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Recent Tasting Notes
I am enjoying this twisted green tea this morning. It is very delicate, vegetal , and light. Perfect for a spring morning. There’s a bit of green bean in there and a faint chestnut. As I take a sip it’s followed by a light sweetness too. I really like it but it’s not my favourite type of green tea. I prefer ones that have a bit more greenness, umami, deeper & sweeter chestnut. However, I would soon get bored with all my greens if they were all alike. This one is definitely different.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Vegetal
This is probably the most delicate green oolong I’ve ever seen. The smell and taste both make this a green tea to me though. It may have some viscosity that I would say oolong has in character that green tea may not, but that’s about it.
Really enjoy cup of tea during the spring and summer for sure, but I think I’ll stick with the normal baozhong BTTC has because I don’t foresee having the time to sit down and just enjoy sipping at this as it has subtle notes that need concentration to notice and I will miss out on them for the moment. However, I was able to rebrew this four times which I wouldn’t do with a green tea so that makes it more valuable to me as I look for a nice tea for spring when I do have the time for a hike; which will always include BTTC dragonwell because it’s hands down the best I’ve ever seen, tasted, or heard of.
Of the five teas I purchased from BTT, this was the least impressive. I have to agree with the other reviewers, this Golden Lily pales in comparison to Whispering Pines. It has a very buttery quality, as in someone dropped a pat of butter in my cup. Steeped gongfu there is also a bit of floral and a touch of sugarcane sweetness. But there’s no real complexity to this tea. It’s drinkable, but kind of forgettable.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet
Thanks for this sample a while ago, Nicole! These ominous leaves, large and twisty, sure make for a light, sweet and fruity green tea! Somehow this is the starchiest green tea, I’m not sure why. The color of the brew is the palest of yellow. The second steep also becomes buttery, while still tasting sweet. I love a green tea like this type once in a while!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 32 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
My go-to tea right now and one I foresee becoming a perennial favorite. This isn’t just tea, it’s an experience – one I would describe as walking through a fresh meadow of flowers on a spring morning. It’s very versatile and forgiving to any steeping method. Different brewing times and temperatures reveal different qualities and flavors. Grandpa steeped, it brims with lovely florals, creamy vegetal tones, and a luscious aroma. When gongfued, it transforms into a high mountain tea with a richer, full-bodied flavor and that distinctive gao shan aftertaste. Other times, it can resemble a light TGY. Personally, I think continuous steeping gives the best flavor and is economical to boot.
I’m impressed by its longevity. I get 4-5 awesome steeps from just a smattering of leaves in a tall glass. To me that speaks volumes about its quality of the tea and makes the price point more palatable.
I can’t help but compare this to the other competition-grade bao zhong I tried from Taiwan Tea Crafts. That too was an excellent tea but to me BTT’s has a more complex and ethereal flavor. Then again, the other one is a spring harvest so it’s probably not a fair comparison.
Flavors: Flowers, Gardenias, Orchid, Rainforest, Sweet, warm grass
A very nice return to tea after two weeks without the ability to taste or smell. The complexities of this red jade’s flavor notes bring a smile to my face as I am reminded how much I missed my tea and my senses. Rum raisin, yams, cloves, frozen pudding ice cream and even a crazy little note that reminded me of Jolly Rancher, this is one of my favorites. Multiple infusions never losing much of it’s beautiful red color even when it’s flavor started to wane. Hong Seong-il Tea set, boiling, with many very short 15-30s steeps leading up to a couple minutes before it could give me no more.
I am brewing this gongfu style. Putting these leaves into a warm gaiwan, the scent is of chocolate, earth, and a little but of must. The wet leaves smell like red wine, grapes, and prunes.
The tea tastes a bit woody, and like bread or oatmeal. It’s smooth and subtle. There are tiny notes of cocoa and mushroom. This first infusion is so light and I really enjoy it.
On the second infusion this tea still has a somewhat light flavor. It’s enjoyable in that sense. I have to say though this isn’t the type of flavor I’m used to in dianhong. This one has more of the muscatel and wood flavors I’m used to in Assamica varietal teas from India and Sri Lanka.
I infused it more strongly on the third infusion. I have to say at this point I’m feeling a bit let down, flavorwise. Even brewed more strongly, it’s awfully light, and while the flavor is smooth, it’s also rather two-dimensional. Still getting wood and muscatel flavor mostly. The tea is not very sweet, and only has a tiny bitterness in the end.
The fourth infusion yields must, wood, and squash flavors now. It’s still smooth and easy to drink, but not particularly intriguing.
As for the age-old inner battle of how to numerically rate this tea, and using those little smiley faces as a prompt, I will say, this tea was just above mediocre to me. The first infusion was the most enjoyable and beyond that it didn’t open up to reveal much more complexity or flavor like I’d hoped it would. And if I’m comparing this tea to every other dianhong I’ve had before, I feel even more secure in not rating it more highly, unfortunately.
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Cocoa, Muscatel, Mushrooms, Musty, Wood
One of the more interesting BTT oolongs, I enjoyed how the flavor evolves from steep to steep. The tea starts off vegetal and flowery with a light body and clean taste. A wonderful orchid and honeysuckle aroma wafts up from the gaiwan. A pear like fruitiness develops in the second steep growing stronger as steeps progress, followed by a lingering floral aftertaste. Lots of sweet notes and an occasional hint of tropical coconut. Around the fourth steep, the mouthfeel becomes thicker and more minerality comes into play but it loses some complexity.
To me, this tea straddles the fence between light and high mountain oolongs. Earlier steeps are lighter, and closer to low-oxidized oolongs in taste and goes on to become fuller and more viscous later. Just an all-around wonderful tea and a keeper for sure!
Flavors: Coconut, Flowers, Fruity, Pear, Sweet
The name of this tea reminds me of the book by Kerstin Gier (translated by Anthea Bell), which I re-read last month. It’s a kind of corny time traveling adventure (and seriously, the poetry did NOT translate well from the German) but it made my re-read list so there must be something about it. (On Goodreads last year I completed a 365-book reading challenge, although I did cheat a little at the end by reading some short novellas because I got a bit behind. Anyway, of those 365 books only about a dozen books/series made my re-read list, not counting the ones that were already re-reads, of course).
Anyways. I tried a tea from Taiwan yesterday and liked it, so I thought maybe trying another today would be fun, although I notice they have very different flavors listed. And unfortunately this one was about gone; there was only half a serving left. Oh well. I used about half as much water as usual to make up for that.
It brews up a lovely reddish-goldish-brown color and has a very bold flavor with almost a bite to it. It’s mostly smooth with a little astringency and a little bitterness (at least on the first steep). And it has a jumble of other interesting flavors too that are hard to sort out. The strangest one that I detected had almost a menthol feeling to it, which is new. I also think I can taste a little of the sweet potato flavor that I found in yesterday’s Taiwan tea, but maybe I’m just imagining that. It’s okay (though admittedly a bit strange) with milk and sugar too, and holds up to at least two steeps. I’m not really liking the menthol flavor so much though. I don’t think I’ll put this on my re-read list.
I had this tea a few days ago. Looks like I am the first to review it.
At first I didn’t even know this tea was green. With a name like Wild Ancient Tea, I figured it would be a black tea. I checked out the website for a little insight into why it’s called Wild Ancient Tea but nothing there. I am guessing it’s come from some old trees that’s gone wild.
It’s a very smooth green. Not astringent at all. A bit nutty and green bean tasting. No grassy or green taste to this tea at all. Good for those ones who enjoy a non-astringent green. I like them either way.
There is just a trace of bitterness in this, but it’s not unpleasant, and it’s not the sort of bitterness I associate with oversteeping. It actually reminds me of the bitterness that you get in salted caramel, and while this tea is salty, it’s definitety not that salty. It’s vegetal, with spinach and seaweed notes.
This is particularly flavorful for a green tea, so if you’re looking for a green with lots of character, I’d recommend this one.
I woke up craving some greens, so I decided to brew this up. Its taken me a long time to figure out where this tea came from, for the packaging has no name only the company’s logo, but with some good detective work I figured it out. The tea consists of some very small tightly rolled green pebbles. This tea gives off a fragrant scent of flowers and dry grass. This is a very “springy” tea. I warmed my gaiwan up and dumped a decent amount inside. I shook the gaiwan up and took in the syrupy aroma. My senses were filled with a nice thick nectar and grassy scent. I was noting a little bit of watercress and hydrangea in the background. The taste is sweet, crisp, and smooth. The flavor is dominated by floral qualities and grass. The taste progresses to a slight astringency and drying sensations. The body is healthy and full with spring qualities. The pouch was vacuum sealed, but it still has faltered a lot in the past year. I enjoyed this tea, but it was far too floral for me.
Flavors: Dry Grass, Floral, Flowers, Geranium, Grass, Nectar, Smooth
Hooray, TheLastDodo sent me a nice pouch of this, and I bet it will tide me through till the spring harvest, so I won’t be dragonwell-less after all :)
So this looks a bit different from the dragonwells I’ve tried before. The leaves are REALLY long and they’re a dark jade green. The taste, though it still predominantly has that chicken broth note that dragonwell is known for, also has a slight floral aspect that you don’t normally see in this type of tea.
I think Teavivre’s buttery approach to dragonwell is still my favorite, but this is a very nice one, glad I got to try it :)
Another stellar oolong from BTT. I am surprised at how good it is considering this is a budget tea.
Steeped grandpa style, it bears a resemblance to bao zhong – flowery, light bodied, and very fragrant. Gongfu style though is where it really shows off its flavor. First steep bursts with lilac and gardenia and an unexpected sugarcane like sweetness. Intense floral aroma and honeyed notes. As the steeps progress, the sweetness subsides, a subtle milkiness sets in and it develops a slightly thicker mouth feel. The florals continue to get stronger leaving behind a lingering orange blossom like aftertaste.
Really enjoyable and miles above the four seasons oolongs you’ll find elsewhere. A great daily drinker at this price point.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Sugarcane
I’ve never understood the fuss about dong ding. I know its a prestigious tea and all, but none of the ones I tried ever made an impression on me. So when I received a sample of this tea with my recent BTT order, I kind of groaned. My cupboard already had two other dong dings which I practically have to force myself to drink.
But when I opened the envelope and took a whiff, I knew this tea was going to be different. Unlike dong dings of past, this one was unroasted and had a sweet floral fragrance. The flavor is true to the aroma. This is such a flower packed tea. Wet leaf smells like hyacinth in full bloom. There is honeysuckle and lilac at the beginning of the sip and a strong osmanthus note as it goes down. The floral overtones are harmoniously balanced by a sweet nectar goodness, which Daylon Thomas correctly describes as tropical fruit. I’m impressed by how natural the tea’s floral tones are.
And boy does it have staying power. It held up admirably through 8 steeps with minimal loss of flavor. Even though I steeped it at high temperatures there was no bitterness whatsoever. Just a tangy lip smacking sweetness that lingers in the mouth.
As someone that regularly drinks jade oolongs, the distinction between them can sometimes become blurred. This one really sets itself apart with its unreal flavor. Thanks to Paul at BTT for an awesome sample!
Flavors: Flowers, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Osmanthus, Sweet
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #26
Very happy there were some of the Taiwan #18s in the teabox to try! Unfortunately, this one doesn’t have enough of the lovely ‘roman nougat’ flavor that I love from these types of teas (cherry, nuts). The light brew has a little bit of that though. Otherwise a little caramel and a little squashy. The second steep had more depth. I love that this type of tea has the most intimidating leaves but the lightest and sweetest of flavors. :D
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min steep
Didn’t really check the temperature or steeping time today. I overslept, and was a little too tired to think about those details. This pouch sort of jumped out at me, so i went for it. Put the water to heat for about a minute forty, and put about a teaspoon of tea into the tea ball, and let it steep. Some time later (maybe about 15-20 minutes or so), I took a sip. It was still warm, but not hot.
The tea tasted beautiful.
It reminded me of green chai, really, even though there was nothing but the tea leaves in this, I think. I don’t know, maybe there was a bit of mint in there. That’s what it tastes like, anyway. No sweetness, but a little bit of tingle like from mint.
I love it. I’m going to have to steep this a few times today, too.
Flavors: Mint, Tea
I got a sample collection from Beautiful Taiwan Tea company and they sent a sample marked “Raw Pu-erh” with no details. Based on their website and how the tea looks, I think this is the one. Strange that they didn’t provide more details on the package.
I brewed up gongfu this afternoon and found this tea pleasant enough. Brewed at 90C. It was a bit weak compared to some other young sheng’s I’ve had. That can be a good thing or bad thing depending on what everyone wants. I didn’t mind but missed the stronger apricot notes. They were there but not very prominent. It had a freshness to it closer to a green tea, a slight sweetness , & only very slight bitterness. Overall, a nice light sheng.
Flavors: Apricot, Sweet
Enjoying this one this afternoon.
The dry leaves look so unusual for a white. Long dark think spindly leaves with a white stripe on each.
It brews up bold for a white tea. Maybe because it looks like a black tea? Or looks something like the moonlight teas. It’s malty with sweet caramel notes. There’s the typical hay I usually get from most whites. Also a bit of fruitiness.
Loved this one but it reminds me of some of my moonlight teas so it’s nothing that I haven’t had before.
Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Hay, Malt
BTTC is one of my favorite and I poured about $500 into them last year so saying this isn’t so easy for me: After having Whsipering Pines golden lily…. everything else will probably compare as lesser. While this is a wonderful product, with subtle sweet notes of fruit to it, it’s
These are nicely rolled mid-range green oolong pieces with a decent aroma level that makes you aware that it’s a variant of milk oolong. The brewing of this tea is quite simple and can get decent four steeps out of it. I really enjoyed the second steep the most with it’s more mellow notes and more oolong’ness comes out as the leaf unravels. I’m pretty sure this would make for a nice cold brew as well, but I don’t cold brew often.
Hm. This is no longer on the BTTC site. I know I got it in one of the rounds of Kickstarter rewards. Anyway, it’s a nice, smooth, light oolong. Not really vegetal, just a nice, light, mellow flavor. Little bit of floral, tiny bit of mineral. Tried to use some gong fu techniques I’ve been learning. But all the steeps were very consistent for me.
And I’ve given up and gotten on Instagram. Dunno how much I’ll be active, but…
This was a lighter black tea. I did a steep of 4 minutes, 5 minutes, and about 8 minutes. The liquor barely got past a golden butterscotch yellow. The flavor was lighter overall as well. I couldn’t really pick out anything too distinct. This was a very non-offensive black tea. An absent minded sipper, I suppose.