Taiwan Tea Crafts

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Recent Tasting Notes

96

A really rich and tasty Taiwanese black tea. This one unfortunately went out of stock in a day it took me to write this out. Hopefully it will return again at some point. This tea is my goto for making iced tea. It’s a bit pricey, but the flavors are right on point. The smell is really rich, of chocolate, cherries, and oats. The brewed tea is tangy and sweet, like oatmeal made from toasted oats. Cold brewing this tea with a bit of lemon is absolutely divine.

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Oats, Rich, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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81

Sipdown 38 – 2024

Sad this is already gone. So tasty and milky. Like a creamy lilac stew. Will probably purchase again at some point.

Flavors: Cream, Lilac, Milk

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81

Finished off a 15g bag over the last few mornings. It’s lovely and bright, and has been a really nice tea to wake up with. It’s very forgiving for the first 5 steeps or so, but starts to get bitter quickly after that.

Flavors: Cut Grass, Flowers, Green Melons, Lilac

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83

This is from MiepSteep, thanks very much!  This flavor type was calling to me today, so here we are.  The leaves are absolutely lovely, a rainbow of colors.  Huge and twisted.  The flavor is what you might expect.  Sadly I have already had this sitting for another year since MiepSteep has sent it over, so the flavor notes will not be as distinct as they could be.   I bet it was real flavorful back in the day.   I wish I could be more specific!  I will just have to appreciate its greatness from a distance of time….
Steep #1 //  1 1/2 teaspoons for a mug // 21 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2-3 min

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83

Sipdown 33 -2024
I would absolutely repurchase this. So tasty and very forgiving/easy to steep.

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83

This is so tasty. Lots of dried fruit, raisins. A touch of starchiness- like taro. Also some spices- cinnamon, clove. It’s reminding me of a mince pie or plum pudding. I did find this was quite mild unless I used quite a lot of dry leaf and brewed at 205degrees.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Dried Fruit, Plum, Raisins, Taro Root

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65

Sipdown 31 – 2024

This wasn’t a favorite OB from Taiwan Tea Crafts. It was missing the honey qualities that I love in an OB. Not bad though, just a lot of fruitiness.

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61

I’ve had a really consistent track record with Taiwan Tea Crafts, but this is one of my least favorites. The flavor is a bit too muted and verges more in green tea territory, rather than a greener oolong.

Flavors: Grassy, Green, Vegetal

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92

Sipdown 30 – 2024

I really have to get some more of this! Baked brown sugar bread. So tasty.

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92

Wow, this tea is incredible. I think I got this as a sample in a TTC order a year or so ago and kind of tossed it into my work stash and forgot about it. Found it today and decided to brew it gongfu style and I was so pleasantly surprised.

It tastes a lot like Thai iced tea- that same caramelly sugary sweetness. Maybe like roasted candy-coated pecans? So tasty.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Caramelized Sugar, Pecan

ashmanra

That sounds amazing!

amandastory516

It is! Highly recommend trying it.

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91

Another impressive oolong from TTC. Love their packaging too. If you buy 250 g, for instance, they send it in 5 50 g packs to keep the tea as fresh as possible. This is the third of three samples I got from them and my favorite of the bunch.

Medium finish. No astringency or bitterness. Mild-medium sweetness. A bit acidic in smell and flavor. Longevity is 8-10 infusions. Super clean flavor.

I’ve determined that Taiwanese oolongs are the most consistently clean, balanced, drinkable teas for the price. Doesn’t seem I’m alone in this realization either. Hope they keep putting out amazing oolongs for many years to come :).

Harvest: May 2023
Location: Shibi shan, Yunlin County (elevation 1300 m)
Cultivar: Qing Xin

Dry Leaves: Vegetal, butter
Wet Leaves: Vegetal, herbal, barley, acidic
Flavor: Vegetal, buttery, herbal, thick, lemon, sweet

Flavors: Acidic, Butter, Herbs, Lemon, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

LuckyMe

Shibi is the best high mountain tea that TTC offers. One of my all time favorites!

Marshall Weber

It was pretty nice! Glad I got to try it. :)

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89

A super unique tea! Quite lovely. Don’t think I’d buy more of this, but would love to sample some of the other cultivars commonly used in Sun Moon Lake teas.

First Sun Moon Lake black tea for me, and I’m impressed. No bitterness or astringency. Aftertaste is quite long and minty. Longevity is 8+ infusions. Don’t really get any of the fruity notes mentioned by reviewers on TTC’s website. I have also read that Red Jade is often compared to the taste of cognac or brandy. Not a hard liquor person myself, but I do see the hard liquor qualities of this tea, minus the alcohol taste of course. However, the smell of the wet leaves is incredibly specific for me. Brings back childhood memories of those root beer barrel candies. Not root beer itself, but the candies specifically. Moments like these are why I love tea: the resurfacing of memories long forgotten through a simple leaf soup.

Harvest: May, 2023
Location: Sun Moon Lake, Nantou County (700 m elevation)
Cultivar: Hong Yu/TTES No. 18

Dry Leaves: Cinnamon
Wet Leaves: Cloves, root beer candy, mint
Flavor: Burnt sugar, sweet, spices, mint, cinnamon

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Candy, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mint, Root Beer, Spices, Sweet

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78

And Just like that… it’s a Sipdown! Got treated to some Levain Bakery cookies today, and this tea was the perfect compliment :) I guess I like Bai Hao oolongs again hehehe. Thankfully this tea type is traditionally a summer harvest tea, so i can chug down some more of my teas before going ham at Taiwan Tea Crafts again :P

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78

Been keeping this one in the back of my cupboard for a minute. I remember the last two times i had this tea that the flavors were unexciting. Decided to give this one a final try before adding it to the Everything Jar, where all my meh tea goes to mingle. Can’t wait to try it once there’s a few more tea crumbs in there hehehe.

Was very pleased to find that this tea had some great flavors hidden in it still. I must have not brewed it well the last time, because I’m getting some lovely mingling of cinnamon and pastry on the forefront, with a floral touch in the back of the palate. It’s reminiscent of a cinnamon babka, complete with the raisins. Babka, for those who have never had it, is like if a croissant and a shortbread cookie had a child. It’s typically rolled in layered swirls with chocolate (my favorite) or cinnamon with dried fruits (also amazing).

This tea is sweetly dessert like, and I’ve got about enough tea to make a sipdown the next time i visit it. Can’t wait to bring it with me to work to finish it off!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Pastries

Preparation
5 g

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75

Sipdown 32

Lilac and wilted spinach. This takes quite a lot of dry leaf to make a substantial/flavorful cup, but I still enjoyed it.

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75

Working on sipping through a 25g packet. I actually have lot 925, but I didn’t want to make an entirely new listing.

This tea is interesting. When it’s still piping hot, it’s delicious. As soon as it cools, it tastes like nothing. Because of the weird flavor phenomenon, it does better steeped gongfu rather than western style.

Flavors: Flowers, Lilac, Peas, Snow Peas, Spinach

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77

Very nice Jin Xuan! I got the Spring 2022 harvest of this tea from my TTC order. This tea made me fall in love with the Jin Xuan cultivar, super creamy and rich, both in aroma and taste. I just felt that it could’ve offered more in terms of texture, complexity, and finish. All in all, a really decent tea.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Vegetal

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60

A mediocre green tea. I got the Spring 2022 harvest of this tea as a free sample from my TTC order. It didn’t really speak out to me in any way, with it wholly being mediocre as a whole. It was nice enough to not be disappointed, but lacked a bit in many areas.

Flavors: Creamy, Green Beans, Sap, Vegetal

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95

I’m really loving this one, and surprisingly more than some of the higher elevation teas I have on hand. I used the entirety of the sample, so I’m guessing six grams or more. I’m taking some quick notes, but here I’ve got after beginning with a 15 sec rinse I drank, and steeps hovering between 10-25 seconds for the first six brews and subsequent longer minute based steeps:

Macadamia, milk, macadamia milk, coconut milk, butter, light popcorn, custard, vanilla, almond milk, fruity hints, deeply creamy viscous texture, florals, maybe plumeria, some grassiness, and some sort of yellow and white flower I’m visualising but can’t name. I knew this was up my alley, but it was so balanced and full in texture and flavor. I’ll come back and write more.

And looking at the notes of others, I’m getting the daffodil floral heavily and some hints of peach and pear moreso mid session. Later steeps lean into a cooling herbal effect like rosemary. Easily one of my favorites from the sampler so far other than Bok’s Lishan. Thank you Leafhopper!

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Creamy, Custard, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Herbaceous, Macadamia, Milk, Narcissus, Nutty, Peach, Pear, Plumeria, Popcorn, Rosemary, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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80

Rainy day outside and I am on steep nr 4 for this tea. Very mellow pumpkin green more oolong taste type. A sweet flavor lingerst at the last sip that makes you reach for the next cup, and the next, and the next. Not one hint of bitterness. Now I don’t know what to do with those meh GABA green teas that I have in my cupboard after trying this one…This is to be re-ordered.

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94

I bought this tea in 2020 just before the pandemic. As is true of a few other people here, Shibi is my favourite green oolong from Taiwan Tea Crafts because of all the tropical fruit. Fortunately, the vacuum sealing meant that this tea didn’t lose much of its flavour in the two years it’s been in my tea museum. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of coconut, pear, apricot, lilies, honeysuckle, and grass. The first steep has notes of coconut, cookies, vanilla, pear, spinach, orchid, honeysuckle, butter, and grass. The second steep adds citrus, apricot, cream, and wildflowers. The third steep is all about the heavy coconut cream, with heady florals, vanilla, and what might be passion fruit in the background. The florals become more noticeable as the tea cools. By steep five, spinach, grass, and herbs are coming to the fore, though there’s still plenty of creamy coconut and honeysuckle, orchid, narcissus, and other florals. I also get an apricot/peachy aftertaste. The fruit fades by steep eight, though the florals persist until the end of the session.

As always, this Shibi is an excellent tea. Any oolong with so much coconut automatically gets a high rating from me, and the variety of other fruits and flowers is fantastic. My only small complaint is its relative lack of longevity, though that’s only in comparison to the other, pricier tropical fruity oolongs I’ve been drinking lately (the 2021 Longfenxia from Ethan and the 2019 Li Shan from Zhao Zhou come to mind). I highly recommend this tea for aficionados of fruity Taiwanese oolong!

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Citrus, Coconut, Cookie, Cream, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Honeysuckle, Lily, Narcissus, Orchid, Passion Fruit, Peach, Pear, Spinach, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Damn, that’s a high statement for Zhao Zhous (I finished it too quickly)! I’ve always wussed out of Shibi from Taiwan Tea Crafts because of shipping…which is hypocritical now, but I am.

Leafhopper

I’ve only had the Li Shan from Zhao Zhou once, but found it to be somewhat similar to the Longfengxia. I’m not surprised that you finished it quickly! Shipping from TTC used to be free over US$60, though I think it’s gotten more expensive. They also have a huge selection of teas, which means there are hits and misses for me.

Daylon R Thomas

Yep. They also either had only 5-10 gram samples, or 250 gram servings every time I try to buy it. I need to time it right.

Leafhopper

Yes, it’s annoying that they only have 10, 25, and 250 g sizes. I’ve been tempted to get the 250 g megapack, but there are occasionally less-than-stellar harvests.

Daylon R Thomas

That’s what I saw in your and Luckyme’s reviews. It’s like I need to know the harvest is good, and then I can buy it…oh it’s sold out.

Leafhopper

LOL! LuckyMe is generally more up to date on reviews than me, but there’s definitely a lag time.

LuckyMe

@Leafhopper So glad you like this one! It’s also my favorite high mountain tea from TTC’s lineup. Also, I wish every company packaged their tea the same way. Keeps them fresh practically forever and relieves my anxiety about unopened tea going stale on me.

@Daylon, I’ve been buying Shibi for a few years now and it’s generally a consistent performer as opposed to others like Long Feng xia where I have no idea what to expect from one season to the next.

derk

Woof, that sounds delightful!

Leafhopper

LuckyMe, those vacuum packs do make a whole lot of difference.

Derk, I thought you’d already tried an iteration of this tea. I would have saved you some otherwise.

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95

Yet another stellar roasted Taiwanese oolong from TTC. The light roast on this dong ding strikes the perfect balance between warm notes of candied pecan, cocoa, and toasted almond on one hand and greener floral notes on the other. Very smooth from start to finish without any bitterness. I love roasted teas that don’t actually taste roasty – not an easy feat – but this one manages to pull it off.

I normally steep this grandpa style using 200 F water. Cold brewing brings out brighter, more lively florals and sugarcane.

Kittenna

Urgh, this sounds amazing. I desperately want to order from TTC again to get more of their delicious oolongs, but I need to finish off what I bought from them like, 6 years ago, first!

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90

Another baked high mountain oolong from the backlog.

Out of the bag, mellow aroma of sweet caramel. Steeped grandpa style using 195 F water then topped off twice with boiling water.

This was a very clean and easy to drink tea with a rich honeyed flavor reminiscent of gui fei. Accented with notes of wildflowers and toasted almond. Next time, I’d like to brew it gongfu and see if I can get even more nuance and complexity out of this tea.

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46

Gross. This one tasted like swampy water mixed with earthy turnips and yams. What’s weird is the flavor bore no resemblance to the smell. The leaves had a citrusy aroma of lemon and tangerine however none of that came through in the tea. Didn’t bother rebrewing and will likely chuck the rest of my sample. That’s how bad it was.

This is likely my last time buying a Taiwanese green. In my experience, they smell great but seldom if ever deliver on flavor.

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