CHA YI Teahouse

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Recent Tasting Notes


Taste is a bit artificial with a strange aftertaste. I bought this to try as a latte and it won’t be replacing their earl grey for me anytime soon. Will give it a try traditionally brewed to compare.

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This is something that I received at the Montreal Tea Festival, and I’ve previously reviewed it as well since it was being served during the festival. I’ve been meaning to brew this up Gongfu ever since getting it, but there’s just so many teas and so little time that it took awhile for me to finally get to it…

I’m actually livid about how this session turned out though – and to no fault of the tea. I was about two very lovely, very floral infusions in when I started to smell the worst smell ever from the kitchen. It got so bad, so quickly that I started to feel like I was going to throw up. I very cautiously left my tea table and ventured out to where one of my roommates was cooking, and the smell in the kitchen honestly smelled like someone was boiling cat piss on the stove. I know that sometimes that are, shall we say, “cultural differences” in how different people perceive the cooking of ethnic cuisine different from what they grew up with so I tried to ask my roommate what in God’s name she was cooking as tactfully as I could…

“Hey – what are you making? It smells… uh… unique!?”

“Oh, it’s apparently the world’s smelliest pasta! I thought it would be a fun and unique experience to try it out!”

Like – if you’re going to cook the “world’s smelliest” anything don’t you think it should be common courtesy to at the very least give your roommates a head’s up!? I’m two closed doors from where you’re cooking and the smell coming into my room has me on the cusp of vomiting. How long is our house gonna smell like ammonia and dead people!? Maybe turn a fucking fan on!?

So, suffice to say, I did not finish my tea session. The whole experience was ruined. Instead I sprayed Fabreze around my bedroom door and hid under my blankets for twenty minutes until the smell went away. I felt sick for hours afterwards though…


Song Pairing:

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Montreal Tea Festival – Tea #10

This was another new to me tea company that I saw while I was at the festival – though their booth was absolutely packed. In fact, I think it was one of the most crowded booths at the whole festival, and consistently too. We waited probably a good twenty minutes to shove our way to the front of their booth to get a clear look at exactly what they were selling – which seemed to be a mix of high(er) end traditional teas, some sort of flavoured tea in prepackaged boxes, and teaware. They also had a large tea table set up at the end of the booth where they were brewing about four different straight teas Gongfu and sampling out the teas to anyone who wanted to try them.

While I saw a bunch of traditional teas on the table that interested me, this was the one that jumped out the most to the person I was attending the festival with and I’ll admit that my knee jerk reaction was kind of to roll my eyes because, really, how nice could a Japanese Oolong tea really be!? I was feeling pretty certain it was mostly being showcased for the novelty factor, since it is an uncommon find.

However, this turned out to be one of the four teas that they were brewing Gongfu so we both decided to give it a taste and much to our surprise it was actually really good. Definitely light bodied, but fragrant and fresh with very smooth and silky notes of fresh spring flowers and an edge of something greener, but well rounded. I was definitely much more intrigued than I had been prior and, ultimately, I ended up grabbing a small bag of this one (and another tea that caught my eye) so that I could try to steep it up at home and attempt to recreate the lovely tea we were served.

I wish I had inquired more about the ratio of leaf to water they were using, and their water temperature but it totally slipped my mind in the moment. So it looks like I’ll have to put in the work to figure out the best method for this tea on my own!

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This tea actually tastes pretty much exactly like the description on the website…it’s buttery and vegetal and each steep is a little different but always extremely pleasant. I think I’m at my 6th steep now and it’s still flavourful.

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Flavors: Mineral, Wet Wood, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Intoxicating notes of orchids and lilac flowers, light, sweet and refreshing brew. Nice velvety texture. A great tea that reminds us that Spring is near!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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