Naivetea

Recent Tasting Notes

95
drank Li Shan Oolong by Naivetea
6770 tasting notes

Having a cup of this one before sending the rest to Liberteas, Azzrian, Alpakitty, and maybe the Replacement Traveling Box.

Totally LOVE this! Upping rating! See previous notes!

lcg842

I’m feeling a little lost (and out of the loop!). What is this “Replacement Traveling Box” of which you speak?

TeaEqualsBliss

A bunch of the Steepsters were doing a Traveling Tea Box Swap type thing and Box B got lost in the shuffle and I was next to get it and never did but volunteered to start it back up again and throw in 20 teas to send on to the next person :)

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93
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
6770 tasting notes

‘Tis the Season to GIVE :)
I’m really making a dent in my stash today! Woot!
Passing this one on to Alphakitty and Azzrian
One last cup to say Goodbye to this gem!

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80
drank A Li Shan by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

I’ve had this tea for just about a year now (ordered the sample packages from Naivetea’s black friday sale last year), and have sinced discovered that although I enjoy taiwanese high-mountain oolongs, they just don’t excite me that much. I decided today that I wanted to use up the rest of my sample, which probably had between 5 and 3 grams (a bit more than one tablespoon) left in it. It was more than I usually steep “western style” in my 12oz mug, but I decided to throw it in there and give it a 1 minute steep for the heck of it.

And I’m pretty pleased with the results! It smells lovely, all buttery and floral. I was feeling a bit meh about finishing up the rest of this tea, but it has reminded me that I do enjoy drinking these teas, even if they’re not among my faves.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong by Naivetea
2307 tasting notes

Sipdown!
I am done with my tin of this, I have had it for about a year and it survived very well in the tin it came in. A delicious, buttery soft and floral oolong, one I would definitely purchase again. Naivetea has some great oolongs!

In other news I think I have mice, they were eating their way through some bags of dried barley and sprouting seeds I had. I wonder if mice like tea? I hope not!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

Yes, mice DO like tea. Way, way back when I had a small office space for my tea blending, I had to move out of the first space I had because of the mice problem, they destroyed a couple of kilos of tea. :(

TeaBrat

oh.. thanks for letting me know. I should probably move my puerh tea up high where the mice can’t get into it (right now it’s in a shoebox on the floor)

LiberTEAS

Yes, and having it in a tin wouldn’t hurt either.

TeaBrat

I thought you were supposed to keep puerh in something that can breathe? I know lay would work but I just have so much freaking tea. :-P

TeaBrat

sorry, meant CLAY not lay…

LiberTEAS

Yes… clay would be better, I think. I suggested the tin only because mice can’t bite through it, but, I doubt they could bite through the clay either…… so if you have clay, that’s what I’d recommend.

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95
drank Lychee Oolong by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

Since I returned to Naivetea last week and had the passionfruit oolong and was reminded how amazing these teas are, I decided to pull out the lychee version this afternoon. I love love love lychees. I love how they’re a mix of rosey and fruity, and any time I find lychee-flavored anything I have to buy it (found lychee mochi ice cream at the grocery store the other day—amazing!).

This tea, like the passionfruit, is so amazing. The flavors are so real, like eating fresh lychees and drinking a fantastic high-mountain green oolong tea at the same time. Love it so much. These oolongs seem more like jasmine pearls than they do other flavored teas, in that they don’t seem flavored but infused by the flavors (and indeed, that’s what Naivetea calls them, infused), like they’ve been sitting around with lychees soaking up the aroma. Totally delicious.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

Lychee is an incredible fruit. his perfume is really unique. I never taste a lychee flavoured tea.I should try !

Tamm

I really love lychee too! I have had good and bad experiences with lychee teas, but this one always sounded exceptional.

Nik

Neeeeeeed to try this.

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99
drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

My university is totally killing me lately. They have not been able to get my pay disbursement right, and even their attempts at fixing it have been royally f***ed up. Plus now my university email address is bouncing all mail sent to it. Joy! >:(

I needed some nice, relaxing tea. I haven’t had any of my Naivetea teas in a long time, even though there are some that I am head over heels with. This is one of those teas.

Oh my god why have I not drank this recently. This tea is so absolutely delicious its mind blowing. So incredibly naturally sweet, it’s as if I’m actually drinking passion fruit juice, but better because there is amazing green oolong flavor behind it. Gotta drink this more often, and get a whole tin of it from Naivetea at some point.

Well this is certainly making me feel a bit better. Can always rely on tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

I have to look this place up! I don’t believe I have ever had their teas and you make this one sound AMAZING!
Sorry about the college stuff – sounds screwy to say the least!
Why can’t people do their jobs right???

Dinosara

They have some of the best flavored oolongs out there. I highly recommend checking them out! And they have neat build-your-own sampler packs.

Also, your last question is something I ask myself frequently! :P

Azzrian

LOL – I will check them out – I love build your own sampler packs like Della Terra has! Checking them out now – but being mindful I need to pay bills haha!

BlueKittyMeow

Nothing in my life, including getting the runaround when starting a business in NYC has ever been as complicated as dealing with university bureaucracy. :( And I didn’t have nice tea then either! That might have helped a little… I hope it all gets cleared up quickly!

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92
drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong by Naivetea
2307 tasting notes

I haven’t had this tea in eons and I have no idea why – it’s wonderful!

I’ve been gong fu’ing oolongs mostly, but I have my copyediting homework to do soon, so I thought I’d just sit down and brew myself a small pot. This tea is very smooth, flowery, sweet and a hint of creaminess like coconut milk is present. I was worried this might be getting stale/old but it still tastes wonderful to me.

I re-steeped this also Western style for 4 minutes and it still has a lot of flavor.

Lately I’ve been wondering when Naivetea is getting their formosa oolong back in stock, it’s been ages from what I recall. Naivetea does some lovely oolongs…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
2307 tasting notes

I am revisiting this tonight and not enjoying it quite as much as I remember. I don’t know if there is something up with my steeping parameters or if I just have not been drinking this fast enough and it got somewhat stale. But then I checked my email and I got this last November so I have a feeling it may just be me. How long do oolongs stay fresh? This one is 25% roasted too…

I have done 3 steeps and my leaves are fully opened and unfurled but not feeling the love as much. I got the burnt caramel flavor but the nuttiness and sweetness have gone. I did lower the rating a bit but I will not lower it anymore because it might be partially my fault… might need to cold brew this one too just to see.

Speaking of love, I have written a blog post about two novels of Theodore Dreiser if you are up late and just want to read it, here it is. This is what I do with my free time when I’m not on Steepster. :)

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de/2012/05/17/jennie-gerhardt/

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I don’t know if I’ll ever read Dreiser (for no particular reason), but I enjoyed your synopsis, and your post. :))

You said this oolong is 25% roasted, which means it is fairly green for an oolong. I like greeer oolongs, and darker ones, but find that ther greener ones do not resteep as well, IMO.

Missy

I’m with Scott here. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the two stories. I’m not sure they would be some thing I’d like to read. I really like older history, like ancient cultures. They seem so foreign they are mysterious for me.

ScottTeaMan

I’m not opposed to reading Dreiser, I just never have. Here’s another example-I’ve always wanted to read WAR AND PEACE, but I never have. There are counless other Classics I would like to, but have never read. I just end up reading other things. :))

TeaBrat

That’s ok – I read a lot of stuff that nobody else seems interested in reading. Just started something by Alexander Pushkin. ;-)

TeaBrat

Scott, I also find that green oolongs do resteep very well, especially if you use the gong fu method.

ScottTeaMan

well I have to admit I’ve only had 3 green oolongs and managed 3 good infusions. I’ll bet some of your better steeped green oolongs are from Asha.

Cheryl

Compelling enough to send me to the Kindle store (both are free there btw). Thanks : )

TeaBrat

@Cheryl – that’s one reason I got the kindle, a lot of the classics are free!

ScottTeaMan

I still like to hold a real book when I read, but they do take up alot of space. I used my Niece’s NOOK, and really liked it. What made you two decide on Kindle?

Pamela Dean

Greener oolongs are like green teas (and silver bud whites) … a lot of goodness is lost by the 6-month mark, unless vacuum-packed, frozen, or both.

TeaBrat

DPD- thanks, I am thinking the same thing… live and learn. oh well!

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86
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
536 tasting notes

This is another tea that I won recently! This is the first tea that I am trying from Naivetea. I’m having this after some popcorn (plain-ish) so hopefully that doesn’t interfere. This smells lovely dry. There is something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on; woodsy maybe?
I’m having a hard time letting this cool! It smells lovely; roasted and sweet. Wonderful! It is very roasty without too many malt tones. It has a sweet edge at the back of the sip. There are green notes midpoint in this that remind me of deep spinach. I really enjoyed this one!

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83
drank Da Yu Ling Oolong by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

Gong fu oolong of the day. I am following Naivetea’s instructions exactly for this one, including amount of leaf for my 6oz pot since they are explicit on that point.

No rinse, first steep 50 seconds. It certainly smells nice, floral and buttery and a bit vegetal. Geez, apparently I can’t take a sip today without inhaling tea along with it! I just did it twice in a row. Bah. Ok, finally got a good sip. It’s fresh and green, like fresh sweet sugar snap peas. There are a little florals, but they’re not really very present. No sweetness, really just a pleasant green flavor.

Second steep, 40 seconds. Honestly, this steep is kind of meh. Very underwhelming. At once low on flavor but what is there is strongly vegetal. It’s tempting to give up on it right now, but I remember what happened with the last Naivetea oolong I gong fu’d (I got great steeps toward the end). I’m afraid the third steep, back to 50 seconds, is the same way. Fourth steep, 60 seconds, weaker but otherwise same. I’m afraid there doesn’t really seem to be anything more coming out of these leaves. Fifth steep, 70 seconds, same.

I’m not really dropping my score on this one because I did like the western style steep of it back when I first tried it. But following the instructions they sent exactly? A big ol’ meh. Even the first steep wasn’t really that impressive. Oh well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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81
drank Li Shan Oolong by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

Sample stashbusting! I am steeping the remainder of my sample of this oolong gong fu style, in my ru teapot. I am basically steeping by the included instructions for this tea, with the exception that I did a rinse to “wake up” the leaves and I only did my first steep for 30 seconds instead of 50.

The resulting tea smells pretty different than I remember my western-style steeping of it. It’s way more vegetal, and even a little salty, like the smell of the ocean. I was just at the beach yesterday so it smells very familiar to me. And more buttery as well, which I think goes with the saltiness a bit. There are pretty much no florals in the aroma of this first steep. The taste is strong and vegetal… perhaps 30 seconds was even still too long for the amount of leaf I used (a little more than their recommended amount at a bit more than a Tablespoon for my 6oz teapot, but it seemed like a good amount). But there’s also a touch of sweetness and even a tiny hint of the oolongy florals. This steep is also a bit astringent in that way that green oolongs get, but moreso because of the slight oversteep, I think.

Second steep, following their instructions, 40 seconds. This steep smells way more floral and buttery. Still very fresh, but with a hint of that honeyed sweetness. The taste of this one is weird… almost perfumy in it’s florals, and just about none of the sweetness its aroma promises. At this point I’m wondering if I just don’t know how to steep gong fu style properly. I mean, I’ve watched people do it plenty of times and know the routine, so I don’t know what the deal is now.

Third steep, 50 seconds. This steep smells a lot like the last steep. Pretty much tastes like it, too, though as it cools it is not quite as perfumy and a little sweeter. Still there is something a little unpleasant about it.

The fourth steep, at 60 seconds, brings out some melon flavors that are really interesting! This steep is possibly the sweetest, but sometimes I can’t tell if it’s more of a sweetness that has built up over all the steeps. I think the note that is both perfumy and vegetal from before must be inherant to this tea because it is not going away. It’s just not something I tasted when I brewed this western style, and not something others have noted, so I feel like it’s somehow a fault with my steeping.

Fifth steep, 70 seconds, and this oolong is really hitting its stride now. Sweet, a bit fruity, floral without being perfumy. This is by far my favorite steep so far. It’s amazing how much a tea can change over the steeps! Sixth steep, at 90 seconds, is almost identical to the fifth steep, as is the seventh steep, at 2 minutes, all sweet and floral and fruity. It’s not really buttery or creamy at all, but it is very nice. I’m glad I stuck with it to this point, because I wasn’t really feeling the earlier steeps at all. This was a good lesson in how a tea can change a lot over gong fu steeping, which I hadn’t experienced at all before this. I am interested to try all kinds of teas this way now!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

How exciting! It’ll be fun for you to revisit some of your favorites and see a whole different side of them.

TeaBrat

I haven’t had a green oolong in ages but this review inspired me to steep one up. :)

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90
drank Da Yu Ling Oolong by Naivetea
2307 tasting notes

I haven’t been drinking very much oolong recently, I’ve been so busy sampling other things. :)

This is the last of my sample of this and I am enjoying it. It does have a delicate flowery aroma and the flavor is a mild sort of buttery peas. I am finding it very relaxing this morning. See my previous tasting notes for this tea.

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drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
6 tasting notes

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97
drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
2307 tasting notes

I did try cold brewing the rest of this sample for 24 hours. It really brings forth the buttery flavor of this tea but it also made the passionfruit very strong, almost bitter. So I think I can safely say I prefer this hot and it’s a great fruity oolong!

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95
drank Lychee Oolong by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

I haven’t had this one since I first tried it a while ago, which means I haven’t had it since I figured out that I prefer Naivetea’s oolongs steeped at 2 minutes, not three. I love love lychees and lychee-flavored things, so this tea is a definite fit for me.

I do like it with a slightly shorter steep as it keeps the vegetal-ness from overwhelming the other more delicate flavors. This is such a great balance between the lychee and the oolong base. When it’s still pretty hot I get more lychee than oolong, but as it cools more of that buttery, smooth oolong comes out. I think also the “oolongy” flavors (florals and such) blend together well with the floral-ness of the lychee so it’s hard to take them apart. This tea is definitely on my re-buy list, along with their Passion Fruit Oolong.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Osmanthus Oolong by Naivetea
2307 tasting notes

Taking a break from my standard afternoon pu-erh routine to focus a bit on finishing up these oolong samples. I really loved this one when I gong-fu’d it, but drinking it in the office in my infuser mug it really isn’t the same, alas. Also I think I got a big load of the osmanthus flowers in this cup. It is still quite good. I was very happy with the Naivetea sample packs.

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80
drank A Li Shan by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

I really do love the smell of these high-altitude oolongs. The taste too, but really I love the smell. So creamy and floral and oolongy. That pretty much applies to the flavor of this one, which is a really nice version. I find most of these high-altitude taiwanese oolongs to be more floral and fresh and less buttery and creamy than other green oolongs I’ve had. I called this one “creamy” but it’s not creamy like a jin xuan is creamy… there’s just a hint of creaminess in the main part of the flavor, but then there’s a bit of oolong astringency (the palate-cleansing kind) in the aftertastes. It’s a tea I really, very much enjoy drinking, but not one I crave a lot.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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78

As others have noted, this is a decidedly more robust Bao Zhong than what I am used to. Sweet, but also vegetal. Substantial.

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93
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
6770 tasting notes

Backlogging from earlier today – one hot cup and one cold…both tasty! See other notes…

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79
drank Shan Lin Shi by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

I thought I would try these oolongs again before I go to China to get a reminder of their flavors, and what I might want to look out for. I know I’m going to be completely overwhelmed, so I’m trying to restrict the actual kinds of teas that I will specifically look for while I’m there. I’m hoping I can also discover a some teas I’ve never heard of while I’m there, so keeping all the varieties straight in my head is going to be tough. :)

This is a nicely balanced floral and vegetal oolong. It’s got a smooth texture throughout the sip, and then there’s a light astringency and a sweetness to the aftertaste. I don’t find this one particularly creamy or buttery in flavor this time. It’s light and fresh and floral and pretty springy, which is appropriate for the warm, lovely weather we’re having today.

Also, I am completely obsessed with the new Frozen Planet penguin livestream webcam. It’s of the penguin enclosure at Sea World San Diego, and there are a lot of penguins in there! They are hilarious, and I love watching them while I’m working. My favorites are the Adelie and Gentoo penguins. Fortunately my screen is big enough that I can have a small window with them open at all times.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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72

There was no question that I’d be having a cup of this today. Probably my most floral tea, and rosey to boot. When still very hot this cup seemed almost too floral for me, which is again something I am not used to, but as it cools the florals seem to mellow a bit and the oolong comes out. All the same, I’m just not feeling this one as much as I thought I would. Maybe it’s a particular floral in there (the calendula?) that I’m not as much of a fan of. Even my second steep, which is far less floral, still just doesn’t make me as excited as I would expect to be, being a lover of most things floral and green oolong. Ah well, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t order a whole tin of this back when I put this order in!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
1913 tasting notes

I had one Dong Ding oolong and really liked it, so I asked for some samples of others and luckily Amy Oh sent me a sample of this one! I tend to love the teas from Naivetea, so I am definitely excited to try it.

This one smells way more toasty than the dong ding from thepuriTea. The roasted grains aroma reminds me of some of the darker oolongs I’ve tried. When I breath in deep I get a nice autumn leaves aroma. The flavor is not unexpected based on the aroma but not exactly what I was expecting based on thepuriTea’s. That one was basically unroasted, but perhaps it is unusual? In any case, I do enjoy it a lot. It’s a bit vegetal, nicely roasty, a tiny bit sweet.

Thanks so much for this sample, Amy, I’m glad I got to try it!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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94

Dry Leaf Aroma: The dry leaf has a refreshing toasted wheat like kind of smell if that makes sense. There is another smell too but I can’t describe it but it is not a bad smell.
Wet Leaf Aroma: I get a toasted smell that has a sweet smell I almost associate it with honey with a woody under tone to it.
Liquor: Has like a amber type of color.
Taste: I get like a toasted flavor with a woody maybe even smoky flavor with like a honeyed sweetness.
My Score: This is a 94 This is the best Ti Guan Yin to date I have ever tasted. This one is pricey but she is good.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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