Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

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 flavor 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

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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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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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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100

You know, it’s times like this when I am so SO glad that Steepster exists and that I found it. Without Steepster, and all of you tea lovers posting your awesome reviews encouraging me to try and buy more more more (and also, thanks in general to the internet, for feeding this habit by bringing everything that much closer to me)… I never would have discovered this tea.
Or TTC.

Because honestly.

Last night I decided to make a mug of this, I had purchased 5 samples from TTC and recently got them. I am practically on a tea hiatus at this point, i mean i certainly SHOULD be. But I’d had a TTC sample once upon a time and knew that down the road more would be mine, all mine.

So when I cut open my adorably patterned sample bag, I stuck my nose in and inhaled like breathing was going to go out of style and OMG. The scent. INTOXICATING. I don’t even know. So good. I can’t describe.

And then I brewed it up, took my first sip, and it was like happiness exploded all over my tongue. It’s fruity and malty and bready and fresh and bright and SO FLAVOURFUL.

I don’t ever want to live without this tea.

I really need to start drinking down everything I have to reach a point where I only stock my absolute loves. This would be one of them.

I wanted to shout it from the rooftops last night, but there was no one around who would care. There never is, I’m alone in my world of tea love. Except for you guys.

Everyone who hasn’t tried this tea must wishlist it immediately :)
You’re welcome. Trust me.

(PS – I spent like 2 hours just slowly and enjoyably organizing my tea stash yesterday. Of course my online cupboard isn’t really up to date yet, but physically arranging and mentally taking stock of all of my teas (ALL OF THE TEAS) was incredibly calming and satisfying.)

TippysTea

It’s magical right? I have yet to drink a tea that is even close to how awesome this tea is.

Courtney

I’m thrilled I ordered this one. After your note on the Golden Dragon Tippy, I was inspired to order a bunch of black tea samples from TTC. Yes!

Sil

i haven’t had this lot of the yuchi…but it’s a good tea!

whatshesaid

Happy I was able to influence someone’s tea buying! hehe

Yeah it’s super magically delicious

Amariel

Do you pick out any of the rose or licorice notes the website describes? It looked good to me up til that point.

TippysTea

No, none of those tastes are present in that tea. It tastes like a big delicious cinnamon roll to me.

whatshesaid

I didn’t notice any rose or licorice at all.
No cinnamon rolls either, but my tastebuds are not that well-honed at this point.

Cavocorax

I haven’t had a TTC tea that I was disappointed with. At this point, I’m pretty sure I could just place an order for any 5 samples and they’d all be golden.

Sil

aren’t you glad i spread the word :)

whatshesaid

YES Sil, I believe you’re the one who sent me a Yuchi Mountain sample at some point, bless your little heart!!

Sil

i actually just really love that they give you free shipping if you just get 25$ woth of sample sizes….as i often just want the sample sizes lol

whatshesaid

yes!! such a great deal.

whatshesaid

I wonder if they’d question just purchasing nothing but sample sizes of this tea… haha

TippysTea

They probably understand it. These teas are not cheap, not cheap at all. We are looking at wholesale prices for some of these teas and at the end of the day we are dealing with very, very high quality teas, processed with great care by very skilled tradespeople. Even wholesale the prices are a little high, but in our opinion, worth it as a treat!

Greg_2tea

Anyone else a fan of the verdant tea of the. Month sampler? Darling little tea company that gets it fresh from China, the teas come from—CHINA!!

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TASTING NOTE # 600!

I wanted to drink a worthwhile tea for my 600th. So I brought this to work today for round 2.

I am wondering if maybe my gravity steeper still had a bit of the taste of yesterday’s (not my fave) tea in it, even though I rinsed it… because I seemed to enjoy this more when I made it at home.

This time it had a bit of a metallic zing to it. Strange.

I suspect though, in my mind I’m comparing it to the Yuchi Mountain Black, also from TTC, even though they’re two different teas. And let’s get real – nothing compares to that.

This had a bit of a honey note in it, but not as fruity as I recall.

I didn’t pay attention whatsoever to steeping time, and I also used the kettle at work and made it with what I can assume is whatever “boiling point” a cheapo kettle reaches.

I will try again at home.

Not quite the exciting 600th tasting note I was hoping for! Ah well :)

OMGsrsly

Yay 600! :D

Sil

woot! go 600!

Fjellrev

600 FTW!

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Yum. I had this for the first time the other night and really liked it.

It’s the kind of black tea I want to keep stocked.

More later!

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93

This tea is hitting all the right spots for me today. It’s lightly malty and very fruity with a touch of sweetness and some depth. It’s almost like a raisin bread (but only subtly). It looks like it’s no longer in stock, but I’ll have to keep my eyes open for new lots! I remember that if you bought $25 worth of samples, they’d ship it from China for free and that was a pretty good deal (for AMAZING tea).

Delicious! I seem to be a fan of Wild Mountain Teas. I also snagged an oz from Butiki while I had the chance!

Shmiracles

i noticed you read Ms Marvel recently!! i push all my favorite comics on all my friends. and i think Ms Marvel is a gateway comic hahahah

Cavocorax

Haha. That’s awesome. :D
Someone sent me the first 9 issues of Captain Marvel as well, so I’ll have to check it out! There’s so much out there that I know NOTHING about.

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93

So… I got my Taiwan Tea Crafts order yesterday. I was planning on waiting to try any of these teas until I had sipped down a few more teas from my cupboard, but I figured trying just one would be a lovely way to start the day, and Steepster chat agreed. I chose this one to try first because miss Ysaurella’s note makes it sound delicious, and I love strong honey notes. The leaves definitely have that creepy tree branch look – they’re very large and long and twisty in a way that looks gnarled. Their color is a deep brown that’s almost black with a hint of red. Dry scent is heavenly sweet and creamy honey with bread.

Mm, the steeped tea smells of sweet and rich honey with a touch of warm cinnamon. Yummy! This tea has a lovely thick and silky mouthfeel that makes it feel even more decadent. The sip opens with bread and a touch of hay, but almost immediately it transitions to tasting of sweet waffles with honey slathered over the top and just a sprinkle of cinnamon. The amazing honey flavor just lingers and lingers on the tongue, and the cinnamon stays as well. The two together are such a sweet, warm, and comforting combination. This is making me want stroopwafel! Curse you, Marzipan! :P

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Honey, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

Oh yes, all of the YUMs! :3

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Drinking it again … Cannot add anything. I am not worthy of this tea. But I drink it anyway!

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Today my order from Taiwan Tea Crafts arrived, after a long delay. I have been excited to try a Yuchi wild mountain black tea for a very long time and now I can! I cannot say I’m disappointed. From the first smell of the dried leaves to the first sip I’m completely blown away. Those little leaf-hoppers are the unsung hero of the hour!

The initial smell is, I kid you not, cinnamon rolls. This tea smells exactly like walking by the cinnamon roll stand in the mall, only better. I opened the package and immediately told my wife “you must smell this, now!” She didn’t, because she was too busy drinking some other tea and didn’t want to ‘ruin that experience’. News-flash, drinking this tea ruins all subsequent tea drinking experiences.

I weighed out 4 grams and poured 240 ml of boiling water over the leaves and immediately, again, the smell hits me from the tea pot, candy apples, cinnamon, unicorn tears, who knows, it is just glorious. Those 4 minutes cannot go by fast enough!

I pour the tea, I’m busy signing into Steepster to get this review ready, my wife tastes it first, her face lights up, “You need to try this now!” The taste is ineffable. So unbelievably good. There is cinnamon, wine, apple, candy, brown sugar, caramel, no bitterness, no astringency, other flavours that I cannot even put my tongue upon.

I will literally move Taiwanese mountains to find a supply of this tea to sell. Nothing comes close, all other teas should just pack up their leaves and go back to tea-island because this tea, hands down, unequivocally, and I say this without compunction, kicks the absolute fucking crap out of every single other tea that I have drank. I’m at the bottom of my cup now, and it is really, really sad because it had to end, and I knew it had to end when I began. My wife is smelling her empty cup because it smells good, make another infusion god-dammit!

I can honestly say that none of this is hyperbole.

Flavors: Apple Candy, Baked Bread, Caramel, Cinnamon, Honey, Red Wine, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 240 ML
Anlina

Wow, I think I need to try this.

Lindsay

Yeah, hurry up and start selling it so I can buy it from you. :)

TippysTea

They only harvest this type of tea during a short period in the summer. Supply is limited. We have not been able to locate a supplier who has any yet. We will, like we said in the review move heaven and earth to bring this tea to our customers.

We also have our own selfish reasons. We promise to try our best not to drink our inventory … It’s really that good. They sent us some Taiwanese assam as a sample as well. Actually it wasn’t quite a pure assam. It was a hybrid between an assamica and a wild tea tree. My god was that ever good too, tasted quite similar to a really fabulous ceylon we have a sample of, but it paled in comparison to the wild mountain black tea.

donkeytiara

thanks to your review I placed my first order from TTC….this tea was one that made the list, as well as samples of their assams. Looking forward to standing my tastebuds up against your review!

TippysTea

Yes, it is a great tea…we have recently found a supplier, so we may have Wild Mountain black available in the near future. So excited for it!

donkeytiara

good….someone’s got to fill the hole that Butiki left behind! (wait…that made it sound like you could become a behind hole…not what i meant.)

TippysTea

Haha, we do plan to attempt to fill some of the hole, as we are huge fans of many of her teas and simply can’t live without some. We’re working on a watermelon white tea currently, with more teas to come! We’ve become slightly obsessed with taiwanese teas, so we will be getting some of those too. We were just throwing around the idea of doing an orange creamsicle type tea today. Any other ideas are welcome :D

whatshesaid

Taiwanese teas, yes please!!

whatshesaid

Also some sort of nutty maple tea would be very Canadian of you ;)

TippysTea

Canadian indeed…a maple pecan oolong perhaps??? It is already in the works. :D

whatshesaid

Excelllennnnnttttt

donkeytiara

I’ve just ordered quite a bit of your vanilla tea (cindy in ramona ca) as one of it’s surprising qualities is that it travels well in a stainless travel mug. I’m super picky about teas and am looking forward to what comes next!

TippysTea

Thanks for the order, it should get to you soon! The Not So Vanilla gets really tasty as it cools down too. We’re just comparing some awesome Taiwanese assams today, so we’ll be ordering them soon along with some other teas.

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