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    Chicago Tea Garden Camel’s Breath Pu-erh Toucha

    I have to admit that the name of this tea intimidated me quite a bit. I had to save it for a day when I was feeling brave enough. This tea is compressed into little concave cakes that are individually wrapped in tissue. I brewed this tea in a porcelain gaiwan with 212 degree water using 30 second steepings. The liquor was incredibly dark and almost murky from the very start. I hit my limit after four infusions but this tea definitely could have kept going. Luckily for me there wasn’t much to worry about. This was actually a very enjoyable tea. It was strong but sweet, reminding me of a good Irish…

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    Chicago Tea Garden Competition Grade Tie Guan Yin

    Did I mention that I love the Chicago Tea Garden? This is yet another tea sourced from David Lee Hoffman. This a lightly oxidized oolong tea that is rolled into tight little balls. The dry leaves were varying shades of deep green and had a lightly floral smell to them. I brewed this tea in a porcelain  gaiwan using 190 degree water and 30 second infusions. The resulting liquor was a deep gold color with a sweet aroma. I must have done at least eight steepings. Even though I am an oolong fanatic, Tie Guan Yin is probably one of my least favorites. I often find the floral aspect of the flavor profile…

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    Chicago Tea Garden Sticky Rice Toucha

    Even though I drink as much tea as I do, the complexity of Pu-erh intimidates me so I don’t have it very often. Every once in a while I will get brave and order a sample or two. This tea is yet another one sourced from David Lee Hoffman. If any tea can be described as cute it is the pu-erh toucha. These neat little compressed balls of tea are simply adorable. I was immediately struck by the rich and nutty aroma, even before steeping. According to Chicago Tea Garden this is caused by it being stored with the herb Nuomixiang for several months. I brewed this tea using a gaiwan and boiling…