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Recent Tasting Notes
Water: 17oz (2 cup + 1Tbs)
Leaves:medium rolled dark green leaves
Aroma:sweet & vegetable
Color: Dark yellow
Taste: The brewing instructions for this tea were a bit different from what i normally follow. I went with the Western method starting off with a rinse of the leaves, the amount of water need was much larger compared to others I’ve made in the past calling for 17oz for 1 tablespoon of leaves. Brewing time was also longer starting at the 6minute mark. I’m excited to see how this will turn out due to the different instructions. The color produced was a dark yellow accompanied by a light floral aroma. Taste was light w/ a very faint bitterness detected. As for a food pairing I had this tea after my lunch of a vegan veggie soup & rice.
an amazing tea:
little glass pitcher method:
when i smell the ball dry, i smell flowers and pepper.
when i smell the bloomed flower, i smell peppers and flowers,
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell flowers and pepper.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste fruit, flowers and pepper.
the color of the brewed tea is a lime green.
i rate this tea a 100 because its just perfect.
i never thought the ball would open and bloom. so i poked and prodded it and finally it opened.
many thanks to angel and tevivre for this sample.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Pepper
Going through the last of my Teavivre samples in anticipation of sales next week. Maybe it’s the high rating or loving everything from Teavivre so far, but my expectations were pretty high on this one. Kiiinda disappointed. It looks and smells a lot like Golden Monkey, but tastes so mild and just… I don’t know. Mellow? It is a nice flavour, not particularly sweet, maybe a bit hay-ey/earthy. I just don’t like it nearly as much as Golden Monkey which has a smokiness to it that I dig.
I think I lean towards teas that bludgeon me over the head, whereas this is more like a gentle caress.
Okay, I totally chose this one for the name! It was a free sample with my last Teavivre order, and because I liked the name and am still looking for a decent fruit tea, I thought I’d give it a try. The dry leaf is reasonably encouraging, except that it contains a huge hibiscus leaf. I like to look at hibiscus – it’s a pretty thing, for sure – I just don’t want it in my tea. There are decent sized chunks of pineapple, papaya and apple, though, and a few dried black grapes. The scent to me is very much of blueberry, but there’s no blueberry here as far as I can see…it’s suppose to be a pineapple/papaya “tropical” blend. I guess we’ll see…
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium orangey-red, and the initial flavour is sadly mostly hibiscus/rosehip tartness. There is a pretty good tropical flavour underlying, but it’s a bit overpowered to really make much of an impression. It’s more papaya than pineapple, a little peppery and less sweet than I was expecting.
On the whole, I’m not really struck. Fruit teas without hibiscus are definitely more my thing, but there are so few that are readily available in the UK. I would really like a David’s Tea here sometimes! I wondered for a moment whether this might have been better cold brewed, but still – hibiscus.
Water: 10oz (1 1/4 cup)
Leaves:tiny chopped blackish brown leaves
Aroma: burnt & smokey
Taste: I was browsing the internet trying to figure out how much tea is 5g worth & stumbled upon the Steepster Main Blog (Tips for Measuring Dry Tea Leaf). This afternoon I wanted to start off with something a bit on the stronger side which is why I went with this tea. Upon opening the packed the aroma packed a powerful punch of smokey & burnt. Soon after I went to the website & read how it’s made from there everything made sense. This time around although not using a Gaiwan I followed the Chinese Gongfu Way which started off with a rinse making the aroma standout even more followed by a very quick steep of 15s. The scent remained as I prepared my cup. Taking the first sip It was very nice and light with no bitterness. Note i tried this with 10oz of water as compared to the usual 8oz. The other cups I plan to mix up the water amount to see how that changes the taste. I may not do all 7 steeps but well see as the day goes on.
Pausing for a few moments before beginning what promises to be a very busy Saturday. Felt a strong need for a “black ball” tea so I decided to revisit Teavivre’s Dragon Pearls. Tasty rich brew which warms to my core – just what I needed. Peaceful Saturdays for all….
another amazing tea!
when i smell the leaves dry, i smell toasted chocolate.
when i smell the leaved wet, i smell chocolate.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell toasted tea and chocolate.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste toasted tea and chocolate.
the color of the brewed tea is a dark orange color.
i rate this a 100 because i love teas like this.
many thanks to teavivre for selling me this sample.
Flavors: Chocolate, Roasted, Toasty
an amazing tea, little glass pitcher method.
when i smell the leaves dry, i smell hints of flowers.
when i smell the leaves wet, i smell strong flowers and sweetness.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell sweetness and mild floral notes.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste flowers and sweetness.
the color of the brewed tea is yellow.
i rate this tea a 100 because it is lovely with the floral taste.
many thanks to teavivre for selling me this amazing sample.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Sweet
an amazing tea!
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell green and musty.
when i smell the leaves wet, i smell honey and spices.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell honey and spices.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste strong honey and strong spices.
the color of the brewed tea is a dark amber color.
i rate this a 99 because it’s missing one thing; Smokeyness.
many thanks to teavivre for selling me this amazing tea!
Flavors: Green, Honey, Musty, Spices
an amazing tea:
when i smell the leaves dry, i smell mustyness and spices.
when i smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified with hints of chocolate.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell hints of chocolate and spices.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste hints of chocolate and medium spices.
the color of the brewed tea is a medium yellow.
i rate this tea a 99 because it is almost perfect.
many thanks to teavivre for this free sample.
dont forget to check out www.teavivre.com
Flavors: Chocolate, Musty, Spices
an awesome tea!
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell musty.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell strongly like honey and spices.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell strong honey, spices and weak smokeyness.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste strong honey, spices and medium smokeyness.
a note: the tea is a tad bitter sweet
the color of the brewed tea is amber.
i rate this a 100 because everything is satisfactory in this tea.
don’t forget to check out www.teavivre.com
Flavors: Bitter, Honey, Musty, Smoke, Spices, Sweet
Ahh I finally am getting to reviewing this tea, so sorry for the delay Teavivre!! A huge thanks for this free sample!
I was originally just going to make a big cozy mug of this as it’s freezing here on the first day of November and I have been trying to warm up enough to do something all day, but I looked at my little teapot from Crimson Lotus and thought man it’s been a while since I’ve used it! This is the teapot I didn’t season and just went for it when I first used it and it yielded excellent results, so I’m excited to try another shou in it today!
I used probably a little over half of my sample for this session, I was going to use it all but since the teapot is so small I thought I better use close to half to start, plus I will have enough for a Western cup another day! I did a quick 10s rinse with boiling water and poured this over my teapot, mmm there is a lovely musty, almost creamy rich smell about it. Man I always say this – I need to drink shou more often!
The first steep I did for 10s with boiling water as well, and the liquor is nicely dark already, not opaque but a nice rich reddish brown color. It smells sweet and woodsy. As for the flavor, mmmm this is a pleasant puerh, it is actually super sweet!! Like a drippy caramel flavor, toffee-like, melding with a rich mahogany wood with the barest hint of smoke to round it out and make it even cosier. It’s thick and rich and delicious. I’m not sure if some of the flavor of Lake Huron (the last tea I had in the teapot) is adding to the thick, rich flavor, but man is this ever good. I am also detecting a slight floral dryness in the aftertaste, hmm could be interesting to see how that develops!
Steep 2 – 20s with boiling water – also, I am following the parameters on Teavivre’s website haha, the liquor is about twice as dark and the sweet wood smell is growing in intensity. Mmm the woody flavor is growing too, still rich, becoming deeper, still with that mild smoke note. As it cools the sweetness disperses into a mild molasses hint and a great roasted cedar note comes through. The mouthfeel has changed from less creamy to deeper now too. Yum. Amazing how just letting it cool changes the flavor oh so much!
Overall, the first two steeps of this have been great, and I look forward to an afternoon of this, steeping it out and being warm. I’m excited to see how the flavor changes, since there has already been quite a change between the first two steepings. Hopefully I can get some cleaning done too now that I’m warmer, although I feel cozy and content, this tea is evoking a nice relaxed feeling rather than energetic so far haha. Once again, thanks to Teavivre, particularly Angel there, for giving me the opportunity to try this lovely shou!
Another sample from kittylovestea
A amazing tea
This tea restored my faith in black teas
When I smell the leaves dry, they smell nice and spicy.
When I smell the leaves wet, they smell spicy and like chocolate.
When I smell the brewed tea, I smell chocolate and spices.
When I taste the brewed tea, I taste chocolate and spices.
The color of the brewed tea is a dark amber color.
I rate this tea a 100 because it is a wonderful tea.
Many thanks my dear friend.
Special note: i lost my strainer a few days ago so i was using the strainer thingy the staff had. then they found it today and dumped the staff’s strainer out and i only steeped it once. kinda miffed earlier, but im ok now as i still have a little bit left.
Flavors: Chocolate, Spices
I cold brewed about 5tsp in my small Takeya pitcher for about 18 hours or so.
This was a much brighter pink than I was expecting for a “peach” tea. The rosella I guess is what causes that. I found this a little too tart on its own. In my opinion, it needs a little sweetening. The Apple was fairly strong I thought, with only a slight note of peach. It was still ok, but I don’t think I would need it stocked permanently.
I found a couple of unopened sample packs of Dragon Pearls in one of my tea tins. The weather’s turned icy today where I am, and it’s just about perfect for black teas and oolongs, but I’m almost out of all my autumn and winter teas. So I’ve been brewing these pearls up and trying to decide what to make of them.
The dry tea is gorgeous – tightly made pearls with a scent of chocolate, fresh bread, malt, and a hint of new leather. I like to steep about 4 pearls in about 200-250ml water for quite a long time; 5 minutes or more, and add a very small splash of milk to temper the slight astringency from the long steep time, and to enhance the chocolate and malt notes.
And it’s delicious – sweet and light with a mildly floral and honey aftertaste, but I feel like I’m missing the dark and mature, black-tea-taste.
Receiving samples like this make me excited to buy from Teavivire in the future!I had two great sesisions with this sheng and wasn’t disappointed. The wet leaves had the aroma of dates and wet straw. the soup tasted malty, but with what I can only describe as a “pepper” or “green chile” first note -which I wasn’t expecting at all. Mid way through my sessions the soup had a slight maple aroma, and a nutty caramel taste like brie cheese baked with brown sugar. Later infusions were tobacco flavored, smooth, and cooling.
This is by far the most dynamic sheng I’ve tasted in my short time, and one to remember.
The sample also had a strong influence on my physical body. The first session was very rough on my stomach, and made me feel very “full” with no appetite. My mouth was watering for hours afterward. BUT after the discomfort, and with the second session I felt energized and balanced.
Flavors: Malt, Maple, Pepper, Tobacco
This is a solid performer of a tea. It is not as good as their Nonpareil Ancient Tree Wild Tree but is pretty good. It has notes of malt and notes of chocolate in there. It’s got very little bitterness and just a little astringency. Overall I have to give this one a good rating.
I brewed this once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 195 degree water for 5 min.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
This is a complex tea. I get a number of different notes. Fruity, malt, spices, honey, brown sugar, dried fruit and molasses. I also seem to get a chocolate note. This is an interesting and tasty tea that I am just getting around to trying. Bought it with my last order during their sale on oolong. I’m afraid it only got brewed western style. I’m too lazy to brew gongfu at five in the morning when I can’t sleep.
I brewed this once in a 16oz Glass Teavana Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Spices
OMG this tea! I melt. It’s Ginseng but not overwhelming and it’s sweet!
So I was trying to make lots of tea for my drive to San Francisco (which is only an hour, but I know I’ll be sipping tea and singing tunes the whole way). Followed the instructions for 1 tsp @ boiling for 3 min per 16oz for each steep (3 total, this time).
First steep was soooo yummy! Sigh. It’s just a dreamy tea. I ordered 100g, but I kinda wish I had gotten more! I know I’m greedy. It was just the perfect balance of oolong and ginseng and surprisingly ohh so sweet. Savor this first steep!
Second steep, the ginseng taste is very muted but the oolong sings. It’s more on the green side of oolong but still full but light. I brewed at 3 mins, but I wish I had brewed longer. The bag instructions say 3-8 min. At this point the leaves are just barely beginning to crinkle open. And these leaves are wrapped tight! There is very little mouth dryness, but most of the sweetness had disappeared.
Third steep was washed out, but that’s my fault, it definitely could have used alot more than 3 min. The leaves were still barely open, but I was already running late, so it steeped for the minimum amount of time. I have to appreciate this tea again on a day when I have the time to let it sit and unfurl its beauty!
This tea works really well at 212 as teavivre recommends, but usually I brew most teas at 180-185, so I wonder how it’ll change it.
Thanks to TeaVivre for including this sample with one of my purchases. I don’t know which harvest this is – it has been a while since I placed an order with TV (mostly because I still have so many of their teas in my cabinet).
I woke up wanting a sturdy straight tea with strong bread and honey notes. In other words, I woke up cold and wanted something to warm my soul. After a bit of digging, I found this one. The dry leaf smells sweet, with a hint of breadiness. I dumped the whole sample packet in my nifty gaiwan/teapot hybrid and hoped for the best.
First steep: 194f, 1 min. A few of the smaller leaves escaped the spout, so I poured through a strainer. The brew is a lovely dark amber. It smells like Russian bread and honey, with an undercurrent that I can’t quite place. Leather maybe? The flavor has an odd astringency. It’s almost tangy. Maybe I’ve had this too long and the leaves have turned?
Second steep: 200f, 1 min 15 secs. This steep has the same lovely color as the first. The astringent leather notes are still here, though.
Third steep: 196f, 1 min 30 secs. Nope. I’m done. The astringency isn’t going anywhere and this is starting to make my stomach hurt. Somewhere under the astringency is some breadiness, but mostly it’s that leather-ish flavor.
No rating because I don’t know how old the leaf is, but definitely not sad to say this is a sipdown.
Flavors: Astringent, Leather