Check out This Kickstarter Campaign!

BeautifulTaiwanAs some of my regular readers are aware, I have been promoting my own Kickstarter campaign over the last few weeks before time ran out.  I didn’t reach my goal, but I haven’t given up.  I’ll be back within a couple of weeks with a new Kickstarter campaign.

In the meantime, please check out this campaign by the Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company!  I have reviewed several of this company’s teas, and I know them to offer superior quality Oolong, Black and Green teas.  Here are links to some of their teas that I’ve reviewed in the past:

These teas were amazing, and I have no doubt that the tea that I receive as an incentive for my pledge for their campaign will be equally as wonderful if not more so.

I’m really hoping that they’ll succeed with their goal because:  a) I’ll get some great tea; and b) I really like this company.  I like that they’re dedicated to sourcing amazing teas and what has also impressed me about this company is that they’re really great people.  They are dedicated not only to great tea but also to providing excellent customer service.  They’re a win-win company!

Please consider pledging to Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company!  They only have nine days left to go on their campaign and they still need about $2500 to reach their goal!

Formosa Assam Black Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

FormosaAssamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

Tea Description: 


What a smooth tea this is! This tea comes from a farm just above the pristine alpine lake called Sun Moon Lake. It’s hand processed by Mr. Lee and his wife, a wonderful and hospitable couple. They grow without chemicals the old fashioned way. Do you like black teas from India? This tea is similar but has no astringency. It’s a pure stock Assam Black Tea that has been growing in Taiwan since 1926 when the Japanese imperial machine started to foster a tea industry in Taiwan for world-wide export.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have been excited to try this Formosa Assam Black Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company.  I love the teas from Sun Moon Lake and the fact that this is an Assam (but grown in Taiwan!) I was so happy to have the opportunity to try it.

The aroma that I am enjoying from my teacup at the moment is sweet and delicious smelling.  I smell rich notes of “black tea” … notes of fruit and flower and earth and molasses that seem to meld together into a unified fragrance that is “black tea.”  It’s a rich, soothing and comforting aroma, something that inspires thoughts of being curled up under a big, warm, fluffy blanket in front of a fireplace.  A welcome thought since it’s kind of a cold and dreary day here in the Pacific Northwest.

A quick glance at the calendar suggests that this shouldn’t be so, but, that’s the way it is here.  On the days that you expect heat, we get wet.  On the days that we expect cold, we sweat.  On the days that we expect wet and possibly frost, we get … well, we probably do get wet.  We are in the Pacific Northwest, where they say that if you don’t like the weather, you should just wait five minutes and it will change for you.  But, you should still be prepared to get wet.

My weather rant aside, this is the kind of tea that I like to enjoy on days like this.  I prefer a cup of hot tea over a glass of iced tea anyway, and when it’s cold and wet outside, I want something comforting and hot to drink (preferably inside!)  And this tea is giving me just what I want today.

The flavor is rich and bold, but there is a smoothness to it too.  Similar to an Assam grown in India, but as the definition above suggests, there’s virtually no astringency to this and nary a hint of bitterness which is something that, even with utilizing a very careful steep temperature and time, you are likely to taste slight bitter tones to an Assam grown in India, and you will most likely experience some astringency as well.  But this is remarkably smooth and sweet.

The molasses-y notes that I picked up in the aroma are represented in the taste too.  There are notes of stone fruit, like a mild plum note and possibly an apricot note in the distance.  There is an almost autumnal feel to this cup, as I can pick up on some notes of warm spice, not really so much of a zesty spice but more like a gentle warmth that indicates a hint of spice.  There is also that delectable “fresh baked goods” type of taste to this that I often get with an Assam, that chewy, delicious flavor that evokes thoughts of the warm, chewy, caramelized crust of a freshly baked loaf of bread.

While this definitely has a boldness to it, it isn’t quite as bold as a typical Assam would be.  It tastes like … imagine if you would:  a marriage between the best Indian Assam tea and the finest Formosa Oolong.  This Formosa Assam Black Tea would be the lovechild that was born from that marriage, resembling both parents, carrying possibly a few more attributes of the Assam than the Oolong.

A truly lovely tea experience!

Twisted Green Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

twistedgreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

Tea Description: 

OOOhhhhh….  this is the best Taiwanese Biluochun we’ve had in a while.  Don’t miss out on this fantastic tea from SanXia.  BiLuoChun is an early spring tea picked when the leaves are small.  It’s best when it’s fresh and has a very unique aroma and flavor.  Words from the adjective bucket include: Smooth, Fresh, Delicate, Earthy, Aromatic, Delicious… and Satisfying!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

LOVELY!  This is the first tea that I’m trying from this new-to-me company, and I’m happy that I received several from them … I’m happy this won’t be my last!  This Twisted Green Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company is absolutely delightful!

The dry leaf has a beautifully fresh fragrance that is vegetative with a hint of earthiness in the background.  It reminds me of spring.  Like the fresh morning air following a night of rain in the spring.  So many of the teas that I’ve been trying lately have been very reminiscent of spring and I love that!

The overall flavor is delicate, but there is a lovely complexity to it.  The description above suggests an earthy taste to the cup, but, I don’t really get a lot of earthiness to the taste, and I smelled more earthiness to the dry leaf than I am tasting now.

The flavor is sweet and smooth, with notes of cream.  The creamy notes are somewhere between butter and vanilla, and this taste marries beautifully with the light vegetative notes.  The vegetal notes here are much softer in taste than either the dry leaf aroma or that of the brewed tea would suggest.  I almost want to describe what I’m tasting as very lightly buttered and salted popcorn:  sweet, crisp and vibrant with a savory quality that arrives mid-sip.  It’s not quite “popcorn” … but that is the thought that keeps popping into my head as I sip.

A really lovely Bi Luo Chun.  The soft flavors are very relaxing to sip, but there’s a sense of invigoration that comes with sipping this tea too.  It seems to enliven from the inside, reawakening my tired soul while soothing it.  A truly Beautiful Taiwan Tea!

Formosa Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf

formosaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Simple Loose Leaf

Tea Description:

A darker oolong tea from Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa (which means ‘Beautiful’, given by the Portuguese explorers of the island). Deep raisiny and ripe fruit aroma, autumn ‘leafy’ note. Lingering flavor and smooth, refreshingly fruity astringency. A lovely introduction to Taiwanese tea.

Learn more about May’s Selection Club Menu Options here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Selection Club subscription program here.

Taster’s Review:
I know I’ve mentioned my adoration for Formosa Oolong teas in the past here on this blog, so when Simple Loose Leaf included this Formosa Oolong Tea as part of their May Selection Club Menu, I was a happy sipper!

Ali Shan Oolong is my favorite type of Oolong, but I’ll always have a place in my heart for Formosa Oolong.  It was the very first type of Oolong that I ever tried, and for a long time, I didn’t know that there was any other type of Oolong out there.  For me, it was Formosa Oolong forever.  Since that time, my horizons have expanded and I’ve learned a lot more about Oolong teas, but, I still do love a good cup of Formosa Oolong tea.

And this Formosa Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf is really good.  The aroma is sweet and reminiscent of dried fruits with an earthy background.  There is a distinct autumn-ish essence to it:  the warmth of the toasty color and fragrance of the leaves, and the sweet fruity notes give it a very autumnal feel.

The flavor is also seems to evoke thoughts of autumn.  There is a toasty, nutty flavor that makes me think of roasting chestnuts over the roaring fire in the fireplace, and the sweet, raisin-like flavor also has a distinct autumn-like flavor.

The overall flavor is sweet.  It isn’t an overly floral Oolong.  I find this to be true with most darker Oolong teas, it would seem that the darker the leaves, the floral notes diminish while the fruity notes emerge.  I like that while this does have a sweet, raisin-y flavor to it, it doesn’t have that sugar-y sweetness of the dry fruit.  There are some woody notes that seem to even those sweeter flavors out enough so that the cup doesn’t become cloying.

A really wonderful, rewarding cup of Oolong.  Formosa Oolong teas also offer many infusions, and I find that the later infusions (especially the third and fourth infusions) tend to be my favorite.  This is true of this tea as well.  The astringency has tapered somewhat, and the flavors are not quite as sharp as in the first couple infusions, allowing for some of the sweeter notes to emerge fully.

Simple Loose Leaf offers a great program to those who are looking to enjoy some really good teas at excellent prices!  Check out their Selection Club and use this code:  SISTERSELECTION25 to get 25% off when you sign up for the Selection Club!  (This discount is not applicable on the retail selection of teas, and is only good for the selection club subscription.)

And through June 20th, all new subscribers will also receive a new teapot!  What a great gift idea!  Here are the details of this nifty offer.