Experiencing Thai teas

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Experiencing Thai TeasSubtitle

Presented by John Bickel

History of tea in ThailandEarliest known tea cultivation in China 6000 years ago1000+ year old tea trees in Thailand today (maybe)Two types of tea plants: Camellia Sinensis versionsVariety Assamica: black tea in Assam, India; puer compressed tea in Yunnan, ChinaVariety Sinensis: most Chinese tea, oolongsBlack teas in Chiang Mai area, oolongs in Chiang Rai

Thai oolongHybrids from Taiwan; mostly #12 hybrid Jin Xuan, #17 Bai LuLighter oolongs are a good introductory tea; soft, nice flavorWorks well hot or cold, easy to brew, inexpensiveOolong means mid-range oxidation, between green and black tea levels, 10 to 90% (but defined range can vary)

Tea preference and brewing issuesHot versus cold: hot teas show the range of tastes betterTea bag versus loose tea: tea bags lower quality, tea dustGear / device issues: it all works (eg. in a coffee cup, infuser, French Press, pot), better if tea can contact water freelyBrewing parameters: water temperature, proportion, timing (eg. 1 tsp. per cup, 90 C, 3 minutes, 3 steeps)Cost: 50 grams typically $4-12 / 100-350 baht (25 cups)Sugar or not: gets complicated, but better teas arent bitter

Gateway / introduction teasBlends: tea and flowers or herbsThai tea; bubble tea: might be powdered artificially flavored tea Iced lemon tea: closer to lemonadeMatcha shakesMasala chai: spiced blendAll are fine, but tea can be even better

Better oolongs: dark roasting expands rangeOriental Beauty oolong: citrus and spice, sweetWhite teas: subtle but interestingSinensis black teas (eg. Jin Xuan): softer, fruitierLongjing / Dragonwell: good green tea (Chinese)

Where do I buy loose Thai tea?Grocery stores: rarely have better options (some exceptions)Royal Project shops: ok for Thai oolongsMall tea shops: ok for Thai oolong, not better teas (typically)Chinatown: avoid open-bin storage (no taste); Jip Eu is niceCafes: Seven Suns, Luka, Double Dog, Peony (more basic)Specialty: Tea Dee Zhang (Thanya Park), Tea Village (Pattaya)Online: lots of options, just be careful about claims

To find out more:Tea in the ancient world blog (mine)

Teaintheancientworld.blogspot.com

International Tea Talk (Im Facebook group admin)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1647370545538088/