Last month I briefly described my Excursions to LA and Little Tokyo (and not quite “excursion” to J. Paul Getty). Though necessary at the time, I glossed over one stop that I’ve been meaning to unpack (both literally and figuratively thanks to my recent move): Chado Tea Room. Chado Tea Room was a delight to visit and my lasting regret is that I couldn’t have arrived while they were already open unencumbered by my morning tourist regalia and odor. As I was gifted a copy of their adorable, fairly expensive tea catalog (pictured below) I’ve been meaning to review one of their teas and am excited to finally be able to do so.
Although I don’t like making hard and fast opinions, I will say that Tai Ping Hou Kui is one of my absolutely favorite teas, a flavor I’ve been pining for some time now. Sadly though, due to its relative scarcity in the States, I’ve only reviewed one or two so far on this blog. And so, I was over the moon when I spotted a “Chado Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui” in their catalog last month. Suffice it to say, I snatched up an ounce or so without giving it a second’s thought (a scary level of consumerism, but not all that surprising considering, hello, LA). In the ensuing chaos of the flight back, the apartment move and a recent medical procedure it goes without saying that I forgot what I bought from which vendor during the trip. So it is that when I dragged myself out of bed this morning and began the hunt for a suitable tea, my attention inexorably landed on Chado Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui.
In aroma, Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui has an exotic floral aroma that might be described domestically as an infusion of watermelon and lemongrass. In contrast, the loose leaf, upon opening the bag, has an incredible and enticing buttery aroma. In flavor, the lemongrass shines through, with a very pleasant buttery aftertaste. Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui’s texture is probably one of the reasons I enjoy it so much: a subtle tip peeks through a curly/zing-like tongue. Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui’s liquor can only be described as a dirty jade, while its spent leaves’ describe a well cared for, secluded childhood.
Chado Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui is, hands down, one of the very best examples of delicate Anhui Green I’ve yet encountered. Very highly recommended!
- Aroma – 95
- Taste – 94
- Texture – 95
- Spunk – 95
- Rarity – 92 (found only on their “reserve list” for what that’s worth)
- Availability – 94 (I paid ~$9/oz in store, $16 on the website)
- Appearance – 94
- Organic/Fair trade – 92 (while this tea is not, Chado does seem to prefer selling Organic whenever possible)
Mean score – 94% Quite the impressive showing! If you’ve never tried Tai Ping Hou Kui, Chado Signature Tai Ping Hou Kui ought to be your introduction.