This morning, courtesy of Scribbles, I’m very pleased to review Chinese Breakfast Organic Black Tea from Tao Tea Leaf, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (3 g) / 212*F / 2-3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Intro:
“This is a unique black tea grown from leaves that usually go on to become large leaf Pu’er teas. The leaves come from ancient Yunnan Da Ye trees.”
This tea is described as, “… robust strength and powerful flavor” “The body is thick and heavy”.
”Region: Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.”

Leaf: Thick & thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves 2 cm or less.
Fragrance: Fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear, dark amber
Aroma: Mild earthy
Flavor: Malty and earthy

2-min: Clear, medium amber. Not yet, I’ll give it another minute.
3-min: Clear, dark amber. This is a unique breakfast tea. The initial sip is a juicy, medium-bodied, very smooth, malty and earthy black tea with zero astringency or bitterness. The end of the sip has some heaviness to it. With 3 g / 8 oz. it’s not robust and doesn’t have a thick body. There is a definite juicy aftertaste that persists long on the front of the tongue similar to a Keemun.

Tao Tea Leaf’s western brewing instructions don’t specify a 6 oz. teacup or an 8 oz. cup/mug. Thus, 3 g maybe too little of this tea for 8 oz. of water. For Gong Fu they also don’t specify what size gaiwan.

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
4-min: A little longer …
6-min: Reducing to 6 oz. helped somewhat. I was able brew a 2nd lighter cup with a similar flavor profile.

Since I typically brew black teas Western style, I then tried: 6 oz. / 2 tsp. (4 g) / 212*F. Fortunately, Scribbles sent a very generous sample. 

2-min: A full-bodied, fairly robust, somewhat thick, smooth, juicy, malty and earthy black breakfast tea with zero astringency or bitterness. There is a definite juicy aftertaste that persists long on the front of the tongue similar to a Keemun. Fortunately, this preparation is definitely much more satisfying than the first cup. However, as the cup cools, the flavor profile becomes less robust and not as satisfying. I can understand why Scribbles wrote in her review: “Today, I’m not feeling the love for this tea.”

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
4-min: A reasonable resteep.

Impression: A full-bodied, fairly robust, somewhat thick, smooth, juicy, malty and earthy black breakfast tea with a definite juicy aftertaste that persists long on the front of the tongue.

Pros: Organic, I love the simplicity of 212*F (100*C) – no thermometer needed (especially if one is in a hurry).

Cons: 4 g for 6 oz. , Volatile flavor profile becomes less satisfying as the cup cools

Thanks to Scribbles for sharing a very generous sample of this unique Chinese Breakfast Organic Black Tea.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Earth, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

Whoa! That’s a killer review if I ever saw one looseTman :-)

looseTman

Thank you!

gmathis

I don’t have an analytical bone in my body, but I definitely liked this tea, too. Juicy is a fine and fitting adjective for it.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, gamthis, I’m like you, don’t have any analytical skills, probably why I admire people who do so much!

looseTman

gmathis, Perhaps different brewing parameters?

looseTman

gmathis, I see from your tasting note that you brewed this tea western style for 3 minutes. Do you recall the other brewing parameters (oz. / tsp (g) / temp.) you used to create an enjoyable cup of this tea?

gmathis

I wish I did. As you can tell from my loosey-goosey tasting notes, my “recipe” notes are like my mom’s—a glob, a smidge, a glump, “just let it set for a bit…” My black tea habits tend to run toward a “heaping” teaspoon, and close to 4:00 when I’m paying attention. Sorry that’s as exacting as I can get.

looseTman

I was initially impressed with this tea using these parameters: 6 oz. / 2 tsp. (4 g) / 212*F / 2 min. However, the volatile flavor profile became much less satisfying as the cup cooled.

looseTman

Please see: 8/3/14 Update

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Comments

TheTeaFairy

Whoa! That’s a killer review if I ever saw one looseTman :-)

looseTman

Thank you!

gmathis

I don’t have an analytical bone in my body, but I definitely liked this tea, too. Juicy is a fine and fitting adjective for it.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, gamthis, I’m like you, don’t have any analytical skills, probably why I admire people who do so much!

looseTman

gmathis, Perhaps different brewing parameters?

looseTman

gmathis, I see from your tasting note that you brewed this tea western style for 3 minutes. Do you recall the other brewing parameters (oz. / tsp (g) / temp.) you used to create an enjoyable cup of this tea?

gmathis

I wish I did. As you can tell from my loosey-goosey tasting notes, my “recipe” notes are like my mom’s—a glob, a smidge, a glump, “just let it set for a bit…” My black tea habits tend to run toward a “heaping” teaspoon, and close to 4:00 when I’m paying attention. Sorry that’s as exacting as I can get.

looseTman

I was initially impressed with this tea using these parameters: 6 oz. / 2 tsp. (4 g) / 212*F / 2 min. However, the volatile flavor profile became much less satisfying as the cup cooled.

looseTman

Please see: 8/3/14 Update

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an annual winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

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Mid-Atlantic, USA

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