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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you to Teavivre for sending this wonderful set of samples! They finally arrived today and I can finally start digging in.
I am in a black tea sort of mood so I figured this would be a great place to start, that and the tea came in a little once cup pouch so I didn’t have to do any measuring!
The dry leaf smell reminds me of soy sauce with a hint of sesame seed, which is making me really hungry as well as get this tea going. The steeped tea is a nice dark amber color and smells a little soy saucey still with a hint of chocolate.
The taste is very nice. There is no astringency that I can detect, which is very nice and makes for a smooth tea. There are some nice chocolate notes that are coming out as I sip this as well as a hint of chili. I might try less water when I resteep this to try and make it a little more to stronger.
Today I’m trying Taiwan Dong Ding gong fu style using the instructions provided by Teavivre. I got 7 infusions, tasted each one a few times, then poured them together to finish. This is a lighter roast, more green oolong. It had good character and flavor through 7 infusions. I would describe the flavor as light green vegetable with underlying floral sweetness, even a hint of buttery character. It will appeal to those who enjoy lighter oolongs and is a good value-a very nice tea.
After this cup, I will be down to one more serving of this tea, just as I am down to one more serving of Teavivre’s Black Dragon Pearls. Wish I could say it meant and order from Teavivre in the near future, but I really have to get my stash down before I move in a couple of months, so I doubt I’ll be making any tea orders besides matcha.
Well, I will enjoy it while it lasts, because it is delicious! Can’t wait to be able to order some more.
Measuring out the tea, I observe long, full leaves, consistent gold color and a pleasant sweet aroma. Mmm, nice. I anticipate an enjoyable evening with this tea. I’m curious about it-how will it compare to Teavivre Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip which I adore, and Bailin Gong fu, running a close second. Without trying a sample of this first, I had gone out on a limb and ordered 100 gms. I’m glad I did. The drink is smooth and tannin free with notes of oven-roasted sweet potato. The low astringency and sweetness of this tea make it a great every day tea.. The price is reasonable and I’ve been looking for an economical everyday “go to” Chinese black. My experience with TeaVivre has been exceptional. Golden Monkey is a little less pricey, which makes it a tea I will likely keep on the shelf.
I don’t own this Keemun….yet….but the way my guest loved it today I may need to put it on my shopping list. I would love to try ALL of the Teavivre Keemuns!
This particular one is mild and smooth, with a silky, almost cedar fragrance. There are hints of sweet potato and a little molasses or honey perhaps. It reminds me a lot of Golden Monkey. This was my guest’s hands down favorite.
I think it was Missy and Dylan who compared a number of Teavivre’s Keemuns. I need to look at his reviews and narrow down the ones to try. They have several! As my guest said, “This one’s a winner.”
These leaves are beautiful – long, slender, and wiry. They are so dark … deep green. Such a dark shade of green, in fact, that they almost appear black. The liquor that they produce is very pale, though. Pale and delicious. Soupy, brothy… like a delicious vegetable soup without the vegetables. Very comforting and lovely to sip. Satisfying.
Mao Feng is one of my favorite green teas, and if I were to choose just one green tea to stock my tea cupboard I’d likely choose a Mao Feng, because I love that it tastes like what I expect it to. It tastes like green tea. Beautiful and comforting. Cozy yet exhilarating. Very refreshing.
It’s time to make this tea again, and for it to get the Perfect Glass Teapot Treatment with my Teavivre teapot. (I can’t tell you how much I love that little thing!)
I definitely like teas with a more baked or bread-y flavor compared to herbaceous flavors. I enjoy that this tea reminds me of toasted pane di casa with peaches and ricotta that I’ll make for breakfast from time to time. Today I’m having my tea with a modified huevos rancheros (made with a little beef & bean chilli leftovers) and it goes with the tea wonderfully! I’m feeling well-fuelled for the day and don’t mind the storm clouds all around. In fact, I’m feeling quite cosy now.
As I was sipping along on this very enjoyable oolong, a new box from TeaVivre arrived-I get so excited when I get a new box of tea. Previously, I had enjoyed a sample of the unflavored version of this oolong and this is my third time drinking the flavored. I wish I had the two side by side to compare. Going from memory, I probably prefer this one, though both are very good. I have not brewed it exactly as instructed because I was afraid of going to boiling with this light oolong. I used 5 gms of tea in my Perfectea Maker, which is similar to using a Gaiwan due to the large brewing basket. I did a quick rinse, then brewed in 6 ounces water at 195. I steeped for 1 1/2 minutes to start with and added 30 seconds for each subsequent brewing. I added just a touch of sweetener. I would describe the overall taste as pleasantly floral and creamy, very nice. For today, I have steeped it 5 times so far, with great results. It just keeps on giving! Not sure I’ll try for more because I want to try Taiwan Dong Ding which came in today’s package. This is one I would order-its something a little different when you’re in the mood for a “comfort” tea.
Have I mentioned how much I love this tea? This is my third (and probably final) steeping of this tea and it is lovely. I am still experimenting on how best to brew this so that I can get that similar flavor out of each steeping. I think I need to give the leaves a quick rinse first. Like 10-15 seconds. Then do my 5 minute steep then the 7 minute steep and then end with either a 13-15 minute steep.
This steep was an 11 minute steep and the flavor is still mellow and slightly creamy and dark, but not as rich as the second steep. So 13-15 minutes on the last steep should make it sing! ♥ I feel like I am an oddball with the long steep times on this one, but if that is how I like it then I am not complaining at all. It also makes me think that when I finally am able to get a gaiwan, I should try brewing this tea in it. I know that this will be coming back in my tea cabinet when I get the funds.
On a non-tea related note, I have an interview tomorrow afternoon. It is for a seasonal position, but just having a job right now would really help. So, send me luck!
As much as I liked that jasmine earlier, drinking it made me cold because it was cold. So I decided to have this one too.
This time I put in the leaf and steeped it for five minutes on the first run. I think I will need to start doing a 10 or 15 second rinse on my leaves since. This tastes nice with the hint of cream starting to come out. I have a feeling that the more this develops, the more it will be like that one time I hit it on the head.
I really like this one with a longer steeping time though. I also need to learn to let my tea cool down so I can drink it without burning my tongue. The flavor develops better when it is drinkable temperature as well.
I had a mouth-watering craving for two teas today. It was a tie between this one and my royal 2007 pu-erh. This one won out.
I love the leaves for this. They are so light and fluffy. They are just fun to get out of the bag. This is the only tea I pick out of the bag with my fingertips because it is like stroking a kitten. I thought I had accidentally picked out too much of the tea, so I decided on shorter steepings to make up for the higher leaf amount.
The first steep I had hot. The flavor profile was nice and delicate but I tasted something a little different. It wasn’t quite bubblegum, but it wasn’t fruity either. It was some sort of sweet. I want to say a light pear taste is the best way I could describe it.
I heated up the water for my second steep when my dad decided that we didn’t have anything good in the house for lunch. So I stuck my 2 minute second steep in the fridge to have it iced afterwords.
I have no idea how this will taste iced, so it will be interesting. Technically, I made it into a hot brewed flash chilled iced tea with no extra added sugar. You can still smell the jasmine even though the scent is lighter than it is when it is hot. It is so delicate it is almost like drinking water. The jasmine hits you only as an aftertaste. That strange bublegummy/pear-like taste lingers up the sides of your tongue. I figured it out! That taste is the jasmine mixing with the white tea base. The more I sip the more it is coming out.
If I had one of those soda streams, I think having this tea iced and lightly carbonated would be lovely in mid-summer’s heat.
I would most likely have this hot than cold, though it is nice chilled.
I’m in for a treat! I am shooting for 18 steeps again tonight. Lets see how I do! Thank you Teavivre for this again =)
1st, 212F, 5sec, 5oz, 5g: Salt! It’s salty! But like a salted caramel. Touches of butteriness. Oh I’m in heaven! mmmmmmm It’s silly how good this is. I can’t believe the lovely salt tastes. So clean and crisp.. It’s so delicious.
2nd, 10sec: It smells sweet and chestnutty..The taste is lovely. Slightly salty still, almost verging on umami and soy, but than a butteriness comes in and it also tastes like chestnuts. Such a treat! I adore this tea!
3nd, 13sec: Smells of sweet puffed wheat. Or toasted chestnuts. Tastes woodsy. And like puffed wheat.. slightly glazed puffed wheat (think sugar crisp.. except not loaded with 10lbs of sugar).
4th, 20sec: I felt it needed a few seconds extra. It smells like warm roasted apples and sugar.
.. okay, break for now, but dannnng this is good!
So thankful for tea <3
White Peony Tea always reminds me of hay and sunshine. Today, it’s a little different. Today it’s dry summer grass lightly laced with salt. Yum!
It’s the perfect calming cup of tea that I need after a stressful day of packing. We’re moving in 3 days, and we’ve been packing for 4. Tonight I tried to tackle the front coat closet, which I use to store a lot of my old costumes from high school plays and musicals. Somehow, the entire closet was wet and moldy! I have no idea how, but it’s as if the water is seeping up through the carpet. I think my costumes made it through mostly unscathed, but my computer software didn’t fare as well. Mold covered the boxes that were on the floor. Ugh. What a pain.
Anyway, this cup of tea is hitting the spot nicely. After two cups, I’ve mostly gotten over the closet. Mostly. :/ Maybe the third cup will take mostly to completely. I think if any tea had that power, this would be the one. :)
My favorite part of Bai Mu Dan is the prominent flavor of hay. And with the hay always comes the sunshine. It reminds me of happier days riding horses with my best friend, returning to the barn after a long trail ride and kicking a bale of hay down from the loft into our horses’ stalls. But more than just bringing up happy memories, it promises future happiness as well. Thank you to Teavivre for this beautiful white tea!
The latest batch of samples courtesy of Angel and Teavivre showed up in my mailbox on Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to try them until after I’d gotten back to school from break.
Break was fantastic, but I’m glad to be back, and trying new teas!
I really like this one. The leaves are bright spinach green, and they smell very vegetal. The taste is also very spinach-y and vegetal, but I like it. It’s kind of like my beloved Dragonwell! Delightful.
One thing that consistently amazes me with all of the Teavivre teas I’ve tried, is the number of times I can re-steep the leaves with little or no loss of flavor, and this one is no exception.
The dry leaves for this tea are long and skinny and include more stems than I’m used to, so when I scooped out my 2 teaspoons, I had to resist the temptation to throw in a pinch of extra leaves to make up for the open spaces caused by their unusual shape. I’m glad I decided to try it as is; otherwise I would have probably had to water it back down. This tea is light and nutty with a slight bitterness that reminds me a little of pecans (or maybe that’s just because I had pecan pie with my Thanksgiving dinner last night, and it’s still on my mind?…yum!) As much as I’m fond of this tea, I have to insist that my taste buds are still partial to Japanese green teas as far as pure green tea goes, so this wouldn’t be my first choice. I will definitely enjoy this on occasion though, when I want a change from the norm.
Thanks again Angel and Teavivre for all the generous samples you provided for review. Sampling your tea has been a wonderful experience. I recently purchased a selection of your assorted tea packs and I look forward to trying more varieties of your tea, and finding new favorites. Thanks for introducing me to your high-quality teas.
Whoops, this is yet another overdue review on a tea from Teavivre. Out of the package, this one has a very bold aroma, roasty and rich with some completely unexpected cocoa notes, but also an earthy, mossy smell. That last note is one which I have grown to appreciate – this is a tricksy oolong, putting me more in mind of a black tea. I love black tea!
I used the whole sample in my perfect tea mug with water that’s probaby around 90ish degrees. The steep was around 3ish minutes, yielding a liquor that is dark for an oolong but would be light for a black – a warm yellow, reminds me of an IPA or similarly styled beer in colour. The steeped aroma is subdued cocoa, with some dark earthy notes – almost reminding me of peat and cocoa. I don’t know why I say peat as I’m not completely sure what that smells like, but that is what comes into my head.
First sips are rich, earthy. I get a fairly bold roasty oolong flavoured, with a hint of spice at the end. Maybe something cinnamon or nutmeg? It’s a little sweet at the finish, unexpected but really nice. I get the sense that there is a bit of bitterness lingering underneath at all, but it isn’t fully developing, so it just gives a sense of complexity. This is a fairly bold tea and could handle additions if you were so inclined but certainly doesn’t need them – the mark of a good tea, in my books.
I have had a couple Big Red Robe oolongs now, and I must say that I really enjoy them. The flavours remind me of black teas more often than not and they’re nicely complex but still drinkable. This one almost has a savoury aspect, it puts me in mind of of a nicely seasoned roast. What is going on in my head today?! IF I can get teavivre.com to finally accept my credit card, this one might get slipped onto the order. Very yum.
EDIT to add that as it cools, I get a smokey note. It explains the sense of tobacco I was getting earlier. This is the second tea I’ve had recently with that slightly smoke that develops late in the game and I am liking it. Maybe I’ll be able to try a Lapsang some day.
PS – This reminds me a lot of the Teavivre Dragon Pearls. What’s up with that? : )
Oh la la! It is still chilly (okay, it is about 52F outside but compared to the eighty degree temps we were having, that is chilly!) and it is completely overcast and drizzly. We have lots of geometry to do and it is puppy sitting day and I had Mountain Dew at supper last night (stupid, stupid, stupid) and hardly slept a wink last night. Time for fortification!
Most of the time when I set out to make tea, I know exactly what sort of thing I want. Today it took a few minutes to figure it out, but I sure picked a winner. I had five pearls remaining from my free sample and that is what I am finishing here, though I did get my own order of it last week, thus I get to click “Add to Cupboard.” :D
These five pearls have given me four eight ounce pots of tea. It is cocoa-y, smooth, and…manly. I don’t know how else to put it. It isn’t strong as in astringent, biting, or drying, yet it has a lot of presence. I am taking it plain, but I think it would hold up well to milk and sugar if such was your wont. It is very good with sweets.