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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown (118)! I have definitely had this tea before, but I don’t see a previous note about it, so I guess I just forgot to log it last time. Anyway, this is a perfectly nice, light, floral green oolong. It is a bit weaker in flavor than other oolongs that I’ve had, so I don’t think this one would be a restock for me. However, I’m really enjoying it.
On a side note, I’ve found that lately all of my green oolongs have had this damp flavor to them. Not sure if that has always been there and I’m just becoming more sensitive to it or if I need to store them better or they’re just getting old (but they’re not THAT old!). Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if this happens when I buy fresh tea. I hope not because oolongs are my favorite, and this damp-ish flavor is hindering my enjoyment a bit.
Edit: The steeped leaves are also really beautifully full when they’re unfurled.
This is one of five samples of Taiwanese oolongs provided to me for review by Teavivre. Green oolongs aren’t really in my repertoire, but I am carefully following the guidelines to see if brewing them to Teavivre’s specs makes a difference. I am using 7 grams of tea in a 3 ounce gaiwan with 95 degree water. The dry leaves are curled and twisted, a muted jade green and smelling slightly floral and reminiscent of hay.
After a quick rinse, the first steep is 30 seconds and smells like sweet corn. TV dinner corn, according to the beau. It is a light yellow liquor, with a mild floral taste, that sweetness is still very strong but I get a note of spice like a hint of cinnamon or ginger in a sweet molasses cookie. The beau says he doesn’t get much taste but I find this tastier than I expected. There is no bitterness at all and the flavour that is there is very strong and echoes after the sip.
Steep 2 at 30 seconds is a bolder yellow with similar aromas to the first. The flavour is stronger here, greener. I think of peaches at first, and then more of boiled vegetables after the sip. This is closer to astringent but not quite there.
The leaves are HUGE now and are nearly spilling out of my gaiwan. Getting water in there is about to become a challenge. The leaves are mostly whole, with about 75% or more the leaf intact on the few that were broken. There are some sticks in there which don’t need to be but they don’t take away from the flavour.
Steep 3 at 35 seconds makes my fingers hurt! I spilled a bit on the second steep and now the heat of the gaiwan is stinging more quickly. This is tea making for the tough! :) Again I have a warm yellow liquor that smells of sweet corn, tasting less sweet than before and more of boiled greens than anything else. Again, we are getting closer to astringency. I would prefer to have a bit of that floral sweetness back, maybe in the next steep?
Side note: I do like the smaller three ounce gaiwan Teavivre sent with the teas as it allows me to drink the tea quickly and not have to re-boil the kettle constantly. I also poured the liquor off into another cup and used it as a sharing pitcher so the beau and I had the same flavours in each cup. AND I watered my tea pet. I feel like a rockstar.
4th steep at 45 seconds has finally developed some astringency. It feels like my tongue and throat are dry and I don’t like that. I seem to be losing most of the flavour here. Now the sweetness is gone and so is that nice spice note. I just get boiled greens and a dry mouth. Definitely not a fan of this steep. The beau likes this steep the best so far, saying it’s “like a high quality green but without that grassy spinachy taste.” He also says it’s very smooth. Are we even drinking the same tea?
Supper is ready now, so steeps 5+ will have to wait. I don’t think I would drink this for pleasure after it’s gone simply because I prefer darker roastier teas but it does seem to be good quality. If you are into green or unroasted oolongs, check this one out. I might have gone awry in my steeping to make that astringency come out, though I was quite careful with time and temp.
EDIT to add: The beau gives this an 80 or an 85. His favourite steep was the fourth where I loved the first with the spice note and sweet floral. Different strokes for different folks. I think he is taking the rest of the sample to work. :) Thanks Teavivre!
LOVE! I love most of the teas from Teavivre and I really can’t think of a tea that I didn’t enjoy from them. Some I liked better than others – as it is with all tea companies that sell more than one tea. This one is really good. Mao Feng teas are one of my favorites of the “ten famous” teas, and this is a really good Mao Feng.
I brewed a couple of infusions of this tea for this review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/06/18/nonpareil-te-gong-huang-shan-mao-feng-green-tea-from-teavivre-2/
I found that I liked the second over the first and I think I could have probably gotten a couple more infusions out of the tea.
The tea starts out rather delicate, but be patient with it because over time the flavors develop and your patience will be rewarded! Sweet. Notes of fruit which is a little surprising because usually I experience earthier/grassier/vegetative notes from a green tea but not always a fruit note. Here, I tasted a fruity note that was somewhere between green grape, apple and honeydew melon. Nice.
Nutty flavors arrive in the second steeping, as does a slight vegetal note. The second infusion I noticed less of a grape note and more of a melon-like note.
A very good tea. You can’t go wrong with Teavivre!
One of the very best – if not THE best – Mao Feng green teas that I’ve yet to try. An outstanding Mao Feng!
Soft, earthy, sweet, creamy … with a creaminess that is somewhere between a milky/buttery creaminess and vanilla. So nice and luxurious tasting.
By mid-cup, I noticed some apple-y flavors with a tangy note. A very well-rounded cuppa.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/08/10/nonpareil-te-gong-huang-shan-mao-feng-green-tea-from-teavivre/
Well I must say that I was excited when I was asked to participate in another tasting of Teavivre tea. Even more excited when it after being sick all last week with bronchitis. This was the first that I decided to try. I went with the green because I heard that green tea can help booster antibiotics. I probably heard it on John Tesh since I produce his show for the station I work at. I opened up the packet and noticed a little bit of roasty aroma. It’s definitely a much lighter green in the color of the liquor. A medium body. I like the slight roasted flavor to this one. It reminds me a lot of the tea my brother gave me a few years ago for Christmas. He got it at an Asian market in Ann Arbor and I tried to see if anyone on Steepster could read it. I’m thinking maybe it’s Lu Shan Yun Wu. They are definitely similar flavor profiles and the leaves are similar. Who knows. It almost tastes like silver needles. I definitely like this one.
Sipdown, but a lovely one. As strange as it sounds, today I am getting a faint leathery note with the honeyed sweet potatotes and malt. This is one of those teas that always comes out a little bit different each time I steep it, but always makes for an enjoyable cup. TGIF!
Flavors: Honey, Leather, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this fantastic sample!
Dry: Twisty longer black tea leaves with tons of lovely golden tips. This is not one of those teas that is supposed to have tips that has a few lighter bits sprinkled into the black leaves. It looks at least half gold in the infuser. The dry aroma is very fragrant, thick and bready.
Steeped: Dark orange-brown clear liquor. Smells earthy and almost a touch smoky-sweet from the tea pot, like roasting sweet potatoes with natural burnt sugar bubbling on the potato skin. The leaves expand and unfurl quite a bit in the infuser, so they need a little extra room to breathe.
Taste: This is my first Golden Monkey black and it is quite lovely! I brewed it with the Western method and it came out as an enjoyable cup. Very mildly fruity with nothing added and there are still those roasty, malty sweet potato notes. In the aftertaste, there is an earthy, almost bready lingering flavor that lasts far beyond each sip. I would agree that this is a distinctive leaf, completely different from the other I’ve tried before and I am looking forward to steeping it again!
This evening I wanted another cup of tea, but only an oolong would do! This one looked like a nice choice. I generally like ali shan oolongs, perhaps not my ultimate favorite, but a solid choice. The scent of this tea is buttery and floral. The floral notes are sweet and simply gorgeous! I’m excited to see what this tea will taste like because the scent is beautiful.
Sipping… this is quite delicate! I was expecting more of a floral smack in the face, but this is very smooth.. it’s almost like a whisper of what I want it to be. A tiny bit of astringency finishes off the cup, but otherwise it’s very smooth and almost milky. I wish that this tea had a little bit more to offer in terms of the flower or butter notes, but it’s nice. I think that this could be a good choice for people who are new to oolongs and aren’t sure where to start.
Even though I could use a little more flavor, I could see myself popping this into my shopping cart. Thank you, Teavivre, for a sample!
This is another Teavivre sample from Sil. I love samples from Teavivre, they are always so generous, & the quality is excellent. This one is no exception. The tea is in nuggets, & once steeped it is an iridescent green. Although I don’t love ‘green’ oolongs as much as I love the more roasty ones, I do enjoy them from time to time. This one has a buttery floral aroma, with a light floral taste. The flavor is also both sweet & savory, with a thick sensation. A pleasant afternoon cup.
Its pretty darn good. Reminds me of a more complex, less astringent, lipton black.
If you like lipton but want to try some loose leaf black tea this would be a great one to start with.
I followed the gaiwan instructions.
<3 I had to add milk and sugar after the rinse and first infusion but otherwise it was super!
But I still prefer green teas.
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this wonderful sample!
Dry: Short and twisty black loose leaf tea with a few golden tips mixed in. Has a pleasant notably sweet and lightly malted fragrance. I really like Teavivre’s Keemuns apparently because this one is another winner!
Steeped: Medium coppery-brown clear liquor. I didn’t add anything to this and the brewed aroma (Western method) retains a bit of that sweet note from the loose leaf. There is also a touch of smoke and of course that lovely malt.
Taste: I really like this tea, just as much as I enjoyed the Grade 1 I tried recently. They are very similar, but this one seems to be a bit more flavorful perhaps. I may need to do a side-to-side comparison soon so I know which one to order a larger bag of. I love the feeling when you taste a tea and just know you need to keep it around.
Anyhow, this is a wonderful breakfast choice for a Sunday morning. Thick mouthfeel added to a rich, fruity, mellow base. There is a slight pleasant mellow floral and smoke aftertaste. The complexity makes me think of a lower cacao percentage dark chocolate with that sweet aroma and taste dancing around on my tongue. I might need to have a nibble of the hazelnut and currant dark chocolate I have stashed with this tea for just such an occasion. :)
This really is a lovely tea. As far as smokey teas go, it strikes a perfect balance between smoke & sweetness, & I’m thinking it is the sweetest of the smokies in my shelf. I have occasionally added a little maple to it in the past, and I admit that is a wonderful dessert tea, but it honestly is sweet enough by itself, which is the way I usually choose to drink it, and the way I’m drinking it now.
What tea goes good with BBQ for lunch?
Lapsang Souchong, of course!
This one is very nice, in that it has the smokey quality, but is not over done. I know from experience that a little maple can really bring out the caramelized sugar flavor of this, but I elected to drink it straight, & it was just so tasty with my lunch.
I just finished breakfast: omelettes with Brussels sprouts, leftover crumpled sausage, & garlic. Tony had dilled havarti on top of his, & toast with jelly. I only had the omelette, which was plenty, believe me, but I’m finding myself feeling resentful regarding food today. I want what I cannot have, & it pisses me off. Not at anybody, just really at my food sensitivites & at the consequences of dumb choices on my part recently. There, I’ve vented.
Anyway, breakfast was very tasty, & I’m following it up with this equally tasty smokey tea. It is a sample size, sent to me from Sil, & as a Lapsang, it is the perfect blend of smokiness & sweetness. A little maple syrup would be a wonderful enhancement, but honestly, it’s lovely rich cup as is. Even though I’ve already spent more money on this weekend’s sales than I ever imagined spending, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to stop by Teavivre’s cybermonday sale & get a few things, including some of this!
Another sample from my most recent box from Sil.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would grow to love smokey teas, I’m not sure I would have agreed. They used to kind of freak me out, but now I love them. Sometimes I like to sweeten them, which brings out a deep caramelized flavor. Yum! Right now I’m drinking this one plain, & it is very satisfying. I’d like to try it with Maple…if I could just get myself to get up off the couch & walk to the kitchen…ok, I did it, & OMG this is tasty!