140 Tasting Notes
Boosting my rating either because my palate has developed a wider appreciation or because this has aged well :) I am finding quite a bit to like in this, if only on the first short steep… Getting that caramel, some almond and a dark woodsiness that is rich and complex while very smooth. Not a wuyi fan, so this is a nice surprise.
A good chocolate tea is such a rare, welcomed surprise. I usually approach a new chocolate tea with a combination of hope and doubt; the tasting is so often disappointing that I ask myself what’s the point in continuing to hope. Then a good one is discovered and it seems worth it. Like this one.
This tastes remarkably like a good dark chocolate-orange bar, Lindt, maybe. The chocolate is definitely there, folks. The orange peel is at a balanced level though overtakes the chocolate by a smidge. The cardamom is mild, just gives dimension. The tea is smooth and tastes natural and easy/comforting, even.
I had just 1 sample bag and brewed it for 3 minutes; while it was full flavored enough at that point I would try it longer next time to see if more chocolate/richness would emerge.
On the second steep I gave it 6 minutes and it was still decent, pretty much the identical flavor profile but a bit weaker. Gave it shot of unsweetened almond milk, didn’t actually alter it much. Then added about 3 drops of agave nectar just to see, and that was a great complement though I just about never sweeten my tea.
No astringency, no weird tastes, good flavor profile. I’ll be picking some of this up before long. Love those happy endings.
Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Cocoa, Orange Zest
I’ve had this a while and enjoyed it, brewed again to review. Delicious tea, creamy, young greens and orchid-honeysuckle. The orchid isn’t punchy, it’s soft, but still highly flavorful. I like the process of searching for flavors, but even more I enjoy when it’s all right out there and you can just relax and enjoy the cup without too much work!
I love a good floral tieguanyin and this is among the best I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. Gracious sample from Verdant, thank you!
Flavors: Butter, Cut grass, Honeysuckle, Orchid
Delicious tea, particularly if you’re fond of naturally chocolatey blacks. Smooth, full-flavored, good body.
I drank this over the past week along with Golden Monkeys by Teavivre and Harney. This is the one I enjoyed most. The other two have a perfumery note that reminds me of bergamot, though different. That note distracts from their otherwise very nice flavor. While that note is apparently a feature of Golden Monkey, in the Tao rendition it is very much in the background so that it does not stand out, but blends in nicely.
I so enjoy unflavored black teas that taste like chocolate, and this is one.
The brewing fragrance is lovely – richly chocolate and enticing. The flavor bears this out, hitting a melody of harmonizing notes. Wouldn’t dub it an especially complex tea, but it is interesting. The flavor profile makes me think it should have a richer mouthfeel than it does, but that’s ok because it’s still very enjoyable.
I will probably rate this higher in the future, knowing to expect a lighter body.
Recommended for anyone looking for a naturally chocolate black.
- anyone looking to swap some of this, lmk since i would like to try more before buying :)
This is the first tea I’ve up-rated for its ‘fun’ quotient! It’s a brain-tickler… normally I would not expect to enjoy this combo of flavors but they are mysteriously intriguing. I dislike clove but the first steep it was all about clove and licorice… but with a countervailing smoothness and sweetness that removed their edge and left the whole palate stunningly interested. Smooth, sweet and savory.
The last sip, by then cooled, was another stunner: caramel. Just this intense sweetness out of nowhere. What fun.
As Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson noted, it has a fragrance of basil, which is just another twist in the interesting profile. Maybe there’s a little juniper in the flavor, but I didn’t pick up the strong pine that characterized it for so many other fellow Steeps.
This tea is a great conversation piece, so a must-have for any tea tasting having the purpose of sampling a wide range of different tea personalities
The name “yabao” is a perfect psycho-onomatopoeia – what your thought ‘sounds’ like in your head when you taste this… like a flash-impact word in a superheroes comic book : bam! … yabao! ha!
Plus it’s fun how the buds puff up like little seaweed pillow-fingers in the Atlantic, if you know the ones I mean.
Thanks to Christina for the great trade!
Flavors: Caramel, Clove, Licorice, Marshmallow