I bought some random tea recently from the local Asian market

This is Huangjingui, a variety of oolong that is often used to imitate tieguanyin. They don’t quite taste the same, and tieguanyin (real ones anyway) are better, but if you don’t know much about this stuff… you might just think this is tieguanyin.

It’s certainly hard to tell by looks

The tea is thinner, and this particular one is slightly sour. The taste is a bit different from tieguanyin, and that, I think, is the biggest marker of difference, but taste is a fickle thing, and as we all know, taste is relative and subjective. It can easily be sold at some “gourmet” tea shop as some “jade oolong” and cost you $10 per 50g.

It’s not the greatest tea… but probably worth the $3 I paid for it.


Huangjinggui — 3 Comments

  1. that’s an interesting package you got there M! Looks like they put some thoughts into the design, specially the small “Center Tea” logo near the code. Wondering if they carry other Fujian tea? Not bad for 3 dollars : )

  2. Wondering if they carry other Fujian tea?

    Sure they do. This is Sea Dyke Brand (海堤牌) from the Xiamen tea factory. I’ve seen lots of Sea Dyke Fujian oolongs in Chinese supermarkets for about a penny a gram, although they appear to have spiffed up their packaging lately. (I have to say, though, I love the old chinoiserie commercial art on their old packages.) In my office I have a package of their heavily roasted Tsen Chi Cha (正溪茶 – Minnan dialect for Zheng Xi Cha?) It’s rough, but it’s pretty flavorful for about 3 steeps.

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