We live a few blocks from Lake Michigan, and there's a chilly breeze coming in off the lake. It's a perfect day for a hot cup of tea.
Silk Road Teas (not to be confused with Silk Road Tea) is my favorite vendor of Chinese teas, followed closely by Hou De. Silk Road's teas are hand selected from local farmer's in China. I've been a customer for over 10 years, and have nothing but praise for the company and the tea.
Boutique "tea" shops at the mall charge a lot more for tea and teawares of questionable quality, and even more questionable origin. If you like flavored and scented teas (and who doesn't) check out SpecialTeas. They are my go to for Earl Grey 825, and I love the Peach 927 for iced tea. I've heard good things about Adagio too.
Today I'm drinking Gin Zhen (Golden Needle). I usually brew this tea in a 4 oz. yixing pot, but the boymonster recently caused it's demise. Until I find a replacement (teapot that is, I'm keeping the boy), it's wrong-fu in a porcelain cup with a Finium strainer, instead of gong-fu in a proper teapot.
Becoming increasingly rare, this shiny, small–leaf organic black tea is characterized by golden tips on top of long, slender leaves. It is the best organic lot we have tasted providing a full–bodied sweet and malty flavor and a deep amber liquor.
Wrong-fu Brewing Parameters
leaf to water ratio: 1 gram leaf to 2 ounces water
leaf: 4 grams
water: 8 ounces, just off a boil
Preheat your cup by rinsing with boiling water.
infusion one: 90 seconds
infusion two: 90 seconds
infusion three: 3 min.
Rich, complex, chocolate, malt and honey. Big time delicious! You should get three infusions out of the same leaves, the third will be thinner, but still tasty. I usually add a bit of sugar to the third infusion to perk it up.
Gin Zhen is wonderful iced. Just use 3 ounces of water to brew instead of 8 ounces, then add a nip of sugar and 5 ounces of ice. Perfection!
You can cold brew this tea too, using the leaf to water ratio above. Just pop it in the fridge for and hour or two to steep.