The Tao of Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

88

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45

Today I am having this with a lighter steep and some milk, and its much more drinkable this way. Hooray, a way to drink a tea!
Its gonna be a busy day. Its my first day of pet sitting for a friend. I did this last year, taking care of the canaries, the ducks, the parakeet and the cat.
Busy!

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45

I’ve owned this for quite a while. I think my sister gave it to me.
I’m trying to be organized and drink down teas that have been neglected. This one might be a problem. For starts, I have a ton of it. For seconds, I’m not very impressed by it at all.
For starts, its not leaf, but these little weird granules, but hey.
And its a bit bitter. There are undertones of maltyness, but its really dark, bitter and heavy.
I normally drink my tea without additives, but today I filled up my little creamer with milk, and am going to try a cup with an additive, and see how I think of it.
With milk its a bit easier to drink. It cuts the bitter down, but unfortunatly I’m not much more enamored of the taste of the tea.
Oh well. I’ll think of something to do with this.

TeaBrat

What temp are you steeping it at? I find I like darjeelings better if you use water that’s below boiling, like 195 F

Angrboda

RE the granules, it’s probably a CTC sort of deal. Weird, I didn’t think they even made Darj that way. Keeping it at a short steep might help with some of the bitterness.

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93

Thank you to whoever sent me this sample! This is a pleasant oolong. It has a nice earthy base with floral notes. There is something fruity going on with this cup too. It almost reminds me of a dried cherry. It’s sweet but still has that tart bite to it.

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85
drank black mango by The Tao of Tea
246 tasting notes

Nice black base. The calendula petals make the mix look lovely. Mango flavor is pleasant, not pushy. This tea is similar to other fruit flavored black teas that I’ve had. I wonder if the flavors will pop mire if cold brewed. Luckily, the lovely and generous Sarsonator gave me enough to brew some up. I’ll report back with a cold brew update.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

The leaves are visible and not crushed, a bit dry but not bad, a bit less earthy and more honey-like on the second brewing

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80

A nice oolong. Rather impossible to over brew, no astringency. Doesn’t over power you like a lot of oolongs… it is clean and light and has a hint of citrus balanced with roasted earthyness.

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25
drank Lotus Ancien by The Tao of Tea
156 tasting notes

I’m so bummed about this one. The dry leaves have a sharp chemical smell, and the brewed tea just tastes off to me.

When brewed for 30 seconds, the aroma smells like bandaids. Then a little floral, like jasmine. Then minty bandaids. When I taste it after 30 seconds: bandaids

30 more: floral bandaids
3 min: bandaids and pine

I SO wanted to love this. The lotus is the most beautiful flower and I spend my summers at the nearby park whose lake grows American Lotus flowers for as far as the eye can see. They are a creamy yellow and contrast beautifully with the purple loosestrife growing in the lake.

But this tea… a bandaid-like flavor is well-known to home beer brewers, because it indicates that your brew is “off”. Some wild yeast or bacteria has infected it. I don’t know what it indicates in tea, except that there’s something wrong with the tea, or with my taste buds!

I tried this again with one long steep, and this is how every sip goes: chemically start, unidentified floral in the middle, with a bandaid finish.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

EW BANDAIDS!

Sarsonator

I know! I’m so sad about this one. I noticed on the ratings that some people seemed to like this tea.

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56
drank black mango by The Tao of Tea
156 tasting notes

This flavored tea has a nice aroma, but I’m missing the mango when I taste it.

The tea was brewed for 5 minutes. It really just tastes like a plain black tea. It’s not bad, but if I wanted a plain black tea, that’s what I would have purchased.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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71

This is a lovely jasmine tea. I just brewed this side by side with jasmine pearls from another company, and these definitely win.

The aroma is strong and lovely. The tea was steeped for 3 minutes and the flavor is strong, without being overpowering. This would be a great choice for anyone who loves jasmine green teas.

I did notice that this particular tea has many more broken pieces than some of the other pearl teas I had tried. But it still tastes better!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

I got this from Another TTB. It’s a decent Earl Grey with nothing to draw it back, but also nothing to make it stand out as special. It delivers the bergamot and smells decent.

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84
picked this up at a local shop. This is the flavor of chinese restaurant tea. To me this is homey, comfort tea. Perfect for rainy days and a pick me up for down in the dumps moods.

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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100

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 ;)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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99
drank Tippy South Cloud by The Tao of Tea
214 tasting notes

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 one scent but there are also hints of orange and bourbon as well.
The flavor is smooth, sweet potato, roasted potato skins, malt, bit of bourbon and orange. 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.
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5/16/14
Had a cup this morning and it was sweet and luscious,,,wasn’t catching any astringency this time as I read my notes from last time. Maybe it has mellowed out in the bag now that I have opened it. This is an all-around good, subtly sweet black tea :)
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7/8/14
Didn’t add the origin when I first started Steepster so this one is from
Cangyuan, Yunnan, China and it is Organic — The appearance of the dry leaf and wet leaf look like an Indian tea. The leaves are chopped looking and have the multi hues of browns and greens.
The scent is bourbon and light orange and the liquor looks the color of light bourbon. This is a unique Yunnan tea and doesn’t have the typical malty notes that Yunnan teas usually have. I looked up where Cangyuan is in China and it is very close to the border of Burma and this is probably why. I like that this tea has different qualities and influences. It really has essences and notes of Bourbon. Yum Yum lol. I really am enjoying this tea now that I have tried lots of Yunnan teas and am able to compare it to those from other areas.
Tao of Tea’s website includes that Tippy South Cloud is a varietal of plant and that few areas in Yunnan contain these type of plants. Other areas known to have golden tipped varietals Hunan and Fujian in China and Assam in India.
Tippy South Cloud is special during late summer months. Since it is a heavily oxidized (darker) tea, it maintains its flavor well over the months.
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7/10/14
Having a bit of this Western style this morning. So rich and almost tangy today. Put 2 heaping teaspoons into my teapot to brew 2 cups. 190F for 3 minutes. A bourbon flavor with a malty scent. It does have touches of an Assam quality to it as well with a tiny tiny hint of a bitter note with bittersweet chocolate quality to it. This tea is very intriguing in its flavor and where it comes from. Plus it’s organic! Love it!

Flavors: Orange, Potato, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

This sounds awesome Lee!

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99
drank Jingmai White by The Tao of Tea
214 tasting notes

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.
Pretty tea.
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6/19/14
Brewed a bit of this Western style today. The dry leaves smell like spices. I am tasting the quince again today and this tea has mellowed out a bit with less butter bean and sweeter notes. Very good. Gets sweeter as it cools.

Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Honey, Lima Beans

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Emperor's Gold by The Tao of Tea
214 tasting notes

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

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Nilgiri Blue by The Tao of Tea
104 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
TeaBrat

happy 100 :)

__Morgana__

Congrats!

Jenn-cha

Aw, thanks everyone :)

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85

4.27g in 4.5oz of water.

Sweet and mellow with loam and malt notes. This is exactly what I adore about Yunnan teas. I always feel like I should be sitting in a summer forest when I’m drinking this.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 4 OZ / 133 ML

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87

Backlog:

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/

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84
drank Imperial White by The Tao of Tea
2306 tasting notes

Finally sipped this one down, it is a good tea, I just am not that enthusiastic about white teas for the most part. kind of glad it’s gone!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74
drank Pitta-Dosha by The Tao of Tea
616 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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75
drank Mate Chai by The Tao of Tea
22 tasting notes

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 0 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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