Chicago Tea Garden
Popular Teas from Chicago Tea GardenSee All 28 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Oh, this is really neat. Thanks, Incendiare!
I made 3 steeps at the same time, so I’m sitting here with a plate containing 3 8oz tea mugs and a brownie cupcake. Yum!
From the smells, I like the second steep better. (I did a 30s rinse, 1 min steep, 1.5min steep, 2 min steep.) It smells of green tea, and sweet sticky rice dessert. The stuff a Filipino coworker made for me once so I could eat something at a company potluck. So. Good.
Now for taste… It is indeed sweet and green, reminiscent of rice pudding that’s been toasted onto the side of the pan. Really quite interesting. I overdid it for the second steep, and prefer the first. The second is going bitter, so I’m going to toss it. Oh boo, the third is going bitter too. (It’s 10:30 pm and I have 3 cups of tea to drink, so I think this is acceptable!)
Let that be a lesson for people who are going to try this. 1:30 and 2:00 are too long for the second and third steeps. Best to be more conservative.
Well, I’m going to drink the first steep, eat my brownie, and try a fourth steep. :)
Thanks Incendiare for the sample!
I was a bit nervous about trying it because I’d never had tuocha, but after reading what everyone else did, I feel fairly confident I’m doing this ok.
And wow – it really smells like sticky rice! It does taste as deliver, with the slightest tackiest mouthfeel and a slightly sour aftertaste. This is… unusual? I’m happy I tried it but I don’t know that it’s for me. :P
I think this one is pretty good, but I think it depends on the palate. It does smell just like sticky rice, though in taste, it is mildly pu erh. It is probably one of the lighter pu erh infusions I have had before. I think this could be a really nice tea when you want something with a bit of body, but not overwhelming. This one comes from Incendiare and she has it when we was sick, and I think that is a good time to have it, though for me tonight, it is a cooler night, so it has just the right body and depth.
It is pretty unremarkable in flavour, because it it rather plain, but it is still tasty. I know that sounds contrasting, but I just mean that there isn’t a wow factor, just a nice and simple yum factor..but I don’t think I would go out and buy this for regular use. I wouldn’t mind haveing a few of the tuochas around though, do those rare occasions where I want something simple and tasty like this.
I had one piece from the Traveling Tea Box Pass B, which I think is stuck at the moment! Anyhow, this is a good tea! It smells like sticky rice, and it almost tastes like it too! It is green and crumbly when steeped. I removed the first steep like I usually do with pu-erh, and I drank the next one. I would have done more steeps if I had more time, but I didn’t. It is a mild tasting pu-erh for sure. It is light and brews a pale yellow green color. There is some rice taste to this green pu-erh with slight astringency towards the end of a sip. I am glad to have tried this interesting and new-to-me tea!
What? I had this tea ages ago and I thought that I had finished it off and written tasting note. Two surprises: I found a little tuocha today in my collection AND I guess that I haven’t logged this at all.
Puerh and I have an odd relationship — sometimes it’s brilliant and a nice change from my usual cups and sometimes it’s too earthy, dirty, fishy. I never know which to expect, but I usually know right after the water has been added. Giving this cup a sniff, it’s starchy, very much like cooked, dry rice. You know the rice that is a bit dried, but not toasted? That’s what I picture with this tea. I’m surprised that it calls for a 30 second steep time. It’s like dipping your toe in the water, hardly enough time or area for a dip!
Sipping… most of the flavor comes at the very beginning of the sip. I don’t find there to be much substance as the sip fades. It’s reminiscent of rice, but there is something leafy.. almost a little dried & and hay-like in the background. I almost want a little bit more of that starchy, sweetness.. but it is quite yummy the way it is. I’m sad that Chicago Tea Garden isn’t around any more… so I’m going to have to find an alternative supplier of sticky rice tuocha. I could definitely see myself drinking more of this kind of tea in the future.
I cheated a little bit with this one, but it was totally worth it. I wanted…..NEEDED….tea this morning. Lots and lots of stress – nuff said. I wanted a black or oolong tea and this sample caught my eye. I can not believe I have had it for three years! When I poured the leaves into the pot it looked a little shy of how much I needed so I added quite literally just a few hard little pellets of Zealong Aromatic.
The result was excellent. This may have suffered a bit for aging, I don’t know, but I do know that having a good cuppa shifted a few burdens and lightened the load.
The liquor was very light, but the flavor had lots of body and heft, and there was a floral sweetness running alongside the dark roasted oolong, possibly from the addition of that tiny amount of ZA.
I have already had a couple of Zealong teas and enjoyed them very much. I was going through a samples basket and saw this package still sealed, and it must be ancient! I think it came from Quiltguppy, and I really miss her! She introduced me to some amazing teas.
I had this as an “after Sunday-brekkie” tea. I was up at 5:30 cooking for the chickens and tending them, then took their eggs and made a nice breakfast to share with hubby, and afterward we sat on the sofa drinking this. It is cloudy, drizzly, and chilly, so it was an especially welcome cup today!
Even though this is an old sample, the tea tastes quite good. I think it must have been an eleven on a scale of one to ten when it was fresh. There is a lot of that rock or mineral flavor that oolongs often have, a wonderful floral/fruity aroma, and smooth smooth smooth! We did about five or six steeps.
Tea friend Sandy here on Steepster actually went to tea at the plantation where this was grown! Maybe she will chime in with that experience for us!
Sipdown, 199. This was a very tasty tea so it is kind of sad to see it go because it’s never coming back! CTG being closed and all. I’m also sad that I wasn’t as into tea when I lived in Chicago because it would have been great to visit this place while it was still open.
For whatever reason this cup isn’t quite so buttery as the last one; I think it is possibly that the last one I had was more concentrated that I originally intended, although it turned out very well. Still, it’s fresh and green and floral with light buttery notes, so it’s making me a happy camper anyway.
Thanks to Ellen for sending me some of this tea in our recent swap! It’s sad that Chicago Tea Garden is no more because they had a lot of nice teas.
Upon steeping, this tea smelled amazingly buttery and floral and delicious. I tell you, I’ve been tasting a lot of teas this weekend that are not quite up my alley, but this is a return to form. This is a green green TGY, and I love it. Lots of warm, thick buttery notes, a certain creaminess, and a bunch of florals. Mmmm. Almost makes up for the fact that it is snowing heavily today (and is supposed to continue into tomorrow!)
Alright so I’ve given this tea a shot in my yixing the other day, and I was underwhelmed.
I could hardly taste anything! I didn’t understand what was happening…
I really can’t rate it simply because the ‘tea’ tasted like water basically, though it was colored. Ah well.. I am going to try again soon.
Holding off rating for now
It’s been ages since I’ve had this tea and all I have been wanting to drink lately is black tea.
Possibly because of the weather? Usually oolongs are my favourite, but I am finding myself disinterested in green oolongs. Perhaps the summer will turn this around. I’m still stalking the Verdant tea website waiting for the Laoshan Black to come back in stock ;( Hmph.
Quick smell of the dry leaves gives a nice sweet malty note.
First steep I get sweetish caramel notes with smoke. Definite smoke. Delicious. A little bit of a harsh edge mid-sip, but it is very lovely still. The smell is delicious. The lingering taste is malty raisin.
Goooone! I bought this like over a year ago from Rachel on Teatra.de. It looks like it might be being sold at another vendor since CTG closed. It only got through about 5-6 steeps before it lost its zazz.
Another sample to finish and use for my post dinner tea with my husband. He doesn’t mind Oolong so hopefully this will be a hit with him, I notice other Steepsterites have rated it highly.
I love the little hand rolled balls that Oolong come in with each one unique in shape and colours. This Oolong is a mixture of dark green, brown and dark brown but I also want to note that I can also see what looks like stem in a few places. The scent is buttery and floral and there is also a delicacy to it.
Once steeped my tea is golden yellow in colour with a sweet floral toasted aroma. Very refreshing and warming at the same time. In taste the toasted flavour is the first element before it changes to a floral rather buttery affair that vanishes very quickly. There is also a little buttery hint at the end whilst it’s mellowed and the flavours truly are spot on. It does pick up in strength but remains smooth.
Delicious. It’s a hit for my husband too and is a very nice introduction to our pudding (home made orange sponge cake with vanilla custard..hubbies favourite).
Today I decided to finish some samples that are taking up space and I really should aim to remove the samples from my cupboards (both real and virtual). This morning I received my Adagio order which included their personaliTEA so I may as well test the teapot with my samples. :)
This tea is dark green/brown in colour and consists of thin and fairly long curly shapes. There is a sweet nutty scent with woody yet floral and fruity tones. A lot going on there but it’s pleasant.
Once steeped the tea is light yellow in colour with an uplifting floral earthy scent. For my first cup I waited roughly 1 minute from when the water was poured from my new teapot into my cup.
In flavour this green tea has grassy, nutty, floral, sweet, freshly woody and fruity. In essence this tastes like you would expect and imagine from a green tea but this particular blend is magical. The more I drink this tea the more I can taste all of these different flavours. There are many different layers to taste and each one works well with the other.
Now let me explain my flavours and descriptions. The nutty factor is similar to almond crossed with a peanut or sesame seeds, it has that dry slightly salty and rich flavour that is not overly strong but very noticeable. Amongst the nuts are sweet grassy tones (like fresh cut grass) with a kick of floral hues that remind me of peony blended with a crisp almost pear like fruitiness.
I was honestly not expecting much after my first experience with Chicago Tea Garden which was not a happy one when I sampled their Sticky Rice Pu-erh Tuocha (which was really not to my personal taste). This tea however has impressed me with it’s combination of flavours and as a whole it’s character.
I’m happy to drink this and watch the world go by while I’m looking for a nice orange cake recipe. Bliss.
Instead of reading an article and writing a paper on it, I’ve been gawking at tea sites, listening to music, and now, finishing off my last piece of Chocolate Bourbon Walnut pie. What am I doing with my life?!
This is quite mellow this time around, maybe because I gave it a really good rinsing.