Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

Sample sipdown! YAY!

The leaves on this black tea are really neat. Black with gold tips (it is in the name, so I don’t know why I was surprised) and wiry looking. Really cool.

Dry, this one had honey notes, bakey/croissant notes, a malty aspect, and possibly sweet potato? Yam? Something like that.
Once brewed, it picked up a slight spicy note (cinnamon, but not quite…) which is very interesting. The honey notes have calmed down, and the sweet potato/yam aspect has increased. The maltiness has also increased some. The bakey notes are still present (hooray!) and there is a slight earthiness to it.

Taste – Honestly, I think I screwed this up a bit (doesn’t taste bad, but it is a bit bitter). I forgot about the water in the kettle until it was at a boil, and then thinking “Black tea, boiling water”, I started to pour the piping hot water on the leaves…before realizing it called for a lower temp! Oops. I drained the water out and started over, but I think it had already affected the leaves. That being said, I will share with you what I’m getting from the cup.
So, other than the bitterness, I’m picking up some bakey notes, the sweet potato/yam aspect I found in the smell (it also happens to describe the mouthfeel – this one is almost potato-ish feeling), and a slight spicy aspect that is NOT attributed to the bitterness. I’m also picking up some earthiness and maltiness in the sip.

Luckily I have another sample of this one, so I can try again and hope for better results. This brew isn’t undrinkable, but I fear the bitterness is masking the full flavor profile of it. Holding the rating until I get this right.

Preparation
1 min, 15 sec

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Today, was my first foray into Chinese Gongfu brewing. Thus, it was also the first time I used a gaiwan http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39240-butiki-flower-gaiwan and TeaVivre’s Double-wall Glass Tea Cups http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39708-teavivre-double-wall-glass-tea-cups.

Recommended Brewing Instructions:

Mehtod:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter

I selected this tea as I’m very familiar with how it tastes brewing western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a Finum brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket. This is my regular breakfast tea. I wanted to see how changing the brewing method would affect the flavor.

As this was my first my Gongfu brewing, I had to make do with what we had on hand. We don’t yet have a water boiler http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39783-zojirushi-ve-r-hybrid-water-boiler-and-warmer-cv-dsc40-4-liters or a variable-temp electric kettle http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39130-bonavita-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle. I used a classic Revere Ware SS Copper-bottom stove-top kettle to boil water, which was then poured into a tea mug with a DAVIDsTEA Thermometer/Timer http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/36677-davidstea-thermometer-and-timer in the thermometer mode. A meat cutting board served as a tea tray/desk for collecting water.

Even though all the teaware used was first rinsed with boiling water, 3oz. of boiling water when first poured into the tea mug with the thermometer immediately cooled to 190℉. (3oz. was simply not a large enough quantity of water to overcome the ambient temperature of the tea mug. Normally, 8oz of boiling water poured into a room-temperature mug will immediately cool to 197-199℉.) Thus, a 10 sec. reheat in the microwave was needed. The water was allowed to cool to 194℉, then added to the gaiwan.

A Teavana Perfect Preset Tea Timer http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39312-teavana-perfect-preset-tea-timer was used in the count-up mode to control the brewing time. In lieu of a tea pitcher & a matching tea strainer, a heavy Pyrex measuring cup and a small fine kitchen strainer were used.

Results:
Using the Gong-fu method produced a more nuanced flavor profile with enhanced aroma c/w Teavivre’s recommend Western brewing instructions. Steeps 4-6 were a little lighter than the first three. However, they still had more flavor than the 3rd steep using their Western method.

The obvious disadvantage to this method is the time necessary for 6 steeps each of which only produces 3oz. Additionally, since this was my first endeavor with Gong-fu brewing, I was focusing on the procedure and my technique, which somewhat distracted me from discerning the aroma & flavor differences between these two techniques.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
looseTman

Not having an electric water boiler or kettle with a variable temperature control or presets has definitely limited my exposure to the joys of gongfu brewing. I would welcome any recommendations. Thanks!

AnnaEA

I use an inexpensive electric water like this one http://www.target.com/p/sunbeam-hot-pot-express-32-oz/-/A-14029777#prodSlot=medium_1_10&term=Kettle

It doesn’t have very precise temperature control, but it’s easy to open the lid and look at the boiling plate and see the size and shape of the water bubbles, and if it’s at a full boil or not. It fits nicely on my little side table with my tea stuff, and is easy to refill (I bring a liter of water in a pitcher to the table, and top off my electric pot every few pours, to keep the water from getting flat with being boiled).

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Package label:
“Ingredients: Pure tea buds and leaves
Original Place: Qimen, Anhui, China
Distributor: Teas and Thes (China) Ltd.
Room 3-241, Hui Zhan Nan Wu Road
Xiamen, Fujian, China
www.teavivre.com
Production date: 5/15/2012
Storage Instruction: Store in Airtight, opaque container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
Shelf life: 24 months
Net Wt.: 3.5 oz. (100 g)

Brew Guide:
1-2 teaspoons for 8 oz. of water
Brew at 194*F (90*C) for 2-3 minutes”

Per their website: http://www.teavivre.com/keemun-hao-ya/ this Keemun is a handmade Gongfu process tea that also has EU Organic Certification.

Introduction: Since I thoroughly enjoyed the sample of this Keemun Hao Ya, I ordered 500 g. (See my initial review.)

4/18/13 Western Teapot Technique: 32-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 19 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 194*F (90*C) – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.
6 Tevanna teaspoons (1.5 tsp/cup), without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Results:
This tea has a wonderful mild smoky fragrance as well as a fruity fragrance that reminds me of red wine.

Vibrant copper hue

3-min Infusion: It’s a creamy smooth, well-balanced, full-bodied breakfast tea with a natural caramel-like sweetness, a fruity / wine-like flavor, and a finish that leaves you with a wonderful full mouth feel, which lingers on the tongue for an extended period of time. It’s truly outstanding!

2nd Infusion:
4-min: Initial taste – another minute was needed
5-min: Yes, the 2nd 32-oz. steep was as enjoyable as the first! Just a tad lighter.

Impression: This premium-grade Keemun, clearly sets itself apart from “Keemun Panda #1” in that it is certified organic, provides a natural caramel-like sweetness, and a wonderful full mouth feel, which lingers on the tongue for such an extended period of time.

Congratulations to Mr. Jiang, the tea farmer responsible for this superb Keemun!
“He and his workers are well known to produce some of China’s most sought after Keemun teas, illustrated by their Keemun winning gold medal for best tea at the Shanghai World Expo.”

This is our first TeaVivre black tea and it’s provided a wonderful first-impression. Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea should not be missed! – A truly exceptional Keemun! Very well done!

Thanks to TeaVivre and Angel for providing the original free sample.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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Sample package label:
“Ingredients: Pure tea buds and leaves
Original Place: Qimen, Anhui, China

Distributor: Teas and Thes (China) Ltd.
Room 3-241, Hui Zhan Nan Wu Road
Xiamen, Fujian, China
www.teavivre.com

Brew Guide:
Brew at 194*F (90*C) for 2-3 minutes
Free sample not for sale

Per their website: http://www.teavivre.com/keemun-hao-ya/ this Keemun is a handmade Gongfu process tea that also has EU Organic Certification.

Introduction: Kevin @ The Whistling Kettle first introduced me to Keemun tea: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/152917#likes I’ve purchased several pounds from him and have thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw TeaVivre has four Keemun teas from which to choose, I knew I would have to sample at least one of them. But which one should I choose?

This TeaVivre article http://www.teavivre.com/info/guide-to-choose-high-quality-keemun-black-tea/ explains the differences about three different grades of Keemun teas in great detail. Additionally, TeaVivre also offers an Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea http://www.teavivre.com/keemun-fragrant-black-tea/.

Technique: 8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 19 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 194*F (90*C) – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.
2 Tevanna teaspoons, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Results:
This tea has a pleasing mild smoky fragrance as well as a fruity fragrance that reminds me of red wine.

Vibrant copper hue

2-min Infusion Initial Impression: The taste is rich and creamy smooth. It’s not at all bitter or astringent. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
3-min Infusion: It’s a creamy smooth, well-balanced, full-bodied breakfast tea with a natural caramel-like sweetness, a fruity / wine-like flavor, and a finish that leaves you with a wonderful full mouth feel, which lingers on the tongue for an extended period of time. It’s truly outstanding!

2nd Infusion:
3-min: Initial taste – a longer infusion was needed
4-min: Improving
5-min: It’s a creamy smooth tea with a natural sweet flavor and a finish that leaves you with a wonderful full mouth feel that lingers long on the tongue. – Yes, the 2nd steep was as enjoyable as the first!

Impression: This premium-grade Keemun, clearly sets itself apart from “Keemun Panda #1” in that it is certified organic, provides a natural caramel-like sweetness, and a wonderful full mouth feel, which lingers on the tongue for such an extended period of time.

Congratulations to Mr. Jiang, the tea farmer responsible for this superb Keemun!
“He and his workers are well known to produce some of China’s most sought after Keemun teas, illustrated by their Keemun winning gold medal for best tea at the Shanghai World Expo.”

This is our first TeaVivre black tea and it’s provided a wonderful first-impression. Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea should not be missed! – A truly exceptional Keemun! Very well done!

Thanks to TeaVivre and Angel for providing this free sample.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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After a weekend of overindulgence in Easter goodies, a straight green just seemed like the right thing to do. I like green tea, but still haven’t found my “go-to.” I’ve tried a few different Dragonwells and although everyone seems to love it, it hasn’t grown on me. So I really wanted to give it another chance and brewed this top-of-the-line sample.

And it tastes…salty? I’m getting a chicken broth-like flavor that makes me feel like I’m drinking soup. As it cools the vegetal flavor comes through, but it’s still quite savory. I can tell this is a quality tea, but sadly I have to face the fact that I must be the exception and Dragonwell is just not for me. Ah well…no use mourning when there are so many teas out there waiting to be discovered. The search continues!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Thank goodness there is tea to make tummies feel better :-)

Alysha

Yes, I love that there is a tea for almost everything!

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I have had this tea for awhile now, I must have swapped it to someone too? I don’t know. I think everyone’s notes about it threw me off. I do recall one about how we Americans probably have palates more suited for stronger tastes than the nuances of this. Anyway, first I made sure I didn’t touch the leaves and just popped them from their inner bag into the infuser.

I definitely smell honey in the liquor, the color of this tea is even reminiscent of honey.

It tastes slightly sweet, not too sweet for something coated in honey though. There’s a lot of minerality to this TGY. And then in the middle of drinking it I left to meet up with JoonSusanna so now it’s cold, and it still tastes good.

Decided to give it another steep because how can you not with an oolong….but I oversteeped badly so maybe next time.

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drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
6 tasting notes

Love this tea. It does not disappoint.

1st steep: I used the recommended 3-4tsp/ 8oz, but only steeped for about 1-1.5 minutes. It had plenty of flavor. Stopped the steep short because the color was so intense. Taste: lots of grape and black currant, a little less blueberry. Just a tiny bit of tartness- perfect. I too was expecting it to be a lot more tart (and I generally do not like very tart tastes).

Second steep: went a bit longer (maybe 3 minutes), and added a lot more water. Still had a lot of flavor. Slightly less grape, blueberry coming through more. Still really good.

I think I could have easily gone for a 3rd steep, as there was still a lot of flavor in there. I may try to do so tomorrow.

Without having tried it yet, I do think this would taste good either hot or iced. Also, due to its fruitiness, I think this would be an excellent introduction to tea/tisanes for the younger crowd.

I was surprised that the grape and blueberry worked so well together. Grapes are such a strong flavor, I expected them to be overwhelming. But they were not. Perhaps it was the addition of the black currant?

If I has any kind of skill in the kitchen, I would probably try to incorporate this into baking somehow. We are so used to the same old regular flavors like blueberry, and this is definitely different, in a good way :)

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(Received this in a swap 5 months ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember who sent it! For that, I apologise, generous giver.)

I like to call this the “hippopotamus phase” of pregnancy—I’m 38.5 weeks pregnant which means that baby could arrive at any time… so they tell me, I’m not going to hold my breath though, considering my daughter was born 3 days after her due date (I was in false labour though for 2 days, fun times!)—since I’m very large and cumbersome and everything seems to annoy me, especially my 2-year-old. If I could, I would spend all my time at a swimming pool or spa, just floating my girth in weightlessness (I can see why it appeals to hippos). Instead, I’m stuck indoors with my tot, who is at the “Why, Mamma?” stage wherein everything I ask her to do requires an explanation. Also, here in Regina, SK, Canada we’ve received a record amount of snow… more than 6.5 feet. It’s supposed to be “spring” but the snow just keeps on falling and not melting, also not conducive to diminishing my grumpiness.

So, I drink tea… a) in order to appease my doctor and get more fluids in my system and b) because it’s still #$@*ing snowy outside and I crave comfort. Tea = liquid comfort.

This tea reminds me a lot of DAVIDsTEA’s Nepal Black, in almost every way: malty, easy-drinking without anything added, slight honey undertones. The only difference would be it seems to be slightly more astringent, but then again I brewed it with slightly too hot water, so that might have something to do with it! It’s delicious though. Delicious in a pure, unadulterated kind of way… plus, when I drink it without milk or sugar my daughter doesn’t feel the need to down my entire cup when I’m not looking. Because sometimes… you don’t want to share.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Ooooh, hopefully new baby arrives soon, so you can feel less hippo-like! (And instead, get no sleep?) Haha :)

Lala

I hear you on the snow part. Lousy smarch weather! Hope your baby comes soon!

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Another puerh sample that my husband go into when I wasn’t around. He reports that it was very good. Being a 2012, it would be fun to get some more to age awhile. Fortunately, I have one more sample, so will report later.

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Sipdown!
This is lovely Jasmine white. Some jasmines have a soapy flavor, probably because they are artificial, but this one is very nice, not too heavy on the jasmine, with a sweet & clean flavor. I shared it with a student, & she loved it so much that I gave her the last bit of it, enough for another cup, to enjoy at home.

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This is a beautifully fragrance white tea. The flavor is delicate, as white teas are, & the Jasmine scenting of the leaves is quite aromatic, but in the flavor it is not overpowering, but rather balanced. I’ve been working in my office all morning, (I can actually see part of the floor!), the this tea provided a nice relaxing break.

Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for this sample, which was very generous! I’ve drank it a few times, & still have enough for at least one more session!

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I’ve been rummaging through my samples, & realized I still had this one from TeaVivre that I hadn’t tried! Thank you Angel!

I’ve been working at my desk, I’m really trying to get caught up on so many things: phone calls, bill payments, organizing crap, etc blah blah. I booked a gig while I was sitting here, I also booked a gig for one of my advanced students. I’m looking for a cellist & flute player to do a wedding with me, etc.

Throughout all this, I’ve been sipping this delightful tea. It’s delicate, but not flavorless. The heady aroma of Jasmine, the sweetness of silver needle white, and a certain buttery quality. A very soothing & gentle tea to help me relax while I play the entrepreneur/office manager.

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