Sunday, 23 May 2010

China Lung Ching Grade 3

I'm writing this under duress. The most useless kind of blogpost I can imagine is where I tell you about a tea I'm drinking, and you never have the opportunity to drink that exact tea. It's one of the reasons I spend so much time writing anything but tea reviews.

But it seems a teablog must have tea reviews no matter how random and useless they are.

If I read about some Japanese Sencha that you're drinking from, and really want to try what you're describing, I'm just not going to go to the trouble to order that exact tea from your wholesaler. I'm not.

I might go so far as to see what similar tea my guy in Hamburg has, but I would likely not even bother doing that. Maybe you'd do that. I really doubt it. I'm sure some of you do. Good on you, then. You're a better tea obsessive than I. Really.

Here's my obligatory tea note. I wrote about this at steepster earlier. This isn't going to be any different in the least:

'If this is the third grade of this tea, I have to try the 2nd and 1st grades. This is a simple but tasty green...take my word for it...It’s a decent, basic green. Not great, but it’s a third grade, people. If I get my hands on a higher grade of this tea, I’ll write another teanote here.'

I planned to do this tea review this afternoon, so I actually steeped it once, waited a while and tried a second infusion. Often I read about how green teas improve with the later infusions. This is not one of those sorts of green tea. The second infusion tasted like lightly coloured water. Wasn't even something resembling tea. With other greens and Oolongs I like, the second infusion is somehow tastier. Or at least as good. Not Lung Ching third grade. Not at all.

So there's a tea note/review from lahikmajoe. I've read it over and edited it once or twice. Maybe I'm also resistant to do more reviews because I'm just not very good at them. I want to have a definitive review. One that can be quantified as 'excellent'. That's not really the point here, is it?

Learning how to taste and describe tea (or anything for that matter) seems to be like learning a language. Except that you're coming up with your own terms as you go. One can certainly use the prescribed terms that other tea lovers have been using. That seems to be a safe bet.

You could also come up with your own terms that fit what you experience as you're drinking. I truly think a balance is in order. Sir William's reviews are beautifully written and he takes delicious photos that complement the text nicely.

Asiatic Fox has a similar approach, and if you haven't looked at what he's doing, you really should. There's a link to both of these blogs in my list above. Both of them are doing tea reviews far better than I could hope to. Go there. Now.



  1. I really enjoy how straight forward you are!
    Definitely one of the reasons I read your blog!
    I suppose If all tea blogs were about some kind of tea, there wouldn't be much variety!
    You are here to spice things up a bit =]
    Love it!

  2. Woot! I am honoured that you mentioned me. ^_^

    Really, I'm just a copycat in a long line of copycats. But I'm trying to be the best copycat that I can be.

    I have finally begun to understand why you don't do many tea reviews. I now understand your reasoning, and, well, I guess it is rather sound.

    However, I don't know if I am as amazing or as intellectual as you are, and so I stick to my simple tea reviews. At least I kind of feel I'm in a comfort zone of sorts.