I was recently sent some tea samples from Choi time a company that imports specialty teas from China.
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I was sent four types of tea, Jasmine Green Tea Pearls, Thousand Year Red, Exotic Mixed Flowers and Damask Rose Tea. Those of you who know me will know that my dad lived in Beijing for two years while I was in Sixth Form. While he was out there we came and stayed with him in Beijing, (See photos here!) We spent a lot of time buying tea from all over China, of which we still have a lot still to get through!
This is just a sample of the tea we have, we have a whole cupboard with teas from around the world!
The first tea I tried was the Jasmine Green Tea Pearls.
The first thing that struck me about these pearls was the delicateness of the jasmine scent. The Choi Time tea is made from green lu-cha tea leaves. During the drying process the leaves are naturally scented with thousands of jasmine blossoms.
I made 6 cups with the same leaves, the tea was perfectly flavoured every time. I didn’t even get a hint of that horrid bitter taste, which to me is a sign of a quality tea.
The second tea was the Thousand Year Red.
These types teas are my favourite. Add the water to your mug/teapot first and watch the bulb unfurl into a beautiful flower right in front of your eyes. It never gets old! I always get them out when I have friends round! Even coffee drinkers want one!
The thousand year red is made from white needle green tea leaves, naturally scented with jasmine, and hand rolled.
The green tea flavour was milder than the jasmine pearls but it was still lovely and refreshing.
You wouldn’t think you could beat the thousand year red but the next tea really stole the show, and was something new to me! Giant flowering Tea Bulbs
Egg shaped and very peculiar looking, these bulbs opened up into floral daisy chain!
It sat at the bottom of the tea pot for a little while, then suddenly it came to life, floated up and out emerged some lovely exotic flowers daisy chained together!
This was by far the most impressive tea in terms of visual impact but I was left disappointed at the strength of the tea it produced. I was hard pressed to detect any flavour. I left it to steep for a good 10 minutes and could barely detect a thing. Perhaps its because we are in an area of particularly hard water, or that I prefer strong teas over mild ones but couldn’t help but feel a little let down by such an impressive looking tea.
The final tea I tried was the one I was most looking forward to, Damask Rose Tea.
It had a lovely scent of turkish delight and english gardens. It even gave a strong colour to the water. The flavour was delicate if a little too delicate for my tastes but it becomes stronger the more you drink.
I recently went into Fortnum and Mason and saw that they were selling bulb teas for £75! If you want to impress your friends with some authentic, award winning imported tea then enter the code ‘femgeek‘ at checkout and get 10% off your order!