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Recent Tasting Notes
This sample was included in a swap from Amariel.
The flavours in this Dragon Well are milder than I like them. The butter and nut (chestnut here) share a minimalistic philosophy, and don’t seem to like hopping up on stage and stealing the show. That’s unfortunate, because I like it when they do. The sweet fruity and vegetal notes here are more involved.I made up about five different cups steeped at various temperatures between 170F-190F. None of them had what I was looking for (gomae) but they where still enjoyable in their own way!
Flavors: Chestnut, Fruity, Vegetal
The first steep of this tea produces a cup that is very smooth and refreshing with an almost honey-like texture. It has a subtle sweet, slightly grassy flavor with no hint of astringency or dry mouth. The fact that it doesn’t produce a dry mouth after tasting it makes it the perfect tea for the long, hot months of summer. As the temperature begins to rise I tend to look for lighter flavored teas that will quench my thirst without leaving me with the dry mouth feel that many other green teas produce. This is one of the few teas that I’ve tried in the past few weeks that does just that. It produces a very refreshing cup of tea and I could see myself consuming a lot of it this summer.
You can read the full review on my blog:
I received this tea as part of an incredibly generous sample from Angel. Thank you so much!
First off, I love these little foil wrapped samples. They would be ideal for travel or for people who want to keep their tea packaged until the last minute. I know the package says not for sale, but I could see this being an item that some people would love to buy.
The dry leaf smelled familiar, a promising and complex smell that has come to mean “Yunnan” to me.
The package suggested a steep of 2 to 3 minutes. I went with 3 out of habit, but in hindsight I wish I had gone with 2. This is a very powerful tea! Strong and a bit malty, it is a perfect breakfast tea for me. It was both my first and second cup today. Usually I steep my first tea twice, but the second cup was still so strong and dark that I left it for a third steep (I haven’t done it yet).
I really enjoyed it! It’s definitely an early in the day tea for me, and I am looking forward to that next steep.
SUCH a good example of the goddess of teas. The dry leaves are tightly curled and wrinkly, with a lovely combination of dark to almost fluorescent green hues. I followed Teavivre’s steeping recommendations in a gaiwan: 7 gm, 5 sec rinse, then 25/35/45/55 sec steeps. The wet leaves smelled of seaweed and the pale yellow liquor was smooth and slightly sweet (honeysuckle?) at the first steep, getting a bit sweeter for the next several steeps. It seemed to level off in flavor and sweetness after the first three steeps, which means it continued yummy all the way through. A lovely tea.
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Seaweed
I really like this tea…. I mean REALLY like this tea. I’ve reviewed it previously here: http://steepster.com/Donkeytiara/posts/247989# but am drinking it again this morning, and even through my back pain, it reminds me that it is everything I think a Yunnan should be. I recently used all my bonus points for reviews on TeaVivre’s websites to buy this tea, and this cup in front of me is making me happy that I broke the bonus point piggy bank to do so. It’s creamy, it’s yammy, it’s grainy, it’s a touch raisiny…. it’s nutty goodness focuses me right in on the cup of tea, making it easy to ignore the chaos around me. It makes me happy.
Flavors: Creamy, Grain, Nuts, Nutty, Raisins, Yams
when i won the teavivre contest i gave one pack to my friend Duane. he did not get a chance to use it. so me and him had a campfire and we roasted hotdogs and used the pack of i think 6 grams and made a good amount of this tea :P since it tasted better with fire boiled water, I’m changing the score 80 —→ 85
I’m cheating a little on this one because the other half is going to my friend who is so awesome about bringing tea over the borders for me. Since she’ll be bringing me 3 little teas, i figured i should make room for those by giving her a few more teas to try. I’m not sure if i prefer this one or the other dragonwell from teavivre that i tried recently. What i’m sure if, is that i’d never drink this fast enough for it to stay fresh. I will likely look in to buying sampler though in future to be able to have a few of these around. sooooo tasty and green and delicious (don’t look at me teafairy!)
Roses and jasmine are often combined in perfume, so I figured that I should have some jasmine as a part of my Rose festival. Yeah, I know. I’m moving to Rationalization City!
In truth, I just felt like brewing some of these yummy jasmine pearls—so I did! The first and second infusion were very good: smooth and very fragrant but also with a fine green tea base. The third infusion began to wane a bit, so I threw it in the refrigerator to try iced tomorrow.
Thanks to the lovely Cameron B for sharing this tea with me!
Method: 4 balls, 6 oz, 200 degrees, 5 min, banko houhin (Eeeeee!!!!)
Aroma: smells a little malty and roasty. I catch a little hint of cocoa, too.
Flavor: I think it’s pretty solid. It has a nice weight, and a mild malty taste. It only has a bare hint of bitterness, and a slight astringent finish. The flavor lingers nicely. I think this would be a great candidate for a little maple booster, but I didn’t try that yet.
I ended up doing two steeps blended into one mug because the leaves really sucked up a lot of water. Both were 5 minutes long. To sum up – I wouldn’t kick this one out of bed. LOL
This is the last of my blueberry fruit tea from Teavivre! Sad!! This is perfect weather for cold-brewed or room-temperature brewed tea. I love to brew fruity teas cold or room-temperature. Yum! The hibiscus in this lends itself toward cold brewing. I didn’t try to brew it hot just because I like blueberries and hibiscus cold. Delicious! Just the right amount of smoothness and tartness.
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Tart
Backlog from yesterday:
Maybe I was really spoiled from last week’s sample of Premium Taiwanese Assam from the GCTTB3, but I didn’t enjoy this tea as much as I had the first time around. I think I messed up the steeping parameters on this one, as the flavour wasn’t as deep or fruity as hoped it would be. It was a bit more leathery this time.
Hello everyone, I hope you’re all having good weekends! I decided to do gong fu with this tea today because I felt like I wasn’t getting the full potential when I tasted it western-style. I mostly used TeaVivre’s parameters, but adjusted the amount of water to 4 ounces and then used 4 grams of tea, which turned out to be 4 pearls. I also used 200 degree water instead of boiling.
The method: 4g tea per 4oz water, 200 degrees, 10s rinse/30/50/70/90/120s
Rinse (10s): very light, woody, golden raisins (the pearls puffed up but held their shape)
Steep 1 (30s): strong bitter cocoa with some woodiness, burnt sugar (the pearls fell apart completely!)
Steep 2 (50s): very earthy in a mineral sense (licking a rock comes to mind), bitter cocoa
Steep 3 (70s): mellower earthiness, autumn leaves, dark but not bitter cocoa
Steep 4 (90s): very similar to steep 2, earthy and highly mineral
Steep 5 (120s): similar to steep 3, mellow earth with autumn leaves, buttered toast!
So, I was not a big fan of those highly earthy and mineral steeps… In fact, I didn’t finish either of them. Just blegh. My favorites were the first and last steeps, which suggests to me that maybe I should try this again with shorter steeps? Or maybe I’ll just stick to western-style with this one.
Any suggestions for a gong fu method that won’t bring out so much earthy/mineral flavor would be greatly appreciated! I only have enough of this left for one more cup or session… So I want to get it right! :P
I also noticed that there’s a tad bit of water left in the bottom after I drain the leaves. I’m assuming this is okay, since I don’t see how I would get all of it without dumping into a strainer. Would love to be corrected if I’m wrong!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Earth, Mineral, Toast, Wood