Edited to add: One of the waitresses read the canister to me tonight. I had to ask her to repeat the name of this tea several times because i couldn’t understand her at first and it was noisy in there. I was right! It was indeed oolong tea, specifically Da Hong Pao! This is the most unusual one I have tried, smelling richly of chocolate and less nutty than some, but oh so smooth.
We went to the Asian buffet to get take out last night, and the young man at the cash register heard me on the phone with youngest asking her to make a pot of Silver Jasmine Green to go with it. He asked about the tea I liked, and pulled a pretty red canister with decorations out from under the counter. It was quite large.
In the past when we were dining in, I had asked if they had tea and they responded, “Black”. He told me that this was the tea the waitresses drank. I asked where they got it and he said they got it from China, and that most of his waitresses came from Fujian. I asked what kind it was and he wasn’t sure. He said he only knew that it was high in caffeine. I asked how they made it, and he said they put it in a cup and watch the leaves, maybe ten minutes, he didn’t know. Then he said they just wait for the leaves to enlarge and then they drink it.
Well, ten minutes sure didn’t sound right to me! I am guessing that he doesn’t drink tea or they would have been sharing this with him. He did mention that his brother drinks tea so that reinforces my belief that he doesn’t. I sure am glad he cared to talk to me about tea, though!
He got out a take out soup container and asked if I would like to try it. LOL! OF COURSE I WANT TO TRY IT! IT IS TEA! AND I HAVE NEVER HAD THIS ONE!!! He sent a generous sample home with me.
Since tea for supper was already being made I saved it for today. As I told the cashier when he opened the canister and held it out to me, these leaves smell super chocolatey. The leaves are huge, I mean HUGE, and so very dark. I would say they are black and deep army green.
I steeped a bit in my 4 ounce gaiwan for about thirty seconds. The chocolate aroma persists, similar to the aroma of Chun Mei from Teavivre, but it doesn’t taste the same as Chun Mei.
This has great strength and body, lots of flavor, and really isn’t grassy, sour, or astringent. I wonder if this may even be some type of oolong? I have made two steeps and they were both great. Now I just need to find out what it is!