Taiwan Tea CraftsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Darn. No one had added this tea to Steepster and the this tea is no longer available on the TTC site. Oh well, I added instead a picture of a cute teapot and boat set that TTC has on sale. :-P
I wasn’t over-impressed with this tea. I expected a much sweeter and more fragrant tea. This tea was more on the savory side. It’s a nice enough tea, but it’s not what I usually expect from an OB.
Drank some of this tonight; I’m not sure if I just didn’t use enough tea/didn’t steep long enough, but it really has almost no flavour. A bit like… celery, almost, but kind of cardboardy? It’s strange. I really enjoyed the deep baked GABA oolong (that I have not written a note about), so I had high hopes for this. I’ll try again another evening.
Second note for this tea (because I have drank it (at least) twice now, and I just realized I actually have a resteep sitting next to me. So I sipped it to try and recall how it tasted, and it is sweet/raisiny (that seems to be a characteristic of Taiwanese blacks, at least to me) and quite enjoyable – and this is the third infusion! I believe there are others I may have enjoyed more, but this one does make me pretty happy. I still find it so strange that I enjoy so many straight black teas now…
I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this one as I don’t tend to love floral scented teas (as much as I love floral notes in my teas) and this one was baked as well. But I’ve never seen pomelo flowers added to tea (or anything!) so I went conservative and picked up 25g just to try. I have to admit, I’m regretting not picking up a bit more!
It’s so delightful! Light, refreshing, more complex than I assumed. Very floral, of course. Close to magnolia or jasmine but much less perfumed. A good bit of tangerine comes out in both scent and taste.
I steeped this gong-fu first and fell in love! Absolutely perfect in every way, especially the latter steeps where the citrus flower scent is lessened and you can taste the other notes in the tea. Later I continuous steeped this one and loved it as well. Less complex, but so yummy.
I just have to say how impressed I am with Taiwan Tea Crafts. Every single thing I’ve had from them has been incredible. And the free samples they give come with handwritten personalized notes, which is a lovely touch. Shipping is quite quick as well, only 2 days from Taiwan to SF customs and 4 days to my home from there. I’m desperately trying to put myself on a tea buying hiatus, but I may need to make just one more TTC order…
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Jasmine, Orange Blossom
From the EU TTB
This tea is actually older than me, so I knew I had to try it when I found it in the EU TTB. It reminds me of a pu’erh in both scent and appearance, having that clumpy leafed look like it’s been broken off a cake, plus a mildly dank scent. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium red brown, and the scent again more reminiscent of a pu’erh than a black tea. It’s kind of woodsy and damp smelling, like a walk through a forest after a rain shower.
To taste, the main flavours are wet wood and damp earth. The initial sip is, again, very reminiscent of a pu’erh, with that almost characteristic note of decay. It’s quite a gentle flavour, though, and very smooth, and ultimately I found myself not noticing its rougher edges as much. A hint of beetroot like sweetness comes out in the mid-sip, which is a pleasant counterpoint to the initially more savoury flavours. It’s a rich tasting tea with a real depth of flavour, very loamy and autumnal, and perfect for this time of year.
I’m not usually a fan of pu’erh or ages teas, but this one’s sitting okay with me. I’ll definitely have to explore Taiwan Tea Crafts a little more once I’ve got my cupboard back under control!
i actually picked up lot 346 from kittenna but it’s not in steepster and i don’t feel like adding it for one note. Long story short, there’s a reason i like red jade black, but this harvest/lot doesn’t stand out from others.
Cupboard went from 94 to 177..so here come the sipdowns! Hope to get to 170 today haha
one from kittenna that i was curious to try as i don’t believe i’ve yet tried any of TTC’s Heritage Assam’s. This one was quite delicious but didn’t stand out from the other TTC blacks for any particular reason. The upside to TTC black’s? they have that lovely taiwanese black flavour profile, the downside? they all start to taste simliar unless you get a special harvest that really knocks it out of the park. I enjoyed this one a bunch, but don’t feel the need to order it. Thanks Kittenna!
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Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Pastries
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Flavors: Corn Husk, Floral, Green Beans, Lavender, Olive Oil
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Flavors: Floral, Spices, Sugarcane
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Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Gardenias
Sample from the EU TTB
This one’s not for me. I usually really enjoy ginseng so was drawn to this one, but it’s nothing like I expected. The scent of the dry leaf is woodsy and thick, but even so it took me aback by how earthy and leathery this smells once steeped. Unfortunately the flavours are very similar – leathery, earthy and slightly smoky and vegetal in the aftertaste. I can’t detect the ginseng, and whilst I feel this would be an attractive tea for those who enjoy pu’erhs and more woodsy, earthy teas in general, it’s just not something I personally would usually choose. It is definitely an interesting tea, and quite complex, but not particularly enjoyable for myself.
The scent of this tea definitely gives it away as being from Alishan. It’s got the creamy, buttery, vegetal high mountain oolong scent I’m used to from teas in that region, little hints of floral dancing in the background. I am brewing this Gongfu method.
The flavor is surprisingly light. It’s mostly a floral and herbal kind of flavor with some hints of fruit, very creamy and smooth with a long lingering sweetness. TTC describes the floral as “honeysuckle” and I think that’s accurate. There’s also a sort of effervescent feeling on the tongue that lingers on. I might almost even call it a numbing or cooling feeling. It’s really unique. The flavor really sticks in my mouth quite a while after drinking, and it has a nectar and tropical fruit kind of taste, though it’s subtle. You know how the taste of artificial sweeteners really lingers? It’s kind of like that, but minus the “artificial” taste.
The second infusion is much more rich in flavor (most likely because I don’t rinse oolong tea, so the first infusion is often light). I’m getting some spicy cassia (cinnamon) notes over the floral backdrop, and the cooling, effervescent quality is still very present. This tea is very sweet and has a really thick, juicy feeling in the mouth.
The flavor is surprisingly less solid and less good quality after just the first couple infusions. That’s not to say it isn’t a good flavor overall, but in comparison to the first couple infusions, it is already beginning to taste somewhat drained of its life. This is an unroasted oolong, however, and that can sometimes be the case with these fresh green oolongs.
Still, I was really captivated by the effervescent quality of this tea, and the wonderfully clean and vibrant taste in the second infusion. I can rate it highly on that alone. The tea doesn’t have incredible longevity, but when it’s at its best steeping, it is truly something special.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Herbs, Nectar, Sweet
I have never had tea from Shibi before, but I am really excited to try it… especially because the name reminds me of Shiba, as in Shiba Inu, the dog breed… which reminds me of my favorite internet mascot… Doge.
But aside from that… the scent of this tea after the dry leaves have sat a moment in a warm gaiwan is just incredible. It’s really rich with gooey notes of honey and cinnamon. There’s a floral glimmer to it as well, but mostly I’m reminded of fresh baked sopapillas drizzled with warm honey.
After giving the first infusion a taste… hold on, somebody here wants to say something… I’m going to let him take over and write the review.
MUCH CREAM. Such smell! Very flower. WOW.
Butter. Many fruit. AMAZE.
Such linger. Very taste. More flower. Many drool. Wow.
Wow. Such steeping. Wow.
Okay, Doge, that’s enough from you, buddy. Many thanks for your input. We’re on the third steeping now and both very impressed by just how creamy, rich and vibrant this tea’s flavor is. It has such a burst of floral, fruity, and nature tones in it. It’s like walking through the mountains with wildflowers in full bloom while eating a bowl full of fresh passion fruit and cream. The leaves have unfolded so beautifully.
This is such a buttery tea, in both flavor and texture. The floral taste really lingers a very long time in your mouth after sipping, and the tea texture is very wet and mouth-filling. I’m reminded of osmanthus flowers with a bit of the peachy-floral taste they have. It’s a fine example of spring tea.
Oh, he wants to type something again. I’ll let him wrap it up.
Such tea. Many rate. Doge excite.
Follow ur dreams. WOW.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Osmanthus, Peach
This Tea has rested a while before I drank it and it has become quite interesting with notes of loganberry, honey, and cloves over strong floral notes mixed with cream and faint pastry and Roasted leaf notes. It is tingling nicely in the back of my throat and feels lively on the tongue. I am steeping this gongfu style in two teacups @70ml with steeps beginning around 10s. I am quite enjoying it.
Another winner from Taiwan Tea Crafts! A remarkably fresh green oolong bursting with the taste of crisp florals and a sweet creamy body.
I brewed this for 2 minutes using near boiling water after rinsing the tea leaves. Unfortunately it doesn’t hold up well to additional steepings.
Flavors: Nectar, Orchid, Sweet, Vanilla
I wasn’t thrilled by this tea initially but it has really grown on me. My favorite jasmine tea these days is Yunnan Sourcing’s jasmine silver needle tea. Being a white tea, it’s very subtle and gently sweet. This tea on the other hand is creamier and has a lot more body than the white jasmine. Though the jasmine dominates, the base oolong seems to accentuate the perfumeyness of the tea. I prefer to have this one during the day when I want something a little stronger and reserve the white jasmine for bedtime.
Flavors: Creamy, Jasmine, Perfume
If you didn’t tell me there was oolong in here, I probably would have never guessed it. The perfumey jasmine is all I could taste. It didn’t taste very different from other jasmine pearl teas I’ve had, but nonetheless had a lovely jasmine flavor. A perfectly acceptable tea, but nothing to write home about.
A good quality about this tea is unlike green jasmine tea, it can withstand higher water temperatures and steeping times without becoming bitter.
Move over jasmine and rose, I’ve got a new favorite floral tea and it’s osmanthus! After being somewhat underwhelmed earlier by an osmanthus scented flowering green tea, this tea won me over with its creamy, sweet floral taste and aroma. The tea’s natural floral notes are perfectly balanced with the osmanthus flavoring. Unlike jasmine scented teas which often dominates, the osmanthus flavor is subtle and complements the base tea beautifully.
Only knock on this tea is most of the flowery notes are gone after the first infusion. But the green oolong really comes out on the second steeping with just a lingering floral aftertaste.
Flavors: Flowers, Honeysuckle, Osmanthus
I have no idea what to say about this tea. I can’t believe I’ve had it in my cupboard for a few years (has it really been that long Sil?) or maybe for a year, and still hadn’t polished it off. It’s mildly roast, kind of creamy on some steeps, a little bready, a little peachy…hard to describe. Anyway, this is the last of it, and although I can’t say it’s a favorite, or anything like that, it’s been a nice tea to enjoy several steepings of throughout the day as it resets well. Farewell.
I am extremely excited to try this tea, it’s all I have thought about since I got it. 1988, 27 years ago…and also the year I was born. I have tried a Pu Erh from 1988 once before but not an Oolong, it just sounds extremely special. Plus the fact that it’s ginseng just adds to the power of it’s awesomeness. I simply must try it.
I have two hours free before visiting my parents for our weekly catch up. For now I am filling my day with my favourite things. I’m wearing my new A Day To Remember vest top whilst listening to them (favourite band and new favourite item of clothing at the moment). Plus I plan on having ramen for lunch (my favourite) and I’m sure you can all see the theme. It’s all the preparation before trying this tea because that is how special it feels to be trying it. 1988 nostalgia.
The Oolong itself is a medley of brown tones with gold/red stems. Good sized pieces, averaging (3-5mm). They look kind of, squiggly, still in balls but slightly loosened over time.
They smell wooden, dry and musty. Like an old book that hasn’t been read in a long time. The more I smell the stronger the gingseng becomes, herbal yet refreshing and slightly sweet amidst the age of years since passed.
Water Temp: 100 C
Method: Gaiwan 100ml
Rinse: 3 seconds
First Steep – 35 seconds
Medium brown colour. Coffee like scent, dark, sour, bitter, rich…just like coffee.
It also tastes a little like coffee. It’s darkly roasted and sour with some bitterness (but pleasant) and it finishes with a brown sugar lightness. Lingering after taste of chestnuts and prunes.
Second Steep – 1 minute
Still coffee like at first but a little more mellow and smoother than the first steep. Still getting the chestnut and prunes in the after taste. Slight increase in sweetness. Also a touch of dryness during the after taste. The ginseng also adds a refreshing tone.
Third Steep – 1 minute 30 seconds
This is more earthy than the previous steeps. I taste wood and earth, damp, musty and almost Pu Erh like. But still with soft coffee sour vibes. The aftertaste appears increasingly nutty with aid of dryness. It’s a lighter and cleaner steep so far, but still that lingering after taste. Lovely.
Fourth Steep – 2 minutes
Less bitter but still remains sour. Coffee notes are dominant at first before the sourness kicks in and behind that is brown sugar, sweet, refreshing ginseng and chestnut lingering, dry aftertaste. Every other sip the damp wood comes through a bit stronger than it did before.
Fifth Steep – 3 minutes
Light steep but still a good strength after taste. A lot less coffee tones in this now. Increase of dryness.
Sixth Steep – 4 minutes
Not much remains at all, no coffee, no sweetness. Now It’s wet wood, ginseng and chestnut. Light but in the after taste.
It tastes wise, like it has secrets that no one else knows. Wisdom from the years. As coffee like as I found it (and how much I actually dislike coffee) this was a very interesting tea, and I rather enjoyed it. It had more to offer than just the coffee, at times it was like drinking two different teas. First was the coffee tones and then came the nut and fruit tones which was certainly more tea-esque.
Needless to say this was certainly not what I was expecting, but still it was wonderful to try it and I have a feeling I will develop an odd craving for this one. May have to pick up more of it when I can :)
For pictures please view my blog: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/03/1988-aged-ginseng-oolong-a-tea-as-old-as-me/