326 Tasting Notes

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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69

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Sniffing the tea liquor, I got the impression this would be too sweet. But with the first sip, it’s much more toned down. There are a lot of enjoyable flavours here; malty, honey, spices, marzipan, grains, raisin, chocolate. They’re all very mellow and underwhelming though.

The following second through seventh steeps didn’t really impress me either.

To try and get more flavour out of my cups, I did both a western steep and another short steep (with more leaves). Both attempts were unsuccessful. To be truthful, I just couldn’t get into this tea at all.
And overall I while enjoyed the sample, it couldn’t compare with some other Oriental Beauty teas I have tried.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 4g, 7 steeps and rinse (30s, 45s, 1m, 1m10s, 1m20s, 1m30s, 1m40s)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °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.

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Ontario, Canada

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