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Recent Tasting Notes
Hands down, best long jing on the planet. No smokiness or bitter chestnut, just mellow toastiness with a light chestnut aroma that reveals a floral, perhaps orchid, aftertaste . And the price is great to boot! Viva la Teavivre.
*tip: buy copious quantities in the spring.
Revisiting this one after quite some time. For some reason, I have developed a strong liking to Ginseng Oolong. Maybe, it’s because my taste are still developing. It’s possible, this development is due to try several different ones. Nonetheless, this tea is excellent and my previous rating must be adjusted. With the quality that I find from multiple infusions, the rating is now raised!
It’s hard to compete with a yin/yang type of taste during and after the sip. The first texture is brisk, yet a good dryness, almost bitter – that carries an overall ginseng taste. The dryness swells and becomes sweeter, then more minty. It is a very nice lingering tea.
Definitely delicious! I’m glad I tried this one again!
I had three steeps of this tea yesterday, but I have been wondering if I could pull out a fourth steep out of this tea. So, I decided to try it with my tea leaves from last night.
I steeped these leaves for an hour until the liquid is a nice amber color like I just brewed a lighter tea. The smell is still wonderful. A light dusty smell that is combined with the scent of fresh rainfall. The tea is still warm even though it has been steeping for the past hour. My french press keeps the tea nice and warm.
The flavor is slightly different from the other steeps. It is still silky smooth and I am getting a creamy mouthfeel that is just divine. It isn’t as dark as the other steeps and is slightly more astringent.
I am glad that I managed to wrangle a fourth steep out of this tea. I’m not sure if I would brew it up often, but I am happy I have the option.
This is what I took to work today. We’re getting the outer edges of Hurricane Sandy, so the world outside is gray, cold, and very windy. The perfect day for something that smells and tastes of woodsmoke.
I’ve reviewed this tea before, so I won’t go to lengthy detail, but this was pretty perfect for today. Like I’ve said before, it smells more smoky than it tastes. Underneath the smoke, there is the delicious taste of Fujian black tea. Mmmm.
My teapot came yesterday! Out of nowhere on Friday it started being tracked on USPS…in inland Massachusetts. I’m just glad it avoided this whole weather mess. It is SO cold here. I think it was windy earlier this week because of Sandy when it was near FL, and now it’s even windier because of this cold front…and it is so so so so cold.
I picked this at random from my bag of flowering teas. I’ve noticed that there are so many people who make their opinion known about how they’re just for show. Pfffttt. I would eat flowers all day long so you better believe I’ll make it and drink it, and also admire it.
This one has some fruity notes to it but obviously the strongest notes are jasmine. It’s very sweet, and the floral notes are actually quite mild. I’m not sure how to explain, it’s like it’s clearly jasmine you’re tasting but it’s not in your face, like you’re drinking perfume. The marigold lends just a bit of a different note, giving the floral taste a bit of complexity.
I love flowering teas. I also love that you can brew them so many times. And then after that’s done, I think I’ll just put room temp water in there and stare at it. And I’ve got 9 more to go!
I have just had a relaxing bath and the perfect way to end my day would be to try this amazing looking Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea. The pearls themselves are so tightly packed with dark brown and golden yellow leaves and are also uber cute with virtually no fragrance.
Again I am using my gaiwan and the instructions are as follows:
Gaiwan 3oz Tea: 5p 5 steeps: rinse, 30s,50s,1m10s,1m30s,2m 100ºC/212ºF
Steep 1 – Once the water was introduced the pearls have loosened up somewhat but are still keeping their shape. The tea now smells slightly dark and smoky with a little tinge of dark chocolate. Colour is dark brown but remains opaque. First few sips are refreshing and very subtle but there is a sweet background, florally sweet rather than sugar sweet. About finished now and there is a slight malty taste that only comes up in the last remaining dregs.
Steep 2 – The pearls have now finally given in and have split up completely resembling the look of any normal loose tea. Colour is the same but smell is slightly thicker and somewhat more like dark chocolate or cocoa. The taste is more prominent now with a mixture of malty smoke with subtle cocoa sweetness. Much nicer than the first steep as the chocolate flavour is stronger. It’s also very smooth with no bitterness.
Steep 3 – Again the colour is about the same but the smell is stronger again, this time very malty and dark but still chocolatey. The taste is still a very similar strength but now we have a touch of bitterness (only slight) but a little noticeable at the bottom of the cup.
Steep 4 – I am starting to feel that the description of dark brown is not good enough for the colour. It remains the same throughout the steep but It’s more than just a dark brown, it’s brown with red and gold tinges and delicious looking. The smell is still getting stronger with malty chocolate being the main characters. Taste is still fantastic but it’s a touch lighter than my previous cup, that will make it my last steep. It’s been absolutely delicious from start to end and I will definitely be buying more of this.
To summarize: Key words – Smoky, chocolate, malt, floral, astringent, sweet.
I am finishing off one the small sample bags today with my husband. It’s our first time using the gaiwan together instead of a traditional teapot so this could be interesting.
I think I may be adjusting to the perfumey taste, it doesn’t seem to be getting to me much today…infact it’s quite nice. Maybe this is one of those drinks that you like the more of it that you drink, I found Lapsang Souchong to be that way for me too.
Such a lovely way to relax on a Sunday.
I made two steeps of this to go with lunch today. Hubby is either getting used to green tea and wants to drink for health reasons, or his tastes are changing and he is actually enjoying it. As he was working on the kitchen re-do he kept coming in the living room and getting more.
This is a delicious green that goes well with food but is also wonderful as a contemplative cup. Buttery, lightly brothy, fresh.
This was a sample pack that I am trying from Teavivre. I will be using my gaiwan for this infusion. Notes state on their website the steeping times as follows: 5 steeps:rinse,20s,40s,1m10s,2m,2m30s.
Raw the tea is thin and sharp and they also snap in half so they are rather dry. They are a lovely grassy green colour with yellow and white whisps. It smells gently floral with a slight astringency.
First steep – 20 seconds – Colour is very pale yellow. Smell is slightly astringent but fresh with it. The flavour is nice and subtle, there is a definite florally perfume taste (similar to jasmine but on a much weaker scale) along with a natural grassy sweetness. There is no real bitterness.
Second steep – 40 seconds – Yellow (darker than the first steep) and with a stronger perfumey fragrance. Taste is also a little stronger, more floral and again a little grassier than the previous steep. Still very pleasant as there is no real bitterness and there is still a hint of sweetness about it. A slight nuttiness peaks through. For me this is about the peak of the tea, any stronger and it would be ruined and any lighter and it loses a lot of it’s character.
Steep three – 1 minute 10 seconds – Colour is yellow with a a fairly astringent and somewhat floral perfume fragrance. Both being slight stronger than the previous steep. The nuttiness is coming through vividly now (chestnut would be an adequate description). The sweetness has now gone and has been replaced with a touch of bitterness leading from the over perfumed taste.
I am not at the point of wincing a little while drinking due to the perfumery and I think this will be my last steep. It’s not badly (fubar’ed) but I don’t see myself enjoying the next two steeps and for now I am happy enough to have good memories of this tea with it’s earliest steeps.
Overall I would say this was of good quality and once steeped for the second time it unleashes it’s sweet, grassy and nutty magic. I would drink this for a change but not sure I could see myself buying it for personal use. It’s a little too perfume heavy for me.
I received this as a sample from Teavivre – thanks! Figured I would try it out as it’s one of the samples I had yet to get to, but the reviews have been good… so why not!
As soon as the water hit the leaves, I smelled a distinct fishy smell. Not super strong, but enough to make me a little wary. I’m still not a fan of pu’erhs with any fishiness, although I’ve found that sometimes, an initial fishy smell doesn’t translate into the flavour. So, hoping for that!
The initial flavour reminded me a ridiculous amount of Verdant’s Cornfields Shu Pu’erh that I tried recently. Except a bit fisher, and a bit stronger. Difficult to describe. A bit of sweetness, a musty flavour, fairly smooth… definitely a pu’erh, but beyond that, I can’t describe much else. It’s actually a bit too strong for me, and making me cringe a bit, for whatever reason. Too much mustiness per mouthful.
I’m not sure that I’m a fan of this one, but will definitely try a shorter infusion time and less lea next time, as I think it’s best drank a bit weak, for me! I’ll reserve a rating until then, but I don’t think this will ever really be a favourite.
I made 3 steeps in my gaiwan for the same times as the not really Keemun: 15, 20, 25 seconds. All into a mug! This is like so complex.
It’s sweet, it’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s chocolate. That is an accurate summary of each sip.
I’ve just sat here with this open, despite drinking all of this first cup…more? I think so.
And 3 more tastes just the same. I bet this could be steeped like 12 more times and still taste amazing! But it’s getting too late for that. Next time I order from Teavivre, I’m getting more of this. Except I think my last order is lost at sea.
So, I tried doing a short rinse (10-15 seconds) on the leaves tonight before making the first steep. That made the first steep much more flavorful. If I don’t have all three steeps of this tonight, I might have the last in the morning. It is better than the one cup of hot chocolate I have been having before bed though. I discovered that hot chocolate keeps me up if I have it too late.
THANK YOU Teavivre for sending me this sample MANY MONTHS AGO. I apologize for not opening it – I was on a tea hiatus of sorts and am now back.
This tea smelled like chocolate when I opened up the package.
The result has very little astringency and a light malty flavor that is slightly sweet. As the tea cools the sweet notes emerge. I really enjoyed this sample and recommend this tea!
Thanks to Angel & Teavivre for this generous sample
First off, I love Teavana’s Black Dragon Pearls. That’s actually one of the only teas I buy from them, & the convenience of being able to zip over to the mall & get some is pretty nice. It’s a yummy malty breakfast tea that I enjoy. SO I thought I would brew a cup of that alongside Teavivre’s Fengqing Dragon Pearls, just to see if there was really any difference.
Dry, the difference was noticeable. The Fengqings were smaller, but more aromatic, with a little more of a malty smell. I used 6 of the teavana pearls in one 8 oz cup, and 8 of the Teavivre in another. The main difference I noticed in taste was that the Fengqing had a bit of a berry flavor, & then I realized that I had ruined the taste test. Damn!
You see, last night I made a cup of decaf blackberry vanilla black from some local tea company. It was a gift from one of my students a few years ago, & I was really just trying to use it up to get it out of my cupboard. I ended up dumping it out, it just wasn’t really a tea that I enjoyed. I swear I washed my tea strainer well! But somehow that flavor stuck, & ended up in the morning’s cup.
SO…the taste comparison was ruined! Luckily, there was enough tea left for another sample, & although I’m not doing another comparison test, I will say that this is a very tasty, malty, satisfying cup of tea, with chocolate croissant undertones, just the way I like it. It is delicious & smooth plain, & also quite tasty with stevia! Yum!
Wow, this name was quite a mouthful. Taking the recommendations of the packaging, I boiled two cups of water and steeped this pu’erh for two minutes (Teavivre recommends one to two minutes). The dry leaves have much less of an earthy smell than I would have expected from a ripe pu’erh, but when the steeping is done, I am left with a wonderfully smooth-smelling pot of shou tea. This first pot is very smooth, a little bit earthy, if not slightly weak (understandable for a first steeping. I finish this first pot and steep another, this time increasing the time to two and a half minutes.
The second steeping strengthens both the aroma and flavor of this pu’erh. The earthy notes have come out stronger in both aspects. However, the tea has still kept its full smoothness. My only disappointment with this tea is the lack of complexity in the flavor profile. It is very much just a straight forward, simple shou pu’erh. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give this tea an 85/100.
Finally getting this sample! Thanks Teavivre!
First impression of the dry leaf is that it smells a lot like DT’s milk oolong. Make you wonder if theirs is flavored. It’s like condensed milk. Yummy!
First steep is more like cream cheese frosting than milk. There is a lot of vegetal flavor coming through. Smooth and sweet.
Second steep is less milky and more vegetal. Maybe like creamed veggies. :)
The leaves expand like crazy, of course. Good old dependable green oolong. :) I think I might like the unflavored version more but this is something I’ll enjoy to the last drop anyways.
If you’ve kept up with my tasting notes, you know that I am a huge fan of Teavivre Teas. I have yet to be disappointed by any of their products.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Teavivre’s fabulous Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. That tea is nothing short of incredibly fantastic, albeit a little pricey. This time, I thought I would save some money and hope that their Grade 1 Keemun selection was good enough to satisfy my Keemun itch.
I love the aroma of the short unbrewed tea leaves. It is a rich, sweet, and earthy smell that seems to belong only to Teavivre’s Keemun.
I steeped the tea at 205 degrees for three minutes as instructed on the packet. The color of the brewed liquor was golden brown.
As I brought the cup to my lips, I could already smell the savory Keemun. The first sip was absolutely delicious. The taste was sweet, earthy, full-bodied, and very smooth. There was no bitterness to be found. Subsequent sips…and cups…were at least equally delightful.
In my opinion, this Grade 1 Keemun is every bit as delicious and satisfying as Teavivre’s Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. If you are on a budget (as I am), and you love Keemun, take advantage of the great taste and very reasonable price (currently – 10/24/2012 – Teavivre is also offering 20% off!) of the Grade 1 Keemun tea. I am very glad that I did! By the way, if your budget is even more restricted than mine, Teavivre has a Grade 2 Keemun black tea at even greater savings (and also currently – 10/24/2012 – 20% off)!
This is again thanks to Angel and the Teavivre crew. smiles
This is a better review than the Lapsang Souchong by a mile! LOL. I had wanted to try a more ‘traditional’ Oolong because I’ve had such limited experience so far, and wanted something to compare teas with an Oolong base to, even teas that have a lot in it. I had a imsomnia filled night so if my wording comes across as odd, that is why. Lack of sleep can make me a little loopy.
1st smell Dry: Sweet and uncomplicated. I can easily picture myself relaxing after a long days work with a cup of this, though long before I go to bed, as the minor caffeine amounts may affect my sleep later that night.
Wet: Even more sweet, and maybe because I was expecting it: Creamy.
1st taste: In reading the reviews for the tea before sipping my cup, I noticed frequent mentions of a buttery taste. Truthfully, the idea kind of repulsed me, even though I have had and do enjoy butter tea. But when I took the 1st sip, without any sweetener, Mmm. Nice. I knew I had to add sweetener….I’m getting resigned to that factor…..lol. So I added one at a time, took a sip so I would make sure not to accidently put to much.
Oh, almost forgot to mention: I do not have any traditional tea items for this, I had thought if I did get to where I really like at least 2 of these samples, then I would start saving up for a nice gaiwan. So instead, I was going to use one of my teapots, but one is ridiculously big, to big for 1 cup, and the other is in the dishwasher. So I used my owl cup and favorite strainer. I put the visual equivalent of what I use for other loose tea, rinsed them, preheated my cup and then boiled more water, and set the top on it. When I took the top off, my 1st thought: (Mind you slightly befuddled due to lack of sleep.) that the leaves had exploded! Then I thought….Ooooo I think I put to many in the cup. So I thought to myself that I’d better do at least 1 more steeping of the leaves, that is if I could stand drinking down the 1st cup.
It isn’t the usual type of tea that I’ve gotten used to, so I don’t think I would choose this one very often. It is sweet, creamy, kind of grassy. I just might decide to buy this in bulk form.