Tao Tea Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes


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….

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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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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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.

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

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drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
2703 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.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec



very! :)

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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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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.


Flavors: Almond, Muscatel, Sweet, warm grass

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

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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 :)


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

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

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


GRR Steepster ate most of this tasting note :(


It didn’t eat the good parts though!


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


Awww, man! Funny coworker anecdotes are the best!

Roswell Strange

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


Did you like it?


I did like it Marzipan smooth and savory.

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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

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. :))))


Yep that it. and more importantly – this is it:
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… :)


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


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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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

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

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


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


Oooh, good to know


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


I didnt know that I could do that… haha


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


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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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

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

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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


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.


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.


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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I really liked the combination of ginger with this shou. The spicy lemony ginger is really nice to the earthy slightly smoky puerh. My only problem with this blend was that the ginger pieces made a righteous mess in my gaiwan. Perhaps western style would have been better. Ah, I used the whole 5g sample. Well, it was tasty nevertheless!

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drank Da Hong Pao by Tao Tea Leaf
1943 tasting notes

My son’s girlfriend had tea with me Sunday morning and we tasted a couple of oolongs. He has gotten her hooked on puerh and she fell in love with Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice while she was here, and she has had a few greens and liked them but hasn’t had them at home much. I wanted her to try oolongs, as she had only had one or two green oolongs here.

I had to get the package to make sure of the company name. When I opened the bag to give a sniff to refresh my memory for this note, the aroma was so enticing that I had to reach in and take out a leaf to chew on. That doesn’t work out with all teas for me, but it is quite enjoyable with this one. It is very true to the flavor of the steeped tea.

We tried this using the aroma cup set that Tea Ave sent. The scent cup feels wonderful in your hand while it is warm if the day is chilly and damp and your hands are cold. The tall narrow cup is the perfect size and shape for me to hold onto and warm up.

The aroma of this one blow us away. I love Da Hong Pao already, and I could see that ChelseaR enjoyed it. It had a lovely chocolate aroma, with burnt sugar, and a nice bit of smoke. We had several nice resteeps from it, too. That oolong latex or thick resin flavor is there in scent and taste as well.

This is one of the teas my daughters picked up as a gift for me at the Toronto Tea Festival, and I think this is a company we will likely order from again.


my favorite DHP.

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drank Golden Monkey by Tao Tea Leaf
632 tasting notes

Another one from my Tao Tea Leaf order!!
Was kinda expecting this one to be chocolate-y because the last Golden Monkey tea I tried was really chocolate-y. While I like chocolate notes in black teas, it’s really not my favorite. So I am really glad that this one surprised me!!
The main flavor was sweet potatoes which is one of my FAVORITE flavors in black teas! Wasn’t super sweet, but still was pretty spot on. There was some notes of malt here and there to make it taste more bold.
Ahh! I am going to really enjoy this one! :D It’s a great tea that everyone that orders from Tao Tea Leaf should try! :D

Flavors: Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes


I’ve had a few Golden Monkey teas and they’ve all been pretty different. I’m not really sure what makes a tea “golden monkey” besides being Chinese and kinda tippy? Anybody know?

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drank Golden Yunnan Black by Tao Tea Leaf
632 tasting notes

This was the other free sample in my Tao Tea Leaf order.
And lemme say…I’m really glad this was JUST a sample. xD
So far every other tea has been good that I tried. Just not this one.
There the woodiness is! XD
Yeah no…Not a fan. Thank God this was a sample haha!

Flavors: Wood

Maddy Barone

That’s the great thing about samples! You can try a little and if it’s not one you like you’re not stuck with 50 grams of it.


Thoughh this was a pretty big sample they sent me xD


I like most black teas

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Another one from my Tao Tea Leaf order! ^^
Didn’t have this one before but since it got such good reviews everywhere I decided to add it to my order.
The dry leaf smelled pretty roasty and nutty, which always seems to remind me of shelled peanuts. Seems kinda odd, but that’s where my mind always goes to xD
The actual taste was pretty chocolate-y. Lots of cocoa notes.
Was pretty roasty though, with an tiny hint of nuttiness that I got in the dry leaf aroma.
This tea reminded me of Verdant’s Laoshan Black, but with more chocolate and cocoa notes. I like this one a lot more than the LB, but it’s still not my absolute favorite. xD Nothing to write home about in my book.
But it’s still good. Nice to have a choclatey tea in my collection for now. (:

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Nuts, Roasted

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Soo this was actually the first tea I tried from my Tao Tea Leaf order. It was also one of the free samples that they gave me. They gave me a 50g sample of this one-was not expecting this at all! This free sample alone made all the frustration and disappointment that I dealt with for a month worth it! Not that I want my order to get lost ever again so I can get free tea, but it made me at least feel better about ordering again!
This tea is gorgeous. It’s those emerald green oolong leaves that are absolutely stunning! Reminds me of WP’s Autumn Jade Oolong.
The flavor is even better!
It has such intense floral notes. Probably the most floral tea I’ve ever tried!
It re-steeps well too! Have had it on two different days since I got my order a few days ago and every time it just rocks my world.
It’s just that good. Ugh I love it.
Definitely going to get this one next time I order!
Such a beautiful tea on every level!

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Perfume, Smooth


Your tasting note makes me want to get this one out again.


I assure you that you will not regret drinking this one soon! Amazing tea! :D

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drank Golden Assam by Tao Tea Leaf
632 tasting notes

FINALLY got my Tao Tea order yesterday. After over a month of complications that is.
But they let me pick out a couple free samples…and not only that but the samples were HUGE.
They gave me an oolong sample that was 52g and a black tea sample that was 26g. Crazy big.
Might have actually been worth all the disappointment and stress this order caused me over the last month and a bit. xD
This was not a free sample, but a tea I had wanted to try from them for a while. This was the second tea i tried in my order.
Steeped it for about three minutes. A little bit too bold, but it was still good. Very malty. Not too much sweetness, mainly just malt.
Next time I am going to steep it for like two minutes and maybe it will be less in-your-face. XD But i still really liked it! I do love a malty tea! ^^

Flavors: Malt


52g is bigger than an actual purchase from many vendors. Nice haul!


Yay! So glad you got it.

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