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Recent Tasting Notes
I wasn’t sure how I felt about fermented teas without a floral note to cover up some of the flavor when I ordered this. But at $18 for a 3.5 ounce brick, this seemed like a safe way to try out unadulterated pu’erh without shelling out $100 for a ripe 400 gram chunk with some age to it.
Well, after taking a whiff of it in the bag, I’m hooked. It smells like a gently dampened forest floor, woody and organic with a whisper of sweet fallen leaves. There’s also some detectable dirt, but that’s not an unpleasant note, surprisingly. When you saturate the tea with boiling water, the aroma turns into what I can only describe as the scent of vivarium—clean soil and mulch that slowly steeps in the intense humidity. The taste is what you would expect from the dry scent: woody, earthy, and overall pleasant. Very, very smooth. Nothing fishy about it, no astringency, no biting edge from an excess of tannins. A touch of sugarcane in the aftertaste with a gentle minerality. It’s like a tasty and polished version of the liquid you get from boiling dried oak leaves on the stove to make leaf litter for a blackwater aquarium. I’m sure there are better fermented teas out there, but I’m in love with this stuff for the time being.
Flavors: Bark, Earth, Mineral, Smooth, Wet Wood
From the Oolong group buy: Another charcoal roasted oolong. Another tea that will be unloved by my palate. All I can taste is the roast and sour nuts. Not an appealing flavor combination. The roast has mellowed somewhat, but I still can’t taste the tea.
Flavors: Nuts, Roasted, Sour
10g sample weighed in at 10.8g. Decided to brew gong fu first, using 6.8g.
Dry tea looks nice, large-medium sized balls but quite a lot of dust and tiny pieces. Dry aroma is subtle light floral.
Gong fu style:
Filtered tap water at full boil, quick rinse.
1st infusion, full boil, 30 seconds. Aroma is light, sweet floral and vegetal. Aroma of wet leaves is honey and osmanthus. Tea flavor and mouthfeel all typical of high mountain oolong: osmanthus, honey, slightly vegetal and a long sweet finish. But not tasting anything magical like the best (supposed) Li Shan or Da Yu Ling teas I’ve had. Still, a very nice tea.
Cutting this review a bit short – subsequent infusions were very similar. It’s a very nice tea with a very nice long sweet finish and I don’t doubt them when they say it is from the 95k marker in Da Yu Ling. And very fairly priced at $34.99/56g. But we’re getting above the $5 per gong fu session mark and given the quality of some of their other less expensive teas I’m not sure I’ll be ordering a larger quantity of this one. It really is nice though. Still tasting that sweetness.
Flavors: Honey, Osmanthus, Vegetal
13.3g in this 10g sample! Decided to brew gong fu with this one, using half the sample.
Dry tea looks nice, large-medium sized balls and very little dust. Appearance is typical of the style, beautiful dark green that’s somehow “bright” at eh same time. Dry aroma is subtle honey, osmanthus, sweet milk.
Gong fu style:
Filtered tap water at full boil, quick rinse.
1st infusion, full boil, 35 seconds. Aroma is light, sweet grassiness. Wet leaf aroma similar with a bit more osmanthus and milk scent. Pleasant taste and mouthfeel but both a little thin. I used about 5% less tea than I typically do — will try going a bit longer on the next ones. Finish is sweet and vegetal. Milk/buttery flavors are noticeable but quite subtle. Pleasant slight lingering sweetness. Ahh, waited a couple of minutes and there’s the hui gan. Nice.
2nd infusion: full boil, 45 seconds. A bit stronger and darker than 1st infusion but aroma, taste, mouthfeel all similar.Balance now shifts towards more sweetness and less vegetal. Stronger umami
3rd infusion, full boil, 60 seconds. Similar to second in color and mouthfeel; flavor and aroma slightly lower across the spectrum. Very little tannin or bitterness. Strong hui gai on this one!
4th (and final) infusion: full boil, 120 seconds. Nice sweetness now. Aroma has faded but mouthfeel and sweetness are very nice. Honey orchid & osmanthus flavors now. Still not getting a lot of “milk” from this one. (And I despise flavored “jinxuan” so not looking for that.) Very nice lingering sweetness.
Based on this session, I think this tea wants longer brews. Might just do the remainder in 2 small competition-style brews and catch all those layers at once.
Leaves very delicate and tore easily post-infusions. Possibly hand-picked? (They say it is.) Mix of leaf & bud systems & single leaves, even a few long, thin lonely stems. Those leaves that aren’t on stems are quite torn. Almost looks like a mix of hand- and machine-picked, but I’m far from an expert.
Nice tea at a good price ($12.99/56g).
Flavors: Grass, Milk, Osmanthus, Vegetal
10g sample weighed in at 10.9g. Used 5.5g for competetion-style brewing. Will follow up with gong fu brewing test. I usually use 7g for gong fu so with 5.4g I’ll use a bit less water & slightly longer steeps.
Dry tea looks nice, large sized balls (odd-shapen more that perfectly round) with some really big ones and just a little dust. Dry aroma is moderate sweetness.
Filtered tap water at full boil, quick rinse. 6-min brew in gaiwan. Tea color darker than I expected. Very nice honey aroma. Wet leaf aroma is sweet with floral and vegetal notes.
Tea taste is very nice: pronounced honey sweetness with notes of stone fruit, mild roastiness, something vaguely familiar that I can’t quite identify, a little cinnamon, and…leather! Moderately tannic. Nice umami. Appearance is a lovely amber color, about the color of a Dongfang Meiren/Bai Hao.
Subtle hui gan still there 10 mins later.
Appearance of wet leaves is interesting. They are somewhat torn, and I suspect it was machine-harvested? Evidence of bug-bites around the edges and where present the leaves have a notable purple tinge. Some leaves are entirely purplish and those tend to be very thick and resistant to flattening. Don’t recall seeing leaves with this color or the thick leatheriness that some of them have.
Try this one — it’s fairly unusual and a very nice tea at a good price ($14.99/56g)!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Leather, Stonefruits
10g sample was actually 9.5g (no big deal). Used 4.8g for competetion-style brewing. Will follow up with gong fu brewing test. I usually use 7g for gong fu so with 4.7g I’ll use a bit less water & slightly longer steeps.
Dry tea looks nice, medium sized balls with some larger ones and a bit of dust. Dry aroma is not strongly present.
Filtered tap water at full boil, quick rinse. 6-min brew in gaiwan. Tea color and aroma are both surprisingly light. Wet leaf aroma has notes of orchid, omanthus, honey, peach.
Tea taste and mouthfeel are both very pleasant. Tastes about like what a light, unroasted Dong Ding should taste like. Lingering sweetness is present and very nice but less pronounced than in high mountain oolongs? (I think?)
Lots of 2- and 3-leaf systems in the open leaves, as well as some extremely large leaves (Fo Shou cultivar?), a few smaller torn bits, but I’d say it appears hand-picked?
Very nice tea, and would be more than happy with it as an everyday drinker, particularly given the good price ($12.99/56g).
Flavors: Honey, Orchid, Osmanthus, Peach
Sipdown @ work.
I finally purchased another variable temperature kettle for home and brought in the boil only kettle to work. Just in time too since the breakroom hot water (coffee) machine broke yesterday. It’s nice to have hotter water and a little bit of temperature variation.
100ml shibo, 200F, severe underleafing 2-3g max
Wish I had a little more leaf, but it’s a good recovery from the lukewarm tea I just had.
Lightly sweet oolong with a simple, pleasing taste. It’s not too complex, but it’s delicious.
Dominant flavor notes: lightly sweet honey
Secondary flavor notes: citrus (on later steeps)
Good, solid tea with a slight natural sweetness. Overall, I’d buy this again.
Flavors: Citrus, Honey
Finished sipping down a small sample of this tea the other day. It’s a good aged tea with an appreciable amount of dankness to it. Woody and camphorous for the most part. Easy to drink. At the price BTT sells most of their older sheng, it would make a good ‘daily drinker’ sort of old tea, whether it’s actually from the 1990s or not. Good storage and a good tea.
Busting the last of this out this morning. Went with a roasted oolong as it is a rainy morning here in Lansing, Michigan… Even though it is December and we have no snow and there is no snow in the forecast before Christmas and I’m so disappointed. But I digress.
Anyway, the leaf looked fairly green for a roasted so I took that as it being a lightly roasted oolong. I was right and while I normally skew towards heavily roasted and find greens lacking, this is actually masterfully done.
First steep at 195 for about 20 seconds. The liquid is a light hay yellow. It smells a bit of red skinned roasted peanuts which I thought odd. I sat smelling it thinking that surely I was wrong but I couldn’t shake it. Upon sipping, I find it is a perfect balance between green and roasted. There is a bit of a roasted flavor but it blends perfectly with a buttery green flavor. Maybe a hint of floral but that is debatable.
Second steeping, 20 seconds. This one lost some of the charcoal roast and went a bit more buttery with a hint of bitterness.
Third steeping, 35 seconds. That might have been too long. The bitterness kicked up in this steep. Not cringe inducing, pour out status mind you but a tad bit more than I would like.
Overall, this was a solid tea that I would recommend for both people who prefer greens but might want to try a light roast or for those who prefer roasted oolongs but might want to have some features of a green. My rating would have been higher but for the fact that this does have a tendency to get a bit bitter if steeped for even a few seconds too long so it does require a delicate, nuanced hand in steeping.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Dandelion, Flowers, Peanut, Roasted, Roasted nuts
I’m dipping a little further into the backlog than I have lately with this one, as I finished my sample pouch of this tea somewhere between early and mid-November. It seems that I have more unposted reviews from last month and the first week of this month than I realized. With the semester over I can now get cracking on clearing out the backlog that has accumulated over the past month and a half, so I should hopefully have things more or less caught up by the end of the year. Anyway, this was an excellent Dian Hong, and that should not come as much of a surprise to those familiar with Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s offerings. Despite their primary focus being on Taiwanese oolongs, they do have a history of sourcing quality black teas and oolongs from Yunnan Province.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of raisin, prune, cedar, tobacco, malt, and honey. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond, cocoa, cream, and butter accompanying a stronger malt scent. The first infusion introduced scents of roasted peanut and baked bread. Once in the mouth, the tea liquor revealed notes of malt, raisin, prune, cedar, tobacco, and baked bread that were balanced by pleasant honey undertones. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of cinnamon, cocoa, orange zest, black pepper, caramel, vanilla, and eucalyptus. Strong butter and cream impressions as well as subtler notes of roasted almond and roasted peanut emerged in the mouth alongside new impressions of minerals, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest, black pepper, eucalyptus, cocoa, and brown sugar. At this point, I should note, however, that as the tea gradually and gracefully faded, the liquor settled into a groove where it consistently offered mineral, eucalyptus, cream, malt, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and baked bread notes that were accented by hints of honey, cinnamon, cedar, and black pepper.
This was one of those teas that I could not help but rate highly because there was nothing off about it. In my opinion, it offered everything that one would expect of a great Dian Hong. There was nothing strange or lacking, nothing out of place. This was just an expertly crafted tea that produced a wonderful drinking experience. I have no problem with recommending this one highly to fans of Dian Hong or anyone just looking for a quality black tea.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Dried Fruit, Eucalyptus, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Raisins, Tobacco, Vanilla
Here’s another tea I had gotten halfway through taking notes on until I visited this page only to see eastkyteaguy had yet another spot-on review for something I was drinking. Almost every aroma and flavor he noted I picked up on except the menthol. At one point, there was an addition of cinnamon to the aroma and at times toward the end, the dark honey notes seemed to mingle with some light molasses.
I approached this tea a little differently than him, using a 150 mL glass gaiwan (which was nice to use again and made me look forward to next spring’s green teas!) and started with
200F water with a rinse and steeps of 30 seconds. Once the ball opened up about halfway, I increased the water temperature to just off boiling to see how it would perform when pushed. The tea was steadfast in its presentation, budging not toward bitterness and maintaining its light astringency. After I got through 7 steeps at 30 seconds, I was too caffeinated to continue, so into a pint jar the leaves went and into the refrigerator. I’ll see how that turns out tomorrow.
I’m not fond of honey-flavored teas but for some reason, the honey notes in aged/aging
whites I find desirable. This tea was a good example of the style even in its dragon ball
format. It’s a forgiving tea that’s full of sweet, fruity, floral, nutty and slight savory aromas and flavors and it possesses an ease of brewing, making me think it would appeal to a range of drinkers.
Another one of the samples I got from derk, this is exactly what I was craving today.
I haven’t tried the unroasted version, so I don’t have a point of comparison, but to me it seems like a very careful roast. It is not overpowering at all. The tea has full body and beautiful floral fragrance. I found it to be very refreshing in the mouth, cooling in the throat and body warming. The mouthfeel is bubbly, thick and soft.
The taste has a decent balance, but verges on the umami side. It has vegetal qualities of bamboo shoots, savouriness not unlike egg yolk and slightly sour, yoghurt-like, finish. Of course, there are also notes from the roast, but I dind’t find any of them to stand out too much. I feel like the roast created a very nice robust base, but at the same time preserved a lot of the character of the tea. The aftertaste is one of the most interesting I have experienced – I get an aroma of lavender (and eggs), throat-feeling of menthol and taste of sage. It is also super long and over time evolves into more sweet domain.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bamboo, Butter, Herbs, Lavender, Menthol, Mint, Roasted, Sage, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal, Yogurt
Teapot time. 5g, 100mL, 195F, 10s rinse (drank) and 10 loosely timed steeps of 10/15/20/25/30/35/45s and 1/2/5m.
Unknown harvest, first ever Taiwanese tieguanyin. This was a very complex tea and I found it difficult to form an entire picture of its characteristics so in this note, I’m focusing on aromas and tastes.
Dry leaf smelled surprisingly fruity and cool given this was roasted. There were also hints of roasted peanut and dark green vegetal. Warmed leaf produced very strong aromas of roasted peanut, dark chocolate, orchid? and marine. Rinsing the leaf really opened up the profile. It was strongly pungent, something like tomato sauce, sweetened collards and roast strangely turning into plum, purple raisin, dark chocolate and a hint of pineapple. Again it changed, ending with dark-roast coffee, collards, brown sugar and more pronounced pineapple.
Because of the unfolding nature of the rinsed leaf scent, I continued to sniff the leaves every steep and found them to be consistently strong in aroma with evolutions of charcoal, wood, brown sugar, dark chocolate, pomegranate, stewed greens, roasted grains, roasted peanut, wet wheat and mango. The liquor also was very fragrant, mostly with notes of light fruitiness, chocolate, marshmallow, roasted peanut and brown sugar. It reminded me a lot of the Charcoal-Roasted Yushan aroma. The bottom of the cup smelled like brown sugar throughout. With all that said, obviously the fragrance of this tea is very engaging and a highlight for me.
Moving onto the liquor. It remained fairly consistent and strong in flavor in the first three steeps, starting with kind of an oyster-seawater-seaweed and banana leaf on the sip, turning into pine, vanilla, salt, brown sugar and peanut. The second steep saw the addition of an unripe mango aftertaste. The mouthfeel was interesting. I’ve read in numerous reviews about teas with a powdery mouthfeel and this was the first time I experienced such a texture. That and a moderate astringency lasted the entire session.
Banana leaf came in heavier on the third steep and turned into green banana, persisting until the end. I also noted a strong cooling sensation, especially felt in my ears. By the fourth steep, the marine notes faded and there were additions of molasses, coffee and minerals. As the session progressed, the prominent tastes moved around a bit, with butter and rice, unripe mango, roasted chestnut, grapefruit, bubblegum and a metallic tone. In the end, the liquor became very astringent and ended with a pronounced butter. Aftertastes ranged from strong banana leaf/green banana to fermented fruit and buttered green vegetables.
As I said before, this was a very complex tea. Even though it seems there was a weird assemblage of robust aromas and tastes, they all flowed together really well. It was strangely cool and warm, marine, fruity, starchy, vegetal, savory, and salty. All of this together made for a session that really captured my attention and focus. I’m glad this was my introduction to Taiwanese tieguanyin and I’m really looking forward to dipping into the few others I have in my collection.
Is everyone ready for a potentially controversial tea review? I finished a sample pouch of this tea back around the end of the first week in September, but I purposefully put off posting a review until now. I know that this tea did not get the most consistent reviews here on Steepster, but man, did I love it! This was one of the best and most interesting white teas I have tried.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 22 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 9 minutes, 12 minutes, 16 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes, 30 minutes, and 40 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of malt, black pepper, pine, cedar, tobacco, and honey. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted nuts, cream, and marshmallow that were underscored by a subtle sugarcane scent. The first infusion brought out more of a sugarcane scent along with some indistinct hints of stone fruit. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, pine, cedar, tobacco, cream, and roasted almond that were chased by hints of marshmallow, sugarcane, and black pepper. Surprising impressions of caramel, honey, and eucalyptus lingered in the mouth after the swallow. Subsequent infusions brought out aromas of eucalyptus, caramel, ginger, hay, oats, apricot, and plum. Notes of ginger, oats, minerals, vanilla, apricot, plum, butter, wheat toast, and hay appeared in the mouth along with somewhat stronger impressions of honey and caramel. The final few infusions emphasized surprisingly resilient, well-defined impressions of minerals, marshmallow, malt, cedar, roasted almond, black pepper, and tobacco that were chased by fleeting notes of ginger, hay, honey, caramel, and eucalyptus.
Like I said earlier, this was an interesting white tea. It had a ton to offer, and I think that patient and open-minded tea drinkers would likely get a kick out of it. Hopefully, Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company will bring this one back soon.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Black Pepper, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cream, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Hay, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Oats, Pine, Plums, Sugarcane, Toast, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wheat
I finished this 10g sample pouch of what I think is Spring 2018 harvest. Kind of. By throwing it out.
So… this tea does not play well with long steeps gongfu. It tasted pretty good in the first steep, light-bodied and oily with minerals, salt and a playful lemon but entered bad territory very quickly in the second steep with the leaf smelling very sulfuric with eggs and peanut and butter. Tastes of florals including lilac along with some kale and fresh sugarcane. But it was weirdly bitter with a an overripe honeydew aftertaste that did NOT mix well with the sweetness and florals. By the third steep I made an audible ‘Eugh.’ and the aftertaste was like buttered, nearly rotten winter squash. Like wtf?? Into the compost with you, you bad leaf.
So… stick with short steeps. Plenty of florals in the mouth early on, and with the swallow some lemon water followed by light saltiness. There was a weird fleeting aftertaste of potting soil with the first steep, but I could look past that. The liquor continued to stay pretty light in taste with some vegetal coming forward and light astringency that lasted. The aftertastes were the most prominent part of the tea with a good mix of butter, fresh sugarcane and fresh florals (my guess would be iris) with an addition of coconut cream?, changing into light pineapple, then banana leaf and ending on light peach. Around the fourth steep, the buttery taste became quite prominent and the liquor had an accompanying slipperiness in the mouth and on my lips. The last few steeps ended with tastes of corn and light butter.
Idk man, this tea was all over the place and although it started off nicely it became totally unbalanced. I’d be scared to brew it western :x
Edit: just to add to the confusion, the dry leaf was wonderfully fragrant with a strong pine nut note I wish showed up in the flavor.
Teapot time :) Spring 2018 harvest (I think).
5g, 100mL, 195F, short rinse followed by 8 steeps at 10/15/20/25/30/45/60/90s
This has to be one of the most pleasant high mountain oolongs I’ve come across thus far.
The dry leaf was very fragrant with savory, floral and sweet notes. In the warmed leaf, I think I could identify the savory note as buttered pumpkin, sweet cream and honeydew almost overripe. The florals I recognized were very sweet lilac, honeysuckle and faint orchid. These all became more apparent with the rinse.
The tea started out fragrant and full of flavor with tastes of minerals, vanilla, cream, butter, grass, strong but not overwhelming florals, light pumpkin. As the tastes lightened from the fourth steep on, I caught additions of sweetened coconut, then pineapple followed by lemon water and ending on a light, dark green vegetal note.
The dynamic aftertastes were a highlight of this tea. Very nice floral, sweet and buttered winter squash aftertaste on the first steep that made me go ‘Wow.’ That transitioned into a stronger floral fruitiness with some faint cooling, followed by green apple, to salt and pear, peach and finally ending with a nice mineral savoriness. The liquor was smooth and light throughout, producing a good amount of salivation, though I did notice a little bit of scratchiness in my throat.
I like that this tea didn’t have a noticeable energy, just a really pleasant delivery of tastes and transitions. Neither a floral nor vegetal bomb. It may not appeal to those who aren’t fans of minerals or saltiness but for me this tea had everything I could need: savory, sweet, floral, fruity, minerals, and a barely perceptible astringency.
This tea invokes an imagery association within me more than it pushes me to analyze its aromas and flavors. I feel like a butterfly recently metamorphosed and sipping wildflower-scented dew in the sun. I don’t put any stock into that feeling, meaning this tea is no better because of the imagery. It’s definitely the lightest of the three Lishan I’ve tried recently. More lemon mineral water that induces salivation, asian pear and honeydew. Some very light vegetal, nothing pronounced. Thick but not very sweet. Florals are present, stronger in the nose than in the mouth, like I can smell them on the breeze but don’t have my face buried in a bouquet. Barely any astringency. Could be a good daily drinker due to its lightness and it performs well both gongfu and western. I can’t say I’m inclined to purchase more. Somebody with a more refined palate might appreciate more than I do.
I think it’s Spring 2018 harvest based on website info but the envelope has no date.
Finally, the last of my freebies from a BTTC order. Since I don’t care much for honey blacks, I kept 3g of this to sample before forwarding the remaining 25g to a friend who enjoyed it.
I’m not sure when this tea was produced. Gone gaiwan, 3g, 60mL, 205F, short rinse that I ended up drinking followed by 9 steeps at 10/15/15/20/25/35/45/60/90s.
Dry leaf smelled like faint beeswax, warmed had the addition of honey and wood. Rinsed leaf settled back to wood with faint honey. This was a very smooth red-orange liquor with gentle sweetness, complementary tannins and no bitterness to be found. It started off strong in taste with mostly honey and cinnamon (just like those cinnamon honey sticks) with a fruity backing and undertones of nutmeg, green beans and herbs. As the session progressed, the cinnamon, nutmeg and herbs faded and the wood in the wet leaf came forward with the addition of some minerality. The tea faded away gently. Spent leaves were very healthy looking.
I think this would be a great tea for people new to loose leaf, especially brewed western style and possibly in a thermos. It’s good but the rating reflects my rather non-existent preference for honey blacks.
Well, I screwed this one up early on between oversteeping and not knocking down the temp fast enough. I started off with the suggested minute-long soak in boiling water (which produced a drinkable cup) and lowered the temp only slightly with each steep until I realized it was still too damn high. Finally got down to 190 and decided that was good.In the beginning, even while the tea was kicking my ass with bitterness and astringency, the liquor was thick and sweet with a light mushroom brothiness, some unplaced fruit, cherry, plum, unplaced herbs, minerals, light apricot, walnut/walnut skin tannins, very light floral incense and faint butter and caramel. I’m glad I kept pushing. After the onslaught due to tea abuse subsided, there was an after party featuring crazy date sweetness in the back of my mouth and a pleasing sourness on the sides of my tongue. Lasted a good 11 steeps even with my screw-ups. Sparkling, clear orange liquor with a pink tint.
I think if you pay attention to this tea, you’ll get the right amount of bitterness and astringency. I wish I had more :/
EDIT I wanted to add, if you do buy these, buy more than 1 (unlike me) so you can play around and find the water temperature and steep times that produce your favored cup. I can see it being light if you’re not the type of person to push your brews, but it also has the ability to be darker and quite complex.
This was yet another June sipdown. I only had a 10g sample pouch of this tea, and if memory serves, I drank it sometime around the end of the third week in June. I’ve developed a greater appreciation for Taiwanese black teas over the course of this year, and I was itching to try this one because it was a black tea from the heart of Baozhong country. I found it to be an excellent if often subtle black tea, one that was more or less perfect for afternoon or evening sipping.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, wood, and straw. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread and roasted almond. The first infusion then introduced a definite scent of pine as well as roasted peanut. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, straw, pine, roasted peanut, baked bread, and roasted almond. Subsequent infusions offered new aromas of butter, cream, and caramel, though later in the session, I began to note a clean mineral presence on the nose coupled with a petrichor-like quality. Notes of minerals, cedar, and cinnamon appeared in the mouth along with subtle hints of date, raisin, and sweet potato. The later infusions emphasized mineral, pine, cream, and roasted almond impressions that were underscored by lingering honey and raisin hints.
This was a smooth black tea with particularly pleasant woody, nutty, creamy, buttery, and fruity qualities. Due to it being so mellow and lacking noticeable bitterness and astringency, I could see it making a wonderful introduction to Taiwanese black teas for the curious drinker. Though some of Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s recent black tea offerings have been hit or miss for me, I was impressed by this one.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dates, Honey, Mineral, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Straw, Sweet Potatoes