202 Tasting Notes
This is the last of the samples I received from Teavivre. I have been meaning to write it up for a while but can only plead extreme ennui, which is a shame because I received a large sample and have been enjoying it regularly for a week now.
The keyword in my excuse above is ‘enjoying’. This is a lovely green tea and it has given me much pleasure. The leaves look beautiful and suspend in the teapot very pleasingly. I generally use a glass teapot for my green teas, and in this case particularly, the visual aesthetic is emphasised by doing so. It smells grassy and slightly nutty. When brewed these flavours come to the fore and I find myself not wanting to swallow the tea because my tastebuds are dancing around in delight as I roll the tea around my mouth. The aftertaste is sweet and I can imagine that my breath now has a nutty, buttery, grassy deliciousness to it as I breathe out. Yes, this is a tea that is well worth savouring and is one I shall add to my buying list.
With more teas under my belt, I have returned to this one. It now reminds me of the aged TGY that Canton do but with a less overpowering cocoa flavour. The taste is complex with the cocoa flavour at the top but some muscatel and raisins underneath. There is a lot going on in this tea and I am pleased to find that I still enjoy it as much as before but that my experience is richer for having tasted a lot of other teas between my first tasting of it and now.
This is another sample that I received from Teavivre.
The cake smelt earthy when dry. My wife thought it was earthier than I did but that just goes to show how different our noses are. I placed 8g of leaf in a 200ml Yixing pot, washed it and then steeped it beginning with a 20 second steep and building up from there. The liquor was thick and slightly reddish. The taste was slightly sweet, earthy and smooth. Very nice. It is a tea that I could enjoy all day long. Actually, I did. I lost count of how often I resteeped it, but I began drinking this one in the morning and finished in the early evening when the tea was reduced to sweet, dark water. The whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and I shall be adding this tea to my wish list for when I put in an order.
Free sample from Teavivre.
Yum yum yum. I love this tea. The liquor is dark, rich and full-bodied. The mellow earthy flavour is right there without any fishy taste. It leaves my tongue tingling after each sip. I think this is a tea that I could drink all day. It makes me happy to drink it and I am struggling not to gulp it down just so that I can reinfuse the leaves and start all over again. This one is definitely going on the shopping list.
The second of my free samples from Teavivre.
I tried this one before the puerhs they sent me because I was wary of it. I am generally more of a savoury person than a sweet person, although I do like honey every now and then, especially orange-blossom honey and similar types that are not supermarket generic. Anyway, the thought of honey-soaked TGY did not grab me immediately because of my predilection for savoury things. Hmm, I was wrong to be wary.
First up, stick my nose in the packet. I do this with tea, food and books. Especially books. I love the smell of a good book. So, I’m odd! What of it? :-) Anyway, the aroma was more honey than anything else and I thought that the tea would be much the same. The honey smell was gentle and pleasant as I added boiling water to the leaves in my gaiwan, although I felt it dominated the aromas.
Then it was time for the first cup. Yes, honey in boiling water. I only steeped it for a minute but the TGY flavour did not really come through. Should I have steeped it longer? I’m not sure that I should. I drank the first cup and really enjoyed it, then it was time to re-steep the tea. So I went on. Steep, drink, re-steep. I’m on the sixth infusion now and have really enjoyed the journey. The honey flavour steps more into the background and the TGY comes forward more with each steeping. This makes for an interesting journey. Let’s see how long it goes on for.
So, what’s the final verdict? Lovely. Yes, this tea has plenty to offer and the longevity of it is great so that you can get a whole range of flavours from just one session. Marvellous, and thank you, Teavivre.
Hmm, the tasting notes say there is a hint of caramel there. A hint? I opened the packet and stuck my nose in. The smell was muted at first. Then it hit me as I took a breath and tried again. That was not a hint, it was a whopping great big dose of caramel, like sticking my nose into the middle of a Cadbury’s Caramel bar. Then the floral aroma developed and the two smells worked together to entice me into going further.
I brewed the tea per the instructions and tasted carefully. Floral notes on the front of my tongue and then suddenly a caramel hit as the tea reached the back of my mouth. Crikey, that was sweet and quite a shock. The flavour toned down a bit in the aftertaste but it lingered nicely for a while. Now that I knew what to expect from this tea, I relaxed into the tea and enjoyed the rest of the pot.
This tea is very sweet, perhaps a little too much so for my tastes, but there is no denying that it is a quality tea. I might only wish to drink it when the need for sweet is on me, but it will be going on the shopping list, just for those occasions.