The Tao of Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

56
drank Red Bush Chai by The Tao of Tea
2576 tasting notes

Purchased a tin of this at the Berkeley Bowl last night. I’ve been looking for a good rooibos chai but sadly, this isn’t it. I should have read the list of ingredients on the tin. It has cinnamon, clove, cardamom and spearmint. Why would you put spearmint in a chai?

The flavor of this is… interesting I guess. I definitely taste the cinnamon and the spearmint but the clove and cardamom aren’t too prominent. I added soymilk and about a teaspoon of coconut sugar but I’m not too impressed with it. I will need to tinker around with it and see if adding fennel or a bit of ginger improves it somewhat.

I will probably finish it off eventually but definitely don’t love it. I think I just need to go to Rishi’s website and order their West Cape Chai.

p.s. it also leaves an aftertaste in your mouth like toothpaste… ick

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spearmint

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Veronica

Toothpaste tea… yum. ;)

TeaBrat

and I have a whole tin of it!

Erin Williams

Well this sounds completely disgusting to me

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80
drank Lincang Maofeng by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

This is a yummy pan-fired Mao Feng from Tao of Tea.Unsurprisingly, the quality is quite good. I’ve yet to bump into a mediocre (much less bad) tea from this purveyor. The flavor is slightly vegetal but also a bit nutty and sweet. The liquor has a somewhat viscous texture—not exactly silken but more like licorice root—except that the flavor is Mao Feng!

I am surprised by the middling ratings on this organic offering, as my first impression of Lincang Maofeng, only this afternoon, has been quite positive.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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50
drank Malty Assam by The Tao of Tea
430 tasting notes

Okay…this one really doesn’t fit the title to me…
It’s kinda malty, like enough to notice. But it’s also super woody. More like woody Assam with a touch of malt.
So yeah…not really my kind of tea. In fact, I might actually like the other one better.
Ahhh hate when titles of teas betray me like this! :(

Flavors: Malt, Wood

cookies

I agree. I find it lovely but I’ve had much maltier teas.

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80

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Malt, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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79
drank Osmanthus Oolong by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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Preparation
7 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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90

The dry leaves in this one are quite lovely. They’re the deep black twisty twig type leaves that are nice and full. Brewed, the liquor smells a bit smoky. More of the Keemun sort of smoke rather than a Lapsang though. Like a smoldering bit of cedar wood. The taste isn’t smoky at all, but the wood notes are there with a bit of very ripe black cherry. It’s smooth with no astringency.
It tastes like its own thing, not being particularly comparable to any other region. What an intricate interesting tea! I don’t know that I’ve ever tried a black tea from Vietnam before, but I’m definitely going to seek them out after this.

And a hearty Happy Thanksgiving to all my American Steepster pals. I hope you all had a lovely day.

Flavors: Cedar, Cherry, Pine, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
boychik

Happy Thanksgiving to you too !

Kittenna

I believe I had a Vietnamese green at some point, and it had a light, interesting smokiness as well. Very unique.

cookies

Thanks, boychik!

Kittenna- That sounds delicious. I’m going to have to look for some Vietnamese greens. I think I saw some from this company…

Kittenna

IDK if it was just coincidental, or a “thing”, but lightly smoky greens are certainly interesting!

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68
drank Golden Tips Assam by The Tao of Tea
430 tasting notes

Got a tin of this for pretty cheap in my Iherb order!
So, was expecting a lot more in this tea, but find myself kinda disappointed.
When it was steeping it mainly smelled like wood (as you guys know, I really dislike woody teas).
I ended up over-steeping this one by like a minute or two on accident, But I kinda doubt that that is why it mainly tastes like wood. There was a little malt, but mainly wood taste. :/ Think I will have to try this a couple more times before I decide if I should keep it or not. On the bright side, at least I got it really cheap and I don’t feel like I totally wasted my money! XD

Flavors: Malt, Wood

cookies

Sipping on this one right now! Sorry you don’t like it :(

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84
drank Wenshan Baozhong by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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Flavors: Cream

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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72

This is another tea that I picked up at Whole Foods recently in the bulk section. I go to Whole Foods only occasionally and it’s usually for tea, I’m much too broke to buy my food there hehe. I knew that I wanted a Japanese green. That brisk, refreshing vegetal character has been calling me all week and I had none at home.

I was honestly pretty impressed by the appearance and aroma of the dry leaf. The leaves were in pretty large and regular pieces and posessed a nice dark emerald color. The smell was a bright mix of hay and fruit. Once brewed, the overall flavors matched what I had expected based on the smell: a bit of the usual vegetal flavor (fairly light), some “hay” flavor reminiscent of a Chinese white tea, and some pleasant and refreshing fruit notes. I can’t put my finger on what fruits I would say it evoked, but if I had to pick one I suppose it might be melon. Not bad stuff.

Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Vegetal

Preparation
2 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Thanks for the sample cookies

This BOLD tea was exactly the kick in the pants I needed this afternoon. It is sweet, malty, bold and a little astringent. Did I mention it is bold? OK, just making sure ;)

Good stuff!

Marzipan

Was it bold?

cookies

Really love this one. Though I didn’t find it especially bold when following their steeping directions.

Stephanie

I will admit to not following instructions :P

Cameron B.

Yeah, who follows instructions? Psh. :P

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75

I found this matcha at the Bi-Rite supermarket in San Francisco. Usually I get my matcha in Japantown, but I figured I would give this a whirl. The price was reasonable – approximately $18.99 for 3 oz.

I would say this is much more a food grade matcha than a ceremonial matcha, which is fine because I mostly will use it in smoothies and lattes. I did want to try it plain at least once, however. It isn’t bad plain, it has a strong seaweed and grassy flavor. I should really get some ceremonial grade matcha for drinking plain.

My favorite part of matcha is just the preparation, here’s my matcha bowl which was whipped with the standard type chasen:

http://instagram.com/p/uvtZ9PILeq/

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Stephanie

Lovely matcha bowl!

TeaBrat

Thanks! It came from Japantown

Kittenna

I still don’t think I’ve ever drank plain matcha…

TeaBrat

@kIttena, you should try it someday :)

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drank Jade Cloud by The Tao of Tea
2 tasting notes

2 minutes, 2 pinches at work.
Leaves still tight after first steep.

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87

Oh, sweet malty. This is very good with my apple pie. It has the nice, malty flavour. There is also a sweetness, and it is smooth. Thanks to cookies for the sample.

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Kaylee

mmm pie

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82
drank Kukicha by The Tao of Tea
9 tasting notes

Off the bat, this tea smells like fresh cut grass. I get the light chocolate taste listed on the label and that others have identified (it has a little bit of earthiness somewhere in the middle), but it’s mostly about the elegant, citrusy quality for me. It’s a fine, delicate tea with bright notes.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Cut grass

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80
drank Kali Cha by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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80
drank Kali Cha by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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80
drank Kali Cha by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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80
drank Kali Cha by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Black Dragon by The Tao of Tea
388 tasting notes

This tastes toasty and mineral-y. I think next time I will steep it longer to give it more flavor, but I am glad that it wasn’t astringent at all. The lack of astringency is why I tend to prefer oolongs to blacks. I think I will have to play with this one a little longer.

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

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80
drank Wuyi Oolong by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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80
drank Wuyi Oolong by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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80
drank Wuyi Oolong by The Tao of Tea
1366 tasting notes

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