um.. I’ll tell you when I get here.

About me?

University student, photographer, bartender..



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