I tried a different mix this morning, adding a teaspoon of cloves and a pinch or two of cinnamon bark. in addition to the usual honey dollop. This is the most I’ve enjoyed this tea in a long time! It makes a much, much better base than a stand-alone tea – I can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out! Thanks, Steepster, for some great new ideas!
The Tao of Tea
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Whenever she sends us packages, Mom likes to fill the space with things from her cupboard she thinks we’d like. When we got this tin, it was about a third of the way full. Since then, we’ve managed to bring it down to less than a sixth. What can I say? She called it! With a nice dollop of honey it’s a nice even tea, perfect for cloudy afternoons.
Today’s morning cuppa was at work, so I had to rely on water microwaved in a cup. I can only guess at the temperature. The smoky taste is still a bit overwhelming, and I think I’ll try adding some cloves, cinnamon, or cardamon tomorrow. We’ll see what I find in the bulk section. Oh, darn, I need to pick up some new teas, because I’m getting too tired of this one!
My favorite. I tend to get a dry cherry profile. Color ends up darker than Tao of Tea shows in their picture – maybe I use a little more than they recommend. Anyway, it’s my go-to tea.
This tea always reminds me of home – I first tried it when I lived near their tearoom in Portland, OR and I’ve kept a supply of it in my cupboard for a couple years now. Part of the reason might be that my husband likes to buy in bulk and it’s taken a while to work our way through the six canisters he bought me one Christmas!
It’s overwhelmingly smoky, and both smells and tastes like a campfire. I like to mix it with other blacks, like a good Earl Gray, to add some different elements to it. Alone it’s a bit of a one-note but still a nice comfort. If you can’t sit around the campfire with your family, at least your tea can taste like it!
TY to ToiToi for a sample of this tea! Was nice to meet you at our Steepster meet!
OMG YUM! I ran this tea through my gaiwan and wow! It’s light and floral. The floral has this sunny citrus side to it, as well as a bit of sweetness. Second infusion the fruityness is mellowing out and I’m enjoying the wave of floral. The teeny yellow flowery Xs look very cute too!
Hmm, I may have to acquire more of this tea, or at least try another osmanthus oolong. Shoot, I’m supposed to be making dinner!
No notes yet.
This tea is pretty great. It reminds me just slightly of earl grey, but far tastier. +1 for Indian oolongs.
Jury’s still out. A very distinctive, charred sort of flavor. I don’t think this is a lazy man’s tea, so no cup+tea for this one.
Not overly remarkable, but long lasting, and very satisfying. Not too unlike Bamboo Mountain or Green Dragon.
Sipdown, 185. Last of my rose black samples! I suppose I should also have a cup of Harney’s Rose Scented but it is currently hiding in a box… I had to box up all of my teas because there might be a surprise lab inspection (my current “office” is technically in a lab) and tea apparently counts as a food or something. Note that this is the kind of lab where it doesn’t matter at all if you eat or drink, and people do regularly, but officially you are not supposed to. Anyway, I left some samples and my new teas out of the boxes, tucked away in my desk. Can’t be totally deprived!
Mm, I think this tea is sweeter than the last one. The last time I had this I was disappointed in the base, but today I am very much enjoying it as a whole. Yeah, the base isn’t super present, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a tasty cup of tea. Bumping the rating because it is pretty deliciously like rose candy.
I’m so happy the ’Here’s Hoping’ Traveling Tea box included several Black Teas I haven’t tried yet! Most of which I am only having a cups-worth and sending the rest along the way so others can enjoy, too! I assume JacquelineM was the one who added this one because she, too, added tasting notes to this one, as well as the loose leaf being in the little plastic containers that are super cute! Thanks!
This is robust and astringent in a good way! A FAB Morning Tea – it really whacked me in the face – just what I needed this morning!
A special shoutout this morning to SIL
I started posting early just for you!!!
I tip my tea cup to you!
Good pearls, have had better. Sometimes was a little bitter or weak, but maybe that was me.
Tea of the mid-morning here; already got up and had a green smoothie with matcha and lots of fruit; I guess I’m feeling in need of an antioxidant boost so I brewed some of this up. Haven’t had too many white teas lately. This has a nice delicate flavor, a bit of sweetness and slighty nutty (like me!).
Thanks to ToiToi for this sample! I forgot that I had asked for and gotten a sample of this one, it was hiding in my sample drawer under several others. I was thinking about sipdowns and green teas, but I couldn’t bring myself to do either, so I decided to go rose black.
Mmmm, smells lovely for sure. Very candy-rosey, or like rose preserves. The flavor of this one is thinner and not as sweet as I might have expected. I think I have also gotten used to a thicker, maltier congou base for my rose blacks, and isn’t really up to par. Part of the joy of rose black tea is a really nice black base tea that complements the rose and supports it (I just realized that I would love a plain Rose Laoshan Black). This one is decent but I have other favorites. It’s a shame because the rose is very nice here. It just need some better support.
Vietnamese Wild Black Hand-Crafted ~ Tao of Tea
Dry: Deeply fragrant aroma of rose, cherry/amaretto and hints of osmanthus. Overall floral and fruity and very complex.
Wet: Sweet and deep woodsy aroma with nuances of baked-caramelized nuts, and an aspect of horse leather or naturally fragrant oils.
Leaf: Darkly oxidized, twisted and textured leaves, of various size and length with some leaves being nearly 3” long and the density of the leaves being variable.
Cup: A pale brassy-peach hued liquor with amber depth. There is an immediate aroma from the cup that is reminiscent of oolongs served in more traditional Chinese restaurants, where the metallic scent of the pot contributes to the deeper tea aroma. The initial flavor is deeply woody and wild, elusive hints of flavors found around the savored pit of a cherry mingle with a slightly spicy caraway-leathery note, slipping into sweetness and hinting with a glint of metallic on the aftertaste. Extremely smooth and the almost ‘thin’ delicate flavors are confusing as the mouth indicates a denser body and viscosity. Overall the cup is dynamic and is challenging to define, being both simple and elusive, but clear and distinct in the same breath.
Directions: 1st extraction: 5g in 8oz 195 degree water steeped for 2 minutes in graduated glass pot and decanted into glass tea ocean. 2nd steep: 200 degree water for 3 minutes, with same tools, resulting in deeper flavors that were more robustly woodsy and the spicy was lightly hinting at chicory, but the overall flavor remained close to the ‘pit of a cherry’. 3rd extraction: 200 degrees 3-4 minutes and resulting in excellent color extraction with cup beginning to fade into a soft metallic and textured cup and significantly mellowed profile.
Notes: This tea was my first black tea from Vietnam. I’ve had oolongs, green/scented-jasmine green teas from the country but never a cup that was truly black, nor anything so distinctly sources in North Vietnam or from an aged tree from the country. I can’t say enough about how amazing the dry aroma and the craft of the leaves are, particularly upon first inspection and with no cupping expectations. I was very excited to try this and to share it. The cup seems to want to communicate in a complex language of flavors, textures, and weight, with color being vibrant consistently and not a clear indicator of strength. The variable leaf size I think also affects the extraction and its strength and also contributes to the elusive nature of some of the flavors. The notes from the Tao of Tea state:
Northern tea region of Ha Giang in Vietnam is home to old growth tea trees also know as ‘Shan Tea’. A pilot project to help preserve these tea forests is underway. We work directly with this project to source this Wild Black. Long, stylish leaves, well crafted into a robust, hearty black tea.
No notes yet.
No notes yet.
The flavor profile provided by Tao of Tea is spot on. I was particularly fond of the sweet potato undertones. This tea was fantastic and held up to repeated steeping without astringency as promised. Would drink again.
I took about a tsp and steeped it for about 5 minutes per the container instructions. I’m not getting a very strong flavor, it’s very light. It has a definite peach flavor at the end. Perhaps I’ll steep it longer next time.
It’s alright for a green, but kind of … uninspired? It’s not a bad, tea, but I much prefer Tao of Tea’s sencha to their Jade Cloud.
Beautifully balanced smoke and flavor. Tao of Tea is in Portland and is an oasis of calm. The staff are superb.