Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

92

Okay, as those of you who read my previous review for this tea may be aware, I was not completely satisfied with my brewing method, so I decided to change it up a little bit. I still went with a more or less Chinese gongfu approach, but used less leaf and started with a longer rinse and a longer first steep. My steep times for this session were as follows: 30 seconds, 35 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 minutes. I still got all of the aromas and flavors I got before and in the same order to boot. Maybe my first attempt, though not ideal, was not so bad after all. I still really adore this tea.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Osmanthus, Pear

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Absolutely on my shopping list. When I allow myself. smdh

Daylon R Thomas

Are the shipping rates better for Canada on Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.?

Evol Ving Ness

The shipping for Canada is free over $50, so yay! (Or $10 otherwise.) I would always do the free shipping limit because one never knows when duty will be slapped onto it too. Usually there is no duty for tea. However, HOWEVER, I got slapped with a serious duty fee on an order out of the States this year.

Evol Ving Ness

And the currency exchange sucks. A lot.

These are all factors.

eastkyteaguy

Evol, the sample of this I had was from an earlier harvest in 2016, but the winter 2016 harvest is in stock now. At this point, I would add three things about this tea. First, if you have had or are used to some of the contemporary Dong Dings that are more heavily roasted, don’t expect this one to be all that much like them. The roast is much lighter than you will expect. Honestly, it is very subtle and tasteful. Second, don’t expect really strong, pronounced flavors, especially if you flash steep. This is the kind of tea that revels in restraint, but manages to keep you intrigued with subtle changes for an extended period of time. Third, invest in more than a sample size. It’s expensive, but go with at least a 2 ounce pouch. With this tea you are paying for both high quality and a unique experience. I would have loved to have had more of this particular harvest so I could have gauged how it changes over an extended period of time.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for the addendum, eastkyguy. Much appreciated. I’ve saved it with my shopping list for the moment that my self-restraint fades, not that I have much to begin with. Thank you for taking the time and effort.

eastkyteaguy

No problem. I spent way too much on tea this past year, and especially in the last 2-3 months. I’m fighting off the urge to place a large order from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co. as we speak, but with my birthday coming up soon, I doubt I’ll be able to manage.

Daylon R Thomas

Same. The Yu Shan looked great and that Dong Ding was one of my favorites. I was able to get some good floral and nut notes the last time I had it, even considering that it was western. I liked alternating on that one though. I decided to get some Li Shan costing under $13 for 50 grams from What-Cha that I really liked. And this way, I got more Rohini Golden Bud Darjeeling and a wild Lapsang that looked promising.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I’m trying to decide whether to go with What-Cha for my next order or B.T.T.C. I noticed that B.T.T.C. recently brought in some interesting new black teas, including a rolled Alishan black tea they have never offered before. It definitely looks interesting. What-Cha, however, has a bunch of their small-holder Assams on sale. Right now, I am considering a What-Cha order consisting of the following:

1.) Assam Heritage STGFOP1
2.) Assam Joypur Small-Holder Hand-Made Black
3.) Assam Kanoka Hand-Made Black
4.) Assam Lakua Small-Holder
5.) Bihar Doke Black Fusion Hand-Made Black
6.) Darjeeling Gopaldhara First Flush China Special
7.) Darjeeling Gopaldhara Second Flush China Muscatel
8.) Darjeeling Gopaldhara Second Flush Wonder Muscatel Gold
9.) Darjeeling Second Flush Pasabong Small-Holder
10.) Darjeeling Second Flush Rohini Golden Buds
11.) Korea Dong Cheon Daejak Semi-Wild Green
12.) Taiwan Shui Xian Oolong
13.) China Fujian Jin Xuan Oolong

I don’t know if I’m going to go through with it though.

Daylon R Thomas

How many of them have you had and what are your specific preferences for oolongs and blacks?

eastkyteaguy

Of the teas listed, I haven’t had any of them yet. I tend to like blacks and oolongs almost equally. With oolongs, I either lean toward earthy and roasted or light,creamy, and floral. There isn’t much in between. With blacks, I’m pretty much an open book. I have had some of the more standard Darjeelings from Gopaldhara and Rohini, though I haven’t reviewed them, and I tend to like what those two estates do. I am entirely unfamiliar with all of the Assams listed above. Korean teas are a new frontier for me. I haven’t had any before.

Daylon R Thomas

I can remember one right now which was the Dancha, though I might have had others. I’d think they generally taste similar to Japanese blacks.

Evol Ving Ness

Don’t even get me started. I kept a tea purchase log this year month by month. After the first six months, I stopped calculating the monthly subtotals because it was too painful.

And Happy Birthday to you! This most definitely deserves a blowout or several. :)

Yeah, I’m an enabler.

eastkyteaguy

Evol, thank you. Just so you know, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a fairly sizable What-Cha order.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

As much as I love Taiwanese oolongs, I have never spent all that much time on Dong Ding oolongs. For the most part, I have limited myself to baozhong, various jade oolongs, Jin Xuan, and the occasional Alishan. After seeing a ton of positive reviews for this tea, I knew I had to try it. I knew my Taiwanese tea journey would never be complete without an experience with an authentic Dong Ding.

I prepared this tea gongfu style, though I did not follow any of the traditional Taiwanese gongfu guidelines. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute 5 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, a glance at the dry tea leaves confused me. I think I was expecting a much heavier roast because the olive green rolled leaves with their buttery, floral, and creamy fragrance were certainly not what I was expecting. After the rinse, the previously mentioned floral, creamy, and buttery aromas were still there, joined by subtle traces of spice and orchard fruit. The first infusion produced a similar aroma. In the mouth, I mostly picked up mild notes of cream and butter balanced by fleeting impressions of flowers, cinnamon, and some kind of fruit. At this point, I realized that not only was my rinse too short, but my first infusion was as well. I decided to repeat it and then move forward. This time I got a much more floral, buttery aroma and slightly more pronounced notes of cream and butter. The floral notes began to separate a bit. I started to pick out distinct impressions of osmanthus, lily, hyacinth, honeysuckle, and lilac. I also noted a hint of cinnamon. Subsequent infusions brought out the tea’s spicier, fruitier, and more floral characteristics. I began to note more distinct impressions of cinnamon, lily, lilac, osmanthus, honeysuckle, and hyacinth to balance out the consistent cream and butter aromas and flavors. I also began to note an impression of fresh cucumber on the back of the throat, as well as impressions of apple and pear blossoms both on the nose and in the mouth. The extended later infusions absolutely intrigued me. The floral notes receded into the background and the cucumber was joined by a note of leaf lettuce. The cream, butter, and cinnamon were still there, but those apple blossom, pear blossom, and osmanthus notes gave way to actual flavors of apricot, fresh apple, and pear. I should also note that I never noted any mineral aromas or flavors, which is kind of strange considering that I pick up minerals consistently in the later infusions during many oolong sessions.

This tea hit me on several different levels. First off, I have to say that I was expecting a much more robust, syrupy flavor profile, but I did not get that. This tea was very smooth, balanced, and sophisticated, though it was also a bit more restrained than expected at points. Part of that may have been due to the completely off-the-wall way I decided to brew it. I also loved the orchard aroma and the orchard fruit flavors that emerged in the second half of this session. Many people do not know that I was raised on a hobby farm that primarily produced apples, so this tea created a series of childhood flashbacks for me. Finally, I should note that this tea had considerable staying power. It consistently offered something unique with each infusion. Even though I am not certain my brewing methods did this tea justice, I was still happy with the results. I’m going to play around with this one a little more, but all in all, I think it would be safe for me to say that this is pretty much a world-beating Dong Ding.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Osmanthus, Pear

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

The tea has those qualities that I hunt for with aged sheng puerhs. Woody, camphor, humid flavor and relaxing yet stimulating qi. Meditative.

Fortunate enough to grab the last two of these on sale. They’re gone now.

Flavors: Camphor, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
a bad pasty

Nice snag. I invested in some of the meishuzi myself, but this one was also tempting.

igo_cha

Good stuff.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Milk and butter abound here, growing stronger as the flavors settle on the tongue. The aftertaste is faintly floral, and the tea liquor has a soft plushness to it. While mild overall, this was a pleasant surprise that holds its own against premium gaoshan.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

I’ve never had dragon well until now, and I’m pleasantly surprised. It has a nice buttery greens flavor with nutty overtones. The finish leaves you with a dryness to your mouth, which I enjoy in a green.

Flavors: Butter, Green, Nutty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

This is really an excellent tea – the first one I’ve tried from BTT that I actually bought off their site. I drank some of this sample with some teafriends to celebrate the New Year :) The dry leaf looked pretty green, but the had a bit of a popcorn aroma to it, along with some slight green floral. After a rinse, it smelled more like caramel corn. I was surprised with how green the leaves started to look after they unfurled, but the aroma and taste certainly confirmed that this is a skillfully roasted tea.

This tea displayed characteristics both from green oolong and from more highly roasted teas. There were some succulent floral and cucumber notes, but also some more nutty and roasty flavors which interacted beautifully with each other. The tea also came across as very creamy. A sweet nutty flavor, almost like candied almond, lingered in the back of my mouth for many minutes after I finished each cup, even at the very end of the session. It made it hard to start my next tea, because I didn’t want that flavor to go away.

This tea is definitely a hit for me. I enjoyed it with 195F water, the recommended temperature on the package, but it also performed quite well with boiled water. This is a tea which I could certainly see myself reordering after I’ve had a chance to try some of BTT’s other oolong offerings.

On a secondary note, I think I’ve been fully converted to the roasted side of oolong. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some very good green oolongs out there (including things like the DYL I tried from BTT a couple months ago), but roasted oolongs just seem to offer nicer flavors and greater texture and complexity, at least as far as my palate is concerned.

Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Hoálatha

This is one of my favorites as well.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

This is much better westerned. All the harsher elements, like the tannin and astringency, are gone, but so are some of the flavors I mentioned yesterday.

I think I prefer today. It’s a nice honey oatmeal.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

This is a nice friendly black that has some characters of a good white. It has that gentle honey and cinnamon taste to it, which makes it more of a bright black than dark. White tea also tends to have this vanilla type base that I think I can identify here.

There’s a bit of maltiness and astringency to it that clearly identifies it as a black tea. I haven’t tried a lot of Taiwanese blacks, so I can’t say where this ranks yet, but it’s very nice, sweet, and gentle.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Backlog. I picked this tea up at last year’s Midwest Tea Fest. Steeped westren at 190F, 4 min, appox 12oz.
Floral, tingly, and fruity, but not peach or berry. I got three more steeps from this so it has lasting flavor. Pretty good.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

This tea is delicious. Toasty and roasty while being a little bit lighter than a usual black tea, this is a unique tea that feels somewhere between a black and a roasted oolong. I am bummed that I only got a sample of this but will be ordering more the next time I put in an order with the company.

Flavors: Roasted, Toasty

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

While this tea still sits on more of the umami green type of flavors that I find seem to be a common occurrence (at least with the BTTC black teas that I have tried), it is subtler and has more depth, nuance, and complexity to it.

In fact, on the first steep, I didn’t notice the slightly vegetal flavors in this tea. On the second steep though they seemed to come out. I was getting ready to dismiss this tea as another one of “those kind of teas.” I am glad that I didn’t as this proved to be much more. While this companies black teas haven’t been real impressive to me, this has been one of the better of the bunch that I have tried.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This tea opens with notes of graham cracker and hay, transitioning to grass and flowers. The floral quality grows in the finish alongside a delightful sweetness, and both linger for some time. While subtle overall, and with a light mouthfeel, there is a refined complexity to the flavors here.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

At this point in the year, I am spending a good deal of my free time slurping down a lot of the green teas and lighter oolongs I have accumulated over the course of the year. I just can’t stand the thought of those fragile teas going stale before I get the opportunity to try them. This baozhong I picked up sometime toward the end of the summer was a product of the winter 2015 harvest. Though it is not a fancy competition grade baozhong, it does hold some appeal.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. Note that I am still using more or less mainland Chinese methods when it comes to preparing these Taiwanese oolongs. For this session, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds following a quick rinse. This was followed by 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute 5 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 minutes 30 seconds, and 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves emitted a mild, pleasant vegetal aroma with a hint of floral character. After the rinse, the floral character became slightly stronger. I also began to note scents of cream and butter emerging. The first infusion presented more clearly defined aromas of sweetgrass, snap peas, soybean, violet, sweet pea, gardenia, vanilla, lily, lilac, and magnolia. In the mouth, there was a slight floral character on the entry, though it was nothing like the nose. I mostly perceived flavors of vanilla, cream, custard, butter, snap peas, sweetgrass, spinach, and soybean. Subsequent infusions saw the floral character become more assertive on the nose and more distinct in the mouth. At this point, I was able to pick out the individual floral components on the tongue that I was getting on the nose. Later infusions were smooth, creamy, and vegetal all around. The floral character began to fade, allowing aromas and flavors of sweetgrass, snap peas, soybean, spinach, cream, butter, custard, and vanilla to move to the fore once again. I also noted a slight mineral presence on the finish and a hint of ripe honeydew that I noted at no other point during the session.

I’ve had other farmer’s choice baozhongs this year and I have to say that I enjoy them about as much as some of the more acclaimed competition grade teas. They are just so pleasant and easy to drink. While this particular baozhong displayed the thin mouthfeel that I do not always immediately appreciate and often associate with spring harvested baozhongs, it did display a nice, though simplistic layering of floral, savory, and vegetal aromas and flavors. I was also impressed by just how much character the tea retained over a fairly lengthy session. Though this was not my favorite non-competition baozhong that I have tried this year, I did find a lot to like about this one. I could see it making a respectable everyday baozhong.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Peas, Soybean, Spinach, Vanilla, Violet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

What is your favorite non-competition Baozhong? I wonder because I am on a green oolong quest. AGAIN.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, of the ones I’ve had recently, I really enjoyed the Wenshan Baozhong Reserve from Tealyra. I found it to be a pleasantly floral, basic baozhong with a bit of a bread character. I also really enjoyed the Winter 2015 Farmer’s Choice Baozhong from Floating Leaves. From the way it was described on the website, I was expecting a tea that was very fruity and vegetal, but I found it to be very creamy, buttery, and smooth with pronounced floral character and subtle fruity and vegetal qualities.

Daylon R Thomas

Nice. Tealyra usually has some great sales too. I was lucky enough to get the Gaoshan sampler that Floating Leaves offered. I especially loved the Da Yu Ling and the Alishan, but too pricey for me to get in larger quantities.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I find that I enjoy a lot of the teas offered by Floating Leaves, but I rarely order them because of the pricing. They have recently released their winter farmer’s choice and competition grade baozhongs, but I can’t afford to buy either at the moment. While I’m thinking about it, would you be willing to recommend me some good high mountain oolongs? I’ve been craving them like crazy lately and will probably be looking to purchase some once I get a little more money in the bank and get the tea hoard down to a reasonable level.

Daylon R Thomas

A better person to task is LiquidProust. He’s the one that’s showed me the full world of oolongs in the first place. TeaDB also has a lot of reviews and mini-articles on High Mountain Oolong. https://teadb.org/taiwanese-oolongs/

Here’s what I can recommend based on preference. What-Cha’s Li Shan was pretty good though the steeping was slightly closer to Western, so you do not get as many steeps. I personally found it being fuller in flavor than other Lishans I’ve had, especially in regards to its fruitier qualities with the florals. oollo’s BaoZhong is good example too-especially heavy on the vanilla note for a natural greener oolong. Still a little too expensive for the quantity you get in my opinion. Berylleb offers a decent variety of Taiwan Oolongs, and a few of my friends has recommended me the DaYuLing that is offered. Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s Old Style Dong Ding is also pretty good and a personal favorite. Beautiful Taiwan Tea’s Misty Mountain, a Shan Lin Xi is also pretty good, but I have not been as much of a fan of it this season. I also have not been much of a fan of Echo-Cha’s Shan Lin Xi despite it also being a favorite in the past season.

I need to research more about how this year’s weather is affecting the growing conditions and taste of this year’s oolong along with the specifics of processing. I am in a situation where I have not been as happy with the greener oolongs because they have not hit all the marks I usually like with them. Hence my insane search for “the one”. I was tempted to buy in bulk from Tealyra, specifically the Jade Oolong you wrote about earlier.

I hope that this gave you a few solid ideas to go off of.

Daylon R Thomas

Also, I personally prefer Qing Xin varietals. Eco-Cha’s Four Seasons is very fruity, however, and may be another target for me.

eastkyteaguy

With that Jade Oolong, I wish I had done more than the flash steeps. I was favoring that method at the time because I felt like it shaved considerable time off of each session and allowed me to conduct more sessions over a shorter period of time, but unfortunately, I also came to feel that I wasn’t getting as much out of the teas I was preparing that way. I’ve noticed that I get more out of each tea by not increasing each infusion by the same set number of seconds. Right now, the method I favor is sort of based off of a beginner’s pu-erh method for gongfu. I can’t remember where I found it, but it works for me. I’m still not at a point where I can go more than 11-14 steeps regularly, but I’m also not someone who gets to a point where I’m steeping exclusively for color. I cut things short when most of the flavor has faded. That jade oolong is one I hope to come back to within the year.

eastkyteaguy

On the subject of Tealyra, I kind of think they’re a vendor that flies below the radar for a lot of people. The name change and their reputation as a generalist probably have a lot to do with it, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of the teas I’ve had from them. I particularly find that they do a good job of sourcing accessible Taiwanese oolongs.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is a smooth and mellow tea that opens with a light note of grass and innate sweetness, leading into a soft tanginess and muted vegetal flavors in the finish. More similar to a Taiwanese Baozhong than a Chinese Biluochun, delicate but appealing.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

I think this is a masterful job of roasted oolong in that the roast is very slight. Don’t get me wrong, heavily roasted, charcoal-y oolongs are some of my favorites. However, this one was done I think with an eye on balance. It sits right in that in between space where every sip I’m left wondering what I tasted more: the roast or the florals.

Where you DO get a lot of the charcoal is on the scent of the brewed/wet leaves. Smells delightful.

No matter which way this tea leans, it carries with it a creamy nuttiness that I adore. Very smooth and tasty.

Now on the second steep, more of the roasted flavors become a bit more dominant. I’m interested to see if this swings back to more floral after a few more steeps.

After about 6 steeps, I should say that this tea does end up tipping into the more roasted column. Which is A-ok with me. But it isn’t too heavy handed. A really solid tea overall.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Nutty, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

Lightly floral and sweet with a faint hint of something I can’t quite tell. It has a slight drying effect that I usually associate with high quality greens.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

This tea is a bit more complex than what I’ve experienced before. I don’t much care for the floral scents of regular high mountain oolongs, but I love the mouthfeel and other subtleties. This tea has those qualities without the perfumed flavor. The initial steep has a delicious charcoal note without any smokiness. This gives way to a creamy, roasted nut, rice, and milk taste with a muted floral note. As the leaves unfurl there is a stronger flavor of rice that comes out with a slight astringency.

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Floral, Milk, Rice, Roast nuts, Smooth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

As others have said, this tea is highly unusual for a white, the leaves look much like black tea with a ridge on the buds that is silvery green; it’s very pretty to look at. The flavor comes out just as unusual. There is a smooth buttery mouthfeel that sticks with you, followed by a brief moment of making your mouth water. This tea gets more and more interesting.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Nutty, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

I just came here to say that this tea impressed me so much that I just made a full (2oz) order despite me having spent waaay too much money on tea just a month ago. I have been fretting ever since I tasted it that this tea would get sold out and I would never get my hands on it again. So, despite my already full tea cabinet, this was one I absolutely HAD to buy more of after a sample.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

Wow. This is absolutely a wow tea. I was shocked at how buttery, creamy, and smooth this tea is from the first steep onward. Like, audible noises of delight while drinking it. I think my wife and children thought me a weirdo. (Lets face it. They’ve thought that long before this little stint)

There isn’t much more to say about this. It is buttery. Feels creamy on the tongue and throat. There are some floral aspects to it but not strong. Which is great because I’m not a huge floral oolong guy. I’m kind of in love with this tea and now I understand the price tag on it. And now I’m contemplating ordering much more than just a sample of this.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.