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I got a sample of this one with my last Teavivre order as it sounds like the sort of thing I would enjoy. The beau and I steeped it up this afternoon and I was pretty enticed by the aroma. Hello cocoa! I love a good natural cocoa note. The beau finds it smells earthy which I can understand, but for me it’s cocoa all the way in the dry smell.

Rather than doing this in the gaiwan as I usually would, we’re doing this western style as this has been the weekend of tea, relaxing and video games. I’ve been playing Alice Madness Returns while the beau alternates between Silent Hill Downpour and R.U.S.E. I’ve also gotten halfway through the newest Carlos Ruiz Zafon book today (Prisoner of Heaven) and I am LOVING it. It’s nice to have a weekend of our favourite things after the hustle and bustle of December.

Back to the tea! Steeped 2.5 minutes, I have an incredibly fragrant cuppa. It smells like bakers chocolate or even just cocoa powder. I am not a dark chocolate person but I LOVE cocoa notes in tea. The depth of the smell is impressive, it seems extremely rich.

First sips are smooth and rich, not as bold as the aroma had led me to believe but still an excellent quality black tea. I still get cocoa but I’m not picking out anything else at the moment. It’s bold without being bitter and has a sweet smoothness at the end of the sip. This is a great infusion and I think I can probably get a couple more out of this sample. When I do another Teavivre order, I think this one will be on there. Very nice!

I’d like to brew it side-by-side with Bailin Gongfu and see if they are as similar as my memory leads me to believe. I have been stocking the Bailin but this may be better…

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Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

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Canada

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