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Recent Tasting Notes
Deliciously smoky but not over the top. I enjoyed this during a Google+ Hangout dedicated to tea and this was the tea of the week. I picked this beauty out from Teavivre as I knew it just had to be delicious. So far what I have tasted from this company has been wonderful and I will continue to purchase from there.
My very first milk oolong! Fortunately, it’s a tasty one.
The scent of the brewed tea is delightful. There’s something sweet and almost biscuit-like about it. The taste is quite different. It definitely has that vegetal “oolong” flavor that everyone knows, but it’s softened by a buttery texture. Each sip is astoundingly complex, starting off full, grassy, and creamy and rising into a clear, salty, and slightly astringent finish. There’s perhaps a tiny bit of fruitiness at the beginning of a sip. This is a far more vegetal tea. I’m not sure if “milk” is exactly what comes to mind when I drink this, but if this is what a good milk oolong is like I will happily drink more of them!
Tea of the morning……
This was my free sample with my most recent TeaVivre order. I stocked up on the black dragon pearls and purchased some of the Golden Monkey without even sampling based on the reviews of Steepsterverse (thank you for all of your thoughtful reviews). I had been wondering about this one and do appreciate that TeaVivre now allows you to pick your samples along with your order.
The leaves are long, thin, and twisted. It does remind me in look of the Keemun Mao Feng from Harney, but I think the leaves are just a little shorter. I did not brew this according to TeaVivre’s instructions, but used the method by which I usually brew my Keemun Mao Feng as I was hoping this tea might be a good substitution for it. The liquor is lightly noted with cocoa, and a little fruity, floral, and malty. It is very smooth and satisfying. In comparison, this one is lower in smoke and earthiness (which are definitely only slight in the KMF), so this would be a good choice for those who don’t care for the slight smoke and earthiness found in other grades of Keemun. I don’t think I could use it as a substitution for my favorite Keemun Mao Feng, but it is very good on its own. The price on this one makes it into the range of being more of an everyday tea than my KMF.
Usual teapot method.
Appearance: green brown oolong kernel
Aroma when Dry: deeply milky creamy, nutty, hints of floral
After water is first poured: warm, milky, nutty, floral
At end of first steep: honeyed cream
At end of steep: clear
Staple? Type yes, would buy brand
Preferred time of day: afternoon, evening
At first ?: honey cream then nutty notes, closing on buttery cream finish
As it cools?: tea gets sour, brothy, slight salt notes, stays buttery
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? bearly, buttery cream notes
Second Steep (4 min):
At first: buttery, nutty
As it cools?: bodied, salty, brothy
Third Steep (5min):
Salty, bodied broth, fruit notes
This one has been sitting in my desk un-opened why? Well sometime I forget where I put things and I have random stashes of tea at work. Again contributing to my coworkers asking what are you smoking today. If you have read any of my previous tasting notes. I was pretty much a green hater until I realized that I was brewing them wrong and I had Teavivre’s offerings. This one is so incredibly light, but it still has some body to it. I had to get over the lack of body in green and white teas to enjoy them. I like the full body of black and Pu-erh tea. I’m really starting to like Long Jing as well. The first dragon well that I ever had was a really cheap one and was not good at all. Teavivre’s and the last one that I sampled from Infusion have been great. Slightly grassy, a little like hay, I can see some comparisons to chestnut as well. Over all a great post lunch pick me up. The quality of Teavivre is just outstanding.
A very good silver needle. It is buttery, peppery and very elegant and fragile. I really like this tea. This is a tea for special occasions or when you simply want to splurge like a fine scott or brandy. Its organic to boot so kiddos to Teavivre on this fine tea.
Simply put if you like silver needles you will love this.
I enjoyed this tea yesterday with a dark chocolate banana muffin. Let me tell you, it was amazing that way. The malty notes are greatly pronounced and they complemented each other perfectly.
Now I need to make more muffins…haha.
But seriously, I do thoroughly enjoy this tea.
I ordered this some time ago, I have drank it before but never reviewed it. So here goes:
This is a smooth black (I have come to expect nothing less from Teavivre!), with malty notes. I am definitely getting grainy notes, hay, and some sweetness. I am not really getting sweet potatoe but that might come out a little bit more in later steepings.
If my memory serves me correctly, this has very similar notes to the Bailin black, but I would have to compare them.
See my previous note and Ashmanra’s comment. At her suggestion, I brewed this Western style using 2 generous tsp in 8 oz boiling water, just under 4 minutes. This is how I’ll make it in the future, as there is a lot more flavor and no bitterness or astringency. This is still at the milder end of the black tea flavor spectrum, with some subtle maltiness and sweet potato notes. A very enjoyable cup of tea, nice sweet flavor, and I even got a second steep. I’m glad Teavivre was generous with the samples so that I could experiment a little! (Thanks Ashmanra :)
I agree with some other reviewers, that this is very delicate and light considering its a black tea. I would say its more subtle, and not at all aggressive-a relaxing tea that would be nice in the afternoon. I was pretty generous with the leaf, using 3.5 gms/8 oz water, brewing for 2 minutes, with a 2nd steep for 3 minutes. I have others that I prefer from Teavivre, such as Yun Nan Dian Hong Gold Tip or Bailin Gongfu, I think because I prefer something a little stronger, but this is still very nice, especially for those who prefer a milder tea.
I swear I had already logged this one before… mmmm. Anyway. I’m in a FML day. I only had 45 mins of sleep, so I’m going to be drinking this one ALL DAY LONG
It isn’t my favorite, but it is good. It has a slightly creamy chocolate body and sweetness. But it has a vegetal/bitter aftertaste that I’m not a big fan of. Great tea for work though!
I have no idea what ginseng is supposed to taste like, but I really like this tea! It’s sweet, vegetal, roasty, seaweed-y. This is a nice change up from what I’ve been drinking lately! I can’t decide if this tea is more vegetal or roasty; because of the sweetness I’m leaning towards vegetal. However, most of the green Oolongs I’ve tried were also quite floral. This is not the same- the sweetness could be a floral taste I suppose. Oh, who knows. This is what happens when I try to describe a new oolong, ESP Oolongs! I just confuse myself!
Sum up, this is nummy. Thank you TEAVIVRE for this delicious sample!
I used a heaping teaspoon worth for my 12 oz cup.
So after reading the review KS just did I had to go look to see if I had a sample of this from my last order with Teavivre and lo and behold I DID! Yay!
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on Feb 9th but here are my snippits:
Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea from Teavivre offers quite a different experience. It has a lot of the same flavor notes that one gets from a Fujian black tea such as sweet potato, malt, and cocoa but Superfine Tan Gong Fu is much lighter both in flavor and mouthfeel.
As I sipped on this tea I found myself so relaxed, and spaced out that I checked my blood sugar (I’m type 1 diabetic) just to be sure I was not running too high. High blood sugars often mimic a spaced out state of dizziness and being sleepy. My blood sugar was perfectly fine. Outside of aliens having zapped my brain I am pretty sure it was the tea. I have had tea highs before, generally with pu’erh but now and then I get it in other leaf types. This is one of those times.
Yesterday I had a mind blowing Yunnan black. So today I am having this equally amazing Fujian black. I scrolled through my older reviews of this and they seem to bounce all over the place. So continuing the trend… I could swear I smelled grape as I took my first sip. Then I was hit with a brief moment of pepper on the sides of the tongue. The cup then settled into grain, honey, and malt. So very good. Must re-steep.
I accidentally agreed to take over upkeep of the church website. So this morning I spent hours just trying to figure out what was going on and trying to download the files to my computer so I can ‘update’ them. I’ll probably eventually start from scratch so I can eliminate half the code. Why didn’t I slowly walk away when they first said he isn’t working right now…
Anyway that kept me distracted until noon. I took a raviolios break. Yes that stuff you ate as a kid. It’s better than I remember, but not great.
This tea, on the other hand, is so good. Caramel and honey. Sweetness and light cocoa. Smooth with a touch of grain. This is medium bodied. It is not big and bold but the flavor doesn’t hide either. I think I need another cup before going back to the coding.
The dashboard is down and I can’t read any new reviews :( So I will write my own. This tea has its work cut out for it. While brewing it I fixed a ham and turkey sandwich with farmers market spinach, leaf lettuce from our garden, muenster cheese (should have used smoked gouda). I also poured on my new favorite – great value chipotle ranch dressing. It is not overly spicy. Just the right mix of spicy and creamy, but it is more potent than some teas could handle. The tan yang smells so good in the cup. Best of all the sweet potato and honey cut right through the sandwich when sipping. What a tremendous tea. Nudging the rating.
I have a bunch of teas that I haven’t had time to review yet, including some more from Teavivre. Forced retirement has not resulted in the free time to sip that I anticipated. At least not yet. If I owe you a review I promise I will get to it.
I grabbed this one because I don’t have to think. I know I love it. I started this cup in a hurry. I am not even halfway in and I have slowed down and mellowed out.
I read Azzrian’s review of this tea and it was a little different than my experience, though equally cool. I got the ale taste. She got tea drunk. If any of you woke up with a bad headache this morning – blame us.
I decided to have another go at it today. This time I am not getting the sweet potato that Azzrian noted (and which agrees with TeaVivre’s description). I am also not getting the strong yeast and ale that I noted yesterday in the first cup. Today this is more malt, bread or grain, and honey. It is still very good and so mellow, but I must admit I was looking forward to repeating yesterday’s experience.
I am trying to figure out what I did differently between the 2 days. Both days I used my press, 1/3 of the sample packet of leaf, 12oz water heated to 185d, steeped 2 minutes, and added sweetener. The only difference I can see is before I prepared this yesterday, I removed a few leftover dried up leaves of a highly floral oolong from the press. I then took a brown paper towel (the ones you often see in public washrooms for hand drying) got it wet, then wiped down the press to make sure there were no floral scents left over. This always leaves the press smelling a bit like the wet paper towel. I did not wipe down the empty press today because I was using the same type leaf. I have never noticed the towel affecting the taste before.
If that is not the difference then it was just one of those magic moments that happens every now and then that you cannot repeat. It’s all good, because this is a wonderful light Fujian with tremendous aftertaste. The aroma of the wet leaf is calling. Time for round two.
Round two is same as yesterday chocolate malty yum.
Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea
Sample provided by TeaVivre. I opened the package and took a deep whiff. It is like sweet fresh dried tobacco with maybe a hint of fruit. I want to say cherry but that may be because when I smell tobacco it reminds me of my grandfather and his cherry pipe tobacco. He always wore work pants, even after he retired, and a white v-neck T-shirt. He had his pipe in one hand and a glass of ice tea in the other – always. He also had a bottle of Maalox (antacid) next to him that he chugged like milk but we won’t talk about that.
He loved to watch the Flintstones. No, it was not because of he had grandkids he just loved the Flintstones. He also had a battery operated toy train engine that you put on the floor and when it hit something it backed up and turned, taking off again in a new direction. He would sit and laugh at that often. Even as a kid I didn’t understand how he got that much pleasure out of a simple toy. The train doesn’t work anymore but I still have it.
Ok, back to this tea – the leaf is thin twist curls of varying shades of brown. It reminds me of my wife’s needlepoint thread and is quite pretty. I used a generous scoop and steeped per the instructions of 185 d for 1-2 minutes. Once again it just seems all wrong for a black tea but TeaVivre has never led me astray so I am trusting them.
The resulting brew is lighter than most black teas. It is deep golden brown or almost bronze. The wet leaf smells of toasted caramel.
I took my first sip, put the cup down and walked away for a moment. I returned, picked it up again and sipped. My mind is trying to reboot. I saw on the label this is a Fujian tea. So I am expecting a certain flavor profile, yet this is altogether different this morning than my preconceived idea.
I am tasting yeast, lots of yeast. I am getting grain, barley I think. My brain keeps saying beer, no its ale. This tastes like ale without the bubbles, scratchy throat, or hangover. I did add sweetener, and that may bring out these flavors. As the cup cools it turns more towards heavy malt, which is what I expected from this tea.
Cup two at two minutes. I can’t wait to read other reviews on this one. Now this has become a light chocolate malt. A smooth and creamy chocolate malt. Mmmm. I might use that description on a half dozen other teas but this one taste different. It is simply a mellow delight.