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The Towkak Tea garden is situated on the banks of river Towkak, which also acts as a natural boundary for the garden on its western side. Towkok in Tai language means “dancing tortoise.” In those days it was heard that Towkok river was full of dancing tortoises when the first tea plantation in the area was established on its banks in the year 1885.
I have had a variety of Towkok teas over the years and was really impressed when I picked up a few ounces of loose FTGFOP tea this week from A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC. The price is very reasonable, regular price of $4.25 and ounce, on special now at $3.00 an ounce.
Brews up a beautiful color and aroma typical of orthodox Assam teas. Bold, hearty and with biscuity notes that make this a great morning start to the day.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Toast, Caramel
Super old sample sipdown!
Didn’t particularly care for this. First, the age… And it’s a bit bitter and reminded me of a far less superior version of H&S’s Florence, minus the chocolate.
I’m not really getting pecans out of my cup, I added milk but sugar probably would’ve helped this tea.
One more down! :)
Backlogging from Thursday night: One of the men who attends our writers’ group came in with a gift bag. He said it was something from his wife to me. His wife is Japanese and knows how much I love tea even though we have only met once, and briefly then.
The bag contained a rainbow wood scoop (so cute!) and this tea. Naturally I steeped up some of it for the group to try. :) I ended up making four pots because everyone loved it.
The ginger isn’t too biting in this one as ginger can sometimes be, at least to me. The peach is very nice but sniffing the dry leaves AND the tea we really picked up lots of citrus, and I realized it was a very strong lime aroma. The lime as there in the taste also, and I think it was really the green base that was carrying it. Perhaps the sourgrass nature of the base (did everyone else grow up chewing on sourgrass in the summertime?) mixed with the peach flavoring combined to make lime.
It was very favorably received by all the green tea drinkers in the room, and at the rate they were drinking it, I have a feeling this pouch won’t last long. It was a lovely surprise!
Thank you Josie Jade for sending this my way. After the lack of vanilla flavoring in my matcha, this cup is really quite delicious. Filled with a creamy vanilla flavor, I am happily sipping away at the cup as I watch the Big Bang Theory.
Flavors: Cream, Vanilla
Thank you Josie Jade for sharing this with me. It smells amazing! Both in smell and taste it is reminiscent of Vanilla Comoro and Cafe Vanilla. However, I do think this is a touch weaker than those other two and for that reason I won’t seek out more. That doesn’t mean I am not thoroughly enjoying this cup though.
In other news, I just finished Lost and now need to find a new show to waste time with :P.
I bought this to tide me over until my Harney order arrives. It is more astringent than Harney’s but for the price it isn’t bad at all, and went well with my bagel. It smells absolutely awesome when I open my tin. With food, the astringency is subdued and not at all unpleasant, but I do prefer the Harney and Nina’s versions to this one. It is a great value, though.
My son and godson agreed to do a tea pickup at A Southern Season for me today. I got just two ounces of this for $3 to tide us over until out next Harney order as my youngest loves their Vanilla Black and Vanilla Comoro and we are out of both.
I guess I under leafed this. I steeped for four minutes at 203F and when I poured the tea it looked like a decaf resteep! I am drinking it plain and it is fine, not great, not bad. The tea is a little weak, the vanilla flavor is pretty good. I think with hotter water, longer steep, or more leaf, this could be very good. It isn’t Nina’s Je T’Aime by any stretch of the imagination, but should get us by until I place a big Harney order for my daughter.
I am most excited that Wild Forest Oolong was back in stock by the ounce! I will be having some later this weekend. The bad news is that it has gone up to $14.95 an ounce so I only got the one ounce.
I wish I had more information on this tea, because I really think it must have some hibiscus in it. The first steep was very red/purple. The second steep was very pale. I added 2 1/2 tablespoons of German rock sugar to the pitcher, poured in the hot tea, stirred, and set a timer for about thirty minutes. After letting it cool on the counter I put it in the refrigerator. We drank this as the last tea of tea party today.
It was good and certainly has a nice fruity taste that isn’t soapy as flavored tea can sometimes be, especially iced, but at the same time, it didn’t rock my world. I enjoyed it, but I am not lamenting that I am down to about one teaspoon of it, nor am I planning to rush to buy more. If it goes on sale again, I might.
Hubby didn’t care for it, but there is yet to be an iced tea that he does like, except for the traditional super syrupy sweet Southern Style plain black tea.
My friend wanted to try more oolongs as she mostly drinks black tea and puerh. This is the one she chose from my stash.
The plum is very strong in this, and is reminding me of black currant flavor. We liked it pretty well, but drinking it hot, it really is all about the tart fruity flavor and not about the oolong base. I thought it was just pleading to be iced, so I added a teaspoon of sugar, stirred, and poured the rest into a glass over ice. A-ha! Now it has found its raison d’être! This is how I will be enjoying the rest of this tea!
This is a sip down, and the end of my very first Puerh purchase ever. I remember smelling the Puerh at A Southern Season and giggling with Sandy over the smell. When I finally bought some we were both a little apprehensive about tasting it, but in spite of the fishiness, we liked it! And I definitely recognized almost immediately the beneficial effects Puerh tea had on my digestive system, relieving the miserable overstuffed feeling after having pizza with crusts dipped in garlic butter.
I ended up buying all three types of puerh sold there, and got another friend really hooked on shu puerh. Now that this has aired out a bit, it is much more pleasant. It makes a really black cup of tea, but I do enjoy my puerh that way so I often steep it for at least three minutes.
Now I have found so many other puerhs that I like much better than this one. I am decupboarding it, and I do not intend to buy it again. When I want more mini Tuocha they will come from Teavivre or Mandala Tea. I am grateful to this little Tuocha for introducing me to puerh, though!
I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this before, but when I searched this tea there was no listing.
This has been in my cupboard for about two years. When I bought it, it was my first Pu-erh and I didn’t know that a little air circulation benefits them, so I kept it in its tightly closed foil bag. When I opened it for the first time in about year, there was a very fishy smell. I took the last three tuo cha out and set them on the shelf for about a week or so. The fishy aroma is greatly decreased, but I wondered if I went too far and the flavor was also gone.
I made this for my son, his girlfriend, and myself to drink after our pizza lunch today. They loved the Teavivre puerh, didn’t care for the Rishi loose Classic Puerh, and liked this one somewhere in between. (They wouldn’t even take a second 2 ounce cup of the Rishi.)
The first steep had the barest hint of fishy aroma, so slight it may have been my imagination. The taste was just good, earthy puerh, though. I gave it about two minutes after the initial rinse, and the color was dark orange. The next steep was darker. By the fourth steep i saw a definitely lightening of the color, but the flavor was little diminished. We took this to six steeps and the last one was getting weak, but was still pretty good. For the price, this is an inexpensive shu with enough flavor to be interesting. I still prefer Teavivre for shu puerh mini tuo cha, but this one is very similar.
I gave this one a revisit today and used Kashyap’s steeping parameters, which called for a lower water temp and a shorter steep than I would give most black teas. To be fair, this tea is probably over a year old. All I got was a cup of tingle, as in astringency, not excitement! I believe this is one that teaequalsbliss reviewed and said it was wonderful, but after it had aged a bit, was awful! I really am not getting anything good out of this cup, so I am tossing the last teaspoon without guilt! Perhaps if the leaves were fresh it would have been good, and I will try this method of making Indian teas like they were all darjeelings and see if it improves my opinion of them. It could be that Indian tea is just not my thing! In the past, I have noticed that most assamica varietals give me a tummy ache or at least lots of rumbles.
Many many thanks to ashmanra for sending me some of this very precious tea to try!
This is one of the most interesting teas I’ve ever tasted! I think it’s called “wild forest” because it tastes a bit like those fresh pine needles that I had in that pine tisane! That piney/menthol/lemonyness… but fine delicious tea too! It’s a great combination and addictive! My taste buds are curious and keep nudging me to take another sip because they can’t quite place these flavors…together!
I’m looking forward to many many steeps today, and will post a comment later on how they evolved!
I was a bad girl. I drank decaf with supper so the caffeine wouldn’t keep me awake, but when I sat down to read I really wanted some flavored tea and I really wanted something Christmas-y since we went out of town and bought my Christmas season Southern Supreme “More Nuts than Fruit” Fruitcake that I serve up until Christmas! So here I sit downing non-decaf tea…
Now, I don’t really LIKE most Christmas teas that much, but I love to smell them. Noel is so pretty I would love to display it in a glass container. There are almond bits, dried apple pieces, orange peel, flower petals….and it tastes pretty good! It is smooth, not bitter, with nice orange flavor. Unless someone tells me that it is really awful (and what Harney tea has ever been?) I am going to Barnes and Noble tomorrow to buy that special pack of their Holiday Tea with the white tea since I just got a coupon for an extra 25% off!
It is a great buy at $15.95 for the two together, and with the discounts it will be even less.
I noticed that Dammann Freres and Mariages Freres have Christmas teas and if they are anything like the other flavored French teas I have tried, I will HAVE to get some! Anyone who has tried them, let me know…..
A very serviceable Yunnan! Less sweet yet gutsy than the other classic Yunnan I’ve tried (HS), but still quite pleasurable to drink, and resteep! I like the second steep even more than the first – it starts veering into “golden bud” sort of territory. Thank you ashmanra for another lovely cuppa!!! :) :) :)
The leaves are very interesting – they are almost…puffy! like chamomile blossoms. Lots of light leaves – very unique looking!
I steeped my first cup conservatively – 3 minutes, 200 degree water – and I think I could have taken it to 4 minutes. No bitterness or astringency, and that wonderful tangy flavor I love from certain Chinese black teas – but a little different. I don’t want to say it reminds me of soy sauce but it has a sort of sweet fermented quality like soy sauce. Really, really good. I can see this tea being excellent with food (I am picturing a rice bowl with salmon and some sort of green – mmmmm!).
The second steep, at 4 minutes, is just as interesting and delicious. What a great, one of a kind tea! Thank you thank you thank you ashmanra!
I have spent a bit of time lately digging through my many stashes and caches of tea and trying to finish some that are nearly gone. Most of them I don’t review, but this one I will because it shows how much my tastes have changed.
This is old, three years old or more. It still has plenty of heft. When I bought it, I could not have taken it plain. One of my first notes mentions it being peppery. Now, I mostly get gutsy black tea flavor. This is not a sophisticated Yunnan like Teavivre’s. This is a tea that will grab you by the chest hairs and pull you out of bed.
>DISCLAIMER: I am female and do not possess chest hairs but if I had them this tea would have yanked me out of bed by them. In the absence of chest hairs, it gave me a nice, swift kick on the patootie."
I had this one quite a while back. The friend drinking tea with me was a former coffee lover turned to tea, and takes all tea without additions. This one was a bit too peppery for me.
But JacquelineM suggested steeping for a much shorter time and at a lower temperature, and guess what? It really does improve this yunnan! I know she was using the Harney version which is probably a higher quality tea, but I want to finish this little tin! I didn’t get to try resteeps, no time today because of a writers’ group meeting, but this weekend I hope to try it.