Teas of the World: TTES Teas

Tea in Taiwan is serious business, so much so that they are constantly working on developing new cultivars of Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) that will yield certain characteristics for both the grower and the imbiber. The results are usually sold with a TTES number on them, for example, “TTES No. 18.” But what is …

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Oolong Tea – from Wuji to Alishan

Currently, Oolong teas, covering the wide spectrum of part-fermented teas on a scale ranging from ca. 10-85% degree of fermentation, are increasingly gaining popularity in the west. As for the origins of the part- or semi-fermented processing method, as well as the term “Oolong” itself (Chinese, also “Wu-Long”, or “Wu-Liong”), there are plenty of stories, …

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Tea in the Movies — “Three Strangers”

Being a bit of a movie buff, I tend to watch those black and white classics, and recently caught a very interesting tea connection in one of them. The movie Three Strangers had a rather oblique reference to something that lovers of fine teas would recognize quite readily. The basic plot: A woman lures two …

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Oolong Tea – Broadest Segment in Tea, Smallest Segment in the Market?

Oolong tea, or “Wu-long tea” (Chinese: 乌龙 = “Black Dragon”), as opposed to green tea (non-fermented) or black tea (fully-fermented), is tea that is only “semi”, or better, “partly” fermented, whereas the fermentation can have any degree starting from lightly fermented (e.g., Pouchong Oolong teas) and across the whole spectrum  to strongly fermented (e.g., Ti …

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Bragger’s Tea

One of the stranger types of tea I've written about was poo poo puerh, a curious variety also known as grain moth tea, chong cha or worm tea, among other things. Not to be indelicate about it, but it's a tea that's made by feeding grain moths with puerh tea, then harvesting the excrement and …

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This Tea Is Bugging Me or The Secret of Oriental Beauty Oolong

Does your tea bug you? It would if it’s Oriental Beauty Oolong, one of the most exotic teas and a bit of a rarity, with only about 20 kilograms of leaves processed per hectare. But it might not be so exotic without some insects getting into the act. Those little buggers chomp their way into …

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What is High Mountain Oolong?

For many years now I've seen the term "high mountain oolong" being bandied about, but I never really gave it much thought. Until recently, when I started to wonder exactly what that meant. Obviously, since I'm not completely dense (that's my story and I'm sticking with it), I can pretty much deduce, based on the …

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Some Popular Taiwanese Oolong Cultivars

The more I look into the details of tea, the more complex it is. My recent foray deep into the “jungle” of information about oolong cultivars revealed even more complexity. There is quite a variety of oolongs made from an array of cultivars of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. So much for that outsider’s image …

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Oolong Blasphemy

Ever ones to experiment with our teas, hubby and I came up with a different way to approach multiple steepings of oolongs. It’s a bit unorthodox. Some might even call it oolong blasphemy. Multiple steepings are usually short and quick. We find that the teas are often too hot to drink immediately after steeping and …

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