Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

90

Backlogging from yesterday…enough for 1 more cuppa

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88

So sadly this cup of tea has been inadvertantly ruined by my other half. We both have travel mugs and today, he somehow managed to steal my lid and leave behind his lid…which i didn’t notice until i was at work and took my first sip of tea…coffee..wait whaaaat? exactly. Sadly his lid is a giant steaming pile of “i make eveverything taste like coffee” Even now, as i’m drinking this without the lid on, all i taste is coffee. I’m sure that’s my over reactive imagination but gross…so NOT what i wanted when i was expecting a delightful cup of black tea. gross.

Becky

Eww! I sympathize. Had to get a special ceramic mug with a girly flower design so none of the heathens here would/could ruin it with their coffees, like every other travel cup we own. Even so, I washed the silicone lid in the dishwasher once and then my tea tasted like dishwater (omg, barf). The moral of the story is that lids ruin everything.

I hope your next cup is better!

Sil

LOL yeah he made up for it by finding the shoes i was after at a store and putting them on hold for me to pick up :)

Becky

Man, all I get from my husband is terrible puns. Trade?

Sil

oh that’s almost a fair trade. i LOVE puns! my other half hates them. :)

K S

I relate. My wife takes my spoon in the restaurant to stir her coffee and then tells me I am being a baby by complaining. After a while I have learned to make a production out of wiping it off before using it myself and I am pretty sure she doesn’t ask for her own spoon on purpose. :)

Sil

Damn coffee people! Lol

Mercuryhime

This is why I have a DT Perfect Mug at work where I brew tea fresh when I get there. We have a hot water spigot at the cooler which is good enough for me since I like to brew all my teas at lower than recommended temps. If you can do the same, I’d recommend it. Maybe get one of those USB mug warmers to keep your tea toasty. :D

Sil

Mercury – open mugs and I don’t get along at work. I brew fresh at work too but it goes into the travel mug. I’ve already spilled tea all over myself twice at work with an open mug, though thankfully I didn’t kill the laptop. So no mugs for me heh. My morning mugs are just to get me started with my day :)

Terri HarpLady

One of my pet peeves is restaurants that make their hot water by running it through the coffee machine. If I wanted my tea to taste like coffee, I’d order coffee! Luckily these days most restaurant coffee machines have a hot water spigot off to the side.

Tony used to be a coffee drinker, & sort of made fun of what he referred to as my ‘tea habit’. Amazingly, he quit drinking coffee about a year or so ago, and started drinking tea. He doesn’t like most of the teas I like, of course, & pretty much almost exclusively drinks this one earl grey type blend, Jubilee, that he gets from The London Tea Room.

Helena

ICK!! I hate it when things taste like Coffee!! ewwwww!! Only cure for that is to get home and make a proper tasting yummy tea :D

Helena

by the way Contigo makes their travel mugs in various sizes and colours and they work really well :D I use them to avoid
mix-ups :D

Sil

Helena… sadly we DO have multiple colours haha that’s why it was sooo annoying :)

Kittenna

What you need are two different mugs whose lids are not interchangeable! :P

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90

Just got my package (actually, 2 packages!) from TeaVivre! (oh, I love that store so much)

Well, evidently, I’m starting my own little venture into Oolongs, something I’ve never properly done before, because I seem to have a bad luck for picking those. If you’ve got some oolong brewing/drinking tips – please share those with me :)

This tea comes packed in a TeaVivre-style small packages, packaged once again inside. The leaves are super-sticky with honey and give a nice rich smell, though I expected much more honey in it.

I steeped it twice – 1 minute and 2 minutes. Came out very strong and rich, almost no differences between the two steeps, except some subtle changes in taste.

As for the taste, it was honestly not what I expected. I was ready for some in-my-face honey action, but the honey was very subtle, only adding a few touches of sweetness after every sip. I didn’t add any sugar, which is pretty unusual for me and it still was good. I can definitely say that I’m starting to like oolongs and I’m looking forward to drinking this tea again soon!

Booklog:

Though I’m kind of late with this one, but I just started reading The Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), so far so good, I’ve read about 25% of the book, it’s engaging and interesting, with some really deep characterization.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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83

Finally got around to getting my Teavivre order from the post office and this was the first tea that the boyfriend wanted to try. I think that the name, and the rolled leaves, had a huge part in his choice. :) Oh, and this is the 3rd round of tea samples from Angel – who I can’t thank enough for her generosity and the education I’m getting!

I really need to learn more about Chinese black teas. Luckily I got a ton of Barnes and Noble gift cards for Christmas so I ordered a few books, but mostly I’m confused about the tea names/places. Clearly I need to research more of Chinese geography to get a better understanding of a teas’ origins, so I’m going to try and make that a goal for all of my pure samples from now on.

Okay, so Fengqing is in western Yunnan, which is a southern province according to the maps. I’ll have to go back and specifically read any Yunnan tasting notes to compare, but what I get from this dry is a very chocolatey, malty smell. It definitely seems like more of a delicate black – what I mean is that it’s not quite as heavy or earthy as an Assam is, which the brewing parameters seem to confirm.

I went for 2 minutes on the steeping because I do like a strong tea, and that was enough time to give it a pretty honeyed brown liquor. I say honeyed specifically because I really think this had a sweet nectary note in the taste and texture. There was the chocolate also, which was more noticeable as the tea cooled. And whenever I get a malty note in the scent I get a chewy texture, so that was wonderful!

This is a solid tea- not super heavy but not as delicate/fussy as a Darjeeling, which are usually a little too light for my tastes. It is quite unassuming, but it grows on you so that when you get to the bottom of your cup you find yourself wanting more.

I’m on a self-imposed tea buying moratorium until February 24 (1.5 months from today, gah!) but once I get through it, and try all of these samples I’ll be making a huge TeaVivre order, I expect!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

In case you didn’t read everyone’s notes on this tea… we’ve been drinking the Teavivre samples for a year or so in various stages.. the consensus has been that 4-5 pearls seem to give the best taste. (not sure how many you used)

JoonSusanna

Thanks Bonnie! I should have written that down – I used 4 per cup.

Bonnie

Good…when I read your review I remembered the old discussions on how much to use for the best results.

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90

I’ve been drinking this all afternoon!
At least 4 cups :)

KittyLovesTea

I have had three cups of this today too, it’s so tasty :) Plus the little balls are fun to watch unfurl.

teakettica

I just adore pearl tea. ENJOY!

Amariel

It’s good stuff!

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90

1 cuppa down…
2 cuppa down…
3 on tap…
After 4? A Nap?
I wish!

ashmanra

Sounds like a song!

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88

Teavivre (not so) random tea of the day!

I picked this one this morning because I wanted to see how it compares to the other keemun i picked up from Teavivre. I have to say that this one is more enjoyable that the other. I sipped this down fairly quickly without taking much time to relish it, which tells me that it’s pretty good. This tea is not overly intense or strong, but it is delicious. There is a chocolatey undertone to this, but not overly so. Hints of malt are also present but again, not as strongly as other teas (laoshan black i’m looking at you!). Overall a good tea.

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Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for this sample!
Smelling the leaf, I’m getting chocolate & yeast.

It didn’t taste very chocolatey, but definitely had a yeasty undertone, like a home baked loaf of bread! Interesting!

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Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for the excellent sample!

I chose to steep this gongfu style, drinking several steepings while I had a few students (yes, a few actually showed up!). It is a very nice quality Dragonwell, with a creamy vegetal slightly sweet taste, like roasted caramelized green beans. The mouth-feel is very buttery.

MsWhatsit

Glad to hear some of your students actually DID show up.

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This is a sample I got from TeaVivre. Thanks so much to Angel & the TeaVivre team!

Today I officially start teaching again. I’ve been on vacation for the last 2 weeks, mostly laying around in my PJs with Tony at his house. I’m suppose to have students from 10am til 7pm, with a few breaks here & there. The 10am was a no show. I called, they thought we started next week. I get this every year, & purposely took the first week of the month off because of it. Oh well. I should be doing things, but instead, I’m drinking tea.

Dry, this smells interesting. The initial smell was floral, then peachy, & there’s also chocolate liquor in there. Very interesting.

Wet, the aroma changes drastically to hashish (it’s been a long long time, but I smoked a lot of that one year), charcoal, & even a hint of opium (it’s the floral smell…if you’ve ever smoked it, you’ll know).

I brewed the first cup western style, following the instructions I went with 1 heaping T for 1 minute. It was nice, a little fruity, floral, a little charcoal. It did not wow me. It kind of reminds me of a peach oolong. I re-steeped those leaves for 3 minutes, & it was more of the same. It’s nice, but I feel like I’m missing something.Admittedly, I added some stevia to the 2nd half of the cup & it became a sweeter version of itself, bringing out the fruitier flavors. Sacrilege, I know.

I drank a cup of Matcha, to cleanse my palate, I suppose…& some water.

Then I visited the Verdant site, looked up the Da Hong Pao instructions, & started again with 5g of leaf in my 4 oz Gaiwan.
2 quick rinses, combining 2 steeps at a time in my little glass pitcher (no stevia):
1 & 2 (4 sec) – lovely apricot color, delightfully peachy taste with a hint of charcoal.
3 & 4 (8 sec) – more of the same, plus honey, & a little smoke.
(my 11:30 student cancelled)
5 & 6 (12 sec) – more of the same flavor, an interesting sensation under my tongue
7 & 8 (16) This one has a real nice honey aftertaste, & all of my tastebuds are tingling.

My 12:30 student just called & cancelled (sigh). Time to run a few errands… Enjoy the day, Steepsterites!

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72

Teavivre Random Tea of the day!

Picked this one from my box of teavivre teas this morning and it’s a damn fine tea! I’m looking forward to comparing this with the organic version of this tea, so maybe tomorrow will be a little less random choice.
It’s been a while since i’ve had a keemun and I think i prefer assams now. That being said, this is still a tasty cup of tea. There’s a hint of bitterness at the end of the sip, but it’s nothing that I can’t handle. I don’t get much in the way of chocolate taste like others have. Instead it’s just more of a bold dark black tea taste. I’ll have to spend a bit more time with this one to make a final call on it.

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83

Has a grassy and slight earthy flavour. Quite bitter when over-steeped. I recommend halving the recommended steep time for western style brewing.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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100

I’m so glad I tried this out!
It’s perfect and relaxing.
I could taste the chocolate right away!
I can’t wait to actually buy this.
Thank you so much, Angel!

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
1196 tasting notes

Hoooooly cow.

This tea smelled so good before I even drank it that while signing up for a fantasy hockey league (OH MY GOD FINALLY!!!! still), I decided to name my team Golden Monkeys.

It’s like an amazing cake. I don’t even know what to say but I am wondering why I took so long to try this out!

It’s so sweet, definitely like honey. I honestly wish I knew what sweet potatoes tasted like on their own…it’s been so long since I’ve not had any that tasted purely of orange juice in a casserole type dish. May have to fix that myself. Anyway, I’m sure that flavor is in here too. It’s also malty, and it does remind me a bit of red wine.

I have to say….if I finish off my two sample packets I would have to buy 100g…

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88

I got a sample of this one with my last Teavivre order as it sounds like the sort of thing I would enjoy. The beau and I steeped it up this afternoon and I was pretty enticed by the aroma. Hello cocoa! I love a good natural cocoa note. The beau finds it smells earthy which I can understand, but for me it’s cocoa all the way in the dry smell.

Rather than doing this in the gaiwan as I usually would, we’re doing this western style as this has been the weekend of tea, relaxing and video games. I’ve been playing Alice Madness Returns while the beau alternates between Silent Hill Downpour and R.U.S.E. I’ve also gotten halfway through the newest Carlos Ruiz Zafon book today (Prisoner of Heaven) and I am LOVING it. It’s nice to have a weekend of our favourite things after the hustle and bustle of December.

Back to the tea! Steeped 2.5 minutes, I have an incredibly fragrant cuppa. It smells like bakers chocolate or even just cocoa powder. I am not a dark chocolate person but I LOVE cocoa notes in tea. The depth of the smell is impressive, it seems extremely rich.

First sips are smooth and rich, not as bold as the aroma had led me to believe but still an excellent quality black tea. I still get cocoa but I’m not picking out anything else at the moment. It’s bold without being bitter and has a sweet smoothness at the end of the sip. This is a great infusion and I think I can probably get a couple more out of this sample. When I do another Teavivre order, I think this one will be on there. Very nice!

I’d like to brew it side-by-side with Bailin Gongfu and see if they are as similar as my memory leads me to believe. I have been stocking the Bailin but this may be better…

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77

This was part of a free sample package from Teavivre, and was the first in the set I have opened. The only green teas I have tried so far are the Jasmine Dragon Pearls and although I like them very much, I enjoyed experiencing a vastly different tasting green tea.

The aroma was somewhat sweet and floral at first, but quickly vegetal notes, such as spinach and other dark greens took over. This was very similar to the taste- at first sip the tea has a slightly sweet characteristic but quickly turns into a very earthy vegetal brew. It was smooth and enjoyable and as I write this I am on my second steep with no change in characteristics that I have noticed. I steeped it longer the second time (3 min 15 seconds) which I found to bring out more of the dark green flavor without adding any real bitterness.

Overall, I am very impressed with the tea and surprised with how different it is from the jasmine pearls I am used to.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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This is the very last of a sample sent for review by Teavivre. Thank you, Angel!

I wanted a good black tea after breakfast today and I wanted something that would go well with some Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti Babies that my bestie gave me in a Harney and Sons gift set for Christmas. I really wanted a Keemun but I am almost completely out of Keemuns (gasp!) and thought I would finish this sample.

Sitting here also makes me count my blessings. I am drinking tea that was a gift, eating biscotti that was a gift, and my pot is sitting on a warmer that was a gift, looking at a card by GMathis that was an unexpected surprise bearing a gift of great tea inside!

This is definitely good black tea. I went just over three minutes on steeping even though the directions recommend one to two minutes. They do say to steep longer if you like your tea stronger, I find that hong cha is typically drunk much lighter in Asia than westerners are accustomed to. Indeed, this wasn’t hurt a bit by the extra time, and could have gone longer.

It is everything I needed for it to be this morning. Smooth, fruity, sweetly honeyed. And it does pair nicely with my biscotti! It is mild for a breakfast tea, but I don’t use my breakfast tea that way usually anyway. I drink tea after breakfast.

A friend called this morning on her way to Raleigh and said she needed some Teavivre tea, and were they located in Raleigh? I told her no, they were in China, but if she needed tea I would order it for her. LOL! So now I need to make a decision on which Keemun to buy for my cupboard. This is the only Teavivre one I have had, so I will glance back at Missy and Dylan’s comparisons of all the Teavivre Keemuns and try to make a decision!

TheTeaFairy

Isn’t this one super delicious?? I have only for about one cup left at the bottom of my jar, and I seem to hold on to it cause if I don’t, it means more tea purchase and , well, seems a little early to brake new years resolution…

ashmanra

It is excellent! I shouldn’t order any more tea for a long time, but I probably will. :)

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83

My second blooming flower tea from Teavivre’s random blooming flower tea pack. This one bloomed very quickly and looks so beautiful floating in the water and looks very much like it’s picture. It’s amazing to watch it develop into a beautiful flower in only 3 minutes.

The tea once brewed has formed a light yellow colour with a slight sweet and vegetal fragrance similar to sweet pea.

The tea tastes of Silver Needle tea but with a slight hint of flowers. It’s sweet, vegetal, refreshing, subtle and floral. Anyone that likes green or floral tasting tea’s would love this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
darky

oh flowering tea’s had a few ages ago, its wonderful to watch :)

KittyLovesTea

There is something very peaceful about watching them open :)

Roughage

Flower teas are ace. I love bringing them out at the end of meals with the family, partly to wash the food down with but also just as entertainment in their own right.

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80

Mmm, toasty. I really enjoyed this and got several good steeps out of it in my small glass teapot. I really need a small ceramic teapot too. Time to start looking for that again, but first this tea. It’s toasty and floral on the first hit, and smooth, so smooth. This is a tea that would be easy to drink all day and I should probably try that with my gaiwan, when I next get another sample. I also need to compare it to Canton Tea Co’s offering, which I received as part of the tea club but have not yet sat down to taste.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I have a small porcelain? from purepuer.com that I love. I got the matching fair cup and tiny cups and saucers to match, as well as the tea leaf holder/displayer. Good prices, IMO. Great service from those folks, too. Every time I call, I get the owner.

Roughage

That site looks quite good. I was not aware of them before, so thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Oddly enough, I found a lovely little teapot in my local Chinese supermarket, but I bought it as a birthday present for my father, and they have not had any in since that are as good. I do have my eye on a couple from berylleb on eBay but I need to sell some more stuff myself before I can buy them. The funny thing about teapots, for me at least, is that I just cannot stop at one! They appear to be addictive once you start looking at them. :)

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97

Sip down. This tea, more than any other, changed my view of black (red) tea. Up to the time I tried this one, my experience with black tea was the usual Twinings and flavored tea bag fare. This beautiful tea took me places on my tea journey I didn’t even know existed – from sweet potato to malt and on to honey. Today I am even catching mild pepper notes. It re-steeps multiple times with ease. What a truly amazing tea.

Donna A

K S, this is a favorite of mine too. I can identify with you when you say teas like this changed your view of black tea.

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76

soooo random teavivre sample of the day! I pikced this one, and of course didn’t realise, half asleep that i was, that this was an oolong. Now, to be fair I picked up some oolongs, greens and blacks from teavivre as my first order, to try and branch out from my blacks.

When the water hit the leaves, it was the smell that woke me up. There is something about the smell of green oolong that just makes me cringe. I was originally going to take this to work in my travel mug, but as it sat there steeping and the smell intensified, i just couldn’t do it. I was close to just saying i give up and dropping it down the drain, but instead i poured it into a mug and let it sit there…watching me…taunting me.

So i did it. I took a sip (albeit it was after i’d brushed my teeth, so maybe that influenced my tongue) and it was kinda good. While the smell was OOLONG, the taste wasn’t quite the usual oolongy taste that I’ve come to associate with oolongs. I did manage to drink nearly all of it while running around the house getting ready for work and brewing up my other teas to take to work.

I’m going to hold off rating this one because i didn’t take the time to experience it and really focus on it, but all signs point to this possibly being something i might enjoy, if i can ignore the smell. I have the leaves i can resteep tonight, as well as another package i can try.

Soooo for now, thank you teavivre for this. I drank almost a whole cup of greeny oolong! woot woot!

K S

Baby steps. I can relate that’s how I used to react to smoky tea.

Sil

heh i’ll take a smokey tea over a green oolong every day! :)

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100

I love Jasmine Pearls and try to keep stocked up at all times for whenever the mood strikes me to have a mug full. Since I regularly order from Teavivre it made sense to order a batch in to store in their wonderful new tins.

Well today I walked the few miles to a fish shop to see what they had to put into my tanks after unfortunately a few died over Christmas of old age. I came out with a female Siamese fighting fish (called Chun Lee), a red finned shark (called Sharky) and a pair of breeding Dwarf Gourami (yet to be named). I not long arrived home and I’m out of shape after Christmas so I let my husband sort the fish out while I sat down puffed out on the sofa. Then the craving hit me, JASMINE JASMINE JASMINE … I deserve the treat. I have had countless cups of this tea and am very surprised that I have not done a review for them.

The pearls look slightly fuzzy with a mix of greens and silver with a sweet and fresh jasmine scent. They are only small pearls but pack a lot of flavour and smell.

Once brewed the tea forms a pale golden colour with that has the same strong yet sweet and somewhat perfumey jasmine fragrance as raw but on a stronger level.

The flavour is smooth, naturally sweet and very fresh. The jasmine seems fairly strong at first but it mellows very quickly making each sip seem like it’s the first one. Whilst being perfumey it’s still refreshing and cleansing. The balance is perfect.

This is my favourite jasmine pearl tea and I don’t think it can be beaten in quality and taste. It truly is the perfect cup of jasmine green tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Ahhh… Teavivre Jasmine teas…the best!

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