Chicago Tea Garden

Recent Tasting Notes

I go this as a free sample from Chicago Tea Company so thank you so much. This looks like black and brown twisted circles. Smelled like black tea.This smells like black tea. I steeped this up. This taste like a good black tea abit malty strong but not over the top and I added sugar. This tea is really good.

silvermage2000

I had a cup this morning It was good as the first.

silvermage2000

I had another cup awhile ago.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

Mmm…second infusion brought more of a sweet taste and scent that I can now identify as a vanilla. This infusion is still pretty strong, so I bet it can handle at least 1-2 more infusions. More to come!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
LissaMarie

this is such a great tea!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

I received this very nice sample from Chicago Tea Garden last night but since it was late by the time I checked the mail, I waited until today to give it a try. The dry tea consists of brown and gold curls which were almost too cute to steep. The dry leaf smells…I don’t know…I can’t really place it but the word “malty” kept coming to me so maybe it is malty. After steeping, the tea takes on a dark red/brown shade which I found a bit odd for some reason. The brewed tea is also a medium brown shade which I suppose it to be expected. The malty scent from the dry leaf is intensified after brewing and I wasn’t sure if I was fond of the smell since it was so strong. I was standing at least 1-2 feet away and could still smell it. The taste is very smooth, earthy and malty. Honestly, it reminds me a great deal of how Dawn by the Simple Leaf tastes. It has that same sort of earthy quality…so maybe the initial scent isn’t malty but earthy…hmm.. I’m not getting the vanilla that some others and the vendor were tasting but there is a slight sweetness to the aftertaste. I wouldn’t peg that sweetness as vanilla though.
Anyway, I’m surprised I liked this tea so much because it seems most others were using really short steeps. Since I made it before getting online, I used my typical 3 minutes. It will be interesting to see how many infusions I can get out of this.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Kristin

I got this one yesterday too!

TeaEqualsBliss

I got this one TODAY!!!!

mpierce87

I like it! To me, it is Dawn without the chocolate…but in a good way.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

76

Steep Information:
Amount: 1 nest
Water: 16 oz filtered boiling
Tool: Adagio IngenuiTEA 16 oz
Steep Time: 30 seconds – I counted out loud, I did a quick rinse with hot water first.
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: not much
Steeped Tea Smell: black tea
Flavor: mild black tea, smooth sweet and a little earthy
Body: Light
Aftertaste:
Liquor: translucent light brown

I got this as a free sample (it was a limited time run announced May 25 on twitter @WorldofTea) and it arrived today. It arrived with an adorable brewing card that has space for notes. As seen in my prior Company Review, the shipping, packaging, and customer service of this store is impeccable.

I of course choose this tea for it’s name. To my surprise I am enjoying it very thoroughly, I was expecting a novelty tea. A very light mild, earthy and sweet black tea.

Resteep: 16 oz filtered boiling, 30 second counted aloud
Dark brown translucent, more medium bodied, still a sweet, perhaps a bit earthy / briny tea

I am positive I can get more steeps, but it’s bed time, let’s see how the IngenuiTEA holds the leaves overnight in the fridge?

As you may be able to see it held itself together well the first time, the second time it mostly crumbled.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/06/chicago-tea-garden-loose-leaf-pu-erh.html

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Rabs

I think I would’ve gotten this for its name as well — after reading Pratchett I have never looked at camels in the same way (those mathematical geniuses!) ;)

malomorgen

oh i’ve never been that close to a camel to know the exact scent but so far pretty much all ripe pu-ehrs ive had tasted and smelled fit the image i have of camel’s breath ;)

gmathis

I’m laughing at the thought of marketers thinking “camel’s breath” sounds appealing.

LiberTEAS

@gmathis I was just thinking the same thing. I mean… I don’t really care for pu-erh anyway… but to call it camel’s breath doesn’t exactly make me want to jump out of my seat and grab my credit card to order some.

malomorgen

once i had this pu-ehr (raw glutinous rice) and i really didn’t know what to think of it after drinking. then i found a guy describing it like this:
Haichao teablocks are small slabs of tea just big enough for a single cup’s worth (about the size of a small postage stamp & thinner than a pencil).They’re individually wrapped like pieces of candy. Apparantly, someone in yunnan decided to apply the pressed tea concept to several varieties of tea—Puerh & Jasmine (ho hum) black & green, and one I hadn’t heard of called Mi Xiang, which the package has described as having a “unique taste.” Naturally, I had to try the one I hadn’t heard of before. Problem is, the unique taste seems to be horse sweat.
The company’s website (http://ynhccom.ec51.com/) indicates that this tea is
scented with “sticky rice leaves.”

after reading that and realizing that he was kinda right bout the horse sweat i was sure i didn’t like it lol

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Really nice, spicy black tea, beautiful in dry leaf form.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

I tasted the “Aromatic”-version (roasted) of the Zealong-Oolong: The dry leaves have a light, bready smell with a bit of sweetness in it. The taste of the Zealong-tea is flourish with light bready notes in it, like fresh baken bread. After the third steep the tea begins to taste slightly sweet. The colour of the infusion is a clear, bright gold-yellow. I really like this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

Wow…just wow. This is probably the best oolong I have ever had, and that says a lot because I’ve had A LOT of oolong. Short steeps in a gaiwan are best. I think I may need to treat myself to this one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

I got a sample of this with my order from CTG. To be clear, this was absolutely fantastic! This oolong blew me away (and I am an oolong head) – one of the best I have had in a long, long time. This tea demands short (30 sec) steeps. multiple times, in a Xing teapot, and quiet time set aside for contemplation. WOW!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

76

Brewed this in a gaiwan. It’s amazing how much it really does smell and taste like sticky rice. The first steeping was a bit too astringent but all of the other ones (I think I must have done around 6 or so) were very nice.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

A new tea vendor selling a time-honored tea. My humans had the honor of trying it out awhile ago. http://bit.ly/a6wgcR

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Lori

I tried this one as well. But it seemed VERY MILD

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95
drank Golden Bi Luo by Chicago Tea Garden
328 tasting notes

Another $3 sample (including shipping)from the Chicago Tea Garden. The tea is EXACTLY like the photo with tightly coiled golden balls. I followed the recommended steeping times of 1 minute for the first infusion. This was a very mild black tea- no need to add milk to this one. There was no astringency and only a mild malty flavor was present. The vendor suggested that 8 infusions would be possible- after about 4 infusions, the taste faded for me.

As this tea is so mild, this tea would be perfect for someone who is not a fan of black teas. Personally, I prefer a punchier tea but I can certainly appreciate this tea’s quality…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

This vendor offers a great deal on samples. For $3 bucks including shipping- you get a sample of tea. So I was pretty suprised when I opened my package and received a small orange filled with pu-erh tea – all for $3. Warning – the orange was a bit moldy-well the orange and the tea have been sitting in a cave since at least 2005…

Onto the tasting- this was my first pu-erh. I rinsed the leaves first and steeped for 30 seconds as recommended by the vendor. Suprisingly, this tea is mild w/only a subtle (and I mean subtle) orange flavor. The earthiness is very slight and no bitterness. Also, suprising, is that no sweetener is needed for this tea (and I love my sugar in tea). The orange flavor was more sweet and did not have the usual tang associated with citrus…

According to the vendor, this tea is good for multiple steepings. Next time, I am going to try a longer steeping time to get the more traditional earthy flavor expected from a typical pu-erh. Unsure if I am going to purchase a larger amount but I am definitely pleased and am looking forward to trying more pu-erhs…

__Morgana__

Sounds cool — orange filled with tea!

malomorgen

looks like i should find some puehr’s that aren’t shipped directly from china :D

Lori

Definitely different and aged in the US….

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

First tea of the day for me. I really like this tea, it’s a rich black tea and a bit creamy with vanilla tones mixed in. I like this a lot.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

69

Steep Information:
Amount: 1 nest ~4.6g
Water: ~16 oz
Tool: ceramic Tea Forte solstice teapot
Steep Time: a little over 1 minute
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: rice
Steeped Tea Smell: rice
Flavor: bitter, astringent, rice, green tea
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: bitter green tea
Liquor: translucent yellow-green

As an aside this online shop has amazing customer service, packaging, and products. I highly recommend them.

MilitiaJim appreciates that it is what it says, rice tea.

I started with a quick rinse steep to loosen everything up. As the nest unfurled the leaves were smaller than I expected. I ended up needed to strain the tea as I poured into my cup.

I think I was not patient enough in letting the water cool from a boil, or 1 minute was too long to steep the leaves as it was bitter. I could both smell and taste the rice.

I’m intrigued and can’t wait to try this tea again later, I am still new to pu-erh teas so the whole rinse and tiny steep concept is difficult for me to time correctly. To add trouble I also always over heat my whites and greens!

Post-Steep Additives: none

Resteep: same as the first in preparation and taste

This gets extra points just for being different and fun.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/04/chicago-tea-garden-tuocha-green-pu-erh.html

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec
Alex Seasock

Hey, AmazonV. I just had a quick couple of questions regarding Pu-Erhs in general, as I am quite new to them. Did you pick the tuocha apart before steeping? I heard you are also supposed to “rinse” the leaves. Does this mean first rinsing the dust and such off (as some cakes, tuochas, and bricks may be of a very old vintage), or should one just plop the tea right in the cup? Thanks!

AmazonV

Hey Alex – no i don’t pick apart the litte touchas as they are for single servings, cakes need to be pried apart with a knife (i think there are good youtube videos on this)

some people rinse (steep fast and throw out) the tea first to get rid of dust and such, just pour in the water to the pot as if steeping, swirl around, then right into the sink (only a second or so) you don’t have to though if you don’t want to (don’t just rinse it in the sink, you might end up loosing leaves, use your strainer or teapot or gaiwan)

AmazonV

you’ll notice the toucha coming apart the more you steep, these steep many times, until it looks like loose leaf wiht no help needed

Alex Seasock

Great! Thanks!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

63

Infusion is a pretty copper color—not as dark nor as opaque as I would expect from a pu-erh. Substantial and full-bodied, earthy with fleeting orange notes. This could grow on me—

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

My humans felt so honored to be included in group that got to preview this tea. (No, they aren’t “buds” with the owner, just loud-mouthed tweeters who doubted that a tea could be steeped in 30 seconds). http://bit.ly/dCjcEC

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

99

Wow—just wow! If one needs proof that tea can be an amazing experience, this is it. This is the best oolong I have tried—beautifully floral, sweet, complex—wow!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.