Jan 18, 2010

Teabags, Granny Tea and crumbs of good tea

Talking about informal brewing... I recently had some dhp teabag and shui xian "grandma tea" (huang pian) sent to me by a Wuyi farmer along with my other tea. I wouldn't otherwise buy them because postage is a lot more than the tea itself. But I have to say they are pretty good :D

The teabag is made with the crumbs from the last refining step of making dhp, entirely different from commercial teabag, which, according to tea farmers, is simply made from floor dust from earlier steps of tea processing - maybe they have some exaggeration here but I can imagine many commercial teabags are not much better than that.

The "grandma tea" (huang pian) is the older, bigger leaves selected out from the final tea product. It's often drunk by "grandmas" of tea families, hence the name. Another saying is, the leaves are older than others so that can be seen as "grandmas". The one I got is some selected out leaves from a king grade shui xian. It didn't last for more than 5 infusions (because older leaves are not that flavorful) but the fragrance of the first a few infusions is great.

Quite a few tea farmers and dealers mentioned to me how much they drink their homemade teabags or grandma tea. I guess most of them are rich enough to afford the top grade tea they sell, but as seen from many tea people, they just hate to waste any good stuff, even crumbs of good stuff.

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