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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you for the samples Angel at Teavivre!
With the name “charcoal baked” I was expecting something really smokey and “heavy”. This roasted oolong was smoother and sweeter than I was expecting. It isn’t as roasted tasting as I was expecting either. These are all good things because I found this tea to be very enjoyable. The first steep had mineral notes which decreased a little in the resteep.
The brewing parameters suggest 6 minutes which I thought was a little long but I went with it anyway since they have never steered me wrong yet! I think the mineral notes might not be as strong if brewed a little shorter though, or maybe a rinse.
Teavivre kindly included this in the green sampler pack the sent me for review a while back (and that I’m just now getting to, whoops!). This is one super spinachy tea—I see other reviews mentioning notes of hay and even cocoa, but to me it’s all vegetal. It’s a nice tea, and quite smooth, but I do have a preference for greens on the milder/sweeter/nuttier side. I brewed this up hot and then chilled it for iced tea, since it’s been hot here, and while I don’t think it’s one I’ll purchase just based on my personal preferences it’s made for a refreshing drink.
So.. I’ve been away from steepster for a while. It feels like my life has been twirling around with much change, grief, hope, anticipation and uncertainty so it’s nice to have landmarks to pause and take a breath.
I purchased 100g of this tea and it’s really quite good and versatile. I keep coming back to it because whether it’s steeped western or gongfu it’s very satisfying with the nice bittersweet edge of the gongfu brews or the more rounded malt of the western steeps. Not much more I can say other than I’ve really been enjoying this tea and if you can get it during a promotion it’s definitely worth a try. Teavivre has some pretty amazing deals every once in a while so keep an eye out.
Leaves: Large long flat medium green leaves
Measuring Spoon: no
Color: light yellow
Taste:The first thing i noticed with this tea was the packaging was a dull silver color as compared to the usual shiny silver packets. Upon opening the leaves were long & flat with a vegetable aroma. Since this tea is to big for a spoon measure i went to the website and decided to go with 15 leaves. The instruction were quite different as i pour a bit of the water into my french press first gently swirling it for 30s before adding the rest of the water. The steep was rather short at only 2m. Due to the wideness of the press my leaves didn’t stand up as in the photo. Overall flavor was light i will be going back and making another cup. Before making this cup i had a short Blogilates workout and did a 1m Bad Yogi meditation.
This wraps up my 2016 Spring tea reviews!
Many thanks to Angel for passing down these wonderful samples. I drank this down before having a chance to write about it but it was a super green floral with a healthy helping of buttery undertones. I detected a bit of grassiness alongside the floral notes but nothing too overwhelming. While I enjoyed drinking it, oolongs aren’t really something I’ve been waiting to reach for as of late so I’ll reserve rating this.
Leaves: semi-long, black twisted leaves w/ medium brown bits
Measuring Spoon: no
Taste: Finally back with another review! I hope you all had a great holiday, i spent mine with family/friends & saw fireworks from my house. Finished off the night with a delicious dinner. Now on to the tea the feel of this tea was smooth. Taste wise it was very light with no bitterness present.
Hope you all have a great week!
Backlog: Phew, it’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’m only now getting my feet back on the ground.
Thanks to Teavivre and Angel for this sample. I should have written about it some time back but life got in the way. I’ve not had buckwheat tea before, so had no clue what to expect. It was a pale yellow colour when brewed with strong cereal notes in the aroma, as you would expect. It tastes of toasted grains, kind of like puffed wheat or similar breakfast cereals, with nutty notes and a buttery feel. It’s a bit like breakfast in a mug, and makes a nice change for when you need a caffeine-free drink.
Teavivre sample 5/5
I got a bunch of teaware today from YS :D I’m so excited I finally have a serving pitcher and a cup that I can actually see the tea colour in! yay :D!
Anyways! From the moment I smelled this bi luo chun, I decided to save it for last, I have had it for a week or two and this is my first time having it and well that takes willpower after smelling this, just trust me. It smelled incredible.
It tastes very sweet and roasty, like sweet peas, toasted rice, bok choy, spinach, very very sweet at first. i got a slight bitterness on a couple of the steeps, but I managed to get rid of it with a shorter steep succeeding it. It gets less sweet after the beginning, more roasty in the middle of the session, and then I get corn and carrot notes, it fades out around the 8th or 9th steep, which is a bit longer than I expected, a lot of greens don’t last that long for me. The roasty notes were a lot like a genmaicha, which was really great because it balanced wonderfully with the incredibly sweet vegetals. Lovely balance in this one. Really quite something delicious, but I suspect you’ll need to be quite careful about your steeps, the slight bitterness kept coming back.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Carrot, Corn Husk, Roasted, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
Many thanks to Angel for sending me samples of this wonderful tea. I was initially hesitant, anticipating smoke from this Keemun, but jackpot. No smoke. Whew. The dry leaves are wispy and curled. Delicate. I’ve had this twice now—both yesterday morning and now—both only steeped once both times, so for now, I can’t say how it would resteep.
Keemun Aromatic Snail has a thinner mouthfeel and minimal astringency. I don’t pick up on sweet potato so much. It’s sooner grainier than potato-y to my palate. Starchy, nonetheless. The grains are drizzled in honey.
This makes me sad that I still haven’t tried the Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea (Golden Tip) and Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black that I ordered a year-and-a-half ago. Luckily, they are still sealed, but it breaks my heart that they’re packed away just sitting there. Had I known that finding a steady job and getting my own place would take this long, I would have rescued them from the box last time I was at my mom’s house in the middle of nowhere last winter, since they’re still there. I’ve been craving those kinds of teas lately too, so this Keemun has really helped!
I was not expecting this interesting combination of smokey, floral, and sweet. This one is kind of neat.
Edit I’m so sorry for that unintentional rhyme, fellow steepsterites. It was wrong of me and I’ll be more aware next time.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Kale, Smoke
Thank you for the sample Teavivre!
This tea is certainly fragrant! It smells delicious, like sweet potatoes and brown sugar with a hint of cocoa.
The taste translates fairly well into the taste, but maybe a little milder than I expected. The cocoa notes aren’t as strong as I would have liked based on the taste but it is a lovely cuppa. The sweet potatoe/molasses notes last throughout the resteep as well.
I used the whole packet which was about 2T
Teavivre sample 4/5 :)
This is the second yellow tea I’ve ever had, but the other was also a Shan Huang (from ESGreen). This one smells a lot better, and the leaves look prettier, just based on first impressions, we’re off to a good start.
Steep 1: Soybean sprouts, lovely sweet vegetal, corn, peas, carrots, can I just stress how sweet this is? pear and apple, spinach, bok choy.
Steep 2: It actually tastes a lot like a laoshan green
Steep 3: Edamames!
It’s slightly more astringent than I would’ve liked. After about 5 steeps, most of the complexity is gone, but what remains is spinach, sweet and light and thick, with bits of astringency. Teeniest bit bitter, but it’s balanced out by honey notes. I really want to say that it tastes like the white part of a watermelon, but I just ate watermelon before starting this session so I’m pretty sure that’s where this is coming from.
The flavour of this one fades a bit quicker than I would’ve liked, but before it does, it’s phenomenally complex and extremely tasty :) Definitely the best of the teavivre samples so far!
Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Bok Choy, Carrot, Corn Husk, Honey, Pear, Peas, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
Thanks, Teavivre! I chose this one as the free sample with my last order. The sickle shaped leaves are fuzzy and white! Though this one is described by Teavivre as a raw pu-erh, I usually see these types of tea labeled as white tea, especially when they are also called ‘Moonlight’. I’ve really enjoyed these types of teas in the past. The scent to the dry leaves is very sweet and unique. Teavivre suggests I use 5 grams for the Western style, but I went with half a sample (about 2.5 grams). After brewing, I was slightly worried that more than 30 seconds would have ruined this raw pu-erh (I definitely don’t like to steep my raw pu-erh more than 30 seconds at a time), but the flavor is perfect the way I steeped it. The resulting brew is very light and sweet and almost difficult to describe otherwise. It’s not really lemony or creamy like some of these types of teas can be. The best description might be light honey and hay. The first and second steeps taste like a white tea, but the third tastes more like a sheng pu-erh. So I think less of a steep time will make it taste like white, more of a steep time will make it taste like raw pu-erh. I like this, but it seems like it’s in between a white tea and a raw pu-erh and I’d rather pick those if I’m craving them.
Steep #1 // about 2.5 grams for a full mug// 18 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 8 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015
Unlike some of the other oolongs I’ve sampled from TeaVivre in the past, this tea has a more monotone flavor, tasting mostly of fresh picked flowers. It lacks the depth some of their other offerings have and I find myself missing the notes of hay, vanilla, and sweet fruit that some of my favorites, such as their Anxi Monkey King Tie Guan Yin, bring to the table. While this classic style of Tie Guan Yin isn’t as flavorful, it does have a fabulously smooth, almost butter mouthfeel and slight sweetness that I’ve found quite addictive. This tends to dissipate slightly with each resteeping of the leaves, but the faintest hints are still noticeable, even after the sixth steeping. The fact that this tea can be steeped so many times alone will insure that I’ll order it again, it’s a great choice when economy is something to consider, although I will admit it’s not my favorite of the Tie Guan Yin teas that TeaVivre has to offer.
You can read my full review on my blog:
Thanks, Teavivre! Teavivre has SO many tangy/plumy black teas now, it’s almost impossible to choose which one I like the most. The plumy/tangy teas currently available: Lapsang Souchong Wild, Nonpariel Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild, this one, are probably some other teas. I REALLY like all of them that I have tried. If I see that a black tea from Teavivre has ‘wild’ or ‘ancient’ in its name, than it will almost always have the tangy/plumy flavor that I love. The leaves here are huge, with hints of gold. There is definitely a unique tangy yet sweet molasses scent to the dry leaves. I think using 7 grams for a mug was a little too many leaves unless I steeped for almost three minutes. The resulting mug is a little more astringent than I like. I should have went with 5-6 grams and a two minute steep. But if you can see past the astringency, the tea is delicious. The deep amber brew has that tangy plum flavor and might be a little deeper and darker than some of Teavivre’s other wild/ancient teas, possibly because I expect Dian Hong to be a darker tea in general. Overall, another delicious blend I would love to stock up on.
Steep #1 // around 7 grams for a full mug// 14 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Several reviewers found this to be sour, but I did not. I think I know why.
I made it by package directions, but I poured the first steep into a jar with some sugar and set it aside to cool. I resteeped and added part of the second steep to the jar to top it up, put it in the fridge, and poured the remaining part of the unsweetened resteep into my cup. I drank that cup hot.
I really liked it. Even with sugar added it is a far cry better for me than soda or KoolAid aand such, and it hits the spot on these hot summer days. Our forecast shows two days of 97F followed by five of 100F then two more of 98F. One forecast even gave us 101F for a couple of days.
I plan to sit in the a/c sipping cold tea and eating cold eclair pie as much as possible. Stay cool, y’all. I plan to try this with honey, too.
Appearance dry: rolled tea peas
Appearance blossomed: even after second brew of 3+ minutes some buds never fully opened
Fragrance: haunting, lovely, overwhelming
If I imagined decadent things to do with unlimited wealth, I’d bathe in this tea. The fragrance is pronounced and smooth and haunting. And that’s the problem also. It was too overwhelming as a drinking tea.
Have you ever finished a hard workout, gulping mouthfuls of air to recover when a perfumed person passes by? Ugh! Ack! You swallow an unwelcomed mouthful of overly scented body wash or shampoo. That was my fear while drinking this tea. Even though there was no perfume or alcohol flavor, still approached each sip with trepidation, expecting a mouthful of acrid, perfume-y backwash.
Despite that experience I’d recommend this tea and will try it again as an add-in for other teas. Maybe just 3-4 pearls to a pot of some other tea will give a light and less aggressive jasmine flavor. I used 2 grams of tea to about 12 oz of water and steeped same tea again in another 12 oz. Both times the jasmine scent was dominant.
Thank you Angel for this free sample. Sorry it took me so long to get to it. This was an excellent tea. It started off somewhat bitter. This lasted about four steeps or so. Then it developed a nice sweet note to it. I am not sure if I should say apricots or stonefruits but it was good. Despite being ten years old it had yet to develop any aged flavors, good or bad. It had no storage tastes at all. It was very tasty. This is definitely one I would consider buying the next time I order with Teavivre.
I steeped 7.3g leaf in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.3g leaf. I steeped it twelve times. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. There were definitely a few more steeps left but I figure I’ve had enough caffeine for today.
Yunnan palace ripened puerh loose tea 2005 by Teavivre review
Happy Canada day my fellow Canadians!
Using my new Engraved dragon teapot gongfucha.
Dry leaf: slightly musty.
Wet leaf: light earth.
1x short rinse.
Light steep: I taste/smell; slight
-> cream, toasty, earth, old books, autumn leaves. Little to no fermentation.
(Forgot to take pic. Using pic of light steep after review)
Medium steep: I taste/smell;
-> berries(unknown), fermentation, cream, toasty. Light -> earth, old books, autumn leaves.
Heavy steep, I taste/smell; slight
Berries(unknown), cream, toasty. Light fermentation. Medium
-> earth, old books, autumn leaves.
All in all, this is one of the the best shou I have ever tried. So mellow, however, not much of cha qi. so i rate a 100. definately reccomend
Many tanks to Teavivre for selling me this sample.
Enjoy your Canada day my fellow Canadians. I certainly have!