140 Tasting Notes
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!
Let me start this review by saying that I come into it somewhat prejudiced as I am not fond of jasmine, in tea or otherwise. However, I do not tackle this sample with as much apprehension as I did before the last Teavivre jasmine tea sample I tried because Teavivre really surprised me with that one. I actually liked it! So, here goes…
I steeped this tea for three minutes at 185 degrees as Teavivre prescribed. The unbrewed tea had a very strong jasmine odor that was also present in the steeped liquid, but the brewed jasmine aroma was not as powerful.
As I gingerly inched down the first sip, I could clearly taste the jasmine, but it was not overwhelming. There was a nice sweetness to the flavor followed by a smooth and delicate white tea taste. Each sip thereafter did leave a jasmine aftertaste but it was not offensive or bitter.
This is another Teavivre tea that is so smooth and light that I had no trouble finishing the pot. Once again, Teavivre has amazed me with a product that was much better than I expected.
Will I now add jasmine teas to my collection? No. But, Teavivre makes jasmine digest very pleasantly in this tea. I guess I would probably have the same reaction from castor oil blended in a rich delicious chocolate cake!
Ah. Another day, another Teavivre sample to try. Life is good.
This selection was hand rolled into little balls of green leaves. The pre-brewed smell was fresh and aromatic. I was excited to add hot water and see what developed.
I brewed this blend for two minutes at 212 degrees. I always choose the maximum recommended steeping time to get the strongest tea possible without (hopefully) bitterness.
There was just a light and subtle tea smell wafting from the pot. The color of the liquid was golden amber.
At first taste, the flavor was bright and sweet and very smooth. With each subsequent sip, a sweet, honey-like flavor remained on my tongue. Bitterness does not exist anywhere in this tea.
This brew goes down so pleasantly and smoothly that I had to restrain myself from chugging it. All of the sweet and tea flavors are in perfect balance. I could drink this tea all day.
Thanks to Teavivre, my horizons have been broadened. I am rapidly becoming a big fan of other teas besides basic black. This Oolong tea is nothing short of WONDERFUL!
I’m starting to have black tea withdrawal symptoms but they are not severe enough to keep me from trying another non-black sample from Teavivre. Oolong is not my favorite but Teavivre always seems to make it interesting.
When I opened the sample packet, a somewhat sweet and milky or malted aroma spewed forth. The green and yellow tea leaves had been rolled into tight little nodules.
I steeped this blend for three minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed color was a light yellowish green.
The flavor of this tea is rather sweet, malty, and tangy. There is also a light tea taste reminiscent of Teavivre’s green teas. I didn’t find any bitterness. A soft and sweet aftertaste was left on my tongue.
I noticed, in the description of the tea, that it is recommended to use three to four teaspoons of tea per cup. I didn’t see that in time and scooped my usual one teaspoon per cup. I still thought the flavor was full and ample enough to enjoy.
Oolong ( Oolong) wouldn’t be my morning beverage of choice, but I would really appreciate this one at the end of the work day or as part of my dinner dessert.
This is yet another very nice tea from Teavivre. If Oolong is your preference, you will probably like this tea even more than I did!
Even though I really need about six cups of strong black tea (taken intravenously) to get my motor running this morning, I couldn’t resist opening the sample of another tea from Teavivre. This time it is the Organic Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea.
I steeped this tea for two minutes at 175 degrees as instructed on the sample packet. The brew that appeared was an extremely light golden green color.
I was worried that the light color, low temperature, and short steeping time would all add up to a wimpy tasting tea. But, as always, Teavivre surprised me again!
This tea does not have a strong flavor but the flavor that it does have is full and complete. The taste is sweet and nutty. There is no grassy attribute to the flavor as I’ve found with a lot of green teas. Instead, it is quite smooth, light, and easy to sip. You also won’t find any bitterness.
Although this would not be my normal morning tea of choice, I will definitely be offering it to guests in the afternoon and evening.
The best word to describe this tea is 亡命徒;喝彩;喝彩声;暴徒 (which I HOPE is Chinese for BRAVO)! This tea deserves that exclamation and much more.
In summary, this is just another wonderful tea from Teavivre. If Teavivre were a baseball team, to me they would still be batting 1,000!
I think it is really cool to be able to drink tea that is commercially grown and produced in my home state. For a long time, we South Carolinians were the only folks in the country who had that priviledge (see the below). What has made the honor even sweeter is that the Charleston Tea Plantation teas are also very good.
Since South Carolina is also the #1 peach mecca in the country, I was looking forward to tasting this blend. When I opened the container, the pre-brewed tea leaves had a very nice fresh peaches aroma. There was no physical evidence of peach chunks among the leaves, however.
I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for five minutes. The result was a reddish gold brew.
With the first one or two sips, my tastebuds could not locate the peaches. After the third and fourth sips, though, a subtle peach taste began to emerge. Sip #5 and on continued the very light and unassuming peach taste with a full Charleston Plantation tea flavor alongside it. There was no bitterness and I have no complaint about the flavor, except that I prefer strong flavors in everything I eat and drink.
If you crave robust fruity taste in your flavored teas, you may be disappointed by this blend. However, if subtlety is your desire, this tea is tasty, even, and pleasant. The discernible peach taste is fresh and natural, just not particularly hearty.
Many thanks to Steepster Bonnie, who just made me aware of another tea producer in the lower 48 states (besides South Carolina)! About five years ago, Sakuma Brothers Farms Market Stand in Burlington, Washington began selling teas grown and produced there. Here is more information about that: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20070911/BIZ/109110041/-1/headlines
Also, Steepster Bonnie put me on the trail of a collective of small growers in Hawaii who started a pilot project producing and marketing tea several years ago. I will do some research on that too.
I can see that I still have a lot to learn about the world of teas, but it’s a fun adventure!
I always know that a treat is coming when I reach for a Teavivre tea. Even when the tea isn’t of one of my preferred types, I consistently admire Teavivre’s rendition of it.
Oolong is one of those types that I don’t pursue or drink often, but I’m always willing to entertain new attempts to make me a fan.
I love the title of this tea. Is it really picked by monkeys? Do monkeys drink tea or eat it? Those are questions that will have to be answered another time. Now, on to my sampling of this tea…
I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for three minutes as Teavivre suggested. The brewed beverage was a light greenish yellow in color.
Brewed and unbrewed, the aroma was grassy and similar to some milder green teas that I tried.
The taste of this tea was sweet, grassy, and fresh. The flavor was very light and smooth, yet full. There was no bitterness and it seemed to go down my throat extremely easily. In fact, I had to restrain myself from chugging it a few times. It is one of those teas that I ENJOYED drinking.
This is simply another perfect tasty tea from Teavivre. I’m not sure if I’m an Oolong fan yet, but I am DEFINITELY a fan of Oolong tea.
In case you are wondering about all of my glowing reviews of Teavivre teas, I need to specify that I am not affiliated with Teavivre in any manner. I am not obligated to write tasting notes (positive or negative) about these teas. I’m also not compensated for my Teavivre tea tasting notes whatsoever, other than the prior receipt of these wonderful samples for which I am extremely grateful.
I personally consider all of Teavivre’s teas to be among the top of the best that I’ve tried during my 10 months as a Steepster. The Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea has only reinforced my assessment!
again to Steepster Bonnie for sharing her very interesting teas with me!!!
The title of this tea is fascinating. I didn’t know what to expect from an Organic Cream of Earl Grey tea. When I opened the packet, I couldn’t detect the familiar aroma of bergamot that I was accustomed to in other Earl Grey selections. Instead, the scent was more like pipe tobacco or cough syrup.
I steeped this tea for six minutes at 212 degrees. A golden orange colored brew was produced.
The flavor of this tea is a cornucopia of fruity, flowery, sweet, and almost perfume-like taste. Ironically, the only attribute I don’t recognize is bergamot. However, it must just be a consequence of my allergy-plagued tastebuds because my fiancee commented on the bergamot scent when she walked into the house! There is no bitterness and nothing that I would describe as unpleasant.
This is a likable tea. It’s a little more flowery and fruity than I prefer but that isn’t stopping me from enjoying this sample.
I thought I’d start my day by sampling this new player from Teavivre. I have no problem with black and smoky before 9 AM. I could just as easily enjoy a plate of barbecued ribs for breakfast.
When I snipped open the sample package, a wonderful smoky aroma burst forth. I set the tea maker on 195 degrees for two minutes and anxiously awaited the result.
The steeped beverage was a medium gold/orange color. A sweet smoky fragrance wafted from the glass teapot. I would love to find incense in this scent.
Even at my very first sip, the flavor was full, smoky, and slightly sweet. The black tea taste was there but it blended so well with the other attributes that it didn’t draw attention to itself. The overall sensation of this tea is like a cross between a campfire and a delicious plate of barbecued pulled pork.
The smoky flavor is well defined but not so severe that it leaves a prolonged aftertaste. It is a symphony of smoky, smooth, sweet, earthy, and delicious, with no bitterness.
This is another EXCEPTIONAL tea variety from Teavivre. I’ve tried a lot of selections from this company and they have never disappointed me.