156 Tasting Notes
Thank you for Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample!
Dry: I was excited to be able to see Dragon Well again. It has been a while and this is a tea that I generally enjoy. The dry leaf smells notably savory (almost brothy before it is even brewed) with a hint of sweet. The flattened green leaves look like the bud and the leaves pushed together during the drying process.
Steeped: I used a lot of tea for this because I know I generally enjoy Long Jing so the liquor is clear and yellow-olive, though I imagine it would be lighter and more sunshine-y for someone brewing less at a time. The steeped aroma is almost like a vegetable broth, losing the sweet leaf note, but keeping the savory goodness.
Taste: This tastes pretty magical for Dragon Well lovers, though I would watch the steep time. The label says 1-6 minutes so I went with 4.5 (Western style), but I think 3 might have been better. It is the tiniest bit bitter at the end of each sip, which is unfortunate and I know is preventable. I will brew this again at a lower steep time and see how much more magical it can be. :) Anyhoo, it is buttery, savory, reminds me of buttered boiled green vegetables with a tiny hint of sweet and bitter. It is thoroughly enjoyable as it is, but I know I can do better. Love me some Dragon Well and it is a good start to the day before we hit the mountain bike trails.
Flavors: Butter, Vegetable Broth
Thank you for Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample!
Dry: This is a very interesting and attractive dry leaf with tightly rolled curly tea buds that appear green, olive, and silvery all blended together. They are also fluffy, almost feathery, as I placed them in the steeper. This is a very different look and feel from some other greens like dragonwell, for example. The dry aroma is sweet with a touch of floral and hay.
Steeped: The recommended steep time is 1-6 minutes so I went with 2 minutes to start. This resulted in a light olive green clear liquor that smelled mildly savory and pleasant. The second time I went with 5 minutes and this resulted in a deep olive clear liquor that has a notably stronger vegetal fragrance. The steeped tea itself unfurls into lovely olive buds with a few dark green cut tea leaves mixed in.
Taste: With the first 2 minute steep, there was a very mellow flavor that was almost like I was tasting the aroma. It was enjoyable, but I wanted something bolder to detect the nuances of the green tea. With the 2nd longer steep, there is noticeably more flavor. It has an initial savory, almost brothy note that is chased by something almost faintly citrus. It is not a sweet citrus, but more like a tiny crisp note at the end of each sip. It is fun playing with the steep times as this tea is very versatile in regards to being able to meet the preferences of the individual via short steep or longer steep without becoming overly bitter. Although I must admit it is not my favorite of Teavivre’s greens, I would gladly have it any day and am very glad I have been able to try it!
Flavors: Cut grass, Fruit Tree Flowers, Vegetable Broth
Enjoying a pot of this lovely green. Cream, nuts, a savory and pleasant green base.. this really works for me. For whatever reason, I associate this particular tea with relaxation as soon as I sniff the dry leaf. I love the bright liquor against the white teaware, too. I steeped it after a hot shower and am lazily watching episodes of House of Cards (which is an amazing show btw). It is cool and crisp outside with intermittent drizzling rain- my kind of weekend. Happy Sunday!
Flavors: Cream, Nuts, Seaweed
Dry: Lovely green furled Huang Shan Mao Feng tea leaves with bits of red safflower. A creamy and thick sweet fragrance with a hint of vanilla and spice can be found in the bag. It reminds me of eggy bakery treats like bread pudding or maybe custard and smells very good to my nose.
Steeped: Lovely clear yellow to very light green clear liquor. The vanilla is more apparent in the hot tea aroma coming from the tea pot and it does remind me of the way eggnog smells right before I take a big sip.
Taste: This is quite a delicious tea! I love eggnog and Huang Shan Mao Feng so I was really looking forward to trying this and I am glad I did. This is smooth, rich, almost buttery with vanilla notes and cream. Even the mouthfeel is on the thicker side for what is normally a very mild and refreshing light green. Although the taste does not remind me overly so of eggnog, it still does remind me of a creamy bakery dessert and is quite enjoyable. I usually prefer green teas straight, but I make an exception for this. :)
Flavors: Cream, Vanilla
I found this one in the back of the cupboard with the Bailin Gongfu black (score!) the other day. I tried it for the first time today and while it was tasty, I screwed up the steeping and the flavor was weaker for it. I think I looked at too many teas and for some reason I thought it needed 2 min @ 212F, but when I tasted it I wasn’t getting much chocolate so I investigated. On the TeaVivre site, it says 5-10 minutes @ 203F. Kind of a big difference. Oops!
So in the meantime, I am going to reserve the score until I steep it correctly. Even now it is smooth and pleasant though. I have enough to make it one more time, wish me luck!
I am finally getting towards the back of one side of my cupboard and I found this gem with a few other blacks I have never tried yet. Excited! This is also perfect because it is a lower caffeine tea and I am planning on going for a run today before work. Double happy because I am not a fan of jittery trotting. :)
Dry: The loose leaf is thin and compact with tightly rolled leaves. There is some black and orange coloration to the individual buds. The dry scent is wonderful! Fragrant, sweet, malty.
Steeped: This makes quite a beautiful rich red-brown clear liquor. The steeped scent is also very enjoyable with an intensified malty-sweetness that is lovely to someone that enjoys teas from this spectrum like I do.
Taste: This tea is flavorful without being overpowering and naturally honey-sweet without being cloying or dessert-like. I brewed it Western style and did not add anything to it and it tastes fresh, medium-bodied, malty, and enjoyable naturally. NO astringency whatsoever. I think this one might be a good tea to introduce someone to Chinese black teas for the first time.
Flavors: Honey, Malt
Sometimes I just want to eat cake! And this is one of those mornings apparently. I am working to whittle down the older teas to make room for placing new orders and this caught my eye. It had been a while and it perfectly matched my craving, so there we go. Vanilla, cakey goodness with a touch of caramel perhaps. This is a straight-up bakery tea without overly complex nuances. I am not sure how much caffeine I am getting with it, but I imagine it is a bit weak for a morning cup and the color itself is very light brown. That said, I can sleep whenever I want today so I don’t mind at all. And the sweet aspect of this tea is anything but weak. Yum!
I tried this again for my breakfast tea and took the advice of a Steepster to brew it less strong to bring out the cheesecake flavor. I actually did like it a little bit better, but I really think this base just doesn’t agree for whatever reason. I only have a little bit left, but I would only reorder it if it was recreated for sure. Now onto the lovely and elegant Caramel Vanilla Assam instead. :)
I feel certain I posted a note of this one before, but I can’t find it now. This is a sipdown for what its worth, but is not my first try of this tea.
Dry: Black tea with a greater part green leaves, though in the picture from their website it looks the other way around. I am not sure if I got the bottom of the bag in my sample, but a lot of the bits are small enough to go through my infuser. So that’s not great. It is pretty otherwise with marigold and cornflower petals (yellow and blue) and the dry leaf smells very tropical. Reminds me of passion fruit!
Steeped: Light to medium brown clear liquor. Smells like hot guava if that makes any sense. Where I grew up in S. Florida we would have guava treats that my Cuban neighbors used to make. These remind me of them before they cooled down.
Taste: I realize this is supposed to taste like guava, coconut, and strawberry, but I am only getting hibiscus and guava. It is actually probably the most tangy tea I’ve ever had and I am not sure tangy + tea go together that well. I actually still like it somewhat because I happen to love guava, but I wouldn’t say it is a leading contender in the cupboard and others might like it considerably less as guava is one of those tastes that some people love and some people passionately hate. It was fun trying you Caribe, but time to move on!
So, this is a good tea. It is one of my oldest in the cupboard and still going strong, though I only have enough for maybe one or two more servings worth from this 50g bag. Chocolate, soft mint, a hint of spice, goes well with or without milk or additions. This will more than likely be a reorder as I find myself craving it at the weirdest times. Mint can sometimes give me bad heartburn, but this one is gentle and tasty. It really does age quite nicely, which (as I’ve recently discovered) is not true of all teas. :)