Taiwan Tea Crafts

Recent Tasting Notes

98

Drinking this one today in the spirit of drinking more of my favorite teas instead of hoarding them until they are stale. I tried a longer and stronger brew of this, and it worked out pretty well. Here are things I didn’t notice the first time I drank this: There is definitely what I can only describe as an umami smell (my dumb palate keeps equating it with tomato paste) and a minty sensation in my mouth after I swallow. These two things made me double-check that I hadn’t accidentally brewed the Red Jade Black lot #268. I am really actually thrown off by how different this one tastes to me today…As this cools the sweet cotton candy notes I remember are becoming more prominent again.

Anna

Still loving the drinking-the-favourites project.

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98

This tea was so good that I decided to brew a second pot of it because I was excited for my boyfriend to try it…

Terri HarpLady

I don’t think I tried lot 269, but I really enjoyed lot 154!

CharlotteZero

If you want to try this one, I’d be happy to send you some. I think I am going to place another order soon. TTC has so many teas I want to try…

Terri HarpLady

Cool! I also have several of their teas too, so I’d be glad to send anything from them (or anyone else) that you’d like to sample. I’ll send you a message :)

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98

I don’t even know how to describe what I am smelling and tasting here. This tea is incredibly smooth. This is one of those teas almost tastes like it’s had creamer added when you’re drinking it plain. This full-bodied assam is incredibly sweet. Pureleaf said this tea reminded them of cotton candy, and I would agree 100%. This is definitely one I am going to reorder.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I just received a massive amount of tea! Happy Birthday to me! Actually my birthday is next week on monday, so Happy Early Birthday!
I got my trade with Lala, my Steepster Select Box, & my Yunnan Sourcing order form last month! Just in time to celebrate!

This tea: I got a sample of this from TTC awhile back. I love their sample sizes because it’s enough tea to really try it out, but not so much that you end up with too much if you don’t like it.
This one is not something I’ll probably re-order, but something I wanted to try, more for the novelty of it, & also because I wanted to try several of TTC’s teas in general & I do like roasty Oolongs.

I used the same gongfu parameters that I used with my other 2 teas today, more or less:
5G + 4oz tiny teapot (Rinse) X 15/30/45sec/1min/2min/3min
The pre-warmed leaf gave off a light sweet incense aroma. After a couple of steeps, the wet leaf really smelled of charcoal & incense!
I shared the first 4 steeps with a student, & her main comment was that she felt like we were drinking incense, but in a good way, LOL.
There is a light sweetness to this cup, like a hint of dried peaches, & definitely an incense quality, which is something I enjoy in roasted oolongs. With successive steepings the cup becomes more savory, lightly salty & umami-like, & the charcoal becomes more apparent in the taste. I think I can probably get another 4 steeps out of this, but I’m actually wanting something sweet now, so I’ll let these leaves rest for awhile. I can always give them a quick rinse later, & then steep some more.

caile

Happy early birthday!! (mine is next Tuesday) :-)

Lala

Woot! Glad you got the swap. Happy early birthday to you.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Lala!
Caile, we’re birthday sisters!! (although I’m sure I’m probably old enough to be your mom, LOL) Happy Birthday to you as well!

caile

Thanks Terri… this will be my first birthday with a 5 as the first digit, so perhaps more like birthday sisters than you thought! ;-)

Terri HarpLady

Well, yes, we are!! This will be my 5th palindrome Birthday!!

caile

Lol! Yay for the number 5!

Sil

numba 5 is alive! mwahahahaha

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95

I’m no «math-magician», but here’s some full proof equation:

Assam + Taiwan
_________________
Sil (swap) = Love

Thank you so much Sil for this one, whoa! Fruity, raisiny, bready, almost boozy assam, perfection in a cup! It does resemble Taiwanese Assam from Butiki a lot, though I find Butiki’s a bit fruitier.

It’s a homerun, thank you Sil for giving me the chance to try this amazing tea:-)

Sil

haha YAAAAAY!!!! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one. I am a fan and i LOVE that i can get 25g samples from TTC, only spend 25$ and still get free shipping!

TheTeaFairy

Hey, thanks for the info, but a $100 order is sufficient for one day!!! (It’s on my shopping list now, silly!)

Sil

holy crap! 100$ from River tea? hahaha

TheTeaFairy

not.THAT.funny.

Fjellrev

First off, I appreciate the maths. It’s perfectly logical.

Secondly, holy crap. I’m going to ignore River Tea for quite a while.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Fjellrev, don’t worry, I will not be an enabler and tell you how Rivertea is the most happy and exquisite website I have ever seen, and that I haven’t been that excited about a new company in ages, no. I won’t do that to you. Not gonna be that person.

Fjellrev

Haha well it is a pretty website. But is it just me, or do the pictures of some of the teas kind of remind you a bit of Teavana? I have faith that their tea is a lot better though.

OMGsrsly

That was exactly my thought, Fjellrev! But I still managed to fill a cart to $80. Not that I’m buying, but window shopping can be fun.

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Ironically when I grabbed this tea I thought it was someting else so I wasn’t really influenced by the product description when tasting this tea.

The dry leaf ranges in colour from dark brown, to a reddish orange medium brown with some olive green and is tightly rolled. The dry tea smells bright and fruity with some green notes.

I steeped the tea 10 times after a rinse ( 35, 25, 30, 40, 45, 50, 60, 75, 90, 120s)

Antiqued green gold colour brew.

35s first brew after a rinse. Mineral note, sour plum note, vegetal note,
Flavour, very sweet honey note with sour plum, slight woody note, really faint note of charcoal,, hint of sweet cooked greens, cinnamon, mineral note. creamy and slightly syrupy, tingling in the front and top of mouth, warmth at back of throat.

25s amber coloured sweet,sour scent, with a touch of honey, spice, and cocoa.
Flavour honey ranging into caramel, with cinnamon and a cardamon hint, faint of cocoa in the base with stone fruit, cherry and plum on top. faint herbaceous floral orchid note. Reminds me a little of the flavour of dammann’s Noel in Prague. Still thick creamy body.

30s caramel, cocoa,cinnamon, stone fruit and orchid.
Flavour stone fruit, orchid, cocoa, caramel,cinnamon.

40s scent more cocoa and caramel with sharp fruit fading.
Flavour caramel, fruit, cinnamon, cocoa/orchid. still thick textured and creamy.

45s. Cocoa dominant over other scents
Flavour cocoa, fruit opening to caramel then chocolate orchid.

50 s fruit, cocoa,vegetal note.
Flavour sweet stone fruit compote ,Some cocoa,almost flaxseed note, still thick bodied.

60s. Scent is mineral
Flavour is flax and cocoa, with a hint of fruit and mineral tones.still full bodied as it cools fruit moves into prominence and caramel makes a reappearance with a touch of spice.
Leaves burgundy chocolate brown colour.

75s. Minerals scent with hits of fruit, flax and cocoa
Flavour sweet fruit, cocoa, a peppery note, caramel, flax, very sweet aftertaste, slight hint of orchid.

90s. Fruit,cocoa,mineral note,flax
Flavour slightly thinner an impression of sweetness followed by cocoa, fruit and mineral notes, with a sweetness developing after that with peppery notes and tart fruit. Thinner body, but not thin.

120s mineral vegetal
Flavour fruit cocoa flax, mineral, pepper, sweet undertone. Still significant body to the tea. Flavour is weakening. Aftertaste is sweet and pepper.

The spent leaves range from solid chocolate brown to 50% Olive green tipped browny red. The majority of the leaves were chocolate. The leaves were quite large with @55% attached to stems.

The tea itself was very enjoyable. I found it to be a very sweet tea, with good tart fruity notes with a caramel sweetness and cocoa toasted notes with a thick creamy body. Quite enjoyable.

boychik

Such a complex tea. I would never be able to notice all those notes. Thanks for the detailed review

Fjellrev

Wow, what a morpher.

pyarkaaloo

remarkable. you deserve a medal for your dedication to experiencing (and reviewing) this tea (from the flavor profile to appearance of leaves)…u should insure your senses! what attention to detail. i never knew tea could have this many steepings & that there was so much to be perceived during a 10 (or even 5) second interval! surely you must be the champion of tea drinkers, are you a certified sommelier?

yyz

Your welcome and thanks for the complements! I’m not a sommelier, but I was taught to search for nuisances in flavour while young, not so much with tea but with wine. I tend to cook buy taste as well, so I guess this is a form of practice as well.

TheTeaFairy

Wow, what a nice review. You really know how to capture the notes, I’m impressed :-)

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91

This sample came to me from Sil in a surprise Christmas card! Unfortunately the postal service did a good job of completely grinding this one to nearly matcha. Did someone stomp on it??

I kept it cool and a quick steep. It kinda looks like matcha with all that powder floating around in there! It does smell amazing, however. So floral (I’m amazed you liked this one, Sil! ;)). It’s a familiar floral but I can’t quite place it right now. Lilacs isn’t quite right, but I’ve definitely smelled it in a garden before. The flavor definitely has a bit of a fresh apricot, and I can see where TTC describes an almond-like note. It’s fresh and green and lovely. This is quite amazing, even stomped to bits. I may have to order some bao zhong from them when I do get around to making an order.

ETA: Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and rate this one pretty highly. It’s really that good, the broken leaf doesn’t even matter that much!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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99

Started snowing again! I think we have a few more inches coming! Made a big mug of this as it’s got such a natural sweet and spice warming character to it. Yum!

I posted a few kid snow photos and a slow motion video of the hummingbirds battling over the feeder on my rarely updated blog. Feel free to check it out here:

http://tastybrewtea.blogspot.com/2014/02/winter-fun.html

The video is at the bottom.

OMGsrsly

The hummingbirds are so cute!

__Morgana__

That’s an awesome hummingbird scene. :-) (The kids are adorable, too.)

Terri HarpLady

Why did I not know you had a blog?
You & your kids are ridiculously cut! :D
But I didn’t get to see the hummingbird video, maybe it’s because I’m onmy ipad?
I’ll try again later from my computer, meanwhile, thanks for this lovely tea!

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99

My computer is back to life!!! Woo hoo! I’ve been scanning the posts from my phone, but I haven’t felt motivated enough to write any notes from my phone. Especially as more time passed, the less motivated I was. But my computer is fixed and this tea needs a review.

It is sooooooooooooo good. It tastes very similar to Wild Mountain Black, but more cinnamon and pumpkin, but with a deepness of an Assam. Seriously delicious. On its own or with a touch of cream and honey to turn it into pumpkin pie. I just ordered an obscene amount of this, but I’m going to share it with the BBB ladies, so I don’t feel too bad about it!

Terri HarpLady

Yay!!! You’re back, I was starting to wonder where you’d gotten off to! Regarding the tea, I wanted to try that one, but I’m not allowed to buy anything else right now, so YAY again! :)

Fjellrev

This sounds amazeballs, and I’m glad you got your computer fixed! It’s crazy how you don’t realize how much you depend on it until something happens to it.

Sil

Ditto what Terri said haha

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85

This is actually a review of Lot #249 of this year.

Nice unbroken leaf; creamy, floral (like Osmanthus), slight melon / cantaloupe flavor. Lingering aftertaste, light liqueur, doesn’t lose strength on resteepings (can go 5 or more), leaves smell amazing in a gaiwan. Tastes similar to Lishan Cui Feng, will have to do a closer comparison of the two soon.

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81

Granted, there’s not much I can say since I don’t have the tea anymore to compare, but I like buttery, floral oolongs and I loved this one. I hope that helps. Maybe I’ll pick it up again for the sake of documentation :)

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81

Another winner from TTC, I thoroughly enjoyed this oolong. I think TTC’s best are the high-mtn oolongs, at least from what I’ve tried. Not much to say, other than classic Dong Ding. Highly recommended.

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54

I couldn’t get into it, not what I’m looking for in an oolong. Kind of squash-like. Okay if you use a small amount of leaf, I guess, but not the best from TTC.

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84

This one also came from Sil – thank you very much.

I think I like this oolong better than the one I was drinking earlier. This is also dark and roasted, but I think it’s more “oolong” and less “charcoal”. Don’t get me wrong this is a dark roasted oolong, but it seems like the charcoal supports the oolong rather than taking over from it. For my tastes this one is a better balance between the oolong and the smoke.

Sil

glad you’re finding them tasty :) love sharing ttc teas!

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80

Thanks Sil for sending me a sample of this one.

I’m not sure I’ve had an aged oolong before. I’m not sure what in the notes I’m getting would be typical of an aged oolong.
This is a nice, dark, heavily roasted – almost charcoal tasting oolong. I like oolongs in this style, and this is a pretty good example of that. It might be just a hint too smoky/charcoal for me, but all in all I’ve enjoying drinking three steeps of this.

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Beautiful dry leaves. So pretty. The leaves are huge when they unfurl. This is nicely vegetal but not in a spinachy way, just in an oolongy way. It is mild and buttery, though not as much so as the oolongs that have made me love them for their texture. I did look this up before steeping and tried to pay attention. I did 4 steeps, 15 seconds, 30 seconds & 40 seconds. Then the last one I just left the leaves in the cup until I was finished drinking. At the last it was a little sweeter than it started out.

I understand why people say they just get amazing flavors that develop out of these small steepings – it seems like if you only steep for 15 seconds at a time then it’s only common sense that you aren’t getting all the flavors possible out of the tea at once. Maybe that makes it easier to isolate the flavors. Dunno. It isn’t my favorite way to steep. No patience for it I guess. Maybe that means I’m not fully experiencing the tea but honestly, as long as I come up with something I like to drink it doesn’t matter to me. :)

It was a good tea and I’m glad Sil shared some with me!

Sil

:) glad it was enjoyable. NOthing to keep around all the time but still worth an experience heh

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77

Good but not great, mellow easy drinking, smooth and relaxing, but nothing special to justify the price premium of an aged tea (though from what i understand these things are actually dime-a-dozen over in taiwan). It definitely has some nice aged flavor (dusty and dried fruit-ish, sort of), plus noticeable roast flavor still, but not much else, the roast and the aging is all that’s left.

Preparation
Boiling

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