A few months ago, I visited Icha Tea for the second time and I wanted to share one of the teas I brought home with me – Golden Eyebrow.
I originally visited Icha Tea back in Nov 2018 and then again earlier this year in June. The shop is located in Toronto, Canada. I almost walked by the shop the first time because it is tucked away from the sidewalk. Once inside, the shop is long and narrow and broken up into three main sections: storefront, tea bar, then tables.
The storefront consists of a small waiting area and a counter for takeaway orders. However, if you venture deeper into the shop, you are greeted with the tea bar and tables. There are two main ways to enjoy the tea: self brewing (Tea Set) or having it brewed (Tea Bar).
I opted for the latter, so I sat at the bar. The first time, I didn’t know what to do, so I stood awkwardly unsure if to sit at the tea bar or at the tables. However, the second time was a much smoother process since I knew to sit down at the bar if I wanted the tea brewed for me.
While you are waiting for the staff to set up the tea, you have some time to choose a teacup to drink from while you are there which is a nice touch. There are also options to buy some snacks as well to pair with the tea. However, both times I decided I wanted to be there just for the tea!
After I sat down, the staff walked me through the teas offerings and I was able to ask questions about the teas while they were brewing. After the first steep, you get one refill. One of the teas I tried was the Golden Eyebrow and I enjoyed it so much I brought some home with me!
Description: “Black teas undergo a more rigorous oxidation. Referring to the copper color of the infusion they produce.”
Instructions: Gaiwan – 95° | 6-10 up to 30 second | 3g
Review: I have always been a fan of Golden Monkey so, I knew I had to give it a try! I have never seen a black tea with so many orange tips! The leaves were fuzzy and were more golden orange than chocolate brown. The leaves had a lovely warm, sweet, malty and bready scent to it. After infusing for 20 seconds, the leaves were thin long and reddish-brown. The smell of the wet leaves reminded me of the dry leaves: faintly cocoa.
The liquor was a golden copper colour and gave off a subtle sweet malt note fragrance. The tea tasted just as how I remembered it at the shop: malty, sweet, and ended off with a nice lingering note of cocoa in the back of the throat. To my surprise, I found it was much maltier and sweeter when cooled and ended off cocoa and fruity. I was able to detect more of a bready taste too! However, the flavours did come at the cost of a hint of astringency with some mild dryness at the back of the throat.
I have to say, I enjoyed this tea more when it was slightly cooled because it brought out the flavours more. I had originally steeped this at 10 seconds, but I found the flavour too faint. 20 seconds was a perfect spot for me. This tea could have gone for additional infusions, but I kept it at one. Overall, I love these malty and cocoa teas and this one is no exception. I was sad when I was done with my cup (4/5 rating)!
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Black tea
- Company: Icha Tea
The question of the post: what is your favourite tea shop?