My tea world has been an embarrassment of riches for years. So presented with the task of writing under the topic “my favorite tea” as part of the Association of Tea Bloggers‘ lead-up to the “Bloggers’ Choice Awards” it was quite a challenge to sift through that immense history of deliciousness and try to extract just one particularly deserving tea. But I tried to think of one special tea that had both surprised and impressed me, and one immediately came to mind: the “Qiyuan Jin Jiang Da Hong Pao” that was sent to me by the people at Tea Valley.
One of the first things that hinted at the specialness of the tea was the small gold box that contained it. Packaging can be overly fancy or deceptive, but this looked simple and elegant. And the tea itself is absolutely fabulous. It was an award winner at the Wuyi Mountain People’s Choice Tea Competition in 2008, and although it is, of course, not leaf from the original TRUE Da Hong Pao bushes it certainly comes from bushes that have been very well cultivated and cared for. Rich and tangy, with a depth and complexity revealing its famous ancestry, it is a tea that I would bring out for a special occasion, and only if the other people who were going to drink with me were people I expected to appreciate the tea’s quality.
Unfortunately, Tea Valley’s website is offline right now, and I’m unable to find much detail about their company. They were located in Renton, Washington, just a few cities away from where I am. With teas this good, I want to see them continue to make them available!
The two runners-up for teas that I really, really like and recommend to other people quite often are Royal Golden Safari, one of the fine offerings by Royal Tea of Kenya, and Yulan Dancong, one of Canton Tea Company’s wonderful oolongs.
I want to know what YOUR favorite teas are. Let me know in the comments. More details on the “Bloggers’ Choice Awards” will be posted soon.
Please read the other posts by ATB members on this topic: