Tea production

I’m in green tea land.  Everybody drinks green tea here, pretty much.  Longjing is taken quite seriously, with last night’s dinner discussion partially centered around the differences of Meijiawu and Longwu longjing.  I feel ashamed that I don’t know that much about this drink anymore.  Although I can tell a good one from a bad one, I can’t tell the production locales, much less the finer distinctions in gradations.

It is, in many ways, the most versatile of teas.  Different greens do taste quite drastically different.  Using the same leaves, if you press on the pan instead of rolling the leaves on the pan, the taste will come out different.  While puerh “kill-green” is a pretty simple and unscientific process, longjing kill-green is an art form.  Everything from the temperature to the pressure is quite systematic and carefully done, because any variation can cause a detectable change in taste.  Puerh, from picking to production, is all done in such a carefree way — no specific time, no specific way of killing green, no control of temperature, etc.  Green tea is so exact.  I always wondered what will happen to puerh if somebody bothered to control all these variables and try to make it more of an exact science.  Will it produce better teas?

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Palm Springs is hot. Very hot. 47 degrees (117F) hot.

That doesn’t stop me from drinking hot tea though.

I went to the local The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, where they used to have decent loose leaf teas when I did live in LA for a little while. I ordered their dragon oolong. But what did I get? Longjing. I asked again, and he said yes, he gave me the dragon oolong. Whatever. I think the guy kept hearing me say “Dragonwell” even though I was saying “Dragon oolong”. I suppose they can be mixed, although I really don’t know how. I looked at the leaves and they looked like longjing (although a little red in places that make it rather weird). I decided not to fight, since the guy was obviously not really following, and drink the longjing.

It’s very weak considering that the colour came out strong. The tea is not very fragrant and not very tasty. Flat. I think it’s probably been out too long, losing most of its flavours. It’s probably also seen some sun which is why it’s oxidized a bit. I guess in a place like Palm Springs the teas move very slowly.

I should’ve gotten a black instead. At least it won’t make a difference that way.