Posts Tagged ‘Co Website’
Ingredients: Pu-erh tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use the gongfu style. A small teapot (or small amount of water) with 3-4 g of tea and hot water: 95°C (203°F) infused for just 20 secs. Reinfuse at least 6 times.
The chance to try this tea is something very special. Unfortunately, despite how special it was, I am not honestly sure which of Canton Tea Co’ Pu’erhs this tea is. “Canton Beeng Cha” is all that the label says, and from my limited knowledge of Chinese, I know that a “Beeng” or bing is a round cake of pu’erh. “Cha” is merely “tea.” That being said, I can be sure that this is a pu’erh!
I begin this session of tea by bringing some water to a boil, after which I rise my gaiwan, small pot, and teacup to preheat them. It is pretty amazing how much of a difference preheating ones teaware can make on the taste of the tea that follows. Next, I measure out about one teaspoon of this tea into my gaiwan. I typically use more than this for gong fu brewing (quick and multiple infusions), which is what the directions on the label seem to imply, but for now we will merely follow along. I perform a quick rinse of the leaves with hot water to “open” them.
The dry leaves have a very vegetal aroma, suggesting a raw pu’erh. Yet there is an underlying smokiness and clear, fresh smell to them as well. The first 20 second infusion is performed. The wet leaves smell more malty now, yet still slightly vegetal. Much to my surprise, the tea brews a very pale green. This is very interesting, and not at all what I was expecting. This first infusion carries a very thin flavor. It is clear and fresh, with a smooth, vegetal aftertaste. As per the instructions, I go ahead and resteep the leaves, figuring that it will be different in the second infusion.
Mmm, this tea really kicks it in gear with the second infusion. The vegetal pu’erh flavor floods the taste buds. It is incredibly smooth and just slides over the tongue. I am truly impressed. I put it through several more steepings, and this tea just keeps on impressing. Normally, I prefer cooked pu’erhs to raw pu’erhs, but with a tea like this, I can hardly afford to be biased. I would give this tea an 87/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
You can purchase the 2010 Xing Hai Raw Beeng Cha directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use 1tsp to 1 tbs per cup (200ml); water temperature around 80 deg C (176 deg F): and infuse 2-4 mins. A forgiving, easy-to-brew tea – even if the leaves steep for a very long time it still tastes bright and smooth.
I felt that this tea was going to be a very unique experience. After all, pouchong is not a very common type of tea. The people who grow it refer to it as a green tea, yet in reality, pouchong is actually a type of oolong. The oxidisation process is such that the tea is supposed to be very light in flavour.
For preparing pouchong, water of a temperature akin to that which is used for green tea should be used. According to Canton Tea Co’s website, the tea is very forgiving, and they recommend using anywhere from one teaspoon to one table spoon of tea per cup of water. As I was making this tea in a 150ml gaiwan, I chose to just go with their recommendation and use 1 teaspoon of leaves. In keeping with their description of it being a very forgiving tea, they recommend 2-4 minutes for steep time. I went with three, just to be safe.
The dry leaves and the wet leaves smell much the same. A hint of fruitiness and a lot of fresh, light, oolong scent. Even after three minutes, the brew looks incredibly pale, but has a wonderfully light, floral aroma. The initial flavour, when the tea first touches the tongue, is light, too. While it may seem ridiculous, it is almost feathery in how soft the flavour is. One is then surprised when the finishing taste is bolder than expected. In fact, it seems that the finish is bolder than the foretaste.
I can see why this tea wins awards. It really is good. Canton Tea Co’s website says nothing regarding resteeping, but I decide to try anyway, increasing the steep time to four minutes. I cannot say that the resteeping has improved or changed the flavour. If anything, it is a bit weaker than before. However, this tea still maintains its soft mouthfeel and light flavours. An indefinite steep is probably called for in order to get all the vestiges of flavour from these leaves.
I enjoyed drinking this tea, and it is certainly one of Canton Tea Co’s very nice offerings. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 77/100.
You can purchase the Pouchong directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.
Tea Company: East Pacific Tea Co (website)
Ingredients: Oolong Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: steep 3-5 min in 195 deg F water
As I learn more and more about tea, I find so many types and varieties I would have never dreamed existed, and I love trying as many of them as possible. So, tea from Portugal, how could I pass this opportunity up?
And I’m so glad I got to try this. Wow. This is a great solid, delicious tea. The aroma of the dried leaf has definite dark chocolate overtones. And the leaves are HUGE for your average black tea. While the dark chocolate tones disappear once brewed, they’re replaced with the pure essence of camellia sinensis.
The tea is smooth. Not overly astringent, nor overly bold. And from a few mistakes on my part, I discovered that it’s a very forgiving tea as well – it won’t turn tannic on you if you oversteep for a few moments. This is not a very strong tea; this would not replace your morning coffee. But that is not to say in any way that it is lacking – it’s flavorful and rich. It just doesn’t yell about it, or get your attention with a bull horn. It gets your attention with a gentle touch and a kind word.
This tea is an exemplar of what a simple yet elegant tea should be.
You can purchase the Emerald Envy directly from the East Pacific Tea Co website.
Tea Company: East Pacific Tea Co (website)
Ingredients: not listed online
Vendor Suggested Preparation: 3 minute steep time
My first experience with a British East India tea was highly positive, so it was with great anticipation I opened up my packet of what is advertised to be “a wonderful warming tea combining the spice of cinnamon and a subtle sweetness of apple.”
Thus, it was with great deflation and dejection I discovered this variety … well, just isn’t as advertised.
It sounds promising. It looks tasty–big, thick tea leaves, outnumbered by chunks of apple and spice; a nice rosy red when steeped the prescribed number of minutes.
And that’s where the positives, unfortunately, end. The dry mix smells musty and vinegary–it’s making me hearken back to unwelcome trips to Grandma Schubert’s basement to retrieve stored goods.The tea itself tasted tart and stale…I didn’t pick up tea, apple, or cinnamon flavors. Just vinegar.
It is possible that this particular sample wasn’t up to par. (That’s likely.) It is possible that this particular blend was crafted to appeal to the British palate, which I know differs in some ways from the average U.S. tea taster. (Less likely, but I’m trying to be diplomatic.) It is possible that another packet on another day might have yielded completely different results.
But today’s result, I’m sorry to say, was blecch!
You can purchase the Golden Apple and Cinnamon directly from the East Pacific Tea Co website.
Ingredients: Puerh tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use the gongfu style. A small teapot (or small amount of water) with 3-4 g of tea and hot water: 95°C (203°F) infused for just 20 secs. Reinfuse at least 6 times
Descriptions of this pu’erh say it is to be sweet and mellow. The dry cake is very spicy and sweet with a touch of smokiness. Flaking off several pieces of the larger cake into a gaiwan and prepared to rinse the leaves. The now-wet leaves carry less of a smoky smell than before. My first steeping is for thirty seconds. This infusion is sweet, spicy, and only carries the slightest of smoke-tinged aroma. My first taste is mellow, bold, and has only the slightest of rough edges. The slight smokiness does not in any way detract from the flavour. That same flavour is not overly vegetal. This cooked pu’erh really has mellowed in the twelve years since it was harvested.
The second 30-second infusion is no less smooth and mellow. This pu’erh has been a pure joy to drink so far. The second infusion tastes just like the first, except the aftertaste is a bit woodier. Not a rough woodiness, but the woody flavour is just a bit more intense.
As the infusions continue, the flavours do become more bold as the water puts the tea through its paces. This tea is faintly reminiscent of a lapsang souchong at times, because of the smokiness. After a total of six infusions, the steepings starts to weaken. I am a big fan of this tea and give it an 87/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
You can purchase the 1999 Yi Wu Cooked Brick directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.