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Recent Tasting Notes


I find that I crave a nice cup of Chinese black in the mornings. It’s just a lovely way to start the day. I love the preserved plum flavor in this one. The lingering maltiness.

As I mature in my tea adventure, I find myself not appreciating teas as much as I used to. It’s such a shame. I’ll drink while reading or working and I just don’t notice the nuances anymore. I try to put time aside for a new tea to truly appreciate it, but my schedule is not what it used to be. When I started my tea adventure, I was unemployed and my husband wasn’t out of the house all day going to work and then school. While I’m grateful to be employed and happy that husband’s continuing education will open up opportunities for him, I really miss having TIME. Time to just do nothing or focus on hobbies.

Anyway! Good tea!

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I’ve been brewing up a cup here and there over the past couple days, thanks to Heather, who provided me with a sample. I’m still trying to figure out where I stand on Dragon Well.

So far, I’d say this is the most well-balanced straight Dragon Well I’ve had. There’s a balance between the sweet and vegetal flavours. Slightly grassy, slightly buttery, basically what Dragon Wells are all about.

I personally wouldn’t buy any since I’m not a fan of grassy and/or vegetal greens, but it’s always nice to further explore a particular type of tea.


I love the Dragon Well in Butiki’s With Open Eyes but not sure how I like it straight.


Me too! I was actually going to write that in my note. Makes me wonder how her straight Dragon Well compares.


I just got this and another dragon well, so I am keen to see what I think, as I’m not too fond of straight greens.

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Dark Oolong that is amber in color and has a malted steamed veggie aroma. The tea taste vegetal and fruity, with a subtle orange and strawberry flavor.

205 °F / 96 °C

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We had a few people absent from our writers’ group tonight, and since several of the attendees have really been loving the tea, I offered to use the extra time to do a gong fu tasting of this tea.

The tea was passed around the circle in the display dish. One of the younger members has been to China a couple of times and she really loved the aroma of the dry leaf. These are tight, hard pellets. When I poured them in the pot, they barely covered the bottom of the little 8 ounce vessel. It was going to be fun to watch their reaction to the unfurling of the leaves.

I did a quick rinse and then a short steep. The liquor was a nice solid yellow and the taste was smooth and buttery with a light floral taste. The girl who had been to China said it was nice, and she liked it, but it wasn’t going to be a favorite. Knowing the flavor profile she has liked in the past, I made the next two steeps longer. Now the tea had that little bite with the sweet aftertaste that is found in some green teas like Chun Mee.

As I expected, she said those were her favorite steeps. We made about 35 ounces in all tonight and there are still some good steeps left in these leaves.

Thank you, Teavivre, for the wonderful samples!

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It is rare that one finds a rose tea in which the rose isn’t overpowering, but distinctively there. Props to having an excellent rose flavor without even touching perfumeyness. The tea leaf (dry) smells like chocolate and roses! Lovely.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Light Oolong that is yellow in color and has a steamed vegetable aroma. The tea is light, it’s not too sweet, and it has a floral and steamed spinach taste. This tea is pretty good, but it does not stand out as anything special.

205 °F / 96 °C

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Thank you Teavivre for this sample tea!

At first, I underbrewed this tea. It was very pale and delicate…

I let the leaves steep longer in the gaiwan, observing the transformation…playing with the water, moving the lid back and forth in a figure eight then straining the liquor.

The color had changed only a half tone and the taste was as it should be. A delicate whisper.

The flavor was a thin coat of unsalted sweet butter brushed lightly across my tongue, tingling towards the back and a subtle floral finish.

I would never drink this tea in the morning. I’d roll over and go back to sleep if this was next to my bed.

It’s too…relaxing…it…floats in my mind…like sunbeams flickering through the trees.

I’m sipping this Ali Shan and I want to sit by a stream, lay in a hammock, watch the Fall leaves waving back and forth…back and forth out my window.

This is a soft, gentle, tranquil tea.



Lovely review!

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Dark Oolong that is light amber in color and has a nutty roasted aroma. It is light and sweet with a peach and cocoa taste.

205 °F / 96 °C

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I’ve had this for nearly a year and I still have 2 oz of it! :O I nearly forgot how tasty it is. It’s very malty with a bit of honey. It’s dark and rich and a nice start to my morning. I’m off work today and tomorrow to cover for J (he has to invigilate some exams/do office hours) so I’m just hanging out with my toddler, watching her run laps in her room around her train table!

I think today will be another Adagio sampler tasting day as I build a sampling box for Ozli and think she’ll enjoy some of those. Maybe I’ll send her some of this too…. It’s just so tasty and I’m pretty sure I bought it during the last spring sale so it was well priced. Teavivre is pretty great.

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I haven’t had this in awhile, so I needed to remedy that. It’s nice to have a straight black tea, without all the crazy flavours and just get back to basics. This one is so dark and rich. I may have over-steeped it, but I am still enjoying it.

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I think it’s been over a month since I had this one, which makes me want to yell at myself because this is really good. It’s dark and rich, without being overly malty. (which is what I was afraid of). I’m getting sweet honey, and caramel too!

I guess the secret for this one is to err on the side of understeeping!

Each sip is seriously like walking along the danger zone – it smells like it’s almost too strong and I don’t want to sip it, but when I do it’s just rich and perfect.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Sounds like it teases!


It does! But in a good way at least!

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Mmmm. This is a nice rich start to my day. Not much caramel – more honeyed molasses, but it’s very good.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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Comparison notes here for Organic vs. Non-Organic version: http://steepster.com/cavocorax/posts/194378

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This is another sample I was a bit worried about trying because I only had enough for the one cup, and wanted to make sure I could give it a proper review.

Time to stop stalling! (Although, I wish I’d brewed up some of the non-organic version for comparison. Maybe I’ll do that right now? Done. Both are about ~7 grams at 85C for 2.5 minutes, because THAT’S SCIENTIFIC.)

I quickly smelled both of these and found that the organic version (OGV) smelled darker and a bit like chocolate, while the non-organic version (NOGV) smelled malty and rich.

The OGV tastes dark and rich but I can definitely taste the caramel notes in it. It’s very smooth and luxurious too and I still swear I’m getting cocoa. Once it’s cooled a little it actually tastes better too.

The NOGV has a very similar profile. Maybe slightly less caramel? But I might be getting honeyish notes in there.

Hmmm. I’m really have a tough time digging right in there and finding the difference. The OGV is a bit earthier than the NOGV, while the NOGV might be slightly sweeter. I guess that means that I’ll re-order the cheaper one? :P Both are fantastic teas and I’d recommend them.

Thank you Angel for this sample. I have 100g of the NOGV, so it was nice to have just a cup of the other so I could see what I was missing.

Now, what am I going to do with all these steeped tea? That’ll be a lot if I re-steep them both! Ha! But then I might be able to add more to this comparison.

Also, I don’t recommend drinking THIS MUCH tea (especially rich black tea) on an empty stomach! :P Whoops.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

lightweight! ;)


Haha, surprisingly so?

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Light Oolong that is yellowish green in color and has a floral aroma. It tastes sweet and floral with a little fruitiness on the back end. Plus it can help prevent scurvy.

205 °F / 96 °C

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This is definitely a favorite tea of mine. For a long time, my favorite Chinese green tea has been Tai Ping Hou Kui, but, this one might be edging out that tea for me! This is just so good!

The leaves look so beautiful … like they’ve been meticulously rolled up like scrolls. Lovely.

The flavor is sweet … Juicy even! Soft, sweet, vegetative, with notes of spice. A really lovely tea!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/05/07/liu-an-gua-pian-green-tea-from-teavivre/

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Water: 8oz at 180 degrees

Leaves: very large flat leaves

Steep: 1m,2m

Aroma: light

Color: Light Green

Taste: I was interested in trying this tea because I haven’t seen anything like it before. First steep was for 1 minute, the first sip was bitter then it mellowed out to a lighter non bitter note. On the other hand the second steep was the complete opposite 2m I didn’t like it at all. This time around it was very bitter, I couldn’t finish my cup. I’m not sure if I used too many leaves or if my water was a bit hotter than expected but overall I didn’t enjoy this tea.

I recently brewed this tea again this time following a different technique, it came out much better than the first time. Light smooth with no bitterness.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I’m sorry this tea you brewed taste was bitter. How many leaves you have used? I think it might be associated with the tea leaves and temperature.

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So, it rained yesterday…

Apologies Lala and tigress_al. It appears that the spider massacre that’s been taking place in my room all week finally caught up to me and I jinxed us.

This cold brew was lovely: such crisp, clean taste with a jasmine sweetness. The perfect tea for just sipping on throughout the work day and keeping hydrated with. Yummy yummy yummy.


It was your fault!
I love this one cold brewed. I find it so refreshing!


LOVE this one. I thought of it today actually.

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Picked this one out specially in the morning to brew for my Mom and I; she absolutely loves just about anything jasmine and it was a really beautiful way to ease into the day! I drank mine pretty much piping hot, but she waited until hers was cold. I think she’d have enjoyed it hot but what can you do?

I feel like I got a lot done today though!

1. I did my blind cupping test/exam for Tea 103 with help from my mom, which I’m sure I’ll write about more in depth tomorrow. It was really hard to do, though – and I’m not confidant at all that I kicked ass at it…

2. Finished updating my resume, and applied to a couple places online.

3. I found our old printer and got it set up at home/installed the software on my laptop so I could actually print some resumes and bring them to places nearby. One of the place I want to apply is a British style tea house that’s not even two blocks away from where I’m living – I don’t think they’re specifically hiring but if my resume is solid, and I write a cover letter targeted specifically for them I’m hopeful I can convince them to hire me!

4. Painted my nails bubblegum pink, which probably seems small but it’s the first time I’ve done something that simple for myself in at least a month. Just taking the time to do a good job felt really indulgent.

5. I cleaned my mom’s fridge from top to bottom so not only does she no longer have any gross expired food in there but it’s practically sparkling – and even though it felt like it took ages (the amount of things I found GROWING in it is just disgusting) it feels really nice to have helped around the house and done something for her.

It was a productive day!

Terri HarpLady

Sound like an awesome day to me! And by the way, if you don’t take a little time to pamper yourself, nobody else will! I learned that in my 30’s. :)

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Cold Brew!

From yesterday; very robust jasmine flavour – nothing like the soft, fragile hot cups this steeps up, but really pleasant regardless. The intense jasmine flavour was pretty well a solitary flavour though. I’ve had hit or miss cold brews with this tea, this was on the better side of the spectrum.

Also, I just have to take a moment to rave about a movie I watched pretty recently! I first saw the trailer for it on Tumblr and I remember thinking it looked so good, but then kind of forgetting about it. That is, until I found it on Netflix a few days ago! It’s called Boy Meets Girl and it’s a RomCom style movie about a trans girl named Ricky and her best friend Robby (played by the GORGEOUS Michael Welch) and a girl she’s recently watched named Francesca.

Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNdW9TzxGrk

The representation is great; the trans actress who plays Ricky (Michelle Hendley) is such a cutie, and does this phenomenal job at delivering a really solid performance that shows her vulnerability and is really empathetic. Plus even the dialogue between characters is wonderful in regards to opening up healthy conversations about something a lot of people might not be familiar with like, say, my roommate Tre who said he learned A LOT he didn’t know just from the conversation between characters.

Wonderful movie; a new favourite of mine. You’ll probably cry, but watch it anyway!


Oooh, thanks for the movie rec! :)

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This was my daily cold brew today!

It was really good; strong, sweet jasmine notes along with very mild notes of hay and a crispness that reminded me of cucumber. However, after steeping so long the jasmine got pretty concentrated, and in the aftertaste after all the other flavours have faded it was a little much. Not artificial or chemical; but just too concentrated.

Still, a nice companion to sip on all day regardless!

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There’s nothing better to relax your nerves before an important job interview than a cup of Jasmine Silver Needle; it’s probably the most relaxing tea I can think of, at this moment. Better than Genmaicha, better than Chamomille…

And obviously it did the trick; I nailed my interview and was hired on the spot at $11.00 as a cashier (made 11.20 at Dollarama as a supervisor, and had a much more stressful job and responsibility). I found out yesterday that the bulk of the cashiers they hired are only making $10.20 (Saskatchewan minimum wage) so I’m tickled pink.

Besides, Sobeys is a company that frequently gives raises to employees in good standing (typically like 10-20 cents every three or so months after probationary period), and Dollarama doesn’t give out raises/promotions at all…


Congrats on the new job!


Congrats on the new job!



carol who

Congratulations! :)


Great! Congrats! I can’t wait to try this one.


Congratulations on the new job! :)


Woo hoo! Congrats, and I agree about this tea! Sooooo good.

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Cold Brewed for a long, extended 30 hour period.

I was worried it’d be over the top floral but it was actually great! Sweet jasmine and honey; very relaxing and very refreshing with a really full bodied flavour. I have lots and lots of this leaf left so I’ll probably do this again!

Also; I feel like a terrible person. Today is my day off and I spent the first part of it mailing out tea stuff, and then going to the liquor store and grocery shopping. I got way too many groceries to reasonably carry home, but I attempted it anyway. On the walk home I passed an abandoned grocery cart from Safeway and because I was struggling so much to carry stuff I took it…

I FEEL REALLY GUILTY. Even though I didn’t take it from the store myself, I still kinda stole a grocery cart, which is now sitting in my backyard. I mean, I will definitely return it tomorrow! But still – such a dick move. And Tre made it worse by telling Rob (our landlord) when he got home today. Whyyyyyyy…

I feel judged by everyone.


If you take it back, you’re a good person. It was there, you needed it, and now you’ll take it back to Safeway, right?


when you take it back to Safeway, it probably would never have gotten back on its own so you’re a good samaritan like that.


Don’t beat yourself up for it. You didn’t take it from the store.

Roswell Strange

Update: The cart was returned today.

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