Imperial Tea Court

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Jasmine Pearls by Imperial Tea Court
706 tasting notes

Song pairing: Darkside — Heart
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h7jfUUSj3M
Ethereal nature of jasmine combined with the cold and rainy front approaching quickly this morning. I better mow the lawn right now.

- – - – - -

I can’t recall what I was drinking or eating. I remember the intoxication, though.

She sat at the table next to me, both of us seeking respite, tucked away in the rear section of the tea house away from the ant-like movement of the tourists throughout the ferry building. I commented on the aroma escaping in wispy fingers from her gaiwan. We made eye contact and I was floored by the beauty that radiated from within her. She wore jasmine in her hair, plucked from somewhere in the city on her way to this quiet moment. In a style of interaction that I realize now will never happen in a post-pandemic timeline, she offered her next pour to me. I put a stranger’s cup to my lips and drank her perfume, supposedly the finest jasmine tea in the world.

Foolish decisions leave lasting impressions.

- – - – - -

I found in the kitchen a large tin of this tea of unknown age; old, that’s for sure (the address on the bag in the tin is for the original Imperial Tea Court location on Powell Street in San Francisco), but it’s still very good. Best western. Very strong jasmine can get chemical tasting if brewed grandpa style.

Flavors: Fruity, Grass, Hay, Jasmine, Nectar, Perfume, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

I did not noticed any chemical tasting while drinking grandpa! I have to prepare it in gaiwan too. Hopefully soon!

derk

I think maybe I just used too much leaf the last time I prepared it grandpa style. For a dozen or so mornings I was giving a teaspoon of pearls the thermos treatment (20 oz, lower temp water, stewing for several hours) and it ended up being a really nice tea to drink throughout the work day with no chemical taste. I dunno.

Martin Bednář

I still have alf you sent me. Keeping it for some nice afternoon.

derk

I’m so glad you enjoy this one! I have only 1 tsp left, else I’d send you more.

Martin Bednář

Don’t worry, your sample was very generous to try it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

Another Sample from derk!

I hope I’m putting this in the right place!
This is a lovely, delicate cuppa. There’s the obvious floral that you would expect, but there’s also notes of stonefruit, grass, hay, a strong natural sweetness, and did I mention stonefruit? This tastes surprisingly like peaches! It’s very lovely. The flavor is mellow enough to be smooth, but strong enough not to taste weak. Put this one on the pile of “May have to acquire for me later!” It’s one of the best jasmine pearls I’ve tried, although that’s not saying much, I don’t have a ton of experience with jasmine pearls!

Very good. Lovely cuppa. Highly recommend.

Flavors: Grass, Hay, Peach, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

Have you had peach jasmine dragon pearls from Teavivre? They are really good! I also adore their Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls, my fave of all jasmine I have tried.

Shanie O Maniac

I think I had some samples of the peach jasmine dragon pearls. IIRC, I loved it, but it’s all gone now…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Sample from derk and she don’t know how old it is. No matter what, it is still very jasmine.

Oh yeah, wonderful pearls of tea withwhite notes on them. I have tossed about 4 grams in my cup and prepared grandpa.

It turned out great. Very strong in jasmine, but base green tea was delicous as well. Very refreshing, mood lifting and enjoayble.

There is not much to write about to be honest – it’s clear jasmine tea, without any off flavours or aromas. Yeah, dry aroma reminded me rather honey, than jasmine. Maybe it was honeysuckle? I never smelled that flower, so I have no idea how it smells.

Flavors: Green, Honey, Jasmine, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I think this came from the SF Tea Festival’s promo bag that they gave away with entry in 2018. They did not give them out to all attendees this year like they did last, which was a disappointment especially with the $25 entrance fee. Anyways… on to the tea.

I’m at work where we have an instahot faucet, making it hard to refine the temp. I think I steeped this for 2-3 minutes after a 20s rinse. It turned out alright. It’s a little wet, musty, cave like in a pleasant way. I feel like I need more/better adjectives to describe puerh because my puerh vocabulary is limited! Enjoying this cup nonetheless.

Mastress Alita

I haven’t tried mine yet. I couldn’t go this year because I’m not local and I bought a house out here in Idaho where I live so my budget was firmly in the “I can’t buy plane tickets this year” category, but I was there in 2018 (my BFF lives in the Bay Area, and we met up with derk there). I still haven’t tried most of the freebies I got in the 2018 bag. I’m bummed because someone stole my teacup during the event, though. :-(

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

73

Here’s another sample that was in my SF Tea Fest freebie bag. I was happy to see not one, but two of these 4.5g mini tuocha in the pouch. I did three-8oz steeps based on color using boiling water. The liquor is very dark brown verging on black and smells like my average experience with shou puer – barnyard, fermentation but not fishy, chocolate. In the mouth, I taste wet earth and barnyard, with minerals that quickly turn salty/briny. It is a fairly clean and light- to medium-bodied shou despite its color and scent. There is no bitterness and only a hint of astringency biting in my throat. It is not a sweet tea. I am pleased to be salivating. The spent material is finely chopped and surprisingly doesn’t contain much fannings – only a fine layer of dust settled in my mug after pouring through a strainer.

Overall, I find this mini tuocha to be a nice change of pace with its strong briny quality. The barnyard aroma and taste I find pleasant and not gamey. This is something that could be kept on hand but I wouldn’t be springing for it often. It didn’t pull me in.

Preparation
Boiling 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

40

I stopped by the Imperial Tea Court today and drank this in house. Gotta say, 9 years later, my impression of this tea echoes TeaGull’s. There was barely anything to it. Medium bodied, almost non-existent flavor that was kind of bamboo-grassy-alkaline with a hint of florals. No aroma. Resteep potential was low, like two or three. I did get a nice calming effect going on, though. I have had some good teas here but this one was subpar and didn’t seem to be enough leaf for the gaiwan volume.

I liked my dumplings more.

On the plus side, I walked by a vendor on Market St on my way to the streetcar. Dude was selling tea cups and pots that he beautifully glazes and for a decent price. Picked up a blue cup that looks like it has liquid in it when the light hits the glaze just right. I asked him if he was going to be selling at the SF Tea Fest this weekend but he said he didn’t know about it. Bummer.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Yunnan Royal Gold by Imperial Tea Court
11122 tasting notes

I prefer this one than the golden ring from imperial tea court. This one has a much smoother body and less astringency. It’s got that malt that i love while still being a rich tea. Thanks for sharing these with me dexter!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Yunnan Royal Gold by Imperial Tea Court
11122 tasting notes

noms! thanks for sending this one my way dex! This is bold, sweet and malty all in one. I am a fan!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

thanks for sharing this one dexter. While it doesn’t knock my cosk off it was an enjoyable test to have tried :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

Another surprise tea from dexter. I had this one earlier in the day and sadly, i’ll have to play with it some more. It wasn’t a BAD tea..just sort of middle of the road average. Hoping that tweaking the temp/timing will result in some more interesting flavour.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

I did a comparison today with the two teas dexter sent me that were similar in nature. Turns out i like this one a little less. Again, not a bad tea but in the grand scheme of how many teas there are in the world to drink, this one isn’t a MUST HAVE. it’s a good cup, malty, a little astringency and overall good. Just not the best :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

dexter sent this one my way which is nice ‘cause i’ve never heard of this company. this is a lighter yunnan. There’s nothing here to knock my socks off but it’s still a pleasant, middle of the road tea for me. No caramel notes for me, but i’ve got more to play with to see if i can find the best way to brew it :) regardless i good cup of tea! thanks dex!

Terri HarpLady

Good morning!

Sil

i miss you!

Terri HarpLady

I miss you too! I miss having time to write tea reviews! I’m practicing my @$$ off for back to back orchestra gigs! This week it’s the Nutcracker. Also, there is the Post-Election-Pre-Apocolypse to contend with ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

noms. cocoa-y, malty, slightly fruity. thanks for sharing this one dex! Always happy to try non smokey lapsang. so delicious!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

noms. busy day of working on my vacation. had this earlier in the morning – a sample from dexter will write more another time but this is a really tasty non smokey lapsang. lots of chocolate notes and a smooth brew. tasty!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79

I guess i forgot to make a note on this one the last few times i had it. This is another from dexter and is a pretty decent yunnan black. It’s malty, strong and smooth. pretty tasty!

Dexter

I find it interesting that you did better with the Red Blossom Teas than the ones from Imperial Tea Court. :)

Sil

yeah they’re all tasty though to be fair… :) i apparently like yunnan blacks :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

UPDATE – 8/5/2016 – Determined that my steep times were WAY too long with this. Subsequent sessions are just as extended, but proceed from a quick wash, to a flash brew, to 10, 15, 20, and 30 second steeps…only gradually increasing the steep times into the minute+ range. The resulting brew is much more consistent, rounded, and pleasurable following this method, while still quite rich and even dark for the first several cups. Upping my rating a couple points as a consequence.

Recently discovered a small quantity of this tea carefully aging (read: abandoned) in the back of my cupboard where it has remained for somewhere between 7 and 10 years I think. As a “Hei Cha,” this is produced in a similar manner to raw pu-erh (fermented, but piled rather than pressed I suppose?) though I’m not familiar enough with either to speak to the similarities or differences in depth.

Placing a large quantity of leaves (which are nearly uniform in size and shape, but accompanied by what appear to be tiny, pale buds or stems?) into the ceramic strainer of my Korean-style strainer-cup I begin a long tasting session with near boiling water, finishing up with water at a full boil:

1st steep (3min): Aromas of damp stone, peat moss, well aged compost, and a dusty note that reminds me I forgot to do a 30 second wash. An abiding bitterness overwhelms the subtleties of flavor, so:

2nd steep (2min): Similar aromas, though a faint floral quality emerges as well. The flavor follows the nose closely, but adds in hints of seeds (watermelon, black sesame), peppercorn, and mowed/dried grasses. Lightly astringent, but smooth with an earthy and decidedly woody finish.

3rd steep (3 min): An additional sweetness emerges. The liquor also takes on a savory clarity, almost akin to a gelatin-filtered consommé.

4th steep (3 min 30sec): A bit lighter in color, the brew is still full flavored, though any rough edges have been smoothed out (though there is a faint herbal/root-like Chinese-medicinal quality that may not be to everyone’s taste) – this is probably the peak of the session.

5th steep (4 min), 6th steep (5min): Still in the sweet spot, these cups are nearly identical to the preceding, though they are perhaps more thirst-quenching in the finish.

7th steep (6min): The tea grows slightly paler and the flavor begins to drop off – this would still serve as a nice accompaniment to dim sum.

8th steep (8min): Continuing to fade, but gradually – if I’d started with shorter steep times, I could probably have extended this session beyond 3 hours if desired.

The appearance of the liquor is robust throughout – a clear, initially dark, rust color with amber highlights. The mouth-feel is appropriately thick while the finish is moderately drying. I can’t speak to the “energy” of the tea, but the effect of the caffeine is sufficiently present that I wouldn’t suggest drinking this in the evening.

While providing hours of evolving, meditative, energizing, hydrating enjoyment, this tea remains one-dimensional in the end. On the other hand, while not presently available from this vendor, I recall this was quite a value – and indeed, nearly a decade after I purchased this, I see Tea Spring stocks a similar Liu An for around $0.10/gram – recommend for the pu-erh drinker on a tight budget looking for a decent workaday cup.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

I ordered a cup of this while I was at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market in San Francisco. This tea was a wonderful green, I have nothing bad to say about it. It was flavorful and aromatic, giving way to that familiar vegetal scent and taste that green tea drinkers adore. It brewed a beautiful golden color, i’m not entirely sure what exactly is in the bag, but there was definitely a sencha flavor with it. Very smooth, very enjoyable, and highly recommended.

Imperial Tea Court

will you give the same review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

I got this in Imperial Tea shop in Ferry Bldg of San Francisco…don’t know the producer’s name. owner said it is mao jian type. The leaves are very green, slender, pretty, unlike typical brownish leaves. it has an aroma of refreshing grassy aroma. it tastes smooth, light, and refreshing…overall, quite light, after steeping twice, it tastes almost like water…So i guess low-caffeine. i feel very refreshed

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec
@ligongsf

i can’t upload my picture here, tried 3 times. my pic is in my computer…very frustrated

Terri HarpLady

I hate when that happens! Probably if you go back later & edit you’ll be able to get the pic to upload :)

boychik

imperial tea court images copyrighted.

Imperial Tea Court

will you give the same review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

I buy this once in a while as a treat, it’s a little spendy, but unique as a blend, and I love it for night time drinking. It has the tartness of hibiscus and the bright red hue for prosperity. It’s also sweet and without any caffeine it’s a calming cup for me in the evening.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Imperial Tea Court

will you give the same review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

This is a good example of Keemun teas. A lovely complexity rich in a subtle orchid like flavor. Really a good tea with a nice level of sweetness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Imperial Tea Court

will you give the same review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

This is a lovely Yunnan, great taste that you can tell is distinct to the region. The leaves were really what I was expecting, and offered a delicious caramel taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Imperial Tea Court

will you give the same review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Imperial Tea Court

will you give review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

Delicious smooth flavor. Best prepared with short steep times (10-30 seconds) and water before boiling temperature. It’s usually good for about 3 brewings of full flavor but you can sometimes get as many as 5 out of it.

Preparation
0 min, 30 sec
Imperial Tea Court

will you give the same review on our website that is www.imperialtea.com. It will really helpful to other customers to understand tea by reading your review.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.