Taiwan Tea CraftsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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
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
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
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/
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
- 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 :)
First black tea of the day! This sample came from Blodeuyn. I’m really happy that I’m getting the chance to try so many Taiwanese black teas lately, and they’re definitely unique in that they have flavors I haven’t found elsewhere. This tea is one of the creepy tree branch varieties with the jet black, gnarled leaves. Dry scent is very sweet with dark brown sugar and caramel notes. I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once brewed, the aroma retains those dark brown sugar/molasses and caramel scents, and there’s also a bit of raisin or prune fruitiness. Oh wow! This tea has the strongest dark sugar/molasses/caramelized sugar flavor I’ve ever tasted. It’s rich and sweet and amazing! There’s also a bit of sweet potato and it brings to mind the candied sweet potatoes that my grandmother makes for Thanksgiving – you know, the ones with the marshmallows on top. Definitely a delicious combination! I will say that this tea feels a bit thin, and I think it’s because it’s all bottom notes. I suppose the sweet potato counts as middle, but it feels like it needs more flavor in the middle to top region. Still delicious though! :)
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! You’ve kinda been my Tea-Godfairy with all these unflavoured black samples. I’ve enjoyed trying them; and learning from them. This one was in my timolino with milk.
I can’t say I was huge into this particular one; I probably shouldn’t have added the milk to it. I don’t think it was strong enough to support it. Steeped up with the milk this smelled pretty yeast-y. Regardless, I mostly only got bread and raisin notes from this. I don’t really care for raisins. In anything; tea included and rarely an exception.
I shared some with Bobbi, who disapproved of it (she just made a face and stuck out her tongue) and with Tre who said it just tasted bready and bland. I have to agree with both their sentiments, and that doesn’t happen so often. Oh well; lesson learned I guess?
You can’t love ’em all, anyway.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Raisins, Yeast
Drinking the 2013 version of this, Lot 217, is disappointing. The promise in the aroma of the wet leaves and liquor proves futile in the taste of the liquor itself. This seems to be common with gaoshans, viz. lots of promise but less fulfillment.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 7:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.
So I had this one on Sept. 1st which marked exactly a year since I moved to Saskatoon. Man, it does NOT feel like a year has gone by. Not even close. I’m starting to understand the saying “time goes by faster when you’re older” or however it goes.
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample; I made this one in my timolino with a little bit of milk to take with to my friend Robyn’s. She got back into the city on the 1st and I helped her set up/move in to her new dorm room. It’s actually really nice; much nicer than the one she had last year which was basically just a teeny little room with two beds and dressers in it for her and Casey, her roommate. This one is an apartment style dorms and is really roomy! There are four bedrooms for the four of them, two baths, and a kitchen/dining area and small living room. Plus everything looks really new, like the building was made pretty recently. Very shiny.
One of the coolest/most awkward things in the place was this pillow in their living room that one of the roommates brought. It took forever for me to notice the details on it, but once I did I could NOT unsee it.
And because Robyn and I are so mature, we named the five different penis designs. The names we so carefully selected were: Salvador, Ron, Howard Wolowitz, Peaches, and Mr. Turtleneck. It was a fun time.
Robyn’s roommates all seem really cool too; I’ve obviosly met Casey before but not the other two she’s living with now (Tannis and Taylor). They seem like my sort of people; they are in many of my fandoms, are Tumblr kind of people, have a tea cupboard (admittedly it only has DT blends in it though) and spent the whole evening watching The Hobbit and making over the top jokes about the homoerotic subtext between Bilbo/Thorin (among others). Good times.
But the tea; I actually shared this one with Robyn; she said it was really good but didn’t elaborate on what she liked or disliked about it other than that she probably wouldn’t have added milk, personally. I thought it was really good; very silky and smooth. The black tea reminded me of satin. It also had really rich milk and honey notes. Mmm!
Dry leaf aroma: Sweet potato and malt.
Dry leaf appearance: http://instagram.com/p/r-72S7lcCA/
Wet leaf aroma: Slightly vegetal.
Wet leaf appearance: http://instagram.com/p/r-8MkWlcCr/
Preparation: Initial 1 second rinse, then brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.
First steeping: 2 minutes 30 seconds at 205 degrees. Red Jade stays true to its dry leaf aroma – pure sweet potato with undertones of malt. While the cup is hot the predominate flavors are sweet potato, malt, and a suggestion of something pleasant that is just beyond description. The mouth-feel is rich, smooth, and a bit creamy; the aftertaste is pure sweet potato. As the cup cools the malty notes come forward, along with a hint of cinnamon.
Second steeping: 3 minutes at 205 degrees. Sweet potato is the main aroma for the second infusion. A mild cinnamon essence has appeared in this steeping and blends well with the malt and sweet potato flavors. The mouth-feel is smooth and tingly, and the aftertaste is sweet potato with a cinnamon undertone.
I did not detect any fruit notes during my session, as described on the Taiwan Tea Crafts website.
I am perhaps a bit biased towards this tea, as it is a TRES-18 hybrid (which is a cross between an Assamica strain strain from Burma and the local indigenous wild tea strain), to which I am partial. I enjoy it quite a bit regardless, and recommend it as a solid Taiwanese black tea.
All nerdiness aside, I love “sweet potato” tea! I had to resist the urge to bust out the marshmallows.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
This tea combines the flavours of steamed veg., flowers, cream, honey, peaches, and spice. It seems to be a cross between a Chinese green (25%) and a green oolong (75%). A lovely tea, but pricey.
First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 70 deg., 2:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 70 deg., 3:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 70 deg., 5:00 min.
Fourth infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 70 deg., 10:00+ min.
Thought I would re-visit this tea tonight. It received top marks from my previous tasting. Tonight’s sampling is bliss, it smells and tastes like treacle toffee. Creamy malt tones keep it from being overly sweet…honestly for me it is perfect. If I want a black tea this has everything I look for. I’m sat in love with with this tea!