Tao of Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

95

WOW!!! THIS TEA. Its like tasting a green field by an ocean. Sweet, smooth, slightly roasted/nutty, earthy and grassy. Gorgeous jade colored brew. Perfect.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C

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75

My first pu erh! Before steeping, I took a whiff and it smelled like a hardware store! Tried again: the second sniff smelled like tea and cookies. Much better!

This was surprisingly good. I was nervous about trying this style, but I was very happy. The tea was a light amber – quite pretty. It smells warm and sweet once brewed. I would definitely buy again.

The tea was smooth when hot, but left a slight chalky feel when it cooled. I don’t suggest drinking it when cool, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Shanti by Tao of Tea
228 tasting notes

This is a very finely ground/cut herbal with pieces of fennel and orange peel in it.
The scent of the dry leaf is dried orange peel with the tulsi/Holy basil which is a unique scent. It smells mostly like minerals and dried regular basil.
This is a lovely Ayurvedic herbal. It has the flavors of the Orange peel, Holy Basil, a sweetness which tastes like honey and a zinginess or tartness like tamarind. I like this.
Tulsi has spiritual as well as medicinal significance in Ayurveda.
In terms of the Ayurvedic doshas, tulsi carries the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes,,,but this herbal is not bitter or overbearing. Well-balanced flavors. Very delicious and truly calming.
Tulsi is predominantly Kapha-reducing, but it can also be used to pacify Vata and Pitta. However, it can have a mildly Pitta-aggravating effect in individuals who are severely overheated.
Since I am Pitta and I live in the desert,,,I am drinking this before it gets too hot lol. This is a great winter drink to warm and relax you. Tulsi is also used to treat colds, coughs, and flu so this is a great one for cold seasons. I feel it warming my chest and lungs, this would be wonderful when you are not feeling well.
Tulsi promotes purity and lightness in the body, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins. (info from The Chopra Center & Yogi Cameron)
I am enjoying Tao of Tea ’s selection very much. They have more Ayurvedic tisanes as well.

Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Orange Zest, Plants

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

tulsi makes you feel wonderful ;-)

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100
drank Golden Needle by Tao of Tea
228 tasting notes

The dry leaf is so beautiful,,very long, slender, black and gold needle shaped leaves. Scents of citrus.
The brewed leaves are fall brown colored and very very long buds. I am excited to try this tea!!!
The liquor is a clear orange color with scents of orange cream.
I brewed by Tao of Tea’s instructions and I agree with lower brew temps. I could have kept this in for another minute but I chose 3 minutes. This created a light, smooth black/red tea with subtle flavors of orange and a touch of cream. They caught red apple in their tasting and I do detect it breathing out. As the tea cools, the sweetness comes thru more and it is flavors of turbinado sugar.
Very lovely tea!!


Second Steeping – got another 2 brews out of these leaves using my Gaiwan.
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7/28/14
The dry leaf really does look like needles. Some teas are called needles but these have actually been twisted thinly with a pointy tip like a needle.
The liquor is a bright, clear orange. Like Sunkist Soda orange. It is GorGeous!!!!!!!!!!! The flavor has sweet orange in it as well,,,is this in my head? It’s really not,,it does!!!! It has blood orange flavors too, which is a deeper, more complex orange. The added cream note makes this creamsicle, a touch of malt, and super delicious!!

Flavors: Blood orange, Cream, Malt, Orange

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Tea Forest Green by Tao of Tea
228 tasting notes

Dry leaf is very different from any green I have had. It smells spicy like a spice shop. Very subtle anise, dried basil, and spring grass scents.
The liquor has the color of white tea. You would not know this was a green tea unless you were an expert.
I love this green tea because I love white tea!!!!!!!!!!!! It is very much like a white tea with notes of cream, subtle notes of anise, tart apple.
If you don’t like vegetal or grassy notes in green tea, this is the one for you.
I like the appearance of the wet leaf too. They are free with lots of two leaves and bud size. A bit wild looking which is fun because I had a proper uniform and “all the same size” tea this morning lol.
It is very cleansing as well and I am having this after a lunch of vegetables and quinoa so this is delicious. I think it would pair heavenly with an anise flavored biscotti and I wish I had one. The anise is extremely subtle which is what is beautiful about this tea.
Very lovely tea!!!!!


Second Steeping brought out a bit of mint flavor!! This is a very interesting tea that makes me love large leaf Chinese green tea!!!


ICED I poured the rest of this lovely on ice because I live in the desert and the afternoons are getting warm now. This makes a great iced tea as well!! Yummm and refreshing!!
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5/16/14
Had a bit more of this today and it is mild and lovely. It has no vegetal notes, no grassy notes, it really doesn’t taste green. It is just a nice, sweet, delicious tea. A good one for people who don’t like green tea to try,,, because I think the people who don’t like green tea have tried ones with grassy, seaweed, or vegetal notes and they weren’t ready for those notes in tea :)
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8/25/14
More today yumm

Flavors: Anise, Cream

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
62 tasting notes

I kind of had that scratchy feeling in my throat that usually means the beginnings of a cold. Let’s hope it’s not! I haven’t been sick in over a year, and want to keep that record! Anyway, just as an extra precautionary measure I opted to drink green and white teas this morning instead of my usual black—hoping the extra antioxidants will help me out.

Mmm, I just love this green toucha. The apricot flavor is really yummy, and it is one of the few green teas I’ve tried in which the subsequent steepings are stronger and just as flavorful as the first. A good “Breakfast Green”.

One thing I’m confused about: this is classified on Steepster as a pu-erh, but then I went back and read the company’s description it seems as though this is really just regular green tea shaped into a bowl form. I know there are green pu-erh teas, and green toucha, and then green puerh touchas—which is this? Maybe I’m just incredibly dense and don’t get the differences between all of those. The description simply says this was made in the same place where the pu-erhs are made, but it doesn’t actually say this IS a pu-erh, so…just wondering.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
littlexsparkee

I think it’s just green, tuocha refers to the compressed shape that it comes in

Charissa

Thanks! That’s what I suspected.

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84
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
62 tasting notes

I picked this up at my local food co-op on a whim today, and am really glad I did! I have never tried a green puerh before, but have been eager to for a while so…here goes!

1st steep: 4 minutes, ~180 degrees . Light, clean, sweet, tastes of apricot and clover. note I noticed after I removed the infuser that not all of the cake had been completely submerged in the water, and thus the tea leaves had not totally unfurled—they were still in a loosely-held ball. Still, despite this, I got a nice first infusion. Light, but still tasteful.

2nd steep: 4 minutes, ~180 degrees. This time I made sure to gently break apart the ball of leaves with my teaspoon to evenly distribute them in the infuser. The taste of the finished brew was much stronger. It definitely tasted of apricot and hay, but with a decidedly bitter finish. No sweetness detectible in this infusion.

3rd steep: 4 minutes, ~180 degrees. This time the tea was much less bitter (but still had a bit of a bite lingering), and contained hay and a mild apricot flavor.

Overall, the flavors I detected didn’t change much between the infusions. The same flavors were present but at varying degrees, and the extent of the bitterness differed among the steeps. The main undeniable flavor was apricot—which surprised and pleased me. I did not expect that at all. I guess I thought that because it is a puerh, it would taste more earthy/grassy/mossy but it seemed more like a normal green tea. Very interesting! And, I might add, it was a perfect antidote to the rich lunch I ate (turkey sausage with onions sauteed in butter, and a piece of 2-layer buttermilk chocolate cake washed down with a mug of whole milk! Definitely not the healthiest meal, but that’s leftovers and they should not be wasted, haha!)

I am looking forward to drinking this tea again. I think I will steep it at a slightly lower temperature next time and see if that does anything to assuage the bitterness. Also, I think I will have to buy some of the organic green puerh offered at Gong Fu Tea for comparison’s sake.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Sencha by Tao of Tea
23 tasting notes

Earthy, with an astringent aftertaste. No bitterness.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Sencha by Tao of Tea
23 tasting notes

I drank this on Friday for the first time – I don’t remember how long I steeped for. The directions say 2 minutes, but I may have gone with 1. It was delicious!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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90

I was experimenting with the steep time today, since the last time I brewed this, I steeped for about half as long as the company recommends (2 min vs 4). Today I went with 3 min, same tea-to-water ratio. I think I like the 2 min steep better. This was still excellent, but there is definitely more astringency.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

I have been having a hard time finding black teas that I like, that do not end up bitter and astringent when I brew them. So I was pleasantly surprised when I brewed this for the first time! it’s delicious – no trace of bitterness at all. The ginger is the predominant flavor to me, mellowed by the peach, with a nice full black-tea base. I will be drinking this one a lot.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Shanti by Tao of Tea
2 tasting notes

This tea is quite refreshing and well balanced. I like fennel seed, and it is good for my pitta constitution. It also aids in digestion. Not only did this non-caffeinated tea calm me, but I felt very re-energized as well.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sandy Stith

I may need to try this as a pita-kapha type. Thanks for the review. :)

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91
drank Mei Li by Tao of Tea
101 tasting notes

My lunchtime tea today. Awesome!! Full review to come later. Thank You Amy!!

Have you ever lost contact with a friend and years later, you pick up right where you left off, the reconnection almost seemless. It has happened to me a few times. It’s funny because I’ve realized that even though people reconnect, they tend to be the same (in some ways), yet they are different, still a friend after all the years. Mei Li is one beatiful tea, that sent me down memory lane, reminding me of good friends, and of a tea I purchased from Upton Tea 6 years 11 months ago.

This tea was called Sword of the Emperor, a China Tea with tea leaves that were long and shaped like swords (of course)! Such a beautiful & delicious tea, I reordered it a couple more times. After it sold out, I came to the realization that I may never see this tea again {SIGHHH}.

Then I received this sample from Amy, and I gave it a try. When I opened the sample bag of Mei Li, I was literally transported back in time, upon smelling the tea leaves! Sword of the Emperor…….my dear friend. No, this was not SOTE, but Mei Li, perhaps a sister, as the characteristics of the teas are strikingly similar and familiar.

Heavenly fresh, with delightful smokey, woody notes fill the air as I inhale. Dry leaves are truly beautiful-swordlike and dark green, with white edges and tips. The wet leaves have a wonderful spinich/asparagus, smokey, woody nose (think grilled asparagus). All of those aromas come across in the cup, and on the palate and tongue, with a full mouth feel. The first two cups are most vegetal, while the last two are less so, exhibiting more of the smokey/woody notes. The fourth cup was still very good with fading flavors. The third & fourth cups were steeped at 2 and 4 minutes at higher temps with no bitterness. Truly a special tea for me, I will reorder this one without a doubt.

Like that special friend you reconnect with from your past, very familiar yet different. Glad to see you Sword….er…Mei Li. We’ll keep in touch! Thank you again Amy, mon ami. :))

Cupped: Thursday, December 1, 2011 Reviewed: 12-01 & 12-05-2011.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Mei Li by Tao of Tea
2402 tasting notes

well, this tea is certainly very interesting. It has a very beautiful long and slender leaf shape.

Upon opening it I got a smoky smell like a lapsang souchong which was really surprising!

I stepped this for about 90 seconds in cooler water (not sure of the exact temperature)

To me this tastes of pine, wood and ocean. I’m not sure I love it but it is very intriguing and complex… the website says it carries the taste and smells of the misty northern Fujian countryside where it is grown. I am definitely picking that up here, very cool.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

sounds better than a 76….

TeaBrat

perhaps it will grow on me.

ScottTeaMan

Looks like a stunningly scrumptous tea. I’d buy it, if i was ordering more teas from Tao.

TeaBrat

Scott, let me know if you want a sample of it

ScottTeaMan

ok, I’ll PM fora swap

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57
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
354 tasting notes

Received this one from Batrachoid. I’m really trying to like green Pu-Erh. Honestly I am but I’m thinking it is not for me. The tuocha smells like hay and brews up a goldish liquor. The taste well I would have to agree with Teaequalsbliss mushroom like muskiness. I just find it to be too bitter for me. Very similar to Darjeeling that I have sampled. Still I am appreciative of the chance to try it(sigh).

Nathaniel Gruber

you absolutely must try this tea if you are looking for a good Sheng Pu’er (or green as you have said)…100% worth the money, in fact I consider it a steal at that price…

http://steepster.com/teas/verdant-tea/19263-2006-artisan-revival-stone-pressed-sheng

or…

http://verdanttea.com/shop/puer-teas/artisan-revival-stone-pressed/

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85
drank Ali Shan by Tao of Tea
19 tasting notes

A very tasty tea. Buttery, honeyed, and a bit floral, the dreamy creamy tea pleases all the way down. It’s one of my favorites right now. The aroma is great right when you tilt the gaiwan lid. It just punches you in the face with awesome. Good for many many steeps depending on how you brew. I’ll be keeping this stocked in my cupboard.

Full Review: http://www.tea-tank.com/?p=10

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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72

Honey and licorice. Mild and unimpressive at first, but I found it makes a great iced tea and it pairs amazingly well with natural honey (I rarely use honey with any other teas). Sensitive to temp as well, make sure your water is not too hot or brewed for too long as it will become astringent and bitter. I’ve found it blends well with more robust and vegetal teas as well as mint for refreshing iced tea.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Scarlet by Tao of Tea
1309 tasting notes

I’m starting to get tired of berry cider teas! Sure, they’re great but how are they not all the same??? Slight variations don’t make or break it for me…
My tess tea is perfect, tart and rich and sweet all at once. Sure there is probably hibiscus in there but it seems to work.
This one, well it was certainly sweet, and berry like. I’m not sure about it, but not really curious enough to give it a second chance.
meh.

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79
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
6770 tasting notes

Infusion 3 – 2 minutes
color – that of a darker oolong (lighter brown)
aroma – rice-like
taste – Mossy, heavier floral, Grass
Aftertaste – bitter floral/grass

rating specifically for this infusion: 75

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79
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
6770 tasting notes

2nd infusion – a little less than 2 minutes
color – same as first
Aroma – Mossy Mushrooms
Taste HOT – Grassy-Grass
Taste as it cools for a few minutes – I prefer over the HOT, actually…it’s grassy but a hint of sweet.
Aftertaste – Sweet-Grass-floral
Rating on this specific infusion: 79 HOT and 80-81 Cooler

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79
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
6770 tasting notes

Batrachoid – thanks for this! I will be doing an infusion test with this this afternoon!!!

Infusion 1- 1 minute
Smells like hay and lemon with a mushroom-like muskiness to it.
Color is a light green tea color you might expect.
Taste…green tea with lemon and hay flavor
Aftertaste is that of raw mushrooms and maybe a little like a mossier green tea.

This is really different. I think I like it tho. It’s alright!
Rating for this infusion specifically: 79-80

KeenTeaThyme

“mushroom-like muskiness” has me a bit concerned… but nice description!

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82

I really love that little store; they are an amazing source of health and tea relief in this wasteland Ohio. I’m not a big fan of chrysanthemum, but Tao has enchanted me into loving very impossible things before. So I picked up a couple ounces and scurried home. And surprise! Tao doesn’this tuocha doesn’t even sell on their site! O= Bless their magic restocked.

Twenty second boiling rinse.
First steep: Brewing it like the rose first, two minutes and 5oz 212 F water. Light aroma, some oceanic pu-erh scent with chrysanthemum underneath. Tastes very earthy with chrysanthemum loudly taking over but wakame and sunflower make it interesting. It gets much thicker as it cools, almost gel like. You really don’t like being treated like your rosy sibling, eh? Noted.

Second steep: 3 minutes, 200 F
Still too light. The chrysanthemum has settled down and let everything start to harmonize. Thick but light, tastes land feels just like coconut milk, straw pu-erh, and air from a nearby beach. I don’t like chrysanthemum much but this is delicious. Once again the second cup is the best, under steeped or not! And I know exactly what this tea is for!

Third: 4 min 30 seconds, 200 F
Oops. Got a tad distracted and it’s definitely a smidge over-steeped.
Fourth steeping: Chrysanthemum’s all gone, just like in the rose tuocha. It’s a little darker and made of pure pu-erh tastes, like a lakebed. Much thinner as well. Very relaxing and the perfect end to a good transformation of tuocha but…

Fifth steeping: 5 minutes 212 F water
Yeah, it’s done at four. Even if I had extra chrysanthemum to pop in like I did the rose, the pu-erh has lost too much. No lakebed, no beach, just lake water.
Every tea has its purpose and each of Tao‘s tuocha have made theirs very clear to me; this one is definitely for chilly spring days , steeped throughout the morning to remain refreshed and focused on a good start to a project. Given how soon I start art school, this tea is another perfectly timed find for which I am very grateful.
Glancing out at the literal blizzard that just began, inexplicably grateful. Shudder I might go through another of these today.
Long post short: I love Steepster, I love tuocha, I love my magic health food store that thinks it’s a Tao of Tea store. This tea has simple, cleaner tastes than Tao’s other tuocha that could win over some on the ‘”weird” taste of chrysanthemum, but I can’t see myself drinking this past lunch. Very good for getting going early and all the way to lunch.

Edit: XD Oh wow this all fits so perfectly! So glad I checked the dashboard before I got back to things.
In response to TeaEqualsBliss’s song-and tea matching challenge: This song from my favorite video game is appropriate to both my situation and it sounds like the scene I imagine while drinking this tea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3H56O1iP9Q

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

Oh! How lovely! Thanks for playing along!!!

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75
drank Mandarin Green by Tao of Tea
177 tasting notes

Backlogging from Friday afternoon. Another thank you to the generous AmazonV for giving me this tea.

Every year mandarin and blood oranges come into season I’ve diligently saves every scrape of peel to dry for tea blending, along with other citrus. I suppose it occupies the time I’d spend mowing the lawn. And having iced blood orange tea in June is worth it.
Since I’ve been ordered at least two weeks of rest at home, I’ve had ample time to observe this squirrel-like hoarding. But twenty minutes of releasing the smell of blood oranges into the air with none left to eat morphs from distraction to torture quickly. Then the mailman came, leaving this on my door step.
Bless AmazonV.

Since I was sent this with the warning of “mint containation” a gave it a sniff. There’s a little mint lingering around the lazily drifting orange smell. It actual smells quite harmonious.

I was skeptical about the six minute steeping time but I don’t really drink darjeeling based teas. So I tested it at four. WAY too weak. Another three minutes did the trick.
The taste is the opposite of my usual sencha as well. The orange is simple, murky and relaxed. This is a nice change of pace.The unimpossing darjeeling is actually detectable; when I think about it any other green would probably fight with the mandarin esssence. A frog friendly darjeeling? Another Tao feat of magic.
I sipped this tea for an hour without tastebud overload nor boredom.The hint of mint that’s there sometimes keeps it interesting.
Yep, the is made to be nursed in a big mug with a bigger non-fiction book. This is exactly what I think I’ll reorder this with my next Tao order (my happy health store doesn’t sell this one. Curses!). And I’ll might “contaminate” my mug with mint on purpose. =) Thanks for the book brew!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
177 tasting notes

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