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    Chicago Tea Garden Zealong Pure

    I’m always excited to try teas from unusual or new growing regions. Chicago Tea Garden is the first company in the United States to sell Zealong, the only tea that is produced in New Zealand. It is grown naturally without the use of chemical fertilizers. The dry leaves resembled a typical hand rolled oolong and had a strong, woodsy aroma. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 195 degree water and 40 second infusions. The liquor was bright and brassy in color. The first infusion was sweet and somewhat floral with a thick mouth feel. Each subsequent infusion brought out subtle changes in the flavor profile that really made this tea…

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    Chicago Tea Garden Rose Scented Pu-erh Toucha

    According to Chicago Tea Garden this tea is scented with rose petals. The dry cake smelled just as you would suspect of a rose tea but it was a bit earthy as well. It reminded me of the way soil smells right after a rain shower. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and 30 second steepings. The liquor was surprisingly light and clear for a pu-erh. In comparison, many of the pu-erh teas that I have tried had an almost opaque appearance. Floral teas can be tricky. I find that they tend to be either under or over done most of the time. The pu-erh was definitely…

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    Chicago Tea Garden Jasmine Scented Pu-erh Toucha

    This tea was presented in the form of a compressed toucha wrapped in tissue paper. According to Chicago Tea Garden it contains the petals of the jasmine sambac, which is the night blooming flower traditionally used to make jasmine scented teas. I brewed this tea in a porcelain gaiwan with 212 degree water using four subsequent 30 second steepings. The liquor was a bright copper color and had a light floral aroma. At first I was on the fence about this tea. At times it was a little too astringent but at others it was a nice balance between the sweetness of the jasmine and the earthiness of the puerh. The third infusion…