The Tao of Tea

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70
drank Nilgiri Blue by The Tao of Tea
169 tasting notes

Sorry. I’ve been out of (brewed tea) commission for a while since I started a new job in April. I’ve been working long hours at an office where I haven’t time or an apparatus to brew and review new teas.

Enough with the excuses. Here I am, ready to get back into the swing of things by trying out this Nilgiri Blue tea that I picked up in the bargain bin at a local discount store.

When I opened the brown paper bag packaging (which a Teavana store associate once told me is a barbarous mechanism to store tender tea leaves – while she tried to sell me a thin metallic can for $12), a Darjeeling-like aroma wafted upward. I brewed the short mostly black leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees.

The brewed color was a deep reddish amber. The odor was mostly nondescript but slightly sweet.

My first few sips were not very powerful. After 1/3 of my cup was history, I began to discern a less-than-robust tea-like flavor with a faint sweet attribute.

This tea is not bad. It isn’t bitter. I just didn’t find it exciting or compelling (much like this review). The after taste had no astringency. It also was “ho-hum.”

I will drink this tea again but I won’t be brimming with anticipation to fire up the tea maker for it. Oh well. Can I take a nap now?

Flavors: Sweet, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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76

This is a nice example of Vietnamese green tea. No bitterness, nice and creamy. Overall a really nice tea for me :)

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90
drank Black Mango by The Tao of Tea
455 tasting notes

The more I drink this one, the more I love it! I don’t even like mango usually— I like the initial taste of the fruit, but the aftertaste ruins it for me. I think the bitterness of the tea and the flowery calendula petals balance out that tangy, grassy aftertaste that I dislike in mangos, and just leaves the sweet, floral flavor that I DO enjoy. Masterfully made. Will be sad when this is gone, although I’m not remotely worried about that yet because I have an 8 oz bag of it to play with.

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90
drank Black Mango by The Tao of Tea
455 tasting notes

I got 8 oz of this for $7! Unbelievable.

It’s so beautiful and delicate. I over-leafed (a chronic problem of mine) but it’s still a gorgeous tea. Mangoes have a natural perfumey quality to them from the start, and it just translates so well into tea! The black tea base is strong and nutty, and yet perfectly balanced with the sweet fragrance of the mango and the floralness of the calendula.

Gorgeous!

Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Mango, Nutty, Perfume

Christina

You know, I really should try to find more mango-flavoured teas. I still miss the bit of Marquis de Gris (Mango EG) from RiverTea that I tried once…

teaqueen

Well, I can certainly recommend this one! Also, mango EG sounds amazing.

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80

Good amount of tea for the price. Tastes like a First Flush should but on the weak side , a pretty standard daily drinker Darjeeling otherwise .

Flavors: Muscatel, Sweet

Preparation
1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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74
drank Ayurvedic by The Tao of Tea
415 tasting notes

I had no clue what this tea was but it sounded cool so I bought it. When I opened it up I was wondering what in the world I was looking at. This is holy basil tea from India known as a healing plant and is considered sacred to some. The taste of this tea is completely different than anything else so I cannot compare it to anything- however, just imagine what would happen if India chai met yerba mate and blended together… that’s what it would be closest to. Rather strong and out there taste overall. Fun to try if you get the chance to taste a holy basil you should take it to understand the unique taste.

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55

I’ve had so many black/lemon blends over the years that I’ve really enjoyed—unfortunately, this isn’t one of them. I think I was expecting more of a “lemon peel” flavor, and the lemon myrtle isn’t the same. There’s something menthol-like in the flavor that I find distracting or overpowering.

I can drink this if I mix it half and half with a straight black tea, but I won’t reorder it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 30 OZ / 887 ML

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80

The dry flowers have a light fruity aroma. I put them in my 6 oz. glass teapot and gave them a good rinse, then brewed them for 3 min. at 185 degrees. The resulting medium-dark yellow brew was slightly bitter, so I tried a lower temperature the second time.

5-6g of flowers, 6 oz. of 170 degree water for 3 minutes: Now we’re talking! I got a golden yellow brew without much aroma, but fairly smooth with a mineral aftertaste. The surprise came after I let it cool for a bit—it became much sweeter, with a spicy warm flavor very much like cinnamon and fruit. Drinkable apple cobbler :)

Good for 2-3 infusions using this much “leaf” in a small pot.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Mineral

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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75

I found this tea to e a bit dry tasting but overall it was pleasant to drink a large cup of. It’s an economical tea for the price and the tin it comes in has a cover which is nice. Overall the tea is decent though.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Smoked Earl Grey by The Tao of Tea
624 tasting notes

Pulled a serving of this out of one of the traveling boxes. I’m wondering if this is the right tea. It is a little smokey and not really EG like. A few sips in and the tea base is what I mostly taste. It’s mellow and smooth, a little bit of dry grass/hay flavor on top of malt. But that isn’t right, is it?! I feel like I need to walk away from the cup for a few minutes and come back later. Nope, still not what I would expect with the name, but also a very enjoyable cup.

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

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95

Thank you Cookies for an amazing tea!
Heavy notes of pine and ceder , lighter notes of smokiness like a keemun tea and some dry cherry . a definite order for me soon !

Flavors: Cedar, Cherry, Pine, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
cookies

Oh, nice! It wasn’t supposed to get there until Saturday. Glad you like this one.

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83
drank Ginger Peach by The Tao of Tea
73 tasting notes

This was a perfect treat for me this morning. My stomach is not always reliable these days, with pregnancy food aversions and queasiness coming and going constantly…but I still need my daily cup of tea and this was quite a soothing choice. I’ve been enjoying several ginger teas the last few months, including ginger rooibos and ginger pu-erh, my go-to tummy helpers, but I’m glad to try something new and fruity!

This has all the elements I could ask for right now: nice dark black tea to get me going, combined with a lovely light peach flavor and warm ginger. I like how the ginger isn’t too spicy or strong in this tea. It works really well with the sweet peach. Smooth, soothing, warm, mellow and bright—this is very good! I am glad I have enough to last until my baby is born!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

Just read some nice info about a micronutrient that is healthy for pregnancies and is best had from tea, as 85% of it comes through in the beverage. Starts with an “R”? It is an element.

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I had this tea this morning. This was a sample from Cameron B.

When I smelled the leaves dry, I thought “uh oh”. It wasn’t a good smell to me. Kind of leathery.

I brewed at 200F for 3 min, 8oz. I can truthfully say I have never had a tea like this one. I wanted something different and I certainly got something different.

This is a very bold robust black tea. It brews up really dark. It was very woody & earthy with notes of leather . I’ve read notes with others saying they got leather notes in other teas. When I would read that, I would cringe. Yuk. Leather. However, it’s not as terrible as it seems. It was actually quite good. It was sweet and smooth and also had fig notes.

Will I be wanting to buy this tea? No , but I’m glad I got the chance to try it!

Flavors: Earth, Fig, Leather, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Good morning, Steepster! My first tea for today came from miss cookies, who has been sweet enough to let me try a bunch of teas from The Tao of Tea, a company that I was curious about. I’m excited for this one, partially because I find the name adorable and partially because I’ve tasted some Ceylons that I really enjoyed lately. This one has teeny thin and dark leaves (no silver stripes, hmm…). I’m getting a strong citrus aroma from the leaves, as well as hay and honey.

The steeped tea smells rich and sweet with a raisin-y aroma. This tea has a rather simple flavor, but still a tasty one! It’s strong on the malt and has an Assam-like intensity that borders on bitterness. However, the molasses and raisin notes really improve this for me, as those are a couple of my favorite flavors to find in black teas. There’s a teeny bit of drying sensation at the end. Pretty tasty!

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Nilgiri Blue by The Tao of Tea
972 tasting notes

This sample came from cookies. Another Nilgiri tea to try! The leaves of my sample and much more broken than the picture implies, but they still have that light & feathery Nilgiri look about them. Color is a dark and warm chocolate brown. The leaves smell of dry, sweet hay.

This tea smells and tastes rather generic to me. When I say generic, I mean that it reminds me of unsweetened iced tea that you would get at a restaurant, or Lipton tea bags. It’s not unpleasant to drink, there just isn’t a lot of flavor aside from that plain ol’
“black tea” that I don’t know how to describe. There’s a touch of grassiness perhaps. It’s not bitter at all, and quite smooth, so it has that going for it. Overall, just not enough flavor for me!

Flavors: Grass, Smooth, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I’m so glad I tried this at home last night because it meant I got to share it with my boyfriend and try it both plain and as a latte. One of my coworkers got me the vanilla latte powder from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for Christmas. As it’s one of those things that I really like but can’t justify the cost of, I am using it sparingly. I happened to have some milk on hand (another rare occurrence) and figured that a creamy vanilla rose latte sounded fan-freaking-tastic. And oh boy was it ever! Granted, I went very easy on the milk, adding only maybe a tablespoon to my 12 oz cup, out of concern that it might otherwise overpower the rose too much. It was perfect.

As a plain cup, the base could be tasted but seemed mostly to be keeping the rose from tasting too “grandma’s perfume.” So, that was good :)

I was also able to get two very nice steeps out of the same leaves, which makes me very happy because I could see myself drinking lots of this at work.

Flavors: Rose

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70

This one came from miss cookies. She sent me several Tao of Tea samples, which made me very happy since I was curious about the company. Thanks cookies! This one has somewhat broken leaves, and they’re a dark greyish brown with a few golden tips. Dry scent is mostly dry hay with a lot of sweetness, almost as if there’s honey involved.

The steeped tea smells somewhat smoky, which I was not expecting. Hmm, I think this tea is not for me. It’s not horrible or anything, but it’s definitely quite earthy. There’s also a touch of wood, along with mineral and slightly smoky notes. Not my favorite flavor profile… Maybe there’s a touch of malt? On a positive note, there’s no bitterness or astringency here, which is appreciated. :)

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Mineral, Smoke, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I apologize – I no longer recall who shared this with me. Thanks, if it was you!

The tea is definitely noticeable though I don’t get any specific notes from it, like malt or anything. The cardamom is the strongest note here but strangely, from seeing the number of pods in this blend, the spicing as a whole is not terribly strong. It’s not bad, but there is an odd aftertaste to it that I’m not sure I care for enough to put this on my wishlist.

Made with 4 oz light cream and 4 oz water, 2 teaspoons chai & 1 tablespoon sugar. If I had more of this I’d try it with honey next time.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Black Dragon by The Tao of Tea
408 tasting notes

It’s a foggy day and I had to go to the balcony to take pictures of this tea for my blog to achieve sufficient light. So tasting it now is what I really desserve because it ’s chilly this morning.

This is an Oolong , result of a swap with Jillian. The Tao of Tea is another company I did not know before.

The smell is slightly roasted but nothing truly exceptional.

The tea is steeping for 5 minutes and the leaves unfold a little but not that much. The liquor is of a beautiful amber .

The taste is rather disappointing , slightly roasted , slightly woody but nothing transcendent. Correct.

This is so a sympathic Oolong but I do not really want to redo a second teapot now .

It’s a tea I ‘ll take to the office on Monday , it will be perfect there, I’ll drink it without too much attention.

Pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/black-dragon-oolong-the-tao-of-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Malty Assam by The Tao of Tea
972 tasting notes

Happy New Year, everyone!

This is another sample from cookies. I’ve been curious about Tao of Tea as a company for a while, so thanks to cookies for allowing me to sample some of their black teas! The leaves are fairly intact, and they’re long and thin. Color is extremely dark chocolate, almost black. They smell of sweet, dry hay.

This is definitely a malty, somewhat generic Assam. The malt comprises most of the flavor, but there’s a little touch of dried fruit and caramelized sugar richness. I don’t taste salt as others have mentioned, but there is something very mild that almost reminds me of menthol? But I could be imagining that part. ;) Astringency is mild to medium with no bitterness.

Flavors: Astringent, Burnt Sugar, Dried Fruit, Malt, Tannic

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Another sample from cookies. She recommended I try this one next since it’s apparently quite similar to the Wild Black from Titan that I just tried. The leaves look somewhat different – the color is more of a chocolate brown than black and they’re more broken. There are some stems and golden tips included as well. Dry scent is similarly woody but with more of a sweet note.

The taste is also fairly similar, with strong wood and earth/mineral flavors. However, this tea is a bit smoother and less harsh, and there’s a nice creamy note and smooth mouthfeel. It’s a bit sweet, and it’s a clear sweetness that, along with the mineral note, makes me think of cool stream water. There’s also a teensiest bit of dried fruit, possibly raisin or cherry. Pretty tasty!

Flavors: Creamy, Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

It’s not pure smoke, you can taste the tea, and it’s good :) I love cooking with it and taking it camping.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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