The Tao of Tea
Popular Teas from The Tao of TeaSee All 141 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I have read a lot of comments about gunpowder green tea today and it definately has a love it hate it reputation.
I happen to be of the love it persuasion.
Properly prepared this tea is sweet, a little fruity, a little flowery and slighly astringent. Very easy to drink. As the tea cools it exhibits a little more fresh grassiness and a lightly malty after taste. This would be quite good iced.
Many of the cooments I read today note a smokiness in gunpowder tea. I found little when prepared at 170° f but much more when prepared at 180°f. At the higher temp the tea is also more sour and looses some of its charm.
Gunpowder isnt a “fine tea”. But its imminently drinkable, comforting and tasty. Its a good loose leaf staple at a very reasonable price.
I prepared this tea a little differently than the label. I used 1 teaspoon to about 3 oz of water at 170 in a gaiwan. I let it steep for about 1 minute. My first 3 infusions were 1 minute steeps. #4 1.5 minutes #5 about 2.
Package instructions state to brew 1 teaspoon in 8 oz of 180° water for 2-3 minutes- good for 2 or 3 steeps. I tried brewing this way once and found the tea to be as above, a little too astringent, a little too " smokey" and over all rather flat tasting and far too strong, leaning towards bitter.
I gave these dry leaves a rinse with room temperature water because they are a hearty blossom with lots of little parts, nooks, and crannies. They remind me of popcorn with a tougher outer husk and then a puffy whitish flower inside. They still have the inner stamens or middles of the flowers intact which tells me how hearty the tea flower and tea plant really is!!! There are also the green base of the stem below the blossom still attached to some which is fun. This dry leaf smells very herbal. I love that smell, like a cool local health food shop with all the loose herbs that you can choose from. It really smells like dried basil and subtle amounts of mint.
The liquor is a golden clear color and smells like mixed herbs as well. It really tastes like chamomile tea but a little more creamy than chamomile. There is a note of corn on the cob in there as well.
I am not putting “flowers” in the flavors below because I don’t think dried flowers taste floral. They taste like mixed herbs to me. Floral is a scent and flavor of the living flower and the essences that it gives off ,,to me. There is no floral taste or scent which is good to me.
I like this herbal as a novelty and I wonder if it has any special healing properties? I like it. I am getting an even more creamy note as the liquor cools down. Very fun and delicious!!!
Adding to my cupboard as one to keep ;)
Little tiny, cut and curled twisted black leaves with scents of bourbon and orange.
The brewed leaves reveal that they have been very precisely chopped small and have a fall reddish brown green color to them.
The liquor is red and smells very sweet and malty yumm. Malt is a dominant scent but there might be hints of orange as well.
The flavor is smooth, sweet potato, roasted potato skins, malt. The flavors get better and better as the tea cools a bit. There is an ever so tiny tiny bit of astringency to the back of the throat so to wash this away, I will steep for 2 or 2 1/2 minutes next time because I don’t drink tea with milk or additives. It is hardly astringent at three minutes though, this is a very smooth and delicious red tea.
Flavors: Malt, Potato, Sweet Potatoes
The most beautiful silver needle-looking, very long, slender, perfectly uniform sea-foam green colored leaves I have ever seen!!! Scents of spice and a bit of fresh cranberry, lima bean.
The leaves were so pretty I didn’t want to pour water onto them but I placed them into my glass teapot so I could watch them. They danced downward as they brewed. Very pretty.
The flavors are very subtle with this white. I left the leaves in for 4 minutes and the liquor didn’t gain too much color and it has scents and flavors of butter bean. It has the subtlety of a white but a few notes of a light green tea. The fruit I am catching is quince.
Flavors: Lima Beans
The leaf is gorgeous. All uniform mostly golden and some black threads. Very fresh. Scents of orange, spices, golden raisin.
The wet leaves all turn chocolate brown and smell fresh, not briny. Very nice leaves.
The liquor is deep brown and smells creamy and sweet like honey.
The flavor is creamy, rich, not too sweet, no bitter and no astringency. There is a sweet note when you breathe out of dried apricot and a bit of date.
This is a beautiful tea!!
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Dates, Honey
1.7 g in 10 oz of water
I give this an 8/10 on the boldness scale. This tea could easily handle a touch of milk and sugar but is sweet enough to drink on it’s ow n. A little woody, a little bit of fruit, and overall very pleasant.
Huh. Apparently this is my 100th tasting note. Took me long enough.
A really enjoyable Oolong. Fragrant and flavorful.
The early infusions were soft and honeyed with notes of sweet fruit (reminiscent of a plum.) Woodsy tones and a rustic, earthy note.
The later infusions offered stronger honey tones, and the sweet fruit notes emerged, and by the sixth infusion, I started to notice the flavors soften and meld.
A really nice cup, here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/24/royal-phoenix-oolong-tea-tao-tea/
I cold steeped this for about 24 hours, and liked it well enough there’s another thermos of it going now. I’m still perplexed how I like this as much as I do, as there are at least two components in here I don’t normally much care for (chamomile and hibiscus).
This brews up such a lovely raspberry color thanks to the hibiscus. It’s a bit tart, but the hibiscus is tempered quite a good deal by the mint and chamomile. The rose doesn’t come through much in the cold steep, but the chamomile does and becomes a bit apple-y. Then mint is the dominant note, and easily my favorite.
The whole thing tastes a bit like apple mint jelly, though. So that’s kind of neat.
I have the Mate Mint by Tao of Tea and after trying the Chai, I haven’t gone back. I like the spice in this, it’s well-rounded and works on multiple brewings (as mate must). The first brew I usually only do for 30 seconds or so, and then drink as quickly as possible through the bombilla. Then I’ll do a 1-minute, and then on the third addition of water, I can usually leave it for a few minutes. The spice flavours aren’t as prevalent through the third steep, but they’re still quite pleasant. Overall, probably my favourite mate.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Earth, Grass
I like this tea. I liked it the first time I tried it, and I like every cup I drink of it. I’ve only had it black, and I can’t imagine ever adding sugar or milk/cream to it. The ginger is light and lovely. I don’t get pear out of this at all. But it’s a nice tea. I drink it a couple times a month. It’s usually not my go-to (as I prefer tisanes) but it’s nice every now and then when I need a caffeine boost.
I’ll be honest, this is the only matcha I’ve ever tried, but I do enjoy it. I finally got a bamboo whisk and it helps tremendously. Apparently the David’s Tea matcha is really good, but the price was right on this one. I like it halfway through the morning. I find I have to drink this one fairly quickly to ensure that the powder doesn’t settle. I like the flavour, very grassy and rich. I’m not sure that I would branch out into other matchas, as I like to stick to caffeine-free teas. I can’t compare it to any other matcha, but I do like it.
Flavors: Earth, Grass, Plants
One of the indulgences that got me through my undergraduate work. I’m not the biggest hibiscus fan, and mentioning a tea that has a “floral” taste usually sends me scurrying in the other direction. Curiously, this blend appeals to me anyway. The flavor is cool and soothing, likely due to the heavy dose of mint it contains. Beware overbrewing, as that brings the tartness of the infusion out to the point where I wince a little with every sip I take. If you’re looking for a summer brew, this also happens to be great on ice.
I was completely out of a classic Earl Grey, and we know we cannot have that! My husband was doing an Amazon order and asked me if I wanted to throw something in the cart. After a little hasty searching I chose this. I was a little nervous, despite liking another tea from this company, because I didn’t do my usual hemming, hawing, and fretting over what tea to get!
I shouldn’t have worried — this is lovely! A good, medium bergamot and I really like the tea base! It’s slightly smoky — very very very light — I would say verging on smoky. Really nice compliment to the bergamot, especially for winter.
I’m drinking a second steep right now, and it’s delicious — less bergamot-y but still a bit smoky and of a very enjoyable strength!
This is my last new non-decaf. tea to try. Kind of sad. I think I will let myself order some new teas when I get done with my first 8 week class so that I can enjoy them on spring break. Only 8 weeks till new teas, hooray!
This one surprised me with how light and sweet it is. I notice apricot in the flavor, but the aftertaste is a sweet grape that lingers. This would be a nice cup to have on a hot summer afternoon, since it’s almost refreshing in its fruitiness. It’s certainly a nice tea to have on this cold and dreary morning. The upstairs of our house is always much warmer than the middle floor where the kitchen and living room is. I literally gasped when I walked downstairs today because it is freezing on our middle floor! Today is a day when the fireplace needs to be on all day long. :) Thank you, KiwiDelight for this wonderful sample!
-Dry blend has small clusters of green and brown rolled tea leaves and small white and yellow petals.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of fresh flowers. Tea liquor aroma is of sweet fruits.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium yellow color.
-Light fruity apricot flavor and finish. Sweet grapey floral aftertaste that lingers.
-Best with sweetener.
-Very good tea. Light sweet floral and fruit flavors with a soft hint of grapes.
While not a favorite, this is a nice dark oolong. Definitely some fruity flavors coming through, primarily nectarine and plantain. It’s not as sweet as peaches, and is definitely on the greener side of the fruits I tasted. Definitely a roasty element, that doesn’t taste like smoke, but more like crunchy fall leaves. It’s a very flavorful and warming cup.
Today marked an exciting day for this tea nerd because I got my red stump for life teapot from Harney and Sons (along with a few teas, of course). Here’s an image of what it looks like: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41idP2M2KPL.SY300.jpg
I broke my last regular teapot that I use for all purpose brewing; the spout got broken on the faucet when I was washing it. One of the reason I was attracted to the stump is the stumpy spout, I figured it wouldn’t get broken as easily. I fretted over my choice of colors until I decided on the red, and now I’m glad I did. It’s really cute and cheerful and 18 oz. is a nice size for one person to have about 2 cups of tea from the pot. I looooooove the new teapot! :D
As soon as I got home I wanted to make some tea. I chose this white tea to baptize the teapot. I am tired tonight but the beau and I are taking a Thanksgiving trip so I need to start packing and taking care of things. Maybe a white tea will give me a gentle lift without keeping me up all night? Let’s hope.
I haven’t had this in a while and it’s nice and gentle. I like the clean, nutty flavors but there’s also a bit of semolina or pastry like sweetness in the finish. If I was going to keep one white tea around on a permanent basis, this could be a serious contender. I don’t know why I neglect my white teas so much, they are actually quite lovely.
…now I’m off to go be productive.
At a dollar and a half per ounce for this heavenly brew, there is nothing to complain about. I’ve had Tao of tea before and never been disappointed. This oolong is floral, buttery and full. I can’t even think of how to best describe it yet; I’ll have to update this post once an impression sinks in. Its flavor lasts multiple infusions and is best drunk in a gaiwan. You could have this thing for dessert, no kidding!
This is one of those teas that makes me want to order a milk frother immediately. It tastes great with and without milk, BUT the spice mix reminds me of the chai latte that I used to get at a coffee shop where I want to school and it was so delicious and I want to remake it ASAP.
It’s possible that it tastes even better because of the amazing price I paid at HomeGoods but it is a nice chai tea nonetheless.