Tea Review: Australia Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea

Australia Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea

This week’s tea, Australia Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea, is an award-winning black tea coming from Australia. I was lucky to visit Sydney last year and witness the tea culture of Australia. Although I had intended to visit Arakai Estate I did not have the chance to make it there. But thanks to What Cha Teas, finally I have been able to drink their teas. Arakai Tea Estate, founded by Brendon Collins in 2012, is located in Bellthorpe, Queensland. For the time being, they only produce green and black teas.

Dry leaves of this week’s tea are composed of short, slightly curly dark leaves and they are quite uniform in shape. I brewed it western style using about 3 grams of tea for a 150 ml teapot. It cupped out deep orangish red liquor with great clarity. It’s got a strong cinnamon-like taste with a slight bitterness in the background. The mouthfeel is thick and somewhat velvety. There is also some fruity tones deepening the richness of flavor profile. The aftertaste was quite short yet left nice refreshing freshness in the throat. It reminded me of Taiwanese black teas.

Overall, Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea is a very good quality black tea from Australia that I want to keep in my tea cupboard all the time.

Australia Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea Australia Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea Australia Arakai Estate Summer Black Tea

Whispering Pines Tea Yunnan Gold Tips

Whispering Pines Tea Yunnan Gold Tips

This week’s tea, Whispering Pines Tea Yunnan Gold Tips, comes from Southern Yunnan and picked only once in early Spring.  Alongside with puerh tea, Yunnan is known for their exquisite black teas which are mostly made using plenty of tea buds. Use of tea buds gives Yunnan black teas their distinctive sweet, rich flavor profile. This week’s tea is a great representation of Yunnan black teas and It’s a real treat for tea lovers.

Dry leaves of this week’s tea are composed of brown and golden yellow tea buds. Slightly curly buds are quite uniform in shape. The smell is reminiscent of caramel and tobacco.

I brewed it western style using about 3 grams of tea. The liquor was orangish red with great clarity. It has a very strong malty taste. It’s quite sweet with some astringency accompanying the sweetness. It’s no bother though. Very well balanced! The aftertaste was not persistent but long enough to leave a nice trail of chocolaty sweetness.

In a nutshell, I highly recommend this week’s tea for those who’re into black teas and would like to go deeper into Chinese black teas. Although I’ve ordered a few puerh teas from Whispering Pines Tea, I haven’t been able to try them yet. When I do I plan to write a post about one of them as well.

Whispering Pines Tea Yunnan Gold Tips Whispering Pines Tea Yunnan Gold Tips Whispering Pines Tea Yunnan Gold Tips

Tea Interviews: Kei Nishida of Japanese Green Tea IN

Kei Nishida of Japanese Green Tea IN

Previously, I have reviewed two green teas, Gokuzyo and Issaku, from Japanese Green Tea IN. The founder of Japanese Green Tea IN, Kei Nishida, used to work as software engineer at Hewlett Packard. A few years ago, he decided to start the company to source high quality Japanese green teas for tea lovers in India and the USA.  Without further ado, I leave you with the interview.

Q1- Can you tell us briefly about yourself and Japanese Green Tea IN?

JapaneseGreenTeaIn.com brings premium quality Japanese green tea to the USA and India. We partner with Arahataen, who grows Japanese green tea in Shizuoka, Japan.  We are the only distributor of their tea outside of Japan. Arahataen, founded in 1948, farms tea plants only through the use of the Chagusaba Method. As our ancient forebears did, we harvest silver pampas grass and other succulents to create the mulch we use as topsoil. This mulch helps form the best dirt in the world for growing green tea, which is why our tea is as nutrient-filled and tasty as it is.

Arahataen has also moved to the front of green tea farming technology in Japan by partnering with the University of Shizuoka to conduct soil research to reduce bitterness and astringency.  By combining the ancient knowledge of farming with the latest research and technology, Arahataen’s green tea has won multiple national prizes, including the best green tea by Japan’s Minister of Agriculture.

Japanese Green Tea In proudly partners with Arahataen for the exclusive rights to bring their unique green tea out of Japan.  Before our partnership, this limited product was only enjoyed in Japan.  Now, people in the USA and India are able to try and enjoy traditional green tea outside Japan for the first time.  We will be expanding to other countries soon.

Q2- What’s your favorite tea?

Issaku Premium Japanese green tea is my favorite; it is our most loved and popular tea.  This tea is the most naturally flavourful Japanese green tea on the market.  Issaku is not only grown by the traditional Chagusaba Method, it uses sugar syrup in the soil to sweeten the tea even more.  The tea is only harvested by hand once a year, by trained Tea Masters (cha-shi), and only a limited quantity is available each year.  First harvest tea always tastes better than the rest of the year. This is the best tea that Arahataen grows.

Q3- What is the best tea moment of your life?

That first sip each morning, as I greet the rising sun.  I am an early bird, and usually, wake up looking forward to that first sip.  I believe that every day is a special day, and the luxurious moment of having a real quality cup in the morning changes the tone of the day.  The “best tea moment” for me is always this morning’s first sip.

Q4- What is your favorite brewing vessel and why?

I like tea infusers from Dean and Deluca, and I am thrilled that we are now partnered with them and carry their teapot, infuser, and other items.  We are currently setting up our site to start carrying their products, including their tea vessels.  Their high-quality tea steeper is a tool I am proud to own, and I use it every day.  I cannot wait to finalize the details so that we can start offering these to our customers on our site.  The site may be updated before this article is even printed! Please check our website!

Q5- How did you get started with Japanese Green Tea IN?

I travel to India often, and I found that it is impossible to get quality Japanese green tea in India. Indian people love tea, and I am asked to bring good tea from Japan every time I visit. There was no simple way for Indian people to get quality Japanese green tea due to complex importing logistics from Japan.  Import tax of the tea is more than 100%, and people could not order online from Japanese sites either because Japanese credit card companies do not accept payment from Indian sources. It was simply not possible for anyone in India to even try good Japanese tea.

I have a background in importing business from Japan, so I thought of bringing quality Japanese green tea to India, and that is where our company started.  Our company name, Japanese Green Tea In, comes from the domain name we registered, which is www.JapaneseGreenTea.In where ‘In’ is an official domain suffix for India.

I contacted various Japanese green tea producers, and I was lucky to partner with the most well-known premium Japanese green tea producer, Arahataen.  With our partnership, I now sell the tea to India and have expanded the business to the USA.

Q6- How do you source your tea?

I am privileged to partner with Arahataen in Japan, and we are the only distributor outside Japan. Arahataen is one of the most famous brands for quality Japanese green tea in Japan, and they were the best selling Japanese green tea online in 2016.  They have won multiple national awards, including Best Quality of Tea award by Japan’s Minister of Agriculture.

Q7- Have you ever had any chance to drink Turkish tea or engage with Turkish tea culture?

I did.  I tried Turkish tea when I visited a Turkish restaurant in the USA.  I have not had much exposure to it, but I would be incredibly interested in expanding my knowledge and hope to do an article to compare Japanese and Turkish tea.  I love writing about tea and have three published books about tea. (http://amazon.com/author/kei ) I often do guest blogs on other sites and would love to learn and write about Turkish tea vs. Japanese tea.

Q8- Any suggestions for those who would like to improve their experience of tea?

I wrote an article about how to brew tasty Japanese Green Tea on our site.  You can find it here: https://www.japanesegreenteain.com/pages/how-to-brew-tasty-japanese-green-tea. At the end of the article, there is a download of a free e-book for more tips.

I also wrote a book for how to take Japanese green tea for good health:  I Will Teach You How to be Healthy by Drinking Using Japanese Green Tea: Surprising Facts and Tips for How You Can Take Best Advantage of This Amazing Plant

Q9- Where can tea lovers buy your teas?

From our website: https://www.JapaneseGreenTeaIn.com

 Japanese Green Tea IN

 

Jing Tea Shop Da Wu Ye Dancong Oolong Tea

Jing Tea Shop Da Wu Ye Dancong Oolong Tea

Jing Tea Shop has always been my top go-to tea provider when I am in need of a good quality Chinese teas, particularly oolong and red teas. Their Dancong Red Tea has been my favorite red tea for some time. With my last order, alongside with Dancong Red, I ordered some  Dancong oolong teas as well.

This week’s tea, Jing Tea Shop Da Wu Ye Dancong Oolong Tea, is one of them. It’s harvested in Spring 2017 and come from Feng Huang in Guang Dong Province. Dry leaves are mostly composed of long curly black tea leaves alongside with some green leaves and they are quite uniform in shape.

I brewed it Gongfu style using one of my Yixing teapots. The first infusion cupped out light yellow liquor with great clarity. The taste is quite floral and fruity. It’s quite sweet with no astringency. The mouthfeel is mellow and soft. The second infusion was quite similar to the first one. The taste, however, revealed slight citrusy tones, particularly lemon.

The third infusion cupped out much darker golden yellow liquor. Darker liquor was accompanied by a stronger taste profile. It felt quite thicker in the mouth as well. The aftertaste was not persistent but left a nice refreshing feeling in the throat and back of my mouth. I got two more infusions out of it before it started to get watery and stopped there. 

Overall Jing Tea Shop Da Wu Ye Dancong is a good representation of Dancong Oolongs and highly recommended for tea lovers.

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Tea Review: What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian

What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian

What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian is coming from Fujian, China and harvested in May 2017. It’s sourced from Dong Fang Tea Factory which focuses on lightly roasted cake oolongs.

Dry tea leaves are compressed into small squarish cakes.Each cake can be used for one tea session or you can use it for two separate sessions. Leaves are quite colorful including light/dark green leaves alongside with dark brown leaves. The smell is quite floral.

I brewed it Gongfu style using my shiboridashi. Since What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian was compressed too tightly I rinsed the tea leaves twice to get them ready for the first infusion. The fists brew cupped out golden yellow liquor with great clarity. 

The taste is very floral and fruity. Since it’s lightly roasted it’s quite light on the palate. There is a nice, well-balanced sweetness with no astringency at all. The second infusion was much better since it cupped out richer and stronger liquor. Fruity tones, basically peach and apricot, were more dominant at this stage. It’s a bit reminded me of Oriental Beauty oolongs from Taiwan. The way it goes down my throat was refreshing and energizing. I loved the aftertaste which was quite persistent and pleasant.

The third and fourth infusions were quite similar to each other. Compared to the second one, both were lighter in taste and color. With the fifth infusion, it got a bit watery. I did not go on further since I like my tea on the stronger side. But if you do not mind the watery taste you might go for a few more infusions.

What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian What Cha Tea Zhangping Shui Xian