Xantou Mandarin White- Lauriam Tea House

 Lauriam Tea House is located in Bowmanville, around a hour and a half drive to about 2 hours by train east of Toronto. My mom introduced me to the shop when I was still in school and now it is a favorite hangout when I visit my family. Tea is served to you in a white tea pot along side delicate china cups. As I was introduced to Afternoon Tea through this tea ware before it has become quite nostalgic. This tea is a White Tea Puerh, which has absorbed the sweet mandarin qualities of its fermentation “container”. The leaves are dense inside the dried fruit, I had to resort to using a pick from my tea tools to pick enough leaves out.  The wet leaves are quite young and very uniform in size, being not longer than an inch.  They smell subtly sweet, unlike the dry leaves which have more of a mandarin smell to them.
       The resulting tea is creamy and sweet. Coaxing out a salivating sensation. There is a sweet peach taste on the back of my tongue, which is the reason for me keeping such a tea close at hand. The liquor is a beautiful amber hue. I found it slowly dissipated in colour over the infusions I was able to coax out of the leaves. At this finial infusion only the salivating sensation remains and a dull sweetness with no characteristic I can pin point.
     I have bought this tea quite a few times over the last few years. Only pulling it out to get frustrated with the “container”, something that I just have to learn more about over time.Much practice is needed for this storage method of Puerh.

Toronto Tea Reviews

     After alot of contimplateing on the direction of this blog, I feel that I need to do regular tea reviews. These will feature Toronto teas mostly, the odd ones will be from Bowmanville.  Once a week I will post a review, from either the shop or from my own desk (while I study Japanese).   I hope to focus on smaller tea shops just because I love them all so much.
   For the first while I may do more than just one review a week, my tea cupboard is full (over 30 varieties). I am hoping to work out a structure for the reviews today at work. I am very eager to start as I have teas from all over the city. Here is a list of shops I have tea from at this very moment:

     I hope these reviews get new people into all the shops or spark a new love for tea. I started drinking loose leaf after watching too much anime and some health issues which required me to be more aware of my stress levels. Now over 3 years latter, my health is much better and tea has taken over a large portion of my life. In the New Year, 2012 The Year Of the Dragon, I hope to be enrolled in the Tea Sommelier program. I have put this off for too long and next year will be a good year to start this process. Getting to the end my take some time but I am eager to meet new tea friends. 

         On top of all this news, I have joined the Tea Guild of Canada officially. The first meeting is this month and after checking the member list I am glad that I will see many familiar faces.  

    On a quick side note I am hoping to come up with a list of questions I get from customers and have some research posts. This may take some time for me to accumulate a few to look into but this project will be quite interesting. I am not going to leave any question out, simple or as complex as they get. As well my Japanese classes are going very well (began April 5th), I am beginning to find ways to include Japanese into my art (check out Split/Gender). Not just my regular stuff but my tea art as well, stay tuned as these works WILL find their way on to this blog!