138 Tasting Notes
If you’ve kept up with my tasting notes, you know that I am a huge fan of Teavivre Teas. I have yet to be disappointed by any of their products.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Teavivre’s fabulous Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. That tea is nothing short of incredibly fantastic, albeit a little pricey. This time, I thought I would save some money and hope that their Grade 1 Keemun selection was good enough to satisfy my Keemun itch.
I love the aroma of the short unbrewed tea leaves. It is a rich, sweet, and earthy smell that seems to belong only to Teavivre’s Keemun.
I steeped the tea at 205 degrees for three minutes as instructed on the packet. The color of the brewed liquor was golden brown.
As I brought the cup to my lips, I could already smell the savory Keemun. The first sip was absolutely delicious. The taste was sweet, earthy, full-bodied, and very smooth. There was no bitterness to be found. Subsequent sips…and cups…were at least equally delightful.
In my opinion, this Grade 1 Keemun is every bit as delicious and satisfying as Teavivre’s Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. If you are on a budget (as I am), and you love Keemun, take advantage of the great taste and very reasonable price (currently – 10/24/2012 – Teavivre is also offering 20% off!) of the Grade 1 Keemun tea. I am very glad that I did! By the way, if your budget is even more restricted than mine, Teavivre has a Grade 2 Keemun black tea at even greater savings (and also currently – 10/24/2012 – 20% off)!
I found this item at a reduced price at our local Earth Fare market yesterday. This is my first foray into Irish Breakfast tea and my second venture into Adagio Teas.
Even if you don’t like Adagio Teas, you have to award them a high score for innovative packaging. They give you a fairly large and strong round tin with a solid tension-clipped plastic lid for tight resealing. In addition to the lid being clear so you get a good view of the tea leaves inside before purchasing, Adagio claims that the lid blocks ultraviolet rays to preserve the quality of the tea. Very cool!
When I sprang open the lid of the tea, the aroma that burst forth was like a spicy pipe tobacco. The unmistakable smell of Ceylon tea was also present.
I steeped the tea at 212 degrees for five minutes as prescribed by Adagio. The brewed liquid was a dark amber color.
The first sip contained fruity and standard black tea flavors. A tad of sweetness was also peeking in. I did notice a slight bitterness to the aftertaste. This may have been due to an extra spoonful of leaves that I might have tossed in when I lost count. The astringency dissipated with subsequent sips and complexities in the flavor began to appear.
My tastebuds are not experienced enough yet to immediately recognize all of the various types and growing locations of black teas. However, in this tea, I can tell that there is more than one variety involved. And, it so happens that this selection is a blend of Assam and Ceylon teas. It is a tasty combination with just a hint of sugar and spice.
I found this tea to be enjoyable and bold enough to start my always challenging Monday morning. It also seems to be a little more flavor-inclusive than some of the English Breakfast teas that I have tried. I am sure I will reach for this one again to help crank up my day and week.
One of my teeth broke in half yesterday, probably caused by many years of chewing pens while working. I always rationalized that it was a safer habit than smoking cigarettes. Apparently the pen chewing addiction has its own repercussions (besides accidentally swallowed pen caps and the occasional mouthful of exploded ink).
Anyhow, I am anxiously, without access to pain pills, awaiting my high noon dentist appointment today to get my broken tooth fixed. However, my dedication to tea tasting (when I have new teas to taste) is greater than the pain in my mouth at the moment. So, I took one for the Steepster Team and prepared this Harney & Sons tea for testing.
When I opened the tin, a strong bergamot scent became instantly recognized. The tea inside was short and brown, like particles from a damp pile of raked Fall leaves.
I brewed the tea for five minutes at 212 degrees as recommended. I was struck by the absence of bergamot aroma in the brewed beverage. The color was a dark golden brown.
When I took my first sip, the next thing that was obvious (besides the stabbing pain in my damaged tooth), was the extreme understatement of bergamot flavor in this selection. The flavor is nice, smooth, and like that of an English Breakfast tea. However, the Earl Grey component is well hidden. In fact, I detected more bergamot in the aftertaste than in each cautiously directed sip (to the opposite side of my mouth from the screaming tooth).
All in all, this is a smooth and tasty tea with no bitterness. If you can take or leave Earl Grey, or you like the fruity flavor of bergamot in small doses, this tea may be quite satisfying. But, if you like bergamot to be the overpowering ingredient in this variety, you may feel short-changed.
Aaaah. This is my kind of Monday! I’ve finally got a new tea to taste and review. I’ve been so busy getting married and keeping up with work tasks that I’ve had to push new teas down on my priority (and financial) list. It’s been a while since my last tasting note so my typing fingers and brain are a little rusty. But, here we go anyhow…
I’ve wanted to try Harney & Sons teas for quite some time. I’ve heard and read great things about their products. But, until this weekend, we didn’t have a local outlet from which to purchase them. I thought their on-line shipping charges were a little steep (no pun intended) so I didn’t buy any from their website either. Now, thanks to our local Fresh Market, we can purchase Harney & Sons English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas at discount prices.
When I opened the big black tin, the aroma that burst forth was like that of pipe tobacco in a tobacco shop. It was sweet and rich.
I steeped the short black leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees as recommended on the tin. I didn’t notice any particular smells wafting from the teapot during this process. The color of the liquor was a bright golden amber.
At first sip, the flavor was sweet and a tad earthy. The taste intensity was medium. The flavor remained mostly consistent after subsequent sips, but I did notice slight twinges of malt and the tell-tale woody and leathery flavors of keemun later on. There was no bitterness present in this brew.
Although this tea does not have bold flavors, it is, nevertheless, a smooth and pleasant beverage for those mornings when you don’t need something shouting at you to wake you up. There is still plenty of good flavor to get your morning off on the right foot.
I have come to my last sample in this round of Teavivre’s latest offerings. Let’s see if Teavivre has batted 1,000 again like they have with samples in previous rounds…
When I opened the sample packet, a very strong grassy aroma escaped into the air. It was not unpleasant. It was like the smell of a freshly mowed putting green after a Summer sun shower.
I steeped the long green leaves for two minutes at 195 degrees. A pale green liquid emerged at the end of the brewing cycle.
The taste of this tea was light, fresh, and grassy. There also was a slight hint of sweetness beneath the leafy flavor. There was no bitterness to the taste and a light and fresh aftertaste lingered on my palate.
Like the several other Teavivre green teas that I have tasted, one word best describes the flavor of this selection: FRESH. All of Teavivre’s green tea offerings have a just picked taste that makes you think the leaves were harvested this morning.
This is yet another exceptional tea from Teavivre. I can’t wait to see (and taste) what they come up with next!
My only chance to sample more new tea today is in the morning. Green tea doesn’t give me the caffeine burst that I need to kick my brain into motion, but I will go ahead and take one for the team anyway.
When I first opened the sample package of Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng Green Tea (I’m glad I only have to type it and not say it), the strongest pre-brewed smell that I ever experienced launched from within. I’m not sure how to identify it. Fresh cut asparagus on steroids is the best descripion that my sputtering brain can come up with (without my morning cups of turbocharged black tea).
I brewed the long thin black leaves for two minutes at 195 degrees. A greenish gold liquid became the final product.
The flavor of this tea is very light. There are twinges of sweetness and grassy or vegetable attributes, but nothing that takes charge. That is not to say this is a weak tea, because it is not. The flavor is full but not overbearing. I found it very easy to guzzle down four cups of this brew. I also enjoyed the light sweet aftertaste after each sip.
Teavivre has created another tasty and distinct tea with characteristics all its own. This would be a terrific selection to enjoy in the afternoon, at dinner, or for dessert.
I wish my favorite local Chinese buffet restaurant would offer this product. I would gladly switch back from their water to hot tea to wash down the mass quantities of peking duck and sushi!
Jasmine tea is not a selection that I pursue. Many of the different brands that I tried were like drinking a bottle of perfume. However, Teavivre surprised me with their last jasmine offering. I actually enjoyed it. So, I wasn’t filled with dread this time.
Immediately upon opening the sample package, a strong jasmine smell flooded my nostrils. Uh-oh, I thought. But, I remained positive and kept reminding myself that I did like Teavivre’s other jasmine tea.
I steeped the little green pellets at 175 degrees for two minutes. A gold colored liquid was the result.
The brewed version of this tea also had a powerful jasmine odor. I still trudged on and took my first sip. Yes, I could taste the jasmine, but the flavor was light and sweet. I was able to swallow it very easily. After several more swigs, a very nice honey-like aftertaste lingered on my palate.
I have to admit, Teavivre has done it again! This is another jasmine tea that I like!
It is a very sweet, light, and pleasant blend. I still won’t run out and stock the house with jasmine tea, but I will enjoy using up this entire sample. And, if someone were to offer me another cup of this selection in the future, I won’t turn it down!
My allergies have been particularly rough during the last several days. This morning I planned ahead. I steamed out my sinuses in the shower so I’d be ready to accurately review this tea from Teavivre without any blockages.
When I first opened the sample package of this tea, the aroma that burst forth from the fine dry leaves was almost a little pungent. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the brewed version if this aroma carried into the flavor.
I steeped the tea for three minutes at 195 degrees as recommended (actually, 194 degrees was recommended, but what’s one degree between friends?). The brew that resulted can be best described as a muddy honey color.
I was happy to learn that there was no pungent aroma to the brewed tea. The smell was light and rather nondescript.
I was pleased to find that the taste was sweet and amiable. There also was a flavor attribute present similar to oatmeal. Bitterness did not exist.
I enjoyed two cups of this tea very much. It is a tasty black brew with a full sweet but gentle flavor.
Shame on me for doubting Teavivre EVEN for one second! This selection is another winner in Teavivre’s constantly growing array of fine teas.
I just received this tea in the mail from Angel of Teavivre on Saturday. It was hard to wait until today (Monday) to take it for a spin. I saved the tea for this day for two reasons, to:
1. Make Monday something to look forward to for a change.
2. Start the new week on the right foot with a new tea.
The unbrewed tea leaves have the familiar rich leather-like aroma similar to other black teas from the Fujian Province. The leaves are black with golden tips.
I steeped the leaves, as instructed, for two minutes at 195 degrees (actually 194 degrees is the recommended temperature but my one touch tea maker is not that flexible). When the steeping process finished, a golden amber liquid was the result.
My first sip didn’t quite register with my tastebuds. It is allergy season here in the Carolinas so that might have been a contributing factor. I thought my first taste had an astringent attribute but this dissipated quickly with subsequent sips.
Even with my sixth, seventh, and eighth sips, I was not able to detect a recognizable flavor. Incredibly, I was at the beginning of my second cup when a sweet potato flavor started to penetrate my allergy-tortured tastebuds.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I contemplated that drinking tea without tastebuds would be like listening to music without ears. Fortunately, the flavor had arrived and I liked it.
The taste has a unique veggie/malt quality that is smooth and full without bitterness. The leather taste of the Fujian Province teas also accompanies the other flavors. If you like sweet potatoes, you will find this tea especially enjoyable.
In summary, after a slow and rocky start (not the fault of the tea), I found this selection to be another fine brew from the folks at Teavivre. I am looking forward to drinking it in the middle of the winter when my allergies settle down. Maybe I’ll discover new flavor dimensions that I missed today.
An ENORMOUS thanks to Steepster Bonnie for this sample! I was looking forward to trying this blend since my last two experiences with smoky teas were delicious ones!
When I opened the sample packet, my nostrils were bombarded with a powerful campfire aroma. In addition to the campfire effect, I also detected a smell reminiscent of one of my favorite snacking treats when I was a kid – Slim Jims!!!
I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for four minutes as recommended by Steepster Bonnie. The smoky aroma continued to waft from the pot while brewing. The color of the steeped liquid was an inviting amber.
The flavor of this tea is OUTRAGEOUSLY GREAT! It is rich, smoky, smooth, and steady. My tastebuds seemed to detect a hint of bacon in the flavor. There is also a subtle sweetness to this blend that reminds me of my favorite barbecue sauce. The smoky-themed aftertaste of this tea is light, sweet, and easy.
As I’ve said before, smoky foods are in our blood as well as our stomachs down here in the Sunny South. I can’t think of a better way to wash down a big plate of barbecued ribs than with this incredibly tasty tea!