Beautiful Taiwan Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This has to be the the most beautiful looking Dragon Well tea I have yet to see. There is fresh buds at the top and a few leaves per stem. While it looks beautiful, there is only a general green tea taste to it. What was nice about this was the three steeps I got out of it while I was outside :)
So, as this one is steeping, it smells grassy, flowery. The first sip is very grassy, too, though I think I need to wait awhile longer to drink this – that first sip nearly scalded my tongue!
Ok, since my tea has been cooling all the time I was on a family phone call, it’s definitely cooled off by now. I’m getting a bitter, almost astringent flavor from this now, and just the barest hint of sweetness. I don’t know if the bitterness is part of the flavor or because of my oversteeping, but it’s a pleasant bitterness.
I really like this one. It’s my first pu-erh tea. I think I want to try some more. :)
Flavors: Bitter, Flowers, Grass, Green
My Kickstarter tea arrived! I’m drinking this western style, because my dog broke the lid to my gaiwan. :( (Did I mention I have a new dog? I love her, even though she is a tiny bit destructive.) Anyway, the tea. This is quite a nice high-mountain oolong. It has a lovely sweet, fresh aroma, and the taste is similar: lightly vegetal, sweet, crisp, with a creamy mouthfeel and a cleansing sensation to the palate. It’s not overly complex (or maybe I’m just not appreciating the complexity this evening), but it’s very nice.
Flavors: Creamy, Sweet, Vegetal
This one has a grassy scent and taste to it. Like dried grass. I’ll be honest, I might be more in love with the name and story than the flavor. That’s not me saying I don’t like this tea. Just that I love the idea of drinking a tea steeped in moonlight for a night before being packaged. It just makes it seem that much more spiritual and meditative. And I think this would make a good meditation tea.
There is the slightest hint of sweetness to this in the aftertaste, turning the grassy, spinachy flavor a little more hay-like. That probably comes a bit from steeping it at such a low temperature. I’m not getting any stringency or bitterness
I do like this white tea, although I usually prefer more flavored whites. But this is a very nice “pure white tea” flavor.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Spinach, Vegetal
So, I made an effort to follow the steeping instructions this time. Microwaved it till the digital thermometer read 191, and I set a timer for 3.5 minutes, though by the time I took the tea out, it was probably closer to 4.
I’m not as familiar with oolong tea as I am with black/green/white/rooibos/herbal – I don’t drink it as often. I loved this Kickstarter campaign, though, and I’m looking forward to trying it.
The oolong (steeped) smells a little more grassy and flowery than I’m used to with my teas. Almost like it’s fermented. The color is a marigold yellow. The taste matches the scent, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s definitely got a more vegetal quality than most teas I’m used to. I haven’t had enough oolongs over the years to decide if that’s just how they are, or if this is more unique to this variety.
As it cools to the point where I can drink longer, rather than just sipping at it (it’s still hot), I’m getting a distinct impression of clover. There is the barest hint of sweetness to it that rounds out the grassiness.
I do think next time I steep this tea, though, I might let it steep for a longer period. Maybe at a slightly lower temperature, and see what flavor I get from it.
Flavors: Grass, Vegetal
Tea #6, 2015 Asian Tea tasting event hosted by me:
This was the 2014 Winter harvest that came with the rewards from their Kickstarter. This was a tea I was REALLY looking for :)
The buds have two to three leaves on them and look beautiful :)
I need to tinker with the brewing of this one, but at the same time I can tell that in regards to taste it did kind of let me down some. I was expected a winter harvest to really have more power behind it and compel me to only buy winter harvest oolongs but this did not do that. It is still good, but I am still in search of that one oolong that befriends and converses with my tastebuds in a way that I experience.
p.s. I am happily sun-burnt holding a pot with the leaf all over for your amusement https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t1.0-9/11108869_10152900756937361_2761049267117210011_n.jpg?oh=09d3dbbcfc369d352501ef2eb079ad59&oe=55FD413B
Tea #5, 2015 Asian Tea tasting event hosted by me:
This was the 2015 harvest that came with the rewards from Kickstarter and I must say that it was very tricky to identify or figure this tea out. I used water at 210f for 300 seconds and the liquid was lighter than a black tea should be. While I hate Assam tea, there is a clear Assam like taste that is present in this tea but it is much smoother and leaves behind that bitterness that the coffee drinkers can have because I don’t want it. Not something I would drink often but it is something to expand my tea drinking choice habits. Rather pleased that this wasn’t a dark, strong, bitter tasting tea even if I expected that.
My first two tries with this tea were failures. My problem? I didn’t rinse the leaves. Its amazing how much of a difference that makes!
1st steep. Vegetal flavors. Nothing milky. Kinda more of a green then an oolong. Also some hay and grass notes.
2nd steep. Getting smoother. Still more vegetal though.
3rd steep. Bam! Nice and silky. Milk qualities and flavors coming out. If it wasn’t 10pm I would keep going but I want to sleep tonight.
Not a Fan TTB. I am very much a fan of this tea. Some really great vegetal and grass notes. I’d really like to do a cold steep and see how it turns out. It’s more of a green then an oolong I think. It has more of a green flavor then an oolong flavor but it definitely has some of those smooth oolong qualities.
Flavors: Grass, Vegetal
This is pretty good – very creamy, but as it cools it gets very floral. I found it to be rather strong – I feel like a teaspoon ended up tasting a bit overleafed and bitter for 8oz of water. Which is great – more tea savings for me. :) Not to mention the three resteeps…
This is really, really tasty. Fresh spring in a bag is the scent of the dry leaf. Pretty, twisty, long green leaves.
Smooth, buttery mouthfeel. Green and fresh, a cup of vegetables.
Did this gongfu to start with. About 20 seconds and it was deeply green and smooth. Next steep was 40 seconds and added a heft of buttery richness. Third steep for 60 seconds started to thin out. Fourth steep also 60 seconds but at a lower water temp was pretty much done.
I want to try this again but western or grandpa instead of gongfu. I liked it gongfu, but I think I could really like it in one long steep. Also, after trying the green from Shang and loving it done at a higher temp, I intend to try this one like that as well.
LiShan Winter Premium High Mountain Oolong 2014
Origin: LiShan, Central Taiwan
Dry Leaves: The leaves are less uniform then the Special Reserve’s, but they have a much nicer blue and green color. They had a light minerally scent, compared to the Special Reserves I think this was a much prettier tea.
Temperature: Boiling (then 190oF)
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Floral and Citrus
Flavor: Citrus, Floral, Cinnamon, Fruity and Vegetal
Tasting Notes: I used about 5g of tea in my 100ml JianShui whereas I used about 7g for the Special Reserve because I tend to find Winter Oolongs tend to have much more flavor. This was a much more subtle oolong then though Special Reserve, although I am not that surprised. A lot of winter oolongs I’ve tried have been blunter then their spring counterparts, whereas the teas BTT sources tend to be more nuanced and complex than the earlier harvests. This had a nice buttery mouthfeel, much nicer than the Special Reserve on par with similar winter oolongs grown at this elevation. I liked the cinnamon and vegetal notes in this tea, it was a nice contrast to the citrus and floral ones. In later infusions it became more vegetal than anything else.
The winter leaves are a little smaller, but considerably thicker. I almost want to say they are in not as good shape as the Special Reserve; they look like they have been rolled tighter and you can certainly see even after ten infusions the leaves are still somewhat furled although I did notice that this tea had a lot more leaves per stem, whereas the Special Reserve had two to three leaves per stem on average. This time I got seventeen infusions. I definitely am going to buy some more before it sells out, $19.99 for 2oz is an amazing deal for this.
[Pictures and more at: http://rah-tea.blogspot.com/2015/01/beautiful-taiwan-tea-2014-lishan.html)
LiShan Special Reserve 2014
Origin: LiShan, Central Taiwan
Dry Leaves: The leaves are absolutely beautiful, while mostly green, there is tons of blues in there, as well as stems. I could tell instantly this was going to be a beautiful Taiwanese tea. There was a slight scent, but I had trouble describing it, my best description was oolong-y
Temperature: Boiling (then 190oF)
Brewing Time: One Minute
Flavor: Lilac, Mineral and Cherry
Tasting Notes: This was surprisingly thin, not that I am disappointed, but I was expecting a thicker mouthfeel for a tea grown at such a high elevation. Regardless this was quite nice, it was pleasantly floral and it had some nice cherry notes that I don’t often see in oolongs, especially Taiwanese oolongs. The liquor was rather attractive, I used my favorite chawan and it almost looked like it had specs of gold in it, which I found was a nice contrast to the brown and white of the chawan, although I have made this tea in other cups and it doesn’t have that same effect.
If BTT still had any stock of this I could easily see myself buying again, I don’t remember it being that expensive, I think it was a little less than $10 an ounce. This used to be my favorite High Mountain Oolong from Beautiful Taiwan Tea, but then I tried the Misty Mountain and some of their newer teas causing me to rethink this, although I suppose the question is do I prefer this LiShan over the Winter LiShan. Unlike the Misty Mountain, this is hardly a daily drinker and compared to the Winter LiShan its leaves took much longer to unfurl. I got twelve infusions out of this tea.
Thank you for the sample TheLastDodo! This is so something I wouldn’t have picked for myself but when I was cooking supper tonight I suddenly found myself with such a craving for green tea. How odd for me! But, this was the perfect thing to satisfy that craving.
The dark twisty leaves are beautiful, first off. Dry I didn’t get much of a smell – it kinda smelled, to me, like most straight greens do – a little grassy. That is, if they don’t remind me of seaweed – which this one didn’t. I made very sure to steep it at the correct temperature, though my steep time was dreadfully inaccurate. I was aiming for two minutes – but I got distracted chopping up peppers, and I think what I ended up with was closer to a five minute steep?
Still came out spectacularly though – not even a little bit bitter or astringent which, to me, was shocking given that I personally have the most trouble brewing greens and am usually very receptive of bitterness when it comes to them.
Most notably, this was a very, very creamy and buttery green tea. It reminded me strongly of buttered green beans – sweet, creamy and so smooth going down. Something I used to eat all the time at my Grandma’s house during the summer. And following the same sort of mindset, when you got past the rich flavour there was a gentle earthiness underneath and extending a little into the aftertaste – like beans straight from the garden which haven’t been washed yet. Fresh, raw, and natural. For me, this is something you’d drink in the early afternoon outdoors right when spring is on the cusp of becoming summer.
And I loved it. I really, really did!
So far it’s the only tea I’ve had today – yesterday I got more dental work done (only nine fillings left to go – yay?) and afterwards could really only stand cold things, so I just had my daily cold brew. Good news is that today my mouth feels perfectly fine! Usually I’m in pain for the next couple of days following getting work done, so it’s a welcomed change.
Today, I had to spend a few hours running around getting stuff done like getting my new work pants hemmed – ‘cause they were like a foot longer than my legs. Major tripping hazard! I also didn’t sleep a wink last night, so I spent a LARGE portion of today taking long naps. Not much has been accomplished; oh well…
Although the infused leaves smell heavenly, the infused liquor leaves much to be desired. Too thin, and lacking in flavour, for my taste. This is a nice tea, but nothing special.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 70 deg., 1:30 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 70 deg., 5:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 70 deg., 10:00+ min.