Taiwan Tea Crafts
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Recent Tasting Notes
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:
The video is at the bottom.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Thanks to Sil I can finally try a Sun Moon Lake Assam. I have been dying to try one for ages and could never find anywhere with shipping and tea prices and enough other things to justify an order.
This is mighty tasty. Smooth, thick, fruity and slightly yeasty. If the other samples Sil was kind enough to share with me are as good, I can definitely see an order in my future!
Oh and I steeped this for-absolutely-ever and it wasn’t even a tiny bit bitter or harsh. I mean, we are talking like 10 minutes while I made the husband pancakes for dinner and completely forgot about my cup!
The dry leaves’ fragrance of sweet tobacco, brews into a liquid that makes me think of raisins and pink cotton candy fused together. No joke! There is some medium astringency that lingers after the sip, however I find this to enhance the complete experience. You certainly can associate it as an Assam from the Sun Moon Lake region. The taste is unmistakeable, yet this one is unique in its sweetness. Very easy not drink cup matter cup. Thankfully the very large leaves are of quality and last many different steepings.
Steepster ate my note…first time for me ! I am shocked lol, naughty steepster !
Thank you so much Sil for sending me this tea as a surprise.
This is really a very kind attention and a very good tea.
I am very fond of Taiwanese teas and especially those from the Sun Moon Lake.LaFleurBleue sent me one in the past and I really felt in love with it.
I tried to find one at Mariage Frères but it’s very expensive (30 € for 100 g) so I forgot about it.
And yesterday night this lovely envelope was waiting for me in my mailbox!
This is a very lovely assam, deep, dark but fruity as well.I get candied apricot for sure and fresh bread notes.
I love it ! for sure I’ll have a look at this company. Thank you so much Sil
Soy sauce – that’s what the dry leaves smell like (not as pronounced after the leaves are steeped). While I’m on the subject of the leaves, they are very large and hand rolled (barely fit in the 100ml gaiwan when dry). Quite interesting how the dry leaves speak soy sauce, yet the liquid is more gingerbread. The cup is very tasty with its thick, savory and very sweet broth. Deliciousness in every sip!
Yes, GABA Oolong! Finally! I’ve been looking for awhile for this stuff, and with my TTC order awhile back I snagged this tea along with many others.
I couldn’t find steeping instructions on TTC, so I did it gaiwan style and cold steeped. Cold steep of GABA oolong is quite good – tarty green strawberry flavor! However, I’m slowly adapting to the California “cold” weather so I felt too chilly drinking it – until summer!
Gaiwan steeping, GABA oolong was quite nice. Thick texture, lots of raisin and green strawberry notes. A little medicinal aftertaste, but it isn’t that strong. Overall, a pretty neat tea and very different from green and roasted oolongs.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/organic-gaba-oolong-taiwan-tea-crafts-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Drinking this at work tonight. Thank you ifjuly for the sample. I haven’t had many Red Jade teas but this is one of the better ones. I still think I like China blacks better than Taiwan blacks, but I’m still really learning about the different blacks.
This is a nice black tea, I’m not sure I really understand what I like/don’t like about them. I’m not getting a lot of fruity, and none of the mint finish (that would be a good thing for me). All in all a solid black, but there are several that I like more than this. I don’t think it would make the short list for restock – but am really happy to have tried it. Thanks ifjuly for another really nice tea.