What if I crush my 1st flush Darjeelings?


Whenever I give my 1st flush DJ's like Makaibari's to my family or guests (who are expecting something really really out of this world, given the cost and trouble I go through to get these.. vs buying Green Label at the local Indian store).. they remark that the tea feels "weak" and has no "liquor" (or color), even though they like the flavor.
So, given that the teas that produce stronger color have finer leaf (like CTC), what if I crush (but not powder) my DJ's? Will that produce a better blend of falvor AND color? Probably, as I notice that the more fine leaves at the bottom of the packets if the 1st flush DJ's also produces a few brews of more color and body.
[Yeah, I can hear people say .. Why don't you try and find out? But I wanted to see why others haven't though of doing this before].
Reply to
Aloke Prasad

Actually, some people brewing the Chinese gongfu method do crush some of their leaves.
Try this: crush some only, and not all. Let most of what you use be whole leaves and crush the smaller ones with your hand (or collect the bottom-of-the-packet leaves). Place the crushed leaves on the bottom of your teapot and then place the whole leaves on top. Then pour your hot water very gently so as not to disturb and stir the leaves too much when pouring.
my 2 rupee
Reply to
Phyll

Commercial Darjeelings are much stronger and more robust than estate Darjeeling flushes. The CTC grade are lumps of coal. They meet the definition of fully oxidized black Darjeeling. Estate flushes are oolong in oxidation making them more mild. If you want a stronger estate Darjeeling you add more tea. Crushing won't help. My suggestion brew the flush longer.
Jim
Reply to
Space Cowboy

Aloke Prasad writes:
I doubt you'll get an "adequate" color boost, even if you chop the leaves fine and overbrew them. But really, isn't this beside the point? Have you tried to get your doubters to ignore the color and concentrate on the taste and aroma? How hard can it be to convince them that color is unimportant?
/Lew
--
Lew Perin / perin@acm.org
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
Reply to
Lewis Perin

To get them to ignore the colour, you can always blind them ;)
This whole colour thing actually reminded me of something that happen to a family friend. When this family friend went to Taiwan a few years ago, she bought her in-laws a quarter kilo of some award winning $0.90/1g light roasted oolong as a gift for Christmas. In visiting the in-laws a few months later, she asked whether they enjoyed the tea, to which they replied bluntly that it was a really bad tea.
On further questioning, it turned out her in-laws had used the full 250g of tea leaves in one session to get the "right" colour brew, but by then the tea was so astringent and bitter that they couldn't drink it and so they had to throw all of it out.
Reply to
sjschen

Um, no offense..... but..... did somebody knock them over the head or do they just have issues?
Any sort of common sense would tell these people that, maybe, just maybe, the tea is light in colour anyway? In this day and age, a phone call to check how to brew a tea really isn't that hard to do...
Besides.... you need a pretty big pot just to fill it with 250g of tea. I mean... c'mon
MarshalN
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Reply to
MarshalN

Any more I ask people what they like before I go out of my way to get them really good teas....most of the time I think my mother-in-law likes flavored teas and herbals so....that's what she gets. Or a gift certificate, that's best.
Seriously, if someone is going to spend that much money on a gift for someone it is best if they ASK first if the recipient even wants it or knows what to do with it, especially food items. Otherwise it's a good bet they'll be disappointed with how the gift is received.
Melinda
Reply to
Melinda

Darjeeling produces 11.5 million kilos of tea - Approx. - 1.2% of the total tea production of India.
89 gardens in total produce darjeeling tea.
Darjeeling " DOES NOT PRODUCE ANY CTC TEAS"
If you want a stronger darjeeling instead of crushing the nice Whole Leaf grade buy the broken or fanings grade - these are available at 1/3 the price of the whole leaf tea and will give you a nice strong cup.
Do not crush your fine tea - its utter wastage of fine tea through incompetent manipulation!
If you really wanna get the best darjeeling from any vendor ask him if he is selling a certified darjeeling.
The tea board of India issue a licence alongwith a number and inspects all teas that the vendor buys from the country. These Darjeelings are orignal - of the best quality called Certified Darjeelings.
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----- is one of the vendors who has this license in the USA.
Have a nice day!
Ankit Lochan
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Reply to
Ankit Lochan

Evidently the in-laws wanted "chinese tea" and the family friend decided to get best for them (filial piety?). Maybe it's a lack of understanding on what tea they wanted or perhaps it it's her assumption that these in-laws had some common sense in tea making. Either way, the brew turned out horrid and family relations were strained. The part that really got me was that before conceeding in defeat, the in-laws also tried to redeem the brewed liquid with Coffeemate and sugar.
Perhaps the in-laws, being 70 year old small town folks had something to do with their tea making ignorance? Who knows? I just find it to be an amusing story, and judging by the way things are in this world, I don't doubt one bit that this story is true.
Reply to
sjschen

I think Lipton's Green Label is CTC. I drink their Connoisseur version which is BOP. Assam is often CTC because it is the base tea for Chai. I don't remember any Kenya tea being CTC. Ceylon commercial teas are often CTC. I see someone else shouting Darjeeling is Orthodox. Okay it doesn't do any good to crush fines.
Jim
Reply to
Space Cowboy

I told the story of my sister-in-law chastising me in front of family I couldn't be any tea expert if I didn't have any blossom tea she had from her best friend who was no tea expert. As it turns out it came from a box of Numi. I also had forgotten about my jar of Fairy Peach Blossoms. I now have a big selection of blossoms. What did I learn? Not to take the criticism from in-laws seriously.
Jim
Reply to
Space Cowboy

That's true.
CTC does some interesting stuff in that it removes much of the flavourful liquid from inside the leaf and gets it onto the outside of the leaf, where it's dried out. This results in tea that steeps much much faster.
All grinding it up after the fact will do is increase the surface area. This will get you more flavour, both good and bad, and it will reduce the steeping time a bit. But I don't think it'll be the night and day difference that you want.
I'd bet if you call Makaibari and ask for fannings they might even have some. There's not much of a demand. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

Few green teas are CTC - the process produces a very harsh liquor on green teas.
Assams (North Indian teas) are in fact 91% made by CTC. Kenyans are 98.5% CTC (just Mimima and Kangaita have orthodox lines). Sri Lanka is only 6% CTC. As a percentage of global black tea production (ITC data 2003) CTC manufacture is 60.2%. This proportion climbed from 40% in early 80's but has been stable for the last decade.
Crushing made tea is generally a bad thing to do - matcha excepted (which nowadays is crygenically ground on the mass scale, or granite stone ground under controlled temperature conditions for artisanal matcha). But, for white tea at least, crushing will darken the liquor color. I have not investigated why and as it coarsens the liquor and imparts bitterness too I doubt its a good route to go.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel

Fannings are a natural grade that occurs even in the best regulated orthodox production - the skill with this process is to reduce these secondary grades and to maximize the leaf grades. Makaibari will make some - around 5-8% perhaps but will rather sell them at auction where they will bought for blending and packing into tea bags than supply them to specialty tea customers.
Nigel at Teacraft
Reply to
Nigel

Lipton Green label is definitely not CTC. It is leaf and very consistently blended for those who want decent DJ without too much effort. It is close to 2nd and 3rd flush DJ's. Connoisseur is good to (they are almost the same to me).
Isn't Connoisseur made by Brooke Bond? It has been a while since I used these products.. > I think Lipton's Green Label is CTC. I drink their Connoisseur > version which is BOP. Assam is often CTC because it is the base tea > for Chai. I don't remember any Kenya tea being CTC. Ceylon > commercial teas are often CTC. I see someone else shouting Darjeeling > is Orthodox. Okay it doesn't do any good to crush fines. > > Jim >> "Space Cowboy" wrote in message >> >> news:
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>> >>> Commercial Darjeelings are much stronger and more robust than estate >>> Darjeeling flushes. The CTC grade are lumps of coal. They meet the >>> definition of fully oxidized black Darjeeling. Estate flushes are >>> oolong in oxidation making them more mild. If you want a stronger >>> estate Darjeeling you add more tea. Crushing won't help. My >>> suggestion brew the flush longer. >>> Jim >> I thought CTC only existed in Assam and some Kenyan teas? >> >> Melinda > >
Reply to
Aloke Prasad

dear phyll,
i thought we were talking about 1st flush darjeelings and i had replied in that context.
ankit lochan
Reply to
Ankit Lochan

In the future I'll make a note of which commercial DJ are CTC and stop guessing. Lipton makes Connoisseur which is my favorite commercial DJ. BB has a good version but hard to find. My local tea shoppe carries the major estates which my wife likes. My local tea shoppe opened in it's new digs. The cafe is more prominent with expanded menu. I bought some Snow Buds from Zheijiang. It's the first green I thought had a creamy finish. Also recently I bought some White Monkey King Green. The owner is starting to sell the less known Chinese teas that are available through retail.
Jim
Reply to
Space Cowboy

Hi Ankit,
I know. I was merely joking with my matcha comment (sorry, maybe not funny). I personally agree and prefer letting whole leaves stay whole, but also encourage experimentation to suit one's likings. I was merely pointing out to the original poster that there are very experienced tea connoisseurs who crush some of their tea leaves (specific tea ony) to achieve a certain taste effect.
With tea (and wine), it's always exciting to learn other people's way of brewing and drinking (pairing Champagne with potato chips, anyone?)...and who's to say what's right and wrong.
I guess I always challenge anybody who says "don't do that," and more accepting to comments like "try it and see if you like it." After all, we are only talking about a beverage we call tea.
Phyll
Reply to
Phyll

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