TenRen Tea Chicago Edit

4 ratings
1 2 3 4 5
Type Tea Shop
Style Asian
Serves Loose-leaf, Bagged
Food Snacks
Features Tastings
Hours
Mon Sun 9:30 AM 7:00 PM

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Photo submitted by Rob Yaple

3 Reviews

TenRen Tea Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
4/5
Edit
Parsifal rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

Great selection, but very hard to communicate with the service staff. They are always willing to recommend a favorite or try to help however they can but its difficult to get any insight into the collection without doing a little research on their website prior to going to the shop. So if you don’t mind using trial and error to weed through a HUGE selection, plenty of great cups await you. Their selection of Taiwanese teas are second to none in Chicago and they have many things that the other shops do not and will not ever have.

TenRen Tea Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
4/5
Edit
ErikDuemig rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

Building off of what Rob said, this place is (to my knowledge) the best place to buy high-quality teas in the downtown area. It’s selection is definitely wide enough for the common tea enthusiast, and thus far, I haven’t been disappointed with any of the teas I’ve tried from them.

So far, I’ve tried some Bi Lo Chun, a loose Pu Er, and a selection known as Kings Tea (a jade oolong with a ginseng glaze).

The Bi Lo Chun is top quality, though it can be temperamental. If brewed correctly, it gives a lovely sweet green-tea taste that’s strong, but not too astringent. The Pu Er was decent—a solid tea, but nothing to write home about.

I bought the kings tea off of a recommendation from the manager (an older, polite chinese lady whom I assume is also the owner or part-owner), and was pleasantly surprised. This tea, I found, is a great after-dinner tea. It gives all the satisfaction of a good oxidized oolong (nice and roasty), but the ginseng glaze leaves a film of sugary sweetness on your tongue and throat, which will stay long after you’re done drinking.

TenRen Tea Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
4/5
Edit
Rob Yaple rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

TenRen is a small shop that has a wide variety of teas ranging from boxes of their top sellers to giant tins of bulk loose-leaf. The large tins of tea (seen in the photo) appealed to me most, and when I stopped by, I purchased small samples of a few kinds. You can also purchase tea by the cup to drink right there if you can’t wait to take it home or want to try something before you buy 14 pounds of it. In addition to tea, they have a wide variety of ginseng and other traditional herbal remedy type stuff.

I plan on stopping by again in the future to try some others, but so far I can say that I tried a roasted “Ti kuan yin” as well as a roasted “Tung ting” and a cooked pu-erh. The pu-erh was so-so but both of the oolongs had that great roasted/fruity flavor that is characteristic of good roasted oolongs. For each type of tea, they had several different versions in different canisters. Mostly differences in quality and uniformity of the leaves I would guess, but I am looking forward to sampling a few of the different Ti Kuan Yins side by side. If you ever find yourself in or around Chinatown, make sure to stop by TenRen!