85

Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review

Yesterday I prepared this with one long steep, and now I’ll try out multiple short steeps. I think this approach to tasting tea gives you a good understand of what the tea leaves have to offer.

With the initial steep, I picked up on notes of pumpkin spice, grains, sweet honey (not too sweet though), other spices. The liquid had a very silky smooth feel to it.

The flavour continued to strengthen over the second and fourth steeps. It never became too powerful or overwhelming. The black tea base has a nice flavour to it, it was a bit sweet, floral, and earthy.

After those, the flavour started winding down. The fifth had some notes of chocolate, cinnamon, with a slightly weaker flavour than the previous steep. Sixth steep was soft, light and still a bit floral.

Finishing off with the last two steeps, I could begin to taste my original water flavour. But it still had enjoyable qualities from the previous steeps (sweet, earthy).

At the end of all this, I took a moment to look at the leaves in my gaiwan. They were a nice brown colour, and although mostly comprised of broken leaf, there is no “tea dust”. This one turned out to be a fairly good resteeper considering the leaves are not whole.

Now that I’ve tried the two steeping styles, I think I prefer the longer western style. It has a richer, deeper tea flavour and takes advantage of the broken tea leaf, because that type infuses flavour quickly (more so than whole leaf).

This is one of the Teavivre samples I’ve considered purchasing because the price and flavour makes it an excellent every day black tea. I’ve certainly had much worse black tea and for more money.

100ml gaiwan, 1 sample pack (2 tsp? 5g?), 8 steeps (rinse, 45s, +15s resteeps)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Feel free to add me on Steepster, I’ll probably add you back. :)

I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

How I rate tea:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.

Location

Ontario, Canada

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