Taiwan Tea Crafts
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Recent Tasting Notes
I was rummaging through my sample box the other day and found this tea. Had a brief conversation with myself…
Where did this come from?
Obviously Sil sent it to you.
I drank all the samples Sil sent…
The fact that it’s still here means that you didn’t.
Another perfect example of why having 23408234098 teas in your cupboard is too many.
Anyway…. I’m drinking this today at work.
It’s awesome. Of the teas I’ve tried from Taiwan Tea Craft this is my favorite. it’s not really like a “true” dark oolong, it’s not really like other aged oolongs I’ve had. It’s really fruity (stone fruit – peach? apricot?). not floral at all, not roasted/smokey at all. Not sure what it is, but awesome is how I feel.
Thanks so much Sil (and Terri ?) for passing this on to me.
This is not my first tea of the day. First I had a cup of A & D’s Chinese New Year (aka Golden tips), then I had a pot of butiki’s Dinjoye Estate Assam. I should probably post about them, but I don’t really feel like backtracking today, so this is all you get. They are both delicious.
Now for this tea, which is the one I am currently drinking. Tasty Brew included it in the Grab Bag of our BBBBox. I sampled all of the others in the bag, & didn’t care for any of them, so they will be headed to Canada soon. I was gonna sample this one & probably do the same, but then I realized Sil has already tried it, I wasn’t a fan, so I’ll keep it.
I guess it has grown on me, because I kind of enjoyed the first cup & am working on the resteep now. It’s kind of earthy, woody, a little dried fruit, & an underlying taste of white willow bark (think salicylic acid, aspirin), which is interesting because I have a mild headache & was thinking, “I need to stop by Cheryl’s Herbs to get some more white willow bark, & then drink a cup”. So maybe I’m imagining that part.
I got this tea awhile back with my Taiwan Tea Crafts order. I had a huge hurting for a roasty oolong. Though, a surprise with this tea – the oolong leaves are pitch black with an intense roasty charcoal smell that steeps up light, clean, mineral, honey sweet and really smooth roasty flavor.
I was expecting a heavier flavor and texture. I’m on my 5th steeping in my yixing pot and the flavor is pretty consistent.
Overall, a pretty interesting oolong, and this one is on the cheaper side on the website, so easy to sneak into your cart.
I sampled the Songboling Shui Xian Oolong, from TTC, and afterwards I went with this one, to see what happens when you age it. I’d like to preface this by saying that Sil & I have sampled some of the aged black teas from TTC, & they had earthy & musty qualities, that were interesting, but not necessarily desireable. One in particular tasted like beets that have spent the winter in the root cellar, if you know what I mean.
This tea however is not so. I think the aging & occasional re-roasting has done this tea justice, intensifying & deepening the jammy flavors a bit, bringing out a nutty hazelnut quality, & the overall feeling was incredibly smooth. No mustiness, no root veggies, just a lovely Oolong.
I have difficulties with comparing teas. I drank these 2 teas separately, enjoying the first one with resteeps while teaching, and then switching to this one. The problem with this method is I’m terrible about taking any kind of notes. While I’m drinking the cup, I’m loving it & thinking nice things, making note in my head of it’s wonders. Then I switch to a different tea, & all is forgotten, as I am now thinking of THIS cup. I have enough to drink this one more time, & I think that final comparison will be side by side, steep for steep.
I spent most of the day drinking Teas from Taiwan Tea Crafts. In particular, I wanted to drink this & the aged 2005 songboling, lot 135, back to back, to see what becomes of a tea such as this one when allowed to age.
Of course, I have no idea what to say about it. I enjoyed them both, LOL.
This one is a lovely cup, roasty, creamy, & sweet. There’s a real incense quality to the aroma, & also a fruitiness, maybe apricot?
I drank some of this earlier in the day, shared with one of my morning students. I’ve reviewed it several times, so I won’t go on & on, but I did enjoy it! All in all, it’s been a wonderful day. I woke up, did my taichi, qigong, yoga mix, made a nice breakfast, & found myself singing throughout. I don’t know for sure, but I think the return of the sun, just a little earlier each day, is responsible. That & good tea ;)
This tea is a little different than some of the Taiwanese blacks I’ve had before as it is neither dominated by fruit, or the mint spicy tones you often find. Instead it actually does reference oatmeal, not in the aged tea/ exhausted steeping type of oatmeal flavour you get but actual oatmeal with grain, malt and a little hint of nut in it, contributing to a savoury comforting, rich flavour. As secondary notes it has fairly strong malt tones, sharp fruit ranging from long an to red currant, and honey tinged cocoa.
I brewed it 5 times (20, 30,55,120, &240s). It seemed to have a nice bit of resiliency, with malt retaining prominent notes and the cocoa honey note increasing in the first few steepings and the fruit changing from longan to a currant note in later steeps.
Maybe not my favourite Assam but still a warm, comforting and pleasant cup. Thanks to TastyBrew for allowing me the opportunity to try another of TTC’s black teas!
Thank you Sil!! This is certainly a delicious black tea. It is one I would even consider stocking as it is fruity and smooth and really quite tasty. I definitely was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did and now it is gone and I am sad.
Along with the usual floral and honeyed notes (albeit subtle), there are other tastes that are hard for me to pin down. Perhaps fresh tomato? The leaves, both dry and infused, are stunning. A rather complex tea, which may not be worth the steep price.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 3:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 5:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.
Nice subtle roast. Like coffee with lots of cream and a hint of sugar. Has a creamy mouthfeel too which is really delicious.
I prepared this Gong Fu style in my Yixing that is dedicated to roasted type Oolongs. I am having fun with this as I just got this pot. I am getting another one to dedicate to an individual tea as well but am searching for the perfect tea to go for that one.
I am a total tea addict now because the Yixings are very very fun. I love the idea of all the years of lovely tea seasoning the pots with all that character and flavor. And this tea added to that!!!
Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Espresso
I seriously love this tea. I don’t love whoever edited the tea and removed the lot number. Sometimes when multiple lots are in cupboards you need that information. So i beg you..whoever you are, please don’t remove lot numbers! even if that lot never comes back…
This was one of the two teas i packed up in a hurry this morning when i discovered my plan for getting work done and drinking tea at home was not allowed because of my computer issues. Every time i have this, i’m reminded of just how much i love these teas…
Started snowing again! I think we have a few more inches coming! Made a big mug of this as it’s got such a natural sweet and spice warming character to it. Yum!
I posted a few kid snow photos and a slow motion video of the hummingbirds battling over the feeder on my rarely updated blog. Feel free to check it out here:
The video is at the bottom.
I regret to inform you that it appears as though I’m starting to enjoy pretty much every roasted oolong thrown my way. I don’t know if it’s because of their roasty deliciousness or because I can drink them at night without worrying about the caffeine. Or if it’s simply because they are new to me and unlike greens or whites, still have a strong flavor. I don’t know what’s happening, but I do promise to always love my straight black teas best.
p.s. you can blame your tea sister for this. She included this delicious tea a while back and my previous ambivalence towards oolongs kept me from trying it until now.
p.p.s Thanks Terri Harplady!
This was a very strange tea. I did two steepings Western-style. After the first steeping, the first smell that hit me was of candied sweet potatoes. Usually when I smell this in a tea there is also an associated potato skin smell that is similar to dirt, but this tea was lacking that smell. This tea was smoother and very much lighter-bodied than what I was expecting from the initial aroma. The rest of the smells and flavors were difficult to make sense of because I hadn’t experienced a tea like this before. There was a flaky pastry scent, cotton candy-like sweet smell and the faintest aroma of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I also detected a fruity aroma that was closest to bing cherries, but Casey said it was more plum-like to him. There was a very mild minty sensation at the end of the sip.
In the second steeping I could taste some cinnamon candy spiciness and then suddenly tomato paste was there and became dominant note in the cup for me. There was even maybe a bit of an herbaceous smell. I wish I was joking about the tomato paste, but Casey smelled this too. It was pretty off-putting, although it didn’t taste at all like tomato paste, but this tea still gets high ratings from the first steeping about because of its uniqueness.
So, after finishing this tea, I examined the leaves and what I saw at the bottom of my cup was probably the most inner part of a tea bud and not a leafhopper. I don’t own a microscope, so it was pretty difficult to see. I also was unfazed, so I just cleared out the debris with my finger and let it fall on the grass. I’d like to think that leafhoppers do exist, though!
Anyhow, this tea blew me away. The rinse was a lot like flan to me. It had the same super-silky texture and caramelized sugar aroma. The second steeping smelled more like dark chocolate and honey. This tea is truly unlike anything I’ve had before. There is a little bit of malt and hay in the cup and fruit that tastes like apricot preserves. Something about the aroma also reminds me of being near the coast and breathing in the humid, salty air. The third steeping has a very strong caramelized sugar aroma.
I thought I’d brew a cup of this, as comparison to the Eco-Cha Red Jade. Both are tres 18 teas, & they are very similar. The appearance is slightly different, as these leaves appear to be larger, & less tightly twisted. Flavorwise, they are both tart, fruity, & spicy. The Eco-Cha features more of a minty sensation, more clove, & more bitterness. I’d say this one is sweeter, but the re-steep was weak.
To be fair, although I used the same steep times, I can’t be entirely sure I used the exact same amount of tea, so don’t take this comparison too seriously. I didn’t weigh either tea, & their leaf size & shape is very different. On my next steeping, I’ll weigh them both, & use same sized Gaiwans.
Another backlog from friday – one of two teas that went on our road trip with me to get me from toronto to detroit. I knew we wouldn’t have time to run around findind water for me, so i just brought the two travel mugs for the trip and then went nearly the entire rest of the weekend with no tea. eep! it sucked. haha but this tea? Still loving’ it’s juicy tastiness.
I’m back, I’ve missed you dear Steepster friends this week :-)
I’d like to thank Sil for incuding such a good one for me…This is right up my alley, beloved Taiwanese blacks!
I did many infusions this morning, using the new glass yixing pot I got on boxing day for peanuts…
The tea is gorgeous, it rendered a relatively light colour compared to other taiwanese black. It feels round in the mouth, like most teas with hints of honey do.
It has a very distinct smell and taste, if I can pin point properly that very faint sourness I get, I’d compare it to rye bread to give you an idea, that’s very pronounced when you smell the wet leaf and easier to identify. That’s what I do when I’m trying to get notes in the tea, smelling the wet leaf gives me a much better idea and helps me define the taste. But it is so relative and personal, what feels like rye bread to me, might feel like almond to someone else. That’s why I find reading about tea somewhat poetic…
All in all, this tea is superb and gave me great joy this morning,
Thank you so much Sil for knowing I would aporeciate this!