Tea from Taiwan

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this sample was pretty good. i love the packaging on these samples this company uses. the dry leaf smelled more vegetable than floral. i used205f water starting at 45 seconds and increased brew time when needed. the soup pale yellow/green and the flavors were a bit creamy and some floral and gamy or vegetable notes. all in all a good standard oolong.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I really enjoyed this straight forward yet not simple Oolong. Its a delight to have on a summer day. only mildly astringant, but that could be my brewing.
Teasoup neither thin nor thick, and not buttery or creamy but clean refreshing heavy floral nose and taste and backdrop of fruit, maybe peach or melons. steeped at 30 seconds , increasing as session went on.

Flavors: Astringent, Cantaloupe, Citrus, Floral, Flowers, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Melon

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I had a sample of this tea in one of my tea boxes and it proved to be a great start of a weekend. This Dong Ding was incredible throughout the Gongfu session (seven steeps total), starting with moderate floral notes and creamy mouthfeel followed by mild buttery notes and finishing with honey impression in throat. Along this profile, every sip is followed by clear notes of stone fruits and mild sweetness. I didn’t try as much Dong Ding oolongs but this one was the best so far!

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Stonefruits

195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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This is a great oolong. Some of them leave me not feeling so great… for whatever odd reason. But this one is smooth and doesn’t give me any weird tingle sensations in my throat. Smooth with some sweetness. A bit of creaminess. Grassy. Actually this is the first time Ive had a tea that has more of a sweet grass. The dry smell is like cherrios….?

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass

2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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From the Lewis & Clark teabox a while ago… gradually making progress! Sadly, this oolong seems to be a good one, but the flavors are never distinct enough for me. It’s a tough one to figure out. The flavor stays pretty consistent throughout three steeps. The scent of the cup makes me think it will be a sweet oolong, but the flavor is a little savory. It seems to lie in the middle of sweet and savory though. A little buttery, salty, seaweed, but also fruity (maybe something mild like mango?) and sweet. Not as savory as some oolongs tend to be, but also not as sweet. Kind of disappointing… I’d rather it decides what it wants to be! Perhaps this one needs other steeping parameters though. Definitely never was over astringent… very smooth throughout.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. // rinse // 8 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 8 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min


a Da Yu Ling that is not distinctive, that is incredibly tragic!


Yeah, but like I said, it might be my bad parameters!

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Tea From Taiwan is right to call Dong Ding Ming Xiang (loosely translated as “fragrant tea from the frozen peak”) a dark-colored oolong. I immediately notice the difference with the dry leaves. These tightly curled pellets aren’t various shades of green, but a blackish brown with streaks of green. And while most oolongs produce a golden liquor, Dong Ding Ming Xiang results in an alluring dark amber that grows more lustrous with the longer brew times.

Aroma is another area where Dong Ding Ming Xiang deviates from its fellow oolongs. The dry leaves give off a slight forest scent that strengthens with the first steep. Instead of the usual orchid base, moist earth, wood, and hints of coffee lilt from the liquid and wet leaves. It’s not an unwelcome change. In fact, the mix of smells reminds me of early fall in New England. I wonder if the tea will taste like autumn, too.

And it does! With my first steep of 45 seconds using the instructions above, Dong Ding Ming Xiang offers an autumnal flavor foliage. Earthy and faintly tannic, it carries accents of coffee, caramel, and – as Tea From Taiwan described – honey. Not a dominant honey, but it’s there in the aftertaste. The second steep (about 90 seconds) highlights the honey without becoming overly sweet and introduces wood and roasted tones. This is when Dong Ding Ming Xiang reminds me of the current season. If I sit back and sip this tea, I can picture myself strolling along a tree-lined road, surveying the red and orange leaves, and savoring the crisp, bonfire-tinged air.

Longer brew times for Dong Ding Ming Xiang lead to a more outdoorsy infusion. My fourth and fifth steeps (about 3 and 4 minutes, respectively) bring out more of the earth and wood flavors. The honey and caramel notes have also disappeared. These later brews are more like a soft black tea than a typical oolong. They also lack the clean or creamy finish and orchid currents that most oolongs have. (So did the earlier steeps.) While I miss those familiar qualities, I can’t complain about Dong Ding Ming Xiang’s departure from the norm because I enjoyed every drop of it.

Read my full review here: http://bibliophilesreverie.com/2014/10/23/tea-from-taiwan-dong-ding-ming-xiang-oolong/

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Coffee, Earth, Forest Floor, Honey, Wet Earth, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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always disappointing.

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From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

Prepared gongfu method with gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 5 sec, 5, 5, 5, 10, 10, 10, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60.

Dry leaf aroma: initially floral and mineral, then fresh fruit such as persimmons, clementines, and Asian pears.
Wet leaf aroma: Much simpler, though not any less lovely. Sweet, buttery, mostly floral.
Liquor: Light yellow, clear, full-bodied, and smooth. The leaves unfurl sooner than I expected – during the first infusion -, allowing to pour forth flavorful sweet, floral notes, which are consistent throughout the session.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Sounds lovely… I am on their website contemplating an order :) Thanks for the descriptive review!

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Lewis & Clarke TTB

Okay, I admit it… I’ve been avoiding this one. I took a sample out of the TTB and now it’s been a week or something since I sent that off, but the little baggie was still sitting on my kitchen counter, conspicuously outside of my normal sipdown box. I just can’t get excited about green oolong, as I find they all taste basically the same to me. The only reason I took a sample of this one was that there was definitely enough of it for everyone to try, so why not? So anyway, here goes! Looks similar to other green oolongs, although my pellets are abnormally small because my sample was from the end of the package (this tea was in multiple small packets). Dry scent is the usual – peaches, cream, slightly vegetal note. I steeped it for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

The aroma is actually a bit strong on the vegetal side, which makes me at least mildly excited to try this! I actually like this tea better than a lot of other oolongs I’ve tried. It has a fairly strong almost spinach/butternut squash-y vegetal note which is lovely and almost fools me into thinking it’s a green tea. But then that nice peach (definitely fresh peach) flavor pokes its head out and yells, “Hey Bozo, this is an oolong! Get your head out of the clouds!” There doesn’t seem to be much floral, which is a nice reprieve, and I’m not getting much of that creamy taste and texture either. I actually rather like this one! Who’da thunk it?

Edit: As this cools, it’s getting more and more floral. BLECK! :P

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Floral, Peach, Spinach, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Marco Lewis TTB

1st Steeping: Vegetal
2nd: Soapy
3rd and 4th: Lightly floral

Honestly I was underwhelmed by this tea. A bit disappointing because I’ve had great Da Yu Ling in the past. At least the leaves looked really pretty!

Flavors: Floral, Soap, Vegetal

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Lewis and Clarke TTB

I decided to do this one in my cute little clay teapot with my new tea tray and cup.

Boy, is my tummy sloshy now.

But that’s a good thing.

The first few infusions were a little minerally tasting, along with a touch floral, a touch green. Tasty.

Then it got even better. Sweet, floral, vegetal, no longer mineral. I was hoping for a creamy mouth feel, or buttery, but it never was really either of these.

It was just nice. Not overwhelming. Easy drinking.

I’m sure some of the flavor was stolen by the pot since it’s still really new, but that’s what happens with new clay. Someday, it will give back.

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I got a sample from TFT and was very suprise by the quality and the complexity in flavor of this nice blended tea.
I did 6 steeping around from 15 up to 1 minute increasing the steeping time at each steeping.
the first two steeping was very mild with a little smoky, nutty and a bit buttery creamy note in aroma that reminds Jin Xuan tea (but that is all in comparaison) especially when the leaves starts to open after the second steeping.
The third and fourth steeping get more interinting as it develops some sweet flowery aroma combines with a very light spinach and mountain fog. The after taste last long and it’s very interesting.
A combination of the sniff in the gaiwan, a sip and the feeling of the after taste gives you a very enthousiastic feeling.
Very good and balanced tea indeed

Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Nuts, Smoke, Spinach

5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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So I just got this Oolong from a very nice gentleman who sent me a few. I instantly broke out the tea maker and danced around like I had a bag of weed in my hand, I was excited. At first I didn’t smell it in the bag, but I could already tell it was going to be good. I love how it can actually be resteeped for full benefit.

So out of the tea maker I notice it has a spinach smell to it, and a bit of a spinach taste, but do not let this deter you! There is a creamy buttery, floral orgasmic taste that flows down my throat, letting me know that life is good and tea is the key to happiness. I cannot express my gratitude towards the man who introduced this to me, let alone be able to part with such an amazing tea.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Spinach

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Method: 1 tsp, 8 oz, 182 degrees, grandpa style

Dry Leaf Aroma: milky and buttery, with a hint of floral

Brewing Aroma: more floral

Flavor: Solid. It’s not my fave oolong, but I really have no complaints. The flavor is mild, as is the astringency. It has a dry finish, but nothing crazy. I would definitely drink this one again!

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Method: 1.5 tsp, 182 degrees, grandpa style

Dry Leaf Aroma: lightly floral with a hint of seaweed

Brewing Aroma: The seaweed is gone, and there’s a very quiet floral scent. I can also detect what smells like a buttered spinach.

Flavor: This tea has a very pleasant mouthfeel, soft and buttery, with minimal astringency. The buttery spinach comes through in the flavor, also. There are some indeterminate florals, but none of the fruits from the description. The tea doesn’t taste bitter, but I wouldn’t call it sweet either. I think mellow is a good word.

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Method: 1.5 tsp, 205 degrees, 3 minutes

Dry Leaf Aroma: powdered milk, popcorn topping, butter. Back in the day, my parents used to buy this powdered faux butter popcorn topping. You would pop your corn and sprinkle it on. That’s what these tea leaves smell like!

Brewing Aroma: Milky and sweet, with a hint of floral

Flavor: This isn’t as creamy as I expected, and the texture is thinner than I thought, but it’s still quite good. I’m not sure that milky oolongs are my thing, but I like trying them out. This was even better with some tea biscuits. They gave the whole endeavor a sort of milk and cookies feel.

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

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Method: 1 heaping tsp, 182 degrees, grandpa style

Dry Leaf Aroma: Floral and Fruity. Sweet. Smelled a little like baking cookies.

Brewing Aroma: Vanilla and lightly citrus

Flavor: This had a very thick and buttery feel. It reminded me of a very light vegetable broth. This was a very hearty tea! I think it would be especially well-suited to cooler weather drinking.

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Method: 1 heaping tsp. @ 182 degrees, grandpa style

Dry Leaf Aroma: Floral and sweet, like honey

Brewing Aroma: Green and vegetal

Flavor: This has a lightly buttery taste, and a very slight bitterness. I can taste some of the floral from the aroma, and this also has a nutty finish in the first cup. The second cup was fascinating and had a light vegetable flavor. Then there were some fruity hints in the third cup, like grape. This tea was a chameleon!

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

The reason love oolongs so much is because of their “chameleon” qualities :-)


I think you’re right! I need to pay closer attention to that. I am really starting to appreciate oolongs, but as I try more, I find that many of the lightly oxidized oolongs taste similar. None have been exactly the same, though. I was a little disappointed at first, but I think I just need to be on the lookout for what makes each one unique!


For me, their true colours really shine with gongfu brewing method. I mean, you still get a decent cup western style, but you miss so much on the way they evolve with short steeps.
Have you tried some aged roasted oolong? My favourite is 2003 Reserve Four Season from Butiki…a REAL chameleon that one, roasty with super sweet caramel notes, spectacular!


I know. You’re totally right, but I am just way too lazy to brew that way most of the time. I do try to do at least one gong fu style brew with each tea at some point. By the time I get home from work, I am beat, so I really just want to curl up with a book and a cuppa. I know I am probably missing out on some subtleties, but I’ve also found some teas that are truly amazing, even when brewed lazy style :p


I totally understand, short steeps require more prep and time. Lol, “lazy style” works for me too most of the time ;-) In fact, there are teas I even prefer that way. Laoshan Black for instance is one of them!

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This is a great every day drinker. Very nice leaves, lots of stems if you like that. I’m noticing that with the 2 or 3 teas I’ve tried so far from Tea from Taiwan.

The dry leaves have a kind of buttered popcorn smell to me with a little bit of a floral background.

I’m getting some sweet corn taste in the liquor, real nice pale yellow color. I get about 6 or 7 solid steeps Gaiwan style.

Nothing spectacular overall, but very solid all around and great deal for the price.

Flavors: Floral, Popcorn, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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The dry leaf aroma smells very much like powdered milk to me. Once brewing begins, I can smell the creamy aroma, and definite hints of jasmine.

The flavor is sweet, but a little too faint at first. I try longer steepings, and I can detect a very light buttery flavor. I was hoping for more milky flavor in the brewed tea, but it wasn’t there for me. I did enjoy the creamy texture!

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