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Recent Tasting Notes
This is my favorite green tea so far. I like it because it is so different. It has a light roasted note that leads to sweet mellow vegetal flavor. Not like asparagus or steamed veggies, like the way small trees smell if cut into the bark. Maybe it’s just a green flavor that is a tiny bit malty. I’ve had some smokey tea today so I don’t know if I am getting the aftertaste from my previous tea or there is a little bit of smoke in this one as well. It’s a really awesome green tea. I was pretty sure green teas weren’t going to be my thing but this is totally changing my mind.
Thanks Teavivre and Angel for the most excellent sample!
As always, a big thanks to Angel and the Teavivre team for this fantastic samples.
It’s been somewhat well documented that Moroccan Mint is one of my favorite teas in ze world. So, as many gunpowders as I’ve drank, this is really the first gunpowder I’ve drank alone (yeah, with nobody else).
The little pellets in this sample are remarkably shiny, I don’t know how to explain it other than that. They look like precious little rocks.
Anyway, so how does it taste? Brilliant, that’s how it tastes. It’s wonderful. There is a sweetness to this tea that is wonderful, and a slight vegetable flavor. Not that in your face, I’m eating a serving of boiled cabbage flavor, but a soft, sweet, this tastes like the forest vegetable flavor. There’s a bit of a tinge of that malted flavor that I associate with black tea as well, that really rounds this out quite pleasantly.
So, in preparation for my big meeting thing tomorrow, let’s break it down to three bullet points (that would fit on a powerpoint slide!):
1. Lightly sweet
2. Tastes like the forest
3. Reminds me of black tea
I definitely think this is going to be a tea I keep around for a while. Actually, I think I’m going to go put in an order with Teavivre right now. I’m missing their Bailin Gongfu, as well.
Last Teavivre tea before I go back and re-try the Pureh! Thanks Angel, and I am sorry it took me so long!!
Smell: Dry, it had a grassy/veggie/earthy smell, if that all makes sense. Steeping it was a bit more smoky/vegetal, all good, of course.
Taste: It was very earthy and smoky, and then a nice, sweet aftertaste popped in, though it wasn’t too sweet, which is good. I also decided to add a small bit of honey, and it went very well with this tea. It has been a long time since I’ve had green tea, though, to be honest, so I don’t have anything else to add right now as I have to build my green tea vocabulary and tasting notes back up to remember what is good/bad about it. But do know that I highly enjoyed this tea!!
This leaf was still in my press this morning and Bonnie is on my mind – praying you and your home are safe this day.
The jasmine is a bit softer this morning but the milkiness is still very solid. I find it very interesting that no one else commented on this aspect. I did add sweetener. That could be part of the explanation along with our hard water. The water is heated it in a kettle until it starts getting loud (far below boiling) then cooled it until it stops making noise. I use 12oz of water and 2 scoops of leaf in a French press for about 2 minutes. Still loving this.
I used 6 pearls today to see if maybe I just didn’t use enough yesterday. To me it appears like too much leaf after steeping. It does pump the flavor a little. This is a good tea, with hints of smoke, chocolate, and occasional malt. I would never turn a cup of it down. It just doesn’t move me like it has others. I am sticking with my initial score of 85.
Yet another of my free samples from Teavivre… thanks so much for the opportunity to try all these teas! I really consider Teavivre to have greatly contributed to my tea education with all of their samples.
When I opened the sample pouch and sniffed the tea, I was kind of surprised by how super vegetal the leaves smelled. Like, woah spinach and greens. I sniffed some more and started to get roasty scents, and the faintest hint of butteriness. Definitely not like the super green tieguanyins I’m used to drinking. I steeped it up and smelled a super roasted, toasted grains aroma from the liquor. At first it seems like that is the only note, but after smelling it a while I start to detect the slightest hint of sweet florals hiding out. Intriguing.
I have to say I was pretty prepared not to really be a fan of this tea because I don’t tend to like roasted oolongs. But Teavivre proved me wrong. I’m not head over heels or anything, but this is a tasty cup of tea. The roasting is light and doesn’t take over the flavor. It just kind of nicely hangs out there, adding some nice warm, toasty notes. The other main flavors are the slightly floral sweetness of the tieguanyin, with some light vegetal notes, but nothing like it seemed when I smelled the dry leaf. As I’m drinking it the sweetness is growing in my mouth adding to the tastiness of each successive sip. Definitely a tasty tea, and it surprised me by making even this nonfan of roasted oolongs enjoy it.
Tea Vivre Free Samples Round #3
This Jin Xuan is not entirely unlike a Tie Guanyin, which is perhaps not too surprising as they are both Taiwanese mountain oolongs. By this I mean that there is that slight floral quality to the brew which I used to so often mistake for a scented process but is, in fact, merely the floral bouquet of camellia sinensis itself.
Although, these two teas do grow at very different altitudes, so maybe it isn’t as obvious as one would think.
The “milk flavor” does add an interesting creamy texture to the cup, but if I’m entirely honest, there is a bit of grittiness as a result at the end of my first steep (which I assume is the milk flavor treatment, perhaps it isn’t), and you can get a similarly thick, soft mouth feel simply by purchasing and steeping exceptionally good tea.
Second steeping is more floral and less milky. If you are fond of light, Formosan oolong, this would be a solid choice.
Of course, we can’t always justify the expense of exceptional tea, and under those circumstances this certainly produces a very pleasant cup.
I wanted something warm and comforting that I could sip on since the day has turned cold and rainy. I knew I still had one more good steep in these leaves, so I made myself a cup of this. My brother likes the smell of jasmine and I am tempted to see if the jasmine plant can grow well where I live. I love the smell.
Because I messed up my steeping on this last time, I was anxious to get back to it, but I wanted to give Liz a chance to sample it as well. Now that she has, I could come back to it.
Much like the jasmine silver needles, the key word here is “balanced”.
The sweet coating which brings the ginseng to the tea does not produce a cup of candy. The first two or three cups are certainly sweet, but you can still taste the tea well enough.
I’m up to steep five or six now and the leaf is starting to take center stage and there is very little sweetness left. The leaves themselves, once hydrated, are huge, and deep green and they produce a bold, amber cup. This is one of those classic Chinese oolong which is practically a green tea. There is a strong presence of the roasting pan heat beneath the green bell pepper bitterness.
There is a bite that wants to creep in, here, but short steeps are keeping it at bay. This strikes me as a tea that might not do very well with Western steeping.
Again, not a tea that I could see ending up in my daily rotation, but as a medicinal throat soothing tea, I don’t see how you could ask for better than this.
Even though I really need about six cups of strong black tea (taken intravenously) to get my motor running this morning, I couldn’t resist opening the sample of another tea from Teavivre. This time it is the Organic Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea.
I steeped this tea for two minutes at 175 degrees as instructed on the sample packet. The brew that appeared was an extremely light golden green color.
I was worried that the light color, low temperature, and short steeping time would all add up to a wimpy tasting tea. But, as always, Teavivre surprised me again!
This tea does not have a strong flavor but the flavor that it does have is full and complete. The taste is sweet and nutty. There is no grassy attribute to the flavor as I’ve found with a lot of green teas. Instead, it is quite smooth, light, and easy to sip. You also won’t find any bitterness.
Although this would not be my normal morning tea of choice, I will definitely be offering it to guests in the afternoon and evening.
The best word to describe this tea is 亡命徒;喝彩;喝彩声;暴徒 (which I HOPE is Chinese for BRAVO)! This tea deserves that exclamation and much more.
In summary, this is just another wonderful tea from Teavivre. If Teavivre were a baseball team, to me they would still be batting 1,000!
Dry leaves look as if they were freshly cut, they are bright green, they smell of fresh green vegetables and grass and they seem so succulent as if one could soak the fresh juice out of them. Tea soup is light greenish-yellow. After 3 minutes’ steep, the smell is unchanged from the dry leaves, very fresh and inviting. The taste is mild, again it feels as if biting into an incredibly succulent apple or pear. But there is a slightly bitter aftertaste. Steeped leaves haven’t lost the pleasant juicy smell and they have uncurled.
I am still in ecstasies over this tea! I shared several steeps with hubby tonight. Everyone’s tastes are so different. Hubby says he still prefers the Ripened Aged Puerh Mini Tuo Cha from Teavivre, while this one is positively transporting me! I am eager to get my son’s opinion when he comes home this weekend. I hope I can sleep – this is an awful lot of tea at bedtime! O.O
I just shared steeps two and three of this with hubby. We are using my glass gong fu teapot tonight. This is really good, very civil oolong. No strong toastiness accosting you, just a mild reminder of the heat once applied to the leaves and the beautiful berry and fruit scent it defends itself with when the leaf hoppers attack! This is so going on my next order. I think hubby agrees, and I have a friend whom I know is going to ask for some as well!
This is a really smooth. It just slips down your throat like liquid silk. The flavor is autumnal and reminiscent of leaf littered forest floor. In between sips, I can taste something fruity lingering in my mouth. It’s peachy or somewhat berry like. I don’t really taste the honey that the official description talks about. I’ve had other Bai Hao where the honey flavor is really strong. Here, it is hard to taste. Still, this tea tastes very good. It’s not entirely my style though.
Excuse my rambling and somewhat disorganized review. I’m very tired. :)
First of all, a big shout-out to Teavivre for the amazing free sample!
I was really busy packing for vacation, and didn’t have time to do my usual format for reviews, but there’s the highlight reel. The first infusion was steeped in 205 degree water for exactly one minute. The result was an amazing sweet tea, with very tasty licorice flavors dominating the palate. It was just about as sweet as the orchid Oolong from Verdant Tea that I had the other night. The infusions continue, decreasing in potency and sweetness until number five, where only a faint taste of barely-sweet licorice remained. Regardless, it was really, really good, and it was the perfect way to relax after the usual frenzy of packing. And, since my destination is England, all I have to say is jolly good!
EDIT: stupid typos…
I like this one, its very clean tasting with no fishiness at all it is lightly earthy and very smooth, I think a person who thinks they wouldnt like puerh would like this one. It is excellent after a heavy meal. 2 to 5 minutes steep on this one was perfect for me. This one made me think of one of my first puerh it was very similar to this and it made me fall in love with puerh.
I am convinced that Jasmine is a tea that you grow to love. It is just what I need right now. Delicate and floral. Smells so delicious. I want to bury my nose in the tea and just inhale. I think I grew to be a jasmine tea lover. This is delicious.
A cup of this and then a shower before I make my second steep so I can wind down with it as well. It will me a lovely and relaxing night.
This came as a sample provided by Teavivre. This tea is so light and fluffy it barely fit in the sample bag – seriously. When I opened the bag I was hit with the jasmine scent. I was a little afraid as it seemed very strong, like many of the jasmines I have tried and not liked in the past. Within moments the scent calmed down and mellowed into that beautiful fragrance I love so dearly in their Jasmine Dragon Pearls (my favorite Teavivre tea).
The leaf itself is gorgeous. So light in color and almost brittle looking. I kept spooning it out until it ‘looked’ like the right amount in the bottom of my French press. Heated 12oz of water until it steamed then let it cool until it stopped making noise and poured. I steeped this for about a minute and a half. The liquor had the faintest yellow tint in the press and looked nearly clear as it poured. The wet leaf gives off an intoxicating aroma somewhere between honeysuckle and grape. Love it.
The sip is jasmine, the good kind – note overwhelming and not medicinal or fake. In addition is something I did not expect. This tastes and feels very milky to me. It’s almost creamy moving across the tongue. Really nice. At first I was having trouble picking out the white tea. Then I realized it was largely in the aftertaste. Though the flavor profile is a bit different, this is every bit as delicious as the beloved jasmine pearls. Seriously good.
Thank you Teavivre for sharing this tea and for showing me again that jasmine (done right) can be a work of art.
Ok, looks like I love this way more than others but I am going to rate this one because I think it deserves it.
Opening the package and viewing the contents is kind of like journeying to another world and trying to figure it out. The closest comparison I have experienced to these pearls is jasmine pearls but these are much larger. They look like miniature flowering tea pods. I am looking at them and trying to figure out how many do I use? I went with 5 as that seems to be the starting point I have read in other reviews. While I am pondering, I notice these smell like unsweetened chocolate.
This is pleasant but not as full bodied as I was expecting. The amount of expanded chocolate brown leaf in the bottom of my press tells me I used a sufficient amount. So, either this is a very light bodied tea, or I need to increase the steep time.
I think the novelty of brewing this amazed me far more than the actual tasting. Don’t misunderstand, this is quite good. It just didn’t knock my socks off like almost everything else I have tried from Teavivre. Since others liked this way more than me, I am going to hold off rating (I was thinking 85) until I try it again.
Generous sample provided by Teavivre.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this delicious Sample!
This morning I was relieved to find that the wind had scooped out the low fog-like smoke from the ground and I could breathe easier. I really wanted some tea in a big way! I felt so sick last night, nauseated from inhaling the dense soupy smoke out by my daughters house that ended up dropping down on my place 10 miles from her less than a half hour later.
I steeped these gorgeous Bronze Onyx Tea Pearls Western Style in a glass pot so that I could watch them unfurl. I wanted several cups of tea to cleanse my body from the soot I had inhaled last night from the Larimer County Fire.
This was THE perfect tea choice for this morning!
I had no idea that these little pearls would produce the most delightfully cocoa nib flavored tea of any tea I’ve ever had.
Other tea’s I’ve enjoyed had cocoa or chocolate flavor coupled with malt, yam, cinnamon. But this, was pure cocoa. Try as I would, I didn’t find malt, yam, potato or any distractor lurking in the shadows waiting to sneak out of hiding with an “aha, gotcha”.
I have a treasured little French Bakery as big as a shoebox in Oldtown Fort Collins. The sign outside the shop says ‘Only One Person at a Time Enter Please’ posted there because the shop is so small. Inside there is a glass case lined with pastries that are works of art. Buttery beauties and sugered sweeties. Best of all are the Macarons. Ohhhh the Chocolate Macarons (French spelling)…so light they would float on air. My Black Dragon Pearl Tea was like the Chocolate Macarons. So very Parisian. Smooth, light and cocoalicious.
I’ll buy some of this tea…it is really the best black cocoa tasting tea I’ve had. Now I have 2 Verdant favorite Black Tea’s and 2 Teavivre’s.
The Today Show was on while I was enjoying my cup and was showing the Larimer County Fire…right here. I saw a helicopter picking up some water. Hum, it looked like the little lake about 3 miles from my house.
I picked up my camera and walked to the end of the complex and was shocked to see the fire was right up my hill from me behind Horsetooth Reservoir. Yikes! My daughter called me and we set up a plan in case I have to get out of here. I walked to the end of the complex and took a picture.
This tea actually tasted much better in my sample pouch. That was why I ordered 100g of this tea, but the floral and fruity qualities have quite diminished in this large portion. The leaves are tightly curled and they smell of smoke with a pinch of floral scent. The sample tea was actually pretty sweet, but that too has diminished. So after a first disappointment, right now I’m drinking this tea on the rocks and with honey and it is fine. It reminds me of the original taste. I have steeped 3 mins with 100 Celsius water and then poured it in a cup half-full of ice cubes and a small spoon of honey. Now it’s a dessert. It has the milky aroma, it’s not bitter, and it feels like honeydew on the palate. I shall continue experimenting with hot vs. cold steeping and brewing.
It’s safe to say that this is my favorite green tea, and it never ceases to amaze me. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than a properly prepared mug of this stuff. Soon I’ll be trying Teavivre’s Superfine Pre-Ming Dragonwell and I really look forward to it.