There are a very few places I regularly order tea, mostly because I’m a jerk and am extremely picky about both the quality and preparation of what I choose to drink and there aren’t many places that do it right. Hazard of the job, no, having constant access to really stellar teas?

MEM Tea Imports is a Somerville company that is ubiquitous in the Boston area. Just about every local cafe and restaurant carries their loose leaf, and they appear to do some good training for the places who sell their product. That being said, I haven’t been all that impressed with many of their teas. There are some interesting herbal blends with things like linden flowers, elderberry and hibiscus and there are some intriguing rarer things I’d still like to try. But the cafes around here tend to carry the big name stuff (english breakfast, earl grey) that …meh. See? Jerk.

Today at Crema, I noticed a new listing for tea pots on the menu so I chose MEM’s Jade Oolong. It came in a small cast-iron tea pot, and while I had to pry a little at the filter basket, it was removable so I could satisfy my need for control.
It was definitely jade: taiwanese, medium-sized leaves, very lightly oxidized. Really pretty soft orange-y golden liquor, light and delicate going down, heady hyacinth aroma, with an interesting leafy bite like some kind of bitter salad greens. I fought an internal battle between the desire for a second, third, fourth go-round with this pot (yeah! it’s delicious! and an oolonnnnnng! get your money’s worth! be a good customer and justify sitting and reading for another hour!) and laziness (it’s so damn crowded in here! so far to the counter! I’m trapped at my table and would have to elbow some folks out of the way!).

Thanks, MEM!