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    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…

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    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…

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    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…