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Recent Tasting Notes
I am feeling so incredibly lucky today to be one of the first to taste and review this SUPER FRESH amazing tea! Thanks so much Angel and TeaVivre!
I’ve only had a couple fresh spring teas in the past, but they are always some of my absolute favorites. I’ve tried a shincha and a fresh spring twist green tea. This one is no exception…As soon as I opened the packet I knew I was in for a treat. The dry leaf smell…SO INTOXICATING! Check out the dry leaf http://twitpic.com/e1e8le is that not gorgeous? Stubby baby BRIGHT green dragon well.
Anyway, steeped up this tastes amazingly sweet and crisp and fresh and so very alive. I really need to seek out more fresh spring teas in the future since they excite me so very much. Very glad and honored to have tasted this one!
I received this yesterday from Angel and Teavivre. I quickly pushed it to the top of my must sample today list. This is a very rare and extremely early first flush dragon well, picked before March 26, 2014 . It makes me a little nervous tasting such a rare tea.
The leaf is much smaller than I expected. My guess is this is due to the very young age of the bud and leaf. Very flat. Pretty color. It has a faint aroma that is distinctly dragon well.
I steeped in 185 F water for 4 minutes per the label instructions. I would have only gone two minutes without the label. The liquor is extremely clear and almost colorless with only the slightest green tint. The wet leaf aroma is steamed spinach and cream corn. I really liked the scent.
Sipping I get brisk, almost bitter but in the good green tea way. It is very crisp. The aftertaste fades very quickly but (and this is my first such experience) it leaves behind a warm inner glow. I am not talking about the tea. I mean me. It filled me with a warm glowing feeling. Unique and beautiful.
Also thank you to Angel for including the beautiful silk scarf. My wife saw it in the box and said, “Oh pretty!” She grabbed it, put it around her neck, and it is still there today. Your kindness and generosity do not go unnoticed.
I was pretty excited to see a new jasmine in the Teavivre lineup because they do jasmine so very well. Bi Luo Chun is one of my husband’s favorite teas to drink with Chinese takeout so I am eager for him to try it, too.
This is a free sample they sent to me for review, and many thanks to Teavivre!
Since my daughter made the tea for our tea time yesterday I didn’t get to smell the dry leaves yet, but when I gave the pot a sniff I knew it was Teavivre’s classic jasmine. Just smelling it made me relax and sigh.
Since Bi Luo Chun is an oat-y tasting tea I wondered how it would blend with jasmine. No worries. It is beautiful. With our food, I did not pick up on the briskness, but when I had some later I did. Not sour, not mouth-puckeringly astringent, just brisk. And really, really nice.
Hubby hasn’t tried it yet as he came home from work exhausted and literally went to bed as soon as he had supper! Maybe tonight he can try it and I can give him a sample. My youngest, who doesn’t really drink greens, tried it and said it was very good.
Been a while since I had this Oolong but I thought I would start using it up by making some iced tea. Admittedly I made it a tad too strong as I found out this morning but after adding some calorie free sweetener it now tastes like strawberry syrup rain. Very hard to detect the Oolong with the sweetener in it, you would think it was just one of those strawberry flavoured syrup drinks that a lot of cafe’s sell as ‘iced tea’.
Story time –
First time I got a peach iced tea from Costa Coffee I saw them use two squirts of syrup over ice and add tap water, then you have sickly sugar water..oops sorry I mean ‘iced tea’. :/ I remember going into one before and asking what selection of teas they carried and they said “Summat foreign named, like a green tea but not one” and that had me intrigued, I asked to see this magical tea and she brought over a glass jar that said ‘Long Jing’ on the side. Then again she said “Yeah it’s green inside the bag but it aint a green tea, though it’s like one”, at that point I said “Well actually it is a green tea, Long Jing stands for Dragon Well and it’s a Chinese green”. Then straight away “Ooohh and how do you know that then hey? Know everything do ya?” and she starts calling the staff to tell them in a mocking sort of way. So I left after saying “I’m an amateur tea taster with my own blog and over 500 teas at home, if you bothered to look it up yourself you would see that I’m correct. Selling people a green tea and saying it’s not is just ridiculous”. Possibly one of the best storm off’s I have ever done. My parents were standing by my side think blank expressions on their face like ‘wtf just happened?’.
I received a sample of this from Angel and the folks at TeaVivre. Thank you!
This came in a vacuum sealed packaging with brewing instructions written on the package. My verdict is still out about the magical Fujian black teas. I have liked most that I have tried but are they really THAT good? This tea may just make me a believer. One sip of this and I was in tea heaven. It is smooth and sweet. For me some sips had a dark chocolate note, and others had the malty caramel. I have had some Fujian black teas and I would describe a lot of them with the term sweet potato. This one however, did not have as much of that. I would describe it as more of a baked bread taste than a sweet potato.
I re-steeped this and the 2nd cup was just as amazing as the first. I will definitely be ordering this in the future, and probably more like the near future. Thank you for allowing me to try this one!
Leaves: tiny medium green circles
Color: yellowish green
Taste: This tea was the first Oolong I’ve had in a while since I haven’t been making tea as often. What I found surprising upon opening the package was the non floral aroma that most Oolongs carry. This time it was more of a grassy aroma that you find with green tea. I went on to brewing next, I checked the instructions and i noticed that I was supposed to use 1 tablespoon of tea, which is more than what I normally use of 1 tsp per cup. So I gave them a fifteen second rinse then continued brew for 1 minute. The flavor was very light almost bland but as it sat for a few minutes I noticed that the flavors intensified it was a bit bolder now. Overall a very nice Oolong if you looking for something non-floral and on the lighter end.
The Leaf: Very long, flat, and light. buds and fuzz very visible. generally a fresh green look to them. scent is not weak, with a nice roasted grass fragrance
The Brew: The liquor is very light green, not cloudy, almost white or clear. The aroma is quite strong with fresh grass and roasted tones. The taste is nice and grassy but light with a light body. leaves almost no dryness on the tongue.
I drink all of my teas cold.
So typical Alberta weather, today it was nicely raining and warm at noon..on the drive home, snow. Cold, icky, snow, and some has actually accumulated even. Sigh. Well, out come my cozy teas again! This one and Jin Jun Mei by Yezi were having a fight for my attention tonight lol, I wanted a honeyed, malty black tea..this one won tonight haha. I steeped it a bit longer this time and with more leaf I think, so it’s more malt and grain than honey, but it’s still delicious and cozy. A welcome comfort on this dreary evening that I actually have free for once :D see previous notes on this tea!
Oh, and as it cools, more honey notes..yes, loving this right now!
Flavors: Honey, Malt
The Leaf: very flat, unbroken, and slightly browned. visible buds, and fuzz. nice light fragrance like roasted grass.
The Brew: The liquor is very light green, almost white or clear with no cloudiness. The aroma is very light, but similar to the leaf. The flavor is also light but has a very smooth mouthfeel. slightly bitter, but with a nice grassy taste. leaves your mouth with a slight dryness.
I drink all of my teas cold.
Backlog. After having this in my cupboard for a while, I finally tried it out a few days ago and haven’t been able to keep it out of my head ever since. So as a motivation to tackle STATA (stats software) for class, I steeped this beauty. So roasty in flavor but creamy in texture. Plus, it resteeps so darn well! This is definitely in my top 2 dark oolongs, the other being Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe from Verdant.
This is the first tea I am trying out of the new batch of samples from the ever generous Teavivre. Thank you, thank you!
The leaves are thin, medium size, a little twisty, with lots of golden ones. The aroma dry is sweet potato, so much so that I immediately put one in to cook while making the tea.
The first steep has a medium orange color and the scent of sweet potato and citrus, maybe oranges, is still present. The taste reminds me of my beloved Golden Monkey, but is perhaps a little lighter and cleaner, while GM is heartier with more malty flavor. This tastes like gold and honey on the tongue.
I had youngest try it even though she had her own pot of Assam and she liked it. She said in particular that it completely lacked astringency, and she liked that very much.
This is what I would consider a possible conversion tea, one to give people who think they don’t like black tea. Even though I haven’t tried the other samples yet, I think this tea will probably be on my next order. It is a gentle civilized afternoon tea that still has all the characteristics I love about tea.
I feel like i’ve been drinking this tea forever. I need to learn to open my larger quantity of teas sooner so that i have more time to drink them up. lol Not that i HAD to finish this one, but it’s part of my “drink older teas” goal. Aiming to get through all teas up to and including December by the end of June. Downside? Black friday sales hahahahaha. I quite like this tea, though some times it feels like this one has a personality. Some days it’s not as delicious as i remember it being…and other days it makes me fall in love with it all over again. Still a great staple to have in my cupboard and a fantastic offering from Teavivre! I recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of black teas :)
I’d like to thank Angel & Teavivre for this sample, which I got with my order awhile back.
My instincts were screaming, “Yixing!”, but for some reason I decided to follow the actual brewing instructions written on the sample package, which I usually tend to ignore. The suggested brewing parameters: 10G (the entire packet) + 8oz water X 1 – 2 minutes.
This is way more sheng than I ever use! But what the heck, I have 2 of these, so I can gongfu the other one.
I went with one minute, & although it was pretty intense, it was very drinkable! To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever done a sheng this way, & I’ll definitely drink the other sample with short steeps in my yixing, it was interesting to try, & frankly, I was curious to see how it would be. It was potent! I went through several resteeps, adding a minute to each, & even though that was hours ago, I’m still as high as a kite, if you know what I mean!
soooooooooooo close to a sipdown on this one…to the point where i was contemplating making a really stong travel mug today…but i refrained. haha. I need to try to get a few in tonight because my damn fine teas arrived, but this was not meant to be one of them…but there will be a few incoming now that i’m home and relaxing… wheee!
I got samples of this in the mail today from two different people (Darby and Angel from Teavivre), but this particular batch is from Darby’s sample.
Dry, this tea smells of both peach and jasmine. The peach is so sweet and gentle, almost like peach nectar, that I couldn’t wait to give this a sip. Even my mother, an avowed coffee drinker, was interested in trying some of this!
I steeped this twice, shared the first steep with my mother (who didn’t taste much, which I’m guessing is just because her tongue is so used to coffee that tea is too subtle for it) and had the second all to myself. The first steep was definitely the peachier of the two. It was soft and lovely, with the two flavours melding well, but with the peach flavour more noticeable on the back of the tongue and in the aftertaste.
The second steep was more astringent, and the jasmine flavour was definitely stronger. I could only taste a hint of the peach this time.
In scent and taste, this tea reminds me a lot of Bhudda’s Blend from David’s Tea. That one, oddly enough, smells more of peach than this one, but tastes more of jasmine than this one. On a per-gram basis, Buddha’s Blend costs almost twice as much as this variety. When I run out of BB, I may just order this instead!
Tea of the morning…..
And I am now down to half of the sweetener I have been using. Luckily, a good quality tea doesn’t need much if at all in the way of additives. One of these days, I will be drinking it without additions. I just couldn’t do it cold turkey, so I decided to try to work my way down. I am not sure I would have even tackled it, but I am trying to cut out non-whole food kinds of things from my diet plus grains and sugar. Just in the week and a half I have been skipping the grains and sugar, I feel so much better. It makes me wonder if I had a wheat sensitivity.
Anyway, the tea is very good. Not as sweet potatoey as the golden tip version of this tea, not as earthy as the lower grade. I am going to refresh my memory on the other grades of this tea. I may be trading up my basic Dian Hong. Stay tuned.
Usual teapot method with a resteep at 6 minutes that is very good!
The Leaf: The size of the pearls is slightly smaller than a standard marble. Nice even fragrance of malt and chocolate. The high percentage of golden buds included gives each ball a marbled look contrasting them with the darker fully oxidized leaves. Some impressions left on each ball, supposedly during pressing, suggest they were made by machine or gloved hands.
The Brew: The liquor is golden brown and slightly cloudy. The aroma is similar to the leaf, malty and chocolaty. The flavor is very complex with tones of chocolate, malt, grain, spirits, and prune. Fairly sweet, but also leaves a slight dryness on the tongue. The flavor is full-bodied, but also quite bright and light. Aftertaste is subtle but lingers for a while.
I drink all of my teas cold.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Raisins
The Leaf: Very long, curled and mostly unbroken brownish to grey brown. When brewed they turn a slightly more greyish green color and unfurl only slightly for the first brew.
The Brew: The aroma is light and sweet, but not easy to detect. The taste is also very light but has a tannin quality much like red wine and is slightly bitter. The liquor is pale yellowish brown.
Note: I brewed this tea at a very skewed ratio weight-wise. The package of leaves was only 7 grams, but resulted in roughly 4 tsp by volume. Normally, the ratio I use for any tea I make is 1tsp/250ml.
I drink all of my teas cold.
Flavors: Grapes, Tannin
Angel also sent me this tea to try. Thank you, Angel! If you like jasmine tea, this one is really delicious. I kind of have to be in the mood.These pearls are adorable! Tiny and cute! I found the tea was sweet, smooth and with no bitterness and it wasn’t like drinking perfume…the jasmine was well balanced. This is a great tea to enjoy later in the day. It has a calming effect, like a spa treatment! I think it would be fabulous paired with Chinese food, like dim sum! Mmmm, now I want some dim sum! :)
Drinking this at work tonight. It’s good, it’s a nice black tea, but there are other Teavivre teas that I like better.
This one just seems a little too – fruity? sweet? something? for me. There is chocolate, there is malt, but there is also a little bitter ? (i don’t think bitter is the right word, but I’m not coming up with anything better).
It’s good, it’s nice, but not something I would restock.