318 Tasting Notes

85

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First steep had a delicate vegetal flavour, with some sweetness.

Second steep onward, a floral flavour gradually builds up and a bit of spice can be felt at the back of my throat.

Finishing off with the eighth steep, I thought about how well the tea flavour stayed consistent. The last cup didn’t seem too weak at all.

Overall I quite liked this Ali Shan. Perhaps not as flavourful as I’d expect, but still enjoyable. But I didn’t find it bland or uninteresting. Sometimes a tea will grab your attention as you drink it, or you’ll pick something that is so flavourful you don’t need to focus on it’s nuances. This isn’t that kind of tea for sure ;)

Steep parameters (as suggested by Teavivre)
85ml water in a gaiwan, sample (7g?), rinse and 8 steeps (25s, 25s, 30s, 40s, 60s, 90s, 120s, 180s)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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91

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

I’ve been wanting to try the sample for quite some time now. Unfortunately I caught a cold and it impaired my tastebuds and I really couldn’t taste anything. :(
With that out of the way, I’m ready to jump back into my daily gong fu tea sessions. Anyway, onto the tasting notes:

The first steep had a really nice balance of vegetal, sweet, and buttery characteristics. It’s really smooth and nothing seemed bitter of off-putting.

Some nice spice/cinnamon came out during the third steep.

Onward down to the eighth steeps, it maintained a nice flavour that was true to the initial steep’s aroma. It finishes off somewhat weak, but not so much that I only taste the water and not the tea.

Overall I’m impressed with how well it steeped, the balance between the flavours, and that I couldn’t taste any bitterness or off-putting flavours. It never seemed too dry or overpowering either. The price is a bit steep, so I could see it as a nice gift. I think the flavours justify trying it out if you have a discerning palate for quality.

Steep parameters (as suggested by Teavivre)
85ml water in a gaiwan, sample (7g?), rinse and 8 steeps (30s, 50s, 70s, 90s, 120s, 120s, 150s, 180s)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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87

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Tasting from the first steep, much of my expectations are met. The liquor tastes sweet and creamy, vegetal properties stand out, and the roasted flavour is good and continues to linger on after I’ve finished drinking.

From the second to fifth steeps, the roasting and the bold flavour really peaked. The third seemed a bit heavy, but not overwhealming.

Wrapping up with the sixth and seventh steeps, much of the flavours from the previous cups continued. Unfortunately the seventh had a dry effect on my mouth, but was otherwise enjoyable.

I enjoyed this more than the Qing Xiang Dong Ding oolong. But that’s because I usually prefer roasted oolongs. I intend on trying the samples using a gaiwan and later on with a teapot. If I were to short steep this tea again, I’d probably stop at six, because those were the most satisfying.

Steep parameters (Teavivre’s website suggestion):
100ml gaiwan, 7g sample, rinse and 7 steeps (15s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 60s, 80s)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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85

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Sniffing the wet leaves after the rinse stage, I picked up on butter, spices and a sweet flavour (like corn). This scent is very noticeable and not subtle or boring in any way.

Tasting the first steep, the aroma is much more toned down than I imagined. It’s mellow, floral, and slightly sweet. None of the flavours overpower my senses, and I didn’t taste any bitterness.

From the second to seventh steeps, it held a consistent flavour.

My husband and I had very different opinions on this tea. He really enjoys non-roasted oolongs and I do not. That’s my bias, but I can still appreciate the tea (I’m just not crazy about it).

Overall, I think it’s a nice mellow oolong. Its quiet nature is enjoyable. In comparison with cheaper oolong teas, this has a good long lasting flavour that resteeps well.

Tea parameters (Teavivre’s website suggestion):
100ml gaiwan, 7g sample, rinse and 7 infusions (30s, 30s, 35s, 45s, 60s, 100s, 120s)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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This came along as a sample with my order (Darjeeling 2013 sample packs).

I didn’t expect much from it, but it has a lovely warm fuzzy peach flavour to it. Overall, it has a lovely soft Darjeeling characteristic, with a smooth, creamy body.

Steep parameters:
250ml mug, 1 teaspoon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Flavourful, sweet, woodsy and creamy. Not to overpowering or bitter either.

I found that with a bit too much time or leaves it’s too bold, but it’s really wonderful when I get it just right. Comparing this to the Thurbo Dj-19 I just had from CS, it’s a stronger flavour but still overall a balanced tea.

Steep parameters:
250 ml mug, 1 teaspoon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This was really smooth and not sharp/bitter at all. Along with the typical notes I expect (woodsy, peppery), I never felt like the flavours overpowered my taste buds.

Overall I enjoyed the tea, but Darjeelings are not something I usually purchase so I’ll reserve rating this for now. But compared to some others I’ve tried, this seemed really subtle and balanced at the same time.

Steep parameters:
250ml mug, 1 teaspoon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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96

This is my fist time trying a yellow tea. So going into this purchase I didn’t know what to expect. Due to amount that came with my order (10g), I decided to prepare it with short steeps.

Initially when going through the rinse stage, I sniffed the gaiwan lid and picked up on a unique aroma. It’s really hard to describe, but from my tastings it’s like a butter and honey combo.

Then, throughout the steeps I got a nice crisp, heavy butter, sweet, creamy, and vegetal flavour (similar to sugar snap peas). With the third steep having a lovely honey and butter flavour.

Overall I’m very impressed. Even though this is my first chance trying yellow tea, it seems very different from the other usual types. I don’t have the budget to indulgence on Jun Shan Yin Zhen, but very happy I had a chance to try it.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 5g tea, 3 steeps and rinse (45s, 30s, 30s)
(I tried past 3 steeps but I didn’t enjoy it as much)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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Bio

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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