Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

92

I’m surprised Shibi tea has managed to fly under the radar for so long. IMO, this is one of the most underrated Taiwanese oolongs out there. It encompasses the flavor characteristics of some of the best high mountain teas.

The scent of the wet tea leaves is floral with subtle notes of coconut and tropical fruit. The first couple of infusions are quite light and merely tease your tongue with hints of flavor. Around the 3rd/4th steeps is where the tea really begins to show its stuff. A creamy body rich with flowery nectar, stonefruits, apple, and a hint of coconut in the finish.

I tried this alongside the spring harvest, and enjoyed the fuller, more luscious flavor of the winter crop. In fact, I’m finding myself preferring the winter harvest for Taiwanese tea in general for the clean and smooth taste.

Flavors: Apple, Flowers, Nectar, Tropical

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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94

Backlog.

I finished off this tea 3 weeks ago and still can’t stop thinking about how good it was. This is an elegant oolong, light but full of subtlety and depth. The dry leaf smells flowery and bright. Strong notes of hyacinth waft out from the wet leaves in the teapot. The tea itself is a delicious medley of lychee like fruitiness, flowers, and mineral sweetness leaving behind a long lasting aftertaste. There’s are undertones of tart citrus and lingering balsamic notes. The taste is fresh, clean, and delicate. I enjoyed how the flavor changes with every sip of this tea. Definitely a tea you need to sit down and pay attention to in order to fully appreciate it.

Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Lychee

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Thank you Andrew! I’ve been meaning to try this.

The other two reviews are pretty close, though this is not quite sweet as I thought it could be. It’s a little bit drying, and it’s fairly vegetal along the creamy plantain body gong fu. Think banana leaves vegetal with a typical Jin Xuan texture. I am getting the first flush Darjeeling taste big time in its grassiness, which is pretty impressive though that taste is hit or miss for me. The smell is fruitier than the taste, though not by much. First steep was 10 sec, and I’ve been in the tens all morning. I liked it more in the first few steeps. Next time, I should do it western to see what I get. I also should not be sick. Maybe then I might get more dessert and fruit qualities.

Evol Ving Ness

Sending healing vibes. Hope you feel better soon, Daylon.

Daylon R Thomas

Thanks. :) I think they are seasonal allergies.

Evol Ving Ness

Probably far better than being allergic to tea. :)

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100

I’ve had this tea sitting for two months unopened. So finally got around to trying it out today.

This tea is AMAZING!!!

When I opened the bag the fragrance of the tea was sooo good. Kind of a bit like a black tea, a bit like a green, fruity and fresh. I couldn’t stop sniffing it.

I brewed this at 80C for 2 min. I usually brew my whites at 90. Some use 70C. I figured I would change things up and go inbetween.

First infusion was intoxicating. Sweet and creamy (like in the Jin Xuan oolongs), with a fruity flavour (a bit like grape) and slightly malty. The sweetness was not overly strong but it had caramel notes. There was a little fruity tang to it too. I also got nutty notes like in green tea.

2nd infusion was more caramel and fruit. Less creamy/nutty.

There were elements of this tea that was like black, then white, and then green. What a unique tea! Glad I bought this one!

Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Fruity, Malt, Nutty, Sweet

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85

I’ve had this tea a few times and haven’t left a review yet. I love the way Taiwan Tea Crafts seal up their tea leaving no air. The teas are always very fresh as was this one. It was very sweet and nutty with a bit of green bean in the first infusion. No astringency at all. Second infusion was less sweet and hardly much green bean flavour but still good. Overall a great green tea.

Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94

I am really happy with all the teas I’ve ordered from Taiwan Tea Crafts. Unfortunately , I haven’t gotten around to leaving reviews on all them.

Having this one today and I finished the cup before I could get the review in. It’s that good. This tea is not artificially scented. Only scented with natural flowers. So the jasmine comes through but blends so good with the buttery, sweet, milky flavour of the Jin Xuan oolong

So good I am going for another infusion.

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66

I’ve never a met a Bao Zhong I didn’t like – until I tried this one. Picked it up because it was inexpensive and like with most things, got what I paid for.

It’s not a bad tea per se, but it just doesn’t measure up to the other more exquisite versions of this tea that I’ve had. It’s got a generic bao zhong flavor profile – honey and orchid fragrance, buttery body, and light sweetness. However, it’s missing the fresh flowery notes of lilac, hyacinth, and gardenia. Overall I find the taste to be insipid and lacking the sophistication and subtleties of BTT and TTC’s higher grade bao zhongs.

Flavors: Orchid

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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78

For a key to my rating scale, check out my bio.


Very tropical and floral green tea, with definite notes of mangosteen and lychee, as well as a viscous honey sweetness. Very slight astringency, but even with overdrawing the tea does not get bitter. $27 USD / 100g.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Gardenias, Honey, Lychee, Thick, Tropical

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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60

Cheap old tea! This 1982 tastes like a liubao and not Sun Moon Lakey anymore. It is musty old water logged books, ash, charcoal, wet stones and more must. Ride this tea a long time and it cleans up to sweet, mineral and camphor.

I really didn’t like the thin body on this one and I was really unimpressed my tea was very twiggy and had a rock in it. But hey, it’s $5 and 1982, what did you expect?

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/1982-sun-moon-lake/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 0 OZ / 10 ML

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90

Dry leaf – FRUIT, NUT: variety of dried fruit (mango, strawberry, cranberry), Mexican hot chocolate, peanut shell, roasted peanut

Smell – SWEET: scented candle wax, dried strawberries, yams, carob

Taste – FRUIT, ROASTED SWEET: yam, carob, roasted marshmallow, caramalized sugars off of a baked sweet potato, waxy cranberry/green apple tartness in background, hints of papaya.

Well, this is different. Complex and various flavors run throughout this one. From the notes above, you can see how I struggled trying to pinpoint the flavors. Here’s why – this thing tasted like the smell of someone baking a sweet potato casserole in a room with a holiday scented candle. Figure that out. Perfect for sipping while you prepare an ACTUAL sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving or something.

Fruity, caramel-y, savory, aromatic. Really a treat if you need to reinvigorate your taste buds with something different.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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88

Dry leaf: DRIED FRUIT, GRAPE VINE, SWEET: prune, raisin, dried fig, grape skin, musty green, grape vine, blackstrap molasses, green stem, sweet and sour, bitter honey

Smell: FRUIT, SWEET: green apple, light caramel, bread pudding, musty grape

Taste: FRUIT, SWEET, GRAPE VINE: candied green apple, sweet potato, malt, sweet and sour, green twig, green grape, grape vine/leaf

This was a fun one! To be honest, a lot of the experience reminded me of a black tea, but there were little surprising pops of flavor where the oolonginess asserted itself. Especially interesting was a multifaceted “grape” experience that ranged from grape sweetness to green “leafiness” to dry vine/stem flavors. Weird and hard to pinpoint, but that made it a pleasure to return to each day.

This is the “select grade”, the lowest grade that TTC offers. There’s premium, superior, supreme, private reserve… I have no idea what this means in terms of little leaf-munching critters or the resulting flavors. In any case, this is a tasty, affordable treat.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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85

Dry leaf: NUT – peanut shell, some bittersweet green wood

Smell: NUT – peanut shell, pistachio, slight hint of vanilla extract

Taste: NUT, FRUIT – In the mouth – dry nut (peanut shell, acorn), roasted peanut, tea tannin, green twig, slight hint of orange. Aftertaste has strong ripe peach flavors, with some orange, orange blossom, dewy grass, and bittersweet melon/melon rind.

A tale of two teas! This is an interesting session. Everything up to the aftertaste is all about its dry nuttiness. It’s dead-on peanut shell – smell, taste… But then, the aftertaste develops into a thick, rich ripe peach with a few extra supporting notes to keep you interested.

To be honest, nutty smell/taste isn’t all that interesting and is a bit monotone in the mouth. But the aftertaste is quite a different show. You have to take your time with it – little sips with plenty of time in between to let the tea open up in your throat and mouth. The hui gan is so engaging that I feel like it more than makes up for its monotone arrival.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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80

Dry leaf: HONEY, FLORAL: honey, fragrant floral (lily of the valley), lactose “milkiness”, bittersweet floral (potpourri)

Smell: HONEY, VEGETAL: malty honey (like boiled honey or sweet malt used in beer brewing), green stem

Taste: FLORAL, HONEY, FRUIT: bittersweet green, fragrant floral (lily of the valley), honey. Aftertaste has lemon/citrus notes, hints of light red fruit, green apple. One infusion had a light almond/marzipan note.

Flavors are pleasant; there is nothing “bad” about the tea. However, my experience is that it’s just very light. Frankly, it reminded me of later infusions of some higher-quality Taiwanese oolongs. No big flavors in the mouth or aftertaste, no staying power in terms of infusions and re-brews. Personally, I think spending a little extra money on a higher-quality oolong is worth the upgrade in experience.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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98

I remember having bi luo chun for the first time. I had a very fresh quality tea and I just loved it. After that any bi luo chun I bought just didn’t seem to meet those same expectations. Was it because it just becomes common to the taste buds? Or maybe I was buying lower quality bi luo chun? I can’t say but it’s not like any of those bi luo chuns were bad. They were all good. Just not amazing. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve had a bi luo chun I can rave about. Well I can now.

This tea came vacuum sealed and when I opened it the fresh fragrance of the tea was heavenly! I just knew this was going to be a great cup. Brewed up it’s sweet, chestnutty, grean bean with an aroma I can’t quite pin down. It reminds me a bit of osmanthus.

Was this tea just amazing because it was vacuum sealed? I think that might play a part in it too but it was amazing! I’m so glad I got my Taiwan Tea Crafts order just on the last day before the Canadian postal workers were locked out. Can you imagine this amazing tea sitting in some hot warehouse for weeks on end in the summer???? I still didn’t get my small order from Grand Tea and they have amazing tea too. Hope that one survives the strike in good shape.

Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Osmanthus, Sweet

Sil

no strike atm

Ubacat

Yay! Hope my order from Grand Tea arrives soon.

Ubacat

Grand Tea arrived!

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90

Dry leaf – VEGETAL, SWEET: vegetal, buttery, bittersweet green, bitter honey, sweet bread, honeysuckle; in pre-heated vessel: strong bittersweet vegetal

Smell – VEGETAL, SWEET: musty pungent green wood, raw honey

Taste – VEGETAL, SWEET, FRUIT: spinach, asparagus, buttery, lemon zest, honey, lactose sweetness, hint of carob. Aftertaste of tropical fruit, mandarin orange, spearmint

This was a pleasant experience. Many strong, interesting flavors, but none of them dominated the other. Everything was balanced and worked well together. High-quality experience at an affordable price.

This is a pretty easy-going tea that has naturally likable flavors. Would be a great intro to whole-leaf tea for your Earl Grey friends. Show them the power of the dark side. Or the light side, as the case may be.

Plus, dropping in a few balls of tea and seconds later having a forest exploding out of your gaiwan is enough to have anyone forsake the bagged stuff.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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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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