203 Tasting Notes
Let me preface this with emphasis that I am rating this tea based on what it is supposed to be. I actually discovered I don’t like Lapsang Souchong at all, but Teavivre makes a good one for what it is.
Dry: Small tightly rolled black tea leaves. The package reminds me of the stables- the dry leaf smells very leathery to me with considerable smokiness and another aroma that reminds me of dry cedar chips.
Steeped: Deep red-brown clear liquor. The smokiness is a bit less present in the steeped tea than in the dry leaf. A hint of malt plays around the edges of the mug.
Taste: Holy smoke, Batman! This one is bold on flavor. Strong smoke with a hint of sweet. Very smooth, with pine, leather, and cedar notes. If I were to taste a tea that reminded me of a campfire, this would be the one. Not for me and I honestly couldn’t even finish the pot, but nonetheless, a quality tea and definitely worth a trial if you enjoy potent smokey notes in your tea. For some weird reason, I imagine that someone that might like this tea may also like whiskey, cigars, and horse races, lol.
Flavors: Burnt, Cedar, Leather, Pine, Smoke
I should have already reviewed this one already because I have been enjoying it for a while. Oops! :)
Dry: Shorter cut dark black tea leaves blended with amaranth and almond slices. It smells pretty much like an almond cookie straight from the bag. If you like dessert almond flavors then this is for you.
Steeped: Lovely red-brown clear liquor. Tiny bit of dust at the top of the cup, but I am wondering if it is from flower bits getting a bit smushed by almonds and tea because the tea itself doesn’t seem to have dust or anything on the leaves. The almond and spices are coming through more strongly in the steeped tea for sure. Smells wonderful!
Taste: This is one good almond tea. From the description, it is made with Organic Kundaly Indian Black Tea, which I don’t think I have ever had separately before. Initially the sip tastes just the tiniest touch citrusy and the almond comes through in aroma and taste quite nicely. Cinnamon touches the blend, but does not overwhelm it as this spice can in some other teas I’ve tried from different vendors. I am not a huge cinnamon fan normally, but it works with this tea in a very zen fashion. The black tea base must not be a potent flavor on its own as I can barely detect it over the almond spice notes, which actually works out great. While I wouldn’t think this is the most complex tea on the palate, it lives up to its namesake just right- a perfect cup of almond indulgence. :)
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus
Sipdown! I wanted to love this one, I really did. I tried it every which way I could think of, but it was never quite right and I think it is just the base that doesn’t agree with my palate. Today with barely a 2 min steep time it still came away with a bit of a bitter bite at the end of each sip. I added whole milk to the finished cup for a creamy/tangy addition, but I think will plan to stick with my other favorites from Butiki like Caramel Vanilla Assam, which always turns out perfecto.
Flavors: Muscatel, Nutty, Tangy
I am sad because I typed up a very long and detailed review only to have it vanish for some unknown reason. :( This one will not be as comprehensive because I am running out of time to type it. Let me thank Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample though- I love this green!
Onto the review, the dry leaf is sweet and savory both, like crushed sweet grass. The leaves are army green and rolled tightly. In the infuser, the leaves become a brighter green and the liquor is clear and yellow-olive. It smells very pleasant, sweet with a nutty vegetable broth aroma.
The steeped tea tastes delightful- water chestnuts and minerals with a savory green vegetable finish. This tea has a very smooth mouthfeel and is light and flavorful. I remember my previous experiences with Huang Shan Mao Feng to be on the faint side, but this one was just right with more tea used initially than I had previously. I really enjoyed it and would even say it is one of my new favorites. Lovely and elegant, what is not to like?
Flavors: Mineral, Nutty, Vegetable Broth
Enjoying a whole pot while helping my Mom list her mountain home for sale (why mom, whyyyyy?!). Ahem. Anyway, I’ve reviewed this tea several times, but suffice it to say it is one of my very favorite flavored blacks. Simple, elegant, not too sweet, plenty of quality Assam comes through with each sip. A great keeper for breakfast, an afternoon cup.. really, just about anytime. :)
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Vanilla
And now time for a great cup of tea. This one is so lovely it still makes me just as happy now as the first time I tried it. Malty, honeyed, a touch of sweet potatoes and raisins, just fantastic. I steeped it a little bit longer than usual because I noticed that my tea kettle was spitting boiling water all over the counter and floor, lol. On the bright side, it was just as tasty and wonderful. Sadly I am getting to the dregs in the bag, will need to reorder before too long. This year and next year, my goal is to whittle down the quantity of tea to keeping primarily my favorites stocked in larger bags and just trying 1 or 2 new teas instead of 10 or whatever at once with each order.
In other news, Nightshifter should now be called Dayshifter! I am officially on day shift. I had been missing here for a few weeks because that was a hard transition after a couple of years on nights. I was drinking coffee. A LOT of coffee. I am doing better with sleeping at night though now and am back to my beloved tea, and on hours like everyone else. Yay!
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
Although this is still a decent cup of tea, sadly I think it is losing some of its flavor over time and I had to bump the rating down a bit. The chocolate is starting to taste “powdery” for lack of a better description. I have about 2oz left and am thinking it may best be served as an iced brew and we will see if the coconut/cocoa comes out better. That said, it is a beautiful summer morning- barely 70 degrees. Happy Sunday all!
Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut
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