1998 Tasting Notes
Sample sipdown! Thanks to Hesper June for this one. It is the last of the last of the box you sent!
Woke up to clouds and rain again. Cooked the chickens breakfast, ran out to the coop in the chilly damp, and vowed to have tea. This was a nice warming cup to follow my breakfast! The Lapsang aspect is not too smoky, and the bergamot is a nice light touch, not enough to offend those who don’t like heavy bergamot, and a pleasant surprise addition to the smoke for those who do!
This is one of the samples I received in the special offer that Verdant posted not long ago. I am craving tea because thanks to all the peer pressure here on Steepster I have stayed up far too late watching Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea. I am trying to sip down a whole lot of samples and I am mentally ready for a big clean up of my tea shelves (again) because there is just an overwhelming amount of tea right now, and more I want to order, and some I don’t think I will drink. I have given away several boxes of tea, have one ready to go, and am putting together another for a very interesting man I met who adopted a puppy we fostered. Turns out he loves tea and drinks scads every day, yet has never really had the really good stuff.
So… On to the tea! The dry leaves are very fragrant and give a hint of the goodness to come. So far I have made only three steeps of this tea, but I will give my impression thus far. I used a little more leaf than called for and steeped a little longer, yet it is neither astringent nor bitter. It is a rather delicate tea, yet has a nice lingering floral taste. The liquor is quite pale. The front of the sip is like water that has poured over rocks in a cold mountain spring, with flowers laid over the top of that. The floral taste rises and the rock sinks and makes me want to drink more.
This is a very nice TGY. I would love to try the spring TGY someday as it is probably more to my personal preference, although I fluctuate between being enamel red of green oolongs and then roasted oolongs. Fickle!
I have already had a couple of Zealong teas and enjoyed them very much. I was going through a samples basket and saw this package still sealed, and it must be ancient! I think it came from Quiltguppy, and I really miss her! She introduced me to some amazing teas.
I had this as an “after Sunday-brekkie” tea. I was up at 5:30 cooking for the chickens and tending them, then took their eggs and made a nice breakfast to share with hubby, and afterward we sat on the sofa drinking this. It is cloudy, drizzly, and chilly, so it was an especially welcome cup today!
Even though this is an old sample, the tea tastes quite good. I think it must have been an eleven on a scale of one to ten when it was fresh. There is a lot of that rock or mineral flavor that oolongs often have, a wonderful floral/fruity aroma, and smooth smooth smooth! We did about five or six steeps.
Tea friend Sandy here on Steepster actually went to tea at the plantation where this was grown! Maybe she will chime in with that experience for us!
This was one of the free samples I received from Teavivre.
Writers’ Group meets at my house every other Thursday. On some of the first meetings, I hesitantly offered tea because I didn’t know if they would like it. They loved it, and now it is a very big part of group. We drink VAST amounts…so much that I got to use the new German phrase I just taught my daughter (we homeschool), “Ich muß pinkeln.” No translation needed, yes?
I asked one member if she had any special requests for tonight, and she said she wanted the tea that makes her tummy feel better. A couple of weeks ago she told me that she has a lot of digestive issues and usually has a lot of trouble eating meat as she just can’t seem to process it. Then she noticed that she could eat almost anything for several days each time we had tea together.
So tonight’s tummy tea was this! She and I sniffed the dry tea. She was a little scared as it had a really horsey smell. We both like shu puerh though, so she didn’t mind trying it. We actually steeped it western style in an 18 ounce pot, and I think we ended up making 6 or 7 steeps.
The liquor was dark, as in almost inky! It looked like I was handing out cups of coffee. Everyone looked a little scared at first, but everyone loved it. The horsey aroma was absent from the steeped tea and instead there was a nice, earthy puerh taste. The tea had a lot of body, which in a puerh comes across to me as a cedar flavored oiliness. It coated my mouth. There was little aftertaste, but a real sweet, smoothness following. The man in our group, whose wife is Asian and drinks more bitter greens that he doesn’t care for, remarked on the sweet, smooth taste of this, and said he liked how there was no bite at the end.
The first steep was about one minute but the second went much longer as I got distracted. The remaining steeps were all between one and two minutes. Even the forgotten steep did not get bitter or unpalatable. This is a very forgiving, very nice puerh, and I am glad my friend (Hi, Marshain!) is going to have a happy tummy for a few days.
Thank you, Teavivre! This was lovely, and I look forward to the remaining sample!
I saved the leaves from my first sampling of this sample sent by Teavivre for review. I almost didn’t want to use them because the first steep had been so amazingly good that I didn’t want a watered down version of that experience. But today I decided to give these leaves a go and see how they held up.
Oh joy! This is every bit as good as the first steep! And keep in mind that I am making this western style. The tea has a naturally floral quality that is just magnificent.
Here is how I pictured it. Imagine being flustered and distracted and busy, and then an elegant, gracious woman takes you by the arm and leads you to a chair. At her first touch, you feel calm. She gives you a cup of tea, and as sip you become like her – elegant, calm, poised, controlled, focused, peaceful, and gracious.
On my shopping list!
Before my youngest daughter got hooked on Lapsang, and I mean strong stuff like Lapsang Souching Crocodile by Dammann Freres, I had to buy this tea by the pound or face ordering it with great frequency. This last bit has been sitting here for almost six months relatively untouched, but I still like it a great deal and served it with our pound cake at tea time today. It was a great pairing.
I am trying to sipdown a lot of my tea and have not purchased anything but matcha in a while, except that I did order the Verdant samples. When I have reduced my cupboard and samples quite a bit, I may be ordering more of this one because good vanilla tea is versatile, and this one is really good. I am toying with ordering Nina’s Thè des Anges as my cupboard vanilla, though.
This is a great tea for the price, and pretty much everyone I have ever served it to, likes it. It is less sweet and dessert-y than their decaf Vanilla Comoro, which I really must keep on hand regardless of the size of my cupboard.
The girls wanted to have a little tea time together today since the pound cake was sitting there looking tantalizing. I thought this would pair pretty well with it, but I don’t think I will pair this tea with sweets, or much of anything else again, because it is too awesome to let anything distract you from it.
This is a free sample from Teavivre and I have to say thank you thank you thank you! That is how much I enjoyed it.
The liquor was paler than I expected but when I lifted the cup the most amazing aromas came to me; flowers, yes, but something else. A fruity scent almost like sweet lemon candy that has no puckery sour taste. Oh my, oh my oh my. This is good, and I am normally a fan or roasted TGY or buttery oolongs.
This pot of tea gave me the very same sense of calm and peace and sanity that I get from Teavivre’s Jasmine Silver Needle and Jasmine Dragon Pearls.
Excellent. Wonderful. Having some more.
I am drinking this sample from a friend just so I can have a sample sipdown! I will be making another tea shortly because this isn’t doing anything for me. The base feels a little rough and grassy and the coconut isn’t as strong as it could be. Maybe I did something wrong but I know for sure the water wasn’t too hot. If anything, it was too cool. Steeped for three minutes.
I have not had tea for the past few days because I was sick. I am so glad to be getting back to my teapot and my calming evening cup of green tea!
This is a sample of the 2013 harvest sent by Teavivre. Many thanks!
When I made this tea, the kitchen lights were all out but one, so I saw the dry leaves only dimly. Everyone was getting ready to head to bed. After it steeped, it wouldn’t have mattered if all the lights had been out. The leaves were such a vibrant green they would have lit the room. They were so beautiful – fresh, alive, and crying out that they were the newborns of spring!
The aroma was of soft spinach, no hard or bitter edges. The liquor was a much paler color than I expected after seeing those electric green leaves.
The flavor is mild and smooth, nothing harsh or biting is to be found here. There is almost no aftertaste, which is having the effect of making me drink more and more because I want to keep experiencing the flavor.
Hubby came in after I had already finished two cups. He poured himself a cup, then another, and was about to pour another but the pot was empty. I asked if he wanted a resteep and he said, “Yes, please!” I made the second pot and he drank a cup and told me he had to go to bed now. He left the room and was back in less than three minutes pouring another cup of tea.
There is a mineral freshness to this along with the vegetal flavor, rather than the butteriness sometimes found in a vegetal green. My mouth feels so fresh and clean, yet there really wasn’t any astringency. I have really enjoyed these two pots of tea tonight, and hope they go a long way to rehydrating me!
Thank you, Angel and Teavivre, for these beautiful samples!
I received a wonderful box of samples of the 2013 harvest today from Teavivre. Thank you!
Hubby and I have not had our bedtime green tea lately. We’ve been a little out of sync schedule-wise, so tonight we set that straight.
He really has been enjoying green tea though he is still rather new to it and says he really can’t describe flavors yet, but tonight he said “vegetal, I definitely get that this is vegetal.” He agreed that there is also a hint of butter and a nice toasted flavor. And this was just bursting with flavor! We had five steeps of it, and I have saved the leaves because I think I can get a few more tomorrow.
This is an excellent Dragon Well. I liked the first one I ever had. It was purchased from a tea shop not far away. For some reason I never finished that bag of tea, but when I tried Teavivre’s Dragon Well last year I had to order. This one is every bit as good as last year.
Hubby drank right along with me and kept refilling. He said he found this green tea particularly smooth and drinkable. I, too, found it smooth and easy to drink, and on one steep that went a little long there was a hint of root vegetable flavor (not strong enough to be unpleasantly astringent) that blossomed into sweetness after the swallow. Nice!
Thank you, Teavivre, for the samples! I look forward to trying all of them!