For too long, I've chosen teas from China over those from Taiwan, mostly because of some bad experiences with TenRen. However, a positive experience with OTTI15 encouraged me to sample ten teas from another vendor, "Tea from Taiwan." http://www.teafromtaiwan.com
"Tea from Taiwan" has two sample packs: Chong Pei and Feng Fu. The first batch here is from the Chong Pei pack.
The sample teas come in vacuum sealed packs of about 7g each - which should inspire interest from the TeaChat community. My rating scale is:
90-100 excellent and instantly buyable
85-89 strong without sensory faults
80-84 pleasing with slight sensory faults (weakness, imbalance)
70-79 pleasing but not notable
60-69 above average
40-49 below average
30-39 not pleasing
20-29 significant sensory faults or weakness
10-19 unpleasant with severe sensory faults
1-9 poor, undrinkable
CHONG PEI SAMPLE PACK
ZHONG SHU HU TEA - SPRING 2012
This green oolong is rolled into baroque 1/4" pellets, and are a medium green - they look like tiny broccoli. But when infused, the aroma is rich and bright, with a liquor that's a bright green. Very flavorful, this oolong has a pleasing balance between the sweetness of yellow tea and a floral edge - great with food or fine by itself. The leaf quality is surprisingly good, typically with a tip and a few leaves. The tea is energizing and a real winner. 75g for $22.
DONG DING MING XIANG - SPRING 2012
Like like other offerings from Tea From Taiwan, this tea is rolled into 1/4" pellets, except the color is dark green with a touch of brown, and the aroma is quite restrained. Brewed, the color is a light, yellowish brown; smooth, enjoyable, though not extraordinarily distinctive - somewhere like a more oxidized green oolong. The leaf quality is up the company's standard: lots of tips with two or three leaves. The kind of restrained sweetness you'd imagine a Oriental Beauty should have.
75g for $24, and quite good for the style.
SHI ZUO TEA - SPRING 2012
The rolled leaves are just under 1/4", the color dark green with a few streaks of light brown; you can catch some of the freshness of a Zhong Shu Hu. The color of the liquor is a yellow-green, the flavor smooth and likable - mellow, appealing. The leaf quality is outstanding, with lots of unbroken leaves and buds.
75g for $21
GABA TEA - SPRING 2012
Some tea drinkers groan when they hear about something that's supposed to be healthful, since that often means that the taste will be like medicine, or might take some "getting used to." GABA TEA is a whole leaf tea that is naturally rich in gamma-aminobytric acid - though obviously its medicinal value is incidental for most diets. The rolled leaves are a medium brown with touches of green and copper, and some aroma; the baroque leaf pellets are between 1/4-1/3". The color of the liquor is a light brown, the flavor full, truly honeyed, and smooth - not brisk, unless oversteeped. The infused leaves are a combination of medium green and darker. Quite tasty for a "healthful" tea.
WU LING TEA - SPRING 2012
Favored as a fruit-growing region, Taichung country also has rich soil and a high altitude - ideal for growing WU LING TEA. A big favorite in the Chong Pei sample pack, this green oolong is similar in style as Zhong Shu Hu - bright green color, and an elegant balance between brightness and depth. The infused aroma is sweet, the leaves themselves largely intact - medium sized single leaves.
75g for $29
More ratings coming.