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This time when I made this tea I mixed it with green tea the a second batch with white.It was better from when i first tried it.My first time blending teas together.
This is a sample of the new harvest, generously supplied by Teavivre. Many thanks!
We have been away for a week and I was so happy to get back to MY tea things! I know everyone on here knows the feeling.
I believe these leaves are darker than last year’s, and the aroma stronger. And I thought last year’s was great! We made two steeps and combined them as we usually do when serving the tea with a meal. This has the trademark oat flavor I expect from Bi Luo Chun. Hubby loves Cheerios, so it isn’t a surprise that he loves this tea. It is one of the few that draws really specific comments from him. The liquor is golden, there is no hint of astringency, and the oat-y flavor is so smooth.
Mmmmm! This milk oolong is GREAT! Creamy, floral, sweet and vegetal in that order! Definitely my kind of tea. Thanks so much Angel and Teavivre for the sample. This one is highly recommended. I am digging the mineral notes as well. Very smooth and well balanced!
Been crawing this tea for some time now. Putting it of in favor for new teas.
Still absolutely wonderful, my favorite yunnan black.
9p / 220ml Zhuni yixingpot.
1m/2m/2:30m/3m. 4 infusions was enough for today but the leaves could easily handle a couple more.
The overall flavour was honey, chocolate, malty. Naturaly sweet!
I have been making a lot of cold brews, and I decided that I really, really, like oolongs cold brewed. I had been using flavoured oolongs, so I thought I would try something straight.
But I failed to take into account that I had been using quite roasty, more oxidized oolongs. This one didn’t turn out so great. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted like a delicious greeny oolong, buttery, nutty, smooth. But something about it cold just didn’t work.
Would be happy to drink this one hot any time, not so much cold.
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
Just received Teavivre’s samples yesterday, and this is the first one I picked out to try. Good black teas always have a special place in my heart, so I was eager to taste this. I’ve also been wondering for a long time “what IS tan yang black tea like?”.
My initial steep tasted; fuzzy, sweetness/caramel, earthy.
Second to fourth steeps started to really build up a strong earthy flavour, that had a nice roasted, woodsy, syrupy, and slightly floral background.
Fifth through tenth steeps maintained that strong flavour, only weakening slightly with each steep. The last cup was still very flavourful considering it was the tenth.
Overall it met my expectations. Teavivre’s steep guidelines were spot-on, I enjoyed the flavour brought out in the shorter initial steeps. What I liked about this tea, is that held onto a strong flavour throughout my steeps. That being said, I’m not impressed with the level of “charm” Tan Yang brings, and I’ve tasted similar teas with different names (this is a really minor point, not meant to be taken as negative).
Compared to the other black teas Teavivre sells, this is probably my second favourite (first would be their Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip). If you enjoy resteeping your black tea a lot, this is a very good option to choose.
Steep parameter (as suggested on their website)
100ml gaiwan, 5g sample, 10 steeps: rinse(10s),5s,5s,10s,20s,30s,35s,35s,60s,2m30s,3m30s
Sipdown, 160. Somewhere along the way I drank the rest of the other sample I had of this but didn’t log it. Ah well.
I went home early today (but still doing work, unfortunately), so I am doing this gongfu while I write. I definitely think I prefer this one western style. The gongfu brewing really brought out the vegetal notes. The first steep was probably 15-20 seconds (no rinse) and tasted like vegetables and sugar, which is kind of an odd combo. Later steeps brought out more of the florals and became increasingly vegetal and less sweet. It was a pretty tasty TGY, but I am getting pickier and pickier lol. If I had to have certified organic (which I don’t really care about), this would be a good pick.
I bought this tea on the same day that I received the Teavivre news letter featuring an all new ‘Strawberry Oolong’. I hadn’t known Teavivre to do anything flavour wise other than Jasmine and I decided then and there to treat myself. Well it arrived yesterday and I have had to wait until tonight to sample it.
The smell is divine, sweet and fruity strawberry with a clean and mouth watering juiciness. It looks like any other late harvest Oolong and without the smell I wouldn’t have thought anything else of it (had I known known the information on it and was blind tasting). However it really is a very nice scent, it smells a little unnatural but not too much to spoil it.
Once steeped for 3 minutes this Oolong is cloudy yellow in colour with a soft but still juicy strawberry aroma. So far it smells so fruity that it resembles a fruit only blend.
Wow! It has the same sweet and juicy flavour as it’s aroma but there is also a gentle floral and slightly toasted depth to it too. Not too sweet but at the right balance for me and it’s nice to be able to taste the Oolong beneath it all. Overall it’s quite light and refreshing but with enough flavour to be pleasing. The sweetness is almost honeyed. Very smooth and delicious!
I think it would be a good tea to try iced, maybe even worth a try at cold steeping it. Very happy that I was naughty and bought this tea despite my promise to drink what I have first…oops.
I’ve reviewed this tea before, but this is an update on the Spring 2013 batch:
The long flattened dry Dragonwell leaf is a beautiful bright green color, with a strong, fresh toasted vegetal scent.
The steeped leaves open full and fast, clearly displaying their paired tip leaf & 1st leaf. The smell of the tea’s steam is vegetal, roasted, nutty almost porridge-like. The spring 2013 batch doesn’t disappoint. Teavivre’s is still the best dragonwell I’ve tasted. Nutty, slightly roasted, slightly vegetal, but deliciously smooth. Last year I ordered three 100g bags late in the year and finished all. It’s my everday/all day and never tire of it tea. I’ve found the leaves very forgiving of temperature and steep time (It wonn’t burn or taste off.) A tasty affordable tea for everyday use. A very distinct, bold green, satisfying even to those lovers of stronger more oxidized teas.
Okay I bought this on steepster reviews alone. The warm honeyed tones of the long, fluffy, dry leaves reflect the delicious flavor of the steeped tea. A dark gold liquor with a smooth, satiny honey flavor that fills the mouth and remains on the tongue. Truly a memorable tea. Full-bodied with no bitterness. Definitely no sugar or milk needed. Some reviewers mention sweet-potato or maple references (which I get), but without smokiness or chocolate tones. Overall a lovely ‘black’ to always have in the larder. I’m glad I took a chance with this one. It’s definitely one not to miss.
I received this as a requested sample from Teavivre and I’m glad I did.Very dark green nearly black & gold, small dry leaf in the bag, smelling wonderfully of chocolate. Steeping to a cocoa/ malt flavored brew with a thick mouth feel. Very smooth without bitterness. Great value for the price!
Second pot of the day…..
Score! The last time I bought this, I purchased 100g. Little did I remember that they packaged them in 50g amounts. Here it is, I thought I was almost out. And then I found another pouch in the recesses of my stash. After having a good look at the items back in there, I have decided that waiting until September for new acquisitions of tea will not be difficult at all. I also had some Dragon Pearl Black Tea back there, 100g unopened, lots of Keemun Mao Feng, and lots of Hong Tao. Yes, my tendencies to stock up for the zombie apocalypse will pay off.
This tea is wonderful. I love the natural sweetness of this one. Caramelized sweet potato. And back on the staple list this goes (I was hoarding what I thought was my last bit of this!) After all, there are several favorites of mine that TeaVivre offers. It is never difficult to shop there, even if your tea tastes run very specific.
Usual teapot method. Yes, a whole decadent pot all to myself!
A big thank you to Teavivre for allowing me to sample their teas again! I always love having the opportunity!
Now, I have had a chrysanthemum tea once, and that was several years ago. I know I enjoyed it, but I don’t remember much else. (Besides the fact that it was much lower quality than this one.)
The tea itself is beautiful. Delicate, pale flowers with green buds at their base, almost like little daisies. They smell sweet and sort of spiced. I’m instantly reminded of spring. They seem to have been dried very gently, as there is no trace of bruising or brown spots anywhere. Very interesting! As it steeps, the flowers fluff up and expand, making me wish for a glass teapot to prepare them in. It would be so lovely…
The tea brews up to a light shade of greenish yellow, as I expected. It smells a lot like fresh chrysanthemums, but also kinda like chamomile. But not exactly. It’s a little hard to describe. The flavor is light as well, and very clean tasting. It’s soothing and very floral, of course. The description mentions it being slightly bitter, but I’m not getting that. Perhaps I would if I added more flowers.
This would be a great tea to end a summer night with.
Much thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample to review. Another busy busy day so this will have to be a tad short, but I will try to do it justice. Fortunately I have a few more servings for future tastings.
I used half the sample pouch with 12 oz of water. After two minutes it was a nice light yellowy-amber color, with a light nutty-sweet aroma. Even with a fairly light flavor (I might use more leaf/more time next cup), this is super delicious. So sweet, and oh so nutty. It is way chestnutty, with soft vegetal notes behind it, and perhaps just a hint floral like lilacs.
I am reminded by this cup that although I am losing interest in flavored greens, a high quality unflavored green like this can be heavenly. This tea really is “without parallel” among green teas. I looked at my tasting notes for the regular Huang Shan Mao Feng that I had from Teavivre a while ago, and although I really liked that one, this one is quite amazing. I think I have a love for Huang Shan Mao Feng I never realized before!
Thank you CrowKettle for the sample! (Or wait. Was is Sil? /0\ I’ll start labeling from now on I promise, but I know this one showed up with my matcha samples!!!)
I think Dragon Pearls are one of my favourite types of teas! This is just so smooth, and I love the malt and cocoa notes. Honey too! I steeped it for two minutes and that makes it nice and strong, without being overwhelming, and I’ll probably get a few more steeps out of this before I call it quits. I love how much flavour is in this black.
I believe this is nicer than the one from Zen Tea, and the tea itself is so pretty to look at. I love those little balls! It’s hard to say what makes this one “better” but it seems like there are a lot of things going on, and if I steeped it for less time and more often I would probably pick up on all sorts of things!
I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes open for a Teavivre sale because I’d like to stock up on this one. Moar please!
This is such a lovely tea.
I shared 2 pots (steep & resteep) with one of my students this morning.
A nice thick mouthfeel, a slightly bold depth, a rich middle. It doesn’t have a super bright high note, but that’s ok with me, as I’m more into the middle & lower ranges in my taste anyway.
Part 3 of 3 of my Teavivre 2013 Long Jing Smackdown. Spring samples courtesy of the generous Angel over at Teavivire. I cross reference the 3 types of Long Jing teas I received in their respective tasting notes, so if you’re really curious you might want to check them out for a more full account.
Part 1 – “Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea”
Part 2 – “Premium Dragon Well Green Tea”
Both can be found in my Tea Log — http://steepster.com/markballou
Here, with this Organic Long Jing (my previous goto Long Jing for 2012), it got more interesting for me. Again as I’ve mentioned in my Ming Qian tasting note, I didn’t find these teas significantly different. I really wrung my hands over the samples. At one point I had to bust out some competitor’s Long Jing for a kind of baseline. But what finally stood out the most, and what separated this Organic Long Jing from the two others I’d sampled from Teavivre, was an overall bolder smell and taste. OK, that’s pretty base… I tried to put my finger on it when I did my side by side comparison. I’d come to the conclusion these 3 teas were so closely matched that I had to brew them all in one sitting to really feel them out.
Here’s what I can say about this organic version. Have you ever tasted the difference between organic poultry or meat? In my experience I find the flavor to be a bit gamier. Funny enough that’s the best way I can describe this tea. Not that it was literally gamy, but its profile was bolder and broader, more pronounced and very specifically it yielded later infusions that were stronger and more flavorful. Do I like that? Yes, I do. Do I like that enough to pay the extra and forgo the Premium? That’s a good question.
I think, though I find the Organic more complex, the way I tend to drink Long Jing (on the go), some of the benefits might be lost to me. If I were going to save this for sitting, sharing and really experiencing, I’d say it’s worth it. With that said, I may just buy a bit to keep on the side for friends, while sticking with the Premium as my primary bread and butter. Of course, since I was sent the samples, Teavivre is now offering a basic 2013 non-organic Dragon Well Long Jing. So, it’s possible that might be a good solution for an everyday Long Jing… I hadn’t particularly cared for it in 2012, but 2013 is turning out to be a good year across the board.
Part 2 of 3 of my Teavivre 2013 Long Jing Smackdown. Spring samples courtesy of the generous Angel over at Teavivire. I cross reference the 3 types of teas I received in their respective tasting notes, so if you’re really curious you might want to check them out for a more full account.
Part 1 – “Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea”
Part 2 – “Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea”
Both can be found in my Tea Log — http://steepster.com/markballou
This Long Jing had not impressed me as much in 2012, losing out to follow up orders of the Organic Superfine version. 2013 though is a pleasant surprise. I’m immediately greeted by an unexpected dry leaf, nice, not on par with some of the shapeliness of the highest quality Long Jings, but surprisingly uniform and pleasing to watch hydrate in my 10oz double wall tall glass tumbler. Broken leaf is minimal and there’s a small amount of white clump. The leaf color is greener than I’ve come to look for when evaluating Long Jings; something about young teas not developing as much chlorophyll, having more theanine and a tendency towards a lighter green color. Upon opening the package you can smell the fresh, bright, lively aroma immediately.
I’m impatient and don’t let my water cool to 175˚F as recommended by Teavivre but bully my way into this tea at approximately 190˚ (the water temp in the prep details is for my later side by side comparison). I’m not completely uncivilized and follow my tried and true Long Jing brewing protocol minus the glass warming stage:
I first note the liqueur is vibrant yellow-green, followed by an initial taste impression of “juicy.”
This is a wow. I’m not hit with complexity here, but overall satisfaction. Where I’m often impressed with a multidimensional profile, here it’s not about that. It’s a broader experience. This tea is tolerant, not going all bitter with the water being so hot. I’ve gone through 5 steeps of this tea and it never went all swampy and flat on me like many of the Long Jings I’ve had before. The color got less vibrant and lost it’s green color, favoring the yellow tones.
In my side by side comparison the Premium did not fair as well, and contrary to when I steeped a larger quantity of leaf, by the 4th and fifth steep it had indeed gone somewhat flat. It still never did go swampy, just was kinda void.
If you’re not all about Organic, then I’d say this is a good value and is the one I’m tempted to buy in quantity.
Beautiful 2013 spring samples courtesy of the preeminently generous Angel over at Teavivire. I was shocked at how many she sent me when I contacted her about the 2013 harvest. When I find a tea I like, I tend to buy significant quantity, so having this reference is truly appreciated. You rock Angel!
Well, let’s call this Part 1 of 3 in my Teavivre Long Jing Smackdown. All in all I was provided with samples of the Organic Long Jing, Premium and this Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian. I prepared them all in my variation of the Tall Glass Method, where I decant each infusion, leaving a root. Tasting notes on the other 2 teas can be found in my Tea Log:
I really wanted to be the first to post a review of this tea, but I didn’t want to rush, particularly because my findings were a little perplexing. Initially I sampled each of the teas separately, reserving some dry leaf to compare. I noticed that the leaf of all 3 teas was very well photographed on the website and representative of what I was sent. Kudos to Teavivre for providing great photo documentation that is not overly manipulated.
I was shocked that all three dry teas looked and smelled almost identical. I really expected to see something to differentiate them. I first tried the Premium, and without going into detail I again was surprised to find that there wasn’t a huge difference in the flavor profiles, aroma and color of the liquor in comparison to the Ming Qian and the Organic Long Jing. I thought I’d see vast differences, but either A) my palate isn’t refined enough to tell the difference, or B) these teas really aren’t significantly different.
To see if maybe my memory was failing me day to day, I decided to do a single sitting, side by side comparison. I’d spread the initial tastings out over 3 days as there was no way was I going to do 3 full servings in one day or I’d be bouncing off the walls. For my comparison I cut the tea by a 3rd the size of my usual servings and prepared them each the same way. For my finding on the other teas, see their respective tasting notes.
As for this tea, the highest price of the 3, I like it. It’s a good Long Jing. None of them were particularly chestnutty, as is often the descriptor for Long Jings, and this one I would say was the least. Most significant for me was that it had an overall more refined, smooth profile and a sweeter aroma. The mouthfeel was clean with a light, dry astringency on the periphery and a lingering subtle sweet aftertaste. I don’t have any food comparisons or vegetables that it reminds me of. No green beans here or spinach, just telltale Dragon Well. Sometimes you’ll see a mild smokiness or toasted element to Long Jings. Not so much for any of these. Though I DO get a little toasty note here, just more of a backdrop than center stage.
I got about 4 steeps out of each of these, steeps 2-4 with a root. The first about 1 min (30 swirled + 30 steeped), 2nd about 30 secs w/ the previous well-soaked root, the 3rd about 1-1.5 mins and the 4th I drank from the tall glass. The Ming Qian started falling apart, along with the Premium, tasting a bit vacant on the 4th steep, but remained quite drinkable. I could probably coax a 5th steep out of this but I’m not motivated. Yeah, motivated myself— 5th, not so much.
Is it worth paying premium for the Ming Qian? Maybe if you want to get stupid like me and go crazy with a comparison, really splitting hairs to see the minor differences between Teavivre’s offerings. But honestly, for my taste, I don’t see the need to spend the extra ducats.
Caffeine. After a side by side like this, all I can say is “Yes.” I’m pretty confident that I could depend on this tea to keep my inner fire burning late in the day and rub the cobwebs out of my eyes in the AM. As for now I’m certainly motivated to write all three tasting notes, one after the other while still fresh in my mind.
Giving this sample a go today, as I am out of milk right now. Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for sending me this one to try…she knows I like oolongs.
My first attempt, I think I let the water cool too much, and possibly under-leafed this as well. I got a much lighter and thinner liquor than I was expecting. I’m tasting something though, but I am unable to put my finger on it. It seems possibly fruity or buttery or brothy but maybe a little of it all?
Although I have a second steep coming, with hotter water and more leaf, so I can compare then if it was my steeping parameters or not. Water had cooled a few minutes (maybe 5?) and I did a 3 minute steep. this current steep I am using just boiled water and a 2 minute steep. We will see.
I am very intrigued by this tea though. The leaves are long, thin, and spindly…and the colour is a dark green with a slight purple tinge to them, I think. Someone said seaweed, and I think that is a good descriptor.
What do you think?
EDIT FOR RE-STEEP:
So I used more leaf, hotter water, and less steeping time and I got a stronger brew. I’m not sure if that was for the better or not. I feel like I have gone in the opposite direction now and it is too strong a steep. I feel like I need something in between. I’m not getting sweet potato, but I am getting a saliva inducing feeling in my mouth. I am still tasting something fruity, but I am not sure. It doesn’t seem peachy to me, but someone mentioned grape, and I think maybe I am getting a raisin note, or plum or tart cherry, because I am getting a little bit of astringency with the juicy mouthfeel. There is a little smokiness too, I think, along with a mild floral note.
I think that I need to play around with the steeping parameters on this one still, to get the optimal balance of flavours I am looking for.
Dare I say it? Am I being too impulsive by already saying that this has become one of my favorite teas?
Eh, let’s say it. I think it’s safe. This tea was so great! It’s the first Golden Monkey I’ve tried, and I think it’s pretty safe to say I’ve found a winner. :) It had a very interesting taste. It tasted chocolately, yet it was fruity, and yet it was also had a slight tinge of pepper too. Very slight mind you, the tea is very pleasantly sweet! I practically guzzled the cup, and I have my next infusion steeping now. The shelf life on the package said 36 months. As if this’ll be around for three years. More like three days. Haha. Next time I order this, I’ll be sure to order it with a tin. This’ll be a permanent one. Very glad I was confident and ordered a good pouch rather than just a sample.
I’m feeling much more comfortable about my likes with black teas. I tend to love them either very bold and roasty, or really naturally sweet. I enjoy the nutty ones, and I’m not a huge fan of super peppery ones, nor super smokey ones as I discovered with lapsang souchong.
Edit: Second infusion, the chocolatey and fruity notes have really receded, and it’s mostly hayish now. It’s still quite flavorful, and really good! I’ll be sure to try a third infusion. :)
Got this as one of my samples from my first Teavivre order! :D
Well this is my first lapsang souchong. I felt it was a type of tea I ought to try, but so far I’m not terribly sure if I like it! I always thought of myself as someone who liked a smoky taste, but yeah… wow. Heh. One thing I can tell you though, is that it tastes like the old campfires from days dearly missed with the family on camping trips from my childhood.
In the sense of the nostalgia, I love it dearly, as it brings back so many memories. If I close my eyes, I can almost swear I’m in front of a nighttime campfire at Christina Lake. It doesn’t taste entirely like smoke, I definitely can taste the wood they used in the fire. I feel like this would be best drunk outside in the fresh air with the birds chirping. I think I might wander outside with this in fact.
All that said though, while I’m happy to go down a trip on memory lane, I think I’d rather think about my camping memories than drink them. I’m happy I tried this, as I really felt like this was something I should try as a black tea lover.
EDIT: yeah, not loving it. Made it halfway through the cup and just tossed it. xD; Definitely glad it was a sample, and still happy that I finally tried a lapsang souchong for the first time.
Thank you Angel for this sample.
In raw form this tea is a lovely blend of dark brown, light brown and silver green leaves. It has an earthy, wooden scent.
Once brewed the tea is brown in colour and has a slightly spicy and toasted, earthen scent.
My husband had a sip and said he could taste pasta and pizza in this tea. The most bizzare statement that he has ever made. I found this tea to be spicy and warming with a gentle toasted almost fruity and floral essence. Very beautiful and elegant. Each sip brings forward different flavours but each one is as tasty as the last.
Side Note – I don’t think I have ever had a spicy natural Oolong before.