Tao Tea Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Golden Assam by Tao Tea Leaf
626 tasting notes

An average Assam. Nothing super strong but pretty smooth and moderate. No rating since I know my taster is off still.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

Today was a super stressful day and when I left the office I was practically ready to explode, oh the things we have to do just to get a paycheck! Anyway I got this with my last Tao Tea Leaf order and really just wanted to try it… I love the aroma when I put my nose in the bag. Just like roasted coconut! I’ve had a few coconut oolongs in the past and have enjoyed them. This one is good too, what a yummy flavored bao zhong.

The coconut flavor is on the fresh and natural side, not fakey like the coconut oolong from David’s Tea. It’s lightly vegetal and buttery also. Overall a very enjoyable oolong and one I’m glad I ordered. I only hope it doesn’t keep me awake tonight…. 8:30 pm is a bit late for me to be drinking tea but it was such an exhausting day, hopefully I pop right into bed.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kirkoneill1988

i shall try this someday

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90

I’m surprised that this tea was not in the database. This was a wonderful brew. I’m not completely sure on where I got this tea, but nethertheless it was awesome! The tea resembles small tendrils of smoke with bits of gold scattered about the mist. It carries a strong note of roast, black currant, and plum. I brewed these in my gaiwan. I washed them once to allow them to breathe and these small tendrils released quite the aroma. My tea room was filled with deep dark plums and a roasted chestnut scent. The flavor was somewhat different. The initial sip was bold and with a strong malt. This flavor began to fade with later steepings and it was replaced by a brown sugar taste. The whole brew is encaptured with an autumn vineyard flavor. This was a delicious tea session and I must definitely will be getting more of this.

https://instagram.com/p/1A80zDTGel/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Plums, Roasted, Vineyards

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Tealizzy

Mmm! I really want to try TTL at some point!

Haveteawilltravel

They have some great tea. I love the way they sell sample sizes and the shipping is cheap. You can get a bunch of good tea,but you don’t have to commit to an ounce. Its pretty cool :)

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80

This was a very interesting tea session. I feel that I may have gotten perhaps old tea. I do not state this because it was a bad tea session, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it should be. I purchased a small sample size just to try out this “Award Winner” before I purchase a larger quantity. I would have loved to use this in my yixing, but I was shorted a few grams which was sad.
The long black leaves are a deep black and crimson. I placed these in my small gaiwan and prepared brewing. The immediate scent was of charcoal, raisins, and hot stones. I poured out and was very excited to taste. The initial sip was heavy with minerals and char. This brew had a deep body to start, but this body died away rather quickly. Once I reached only the third steeping it had already flattened out and became subtle. I was a little disappointed with this considering its price. It was a nice Wuyi, but I don’t believe it to be prize winning. I’ve had basic DHP that have stood up longer than this. Altogether, I don’t think I’ll be restocking this particular tea.

https://instagram.com/p/0-XP-CzGei/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Char, Mineral, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
boychik

I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. What’s your parameters ? I do 6g for 100ml. I always rinse too

Haveteawilltravel

I usually use those same parameters, except, for some reason my sample was short so I was only able to use 4.5g for 90ml

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90

It will be interesting to see how I feel upon starting my temp job on Wednesday. It’s been so long since I was working full time due to my disability and subsequent unemployment. I’ve gotten used to drinking tea whenever I want and being able to gong fu it all with my yixing pots! Probably can’t do that in the office but maybe this will be a good time to divest myself of some bagged tea I haven’t gotten around to drinking. I think this is what’s known as a “first world problem”

I’ve been drinking more green oolongs lately and definitely enjoying them. I wonder if they have a similar theanine profile to gyokuro or the Japanese green teas as I always find them relaxing.

This one in particular is very nice if you like floral teas. It is sweet and creamy with an intense orchid aroma and flavor. I steeped it 3 times and steeps #2 and #3 were really tasty. This might actually be a touch too floral-y for my palette, but it is a terrific green oolong, Definitely would recommend trying it.

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

Best of luck that Wednesday goes well!

TeaBrat

Thank you :)

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I received a lovely care package from the super sweet Dexter this week, with a generous selection of oolongs (and a couple citrusy treats because yum, citrus!)

This is my first leafhopper tea, and I was really excited to try it. I had heard that leafhoppers are really unique, and this is definitely different than I expected (in a good way).

The llaf looks and smells like quite a green oolong, with a slight creaminess towards the end. So I expected a crisp, green tasting brew.

Steeped, it gains a light toastiness, rather than the creaminess the dry leaf scent had. The liquor is a darker gold thsthan expected as well, which, I think, gives sipping it a bit extra luxury feeling (holy balls Bear. Speak english much?)

I’m going to fiddle and see what other steeps offer, but watching it steep in my little glass gongfu teapot makes me happy and helps take awareness away from the wet grey yuck outside the window.

Thank you Dexter!!!!

Flavors: Green, Hay, Roasted, Toasty

Dexter

YAY!!! Happy that you are enjoying it. :)

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96

This was a interesting tea session for me, for I was comparing with another version that a friend just recently gave me. I’ve enclosed pics of the taste off. The one of the left is Tao’s the other is from an anonymous chinese company.

Tao’s Tai Ping:

The leaves are massive! They are a vibrant green and smell of fresh flora. I brewed these beauties in my glassware to watch them dance. I did not follow the brewing guidelines because I disagreed with them. The aroma these gave off was wonderful! It was as if spring was in full swing as soon as my simmering water touched these long fingers. The liquor was an iridescent jade and tasted so sweet! The initial sip had a slight vegetal tone with dandelion nectar in the background. This brew was very subtle but had an amazing flavor! I was able to get four steepings out of this pot full. The fourth steeping was not bitter only the flavors had become nullified and all that remained was a slight astringency. This is definitely a treat that I would only break out for special occasions.

Chinese Company Tai Ping:

I really don’t have much to say about this one. The leaves were very small and a mudded green. I brewed these in my gaiwan for they were small enough to fit. These leaves were very lacking in aroma and the liquor was discolored. This brew was a slight aquamarine color, but mostly clear. The flavor was incredibly light and almost non-existent. This carried the slight taste of cardboard. I assume this tea just might be outdated or possible stored improperly. I was not able to finish it at my third steep and threw it out. I could feel a headache coming on.

This was a great experience and I was very happy to be able to sample two very different versions of the same tea. I hope that I will be acquiring more of Tao’s along the way!

*the brewing instructions for the tasting note were the ones I used with Tao’s

https://instagram.com/p/008ds6TGac/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

https://instagram.com/p/009A6ZTGbo/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Nectar, Sweet, warm grass, Umami

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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91

This was wonderful! I bought this because recently a friend of mine had acquired some ginseng oolong and I was very intrigued to try it out. These small nuggets resemble a furry gunpowder green. I brewed them in my gaiwan gongfu style. I wished these pebbles once to allow them to open up. The aroma was immediately enticing! My tea room was filled with a succulent honey aroma. The flavor was phenomenal! The initial sip consisted of a nectar sweet syrup and a vegetal fresh base. This was a wonderful tea! The sweet flavor lasted about four steepings and then it reduced to only a warm vegetal flavor. This brew leaves a slight camphor sugar aftertaste which is incredibly enjoyable. I actually really appreciated this tea, even though I may have had some doubts. This has an excellent price, and I will be stocking up!

https://instagram.com/p/00QOcbTGRp/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Camphor, Honey, Nectar, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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95

Afternoon sample here from Tao Tea Leaf. Normally I use water around 185f for wuyi oolongs, but I noticed they said to use boiling water for this one. I figured I would try it. I used the yixing to steep this.

I tend to like wuyi oolongs and this is really tasty. It has a slight woody & roasted flavor with hints of plum and cinnamon. But the nice thing about it is the sweet, honey like finish. I am definitely picking that up and it’s lovely. Hmm, I will need to re try all of my wuyi oolongs this way soon. :)

Meanwhile I highly recommend this if you’re into wuyi yanchas. It has a wonderful flavor and is very soothing. Later steepings become slightly more floral than fruity. This tea is almost intoxicating.

On the list it goes….

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Sipdown!

Thanks to Dexter for sending me some of this. I’m getting over a cold so I didn’t savour this one too much, but it was malty and a bit spicy. Not sure if I’d restock this, but it wasn’t bad.

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67

Another sample from Tao Tea Leaf. This is very similar to the tea I had yesterday that I wasn’t terribly impressed with. Maybe roasted TGY’s are not really my thing, but if they are lightly roasted or green I seem to like them a lot. This is another one that just seems sort of bland.

I accidentally steeped it for over 3 minutes as I got distracted with something else and that was the best steep of the three I had. It seemed to take on a slight honey or brown sugary sort of taste. I guess I wouldn’t turn down a cup of this if offered, but I’m glad I didn’t buy a larger package of this. Nowhere on the website does it mention that this is a roasted tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
2725 tasting notes

Sample from Tao Tea Leaf this morning. It’s an enjoyable tea, I would say sweet and smooth really describes it. It’s definitely a bit on the lighter side when it comes to body and has a good cocoa flavor. Amazing no bitterness or astringency at all. I steeped this for 3 minutes and it’s still a bit on the light side, overall I think I prefer black teas with a bit more heft. This was tasty but probably won’t be a repurchase for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

This is an interesting tea from Tao Tea Leaf, especially for me as I’ve never had a purple sheng before.

The package directions say to use boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes. I was definitely skeptical about that but it turns out they were right. I did the first steep for 2 minutes, and the second steep for 3.

At first it doesn’t taste like much, just kind of woodsy. As I’ve been sipping on it I get some nice fruity notes, raspberry and cherry come to mind. I do get the bit of cocoa that TTL describes on their website but not vanilla or white wine. The flavor most closely resembles a wuyi oolong for me but is lacking the roasted flavor that wuyis have.

Soon I’ll have to try this using the gong fu method, but I kind of like it steeped Western style. It didn’t turn into a bitter mess like I was fearing it would. There is a slight bitterness but that compliments the raspberry notes well, I think. Bitterness seemed more prominent with the 3 minute steep so I’ll stick to 2 minutes or less with this one. Nice tea, I’m glad I got some!

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

interesting

TeaBrat

very! :)

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85

Tried half of this sample grandpa style at work. The greener twisted style oolong makes me think that it is a pouchong or a baozhong. The coconut is spot frickin’ on, like a toasted macaroon. This is hands down the best coconut oolong I have had yet. Towards my third cup, I added a teensy splash of vanilla extract. It brought the milky, creamy oolong and the toasty coconut back to life and made it downright desserty

So putting this in the wish list :P

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Green, Smooth

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80

This tea had a me confused for a moment. There was a typo on my package naming this “Amber Dragon (Bai Hao).” I knew that Bai Hao was Oriental Beauty, so I searched their website and Amber Dragon actually doesn’t exist, so I’m not sure where it came from. I deduced that this was their Oriental Beauty/Bai Hao.

This has been the most balanced/neutral brew I’ve ever had. I opened that package to reveal a variety of colors. These small summer leaves ranged from light brown to silver tips. They carried a darjeeling alike aroma of muscatel and sweet grass. I brewed these in my gaiwan. I washed them once to release their honey almond aroma. The reason I say that this was a neutral tea is that my steeping time never increased. I kept a consistent 30 second steeping. It had a very plateau palette of flavor. They were heavy flavors of nut and roast. I could hint at a sweet honey undertone, but this was very faint. This brew was a lot heavier than I thought it would be. If I steeped it shorter it would not have flavor, and if I steeped longer it would go south. I was amazed at the fact that I could continue a steady half minute steep time. The flavors did not fluctuate and even the bronze shimmer of the liquor maintained its color. This was an interesting brew. I did not find it incredibly good, but it also was not terrible. It was completely balanced.

https://instagram.com/p/0QFFx6TGXW/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Almond, Muscatel, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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92

This is one of those teas I wish I could just sit and sip all day long! Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a days worth of steeps out of this.

I expected to open the package and revel long frosty tendrils of black and blue. Instead, I am greeted with an almost darjeeling/nepal green tea look alike. These beautiful leaves were a variety of colors. I could see long luscious golden leaves with black embers. I was very excited to begin tasting. The dry leaves carried a faint scent of roasted spice and sugarcane. I brewed these in my gaiwan, and I actually worked backwards on steeping times to start. I washed them once and the aroma they gave off was oh so good! My tea room was filled with a sharp crystal honey scent. I brewed at 50, 15, 30, 60… second intervals. At the first sip I was hooked on this gorgeous brew. I could taste a smooth creamy vegetal with a nutty undertone. It reminded me of a nepal green tea. The next steeping actually shocked my mouth with an encompassing honey mouthfeel. I could feel my taste buds tingle. This truly is a delicious brew! The steeped leaves carry a sweet forest scent. This drink has an essence of a forest floor in spring after a rain storm. It was floral, vegetal, and with a background of roasted almonds. This was a well rounded drink, and I’m so happy about my purchase. I was only able to get about 8 steepings out of my gaiwan. Again, I really wish i could just sit, sip, and enjoy this for the day :)

https://instagram.com/p/0NinPPTGUK/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Forest Floor, Honey, Roasted nuts, Wet Moss

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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84

Thank you for this tea Marzipan and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Roswell Strange

Stephanie

GRR Steepster ate most of this tasting note :(

TheLastDodo

It didn’t eat the good parts though!

Stephanie

I dunno Dodo, there was a funny story about my coworker smelling this tea and thinking it was crackers…

TheLastDodo

Awww, man! Funny coworker anecdotes are the best!

Roswell Strange

Psst; Dodo – first Gaiwan related note is up! :P

Marzipan

Did you like it?

Stephanie

I did like it Marzipan smooth and savory.

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93

What a delicious brew! I love rock oolongs! I wish I had just a little more of this, so I could have brewed in my yixing. I guess my gaiwan will have to do.

These black embers carry the fragrance of a coal mine deep in China. They are a deep roast brew. I washed them once to release their aroma. Then, I brewed in an ever increasing 15 second increments. My tea room was filled with a roasted sugar scent. I took a sip of this amber liquor. The initial flavor was a grit granite and black plum. I heard rumors of a peach tone, but I didn’t encounter it during drinking. This sweet peach and sugar tone was left in the aftertaste. I could still taste this smooth fruit on the back of my tongue long after drinking. This brew was everything I wanted in a rock oolong. It carried the shale from the mountains and the smooth undertone of the orchids. I was able to steep this a great many of times, and I will definitely be stocking up on this! My yixing would love it :)

Flavors: Limestone, Plums, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Again, Dexter, if you get a chance, let me know if I’m logging this in the wrong spot….

Another sample from Dexter (She’s the BEST! :D ).
Oh, is this good… I mean, “I NEED TO ORDER THIS ASAP!”, good. If I had this in my cupboard at all times, I would be one happy human….
It’s like a mug of dark chocolate…. I don’t ever want this cup to be empty!!
Thanks so much for this, Dexter, because I’ve found a new favourite tea that I hadn’t been aware of. :))))

Dexter

Yep that it. and more importantly – this is it:
http://www.taotealeaf.com/zhenghe-gongfu-black-tea-jin-ping-village/
That’s my #1 favorite black tea. I keep trying others, and there are some amazing ones out there – but this is still my favorite… :)

OMGsrsly

Dexter IS the best! I’ve been enjoying my samples too, but my descriptions are terrible because I can’t really taste anything still. :D

masked185

Hmm I keep reading these comments and thinking to myself “Jeee I really need to get to know this Dexter person better” :D :P

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98

Oh my Goddess! This by far one the best TGY I have ever had! This was given to me as a free sample with my last order from this company. I opened the small package and revealed little emerald gems. These brilliant green nuggets were small and tightly rolled. The dry aroma was a strong vegetal and forest scent. I knew that this was going to be delicious. I brewed in my yixing for best results and with low water temp. I washed the leaves once to awaken this treasure. I then steeped in increments of 10 seconds. The liquor that arose from this oolong was beautiful! A nectar of iridescent jade flowed out of my pot. The way the liquid refracted the sunlight made it seem to glow. The aroma that filled my tea room was of shade drawn hills and valleys deep in china. The initial sip was so silky and smooth. These small nuggets have a light body and vegetal taste. It has a prominent cream milk consistency and finishes with a floral breath. The brew is potent and does not falter steep after steep. The vegetal taste becomes more dominant and has ever changing undertones of nectar, frosting, and young saplings. This is a delectable tea, and it has won me over. I can understand the stating of “top grade.” I am very happy to have received this and I will definitely be stocking my cupboard.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Narcissus, Smooth, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
TeaBrat

Curses! you made me look. Hope shipping to the US is not too pricey

Haveteawilltravel

hahahah, the shipping is free if you go on a tea binge ;)

TeaBrat

Oooh, good to know

boychik

Why don’t you insert you beautiful pics fr IG ?

Haveteawilltravel

I didnt know that I could do that… haha

boychik

I write the review, post it. Then go to IG, share/copy link. Come back to review. Edit and paste.

Haveteawilltravel

oh okay, thank you :)

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This tea is very light tasting, with a toasted, sweet grass flavour. It actually reminds me of steamed vegetables. Even the brewed leaves were a medium green that looked like steamed/boiled veggies. The leaves are buds plus 1 or 2 leaves, which is a pretty great pick. Great light tea for a light meal.

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91

I have finally decided to brew this little snack up. I’m going to start off by saying that this is Shou, this is not Sheng! I bought this under the pretense that is was a Sheng Pu-erh. I was just about to pop this in my Yixing pot when my tea senses began tingling. I later discovered that this was Shou. Now I will begin the review.

I open the small rice paper to reveal a perfectly convenient sized Tuo-Cha. The small disc is a dark ruddish brown with small gold flecks. The scent is what set me off that it wasn’t a Sheng (let alone the appearance). This small disc carries a muddid earth scent. I brewed in my gaiwan gong fu style. This small Tuo Cha took about three steepings before it fully opened. The liquor was a beautiful crimson soup! It reminded me of a heavy red wine. I washed the leaves once and brewed in 10 second intervals. The aroma was of wet moss and a dew covered forest floor. The leaves expanded to a bold red to match this liquor. The flavor was thick and headdy. I could note an instant thick earth flavor with undertones of sweet plum. The great thing about this brew is that the flavor was very consistent. The aroma began to remind of a log cabin after a rain storm, as the droplets seep into the fibers of the wood. As the steeping continued the bold earth flavor began to simmer down and it plateaued along with the sweet plum taste. The flavor brought up a taste profile of the canyon lakes in Arizona. I was able to pull multiple steepings (eight) without a single faltering. A problem that occured with this brew is that the leaves were mostly BoP, and that caused the tea to become slightly astringent and bitter. I had success with this tea and enjoyed it greatly. I am usually not a Shou drinker; I am a Sheng fella. This brew though has pushed me a little more towards being balanced with my pu’erh.

Flavors: Clay, Smooth, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83

A really nice tuo!
I drank this one at work, and it was very nice to me :P the first couple steeps were really spicy and earthy, like gingersnap cookies and wet soil. After those first initial steepings, it mellowed out to a nice smooth and earthy brew. It definitely looked like a stout in my glass. The tiny chopped leaves were like espresso beans.
A great portable tea! 10/10 would buy again :)

Flavors: Smooth, Spices, Wet Earth

Haveteawilltravel

Is this Shu or Sheng? The picture seems like Sheng and the description says raw, but the actual Tuo Cha smells Shu and is very dark/red.

TheLastDodo

The picture does look like a sheng. But I have to say that it’s a shou. It looks like a shou, it brews like a shou, it tastes like a shou. Hopefully it’s just a typo on their site.

Haveteawilltravel

Okay, thats what I thought. I was going to brew this up this morning in my sheng yixing, but I didn’t want to risk it. Thank You!

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