Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

I finally used my Lin’s ceramic teapot today. I do not know why I have been avoiding it. It made an excellent brew. The honey, roasted bark, and caramel apple notes of this tea really shined. As a rolled oolong and one of my favorite teas, this tea truly deserves to be prepared in a ceramic pot.

There is just something about this Gui Fei that really hits the spot every single time. The only caveat is that it has to be perfectly prepared and piping hot. If it’s not… the brew doesn’t live up to its amazing potential at all and kind of makes me sad… First world problems…

As a complete aside: This note marks the first non-backlog note I have written in over two months. Yesterday, I finally finished logging every single tea that I have had since early May. I had kept the list teas in a file and by yesterday it was about 130 teas. Yikes. If anyone is interested, you can see them all in my – finally updated – tealog.


I missed your notes ;-)

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Initally, there is a subtle floral & sweet creaminess mingling with the taste of the roast, as well as a fruity tang. That creaminess diminishes in subsequent infusions, with the roast being more pronounced. The final infusion is succulently sweet.

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

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

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

2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Whoa, I’ve been so very lazy about checking the in-depth details of my tea before drinking it lately and was not expecting this to be the way it is! It tastes more like an oolong than a black tea to me (perhaps not surprising given the source…oh Taiwan, you and your wonderful oolongs!), with a steeped color that reminds me a bit of the old fashioned Formosa Oolong from Harney, not dark and not light, in between. The overwhelming “whoa!” note that hits me immediately is apple cinnamon. Not tart-then-sugary apple juice-like teas (which I hate), more like eating homemade, still-chunky-firm applesauce made with rosy apples, a a variety with a lot of floral aroma. I’m so busy being surprised and enjoying it I think I’ll return to this note later. Tea! I love how you tempt me and flirt with me, how just when I think I’ve got you all figured out and we’re comfortably married and middle-aged in our relations, you go put on a new dress or I find out you can fix an engine or something I had no idea you were capable of. You sexy thing.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sami Kelsh

Sexy indeed. This is beautiful to me.


This is more than a like for this tealog, it’s definitely a love. :)


I need a tea that can install a kitchen sink. Going to give this one a try ;)


This is all so fantastic…..


Oh, best note ever.


hahaha, TeaExplorer! let me know when you find one that does. :D

(thanks guys!)

Dag Wedin

MUST try this tea!

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It seems this tea has been discontinued, which is a pity as it is a surprisingly good tea. With a creamily floral aroma in the wet and dry leaves, and a light taste through 4 infusions, this was a nice surprise for me (especially as the best infusion is the last).

First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 90 deg., 2:00 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 90 deg., 7:00 min.

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

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Thank you Sil!!! (173)

This was a tea that really caught my attention when I read everyone else’ reviews. It sounded so amazing and now I have a cup and I’m so excited. :D It smells wonderful.

And the taste is quite divine! Wow. Seriously, wow. I better not dump those leaves by mistake because I need to get a few resteeps out of this. It tastes really juicy and fruity and, like Sil said, just a little savoury too. It’s complex. Each sip is a little different but they are all SO juicy. OMG.

I nearly broke my finger trying to hit the rec button. (slight exaggeration)

ETA: The resteep was quite nice but the end of that cup felt a little salty almost. So careful on the resteeps!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

haha i’ve got lots of this and others from TTC if you want to “trade” for something


Oooh. I would like more of this if you see anything of mine you’d want to swap for. :D

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Thanks to Sil for sending me more samples of TTC black teas! I still have never gotten around to ordering tea from them, so it’s nice to try some more. I’ve tried #147 before (also from Sil), so I decided to try this one and see how it compares.

I am out of practice brewing these long, spindly Taiwanese black teas. At one point I had a decent eye for dishing out leaves but apparently I’ve lost it. I decided to use the entire sample in my mug, but I probably should have split it up a bit. Actually a shorter steep by only a minute might have solved it. The tea was ever so slightly bitter and just overall very strong (I realize this may be how some people like their teas, haha), but I thinned it with a bit more hot water and it smoothed out most of the rough edges incurred by steeping that much leaf.

I found this tea to be overall quite tasty and a pleasant cup to drink. A bit fruity, a bit malty. I didn’t have the same reaction to this one as I did to #147, but to be fair my steeping may have something to do with it. This one has more of that character of most Taiwanese black teas that I don’t particularly care for; that je nais c’est qua, but not in a good way. It’s not enough to make me dislike the tea and I would happily drink another cup, but it’s not something I love. Glad to have tried this, though!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This tea offers a pleasant balance of steamed green beans and roasted flavours in the first infusion, leaning more towards the former. In subsequent brews, the latter takes over to the almost total exclusion of the former. A good start but a disappointing finish.

First infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz water, 75 deg., 1:30 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 75 deg., 3:00 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 75 deg., 7:00 min.

Fourth infusion – 3 g. per 6 oz. water, 75 deg., 10:00+ min.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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2/28 sipdown

Thanks for sharing this one with me cavocorax i hadn’t tried this one and it is in the usual TTC fashion, an excellent tea! It’s fruity but not overly so and just has the right balance of strength to it.

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Sipdown! Yay! Not that it really counts since I’ve purchased tea while on a vacation but at least it will be one less to a) bring all the way ack home and b) sipdown to try and make my goal when I DO get home.

My other half and I have settled in to a great routine in the evening here….we cook dinner, sit on the balcony, play a game, go down to the whirlpool and then either play another game or watch a tv show before bed. I’m really going to miss our evenings here when we get home so we’ll have to see if we can find a way to keep it up on week nights I don’t have to work heh

I feel like I’ve had this tea way more often than I’ve logged it. It’s a tea that is similar in profile to Stacy’s wild mountain tea….though different enough that the two are unique teas. I’m not sure how often I’d restock this as I’m partial to the sun moon lake Assam if I have to choose just one, but I’d be happy enoug rotating sample sizes of the lots in to my cupboard from time to time, esp with free shipping on those at 25$

Final count: 138 (however there are teas to be purchased here and teas probably waiting for me at home…)


Sounds like a really nice relaxing evening! :)

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Another tea from this morning AND one of the teas that i’ve been trying to work through lately because i have a number of teas from both TTC and Norbu that i haven’t opened or started yet! i like the fresh and fruitiness of this one even if it’s not my FAAAVOURITE from TTC. it’s still damn good and i’m happy to have it in my cupboard to drink!

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another tea from earlier this evening. I still haven’t decided how i feel about this one from TTC. it’s similar to the others that i’ve had but also different. there are some underlying notes to this that i haven’t quite wrapped my brain around. I may need to have a gong fu session to unlock my feelings on this one. still enjoying it..just….not settled in my opinion :)

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I’m trying some of this because I had to open the package anyway to send some to boychik. I really don’t know how TTC finds such incredible teas. There is an amazing combination of sweet spices in this. Their teas are unlike any I’ve had from other vendors. This is an incredible tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

I’m intrigued ;) on the other hand I’m sorry you have to open new bag


Haha. I’m not sorry! This was a great way to start my day. Headed to FedEx now. :-)


I’ve never ordered from them, but your description has me intrigued! Just had a look at their site. I have too many teas already, but some of their offerings look really good :)


Let me know if you ever want me to send you some samples. I have quite a few of their teas (more than what I’ve added in my steepster cupboard), and would be happy to send you some…


Thanks for the kind offer! I’m going to hold off for the moment, however, since I have such a huge backlog. When I read reviews on Steepster I feel like a dog in a yard full of squirrels =:-}


I understand that feeling…Only I am mostly unable to resist the impulse to chase them all, so now I have soooo much tea. Let me know if you ever change your mind, though!


I will … thanks!

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I’m in the mood for some more Oolong, something to put my mind at ease for tomorrows doctors visit. I’m having my first cervical screening tomorrow, I’ve had scans of an intimate nature done before but those were to show my ovaries are in the wrong area and that I couldn’t have kids. My mum had cervical cancer as did my nan and my aunt so honestly I’m preparing myself for the worst, but since my husband had testicular cancer a few years ago I agreed to be on time for any intimate scan. Promises are promises but I’m sure you girls know how nervous it can be. And the guys are probably cringing lol.

Anyway focus on Oolong, my good old friend Oolong. Taiwan Tea Crafts still has this one in stock so I can read some information on it. “No other Lishan tea shines with the same purity and authenticity as this one.” Ooohhh that sounds promising :) “produced by Mr. Gao, a member of the Atayal Nation”.

The balls are a nice size with a rough average of 4mm. They are a mixture of two dark greens. They smell sweet and floral, like geranium perfume. Also getting a buttery scent.

Water : 3oz / 85ml 194℉ / 90℃
7 Grams Tea
8 steeps : rinse,25s,25s,30s,40s,60s,90s,120s,180s
Rinsing time is around 5 seconds

First Steep – 25 seconds
Mild, sweet, floral and mineral. Like mild geranium water spray.

Second Steep – 25 seconds
Toasted geranium and grass with a honeyed after taste.

Third Steep – 30 seconds
Very sweet and floral but more perfumed and dry. Yet still clean tasting.

Fourth Steep – 40 seconds
Very perfumed and florally thick but also more grassy. Heavy perfume after taste.

Fifth Steep – 60 seconds
Still perfumed and geranium like but remains pure and sweet.

Sixth Steep – 90 seconds
It’s still think and carrying on it’s flavour very well. It’s still thick yet with no astringency and the geranium is still fresh and sweet.

Seventh Steep – 120 seconds
Softer than the previous steeps but still very floral and clean.

Eighth Steep – 180 seconds
Very soft and back to the strength of the first steep. Buttery and sweet once more.

It tasted like spring water with flowers inside rather than a tea and it was very refreshing yet flavourful. I had high hopes and it raised the bar to be possibly the best Li Shan I have tried. It had little dryness despite being heavily perfumed and it left a beautiful after taste, I feel like I’ve breathed in spring!

195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

I hope everything goes well for you tomorrow! Glad you have some nice tea to comfort you. Sending good thoughts!


I hope all goes well tomorrow, too. And hey—the idea of anyone poking around our nether-regions is anxiety-inducing. Hopefully it’s over quickly.


Positive thoughts for a positive outcome. And you get to be anxious – I don’t think that’s anyone’s idea of a good time.


You’re very wise to be evaluated and to keep all follow-up appointments given your maternal family history. Hopefully, your father’s side of the family reduces your risk. We’ll be praying for a good outcome.


Thank you everyone! I can happily report that everything is over and done with now and my results will be in two weeks, though she said from her point of view everything looked healthy. As an added treat my new gaiwan tea set arrived and I love it. Will use it in a bit when I’m up to it. http://www.dragonteahouse.biz/accessories/tea-sets/dragon-phoenix-porcelain-gongfu-tea-set-6-pcs.html


Excellent! You should reward yourself for having done what’s medically prudent to maintain your long-term health. Perhaps dinner out or a very special tea in your new beautiful gongfu tea set?


I may stick to the tea for tonight as tomorrow night I’m having a meal and some drinks as part of a hen party (which I don’t want to go to but have no option to back out). I’ve been on my Oolong recently so I may find space for some more to open and sample as my treat :)


You should definitely treat yourself!

I typically have black tea for breakfast. However, I’m running low on black teas samples. How are oolong, green & white teas for breakfast?


Green teas are rather good to have in the morning, Japanese greens in particular have a strange effect on me and I end up skipping all day and being happy. I think the idea is to have green teas highly concentrated in the morning so that the impact of caffeine is larger for the extra boost. Oolong and whites I find too relaxing in the morning but they would work well on weekends or days off. I tend to mostly go by what I feel like that morning, sometimes my first cup isn’t until lunch time.


Pap smear tests are offered to all women between 20-something and 50-something every few years here. It’s a preventative routine screening.


Yet it’s surprising how many women ‘forget’ to go all because of a little embarrassment. I know about it well as cervical and ovarian cancer run in my family.

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I got this tea as part of an Oolong collection sold by Taiwan Tea Crafts but they don’t seem to have this tea any more or I at least can’t find it on their website. It would have been nice to know a little more information on this tea but never mind, it just means I’m blind taste testing.

The balls are a nice size measuring an average of 6mm and consist or dark green almost brown and medium brown colours. They have a sweet and creamy scent, also lightly toasty. Like honeycomb ice cream. :)

Water : 3oz / 85ml 212℉ / 100℃
7 Grams Tea
6 steeps : rinse,25s,35s,45s,55s,65s,75s
Rinsing time is around 5 seconds

First Steep – 25 seconds
Subtle in flavour with strong cream tones and mild sweetness. Liners in the after taste.

Second Steep – 35 seconds
Toasted and almost wooden, the sweetness is present but now matches the cream. Also a little like straw.

Third Steep – 45 seconds
Again it’s increased in strength and it’s not focussing more on toasted straw than cream. It has a pure flavour, natural and beautiful. I’m also getting a fruit flavour, perhaps kumquat.

Fourth Steep – 55 seconds
Lightening in strength again which makes this another creamy steep. It’s soft and sweet but also now sort of perfumed and dry.

Fifth Steep – 65 seconds
Very similar to the second steep at this point. The cream is shining through again with minimal toastedness and just the right amount of sweetness.

Sixth Steep – 75 seconds
Yes and back to the first steep. Creamy and sweet and very gentle.

Overall this was a delightful milk Oolong that gained charm in the middle steeps. Milk Oolong is not a favourite of mine which could result from me being allergic to milk, but this particular Oolong was subtle and pure which I found pleasant. So while this doesn’t get top marks in terms of being an Oolong it does go towards the top marks for Milk Oolong.

Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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