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drank Tea Puerh Mini Toucha by Fairway
56 tasting notes

Only had one other puerh, which was by ten ren in a normal tea bag style. That’s where I got introduced to this type of fermented Chinese tea. I remember it being kind of odd with a distinct smelliness that was fishy, just being like whatever about it. This however is quite good. It does smell a tad fishy but also a little like perfume, either way, this is damn good. I love the malty flavor. Not only in taste but its as if the whole liquid congeals into a malt, which can be felt immediately on the palate and remains ever so slightly post-sip, settling in the mouth. It’s got a base that is very earthy, it hits on the center of the tongue where I could imagine it tasting like the rings of a tree stump and woody microorganisms. Great dark amber color, which I love to see. All around it has a smokiness to the senses and reveals itself from the cloudiness in an array of complex flavors like wine and dark chocolate do. Would probably be an awesome winter tea. It’s already a good summer. I think I take really good naps with this, all warm… It is kind of intoxicating. Your head might get flushed if the brew is strong. It perks up a subtle alertness but I think it is still possible to fall asleep on. Combines surprisingly well in a tea pot with some loose chrysanthemum. The sweetness mixed in with it is another level of tasting. This could be very low quality pu-erh. I can’t tell as this is the second one I’ve tried. It would be interesting to see what the highest quality is like but I don’t think I have the time or money to seek it out. This right here is okay.

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drank Russian Caravan by Fairway
707 tasting notes

I went to New York this summer and was very excited to see a selection of bulk teas at a local Fairway market. I sniffed a few and ended up going home with about three or four of them.

I’m having this tea with a little cream and sugar right now and it is really quite nice! It is so well rounded and hearty. There is a tiny touch of smoke, a little citrus and a really nice base. I had some Marriage Freres French Breakfast this morning and this tea is very similar and hits the same spot. I could see falling in love with this, but how do I get my hands on more?! Talk my husband’s cousin into picking some up for me? It may come to that.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Sold in Fairway, was curious about it. I enjoyed how each individually wrapped white paper Toucha was easy to add to hot water or travel with.
All Pu-Erh’s taste like a basement or brackish water, this was no different. It was a bit milder than other Pu-Erh’s I tried. I don’t think I would purchase again but it’s fun to try a variety of Pureh.

25.96/lb There was 12 bowls in the plastic container.


Good for you for taking the plunge! Fairway’s tea section always strikes me as under- or poorly-marketed; tea labels don’t say anything besides the tea’s name, and the teas are just dumped in pint-size clear plastic containers, which is fine for olives and grated cheese, but not for a light- and air- sensitive product like tea.

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drank Spring Jasmine by Fairway
138 tasting notes

just got 3 good steeps from this one (as normally tends to be the case). a nice, unobtrusive jasmine flavor. not overwhelming but lighly floral. somehow i feel cleansed by drinking jasmine tea. i don’t dislike it as i’d originally thought i would! my first experience with a jasmine tea was Teavana’s Jasmine Silver Needle & it is quite pleasant. so too, is this offering from Fairway Market! for a fraction of the price. it’s also not Silver Needle. but still…a satisfying cup! good after a meal. simple, refreshing, cleansing.

1st steep i made sure water was sufficiently cooled & did 3 minutes. subsequent steeps went to 5 & 5+ min with hotter water. didn’t seem to ruin the flavor & yet the liquor was a solid honey yellow….each time! very interesting. wonder what the base tea is.

Flavors: Jasmine

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drank Organic Wuyi Oolong by Fairway
56 tasting notes

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This tea has a good balance between the two flavors, neither is overpowering.

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Keemun by Fairway
123 tasting notes

I wouldn’t normally think that Fairway loose tea would be anything special but for the price this is one nice keemun. I love Fairway and always miss it when I leave the NY area. This keemun is smooth with a slight chocolate aftertaste, not the richest keemun I’ve ever had but its a great everyday tea.

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I hate mentioning a tea I’m not sure you can get if you live outside the New York area, but this one is a winner and really reasonably priced. I’m generally not a big fan of Fairway and have never figured out what all those West Siders love about the store — the place is crowded, the customers are rude and pushy, and the help is non-existent. So when Fairway opened an East Side location, I was like “whatever.” (If you love Agata & Valentina, arguably the East Side’s most civilized store, you’re gonna hate Fairway, but Agata doesn’t have a tea department to speak of.)

So I’m checking out Fairway’s new East Side store, which is no more appealing to me than their other locations, when I spotted this organic Wuyi. It was bound to be horrible, I figured, since it was only like $1.60 an ounce and packaged in a clear plastic container that inspired very little confidence that the guys in the coffee and tea department knew anything about buying tea — storing or packaging it, either. But I bought it anyway and, much to my surprise, this stuff is really good.

It’s got this great oolong woody-roasty flavor, vaguely reminiscent of Japanese hojicha, but with a hint of peach or apricot. And despite how Fairway describes the taste on the packaging label, it’s not smoky at all, which in my opinion is actually a good thing. As the tea snobs like to say, this tea is patient, meaning you can steep it a shitload of times and still coax out some really good flavor. If you do a faux gong-fu method and use a couple of heaping tea spoons worth of tea per cup and a short steep of, say, just a minute, I’ve found I can get four great cups, each tasting slightly different, but just as good as the previous one. This oolong is on the darker side, closer to 70 percent oxidized, I’d say.

A nice tea and a pleasant surprise. And one reason perhaps to go to Fairway every now and then, even if the place is a friggin’ zoo.

3 min, 0 sec

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This was my first that I carefully paid attention to steeping my tea. It came out incredible. Very smooth, earthy taste, with a strong aromatic smell. It has a little bitter after taste, which is like all green teas I have tasted. May be due to a little long steep. Overall, I highly recommend this green tea!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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