30 January 2009

A Good Tea Is Hard to Find

It's kind of sad how surprising it is to find truly good tea.

But when you do, after just a few sips, all that frustrated longing, disappointment and heartache fades; delight starts to warm you, inside and out.

It might only last for five minutes- but you can always make another cup.

So far, every sip I've had of David's Tea offerings has had this effect. It's a year-old Canadian company whose age belies its almost paralyzing selection- over 100 teas, ranging from pure, premium estate blacks and greens to flavored oolongs, herbals and unusual blends.

I first tried the sencha ashikubo ($9 for 25g; pictured right), a Japanese green which is dried over wood fires, giving a pleasantly roasted, milder taste than expected. Even though I love that traditional grassy-green sencha punch, this tea would be ideal for someone who thinks they don't like Japanese greens.

And if they still don't after a cup of this, I am always available to deliver a real grassy-green punch to help change their mind.

The quangzhou milk oolong ($9 for 25g; pictured left) is a knockout in its own right.

It brews up a luminous gold color, with a surprising scent of heated milk.

Names are so often little more than a marketing tool, but this tea lives up to its moniker: the taste and texture are somehow creamy, with a perfectly balanced sweetness and faint floral undertone.

Subsequent brewings don't diminish the impact, either. After the first cup, this oolong's leaves really open up and give almost as much flavor to the third. It's grown in China's Wuyi Mountains, which turn out my favorite oolongs, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how much I adore it. But it really is a very special tea.

Just look at all the loose leaves below (clockwise from top, Turkish delight, quangzhou milk oolong, sencha ashikubo): they're fresh, incredibly fragrant and you can tell they've been treated well. They can't wait to get in your cup.

David's Teas even has me reconsidering my tea snobbery when it comes to tea blends- how is it possible to resist, with names like pumpkin spice, gunpowder taffy, lime bang, bear trap?

Just what I need, more fuel for my addiction. Damn you, David.


Anonymous said...

I agree whole heartly with your comments-the incredible selection and ease of ordering from David's Tea on line has created a whole new appreciation for tea for this Saskatchewan resident.

lazysundae said...

and damn YOU ana, now i have to try for myself. the milk oolong sounds delicious!