The Ultracrepidarian’s Corner

Monthly opinions, research and reviews in the world of tea. This stimulating non-commercial blog is never used to promote the products of Tillerman Tea.

The Scarlet Letters: DHP

lmost every tea writer, it seems, must at some point produce an article on Dahong Pao, or DHP as the cognoscenti refer to it. In fact, it has been written about so frequently that there cannot be much new to say. There is not much new to say, one area...

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Getting the Ball Rolling

The Conundrum When addressing the question “Why are some Taiwan teas rolled in strip form and others in a ball shape?” the standard response has been that this is a function of migration patterns. If tea farming immigrants from Fujian came from Minbei...

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The Simple Matter of Taste

It just makes my kettle boil Recently I posted an observation to an online group and asked for comments. The observation was that, in Taiwan, nearly everyone I encounter (growers, producers, vendors and tea houses) brews oolong tea with boiling water. [1] ...

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Over the Rainbow: In Search of Authenticity

“We welcome you to Munchkin land”  Everybody is claiming it: "My teas are authentic...," "authenticity is our watchword...," "we are 100% authentic….” These claims just go on and on[1]. But what on earth does "authentic” mean? If everyone claims it, does it really...

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The Handmade’s Tale

"With My Own Two Hands" HARPER “Handmade!” Producers and vendors love to tout the handmade quality of their teas. But does this make a difference? Are handmade teas any better than those made by machine?  Does anyone really care? And what is meant by “handmade tea” in...

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The Confessions of a Tea Snob

Mea Cupa Please don’t judge me but I’m afraid I’m a tea snob.  Can there be any doubt about it? I refuse coffee. I drink only “true tea”, preferably acquired from small independent family growers and specialty shops. I assiduously avoid teabags. I generally brew in a...

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