Taiwan Tea CraftsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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/
Thanks Taiwan Tea Crafts for the sample!
These little beads of oolong are actually rather large compared to most. After the first infusion the leaves have a really fragrant floral scent with notes of spices and a hint of roast. In the flavor, there’s a hazelnut note, the mild relaxing toasted taste you get in most roasted teas, and a lingering floral taste, some notes of spices as well.
In the second infusion, the tea is much more floral tasting, actually quite stronger in that regard than any other Dong Ding I’ve had. There’s a honey note as well and the roasted note has diminished. It’s tasting much “greener”.
Later infusions became more mellow with more of the roasted and nutty flavors coming forward. This is a great comfort tea.
Flavors: Flowers, Hazelnut, Honey, Toast
Ok seriously….something was working for the plantations that TTC gets their teas from this year. This is another tea that i hadn’t previously tried in another lot and it too is a delicious sweet, fruity tea. Similar to butikit’s PTA, but different. I like this probably the least of the three lots that i picked up (sun moon lake and the yuchi wilkd being the other two), but this is still a great tasty tea. cherry notes are here, as well as that sort of generic stone fruit kinda of taste. there’s a little hint of vnailla like flavours as well..but it lacks the bready sort of feel of the other two. delicious!
I pulled this one out of the cupboard a few days ago to try, in case i needed to break my no ordering rule to make sure that i get a bit more of these harvest from ttc before they’re gone. This was amazing. As a general rule, i’ve always really enjoyed this tea from TTC, regardless of the lot. I have to say though, that this lot is incredible. it’s cherry, malty sweetness in a cup. It was a couple days ago, so i can’t recall much more than that, but i do remember being really sad when i finished my travel mug lol
Ok, I NEED more of this tea. It’s amazing, and by far the closest tea I’ve tried to Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam. It doesn’t quiiiite taste right, maybe a bit more on the caramelly side, but the distinct raisin notes? Oh yes. So good. SO SO GOOD. So perhaps Sun Moon Lake should be the tea I investigate to replace PTA? It probably means I’ll be making an order with Taiwan Tea Crafts sooner than I would have thought. I hope they still exist, haha. Thanks so much for sharing, Sil. (I still have enough left for one cup. That is exciting.)
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!!!!
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
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
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
noms. wedding pictures are back from the photographer and OMG …so many faces of Sil. it’s the one thing i noticed…or rather became obvious in looking at them…i make faces a lot…expressive faces…laughing faces….weird faces…HI faces…. also. I think a lot of people saw my boxers that day hahaha. so um not really a tea not but so what. haha