Archives For Tea
Articles about tea in it’s myriad styles. From aged to fresh and new. The beverage which calms and heals.
“Duck Shit Aroma (or Ya Shi Xiang) is part of the revered Golden Phoenix family of teas that come from Phoenix Mountain in the Guangdong Province of China,” he begins. “Classically, teas from that mountain are plucked from a single grove or bush, producing hyper-local characteristics. Rumor has it that the farmer behind Duck Shit (which doesn’t truly smell or taste like duck waste) didn’t want anybody to discover the secret to his cultivation so he gave it an unattractive name (indeed, compared to ‘honey orchid,’ ‘orange blossom,’ or ‘almond’) and it stuck.”
Another significant point that distinguishes winter tea from spring tea, and this is the most important one, is that Winter teas have a more obvious aroma than spring tea thanks to the extreme climate condition and shorter sunshine exposure. But this benefit does not come without sacrifice, Polyphenols and amino acids, which are the two key points in creating the sweetness and the body for oolong tea, will decrease dramatically in winter. As a result, winter tea will tend to have a stronger aroma but a slightly thinner body than spring tea.
Recently a Puerh article from Vice garnered a few shares in online tea circles, leading to e-mails in my inbox asking about the validity of many of the claims in the article. After a cursory glance at the post, I noticed at least a half-dozen factual errors, along with several misrepresentations of the situation of Puerh in Yunnan. Not that I would expect a first time Yunnan visitor or Vice’s munchies section to be factual authorities on Puerh tea, as it is an admittedly dense topic to gloss over in a short travel log. Unfortunately, the article got a few facts wrong and Vice is a lot more widely read than my piddly little blog. Hence this post, which will try to clear up some of these Puerh misunderstandings from the Vice article quote by quote.
Indeed, in 2013, mate was officially declared a “national infusion” of Argentina, where an estimated 250,000 tons of herb are consumed every year. Paraguay has a National Tereré Day (tereré is a drink made with yerba mate, but it’s drunk cold). The brew is now a common sight in health stores and specialized coffee shops in the U.S.
Technically, mate is not a tea, but rather, an infusion. “Tea” refers to a drink made from the leaves of the evergreen Asian shrub camellia sinensis, whereas the leaves in mate come from Ilex paraguariensis, a shrub with small greenish-white flowers that grew especially abundant in Paraguay.