January 31, 2009

House of teas: Local favorite and new find

Ten-year old Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley, Calif., is one of my favorite tea shops. I've been several times and always with good friends. My most recent experience was with my friend XY.

I ordered the Hakuro and she ordered the Purple Bamboo. Hakuro is a Japansese green tea and I agree with Far Leaves's tasting notes: "fresh veggie flavor and a full creamy body." Purple Bamboo is a Chinese green. My favorite part of the Purple Bamboo was the blue floral tea pot.

The new find is ocated in Beverly Farms, Mass.  I sampled Jasmine (see above) at East Wind Tea Company but purchased 50 grams of Pouchong (highly recommended).

I had a pleasant and informative conversation with the owner, Curtis Vouwie. I learned of the Specialty Tea Institute and a Georgetown "house of tea" called Ching Ching Cha. Back to the Pouchong: two generous pinches of leaves when rinsed release a creamy grassy perfume. The leaves are large and mostly whole. I usually get several lovely and flavorful steeps from my serving size.

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