At our most recent tasting we explored the vast world of Chinese teas, sampling three main types, White, Green and Black. China, considered the home of tea, was the first place to widely cultivate and create a culture for tea. Gaiwan (Lidded Bowl)
Green tea is most often associated with China, where it is grown, processed and exported more than any other type of tea. White Tea the most rare of teas just has a few varities to enjoy. The three most common, Silver Needle, White Peony and Shou Mei are each fine examples of delicious low caffeine, high antioxidant tea. Black teas are rarely enjoyed by the Chinese, despite the great care given to their cultivation and processing, this tea is mainly for export.

Our tea tasting group thoroughly enjoyed the Silver Needle and Shou Mei White tea, which we steeped for nearly 10 minutes. The long steeping produced no tannins at all and the brew was smooth, slightly grassy and earthy.

At Teahouse Kuan Yin we carry about fifteen Chinese Green Teas making the choice of just two very difficult. I choose Lu An Gua Pian (Little Melon Seed) and Morning Dew, both beautiful examples of Chinese Green tea. Little Melon Seed LuAnGuaPianThe Little Melon Seed, from Anhui Province, is named because of it’s appearance. The brew is light, taste only slightly astringent, and steeps two to three times. Morning Dew, as one taster noticed, is like Kale, or the Sea. It is an evergreen color with a strong green tea taste, as described above, like kale or seaweed, though not nearly as much as Japanese Green tea.

The Black teas truly surprised me since I am an avid Green tea drinker and, like the Chinese, not enthused with Black tea. We planned to try just two, but ended up tasting four, including Golden Monkey, Keemun, Fujian Ancient Tree, and Gold Yunnan. The Golden Monkey had few tannins, which are typical of Assam’s and the taste I don’t like in a black tea. The Keemun also lacked strong tannins and had a slightly smokey taste. The Fujian Ancient Tree amazed us all, the taste was reminiscent of cocoa butter, or more specifically, Hershey’s Chocolate. This beautiful tea when dry is golden in color with long, twisted leaves, appearance is similar to the Yunnan Black teas.
Yunnan Gold Yunnan Gold produced a fine malty flavor with hints of sweetness. These Chinese black teas didn’t have any  apparent tannins, steeped multiple times and had no need for milk or sugar.

All of these teas and merchandise can be found in our Seattle store, 1911 45th Street. We host regular tea tastings on Sundays, if you are interested please stop by, call or email us.
We also sell all of our wonderful teas around the world. Please visit to order!