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Recent Tasting Notes
A gift from Lala! I’ve never tried a Teavivre tea before, nor have I tried dragon pearls so this is a really new experience for me! Out of the Teavivre samples Lala sent me, I picked this one to start off with because it’s not REALLY a straight green tea – there’s jasmine in it. So, that seems like a pretty decent middle ground when it comes to trying out new green teas and straight teas.
I’ll admit, I haven’t had a lot of exposure to jasmine flavoured teas. That’s not because I dislike jasmine though (I actually quite like jasmine), more so it’s because there are just so many flavours I like more. Dry leaf for this one DOES smell like jasmine, in almost a perfumy sort of way but still more natural than perfumy. In fact, all I CAN smell is jasmine – no green tea. Hmm, that’s pretty appealing to me. I’ll be honest though, I think I’m secretly hoping that I’ll hate this tea since, based on the different stores and websites I’ve been to, dragon pearls are NOT a cheap tea. It’d just be so much easier on me if I turned out to have a taste for the really cheap stuff!
So, I’m using 1 tsp for about 6 oz of water, steeped for a minute. The liquor barely changed colour at all during the steeping time, but finally settled on a very pale (almost peachy) yellow colour. The smell is still purely jasmine, but a much more toned down jasmine.
First few sips and… Ugh! I’ve made a mess! I totally forgot I was wearing BRIGHT metallic red lipstick, and now it’s all over my cup and all smudged. On the plus side, the tea itself tastes great! The tea is very lightly jasmine flavoured but still has enough flavour you don’t have to search for the jasmine. I CAN actually taste the green tea, but it’s not really all that vegetal so I’m not minding it too much.
Well darn, I was really hoping I wouldn’t like such an expensive tea. Maybe I can make it work by getting relatives to buy me it for holidays and such, so I don’t have to sell out the money myself. I’m probably gonna have to look, now, for a cheaper jasmine alternative since, now that I really think about it, I don’t actually own any tea with jasmine in it. I think jasmine definitely needs a spot amongst the teas I permanently stock. My friend Robyn has DT’s Buddha’s Blend and I think that has a large amount of jasmine in it – I’ll have to see if I can steal a sample from her.
EDIT: Got a really good resteep out of this one. I doubled the steep time, but otherwise everything was left unchanged. Tastes practically identical to the cup I enjoyed earlier today.
Thank you to Teavivre for this sample tea!
As always the service from Teavivre is of the highest quality with the best packaging and kind notes from Angel!
Now and then I encounter a tea that is…“not my cup of tea” and there is no way to get around saying it. I can’t possibly love all tea’s… nobody can.
I discovered last year is that I can’t taste some green tea’s whatsoever! A few Butiki’s flavored green tea’s taste like water to me because I can’t taste the base tea. Silly taste buds!
The fault isn’t the tea or Teavivre or me, it’s what happens in human beings.
All that being said, I’ll tell you what the tea tasted like to me and you might chuckle (or not).
I’m a super-taster of sorts due to the health condition I have which gives me a stronger than average sense of taste and smell. I have to be careful not to wear perfumes when I drink tea. I tasted Golden Monkey on two occasions to make sure there wasn’t anything interfering with my senses.
What I tasted both times was like V8 Juice.
Primarily Celery leaf juice, brothy diluted tomato with mixed vegetables. Not the best tasting tea if you know what I mean, but an ok soup.
I know, I know… different than anyone else…yada yada.
I’m a black tea lover not a hater but this one hit the stranger than strange tea alarm in my mouth.
Sorry Angel, this one was a giggler. It happens.
a quick note on the fly here.
i stuffed this entire immense sample into my steeping basket. it was excellent!!! lychee notes, bamboo notes, very smooth.
lovely clear steep, tiny bit of sugar added. will buy for sure…. and back into the craziness i go. (haven’t even had a cup of tea yet today!!!)
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for sending me a sample of this. I love this tea. To be honest this is up there with dragon pearls. It’s easily one of my favorites. The dry leaf smells like melted chocolate and caramel to me.
The flavor is so rich and delicious. It has a nice malty sweetness to it then it has a nice sweet potato sweetness with a light twist of caramel.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre! Oh the aroma of this one is just lovely. It’s sweet and has notes of honey and fruit. There is something a little deeper I can’t put my finger on though. The flavor is delicious! There is a hint of baked sweet potato with notes of caramel, cocoa, and honey. This is such a nice black tea and I think I’m in love :) Thank you again!!
A tiny sample from Heather Martin. Just making half a cup of this to taste.
The dry leaves smell so tasty. Nice and dark and malty.
Ohhh, I like this one. A lot. It’s fairly light, sweet, malty, yet strong. (Light maybe because I underleafed.) So good. Definitely on my “to buy” list for Teavivre.
Thanks, Heather! :)
I think this is one of my favorite oolongs I have tried so far.
The smell of the dry tea is not really floral, more fruity sweet and woody. The smell of the brewed tea is almost like aged hard wood. Slightly roasty.
The brewed tea is light, clean and fresh. There is a slightly roasted wood taste but it is not heavy. Slight floral taste. Natural sweetness. The liquor is thick and creamy, although it doesn’t remind me of milk or dairy.
I think next time I will consider steeping this one for a bit longer to get a stronger flavour.
I think I may have gotten a sample of this from Tigress Al, but I know I also got a sample from Teavivre – I have a few sample pack of this floating around. I think I am going to have to hoard these :)
this was a very nice sample by the ever generous angel at teavivre.
this is a very smooth, warm blend. i think it’s impressive when the taste of a tea is warm over and above the temperature. has a decidedly black essence, but with a less heavy more rosy evolution.
lovely curled black gold yields a medium hued steep. lovely with cream and a bit of sugar.
i plan to buy this in future.
…Uh, so confession: I’m not actually sure this is the tea I’m drinking. I took one of my Teavivre pu-erh samples, put it into a tin, didn’t label the tin, and then forgot about it until I randomly opened it up one day while I was looking for something else. Occam’s razor says this is the shu that fits.
I don’t really have anything to say about this that I haven’t said before. I just really, really like it. I always think of fresh, dark spring dirt and moss. I also like how the flavor is so thick. I was strongly considering coffee this morning, but I decided I needed tea instead, and the thickness makes me feel like I’m drinking a wake-up beverage.
So overall, this tea – like any of my favorite shus – is a combination of caffeine, imagery, and the placebo effect!
Did a second steep on this this morning, for a little under 2 minutes because it was a resteep. It’s actually pretty similar to what I tasted last night, except without seeming underleafed. I actually quite like the tea itself, although I think I have to be in the right mood for it. Earthy is a good flavor for foggy gray fall mornings. Still a malty aftertaste, which is unexpected but cool. The smell is something I have to get past.
Next time, I’m rinsing this!
Uh… 3-4 teaspoons for 8 oz?
This is what happens when they don’t put the leafage on the bag! Grrr!
Ah well. It’s a free sample, so there’s only so much griping I can do. I would try steeping it longer, but I have a bad feeling that would only result in the overwhelmingly flagrant essence of FISH! Like the last pu-erh I had, which is still sitting in a bag in the back corner of my cupboard with absolutely no plans for a sipdown anywhere in this dimension of time and space because it tastes exactly like FISH!
This one is… earthy? It’s got a fair amount of FISH!, especially in the aroma, but the flavor itself is darker and bassier. There is actually a bit of maltiness in the aftertaste too. It’s actually fairly pleasant, at least once I stop smelling it. Next time, I’ll use more cake per water. Also I won’t spill it all over the damn stove as I’m trying to pour it.
It was time for me to stop being a wimp and to just try this.
Look! It’s puerh! It’s really great!
I only steeped it for a minute because I thought under was better than over-steeping and I’m really enjoying this mellow earthy blend. I don’t know enough about puerh to say where this ranks amongst the others, but I know I like it which is encouraging!
Backlog from Thursday night, since my computer was Down With the Sickness.
THIS is the oolong I effed up the first time I tried it! So I attempted it once more the other night after I got home from work. Recently, I found this article that’s actually from Verdant Tea’s website, written by David Duckler. It’s about how to best enjoy tasting a tea, and I found it so enlightening that I’ll leave it here if you haven’t seen it: http://verdanttea.com/how-to-taste-tea/ What hit home the most with me is that, rather than being the Tea Critic who jumps to figure out what I’m tasting, how it compares to what I’m told is in it, and how highly I would rate the tea, the most important thing is just being present in the experience of the tea and enjoying what I’m drinking.
With that article in mind, I took a bit of time to do some gaiwan brewings and tastings of this oolong. This time, I used a thermometer to gauge the water temperature so that I was sure I did not burn it.
I’m not sure I liked the tea itself, it reminds me too much of other oolongs I’m not crazy about, but it was a very enjoyable experience. I did four steepings. The first two had a roasty, slightly “burnt” flavor, but I did find that on the third steeping, the roastiness had subsided and I was getting more of the fruity/floral tone. I’ve rarely had luck with multiple steepings, so I enjoyed finally being able to discern a difference. I also enjoyed smelling the flavor of the wet tea leaves in the nose cup, if that’s what you call it.
But my favorite part about doing gaiwan steepings, honestly, is the auditory experience. Working in a music store, I relish the lack of background noise that I get in a quiet room (we live in what I’d call a rural suburb, so it is possible to achieve complete silence.) There’s something about the sequence of pouring water and the little clacking of the lid on the cup that’s exquisitely soothing, in this way I can’t really describe. I think I would quite enjoy having a whole gongfu set, which I plan on putting on either a birthday or Christmas wish list.
So the tea? Eh. The tasting? Mmm!
Thank you Teavivre for sending me a sample of this! The aroma is delicious. Warm, buttery, and slightly nutty. Like browned butter..(that makes me crave browned butter and myzithra noodles…) It has a soft buttery flavor with nutty notes… There is a hint of something… like sweet potato… but it’s SUPER light.. It’s a really nice oolong :)
Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetal
Thank you to the lovely Angel for sending me some oolong samples :)
The dry tea looks like clusters of darker green tea. The scent it a bit cabbage-y. It very much reminds me of a long jing green tea scent.
I have had this tea before, and looking at my review, I feel like this is a totally different tea. To be honest it probably is a different tea as it would be from a different years harvest. I also brewed it differently.
The tea brewed up quite nice. The clusters did not fully unfurl which indicates to me there are many more steeps to come.
This tea is very lightly floral, but there is that nice vegetal flavour similar to the long jing. It is smooth, slightly buttery. I am not getting any astringency that I picked up on the first time I had this tea.
Again, very impressed with Teavivre as usual :)
This is a very light and smooth oolong. It is very floral, but not too strong, its light. Mid and end sip there is an almost woody taste. It is slightly sweet. Just a tad astringent after the sip. Green oolongs are not my favorite, but this one is pretty good. I think because it is floral but not overly floral.