Taiwan Tea Crafts

Recent Tasting Notes

82

..weird. I know i’ve had this before but i can’t seem to find a tasting note for it. Oh well..this was another tea from this morning since i need to stay moving on to some of my other teas. this is similar to other TTC taiwanese blacks but different in that it’s less juicy and honey sweet and closer to being malty, without actually being malty. if that makes sense. either way, a good cup for today!

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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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I was rummaging through my sample box the other day and found this tea. Had a brief conversation with myself…
Where did this come from?
Obviously Sil sent it to you.
I drank all the samples Sil sent…
The fact that it’s still here means that you didn’t.

Another perfect example of why having 23408234098 teas in your cupboard is too many.
Anyway…. I’m drinking this today at work.
It’s awesome. Of the teas I’ve tried from Taiwan Tea Craft this is my favorite. it’s not really like a “true” dark oolong, it’s not really like other aged oolongs I’ve had. It’s really fruity (stone fruit – peach? apricot?). not floral at all, not roasted/smokey at all. Not sure what it is, but awesome is how I feel.
Thanks so much Sil (and Terri ?) for passing this on to me.

caile

haha, that’s a big cupboard! ; )

Sil

LMAO hahahaha

TheTeaFairy

(Lol, me think you need a certain giant mason jar mug to sipdown more tea at once and reduce your stash considerably so you can start dinking your own tea!)

Sil

I want one…. Just so expensive. :(

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This is not my first tea of the day. First I had a cup of A & D’s Chinese New Year (aka Golden tips), then I had a pot of butiki’s Dinjoye Estate Assam. I should probably post about them, but I don’t really feel like backtracking today, so this is all you get. They are both delicious.

Now for this tea, which is the one I am currently drinking. Tasty Brew included it in the Grab Bag of our BBBBox. I sampled all of the others in the bag, & didn’t care for any of them, so they will be headed to Canada soon. I was gonna sample this one & probably do the same, but then I realized Sil has already tried it, I wasn’t a fan, so I’ll keep it.

I guess it has grown on me, because I kind of enjoyed the first cup & am working on the resteep now. It’s kind of earthy, woody, a little dried fruit, & an underlying taste of white willow bark (think salicylic acid, aspirin), which is interesting because I have a mild headache & was thinking, “I need to stop by Cheryl’s Herbs to get some more white willow bark, & then drink a cup”. So maybe I’m imagining that part.

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85

I got this tea awhile back with my Taiwan Tea Crafts order. I had a huge hurting for a roasty oolong. Though, a surprise with this tea – the oolong leaves are pitch black with an intense roasty charcoal smell that steeps up light, clean, mineral, honey sweet and really smooth roasty flavor.
I was expecting a heavier flavor and texture. I’m on my 5th steeping in my yixing pot and the flavor is pretty consistent.
Overall, a pretty interesting oolong, and this one is on the cheaper side on the website, so easy to sneak into your cart.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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I sampled the Songboling Shui Xian Oolong, from TTC, and afterwards I went with this one, to see what happens when you age it. I’d like to preface this by saying that Sil & I have sampled some of the aged black teas from TTC, & they had earthy & musty qualities, that were interesting, but not necessarily desireable. One in particular tasted like beets that have spent the winter in the root cellar, if you know what I mean.

This tea however is not so. I think the aging & occasional re-roasting has done this tea justice, intensifying & deepening the jammy flavors a bit, bringing out a nutty hazelnut quality, & the overall feeling was incredibly smooth. No mustiness, no root veggies, just a lovely Oolong.

I have difficulties with comparing teas. I drank these 2 teas separately, enjoying the first one with resteeps while teaching, and then switching to this one. The problem with this method is I’m terrible about taking any kind of notes. While I’m drinking the cup, I’m loving it & thinking nice things, making note in my head of it’s wonders. Then I switch to a different tea, & all is forgotten, as I am now thinking of THIS cup. I have enough to drink this one more time, & I think that final comparison will be side by side, steep for steep.

Anna

I think it can be hard to compare some teas, too – especially if they’re very similar.

Terri HarpLady

Right! I think when I’m trying to compare the subtle differences, I really need more time to just sit & sip, breath, & enjoy. The truth is, I rarely just sit. I’m cooking, I’m gardening, I’m teaching, I’m computing, I’m playing an instrument. I’m almost always doing something while I’m drinking tea. Except maybe that first cup of the day. :)

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I spent most of the day drinking Teas from Taiwan Tea Crafts. In particular, I wanted to drink this & the aged 2005 songboling, lot 135, back to back, to see what becomes of a tea such as this one when allowed to age.

Of course, I have no idea what to say about it. I enjoyed them both, LOL.
This one is a lovely cup, roasty, creamy, & sweet. There’s a real incense quality to the aroma, & also a fruitiness, maybe apricot?

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I drank some of this earlier in the day, shared with one of my morning students. I’ve reviewed it several times, so I won’t go on & on, but I did enjoy it! All in all, it’s been a wonderful day. I woke up, did my taichi, qigong, yoga mix, made a nice breakfast, & found myself singing throughout. I don’t know for sure, but I think the return of the sun, just a little earlier each day, is responsible. That & good tea ;)

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81

1 tbsp

Smooth hint of savoury milky sweetness. Definite strong floral note. Slight oceanic (salt) tone. Fresh grass.

Thanks to Sil for sharing!

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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This tea is a little different than some of the Taiwanese blacks I’ve had before as it is neither dominated by fruit, or the mint spicy tones you often find. Instead it actually does reference oatmeal, not in the aged tea/ exhausted steeping type of oatmeal flavour you get but actual oatmeal with grain, malt and a little hint of nut in it, contributing to a savoury comforting, rich flavour. As secondary notes it has fairly strong malt tones, sharp fruit ranging from long an to red currant, and honey tinged cocoa.

I brewed it 5 times (20, 30,55,120, &240s). It seemed to have a nice bit of resiliency, with malt retaining prominent notes and the cocoa honey note increasing in the first few steepings and the fruit changing from longan to a currant note in later steeps.

Maybe not my favourite Assam but still a warm, comforting and pleasant cup. Thanks to TastyBrew for allowing me the opportunity to try another of TTC’s black teas!

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74

Wow! This is a great one for coffee lovers!! It is a deep espresso flavor with accents of prunes and raisin, and essences of sweet pipe tobacco.
Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!

Flavors: Dates, Espresso, Raisins, Tobacco

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

Sipdown!! (118)

Thank you Sil!! This is certainly a delicious black tea. It is one I would even consider stocking as it is fruity and smooth and really quite tasty. I definitely was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did and now it is gone and I am sad.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

I’ll put some more into the travelling tea box most likely so that you and others can try. the company will let you buy their samples sizes and get free shipping as long as you spend 25$. and the samples are 25g – so theres even enough to split with another person!

VariaTEA

I checked their website and didn’t see this lot anymore.

Sil

no.. but so far, as near as terri and i can tell, the lots are very similar. They rarely will have 2 lots for the same tea name, if that makes sense. it’s just like verdant getting in the next harvest etc..

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78

Thank you Sil for sharing this with me. I am actually quite surprised as I anticipated a straight black but this is smooth and fruity. It is very good so I am glad you sent it to me and forced me to try something new.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

YAY! i thought you might not hate this one since it’s sort of like stacy’s taiwanese mountain tea :)

VariaTEA

I have never tried Stacy’s Taiwanese Mountain Tea but this was very flavorful for being a straight black.

Sil

ooh i’ll try to remember to send you some. :)

VariaTEA

Well if it is like this, I would probably enjoy it. Though I just don’t reach for straight blacks very often.

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88

Along with the usual floral and honeyed notes (albeit subtle), there are other tastes that are hard for me to pin down. Perhaps fresh tomato? The leaves, both dry and infused, are stunning. A rather complex tea, which may not be worth the steep price.

First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 3:00 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 5:00 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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First sipdown of the day, no. 90 overall, I think, sent to me from Sil.
This is lovely, simply lovely. I’m not really sure how to describe it, so I won’t even try.

Sil

it was a nice green…as nice as greens tend to be for me lol

TheTeaFairy

Wenshan Baozhong are among my favourite Oolongs ever, my staple being Tealux. Can’t wait to try my sample of this one though, might be my late night tea this evening :-)

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94

Nice subtle roast. Like coffee with lots of cream and a hint of sugar. Has a creamy mouthfeel too which is really delicious.

I prepared this Gong Fu style in my Yixing that is dedicated to roasted type Oolongs. I am having fun with this as I just got this pot. I am getting another one to dedicate to an individual tea as well but am searching for the perfect tea to go for that one.
I am a total tea addict now because the Yixings are very very fun. I love the idea of all the years of lovely tea seasoning the pots with all that character and flavor. And this tea added to that!!!
Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Espresso

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

I seriously love this tea. I don’t love whoever edited the tea and removed the lot number. Sometimes when multiple lots are in cupboards you need that information. So i beg you..whoever you are, please don’t remove lot numbers! even if that lot never comes back…

This was one of the two teas i packed up in a hurry this morning when i discovered my plan for getting work done and drinking tea at home was not allowed because of my computer issues. Every time i have this, i’m reminded of just how much i love these teas…

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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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Dear Sil-

I regret to inform you that it appears as though I’m starting to enjoy pretty much every roasted oolong thrown my way. I don’t know if it’s because of their roasty deliciousness or because I can drink them at night without worrying about the caffeine. Or if it’s simply because they are new to me and unlike greens or whites, still have a strong flavor. I don’t know what’s happening, but I do promise to always love my straight black teas best.

Cheers-
Amy

p.s. you can blame your tea sister for this. She included this delicious tea a while back and my previous ambivalence towards oolongs kept me from trying it until now.

p.p.s Thanks Terri Harplady!

Starfevre

Roasting does things to the caffeine level?

keychange

Wondering the same thing.

Sil

sigh another one bites the dust…

Dinosara

Woot woot oolongs!

Kamyria

Yay for oolongs!! So what happens to the caffeine in roasted oolongs?

TastyBrew

oh, I have no idea if roasting does anything, but I have noticed that i can drink roasted oolongs right before bed and still go right to sleep. might just be me!

cryptickoi

what I’ve read is that caffeine levels are reduced due to the baking/roasting…

Terri HarpLady

Glad you like it!
Sil, at least she’s not in love with the Earl! ;)

cryptickoi

by that rationale aged teas that have received multiple roasts would be the best nighttime choice…

TastyBrew

Earl’s would/will NEVER happen. I can’t even stand a light earl grey, even if I’m desperate. Just the thought makes my face cringe a bit.

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86

This was a very strange tea. I did two steepings Western-style. After the first steeping, the first smell that hit me was of candied sweet potatoes. Usually when I smell this in a tea there is also an associated potato skin smell that is similar to dirt, but this tea was lacking that smell. This tea was smoother and very much lighter-bodied than what I was expecting from the initial aroma. The rest of the smells and flavors were difficult to make sense of because I hadn’t experienced a tea like this before. There was a flaky pastry scent, cotton candy-like sweet smell and the faintest aroma of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I also detected a fruity aroma that was closest to bing cherries, but Casey said it was more plum-like to him. There was a very mild minty sensation at the end of the sip.

In the second steeping I could taste some cinnamon candy spiciness and then suddenly tomato paste was there and became dominant note in the cup for me. There was even maybe a bit of an herbaceous smell. I wish I was joking about the tomato paste, but Casey smelled this too. It was pretty off-putting, although it didn’t taste at all like tomato paste, but this tea still gets high ratings from the first steeping about because of its uniqueness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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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