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Recent Tasting Notes
This sample arrived today from Teavivre, and I didn’t wait long before trying it out. The dry leaves were lovely and intact, and it was fascinating to see how much character each little leaf contained. The smell was deceptively simple, and primarily grassy.
When steeped, its other flavors came out to play, and I must say the 2nd and 3rd steeps continue to be my favorite. The liquor remains the same very pale yellow, but the sensation of each sip is light yet silky. The understated notes of butternut squash, nuttiness, and dry grass balance each other beautifully.
I’m trying to build more whites and greens into my cupboard, and this was a fantastic place to start!
You can read my full review here:
Upon opening the canister the powerful heady aroma of this tea scents the air with smokey goodness. The dry leaf is tightly rolled, fine, and very dark.
I’ve come to the conclusion that with most good teas, less is NOT more, and i’ve been using more leaf per brew with very satisfactory results. I used 2 tsp per cup, brewed at 185F for 3 minutes.
This produced a pale rootbeer colored liquor that was clear and full bodied. Full bold malty flavor fills the mouth and drowns the senses with this one. A sweetness underlies the strength of the yeasty malt flavor, with no sense of bitterness. This is what a good black tea should be, in my opinion.
Second steepings of black teas usually disappoint, and this one is no different, but the second steeping here was good, not bad, and i regularly re steep this tea.
An another note I’ve brewed this into a killer iced tea that finished with a sweet taste of dark chocolate!
This is a tea that i drink frequently, and re-order regularly.
A very good tea, indeed.
This morning I had the last of this beautiful white and I enjoyed it just as much now as I did before. I will need to order more of this, though I keep telling myself I need to stop falling in love with some of the more pricey teas. I just recently picked-up a larger size of David’s Gyokuro Yamashiro and I told myself that then, too. :)
Anyhow, short re-steeps are lovely with this gorgeous Silver Needle so I should be able to enjoy it quite a bit longer today. Subtle, sweet, and fragrant. What’s not to love?
Dry: Downy jade-colored tea buds. Fresh, soft, delicately fragrant, and notably sweet.
Steeped: Lovely clear gold liquor. The steeped aroma is more subtle than the dry buds, very slightly floral in a pleasant way.
Taste: This tea is a lovely experience. I am having a difficult time describing the taste because it is so mild and pleasant. I picture a dewy wildflower meadow, green with lingering sweet aromas and subtle floral notes. This is very fresh and delicate. I can see how some people are tasting melon or cucumber. All I can say is that I am really enjoying it!
The dry leaf smells SO cocoa-y. One steeped, the cocoa’s somewhat subdued. It’s still empathically present, though. There’s also some malt to this one, and a bit of sweetness. This is the same general profile I’ve gotten from all of the Chinese black teas I’ve tried so far – there haven’t been too many, as I’ve only begun experimenting with these recently – although I’d say this one’s a bit lighter than others.
I’m feeling more and more that while I can certainly appreciate Chinese black teas, they’ll probably never number among my favorite varieties. I know that puts me in the minority here, but that’s okay. I do think I’d enjoy a cup of this or something like it once a while, and, as I said in another note for a tea with a (to me, anyway) similar profile, I wonder if I might get into these intense chocolate-y teas a bit more in the winter.
Thanks to Rie for this sample!
I compared this tea yesterday to the grade 1 version of Keemun.
I find this tea to be maltier (if that’s even a word) and smoother than the grade 1 version. I think it is a little bit less sweet. I do get more notes of the peppercorn.
Hmmm, I am not sure which one I like better because I like each one for a little different reasons.
Mmmm, so delicious. I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup.
This Keemun is so smooth with some sweet fruity notes and a tiny bit of malty smoke in the background somewhere.
It is good chilled as well.
I am going to have to compare Teavivre’s Keemuns because I am going to have to keep one of them stocked for sure!
Which level of Keemun is most preferred by you Steepsterites!?
Thank you so much to Angel at Teavivre for these free samples!
This tea is a very green oolong with lingering buttery notes of fresh spinach and greens. It tastes very fresh and sophisticated.
The second steep at 2 minutes was my favourite steep, with a little bit less vegetal notes and a little more sweetness.
The third steep at 3 minutes is still delicious.
I think I prefer the Anxi TGY or the Monkey King but I would certainly not turn down a cup of this and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I was very curious about this tea because pineapple is one of my favourite fruits. So I ordered a sample!
I used the whole package, so I guess 4 tsp.
Once brewed, this is super strong and it is really weird drinking this hot. Resteep at 10 minutes.
I chilled both steeps together overnight.
Chilled, this tea is much improved. It tastes like tart pineapple fruit punch. I added a tiny bit of sugar and it helped a little bit. It is an alright tisane. However, still not my fav, I much prefer their blueberry fruit tea. I am glad I got to try it though.
Smokey black leaves, long and twisted, not green and semi balled like the other Oolongs in my cupboard, these leaves present a smooth sweet light scent of spice and grass with a buttery undertone.
It looks like a black tea, so i brewed it like a black tea, 2 tsp per cup at 185F for 3 minutes. The tea was pale orange, light bodied, and offered only the slightest aroma of the dry leaves.
Typical Oolong flavor, light yeasty, bready taste; no hint of malt or astringency, ends with a rich floral note that lingers on the palate. It was a soft pleasant brew, tasteful, refreshing, and worthy of a regular place in my cupboard.
Tomorrow I’ll re-steep the leaves, just to see how they’ll hold up to another brewing.
hmmm, the ever diligent angel contacted me the other day having noticed my low initial review of this tea. she politely offered some suggestions for steeping differently than i had. let me emphasize that in no way was she pushy or inappropriate— she is a woman passionate about tea and teavivre and so customers, reviewers and their opinions are important to her.
i agreed to resteep… it’s hard to refuse when someone asks so politely. honestly, the first go round was so bad that i really wasn’t expecting to like the tea regardless of the advice, but i was wrong.
1.5 tspns for 16 oz tea cup steeped for a hair short of 90 seconds (it was getting rather dark and i wanted to err on the side of caution).
what did i get? a light tasting, non caffeine stick tea reminiscent of a fruit/wood mix. not oak though… more like the light scent of balsa wood crossed with a just-left-the-room sandalwood. truly lovely!
thank you so much angel for your expertise.
i am happy to re-rate… (and yes, ultimately i will buy).
okay, this is the second go round with this one because the first one was such a miserable failure that it didn’t seem right to review.
after following teavivre’s instructions to the letter i find i still don’t like this tea. it is exceptionally strong with a heavy caffeine stick, strong versus robust. i don’t know if it’s keemun in general (i haven’t had many) or this one in particular, but it isn’t working well for me.
I used 2tsp for this session.
Sweet potatoe notes are the most prominent in this cup with slight caramel notes and a sneaky bit of citrus somewhere in the background. I am not sure if anyone else is getting citrus notes (I didn’t read the other notes first this time), or if it is just crazy me.
Resteep at 2minutes was a little less grainy, which was also delicious.
I’ve reordered this one, and will do again.
The quickest description of this tea is: Black lite. It has all the earmarks of a good black tea. it has a rich deep red color, a wonderful scent of yeast and malt. It tastes of fresh baked bread (home made bread, not the commercial stuff), malt, and has an inherent sweetness, not sugary; without any astringency.
It’s not as full bodied as Big Red Robe or Golden Monkey, and the taste doesn’t linger on the palate as it does with those other teas. It has all the traits of the big blacks, but not to excess.
Still, this Keemun is a favorite of mine, and will surely serve to seduce many green or oolong drinkers into the cult of the black tea.