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Recent Tasting Notes
I was re-steeping yesterdays leaves and forgot about them. For twenty minutes. While I am amazed that this tea can handle a twenty minute steep without becoming undrinkable tar, I am equally amazed that it STILL doesn’t have very much flavour! It’s only slightly more flavourful than yesterday and still doesn’t wow me. Perhaps it’s too subtle for my tastes, but I definitely am not picking up on any of the flavours that other tasters have mentioned. I am glad that I don’t get any sweet potato though as I can’t stand the things. Blech!
Sipdown…so sad :( but I have a different silver needle on the way hopefully soon for the time being.
Since it was the last I steeped it twice. I used the entire packet for one mug so it was pretty flavorful both times. I was definitely getting fruit from this, some kind of mix between watermelon and berries. Just a little pepper too, but mostly sweet hay notes. It got cold all of a sudden (or maybe not suddenly, I just didn’t know to expect it!) and this makes me feel like it’s back to a nice 70 degree day.
I’ll always love this tea because it helped me learn there are flavors to white tea, and it tastes best when it’s something so pure.
Finally! Something with a little substance!
I’ve been sipping through several steepings of this, gongfu style, & it’s quite pleasant. I swear, to me it has a peachy taste, undercurrents of chocolate, cinnamon, & a delightful roastiness.
Also, everything I said in my previous review of this tea still applies!
Still not ready to rate or give a full review with this one. I Got rid of the onion power that distracted me on cup one. This is cup two. It has a very nice green vegetal flavor. There is no bitterness. No astringency.
I wanted to try this one to see if I am not a big fan of HuangShan Maofeng or if I just wasn’t deeply moved by brand X’s version. What I know at this point is this is nothing like the previous version I tried. I actually find this one easy to sip. What I haven’t determined yet, is what makes this different and stand out from other Chinese greens. I think that will have to wait until I start with new leaf.
I must sincerely thank Teavivre (Angel) for the opportunity to try this. I’ve been reading loads and loads on pu’ercha recently (and working through quite a bit of samples), and I would definitely recommend this as a learning experience. Recently I had a (very long) session with this sheng over a couple games of weiqi with a friend who was also impressed with this tea.
I would probably not consider Teavivre to be a go-to vendor for pu’ercha, but what they do have seem to be of a great quality. I’m strongly considering purchasing a tuo of this sheng to age further, because I feel it has great potential and is already quite good as it stands. I may instead go with the 2006 Fengqing cake they sell, which from what I have read has similar properties to this tuocha (at least from what I can compare) and is thought highly of in the blogosphere. I have of late been leaning towards the acquisition of tuochas, though, as they are quite convenient for me: smaller amount of leaf compared to the standard 357g cakes, allowing multiple to be purchased for close to the same price as one cake (which means variety and less per cake on “tuition” costs if I end up making an error in judgment), but still enough leaf to age for a while.
Anyway, back to the sheng at hand. The compression of the tuo is extremely high. The sample bag containing an intact chunk was like a rock and refused to be broken up cooperatively until after a rinse of near-boiling water. The compression shows in the wet leaves, which are a right mess of fragmented leaves and small pieces, but the resulting liquor proves mature, although somewhat murky in early steeps. In fact, both the leaves and the liquor are noticeably dark for younger sheng. Midway through the session, the coloration becomes a dark amber with a faint, but nonetheless noticeable lighter meniscus. All together, these signs seem to point to good storage and a decent bit of aging.
The liquor, while not entirely “complex” in flavor, provides a very smooth mouthfeel that translates nicely into a sweet aftertaste and a cooling huigan. Later on more of a sparkling texture is apparent mid-sip. To add balance, there is a strong, enveloping kuwei (bitterness) in the throat that is not at all unpleasant and lingers expectedly. Based on so many fragmented leaves, the taste is actually far less bitter (and far sweeter) that I would have expected. Sewei (unpleasant astringency) is minimal and mostly detected upon the tongue tip and lips. There are light notes from the fruity spectrum to add depth and touches of tobacco flavors that provide a robustness, separating it from the youthful sheng with grassy, floral complexions. Sweet floral and caramel aromas are trapped under the gaiwan lid, while added deep fruity scents show up in the empty cup.
By the third steep, a developing cha qi is present and becomes quite strong. Good bursts of positive energy that linger even past the 15 or so steeps that this tea can easily last for. Really, I’m quite impressed. This has become one of my favorite younger shengs that I’ve tasted.
Ahhh, right before I was about to post this I found a bit of black string poking out from the wet leaves. No matter; that’s what a strainer is for.
This is another I specifically asked to try. The brew is nearly clear as expected. I let it cool a bit then sip. Onions. What???? We fixed a pot of chili this morning and it looks like my wife (who I love dearly) picked up my cup while chopping onions. Grrrr. So I guess that means I will have to wait to see what this tastes like.
Hmm looks like I already rated thus one. I completely forgot I had it before. Doh! That means I have two sample pouches of this open. My brain is clearly on its way to dementia.
Well it’s worth reviewing against I seem to like this tea a lot more today. It is indeed fragrant. It tastes like a sweet potato roasted over a fire. Sweet and toasty and delicious.
I’m positive I’ve had this tea before now but apparently I have yet to log it. It’s good timing as I am considering another Teavivre order and was really impressed with the regular Yun Nan Dian Hong but wondered if the next level up was superior enough to justify buying that instead. This one costs approximately three times the price of the regular dian hong, so I am hoping for a remarkable experience. This has a remarkable quantity of golden leaves, I wuld say it is at least 3/4 golden tips. Very beautiful, and left lots of little tea leaf fuzz in the bag.
I am at work so I steeped this in a T-Sac rather than a brew basket or gaiwan. There is lots of room in it for expansion though, so I’m not too fussed. Three minutes in I have a lovely golden orange liquor and an appetizing aroma. Sweet cocoa, a sense of astringency but it’s not fully developed. It smells rich and almost has some aromas that remind me of bread. I can’t quite explain those so I’ll just enjoy.
First sips yield sweetness but surprisingly little flavour. I expected a POW of cocoa and tea, instead I get a whisper of each. I had some carrots as a snack earlier and I actually taste them more than the tea. Maybe this one requires more steep time? As I continue to sip the flavour builds on the tongue, but still doesn’t reach the level I expect of Teavivre’s teas, especially at this price range ($18.90/100 grams).
I will be fair and admit that this is an old sample (give or take a year) so it may have lost flavour in storage but it was stored well, in a double sealed bag. I will definitely try again, but this just didn’t have the punch I was looking for. A very nice tea but not the flavour I expect for the price and the quality of the leaves. I feel a little let down, but at the same time am buoyed as I can guiltlessly pick up the cheaper Yun Nan in my next order!
So! I am thrilled to have discovered today that this dragon well takes to the travel mug much better than expected! I brewed it up, poured it in, topped it off with some cold water, and drank it about 45 minutes later at my morning meeting, and it was delicious. So, I think that as long as I a) use an uncontaminated mug and b) drink the tea fairly soon after brewing, I can successfully take green teas to work as well. Exciting!
And of course, this tea was tasty as usual, although it’s getting on in age. I still prefer Verdant’s Dragonwell-Style Laoshan Green to most dragonwells, just because the sweet, caramely notes are more pronounced, but this is a pretty tasty example of a proper dragonwell. It was nice to have something a bit out of the ordinary in one of my mugs this morning!
One of my samples from Teavivre. Thank you!! What a generous company.
This is my first Milk Oolong and what a treat. Dry, this tea looks like little rolled leaves, quite darn in color. However, once brewed, these leaves open up. You can appreciate the whole leaf and see how it was picked. The liquor is pale greenish-yellow. The taste is velvety, sweet, faintly vegetal/mineral. I can taste traces of honey. All and all a wonderful cup.
The tea mood has struck again with this wonderful tea. I wanted a black tea, but I wanted something light. This does the trick wonderfully. I’m getting a slightly caramelized sweet potato today.
I think what has prevented me from liking this tea as much as I thought I would from the very beginning is the fact that it is lighter than the full leaf version of this tea. I was expecting something that would really stand up and be bold instead of being a tea that would slink around in the corner and wait to be noticed. But now that I think of it of being a lighter black tea, I have fallen in love all over again.
blink So this package was already open… but I have no tasting note?? Weird. I wonder if I opened it and thought better of brewing it one day. Or maybe Steepster ate my tasting note. Anyways, thanks to Teavivre for this generous sample!
I need to look up whether monkey-picked oolong is somewhat aged, or what, because this tasted strangely reminiscent of the aged Anxi TGY from Verdant that I drank last night. Same sort of aged vegetal quality, and the leaves, although greener, were certainly not as green as, say, Verdant’s Tieguanyins, and the flavor was considerably different. Or perhaps it’s a consequence of taking too long to drink this…? Either way, it’s not bad, but not a favourite either. It worked nicely in the travel mug though, so I suspect I will finish it off that way. Second infusion, with the same parameters but in half the water, was equally tasty.
This is a big sample, and it’s getting up there in age, especially for a white tea. I really need to drink it down!
I put a big pile of this in my gongfu teapot and steeped it for somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds. Not a lot of precision here, but the result is quite lovely. Sweet, honeysuckle-y jasmine, yum. My second cup is not my favorite… I think the white tea is overtaking the jasmine, somehow, and I think I prefer a green base (rather, a pearl base) for jasmines overall. But still a delicious jasmine tea.
I have tried one other taiping houkui in the past. I tried it several times with varying parameters. While I learned to appreciate the cup I never really reached a point of deeply liking it. When TeaVivre offered the latest round of samples I wanted this one included. I wanted to know if it was the tea I wasn’t crazy about or the particular version.
The scent is grassy and fresh in aroma. I used the whole sample and steeped for a little over a minute. The resulting liquor was green tinted. The wet leaf made me think ocean and vegetal.
This bordered on bitter and sour but never crossed the line. The taste, to my poorly trained palate, is somewhere between a cross of bamboo shoots and celery leaf. It becomes sweeter as you sip. The aftertaste is long and lingering in a good way.
I enjoyed this without additives sweetener added nothing and really was more of a distraction. You will rarely hear me say that.
I can say once again TeaVivre has impressed me. While this may never be a must have staple in my tea drawer, I did greatly enjoy it and would gladly accept a cup if offered.
I’m “up tiddly up up” very early this morning eagerly awaiting for the arrival of a parcel that I have asked to be re-delivered. My first tea this morning is a Gongfu of this premium Keemun due to craving something rich.
Malty, rich, slight sweetness in scent. Dark brown red in colour. In flavour this is thick and rich with a strong malt tones that have a little sweetness. Though it is strong it is also clean tasting with a subtle sour tang.
It’s a nice Keemun overall and great for a breakfast/all day tea.
The scent of the dry leaf reminds me of a fresh summer field. The leaf is long and plump. From the description I was expecting a strong grassy green. Instead the sip is like buttery beans. Maybe creamy is a better word. This is definitely classic Chinese green tea in flavor.
There is no bitterness, and no harsh edges. The longer you sip the sweeter it becomes. It has a healthy drying affect on the tongue. Strangely, the aftertaste disappears rather quickly.
On the second cup I immediately caught a nice amount of a spicy almost floral taste. Though familiar, I couldn’t pull a name for these notes out of my brain today. Let’s just call it tasty. The second cup seems less creamy and more ocean or mineral. As the cup cools it is tasting a little peppery.
Thank you TeaVivre for the sample. This is another very nice cup.
I do enjoy this one… but It’s not my favourite varietal of black tea that’s for sure.
I crave maltiness in my black teas, and this is not strong in the malt factor.
I get notes of raisins, orange and almost a candied ginger note?
A sweetness develops on the second cup for me (gongfu style with ~86˚C, 30s).. it’s nice and accompanied by a slight drying at the back of the throat.
I like it.. I don’t love it.
Thank you Angel for the sample.
I love the soft, curly, almost cotton-like, green-white leaves. The smell is very light green and musty. I steeped this in my 4oz clear glass pot and watched the leaves unfurl and rise to the top. I love this clear glass pot. I feel like I am at peace when I stare at the leaves dancing. The liquid was a very light yellow/gold. The taste was refreshing. It was light, slightly sweet and fruity and malty. The fresh green came out as well, but its not as fresh tasting as sencha or gyokuro. This one would make a great staple in my cupboard as a green. This tea is so incredibly smooth.