Taiwan Tea CraftsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Still not sure how i really feel about the latest batches of teas from TTC. Maybe it was just this past year but they’re not nearly as juicy and honeyed as they have been in previoud years. That being said, this particular one if a new project so i don’t have anything to compare against it. The body in this one is fairly light, but there is flavour here. Not quite honey, but sweet notes nonetheless.
Starting the morning out with a couple straight teas before i switch off to puerh and flavoured sampllings today. This is a sipdown, which is good because i just added a bunch of teas too my cupboard. Today i’m getting plum? notes in this cup which is nice, but it’s not enough for me to bump the rating up. I’ve been slightly disappointed with these lots from TTC…hopefully they’ll be better the next time i order and we’ll get back some of those deliciously intense honey black flavours.
Haven’t really been able to browse Steepster for a while due to storm recovery, so it’s nice to be back! Didn’t get to tea much during that time, either, but I do have a few things from the past few days that I have taken notes on.
I opened this up this one up this weekend to test out a new pot. Opening it up, the aroma was a little tropical fruity, a little sweaty, a little nutty and a little creamy. rhinkle commented that it smelled like an island.
I found the taste to follow the aroma more or less. That nice, baked creamy nuttiness with that distinct, sweaty tropical fruit note on the nose.
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Nutty, Sweat, Tropical
This was a free sample that came with my last TTC order. It’s one of their budget oolongs and not a tea that I would ordinarily buy. However, this humble si ji chun surpassed my admittedly low expectations.
Upon opening the pouch, intense aromas of hyacinth and orchid filled my nostrils. Following a rinse, the aroma changed to sweet cream and coconut. The first steeping was very fruity with pineapple and notes of tropical fruit. The second steep brought orange blossom and coconut. The next two infusions were milky , with wildflower nectar and honeycomb. After the first 4 steeps, the tea fizzled out and didn’t really have much left to give. A little disappointing considering I can count on at least 7-8 steeps from my gao shans, but then again this one costs far less.
Overall, this is a good daily drinker for those who like a fresh, floral focused tea. The only knock on it is it doesn’t go the distance of other teas, but at such a low price point you really can’t complain.
Flavors: Floral, Tropical
I so rarely feel in the mood for oolong. I really wasn’t in the mood, but couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I made this one anyway.
Nice and oolong-y, with that freshness but with a slight muskiness typical of oolong. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, that of course, I love yet another tea from TTC. I’m glad I ordered this one since I generally steer more towards dark oolongs. This was a nice treat this evening.
Sipdown for one bag of this, but I have another brand new bag, not yet opened haha! This one is absolutely delicious and I’ve been enjoying it each morning. This morning I switched over to my Canadian Maple tea, but tomorrow I may just break open my other bag of this.
A hint of natural sweetness with a great depth of flavour here. This is one of my all-time favourites from TTC. :)
This is the most coconut-y tea I’ve ever tasted. It’s like eating a delicious coconut cream pie or coconut macaroon. Intermingled with the coconut are notes of tropical fruit – pineapple, passionfruit, and lychee – and a burst of sweet flowers. The body is rich and the mouthfeel buttery. I got 8 excellent steeps out of it.
Shibi tea might just be my favorite tea from TTC. It’s consistently good and although the coconut was a little more intense in this harvest than usual, it had the juicy fruit and floral tones that really set it apart from other teas.
Flavors: Coconut, Flowers, Nectar, Tropical
Jasmine! Very sweet and floral jasmine smell. You can pick up on the tea itself in the wet leaf, though it’s a little bit masked. The first steep is a bright yellow, with the sweet jasmine note playing in the forefront. The tea is fairly viscous in mouthfeel, with a little bit of vegetal hint from the tea itself in the background. Later steeps mostly develop similarly, but I found I was able to get quite a few steeps from this tea without losing the jasmine flavor. Definitely quite enjoyable as a flavored tea!
This is a really nice aged oolong. I only picked up a sample of it, and if it weren’t sold out (noooo) I probably would snag a bit more. I’ll have to try their 2008 and see if it compares. The dry leaves had a complex aroma, with fruity raisin/plum notes and a bit of a caramel, roasty sweetness. After a rinse, the roasty aroma came through, strong but pleasant. It smelled a little more dark and earthy, but there was still that dark fruity note, even sweeter this time.
The first few steeps possess a kind of musty sweetness, with a little bit of vanilla in the finish. The roast is noticeable, but I enjoy it – it doesn’t come across as charred or smoky to me. These first few steeps taste like how I would imagine some old books which long ago narrowly escaped a housefire might smell.
The sweetness dropped off to some degree, and the tea took on a more wuyi-ish characteristic, with some roasty sweetness accompanied by mineral notes. It provides a bit of a mouth-cooling feel most steeps and has a decently thick and creamy texture.
Towards the end, the roast starts to die down a little bit. The tea tastes bready and creamy sweet, though this doesn’t last long before the tea dies. It doesn’t have great longevity, but respectable enough for a roasted oolong. This tea was a real treat at a pretty darn affordable price. I’m going to have to hop on some of their 2008 to see if it compares and maybe pick up a larger amount if it does.
Flavors: Fruity, Mineral, Plums, Raisins, Roasted, Sweet, Vanilla
Dry leaf reminded me of raisins which were presumably covered in dust. As the leaf gets the water, there is an added note of “spiced raisins,” but that seems to be the only thing I had written about the aroma of the leaf.
I noted that the tea was very stale, drying, bitter, and had a very subtle note of raisin. This tea might’ve been quite nice in 2001, but it has definitely lost all of the potential of those once quality, tasty flavors. I had to stop a few times during the session to drink a glass of water due to the high astringency throughout the session.
I also noted that “Old tea doesn’t mean good tea—unless it’s puerh; which has potential” :P
I’ve decided to give this tea a rating of 100, something I haven’t done before. This is one of if not the best teas I have ever had.
I decided to brew it gong fu style. The first steeps had a strong aroma and taste of citrus and pineapple, but later steeps gave way to a subtle “wheat bread” sort of grain flavor. Every cup was delicious, and I drank till the leaves died.
Flavors: Citrus, Grain, Pineapple
Drinking this one up in my clay pot. I’m almost completely finished with my 25g sample of this tea by now, though I’ve already tried it a couple times. This tea was the first one I tried and probably one of my favorite. It’s very mellow and buttery in flavor and smell with a generally smooth texture. It has some light floral notes, but I find it’s less sharp than some similarly “greened” oolongs. Despite that, I’d definitely draw its character most closely to other green oolongs with a creamy buttery note. It has the ever-so-slight hint of fruitness to it, which I mostly noticed when cold brewing this tea! During regular brewing, I didn’t notice this note so much, though that may be my own shortcoming.
The dry leaves smell wonderfully fruity, a strawberry sort of smell that I’ve only really noticed coming from GABA oolongs thus far. After a rinse, the fruit smell is still there, but also a very dark, somewhat unsavory one that smells like burnt something.
First sips reveal something very unique. There are a lot of things happening at once, but the first thing to notice is the quick onset of a minty feeling—a quick sort of rush of coolness. The flavor is sweet and mellow in this first steep, resounding of strawberry and fruit and not showing any particular black tea flavors yet.
The second steep brings out another new flavor. A little bit of a low maltiness is sneaking in, and along with it is a tartness that shows up all over my mouth making it hard to pinpoint. I’m finding this to be really interesting even though I’m only two steeps in.
Third steep darkens out more with more of the black tea flavor working its way in, though it’s not quite the same as the chocolately, burnt malt flavor I’m used to seeing. It does have a character similar to that, but it’s faster, and I think the tartness offsets it in a way that makes this tea feel very different from other black teas I’ve tried.
As the brew proceeds on, it starts to vary less, but definitely a favorite of the teas that I’ve tried thus far.