Imperial Tea Court

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Recent Tasting Notes

58

This year i am going to try more raw puerhs, i like this one its very nice not very bitter like i was expecting, some raw pus ive had have been bitter to me, i rinsed for 10 secs let rest for 3 mins and steeped for 30 secs, thank you Amy for this one :)

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

glad you liked it ok, I hope you like the tuo cha as well :)

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92

Again I am backlogging – This was a very nice pu-erh tea I had at lunch today. I believe this is the one that was 30 years old and I drank out of the gaiwan. Very dark, smoky rich flavor. I think I am getting tea fatigue right now. I like puerhs but I do not think they are worth the overly inflated price or all the hype. Perhaps I will change my mind someday. This was a great tea with our lunch of vegetarian spicy noodles and buns.

Spoonvonstup

I feel like pu’ers are always best when you can sit down and drink them with friends. They become so excited when you share the experience directly with others.

TeaBrat

I sometimes drink them with my boyfriend but he would rather have earl grey. :-)

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94

Backlogging – we had this at a tea tasting at lunch today and both loved it. Very rich, smooth, malty and sweet. Sadly I cannot really write descriptively about teas hours after I have had them. I do know I was tempted to buy it.

ScottTeaMan

I’ll have to try some samples from ITC. Also, last time I checked, they had some really cool Yixing Gaiwans. They may be easier to season than Yixing teapots. so, how do you like your “little elf” teapot? :))

TeaBrat

I like it – for oolong tea only

Jim Marks

The more tea I drink, the more Yunnan golds are becoming my benchmark for all “darker” teas (black, oolong, &c.)

Hopefully, over time I can invest in a suite of yixing and will eventually have one just for Yunnans which I am sure will improve them all the more.

Is a yixing gaiwan really all that much smaller than a 100-150ml tea pot?

TeaBrat

Jim, they are probably about the same size. I would like to go back and get some of that yunnan gold. It was quite delicious I must say. Definitely not cheap though at $14/oz

ScottTeaMan

Imperial Tea Court Ming Gaiwans are 8 oz, 236.59 ml- the gaiwans I was referring to. They can be that small. The biggest gaiwan I’ve seen is a porecelain 10 oz-approx 300ml.

Jim Marks

So that’s actually bigger than a lot of yixing tea pots. Were you suggesting they’d be easier to season simply because their geometry is simpler? I’m looking to start investing in yixing “soon” and was thinking of also getting at least one gaiwan, but this may simplify everything.

ScottTeaMan

Yes, the Gaiwans are smaller, generally speaking. I haven’t seen one beyond 12 oz. Yixings can be small too, but I have seen Yixing teapots up to 25 oz.. Personally, I like my Yixing Gaiwans at 7-8 oz (207-237ml)-and my teapots between 6-10 oz ( 177-296ml).

ScottTeaMan

Jim, I didnt see you in my message compose section, so here is some info I discussed with Amy, about Yixing seasoning of teapots & gaiwans.:

SEASONING YIXING TEAPOTS
Inbox
Sent
ScottTeaMan wrote 5 days ago
AMY:

Here are a couple links on seasoning your Yixing teapot:

http://www.gongfugirl.com/seasoning-a-new-yixing-teapot/

http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2005/05/various-techniques-to-prepare-new.html

Hope this helps. Enjoy! :))

Scott

delete
Amy oh wrote 5 days ago

hmm. that is interesting. did you use the complicated method or the simple method?
ScottTeaMan wrote 5 days ago

I believe I used the simple method. I personally think You can clean the pot successfully w/out boiling water….say just below boiling:

(from website below)

Teamaster Teaparker does not recommend the other methods where you boil the teapot. He thinks this may clog the pores in the clay. But such pores are essential to the ‘breathing’ function of the teapot. Without the pores, you may just as well drink from a glazed gaiwan/gaibei.

I was always leary of boiling the pot, I mean come on….FOR 30 MINUTES!! YIKES!!

Personally I didn’t do that. The Key is to sterilize and wash away impuruties. I didn’t boil my Yixing. You can do what you want, I’m just saying, I didn’t do that.

Jim, I hope this helps! :))

ScottTeaMan

I just didn’t want to risk damaging my teapot. I’ve read you are suppossed to fill Yixing 2/3 full with tea, but I think it is too much. That’s just my preference. I also don’t have all the equipment for true Gongfu tea preperation. They have plenty of vids on YOUTUBE if you’re interested. :))

I hope this helps.

Jim Marks

Yeah, I know how seasoning works. Which, since it involves 100% sinking the pot into tea, I wasn’t clear why one object would be easier/harder than another to season. Obviously, the pot continues to season over time, and perhaps the intricate shape of a pot poses challenges not found in a gaiwan. The question really had nothing to do with how seasoning works, which I understand, but was more about clarification as to why seasoning object A would be easier/harder than object B. Not something to get into on someone else’s tea note and this has already gone way too far.

TeaBrat

yeah, get a room people!!!

ScottTeaMan

I just meant typically smaller gaiwans are a little easier to handle, and thus seasoning may be easier. The seasoning info was only meant to help you, and I should’ve PM you, but your name wasn’t on my list.

Sorry Amy.

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89

I am going back to this one again this morning since I haven’t had it for a while. It isn’t nearly as good as the Mengku gifting raw I had yesterday, but is still a nice raw pu-erh. It seems a bit more mellow & sweet than I remember it. I don’t know if the tea has changed that much in a few months, more likely I have changed. hee hee!

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

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89

Definitely this was an impulse buy at the Imperial Tea Court where I went to have some superior yellow gold oolong but that’s another story…

Here’s my first green pu-erh tea cake! Am I fully addicted to tea? I almost got a brick too but decided to save that for next time.

I steeped this in boiled water for around 3 minutes but I also noticed the website says 180F so I’ll need to modify this in the future.

I don’t know if I can really describe this with my regular words. It smells a tiny bit like an orange pekoe which has me kind of intrigued. It’s a bit sandalwoody and a bit fruity with a hint of smoke but not overwhelmingly so. I am picking up a lot of tannins here. My tastebuds are tingling with excitement and curiosity. It has a slight effervescent quality. It is definitely a green tea but not like any other green tea I’ve tried before. Mysterious.

I did manage to steep this 3 times before I gave up and decided I’ve had too much caffeine for the day already. By the third infusion it is definitely getting a lot lighter but I suspect if I had used less hot water from the very beginning this would not be the case.

I believe this is only my second green pu-erh, they are growing on me a bit. They are a little gentler than the black pu-erhs but not as sweet and light as the white ones. I did notice ITC had a 2010 green cake for $20 so I am wondering if I should go back and purchase that one and lock it in a vault for 10 years. :)

I am definitely happy with this purchase and it will be great to see how this evolves, I expect it will get better with a few years of aging but I like it pretty well now… I wonder if I can wait long enough for it to age before I drink it all!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Mysterious. Very

Spoonvonstup

By green pu’er cake does it mean sheng / raw / uncooked?

TeaBrat

Yes – it seems like the brown ones are all shu but I could be wrong

Spoonvonstup

Ok, that makes sense. Brown is usually shu, but all shengs will eventually turn brown over a few decades or so. Shu was originally “invented” in order to mimic what happens to traditionally aged shengs, without having to wait so long. As a result, many folks find shu pu’er easier to drink, especially since sheng (like this one, it seems) are often fill of astringency for the first four to ten years.
Glad to see you getting into all this! It’s a slippery slope, my friend. I mean, just look at what’s happening to Mr. Geoffrey and Dan Congs! Hope you can fid some bricks to put away. It’s fun to just try them and check up once or twice a year to see how they’re changing.

For reference, the Artisan Revival you tried a little while ago is also a sheng / green pu’er- it’s just not so green anymore. The Xingyangs, on the other hand, were shu.

TeaBrat

Thanks for the info – yeah it does seem like kind of a slippery slope…. expensive tea! lol

Charles Thomas Draper

Well said Spoon….

ScottTeaMan

When you have a tea vault to store tea, you know you’re addicted! I didn’t say it was a problem now did I? :))

ScottTeaMan

I love Dan Congs….now there’s a tea…well I probably wouldn’t sell an organ…but one really never knows for sure! :))

TeaBrat

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a Dan Cong, I see Seven Cups has some at 25% off for their end of year sale. Might need to get one. :P

ScottTeaMan

I’ll send you some. I have some new …in a box…in the basement….that will be another tea I send you, along with brewing instructions. Now I’m storing tea in the basement.

ScottTeaMan

Amy, do u want me to send you some?

ScottTeaMan

My first Dan Cong came from Tea Spring. Totally deicious…they have some really great teas and reasonable shipping.

http://www.teaspring.com/Feng-Huang-Dan-Cong.asp

The DC I have now is from Upton Tea, but it’s sold out now.

ScottTeaMan

You are so lucky …ITC is right in SF…….LUCKY DOG!

TeaBrat

There are a lot of nice places in San Francisco For Chinese tea…

Thomas Edward(Toad)

Amy,Thank you for sending me some of this one, i liked it :)

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75

Another cup today, using a 6oz thin-walled porcelain gaiwan I drink about 2 liters. 1 1/2 tbsp of rolled leaves will fill the entire cup! Otherwise, the qi of the oolong is subtle, probably because the tea is of a cheaper quality.

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

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75

A tea that I have had much experience with. 2tbsp, brewed in gaiwan, I gave away the first steep to a coworker. Decant into a separate gaiwan for cooling and consumption. A nice tea that unfolds into a somewhat sweet liquor that is somewhat fruity.

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

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75

Drinking this in the “Wu Yi” style with a bunch of tea leaves stacked up (3 tbsp dry!) in a gaiwan makes a smooth, somewhat herbal, very slightly fruity, and malty cup that gives way to an overall sweetness. Unlike some Taiwanese oolongs, this is more of a relaxing tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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60

Mango black and Real Housewives NY. Nice way to end the day after checking my finances…..

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60

Oh my the fragrance is intoxicating! As good as, or better than, Mango Tango.

Oh hot hot hot! Hot! And… bitter? No, strange first sip. It tastes fine. Nothing really special about it though

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96

Sweet before sweetening. Not tart not bitter. It’s just right! I’m sitting here sipping this piping hot cuppa and watching phoebe and wonderland. It makes me want to dress up in a red velvet jacket and a paisley scarf with black skinny jeans and knee high boots.

Do I really need to explain myself?

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96

I went there. I did this ICED. Cold steeped in the fridge overnight. Totally tasty!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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96

Spicy Peach and “Revenge of the Zombies” 1943.

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96

This pot was fantastic! Peaches and cinnamon? Sweet lord I was melting into the couch. What am I doing with my day? Drinking pot after pot after pot of tea. Murder mysteries on the TV. Sounds good…..

Ashley Bain

I lovvve the combination of peaches and cinnamon, sounds like I will have to try this!

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96

Oh good lord. I love fruity teas. What can I say? New kid on the tea boat. Loving the spicy peach.

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72

I find this tea to be very light and friendly on the taste buds. I find that I can drink this one multiple times in one sitting without ever feeling “tea-ed out”. It’s has a very gentle yet noticeable scent that kind of relaxes you. It’s one of those easy going teas that you really can’t go wrong with.

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85

Rich and chocolately (not sweet – more like cocoa). I was initially intimidated by this tea and found the taste a little overwhelming (I may have brewed it too strong). Its now one of my favorites and a regular go to.

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73

I drink this daily at work. It doesn’t mention in the description but I believe I was told at the shop that this is a Yunnan black tea. Crisp with a little bite (I do tend to brew my black teas strong – less leaves and shorter brewing time results in a very smooth cup).

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82

This was my first venture into quality loose leaf blacktea. I picked up this and a bag of Keemun Hao Ya upon recomendation at the Berekely shop. I will always enjoy this one.

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74

My only encounter (so far) with white tea so I do not have anything to compare it to. I find I enjoy it most when brewing with more tea and slightly higher temp. Buget friendly so I can drink daily without guilt.

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86

I was looking for a nice green tea and was recommended this while at the berkeley location. Very smooth and silky as described and lingers just perfectly. I tasted this while at the shop and received a 25% discount on a batch I took home as it was last year’s harvest.

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75
drank Lychee Blossom by Imperial Tea Court
1137 tasting notes

Thanks Batrachoid!
This was an OK tea, I think I will save the 2nd one to impress people lol.

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