Hello, my friends! Today we continue tasting Taiwanese teas Right now we’re in the office of a company that mainly deals with the final stage of tea processing firing they end up having great volumes of the most exquisite tea, I would say including some contest-winning teas But they receive it as loose leaf tea without beautiful packaging as it becomes much more expensive The owner of the company does the same as I do He buys the best farm made product in the form of semi-finished tea and does the final processing And then we finally get it Now we’re going to taste a great number of high-grown oolong teas I too prefer the strategy of working with as many different people as possible with people who use different approaches Sometimes they are farmers, who produce tea of only 1 or 2 kinds sometimes they are companies that order tea that is extremely difficult to find on your own no matter how much time you’ve spent in the mountains… That’s why I’m always comparing different teas in different places That’s why we have such a great variety of teas in our shop This year I would like to pay special attention to Taiwanese teas as we didn’t buy many teas from Taiwan last autumn And we want to make our assortment wider Now we’re going to test seven or eight different teas at the same time …9 oolong teas we’ll see what we can get This one seems to be of the last year We are extremely lucky – for these two days, the weather became much better As the owner of the company says very good tea has been produced That’s one of the reasons why yesterday in Shan Lin Xi we were given a tea that was produced the day before It turned out to be much better than the tea that we tasted at her friend’s farm in Dong Ding Except for two other teas that had been made earlier The weather was bad Weather is one of the most important factors that influence tea quality That’s another reason for us being here You always have to taste the tea before buying The skill of the tea technician doesn’t matter if the leaf is of poor quality He just can’t make it good So I’ve got the boiling water. Here we go I’ll set the timer for about 4 minutes 6 minutes will be too much and the tea will be too strong Usually in Taiwan, they use 3 grams and brew for 6 minutes And that’s how I brewed it yesterday in Dong Ding Today we decided to use four and a half grams brew for four minutes and make it a bit stronger When the tea is brewed stronger it reveals aromas and flavours faster and it was easier to understand everything about the tea I feel like a professional tea taster Actually, using these tasting sets is very convenient it helps to taste tea quicker, better, clearer to compare teas more precisely Very often when you have a gaiwan only you can brew tea in a very simple way Making a precise comparison can be very difficult You can easily judge the quality of tea in many different ways For example by simply brewing the leaves in a cup or in a glass when you’re tasting green tea You can decide if it’s good or bad but comparing similar teas can be much more difficult It’s important to understand that oolong teas from Taiwan Especially for people with little experience or those who have only started to dive into the tea hobby for them, Taiwanese teas seem very similar Qing Xiang technology produces teas of a similar taste profile the tea can grow in different locations cultivars and grades can be different For example yesterday we compared 5 Dong Ding teas the same teas from the same village With a slightly different production technology and we had to compare them Well now we’re going to compare these teas We can already assess the aroma This one has a bright cucumber note… And by the way, I don’t know the names of these teas I do this on purpose There’s only a number and the bag itself I don’t know the price or the grade Well, what do we have here two minutes Now the third minute will start These hanging timers are used at tea contests Here in Taiwan you can often see them Here we go four minutes have passed I’m explaining to the Chinese why my name is Sergey if you translate this name in Chinese using Google you’ll get “Xiè ěr gài” (Serguy) That’s my name and actually there are many Serguys here in China – it’s just a name And many Russians who don’t speak Chinese I for example when I first came to China didn’t speak Chinese at all I just googled my name and translated it and got this “Xiè ěr gài” name that all Chinese are laughing at It sounds very funny to them in Chinese Well, let’s see what we’ve got here This one’s aroma is not very bright Anyway, we brewed these teas stronger and we will easily find the ones that are really good This one is very grassy …and this one …and this one In the background, the Chinese are talking about us Two customers have come to the owner of the company where we are right now and they’re discussing “oh, there in Russia they do this, they do that…” It’s funny well we all seem funny to them, in general they don’t see foreigners very often here So, gentlemen, I invite you to taste these – Which ones do you like the most? – These two? From that side? These two? – The second and this one – This one? – Which one? the one in the blue bag? – Yes – The blue bag… I also like this one Yes, this one is really good So we’ve tasted the first nine oolongs we’ve chosen four three of them are really poor And the rest were too boring and not that special We decided to choose the best ones We don’t need these boring teas when we can get something really special We’re waiting for the next set of teas We’ve given away all our books, by the way We had 10, now we have only one left – One, am I correct? Two! Great! We are going to participate in the farmers’ meeting and we have to give something as a gift The degustation continues We’ll start with Hong Yu from Moon Lake red tea Here we have exactly four and a half grams This is the very first one we’ll start from this side let’s place it here So… here is Hong Yun the Red Spring It’s a pretty rare tea as well …not Hong Yu In Taiwan, they put absorbents in all tea bags, even in the smallest ones As the climate here is extremely humid They don’t have much tea this year even for me even though I am not a great lover of light oolongs I like roasted Lao cha teas much more But even for me it wasn’t enough we chose only four from the first nine And there are two more for us to try and we may not like them So it looks like we’ll have to try much more this time another red one Mi Xiang Oolong – Honey Aroma Mi Xiang Hong Cha It was very good the previous year We’ll see how it tastes this year A couple of oolong teas And finally, Dongfang Meiren To make us all happy as they say Dongfang Meiren is just perfect with a whole lot of buds A new red Hong Yun tea There is Hong Yu and this one is Hong Yun tea A honey aroma red tea Hong Yun Ruby red Dongfang Meiren, even though that’s an oolong More similar than the light oolongs And a couple of light oolongs We result in having 6 teas Another pass… Let’s go We’ll see One of them will be very strong The red, I suppose Because I used a lot of tea – 4,5 grams It’s too much for red tea We’ll brew it for 3 minutes, I think Obviously, Ruby red has the strongest aroma Dongfang Meiren is very good too The aroma is wonderful Hong Yun… I don’t get it It’s a new kind of red tea It’s very weak The honey aroma obviously has a wonderful honey fragrance Oolongs… are very simple This one is nothing special at all This one is fresher At least judging by the first smell I guess that’s why they didn’t bring us these from the very beginning As they are obviously not among the best I’ll pour the red tea after 3 min. brew it’s done Oolongs need one more minute to go Dongfang’s aroma is really, really good I started to feel #1’s aroma – Red tea – This one is Dongfang Meiren Oolong, the Oriental Beauty – I liked this one – And the Ruby red too… it’s very good – The one in the yellow bag is not bad, not bad – And this one is good – Yes, it seems Well, the final decision concerning the second set We decided that Dongfang Meiren is really good Ruby is not bad We’ll compare it with the one we’ve bought in Nantou directly from a farmer Then the honey aroma is not bad and both oolongs are good So from the whole set of 6 teas 5 are of decent quality 4 of them are really not bad We’ll need to think about the fifth So, I guess we are going to stop tasting We will keep going Wish you all the best! Enjoy your tea!