Tao Tea Leaf- Bai Hao Oolong

     When I first heard about Bai Hao I slowly began my search for it. The past it had with Queen Elizabeth and it’s naming of “The Champagne of Tea” was welcoming. It was my second visit to Tao that I purchased this lovely tea. I had remembered how it tasted when it was brewed for me the first time and I longed to have it on hand.
         At home I first brewed it with a gaiwan or a small infuser basket. Eventually I acquired a Yixing pot for it that replicates womanly beauty.   The leaves are lightly rolled long ways, a few open ones can be seen. Warm earthy hues make up the tea.

           When it was brewed it had a consistent taste no matter the brewing. It was warm and sweet. It also created a salivating sensation. fuji apples, slight white peach is what I can pick up from it. Is is it the English name
or does this actually taste like warm alcohol free wine?
     I quite adore this tea. I have had some before going out many times and it is very relaxing

Go on and try it~

Tao Tea Leaf- Spring 2011 Tea Tasteing

Everyone listening and watching Tao prepare the next tea.

 It has been a fair while since June. The tea tasting at Tao‘s had left me with a large list of teas to get when I could. The tasting landed on the one year aniversary of being with Teaopia and keeping this blog.

Tea Sampling order:
1. White tea:  White Peony
                      Silver Needle
2. Green Tea:  Anji Bai Cha
                       Long Jing
                      Bi Lou Chun
3. Yellow Tea: Jun Shan Yin Shen
4.Oolong Tea: Phoenix Dan Cong (Almond)
5.Black Tea: Golden Needle
6.Pu-er: 2007 White Moon Loose (Sheng)
            Jing Mai (Sheng)


    The teas I have from this year only consist of Tie Kuwan Yin and the very delightful White Peony. I do have craveings for the smooth lightness of Anji Bai Cha and the warmth of Phoenix Dan Cong (Almond). Haveing tried Phoenix Dan Cong (Honey) it is a nice little change.
     But since the news of the rankings Tao received for some of his teas has made me eager to try this years Da Hong Pao as it received 3rd place in the North American Tea Competition. The rest of his rankings are:

  • Dragonwell (Shi Feng)-First Place
  • Keemun – First Place
  • Imperial Puer (shou) – Second Place
  • Golden Needle – Second Place
  • Da Hong Pao – Third Place
  • Silver Needle – Third Place

The previous year three of his teas were ranked, Keemun Kong Fu, Golden needle and Da Hong Pao.  Their rankings were in sequential order first, second and third place. As I write up this post I am even drinking Tao’s White Peony 2011 out of some fine china at my parents place (still need to leave my own tea equipment here). I encourage anyone that visits the Toronto Rosedale area to see Tao. I am eagerly sipping this white tea wondering what the next years batch will be like. ~

My Co-Worker thoroughly enjoying the afternoon with me

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!       

The Way of Tea- First 38 pages

Reading this book word to word, page to page, paragraph to paragrah. Each peice of it speaks of Lao Tzu, Lu Yu and Tao. The language flows smoothly with no breaks of gaps. It was hard to put it down once I started, almost missed my transfer from the Bloor line to Younge.
Gazeing at it now while siping Pheonix Dan Cong from Tao Tea Leaf (Toronto) makes me want to forget about things I have on my list to do tonight and just read. Forget about everything till I have finished reading every juicy word. I am going to stop now to finish a few things before going back to it, sleep and then back again for the commute to work in the morning.