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Recent Tasting Notes
Been busy all weekend, so I have had no time to try any tea and it has been driving me crazy! So now that I finally have time I decided to make this up from the sample bag that Teavivre.
The dry smell is very pleasant, which was surprising to me for some reason. It’s probably because the last Pu-erh I had was very fishy. The wet smell is very interesting as it smells kind of spicy like chili peppers or cooked green peppers. The color of the liquid is interesting as well since it is kind of a copper color similar to Oolong tea or a light black tea. The taste is a little oily in the mouth with a nice plum flavor. I sort of like it, it’s interesting.
Lazy sunday afternoon….
Yes, so I am finally reading Fifty Shades of Grey… I resisted all summer long, being constantly hassled by friends: «Oh, you MUST read it, Oh Christian Grey this, Oh Christian Grey that!», I’m telling you, a bunch of puberty high school girls! (giggles)
To the point that I thought for sure this book was overrated, too much fuss and publicity surrounding it.
I was kind of suspicious of an author made famous instantly for writing a few hot and steamy sessions. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I caved in! I will admit that Mr.Grey has something on the collective fantasy world of women… Not highly intellectual literature, but hey, can a girl have some pure entertainment readings once in a while?
So I thought I’d pair this book with a «hot» tea, something sexy of course…
Mmm, some Ginseng love potion?
My first ginseng tea ever…I ordered 100g strictly based on *Roughage*’s review, he had mentioned he could taste Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. I adore them and thought it would be wonderful to find a similar taste in a beverage.
Dark bluish green little nuggets, how unusually shaped they are! I am so curious about them… I brewed the tea in my glass pot in order to watch the leaves doing their dance. 90 sec. They barely opened up, they are rolled very tightly. The infusion turned slightly green, darker than most oolong.
The aroma is definitely oolong, with a twist of…je ne sais quoi…
Miaow…This is really fifty shades of flavour! How can I describe it?I understand the cough drop reference, some kind of eucalyptus freshness surfing in my mouth and tingling my tongue, coating and warming my throat along with the buttery taste of oolong.
It also reminds me of some vintage candy my grandma used to give us, in french, they were called «Boules Noires» (doesn’t translate so well in english, but if you want to know, there you have it: Black Balls)
That’s exactly what they were, little black balls, hard as a rock and as you’d let them melt in your mouth, they would change colours… Lots of fun and very tasty! As I remember, they had a sweet liquorice fresh menthol feel to them and this tea is very reminiscent of that. I am really enjoying this.
Second steep and the leaves are on their way to unfurl, but not completely yet. I know some of you mentioned that the ginseng powder was pretty much gone after first steep, but I still get quite a bit of that flavour. It is more subtle though, and the oolong is more present. This oolong is very buttery, in a baked cookie kind of way.
I don’t know how many infusions I will get out of it, but this is what I’m having for the rest of the day!
It was the perfect choice to pair with what I’m reading at the moment… just like the book, it made me blush a little :-)
I got this in a swap with Queen of Tarts and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it work for me. Right now I’ve found the tea works best on the lowest temperature setting on my kettle (below the green). I’ve also found I have to steep my tea a minute or under or else it gets too bitter too quickly.
But I’m still trying to figure out the ideal leaf for 8 oz of water. Teavivre says 7g which seems awfully high! I’ve been using 4-ish which isn’t bad. I don’t know. I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of it.
What have everyone else’s experiences been with this tea?
My first normal tea in a while!
The smell is smokey, sweet, kind of like chocolate. I initially get a muskiness as I drink, but it turns into something mineral and juicy, then a pleasant sweet smokiness in the back of my throat. The astringency seems to hit kind of randomly for me – I think this may actually be my first tea that has it/that I’ve tasted it in. I had no idea it was more of a physical sensation than a taste, but I looked it up just now to account for the sourness I kept feeling. It goes pretty well with the flavors in this!
On the second steep, it’s started to get the floralness to it that I saw mentioned in other reviews, and has much less bite. Definitely smoothing out by the third and fourth cups.
I have been craving Dragonwell so much lately. I’m going to blame a work test (100% aw yissss) so I came home last night and made myself a pot. And of course when I wanted to write the note, Steepster was misbehaving with the kettle so I completely forgot until now (blame a nap followed by the creation of these https://www.etsy.com/listing/112616805/candy-corn-white-chocolate-bark-set-of-2)
I only steeped it for a minute and I really wish I had for longer :( but that is okay, it was still tasty. I hadn’t had this in so long that when I’m describing it as chestnut in writing I realized I really didn’t remember what that actually tasted like. Still came through even with the lighter steep. There are definitely mineral notes too.
I need to get through this one and then also try the Dragonwell I bought for cheap at the international supermarket. I have a feeling this one will win out though, just in color alone it’s superior. And given I’ve had this for months now, that’s saying something I think.
I finally got around to sampling this from Teavivre. Sorry it took me so ling. :( this tea is just lovely to look at. It’s cute and furry. I almost felt like I was drowning little fuzzy animals in hot water as I brewed my cup. :( fortunately its just dried leaves I’m drowning! Delicious dried leaves!
The tea is light yellow smells softly floral and tender green grass. Like a perfect spring day. It’s good to remind oneself such days exist on miserable rainy cold days like this one. I’m also getting some summer squash. Second steep went a bit too long but there’s no bitterness. This tea is truly lovely. If teas belonged to a season, this would go with spring. Drinking this tea now is like having a perfect summer tomato in the middle of winter. This tea is out of its rightful time. To get the proper feel of fall, I’ll have to drink some darker oolongs later. :)
This is definitely the tea I wanted this morning! Normally, I get up and have to ponder and sniff and deliberate before I find a tea that I am in the mood for. Today, my palate said “That one” without even having to start that process.
This tea is just so pleasant and chocolatey. It’s a little chilly in my house this morning (outside it’s in the 50s, which is a very nice surprise, considering where I live), and this beautiful black tea warms me from head to toe. I decided to have some bacon to go with it, which may have been a mistake, since it was peppered bacon and the pepper is kind of taking over my mouth right now… but it’ll pass, because bacon doesn’t last long in front of me. I decided to add some honey and cream to the tea(I know, it’s a Chinese tea, I just really like my black teas British style… sue me). It’s very malty and like drinking very high quality semi-dark chocolate… which is making me want to go to World Market and get some. Might have to make a stop there today sometime…
THE LAST OF MY TEAVIVRE SAMPLES AND UM. WOW. WOW THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING BLACK TEA. I don’t think I ever expected myself to rate an unflavored black tea this high, especially without adding more things to it as well. I usually always doctor up my black teas with sugar and/or milk because they’re just too strong and sometimes bitter but WOW NOT THIS ONE! I didn’t have to add anything!
It SMELLED sweet at first! And the leaves looked so cute and curly, I don’t have any other tea that looks quite like this. When I went to take my first sip I was PREPARED FOR HEAVY BITTER BLACK TEA TASTE but then it… SURPRISINGLY… WAS NOT! It was rich but not bitter at all, very sweet, kinda reminiscent of hazelnuts! I saw some people mention sweet potatoes as well and YES I think that describes it perfectly! A bit malty, ever so slightly butterscotch-y… what a great black tea, dang!
Many thanks again to Teavivre for these wonderful samples! I’m pretty much sold; most definitely want to buy some in the future!
As it turns out, night time is not a good time for drinking this tea. I had a craving for something full of umami and and hint of smoke. Shoulda stuck with my Tencha Houjicha from Den’s. That’s a tasty tea that’s low on caffeine!
This tea is tasty too! Clearly I wouldn’t have pumped myself full of caffeine at 9PM if it wasn’t. :) It’s a total mystery to me how this tea can taste like concentrated umami and other teas can taste like fruit or chocolate. Tea is magical! There is something really familiar about the flavor in this one. It’s like a food that I can’t put my finger on. What is it??? It smells like the inside of a Chinese dry foods store. Where they sell dried squids, dried scallops, dried mushrooms, dried herbs and roots and nut and berries. Dried everything you can imagine! It smells like that store. Any body have experience with such stores know what I’m talking about? Next time you pass by a store in China town with open bins of mysterious dried things for sale, walk in and take a good sniff. Then try this tea and tell me if I’m crazy.
Another Teavivre sample yay! Thank you!
WOW THIS IS. SO GOOD. The smell is strangely nostalgic, I’m totally being brought back to when I was like 5 years old or something. EVEN THE TASTE IS SOMEWHAT NOSTALGIC. Wow this is probably the best tasting jasmine I have ever had. I’m not even a fan of super floral teas, but something about this is… beyond what one would think of when they think of FLORAL this is just really clean but kinda woodsy and DANG THE PEARLS! The pearls alone are gorgeous! This is my first pearl tea and even watching them unfurl was really neat! I can only imagine the work and care that was put into making each one of these. How cool, what a delightful tea, golly.
I wish I could figure out where this nostalgia feeling is coming from, maybe it will come to me. But for now I will just keep smelling and sipping this, I’m on my 3rd re-steep already HEH HEH!
Yum. I don’t know how this tea compares with other Da Hong Paos, but if it’s at least representative of them, then I’d probably like all the others! But given how much I’ve enjoyed just about everything I’ve tried from Teavivre, this would very likely be among the best of its type out there.
1st steep My fun begins on opening the sample pack. I love the deep, rich scents of burnt wood and roasted peanuts (!) and then there’s a fruity sweetness just lurking in the background. Drinking, it’s so smooth and velvety. I can taste those roasted peanuts and baked stone fruits & berries. Each sip even ends with a juicy feeling that almost splashes on my tongue.
I used to think I didn’t like green tea. TeaVivre’s green tea selection has changed my mind. Now, if I don’t have a sample to review, I am most likely going to grab a Chinese green for my own enjoyment. This one is cool right from the start. The leaves are dark, long, and spindly. The smell today is of hay, cocoa, and maybe a touch of malt. No one else noted this, so I thought maybe I imagined it. Steep it up and the small leaf turns green and with a steamed vegetable scent. The liquor is sparkling clear with a light yellow green tint. Sipping brings out a third set of flavors. I still smell the hay and cocoa but do not taste it. The taste I find hard to describe. It is a bit sweet, with a bite bordering on a good bitter. It is not exactly grassy but it tastes green. It’s kind of vegetal, buttery with a touch of grain or nut. This is a clean and refreshing green. Two thumbs up.
Wow, I think I just bit into a chrysanthemum! Everyone talks about how they get a floral taste from oolongs and I usually get a strong butter flavor.
This though… wow serious flowers. And super interesting to me is that afterwards I do get a butter flavor but with a neat salt aftertaste. Surprising finish, really nice.
If I judged this by the initial flavor I would be kind of meh about it, but the twist, like the end of an Agatha Christie mystery is just too neat to ignore.
Thanks for the sample Teavivre! This one is a fun one :)
My thanks to Angel & Teavivre for this wonderful sample!!
I’m on a black tea drinking streak! This & 4 other samples arrived today from Teavivre, & this is the one I wanted. The sample is generous enough, roughly a heaping Tbl’s worth. My first cup was a tsp, brewed for 3 minutes. It was delicious! An enticing croissant-like aroma, a beautiful honey-amber hue, and a very mild, slightly chocolatey hint. It’s a gentle, mellow brew, very smooth in every way.
I tend to like my tea on the strong side, so the 2nd cup was made with what was left in the foil package, roughly 2 tsp of leaf, for 2 minutes. Now we’re talking! Bring on the croissant, bring on a little chocolate feeling in my mouth, & bring on the rose petals! It really seems as if this is a rose tea to me, & there is a sweet earthiness that brings sweet potatoes to mind (& I love my sweet potatoes!).
The 3rd cup was a r-esteeping of all of the above for 3 minutes, & it was also tasty!
The quality is excellent, & although there is no need for sweetener & I love it plain, I added a little stevia to the bottom 1/3 of each cup, & it was SO nice too. Not a hint of bitterness or astringency, I really enjoyed drinking this tea! Get you some! http://www.teavivre.com/black-tea/
This was a free sample from Teavivre – thank you!
I brewed 4 “pearls” which, by the way, are adorable. I love the tactile way they rattle around in the tin.
I brewed this a little longer than I meant to, I was administering frozen pea first aid to my sister, but I caught it in time for it to be fine.
The liquor smells sweet and caramelly. The flavor of the tea black is a little sour for my taste, I think this is a tea I add milk too. I get malty flavors and a little bit of a nice… graham cracker taste? weird but good.
I want to try brewing this shorter again, but definitely fine how I brewed it!
There’s no doubt that the quality of Teavivre teas are amazing. I’m always astonished by the number of steeps I get out of a couple of teaspoons of leaves. I’m so grateful to Angel Chen and the Teavivre company for introducing me to their superior quality teas with these free samples. I am waiting with great anticipation for the order I just bought to arrive in the mail, to see what new favorites I might find.
Despite Teavivre’s tea quality being superior to any other company I’ve tried (I’m basing this on their consistently high number of steeps); so far they haven’t satisfied my partiality for flavored teas. I’m not sure if this preference makes my taste less distinguished or sophisticated, but that’s just what I like…so there :P I’ve tried a Teavivre version of flavored tea – in fact their jasmine tea, is my favorite from them so far, and their 5 Featured Flavored teas is part of that order that is currently in transit. But if I had to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life, I must admit I’d choose a company that offers some of those flavors that tea purists would deem gimmicky. I’m sorry, but I appreciate the jazzy little names and the cutesy little non-tea ingredients. I say bring on the chocolate chips, the sprinkles, the candy, and the fruit! Variety is the spice of life. Part of me knows that these ingredients are quite likely part of the reason that I don’t get the number of steeps as a pure tea, but I don’t care – life’s too short to go without sprinkles!
Thankfully, I don’t have to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life. And I am fortunate to be able to experience true variety in all companies, flavors, and grades of tea. I know that whenever I wake up wanting a high quality tea, I can grab this, or any of my Teavivre teas, and I am never disappointed.
Another Teavivre sample! Packaged in a way I had never seen before, too!
DANG I LOVE OOLONG SO MUCH and this is no exception. I brewed it pretty long so the taste pretty strong! Quite flowery too, which I wasn’t quite expecting actually, I think I was prepared for a more earthy grassy taste WHICH IS DEFINITELY THERE but there are certainly some strong floral overtones too. Very good, nonetheless! Especially because I’m a fan of jasmine which this is a bit reminiscent of.
As with most oolongs in my experience, I was able to steep it twice easily and could probably get at least one more out of it, if not two. I do steep mine longer than suggested though so I’m not sure how much that’s sucking out all the flavor HAHA. ANYWAY yes, good oolong, very fresh!