Tao of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

60

Seemed like kind of a bland, generic oolong to me. Perfectly decent for drinking with a meal or mindlessly at work, but nothing particularly noteworthy to make it distinctive or a favorite. There are oolongs out there that I like better and will buy instead in the future.

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40
drank Mandarin Green by Tao of Tea
27 tasting notes

UPDATE: By adding a ton more leaves per cup than recommended and steeping it for a very long time, you can discern a little green tea flavor with a slight citrus note. It still doesn’t seem like anything special to me though.

I don’t know what’s going on with this one, but I’m getting almost no flavor of any sort out of it. I have tried steeping per the recommendations from Tao, I have tried adding more leaves per cup, and I have tried upping the steeping time to nearly 10 minutes. Yet every time I somehow end up with what feels and looks like a mug of plain hot water. It’s maybe like an exceedingly light white tea. No sign of citrus flavor or aroma either.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank GOLDEN MAO FENG by Tao of Tea
308 tasting notes

Well, I did it again. I started steeping this tea and then my co-worker distracted me into searching the web for a dog she could adopt and then I realized it had been steeping for at least 5 mins. So, the good news is that this tea can be completely abused and still taste ok. I’m still not finding much interesting about it but it is drinkable.

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75
drank GOLDEN MAO FENG by Tao of Tea
308 tasting notes

Well, I started steeping this one and started writing some code and then thought “Oh shit. How long has that been steeping!?!”. So, I might have completely screwed this one and will review again next time I drink it.

With my possible oversteeping of this I am kind of “meh” about it. It doesn’t have much complexity and has a little bitterness. But it’s not bad.

Preparation
1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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84
drank Gyan's Favorite by Tao of Tea
308 tasting notes

Second steeping was every bit as good as the first steeping.

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84
drank Gyan's Favorite by Tao of Tea
308 tasting notes

Mmmm. Mellow.

I don’t know how long I steeped this because the timer on the microwave just didn’t. I had set it for 3 mins. I think I was somewhere between 2.5 and 3 mins when I realized my timer was off.

It brewed up super dark but was actually very mellow. It’s a very nice everyday kind of black tea which is exactly what I wanted. It’s not too bold. It’s not too earthy.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Peach by Tao of Tea
10 tasting notes

J+S both love a great deal as much as we love peach tea. So we picked up a bag of Tao of Tea Peach at TJ Maxx when it was on clearance.

After much research online this tea seems to be nonexistent. It wasn’t in the Steepster database, nor on the Tao of Tea website, nor Amazon, nor any other mentions online. The “Ginger Peach” from ToT is way more real, but there is no mention of ginger on our package.

So how does a mythical tea taste, you ask?

When yours truly (J) opened the package, I was hoping for a nasal punch of sweet dehydrated peach. But instead I smelled… wet tissues. Not a great start, but maybe the brewing will release the peach flavor.

4 minutes later (1 tsp / 8 oz), I was inhaling the steamy aroma. But it certainly didn’t smell like peach.

A sip once it cooled down: No complexity. No peach. Metallic aftertaste.

“What am I drinking?”

Perhaps the bag got wet on its journey to the clearance shelf, because this stuff is just awful. Or it could be stale. I’ll ask S to give it a try before the bag gets tossed in the trash.

Maybe this tea is a knock-off? Would somebody make a fake Tao of Tea? I’m left with more questions than answers, and a bag less tea than I thought I had.

Flavors: Paper, Wet Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

This is a delicious blend of green tea! It smells reallly good and has a nice, almost earthy taste to it.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

WOW!!! THIS TEA. Its like tasting a green field by an ocean. Sweet, smooth, slightly roasted/nutty, earthy and grassy. Gorgeous jade colored brew. Perfect.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C

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75

My first pu erh! Before steeping, I took a whiff and it smelled like a hardware store! Tried again: the second sniff smelled like tea and cookies. Much better!

This was surprisingly good. I was nervous about trying this style, but I was very happy. The tea was a light amber – quite pretty. It smells warm and sweet once brewed. I would definitely buy again.

The tea was smooth when hot, but left a slight chalky feel when it cooled. I don’t suggest drinking it when cool, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Shanti by Tao of Tea
257 tasting notes

This is a very finely ground/cut herbal with pieces of fennel and orange peel in it.
The scent of the dry leaf is dried orange peel with the tulsi/Holy basil which is a unique scent. It smells mostly like minerals and dried regular basil.
This is a lovely Ayurvedic herbal. It has the flavors of the Orange peel, Holy Basil, a sweetness which tastes like honey and a zinginess or tartness like tamarind. I like this.
Tulsi has spiritual as well as medicinal significance in Ayurveda.
In terms of the Ayurvedic doshas, tulsi carries the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes,,,but this herbal is not bitter or overbearing. Well-balanced flavors. Very delicious and truly calming.
Tulsi is predominantly Kapha-reducing, but it can also be used to pacify Vata and Pitta. However, it can have a mildly Pitta-aggravating effect in individuals who are severely overheated.
Since I am Pitta and I live in the desert,,,I am drinking this before it gets too hot lol. This is a great winter drink to warm and relax you. Tulsi is also used to treat colds, coughs, and flu so this is a great one for cold seasons. I feel it warming my chest and lungs, this would be wonderful when you are not feeling well.
Tulsi promotes purity and lightness in the body, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins. (info from The Chopra Center & Yogi Cameron)
I am enjoying Tao of Tea ’s selection very much. They have more Ayurvedic tisanes as well.

Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Orange Zest, Plants

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

tulsi makes you feel wonderful ;-)

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100
drank Golden Needle by Tao of Tea
257 tasting notes

The dry leaf is so beautiful,,very long, slender, black and gold needle shaped leaves. Scents of citrus.
The brewed leaves are fall brown colored and very very long buds. I am excited to try this tea!!!
The liquor is a clear orange color with scents of orange cream.
I brewed by Tao of Tea’s instructions and I agree with lower brew temps. I could have kept this in for another minute but I chose 3 minutes. This created a light, smooth black/red tea with subtle flavors of orange and a touch of cream. They caught red apple in their tasting and I do detect it breathing out. As the tea cools, the sweetness comes thru more and it is flavors of turbinado sugar.
Very lovely tea!!

Second Steeping – got another 2 brews out of these leaves using my Gaiwan.
________________________________________________________________________
7/28/14
The dry leaf really does look like needles. Some teas are called needles but these have actually been twisted thinly with a pointy tip like a needle.
The liquor is a bright, clear orange. Like Sunkist Soda orange. It is GorGeous!!!!!!!!!!! The flavor has sweet orange in it as well,,,is this in my head? It’s really not,,it does!!!! It has blood orange flavors too, which is a deeper, more complex orange. The added cream note makes this creamsicle, a touch of malt, and super delicious!!

Flavors: Blood orange, Cream, Malt, Orange

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

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84
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
73 tasting notes

I kind of had that scratchy feeling in my throat that usually means the beginnings of a cold. Let’s hope it’s not! I haven’t been sick in over a year, and want to keep that record! Anyway, just as an extra precautionary measure I opted to drink green and white teas this morning instead of my usual black—hoping the extra antioxidants will help me out.

Mmm, I just love this green toucha. The apricot flavor is really yummy, and it is one of the few green teas I’ve tried in which the subsequent steepings are stronger and just as flavorful as the first. A good “Breakfast Green”.

One thing I’m confused about: this is classified on Steepster as a pu-erh, but then I went back and read the company’s description it seems as though this is really just regular green tea shaped into a bowl form. I know there are green pu-erh teas, and green toucha, and then green puerh touchas—which is this? Maybe I’m just incredibly dense and don’t get the differences between all of those. The description simply says this was made in the same place where the pu-erhs are made, but it doesn’t actually say this IS a pu-erh, so…just wondering.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
littlexsparkee

I think it’s just green, tuocha refers to the compressed shape that it comes in

Charissa

Thanks! That’s what I suspected.

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84
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
73 tasting notes

I picked this up at my local food co-op on a whim today, and am really glad I did! I have never tried a green puerh before, but have been eager to for a while so…here goes!

1st steep: 4 minutes, ~180 degrees . Light, clean, sweet, tastes of apricot and clover. note I noticed after I removed the infuser that not all of the cake had been completely submerged in the water, and thus the tea leaves had not totally unfurled—they were still in a loosely-held ball. Still, despite this, I got a nice first infusion. Light, but still tasteful.

2nd steep: 4 minutes, ~180 degrees. This time I made sure to gently break apart the ball of leaves with my teaspoon to evenly distribute them in the infuser. The taste of the finished brew was much stronger. It definitely tasted of apricot and hay, but with a decidedly bitter finish. No sweetness detectible in this infusion.

3rd steep: 4 minutes, ~180 degrees. This time the tea was much less bitter (but still had a bit of a bite lingering), and contained hay and a mild apricot flavor.

Overall, the flavors I detected didn’t change much between the infusions. The same flavors were present but at varying degrees, and the extent of the bitterness differed among the steeps. The main undeniable flavor was apricot—which surprised and pleased me. I did not expect that at all. I guess I thought that because it is a puerh, it would taste more earthy/grassy/mossy but it seemed more like a normal green tea. Very interesting! And, I might add, it was a perfect antidote to the rich lunch I ate (turkey sausage with onions sauteed in butter, and a piece of 2-layer buttermilk chocolate cake washed down with a mug of whole milk! Definitely not the healthiest meal, but that’s leftovers and they should not be wasted, haha!)

I am looking forward to drinking this tea again. I think I will steep it at a slightly lower temperature next time and see if that does anything to assuage the bitterness. Also, I think I will have to buy some of the organic green puerh offered at Gong Fu Tea for comparison’s sake.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Sencha by Tao of Tea
24 tasting notes

Earthy, with an astringent aftertaste. No bitterness.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Sencha by Tao of Tea
24 tasting notes

I drank this on Friday for the first time – I don’t remember how long I steeped for. The directions say 2 minutes, but I may have gone with 1. It was delicious!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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90

I was experimenting with the steep time today, since the last time I brewed this, I steeped for about half as long as the company recommends (2 min vs 4). Today I went with 3 min, same tea-to-water ratio. I think I like the 2 min steep better. This was still excellent, but there is definitely more astringency.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

I have been having a hard time finding black teas that I like, that do not end up bitter and astringent when I brew them. So I was pleasantly surprised when I brewed this for the first time! it’s delicious – no trace of bitterness at all. The ginger is the predominant flavor to me, mellowed by the peach, with a nice full black-tea base. I will be drinking this one a lot.

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

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drank Shanti by Tao of Tea
2 tasting notes

This tea is quite refreshing and well balanced. I like fennel seed, and it is good for my pitta constitution. It also aids in digestion. Not only did this non-caffeinated tea calm me, but I felt very re-energized as well.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sandy Stith

I may need to try this as a pita-kapha type. Thanks for the review. :)

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91
drank Mei Li by Tao of Tea
111 tasting notes

My lunchtime tea today. Awesome!! Full review to come later. Thank You Amy!!

Have you ever lost contact with a friend and years later, you pick up right where you left off, the reconnection almost seemless. It has happened to me a few times. It’s funny because I’ve realized that even though people reconnect, they tend to be the same (in some ways), yet they are different, still a friend after all the years. Mei Li is one beatiful tea, that sent me down memory lane, reminding me of good friends, and of a tea I purchased from Upton Tea 6 years 11 months ago.

This tea was called Sword of the Emperor, a China Tea with tea leaves that were long and shaped like swords (of course)! Such a beautiful & delicious tea, I reordered it a couple more times. After it sold out, I came to the realization that I may never see this tea again {SIGHHH}.

Then I received this sample from Amy, and I gave it a try. When I opened the sample bag of Mei Li, I was literally transported back in time, upon smelling the tea leaves! Sword of the Emperor…….my dear friend. No, this was not SOTE, but Mei Li, perhaps a sister, as the characteristics of the teas are strikingly similar and familiar.

Heavenly fresh, with delightful smokey, woody notes fill the air as I inhale. Dry leaves are truly beautiful-swordlike and dark green, with white edges and tips. The wet leaves have a wonderful spinich/asparagus, smokey, woody nose (think grilled asparagus). All of those aromas come across in the cup, and on the palate and tongue, with a full mouth feel. The first two cups are most vegetal, while the last two are less so, exhibiting more of the smokey/woody notes. The fourth cup was still very good with fading flavors. The third & fourth cups were steeped at 2 and 4 minutes at higher temps with no bitterness. Truly a special tea for me, I will reorder this one without a doubt.

Like that special friend you reconnect with from your past, very familiar yet different. Glad to see you Sword….er…Mei Li. We’ll keep in touch! Thank you again Amy, mon ami. :))

Cupped: Thursday, December 1, 2011 Reviewed: 12-01 & 12-05-2011.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Mei Li by Tao of Tea
2815 tasting notes

well, this tea is certainly very interesting. It has a very beautiful long and slender leaf shape.

Upon opening it I got a smoky smell like a lapsang souchong which was really surprising!

I stepped this for about 90 seconds in cooler water (not sure of the exact temperature)

To me this tastes of pine, wood and ocean. I’m not sure I love it but it is very intriguing and complex… the website says it carries the taste and smells of the misty northern Fujian countryside where it is grown. I am definitely picking that up here, very cool.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

sounds better than a 76….

TeaBrat

perhaps it will grow on me.

ScottTeaMan

Looks like a stunningly scrumptous tea. I’d buy it, if i was ordering more teas from Tao.

TeaBrat

Scott, let me know if you want a sample of it

ScottTeaMan

ok, I’ll PM fora swap

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57
drank Green Tuocha by Tao of Tea
372 tasting notes

Received this one from Batrachoid. I’m really trying to like green Pu-Erh. Honestly I am but I’m thinking it is not for me. The tuocha smells like hay and brews up a goldish liquor. The taste well I would have to agree with Teaequalsbliss mushroom like muskiness. I just find it to be too bitter for me. Very similar to Darjeeling that I have sampled. Still I am appreciative of the chance to try it(sigh).

Nathaniel Gruber

you absolutely must try this tea if you are looking for a good Sheng Pu’er (or green as you have said)…100% worth the money, in fact I consider it a steal at that price…

http://steepster.com/teas/verdant-tea/19263-2006-artisan-revival-stone-pressed-sheng

or…

http://verdanttea.com/shop/puer-teas/artisan-revival-stone-pressed/

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85
drank Ali Shan by Tao of Tea
19 tasting notes

A very tasty tea. Buttery, honeyed, and a bit floral, the dreamy creamy tea pleases all the way down. It’s one of my favorites right now. The aroma is great right when you tilt the gaiwan lid. It just punches you in the face with awesome. Good for many many steeps depending on how you brew. I’ll be keeping this stocked in my cupboard.

Full Review: http://www.tea-tank.com/?p=10

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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