True or False – Gingshen Oolong

Information found on the internet said Gingsheng Oolong was invented in Taiwan by using the best quality of high mountain oolong blended with the American gingsheng.  So what is Gingshen Oolong? First of all, Ginseng Oolong has another name in Chinese which is known as “Lan Gui Ren”(蘭貴人).  From different web site on google, it seemed they […]

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2016 Oriental Beauty

  Oriental Beauty is also known as Peng Feng Cha, or Bai Hao Oolong because of the mixture of many white hair coated young buds.  It is the most heavy fermented Oolong in the Oolong tea family, the fermentation level is between 75-85%.  It has unique honey flavor and taste without any astringent or bitter […]

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Not-To-List with Tea

Tea, the most popular healthy drink next to the water in the world today.  There are many health benefits from tea because it contains: Caffeine, Polyphenols, Vitamines (including Vit. A, B1, B2, C, E, etc.), Minerals, Flavonols, Saponin, Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and etc.  It’s like all kind of nutritional ingredients in the world that there are […]

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A birthday letter to Guang Yi

Dear Guang Yi, Today is your 24th birthday, when I look back what have happened to you and I in the last 24 years, starting from how I was touched by watching the unselfish and noble blind musician gave sincere appreciation and his money to a group of young musicians who I saw in the Bistro in Antwerp […]

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茶葉的儲放

茶葉具有優秀的吸濕性及吸味性,若是茶葉在開封後沒有重新密封好, 那麼就很容易吸附空氣中水分及異味. 哪怕是用鋁箔製的包裝袋也會有漏氣進去的可能, 更別說假如貯存方法不當, 原來很誘人的茶香與風味就會在在儲放一段時間後, 而原來的茶葉的顏色, 香氣, 湯色, 滋味都會發生變化. 環境中的溫度, 濕氣, 氧氣, 光線會對茶造成的相互氧化的作用, 這些外在環境因素對茶葉是否會變質與如何陳化造成最主要的影響 (一) 溫度 – 在高溫下茶葉外觀色澤越容易變成褐色. 對綠茶或是輕發酵的茶葉可以考慮用冷凍的方法儲存來減緩茶葉變褐及陳化. 有人建議把茶放在冰箱裡保鮮, 在此我只想到提醒大家別忘了茶葉有很好的吸味性, 所以假若冰箱裡經常有魚, 肉, 蝦及乳製品, 當你打開冰箱時就有一股明顯不新鮮甚至不好的味道時, 試想那對放在冰箱裡的茶會造成甚麼樣的影響呢. 最好的方式是分成小型密封包裝放在零下10-18度與雜物分離的冰凍庫裡. 傳統至高度發酵及經焙火的茶, 因製作工藝的繁瑣, 所以成茶的含水量低, 只要妥善的儲存即可而不必刻意地放在冷凍庫裡儲藏. (二) 水分 – 茶葉中的含水量若高過 5% 或是儲藏環境中的濕氣過高都會對茶葉的品質有很壞的影響. 輕者加快茶葉殘留酵素之氧化, 更甚可讓茶葉長霉變質. 看似乾燥的茶葉其實依然含有微水分; 當手輕握茶葉可以感覺略粗粗的微刺感, 用拇指與食指輕捏會碎裂, 那代表茶葉含水量在5% 以下, 乾燥度良好; 反之若是重捏而茶葉不易碎, 那代表茶葉已受潮回軟, 這對品質會有很大的影響. 愈是強調高清香與鮮味的輕發酵的名貴茶葉, 在儲藏不當情下所產生的變化就愈明顯, 也愈增加儲藏的挑戰. (三) 氧氣 – 就算是包裝看起來還好的茶也會在時間的因素下與空氣中的含有的各種物質發生氧化作用, 如何轉化, 那就要看茶胚本質與儲藏環境的管理. […]

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真假普洱(一)

跟我學茶的學生前幾天在我這品到了不知年的普洱,今天上課他就興沖沖的带了一片他買到的中糧綠字標的七子餅請我看看。 他原先還很興奮地跟我說賣茶的人跟他說那是1995年老茶。光是看那包裝棉紙,我就有懷疑了,第一印象就是”那包裝紙怎麼還那麼新?”。當學生跟我說他用很便宜的價格買到的時候, 那情況就更明確了, 此茶絕對是假冒年份的普洱茶餅. 因為1995年的茶餅在市面上很難找的到. 真的茶餅的價格不斐, 而不是幾十歐元就可以買到的. 更何況那棉紙怎麼可能還這麼新. 等打開後我差點昏倒,因為茶餅前後都有白色的黴菌了。我問他原來就這樣嗎? 他說不是,可是他說原先的味道 (香味與口感) 就很重。長霉有可能是因為他把茶放在地下室而今年雨多所以地下室濕氣重所致。(國內濕倉假冒的因素外再加上額外的潮濕儲藏環境的不當儲藏, 再好的茶餅不長霉那才怪). 那一天晚上我犯了一個茶人常犯的錯 – “惜心”, 天真的想或許還有機會解救. 所以決定採用炙茶法看是否能解決那白黴的問題. 結果如所料, 那乾茶在未炙前還沒有什麼香味, 但是在炙熱的過程中就開始聞到一股衝鼻的氣味而不是那種老茶會有的沈穩的棗梅加樟香。 因為炙茶需有耐心, 所以學生就”好意”的說, “這茶就留給妳吧”. 我想能做甚麼, 因為喝是絕對不可能. 但是後來想想, 或許用來做教材用. 有實際茶品幫助學生了解 “甚麼不可以做與飲 What not to do and drink”.  就是就把那茶餅留下. 究竟那茶會是甚麼狀況, 在好奇心主使下, 決定取5g來泡一壺來了解狀況.  因為那茶有發霉所以還特意過水两次,若是光看剛泡出來的茶湯顏色, 心想好像還可以. 因為在那微亮的燈光下看到那剛泡出來的暗紅茶色乍看好像還可以,但是很快的我那顆提著高高的心在一聞茶湯時就被那一股刺鼻的油脂味打敗了。只是靜放一下下那茶湯顏色就開始呈混濁。鼓起勇氣只敢略茗一滴滴就立刻吐出,因為實在不敢入口。 長久以來許多人都說普洱茶越陳越香這句話, 但是普洱茶不是愈老就好而是要選對也要正確存藏。茶葉長霉的根本原因就是”過潮, 過濕”.  如果儲藏環境中的濕度過大,  茶葉中含水量急遽上升, 當水分超過8% 的時候就很容易滋生微生物, 而呈現發霉的現象. 其中最令人擔憂的就是黃麴毒素(aflatoxin),也稱作黃麴黴素,那是一種有強烈生物毒性的化合物, 由黃麴黴及寄生麴黴等另外幾種黴菌在黴變中產生, 如花生, 大米, 豆類而在茶類也會因儲藏不當而發生. […]

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Gongfu Tea Ceremony Here and There

  The name of “Gongfu tea ceremony” is very attractive to many people.  What is Gongfu tea ceremony?  Before we talk about the ‘Gongfu Tea Ceremony”, we perhaps have to first establish a clear understanding about:What is Gongfu tea?Gongfu tea is a general description for the top premium quality tea which must first meet the following […]

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Rice instead of Oolong in a Alishan tea bag

  One news that I read on line this morning brought the sense of shame deeply – One American (a Chinese?), Tony Po, opened a bag of Alishan Oolong that his friend’s father brought back from Taiwan and discovered the content was rice instead of tea. This is not a normal mistake or something we can joke about […]

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No Best, Only Good and Better

Often people asked me a question about which tea is the best. Whenever receiving such question, I can only  patiently explain, no one can really pinpoint one tea and claim it as the best tea in the world. Reasons are actually pretty easy and straight forwards: The first and the most important reason is everyone […]

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Is “Dust” tea bag a garbage?

During the lesson today, I was asked to give my opinion about the comment made by other tea sommeliers that tea bag made from “Dust” as garbage.  I really grateful for this question, because it gives me a chance to clear my thoughts and deepen my own learning. Even though tea bags, certainly those flavoured tea bags, […]

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