Imperial Tea Court
Popular Teas from Imperial Tea CourtSee All 53 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been so bad about logging by teas! I haven’t even been all that busy. Ah well.
I had this one yesterday, and was of course reminded about how good it is. Most flavored greens have been sort of meh for me lately, but this one breaks the mold in two ways: it’s scented, and it’s a dragonwell. I’ve always loved dragonwells more than most other types of green tea, especially the senchas usually used for flavored green tea bases. This is a lovely, buttery dragonwell that is high quality in its own right. Secondly, I still love my floral scented green teas, such as this one. Really it is like being in a rose garden. So happy I happened across this one in Berkeley a year ago!
I buy this once in a while as a treat, it’s a little spendy, but unique as a blend, and I love it for night time drinking. It has the tartness of hibiscus and the bright red hue for prosperity. It’s also sweet and without any caffeine it’s a calming cup for me in the evening.
I have not made this tea since I came home with it from California, but today I wanted to try it. I mean, I just decided that I don’t like flavored greens all that much anymore, but this is different. For one, purely scented florals don’t count, really, as they are not “flavored” like so many fruity green teas are flavored. Secondly, I know this isn’t some crappy sencha base but rather a delicious dragonwell.
And delicious it was. This tea is like a revelation after drinking scores of mediocre flavored greens. The rose is so lovely, and almost fruity. I’ve never had rose go fruity on me before, but it’s funny because cteresa just commented this morning that rose can be fruity for her. Interesting! This is one of those teas I want to have forever and ever because it’s just so so good.
Interesting. I would agree with the previous taster that this is a very ethereal tea; but I would contend that it is a rather flavorful one nonetheless. The tea over all had it a prevailing flavor of dried sour apples with teasing hints of floral notes, like the scent of far away orchids wafting on a summer breeze. A more practical description would be mild but pervasive sweetness with extremely mild astringency and light floral notes. As I brewed it the tea had a lighter-medium body. I steeped the tea six times, though it probably could have lasted a few more times; the only major change steeping to steeping was a slight reduction of floral notes each steeping. My steeping times were: 2m;2:30;3m;4m;5m;7m. I would highly recommend it as a light, but interesting tea.
This remains one of the most complete Chinese greens I’ve ever tasted. The dry leaf is richly sweet, almost chocolate-like. A first steep yields nutty umami from the wet leaf and a liquor that is extraordinarily sweet and fresh, with a lingering mouthfeel I can only describe as buttery. It’s like sipping springtime. Good for at least 5 steeps. Bravo, Imperial Tea.
For my first real night in Berkeley I walked up to the Imperial Tea Court for tea and dinner. I had scoped out their tea menu before and new I wanted to order the gaiwan service of this tea. I also couldn’t resist ordering the Pork Dragonwell Dumplings… with dragonwell tea in them! Unfortunately the serene ambiance of the place when I came in has been ruined by a whiney little kid sitting at the table next to me.
When the waiter brought out my tea he brought out a gaiwan and pot of hot water, but no pitcher or other cup. He asked me if I had used this type of teacup before and I of course said yes, but I didn’t mention that I usually had another cup! I guess it was because this tea is a dragon well, but then I would have expected a tall glass for steeping I guess. Then I saw someone else actually sipping the tea through a crack using the lid to block leaves! Not sure if that is an actual “thing” or not but it worked.
Anyway, I did my best to blow aside the leaves and take sips, and the first steep of this tea was impossibly sweet and fragrant, like rose candy. This is a beautiful, beautiful rose tea. The dragonwell was light and buttery, and all around delicious. I knew I had to take some home with me, and that I did.
Also the dragonwell dumplings were delicious! Mostly porky, but with a burst of tea flavor.
I made this in my to go mug this morning before I took a philosophy midterm – I hardly felt like I tasted it until it was cold. Apparently my mind was actually focused on something besides tea.
As a lukewarm/cold tea, this was sweet with strong florals. Very honey flavored!
In one of life’s great strokes of irony, yesterday morning I tried to get a free flu shot, but the clinic ran out by the time I got out of class. Today I am definitely coming down with the flu.
I’m compensating for this by eating large quantities of dark chocolate and drinking delicious, floral-chocolate oolong. Is there anything better than a good oolong or green tea?
A couple nights ago my partner was feeling sickly, and to help him cheer up I said I loved him more than books. He smiled. Than I said I loved him more than tea. He smirked and said, “don’t go too far now”.
At any rate: oolong does a body (and mind) good, and even in my stuffy sicky state this still tastes fantastic.
So I read last night that Bi Luo Chun benefits from a longer steep than most greens. I typically steep about 45 seconds, so tonight I tried letting this steep for 2 minutes, and WOW. While previously the first steeps were a bit weak and hinted at the floral and buttery notes that could be found in the subsequent steeps, they really pop out just by adding another minute. No burnt flavor, either. I wish I’d known to steep this longer a few weeks ago!
I drank this twice today, first steep in my to go mug, and second cup after I got home from school. I’m starting to like this (partner is still in love with it). And since I’ve been reading a lot of poetry lately:
Twice or thrice had I drank thee,
Before I liked thy taste or hue;
So in a steep, so in a shapeless cup,
Green teas affect us oft, and savored be
Thanks to John Donne (one of my favorite poets).
I have a confession: I totally dumped out my cup of Rishi pu’erh and made a cup of this instead. Oh oolong, how I love thee.
Shall I compare tea to a summer’s day?
It art more tasty and more delicate
Rough steeps do shake the darling buds of bay
And a cup’s lease hath all too short a fate
(thanks Bill Shakespeare)