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Recent Tasting Notes
I saw this one reviewed yesterday by Indigobloom and thought I’d just pull it out of storage and see if I still love it. I did not do a rinse; instead I thought I would just do a light first cup. I tried to pour this while the brew was medium red. As I poured I became aware it’s a lot like meat on the grill. You have to remove it before it is done. By the time I finished pouring it was Assam dark. Not black and inky but darker than intended.
I needn’t have worried. Though the smell is kind of eeww, the taste is the great leather and lace I remember. A lot of you preferred the non-rose toucha. Not me. You don’t really taste the rose so much as it removes the throat bite that is in the non-rose. This is just velvety smooth goodness.
On the third mug, I let it steep a few undetermined minutes. The color was so cool. It was between grape juice and blood. A cup suitable for Vampire communion?
For the fourth mug I am going to cold brew it over night – just out of curiosity. Anyway still loving this.
What I appreciate most about this toucha is you don’t have to get all analytical with it. Yes, I do enjoy a tea full of subtleties where you have to work at deciphering all the intricate details in each steep. Sometimes though, like when I am on Steepster at 3:00 AM because I haven’t been able to sleep all night for several weeks, I just want a good smooth cup of full out flavor. When I need a tea that takes little effort to prepare or enjoy, this one rocks it. TeaVivre, have I said thank you lately?
Yeah…I still refer to this tea as DRAGON BALLS.
giggle if you will!
I love it tho!
I’m headed to the PO in the next half hour and I do believe there is at least 1 tea package in there for me! Woot! The one I’m thinking is my Upton order! If this is the case it was SUPER-JIGGY-FLY Fast!
I used 5 Dragon Balls this time around and it’s nice and cocoa-Y and well-rounded! Yay!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample.
I had a long day in the lab yesterday (and today.. and tomorrow..) working on my research project.. and came home to find a parcel notification.
This was followed by an immediate email from Angel telling me to check my mailbox and go pick up my parcel. Some people do have lives… and sometimes the post office closes after you finally get home from a long days work. I do not appreciate this urgency. Especially when I paid for tea from them only a day or two after accepting their offer for samples, only to have it not even trackable in Canada yet (‘sent’ one month ago to date). Perhaps they should be more concerned about that instead?
Anyways. Onto this tea.
2 minutes, 100˚C Sweet non-identifiable flavour in the mid-end sip. I take this to be the ginseng. Almost a black licorice flavour actually.. anise/fennel.. when breathing in after a sip. It takes a few sips to understand the flavour, but I enjoy it a lot. It’s almost tongue-coating.. The oolong definitely tastes oxidized, with a sweet and nutty flavour to it. Really lovely.
3 minutes, 100˚C Sweet.. very similar to the first steep in all honesty. No wavering in the intensity of the licorice/toasted sweet nutty flavour. The oolong is very similar to their monkey picked oolong, but I enjoy this much much more. The tongue-coating flavour of the ginseng is really nice and balances out the toasted qualities of the oolong.
Overall – this is a really lovely, enjoyable tea.
Big thanks to CHAroma for this sample! wow, it is amaaaazing.
Ok, well more like the third and fourth cups were that good. First one was just ok, second I had with milk and sugar which made it super tasty…
Third was really salty so I added some sugar to balance it out. Almost a salty paste. Imagine a really salty hummus, but without the hummus. I know that makes no sense but there you have it.
There was a leathery note as well that I loved in later steepings, along with another note that I am having trouble defining.
It was very smooth, velvet even. It was as if someone took very soft leather and translated that into a flavour, but deeper.
And was that a hint of rose in the third infusion? just barely, but yes, it was there!
Ahhhh, to be tea-high once again. It’s a glorious feeling :D
Thanks again CHAroma!!
I was getting ready to brew up some of my Jasmine Silver Needle only to find that I must have used it all up already! I must remember to keep track of my teas better and to check how much is in the bag before I get ready to pour water in my pot.
So my eyes turn to my Dragonwell and it was exactly what I wanted. Buttery and grassy with a hint of astringency. Just the thing before I start to move on to my new round of sample teas from Teavivre. Have I mentioned how much I love that they let me sample different types of tea from them?
This… was not what I was expecting. I was really disappointed by this tea. I like puerhs, so I was excited for a nice change in pace with a touch of rose, but on the first couple infusions this tea was actually BITTER. Not the usual bitterness that you expect from tannins either, but bitterness like from okra or something. Very, very off putting… I hoped it was only one tuo cha that was like this, but both were. Oh yeah, and if there was any rose, it was covered up by the bitterness.
A review of Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong Tea by Teavivre
Tea Name: Dong Ding
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ leaf
Liquor Color: light green with shorter steep, then peachy with longer steep.
Leaf Characteristics: leaves were finely somewhat rolled than plump when brewed for few minutes and fully blown with even longer steep.
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes
Note: I brewed this tea for few minutes, as I watch the tea leaves unfold and the leaves are very green and always I think of green veggies. There was a sweetly aroma that came from this tea and when I took sip I was pleasantly pleased to find it sweet and smooth with a creamy texture not unlike greens like broccoli.
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes
Note: I brewed this longer this time since I was planning to have my meal with this tea. It brewed a lovely peach color when I removed the tea leaves, there is hints of fruits like nectar. When I taste the tea it is that smoothly full-bodied effect that I had earlier with first steep. I find I always like oolong teas as they are good way to rinse off; no, I mean to finish off a good meal. I enjoyed sipping this with the noodles I had again this evening. I should say half noodles and half pasta since I must sample what I cook for the husband.
I remember sampling earlier this past summer some Charcoal Dong Ding Oolong as there was not a smoky aroma to this oolong. Well I trust that this palette is experiening this oolong correctly; in that it is smooth and lush, not so much of veggie taste with second steeps and third but more of a nectarine/raw peach flavor and I washed it down with dinner wonderfully.
I like oolong teas and thank you Teavivre for sending these samples for me to experience; as this one was definitely likeable by this reviewer. I am a fan of Oolong teas. Thank you.
I’m a little behind on my tea sampling, at least in my opinion. Of course, in my opinion I’m behind on everything (ask my sis Ms Whatsit, who just listened to me whine for 20 minutes about trying to get things done…)
So, this is from a sample from Angel & TeaVivre, and I’d like to say, “Thank You” to them for the lovely teas that I’ve enjoyed so far.
I have a bit of a love affair going with Puerh Tuochas right now. I’ve been told somewhere along the line that Tuochas are made from the lesser quality Puerh, but if that is the case, and I doubt that it’s the case for all of them, then I don’t really care. Tuochas are cute, they are aesthetically pleasing, they are convenient, and they say, “Drink me”. So I do. Yes, some are better than others.
This Tuocha is especially attractive, with it’s Chrysanthemum flower ornament. It doesn’t lend a lot of chrysanthemum flavor, but that’s ok, because the Puerh itself is a tasty one. Deep & dark, with a mellow & slightly sweet woodsy flavor, & a buttery sensation. I steeped the first 8 oz cup for 2 minutes, & the 2nd cup for 3. Both are delicious & smooth, with NO fishiness or saltiness, just a pleasant minerally brew. I wouldn’t mind a little more intensity, and since there is another Tuocha in the sample, I will brew that one at a later date in my Gaiwan.
It’s a beautiful morning! And it’s just the perfect morning for some green tea. I’ve been in a gorgeous mood lately partly due to these steroids I’ve been on for this crazy skin rash I got a few weeks ago. At first I was on a very high dose and was extremely moody. One second I was happy and laughing, the next I was very depressed and crying for no reason. I don’t think the steroids and my anxiety go very well together. Anyhow my dose is much lower now and I’ve just got tons of energy without the extreme mood swings. Woohoo!
I wanted so badly to put up my Christmas tree yesterday. I know I know, it’s too early! But hear me out. When Nathan (boyfriend) and I bought it three years ago it was our first Christmas together and we were living in Texas at the time. I’ll never forget that part of our life together. Everything was so new and we were so fearless and free. So far away from our families having this crazy adventure together in Texas. We were so unbelievably happy even though things were tougher back then. That was the best Christmas of my life. Just me, Nathan, and Nixon (our first rat). No stress over where we had to be on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – just the three of us together enjoying the holiday in our pajamas. We had a great Christmas too. Nathan got me a Zune HD and I got him a PS3. Nixon got a brand new cage and tons of stuff to fill it with. I’d just love to go back to that time.
The next year we were living with my parents after having just moved back home from Texas so our tree was in storage. And it sat there all through the holiday season. This year I can’t wait to get that tree out and put it up! I don’t think three or four weeks to enjoy it will be enough this year! So I don’t care what anyone says, that tree is going up either tomorrow or the next day. Ahhh…memories
I’ve been making everything I can get my hands on in my gaiwan lately so of course I opted for gaiwan style here this morning. I’ve got time to really sit back and enjoy making this tea. I was a little surprsied by the brewing guide on Teavivre’s website. 4 steeps: rinse, 20s,40s,1m20s,2m. Only four steeps? And such long last steeps? I think I’m just going to wing this one because 2 minutes seems like a long time.
I really like this green. It’s so easy to drink. It’s just the right amount of vegetal goodness without any bitterness at all. It’s very smooth, relaxing, even a little buttery.
I’m on the fifth steep now and I’ve steeped this one for about 40 seconds. The wet leaves smell like spring time and look like fresh cut grass. The liquor is smiling yellow and it makes me really happy. The taste is a bit light (I’ll steep longer on the next one) but still very good. I’m finding a little nuttiness in this steep which is interesting. Something I hadn’t noticed before.
On to steep number six and I’m going to let this one go for a whole minute and see what happens. Learning how to use my gaiwan is so much fun to me. I’ve finally realized that you don’t need to be perfectly strict about the whole thing, trying to time everything down to the exact second per the steeping suggestions. I can just sorta go with the flow. It’s fun because you really learn about the tea this way by experiencing it in different layers. Seeing what a few extra seconds or grams will do to change the overall experience. A minute was a nice choice here. The nuttiness is coming out more and that smooth profile is getting a little more grassy. Delicious!
A review of Jasmine “Dragon Pearls”by Teavivre
Tea Name: Jasmine Dragon Pearls
Tea Type/ Green
Region: Fujian China
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose leaf
Liquor Color: light amber/yellowish orange
Leaf Characteristics: very tight buds / pellets like and when immerse in water the leave unfold to become string like or small ropes.
Water temperature: 176 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes
I received this tea with several other teas from Teavivre and I am finally taking the time to sample some of their teas. I am not a fan of Jasmine tea; so with this in mind, I cut open the tea sample and scoop out 1 teaspoon of the small pearl like buds and put this is my tea mug and add the boiling water to the cup. I cover and leave it to steep for two minutes.
After the allotted time I remove the saucer and find that the leaves are now: fine, small loose strings; more like coils of rope, short ones. It is kind of scary when looking at this in my cup. So I am imagining more bad things to come my way since I seem to be paying back or time to give back pass dues. The story by Steinbeck “The Pearl” comes to mind.
My in-laws enjoy dispensing justice of me since I am hardest of hearing.
Anyhow, I sip this tea reluctantly since the jasmine fragrant is strong and over powering. It is heady and must be left alone, perhaps for another time.
Thank you, Teavivre, for sending this tea along for me to sample. It is a lovely and very famous tea, I am just sorry that I cannot find enjoyment in the tasting and smelling of this tea.
I maintain that while this is a good tea, with definite chocolatey tones (which are delicious), I prefer Verdant’s Laoshan Black (and possibly the Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls, although I haven’t had those since July). There’s just a more hay-y/almost vegetal flavour here instead of pure dark chocolate. I suppose it actually tastes more like a cross between Laoshan Black and what I consider a standard black tea to taste like. So, still good and drinkable straight, but could be better.
Regardless, I really appreciate these free samples sent to me from Teavivre!
Made myself one last mug of this tea today. I’m officially out and sad to see it go. This is the tea that made me realize that I actually really do love lapsang souchong. I just needed to associate it with the scent of burning leaves in fall, which is something I hold dear. It’s like drinking that smell, for lack of better words! I’ll miss it!
Dry aroma puts me in mind of an Iron Goddess, it smells very much like a green oolong. There is a bold aroma, distinct sweetness with some hay and grass underneath it. I’m not much for greener oolongs typically, but this smells pretty nice.
Steeped at 90 degrees for about 2 minutes, the beau thinks we under-steeped it a bit and I tend to agree. There is a very slight oolong aroma and taste, more sweet than vegetal but it was barely there.
The second steep (of 5ish minutes) shows more strength of flavour, with a fairly strong floral aroma and taste. Still fairly unassuming, but nice. Green oolongs aren’t really my forte and this doesn’t really change that but it was a perfectly palatable cup of tea.
I think this is one of those times where I should have followed the instructions and used boiling water, but boiling water doesn’t work with oolongs for me very frequently. I still have three more little pouches, will try again at some point. Thanks Teavivre for this sample! (From ages ago, whoops!)
Thank to Teavivre for this very generous sample!
I feel crummy today and I still have almost 2hrs. before I have to start my homework so I thought I’d relax with some nice, pure tea. I’ve been in quite the flavored tea stint so all this plain tea tasting has brought me back to what I really love to enjoy.
Dry, this tea smells almost similar to a Bai Mu Dan; especially the light hay notes. There is also an almost nutty smell coming through. I’m not sure how much to add to my tiny cup, so I’m just eyeballing it as covering the bottom. I’ve only had one other Dragon Well and to be honest, I hated it. It smelled and tasted swampy.
Wow! Even though I only steeped this for 2min. the smell is very strong. There are lots of pea notes in the front of this brew. It is very crisp and I’m really loving the nutty notes. This particular steep is reminding me a lot of sencha. There is almost a milky-ness to this tea, as I saw other reviews state. Compared to my last run in with Dragon Well this is amazing! This is easily one of my favorite greens and I would really recommend it for anyone new to green teas.
What a wonderful tea! I forgot that this little beauty was hiding out in the back corner of my cupboard. After a long day of shopping and eating, I’ve been left feeling really dizzy. I think that this is the one thing keeping my mood up! It is very sweet, milky, and I love watching the leaves unfurl. I do prefer the un-flavored version more, but this is still a very amazing and flavorful tea with lots of great floral and green notes as well. Highly recommended.
Just a quick note. I wanted jasmine pearl tea and found to my horror that I was out of it and had to replace it with this one instead. I am craving jasmine at the moment :)
Steeped 6 times in my gaiwan and each cup was as beautiful as the last. Plus in the loose tea there are actual jasmine flowers amongst the white tea leaves and it looks so delicate and perfect, very warm and summery.
It started off gentle and refreshing with just a hint of jasmine and within a few cups it changed to become stronger and stronger with the jasmine exploding marvellously on my tongue.
This wasn’t what I intended to have but it certainly cured my taste for jasmine. Yum yum.
It is coming time soon to order more of this perma stash tea.
Always my go to tea in the morning when I don’t feel like trying something new.
Its perfection. Dependable. Delicious.
I can feel some sickness coming on … once I am fully awake I am going to switch to some green tea to combat whatever is trying to take over me.