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Recent Tasting Notes
I have been drinking a LOT of non nature flavored teas lately. I have a couple samples from steepster friends I want to try but have not had the time to sit with them and review them fairly. Not that I have with this one yet either but wanted something I knew would hit the spot and that I could enjoy when I really do not have as much time as I would like for a first time tea.
This is mellow, relaxing, and soothing. I need that right now.
Very much looking forward to this sample! Thankyou Angel and Teavivre for this generous sample
I used 4 pearls
Dry smell: like smoky hot chocolate
Appearance: golden amber
Smell wet leaf: almost like a malty milkshake
Taste: Delicious, malty, slightly sweet, smooth. Cocoa notes.
It leaves a wonderfully warm and comforting feeling throughout my body.
Delicious to have that cocoa taste but tastes so natural
2nd steep 1.5min—slight astringency in the aftertaste
I would re-steep some more but it is getting late in the day, I will have to save the leaf for tomorrow morning.
Edit: 3rd steeping from last night’s leaves, 3 minutes. This tea is starting to lose it’s sweetness a little bit but it is still delicious.
I would do more steepings, but I have so many other teas left to review!
Thanks to TeaVivre for the generous sample.
By far this has been the best blueberry tea I have tasted. I don’t buy blueberries from anywhere in the world as nothing compares to Northern Ontario blueberries. I have to say this tea as an iced tea delivers almost the same Northern Ontario blueberry flavor. So devine. Must get more.
This tea came in my incredibly generous free samples box from Teavivre. Its a very reliable Fujian tea with a light sweetness that reminds me of dark chocolate. I’ve had a lot of Fujian black tea that have the same taste palette but this is by far the freshest tasting, it doesn’t feel greasy or “heavy”. There is a nice bite at the end almost like biting into a lemon. A great reliable tea when I have a lot of work to do and very little time to do it.
I woke up very bleary this morning, unexpectedly, and actually drank coffee for the first time in a long time.
But as late morning begins to drag on towards lunch, it is time to settle into something softer, so here I am with the last of this free sample and it is just right.
Hopefully it will settle my stomach a bit before it is time to eat.
I am surprised I like this tea as much as I do, but I really do.
I enjoyed the last of this free sample yesterday and when I say enjoyed, I mean enjoyed.
Hot or iced, this is a fantastic shou.
If you have not tried iced shou, I highly recommend it. Steep it hot, and a bit stronger than you might, and then pour it over ice.
An unexpected sweetness comes out.
Free sample from Teavivre
It’s a wet and windy day here. It’s raining stair rods and I find myself looking for something to brighten the day up. Most of the samples I have are oolongs and green teas, and that did not suit my mood. Fortunately, Teavivre must have seen today coming because they packed me up with this Lapsang Souchong. Opening the bag I am greeted by a beautiful and not overwhelming smoky aroma. Hmm, smoky bacon crisps I think. It’s definitely a meaty smell and the tea is the same: smoky, sweet with a slightly sour aftertaste that perfectly complements the other flavours. Three steeps in and I am still getting all of this. It reminds me of camping and cooking over an open fire. I like this lapsang souchong. It does not blow me away with the range and depth of flavours. It does give me a sense of a reliable tea that will always bring comforting thoughts of open fires and sleeping under the stars. The flavours are very well balanced so there is enough depth to keep it interesting too. Good one, Teavivre.
Experience buying from Teavivre http://steepster.com/places/2857-teavivre-online—
UPDATE on 12-1-12: I just finished the last 2-3 grams of this tea in my 14 OZ mini glass teapot, brewed following my standard green tea steeping times and temperatures. I don’t have much to report over what I wrote previously. Still, I am posting this because multiple steeping sessions creates more data from which to make a judgement about how I feel about a tea. Briefly, this tea tastes a lot like many Huang Shan Mao Feng type green teas I have had in that this tea has a slightly smoky flavor; it is decent tasting and as I haven’t had a smoky green tea in awhile the flavor was a nice change from the standard green tea flavor profile I usually enjoy. If you like Huang Shan Mao Feng you may like this tea, but as I am personally not a huge fan of smoky green teas this tea is not something I feel I need to have on hand.
Note: this review is based on the 2012 harvest.
After Angel sent me a PM requesting I review a group of selected tea samples she was willing to send me, I requested this particular spring green tea to try out as well (along with one other), and she willingly sent it along with the rest. Thank you Angel and Teavivre!
This Xin Yang Mao Jian green tea is advertized as being harvested on April 19, 2012. I brewed this up days after I received this tea.
I was happy all around with the Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng (OTMMF) green tea I tried of theirs just days ago, so I was looking forward to trying this one as well. This one smelled as fresh as the OTMMF, but with a hint of roasted smokiness to it. The tea was a little more standard looking: small, wire-y, dark-green looking leaves. as with the OTMMF I held a little back to give me the option of brewing it up in my gaiwan at a later time.
The temperature on the first steeping—185F—ended up being a little hotter than I was aiming for—180F (although I am now much more proficient with using my thermometer, using it to determine the actual temperature in the teapot while pouring is very tedious and often troublesome). I noticed that the leaves seemed to love sitting on the bottom of my glass Bodum for every steeping. The color of the liquor was a cloudy greenish, and there was something in the aroma that I have not found in four different green teas I had brewed up on previous days; it was interesting, and may have been sweet and/or nutty (possibly like a Dragon Well). I brewed it on the first steeping for 1.5 minutes.
The wet leaf smelled OK, but not as fresh as the other fresh green teas I have been brewing up. I also noticed after the first steeping that it looked worn—some of the leaves looked torn and as-a-whole they had an uneven look about them. It’s funny that it just dawned on me that I composted the leaves after the forth steeping, so no ‘wet leaf analysis’; ooops! I may do one when I brew up the remaining amount of the dry leaf. The coloring, however, was clearly fresh: it was a vibrant green color (I feel I have looked at enough green teas to be able to spot the difference between a fresh one and an old one).
It had a good, strong vegetal flavor (possibly stronger than the OTMMF), with a somewhat smoke-y note (my wife didn’t get a chance to smell the dry leaf on this one, yet she noticed the smokiness when drinking it before I said anything). When it cooled to room temperature the smokiness was even more prominent (it reminded me somewhat of a good tasting Huang Shan Mao Feng). The smokiness wasn’t too strong though; as a rule, my wife DOES NOT LIKE SMOKY FLAVORS IN TEA, but for some reason, she still liked the taste of this one (I was watching her while she took her first sip, wondering if she was going to make a face that meant she didn’t like it, but thankfully ‘that look’ never made an appearance).
I did a total of four steepings, and there was considerable difference in the flavor on even the second steeping. I brewed the second at 185F for two minutes, and the flavor was weaker and not as fresh as the first; it was definitely lacking something that all of the other fresh teas had been gifting me with all week, and there was nothing ‘quality’ about it. This lack of freshness in the later steepings was disappointing to me, as I felt this was a possible ‘buy’ until then. The third and forth weren’t any better (with hotter temperatures and longer steeping times): it was as if the flavor was flat. I do consider the possibility that 185F was too hot for the first steeping, and so it scorched the leaves; but if it’s truly that delicate, or finicky, or whatever I want to call it, I don’t want to mess with it (I always figure there may be a five degree variance between the temperature I am shooting for and what it actually is in the pot).
It’s a decent tasting, fresh green tea, but its actually more expensive ($11.50 / 100g) that the OTMMF ($10.90 / 100g), so I think I’ll be putting my money on the OTMMF.
First, THANK YOU to Teavivre for the sample!
I like this very much. I think the ‘milk’ part is more in the mouthfeel and maybe a little in the aroma. The flavor is vegetal, floral, and even a little fruity. The flavors of a good, typical oolong! It changes as it cools, which is one of my favorite things about tea. It tastes so different just a couple minutes later!
Back to the mouthfeel..it absolutely coats your mouth, especially when it’s cooling. The floral notes linger; it’s sweet. That heavy mouthfeel Is just so, so wonderful. Drinking bagged tea I had no idea tea could taste like this!
This has a production date of 2011. I heated the water in my usual way – 12 oz heated until the kettle got loud. Turned it off. As it stopped roaring I opened the lid and listened until the kettle became silent. Then I did something different. I poured the water in to my press, then added the leaf. O My Goodness! The flavor coming out of the press was like being in a fancy kitchen. Buttery asparagus, maybe squash. I don’t know my veggie smells well but it was incredible. The taste is just as fresh as the day I opened the sample. I can’t imagine that the superfine can be better than this. How do you improve on perfection? Buttery green goodness that flows like cream across the tongue. It has a nice bite at the end of the sip and a lingering fresh green aftertaste.
Funny, when I drink jasmine pearls, I think this is the best tea ever. Then I have this one and think this is my absolute favorite. Let’s face it, if I had only these two teas (and an Earl Grey) in my tea drawer I could be very content for a very long time.
This morning’s first cup before heading out to do errands.
My Teavivre order of a ton of samples arrived yesterday morning – woo hoo! Since I had the most samples of this tea, I decided to start with it first.
Three grams of leaf in 8 oz of water at the below preparation notes yielded a delicious cup of black tea. There was heft in the cup, but no sign of bitterness. Some have said this is reminiscent of beer and I’d agree with that. There’s a malty-sweetness to the liquor. I had no desire to add anything to this cup to make it taste any better – it was that good!
Resteep: Water was just under boiling for a 3 minute soak. This turned out to be another delicious cup similar to that of the first cup.
I could see this as an everyday tea, but not something I’d necessarily want if I needed to be kicked out of bed in the morning. But a very nice change to the usual black-tea-with-milk-&-sugar routine.
Second Review of this fruit tea.
I didn’t review as much tea as usual yesterday or today because I needed to accomplish a few tasks that I’ve put off for too long.
Yesterday I was learning to ride the bus to Old Town which will cost $20 A YEAR for a pass. The bus stop is half block from my front door. It took 20 minutes to get to town. Not too bad. I rewarded my effort with Curry at Rasta Pasta under the watchful eye of Bob Marley and drank cold lemongrass tea.(Check that off the list)
Today, I cleaned out my huge walk-in closet! (My closet is the same size as my kitchen!) ICK! I lost 55 pounds so lots of clothes need to go to Goodwill! By the time I finished at 4:30 I was spent! Needed tea! (Check another task off the list)
Instead of reaching for caffeine, I remembered this sweet little darling of a blueberry fruit tea, just the ahhhh blend perfect as a reward. (I’d like chocolate, money and a massage too…oh well)
This tea is full to overflowing with plump syrupy fruit! You can’t look at your cup and see through the dense liquor…oh no. This is thick tea. If you hate hibiscus have no fear. The roselle (which is in the hibiscus family) is tame and not too tart or overwhelming. You taste juicy berry which is the point of wanting this blurple tea in the first place.
I can think of all sorts of creative culinary things to do with this blissful blueberry liquor. Infuse honey in the tea or steep some in vinegar for a great beginning to a salad dressing. Iced would be perfect.
I soak apples in acid loaded fruit tea to prevent them from browning, then chill and drain before adding to a fruit salad. The flavor and texture is fantastic.
There is no skimping on fruit or flavor. This is a quality Fruit Blend!
Once again, another generous sample from Teavivre! I’ve been craving the lighter unadulterated teas today. I LOVE silver needle teas! They remind me of what good chamomile should taste like. It is very smooth, light, and a bit floral. The leaves aren’t as fuzzy as some other silver needles I’ve tried. However, I really, really like this. It is calming, yet it seems to help me focus.
First of all, I’m honored to get to try this aged tea. When it was harvested, I was still at my first place away from home, working for Wolf Camera.
Now, onto the details. I gave it just over two minutes and it brewed up very dark. The scent reminds me of leather and the forest floor after a good rain. Now, I’m always a little afraid of puerh because I don’t like fishiness, but this puerh doesn’t taste like that at all. It tastes fresher and smoother than other puerhs I’ve tried, and completely not astringent. It makes me think of a really good yunnan, just… aged, for lack of a better word.
This is yet another delicious sample graciously provided by Teavivre! Thanks so much! I’m really, really liking this flavored variety more than the natural. This has a sweet yet floral aroma and the flavor is of a nice green oolong with a heavy, creamy finish to the sip. This feels decadent to drink, but it is totally guilt free. I haven’t completely decided if I have to have this tea variety in my cupboard – but if I do, this flavored variety will be the one for me!
I was excited to try this after blowing through 100g of Blueberry Fruit Tea. Dry mix smells like almost nothing, to my nose. I brewed 2 heaping tsps in a big mug for 10 mins, and sweetened it after it cooled. The result was a dark peach coloured brew that tasted like a stripped down pina colada. Even though I wish the pineapple were more prevalent, this was still good iced. I could taste a bit of citrus, and I could identify the roselle right away. With sugar or other sweetner it kind of complements the other general fruitiness of this tisane.
This was my commute tea yesterday. I deviated a little from the instructions this time and let it steep for an extra 30 seconds, which deepened the flavor. This time, I used eight pearls for about 10-12 ounces of water and was very pleased with how it turned out. The cocoa was enhanced and stronger. I’m still loving this tea, and will definitely order it next time I place an order with Teavivre.
I let this one steep for perhaps 5 minutes and the result was a gorgeous dark brown-reddish liquid. Very strong yet none of the offensive flavors or odors we sometimes encounter with Shou. I have come to love and appreciate a fine Shou and this is on par with some of the better ones that I have had.
The second steep is lighter yet still full of flavor.
I enjoyed this last week as well and after the third steeping I used the rest for iced tea. I left it sit for maybe a week in the fridge and actually forgot what it was until I tasted it. It was nothing short of wonderful.
Another sample that was generously provided by Teavivre! Thanks! The leaves were so incredibly sticky with honey that I almost just wanted to eat them instead of brew them, but I stuck them in the teapot anyway. The first couple of infusions tasted like a very high quality, smooth medium oolong with a slight sweet, floral aftertaste. This isn’t as overly honey sweet as I expected, but you can tell this is a nice quality oolong. This is only the second tieguanyin I’ve had so I’m not sure if this is a preferred oolong for me – it is good though.
Thankyou so much Angel and Teavivre for this sample. This is the sample that I have been most anxious to try. I think I am falling in love with jasmine teas.
Dry leaf appearance: Beautiful fuzzy long white needles
Aroma: smells like fresh jasmine in a sunny meadow
Taste: Light jasmine, with that wonderful delicate white tea in the background. Sweetness comes through in a silky smooth way. This has a wonderful mouth feel to it, creamy like! I am glad I got such a large sample pack of this because I am certainly enjoying this!
2nd steep: 85degrees, 2minutes, just as delicious as the first with a little stronger jasmine.
I have had a LOT of tea today, so I will have to do the other steepings tomorrow and update!
Not sure how it compares to my beloved pearls, I will have to taste this tea again, and then on another day…have a side-by-side taste comparison.
Edit: 3rd steep, 90degrees, 3minutes, starting to lose flavour and silkiness, I think I would cold brew this steep next time.
Infusions #2 and #3 tonight after my class. This tea really reminds me of my beloved Emperor’s Red from Premium Steep. Although it is similar in taste to Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu Black, I think this is so great for me because the pearls have a tiny bit of smokiness that I absolutely love and crave in a black tea. And the 3rd infusion is still quite flavorful – I may even go for a 4th. So this is a pretty economical tea also! I think I’m going to bump up the rating a bit. Any black tea that is good for this many infusions deserves high ratings from me!