169 Tasting Notes


Very light both in color and in flavor, but not lacking. A subtle delight and excercise in sensory awareness.

Silky smooth with flavors of water chestnut, a light vegetal taste (I’m inclined to compare it to a nice mild cabbage flavor), with some notes of coconut and a natural sugar cane sweetness. This is a wonderful tea. It is delicate and requires your attention and focus in order to be fully appreciated. I feel very calm and centered after appreciating this beauty. Definitely recommended.

Flavors: Coconut, Nutty, Sugarcane, Vegetal

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Tried this one again today, but cold-brewed this time (in a large french-press overnight). I enjoy this particular tea a bit more this way. Its flavor profile is very well-suited for an iced tea. Interestingly, it seems to taste a bit more floral , and I’m getting a definite cauliflower note.

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I’ve been looking forward to trying this one all day. The last time I had Teavivre’s organic “superfine” dragon well was about two years ago, and I know that I enjoyed it a lot. The smell of the dry leaf is promising, vegetal and distinctly buttery. Let me tell you, I am a BIG fan of a green tea with a nice buttery aroma.

Brewed for 1 minute at 170 degrees. The liquor is a very pale green, as was expected. The lack of color is deceiving, and this tea is very flavorful. The texture/consistency is the first thing that grabs me. Just what I was hoping for: it is extremely silky with a buttery thickness. I can’t help but swish it around a bit to savor that wonderful texture. The flavors are those of green veggies and macadamia nut, with a strong sweetness in the finish (the natural, awesome kind). I am also picking up the slightest floral hint.

Delicious. I always love a good dragonwell. Many thanks to the good people of Teavivre for the sample.

Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Vegetal

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I received this as a sample courtesy of Angel and Teavivre. I was definitely excited to see this one, this is just about the last variety of Chinese green tea that I have yet to try and it’s been on my “to do list” for a while.

The dry leaf is very beautiful, and I was surprised to see just how intact these large, flat, elongated leaves stayed through shipping. There were very few broken pieces, I’m impressed. While it was brewing, it smelled very similar to a dragonwell, but with a stronger vegetable aroma. I was conservative on the temperature as I usually enjoy my green teas better that way (160 degrees) and I steeped it for two minutes.

I am sipping on the tea as I write this, and I enjoy it very much. It’s a beautiful sunny day, and a nice refreshing green tea is just what the doctor ordered. It is light and refreshing. The predominant flavors I pick up are absolutely those of green beans and peas as others have noted. I always expect a vegetal flavor in a green, but it is intriguing to me just how easily I can pinpoint the flavor of this one as those particular flavors! There is a very subtle element of silkiness/“buttery” flavor but it is just a light accent. There is a pleasant and refreshing brisk/astringent quality to it also. I just can’t get over how beautiful and interesting the appearance of the leaf is!

The overall character of this tea is invigorating and refreshing, and I am enjoying sitting in the sunshine and sipping it. Thanks a lot to Angel and all of Teavivre for the sample.

Flavors: Green Beans, Mineral, Peas

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Townshend’s is a tea house local to Portland and Bend. I go there about once a month to get enough loose tea to hold me over between orders, but otherwise try to avoid it. They are much more of a hipster hangout spot, and mostly deal in the blasphemy known as “tea lattes”. That being said, they have some acceptable loose-leaf to be had in a pinch.

It is finally spring after a very erratic and generally miserable central Oregon winter. It is time for green tea. Japanese greens are about as “fresh” and “spring” as you can get, and they are calling to me. This is a celebration, and so I will opt for the more expensive gyokuro over the basic sencha.

I walk up to the counter and ask for an ounce of gyokuro. The guy at the counter suggests I go instead with the sencha because “it is the same thing and much cheaper”. I struggle to contain my annoyance and insist that I want the gyokuro. $14 for an ounce (not a terribly expensive gyokuro, but almost this particular one is almost certainly not worth that much). I take a look at the leaf through the clear plastic bag, already a bit disappointed. It seems that this was the very last of what was in the tin. It is about 50% powder, with the rest composed of broken leaves and stems. It’s probably been sitting in the giant storage container for way too long to be fresh, too. Oh well, can’t expect perfection from a place such as this.

Once home, I immediately begin brewing it. I pre-warm my six ounce cast-iron pot. I opt to use one tablespoon of leaf, careful to use the most whole leaf pieces. I heat the water to 160 degrees, steep for 40 seconds, and pour my first cup. The liquour is a very faint green, verging on clear. I sit on my porch and soak in the sunshine, and shift my full awareness to the aromas, textures, and flavors to come as I lift the cup towards my mouth. The smell is what you might expect: veggies. The texture has a bit of “umame” thickness to it, but I have to concentrate to pick it up. I think silky is a better word to describe this particular cup. An overall light an airy profile, but with a touch of buttery thickness. The flavor is nothing to write home about. It is unmistakebly a Japanese green. Extremely vegetal and fresh, with a nice mineral quality. It is much more bitter than expected, especially considering the delicate manner in which it is brewed. The sweetness I had hoped for is not there, not even a little bit. Overall it just tastes like a mid-level basic sencha. It is brisk, refreshing, and suits the spring season well…but this is not what I want/expect from a gyokuro. I would take a $7, 4-ounce tin of Harney & Sons sencha over this any day.

I do two more steepings, each a bit longer than the previous. Not much changes. Same flavor profile to a smaller degree. By the third steeping, the leaves have no more to give. I think this tea will be much better suited as a cold-brew iced tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Mineral, Vegetal

3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Glad to see you back and posting! I am starting to get active again, now that its the summer.

Sorry to hear about your experience; gyokuro can be pretty amazing, and I’ve my share of the not-so-good stuff as well, and at their standard prices that is a definite bummer.

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I have really grown to love Keemun black teas. This one did not disappoint. It’s got all of the characteristics one might expect from a keemun, but this one seems a bit more refined than the usual fare. It’s definitely on the light side for a keemun, but at the same time the flavors and aromas are noticeable. The smokiness is there as expected, but the dominant aroma in this cup is unmistakeably floral. Those are the aromas at the forefront, with subtle malt, hay, and cocoa notes floating in the background. The finish is slightly bitter and dry, in a very enjoyable way, with very slight cherry/strawberry notes at the tail end. Despite all the flavors that sometimes indicate a heavy drink, this one leaves me feeling refreshed.

Very good. Many thanks to the wonderful people at Teavivre.

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This is a great clouds and mist green. Refreshing is definitely the biggest word that comes to mind. It’s got a solid sweetness too it, balanced by a fairly assertive but well-balanced vegetal intensity reminiscent of a Japanese green. It is a very “brisk” tea as well, there is a pleasant bitterness on the finish that leaves your mouth feeling very clean and refreshed. This would be a great everyday green, I imagine it would be great cold-brewed. Very fair price for a solid casual green tea.

Thank you to the ever-generous Angel for the sample.

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I prepared this gongfu style. Two teaspoons of leaf in a four-ounce gaiwan, with boiling water. First steep twenty seconds, and subsequent steeps of fifteen seconds. One of the reasons I love preparing tea this way is that the aroma present in the wet leaf of a gaiwan is so much more concentrated and wonderful, and the aroma is a huge part of the experience of tea in my opinion. When a lot of leaf is steeped in a small brewing vessel, the aroma becomes a completely immersive experience.

The aromas personally I picked up in the steeped leaf were those of tree bark, caramelized sugar, light notes of dark chocolate and faint remnants of what once was a floral smelling tea before years of aging. Time has really turned this into an incredibly interesting and sensory tea.

The aromas matched the taste, except for the taste was more mellow and refined than the aroma. The flavors blended together completely in harmony. It was smooth and silky, musty yet refreshing. The flavor was heavy and deep, yet light and fresh.

Very interesting tea, I enjoyed it a lot.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I love this one :)

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I’ve been eyeing this for a while and I finally got it for my birthday. Although I did not get mine from Mandala (sorry Garrett), I figured I might as well use this thread.

I love this thing. I was REALLY starting to slow down on drinking tea just because I didn’t feel like going downstairs and going through the hassle of heating the water on the stove and all that. This thing is a lifesaver. The hot water is there when I need it, no hassle necessary. There are even different temperature settings perfect for every type of tea (208, 195, 175, and 140). It keeps THREE LITERS of water at the perfect temperature, all day. A simple press of a button and you’re only minutes away from a cup of tea. It’s great for gongfu brewing and also wonderful for western style. Now I can drink tea all day without having to heat water.

I highly recommend that anyone who is serious about their tea should get this device.

Will Work For Tea

Happy Birthday! :)


Yes, happy birthday!

I love my breville so I don’t see the need for this device at time, and I think that my husband would flip out if I told him I needed another pricy tea gadget. LOL But the breville does everything I need it to.


Happy birthday!


happy Birthday! Great birthday present! :)


Happy birthday! And oh boy, what a great present!


Happy Birthday!! hope it’s a great one :)
that is an awesome gift!!

Invader Zim

Happy Birthday!

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Sipping on a cold brewed glass of this, because although it’s a bit chilly outside, the heat is cranked up a little too high for my liking in here. Absolutely delicious. It’s vegetal and sweet, a little nutty, and incredibly buttery when cold brewed.

But I must admit, the real reason I am posting is because I just found out that I’m getting a Zojirushi water heater for my birthday on the thirteenth (I’m turning 18). I am SO excited. I’ve been slacking big time on tea drinking lately just because I’ve been tired from work and school and didn’t feel like making tea, and this is gonna change everything. Hooray! :)


18 you 18 NOOOO you were just a kid! When did you grow up???
And a Zojirushi?!

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My name is Kyle. I love good tea, a good book, the great outdoors, and I am passionate about music. I also find enjoyment in writing and mountain biking here in beautiful Central Oregon.

Tea is a hugely misunderstood and under-appreciated gift in the western world, and my hope is to spread the gift of quality tea. It is communion between the passion of man and the raw beauty of nature. It is art, and it is therapy. I hope you enjoy my writings.


Bend, Oregon

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