Tea from Taiwan
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Recent Tasting Notes
Okay, I’ve had this sample for over a year. I’ve been afraid to try it. The other notes on this tea have been terribly discouraging. But I just have to do this once and for all.
The leaves are balled up but pretty dark. I find that the dark oolongs tend to be long and twisty and the green ones are balled up like tiny wads of spit balls. (Maybe I should have used a better example…) But these are dark and balled up. It’s a crazy upside down world.
First, the the smell of the brewed tea is like roasted brussels sprouts. It also tastes like brussels sprouts only it’s weird at first because of that honeyed fruity flavor on the front of the tongue. This also reminds me a bit of chrysanthemum tea. The flavors in this tea clash for sure, but I don’t hate it like I feared. I wouldn’t say I liked it either though.
Will have to try a few more steeps. You never know an oolong unless you infuse it a few times. But first, I’ll take my pups out for a walk before the sun goes down. They didn’t go out much in the winter cause they are so tiny that they’d get too cold, even with coats. They are loving this warmer weather. :)
EDIT: Okay, no resteep because I’m an idiot. Took the cup and infuser basket into the kitchen area so that I could pour the hot water over the leaves. Except when I got to the kitchen, I dumped the leaves and started washing out the tea ware. Half way through scrubbing the infuser basket my brain went, “….wait…wasn’t I supposed to do another steep with those leaves? …those leaves that are sitting in the garbage can? …I suck.” I’ve got enough leaf to try again, but that will have to wait for another time. It’s time to move on to herbals and other decaf/noncaf teas.
The Bao Zhong oolong I have is called “Branches of Serenity.” I purchased it at the Tea Centre in Courtenay (it is exclusive to them). It consists of the stems, sticks, and leaves remaining after processing Bao Zhong oolong. I brewed this in my iron teapot for three minutes, but decided to leave it for the full five, as the flavour was too light after three. Taste is almost imperceptible, though there is a faint fruit note to it. It is very refreshing, and perfect for a quiet evening.
annd I forgot to drink this tea yesterday, which I drank a couple steepings of 2 days ago. EEEP!!!!
So, I steeped the leaves western style for like 5 minutes. Might be kinda crazy waiting 2 days, but ehhh. Flavor is okay, a little light, but still kinda vegetal and kinda sweet.
Goes very well with my Okonomiyaki which I made with my husband’s homemade bacon!
I decided to sip down my sample!
I drank 3 steepings – all light, buttery and vegetal. Now I’m full of caffeine, like I feel my eyes are huge but almost tired. I wanted a nice oolong before dinner, maybe this was a little too much before dinner!
Well, hopefully I’ll do another couple steepings tomorrow morning. Very tempted to have them right now, but I’ll be going crazier than normal at jiu jitsu tonight!
I haven’t forgotten to review this one! thanks for the samples! The oolongs from Tea From Taiwan are the best quality. It’s amazing that even though they are so similar, they are also very different. This one smelled very sweet in the package! Also, even in the samples there are these little packets of something to keep the oolong fresh… almost like how new shoes come with that in the toes! Not to liken this tea to shoes or anything!
First steep // water is very cooled // 45 sec. First and foremost this is very sweet and smooth, silky! It’s almost like a lighter milk oolong, though I don’t think this is supposed to be a milk oolong. It doesn’t have any of the floral/peachy characteristics that oolongs usually have. It’s very good, even on the first cup!
Second steep // water is cooled // 50 sec. This cup is still very much like the first… still no peach/floral/vegetal. The flavor is stronger though. The water might have been a bit too hot. It’s just very sweet, sugary, and creamy!
Third steep // 60 sec. This still isn’t very peachy/floral/vegetal but this time there was a little hint of a cinnamon sugar flavor. It couldn’t have been any actual cinnamon sugar, since my cup stayed the same the whole time. And the last of the cup was a hint of peach! This one was a very light flavored oolong… not as complex and changing as so many of them are.
Reading my previous tasting note, it seems that I am definitely enjoying the last of this sample much more than I did the first cup! I used the remaining ~half of the sample in about 8 oz. water, and gave it my standard oolong treatment (3 min in just below boiling water) and the result is creamy (but not milk oolong creamy), sweet vegetal, and absolutely delicious! I’m really not sure what went wrong last time; I would definitely love to drink this again, although I think the price point may be out of my range.
Thank so much to Tea from Taiwan for this sample! Hopefully I will eventually be able to make a delicious oolong order, and pick up some of this and the other oolong I enjoyed.
Hmm. Brewed this up today with what I thought was a good leaf:water ratio, but it’s very weak. Luckily, I just took a look at my previous tasting note and I wasn’t the biggest fan of this one, so I suspect that’s just the case here (although I wish it had a bit more flavour!) Ah well. Thanks again for the sample, Tea from Taiwan!
The first thing that hit me soon as I open the bag is the aroma of this tea I’ve tried many teas with this same type of aroma but the aroma of this one was just so much stronger and much more I dunno beautiful? can you describe an aroma as beautiful? I just did :) it smells floral and green and just awesome.
The taste was really nice too, it was nice and greenish and floral at first then creamy and almost buttery with some hints of fruit like apple or pear by the third infusion it developed slightly spicy notes almost like cinnamon that really played well with the fruity notes that were still there, the creamyness was present the entire time, very interesting and super good tea.
If I had some more of this one I could play with my steep times and preparations and probably discover lots of other wonderful flavor notes notes from it. Even tho this greener type of oolongs are not my favorites I have to say that this is one of the best ones I’ve tried from Tea from Taiwan so far :)
Working from home today, which means time for a comfortable tea break in bona fide sunlight. Leisure tea and sunshine are going a long way to ease the gloomies that have plagued me (and, with apologies, the folks who have graciously read my grumpy and cantankerous tasting notes) all week.
My first note on this one had lots of floral references in it. Today, without monitoring temp very carefully—it was somewhere under boiling, how’s that? and a 2 minute steep, it is the color and flavor complexion of a Brach’s butterscotch candy, sans sugar.
Now I’m craving Oolong and I have a song playing over and over in my mind (White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane) whilst I’m sat here wire wrapping Quartz crystal points. This was the first Oolong I grabbed from my cupboard.
I can’t recall having much aged Oolong before but it sounds rich and deep which I’m finding delightful. In 1990 when this tea was made I would have been no more than 2 years old… wow!
As I open the vacuum sealed packet I am greeted by small dark brown almost black small tea pieces that have a strong and deep fragrance. I’m finding it difficult to answer what it smells of but it’s very familiar … soy sauce maybe?
Steeping 3 times in my gongfu for 1 minute, 2 minutes then 3 minutes.
Steep 1 – Burnt orange in colour with a smell that reminds me of cigar smoke. The taste is smoky and rich but also earthy and astringent. Sort of like Lapsang Souchong mixed with Pu Erh but on a weaker basis. Roasted chestnuts is a fairly good description.
Steep 2 – Brownish red now in colour but with that same cigar smoke scent. My husband smokes a cigar at birthdays and Christmas so I am quite used to the smell but it’s surprising how similar they are. It sort of tastes like cigar now too which is how it smells. I still like roast chestnuts though as the comparison but now it’s almost like burnt chestnuts. If Lapsang Souchong is the smokiest tea then this must be second.
Steep 3 – Again it’s burnt orange in colour with the same scent. Other than cigar or chestnut I’m finding it really difficult to describe. Muddy perhaps? Smoky and muddy? There is a little sweetness which helps to keep it on the rich yet light side. It’s also a little dry and nutty.
I think this may be one of the strangest teas let alone Oolongs that I have ever tried but I’m really getting a taste for it now. I may have to order some more of this :) Thinking about it I should have kept it for my birthday… I want some Pu Erh that is from my birth year too but money is low at the moment :( Maybe next year?
It’s been a while since I have been in the right mood for an Oolong but I am craving something light and floral at the moment. A while ago I bought a sample of most of the Oolong’s from Tea from Taiwan’s website and this one was chosen at random for my steeping tonight.
Raw this tea consists of dark green leaves that have been rolled into small balls with a sweet, creamy and vegetal scent. Just what I have been craving.
Steep 1 – 1 minute infusion – gongfu style
Pale yellow in colour with a sweet and creamy with buttery notes. It reminds me a little of fresh cabbage water so it is vegetal and green tasting but also sweet and light.
Steep 2 – 2 minutes
Increasing strength this is now very vegetal and reminds me of sugar snap peas. Also getting a bit of dryness on my tongue. Still very sweet.
Steep 3 – 3 minutes
It’s definitely sugar snap pea’s, I snack on them from time to time and it has the same flavour and sweetness. I can only describe the flavour as green but cannot explain what that means…natural…vegetal…a little floral…when you see green planted food you imagine what it tastes like and this is the same as that. Not sure if I made sense there :/
Overall it’s a nice Oolong in taste and quality but at the same time it’s very similar to plenty of other Oolong’s available on the market. I would not go out of way my to buy this again but if I ordered from Tea from Taiwan again I would seriously consider it.
These jade green with hints of yellow buds smell sugary and vegetal. Normally I hate sugary vegetables (ie: coleslaw. Ick, but I’d love coleslaw without sugar). But if a tea smells like that, I love it.
First steep: Waited a while for the water to cool, steeped for 50 seconds, didn’t think that was long enough, then steeped for 35 more seconds. The taste is mainly sweet, much less vegetal than the leaves smell. It’s more of a mildly floral flavor. Very complex but very good.
Second steep: may have been too hot for two minutes. This one really does have a complex & sweet flavor. It is different from all other oolongs I’ve tried, but I can’t begin to describe how. Not quite peachy, floral or milky… but very sweet.
Third steep: …I kind of forgot about, so I have no idea how long it had been steeping. The flavor seems to be lacking, but that may be due to the oversteeping. I’d say unlike most other oolongs, this one didn’t change flavor as much. I definitely didn’t get anything smokey out of this one, like the description says. It’s very hard to describe, so try it for yourself!
Nice oolong appearance, sour caramel and ginger notes, nitrogen undertones. This tea is strange, it has some chemicals note, but maybe it’s good for my health… :)
What a lovely well mannered tea! So many wonderful notes to savor! From sweet, like sugar cane and vanilla, to buttery, toasty, I mean really if you have a favorite flavor note you are likely to find it in here!
It is complex, and gong fu really IS the way to go with this one.
Sip it when you have enough time to enjoy everything it has to offer!
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 12th.
Smells very milky, taste very creamy and smooth with First steep is very milky with slight buttery notes and has a nice creamy mouthfeel and aftertaste. Second steep is almost the same only with an added slightly sweet vegetal note. The creamy mouthfeel is great this is another tea that just feels good in the mouth :)
Even the Third steep is very good still creamy and milky but slightly roasty and nutty almost , very interesting, lingering flavors.
Fourth steep is pretty much same as the last and by the sixth steep I needed warmer water, steep six was nice more roasty, nutty notes same creamy milkyness, this tea is not going to give up soon I had to stop at six steeps :)
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell my five Tea From Taiwan samples apart, but this one woke the part of my brain that likes that roasted flavor from fired teas. This tea has a bright, floral aroma alongside a buttery toastiness. When the toasted aroma hit me I immediately (albeit briefly) thought of popcorn maybe its the butteriness! I’m making my second mug now.
Mmm- is the second steeping of oolong always better than the first? So far they have been for me. I spent about a minute just enjoying the aroma. This might be my favorite after Tie Guan Yin!
I’ve been spoiled with samples lately! I love oolong, so I appreciate these samples. The dry leaves here smell like SPINACH. I don’t mind it.. I eat enough of it! The steep color is a bright yellow. I let the water cool for quite a bit and steeped for 45 seconds. The taste is lovely! The flavor maintains a bit of that spinach flavor, but I’d say the dry leaves smelled more like spinach than the tea itself tastes like spinach. But it’s like spinach that is buttery and slightly sweet and also a tiny-tad-hint of spice, very silky… it really lingers. I’d say this oolong has more of a vegetal flavor that the usual floral.
But oh no! I just looked at the description and this was the tea that was the milk oolong. I had David’s milk oolong a few weeks ago and this definitely doesn’t taste like that one. The David’s was distinctly milky. This one is just buttery and sweet. I never would have even considered it was the milk oolong if I hadn’t looked at the description!
Second steep: Water was still cooled down a lot // steeped for 50 seconds. This cup is MUCH more like a floral oolong but mostly very peachy! Most of the spinach flavor is gone. I love the evolution of oolong.
Third steep: Water was much closer to boiling // steeped for one minute. I would say this steep is closest to the milk oolong flavor, but that may be because both the spinach and floral/peachy flavors are less distinct. It’s still good!
I think the first steep was my favorite because it was different as a buttery spinach oolong! On my oolong flavor rating scale where one has the lightest and most floral flavor and five has the strongest flavor, this one gets a two. But I think I’ll take a couple points off the rating just for not being what I’d call a milk oolong. A very delicious tea! One of the steeps (or all of them) is bound to be something any oolong fan would love.
So this is the second of the three samples I got from Tea from Taiwan, and I am sad because I don’t feel like I did it justice. I am saving the last one for a day when I can really focus on my tea making and not be so distracted by papers.
So 1st steep was just ok, very earthy, not as sweet and light as I like my oolongs to be. Second steep I let sit WAAAAY to long so that’s my fault, and then I only got the chance to have one more that day. The last one was nice, still deeper and smoother than the milk oolong I reviewed from them a few weeks ago. I liked it but I think I would have liked it more if I had of done a better job with my preparing.
I don’t own any fancy tea making equipment and had a hard time finding instructions that made sense for my simple mug and infuser. I decided upon 3 gm of the rolled oolong “pearls” and about 8 oz of water, and steeped for almost 2 minutes.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this tea. It’s such a light, pale green and the aroma is so subtle that I figured I hadn’t steeped enough leaves or hadn’t steeped it long enough but no- this is awesome! The tea is buttery and smooth, with a medium body. I can detect the light firing.
I brewed a second cup for a bit over 2 minutes and this time a distinct floral aroma developed. These leaves are quite large and have half-filled my infuser now. The flavor is still mellow but definitely more complex with the addition of the floral notes. A very satisfying oolong.
This is my second sample from Tea From Taiwan. Thanks again for the generous samples!
Dry: it smells really sweet and refreshing.
1st Steep: (5 min, 98C) It tastes very ‘green’ and vegetal but I’m also some getting some roasted notes as well -much like genmaicha green tea. No, correction. It’s very toasty. These notes subside about mid-sip and give way to a pleasant floral sensation.
2nd Steep: (1 min 98C) I thought I would try a shorter steep this time if it wasn’t too late to try gong fu style. It looks as though the leaves have unraveled as much as my tea ball will allow so I doubt I’m doing it right, but it doesn’t matter too much as this still tastes pretty good. It’s far less toasty -there’s a good balance between that and fruity undertones in each sip. Very nice.
3rd Steep: (1 min 98C ) Still a lot of flavour!
Overall it’s good, and it reminds me that I do like toasted flavors sometimes, but if I had to choose I think I prefer the other Zhong Shu Hu sample.