Since I don’t do tea reviews anymore, per se, but rather feature unique ones that catch my interest, I don’t write about things I don’t like. Life’s too short for a bad cup of tea. That said, if there’s a bone I have to pick…I’ll pick. Case in point: The “flavored matcha” incident.
The Canton Tea Co. one you linked to @caobo is actually one that’s processed on the Yunnan side of the river. Not actually Vietnam. It was…awful. One of the first (and worst) pu-erhs I ever tried. Almost one of the last.
That said, I still hold out hope of trying a true Vietnamese pu-erh. Any contacts or tips you have about acquiring some would be really helpful. New teas are kind of my thing.
@jackie@peter – Are you guys referring to the Castleton Moonlight? I actually had that twice in 2012 – one from Lochan (which I received from you), and one from Thunderbolt Tea (which I received from Benoy Thapa). The difference in both was night and day, and – presumably – they were the same tea; Castleton Moonlight 2012 2nd Flush, a Darjeeling oolong. The 30 second steep-time indicated on Steepster was the first gongfu-style steep I did to it. With Darjeeling oolongs, I tend to do it that way, <i>then,/i> a Western prep to see the difference.
If the Moonlight @peter is referring to is the same one that you guys sent me last year, I guarantee you that it’s spoiled. Not sure how. Oxygenation, molding, I dunno.
That said, I’ve recently been prone to headaches if I have tea on an empty stomach. Doesn’t matter what kind – green, white, black, what have you. Or if I have tea with something super salty. Same effect. Some of it might be dehydration, but another contributing factor might be sinuses. Compounded with that, caffeine of any sort is a known aggragant for anything head/sinus related. (At least for me, anecdotally-speaking.)
The only tea that I don’t get headaches from on an empty stomach are sheng pu-erhs. That’s it.
I personally love black matcha (or powdered black tea, whatever). I’ve seen more and more of it lately. Heck, I’ve reviewed to of ’em. One of which was even from Red Leaf Tea (a company that hates me now after my flavored matcha rant) – and I loved the stuff.
What I would like to see is a powdered black tea made from Japanese kocha (black tea). THAT would deserve to be called matcha.