171 Tasting Notes


This morning I was having even more trouble than usual shaking the slumber off of my metabolism so I could face the day. I yearned for some potent black tea which usually does the trick.

However, fate dealt me a different hand as I accidentally, with squinting eyes, reached for the Teavivre Organic Silver Needle White Tea instead. Since, in my half-asleep state, I had already ripped the seal from the packet when I realized my mistake, I decided to make the best of the situation and go with it.

As I raised the cup to my lips and the first few drops of liquid trickled down my throat, my eyes popped open, not from the usual caffeine jolt of black tea, but from the incredible flavor that emerged from this amazing white tea!

I’m not a fan of flowery tasting teas, but the wonderful sweet floral flavor of this tea brought me back to memories of my childhood when I would suck out the sweet nectar of honeysuckle blossoms during the hot and humid New Jersey summers.

This tea has an extremely smooth taste to it. The floral and sweet flavors are in perfect harmony. There is no bitterness and neither flavor sensation overpowers the other.

The clean light golden yellow color of this tea, like white wine, is very inviting. You may want to serve this one in clear mugs to get the full effect.

Teavivre has once again broadened my horizons with another fantastic tea. I now see (and taste) the value and good in all tea colors. Black, white, green; they are now all equal in my sight (and tastebuds).

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This is my first sampling of Pu-erh tea. If Teavivre’s Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha is representative of other teas of this type, I will be seeking out additional members of this club soon!

This tea is absolutely delicious! It has a rich, robust, and bold wood taste with a sweet edge to it. The color is a full-bodied dark brown, like maple syrup filtered through mahogany wood. The aroma reminds me of freshly cut fine wood in a furniture maker’s shop.

I found myself swirling the tea around my mouth longer than usual with each sip. I just didn’t want to swallow it and end the fabulous flavor ride.

As always, I followed Teavivre’s preparation instructions to the letter. I brewed this tea at 212 degrees for two minutes. That method seemed to perfectly produce one of the best tea experiences I have ever had.

If there is such a thing as a tea drinker’s tea, this has got to be it. I would enjoy this beverage at any time of the day or night. This tea is now listed at the top of my rapidly growing tea shopping list.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

This is the first puerh that made me CRAVE puerh.


Yes, it’s great stuff!

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I’m very new to Oolong tea so I am not sure what to expect when I try each variety. Teavivre’s Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong tea is fascinating by any distinction. I was struggling to put the wonderful flavor into words until I read the information about this tea on Teavivre’s web site.

Teavivre explains that this tea is from “an area with a mix of mountains, forests, and small creeks.” Bingo! That is also a great description of the flavors inherent in this tea.

The taste of nature is abundant in this selection. It is earthy, fresh, and woodsy. The flavor is not overpowering but just right. I steeped it for the recommended maximum time of three minutes and it was perfect for my tastebuds with no bitterness. It has a light golden color that underestimates the power of its flavor.

This tea would be great to sip all day. Teavivre says that it can typically be infused seven times. I probably won’t be putting that claim to the test today, but excuse me while I prepare infusion #2 for another four cups.

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drank Sapphire Earl Grey by Novus Tea
171 tasting notes

It is probably not fair for me to review this tea because I have to confess that I just do not like tea that tastes like flowers. Jasmine flavored tea almost makes me gag. However, since I took the time and made the effort to down a whole cup of this tea this morning, I guess I have earned the right to put my two cents in (you can decide if my two cents are worth that much to you).

I tried to clear my mind of all prejudices as I took the first careful sip. I knew immediately that I did not like the taste of the Malva flowers. To me, flowered tea is like drinking perfume. I like flowers in the garden and perfume on my woman, but neither down my throat.

Even more disappointing to me was that I did not taste even a hint of Bergamot. Perhaps the Bergamot presence was so weak that the Malva beat it into submission.

The advertisement on the tea bag wrapper states that the “Bergamot and malva flowers add an innovative twist to traditional Earl Grey.” Personally, I think the Malva flowers twisted the life out of the Bergamot.


Sorry it was dissappointing…….


That’s ok, Scott. I think I’ve been spoiled lately by the great loose leaf tea I’ve sampled. Thanks for checking in!

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I went into the office today, which sadly meant I had to be away from my Breville loose leaf tea maker. Even sadder, my only tea options were those of the bagged persuasion. My fiancee gave me a sample tea bag of Sorwathe Rwanda black tea to try so I decided to turn my misfortune into adventure.

This tea is Fairtrade Certified and an Ethical Partner Participant. It is also certified by the Rwanda Bureau of Standards. I wasn’t sure what all of that signified, but I was hopeful that it meant good things inside the tea bag.

I steeped this tea for six minutes at approximately 200 degrees. I figured that was about as high a temperature as the hot water button on the office Flavia machine could muster. The tea that resulted was very dark and almost brown in color. It had a thick appearance and taste. The flavor was overwhelmingly malt. Despite the strong malted dominance of the taste, I didn’t experience any bitterness. I like malt to be PART of the flavor of my tea but I don’t want malt to be the ONLY flavor of my tea.

In my humble opinion, the tea would be much more enjoyable and interesting if there were at least undertones of other tastes within. This tea isn’t terrible, but it is a one horse ride to Mediocreville.

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavana
171 tasting notes

Yesterday, while we were out Christmas shopping at the local mall, I was again magnetically drawn to the Teavana store. My tried and true Teavana routine is to let the staff recommend what I should buy next. This time it was the Golden Monkey black tea.

After steeping this tea for three minutes at 195 degrees, a dark golden brew emerged. This tea is said to contain cocoa. I didn’t recognize chocolate in the flavor but this tea does have a nice sweet and malty taste. This is not one of the strongest black teas that I have tried, but there is sufficient flavor to satisfy my preference for the bold and beautiful.

While I enjoyed the milder but sweet and pleasing experience of this blend, I found myself longing for a scone or some tea biscuits to accompany it. This might have just been due to the throbbing of my sweet tooth. Or, maybe it was due to Christmas, the time of the year when sweetness fills our senses and our hearts.

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This tea is fascinating before you even brew it. The leaves are flat and green like shards of fresh palm leaves. The pre-brewed leaves also have a fragrant grassy aroma.

After brewing at two minutes (as recommended) using a temperature of 175 degrees, the tea had a pale yellow color. At first taste, I thought I was experiencing some bitterness. After several sips, though, I realized that this was just a floral and reedy aftertaste.

The more I slurped this tea, the better I liked it. The grassy, nutty flavor is light and strong at the same time. If you close your eyes while sipping, you can imagine yourself sitting in a lush green grassy meadow, surrounded by flowers and a thick forest, while a soft breeze swirls around you.

Although I’m not a huge green tea fan (I prefer the bolder black tea blends), I find this Teavivre tea likable and engrossing. For a green tea, it has plenty of flavor to hold my interest.

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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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drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
171 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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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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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)!


South Carolina, USA

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