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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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Comments

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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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: I’m in LOVE with these teas.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Tasty teas that I enjoy, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but wouldn’t seek out. They don’t quite do it for me in one aspect or another; often just not quite my style
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.

Location

Ohio, US

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