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144 Tasting Notes

93

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this tea. I never had white tea before and I shied away from it. My impression was that white tea would be weak and watery and not as robust as I prefer tea to be, particularly in the morning.

When I brewed this tea, I was still suspicious. Teavivre’s instructions to steep it for a maximum of two minutes made me think that I was going to have to really focus my tastebuds to find enough flavor for me to appreciate. I followed their instructions anyhow because the Teavivre black tea samples I tried were perfect after I went along with their recommendations.

After brewing for two minutes, the tea had the color of a nice white wine. When I tasted it, I was very surprised by the sweet floral flavor that flooded my senses. Although I can’t say that the flavor is strong (and this may just be a normal characteristic of white tea), I can say that the tea is delicious. A very pleasant sweet aftertaste was also left on my palate after each sip.

This is another terrific tea from Teavivre. Even though I thought that once I went black (tea), I would never go back, I would definitely select this white tea again for afternoon drinking. I’m also now curious about other white teas.

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98
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
144 tasting notes

This is Teavivre sample #3 of 5 for me today. I’m already sad that I only have two more samples remaining.

One word describes the Bailin Gongfu Black Tea: EXQUISITE! This is another exceptional black tea. The flavor is full yet light and airy. A very pleasing fruity and flowery zing is at the forefront. Behind that is the presence of malt and a hint of sweetness.

This tea is a kaleidoscope of great, well-blended flavors. As with the other two samples I have tried so far, there is a terrific freshness to the taste of this tea, as if it were just harvested yesterday.

I continue to be amazed by the fabulous flavors and quality of Teavivre teas. I’ve already added two Teavivre teas to my Christmas Wish List. Bailin Gongfu Black Tea is about to make its appearance!

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96

This morning I was excited to try another sample of Teavivre tea. The Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea – Golden Tip did not disappoint me one bit. It has a wonderful, light, flowery, fresh fields taste to it.

So far, Teavivre’s black teas have amazed me with the great amount of flavor they produce at low brewing temperatures and short steeping times. I brewed this one for three minutes at 185 degrees as recommended. The result was plenty of flavor, although I think my worn out tastebuds may need about three and a half minutes of brewing to obtain the full flavor effect. Regardless, this is another excellent tea.

This tea has a bright light amber color like wildflower honey. There is also a hint of sweetness to the flavor that makes this selection refreshing for black tea.

I continue to be very impressed with Teavivre teas. They have skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list. I’m already counting the hours until tomorrow’s new sample!

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98

This is my first taste of tea by Teavivre. Samples of this and four other Teavivre varieties came in the mail yesterday all the way from China.

I have to say, I am blown away by the great complex flavors of this bold yet very gentle tea. It’s one of the best black teas I have ever tasted!

This premium tea has a wonderful woody and smoky taste that is fully realized, but not overpowering, after just three minutes of steeping at 194 degrees. I find that worthy of note because I usually have to brew black tea for five minutes at 212 degrees to wring a level of flavor strength from it that even approaches this fine gem from the East.

The rich flavors of this tea are very clear without any bitterness creeping onto your palate. The bright amber color foreshadows the outstanding tasting experience that awaits you.

I am excited to try another tea offering by Teavivre…TOMORROW!

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89

Yesterday I found myself back at the mall and once again I was drawn to the Teavana store “just to look”. I don’t know if the sales people are very good or I’m just an easy sell. In any event, this time I purchased the Slimful Chocolate Decadence blend. All you have to do is mention chocolate and my wallet seems to pop out of my pocket. This is my first experience with oolong tea. Following Teavana’s instructions, I brewed it at 195 degrees for three minutes. The flavor is an agreeable combination of chocolate and ginger. As Tamm commented, I did not see or taste the presence of rose petals in my selection. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to oolong yet, but the flavor power of this tea is weaker than my preference, particularly early in the morning when I’m trying to slap awake my brain and tastebuds. Am I sorry I purchased it? No. Do I like it? Yes. Will I drink it again? Yes. Next time, though, I will experiment with brewing it a little longer or adding more tea.

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55
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
144 tasting notes

UPDATE: I blended Azteca Fire with Matevana yesterday morning. I used 1.5 teaspoonsful of each variety per cup. Wow! After my first sip, I heard music playing, birds singing, and sweet voices! Then, I turned off my radio. Seriously, though, the two varieties go together better than Abbott & Costello. It was like drinking a rich and sweet cup of hot chocolate with a fine tea chaser. The multiple flavors complement each other perfectly! So, I’m raising my rating for Azteca Fire because it is a great friend for other blends.

The DJBooth

I do like this one! I like mixing it with English Breakfast

Stoo

Hi DJBooth! Yes, it’s better blended with something rather than as a stand-alone tea. I used to be a radio disc jockey for several years too!

The DJBooth

Ha ha awesome! What format?

Stoo

Top 40 rock and roll!

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55
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
144 tasting notes

I’ll make this Tasting Note short and sweet because that is how I feel about this herbal tea blend. The chocolate taste is sweet but the rest of the flavor falls short. It is similar to hot chocolate, with either four times the apppropriate amount of water, or only one-fourth the amount of recommended hot chocolate mix. Take your pick. It smelled so misleadingly wonderful in its unbrewed state in the cannister. I’m disappointed with this one on its own. However, I have a feeling that it will be a great complement to another blend. Next time, I will mix this selection with Teavana’s Matevana blend. Hopefully Azteca Fire will then sigh, turn to Matevana, and whisper seductively, “You complete me.”

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97

I was extremely psyched this weekend when I discovered that the mom and pop peach stand down the road sells Charleston Tea Plantation teas! Now I know how Columbus felt in 1492! I had just learned about these teas during my trip to Charleston last week and I figured I’d have to wait until my next trek to that great city before I could buy more. What made my discovery even sweeter was when I found that I can buy the teas locally for about 25% less than what they cost me in Charleston! So, needless to say, I picked up an additional variety of this wonderful tea.

The Governor Gray tea, like the other selections from this company that I’ve tried so far, has a very smooth and full flavor. The bergamot presence is light, but you know it is there by the citrus undertones that exist in every sip. Perhaps it only seems light to me because I am accustomed to the supercharged double bergamot tea blend produced by Stash. In any case, this is a very nice and tasty tea. I steeped it for four minutes at 212 degrees. This seemed to result in a hint of bitterness, but nothing to detract from my pleasure in drinking this tea. Next time I will lighten up and cut a minute off of the steeping time.

UPDATE: I did diminish the steeping time to three minutes to see if the slight bitterness that I experienced at four minutes would disappear. The results are in. To quote Goldilocks, “This one is just right!”

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Stoo, so happy to read your post on your recent discovery! We love to hear how the simple joy of finding a new flavor, or an existing favorite can bring our consumers pleasure! Thanks so much for sharing your experience
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Stoo

It’s my pleasure, Kathy. I love sampling new teas. This has really become a fun adventure for me! Happy New Year!

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100
drank MateVana by Teavana
144 tasting notes

I said I was going to just enjoy the loose leaf teas I have now and not buy more until I finish what I have. But…I was at the local mall last night and passed a store that I hadn’t noticed before…TEAVANA!!!

TEAVANA became NIRVANA for me! The incredible aromas that filled the store, as well as the many free tea tasting samples, were just too much for me to resist. I didn’t want to go crazy (yet) so I only bought two types during this stop. I know I will be back…soon.

I was very excited to try the purchased MateVana tea this morning. The odor that arose from the cannister contained the only thing that I like about coffee, its great aroma. I hate the taste of coffee and have always wished that coffee tasted like it smelled. This tea does just that and more!

The sweet, almost chocolaty, aroma that wafted from the tea maker while brewing, again screamed out the qualities that I always envied in coffee. This divine smell was not even slightly diminished in the cup that followed. And, the bold, sweet, and polished flavor of the tea is beyond adequate accolades. It TASTES exactly like fine coffee SMELLS without the harsh and often bitter flavor of coffee. It is tremendously rich, vibrant, and smooth. I drank three cups of this wonderful nectar this morning. I can’t wait to pop open the cannister again soon, just to sniff it, if I don’t have time to brew it.

Now I know why they give you so many free tasting samples at Teavana. It’s to get you hooked on the fine stuff! In my case, stay tuned. I’ll let you know how things go at my TA (Te-a-holics Anonymous) meetings.

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97

This is another one of the Charleston Tea Plantation loose leaf teas that I picked up while I was in Charleston, South Carolina, last week. Although I like several strong cups of potent black tea in the morning to get my remaining brain cells chugging, I decided to give this green tea a try today. I am so glad I did! I set the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker for medium-strength green tea, with a brewing time of three minutes at 175 degrees. The flavor of this tea is smooth as silk. The taste of mint is cool and refreshing without overpowering the light but steady essence of the tea. Bitterness is not part of this tea’s vocabulary, even 40 minutes after brewing. I drank three cups this morning and still yearned for more!

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Bio

I ventured into the world of serious tea drinking in the Summer of 2011. I started out slowly and gently with bagged tea but climbed to the incredible flavorful heights of loose leaf teas in October of that year. Once you go leaf, you never go bag (except when you get free samples)!

Location

South Carolina, USA

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