Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Almond, Bread, Brown Toast, Butter, Camphor, Cocoa, Cream, Hay, Honey, Marshmallow, Menthol, Mineral, Spices, Straw, Wood, Cacao, Floral, Plum, Potato, Caramel, Chocolate, Raisins, Salt
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 4 oz / 121 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

From Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

“This is the chocolatiest tea I’ve had in a long time.”

Fully oxidized teas come in many varieties and taste profiles among them can be quite different. We’re excited to offer you this outstanding quality black tea Sourced from Alishan Mountain’s Zhang Shu Hu area. Grown at 1,600M, this is really a High Mountain tea but it resembles our Farmer Lee’s Black Tea from Sun-Moon Lake in appearance as it’s processed in the same way.

We’ve not had another Black Tea like this in Taiwan. It reminds us much more of a good quality Wuyi Oolong. This tea has strong Chocolaty and roasted notes, malty but maintaining its balance. This makes an outstanding iced tea as well delivering a nice crispy, lip smacking experience.

We like to brew this tea in a Gaiwan. We’re very impressed with this tea and hope you will be too!

About Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company View company

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9 Tasting Notes

1048 tasting notes

I finished the last of a sample pouch of this tea last night. I’m not quite as familiar with Taiwanese black teas as I would like to be. In particular, I have little experience with those from regions that typically stick to producing oolongs. I figured that this tea would make a good introduction to the black teas produced in such areas, but after researching it, I also noted that it seemed to divide opinion. After giving this one a go both Western and gongfu, I found a lot to enjoy. Unfortunately, I did not take notes during the Western session, so this review is exclusively concerned with the results of the gongfu session.

For this session, I used my newish and now more comfortable 4 ounce gaiwan. After priming the gaiwan, I filled it with 6 grams of loose tea leaves, gave the leaves a quick rinse, and then steeped them in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This initial infusion was followed by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted pleasant aromas of brown toast, malt, and honey. The rinse brought out touches of wood, cocoa, straw, hay, and toasted marshmallow. The first infusion produced a similar, albeit slightly more buttery, bouquet. In the mouth, I detected gentle notes of butter, malt, wood, brown toast, honey, straw, hay, and toasted marshmallow. Subsequent infusions brought out the cocoa in the mouth, while I also began to pick up impressions of roasted almond, minerals, beeswax, baking spices, baked bread, cream, and something resembling camphor/menthol. The later infusions were dominated by very mellow touches of malt, butter, roasted almond, and baked bread, though I could still detect distant menthol/camphor, honey, wood, straw, and toast in the background.

This was a very gentle tea with an easygoing nature. It was not tremendously deep or complex and it also faded a little more quickly than anticipated, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It reminded me of some of the Japanese and Indonesian black teas I have tried. Overall, this was definitely worth trying. I could see fans of mellow, sophisticated black teas being pleased with this one.

Flavors: Almond, Bread, Brown Toast, Butter, Camphor, Cocoa, Cream, Hay, Honey, Marshmallow, Menthol, Mineral, Spices, Straw, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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167 tasting notes

[Review of either spring or winter 2016 batch]

A toasty little tea. It’s like you’re sitting around a campfire, and one person is roasting some pecans and another is lighting marshmallows on fire and blowing them out just in time to achieve that flambe-marshmallow goodness. Put toasted pecans and flambeed marshmallows together, and I would say you have this tea.

There are a few other notes in there, especially some red fruit. It’s quite a rich experience. The nuttiness is noticeable from the get-go. However, the sweetness of the marshmallow, toffee,and caramel notes balances the roasted nuttiness quite well.

A wonderful, interesting experience. A bit expensive (for me) for a black tea, but the quality is excellent. Also, the sweet notes in this tea are unlike any other black tea I have tried.
Dry leaf – grassy, dry floral, like dried flowers; some darker notes – black currant, hints of dry chocolate. In preheated vessel – nutty caramel, roast pecans, rich buttery caramel, some red berry notes

Smell – roasted pecans, buttery caramel, toffee chocolate bar, red currant, fresh cherry

Taste – heavily roasted almonds and pecans, fire-toasted (blackened) marshmallow, buttery caramel, hints red currant and fresh cherry (particularly in aftertaste)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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3 tasting notes

Dull and flavorless maybe a bad batch ?

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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62 tasting notes

The flavors here are light malt and a faint honeyed sweetness that grows stronger in the finish, along with an intriguing note that reminds me of pumpkin flesh. Smooth and enjoyable, though subtle for a black tea.

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306 tasting notes

Picked this up with a handful of other samples from this company at the Midwest Tea Fest. Was told by the vendor that this tea is a “well-kept secret”, so with not much more of a prologue than that, into the gaiwan it goes.

The dry leaves in a warm gaiwan smell like buttery mashed potatoes and cacao. The aroma of the wet leaves very much surprised me. It’s a much more perfumed, fruity and floral scent with notes of plum and lychee and a little honey.

I’m a little surprised by the flavor. This tea sure is full of surprises. The flavor actually tastes more like what the dry aroma would have led me to believe it would taste like, rather than the wet leaf aroma. It’s got a nice honey sweetness to it, but is underlaid with notes of malt, cacao, and potato. There’s a fruity floral aroma on the tea but it doesn’t come through much in the flavor, though there are some subtle hints of plum, more so as the tea cools. The sweetness of this tea is very long-lasting

The color of this tea’s liquor is a honey-gold color, much lighter than usual for a black tea. The taste of the second infusion is very sweet and has a flavor like oats and molasses with a slightly bitter dark chocolate aftertaste and a lingering sweetness as well.

The third infusion is just as sweet as the second. This tea has a rather creamy, airy body to it. It’s light for a black tea. I haven’t read any info on it yet, but I would assume this is made with an Alishan oolong cultivar (edit: checked, and yeah it is). It has the lightness and cleanliness that Alishan oolong usually exhibits. The flavor of this third infusion has slightly more floral and plum or prune, but still underscored by an ending note of bitterness. In contrast to the creamy and light body while drinking it, the finish is a bit dry in the mouth.

I hesitate to weigh in on whether this tea is truly a “well-kept secret” because it simply isn’t my tastes in black tea. It has a really interesting display of sweet high notes and some dark bitter low notes, but I feel like it’s missing the middle, and this causes it to taste overly sweet to me. For me, it lacks the richness and depth I crave in black teas. It’s like hearing only the top and bottom notes of a chord on the piano. It sounds nice, but it needs that middle note to give it character. That said… it’s a good tea and tastes very clean. It just doesn’t stand out against other high mountain oolongs gone black that I’ve tried, which have tended to have some very uncommon notes and impressive complexity.

Flavors: Cacao, Floral, Honey, Plum, Potato

195 °F / 90 °C

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921 tasting notes

Bah, it was a holiday today, meaning no mail! Meaning one more day I have to wait for my kettle to arrive, the sadness, I am sure everyone who did not get mail joins me in mourning the lack of mail today. It is not all bad though, because I have Espeon snoozing beside me and Tao snoozing on the other side of the room (and by snoozing I mean snoring, loudly) and I have tea in my travel steeper while I lounge in bed. Still need to work on that lapdesk problem for bed lounging days, but that is a thing to work on later.

Today’s tea comes from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company, and is so new it doesn’t even have a picture yet, oooh, fancy! Presenting Alishan Black Tea (Highest Quality) basically take a high mountain tea from Alishan’s Zhang Shu Hu area and process it like a black tea instead of an Oolong, it was one of those ‘you have my attention’ moments because that sounds rather exciting. The leaves are quite pretty, mostly curly and dark, but a few have gentle golden fuzz, and the aroma is rather potent, like really quite intense! Notes of strong cocoa and dark chocolate blend with gentle woody notes and black strap molasses, and a finish of roasted red peppers. Or is that adobo? It is spicy with a peppery note but none of the tanginess or adobo, this is an unexpected bit of nose fun!

Brewing the twisty leaves brings the cocoa notes to the levels of the extreme, with accompaniments of wood, gentle smoke, molasses, and a finish of smoked yams. This tea is more rich than sweet, like you are sinking into an inky void of cocoa and molasses…guys, I think I just figured out how I want to go when it is my time. The liquid is equally intense, though it decide to take on some sweetness with creamy milk chocolate notes, rich dark chocolate, molasses, and a touch of distant smokiness. It vaguely reminds me of brownie batter, at least the super rich way I make brownies.

Ok, sitting down for the first steeping sip, sometimes black teas tend to knock me off my feet, I love tea, but oh man, gongfu black teas make my head spin at times. It starts with a creamy mouth feel, creamy and smooth, with just a hint of less creamy at the finish, not dry, just not as creamy. The taste is a gentle note of milk chocolate at the first, that builds, and builds, until my mouth is filled with moderately dark chocolate making for a happy me. The finish is gently smoky with roasted yam notes that linger.

The aroma for the second steep does require sitting down, intense notes of cocoa and malt with gentle smokiness and sweet chocolate slam me in the nostrils. After that, notes of roasted yams and red peppers, that intriguing red pepper note, so peculiar and yet so right. The tasting starts out with a smooth mouthfeel, not quite creamy, more silky smooth, and hello sweet chocolate! Strong notes of milk and dark chocolate mix with malt and gently smoked yams, and holy moly it lingers forever! That is an aftertaste of endless happiness. I am such a sucker for chocolaty teas, they are my weakness (don’t I say that about so many teas?)

On to the third steeping, the cocoa notes manage to get even stronger, I am not really sure how, so much chocolate! Alongside the chocolate notes are notes of malt, roasted yams, and that confounding roasted red pepper note from before. The mouthfeel is similar to steep two, with silky smoothness, and the cocoa notes explode out of nowhere, kaboom! Chocolate! It is very malty and sweet, and quite enlivening as well, usually I find these smooth black teas more relaxing, but instead I found this tea to really wake me up, so this one is going on my list of morning teas that actually wake me up without being brisk.

Blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/10/beautiful-taiwan-tea-company-alishan.html

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1113 tasting notes

Hands down the most alluring of all black teas when it comes to scent. I don’t care what happens in the future, this tea smells like chocolate about to touch my taste buds and I love it.

The worst part about this tea is that I drank it all. Damn me, should of been a hoarder but something about me just shares everything.

This is one of those blacks that you can steep as you prefer and find new ways to make wonderful cups. Want some ‘kick your ass’ brisk black tea for the morning? Just 210f for 3 minutes with this guy and you’re all good to go. Well, what about something weaker… easy, just 190f for 2 minutes and you have a more settling cup. Either way, this is quite a chocolate tea treat that is a MUST try.
Again, a MUST try.

Dr Jim

Glad to see you’re finding at least a few black teas that you can enjoy.

Liquid Proust

I’m pretty sure that Al Simmon (Spawn) drinks this as well. It’s amazing!


I motored through my sample sooooo quickly! I need MOAR!!!

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1705 tasting notes

Thank you, Andrew, for acquiring this lovely black tea. I had some pretty high expectations of it. I knew that it was going to be chocolaty, and a lot like a Loashan black. I was right, and the description is accurate. I steeped this one very lightly four times gongfu, with a bare teaspoon in 4 ounces of water just under boiling. I will have to come back to this one when I used more leaves or better steeping practice, but this session was a success.

As hinted, the overall taste was very chocolaty with a roasted profile and hints of salt, a little caramel barely there, and a little bit of raisins. Sweet in every brew. More chocolaty in steep 1 at 30 seconds and two at 50. More salty in the later ones.

Solid, but not quite as good as the other ones I’ve had. This may be due to the minimum amount of leaves, but I kinda hoped for more complexity. Still really good and highly enjoyable. A lot of people would enjoy this one at the sheer soft chocolate profile, more so for intermediate and experienced drinkers, then maybe, just maybe for newer drinkers.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Raisins, Salt

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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