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Recent Tasting Notes
I forgot I even had this. And – lo and behold – I finished the whole thing in a two day’s stretch. The pots I brewed of it turned out perfect – smokey, sweet, and…nostalgic?
Hard to explain.
It was accompanied by several other “finali-teas”, which I had to expand upon here: http://steepstories.com/2013/01/29/a-week-of-lasts-finali-tea/
Point being, sometimes a perfect pot o’ tea is the perfect omen for a week of goods and bads.
Very nice. I think people who favor green tea, but want to venture out to more black teas would really like this one.
1st steep- very mild, vegetal like green tea.
2ns steep- more of the maltiness of traditional blacks.
3rd steep- still very dark, a slight astringency coming through this time. But still getting a bit of the vegetal.
Steeped this at the same time as another Jasmine pearl which I shall not name here.
The initial aroma from the other pearl was more evident (tho the scent was stronger from this package than from the other one)
I left both teas steeping until I finished sipping them.
This Jasmine pearl had a deeper color liquor and stronger aroma. But it was not too strong for me. It was: just right!
The flavor was perfect too! I also love that it was super smooth…
Thank you Kasumi and Teavivre (samples from them arrived at the same time and Kasumi’s was a surprise! shouldve picked a different tea to sample from Teavivre, hahaha)
will report on resteeps later
Day two with the same leaf… petals… flowers, ummm whatever this is. The second cup is darker in color. Still very see through but with a golden green tint. This has no bitterness. It still makes me think white tea with its melon and light cucumber notes. I thought this last night but wasn’t sure until today – this has a cooling effect making my lungs feel more open. My wife is going to try it later since its caffeine free. It didn’t work as a sleep aid for me like chamomile but it doesn’t pump more stay awake in your veins either. I’m am ready to commit to a rating. I like this.
My husband (an oolong fan), and I received a sample of this premium Oolong (October 2012 harvest). My husband asked me to order more, telling me it was the best Oolong he has ever had. It has the floral aroma and taste you would expect from a high quality Tie Guan Yin. It has a clean, refreshing finish. Very nice.
New Samples from TeaVivre! Woot! Not going to rate this until I get to fix it without the microwave. I quickly looked at the picture and thought what came out of the bag would be hard like nuts. Nope. It’s real soft. I steeped with below boiling water for maybe three minutes. The resulting brew is pretty clear. It has a little bit of honey color but not much. I’m wondering will this have any flavor? But of course. The website says it has a persimmon aftertaste. I was expecting closer to chamomile. It does not taste like our persimmons and definitely not chamomile. What I got is something very similar to white tea. Subtle but deep. Even prepared poorly I like this. If I were to rate it I would say mid to high 80’s. Don’t fear the Herbal. Need more cowbell?
It is raining, but the rain is freezing is freezing instantly on the car, the steps, the bridges….
Nevertheless, we ventured out for our Friday evening Asian Buffet take out. For several weeks I noticed that hubby now likes green tea so much that I have to go resteep halfway through the meal. Last week I decided to start making the resteep right away and pouring all the tea into my large tetsubin on a warmer. It works out great! We both drink as much tea as we want.
Teavivre’s jasmine offerings are the best jasmine teas I have ever had. This is what I consider to be my budget jasmine, as it costs a good bit less than the pearls. With food, you can tell little difference and I save my Premium and Superfine Downy Pearls for solo sipping.
Even with a first and second steep combined, the tea is a rich, golden color. The instructions say to use one to two teaspoons per eight ounces water and one to two minutes. I used four teaspoons for a 22 ounce pot and resteeped immediately for just over one minute. What a fantastic company!
This tea was delicious- very smooth and sweet, as well as floral and light. It seemed to have a stronger taste of jasmine than other jasmine dragon pearls I have tried, which I enjoyed very much. This is a good tea for any time of day, and I would highly recommend it.
I’m finally getting around to opening up this sample so graciously provided by Angel at Teavivre.
It’s really cold outside, and I was looking for a tea that would be clean and clear and very light. I’ve had this one for awhile, so I decided to try it.
Upon opening the package, the leaves are very thin, long and twisted. They have a strong dark green scent, like that of spinach or kale, and they’re the dark grey-green of kale as well.
I put ~2tsp into my 20oz Amsterdam pot, steeped at 180 for 2 minutes.
The liquor is transparent. It looks like nothing more than water. The smell is similar to the kale smell of the leaves, but it is very faint.
The flavor, however, isn’t. It’s not a strong, punch-you-in-the-face kind of flavor, but this definitely isn’t water I’m drinking. It has that sweet grassy sort of taste I like in green teas, with a little bit of natural vegetal sweetness that sparkles towards the end of the sip. It’s a little bit like seaweed, to be honest.
This was a generous sample from TeaVivre. Thank you so much!
Hmmm…I may have gone too long on the steep time, because this had a touch of astringence to it. And that was only at 2 minutes! I did use 4.5 grams of leaf for 500 ml. of water, though, so maybe that might be part of it…
The smell of this was slightly smoky, which I’m coming to realize is a general characteristic of Fujian teas. It wasn’t ash tray smoky, luckily, so I didn’t feel too apprehensive about trying it. Especially because of an underlying starchy/malty note that adds some extra (and very pleasant) complexity.
The taste is…raisins. Rather, the taste plus astringence equals raisins. Kind of fruity and dry but also that vague sulphur-y flavor which I think is what that smoky smell turned into. Interestingly, even though it’s dry it also has a thick texture that coats the mouth – this is quite the maze of contradictions!
I wonder if this is related to the Tan Yang Angrboda loves so dearly? It’s just that she described that tea pretty much how I think this one tastes. They are from the same province, so I suppose it’s possible.
Anyway, I’m going to try a little less leaf or a little less steeping time or some combination of the two the next time I brew this – I’m curious to see what will happen. Tonight’s preparation yielded a good tea, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t get everything out of it that I could have.
I will say that it definitely has a TON of character and it’s a shame human error had to go and get in the way. :( Oh, well – at least there can be a next time!
I drank a cup of this with lunch today, and it was quite tasty. Nutty and buttery and so not a boring grassy green tea. I almost oversteeped it but it suffered no ill effects. I really enjoy having a tea like this with my lunch… it almost serves to make everything else taste better as well.
ETA: Apparently this tea is almost a year old, but it still tastes great. Guess its aging pretty well even for a green tea.
I spent the entire workday yesterday sipping Black Pearl. I know that’s not its name but it makes me giggle and go Arrrr! And then that reminds of the Pirates who don’t do anything. They just sit around and watch TV. And that reminds me of the line from the show, “You look like Captain Crunch… You’re making me very hungry.” That makes me giggle too, so today I decided to grab a brownie and this tea.
I rated the Pearls at 90. Earlier I gave this one a 100. The reality, for me at least, is once a tea hits the magic 90 mark, the difference between a 90 and a 100 is probably externals as much as anything. You know, what’s on the desk. Who’s in my face. The weather, my mood. To get a 90 a tea has to make me forget where I am, if for only amount. If I lose track of time even better.
Pearls and Golden Monkey are pretty similar. Pearls may actually have a little more body. I think they are both worthy of a mid 90’s score but I’ll leave the ratings as that’s how they spoke to me at the time.
Looking for something different today decided to switch it up with a white tea. Been sitting on this sample from Teavivre for some time. Brewed in my Finum and holding back a little on brewing times from what is suggested, this yielded a lovely golden color with an aroma similar to what I’ve come to expect from whites along with notes of hay, caramelized sugar & pine. Mildly sweet, ever so astringent with a dry mouth feel and a light tingling after-sensation, I’m not the most massive fan of whites, but I can appreciate them. Yielding nicely consistent multiple infusions, I’m pleased but not rushing to stock up.
Compelled to pick a word for this tea I’ll take “pure.” There is a purity to this that is remarkable. Fans of whites, in my opinion it’s worth taking note.
Most every one has been crazy for this one. Previously, I just wasn’t as impressed. Let’s see what happens today. This is the last of the sample – 5 pearls and some loose crumbs. I boiled the water and steeped 2 minutes per the label instructions.
Ooh, I do love the smell and the dark golden caramel color. The aroma is like cocoa bread or… brownies! Needs sprinkled with powdered sugar :) Mmmmm brownies, but I digress. The taste is deep and rich and malt and cocoa and delicious. There is also a big chunk of flavor in the back that reminds me of an old barn stacked with hay. Then I notice the cocoa is mixing with notes of nuts and wood. Later cups the roastiness comes out to play. This is pretty amazing. How could this not have caught my attention before? I am really wondering if I used fully boiling water in my previous attempts. I could not have brewed this correctly.
This is awesome. Wish I had realized this at the beginning of the sample. Definitely upping the rating.
Drinking this right now, after a long morning of cross-country skiing and walking (it was amazing!)
As this is an oolong, I expected a strong and bold taste, but got a very humble and fragrant tea instead. I suppose it’s too smooth for my liking, maybe not even strong enough, though I steeped it for a long time. I think it would work really great as a base for some kind of blend, but alone it’s not interesting enough for me :(
I will drink the remaining sample with great pleasure, but I don’t think I’ll order this one. Have a nice week everyone!
Appearance: small tu-cha button, Chrysanthemum pressed into the back of it.
Aroma when Dry: toasted nuts, earthy, faint floral notes
After water is first poured: nutty, creamy, buttery caramel notes
At end of first steep: murky, earthy, peaty, floral
At first? Light red brown
At end of steep: opaque black– brown
Preferred time of day: afternoon
At first?: heavy, slightly creamy earthy notes, clay, hints of floral, slight sour finish
As it cools?: notes get more earthy, heavier
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, deep earth notes, slight floral leads on sour close
Second steep (3 min)
At first: more Chrysanthemum notes, with floral notes lingering longer, still heavy, earthy