Tea Review 290: Grand Tea’s 2005 Menghai Traditional stored

by Jason on November 30, 2010

in 92-95, Chinese

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Comment: good range with the initial saltiness, silken texture in the middle, and sweetness that lingers in the aftertaste.
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Click to buy this tea

Origin: Yunnan Province, China
Harvest: 2003(?) or 2004(?)
Score: 92
Price (as of post): 100 g = $19.80

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Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings. Operated by Jason Walker.
Sample provided by Grand Tea.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Clarence Tan May 18, 2011 at 10:27

Professional tasters/buyers taste up to hundreds of types of teas a day to judge and grade teas and blends. Not only are their steeping methods different, but their utensils are different too. How would you draw a parallel between them and yourself. Is there a common purpose?

With regards to my pu erh steeping equation, you might want to ask yourself if you feel that water temperature, tea volume, and water volume all have roles to play in the final outcome of the brew.

Jason May 18, 2011 at 12:08

Clarence- I appreciate the dialog here because it is useful for those looking to get into tea. But it sounds like we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Call my method wrong if you like.

My preparation method on camera is a result of expectations placed upon me. To keep the video under 15 minutes. To complete the video in one take. And others.

My off-camera preparation method is not necessarily the same as my on-camera.
The only claim I may make in similarity with professional tasters is the way they may push a tea beyond normal recommended steeping parameters in water temperature and steep time. I do seek to push teas (and myself) to uncover more about those teas. Longer steep times and adjustments to the water/dry leaf ratio have helped me do that. I try to steep teas in multiple ways and would encourage everyone to diverge from their “right” way on occasion to see what can be learned about the tea and themselves.

Clarence Tan May 4, 2011 at 11:31

Do not mean to be rude, but you’re not brewing your pu erh right. Leaves washing and waking up is immediate, you do not steep it for so long. Subsequent steeps should be 5 seconds each, increasing steeping time according to the quality of the leaves.

You also use boiling water for pu erhs.

Jason May 9, 2011 at 09:36

Hi Clarence- I have lived and traveled to many places in Taiwan, China, and here in the U.S. and seen many “right” ways to steep pu’er. Why do you consider your way more “right”? Also, please note that I felt it was more fair to give teas relatively equal treatment. That means I use the same steeping procedure for pu’ers so that we can all compare results based on equal treatment.

Thanks for watching,

Clarence Tan May 16, 2011 at 11:42

I do not consider my way “more” or your way “less” right because you’ve gotten your pu erh brewing all wrong. Again, my intention is not to be rude here but rather, i feel a need to point out certain aspects that i feel strongly against.

Pu erh being a fermented tea should not be consumed on the first steeping. Since you have mentioned Taiwan and China, then you must have also realised that 2.5mins is way to long for an initial steep. Certainly not for pu erhs and not for any form of chinese tea for that matter.

The issue here is not about yours or my thoughts about brewing methods. Therefore, I would stand corrected if you could cite any reputable chinese tea websites that would instruct 2.5mins for the initial steep for any variety of chinese tea and not only pu erhs.

Lastly, I do not have issues with you giving your pu erhs fair and equal treatment as long as it is right to begin with.

Jason May 17, 2011 at 09:14

I’m glad you came back to continue the conversation.

How do water temperature, tea volume, and water volume affect your pu’er steeping equation?

Also, how do you think a professional taster or seasoned tea buyer would steep differently? Especially if he/she is trying to uncover all the merits/demerits of a tea before making a significant purchase? Would this steeping method be different from the average, daily pu’er steeping that seeks to bring out the best in every infusion?

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