Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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70

My friend in Arizona loves Ginseng Oolong. He loves them so much I got him a half pound for Christmas, and he is nearly through all of it. So, as a treat, I brought this down when I visited for vacation. I grabbed my gaiwan and warmed it up. We opened the package and inspected the curly nuggets. The small rolled oolong had grown very dark with age, and it carried a slight woody and dust scent. We placed all we had inside the gaiwan and let them sit. I lifted the lid and took in the aged aroma. The ginseng was slight, but it had the sweet familiar characteristics. I rinsed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. Honestly, this was not a wow tea for either of us. We sat and tasted and relaxed in the tea, but I didn’t taste of anything all that great. In fact, I was done with the session by the third steep, but I kept going for his sake. The tea had the common ginseng oolong taste in the first step; however, the brew wasn’t stevia sweet; it was almost medicinal. The flavors were rough and dusted. There was an odd tone about this brew, and we couldn’t put our finger (or tongue) on it. I kept steeping for a little while longer until my friend held up his hand in response to “no more”. Or rather, in his own words, “I think the tea is on its last limb, best we lay it to rest”. We were both unsatisfied after the session, and we progressed unto some aged sheng. Anyways, I don’t think ginseng oolong should be aged; rather, I prefer it to be in it’s fresh state. However, I am happy to have experienced it, and I did learn from the experience. I was a little sad that my friend didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, but I had him smashed and tea drunk in no time with the sheng, haha.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BArmuDYzGYQ/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Drying, Dust, Herbaceous, Medicinal, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML
Liquid Proust

It is a dry tasting tea, one that was for the experience. After drinking this, I believe I know why we don’t see other aged ginseng tea out there.

Haveteawilltravel

I’m glad we came to the same conclusion! :)

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87

This is a wonderful, rich black tea. It has a smooth yet robust flavor. Maybe I should have saved it for tomorrow morning, but I was in the mood for this one now, so I brewed it up this evening. Really nummy on a cold winter night with sugar cookies. nom nom nom.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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In the same week I drank this and the best darker oolong I’ve ever had; which will appear in the second LP group buy and it will not be rated so don’t try to look. While that was a good thing to do, I ended up not liking this as much as I should have. This is a great tea, no doubt, but compared to what I drank later that week… it was shattered by something very similar that also had notes of cream within the cocoa roasted oolong that has hairs. I look forward to the next lot of a Red Jade (any sort) from Taiwan Craft Tea. Nom Nom Nom, a fantastic stronger oolong that provides an almost black sensation to its taste.

azurephoenix

I’ve read that GABA tea tends to have a tart note to it.. similar to hibiscus. Did you encounter that with this tea?

Liquid Proust

Well, GABA green does not. Some of the gaba teas have a funk to them, but from my observation it is from the roasting profile. I’ll know better as time goes on. I still have three different ones to try to see how they taste in comparison to the others.

Rasseru

The one I like from imperial teas of lincoln in the UK is so much honey lushness it makes me giggle. A beautiful tea, and the most honey I have tasted outside having it actually in your tea. But you can tell its not sweet.

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