Taiwan Tea Crafts

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

82

Sipdown! (37 | 489)

Another older sample I had stashed away from TTC. Mine is actually lot 657, but I didn’t want to create a new listing for this one note…

This tea is simple but very tasty. Heavy on those lovely bugbitten honey notes combined with sweet dried fruits and a hint of cinnamon. Some nice fluffy enriched bread notes as well, so it’s a bit like lightly toasted brioche with a touch of fig jam, honey, and cinnamon. There’s a bit of a toasty autumn leaf note at the bottom as well.

I always love bai hao, and this one is no exception. Will definitely need to get some in my cupboard one of these days!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Oooh, that sounds just lovely.

Evol Ving Ness

I know that’s not much of an insightful comment, that layering of flavours deserved something more than a deep sigh on this side of the screen.

Devon Bartholomew

Oh, good heavens, that sounds really good! After becoming diabetic, I miss the heck out of bread, haha :)

Cameron B.

I very often get a toasted bread with cinnamon honey sort of flavor profile from Taiwanese black teas and oxidized oolongs. Some of my favorite teas for sure!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Highly oxidized for a white tea, this was reminiscent of a sun-dried black or aged white tea. This leaves me wondering if the majority of white teas sold as aged are in fact younger than claimed and processed in a similar manner to this tea. Regardless, this is still an enjoyable tea as a fan of the Ruby 18 cultivar.

Western cups had been my default method solely for the ease of a caffeine kick in the morning. I found the tea rather underwhelming prepared that way. Wanting to see what the tea was hiding, I prepared the remaining few sessions gongfu, which is what allowed this tea to shine.

The dry leaf had a subdued aroma of prunes and hay. Warming the leaf brought the prune forward while exhibiting undertones of custard and autumn leaf along with the hay. Wet leaf aroma definitely smelled like a sun-dried black with a stewed vegetables aroma. Nevermind that, it had no influence on the aroma or taste of the tea.

With the first cup, the aroma exhibited candy-like tangy and fruity notes along with hay. Notable were melon, lemon and black cherry. The main taste was similar to watermelon rind, later with with more of the autumn leaf character coming out along with blood orange. Black cherry and dried fruits highlighted the sharper notes while a cotton candy or honey-like sweetness softened those; eucalyptus and menthol rounded out the back. The finish shifted from cherry and cotton candy in the first few steeps into something generally tangy. The mouthfeel remained light to medium and as smooth as a tangy tea can allow. It was actually somewhat syrupy when brewed western style. The longevity of the leaf displays greater length with gongfu.

Overall, a pleasurable, highly oxidized Ruby 18 white that fares much better prepared gongfu. It is not a flavor-bomb like other Ruby 18 white, black and oolong I have tried. Having had several examples of this cultivar processed as white tea, I can say my preferences lean toward much lower oxidation.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Blood Orange, Candy, Cherry, Cotton Candy, Dried Fruit, Eucalyptus, Hay, Honey, Hot Hay, Melon, Menthol, Prune, Tangy, Watermelon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
ashmanra

A Ruby white you once sent me was the most tea drunk I have ever been. I went to bed floating on a cloud of serenity and peace.

derk

Yup, I remember you posting about that! It elicited a strong response from me, too. If I ever come across another Ruby white with similar feeling, I’ll let you know.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Sipdown! (26 | 478)

This was a random free sample in one of my TTC orders, with a sweet note saying they thought I would like it based on my other selections. I love nice little things like that. :3

Anyway, I just steeped it up Western-style like a heathen. :D For some reason I was thinking it was a black tea at the time, though it doesn’t really matter much as far as steeping parameters. I gently broke apart the bigger chunks that were in my packet, just to speed up the steep a little bit.

I would have believed it was a black tea from the taste as well. To me, it tastes almost like a hybrid of an oxidized and slightly roasted oolong (maybe Da Hong Pao?) and a Fujian black tea. And maybe a bit of shou puerh in there as well. It has those nice toasty autumn leafy notes and honey/brown sugar sweetness from the oolong, distinctive caraway or rye sort of notes from the black tea, and a mellow earthy/woody base from the shou. There’s a bit of sparkling minerality that I generally attribute to oolong as well, and a pleasant raisiny dried fruit note.

Overall, super mellow and chuggable. It’s not really a standout for me, but it’s tasty and very easy to drink. One of those teas where the bottom of the mug comes sooner than you expect. It looks like they no longer carry this one, so I don’t have to ponder whether I would consider reordering it given the right price. :P

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Caraway, Dried Fruit, Earth, Honey, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Rye, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood

Preparation
5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Like a heathen. :)

ashmanra

Nice toasty autumn leafy sounds good!

gmathis

I prefer to refer to myself as a barbarian, but I’ll share the label!

Cameron B.

Ha ha, it just seemed weird to me to steep a tea cake sample Western-style I guess. But I haven’t been in the mood for gongfu lately so here we are… XD

Evol Ving Ness

I have had a gaiwan and two prepped yixing pots sitting unused for years now.

Cameron B.

I tend to go through phases, sometimes with more gongfu, sometimes with teapots, right now I’m in a cozy mug phase.

Evol Ving Ness

I was quite happy with the DT’s steeper for a while. Now I’ve shifted to mostly flash steeps in my Libre.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

Finally getting around to recording this one! Buuuut I don’t have much to say. For some reason, I was anticipating more body, richness, and sweetness than I got – instead, it was a little on the thin/woody side? May also have been my tastebuds, though, so I’ll tentatively rate for now and try again another time, as I have a fair bit left of the original packet. Definitely not quite matching my favourite black tea profiles, though.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

Sipdown (206)

Thank you Sil for sharing! I made a cozy mug of this to go with my chocolate chip pancake breakfast. This complimented the breakfast well since it also has milk chocolate notes. One sip even gave me hot chocolate vibes. But on top of that it’s also malty and caramel and bready and delightful. Maybe even a touch of cinnamon. Am I imagining that last thing? Maybe. Probably. Who cares, I’m happy.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

66

Close to sipping down this one and so far, it has been the least impressive tea from my TTC order. Despite some wonderful aromatics, it has a very bland, generic light oolong taste. Faintly floral, watery body, and fades rather quickly. A little disappointing at how mediocre this is considering Long Feng Xia is usually a stellar high mountain oolong.

Flavors: Floral

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

Yum! This was such a delicious tea. Wenshan Baozhong is one of my favorite oolongs but I’ve never had it roasted before. The name suggests an ashy tea however it’s anything but roasty. The roasting has transformed the usual heady baozhong florals into something completely new. It evokes the flavors of roasted fruit, chocolate, maple syrup, stroopwafel, and candied pecan. Bears many similarities to a good dong ding but with a lot more sweetness. There are none of the oily and woodsy notes that I sometime struggle with in yancha and dan cong. A very clean tasting and approachable tea for everyone.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Elderflower, Maple, Peach, Pecan, Roasted Nuts

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

An interesting experimental batch from TTC. This is a scented tea made using local Taiwanese Bergamot instead of the familiar Italian variety found in Earl Grey tea. Tasting it, however, I can say there’s a world of difference between the two. Real bergamot has a distinct perfumey flavor. Even though it’s a citrus fruit, bergamot flavored tea isn’t very citrusy. This on the other hand is more citrus forward and would not be mistaken for bergamot. Smells and tastes like juicy tangerine and citrus rind. Occasionally, it gives impressions of lemon scented kitchen cleaner and Hi-C. When ambient brewed, the bergamot mingles with the underlying Jin Xuan to produce delicious rose and gardenia florals.

I think this would appeal to people seeking a citrusy or orange scented tea but doubt it will win over too many Earl Grey afficionados.

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon Zest, Orange, Tangerine

Preparation
Iced 5 g 20 OZ / 600 ML
Evol Ving Ness

What does ambient brewed mean?

LuckyMe

@Evol Ving Ness it means steeping at room temperature for a few hours then adding ice. It’s my short cut method for cold brewing.

Evol Ving Ness

Ah, ok. Thank you for explaining. I do that overnight and no ice.

LuckyMe

Cool. I ambient Brew for only a few hours though. Any bitterness from steeping that long?

Evol Ving Ness

No, but I am cautious about the teas I steep this way. I go light on leaf with those that are prone to bitterness.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

Y is for… Yuchi Wild Mountain Black, Lot 864

Thank you Sil for sharing!

This one is good. At first I was like this is super jammy and sweet. But then as I kept drinking I was getting more fresh baked bread. Maybe sweet potato that’s slightly caramelized. Whatever it was, it was delicious! Yum!

Courtney

Looove this one, so glad you got to enjoy it as well! :)

Sil

it’s consistently delicious. I’ll let you know when/if i order more…likely be a large bulk order

Leafhopper

I’ve ordered this tea, but haven’t tried it yet. Sounds great!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

Didn’t enjoy this one as much as the regular Wenshan Baozhong from the same harvest. This is a rather basic, one dimensional baozhong. Floral/lilac overtones, medium body, and a vegetative brothy flavor. No real depth to it though and taste doesn’t evolve much either.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Lilac, Perfume, Strawberry, Vegetable Broth

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

There’s a reason why this is my favorite high mountain oolong. It’s a sublime and refined tea that’s been consistently good year after year. This latest crop was no exception. It has those lush florals I love. Big hits of magnolia, orchid, and lily of the valley. This is balanced with tropical fruit, vanilla, and pastry cream. Full bodied with a silky texture and lingering floral finish. It also has good staying power. I got 7 quality steeps from it.

About a month after opening the pouch, I noticed there was a noticeable degradation in flavor. Not in a bad way but the tea had lost some of its nuance and tasted more vegetal and savory. Switching from gongfu to grandpa style helped rescue the tea. This brought out a whole new character and tropical flavor that I hadn’t experienced with gongfu.

Instagram photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CSASh1PLmzP/

Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Nectar, Orchid, Pastries, Pineapple, Tropical, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Sipdown 145-2021
I’m actually drinking lot 892….but close enough. It’s a nice unfrosted oolong. A bit of a floral/lilac flavor. A bit of a buttery vegetable thing going on as well. Fine, but not particularly memorable.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

After a string of subpar Baozhongs recently, this spring’s harvest has once again restored my faith in this tea. It’s deliciously fresh and teeming with complex florals.

As I always do with baozhongs, I brewed this one grandpa style. The leaves emit a very fragrant aroma of hyacinth, lilac, and violet. The tea has an exquisite floral flavor. At first sip, I’m greeted by sweet lilacs followed by granny smith apple and lingering flower nectar. Fresh. Mouth coating. Really smooth and luscious.

When my cup got down to 1/3, I topped it off with boiling water. This dropped all of the leaves and produced a brighter green color. New floral notes of orchid appeared in my cup along with melon and sweet pea making the tea more luscious and perfumey.

Enjoyed this one immensely!

Flavors: Flowers, Green Apple, Lilac, Melon, Orchid, Peas

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 g 6 OZ / 179 ML
tea-sipper

Great to hear the new harvest of Wenshan is so good!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

I ordered this tea not realizing that it’s a Baguashan grown tea. This region in Taiwan is known for producing budget oolong and the quality is usually reflected in the price.

It suffered from similar problems as the Ali Shan oolong I had prior to it. Namely, it was an unremarkable tea with a very weak/watery taste. It offered some tantilizing aromas of tropical fruit and flowers, but none of it came through in the tea. I did have better results cold brewing it but otherwise this was another dud.

0 for 2 so far with 2021 high mountain oolongs. I have bunch more TTC teas to go through so wish me luck!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

I ordered this tea not realizing that it’s a Baguashan grown tea. This region in Taiwan is known for producing budget oolong and the quality is usually reflected in the price.

It suffered from similar problems as the Ali Shan oolong I had prior to it. Namely, it was an unremarkable tea with a very weak/watery taste. It offered some tantilizing aromas of tropical fruit and flowers, but none of it came through in the tea. I did have better results cold brewing it but otherwise this was another dud.

0 for 2 so far with 2021 high mountain oolongs. I have bunch more TTC teas to go through so wish me luck!

Flavors: Tropical, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

62

First spring 2021 oolong and a rather disappointing one at that. This one is practically flavorless with zero body or depth to speak of. Vaguely floral with a little citrus and honey notes here and there but that’s it. Tried it gongfu, cold brew, and grandpa style and no matter what it’s just flat and insipid. Luckily, this was only a sampler so no big loss.

Flavors: Honey, Lemon Zest, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Sipdown (201)

Thank you for the share, Sil!

This one was nice and to me tasted like raisins and honey. The honey I’m supposed to get but I don’t see raisin or muscatel or anything of that nature in the description. So perhaps that’s just me. I enjoyed it though.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Lot 802 (Spring 2019) blew me away. This one seems to lack the deep intensity of Lot 802 and is more temperamental, though the Red Jade white tea trademark still presents fully. Western style brewing was ok, a little too drying for my likes.

With longer steeps in a small teapot, the flavors became more complex in an already complex style of tea. The more aromatic components of the tea arrive on the sip and include flowers along with pungent herbs like bay leaf, wintergreen, fenugreek and anise. The body has some moderate, gripping woody tannins. The main taste is of straw and strong minerals, supplemented by a fruity and malty guava-berry-orange-cinnamon tone. I notice the cinnamon more in the bottom of the cup smell. Later steeps smooth out the drying quality, tannins and minerality. It does take long steeps well but if overbrewed, a medicinal, fresh plant resin bitterness is noticed before anything else. Because of this bitterness and the drying quality, I do not think this is suitable as a grandpa style brew.

I opted for only a 10g sample of this since I also bought a 25g bag of last year’s harvest (Lot 901, Spring 2020) for a sweet deal. Like the Sanxia white tea I logged the other day, I wish I had gone for a larger package. This is a good tea to play around with to learn how different temperatures and steep times can alter a tea’s structural profile. I do wonder how more resting will affect this tea.

Flavors: Anise, Berry, Biting, Bitter, Cinnamon, Drying, Flowers, Guava, Herbs, Malt, Medicinal, Menthol, Mineral, Orange, Resin, Straw, Tannin, Wood

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Sipdown! (13 | 217)

My last TTC black tea sample!

This is a lovely tea, with loads and loads of rich brown sugar flavor. There’s also light, fluffy bread and slightly tart yet syrupy dried fruit, perhaps cherries and prunes. Some light woodiness, and a whisper of floral at the end of the sip. But that caramelized brown sugar is definitely the star of the show, with a touch of honey on the side, playing a supporting role.

Nommy nommy brown sugary goodness. This was an experimental tea when I got it a few years back, I think their Organic Heritage Wuyi Strand black tea might be the equivalent now? Maybe I’ll find out one day, when I’m allowed to order some straight black teas again…

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Floral, Hay, Honey, Prune, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

Sipdown! (7 | 211)

Out of Chinese black tea samples and into Taiwanese now!

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s not what I typically think of for a Taiwanese black tea, which usually brings to mind honey, cinnamon, fruity, malty sort of notes.

This does have some of that, but for me it leads with a strong overcooked green bean flavor and notes of olives?! Very savory at the beginning of the sip, which I was not expecting at all. I do get some of those dark, sweet muscovado sugar and molasses notes starting mid-sip, and a bit of the expected fruitiness. Definitely very dark and syrupy dried fruit, like prunes with a touch of fig. Malty, yes, that’s there as well, and some bready chewiness. A hint of menthol in the aftertaste…?

So I suppose the second half of the sip is more what I would expect, ha ha! But the beginning just completely throws me off with its strong savory, almost briny vegetal notes. Not one that I would reorder, but still very fun to try!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Fig, Green Beans, Malt, Menthol, Molasses, Olives, Prune, Savory, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Sipdown! (37 | 110)

I haven’t been drinking many straight teas lately for some reason… I should really rectify that, as a yummy plain black tea is one of my favorite ways to start the day.

This one is very light but tasty. It’s sweet, bready, malty but also has an interesting cooked green bean note that I didn’t expect from a Taiwanese black tea. There are little hints of the usual honey and cinnamon, and a touch of dried apricot. A very light floral note pokes its little head out near the end of the sip.

The body is extremely light though, which honestly isn’t my favorite for this type of tea. I find with a smoother black tea like this, I always want a thicker, richer body to go along with it. Whereas with teas that are a bit more assertive or brisk, I prefer a lighter body.

Anyway, it’s yummy! Just a bit too light for me. I definitely prefer their Yuchi Wild Mountain black tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

This is my first time trying pressed tea! Thanks, Derk, for sending me something I had previously considered buying from the TTC website. If there’s a trick for breaking these things without making a mess, I don’t know what it is, but I eventually took about a gram off my big piece of this cake so it was around 6 g. After a rinse, I steeped it in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60 seconds, then 1:15, 1:30, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 minutes.

The dry aroma is of faint berries, honey, and malt. The giant piece of cake stuck out of my teapot, so I did a 15-second rinse to try and soften it up enough to make it fit. It had faint notes of tart gooseberry, honey, and dried fruit. I could smell menthol in the teapot but couldn’t taste it. The first real steep has notes of menthol, autumn leaf pile, dried fruit, honey, and minerals, plus a long wintergreen aftertaste. This is absolutely a Red Jade tea! I get more of the tart cranberries and gooseberries in the next three steeps, along with menthol, tannins, lemon, vague florals, and increasing bitterness.

By steep five, this tea is asserting its black tea character, with the menthol predominating and malt, autumn leaf pile, cream, and hints of fruit in the background. By steep seven, I get woody and incense notes, plus sassafras, raisins, berries, and dried fruit. Near the end of the session, the menthol notes disappear, leaving malt, dried fruit, wood, minerals, autumn leaves, and lots of tannins.

I found this tea to be a fascinating expression of the Red Jade cultivar, with the typical menthol and sassafras notes but a lot more fruit than the standard black tea. Although it did get bitter at times, I think the short steeps helped tame it somewhat. (However, like my last white tea, all those short steeps made for a longer-than-usual session.) Although I’m not sure I need an entire cake, I might keep my remaining sample to see if it changes with age.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berries, Bitter, Cranberry, Cream, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Raisins, Sarsaparilla, Tannin, Tart, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79

I added this tea to my massive TTC order because I was intrigued by the stonefruit and citrus notes they described. They also mentioned that they made Bai Hao, one of my favourite teas, from this cultivar. The first time I made this tea, I accidentally steeped it like an oolong (25/20/25/30, etc.) because it was early in the morning and my brain wasn’t fully online. This time, I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

Dry, these long, dark leaves smell like honey, raisins, apples, and peaches. The first steep reveals the typical notes of cinnamon and sassafras found in Taiwan black tea, along with raisins, honey, malt, apple, tannin, and a hint of peach. There’s a good balance of tangy peach/apricot/raisin and honey in steep two, plus that sassafras note. The third steep leans more heavily toward apricots and peaches, and the citrus makes a welcome appearance. Cream, wood, and malt become more noticeable in the next couple steeps, though the other flavours are still strong. By steep seven, the citrus and stonefruit are almost gone, leaving raisins, malt, sassafras, wood, earth, and tannins.

While it is not mind-blowing, this is a very drinkable black tea that has many of the flavours I enjoy. I’m getting a bit tired of its amorphous raisin/stonefruit/tangy profile since I’ve had a lot of teas featuring it recently, but that’s more my fault than the tea’s. I’ll have no issue finishing my remaining 15 g and recommend it for those looking for an easy-drinking experience.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Earth, Honey, Malt, Peach, Raisins, Sarsaparilla, Tangy, Tannin, Wood

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

71

Not usually a fan of heavily roasted teas, but they’ve occasionally surprised me and in the interest of expanding my tea horizons, I decided to pick up a sample of this tea.

It does indeed have a deep roasted flavor and aroma. You can taste the roast but it’s not smokey by any means. I get notes of firewood, pumpernickel bread, and toasted nuts. These are ancillary though and the tea is predominantly dark and toasty

This may appeal to those who like dark tea but I prefer the subtle caramel taste of lightly roasted oolongs.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Fireplace, Nuts, Roasted

Login or sign up to leave a comment.