What Chinese Teas Should I Buy?

Today we received an email from a new customer ‘John’. The email contains many questions that other customers have when they need support on making a choice of teas from our online tea store. Here’s the email from John:

I found your website after reviewing many others that disappointed mainly due to high prices and high delivery costs. You seem to have a great range of quality teas without the excessive costs. I developed a shortlist of teas I would like to try as follows, but would love any feedback or advice you may have on my shortlist before I buy. I am a lover of Oolongs and my wife prefers the more grassy (Japanese style) greens. Thank you!

  • Xin Yang Mao Jian
  • Yunnan Biluochun Green Tea
  • Daughter’s Ring Early Spring Green Tea – Ming Qian Nu’er Huan Tea
  • West Lake Dragon Well Tea – Longjing Tea
  • Organic Monkey King Tea – Tai Ping Hou Kui
  • Anxi Tie Guan Yin
  • Alishan Milky Oolong Tea
  • Red Robe Da Hong Pao
  • Dan Cong Phoenix
  • Aged Pu Erh Tea

The Teasenz team has prepared the following answer to help John make a decision:

Chinese Green Teas

Based on your wife’s preference,  we would highly recommend green teas that are ‘grassy’ but at the same time not bitter and they all have a very refreshing after taste:

  1. Xin Yang Mao Jian
  2. Mao Jian Tea
  3. West Lake Dragon Well (if like ‘roasty green’ taste)
  4. The Yunnan biluochun I would replace with the Blue Spring Bi Luo Chun
  5. The organic Taiping Hou Kui is also good, but this year our ‘Ming Qian Huang Shan Mao feng‘ is excellent, and it deserved to be in our first tea video: How to Brew Huangshan Maofeng Tea Using Gaiwan

Chinese Oolong Teas

For oolong tea, it depends if you prefer more a ‘light’ or ‘dark’ oolong tea.

  • Anxi Tie Guan Yin and Milky Oolong are light oolongs, they are more flowery and the taste is somewhat closer to green teas.
  • Red Robe Da Hong Pao and Dancong more oxidized oolongs with a stronger smoky taste. The intensity is closer to a black tea. However most Chinese black teas have an aftertaste of honey. These dark oolongs don’t have this feature.

If you aren’t sure which one you like more, we would suggest you try the light oolongs first and slowly start experimenting with darker oolongs.

Chinese Pu Erh Teas

Aged Pu Erh Tea is a good choice! Also consider the following pu erhs:

  1. Mini Pu Erh Tea Bar: the leaves of this tea bar is selected by our own team, and we hired a processing company to press it into bars. So it’s natural to say that we like it 🙂
  2. Mini Tuo Cha: this tea is a good choice for beginning pu erh drinkers as they contain a mix of different pu erhs. Some of them have an interesting taste of ‘corn’.

What is the Best Cheese to go with a Cup of Longjing Tea?

Longjing tea and cheese? Always difficult and I don’t think there are many tea lovers in China who dare to try to pair them. When you go to a tea house in China they might serve some side dishes such as nuts or dried fruits, but you won’t get anything more adventurous. Even though, most of the Teasenz team likes to drink their tea without anything, we regularly receive questions from our customers about pairings. And when it comes to cheese, we simply don’t have an answer. We asked Formaggiokitchen what they think the best options are and we got an surprisingly detailed answer that deserved to be shared.

Good question! I always find tea and cheese pairings a bit difficult, especially with Chinese teas like Longjing since there isn’t really any cheese in Chinese food and therefore not much precedent for pairing. That said, there’s no reason a nice cup of tea and a nice slice of cheese can’t go well together. We were so taken with your question here at the shop that monger Mary and I had our own little cheese-and-tea tasting on Sunday! I took inspiration from the salty, smoked cheese I had in the Tibetan regions of Yunnan Province, looking for something on the more dry and firm side of things. Personally, I also think green teas in general pair best with cheeses that aren’t too lactic. In the end, we found three cheeses that pair great with Longjing’s sweet, smooth, nuttiness–

Ekiola Ardi Gasna Fermier — this farmstead-style sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées is a little on the milder side and helps bring out Longjing’s natural nuttiness

Coolea — an Irish import made by a Dutch-Irish couple in the style of a Gouda, this cow’s milk cheese is salty and a bit sweet, the perfect complement to Longjing’s mellow, vegetal sweetness

Pantaleo — an aged goat cheese, Pantaleo is mellow enough not to overpower a cup of Longjing while still packing a bit of a citrusy tang that really brightens up the drink! Especially nice now that we’re getting ready for spring.

Let me know if you find any other great pairings!

We hope this helps you to enjoy your Longjing tea journey more. Do you know any good tea pairings? If so, feel free to share by leaving a comment.

At last the new green tea season is coming soon and find out more about when they arrive here.

What should be the ideal time to drink Green tea (4-5 cups a day)?

Answer by Lisa Lin:

The best timing is to drink it about 1 hour after a meal, because green tea can hurt iron absorption while your food is being digested in the first our after your meal.

Besides timing after meals, you can drink green tea any time, except:
– in the evening if you are sensitive to caffeine (though it’s significantly less than coffee).
– on a really empty stomach

From a seasonal perspective green tea is the best to drink in hot summers, because it has a ‘cooling’ property.

How do I make ginseng tea from a whole dried korean ginseng root?

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Answer by Lisa Lin:

If you want to infuse it like a cup of tea, then the most important thing is to chop as thin as you possibly can and then steep it with just of the boil water.

The other way is put a piece of ginseng root in a cup with water and place it in a pan that is filled with water as well. Then turn on the fire and steam the ginseng root that is in your cup for about 30 minutes. Make sure there is enough water in your pan so that it will not dry out in 30 minutes.

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