The Tao of TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from The Tao of TeaSee All 224 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Look, is this fancy? Maybe not. Yeah I got it on Amazon overnight and didn’t pay $140 to ship it here over 3 weeks from China, so what! (Wait so why am I doing that with puerh…) Super smooth, no bitterness or astringency. Rather sweet without any sugar, wrapped in a toasty roasted flavor that reminds me of when you overcook popcorn and get just a bit of that burnt smell, and maybe a bit of roasted barley. Maybe some oatmeal & maple in there. And on the exhale a hint of…cinnamon toast? Great morning cuppa for the office, and maybe the first thing I’ll offer newbies.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Butter, Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Oatmeal, Oats, Popcorn, Roasted Barley, Toast
So I brew a lot of leaf at once to really make the flavor come out for a review. I don’t know if I would brew this strong otherwise but if you do it comes out a dark ruby red, that reminds me of hibiscus tea. The honeysuckle aspect combined with a mouthwatering tartness and a rich sweet smell make me think this tea tastes like plums, or other stone fruit.
When you brew it this strong it wakes you right up which is good.
The sliders on this site are almost impossible to operate on mobile and we really just need a text field. I brewed it at 185 degrees freedom for 4 minutes but I couldn’t wrangle the slider with my thumb.
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Plum, Stonefruit, Sugar
Idk about these tasting notes, this one is hard for me to define. Seems like a high roast gunpowderlike green tea but I guess it is an oolong. It’s nice, not astringent or bitter. It’s a little vegetal but I dig it. Very light subtle flavors that you need to be in the right mood for, this tea isn’t for rousing the dead like a boiled CTC or something.
Flavors: Flowers, Savory, Seaweed
Thick brew, dark for a green, almost amber. Slight smell of veggies, like seaweed, and some toastiness. I may mix this with mugicha. Would be decent with honey. Sweet honeysuckle taste, with a little bitterness after. Don’t brew this one too long or it gets far more bitter. It is weird, the leaves are not curled tightly like a gunpowder tea.
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Seaweed, Thick, Toasty
This is a good introductory Puerh. It’s not very high quality, I’m told. It’s a Shou style Puerh which means it’s pile fermented (wo dui) before being pressed into these little bowls (tuo).
I like it, though. It is unpretentious. My grandma first brewed this one for me, because she is a fan of Chinese culture. It is very mellow and easy to drink, and lasts for more steepings than you might want to drink. I would say give it 6-8 steepings but it can hold up to 10.
You may want to “wash” the bowl of tea for 30 seconds in hot water to open it up, and the first infusion might still have a little bit of the smell of the wet pile flavor, which is “fishy” and earthy to me, like a fermented fish sauce, and that turns off a lot of Western tasters. You can eliminate it by throwing out the first infusion, or just enjoy this unique aspect of the style. Mostly it’s got smoky, nutty, earthy, aspects and is not astringent, I find that it settles the stomach, and is quite refreshing.
Flavors: Earthy, Fishy, Nutty, Smoke, Smooth
Haven’t had any greens like this one. It’s cloudy, and the first infusion is “thick” if that makes sense. The tea has a very full body to it. A fine sediment of tea sweepings forms at the bottom of the cup, because this tea’s leaves are so small, which I believe is part of the style.
I believe this tea is very sensitive to oversteeping, anything beyond the recommended 2 minutes gives you more drying astringency. The flavor is delicate, mellow, maybe a little vegetal/mineral. There is little to no bitterness.
I like this one but it seems a little fussier than their genmaicha. At higher temperatures the brew is very different, I could not make this tea “properly” until I got my precision kettle. It’s still enjoyable right off boiling, but you don’t get all the subtleties of it.
Flavors: Drying, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
This tea is basic, but good. It’s a light brew, with little astringency, easy to drink. Not much complexity here, sort of a one-note pleasant floral aspect. Doesn’t really go well with milk or sugar which will drown it out, despite this varietal forming part of many brands’ English Breakfast teas. Very much a hong cha to drink unadulterated, maybe English size teapots are also a mistake. Not a whole lot of punch to the flavor but it’s a nice sip for a morning where you don’t have time to focus on a complex brew and just want a cup of black tea.
Flavors: Floral, Rose, Smooth
This tea is very hard to measure with a teaspoon, because the leaves are so huge. It’s a full-leaf tea I guarantee I ended up under-leafing it, but that’s okay, it’s a pleasantly subtle brew. I will revisit it once my kitchen scale arrives. I made this cup with more water than you’re supposed to, because I like this as a weaker brew for afternoon sipping, adding water many times, at least 4 infusions.
At this strength it’s almost got a toasty-vegetal taste like a green tea, and it’s very smooth. When brewed stronger the peach smell does come out, and it’s very pleasant. This tea goes well with the tap water in my town, which is slightly hard even after filtering. Don’t overbrew and you won’t notice much astringency.
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Peach, Toasty, Vegetal
This is the first tea I have had that exhibits the “muscatiel” flavor profile and it’s very delightful. This tea is very fine indeed, but very delicate. The recommended 185F is a good limit. It lasts for at least 4 steepings in my little 300ml Hario glass pot, with the flavor getting less pronounced but still present. Beyond 4 steepings it’s getting a little extra to keep brewing it.It’s very sensitive to being overbrewed, because it is so dry and astringent. I would also not overleaf like I did today, it doesn’t really benefit from it, the best flavors in this tea are the subtle ones.
If you are forgetful like me overbrew it like I did on some of the later steepings, add sweetener, but don’t do this tea dirty by adding milk. It doesn’t play well with honey, that will wash it out and make it insipid, but it goes well with a light brown sugar.
This is a weird tea to have as an everyday tea, but it’s a flavor sensation.
Flavors: Astringent, Drying, Mango, Muscatel, Sweet, Tart, White Grapes
This is NOT a basic tea, I was just underleafing it. It needs a lot more leaf to bring out its flavor, don’t be afraid to brew 5 grams for 300g water. It’s got lots of great notes like the brown sugar and the cherry juice and it even smells bready/yeasty to me. Would be amazing with a flaky pastry. A very solid tea and it makes me want to go to Akuressa to try it there.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Floral, Yeast
Looking for something to add milk and honey to, a straightforward black tea experience that is still tasty and more complex than a teabag blend? You’ve found it.
I got this silver striped Ceylon to experiment with blending my own English Breakfast, but it’s excellent on its own. Most of the teas in my cupboard are lighter, more posh teas that would be a crime to add milk to, or otherwise adulterate. This is a much more nostalgic brew for me, taking me back to mornings in high school trying to make as strong and hot a cup of tea as I possibly could to maximize caffeine as my parents believed that coffee stunted growth, and warmth on cold mornings. In England I believe they call it “builder’s tea”.
It’s not nearly as astringent as something like a Tetley bag, but it’s pretty astringent. Drink it with food. I may mix it with lighter teas just to mellow it out. Very classic flavor profile that is great for a rainy morning where you still need to get a lot done.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus Zest, Floral, Rich
Whoa. This tea is crazy different at the right temperature. I had been overcooking the heck out of it. This is a review of technically the second infusion, after a 40 second “rinse” with 90ml of water at 190F, also brewed at 190F.
Smells: land after rain, like freshness and loamy soil, but in a good, tasty way, like a good mulch is supposed to smell. It’s got a floral aspect to it as well I think, probably the tea oils I am smelling.
It’s more complex at this temperature & really has less of the previously mentioned nutty/smoky flavor notes. The pile flavor is also gone when brewed like this. Definitely going to do it this way from now on. Really liking the precision that the coffee scale and pourover kettle are giving me. Probably was underleafing this, 5g:150ml seems like a good ratio, but maybe I will experiment with my little Hario and my gaiwan.
Flavors: Hay, Rainforest, Smooth, Sweet
The tea temperature scale does not allow me to represent that I put it through water at 210F, as the instructions demanded “near-boiling” water without specifying a temperature. This is the first time I have brewed this tea with my new kettle that reaches precise temperatures and with water filtered by my new pitcher.
I washed the leaves in 210F water for 30 seconds and discarded the liquor before the first infusion. This is likely why the liquor has none of the fishy pile flavor like the first time I brewed it. Instead, it is a very mellow flavor.
This is a ripe shou puerh and is apparently fairly middling in quality. I suppose I will have to try the fancy stuff. This is a review of the 1st infusion, but I know this tea stands up to 8 or more.
It’s very mellow and mild and if I was using my unfiltered tap water I would not be able to taste a lot of the notes in it. It’s almost savory, but has a sweet aftertaste on the tongue. If I wanted to adulterate it, I would probably add lemon to bring that out more.
It’s slightly roasty but not really, more just a full flavor on the tongue. I imagine the slight astringency comes from me steeping it at too high a temperature, I will probably try something like 200F when doing a “near-boil” next time. That might be part of the normal profile though. It goes away on later infusions.
This is a good morning tea, maybe with something savory like a pork bao or something, I don’t have one but that’s what I wish I was eating with this tea.
Flavors: Clean, Earthy, Leather, Mushrooms, Roasty, Smooth, Sweet
I’m another one of those “got it at Home Goods/TJMaxx” people. How could I resist at the low price for so much tea! Plus I find that I really enjoy Tao of Tea brand teas. This one’s really nice, very pleasant, although quite mild for me. I don’t like super spicy masala chai, so it works. Nice blend of spices, but again, super mild, and I’m not getting much flavor from the Assam base. I would theorize that maybe the way Tao of Tea packages its teas makes it susceptible to losing flavor, but the other flavors I’ve tried from this brand (Ginger Peach, Black Mango) are still super flavorful. Anyway, it’s a nice drinker for when I feel too lazy to make my own masala chai – and I always prefer my own made from scratch – easier to control the spices that way!
FWIW – brewed up the black tea and just added evaporated milk after it was done steeping. Did not make it on the stovetop. Like I said – for when I’m lazy!
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger
How have I not reviewed this yet? Guess it fell through the cracks. I get these nice, big bags of loose leaf at Home Goods, and the price is right, so I don’t expect much. However, The Tao of Tea teas I’ve purchased are surprisingly good! The Ginger Peach is awesome, and the Black Mango is just as good. I usually make iced tea out of these, and I’ve been brewing Black Mango all summer. It makes an excellent iced tea. Fruity, a little floral, robust black base with lots of juicy notes. Super refreshing. I’ve also had it hot, and it was just as good, but my preference is iced. Good thing I have a lot of it! Amount of tea to water is for iced tea, for hot it’s 1 tsp per 8 oz.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Juicy, Mango