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Paul B.

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Help needed reading Chinese green tea package

by Paul B. » Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:14 pm

I'm hoping that someone in our community who reads Chinese can tell me what kind of tea I've got here. I received this very elegantly packaged loose-leaf green tea from a friend of a friend some months ago, and have been enjoying a cup almost every night. I'm nearly done with the tea, though, and I would love to know just what sort of tea it is and what the Chinese characters say. I'd like to buy it again, of course, but being completely illiterate in Chinese, I don't have much to go on.

This tea is extremely refined in quality and has no rough or smoky/weedy taste, like many cheap green teas. This one has a very delicate bouquet and is really of high quality. The leaves, when dried, look like long thin twigs, but unfurl in the cup into delicate light-green leaves. The tea, when steeped, is of a very light colour.

If anyone can let me know what this is, and what the writing says, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Help needed reading Chinese green tea package

by Paul B. » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:10 pm

Thanks for trying, John! I appreciate it.

I'm still hoping that someone will be able to read the writing on the box and tell me what it means.

Cheers,

Paul
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: Help needed reading Chinese green tea package

by Cynthia Wenslow » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 pm

I'll run it by my friend who lived in China for many years and is fluent in Mandarin.
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Re: Help needed reading Chinese green tea package

by Paul B. » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:03 pm

Thanks Cynthia!! I'm really eager to know what it is. I wonder if it might be white, not green tea ... the leaves are really young and light green, as opposed to the darker, coarser look of typical green teas.
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Additional details

by Paul B. » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:17 pm

I was just browsing some tea websites looking for pictures of white tea (which isn't really "white", but means very young leaves/buds), and what I found here is very similar-looking to the tea that I'm trying to identify. The tea I have also has this "needle"-like appearance when dry:

Image
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Re: Additional details

by Cynthia Wenslow » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:27 pm

Hmm. Interesting. I don't think I've ever had anything quite like that, Paul. Looks a lot like rosemary!
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Re: Additional details

by Cynthia Wenslow » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:56 pm

My friend is on the road but took a quick glance at the image. Says it is written in "grass script" which is sort-of-kind-of like cursive. Will look at it more completely when home tomorrow.

Says, the green character toward the bottom is "cha" which means "tea." Helpful, no? :lol:
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Re: Additional details

by Paul B. » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:15 am

Thank you Cynthia - and thank your friend too! Can't wait to crack the mystery! :D
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Re: Additional details

by Jenise » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:52 am

Paul, I ran it by a friend of mine. She said:

"I recognize the first character, it's ji, which sort of means odd, as in odd number, or "odd that I can't recall the name". I don't know the second character. To really know the meaning of these two words, you have to know the word combination so it's a guess what this could mean. Maybe that it stands out as unique, odd in that sort of way. It's not 'unique' though, that word combination is ji de (same word ji, different second word)."
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Re: Additional details

by Paul B. » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:10 pm

Thank you Jenise. I can see that cracking this mystery isn't going to be easy. All the same, I think I might take a close-up of the tea leaves themselves - in their dried state and after they unfurl in the cup. I don't know if this is even green or white tea, but I'm kind of leaning towards white because loose-leaf green tea tends to have coarser, darker leaves. But white tea is said to have a white fuzz - this tea doesn't have any of that.
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Re: Additional details

by Paul Winalski » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:00 pm

The white tea that I have certainly has a white fuzz on the dried leaves.

-Paul W.
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FWIW

by Cynthia Wenslow » Mon May 08, 2006 2:24 pm

After many hours of checking and talking to others, my friend reports:

"The characters say, 'Loose Er Tea'; the bottom of the label is for the company's address in Lishui, Zhejiang Provence.

Not very helpful, is it? It's also not very specific: I've never heard of 'Er' tea."

Er.... me neither. :wink:
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Re: FWIW

by Jenise » Tue May 09, 2006 12:54 pm

'Er' tea is a famous white tea, usually spelled urh or erh and often preceded with another syllable, like pu-urh. Your friend's translation confirms that Paul kind of thought his tea was.
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Re: FWIW

by Cynthia Wenslow » Tue May 09, 2006 9:10 pm

Ah! Thanks, Jenise. I had never heard of this. But I'm not much of a tea drinker usually.

I've passed it along to my friend for information's sake.
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Re: FWIW

by Paul B. » Fri May 12, 2006 5:14 pm

Pu-Erh - thanks everyone! Actually, Erh is good enough for me. I now at least know that looseleaf white tea is what I need to look for.

Many thanks, Cynthia and Jenise.
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Re: FWIW

by Paul Winalski » Mon May 15, 2006 1:52 pm

Paul B. wrote:Pu-Erh - thanks everyone! Actually, Erh is good enough for me. I now at least know that looseleaf white tea is what I need to look for.


Pu-Erh is not at all your typical white tea. Pu-Erh is an unusual doubly-fermented type of tea with a very unique earthy/muddy sort of aroma and flavor. Very different from white tea.

-Paul W.

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