1576 Tasting Notes
I’m 15 tasting notes away from 1,500 tasting notes! Whoa. My goal is to have 10 sipdowns from my tea cupboard before I get to the 1,500 tasting note.
Another sample to try – Thank you Teavivre! This one is very similar to another oolong I’ve tried from Teavivre, though I’m not sure which one it is now… I’ve tried many of them! It’s one of the savory types of oolong. The bundles are very green and have the scent of fresh vegetables. I used two heaping teaspoons for my 12 ounce mug.
Steep #1 // 7 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
I really think I’ve figured out steeping green oolongs now. They seem to have perfect results this way. I can’t remember how many oolongs I was waiting around a half hour after boiling to steep in the past — that means I wasn’t tasting those oolongs at their best. I can tell this is a savory oolong even from the scent from the mug – brothy/soupy, hints of salt, buttery… not really floral or fruity at all. It’s very delicious when it’s the type of oolong I’m looking for.
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
This is another cup that tasted deliciously similar to the first steep, but with very potent, strong flavors. Super soupy! It seems like this oolong could be resteeped forever, but it also doesn’t get astringent. But I’m amazed at how flavorful this one is… I could have probably steeped a teaspoon and a half leaves rather than two.
Steep #3 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Another solid cup. The steeped leaves are gigantic, a very dark green – as usual, amazing that the leaves can be bundled so small. This is a very nice example of a savory oolong (the flavor never tastes floral or fruity) and the flavor stays very consistent. I love that there are different oolong flavor types… keeps it interesting! Though I would imagine I could drink one really nice oolong all the time anyway.
Flavors: Broth, Butter, Salt
I thought it was time to get to some of my Teavivre samples before my Bluebird and Butiki orders arrived (can’t wait)! I think I went a little overboard but I’ve been planning a Bluebird order for years and with Butiki closing, I definitely needed to order!
I NEEDED to try this one – I love a good jasmine tea. I don’t think I’ve ever tried jasmine on a Silver Needle base before. The dry leaves are definitely a fragrant jasmine! I used two teaspoons that weren’t quite full… I didn’t want to drop any of these precious leaves!
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
There is no doubt this is delicious jasmine overtaking the senses. I can’t really taste the white tea because there is so much jasmine… a shame because I know the white tea would be divine on its own. It’s SO GOOD though. The jasmine is the type that somehow reminds me of bubblegum. There seems to be an underlying milkiness to the tea, not quite cream or butter.
Steep #2 // 23 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
This cup is magic! Almost as much jasmine as the first steep but now more of the flavor of the white tea is combining with the sweet jasmine. There is still too much jasmine to make out what the white tea itself tastes like, but this is such a perfect combination.
Steep #3 // 23 min after boiling // 3 min
Another delicious cup – one of the best teas I’ve had in a while! The jasmine is now fading but it’s the level of jasmine that I usually find in jasmine teas. This is one of Teavivre’s best teas (aren’t they all?) I will certainly consider this one with my next order!
Thank you Teavivre for the samples! I initially didn’t want to try the raw pu-erh for sampling, since I’m not sure my palatte understands the flavors in raw pu-erh. I’m also not quite sure the correct way to steep them, especially when Teavivre’s website and the sample pouch seem to be giving different parameters. I always want to be tasting a tea properly! I used the majority of my sample pouch, though I’m supposed to be using 10 grams of tea for a gaiwan 100ml/3.4 oz. I’m using my big mug but only filling it halfway, so it’s still steeping in about 6 ounces of water. The leaves in this cake are very long and wiry! I haven’t had a raw pu-erh in a while, so here goes…
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // rinse // 40 second steep
As I suspected, it’s very tough for me to puzzle these flavors out! Raw pu-erh is always very mild to me, but at the same time, seems very full with flavor, if that makes sense. There is a buzzy characteristic to the mouth feel, though I’m not sure what that means.. like it has the tiny fuzzies of a white tea, but I don’t see many in the mug. The flavor is a little of many things: creamy, lemony, licorice (maybe the mouth feel), maple, autumn leaf, apple, butter.
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 40 seconds
I think I’ll try steeping this tea decreasing the steep time each steep by five minutes.This pale gold brew seems like tiny hints of many flavors. Now it’s pineapple, more apple, apricot, many hints of fruit while not being entirely fruity. Also hints of cedar trees happening. There is still a buzziness happening (I’ve never had this with any other tea before, so it’s a little odd), and it also seems like it could become a touch too bitter, so I’m glad I didn’t steep this one with more leaves, hotter temp or a longer steep time.
Steep #3 // 17 min after boiling // 50 second steep
Steep #4 // 15 min after boiling // 50 second steep
The other two steeps were fairly the same but a little astringent. The first two steeps were much tastier. If I only knew the correct way to steep this tea! Though it’s very good, raw pu-erh isn’t my choice in what I’d be drinking… the astringency likes to take over in later steeps with raw pu-erh. I love the smooth, coffee-like ripened pu-erhs any time! Somehow the ripened pu-erh always stays smooth no matter how long its steeped. I think I like a couple more of the raw pu-erhs from Teavivre slightly better than this anyway.
Thank you so much TeaTiff for the sample swap! This doesn’t seem to be on Harney’s site anymore. Too bad because it is the perfect assam! This is what I think of when I think of an assam. I also thought this would taste like tomato soup like my new tastebuds seem to do to assams… it has hints of tomato soup but doesn’t quite get there. There is a lots of gold in these leaves which seems surprising to me for an assam. The flavor has the perfect amount of punch while still being very sweet and malty. Very dried grassy and chewy bread. The second steep didn’t have the perfect flavor that the first steep had.. a little weak. Such a great assam, a pity it’s not available any more.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // couple min after boiling // 4 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
This is from the Lewis & Clark teabox! (I’m not sure what year this harvest is from – possibly 2014 since it was in the tea box directly from Verdant?) I love the other Laoshan green harvests – they might be my favorite green teas. I tried to steep this exactly the same as the Summer harvest I tried recently – I don’t think that one could be any better. These twisty shiny green leaves might not have as much flavor as the Summer, but the Summer harvest has such a full flavor! Still a very flavorful green – nutty, sweet, a creamed corn vegetal flavor happening. I prefer the Summer harvest over the Autumn or Spring but any of the harvests are the perfect green to have around! I’ve got a couple teaspoons left of each anyway!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp. // 32 min after boiling // 55 sec steep
I’ve had this one a while, haven’t tried it yet. It was in a thin baggie next to a cantaloupe tea, so I think the flavor got a little contaminated. Either way, I’m not sure how this is carrot cake. Green rooibos? Papaya? This is not carrot cake. I don’t think all of the ingredients were listed in the description either… there seems to be many other things there. The flavor is spicy at first from the cinnamon, but otherwise it is mild flavored and a little fruity (and I’m trying to ignore the cantaloupe, but there is still something else fruity there. Carrot isn’t a fruit. The description complains about carrot cake made with raisins, but I’m just glad carrot cake isn’t made with these ingredients. This tastes more like fruit cake! Ah well, the other two cupcake teas from S&V were much better.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // just boiled // 5+ min steep
This is the last free sample from my last order! I’m slowly sipping down Butiki teas (NOOOO!!), but I’m planning an order soon. Still wondering what I’m going to do without my favorite tea company! With this tea, I’m wondering how Butiki finds so many unique teas. This is an Indian oolong with long wiry green leaves. The flavor seems most to me like a very smooth green tea, no astringency at all, even with such a long steep time. The flavor is mostly creamed corn with a hint of fruit, very sweet. It really doesn’t seem like an oolong to me, neither the green bundles or Formosa or the roasted oolongs. The second steep has even more flavor, it kind of loses any similarity to green tea and becomes completely its own flavor. Even smoother, even fruitier, though it’s tough to tell which – pineapple or peach and so so sweet. A fantastic tea, but I think I prefer either having a good green tea OR a traditional oolong when I want them, rather than both.
Steep #1 // 35 min after boiling // 4 min
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 4 min
Additional notes: A revisit to the lovely Golden Fleece… though the leaves are some of the most interesting, and though this tea is still interesting flavorwise, I think I’ve had a couple more that have tasted better. Like Yunnan Sourcing’s Imperial Mojiang or Teavivre’s sweet potato teas. Golden Fleece is like the muted version of something like that… or these leaves are simply older… or they were never really sweet potato to begin with but HONEY. Lowering the rating from 97, just because this one doesn’t have enough flavor, though I know it is supposed to be a very light one.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // few min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Thank you TeaTiff for the sample. The black with hints of golden leaves are very similar to Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu. It’s an odd flavor, hard to describe. I’d say it’s like a mild keemun: hints of smoke, chewiness, breadiness, a bit of tobacco, a little like something alcohol.. not sure which one as I don’t have enough knowledge in that department! Haha. Very intriguing flavors though! I used a teaspoon and a half but I think this one would have been fine with two teaspoons. It certainly was tasty as it is though! The second steep was almost identical to the first cup – the brew being a very light brown color.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min