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I am so very glad that I take notes in my tea notebook and that I tasted the teas I wanted to for this week, because yours truly has decided to catch some sort of nastiness. Either it is a cold, pharyngitis, or allergies (or my immune system playing some perverse game with me), whatever it is I feel awful and I would like it to go away. Sadly this does put a bit of a damper on my enjoyment of tea because my throat is so sore, when tea causes pain to sip you know you are in for a bad day. Luckily my brain seems to be functioning normally, so I can’t complain too much.

Today’s Teavivre tea is Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Chinese Red Black Tea, a Dian Hong without an equal, that is what the Nonpareil part of the name means. Hailing from Yunnan (It seems to be this week’s true theme) and plucked March of 2013, this tea is one of the most famous of China’s red (or black, your preference) teas. The aroma is quite sweet and fruity, a blend of cherries and stewed plums with a little whiff of cinnamon. There are also notes of molasses and a delicate floral finish that smells like violets. The floral note is very faint, reminiscent of a breeze carrying the aroma of flowers from a distant field.

Once the tea is brewed it keeps its stewed plums (and a touch of prunes) and adds a strong note of cocoa, there is also a faint hint of molasses. It smells quite sweet and a bit decadent. The aroma has a warmth to it that is pleasant. The liquid sans the leaf has a honey sweet aroma with a blend of creamy cocoa and light caramelized sugar.

The first steep of this tea has a very fruity flavor blending plums and prunes with a slightly sharp fruity note. Think sharp like the taste of a berry, though there is not a distinct berry taste, just the sensation. There is also a strong cocoa note that fades to a honey sweetness. In a word, tasty!

The aroma of the leaves for the second steep have a strong aroma of honey, cocoa, and plum fruit. The liquid is a sweet blend of indistinguishable fruit and flowers with a finish of honey. The taste is a delicious blend of fruit, honey, and cocoa with a finish of roasted peanuts. The peanut tastes lingers for a sweet and slightly roasted aftertaste.

For the third and final steep I notice that the wet leaves have a slightly spicy aroma similar to the dry leaves, with notes of cocoa and honey. The liquid is faintly sweet with a delicate note of fruit and a slight creaminess. The taste is richly cocoa with a hint of spice and a finish of fruit. The cocoa note is the strongest this time while the others are faint. This tea is mellow, sweet, and enjoyable, some of my favorite qualities in a black tea. The plum flavor and aroma give it a uniqueness that I found very enjoyable.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/02/teavivre-nonpareil-yunnan-dian-hong.html

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Plums

SFTGFOP

Teavivre’s made up “nonpareil” grade really irritates me, especially as I have tasted plenty of other teas that were much better. There is already enough confusion with grading systems in tea.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I do find it a bit ridiculous, especially since when I see Nonpareil I am not thinking of the original meaning of the word, I an thinking of sprinkles used in baking…which certainly made me do a double take the first time I saw it used a tea ‘grade’

SFTGFOP

hahah I’d completely forgotten that was the name for those candies!
Saying anything in French makes it sound better than it actually is.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Unless you are terrible at pronouncing anything in French (like me), then it just makes you sound like a boob. :P

Nicole

I’m the same – I don’t think of “without equal.” I think of the chocolate discs with the sprinkles on them. :)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I wonder if the people at Teavivre are aware of the other use?

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SFTGFOP

Teavivre’s made up “nonpareil” grade really irritates me, especially as I have tasted plenty of other teas that were much better. There is already enough confusion with grading systems in tea.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I do find it a bit ridiculous, especially since when I see Nonpareil I am not thinking of the original meaning of the word, I an thinking of sprinkles used in baking…which certainly made me do a double take the first time I saw it used a tea ‘grade’

SFTGFOP

hahah I’d completely forgotten that was the name for those candies!
Saying anything in French makes it sound better than it actually is.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Unless you are terrible at pronouncing anything in French (like me), then it just makes you sound like a boob. :P

Nicole

I’m the same – I don’t think of “without equal.” I think of the chocolate discs with the sprinkles on them. :)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I wonder if the people at Teavivre are aware of the other use?

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My Rating Guide, This is a personal rating and not necessarily a reflection of the tea’s quality
100-Must have on hand, it is one of my favorite teas
85-99-Really good teas, like exquisitely good
65-84-Not bad, they can be good but generic, or just teas that I found enjoyably ok.
40-64-Not a favorite, but not terrible. I would drink it if it was in front of me but I doubt I would seek it out on my own.
20-40-Not the best tea ever, either it was not to my liking or it was really bland. Chances are I would turn this one down unless I was really thirsty.
0-19-No, just no. Either there was something wrong with this tea or it was utterly undrinkable by me.

I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a lot of time making things out of perler beads and I bet you can guess what inspires them. Other than the obsessive pixelizing of things I spend a large portion of my time doing origami (especially Lucky Stars and modular geometric designs) it is an equal obsession. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading, category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. It is my dream to one day become a Mycologist studying slime molds.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it. So fair warning!!

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P

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Kansas City, MO

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http://ramblingbutterflythoug...

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