Tao Tea New Style Lapsang

Name: Tao Tea Leaf New Style Lapsang Souchong
Style: Smoked Black Tea
From: WuYiShan, Fujian Province, China

Brewed: 3g, for 2 minutes at 98C

The tea brews a dark brown with a reddish tint and a bit yellow a the edges.

There’s a definite smoke note on the nose, as long with a very earthy note and sugarcane. The smoke isn’t overwhelming as it can be in other Lapsang’s though.

The tea is full bodied, without any astringency. The start of the sip is a bit of light smoke, midway through, there’s a nice honeyed sugar and maltiness that comes through before fading back into smoke.

Overall this is a very tasty tea, and a more subtle version of a traditional version of Lapsang Souchong. It’s super drinkable and not like licking an ashtray – which is nice.

Buy: Tao Tea Leaf

What they say:
This lapsang souchong is a much sweeter and less smoky take on a classic tea. The leaves contain a higher ratio of buds to leaves than the original. The leaves and buds are also picked earlier in the harvesting season. This means that the tea is much sweeter. This full bodied tea is perfect for those who would are new to the world of lapsang souchong or those who enjoy a more subtle and subdued smoked flavour.



Ye Sheng, Autumn 2013

Name: Yunnan Sourcing Ye Sheng, Autumn 2013
Style: Raw Pu-ehr
From: Yunnan, China

1 tsp, 95°C Water, 1 min + Rinse

This brews a light orange colour with a slight tinge of pink in the centre.

This is a smokey one! There’s a bit of the leafy earth in here, with some honey and maybe a touch of floral hiding way off in the background.

Tastes like a campfire, smokey with a lot more leaf/earth/dirt than on the nose, there’s a bit of peach flavour that comes in as well. The honey and floral notes are still there in the background.

This one has a very interesting smokiness to it that I didn’t expect from a pu-ehr. I find this one is rather light and easy for a pu-ehr, and even with that smokiness I could easily drink this often.

Xue Ju Shu Pu, 2013

Name: Yunnan Sourcing Xue Ju Shu Pu, 2013
Style: Ripe Pu-ehr with Crysanthenum
From: Yunnan, China

1 tsp, 95°C Water, 1 min + Rinse

This tea brews a deep brown with a slight tinge of red to it.

On the nose there’s a lot of earth, with some dried berries and rich crysanthemum notes.

This tea had a bit of astringency to it the first couple steeps. The flavours were pretty much identical to the nose, crysanthemum, berry and earth.

This snow crystanthemum pu-ehr is so different from the other one, with a lot less of the dirty, leafy earth and more fruit flavours present. The florality (that’s a real word, right?) of the tea is a lot more subtle, but there.

Tao Tea Ginseng Oolong

Name: Tao Tea Leaf Ginseng Oolong
Style: Flavoured Oolong
From: Taiwan

1tsp, 95°C Water, 2 min

This brews a pale yellow with sightly darker, golden centre.

The nose hits you first with honey and floral before moving into a creamy herbal/grassy note.

The tea is very thick and mouthcoating, it gives a nice tactile sensation in the mouth (Ok, that’s very strange sounding when I write it down). Flavourwise it’s similar to the aroma, the ginseng notes of earthy, grassy herbs reach you first, with honeyed, floral notes taking over after. The tea has a nice cooling finish, not so much a flavour as a feeling.

The tea is nicely balanced between flavours from the oolong and ginseng, I’ve had one in the past which was a ginseng bomb and it wasn’t very appealing. Maybe it’s just me today but this tea has some… oomph to it that brings more that just flavour and aroma when I’m drinking it. It’s hard to explain, I’m probably a bit crazy, it’s ok.

Tao Tea Coconut Oolong

Name: Tao Tea Leaf Coconut Oolong
Style: Flavoured Oolong
From: Taiwan

1tsp, 95°C Water, 2 min

This brews a pale gold with a grey rim to it.

The nose on the tea is strongly coconut cream, with a touch of floral to it. It smells a touch sun tan lotiony, in a good way.

It’s a bit thin compared to some other Oolongs I’ve had. The Oolong flavours of honey and flowers come through a lot stronger on the palate with the coconut coming through on the finish.

It tastes like Oolong and coconut put together. There’s nothign overwhelming, it doesn’t taste like suntan lotion either. Definitely a winner for flavoured teas. It also makes a fantastic cold brewed iced tea.

Tao Tea Leaf Ginger Green Tea

Disclaimer: Free sample from Tao Tea Leaf

This one is a bit tough to talk about because it’s about as subtle as a brick to the face. I’ve had some ginger greens before that were a bit light/disappointing on the ginger. This is not one of them.

Name: Tao Tea Leaf Ginger Green
Style: Flavoured green

5g,  85°C Water, 1 min

It brews a dull greenish yellow colour, pretty consistent through the cup.

The aroma is almost entirely ginger, I had a hard time even picking up any sort of green tea aromas in the background.

The tea is pretty thick and mouth coating. There’s a lot of ginger up front, it definitely dominates the tea. You get a little cut grass and melon on the finish, enough to remind you that it has some tea to it!

Pretty basic with a lot of ginger. It doesn’t disappoint there and tastes like it should. I can see myself buying a little of this just to have for when my stomach wants a ginger tea. I didn’t try, but I think this would resteep well too.

Snapple Spiked Peach Tea

And now for something completely different!
This was an impulse buy when it was stupid hot outside and I didn’t feel like beer or wine. It’s not something I’d buy on the regular but it was quite drinkable. Hell, it may even be cheaper than making it yourself from a bottle of Snapple and some vodka!

Name: Snapple Spiked Peach Tea
Style: RTD Cocktail
From: Canada
ABV: 5.5%

This pours a flat, slightly orange-ish brown and it looks like ice tea.

It smells peachy and sweet, with a hint of tea and a noticeable amount of alcohol.

Tastewise, it’s sweet. Peach is the dominant flavour with the tea coming in second. The finish is almost entirely vodka, so at least you know it’s got booze in it.

This is as advertised. If you put vodka in peach Snapple I have no doubt that this is what it would taste like. You can taste the alcohol in it, which is good because otherwise it would go down way too easy. Pretty nice for a hot day when you want something a bit sweet and simple.