Tao Tea Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

80

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One of the samples I ordered from Tao Tea Leaf. I took this in my Timolino yesterday. I like taking white teas in the Timolino as it keeps them nice and hot. They are brewed at such low temperatures and I hate it when my tea cools down too fast. So keeping in mind the Timolino also does not make the best tasting enviroment for a tea , I enjoyed this tea but cannot remember anything remarkable about it. It was delicate and not bitter…..

Darn! Just can’t remember much about it. No rating but I’ve had White Peony tea before from other companies and it’s never been my favourite unflavoured white.

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88

I just love high mountain green tea in general. This seems like a good quality one. Sweet, buttery, not grassy, smooth. First cup – excellent. 2nd infusion – a bit weak. I think I didn’t let it steep long enough. I added an extra minute onto the steep time. it’s still good .

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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88

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93

I just love this tea. Sweet,delicate, nutty. Only have a sample size. I would love to buy more of this but want to try dragonwell from some other companies first.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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drank Silver Needle by Tao Tea Leaf
489 tasting notes

Sipdown #3 of the day. I thought I could reach 4, but I guess not.

I’ve had mixed luck with white teas, and I thought that switching from Western style brewing to gong-fu style would make a difference. 6 steeps in a 4 oz gaiwan, with the steeps ranging from 45s to 1.5m. Water started out at 80C.

I dumped the whole sample packet into my gaiwan, and the leaves were a sort of sage/forest green with white fuzz. There were lots of little broken bits mixed in with the needles.

The taste wasn’t much, unfortunately, and by the third steep I noticed quite a bit of astringency. My tongue is still crinkly a few minutes after finishing the final steep. The liquor was very pale, and not very flavourful – or quite delicate, if you’re feeling charitable.

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Don’t you love it when a Steepster friend makes it possible for you to try stuff you would never have (a) found locally or (b) thought to select on your own? This, from scribbles, falls into that category. The dry leaves smell roasty-toasty, it’s pleasantly heavy on the tongue, and deliciously sweet—-white grape juice and honey and maple twigs.

Tealizzy

Sounds yummy!!

gmathis

I like roasty oolongs a lot better than the really floral, perfumey ones.

CelebriTEA

This sounds yummy and Scribbles is a great tea pal to have…lol

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60
drank Milk Oolong by Tao Tea Leaf
489 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’ll see if I can do a total of 4 sipdowns today. This is the first.

I brewed half of this sample from Tao a few days ago gong-fu style with my gaiwan. I just brewed the second half now Western-style, and decided to toss the leaves after the first steep.

Western style, the oolong base really cuts through the creaminess of the milk flavouring. It’s a greener base as well, which I’m slowly realizing I’m not a big fan of. Ah well. One more down.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60
drank Milk Oolong by Tao Tea Leaf
489 tasting notes

This was really an excuse to use my porcelain gaiwan. Yesterday I used the stoneware one (thanks again to Butiki) and today I thought I’d use the more delicate one now that I have the new, unchipped lid (again from Butiki!)

I used about 2 tsp of leaf in a 4-oz gaiwan, and made 6 steeps – just enough for one small David’s Tea Bubble Teapot. Boil the water, heat the teapot, heat the gaiwan, rinse the leaves, then put the remaining boiled water in the pot, to be poured out for each steep. Started out with a 20s steep, with 5 seconds added for each subsequent steep.

The dry leaf smelled very buttery and creamy, though not as buttery as Teavivre’s Flavoured Milk Oolong, which is my comparison point. All 6 steeps were pale golden yellow, with the first 2 steeps being the creamiest.

The base was quite vegetal, though, and became more astringent as time went on. I’m learning more about my own tastes when it comes to oolongs, and I believe I like them on the roastier side, rather than the green/floral side. As the steeps increased, I was getting a floral, orchid-like note.

I still have half the sample left to go, but I don’t think I’ll miss this one too much when I finish it off.

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75
drank Cherry Rose Sencha by Tao Tea Leaf
224 tasting notes

I had Cherry Rose Sencha many years ago and was not impressed with it. I do like this one. I used a slightly hotter temperature than they recommend because my tea cools down so fast. They do warn on their website not to because it will bring out the bitterness of the tea. The tea I brewed up does have some bitterness but it’s still a nice cup. Love the subtle cherry notes followed by the rose. It’s done nicely. For this tea, I think it’s a tea that could grow on me so I’d need a few more cups variying the steep time and slightly lower temperature to see if this is one I’d buy again. Unfortunately, I only had one cup of this. They were pretty stingy with the sample size. I like to have at least two cups in a sample size.

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drank Golden Yunnan Black by Tao Tea Leaf
1717 tasting notes

Oh, the difference a minute or so can make! Generally, Tao’s Golden Yunnan has a rich, dark wood and fruitiness. It is a very good breakfast tea. Distracted and agitated this morning, walked off without watching the clock and now we have rained-on cowboy boots that have made one too many trips through the barnyard. (OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but it’s dark and strong!)

It’s just been that kind of week, and a strong sign that I should just rely on my can’t-mess-it-up teas until the weekend :)

albertocanfly

Love the rained on cowboy boots description! So adorable and pictorial! :]

gmathis

Aww…nobody’s called me adorable or pictorial in um, ever? That made my afternoon. Thanks!

albertocanfly

Well, it is true! Have a wonderful rest of your day! .

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drank Golden Yunnan Black by Tao Tea Leaf
1717 tasting notes

As advertised, this does have a strong fruity-nutty-woody vibe; wood in the scent, dark dried fruit and walnut in the flavor. Definitely strong enough for a sleepy morning, don’t think it’d be improved any with milk. (Tea courtesy of scribbles; ability to enjoy it outdoors before 8 a.m. courtesy of a break in the weather!)

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I only got a sample size of this and wanted it to last so didn’t put enough in the teapot. My tea is now too weak to leave a proper review. Only posting this here so I don’t make the same mistake for next time. It’s hard to measure by spoon since the leaves are so big. Better to go by weight.

MzPriss

I hate it when I do that

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Love Tao as a company. Don’t love this tea. There is something in the almond flavor that doesn’t work for me.

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80

I’m really liking this one. The leaves were dark sencha with strawberry pieces. Smell: a nice strawberry scent from the bag. Brewed up: The strawberry notes are done very well. Not too light and not too strong. Doesn’t come through as artificial tasting either which is quite common with strawberry teas. The sencha is a bit astrigent tasting and pairs perfectly with the strawberry.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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88

I had to get this one after David’s Tea came out with their Coconut Oolong. I got that one of course but with a search on Steepster, this one intrigued me. Of course that led to a whole new order from Tao Tea Leaf since it made more sense to at least order 35.00 to take advantage of the free shipping!

Out of the two oolongs I think I prefer this one. The coconut flavor is very subtle unlike the one from David’s tea which is quite prominent. The oolong is a really high quality one for this. I’m getting buttery, sweet notes with a bit of the coconut.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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Got a sample size of this tea to try out. I don’t taste too much raspberry but there is some hibiscus. The hibiscus is not overly strong. I had this as a hot tea but on their website they suggest it as an iced tea so I think I will try that next time I have this. I might get more of the raspberry flavor then.

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If you poured this in an empty Sue Bee honey bottle, you’d be hard pressed to detect you’re not looking at rich molten honey. This oolong is lip-lickingly thick (say that five times fast!) and almost a little sticky.

The label mentions honey, roasted peaches, and raisins. I’m getting (a) and (b) minus ©, but there is nothing lacking here. It’s a treat. More so because it isn’t a finicky steeper—boiling water, 2-3 minutes, easy peasy. A treat from scribbles that is making me smile on a cool, sunny afternoon. (Thank you!)

Sil

nice!

gmathis

Sitting in my happy spot in the sunshine daydreaming bee dreams :)

K S

Tazo in your lap? Pretty sure sunshine, tea, and cat in lap is a guaranteed your own private Idaho vacation. In case private Idaho is too vague a reference, it is a B-52’s song.

gmathis

My B-52 repertoire is a little spotty. I listened to The Specials instead. But private and vacation sound heavenly. My current dream retreat is 24 hours without ANYBODY NEEDING ANYTHING.

Nicole

Tea in an empty honey bear bottle was one of the first recipes I wrote down on one of my mom’s recipe cards. It was my Tea Sucker recipe – put tea in honey bear, stick ice cube in top, lick ice cube till it falls in tea, drink tea. I used to love to drink tea out of empty honey bears. :)

gmathis

Love it!

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56

Sample sipdown!

This is my second time trying this tea, and I have to say I’m not a fan. The first time I tried it, I used about 2/3 of the sample package to brew 1 small pot (24 oz) of tea. This time, I used the remaining portion of tea (probably 1-2 tsp) for a single 8-oz cup, and it’s still not much to write home about.

I’m really surprised by the dustiness and lack of vegetal notes in this tea. It’s a tad sweet, perhaps, but that’s about it – no brightness at all, or even any astringency.

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56

I purchased this sample from Tao about a week and a half ago. Unfortunately, the sample package didn’t contain any steeping instructions so I had to play it by ear.

Dry leaf: Long and spindly, and green-brown. It was hard to measure, but I think I used about 1/2 or 2/3 of the sample packet for a pot of tea. The dry leaf smelled sweet, faintly like figs or honey.

Steeping Parameters: No instructions were provided, so I made things up as I went. I think about 2 tsp of leaf for 24 oz of water. 1st steep for 4 minutes, 2nd steep for 5. Both steeps were around 82-83°C.

Liquor: The colour was a dark tan both times. What surprised me about this tea was that it lacked a lot of the bright, vegetal notes I normally associate with green teas. If I hadn’t have known better, I would have thought this was a black tea, or even chamomile. There was a sweetness to it, but it tasted thin and woody, like cedar. Other than that, not much to write home about.

Verdict: I’m really not sure what to make of this. I think I underleafed it. It wasn’t bad, but this sample is leading me to think that Mao Feng greens are not the thing for me. I’ll see what it’s like when I finish off the rest of the sample. No rating for now.

Indigobloom

They say 2g per 8oz is ideal. One of these days Ima get me a tea scale :)

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drank Dragon Well by Tao Tea Leaf
489 tasting notes

Backlog note:

I had a cup of this at Tao’s last night, and here’s what I remember:

- this was the Premium Shi Feng variety of Dragon Well
- long, thin, bright green leaves; very fresh-looking
- It smelled marine-like, buttery, fishy, kind of green-bean-y
- green-gold, light amber liquor
- the taste was very light and not astringent at first, but as I drank it, it got more and more astringent (that “crinkly tongue” feeling)
- very vegetal taste with a long, lingering aftertaste

It was nice, but I’m not sure if I want to try it again. I think I just may not like Dragon Well teas that much.

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Thank you so much scribbles for sending me a sample of this tea.

I don’t normally do well with ginger teas. They are normally way too gingery for my tastes. This one is pretty well balanced. It is definitely ginger, but it’s not overwhelming.
This is just warm and comforting. I’m not sure I love it, but it’s quite nice…..

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I don’t think this is the correct photo for this tea, but anyway….

I LOVE it, awesome, fantastic, amazing, everything I think a dark oolong should be.
I’m not getting any cinnamon as suggested by the company, but it does have WuYi characteristics. Not getting much floral either, but it does have some sweet/honey notes.
Reading the description I was a bit apprehensive, but what I experienced didn’t really match the description and for me that’s a good thing.

Thanks so much scribbles for sending me another fabulous tea from Tao.

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