Taiwan Tea Crafts
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:-)
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.
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!
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!
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.