Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Compared to the Jin Xuan White Tea from the Fragrant Jade series, this tea’s leaves weren’t nearly as aromatic. They have an overall grassy, beany, vegetal smell that you might expect from green tea. The flavor of the first infusion is light, vegetal, nutty, and a bit sweeet. It’s very clean tasting and the infusion is a really pale yellow. I am brewing this gongfu style in a porcelain gaiwan.

Second infusion, more rich umami vegetables. There’s a really subtle hint of clove or camphor that reveals that this is from an oolong cultivar and not the usual green tea cultivars, but aside from that note, and it is a delicate one, this really reminds me a lot of many Chinese green teas I’ve had.

The third infusion got more sweet and nutty and mild. And the fourth did so as well. I enjoyed these two infusions the most.

This is a clean tasting and good green tea. After the first or second infusion, it didn’t have as much of the green bean taste that is rather common in Chinese green tea that I’m not a huge fan of. Clean tasting and light are the two words I’d use to sum up this teas biggest strengths.

Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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100

Well, if you’re a milk oolong lover or a lover of strange and rare teas, you’re in for a thrill. Just read the description of this tea on its Steepster page, taken from the Taiwan Tea Crafts website.

I love milk oolong and white tea is my favorite type so this seemed like a no-brainer for me. Already, right out of the bag, the leaves are incredibly fragrant. I’m reminded of another aroma that is really familiar but I can’t put my paw on it. It’s a dried fruit aroma of some sort… maybe dried bananas or dried papaya. After the leaves sit in a warm gaiwan they have a really nice nutty aroma. I am so perplexed by the aroma of the wet leaves after the first infusion. They have so much going on, I can hardly describe it. It’s very aromatic… with notes of buttery vegetal and green bean that remind of Chinese green teas coming off the leaves, while the inside of the gaiwan lid smells more fruity.

The tea liquid itself smells creamy, sweet, and nutty, with hints of cooked fruit. The taste is rich and buttery in a similar way to a traditional rolled Jin Xuan oolong. There are rich vegetal flavors, and a very long and flavorful finish. The body is really thick and heavy on the tongue, and the tea leaves your mouth really wet and salivating afterwards due to the recurring flavor and sweetness.

The second infusion is a little more vegetal than the first. There are tiny notes of muscatel grape in the background. There’s a pretty rich nutty flavor, a bit of tanginess, almost grapefruit-like, and a lasting sweetness. It’s also got a good deal of savory/umami flavor.

By the third infusion, I’m tasting more of a muscatel grape note that reminds of first-flush Darjeeling (just like their description says). There are background notes with that mountain vegetation kind of taste that I get from a lot of high mountain oolongs. As the tea cools I’m tasting grapefruit as well.

Fourth infusion has confounded my expectation. I’m tasting toasted sugar primarily, while all the other notes mentioned before blend harmoniously in the background.

Fifth infusion has a lot of the same toasted sugar taste, even a bit caramely or like toffee. Aside from that, it is much like the fourth.

I have to say I’m completely impressed by this tea, and very glad I picked some up. I don’t know how I could know of this tea and not do so! Major compliments to the people who produced this amazing tea.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Grapefruit, Muscatel, Sugar, Sweet, Toasty, Toffee, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Ubacat

You got my attention with this one!

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85

Dry leaf: FLORAL, SWEET (perfumey/potpourri-ish floral, light chocolate, bittersweet “green” notes, buttery, noticeable honey notes when put in pre-heated vessel)

Smell: FLORAL, SWEET (similar floral notes as dry leaf, bitter honey, some sessions had a mineral/ocean notes – seashells, seaweed – very faint, pleasant)

Taste: SWEET, FRUIT, CREAMY, VEGETAL (natural honey, bitter honey, lemon rind and citrus, some creaminess like flan or custard, vegetal notes like tomato vine/sun-dried tomatoes, sweet corn. Aftertaste of honeydew melon and natural honey.)

Honey! That is the constant throughout. It is not a heavy or strong flavor, but it’s definitely there. Also, it’s a slightly bitterish honey – like wildflower honey or honey from that one friend who decided to give beekeeping a shot. Well, maybe a bit better than that…

The body is medium-light, so it requires some attention to really pull out and appreciate the flavors. Great afternoon tea to sip on while procrastinating chores.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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This was one of two tea sessions today involving Wenshan Bao Zhong; this and a tea that was enjoyed in the late afternoon.

The rich aromatics were a beautiful blend of floral, grain and nuttiness like roasted almond and salted cashew. The liquor creamy and the notes roasted brown rice, sweet cream, pistachio and hyacinth maybe subtle vanilla. What really had me spinning was a not so subtle coconut aromatic as well as flavor note. The combination of scent and taste along with my previous tea session put me into a serious tea utopia which is far beyond any good feels I’ve experienced before.

7g of gorgeous leaf, 150ml jingdezhen pot with 190F for 30s, 30s, 50s and climbing in 20-30s increments for well over six infusions.

The happy shiny pouch:
https://instagram.com/p/BGYFvbAhUrD/

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BGYJ6mEBUkh/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGYVa31hUob/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Adding to wish list now.

CWarren

TTC is running a 15% sale which could be dangerous. :) Ever want a sample, let me know. I’ll send some your way.

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This was one of two tea sessions today involving Wenshan Bao Zhong; this and a lightly baked tea that was enjoyed in the evening through on to late night.

One of the most creamy floral oolongs I’ve had in both flavor notes and in aromatics. You know a tea is about to wow you when even the creaminess comes through in scent. Beautiful semi thick mouthfeel and serious happy feels. There was so much happiness in this session that I am amazed I made it through to the next session. A serious fan of this beauty.

7g of some the most beautiful leaf strands I’ve seen in a 150ml jingdezhen pot with 190F for 30s, 30s, 50s and climbing in 20-30s increments for six very flavorful infusions and a few more subtler ones.

I love their packaging:
https://instagram.com/p/BGXVOoZBUsn/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGXipeBhUhI/

The final leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BGXwHXGhUvr/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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When you come across a tea like this it truly makes you thankful to those who picked it. It’s a refined and truly noble tea. One can almost see a king sitting on his throne and drinking this. It goes down smoothly like a bourbon. The roasted, slightly nutty flavor is just amazing. I have to confess though I’m not one who generally drinks darker oolongs but ones like this truly need to be tasted to be appreciated.
Try this both hot and cold. It is enjoyable either way.

Preparation
1 tsp

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88

Dry leaf: FLORAL, SWEET (potpourri floral – lilac? – lemongrass, fresh honey sweetness, buttery, bittersweet green, salty sweetness)

Smell: FLORAL, SAVORY (lilac, honeysuckle, buttered toast, hint of cooked spinach)

Taste: CREAMY, CITRUS, VEGETAL, FLORAL, SWEET (buttery, lemongrass, orange and lemon peel, potpourri floral, honeysuckle, red apple, creamy sweetness, nut oil, hints of saltwater taffy, salty umami, very light sun-dried tomatoes, spinach)

This tea is like a rollercoaster. It rises up with very high floral notes, then plunges down to a thick, rich umami, vegetal, and creamy body, and then finishes bright, floral, and citrus-sweet. You know what? You could probably write a haiku about this yin-yang experience, but I’ll just stick to describing the tea…

Overall, the high notes are clear and bright and easily weave in and out on a thick, rich base of creamy vegetal flavors. It’s a quality tea for sure.

Now – the tough part. It’s definitely not cheap (although Taiwan Tea Crafts has some of the best pricing out there.) At $.50/g, it’s a splurge – especially since I ended up using a 2:1 g/fl oz leaf:water ratio. So, taste-wise it’s 92/100. Value-wise… hmm… It’s almost twice as expensive as other green oolongs… Is it twice as good as these other oolongs I’ve had? No. But, the 25g sample pack doesn’t exactly break the bank either. Will I purchase it again – most likely. So 85/100 on the price side of things.

Summary of the above, which got too long in my caffeinated state – delicious tea that proves its quality with an almost fine-tuned taste experience. Well worth getting a sample pack and enjoying your mountain experience.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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I am never disappointed when it comes to these TRES black/red teas from Taiwan. There’s just something awesome about these scientific creations that make me smile, this one included.

The aromatics upon opening the bag were powerfully strong with scent of caramel, cantaloupe and raisin, and the dry leaf itself one of the most beautiful I’ve come across. When infused, burnt brown sugar and caramel notes with a delicious yam flavor coming on strong in the end and an amazing sun kissed fiery colored liquor. Enjoyable from start of preparation to the last infusion.

6g of leaf, 180ml Hong Ni, 212F, 30s first infusion, 10s second, 15s third, 30s fourth before it started to wane. Two last infusions at 2m and 3m to get the rest of the leaf’s tasty notes.

Another tea session prepared as part of Lion’s “A Week of Tea Exploration”, day five, black tea.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BF4lfD4BUoe/

The liquor:
https://instagram.com/p/BF4v1SYBUgs/

The final wet leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BF40_U4hUsF/

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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This leaf smells like my brothers bo which make me worried… I’m not even joking, how is that possible?

Anyways, brewed this up with two infusions in a kyusu to drink. Nice mouth feel that sticks around. Taste is on the low spectrum of floral with some vegetable in there. Was hoping for something stronger. This would be ideal to drink outside or by itself, wouldn’t do well with food. I’m more of a shan lin xi or dong ding type of guy, but oolong is still the best type of tea so this made me happy :)

Daylon R Thomas

Shan Lin Xi have become a preference for me too. But you are a cause for that. Lucky me sent me some of Eco-Cha’s and it was incredibly fruity.

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Let me just say this: AGED OB IS ALWAYS GOOD.

ALWAYS>

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Six different type of gui fei and all of them were bad… until I tried this. Crisp taste with a lingering toasted honey note.

Wonderful tea, but it’s the only one of the seven I tried that I can say was good… is gui fei bad or is this just amazing?

Kirkoneill1988

i’m not familiar with that term

mrmopar

“Precious Concubine”.

Kirkoneill1988

i never understood what Chinese concubines were :/

Kirkoneill1988

what are they?

Equusfell

I’ve not really been impressed with the gui fei’s that I’ve tried. I can see their merits for people who like mild black tea, but I guess it’s just not my jam. Tastes like a slightly floral ceylon to me, most of the time!

boychik

I think I loved this one

Roswell Strange

@LP, bummer that this is only the first of seven you’ve enjoyed. I love Gui Fei – it has a very sweet, honey and jammy quality to me that’s incredibly lovely. Can’t love ’em all, right? At least you found one that does it for you :)

Rich

Yeah, this is one of my favorites from TTC. I bought enough for aging.

Kirkoneill1988

Thanks evol

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This tea elicited a rather odd response from me. Dry leaf aroma was dirt, but the wet leaf aroma and flavor was another kettle of fish. Well, not fish exactly… So here’s what happened: I’m sitting in my office, and I take one sip of this tea, and for some reason I hear myself yelling aloud “BEETROOT!, BEETROOT! BEETROOT!” whereupon a malevolent looking beetcreature dressed in black and white stripes arose from my office floor. Spewing black tea from its giant maw, its head spun around 360 degrees, and it looked me dead in the eye and yelled “IT’S SHOWTIME!” So anyway I gave him the tea and thankfully he went away.

TL;DR: I’ve had black tea about 167 times and it just keeps getting worse every time I drink it. /end pop culture references

Cwyn

Haha! I think black tea is really best in first three years.

mrmopar

A shou head in the making…

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i got 25g with my last order. leaves are mix of long and some broken and stems.
The tea is very aromatic and tasty. its not loud but delicious nevertheless. Chocolaty, fruity, some mild spicyness, i would say cinnamon and some dried fruits. The tea is light and would be perfect for the warm season. i dont drink green teas. Some black teas are malty and just too heavy in summer. this one is perfect
5g 100g glazed pot 200F
no rinse/10/15/20sec

https://instagram.com/p/BCp3ftihwgf/

https://instagram.com/p/BCp7Nj9hwnX/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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If you over steep this tea, this is what you would taste: Imagine taking two day old tree bark removed from someones backyard and accidentally fell in your only cup of Sprite you were going to drink that week. Well, you forgot to dump it out and left it there as you and a friend laughed so it went flat. A few days later you take the bark out and notice the liquid is darker so you are as weird as this guy named Andrew and strain the liquid to make a woodsy soup. Noticing that it taste like a roasted/woodsy oolong, you realize you created an over steeped gui fei.

Anyways: This tea is suppose to be similar to what happens when honey notes meet an interesting oriental beauty, but something is lost in translation; the truth is, these are my taste buds and I am not a fan of oriental beauty. The flavors are a bit confusing when you brew this the way I find best, being 30s steeps. This tea just has this odd mixture of woodsy notes that taste like someone tried to sweeten bark. Not for me.

Liquid Proust

Okay… when the woodsy notes disappear these floral and fruity notes come in and if I was to be 100% honest with everyone, this taste like warm soap. What the hell?

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80

Sipdown (119)!

Thanks Kittenna for the sample!

The leaf for this tea is really beautiful; it has that long, kind of twisty and gnarled leaf appearance I really like for black teas. It’s just gorgeous! The liquor is stunning too; it’s a super rich looking gold with really great clarity! I want to melt away in it…

The taste is pretty solid; it’s actually a little softer/less full bodied than I’d expected from it, but the flavour is very clean and smooth overall despite a more mild profile. It’s got sweet honey notes, which I definitely think is a solid characteristic of Taiwanese teas in general. It’s also got a lovely fruity/jammy note which is mild and kind of provides a solid foundation for the whole cuppa. Cherry, peaches, maybe red currant?

It’s very nice overall!

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79

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #29
Oh gosh, I always feel like I can’t appreciate a roasted oolong the most of any other type of tea. I wasn’t aware this one would taste so roasted, as the smaller oolong bundles are dark green and didn’t look roasted to me. I’m just not a fan of the charcoal/roasty/tobacco oolongs. So I don’t have much to say about this one. Though all three steeps were very consistent with flavor and this one also had hints of peach wafting occasionally in some sips. If I knew this one was so roasted, I would have left it from someone else. There is still a little left for someone else to try though.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 7 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 minute steep

boychik

Try it gongfu style. Shorter steeps. I like this tea

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recently bought several 25g samples .
falling in love with Taiwanese teas but it shouldnt be happening. Puerh addiction is more than enough for my wallet.
nice looking long leaves smell of ripe tomato and plum.
6g 130 ml teapot 205F
rinse/short steeps
the brew is gorgeous red color, smells like herbs and mint. it has pretty strong menthol and spice taste along with plum and lychee notes. yummy and so warming. perfect for snow storm we were experiencing today.

https://instagram.com/p/BBa0LeDhwov/

https://instagram.com/p/BBa1-KDhwsv/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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5

This came as a sample from TTC. However, it was not an enjoyable brew. I made 2 batches of this: 5 g tea in 8 oz water and 2.5 g tea in 8 oz water. In both cases, the tea was a nice, smooth liquor but had a very strong and overpowering kale-like flavor with not so subtle notes of ongoing fermentation.

Flavors: Heavy, Kale, Sour

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’ll make this short: There’s a reason there are not many aged ginseng oolong out there.

kevdog19

Is that a good thing? Or…

Liquid Proust

It’s a good thing that they are not around. This is not something I would recommend someone spending money on.

Haveteawilltravel

hahah same though I had xD

kevdog19

When I first read the tea’s title I didn’t see the ginseng part and I was fascinated by your acquisition of a 1988 oolong. I have to say, any added herbs or flavorings to tea is a turn off for me, but ginseng of all things could be a cool alternative to tea. I see this a waste as well because I would like to go in one direction or the other, while this tea seems to be lying right in between.

Liquid Proust

@kevdog19 I’ve got oolong from the 1960s… they are not hard to find, actually. I ran an aged oolong group buy in 2015 and we all received two from the 70’s, one of which was a oriental beauty; taste like a 90’s sheng to me… frickin’ great stuff.

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89

A very nice deep honey flavored gui Fei oolong. Fairly sweet, just a touch of roast.

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I am somewhat new to the oolong scene. With my last Chawangshop order, they included a free sample of a Gui Fei oolong, which I had never heard of. It was a really nice tea, sweet and honey flavor. It is one of those bug bitten teas, I think it comes under the umbrella of an oolong beauty. The bug bites force the tea plant to produce this characteristic honey taste. So I went hunting and found that Taiwan Tea Crafts had a couple varieties, so I ordered them. This is the first I tried. It’s a nice tea, medium dark, no roastiness. It does have that honey flavor, not too strong. It also had a little astringency, which I like, just a touch. Overall a nice tea.

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69

A rare miss for TTC. I bought this accidentally thinking it was a green oolong. I’m glad it was only a 25g sample because this tea misses the mark for me. This tea comes from a Jin Xuan varietal and thus has the unmistakable milky creaminess. It also has a noticeably pronounced baked flavor and smell. My problem is it doesn’t have any taste characteristics other than those. The flavor of the tea overall is malty with hints of cocoa and has a smooth body. There’s not much complexity or depth to it. The roasted creamy flavor dominates steep after steep. It’s palatable but that’s about it.

Lately I’ve taken to blending a bit of this tea with jade oolongs which gives a fuller body and more rounded flavor.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Milk

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
Zennenn

I like your creativity! I need to try this.

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This tea pairs so well with cold and gusting winds we experiencing now.
it is exactly like in the description: cinnamon spice and strong minty cool tastes along with fruitiness. i find some plums and lychees maybe but they are sort of background.
6g 100ml glazed teapot 212F
rinse/ short steeps ( i dont time, according to my liking, but i say i started with 3/5/7/10sec maybe)
Very enjoyable session.

https://instagram.com/p/BAughI8hwsr/

https://instagram.com/p/BAujzRDBwiu/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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