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Recent Tasting Notes
Another sample stash busting! I am on a roll today. I’m not sure how I managed to drink this only once before but my sample was mostly empty today. Maybe I drank it without knowing it?
I probably ended up using a bit much leaf in my cup this time around, but it still is a very tasty cup of tea, and a very nice dian hong. Mmm, sweet potatoes and oranges. With this much leaf I’m missing out on some of the honeyed notes unfortunately, but perhaps on the resteep.
A very light lovely cleansing oolong! Not a “typical” oolong either.
Sweet honey notes with a lovely earthy essence but not OVERLY earthy!
Some floral notes, yet not OVERLY floral!
Some fruity notes, yet not OVERLY fruity!
LOL this tea has a little bit of everything within it yet nothing is lost, muddled, or confused!
This is a very complex BLEND yet a very easy to drink and easy to distinguish on the palate!
I feel this is an excellent beginner oolong yet satisfies the long time oolong lover!
I received my shipment from Teavivre the other day wickedly excited of course. As I am finding with other teas there are many degrees of the lapsang…like Kevin Bacon. Which reminds me of one of the most amazing sandwiches I had from Melt in Cleveland named the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon(six kinds of bacon!). A great tie in to lapsang or Tea review ADD? You decide. I do love lapsang and I’m finding that I like the more subtle lapsangs as well. I’m starting to appreciate lapsangs that have a great black tea base as well as the smoke. This one is a little less smokey. Much like the Upton Black Dragon as opposed to the strong smokiness of Dr. Tea’s. There’s a little sweetness that comes through. I’m also detecting some nuttiness(almond) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qtEjJuGo_U As much as I love drinking lapsang I also love cooking with it. I combined this with Man tea’s Jalapeno black and made a turkey brine and then smoked the turkey. Another great lapsang
AmazonV was good enough to share some of this with me…thank you! I’ve been hitting the coffee every day this week. The reason being I’ve been staying up late at night prepping for vacation and general goofing around. Anyway, I had to remind myself why I stopped drinking coffee and opted to bring this to work with me instead.
Now we don’t have a proper kettle or anything like it here in the office. Just a water cooler with HOT water spout and a Keurig. So I worked with what I had with the hot water spout thing. I have to say it didn’t turn out too bad! I loved the little nest shape with the rose pressed into the bottom of the nest. This pu-erh smelled like others I have tried – earthy. But I love that about pu-erh. However, I can taste something extra as I sip this tea in my very quiet office..which I assume must be the rose. All in all it is a really nice tea and being a pu-erh I’ll get at least three more steeps out of it this morning. Why was I drinking coffee again?
Free sample from Teavivre
The pearls smelled malty and slightly chocolatey when I opened the packet. They were larger than other pearls I have had. I must say I rather liked the hefty chunk of them. So, out with the infuser mug, which I generally reserve for my jasmine pearls and gunpowder, but that is a practicality decision, not because it brews them best. I was not sure how many pearls to put in, so I plumped for five pearls. The mug is about 200ml.
As I poured the water over them, the maltiness of the aroma increased. Once steeped, I had to wait a bit, because it was really too hot to drink. I am not good at waiting! The first sip told me what I needed to know. This tea is malty with a smooth, thick underlying chocolateyness that is gorgeous. The liquor is reminiscent of dark chocolate too. The sweet aftertaste lingered at the back of my tongue for some time too. Lovely. In some respects, this tea was like drinking a mug of cocoa, but nicer.
In the end, I managed to get four steepings out of the leaf, but the real flavour only lasted for the first two. After that it was slightly chocolatey sweet water.
I generally struggle to find black teas that I really like (other than Darjeelings), but this one definitely hits the mark and will be making a reappearance in my cupboard soon.
I brewed this just a little differently this time. I think I used a little bit more leaf and steeped for a lower time. The first steep was 3 minutes long while the second steep was 4 minutes long. This produced a more flavorful second steep and really brought out the chocolate notes in the first steep.
This is really yummy and good for any time of day. I might have to break it into two cups the next time I drink it and try one cup with a spoonful of sugar to see if that brings out the chocolate notes even more. If it does, I will have to give it to mom to try since that is how she makes her tea.
Sample from Teavivre
Cold brewed this time. I just realized that I didn’t write my original tasting note in here…I’ll have to do that later. Anyways, Cold brewed I found this tea to be much more enjoyable. Before when I brewed it hot I found it to be very floral without much of the tea base coming out and it lacked a bit of the sweetness that I have found in other jasmine. It also had a bit astringency no matter how I brewed it.
This time when I threw it in the fridge over night I gave it a sip and threw some in my travel mug for class this morning and boy was it delicious!
The slight astringency was gone, the jasmine had a wonderful sweetness to it and I could taste some of the tea base. The tea base wasn’t very strong, it was there enough to taste it and help balance the jasmine. But the sweetness of the tea was what really impressed me since I wasn’t getting any of it hot.
I didn’t add much sweetener either, 1 Tbsp brown sugar (not packed) for a quart of water with 2 heaping tsp of tea. That’s how much sugar I always add to cold brews, but this had that natural nectar-like sweetness to it…delicious!
I only have a little bit of this left and it’s all going to be cold brewed!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample!
I haven’t felt good all week and haven’t gone to class and it sucks. I think it’s a combination of actually being sick and stupid grass pollen. No rest for the allergic. So after whining about not having any soup, it was finally like hey dummy, you have enough tea to supply a small nation-state’s army. Who needs soup?
I’ve been feeling in the mood for white tea so I figured I would revisit this bai mu dan. First time around I was really getting cucumber from it, I remember. Today it reminds me of straw and some light flowers. I feel like maybe even sauteed zucchini is present too. It really is reminding me of cooked zucchini.
This is definitely feeling nice on my sore throat. And even after all the time I’ve had it, it’s still got that lovely fresh aroma and taste, like I rolled around outside in a field. Except I wouldn’t do that right now, it’s too hot.
Tea of the morning…..
I am down to the dregs of my first 50 grams of this tea. (Luckily, my pack rat tendencies had me purchase 100 grams from the outset!) It is wonderfully caramelly, sweet potatoey, with a bit of maltiness. I love this one. And I am enjoying my crisp, nearly-summer morning before the wheels get rolling.
Usual teapot method.
I’m starting to have black tea withdrawal symptoms but they are not severe enough to keep me from trying another non-black sample from Teavivre. Oolong is not my favorite but Teavivre always seems to make it interesting.
When I opened the sample packet, a somewhat sweet and milky or malted aroma spewed forth. The green and yellow tea leaves had been rolled into tight little nodules.
I steeped this blend for three minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed color was a light yellowish green.
The flavor of this tea is rather sweet, malty, and tangy. There is also a light tea taste reminiscent of Teavivre’s green teas. I didn’t find any bitterness. A soft and sweet aftertaste was left on my tongue.
I noticed, in the description of the tea, that it is recommended to use three to four teaspoons of tea per cup. I didn’t see that in time and scooped my usual one teaspoon per cup. I still thought the flavor was full and ample enough to enjoy.
Oolong ( Oolong) wouldn’t be my morning beverage of choice, but I would really appreciate this one at the end of the work day or as part of my dinner dessert.
This is yet another very nice tea from Teavivre. If Oolong is your preference, you will probably like this tea even more than I did!
This is my favorite green tea so far. I like it because it is so different. It has a light roasted note that leads to sweet mellow vegetal flavor. Not like asparagus or steamed veggies, like the way small trees smell if cut into the bark. Maybe it’s just a green flavor that is a tiny bit malty. I’ve had some smokey tea today so I don’t know if I am getting the aftertaste from my previous tea or there is a little bit of smoke in this one as well. It’s a really awesome green tea. I was pretty sure green teas weren’t going to be my thing but this is totally changing my mind.
Thanks Teavivre and Angel for the most excellent sample!
As always, a big thanks to Angel and the Teavivre team for this fantastic samples.
It’s been somewhat well documented that Moroccan Mint is one of my favorite teas in ze world. So, as many gunpowders as I’ve drank, this is really the first gunpowder I’ve drank alone (yeah, with nobody else).
The little pellets in this sample are remarkably shiny, I don’t know how to explain it other than that. They look like precious little rocks.
Anyway, so how does it taste? Brilliant, that’s how it tastes. It’s wonderful. There is a sweetness to this tea that is wonderful, and a slight vegetable flavor. Not that in your face, I’m eating a serving of boiled cabbage flavor, but a soft, sweet, this tastes like the forest vegetable flavor. There’s a bit of a tinge of that malted flavor that I associate with black tea as well, that really rounds this out quite pleasantly.
So, in preparation for my big meeting thing tomorrow, let’s break it down to three bullet points (that would fit on a powerpoint slide!):
1. Lightly sweet
2. Tastes like the forest
3. Reminds me of black tea
I definitely think this is going to be a tea I keep around for a while. Actually, I think I’m going to go put in an order with Teavivre right now. I’m missing their Bailin Gongfu, as well.
Last Teavivre tea before I go back and re-try the Pureh! Thanks Angel, and I am sorry it took me so long!!
Smell: Dry, it had a grassy/veggie/earthy smell, if that all makes sense. Steeping it was a bit more smoky/vegetal, all good, of course.
Taste: It was very earthy and smoky, and then a nice, sweet aftertaste popped in, though it wasn’t too sweet, which is good. I also decided to add a small bit of honey, and it went very well with this tea. It has been a long time since I’ve had green tea, though, to be honest, so I don’t have anything else to add right now as I have to build my green tea vocabulary and tasting notes back up to remember what is good/bad about it. But do know that I highly enjoyed this tea!!
This leaf was still in my press this morning and Bonnie is on my mind – praying you and your home are safe this day.
The jasmine is a bit softer this morning but the milkiness is still very solid. I find it very interesting that no one else commented on this aspect. I did add sweetener. That could be part of the explanation along with our hard water. The water is heated it in a kettle until it starts getting loud (far below boiling) then cooled it until it stops making noise. I use 12oz of water and 2 scoops of leaf in a French press for about 2 minutes. Still loving this.
I used 6 pearls today to see if maybe I just didn’t use enough yesterday. To me it appears like too much leaf after steeping. It does pump the flavor a little. This is a good tea, with hints of smoke, chocolate, and occasional malt. I would never turn a cup of it down. It just doesn’t move me like it has others. I am sticking with my initial score of 85.
Yet another of my free samples from Teavivre… thanks so much for the opportunity to try all these teas! I really consider Teavivre to have greatly contributed to my tea education with all of their samples.
When I opened the sample pouch and sniffed the tea, I was kind of surprised by how super vegetal the leaves smelled. Like, woah spinach and greens. I sniffed some more and started to get roasty scents, and the faintest hint of butteriness. Definitely not like the super green tieguanyins I’m used to drinking. I steeped it up and smelled a super roasted, toasted grains aroma from the liquor. At first it seems like that is the only note, but after smelling it a while I start to detect the slightest hint of sweet florals hiding out. Intriguing.
I have to say I was pretty prepared not to really be a fan of this tea because I don’t tend to like roasted oolongs. But Teavivre proved me wrong. I’m not head over heels or anything, but this is a tasty cup of tea. The roasting is light and doesn’t take over the flavor. It just kind of nicely hangs out there, adding some nice warm, toasty notes. The other main flavors are the slightly floral sweetness of the tieguanyin, with some light vegetal notes, but nothing like it seemed when I smelled the dry leaf. As I’m drinking it the sweetness is growing in my mouth adding to the tastiness of each successive sip. Definitely a tasty tea, and it surprised me by making even this nonfan of roasted oolongs enjoy it.
Tea Vivre Free Samples Round #3
This Jin Xuan is not entirely unlike a Tie Guanyin, which is perhaps not too surprising as they are both Taiwanese mountain oolongs. By this I mean that there is that slight floral quality to the brew which I used to so often mistake for a scented process but is, in fact, merely the floral bouquet of camellia sinensis itself.
Although, these two teas do grow at very different altitudes, so maybe it isn’t as obvious as one would think.
The “milk flavor” does add an interesting creamy texture to the cup, but if I’m entirely honest, there is a bit of grittiness as a result at the end of my first steep (which I assume is the milk flavor treatment, perhaps it isn’t), and you can get a similarly thick, soft mouth feel simply by purchasing and steeping exceptionally good tea.
Second steeping is more floral and less milky. If you are fond of light, Formosan oolong, this would be a solid choice.
Of course, we can’t always justify the expense of exceptional tea, and under those circumstances this certainly produces a very pleasant cup.
I wanted something warm and comforting that I could sip on since the day has turned cold and rainy. I knew I still had one more good steep in these leaves, so I made myself a cup of this. My brother likes the smell of jasmine and I am tempted to see if the jasmine plant can grow well where I live. I love the smell.
Because I messed up my steeping on this last time, I was anxious to get back to it, but I wanted to give Liz a chance to sample it as well. Now that she has, I could come back to it.
Much like the jasmine silver needles, the key word here is “balanced”.
The sweet coating which brings the ginseng to the tea does not produce a cup of candy. The first two or three cups are certainly sweet, but you can still taste the tea well enough.
I’m up to steep five or six now and the leaf is starting to take center stage and there is very little sweetness left. The leaves themselves, once hydrated, are huge, and deep green and they produce a bold, amber cup. This is one of those classic Chinese oolong which is practically a green tea. There is a strong presence of the roasting pan heat beneath the green bell pepper bitterness.
There is a bite that wants to creep in, here, but short steeps are keeping it at bay. This strikes me as a tea that might not do very well with Western steeping.
Again, not a tea that I could see ending up in my daily rotation, but as a medicinal throat soothing tea, I don’t see how you could ask for better than this.