Taiwan Tea Crafts

Recent Tasting Notes

90

So far, all the Taiwanese teas I have tried seem to have that distinctive spice note both in taste and aroma. I’m not really sure what it is, but it is very unique, aromatic and flavourful.

This is fragrant, fruity and spicy, but also smooth and creamy with notes of honey, and somehow savory as well. Seems bolder and more full bodied in a way, than the TTC golden dragon tippy black tea I had earlier, but both are similar to me. Delicious!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

Warm cinnamon raisin bread. That is exactly what this cup tasted like – so delicious!
There is a rich sweetness of cinnamon and spices, combined with the fruitiness of raisins, and fresh bread. Lovely and fragrant!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Christina

Sounds lucious!

Nxtdoor

Yes, this sounds so good. The question is, will it taste like Cinammon bread to me? It’s ok, it’s rhetorical, you don’t have to answer. I always read reviews and then when it’s my turn, not so much, not with straight teas anyway.

caile

haha, I know what you mean. :)
I drank this without recalling my previous review and although I knew it was going to be somewhat of this flavor profile, I was surprised by how much like raisin cinnamon bread it was – really good. Next time I make it I hope it turns out the same!

gmathis

Hmmm…makes me wonder what would happen if you threw some golden raisins in a steeping basket with something else…

caile

Might be nice! :) Although this was more like the dark raisins, not the golden ones.

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89

Large curled leaves with a slight golden hue.
Brewed aroma is fruity like apricots and raisins, and has a spice note I first encountered in butiki’s taiwanese wild mountain black, also which carries over into taste.
Very flavorful of spice, fruits and honey. It is very much reminiscent of pumpkin pie, as TastyBrew noted in her review, and so delicious and smooth, especially with added cream. Yum!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

mmmmm i do like TTC’s teas. This is not one of my favourites, but it is a pleasant, taiwanese cup of tea. Likely won’t reorder this variation from TTC but only because there are others that i love from them, so why settle for a mostly yummy tea when i can have amazing yummy tea? :)

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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