Tao Tea LeafEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I approached this as an herbal tea, not puerh.
The shu puerh is in there, but it takes a back seat. It provides mostly body and structure, mouthfeel, and a deep smoothness to this tea.
Earthy flavors of shu are not noticeable, but when I really look I can find a hint of them, and they balance the otherwise sharp peppermint.
Vanilla is hard to find but think its just rounding out the overall experience, adding complexity.
I enjoyed this quite a bit. A ‘touch’ of sweetener may enhance this, maybe next time I brew this I’ll add a dab of honey.
Steeping time needs to be pushed, I think this is best brewed western style with multi-minute steepings. Gongfu brewing didn’t give me much flavor except mint. You really need the extra steeping time to draw out the puerh and vanilla.
I think this is peppermint but its very well balanced.
This tea leaves a fresh feeling in my mouth (guessing from the mint).
A fun treat, this would be nice to cozy up with as the cold weather approaches.
Flavors: Earth, Peppermint, Vanilla, Wood
Free sample, I really enjoyed this tea. Its clean and tasty, very pleasant aroma.
Its just barely leaning over the line towards the sweeter side of shu, so its pleasant but not sugary or sweet.
Medium-thick body, aftertaste lingers just enough between sips you don’t lose the flow. There’s something about the way it smells that’s really comforting, kind of woody, like fresh cut green wood.
This is something I would drink frequently, its very smooth, easy on the stomach, comforting without being sedating. Its complex enough to not get boring through the length of a session, but I can’t identify any unique flavors to describe it…but have to agree with the vendors description “full bodied tea is earthy and has a little woody note that also has a thick rich and smooth finish”. That sums it up!
I would have to say this is what I look for in a shu. This is a perfect daily drinker shu.
I tried a vanilla mint pu-er quite a few years ago (made by Rishi tea I think). That was my first taste of a ripe pu-er and I liked it. Then I went on to try ripe pu-er on it’s own and was enjoying that until I tried sheng. After that, everything went backwards. I liked sheng so much, the ripe pu-er was no longer appealing to me. Now I hardly have any ripe pu-er in my cupboard at all.
So then I saw this sample when getting some teas from Tao Tea Leaf. I remembered how I liked it before (from Rishi) and thought I would give it a try.
I really did enjoy it. The rich vanilla and mint blend so good together and are balanced well with the earthy taste of the pu-er. This is one type of ripe pu-er I will always enjoy. It’s such a good blend. The cup was finished before I knew it.
I’ve had this tea for quite some time, so I finally decided to brew it up. The leaf is very dark (and Purple) and it carries a nice dry wood with some malt and a very faint grape juice aroma in the background. The juice note is very slight and tangy. I warmed up my gaiwan and threw some inside. The warmed leaf gives off a definite grape skin aroma. The scent is very fragrant and direct. I can also pick up some dark wood and plum that lingers. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The scent instantly changes to a char and bitter green scent; all the fruitiness has vanished. Luckily, they reappeared in the cup! The taste was very smooth and dry with a sweet fruity plum aftertaste. This is good tea. The flavor is pretty full and eases through the palate. The qi is mild and mostly directed at the head. A dry woody tone carries the flavors consistently and throughout the session. The tea lacks character and any depth, but it is a nice “purple” tasting tea. A later steeping brings out a wild bitter taste, and then the tea completely falls out and becomes astringent. I was able to get a good amount of steeping out of this tea, and I’m glad to have tried it.
Flavors: Char, Dark Wood, Drying, Fruity, Grapes, Plums, Raisins, Smooth
I found a small sample of this tea tucked away that I’ve had for who-knows-how-long – probably the last time the GCTTB came through about a year ago. The tea leave look more like flattened piece of a dried seaweed than tea to me and they don’t ‘puff up’ at all during the brewing process. The tea has a pleasantly sweet scent that’s reminiscent of certain green oolongs. The flavour is lightly floral and a little bit fruity with a grassy, slightly toasty finish. The description mentioned apricots and I can definitely see that, though that wasn’t quite what came to mind for me when I sipped it. A very nice, high-quality green with a rather unique flavour profile.
A really nice roasted taste, but also sweet. I had purchased a sample to see if I would like it and it’s really nice. A light brown/chestnut colour in the cup. I made this in the gaiwan with short steeps. Right now I’m on my third drinkable steep and enjoying the mouth feel. I was disappointed that it only allowed a few resteeps. With good quality tea I usually get quite a few short steeps. With this one the 4th steep was too light.
Flavors: Roasted Barley, Sweet
I was in the mood for shu (cooked) pu-erh and walked into the Tao tea leaf store. These are definitely shu as others have noted, and the retailer confirmed it. By the third drinkable infusion it really seemed to get deeper and richer in flavour, and it’s smooth, sweet, and full bodied. I really liked this but thought the leaves should have been bigger, not mulching and broken as they were as soon as they were steeped. After I tossed the first wash, I steeped for 30sec a few times, then 40, 50 and a minute. I’m on my 6th steep and it is as good if not better. There is a mouth feel and the taste lingers in a pleasant way, stimulates saliva so-to-speak. The only negative thing I’ve noticed is that after the first couple of steeps the effect it has on me is overly stimulating. I feel really buzzed in my head and some tightness in my chest, a bit of nervousness. I’ve not had this type of reaction to other puerhs. Don’t know if anyone else has found this with this tea.
Flavors: Sweet, Wet Earth
The tea is good! light, refreshing, and a bit spicy. Just what I wanted.
I seem to be fighting a bug. Only it isn’t like any bug I’ve had before. 99% of the ones I have involve a sore throat/stuffy nose/cough/fuzzy brain. This time? slightly elevated temp that I wouldn’t even call a fever… and exhaustion. Oh and I’m sore all over. Nope I haven’t done anything resembling exercise recently. Confusing! I don’t know what to do with this thing, whatever it is. I know how to fight my normal sick battles! Not impressed I say.
Sorry for the rant. I get grumpy when I feel like bleh,apparently.
Sipdown from this morning – I originally wrote about this tea here: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/12/toronto-tea-festival-tasting-set/
Another one from Nicole – thank you! The leaves here just look like they will make a delicious cup. Mostly amber with black here and there… mildly fuzzy twisties. The dark amber brew is quite delicious but it’s tough for me to describe. It’s malty, honey, not really chocolate, a little on the lighter side of the flavor spectrum. Hints of tomato soup. Not the most distinct flavor with this type of tea, so it isn’t my favorite of this type, so I’m glad Nicole only sent me a little to try of one of her favorites. :D
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep
I forgot if this was from a tea box or if this was from a swap, but either way, I got this from Sil!
I have too much tea and I’m going to drink as much as I can bc I need to get rid of them all.
- Smells like a subtle and light black tea with more hits of coco and vanilla.
- Tastes like black tea. Nothing too special. The vanilla and chocolate aroma was lost
With milk and sugar, that helps the bitterness of the tea. Love the creaminess and I think the vanilla is coming back :)
Cries bc I’m just about to take my last final of undergrad. Beer final, here I come!
Thanks to TheLastDodo for this one a while back! The dry leaves look like twisted needles of green tea. The flavor is just what I love with a green tea: sweet, nutty, a little vegetal, with hints of fruit. Superbly well balanced between all four of those notes, almost like each one is present in the perfect amounts. This is exactly the way I love green teas to be. This would be a perfect green…. IF the second cup was at all like the first. It seemed like any of the flavor notes in the first steep were gone in the second, leaving just a slightly astringent and dry plain green. The parameters were similar to the first steep, so I’m not sure why it would make such a difference. The first steep is worth it though. After trying a few Mao Feng teas, they are certainly some of my favorite greens.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2- 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
The first steep of this was amazing. Very vegetal, buttery, and mildly floral. I really don’t like florals at all and barely noticed it so that was fine by me!
The buttery part does lend itself to “popcorn” but I would never have picked out that descriptor without looking at the notes above. I consider Genmaicha to be closer, but in a different way of course. If you could combine the two, you’d definitely have a great snack alternative. And since popcorn IS my fave indulgence, well I’d be in heaven.
Also, first steep was rather drying. The second was less so, but then I found it to be more flowery, so not as tasty IMO. Even still, I really enjoyed it overall. Very tasty! Too bad I only had a sample. I may see if they have any next time I’m at the shop.
I decided to finally break this out. The dry leaf is super compressed. I was reminded of a XG iron cake. The cake gives a dry vegetal aroma with some faint sweetness. I placed a bunch in my warmed yixing and waited a little bit. The yixing gave a smoke and roasted vegetables aroma. I washed the leaves once and began brewing. This was not a great tea session. The cake took about four rounds of steeping to finally open up, and it didn’t give off any great flavors. This tea has no complexity, and it sticks with some basic tones. For instance, each steeping yielded the slightly yellowed liquor with tastes of roasted veggies, smoke, astringency, and bitterness. I did flash steeping this whole session, and the bitterness would not fade. I experienced a little bit of huigan in one sip, but it quickly faded away. The whole session gives a drying feeling in the mouth. The leaves consist of mostly chop and don’t yield any great experience. However, the qi is present, and is of decent strength. The feeling is somewhat uncomfortable and is centered at the head and back of the neck. I didn’t really enjoy this session. I might be spoiled with my regular offerings. This tea may interest others who have a palette for these sort of things.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Smoke, Vegetables, Vegetal
Holy fuck, people. HOLY FUCK. Trudeau didn’t just win the election, he punted the Conservatives to oblivion. I was convinced that despite the Liberal uptick in the polls, Harper was going to pull one last rabbit out of his hat and still win the election. For the Liberals to not only win, but get such a commanding majority is a highly pleasant surprise.
I drank two steeps of this tea to give me caffeine for the election results. I got a nice scent of cinnamon from the first steep, and a nice fruity undertone from the second steep. Overall, a decent cuppa for the evening; the roastiness was a nice complement to the crispness of the outside air.
Currently watching Mulcair’s concession speech. Still picking my jaw off the floor. I wonder when Harper will do the dignified thing and concede as well. I guess hiring a fancy Australian campaign fixer that traffics in using racism as a divide-and-conquer tactic didn’t turn out so well, did it? :-D
I had this from awhile ago and some cinnamon sounded pretty good. I opened it up and took in a pleasant warm and spicy wood aroma. I had good hopes for this session. I placed a good amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. The spiced wood aroma deepened to roasted spices. This scent was close to a chai aroma. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The flavor was heavily tannic and unpleasantly bitter. I’m unsure if I did something wrong. I tried to do flash steeping and the result was the same. The taste was like sucking on a cinnamon stick. I was reminded of when I was younger, and I did the “cinnamon challenge”. However, the session improved in later steeping. The tones softened to a burnt sugar taste and light roast aroma. This took quite a bit of steeping. This rock oolong carried no sweet aftertaste and was very rough. This might not be the tea for me.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Grass, Roasted, Spices, Tannic