I cupped several of Teahouse Kuan Yin’s new teas at tonight’s tasting and we all fell in love all over again with green, darjeeling and black tea.  Goodwin, Elizabeth, Julia and the Teahouse’s new resident tea expert Becky, were knowledgeable, inspiring and wonderful company.  We satisfied our palates with the complex tastes of fine teas, snacked on delicious lavender shortbread and shared knowledge about everything related to tea!

We began with Wuyi Green, a green tea from Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province, China.  Wuyi Mountain teas are grown at a high elevation amidst rocky limestone soil.  The region is best known for Rock Oolongs, though the Wuyi Green tea was surprisingly not reminiscent of oolong tea.  This green is light, slightly astringent, but smooth and delicate like many of the finest Chinese green teas.

Nepal Himalaya View, also a green tea, was smokey and similar to Green Pu’er, which is not surprising since this region grows the Assam variety of Camellia Sinensis (tea bush).  This tea looks like a 1st Flush Darjeeling, though vastly different in taste, it withstood several steepings and is ideal for those who prefer smokey, strong flavor, yet, prefer green tea.

Darjeeling, India

Soom Estate 1st Flush Darjeeling is perhaps the finest new tea at the teahouse and stood out for its sweet taste and smooth finish.  The Soom Estate Darjeeling withstood 4 steepings of continual bold, delicious flavor.

Sikkim Terri Estate, a black tea from Northeast India, would be classified as a Darjeeling if it were actually grown in that region.  Since it is from Sikkim, this tea cannot carry the Darjeeling name, and is instead relegated to a black tea.  The Terri Estate 1st Flush tea appears like a Darjeeling with light green and brown leaves, it tastes slightly sweet also with an incredibly smooth finish and provides multiple steepings.

Yunnan Golden Snail is a malty black tea from Yunnan Province.  The dry leaves are soft, curly and have golden tips, hence the name which describes the appearance.  The tea withstood several steepings and provided a sweet warmth on one of Seattle’s first cold nights of Fall.

Nilgiri Blue Mountain is an attempt by tea growers in that region to produce a high quality black tea, as opposed to their usual production of Cut Tear Curl (CTC) tea used in tea bags.  While this was a decent attempt it did not fulfill our expectations after tasting so many delicious teas prior.

Come by the teahouse to taste some of the teas described here or order samples on-line! www.TeaHouseKuanYin.com

To sign up for a tasting or tea class please email TeaHouseKuanYin@Gmail.com