Archive for March, 2013

The Very Patient Old Man Dong Ding

Dr. OolongHowdy folks.  Dr. Oolong here.

Having recently arrived back from a most pleasant journey to Taiwan, I can safely say I am a changed man. The person I was when I set out to explore the world of Taiwanese teas, on the ground, at source, is no longer with us. The man that emerged is even more in awe and wonder of the beauty and mystery of Taiwanese teas and the Taiwanese people.

The first thing that really struck me was the incredible amount of work that goes into making a batch of oolong tea. Wow! Having participated first hand in several steps in the making of the tea itself, I can say my respect for the tea workers is quite high! It is a hard job!

I was lucky enough to share numerous tea cupping/tastings during my three weeks in Taiwan. I sampled various cultivars and methods of production, from low oxidized to highly oxidized, and unbaked, to strongly baked. Aside from my personal preferences, several things stood out to me. The first of which is the concept of ‘patience’.

The more patient a tea measures the number of steeps one can get out of it. This is one of many ways to assess quality and value in an oolong tea. Regardless if you steep Western-style (small amount of leaf to water) or Eastern-style (large amount of leaf to water), or somewhere in between, the number of flavorful and aromatic steeps of a given oolong is a fantastic indicator of its inherent quality.

One of the simple treasures I was fortunate enough to acquire on this trip was a small amount of a Tung Ting made in the traditional fashion: organically, hand picked, and strong roasted. It is called Old Man Tung Tung. It is named after the gentleman who has been making this tea since he was a teenager; he is now in his 70’s! The tea is a fantastic example of a tea with tons of patience. We steeped about ten grams in a ten ounce yi xing pot last weekend and had to stop after 15 steeps!

Experiencing the flavors unfold with each steep is a remarkable experience and one that should not be missed. We hope you share in the journey with us too! Stay tuned for more articles on amber oolongs and have a great day!

Thank you, Imbibe! Zhi Tea is Editor’s Fave

Imbibe March 2013 Cover Drinking in TexasImbibe, the national magazine and website of liquid culture, revealed its annual regional issue in March. This year, The Texas Issue was released to celebrate speciality beverages of all kind across the state. From small-batch whiskeys to cocktails, beer, wine and coffee, Imbibe chose our beloved Lone Star state to highlight craftsmanship of all kinds.

“We’ve had our eye on the Texas scene for quite some time,” says Karen Foley, Imbibe’s founder and publisher. “There’s so much happening across the entire state when it comes to drinks. It was time to take Imbibe to Texas.”

We were honored to see our Raspberry Rooibos named one of their favorite things. Have you had this signature blend yet? Made by hand in small batches using organic Texan pecans, we strongly recommend this deep, nutty red tea.

Congratulations to all our neighbors, including our friends at Drink.Well, Southside Espresso, Hillside Farmacy, Coterie Market and the Alamo Drafthouse (all of which also serve Zhi Tea!)

The Texas Issue will be on newsstands from March 1 until April 30. The issue is also available for purchase at imbibemagazine.com/shop. You can also follow @imbibe and #ImbibeTexas.

Tea Review: Royal Gold by SororiteaSisters

Royal Gold TeaDid you know there are over 1,500 tea varieties?

Choosing what teas to share with our customers is not an easy task.

Plus, each type of tea often has several varieties within its own category. For example, there are countless sources and grades of Jasmine Green. To find the perfect tea of every type, Zhi cups numerous samples from different tea farms to bring you only the very best.

Currently, we’re truly in love with a rare yellow tipped black tea, Royal Gold.  These velvety, copper leaves yield a sweet ruby cup with notes of tobacco and honeysuckle. If you’re looking for a new black tea to enjoy, we strongly suggest this unique flavor.

While we often boast of our growers’ talents, we love when others do too. Here is a review from one of our favorite tea websites, SororiteaSisters, where they share their experience with Zhi’s Royal Gold. They give it rave review and we hope you do too!

*Don’t forget! You can review every Zhi tea you try on our website and Steepster.com