Tao Tea Leaf

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

78
drank Milk Oolong by Tao Tea Leaf
307 tasting notes

This was a sample from last year’s tea festival. I had too much of this for one steep, and too little for two, so I kind of did my own thing here. Thankfully, it seems to have turned out decently.
It has a musty scent and flavour, but not at all in a bad way. There’s an aftertaste that I suppose is a bit like milk, though I’m still not entirely convinced at the naming. Still, it’s a convention, and milk oolong is very much a thing, so I shall not judge outside of my own experiences. (Though at the same time, I will mention that there may be a creaminess to it, though whether that is me thinking about the “milk” connection or not I do not know.)
The second cup, I will note, seems very fragrant. Somewhere between floral and musty again. (And again, not a bad sort of must, it actually goes more with the floral than anything. ah, I need to work on my vocabulary and palate both I fear.)
I think I will be able to get another steep or two out of this still, but we shall see!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

Experiment time! I’m home today so i figured it would be the perfect opportunity to compare both of tao’s rice tuo’s side by side.

1st steep – this one remains largely intact versus the sheng…the brew is a light golden liquor and the aroma is slightly rice like and also slightly…sweet? This one tastes like rice at the get go…the brew is a little, almost bitter but not quite, and then mellows almost immediately in my mouth to a smooth brew…

Stephanie

Yum this is a good one :D

boychik

love it

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74

Experiment time! I’m home today so i figured it would be the perfect opportunity to compare both of tao’s rice tuo’s side by side.

1st steep – this one starts to break apart a lot faster than the shou…the brew is darker and the aroma is stronger…this one smells more like rice than the other. the brew is..plain, average…not super intense, but smooth with the rice flavouring being more on the tail end of the swallow than in the initial sips…

hmmmm more to come i’m sure.

Stephanie

Never had the sheng version!!!

Sil

i think i like the shou version better…but i’ve got more steeps to go

TheLastDodo

:( I wanted to compare these as well! But the group order I did left out the shou…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

And this is the last of my full-size bags from Tao Tea Leaf! Gotta say, I’m pretty darn happy about my choices, given that I was ordering having never tried any of their teas. :) This one is really delicious. As soon as I opened the bag and the coconut scent hit me, I was pretty sure I was going to like this, and I wasn’t wrong! The leaves are fairly lightly rolled – the 3g that I measured out probably would have come to almost 2 tbsp. The dried leaves are a combination of green and black, but once the hot water hits them they become entirely green. The scent while steeping is a gorgeous combination of sweet coconut from the flavouring, and fresh and vegetal from the oolong. I sat there, inhaling the steam while waiting for it to finish steeping, trying to think of what the combination of sweet + vegetal reminds me of. Sugar-coated flowers? Fresh sweet corn or sugar snap peas? I’m still not sure, but I know I like it. The flavour delivers what the scent promises – sweet, vegetal, coconutty goodness. Yummy. :)

Flavors: Coconut, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

I’m working my way through the 26g packages I got from Tao Tea Leaf. I also got a whole pile of samples from them, which I think I’ll be just keeping in the box and grabbing randomly from when I want to try something new. :)
I don’t have a lot of experience with keemun teas, and this one was highly rated, which was what made me decide to try it. The dry tea is small, dark leaves with an intense and complex floral scent. As it brews, the scent is also lovely, floral and fruity. The flavour is really interesting – fruity and floral again, quite complex, with a pleasant tartness. People talk about keemuns having a smokey, piney note, and I can totally see what they mean. It’s not smokey like a lapsang, but it’s definitely there. As the tea cools, it develops a refreshing quality that makes me want to try this cold-brewed or iced.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Pine, Smoke, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
212 tasting notes

My plan was to try two similar teas together, for comparison purposes, and then I went and steeped this along with TTL’s ZhengHe GongFu from Jin Ping, forgetting that they’re actually really different teas. Oops. :) They’re both still really delicious Chinese blacks, but this one is a lot less chocolatey. Upping the rating on this one, because I think I do actually like them equally.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
212 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this to try this morning, but it turns out to have been a good choice, because it strikes me as an excellent breakfast tea: bold, malty, and full-bodied. To me, it tastes like a really good Assam – I wouldn’t have pegged it as a Chinese tea, necessarily. I’m not sensitive enough to caffeine to be able to judge whether it’s highly caffeinated, but it tastes like something that should wake you up. :) I steeped it for 3min for the first infusion, and 5min for the second infusion. This second cup is still full of flavour, but a bit more mellow than the first. I’m sitting here, sipping, trying to identify flavours when the strongest impression I get is just “black tea”. I get a little bit of grain/bread, a bit of grape/plum, and definitely a lingering sweetness on the aftertaste. Interestingly, I’m not tasting any cocoa in this at all. There’s a bit of astringency but it’s not unpleasant. This isn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s very good.

Flavors: Grain, Malt, Plums

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

I steeped this twice earlier today, and decided to do a third steeping before bed. This one is a bit bland compared to the earlier two, but still pretty nice. :) I enjoyed this tea. It’s earthy, chocolatey, slightly fruity, and very smooth.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Although I was expecting a typically juicy green floral oolong here I was nonetheless happy with the brew. This tea is very well-rounded and smooth though a bit roasty. Really pleasing soft buttery complexity with a mild gardenia-like floral, especially in the aftertaste.

Flavors: Floral, Gardenias, Honey, Hot hay

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
6046 tasting notes

MMMM…. Pulled this one out to try today based on the reviews i read yesterday and this one IS a good one. It’s the right balance of malty, sweet and smooth that i really like. aaand work just totally interrupted that. 4 hours later i’m uh… drinking other things lol

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83
drank Milk Oolong by Tao Tea Leaf
6 tasting notes

I got this as a sample with my Tao Tea Leaf order. This review is for the first steep which was done in a 7oz mug with a Finum brewing basket.

The smell of the steeping tea really surprised me! It actually smells buttery or maybe more like caramel corn.

The taste is pretty different from the smell. I can only taste a hint of buttery-ness (which is good, since I don’t know how I would feel about buttery tea). It definitely tastes creamy and floral and is much more of a “green” tasting oolong, which I’m fond of. Oddly enough, the aftertaste reminds me a lot of apricot.

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Creamy, Flowers, Green

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

62

This has quite a strong peach apricot flavour to it, but it’s more of a dried fruit than fresh fruit taste. I think with a white tea, a fresh, juicy flavour tends to be a better match for me. There’s a faint hint of bitterness, and a slight astringency to this cup. I think 2 minutes may have been a touch too long for this tea. The base tea has a hint of vegetal, but not a lot of distinct flavour of its own that shows up past the flavouring.

This is alright but nothing terrible special. Very drinkable, but not really memorable.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Dried Fruit, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

so the best part about small samples? getting to fill up your friends tea boxes with tea as you drink your samples haha. Oh….the joys of tea sharing :) While i like this tea…i think i’m over it. It’s just not amazing enough for me to want to keep it in my cupboard. Dropping the rating a little since it’s staying power with me didn’t seem to be there.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

i had this one yesterday as well, and while it was a plesant cup it wasn’t as wonderful this time around. I may need to have this again soon to figure out how i’m feeling about it now.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

I figured that i should start trying a few of the new tea that are in my cupboard so that I’ll know if a re-order is warranted and so that I can share a few of them as well. I’m a fan of golden needle teas so i wanted to see where this one might end up in my list of teas.

this is a very smooth tea…slightly malty with a little sweetness, though not overly so. There’s a little astringency to this but nothing that is overwhelming or out of this world. just a really nice up of tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

The dry leaf is interesting, greyish green, with some large, rightly rolled cylinders, and small broken pieces. Faint vegetal and musty smell.

Steeped the liquor is an amber gold. Nutty, sweet, and grassy on the nose, with similar notes on the palate. Light honey notes, with a bit of umami. Faintly astringent.

Taste wise, this feels quite similar to many of the senchas I’ve tried recently. I think I should have steeped it a few seconds shorter than I did.

Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Honey, Musty, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

(Backlog from last night…could not post…steepster was acting out… again…sigh)

This is tea of the night…

I took advantage of Tao Tea Leaf’s 50% off x-mas sale.

I had already tried some of their rock oolongs (their Da Hong Pao is excellent) but had passed on this one.

Boychik reminded me to buy some this time around, so based on her exquisite tastes, I have ordered 100g.

First tasting tonight…

Whoa! This is shockingly good.

Sweet, creamy, nutty, deliciously roasted but not sharp or bitter at all.

It renders a nice mineral mouthfeel as all Wuyi do.

It’s a bit floral, and a little fruity, stone fruits. But mostly, I get big notes of roasted almonds.

Now, I can’t silence the fact that the dry leaves smell like…um….cannabis. You were right about that dear Boychik. Not that I have ever smoked any of course (wink, wink)

Toa Tea Leaf doesn’t disappoint…high quality stuff. This bag will not last very long.

I brewed gongfu and I got several delicious steeps.

Instagram pic:

http://instagram.com/p/xqg0S0wh0F/

Sarsonator

I love your ship… want to sail away…

TheTeaFairy

Thank you, Its my little thingie copper sail boat :-) We could sail away to a sunny Pacific deserted island for the rest of the winter??

yyz

You already got yours? I’m a little jealous mine was just shipped yesterday!

Marcus reed

Interesting! Thanks for sharing

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

I tend to find dark oolongs a bit hit or miss for me, but I’m interested in exploring them more, because there are so many that are just so unique.

Opening the bag, the leaves are twisty, very dark, and smell roasted and sweet, with a surprising coconut note.

Steeped 1tsp, 90C, 3:15min.

The liquor is dark brown and smells roasted, nutty and creamy. I’m really enjoying the smell – it makes me think of hazelnut coffee with cream.

On the palate there’s a strong note of roasted nuts, some mineral, cream and sweetness. A slight tang. I wouldn’t characterize this as floral like the package suggests, but I do like it, and there’s none of that woodiness that sometimes dominates roasted oolongs for me.

Flavors: Coconut, Coffee, Creamy, Hazelnut, Mineral, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

My absolute favorite Wuyi

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Just finished my sample of this. It was a tasty, semi-rich shou. Worked great for a morning cuppa at work.

Edit: I suppose I should rate, based on my personal enjoyment. Hmmm…90/100.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Golden Yunnan Black by Tao Tea Leaf
122 tasting notes

Enjoyed this as a wake-up tea this morning. Solid choice for a straightforward, non-complicated, medium-bodied cup to ease the eyes open. A little malty and a very nice apricot note, which is a bonus I love to find in a black.

Thanks to Tao Tea Leaf for the generous sample.

Flavors: Apricot

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Thank you Boychik for this sample. This was quite good. I only steeped this four times because I have to watch my caffeine tonight. It started out with a strong roasted taste, not sure if I should call it roasted barley or just roasted. This flavor began to evolve and dissipate over the four steeps I put it through. There is still some roasted taste on the fourth steep. I think this a high quality oolong.

I brewed this four times in a 180ml teapot with 6g leaf and 185 degree water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. If I wasn’t watching caffeine today I am sure I could have gotten four more steeps out of the tea.

Flavors: Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

After cleaning, writing, and baking some banana bread, I figured this tea would be a good way to relax. Many thanks to Tao for giving me a sample when I visited his shop a month ago.

For some reason, this tea isn’t listed on the Tao Tea Leaf site – so I have no idea what the correct steeping parameters are. For now, I just did my standard thing for greens: 1 tsp per 8 oz, 80C, for 3 minutes.

The results were surprising. The dry leaf was sweet and fruity – I didn’t get the raspberry note that Polly mentioned below; instead, it seemed more to me like stonefruit.

The dry leaf is long, dark sage green, and tubular. Because of the length, it was difficult to measure, so I might have overleafed this.

Once the tea was done steeping, I was greeted by that same fruity scent.

The liquor was fairly light but darkened as the tea sat and cooled. I took my first sip after it had a chance to cool down and….

Interesting! It reminds me an awful lot of Nina’s Paris’s “Demain” tea – the green tea with raspberry and strawberry flavouring. It’s got that same musty, dusty undertone I’ve sensed in that tea, and the fruitiness is definitely similar. I would not be surprised at all if this tea variety (Liu An Gua Pian) were revealed to be the base of Nina’s greens.

I have enough left for maybe a largish cup. I’m not quite sure if I’ll restock this, but I’m glad I got a sample.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Sweet, super malty, sweet potato, a bit meaty, slightest trace of bitterness. Smooth, medium body. A touch of astringency that builds very slowly. Toward the bottom of the cup, a honey note starts to peek out.

Very delicious.

I’ve been drinking a lot of very similar Chinese black teas lately, and they are all different but in such subtle ways that I’m not sure I can capture those differences in my tasting notes, in a way that’s meaningful (particularly for me, when I look back and decide what to restock.)

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Meat, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.