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Recent Tasting Notes
note to self: when steeping 2 similar looking teas side by side, unbox teas in separate areas. i almost mixed up this one and the heavily roasted! but thank goodness, i can see the slight difference in color as this was just the teeniest bit greener. the color of the brewed tea did show that i was right – and i had put this in my white teapot while the other in my brown kyusu (haha, sorry purists, it was the only other pot i had available!)
on to the taste: like i have read, i fall under the majority preferring lightly/moderately roasted! thank you Teavivre for helping me figure this one out with your nice teas!
this one is naturally sweet but i need to steep it longer (for a minute or so) vs my usual less than a minute steep to get my desired strength but it’s all good coz the instructions say 1-3 minutes. and freshly boiled water (some oolongs need lower temperature and shorter steeps to avoid getting bitter but this one and apparently the really good quality ones allow/need higher temp and longer steeps). not gonna work for cold steeping i guess.
oolongs are harder to steep, i think! i like that it doesnt get bitter so easily and i can steep it over a minute no problem. but maybe not for 3 coz it does get every slightly bitter along the way. i got more of the tgy taste in this one but like the sweetness of the lightly roasted oolong more :)
on the other hand…the flavor of this remains for more steeps. i think i will enjoy this more gongfu style or shorter more frequent steeps
This Silver Needle has made me want to start trying more white teas. I haven’t tried a lot, but the ones I’ve had, I didn’t really care for. They seemed too light…not enough flavor. This one, I’m really liking though. I’m getting a lot of hay in scent and taste. It’s creamy and a little sweet. Something else, I think might be soy milk….it’s been a while since I’ve had any, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it reminds me of.
Pretty excited that I got a Dianhong for Christmas in July :)
Not sure if I am suppose to disclose who got me this…
Anyways, this does not have the furryness to and it is more of a darker leaf which made me curious as to the taste. I’m not sure exactly how the process works with dianhong teas in generally, but this is missing out on the velvet taste that happens all around my mouth with other dianhong teas. This is more of a very smooth black tea. While it will be my breakfast tea for quite awhile as I really enjoy how well it goes down, as a dianhong tea I am missing out on the natural cocoa notes that go down with some sort of texture I can’t touch but I can taste… I’m sure this is fantastic for those who enjoy their straight blacks :)
p.s. no tea will have an easy shot to impress me after the Imperial Golden Bud from Whispering Pines :/
So this came with the flavored sample set that I mostly wanted to try the jasmine teas contained within. This is the oolong with the added flavoring, rather than the unflavored Jin Xuan oolong. Upon opening the pouch, there is mostly certainly a candy sweet fragrance! With the unflavored Jin Xuan, I can’t really taste much of the qualities that make it a milk oolong. That sweet flavor makes itself known mostly in the first steep, slowly fading after that. The leaves are very dark green. The leaves unravel very fast, already filling the infuser with the first steep. I used an entire sample pouch (two teaspoons) but it seems like the flavor was stronger than necessary with each steep (even with one minute steeps). So I’d also recommend trying this tea with one teaspoon or one and a half teaspoons and/or with lower temperatures. I didn’t ruin the flavor too much, but I know it could have been better with proper parameters. Otherwise, the flavor is milky and candy sweet with hints of butter and some type of fruit – possibly pineapple. This oolong is alright, but I know that Teavivre has better options.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // few minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 1 min
Steep #3 // 3 minutes after boiling // 1 min
Ah! I won one of the $8 gift cards. Very excited about that! Good luck to everyone else!
I put 10g of this into a gaiwan to steep. That was a bad idea – I should have just stuck to using half that.
I wanted to try this white tea with the same parameters as I tried the Nonpareil a while ago. Though it might be way too far back for me to compare these two. The leaves are huge and there are a TON in a 5 gram sample. They have such a strong scent for a dry leaf – very surprising for a white tea. I can’t really tell a noticeable difference in flavor from this one and the Nonpareil (though that was months ago that I tried it.) The first cup is mostly mellow dried grass. Maybe I say “mellow” because it also reminds me of lemony marshmallows, if that exists. Maybe cotton flavored, in the best possible way. These are flavor notes I typically find in a white tea! These flavors intensify with the second steep! A nice white tea but I adore the Jasmine white.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a mug (about half of a 5 grams pouch) // 40 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
I love floral teas but prior to this, I’d never had osmanthus scented tea nor did I know what it’s supposed to taste like. The dry teaball has a rather unpleasant hay smell and if you steep it with boiling water as Teavivre instructs, you end up with a bitter and astringent brew.
So the next time I made this tea, I used 170 to 180 F water and it turned out much better. The hay odor thankfully didn’t make it to the brewed tea and I was able to pick up a subtle floral flavor which really shines through though on the 2nd infusion (I got 3 infusions in total out of 1 tea ball). While enjoyable, I was expecting a more flowery tasting tea and the osmanthus flavor was too mellow for my liking.
I made this side by side today with an osmanthus green oolong and the oolong was the hands down winner. The natural floral notes in the oolong pair better with the osmanthus than the vegetal green tea.
Still, this tea was tasty iced and fun to watch bloom in a glass teapot.
Flavors: Hay, Osmanthus, Vegetal
If you like Teavana’s fruity teas, you will enjoy this blend. It tastes like a hibiscus spiked fruit punch. The hibiscus is clearly the dominant flavor in the brewed tea and if you drink it straight, that’s all you will taste. Although I don’t usually don’t sweeten my tea, this one does benefit with the addition of a little sugar. It tempers the sourness of the hibiscus and brings out the other fruit flavors, which aren’t really discernable on their own but meld together nicely. If chilled, this would make a fantastic iced tea.
Flavors: Fruit Punch, Hibiscus
Another sample I bought from Teavivre (basically I bought a ton of samples and used reward points and a $5 giftcard — almost coming to the end of the new Teavivre teas to review now.) I loved the look of these gorgeous green leaves, all twisted together and branchy. The fragrance is very strong and sweet. I used two heaping teaspoons for a mug and that seemed to work out perfectly. (Two teaspoons seem to work well for most Teavivre teas for my taste buds.) The pale yellow liquid has a lovely flavor — a little like corn and also fruity but I can’t tell which fruit. A little nutty but definitely not as nutty as the Lu Shan. A great lingering aftertaste. The second steep is somehow crisper, fresher, yet creamier for a green tea. It is more vegetal this time around, but still sweet. All of the green teas I’ve tried from Teavivre have been so so delicious. The best green teas that I’ve ever had. Great to stock up on!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for mug // 32 minutes after boiling // 55 second steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
The Teavivre sale has been announced! Get planning! :D
Fruity and fresh, the berry in this is strongest. I do not taste mint at all, though for all I know it enhances the other flavors. I would enjoy it more with stronger mint. I do also get a tropical edge…but primarily red berry, particularly in the aftertaste.
Outdoors in the sun just enjoying a Wednesday afternoon after work and I decided to brew something floral which was this!
Sadly, it did not give me the TGY floral taste I was wanting. It wasn’t the outdoors that changed the taste either, it is simply this tea. I believe the sizing is nice, but the taste just isn’t there. This is kind of like Tony Stark when he’s drunk; he may still be Tony Stark but he won’t be getting the job done the same way, you know?
I’ve had this sample for quite awhile. I just ran across it again when organizing the tea cupboards.
This is a very enjoyable light tea. The jasmine is subdued but definitely there. It is a sweet rather than a floral jasmine. Smooth and overall a refreshing cup.
Another free sample courtesy of Teavivre. I loved the smell of the dry leaves, reminded me of sweet strawberry mochi. I brewed the tea with some trepidation expecting this to have an artificial and/or overwhelming fruit flavor like most flavored teas. I’m happy to report that my fears were unfounded. The first steeping was creamy smooth with a gentle strawberry flavor. You actually can taste the base oolong and the strawberry complements it instead of competing with it.
Those that prefer fruity teas might find it underwhelming but for me the flavor profile of this tea was on point. Unfortunately the strawberry flavor is mostly lost after the 1st steeping so all you taste on the 2nd steeping is the oolong itself.
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Milk, Strawberry
Yesterday I tried the Premium jasmine pearls. Today, on an even hotter day (maybe the hottest of the year so far), I’m trying the Superfine. Honestly, I can’t really tell much of a difference. The scent, appearance, steeped leaves are the same. The color of the brew is slightly a darker mellow yellow here than the Premium. Maybe I’m too much of a jasmine pearl amateur to know the difference. There MIGHT be a slightly more silky quality and slightly sweeter flavor over the Premium, but I might just be trying to find something that is different. But the flavor is gorgeous as usual, perfect for this hot day. A third steep also had quite a lot of flavor. I’ve adored all of the jasmine teas I’ve tried from Teavivre. The jasmine couldn’t be any better on any of the jasmine blends. Choosing one to buy is quite a problem, as I wouldn’t mind stocking up on all of them. That was why I wanted to try all of the jasmine teas though – I knew I definitely wanted to stock up on at least one of them! Any of these would satisfy any jasmine fan.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Leaves: large long medium thick leaves
Color: Light yellow almost clear
Taste: Upon opening the package this tea was a pretty vibrant green accompanied by a fresh spinach aroma. The leaves were larger than expected. When pouring my water over the leaves I noticed a random brown ball floating in my cup, not knowing that it was i picked it out and made a new cup of tea. This time hoping the same thing wouldn’t happen again I continued the brewing process. Also I want to note my tea ball isn’t good at the moment so for brewing these larger leaves so I decided to try a new method. I placed the tea leaves directly in my cup & pour water over them. The first cup worked great because a majority of the leaves floated to the top of my cup making it easier for me to remove them while only a few settled at the bottom that i didn’t remove. The clarity of this tea was great with no cloudiness, crisp & clear i would say. As for the taste I found it to be nice light and refreshing for a afternoon drink. This brings me to the last of my Spring 2015 Tea reviews!
I adore jasmine teas on hot summer days. It’s perfect! This tea features some lovely scented little bundles of light green and white leaves. I’m reminded of the white of the leaves when I see the color of the brew – a pale color I would consider more like a white tea. So much flavor is here! Yes, it’s mostly the endless jasmine but it pairs so well with the green tea. So refreshing and summery. Peeking into the brew basket, the leaves were hardly out of their bundle shapes, but the second steep was much more unraveled. Both steeps tasted exactly the same. The green tea is much lighter in flavor than the other green jasmine teas from Teavivre (though I will be trying the Superfine pearls tomorrow.) So these pearls almost taste like just jasmine petals without the green tea. The other two green teas have just hints of green tea flavor with all that jasmine. Though I didn’t steep these pearls with Teavivre’s parameters, I think all steeps tasted perfect to me! (I had a third steep that was also delicious.)
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for mug (about half a 7 gram sample) // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
I think this may be my favorite green tea. The tea leaves smell so good, you want to eat one (I do anyways lol ), and once brewed the tea smells just as good. It tastes smooth and buttery. Nutty. A little toasted. A slightly sweet nectar taste. Will definitely be getting more of this.
I love this. It is more reminiscent of peach with other fruit equally represented, as opposed to straight up peach, perhaps more like peachberry, as it is still very hibiscusy and has a berry quality. But with a bit of honey the peachy juiciness is brought out. I am impressed, and will consider repurchasing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tea and was delighted with how sweet it was. My mom and used to get dragon pearls in Hawaii pretty often, and this one comes really close to matching the memory. This tea was really refreshing, clean, and sweeter than I expected. Numi’s jasmine does have a little bit more body because of the buds, but honestly, it would depend on my mood and the price to choose between the two. I slightly prefer this one because of how clean and fresh it is, which is to be expected given the loose leaf quality. I just wish that this type of tea was more available in the areas that I live in, and that shipping wasn’t a burden. Moving on from that note, I would like to try the superfine version to see if its any better, though it might be a few steps higher. I definitely recommend this tea though to Jasmine lovers, experienced or not.
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Sugarcane
Very floral, green oolong. The milky aspect was there, but a little to subtle for my tastes. Has lasting power, but not one that I would drink over and over. I am not entirely sure that I would recommend this one. I was kinda bored. I love oolongs anyway, and did enjoy the little bit I had.
Flavors: Grass, Milk
Really smooth, really smooth and sweet. I wanted to try a golden tipped tea, and the only other black that I could compare this to would be a Mokalbari Assam, and maybe a Keemum. Like the Assam, it had a malty full bodied aroma and taste, but with the smooth cocoa notes of a Keemum and its lack of astringency. I drank it on an empty stomach and thankful that it didn’t upset it like the Assam.
If I had the option of drinking higher grade black tea consistently, I would probably pick this one as one of them. The only deterrent would be the simplicity of this tea. The taste and smell are certainly sophisticated, but I personally was expecting a little bit more flavor. A stronger Keemum, Ailoshan, or maybe Fujian black might be more preferred because of their more distinct cocoa.
Altogether, probably best for someone who likes black teas and wants to try something smoother and different. Gotta drink them all!
Flavors: Caramel, Carrot, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet