285 Tasting Notes

Free sample from Angel at Teavivre.

Another backlog tea. One day I shall catch up … honest!

This is a great tea. It is all warm, summer day, and savoury sweetness. The summery feel is enhanced by the way the leaf blades dance on top of the water. This makes it particularly worth brewing in a glass teapot.

Both the dry and the wet leaf have a grassy, umami, pork chop aroma. The liquor is very pale green verging on colourless. If you are used to Yorkshire Tea, you could be forgiven for thinking you had been given a cup of plain hot water until you smell the vegetal aroma of the liquor.

The taste is quite complex. It comprises vegetal, spinach notes together with the aforementioned pork chop and a solid nuttiness that gives it a truly full-bodied mouth feel, and this is all underlain by a delicate sweetness. The aftertaste is sparkling and savoury, and lasts well. Yum.

Flavors: Nutty, Spinach, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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This Sunday afternoon is being spent with a sample that I received from TwoDog. Thank you, and sorry I have taken so long to get to it. I often find myself not trying new teas because I don’t feel I have the time to do justice to them, and this one has fallen into that category until now. I still don’t have time to focus solely on the tea but I am managing to enjoy it just the same.

The dry leaf is loose and easily taken apart. It smells warm and has an apricot-sweetness to the aroma. The liquor smells light, floral and fruity. It tastes smooth with a tiny hint of astringency at the back of the throat. There is honeysuckle sweetness that is pleasant and continues into the aftertaste with a spicy sparkle.

The way one enjoys tea seems to depend so much on one’s mood. This is just the right tea for this moment. At $122 per 200g beeng, I cannot afford to buy more of it, but I am really pleased to have had the chance to try it.

Flavors: Apricot, Honeysuckle, Spicy, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

I think it has long been sold out anyway.


That is rather fortunate, Cwyn. :)

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I bought a couple of bings of this three or four years ago and have been carefully curating them so that they could age properly (or I just forgot they were at the back of the box of tea and drank other stuff). I’ve drunk it occasionally since then but singularly failed to write any tasting notes on it. So, in the spirit of procrastinating over writing up the conference I went to, here, finally is my tasting note on the 2008 Feng Shan Yi Hao. Ta da!!

The dry leaf has that gorgeous aroma of warm horse that I like so much. It is a mix of silver and brown small leaves. There is some chopping but there are also whole leaves in the mix. The liquor is dark orange with a lightly floral aroma. It tastes smooth with a silky mouth feel. There is some astringency and a vegetal note. Sweetness develops in the aftertaste which is of an acceptable duration, but there is also a slightly bitter edge to it. This is not a bad tea at all. In fact, it is quite pleasant, especially when the price is considered, but it will not replace the 2005 Tibetan Flame as my everyday puerh, unless it grows significantly in the next few years.

Flavors: Floral, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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Continuing with the backlog and thanks to Angel at Teavivre for this sample.

Like the Lu Shan Yun Wu, the dry leaves look like delicate green shavings of green. They have a distinct warm hay aroma that changes to a delicate umami upon the application of hot water. The green becomes more vivid in the pot and a light yellow liquor develops. The tea has a slightly spicy, green bean flavour to it that sparkles on the tongue and leaves a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. The liquor itself is creamy, verging on buttery and very pleasant on a hot summer’s day.

Flavors: Butter, Green Beans, Hay, Spices, Umami

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Backlog: Catching up on reviewing samples today. I was sent this tea as part of Teavivre’s spring collection and have not yet written them up. This is a shame, because I enjoyed all the teas in the collection. I’ve also just realised that I sampled this tea two years ago. So, how is the 2015 picking?

The leaves are tiny curls that expand a little in the pot to create a grassy bed in the teapot. It’s times like these that I am pleased that I use a glass teapot for these teas.

The dry leaf has a savoury spinach aroma that is evident in the liquor too. The liquor is a lovely yellow-green colour. It has notes of spinach and nuts with that savoury edge to it, but the flavours are delicate rather than strong. The aftertaste has a slight minty note to it, cooling in the mouth. The vegetal notes dominate the aftertaste while the savoury element lurks on the edges. This is a lovely refreshing tea.

Flavors: Nutty, Spinach, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

Hello Beserker!


Hello, mrmopar. :)


Been a while. Hope you have been well!


Mostly ok. Kinda snowed under with multifarious unproductive things and a much smaller number of productive things to the point where writing about tea has had to take a back seat to everything else. Still, mustn’t grumble, worse things happen at sea! I did find time to help a friend out with this video:
He does a pretty good job of summarising a core element of my thesis into a 12 minute video. Not all the viewers are happy with the conclusions though! :)


sounds tasty


Hi, Kirk. Yes, I found it tasty. It was as good as, if not better than, the sample I tasted a couple of years ago, although that could also be a function of the continuing development of my palate.

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More backlog!

Another free sample from Angel at Teavivre. Thank you.

This had an aroma of malt in the dry leaf which was golden and gorgeous looking. I love the colour of this one. The liquor tasted smooth, sweet and malty with a hint of grain. Everyone says ‘sweet potatoes’ of this tea. I’m really going to have to get a load of sweet potatoes and see if they are right, because, judging by how much I enjoyed this tea, I should really enjoy sweet potatoes. I mean, it was rich, sweet, and very moreish. I think this may be my favourite tea from Teavivre’s winter tasting pack.

Flavors: Caramel, Grain, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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I found a sample packet of this in the cupboard and had quite a yen to drink it again. I enjoyed it last time and my previous tasting note still stands. This is one of the reasons I rarely write additional notes for teas: I would really only be repeating myself and life is too short for that. Well … except with repeating means drinking more of a good tea, obviously. It’s a really jolly good tea and I would happily drink more of it.

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A free sample for Angel at Teavivre. Thank you

The dry leaf smelt mainly of hay with an undertone of floral scent. It looked lovely: a lot of little twisty black leaves. The liquor was a dark brown with an aroma of grain and a hint of malt. The tea itself was silky in the mouth with a light, fruity taste reminiscent of raisins, plums and honey. It’s a great afternoon tea with no bitterness or astringency. All it really needed was jam and scones to accompany it, and my afternoon would have been complete.

Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Honey, Plums, Raisins

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for this sample. So, where does all the time go? I spend most of it sitting at this computer writing, so you would think that I would find the time to write up the various teas I have drunk, but, oh no, that does not happen. How embarrassing! It’s just a good job that I scrawl my notes on the tea with pen and paper first.

The dry leaf smells of wet wood, earth and cedar. I brewed it in a gaiwan and poured out a thick and dark liquor. It looked great and tasted pretty good too. The over-riding impression for me was a continuation of the cedar, tempered by leather, a little woodiness and something sweet and caramelly. Is that even a word? It is now. It was smooth and sweet and very enjoyable, although perhaps a little too middle-of-the-road for me. That said, I’m sure this will be many people’s cup of tea.

Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Earth, Wet Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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It’s a beautiful, sunny, Sunday here today, so I spent the morning in the garden catching up on my reading (Ryan Lavelle’s ’Alfred’s Wars’, if you are interested), watching the cats play, and drinking this flowering tea. It looks fantastic and I love watching flowering teas open. Better yet, this tea was still light, slightly fruity and very refreshing despite having been in the cupboard a while. A great start to the day and spoilt only by the need to crack on with some work now.


That sounds like a beautiful morning! I think I might copy you, replacing watching cats with watching my dogs wrestle. Thanks for the inspiration!


I heartily recommend watching pets of all sorts play as being both therapeutic and pleasurable. When accompanied by good tea, it is a definite tonic. :)


did you win that contest for flowering teas? i won some :) i am not sure if i received one of these with it


No, I don’t even recall entering it. This is just part of a variety pack that I bought with an old order to Teavivre.

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I am a qualified peripatetic berserkerologist peddling berserkjaknowledge at UCC in Cork.

My favourite teas are Darjeelings, sheng puerhs and Anji Bai Cha. I return to these every time, after whatever flirtation with other teas I have been involved with.

I no longer rate the teas I drink because keeping ratings consistent proved to be rather hard work while not really giving me anything in return.


Cobh, Ireland



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