326 Tasting Notes


Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First steep exceeded my expectations. It’s very floral of course, but not in an obnoxious way. And there is an almost menthol like refreshing sensation with each sip.

Second through fourth steeps were very consistent in flavour. But on my fifth steep I started tasting some nectarine (fruit) notes along with spices.

Sixth through seventh steeps were still very flavourful with a nice touch of sweetness.

I have not gone out of my way to try many tie guan yin teas, but this one really impressed me. I’m not even sure what else I would expect from this tea. Just an amazing experience all around. :)

100 ml gaiwan, sample size, 7 steeps and rinse

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

I’m in a green tea mood today, so I tried my next sample: Liu An Gua Pian.

With my first sip, I was picking up on spicy taste mentioned in the description. It’s really pleasant, and gives the tea body a nice “warm” feeling in my mouth. Next, I was tasting a lot of the characteristics I expect in a green tea (vegetal, sweet). Maybe I used more leaves than I should have, but the tea body had a lot of flavour.

Second to fourth steeps were pleasant, with a consistent but milder strength. There is some bitterness, but it seems to blend well with the other flavours.

Overall I liked this tea, and I downed my cups pretty quickly. Sometimes I prefer a delicate green tea, but this one had a lot of interesting flavours going on. Very happy I had a chance to try this, and I’ll brew some western style another day.

100ml gaiwan, 4g sample, 4 steeps (rinse, 30s,1m,1m30s,2m)

Edit: I prepared this later as western style (with Teavivre’s steep guidelines. It’s much as I expected, but not as flavourful. So short steeps are still my preference with this one.)

175 °F / 79 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

I’ve been having a lot of good result’s with Teavivre’s steep guidelines. So I prepared this in my gaiwan at first, and tea mug later on.

My first through third steeps were very light and subtle. It had a refreshing, sweet, vegetal and slightly fruity aroma. (Unfortunately it was a type of vegetal flavour I don’t enjoy.)

And just to experiment, I also used my second sample to try it out western style. But really, I didn’t notice too much of a difference.

Overall, I couldn’t get into this tea. I tried, but there’s something about the vegetal aroma that displeases my palate. But aside from that, the other subtle flavours were pretty good. So I’m not a fan, but if you enjoy this sort of green tea it might be worth a try.

100ml gaiwan, 4g sample, 3 steeps (rinse,30s,1m,1m30s)

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

This is my first time trying a high-end/more expensive dragon well, so I chose to prepare it as Teavivre’s suggests.

First steep tasted very delicate, light, buttery, vegetal, sweet (with some cinnamon background) and crisp. I couldn’t detect any off-putting flavours.

Second through fifth steeps were consistent, with the flavour building up in my mouth at each sip. It weakened very gradually, which was enjoyable.

Overall, I had high expectations and this tea met them. Can’t say I’ve tried a lot of dragon well teas (or high end ones for that matter), but this one really pleased me. Definitely worth trying once.

As a side note, I really like the flavour so I went ahead and prepared my second sample “western style”. It’s still really good, but I prefer short steeps (plus I love watching the leaves in my gaiwan).

Steep parameters (Teavivre’s recommendations):

100ml gaiwan, 4g, 5 steeps (rinse,20s,40s,1m10s,2m,2m30s)
(spot on directions, it turned out wonderful)

175 °F / 79 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Just received Teavivre’s samples yesterday, and this is the first one I picked out to try. Good black teas always have a special place in my heart, so I was eager to taste this. I’ve also been wondering for a long time “what IS tan yang black tea like?”.

My initial steep tasted; fuzzy, sweetness/caramel, earthy.

Second to fourth steeps started to really build up a strong earthy flavour, that had a nice roasted, woodsy, syrupy, and slightly floral background.

Fifth through tenth steeps maintained that strong flavour, only weakening slightly with each steep. The last cup was still very flavourful considering it was the tenth.

Overall it met my expectations. Teavivre’s steep guidelines were spot-on, I enjoyed the flavour brought out in the shorter initial steeps. What I liked about this tea, is that held onto a strong flavour throughout my steeps. That being said, I’m not impressed with the level of “charm” Tan Yang brings, and I’ve tasted similar teas with different names (this is a really minor point, not meant to be taken as negative).
Compared to the other black teas Teavivre sells, this is probably my second favourite (first would be their Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip). If you enjoy resteeping your black tea a lot, this is a very good option to choose.

Steep parameter (as suggested on their website)

100ml gaiwan, 5g sample, 10 steeps: rinse(10s),5s,5s,10s,20s,30s,35s,35s,60s,2m30s,3m30s

185 °F / 85 °C

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It’s really starting to get hot and humid where I live, and preparing this cold steeped overnight really hit the spot. I like how the chilly water brings out a refreshing flavour of the floral Bai Mu Dan.

Also, it really helps me get through a lot of 2012 purchases so I can buy the current year’s stuff. ;)

Steep parameters:
6 tea spoons of tea leaves, 1 liter jug of water, steeped for about 15 hours in a refrigerator.


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Now that it is spring, I working my way through all the green and white teas I own. There is about at third of this tea left since my last purchase.

Comparing my initial feelings with today’s just after drinking some. I have to say it met my expectations, and turned out to be a very easy tea to brew. Whether steeped long or short, I didn’t have to adjust my method to produce a tasty cup. I like the soft, mellow vegetal flavour with a bit of floral and sweetness in the background. It was a very relaxing tea to have on a mild spring afternoon like today. :)

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Purchased some time ago, this is another tea I own that I forgot to leave a review.

First steep: tasting a lot of qualities that I expect from this type of oolong. There’s this kind of sweet-astringent flavour, slightly floral aroma, and the satisfying creaminess of an oolong.

Overall I enjoyed the tea. It’s nice to drink something besides tie guan yin when I want an oolong. My personal preference is to use a bit more leaf than I usually do for ball style oolongs.

Steep parameters:
500 ml glass mug, 3 tea spoons, 3 minute steep

205 °F / 96 °C

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Purchased some months back, I’ve steeped this quite a few times but haven’t written a review yet.

I had a lot of expectations leading up to my first steep. This was only my third time trying a Sun Moon Lake from a different company, but it has such a charming and unique strong flavour. But all my worries were washed away the first time I tried Nuvola’s SML. It’s definitely the real deal, and it’s not too weak either.

Tasting this tea again today, it still fulfills my expectations. I don’t drink it very often, and usual reserve it for special occasions or for a treat.

Steep parameters: 100ml gaiwan, 5g leaves, 6 steeps (30s, 45s, 1m, 1m15, 1m30, 2m)

200 °F / 93 °C

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drank Yi Mei Ren by Yunnan Sourcing
326 tasting notes

This is the last YS black tea from my order that I’ve yet to review. I don’t frequent Steepster as often, so the thought of logging tasting notes slipped my mind. That being said, I’m looking forward to getting some new YS teas this year. :)

Here’s my tasting notes on a short steep of Yi Mei Ren (2012):

First steep tasted smooth with that “fuzzy” mouth feel. There is also a hint of fruit and black tea flavour.

Second steep brought out a new astringent flavour (I can’t describe the actual flavour so well).

Final and third steep was a really satisfying and strong cup. More of the tea body came out, along with the previous notes.

Overall, this was probably my second favourite out of the five I purchased. Not an amazing resteeper, but still pretty flavourful in short doses or a long steep.

Steep parameters: 100ml gaiwan, 5g tea leaves, rinse and 3 steeps (30s, 45, 1m)

200 °F / 93 °C

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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.


Ontario, Canada

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