Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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85

High aromatic when water is poured on the leaves, a smell of honey and different fruit notes caressed my nose.
The taste was quite nice, sweet, fruity, slightly crisp, mellow with a smooth thick texture.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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While this may not be the most resilient Taiwanese black tea I have had it is certainly delicious. I got 5 delicious steeps (45*2, 50, 70,90s) out of it before the flavour started to fade into citrus spice and I got bored.

The dry tea smelled of rye bread, longan and flowers.

Brewed the tea released a scent that included sharp longan, and citrus note and hints of black currant, malt, sweet floral with spice and at time croissants, waffles, and bread.

The flavour included notes of sweet floral nectar with hints of clover spice, sweet fruit notes with hints of bosc pear, cherry, longan, citrus notes, and currant, honey, malt and faint cocoa underneath, cinnamon, waffles, croissant, fresh yeasty bread and mineral notes. The earlier steeps were thick and creamy whereas the last couple were drying in the mouth.

All together a very pleasant tea. Thanks TastyBrew for sharing a cup or two with me!

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88

Well, it’s done. I now have tasted all the teas of my Taiwan Tea Crafts order .

Beautiful leaves, very long and crunchy dark, were waiting for me in a nice dark green package .

This is also delicious. I’m really satisfied with my oder . The advantage of this brand is to offer tea in mini bags of 25 g, which is really ideal to taste new teas. But then the disadvantage is that you regret having bought only 25 g . And with this order it is the case for the majority of the teas. … Terrifying when you think about it …for the wallet .

This tea is no exception to the rule but it is a little below those of TTC I’ve tasted so far. The texture of the liquor is a little too light to totally seduce me. However my daughter does not stop to serve and re serve it again and drank half of the teapot. It’s true that I love Mi Xian in general, but this type of tea does not cross the barrier of my top 10.

Fruity and honey are there and are absolutely divine- There are too some touches of cereals. But I just wish there was a little more body to the liquor. Nevertheless, it is a small reserve , really.

Some pics of my session with this tea are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/baguashan-mi-xian-black-tea-lot-302-taiwan-tea-crafts/

Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Oats

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I really need to order some samples from Taiwan Tea Crafts… :D

Ysaurella

oh yes you should this brand is absolutely fantastic I loved all the teas of my order

Sil

cameron – totally worth it with the free shipping for 25$ worth of sample sizes. they’re a great company if you like taiwanese teas.

Angrboda

What is their shipping like to Europe? Is it reasonable? I seem to see this brand around a lot.

Sil

angrboda – it’s free shipping worldwide on their specials. so 25$ worth of 25g samples (which is a great thing in my books) and you don’t pay shipping. I love it because canada (and europe) usually gets the short end of things..

Angrboda

Ooooh lovely! I shall have to have a looksie. Thanks Sil.

Ysaurella

I can add the customer service provided by the owner is absolutely fantastic : caring and very professional

TheTeaFairy

Lovely as always sweet Ysaurella XOX

Ysaurella

merci douce cousine québécoise :)

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81

Sipdown (110)!

Lets see how quickly I can write this, my boss just showed up a half hour early, but he’s doing a recycling run right now…

Drinking this currently, in a thermos with some milk: it’s so sweet, definitely honey notes (smelled so strongly of honey when it was steeping) to it. And then there’s this fruity note cropping up and it’s weird because normally I’d describe fruit notes in a straight black as either stonefruit like, raisin-y or citrus-y but this comes off to me as more of a “red fruit”, almost berry like but not berries. Not totally sure how I should be describing it at all, but it’s delicious, anyway.

I got a really cool surprise at work today too; one of the seniors in the mall brought me a Christmas card which was shocking and very thoughful. I mean, it’s heavily religious and I’m not religious, but it’s the thought that counts anyway and that was really thoughtful. Made my morning, really.

AnnaEA

Sun Moon lake blacks, and Red Jade #18 in particular, always seem to me to have a sort of sweet dried tomato paste kind of flavor.

OMGsrsly

AnnaEA, that is an amazing description.

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81

I can’t remember who I received this one from… VariaTEA maybe?

Anyway, I cold brewed most of this (but did save enough for one hot cup to compare) and I was actually really happily surprised with how flavourful and distinct it was.

- Very, very naturally sweet
- SUPER STRONG Cocoa Notes
- Jammy sort of “stone fruit” notes as well
- A nice, full sweet nut (almond)/marzipan flavour as well
- Sweet Potatoes? This last one I only tasted once; briefly and fleetingly

Excited to, eventually, try it hot. Not something I’d crave or really seek out to repurchase but an adventure in each sip, for sure.

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88

I am enjoying another tea from my order at Taiwan Tea Crafts . Again this is an oriental beauty and very different vs the 2 ones I already tasted .

It is on the fruit and honey side of Oriental Beauty but is not as sweet and honey as oriental beauty premium grade Oolong lot 342. It is a tea somewhere halfway between the latter and Oriental Beauty Oolong Superior Grade lot 341 .

This is a very well balanced and absolutely delicious tea. The premium grade Oolong lot 342 remains my favorite though.

You can see pics of my session with this tea here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/oriental-beauty-select-grade-oolong-tea-lot-340-taiwan-tea-crafts/

Flavors: Honey, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

What is good with public holidays is that you can prepare a full teapot and drink it quietly without running behind a train, a bus or the people of the accountancy or IT service :)

And a nice point with Taiwan Tea Crafts is that their teas names contain the lot number , which reminds us that each year is different due to the harvest and tea like wine is by the way a little different.

This tea is a black tea, necessarily Taiwan . It has long , veryyyy veryyy long black dry brittle leaves and its odour is undergrowth and fresh mushroom. Let’s go , I’m following the package instructions because I am a good girl : I boil water and pour on the pretty leaves and let’s go for 3 minutes waiting . And it is long indeed when you are just dying to drink a cup of this tea !

The filter of my glass teapot annoys me , it is much too tight for the leaves to express themselves and unfold, it had to be designed by a guy who does not drink whole leaf tea … this is not possible otherwise. Fortunately after the second infusion the leaves managed to unfold.

This tea has a beautiful amber color.

The taste is completely different from the smell of this tea, it’s fun. It was a tea " disguised " . Honey and yellow fruits are the guests of honor here. There is an explosion of flavours in the mouth.

Taiwan Tea Crafts states that this tea is a blend of two original tea and a Jin Xuan Si Ji Chun. Unfortunately I am not savant enough to know all the specificities of these two teas but I’ll try to find out more.

This tea is absolutely delicious , it’s simple : I swallowed the contents of afull teapot just the time to write this note and I am exploring my second teapot . It resteeps perfectly.

Pics of the session with this tea are here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/golden-dragon-black-tea-lot-241-taiwan-tea-crafts/

Flavors: Honey, Oats, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Oh Ysaurella, how I love your notes! And what an adorable teacup and saucer you have.

darby

+1 on the teacup! I love it too!

Tabby

Ooh, I love your teapot.

Ysaurella

thank you girls ! when you’ll come in Paris I’ll invite you to share a tea in my teapot and teacups :)

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88

Let’s go, I continue to explore the wonderful teas of my Taiwan Tea Crafts ’s order . I ’m really not disappointed . The appearance of this Oolong is very rocky , the leaves look like small green stones as they are rolled so tight.
They do impress me these leaves !

And even wet , they unfold but not completely … as if they had terrible secrets to keep …

The liquor offers me the classic honey but especially very mineral notes . Mineral notes are dominating in my opinion. Cereals are also there as nuts … walnuts, almonds. A delicious tea, perfect for sippingin the morning as in the middle of the afternoon.

This is a very lovely and unexpected (physically) tea, you can see pics here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/baguashan-gui-fei-oolong-tea-lot-262-taiwan-tea-crafts/

Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Walnut

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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96

Oh Lord I am so happy to have found this tea…really it is a wonder. I’ve always loved Oriental Beauty teas but this one is soooooo sweet, so fruity. Muscatel & Muscatel & Muscatel here + Honey & Honey & Honey !!! I am in heaven
I am knowing by now I will survive after my last cup of TWMB from Butiki Teas if this Oriental Beauty premium grade Oolong Tea lot 342 continues to exist !

Pics of my session with this wonderful tea are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/oriental-beauty-premium-grade-oolong-tea-lot-342-taiwan-tea-crafts-2/

Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Muscatel, Raisins

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Sil

it’ll be different lots going forward, so essentially just different harvests but glad you found this one!

Marzipan

Green Terrace has a great one if you haven’t tried it.

Ysaurella

thank you girls yes it is a nice one, I’ll have a look at Green Terrace for sure

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85

Alleluia ! I finally found the time to get the package waiting for me since 6 days at the post office. I didn’t have to wait to get it … unexpected . And on the top of it the package was containing my beautiful Taiwanese teas purchased atTaiwan Tea Crafts .

So I have a series of packages pretty , colored with all the indications in Chinese and English. This is too cute.

Highly appreciated, a small handwritten note was added to my parcel and in French !

So this tea … chosen because Taiwanese and Oolong and because of being an Oriental Beauty … this is a silvery brown and almost fluffy tea.

The package says (yes , the package is talking to me ) to use boiling water . Oh yeah ? really ? Oolong … I am rather inclined to infuse at 85 ° c … well let’s be disciplined , do it .

After a dip of 6 minutes I got nice wet leaves , quite small but entire, dark brown mixed with other leaves more on the chocolate colour side. And an amber liquor , quite dark but translucent.

Taste : it is an Oriental Beauty quite serious , not at all on the sweet side , on the honey side . It has the typical taste of fruits such as apricot, plum but sugar-free or with a low sugar content.

This is extremely surprising , very good and really unexpected. As a kind of extra extra dry champagne that I did enjoy once without any sugar touch . A version of “dry” tea like we have dry wines in fact.

You can see somes pictures of this tea and the lovely packages of Taiwan Tea Crafts here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/oriental-beauty-superior-grade-oolong-tea-lot-341-taiwan-tea-crafts/

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Sil

i love their packages…so pretty :)

Ysaurella

absolutely so lovely. I’m trying to find out the new TWMB for my cupboard…hard hard hard…

Nicole

Lovely packages! And I, too am on the lookout for a replacement TWMB… :(

Ysaurella

so hard to find the replacement for TWMB…:(

Sil

if we all keep trying, maybe it could happen…some day…

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83

A really nice and uncomplicated tea although the floral profile was fairly simple, it was by no means boring.  A sweet body which reminds me of honey(?) and a fresh finish make this tea to a great everyday tea. 

Flavors: Flowers, Honey

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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81

This tea is dark brown, a little curly, rather long and smells like sweet wood. Light but with an air of dark caramel.

Flavour is medium strength with wood, malt, caramel, cocoa and sugar cane flavours. Further steeps remain smooth and soft. Also has some prune and date fruit tones.

It’s a nice tea, I like it’s sweetness and complex flavours though it is something I am not likely to crave all the time. It’s medium to mild strength makes it very easy to drink.

Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Malt, Sugarcane

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70

Sipdown (112)!

Still a pretty average straight black tea in my humble opinion. Fruits notes were consistent, but there was a lot more maltiness in this timolino worth of tea. I prepared it the same way though, so who knows.

The day I drank this I was incredibly stressed out at work though. Just one of the most stressful shifts I have ever had. Not just at Dollarama – but at any place I’ve worked in general. I felt like my head was gonna blow up at the end of my shift. Ughhhh….

So, Tre and I went out for supper afterwards to kinda relax and “wind down”. We eat out/order in too much. Food was tasty though. I “snuck” this into the restaurant and drank it with my meal. And by snuck, I asked really nicely if they’d mind if I drank my own tea. The staff is very nice (and maybe could tell how much of a mess I was) and said it was totally fine…

I gave ’em a really big tip because they were so awesome.

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70

Went out this morning/early afternoon which is why my queue continuation is coming a little later in the day – but not a lot to get through!

I think this was from VariaTEA but honestly I don’t remember. Woops. Anyway this was nice but not really in an especially remarkable way; I think in the long run it’s gonna be a forgettable blend. But anyway; in my timolino. Most note worthy thing for this one was the strong fruity notes and light nuttiness. Reminded me a little of the fruity/marzipan aspect of almonds.

Cameron B.

Yum. I want to try all of the TTC teas! :P

VariaTEA

I sent this to you but it originated from Sil

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88

Another black tea sample from boychik! Apparently this one came from Terri HarpLady originally, so thank you Terri! The leaves look similar to other Taiwanese teas – they have that creepy gnarled tree branch vibe and they’re jet black. The dry scent is very mild, but I can catch some sweetness from honey or molasses. I steeped about two teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees. I think I may have underleafed a tad, so I’ll keep that in mind next time (boychik sent me a generous sample).

Wow, this tea has such a sweet aroma. It makes me think of lots of dark brown sugar and, to a lesser extent, maple syrup. I think there’s a touch of bread there too, but it’s drowning in all of that sweet syrupy lusciousness. This is a very rich and sweet tea. The flavor is mostly caramelized brown sugar and maple syrup as well. There’s a little touch of wheat bread and some dark dried fruits, like raisins. Yum!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Maple Syrup, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Starfevre

that does sound good

Cameron B.

Total yum. Taiwanese blacks are quickly becoming my favorites…

boychik

i can see that ;-)

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73

(135)
I liked this Mi Xian from TTC, but it’s not my favorite of their teas. I think I preferred their other Mi Xian over this one – it was a bit lighter and fruiter, while this is thicker and maltier. Very good tea – just not AS good as the others.

KittyLovesTea

Wow, we had this at roughly the same time! :)

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81

I’m admit that I’m guilty….I promised to clean the house today but so far I’ve spent 30 minutes cleaning and a couple of hours buying tea sets and tea. Now I’m sitting down to drink tea, looking at all of those gorgeous tea sets was thirsty work. Well I have two days to clean I suppose, my husbands sisters son (I guess that makes him my nephew in law) is coming to stay for three days. He’s 14 and autistic, I offered to look after him while my sister in law does some contract work for three days to get some money. He should be at school but as they just moved and he goes to a special school it has not yet completed. I’m happy enough to help, just means I have to clean my house which honestly I took a lax position with while I’m still recovering from my minor dental procedure. For those that don’t know – I had an impacted wisdom tooth out that required them to cut through my gum and chip into my jaw bone, of which they had to go further and deeper than they thought. Leaving me with a mouth full of stitches, a large lump and a mouth that only opens enough to put a tea spoon in it.

On to the tea and away from life. This was a 25g tester black tea I got as another to try, my husband and I both adore black teas and try to sample different types and brands to find regular types to stock. I steeped roughly 4-5g of leaf in my 200ml Gongfu teapot with just under boiling water for roughly one minute.

It is a lovely golden brown colour and has a rich malt scent. It’s flavour is malty yet sweet and rather clean tasting. It’s of medium strength so it has lots of flavour for such a short steep. It is also a little dry in the after taste.

A further steep of roughly two minutes reveals a milder tea but still very similar to the first steep. So far it’s lovely, not sure it’s a new favourite at this stage but it certainly a delicious, solid black tea, in other words this would be great for a nice every day black tea. I think my husband will like this one, will have to prepare some tonight when he returns from work. :)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt

Veronica

I hope you are healing well. Having wisdom teeth removed is no fun. :(

Fjellrev

I am so lucky that all three of my wisdom teeth were easily removed. Your experience sounds like a nightmare. I hope you recover very soon!

KittyLovesTea

Thank you both. I had to give up tea for a couple of days but luckily I’m healed enough now to enjoy it once again. :) Days without tea are dark indeed.

TeaBrat

Owie, sounds awful, you must be glad that’s over with!

TheTeaFairy

No fun!! :-(

mrmopar

I think you are a blessing to your husbands family. In today’s world so many would not uptake a challenge as this. You will be richly rewarded one day for this. I also hope you feel better and am glad you were able to have some tea.

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80

This is a rather stemmy Oolong with an average size of medium/small.

Colour is dark green with some dark brown and green flashes amongst them.
On the whole the balls have a sweet Lily Of The Valley perfumed aroma that is lightly fresh and almost misty.

Brewing Information
- Gongfu Teapot 200ml
- 5g Oolong
- 90 C water temp

First steep – 1 minute
Pale yellow in colour with a very subtle floral scent. Light floral taste with sweetness and touch of green grass. Also hint of milk.

Second Steep – 2 minutes
Stronger flavour (though still fairly light). Remains floral, this time with some baked wood type after taste. Also very perfumed as it finishes, not dry and thick but rather sweet and fresh.
Still reminds me of Lily of The Valley.

Third Steep – 3 minutes
The Oolong leaves are now fully open. Burnt yellow tea colour. Now rather thick though still very floral. Not as sweet as the previous steeps but it’s still got that baked/almost mature feel. Almost thick enough to be Jasmine like.

I think I will carry on with steeps until I’m satisfied it’s completely spent. Husband likes it a lot and I have to agree with him, it was a nice floral Oolong. Perhaps not my favourite and it may not be completely memorable months down the line but for now it’s a wonderful (and needed) treat. Aids my Final Fantasy X play very well :)

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Krystal

Love Final Fantasy X!

KittyLovesTea

It’s epic! FF7 is my favourite game of all time. Playing FFX as my husband got the sudden urge to play it again, I couldn’t complain :)

Starfevre

I still have Cloud Strife wall scrolls.

KittyLovesTea

That is super cool!

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