Jasmine Oolong

I recently was lucky enough to win a trip to New York City and enjoyed a few days there with Kelly (my fiance). My main interest was to check out Chinatown moreso than the standard touristy stuff (which we spent a day doing things like Empire St. Bldg., Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Ctr., Central Park, and inadvertantly a gay parade.)

We loved it. I really enjoyed a fairly large Chinese grocery called Kam Man. They had everything, and if I hadn’t had to schlep across half of NYC and take a subway and then 5 blocks to my hotel in Queens I would have bought way more. But I did get a few loose teas and the Jasmine Oolong was a clutch buy. $4.80/lb. Yep, you read it right. And even more surprising is that the leaves are big a beautiful and it tastes amazing. I had initially bought it because I couldn’t believe the price and how good it looked. I was right. This particular oolong is a greener variety with a very nice and light jasmine flavor.

It seems like the jasmine flavored tea’s have been eating up a lot of my “In Cup” entries as of late, but hey it’s in my cup… It’s kind of my comfort tea, it isn’t particularly amazing except for the leaf size and quality, it is very forgiving with respect to brewing so it goes well at work, and hits the spot on a day when I can’t figure out if I want a green or darker oolong/pu-erh like today.

If you are in or around NYC, you owe it to yourself to check out Kam Man… I could have spent days just in there. Gaiwans, teaware, loose and packaged tea as well as select teas by the pound and all reasonably priced and good quality! I actually enjoyed the tea from here better than Ten Ren which is a much more snooty affair with overpriced tea in oversized tins handled by little attitude-filled Taiwanese women  that I did not enjoy at all.

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4 Responses to Jasmine Oolong

  1. Phyll says:

    :) I agree about Ten Ren. Jasmine oolong…hmmm, can’t say I’ve had it. All the jasmine-laced tea that I’ve had have been either green or white. There is the Javanese oolong I had, however, that comes mixed with some Jasmine petals (it’s not “jasmine oolong”, per se). So is the one you mentioned above with or without jasmine petals? I’m curious. At $4.80/lb that’s a good find, especially that you like it.

  2. Dominic says:

    Actually there are no petals that I have seen, I will try to post some photo’s of it dry and brewed just to actually show the high quality leaf I’m talking about. Either it was not marked correctly or it truly is the best tea deal I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I had fair warning that Ten Ren was not the best, but I was having trouble finding other establishments like Itoen, The tea gallery, etc. I just was shocked at how poor the service was. I spent a good bit of money so you would have thought they would have taken care of me. Instead they sighed if I asked to see/smell the tea, I didn;t dare ask for them to brew any on the gong-fu setup they had, and after spending a good bit they then charged me $1 per small cup for some iced tea on the front counter! They also had no idea and argued with me that there was such a thing as “uncooked” puerh. A fellow was buying over $200 of ginseng next to me and they treated him worse. Bad business, expensive tea, and fairly lousy tea. The only thing worse was TeaNY.

  3. Ateava(O) says:

    Dominic–I’m happy you enjoyed our beautiful city and I hope you were treated right overall;) As far as Kam Man, it is pretty fun stopping in every once in a while (the price is a result of their lower grade oolongs they sell to nearby restaurants, bu their higher grades are very inconsistent, delicious and can be expensive) and Chinatown really is a wealth of tea resources, not always obvious on the surface (as is Flushing).

    And YES, Ten Ren is laughably overpriced and rude (tip: they usually are nice if you are even more rude back or flirt), but they have consistency in their first and second grade teas, esp oolongs, which is hard to get unless you have a direct, dependable supplier from Taiwan/China (like us!). I’d love to know know when you and your fiance are back in the city for an open invitation for a tea;)

    Oh, and love your quote, “The only thing worse was TeaNY.”

    O – http://blog.ateava.com/

  4. teaescapade says:

    I have never enjoyed a cup of Jasmine Oolong. Sounds delicious. Especially since oolong is one of my favorite teas. I “recently” enjoyed a cup of Jasmine Petal – a jasmine scented green tea that I loved. I hope to enjoy a cup of Jasmine Oolong sometime soon.

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