This was a interesting tea session for me, for I was comparing with another version that a friend just recently gave me. I’ve enclosed pics of the taste off. The one of the left is Tao’s the other is from an anonymous chinese company.
Tao’s Tai Ping:
The leaves are massive! They are a vibrant green and smell of fresh flora. I brewed these beauties in my glassware to watch them dance. I did not follow the brewing guidelines because I disagreed with them. The aroma these gave off was wonderful! It was as if spring was in full swing as soon as my simmering water touched these long fingers. The liquor was an iridescent jade and tasted so sweet! The initial sip had a slight vegetal tone with dandelion nectar in the background. This brew was very subtle but had an amazing flavor! I was able to get four steepings out of this pot full. The fourth steeping was not bitter only the flavors had become nullified and all that remained was a slight astringency. This is definitely a treat that I would only break out for special occasions.
Chinese Company Tai Ping:
I really don’t have much to say about this one. The leaves were very small and a mudded green. I brewed these in my gaiwan for they were small enough to fit. These leaves were very lacking in aroma and the liquor was discolored. This brew was a slight aquamarine color, but mostly clear. The flavor was incredibly light and almost non-existent. This carried the slight taste of cardboard. I assume this tea just might be outdated or possible stored improperly. I was not able to finish it at my third steep and threw it out. I could feel a headache coming on.
This was a great experience and I was very happy to be able to sample two very different versions of the same tea. I hope that I will be acquiring more of Tao’s along the way!
*the brewing instructions for the tasting note were the ones I used with Tao’s
Flavors: Nectar, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami