• Reviews

    Chicago Tea Garden Large Leaf from Old Trees Pu-erh

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: large, very dark. somewhat leathery Ingredients: puerh tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: deep reddish brown This tea was earthy with a sweet finish. The mouthfeel was very smooth and there was very little astringency. Notes of dark chocolate replaced the “forest floor” taste that is normally associated with aged tea. I’m always amazed at how many infusions can be had from a good quality puerh such as this one. After doing five, I was very tea logged but felt like I had just barely scratched the surface. The leaves weren’t even close to unfurling completely. Overall, I’ve been very pleased…


  • Reviews

    Chicago Tea Garden Ceramic Pot Pu-erh

    Country of Origin: China, Yunnan Province, Kunming Leaf Appearance: very small and dark with some golden tips Ingredients: pu-erh tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: amber According to Chicago Tea Garden, this tea is aged in ceramic pots for ten years in a man-made cave. The earthy element of this tea was softer and more refined than most pu-erhs but there was a definite mossy quality to it. This was especially true of the leaves post-steeping. It was sweet with very little astringency. I did four sequential steepings but quite a few more could definitely have been squeezed out. This tea would be great for a beginner…

  • Reviews

    Chicago Tea Garden Keemun Hao Ya A Grade

    According to Chicago Tea Garden this tea was grown in the Anhui Province of China. The dry leaves were small and very dark in color with a slightly curled appearance. I prepared this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and three consecutive one minute steepings. The liquor was coppery red in color. This tea was light and smooth with a very complex flavor profile. It was at once fruity, floral, smoky and malty. At times it reminded me of freshly baked bread as well. I love a tea like this because without realizing it you automatically slow down and focus your attention to catch all of the little changes in…

  • Reviews

    Chicago Tea Garden You Zi Cha Pomelo Pu-erh

    As Chicago Tea Garden explains on their website this tea is made by hollowing out a pomelo, mixing the fruit with oolong tea and then putting it back into the rind. The fruit is wrapped in wire, slow-dried over a hearth, and allowed to age.The dry leaves were very dark in color and tightly packed. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and three consecutive 45 second steepings. The liquor was a light bronze color. This tea had the earthy flavor that one would expect from puerh with an added hint of citrus flavor. This became more and more pronounced with each steeping. It also had a thick…

  • Reviews

    Chicago Tea Garden Green Elephant Pu-erh Beencha

    According to Chicago Tea Garden these beenchas were manufactured in 2005 and stored in a man-made puerh cave in the United States. The dry leaves had a dark and flakey appearance. The aroma was sweet and earthy, more reminiscent of good top soil than the forest floor smell you get from many puerhs. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and 40 second steepings. The liquor was a deep and murky chestnut in color. The first infusion was very mild with just a hint of a smoky aftertaste. The second was woodsier tasting and had a sweet finish. The third was a just slightly toned down version of…

  • Reviews

    Chicago Tea Garden Silver Needle White Tea

    This tea was sourced by David Lee Hoffman in China’s Fujian province in the spring of 2010. The dry leaves were largely unbroken and covered in the downy hair that usually denotes as silver needle. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 160 degree water and one minute infusions. The liquor was so pale that it was practically colorless. This tea was everything a silver needle should be and then some. The first infusion was very sweet and delicate but it was the second really knocked my socks off. It was a fuller, rounder version of the first which really brought out all of the layers of flavors. It was at…