Imperial Tea Court

Recent Tasting Notes

80

I ordered a cup of this while I was at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market in San Francisco. This tea was a wonderful green, I have nothing bad to say about it. It was flavorful and aromatic, giving way to that familiar vegetal scent and taste that green tea drinkers adore. It brewed a beautiful golden color, i’m not entirely sure what exactly is in the bag, but there was definitely a sencha flavor with it. Very smooth, very enjoyable, and highly recommended.

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85

I got this in Imperial Tea shop in Ferry Bldg of San Francisco…don’t know the producer’s name. owner said it is mao jian type. The leaves are very green, slender, pretty, unlike typical brownish leaves. it has an aroma of refreshing grassy aroma. it tastes smooth, light, and refreshing…overall, quite light, after steeping twice, it tastes almost like water…So i guess low-caffeine. i feel very refreshed

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec
@ligongsf

i can’t upload my picture here, tried 3 times. my pic is in my computer…very frustrated

Terri HarpLady

I hate when that happens! Probably if you go back later & edit you’ll be able to get the pic to upload :)

boychik

imperial tea court images copyrighted.

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81

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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88

This is a good example of Keemun teas. A lovely complexity rich in a subtle orchid like flavor. Really a good tea with a nice level of sweetness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84

This is a lovely Yunnan, great taste that you can tell is distinct to the region. The leaves were really what I was expecting, and offered a delicious caramel taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

Delicious smooth flavor. Best prepared with short steep times (10-30 seconds) and water before boiling temperature. It’s usually good for about 3 brewings of full flavor but you can sometimes get as many as 5 out of it.

Preparation
0 min, 30 sec

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79

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.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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97

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C

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97

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!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Memily

This is the first time I’ve heard of Dragonwell and two people I’m foowibg have reviewed two different Dragonwells today! Gonna have to check it out.

Memily

Er… following, not foowibg. Thanks, autocorrect. (Though I do love foowibg people, this is not the time or place.)

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97

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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97

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.

Claire

I think that’s a thing Imperial Tea Court does – I seem to recall them supplying gaiwans but no cups.

Terri HarpLady

This sounds awesome!

Mercuryhime

That’s how they always used gaiwans in Chinese period dramas. I didn’t know about pouring the tea into a separate cup for drinking until Steepster. Sounds like a place I’d like to eat at sometime!

Dinosara

There was another woman who had a whole tray setup with pitcher and cups, so perhaps they only provide those with certain teas (black? puerh?). It was very fun, though.

Mercuryhime

Sounds totally fun! Is there a place in NYC where you can get tea service like this? Hmmm

Bonnie

Ku Cha in Boulder and Happy Luckys have gongfu service providing gaiwan/yixing/porcelain small pot depending on tea type. I spoke to the manager of the Dushanbe because the didn’t provide gaiwan’ s at all and are a famous tea house. You have to speak up and let shops know what you want so that they will begin to change.

Indigobloom

That sounds absolutely stellar, dragonwell dumplings!??

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96

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96

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!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JasonCT

Hmm not sure about his tea since I like my tea hot ;)
How did the exam go?

Claire

As long as I receive a good grade on the essay portion, then I definitely got an A. :)

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96

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96

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Nik

He obviously knows you quite well. =) Feel better soon, Claire!

Claire

Thanks Nik! I’m about to go curl up in bed and see how I feel in the morning.

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96

Drinking this again today – I can taste and smell more orchid mingled with some intense florals. There’s also a bit of a savory flavor that reminds me of green tea. Nearly vegetal, but not quite there. Also faintly malty.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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96

This is another tea I received for my birthday, and it’s absolutely delicious! Delicately floral with a hint of malty/chocolate flavor. A bit more understated than the green oolong with a spicy undertone.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Happy Birthday!!!

Claire

Thank you! :) It was September 8th, and I got 3 really amazing teas. :)

Terri HarpLady

Playing Happy Birthday for you on my Harp, better late than never!

Claire

Thank you Terri!

Lesli

This sounds terrific. Chocolate.. in an oolong?! What’s more perfect?

Nik

Happy belated, Claire. =)

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97

This is my very last few teaspoons of this tea. Goodbye delicious green tea! My sadness is slightly remedied by the fact that I have so much tea still to drink.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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97

I have enough tea left for just one more steep after this, and of course now I have fallen in love. The flavor is so delightfully floral like an oolong, balanced by the pan-fired flavor of a good chinese green, and I think I taste sesame oil.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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97

I’ve already drank two cups of this since I came home. I know there is a debate over how much caffeine is really in tea, but I always feel so calmed after I drink a good green tea or oolong. It’s the best thing after a really long day.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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97

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!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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97

The amazing green oolong is now gone and I mourn its loss. This green is finally growing on me and I will miss it too when it is all gone!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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97

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).

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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