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302 Tasting Notes

82

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First through seven steeps were consistently bold in flavour. I enjoyed how potent the liquor tasted. Lately I haven’t been drinking any strong black teas. This one had a very bold, earthy and malty flavour.

I’m looking forward to trying this western style (probably steeped in a mug). That being said, bold black teas are not my favourite. They’re not something I’d drink all the time, but it’s still a pleasant experience.

100ml purion teapot, 2tsp, rinse and 7 steeps (with Teavivre’s suggested times: 10s, 20s, 30s, 50s, 1m10s, 1m30s, 2m)

Edit: tried this western style, and it’s still quite nice and bold.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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87

Sample provided for review

First through sixth steeps were lovely. There is a deep, rich, earthy and roasted aroma. Very soothing and calming. It seems like a great tea to drink during the colder months.

I’m thankful for the chance to try this tea from a vendor I didn’t know about previously. They’ve certainly piqued my interest. I’d definitely think about ordering some different teas in the future.

100ml gaiwan, 5g, rinse and 6 short steeps

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84

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

This is my second time brewing this. Previously I used short steeps in a gaiwan, today I’m using a glass mug (about 400ml). I know everyone is not interested in short steeps, but I enjoy comparing a tea using both methods. For people that have read some of my previous tasting notes, you’ll notice that I typically short steep all of my black teas. Usually I prefer the flavour of that method, but I also enjoy the additional tea ritual steps. ;)

On the taste of today’s brewing results:

My two steeps came out pretty mild, which depending on your Keemun preference is good or bad (good for me). With the familiar flavours of its type coming up very subtly. I really enjoyed how the floral flavours were mild, while the spices were a bit stronger.

Overall I liked this Keemun tea because the flavour wasn’t bold and in my face. That being said, I am still not a big fan of this type of tea. If you like Keemun, but want more subtle flavours this is a nice tea to try. But if you prefer a bolder cup, Teavivre’s other Keemun teas fulfill that role better.

400ml-ish glass mug, 4-5g, 2 steeps (3m, 6m)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First steep, very smooth, velvety, light liquor, with the familiar Dragon Well flavour.

Second and third steeps, bolder in taste, there is also this almost fuzzy texture on my tongue.

Fourth and fifth steeps, the flavour has weakened a bit but is still enjoyable, and a bit of astringency if present (but not overdone).

Overall I really liked this Dragon Well tea. Teavivre always provides really nice green tea samples, and it’s given me a new appreciation for that type of tea.
Next time I brew this sample, I will use my competition cups to compare the Premium Dragon Well (which I purchased) with this one. After that, I’ll try it western style in a teapot.

100ml gaiwan, 4g-ish (sometimes my digital scale fudges it), 5 steeps (rinse, 20s, 40s, 1m10s, 2m, 2m30s)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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78

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

After trying this with short steeps, I brewed it in a teapot today. The result was a bit different, and better in some ways. I noticed a lot less strong charcoal flavour, and more of a smooth and sweet liquour.

Overall I prefer the flavour of short steeping this, but it’s still nice from a teapot. If you drink a lot of tie guan yin western style, drinking this da hong pao might be a nice change of pace. It’s a very different experience, but still a good cup of oolong.

I’ve never really been charmed by da hong pao before, but I can see why people like it. With my limited experience tasting this type of tea, I cannot vouch for it’s quality. That being said, I didn’t find any of the flavours to be off putting.

400ml, 5g, 3 steeps (1m, 2m, 3m)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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84

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

The first through sixth steeps were actually pretty consistent in flavour. Sometimes Keemun black tea is a bit harsh or almost bitter, but this one was very nice and mellow. Just the right mixture of usual Keemun characteristics, earthy, malty, and hints of spices.

Overall this is one of the better Keemun black teas I’ve tried (which isn’t a whole lot, maybe about 6-7 now). Throughout the six steeps, it never became bitter or too strong. That being said, I’m not a big fan of this type of black tea but it still managed to exceed my expectations. I’ll have to try this western style sometime with the rest of my samples.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp (4g-ish), rinse and 6 short steeps (from their website: 15s, 30s, 45s, 1m10s, 1m40s, 2m10s)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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78

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Sniffing inside the tea pouch, I’m picking up on charcoal, some sweet scent and raisins.

First through fourth steeps were pretty good. The flavours suggested by the dry leaf scent were accurate. There was also a hint of chocolate in those steeps.

Continuing on for another two, the fifth and sixth steeps were pretty light but enjoyable.

Overall I liked it, but the liquor seemed to be lacking enough depth. Maybe I’m just being picky. Like I said though, it’s still a very enjoyable tea to drink. I’ll prepare this western style the next time I use more of this sample.

100ml gaiwan, 1 sample pouch (5g?), rinse and 6 steeps (as directed on their website: 25s, 40s,60s, 80s, 1m40s, 2m20s)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
TeaVivre

Yes, 5g for a sample pouch!

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I need to be a bit more careful when I brew this tea. Usually when I short steep a black tea, I try and estimate 2 tsp of leaves into a gaiwan or small teapot. But this black tea is very compact, and 1 tsp of leaves totally fills up my purion teapot.

Moving onto the tasting notes;
Nothing really stood out too much flavourwise. It’s very malty, earthy, Yunnan-y(?). The tea liquor comes out pretty dark for a short steep, but it’s not too dark or heavy for me to enjoy in the summer.
Initially it seems pretty standard, but I don’t mind that at all.

100ml purion teapot, 1 tsp, 6 short steeps

(Going to hold off rating this until I try it a few more times)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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84

This one really exceeded my expectations. Based solely on the description and picture alone, I was thinking it would be nice but kinda average (for its type). But it has a refreshing liquor, slightly fruity flavour, and the nice malty and earthy notes I expect.

And another thing, I don’t think the picture does this tea justice. Looking inside the bag, these leaves are big, beautiful and colourful. I know the appearance of leaves isn’t related to flavour, but it was a delight just to look at the dry leaves.

Overall I can’t say this is one of my (all time) favourite black teas, but it certainly has a wonderful charm. I’m looking forward to getting to the bottom of my 100g purchase. From the teas I’ve tried so far (and yet to review) from YS, they do a good job of providing a lot of black teas with different characteristics.

100ml purion teapot, 3 tsp (it’s hard to scoop the leaves out, so 3 is probably right for me), 6 short steeps

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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78

Recently I purchased six black teas from Yunnan Sourcing. The shipping rate is reasonable but not cheap, so for me it’s worth it to buy a lot of teas (550g total is a lot to me) in one order. On the plus side, my husband mostly drinks black tea at work and this will keep us both well supplied for a while.

Overall I had a nice and mellow six steeps. Nothing really unique caught my attention, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a pleasant cup of Yunnan black tea to drink, and also fun to pry apart. Not disappointed.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp(?), 6 short steeps

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °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.

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

What my tea ratings mean:

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!)

80-89: 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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