This morning, courtesy of Scribbles, I’m very pleased to review Chinese Breakfast Organic Black Tea from Tao Tea Leaf, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (3 g) / 212*F / 2-3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Intro:
“This is a unique black tea grown from leaves that usually go on to become large leaf Pu’er teas. The leaves come from ancient Yunnan Da Ye trees.”
This tea is described as, “… robust strength and powerful flavor” “The body is thick and heavy”.
”Region: Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.”

Leaf: Thick & thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves 2 cm or less.
Fragrance: Fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear, dark amber
Aroma: Mild earthy
Flavor: Malty and earthy

2-min: Clear, medium amber. Not yet, I’ll give it another minute.
3-min: Clear, dark amber. This is a unique breakfast tea. The initial sip is a juicy, medium-bodied, very smooth, malty and earthy black tea with zero astringency or bitterness. The end of the sip has some heaviness to it. With 3 g / 8 oz. it’s not robust and doesn’t have a thick body. There is a definite juicy aftertaste that persists long on the front of the tongue similar to a Keemun.

Tao Tea Leaf’s western brewing instructions don’t specify a 6 oz. teacup or an 8 oz. cup/mug. Thus, 3 g maybe too little of this tea for 8 oz. of water. For Gong Fu they also don’t specify what size gaiwan.

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
4-min: A little longer …
6-min: Reducing to 6 oz. helped somewhat. I was able brew a 2nd lighter cup with a similar flavor profile.

Since I typically brew black teas Western style, I then tried: 6 oz. / 2 tsp. (4 g) / 212*F. Fortunately, Scribbles sent a very generous sample. 

2-min: A full-bodied, fairly robust, somewhat thick, smooth, juicy, malty and earthy black breakfast tea with zero astringency or bitterness. There is a definite juicy aftertaste that persists long on the front of the tongue similar to a Keemun. Fortunately, this preparation is definitely much more satisfying than the first cup. However, as the cup cools, the flavor profile becomes less robust and not as satisfying. I can understand why Scribbles wrote in her review: “Today, I’m not feeling the love for this tea.”

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
4-min: A reasonable resteep.

Impression: A full-bodied, fairly robust, somewhat thick, smooth, juicy, malty and earthy black breakfast tea with a definite juicy aftertaste that persists long on the front of the tongue.

Pros: Organic, I love the simplicity of 212*F (100*C) – no thermometer needed (especially if one is in a hurry).

Cons: 4 g for 6 oz. , Volatile flavor profile becomes less satisfying as the cup cools

Thanks to Scribbles for sharing a very generous sample of this unique Chinese Breakfast Organic Black Tea.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Earth, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

Whoa! That’s a killer review if I ever saw one looseTman :-)

looseTman

Thank you!

gmathis

I don’t have an analytical bone in my body, but I definitely liked this tea, too. Juicy is a fine and fitting adjective for it.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, gamthis, I’m like you, don’t have any analytical skills, probably why I admire people who do so much!

looseTman

gmathis, Perhaps different brewing parameters?

looseTman

gmathis, I see from your tasting note that you brewed this tea western style for 3 minutes. Do you recall the other brewing parameters (oz. / tsp (g) / temp.) you used to create an enjoyable cup of this tea?

gmathis

I wish I did. As you can tell from my loosey-goosey tasting notes, my “recipe” notes are like my mom’s—a glob, a smidge, a glump, “just let it set for a bit…” My black tea habits tend to run toward a “heaping” teaspoon, and close to 4:00 when I’m paying attention. Sorry that’s as exacting as I can get.

looseTman

I was initially impressed with this tea using these parameters: 6 oz. / 2 tsp. (4 g) / 212*F / 2 min. However, the volatile flavor profile became much less satisfying as the cup cooled.

looseTman

Please see: 8/3/14 Update

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Comments

TheTeaFairy

Whoa! That’s a killer review if I ever saw one looseTman :-)

looseTman

Thank you!

gmathis

I don’t have an analytical bone in my body, but I definitely liked this tea, too. Juicy is a fine and fitting adjective for it.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, gamthis, I’m like you, don’t have any analytical skills, probably why I admire people who do so much!

looseTman

gmathis, Perhaps different brewing parameters?

looseTman

gmathis, I see from your tasting note that you brewed this tea western style for 3 minutes. Do you recall the other brewing parameters (oz. / tsp (g) / temp.) you used to create an enjoyable cup of this tea?

gmathis

I wish I did. As you can tell from my loosey-goosey tasting notes, my “recipe” notes are like my mom’s—a glob, a smidge, a glump, “just let it set for a bit…” My black tea habits tend to run toward a “heaping” teaspoon, and close to 4:00 when I’m paying attention. Sorry that’s as exacting as I can get.

looseTman

I was initially impressed with this tea using these parameters: 6 oz. / 2 tsp. (4 g) / 212*F / 2 min. However, the volatile flavor profile became much less satisfying as the cup cooled.

looseTman

Please see: 8/3/14 Update

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

My wife & I are passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, thick & creamy smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs). Currently, our focus is on ripe pu-erh teas.

We especially enjoy teas with a mildly-sweet rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to bittersweet cocoa.

Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are greatly appreciated. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Our recent orders have been from: Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, Verdant, Berylleb (ebay), Grandness (Aliexpress), King Tea, Yunnan Sourcing. Kudos to them as they have all been extremely helpful.

Our cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

Current Gogng Fu Brewing Method:
10-15g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 20 min rest / 5s / 5 / 5 / 5 / 15 / 30 / 60 /120. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Digital variable-temp electric kettle and a tempered 6 oz. gaiwan:
http://steepster.com/teaware/bonavita/39130-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle
https://steepster.com/teaware/butiki-teas/39240-flower-gaiwan
https://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75184-double-wall-clear-glass-cha-hai-tea-pitcher-200ml
http://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75183-sonsitai-sst-082-ss-fine-mesh-tea-strainer
http://steepster.com/teas/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

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Mid-Atlantic, USA

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