I purchased two gaiwans very inexpensively recently, because I have been wanting to try brewing that way, and I wanted to try some pu-ers. So I ordered those from one vendor, and some various teas from Verdant. The gaiwans came during the week and I got them washed and ready to use.

I got the package of teas right before my guests arrived for a party I hosted yesterday for my doll club, so I could not dive right in. I put the package on the counter in the kitchen to open later. For some reason, my husband decided to open it while the party was going, and I got to giggle at him pulling out bags and trying to pronounce things like “Mi Lan Xiang” and “Shui Xian Wuyi.”

After the guests left, I broke out the Chocolate Phoenix Chai and gave it a try in my 4 oz gaiwan. It’s the perfect size for my tiny hands. Since the directions on the package are for a gaiwan type brewing, I gave it a try. It was all right, but that method just did not brew up as something I would describe as either “chocolate” or “chai.” Good but different. The steeping times were really short when done as per the package.

There are big green pieces in there that I think are the cacao nibs, and lots of other various bits and pieces. It’s a really interesting looking tea. It doesn’t smell chocolaty to me, or malty. It does smell good, but just not like chocolate to me.

I will try a “regular” steeping on my next cup of this, and see if the chocolate comes out for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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When I was a very young child, I swallowed an ice cube whole. It got stuck in my throat, and my mother had me drink hot tea to melt it away. That started a love affair with tea that has never abated.

I dabbled with Celestial Seasonings and other grocery store teabags for awhile, in my young and foolish days. But a few years ago, I received a tea of the month subscription from Adagio, and I found that there was a whole other world of tea out there that I had never experienced.

I love drinking tea, and I love the personal ceremony of making a glass or pot of tea for myself. It’s like a meditation.


DFW, Texas

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