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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for these wonderful samples.
I am not usually a straight green fan, but I always love the opportunity to try free samples as my tastes are getting more refined toward straight teas.
This is a very good dragon well. Smooth and slightly sweet with that lovely buttery taste. This is probably the best dragon well I have ever tasted. Still probably not something I would order though.
Resteep 2 minutes.
Yet another woefully backfired “early to bed early to rise” plan + stupid allergy season makes my throat scratchy every single morning = mmmmmm black tea. I was generous with the leaves this morning, so it’s pretty mushroomy and “atmospheric.” You know what I’m talking about, right? Atmospheric tea? Oh gods I love this tea.
P.S. Anyone know what’s going on with this Steepster Select? It looks like it’s some kind of tea-of-the-month club. So how do they pick the teas? Do they find them from Steepster reviews? Are they all from different tea companies?
After I enjoyed this so much yesterday, I made another couple of cups this morning. Came out on the smoky side rather than the earthy side, but still delish. This tea is also great with sweet foods, I have found.
So funny. When I first tried it, I could have sworn it wouldn’t be a restock. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s growing on me!
Despite having stayed up much too late last night and moving more slowly than I’d like today, I am feeling significantly better than I was the other night! I mean, I still have to go to work today, but I have tomorrow off and I don’t feel mopey and stressed like I have been.
Mmmmm. Earthy smoky goodness. Just what I was looking for. The more I try them, the more I start to like earthy flavors. Perhaps this will become a staple after all…
MY TEAVIVRE ORDER CAME TODAY!!! MY TEAVIVRE ORDER CAME TODAY!!! And I have a day off! And I have my gaiwan! Happy happy happy!
This was the first tea I’ve been wanting to try. I did this in the gaiwan. Dry leaf is dark and twisting, somewhat fine. Earthy scent.
Steep 1: 1 tsp, slightly under boiling, 10s. Wet leaf smells dark and mossy. Tea tastes very similar. Very smooth, little to no astringency, bassy flavor.
Steep 2: 12 s. Not getting a ton of difference in the flavor, but the mossiness is more pronounced. There’s something atmospheric and evocative about teas that taste like this.
Steep 3: 14 s. The mossiness has mellowed. There is the littlest bit of malty in the background.
Again, I had what barely qualifies as an excuse for breakfast, so I’m reluctant to do too many steepings on a relatively empty stomach. I prefer malty over earthy when it comes to black teas, and this was definitely the latter. Nonetheless, a well-made and enjoyable tea.
Nice ripe pu-erh with earthy and a bit flowery scent when dry. First steeps have a clear taste of almonds roasted in some honey. Later steeps becoming more earthy gradually. Absolutely not possible to get this tea any bitter, with any steep time. Nice regular pu-erh drink. About 15 steeps will be good. My review here: http://j.mp/ripepu
Thank you Teavivre for this sample. One of my favourite teas is your Dian Hong Golden Tip and I couldn’t imagine it being any more perfect…then you released Dian Hong with rose and the sheer thought has blown my mind. I love rose teas that are done well and are natural.
This loose tea does not have full roses as in the picture shown, or at least my sample bag didn’t have any. I do see one or two pieces of yellow/pink petals and it certainly has that sweet rose scent. The Dian Hong gives the rose a musk like quality and depth, it smells super delicious.
Once steeped this tea is golden brown in colour with a sweet and earthy rose scent. So very fresh and soft, it’s similar to pure rose oil.
Flavour is light and malty with fruity tones to begin with and then it transforms into a sweet and delicate rose flavour that carries on throughout the after taste. It is exactly as I imagined Dian Hong and roses would taste like together and it truly did not disappoint.
I will be adding this to my must buy list to alternate with original Dian Hong. Great for those pick me up moments :)
Update: I just visited Teavivre to add this to my shopping list and it appears that they are either out of stock or no longer sell this any more :( Super Sad Kitty.
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
I opened the packet and smelt a rather lovely grassy, late spring aroma. The leaves were light green and looked very inviting. Upon steeping they became a very bright pale green. The aroma from the wet leaf was nutty and vegetal, perhaps buttered squash. The liquor was a pale yellow green, hinting at a delicate flavour and it did not disappoint.
Note to self: Make sure the cup is the right way up before you start pouring.
Once tidied up I was able to sample the tea properly. Although the wet leaves had a strong, pleasant aroma, the liquor was far more delicate. It hinted at both floral and nutty notes and did not hit me in the face strongly with them at all, although these notes became stronger as the tea cooled. It was very refreshing with a lasting sweet aftertaste that made me feel like my breath smelt of spring flowers. Lovely.
Additional notes: A sad sample sipdown. This one is lovely and I’d certainly consider ordering it. One of the best from Teavivre, but there aren’t many bad teas. I remember this being lighter for some reason… the cup is very dark red with two teaspoons 20 minutes after boiling. I guess the Tan Yang is a lot more sweet potato.
2/10 sipdowns to go until 1,500 tasting notes!
Tasting note #700! Wow, already? I think they will start slowing down though… not as many new-to-me teas lately!
Another sample I just know will be good from Teavivre – thank you so much! I was in the mood for a Yunnan “golden leaved” black tea. This was it! (Then again, I’m usually in the mood for Yunnan.) The dry leaves had the aroma of that sweet potato with marshmallows concoction that I know some people like to make, but sadly, I’ve never tried. Teavivre’s steeping instructions are 185 degrees with two teaspoons for 8 ounces of water with a rinse and 1,2,3,4 minute steeping times. So I used two teaspoons — it looks like each sample pouch has four teaspoons. Perfect!
I waited for the water to cool about 35 minutes before pouring. After a rinse, I steeped for one minute. This one definitely doesn’t have a strong black tea flavor. It is not like the burnt dark chocolate at all like the Bailin Gongfu I had from Teavivre the other day. It’s a flavor all its own, probably because of the golden buds. The flavor certainly does taste like extra sweet sweet potatoes. And the color of the cup was even the closest color to sweet potatoes that I’ve seen.
Waited another while for the water to cool and steeped for three minutes. This cup had more of a traditional black tea flavor. But still a lot of sweet potato. I don’t love these leaves as much as I love the bailin gongfu, since I am partial to dark chocolate. (And I might be unfairly comparing the two since I just recently had the perfect cup.) But it is a nice change from chocolatey black tea leaves.
Dark Oolong that is light orange in color. I can’t really place the aroma, it is pleasing though. Slightly sweet and mellow, I feel like there are a lot of flavors going on in this tea that I can’t really describe any in particular. Kind of an olio of flavors. It is quite delicious. I think it taste a little like graham crackers.
Light Oolong that is greenish yellow in color. Very pleasant floral aroma. Sweet floral taste that is very creamy and buttery. There is no vegetal flavor that you can get with the light Oolong teas. It is sweet but not overly sweet and is balanced well with the creaminess. I am a big fan of this tea.
thank you Angel for this sample!
I am trying to really get into plain blacks. It is a strange thing to love pu’erh, but not like plain blacks…
Once steeped, this mainly smells like hay to me. Hay and maybe a tiny, tiny bit of chocolate. I think that this may come out more in a second steep.
Ahhh. Although it smells like hay, that note is actually quite subtle. The chocolate tones are far more evident. I also taste some of the sesame that I associate with the Laoshan black from Verdant. This is much more mellow than I expected sigh of relief.
I received my first Teavivre order today. I usually have strict rules about drinking open teas first. Not today. I opened this one right away. I have so been looking forward to this, and it was so worth the wait.
This is a great tea. This is what I think black tea should be. It’s rich and chocolaty, not astringent at all. Just soothing goodness in a cup. This is going right back on the shopping list to pick up more.
Thank you Angel for the sample!
So when I opened this and was inspecting the cute little leaves, my husband asked to smell them and remarked that the smell reminded him of licorice. I hadn’t picked up on it at first, but I think I might smell it just a tiny bit as well. Mostly this smells nutty and toasted to me.
The liquor looks extremely light to me. Almost like white wine. It kind of smells like dragonwell to me (forgive my limited green tea knowledge!). I also almost messed up the temp. on this one (165 instead of 185).
I am reeling. This is so amazing. No, really. I mentioned in one of my recent posts that my taste/smell has been off and I’m trying to recover, so these aren’t my most perfect posts, but this is dang good. I’m having trouble describing it, but it is light, roasty, and nutty. I think I’m in love with the nut notes that are coming through on the back end of the sip. Very excellent tea that I will continue to steep and enjoy the rest of tonight.