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202 Tasting Notes

80

Well, I have had this for two years in the cupboard now. It’s quite rich in flavour, not fishy at all and I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. Yes, it’s a whole body tea experience. I’m really not sure how to describe the flavours right now, but the aftertaste is lingering on my tongue nicely. It’s sweet (I’ve used that word a lot recently!) with a touch of cinnamon and a hint of the iron edge of spinach, then there is a milk chocolate finish at the front of my mouth as I swallow. I’m enjoying it quite a lot.

Bonnie

See, a dragon hoards puerh for years.

mrmopar

+1 on Bonnie’s thought!

Roughage

And I am Smaug, eh, Bonnie? :) Yes, I don’t have a pumidor but I am trying to keep my teas in suitable condition for them to age. I suspect they will take longer than if I had a special storage areas, but it is worth a try and will be interesting to see how they fare ten years down the line.

Bonnie

Your climate is actually not bad. Mine is too dry and mrmopars too humid without balancing it with the humidor. You are Smaug…but every good Scots tale needs a dragon and some scary ones turn out to be ok in the end (or I being Gandalf can change you into something else like a little fairy…ha ha). (This is all inside joking about a who are you in Lord of the Rings test we both took.)

Roughage

If I am Smaug, does that mean that I am RuLong? That probably means ‘dirty dragon’ in Chinese, knowing my luck! :) I should test the atmosphere here and see what the humidity is. I know that the temperature will not be high enough, because we rarely have the central heating on, and when it is on, the thermostat is set to 15 degrees (59 Fahrenheit).

Bonnie

Burrr! It’s 10 Fahrenheit today….COLD! (Even colder at night) with snow…Arctic blast came rolling down. Great tea drinking weather. I started my day with a lapsang souchong from Angrboda. Already have the tree up and wreath over the fireplace. Snow days are for tea and cooking. Come on over!

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Just started a session of this one. The dry leaf smells like fresh hay. The liquor is a light amber colour and the taste, so far, is sweet with a slight bitter, but not unpleasant, edge to it. It’s smooth and slightly sweet, and I can feel the after-taste prickling on my tongue, a bit like space-dust.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Roughage

And then I finish the third cup, and I can feel my fingers, ears and toes all cooling. There’s a menthol coolness on my tongue too. How peculiar. I wonder if this tea will turn up any other surprises.

Roughage

And relaxing. Did I mention that it is very relaxing? This tea is turning out to be particularly good for such a young sheng.

Bonnie

What’s your bank account number roughage?!

Roughage

I’m not that relaxed, Bonnie! ;)

Bonnie

Too bad!

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I bought a sample of this with my last Teavivre order. It’s powerful and I am getting quite the buzz from it. I can really feel the tea’s energy in my extremities. The tea is sweet with some astringency that probably arises because I oversteeped it first off, but I don’t find that to be a problem. There’s a smidgin of smoke at the back of my throat when I swallow too. Overall, it’s jolly nice and just the ticket for an evening’s editing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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This is the last of my free samples from Teavivre. Thank you.

As usual, this tea comprises nuggets of green leaf, ranging from a fairly light green through to dark. They look great. The dry leaf smells slightly milky. When steeped the nuggets unfurl into buds with large leaves attached. The aroma is still slightly milky but with more osmanthus aroma. It is a sweet smell. The liquor is yellow and clear. It looks light and inviting, and smells sweet like the leaves. Tasting it confirms this. It has body (perhaps a light butteriness?) but still remains light and sweet, and the enduring aftertaste is sweet and pleasant. This is a refreshing tea that feels like it belongs in my cup on a hot summer’s day. Shame it is siling it down here now. Given the grey and miserable weather, this tea adds a little ray of sunshine to my day.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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I bought some samples from Zhi Zheng a month or so ago, as a result of the ongoing discussion on the puerh of the day thread. Fortunately, I was able to sneak them into the house without comment on the part of my better half. This is the first one that I have opened, because I have had a cold for the past seven or eight weeks, so my palate has been rather poor. I wanted to save them for when I could taste them, and decided that today was the day. So, into the pot with the leaves.

The leaves are quite loose in the block that the sample came in. They are also large and there is a slight tobacco smell to them when dry. The wet leaf has a dark, slightly earthy aroma. The liquor is amber in colour and I struggle to pin down what the aroma is. I think my nose is still not at its best! The tea itself is smooth and calming. It has a rounded mouthfeel with a slight edge of bitterness/astringency that only briefly makes itself felt, settling down to a very relaxing brew. I’m on my sixth cup now and it is still going strong. I think I may be drinking this for the rest of the day.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Dr. Who and Dr. PU…The cure for what ails you! Feel better my friend!

Roughage

I still have to find time to watch Dr Who. Most miffed that I am too busy at the moment with looming deadlines like giant trains heading towards me! The tea has certainly helped today, so I feel sure that Dr Who will be the final cure.

mrmopar

Hah! I know all about sneaking in things! Now you have me headed to another site. Of course I get to blame this on you! Hope you feel better I still have the Christmas offer open from a year or two ago .

Charles Thomas Draper

I love their tea. I have never seen this one…

Roughage

mrmopar: you know, I really should take you up on that one, thank you. Also, feel free to blame me. I am on the other side of the pond, so it should be too far for your wife to be willing to travel just to tell me off! :)

Charles: I could not actually find it on their website through the normal process but googled it and found it that way.

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I bought some of these because mrmopar wrote about them and I thought they looked just too cool for words. The price was pretty reasonable too. Anyway, they arrived this morning and I am now sipping one.

The blurb says to steep on plait in a cup of boiling water for a minute. I opted to set my kettle to just below boiling and threw one plait into a 200ml pot. I left it for two minutes because the liquor was so pale and I thought it should have time to develop a bit. Then I started to worry that I had overdone it, so I poured and sipped. The liquor is actually a very pale green. The wet leaf smells strongly of honey. The tea itself hits me with a smoky edge first followed by the citrus flavour. It’s good. It does not scream puerh to me, but it is a very drinkable tea. I shall now have to experiment with this one a bit more to see what else I can get from it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
mrmopar

Glad you liked this one. it is a surprising one for sure. Hope the vendor was good to you. They always ship and do things well.

Roughage

Yes, I had good service. I am always wary of sellers that I have not used before, but I took your previous comments about them on trust and was rewarded with tea delivered in a timely fashion and well-packaged. Thank you for that.

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70

More nuggets of oolongy goodness from Teavivre. Thank you for the free sample.

My first thought on opening this was that it had a really thick heady floral aroma, like a tropical garden heavy with scent. The wet leaf was not as strong, but the liquor carried this aroma through big time. It’s a thick brew too, sweet and light but strongly floral. There are notes of peach in there, trying to make themselves felt, and the sweetness of the whole tea lasts well on the tongue. The oolong is also there in the background, but I felt it was drowned too much by the osmanthus. I can certainly see why people would like this tea, but it is not really to my taste. I could imagine drinking it when the mood was on me, but not on a regular basis. That does not mean this is a bad tea. Far from it. As usual, you can taste the quality from Teavivre, but alas my palate prefers the unflavoured oolongs.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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75

Another free sample from the ever generous Teavivre. Thank you once more.

Like the others I have written notes on, this oolong is curled up into dark green balls that open up to become dark green whole leaves in the pot. There is something really quite lovely about the appearance of all these unfurled leaves filling my glass teapot. You would think there was no room for water with the way they unfurl.

The aroma is immediately floral and slightly milky. The liquor is dark yellow with a hint of green. It is sweet-tasting, like honeysuckle but thicker and with a creamy mouthfeel and that floral aroma emerges in the tasting too. This is a very refreshing tea and not too demanding. It sits comfortably with you in silence rather than requiring you to pay constant attention to it (yes, Tibetan Flame, I am thinking of you). I find it quite relaxing too, as my body takes it on board and decides that the stresses of the day are not equal to the stressbusting powers of this tea. This could be an everyday tea for me. I enjoy the sweetness and I do not feel compelled to try to get to the bottom of every flavour in the cup. Good stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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83

Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you once more.

I love the look of the olive green tea nuggets in this sample. They look great and smell a bit milky when dry, then they unfurl in the pot as I steep them. It makes me happy that I mainly use a glass teapot, not that that stops me wanting a lovely celadon teapot and more Yixing teapots, of course!

The milky aroma turns to cream when I steep the leaves with strong floral overtones. All this promises something good, and the tea does not disappoint. The roasted flavour is there, but delicate and not overdone. It complements the floral undertones that are present, but you need to search for them. This is a very full, thick tea that is less sweet than I thought it might be. This is good. Too much sweetness alongside the other flavours would probably just be too much. I like this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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84

Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.

I like Alishan, so I was really pleased to be sent this for review. I had a friend round for games last night (yes, I am a gamer), so I made a pot for both of us to see how he, a non-tea drinker, enjoyed it.

Upon opening the packet I was faced with little dark green nuggets of tea leaf. They had a slightly milky aroma to them. Upon steeping they opened up to fill the pot with huge leaves, some with large bits of stalk still attached. It’s a wonder there was still space in the pot for water! Did I mention that the leaves are huge and whole? Beautiful.

As the hot water hit the leaves, a waft of honeysuckle sweet oolong smell filled the room. The tasting notes from Teavivre mention gardenia scent. I’m going to have to sniff some gardenias for comparison. Whatever, the scent is brilliant. It’s sweet and floral and brings to mind all the good things about a springtime garden.

Drinking the tea, I was most struck by the creaminess of it all. It was smooth, sweet and clean, but also round and creamy. It brought to mind sipping nectar from honeysuckle, when I was a child. The sweetness extended into the aftertaste, which was great while it lasted, although I did not find it endured as much as other teas. The tea itself was also very relaxing. I felt very much at peace after drinking it. If you like floral, full-bodied teas, then I think this one is for you. Well, it’s for me, anyway.

Oh, and my friend? He said that I had spoiled him with a really great tea. Job done, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

Lucky friend of yours, you really got me with this review, I’m drooling over my ipad screen reading it, lol! Totally my kind of tea, will be adding to my next Teavivre order, that’s for sure. I love their oolongs, this one must be new cause I never noticed it before.

Roughage

I’m pleased the review enticed you to try the tea. I hope it turns out as you hope.

I have not had an Alishan from Teavivre before, so it could be new. I shall be adding it to my next order too. :)

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Bio

I am a historical consultant, Vikingologist and tea enthusiast! To be honest, I have always liked decent tea, but in 2011 I started working at learning what good tea really is. I continue to expand my horizons and discover new teas with the aid of my chums on Steepster, much to the chagrin of my wife, who despairs of my enthusiasm.

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.

Location

East Yorkshire, England

Website

http://ruarighdale.wordpress....

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