Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

100

OMG this tea is the BOMB!!

My first couple of sips I had a sneaking suspicion that there was some unknown and unidentified sugar element hiding down at the bottom of my clean mug and that the dishwasher was on the fritz… And then I realized… NO ITS THE TEA!!!!

The scent of this tea is insanely intoxicating… it smells like fresh buttery sweetbread or pastry! Taste wise, wow! Talk about delicious! Its malty, naturally sweet and has a slight pastry and stone fruit jam taste… I need more of this RIGHT now!!!!

Maddy Barone

Ooh, I have got to get me some of that!

beelicious

Hi Maddy! Happy to set up a swap if you’d like to try it first… PM me if your interested :)

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80

free sample with my order from TTC. The nice thing about samples is that they’re not always things that i’d pick for myself so i get to branch out. This one is pretty nice. Most people aer aware that i’m generally not a fan of oolongs -unless they’re roasty ones, and even then it’s hit or miss. This one falls somewhere in the middle..it’s not super roasty but it’s not a green oolong. there’s a sweetness to this that i like but there’s also another flavour that i can’t exactly pinpoint. Maybe fruit?

here’s hoping cavo can do better since i know she received it as a sample as well haha

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86

I feel like I’ve been adding a lot of teas to the database lately, which is fun.

This one comes from Taiwan Tea Crafts and is their top grade Oriental Beauty tea for 2014. The leaves are very curly and beautiful, look very delicate, and these have been cared for and packaged very well. They all retain a beautiful shape without broken leaves.

The scent of the rinsed leaves is just bursting with flowers, apples, and honey, maybe even plums. There’s a lot of sweet fruit and flower scents going on. It’s almost a sort of sangria of teas. The aroma of the tea is really honeyed and with hints of autumn leaf and spice. I tend to get a similar scent impression with Oriental Beauty and White Peony, though the former is often much sweeter than the latter.

The taste is sweet and honey-like, really clean and mouth-filling. It’s got the same hints of autumn leaves and subtle cinnamon spice that the aroma does, while the aroma is more floral. Oddly, there are hints of lemon, or even more accurately, lime, in the taste as the tea cools off a bit.

The second infusion smells even more floral. The taste reminds me of dried fruit now. There are still some spice notes, still a very clean mouthfeel and slight cooling sensation to follow.

After just a couple infusions of this, I am feeling a really euphoric relaxed feeling. I feel like my body is very light and relaxed. Mmmm.

I have to admit I got really hungry and took a break to eat here, so my palate is nowhere near sensitive enough after those first two infusions to keep going from there with an accurate review. Mostly I’m getting the spice, earth, and autumn leaf notes at this point.

I have only had maybe two other Oriental Beauty teas before this one, and of the three I’ve had, I would say this one was the best. It had more complexity and was much more fragrant in surprising ways. I can’t say Oriental Beauty is a particular favorite tea of mine, but It’s an interesting one. I’m much more partial to Gui Fei. Funny how that works cuz I have another friend who hates Oriental Beauty but Gui Fei is one of her favorites. You’d think they’d be similar since they both involve bugs biting them in the growing process to give them their sweet honey-like flavors, but I think varietal makes a big difference in flavor.

This is good stuff. Give it a try if you like Bai Hao. I think you won’t be disappointed!

Brewed in a 100ml Gongfu pot with 5g of leaf, 15 sec infusion at 185/85. Short infusions of ~10 sec to follow, gradually increasing.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Honey, Lime, Spices

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

Spring break! I LOVE having the time to break out a new tea to explore before the sun comes up, listening to the birds slowly join into the cacophony of country morning noises. This morning a second assam from Taiwan Tea Crafts is the choice. I seem to be having some struggle getting the flavors in Taiwanese assams to come to the front of my palate…I’m guessing due to my steeping parameters. I almost double-leafed this, so here goes!

There is something about Taiwanese assams that I deeply enjoy. The flavor profile is so very different from Indian assams that it is often hard to believe they come from the same cultivar. This cup is no exception. Heritage Assam Lot 334 leads with the gorgeous raisin note that is not to be ignored (nor would you want to!). It is accompanied by the taste of grain, which gives this Taiwanese assam a lovely full mouthfeel. There is a slight tanginess to this tea that is gently nudging the sides of my tongue and oddly making the smoothness of the malt flavor more noticeable. The fruitiness and sweetness of Heritage Assam Lot 334 is very apparent, but what makes this tea charming is the slight woodsy note to the grain that reminds the drinker that it comes from older trees with heritage….history. This is where the magic lay in this tea. Heritage Assam Black Tea Lot 334 is a beautifully balanced tea, full of fruity and grainy sweetness with a touch of history that is shared in the cup.

Flavors: Fruity, Grain, Malt, Raisins, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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97

This lot really makes me happy even though it’s not a travel mug tea. I’m nearing the end of 25g of the 50 i bought, and seriously contemplating more…even though i’m about to explode my cupboard in a week. It’s just so damn good. I haven’t even tried the sun moon lake that i also picked up because i just want this one. noms. bready, apple, cinnamon, deliciousness. so good.

Final Count: 101 ( my bellyrub teas came in…so now i’m really not going to make my april goal haha…and yes i know it’s berylleb…but bellyrub is so much better.)

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97

yes, i had this one again the other day. I love this one. It’s not as delicious in a travel mug but it is still pretty good. Torn on whether to pick up more of this.

final count yesterday: 94

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97

i seriously don’t want to write a tasting note for this one. Not until i have more in my hands. There are 2 strains? of tea that TTC carries that always seem to appeal to me out of their whole selection. the others i enjoy, but not enough to NEED them in my cupboard. Courtney was awesome enough to send me a sample of this one in our swap. i bought 50g of this last night after drinking it. I’ve had it several times, resteeping etc. it tastes like an apple pie….sweet, cinnamon, appley, baked good, delicious….incredible. even my other half was like omg wtf that is NOT a straight tea. i am blown away by this one. really. it’s a happy tea. I may need to order more once my order gets here before the lot is gone because even now i can still remember the incredibleness of the taste.

Ost

Mm that sounds really good :O

Sil

I can’t wait for it to get here lol then I can have it again, make sure I wasn’t imagining it’s deliciousness and then contemplate ordering more…

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96

Oh delicious roasty amazingness where have you been all my life? Brewed up in my little yixing pot, you make my mouth water in anticipating of every single sip, my tastebuds sing as you hit my tongue and my tummy sighs in simple delight at the end of your trip! You taste like walking through a fir tree forest in autumn just before sunset – all wood, sweetness, the lightest touch of spice, a hint of leather (or is it tobacco??) and a creamy mouth feel. Its just a pity your so darn expensive but then again your ability to steep many many times reduces your cost per sip and lets be honest, even six steeps in you still taste pretty darn amazing. Worth every penny!

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90

So I finally managed to get my husband over the hump and on the mend from this flu and it looks like all of my compassion and voluntary nursing has been rewarded by my immune systems surrender and slow demise to the same tyrant virus… Thanks a lot immune system!! So instead of being at work this afternoon I’m working from home which at least has the benefit of being in close proximity to my tea stash… Before my taste buds go the same way as the immune system I decided to commiserate my impending doom with this tea…. Mmmm… opening the packet I’m greeted by a malty cocoa scent… brewed its big malt, honey, baked bread flavors with a slight hint of sweet potato… I may have to hoard the rest of this until I’m feeling better!

Mikumofu

Feel better soon!

beelicious

thank you… drinking lots of tea seems to be helping :)

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100

Yeahhhhhhhh… had this a few more times, and I think I might even like it more than my other TTC love – Yuchi Wild Mountain Black.

It smells SO amazing, like raisins and honey and malt. And the taste is equally as potent! It never ceases to blow my mind how something this flavourful and delicious just came out of the ground at some point.

When I think about which tea I want at night, TTC is winning, lately. I am trying to force myself to drink other teas to knock my cupboard down some in order to justify the giant TTC order I’d love to place one day.

Dreams do come true!

Watch me… I’m about to rate this………… 100.

THE PERFECT TEA. (for me)

Sil

if you DO place a giant order, there’s no discount on the larger sizes so you may want to get 4 25g bags for example versus 1 100g bag since they’re not resealable heh.

Ost

Wishlisted :O

Stephanie

wowzers!

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100

OMG!! HELLO DELICIOUS TEA!!

Another whopping success from my TTC trials. MOREPLS!

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80

Thank you to Phillip at Taiwan Tea Crafts, for the sample!

This oolong is very smooth and creamy. It has a nice interplay of mountain forest and floral scents and flavors, and the taste is mildly creamy and sweet with just enough roast to give it a mild nutty quality, or a bit of flavor like flaky puff pastry dough.

I’m brewing this gongfu style in a small gongfu style teapot. The second infusion brings more of the flavors from the first, with a fuller body and more green forest notes. By the third infusion, I’m picking up a bit of a metallic taste in the finish and the other flavors have become a bit more muted (checked my water at this point to make sure the kettle wasn’t responsible for that flavor, and it wasn’t). After that, didn’t get a metallic taste again, just a nice, round lightly roasted oolong flavor. This is a pretty enjoyable and rather “standard” Taiwanese oolong of its type. Good stuff.

Flavors: Floral, Forest Floor, Green, Nutty, Pastries, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

This tea has a dominant charcoal taste that reminds me of tobacco.
One session with this tea was definitely enough for me.
The smoky flavor wasn’t really my liking.

Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Here’s the full review from yesterday that I couldn’t get Steepster to publish for some reason….
Spider legs! These are big fat spider legs that “poing” out of the spoon when I try to measure the correct amount of tea… I love Butiki’s PTA (Premium Taiwanese Assam). I will miss it. I have used Butiki’s demise as an excuse to order all the assams (and a few other teas) from Taiwanese Tea Crafts, and this is one.

According to their website, this tea is a lighter version of Indian assams and they are right. Although my mouth tastes malt and raisin at the same time for the primary notes, they are a mid cup note, that added with a touch of deep cooked cherry and prune, makes for a flavorful assam without the weight of heavy malt. Malt takes the back seat to the fruity notes and delivers an obviously Taiwanese assam profile.

How does it compare to Butiki’s? It’s a lighter flavor profile, but still very much identifiable as a relative to PTA…a cousin perhaps? Not sure yet. I’ll have to try to not be such an impatient and greedy tea drinker and measure out the huge twisty gorgeous smelling leaves a little better next time. Holding out on a rating until next steeping….. but enjoying every sip!

Flavors: Cherry, Malt, Raisins, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Spider legs! These are big fat spider legs that “poing”

Flavors: Cherry, Malt, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
donkeytiara

Hey! that’s not my whole tasting note!!!! where did the rest go????

KittyLovesTea

The spiders must have taken it, though not sure they can without their legs!

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For the comparison I’m really getting the stonefruits in this one. Very clearly. I prefer the Tippy.

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We decided to each make a different cup to do a comparison of sorts. I put this one in my cup, and Alexa has Golden Dragon Black, Lot 241.

This one reminds me quite a bit of Bailin. It’s light, yet not, with a malty, nearly light syrupy flavour. The syrupy-ness could almost be a light honey flavour, though I am so picky about my honey flavours. It is definitely tasty though.

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I originally enjoyed Mi Xian from Stacy, but quickly realized it wasn’t my favourite straight black, as far as straight blacks go. I ordered this one anyway, and it is tasty, but again, it isn’t going to become a favourite anytime soon.

It has a crisper flavour profile than the Wild Mountain Black I’m finding. Maybe clearer? That’s difficult to put into words. It doesn’t have the same intensity of honey-like sweetness that I so love. It’s far more subtle, with oats taking a more prominent position.

It is tasty, and I will more than enjoy the wee 25g sample we ordered. I’ll see if, by the end of the sample, I feel the need for more. Perhaps Alexa will love our sample, and it will become what will eventually be an amalgamated cupboard of our teas.

I went off the Steepster steeping parameters for this and the Yuchi WMB last night. I do wish TTC would include steeping parameters on their website.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

I think it is only appropriate that my first tea note, ever, be dedicated to the person who introduced me to this highly addictive, relaxing and welcoming world of tea – Courtney.

One of the most memorable tea adventures that we’ve shared was when she first made me a cup of Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black. I patiently watched as Courtney picked up the bag of tea from the shelf, peeled open the gold flaps of the bag, shook it and took a big whiff. She looked at me and told me that – after months of trying real teas – that I could finally have a cup of TWMB.

I am not sure if it was the sweetness of the initial first breath that I took as I held the mug close to my mouth for the first sip, or the way she stared me down to make sure that I would lick the mug clean, but I instantaneously knew that this was a very special tea. She informed me that this particular occasion was very significant because this would be the last cup of this tea – one of her favourites! I felt honoured and made sure to savour in every last drop. Needless to say, it was a phenomenally smooth and pleasantly sweet cup of tea that satisfied every expectation that one could have.

While still attempting to recover from the loss of the original TWMB, Courtney stumbled upon this tea, which we ordered immediately and retrieved from the post only hours after its delivery. We made our first cup of this tea tonite and the verdict is in, folks – we love it! It is the reincarnated version of TWMB! I foresee this being a permanent staple tea in our cupboards and on our shelves!

I want to thank you for reading my lengthly first tea note.
I hope your tea was warm and your chair was comfortable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

YAY! welcome to the boards Alexa! So glad to meet you and look forward to hearing about your adventures with tea :)

Cavocorax

Welcome! :) Also, that’s a great tea to start out with. (Casually browses the TTC website…)

Sil

hahaha cavo i was totally doing that today too

OMGsrsly

Yay! This is definitely a tea I need to look into. :)

Cavocorax

It’s so easy to spend $25 on samples. I think my first sample order was more like $40 of samples, and now I’ve only got one tea left. /sniff/

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whatshesaid wrote such an enticing note for TTC that I decided to order a few black tea samples for Alexa and I. We rescued the teas from the post yesterday and had all intentions of drinking this one last night, but ended up having it tonight instead.

I so wish I still had a wee bit of TWMB to compare, because I think this is it. This is as close as she’s going to get. I must order more. This one has that awesome natural sweetness I so love in my straight black teas. I am thoroughly enjoying this cuppa.

I may now have the TTC website open…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Nicole

That’s a good thing to find out. I have been wondering about a TWMB replacement…

whatshesaid

Sooooooo gooooood!!

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Somehow I already took this tea out of my cupboard so I am not sure if it is this lot that Sil shared with me a while back but I do believe it is so I am writing my note here as I sip on the tea. It’s a pleasant enough cup, though I certainly prefer TTC’s Sun Moon Lake Assam. There is something light about this tea, as if it is missing a flavor. That could be to human error though having to do with the way I steeped the tea. However, what I am getting is a strong carby flavor. Usually that is accompanied by some other element like fruits or spice, and at times I get a hint of spice, but mostly just carbs. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing but I have had better. Still, I am always grateful for the opportunity to try something new so thank you Sil for the share.

Sil

new teas are fun…esp if you haven’t bought them lol

VariaTEA

That is certainly true.

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This is like a cup of liquid honey. It’s pretty nice so thank you Sil for the opportunity to give it a try.

Courtney

This will have to be in my next TTC order. Ahh!

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100

This is the second tea I brought to work today to drink on my birthday.

It’s so good. I can barely even describe it. Every sip is just YUMMMM. Even inhaling the dry leaves. How can something natural be so flavourful on its own!?

Every sip is juicy, malty, amazing. So good. SOOOOOO good.

I wonder if i would get sick of this if I drank it 3 times a day? Doubtful. I will absolutely have to buy more. It may actually be my most favourite tea of all time.

FLAVOUR COUNTRYPOPULATION: ME

mrmopar

Happy Birthday!

caile

Happy birthday!!

Roswell Strange

Happy Birthday!

whatshesaid

Thanks guys!!

Ost

Oh forgot to write-happy birthday! Hope you had a lovely day! (:

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