Taiwan Tea Crafts

Recent Tasting Notes

quite enjoyable…I get cotton candy too…very tasty…180ml Ru ware pot,8g tea…

cryptickoi

this was a sipdown…must order more…

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99

So, after finishing this tea, I examined the leaves and what I saw at the bottom of my cup was probably the most inner part of a tea bud and not a leafhopper. I don’t own a microscope, so it was pretty difficult to see. I also was unfazed, so I just cleared out the debris with my finger and let it fall on the grass. I’d like to think that leafhoppers do exist, though!

Anyhow, this tea blew me away. The rinse was a lot like flan to me. It had the same super-silky texture and caramelized sugar aroma. The second steeping smelled more like dark chocolate and honey. This tea is truly unlike anything I’ve had before. There is a little bit of malt and hay in the cup and fruit that tastes like apricot preserves. Something about the aroma also reminds me of being near the coast and breathing in the humid, salty air. The third steeping has a very strong caramelized sugar aroma.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
NofarS

I probably would have been grossed out by that. But sounds like it was worth it.

cryptickoi

at least now you know they truly exist…the tea sounds good,I just may have to investigate..

CharlotteZero

NofarS I am not someone who is easily grossed out, so it didn’t faze me in the least.
cryptickoi I am not I’m not an entomologist, so I can’t be 100% sure, but it is a wonderful tea. I’m on the 6th or 7th steep now, but I think the best steeps were 2 & 3…

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I thought I’d brew a cup of this, as comparison to the Eco-Cha Red Jade. Both are tres 18 teas, & they are very similar. The appearance is slightly different, as these leaves appear to be larger, & less tightly twisted. Flavorwise, they are both tart, fruity, & spicy. The Eco-Cha features more of a minty sensation, more clove, & more bitterness. I’d say this one is sweeter, but the re-steep was weak.

To be fair, although I used the same steep times, I can’t be entirely sure I used the exact same amount of tea, so don’t take this comparison too seriously. I didn’t weigh either tea, & their leaf size & shape is very different. On my next steeping, I’ll weigh them both, & use same sized Gaiwans.

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91

Another backlog from friday – one of two teas that went on our road trip with me to get me from toronto to detroit. I knew we wouldn’t have time to run around findind water for me, so i just brought the two travel mugs for the trip and then went nearly the entire rest of the weekend with no tea. eep! it sucked. haha but this tea? Still loving’ it’s juicy tastiness.

Sil

it was a blast! I’m slightly dehydrated and wind blown from running around for hours in chicago on saturday and sunday but we had a great time. The stopover in detroit let us meet up with a couple friends and then the time we had in chicago gave us enough time to do some shopping, wander around an explore the architecture and buildings and plan our next trip there. As expected my other half loved it and is looking forward to going back. :)

Courtney

Yay! I deleted those comments, since I was reading from the bottom up on my feed and your next tasting note had more details, whoops. That sounds like a great time. :)

Sil

hahaha suuuure make me look like a crazy person talking to herself haha

caile

hahaha, I was wondering who you were talking to for a moment! ;-)

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87

I’m back, I’ve missed you dear Steepster friends this week :-)

I’d like to thank Sil for incuding such a good one for me…This is right up my alley, beloved Taiwanese blacks!

I did many infusions this morning, using the new glass yixing pot I got on boxing day for peanuts…

The tea is gorgeous, it rendered a relatively light colour compared to other taiwanese black. It feels round in the mouth, like most teas with hints of honey do.

It has a very distinct smell and taste, if I can pin point properly that very faint sourness I get, I’d compare it to rye bread to give you an idea, that’s very pronounced when you smell the wet leaf and easier to identify. That’s what I do when I’m trying to get notes in the tea, smelling the wet leaf gives me a much better idea and helps me define the taste. But it is so relative and personal, what feels like rye bread to me, might feel like almond to someone else. That’s why I find reading about tea somewhat poetic…

All in all, this tea is superb and gave me great joy this morning,

Thank you so much Sil for knowing I would aporeciate this!

__Morgana__

Yay! So glad you’re back!

TheTeaFairy

Awww, Me too morgana…lots of catching up to do, hope all is well with the kids and their tea drinking experiences :-)

Yvonne

Welcome back, we missed you! ♥

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Yvonne, love you guys :-)

caile

Welcome back! : )

keychange

Yaaaay! I was wondering where my co-revolutionary was!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks caile!
Keychange, Revolution is an ongoing process, and I will never abandon you, you have a serious and dedicated warrior beside you!!

Terri HarpLady

Warriors of Tea! :)

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I drank this earlier today, while warming up on the Harp for a rehearsal. It’s a lovely fruity cup, with a sweet thick scent as well. I can’t believe I haven’t drank it awhile, because it really is divine!

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OMG.

So.

Good.

Thanks, Sil!

Rich dark honey. Carby. Spicy. Mmm…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!

Sil

you make this sound delicious!

Cavocorax

Omg. I’m so jealous…

OMGsrsly

It is so delicious!!!

Cavocorax

Oh man… I really wish I had some of that. :(

OMGsrsly

I wonder if it’s still available? So tempting to use some of my Christmas money instead of saving it.

OMGsrsly

WAIT. What am I thinking? I shouldn’t be buying tea…

OMGsrsly

Sil, I’m confused. This tea is this one, right?
http://www.taiwanteacrafts.com/product/red-jade-black-tea/
Just a new lot? “Just”. I know.

Man, I could get 2 teas, hit their free shipping threshold, and be golden. And also off-hiatus. Hmm.

Sil

I still have some of this one…so worse case we can trade! Always happy to swap with friends

Cavocorax

Oh, I would love a trade – would you trade with me? I could send you soemthing nice.

OMGsrsly

I can tell this is an assam now that it’s been sitting (I’m almost done my 16 oz mug! This is unheard of!), and it’s still SO GOOD.

I think I will go off hiatus. But next week, because I just paid for a yoga class with the money on my card. :D

Sil

OMG…best way to shop from TTC is load up your cart with samples sizes… then you just have to get to 25$ for free shipping

Sil

oh and yes… they cycle through lots.

OMGsrsly

That’s like.. 4-5 samples! Not much at all. :) Any “type” recommendations, even if they’re a new lot?

Sil

sun moon lake assam; red jade black; yuchi wild mountain; and if you like stacy’s Mi xian, they have one that’s nice…

Sil

we haven’t tried the golden dragon kind yet..

also TB and Terri liked the oolongs quite a bit…to me though, they were oolongs. :) The one green tea of theirs i tried was pretty good too…if you like that sort of thing :)

Cavocorax

Oh man. :( You’re really tempting me to break my hiatus.
But. They’re not on sale right now right? So there’s no reason to do it now?

OMGsrsly

Their greens are sold out. I was gonna get the sun moon lakes, just because of the name! :D Yep, I have a cart prepared. :)

Sil

cavo. exactly. they will still be there (different lots) when you have money/return to buying tea

yyz

I still got the $25 free shipping when I had some larger items in your cart. So if you love this tea, you’re probably OK ordering a larger size as long as this is your first order and your order has some samples.

OMGsrsly

Good to know! Mmm, tea. I might wait as well. Then go all-out for my birthday.

Sil

they have a 50$ threshold and a 75 as well, depending on what’s in your cart. sooooo many tea wares that i want. sigh

Starfevre

I just bought some of the Sun Moon Lake as well as some teaware. Vintage Yixing!

Sil

jealous starfevre!

OMGsrsly

That’s awesome, Starfevre!

Cavocorax

Oooh. will you post teaware pics when it comes in?

Starfevre

I will try to remember to do that. Currently I am populating a cabinet.

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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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91

My other morning tea! I have a bunch of TTC teas that i need to start working my way through before i end up placing another order. I have a sneaking suspicion that i should stick to sample orders with them, though i love their teas. It just takes me so long to get through 50g that the lot is either finished by the time i try them or another 4 have come out haha. So yeah. Love their teas…just want all of them!

Terri HarpLady

except that one aged black that tasted light old beets…lol

Sil

hahaha

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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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I’m still getting a fruity jam, with dark chocolate, & a hint of leafhoppers’ coriander. The mouthfeel is VERY thick with the chocolate sensation, & the tea is tasty & sweet!

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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

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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91

mmmmm had a few cups of this one this afternoon to have a tea that i was familiar with. I have zero desire to go in to work tomorrow so i may just ride out the rest of the week, working from home haha. I still love this tea and i’m glad i have a bunch of it to drink and share with friends!

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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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84

sipdown! I had a cup of this today to try and drink up some of the non black teas in my cupboard. the rest of this is also going out to share with tea friends since i am not a fan of greens, but did really enjoy this one. yay for cleaning up teas!

Terri HarpLady

My tea collection is so out of control, so disorganized at the moment. Boxes everywhere, tea crammed in every place. Who knows how long it will take me to get it under control? If ever? :)

Sil

uh… another box coming your way to…should be getting it in the mail by this weekend hahaha

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