Taiwan Tea CraftsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I was torn on how to rate this tea. If you’d asked me when I first opened it, I would have rated it close to a 100. When fresh, it was intensely flavorful. A dynamic mixture of alpine flowers, tropical fruit, pastry cream, perfume, and minerals. But a few weeks later, the flavor suddenly began to go flat. It lost some of its brightness and body as sharper, more savory notes began to creep in. Usually high mountain teas fade gradually but this one lost its oomph pretty quickly.
Well, it took longer than I expected get back on this site. Had been away for a while to focus on work-related training which finally ended a few weeks ago (whew!). In the process, I sort of fell out of my daily Steepster habit and the mountain of backlogged notes left me feeling a little overwhelmed. Wish there was a way to post my tasting notes from the MyTeaPal app to Steepster.
This was a complex and delicious roasted gaoshan. Despite its name, it did not taste roasty or charred at all. Instead it had deeply caramelized notes of salted caramel, brown sugar, and candied pecan. I steeped it grandpa style at 185-195 F. Lower temperatures brought out more sweetness and chocolatey notes.
I bought this tea when we were still fooling ourselves that the pandemic would stay in China. That feels so long ago now. Fortunately, the vacuum sealing has kept this tea in good condition. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 90, and 120 seconds.
The dry aroma is of lilac, orchid, citrus, grass, and egg custard. The first steep is like a Tie Guan Yin with notes of lilac, orchid, spring flowers, egg custard, coriander, citrus, pineapple, butter, pleasant sourness, and grass. There’s a TGY-like apricot in the second steep, along with heaps of lilacs and other flowers and a green undertone. The next couple steeps have even heavier lilac notes, plus spring flowers, egg custard, citrus, sap, herbs, and grass. The tea gets more custardy and floral with each round, though spinach starts appearing in steep six. By the ninth steep or so, the tea is very green, though the lilac florals persist until the end of the session.
Despite being two years old, this is a lovely Baozhong. I particularly enjoyed its resemblance to Tie Guan Yin, which LuckyMe also noticed in a previous review. I wish the fruit had been more pronounced and had lasted longer, but the lilac notes more than made up for it! I’ll be getting more Baozhong this summer.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Citrus, Coriander, Custard, Egg, Floral, Grass, Green, Herbaceous, Lilac, Orchid, Pineapple, Pleasantly Sour, Sap, Spinach, Vegetal
Made this iced and topped it with strawberry cold foam and it was so good. Check out the pic here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CeY7q3Iu8Ij/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Sipdown! (3 | 3)
This is very unusual for a white tea, it definitely tastes closer to a black tea. I guess that makes sense given it’s from the same cultivar as Red Jade.
It’s very savory-tasting. The strongest note for me is green bean, and it’s a very cooked green bean that reminds me of these stewed green beans with bacon that my grandmother used to make. But then I can also taste those lovely dark caramelized brown sugar and malt notes that I would expect from a Taiwanese black tea. The hint of cinnamon is there as well. It’s almost a little sweet potato-y, like a Yunnan black tea? And a bit of astringency on the tail end.
It’s yummy! I don’t get the eucalyptus or camphor mentioned in the description, but it is on the older side now (though it was a sealed packet). An unusual and fun one to try for sure!
Flavors: Astringent, Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Green Beans, Malt, Round, Savory, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
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, Bread, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Smooth, Sweet
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