The Tao of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

89

How have I not reviewed this yet? Guess it fell through the cracks. I get these nice, big bags of loose leaf at Home Goods, and the price is right, so I don’t expect much. However, The Tao of Tea teas I’ve purchased are surprisingly good! The Ginger Peach is awesome, and the Black Mango is just as good. I usually make iced tea out of these, and I’ve been brewing Black Mango all summer. It makes an excellent iced tea. Fruity, a little floral, robust black base with lots of juicy notes. Super refreshing. I’ve also had it hot, and it was just as good, but my preference is iced. Good thing I have a lot of it! Amount of tea to water is for iced tea, for hot it’s 1 tsp per 8 oz.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Juicy, Mango

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
drank Black Mango by The Tao of Tea
1636 tasting notes

Sample from a TTB. Compared to some other flavorings I’ve had recently, it’s not as impressive, but it’s okay. The black tea is decent, if a little weak. It comes together in a satisfying enough way, but I’ve seen this combination done much better.

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80

Method: Loose leaf, scooped into a paper sachet
Steep Time: Entire duration of experience
Water temp: Boiling
Brew Style: Mug/ Western

My knees do NOT like it when thunderstorms are coming. My usual dose of CBD oil tincture isn’t even touching the weirdness I feel in them today. It’s not pain, per se, but it’s like a really annoying weak feeling. Hoping this rooibos will help with any inflammation and make the weird weakness go away.

Dry leaf smells earthy and sweet. This bag of dry leaf is very very VERY old, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that scent-wise, it hasn’t lost much potency.

Steeps a muddy reddish color.

Liquor smells of earth, metal, clay.

Liquor has a drying mouthfeel. Notes of metal (iron), vanilla bean, and hay. I overscooped the leaf in anticipation that it would not be as potent, since it is so very old. This was a good call; the flavor strength of the infusion is just right.

Stay hydrated and cool, friends!

Flavors: Earthy, Hay, Metallic, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83

I almost always order high quality loose tea direct from China. I ordered this tea primarily for the novelty as I have never had tea from Vietnam. I was pleasently surprised by the very high quality appearance and taste. I used 8oz 200 deg water with the tea bag and brewed for 5 min.It has light flavor and body. Taste like malt, honey and Cocoa. As good as any Dianhong I’ve tried. This will not be the last tea I try from Vietnam.

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85
drank Cascadia by The Tao of Tea
1283 tasting notes

Apparently The Tao of Tea has a small line of these teas in birch packaging. Not going to lie — it caught my eye — the lone package of Cascadia mixed in with The Tao of Tea’s usual offerings in metal canisters.

This is made with a Tibetan heirloom variety of barley grown in Oregon and juniper berries. Hint: smoosh those berries in the bag before brewing. One bag for 6 to 8 ounces. I chose boiling water instead of the recommended 200F. I also brew the bag several times, the first for 3-5 minutes, both the second and third for howeverlong. Grounding grain pays no attention to the forgetful mind.

This week has felt like such a blessing. A mellow, warm grainy-sweet and resinous-cool Sunday night cup falls right in with all the doors that have opened. I feel like I’m regaining my sense of intuition. I’ve been out of touch for far too long.

Hope you’re all well.

Flavors: Cedar, Grain, Oily, Resin, Roasted Barley, Soft, Sweet, Tangy, Viscous

ashmanra

I love everything about this. <3

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A TJ Maxx special buy. Not something I’d normally gravitate to but thought I’d give it a shot. It’s surprisingly not bitter, even with a strong brew. Lots of cardamom and clove, with just a little cinnamon and ginger. Not a bad little chai, but not as balanced as some I’ve tasted. It is a nice change from my daily drinkers (yunnan and awesome tea) but I won’t be too sad when I sip it all down.

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drank Lemon Drops by The Tao of Tea
1187 tasting notes

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90

Love this tea! It’s deeply roasted with flavors of warm, brown sugar which dances across your whole tongue. Super smooth, deep, and pleasant flavor. A slight earthy scent complements the rich, roasted aroma. My favorite Tieguanyin tea! I’ve also had this with a dash of milk, controversial, I know, but it was good too! A nice roasted milk tea. Usually, I have it plain though to appreciate its original, complex flavors.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Campfire, Earthy, Mineral, Molasses, Roasted, Smooth

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
derk

Welcome, Teawithsky :) Your username is evocative.

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85
drank Ali Shan by The Tao of Tea
7 tasting notes

Amazing quality Ali Shan tea. I have tried another brand which I will review here too but this is 100% better. Full-bodied, rich, complex flavors of sweet grass and custard cream biscuits/cookies. Very smooth texture and very little astringency. The aroma is very potent too and smells slightly roasted. Overall, it is an amazing cup of tea!

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Creamy, Nutty, Sweet, Warm Grass

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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100
drank Black Spiral by The Tao of Tea
2 tasting notes

This tea is so smooth. I steep it in a 24oz bottle and drink from it throughout the day. It never gets bitter.

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72
drank Malty Assam by The Tao of Tea
287 tasting notes

I do tend to brew my Assams rather strong and this one was up to the challenge. Too much leaf in this cup or just enough, there is the line to balance on. I think there was plenty leaf in the cup and it makes a dark, astringent, but not bitter, brew. I may have drowned all the maltyness out by using so much leaf, but hey, a girls gotta wake up in the am. Second steep is just a muted version of the first. Easily drinkable but not memorable.
Thanks to gmathis for sharing!

gmathis

Sounds like I’m going to have to give it up and just dump in more leaf … it hasn’t been quite strong enough for me yet, either!

Michelle

This one seemed very forgiving even with the over leaf abuse.

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76
drank Black Dragon by The Tao of Tea
287 tasting notes

This roasty toasty oolong was an extra from my upcoming Advent from Lexie. How will I be able to wait until next Wednesday to open the rest? Currently it’s steeped three times and is going for a 4th long steep. A nice example of a Tie Guan Yin that I would certainly be tempted to purchase, and is a nice start to the holiday.

Flavors: Charcoal, Roasted, Savory, Toasty

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drank Malty Assam by The Tao of Tea
2614 tasting notes

Unfortunately, I’m two for two on underperforming teas from Tao of Tea. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this malty Assam. It’s extremely drinkable; a little sweet, but the “sweet” is about all I’m getting. I wanted whap-you-in-the-face Assam in the bass notes, not tap-you-politely-on-the-shoulder Assam. If you like your breakfast teas on the gentler side, this may be right up your alley.

Martin Bednář

That’s sad story about Assam tea.

Michelle

Some days you need a whapping Assam to wake you up. This sounds like a mellow afternoon cup.

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drank Malty Assam by The Tao of Tea
2614 tasting notes

With a name like this, I expected to be able to pour this stuff straight on the counter and it would pile up in its very own mug shape. Nope.

That doesn’t mean it’s not a fine morning tea. A good Assam with a little bready sweetness; still drinkable after letting the last bit cool for a while (some Assams get so strong you could remove battery corrosion with them). I didn’t see any need to lighten it up with milk—just fine straight up.

Just opened the tin this morning, so there’s plenty left for tinkering.

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drank Liquid Jade Matcha by The Tao of Tea
1283 tasting notes

As soon as I broke the seal on the bag, I knew I would be in for major trouble if I actually whisked up a cup. The smell and look of the powder was vile and chalky. I added a few teaspoons to the chia seed pudding I made and of course tossed the entire batch after I tasted it the next morning. What was I thinking.

Never had a deader tea. This stuff must’ve been ancient.

ashmanra

That sounds dreadful.

Leafhopper

Ugh. It’s too bad they were selling expired tea.

derk

This came from White Antlers so it wasn’t a case of expired tea from the store. I had to try it, though, to see how abysmal old match could be. Yes, ashmanra, absolutely dreadful.

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look im a simple bitch its an easy tea i love this stuff

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drank Dragonwell by The Tao of Tea
9 tasting notes

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drank Dragonwell by The Tao of Tea
9 tasting notes

enjoying my first long jing. wet leaf gives me baked kale chips and spinach

Flavors: Spinach

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first impression: exciting smells followed by bitter (and smokey) disappointment in the cup. very temperamental tea if you’re totally clueless about taming it as i am\was. short answer: HOT water SHORT SHORT infusions.

second real attempt im starting to see it more clearly. 6oz in a 150ml gaiwan, using maybe 115 of that space or maybe only 100. HOT water, 5 second steep. literally waiting 1 long beat between pouring and decanting. my mouth is no longer full of smoke but a complex if still challenging roasted dan cong that im still working thru. update later.

edit: ive tried it again and while i can keep the smoke out im not sure if there’s much there thats enjoyable to replace it. going to have to put it away for a while because its making me sad

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drank Hibiscus Ginger by The Tao of Tea
1636 tasting notes

Another tea from the tea box. Now this one is tart. I don’t taste any ginger at all (there wasn’t much in the dry leaf either). The flavor is 100% hibiscus. I don’t mind hibiscus mixed with other things, but plain like this, it isn’t for me. Super tart. I love the double lidded tin though.

Mastress Alita

I love hibiscus mixed with ginger! I was drinking some last night for a cold.

AJRimmer

I hope it helped! I definitely prefer hibiscus in fruity mixes versus spiced mixes, but I’ll try almost anything!

gmathis

Ooh…just the title made my tongue shrivel :) Don’t you love the absolutely polar reactions around here when someone mentions hibiscus?

Mastress Alita

I typically feel like an alien, since 99% of the people on my Following list loathe it, and I can steep plain hibiscus petals in water and be happy.

gmathis

You just go ahead and love my share and be proud that you are made of stronger stuff than I am!

Separately and back to the original review, I do like the Tao of Tea tins as well…allows me to neglect some T of T oolong with a little less guilt!

AJRimmer

Yeah, it’s occurred to me that some of the tins I use might not be the best, so I’ll probably slowly cycle them out as I come across better ones!

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