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Recent Tasting Notes


Thank you so much to Angel and Teavivre for sending me samples of this tea. I am always intrigued when a jasmine tea is on an unusual green base… actually I’m not sure what base jasmine greens usually are, but they aren’t usually specified. But this one is! It was cool that the leaf was kind of half-rolled, almost like an oolong.

This was quite a nice jasmine green tea, with perhaps a bit more oomph from the green tea than a regular jasmine green. Bi luo chun is often kind of green-beany, and it comes through a little. This is less sweet than some other jasmine greens and lacks the honeysuckle notes. But that’s not to say the jasmine is light! It’s quite robust, it’s just matched by the green flavor of the tea as well. I definitely look forward to trying this one again, maybe in close comparison with some other jasmine greens.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This is one of the best tasting oolongs I’ve had. The flavor has a depth and richness that is hard to describe, and hard to tease apart. I just know that I savored this tea, and it made me feel mellow and blissful. This is a comfort tea.

3 min, 0 sec

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I, uh, decided to dump the whole packet in my timolino and cold steep all afternoon, but when I was ready to drink it, it was not steeped enough and was too weak. I knew I shoulda used a bit of hot water at the bottom first.

Oh well, this one is gone, but not forgotten. I do still like it, but I like the strawberry oolong best.

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Very yummy tea. I cold steeped it for work today, and it is very delicate still, but more emphasis on the juicy peach, though still no jasmine (no good for me). I still like the strawberry oolong more, but this is still quite tasty.

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This is one of the new teas from Teavivre that is flavoured, but not a straight floral flavour. I was a little weary of this one because of my sensitivity to florals, but I was assured that the jasmine was understated in this blend so I opted to give it a try in addition to the Strawberry Oolong.

The dry leaf of this is tightly rolled in dragon pearl fashion, and smells so so so fragrant like peach nectar.

Steeped, the brew is less intense juicy peach, but rather subtle juicy peach. Any hint of jasmine is blended into the background with the green tea base and is not really distinguishable individually.

I suspect I will get a few nice cups from the leaves, and moreover, I think that this will make a really good cold steep and bring the peach out more in the same way it does for the strawberry in the Strawberry Oolong.

Many grateful thanks to Angel at Teavivre for encouraging me to try this one, even though the jasmine scared me.

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First of all, a big thanks to Angel at teavivre for this free sample!! I had to try this tea this morning, it’s going to be a beautiful day so I wanted a beautiful smelling tea lol. This one fits the bill, a gorgeous jasmine scent wafted up from my sample pack. I used about half of the pack. I made a few cups gaiwan style with about 15 second steeps. The resulting tea is a very light yellow, and after two cups, the pearls haven’t opened up too much.

As for the flavor, this is superb. Very light, real jasmine present, and fresh. Reminds me of a dewy spring morning! I’m going to make a few more cups for myself and the boyfriend, oh and my kitty is finally getting used to the kettle noise hehe he’s not as worried by it :)

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I’ve reviewed this one before, but it has been a while, and I think I’m smarter about raw pu-erh now. This one is still for sale on Teavivre.com after a couple years! I’m going to keep the steeps at a strict 30 seconds each time. Also, I only used a half of a sample (the steep before I used the entire pouch). Half the sample is still a pretty large piece! I’m also waiting much longer after boiling to steep. I’ve found to my tastes, raw pu-erh tastes better when cooler. So with almost everything in the parameters different this time, I think that justifies another tasting note.

The dry fragrance of the cake is actually surprisingly like root beer, or the sarsaparilla aspect of it anyway (last time I said something like cloves, but it is obviously sarsaparilla to me now). The flavor is very smooth, a little like the sarsaparilla I mentioned but also sweet. I’m not sure if it reminds me of bamboo or sugarcane, as I don’t know much about either anyway. The flavor is excellent for a raw pu-erh though! The leaves haven’t unraveled much, even with a longer rinse. By the second steep, it has unraveled more. The flavor is almost exactly like the first cup. For some reason, the first steeps of raw pu-erh always have an extra special something to them. The third steep is delicious too and seems to get more of a bright fruit flavor. I have tamed the raw pu-erh steeps — no more bitter or too tough flavor! Last time it mostly tasted like wood chips after the first steep. I won’t oversteep sheng anymore – very happy about that! I would definitely buy this one and the Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Pu-erh Brick 2005 to stock up on sheng teas.
Steep #1 // 20 minutes after boiling // rinse // 30 second steep
Steep #2 // 20 minutes after boiling // 30 seconds
Steep #3 // 20 minutes after boiling // 30 seconds

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Another generous sample (recent) from Teavivre… thanks so much! I’m so amazed that Teavivre’s packages get to the US so fast from China. This sample pouch had a chunk of the edge of a pu-erh cake. I haven’t had any pu-erh that is actually from a giant cake yet, so that’s fun. The leaves are mostly black with a few golden twists… which is fitting since this tea is from Yunnan. The fragrance of the dry leaves are very unique… it reminds me of something familiar, maybe cloves?

Steep #1// A few minutes after boiling // 30 seconds //
The flavor is sweet and what it reminds me of most is apple or chamomile. I certainly haven’t had a pu-erh like this before! I don’t think I’d even guess it was a pu-erh in a blind taste test. I’d probably guess chamomile. A bit like cedar too. It’s very intriguing.

Steep #2// A few minutes after boiling // 1 min //
The flavor here is tougher than last time. I think the chamomile/apple flavor is mostly gone to be left with the usual light pu-erh. But I think 1 min was a bit too long. I should have went for 45 seconds. The flavor is a little bit too tangy and even more like cedar. I think I might like the darker/ tougher pu-erhs better somehow. But this one is still very good.

Steep#3 // Just boiled // 65 seconds //
I probably shouldn’t have steeped it this long again. The flavor is much the same again. I’m not sure I know enough about pu-erh to say much about this one, or even if it should taste the way I’m tasting it. I think next time note to self: Steep 30 seconds each time, since I liked the first cup the best: not so tangy and woody (though I guess that makes sense since these are leaves.)

Another good one from Teavivre, but I don’t think I’ve tried enough pu-erh to be an expert yet. I certainly don’t love pu-erh as much as my delicious black teas though.

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haha well 2 years ago when CHAroma tasted this she did. not. like it.
(but yes that was 2 years ago)
but as a puerh goes, for me, there isn’t really anything to dislike here. it’s just not thrilling is all. it’s a fine, average puerh.
okay okay it might kinda be boring. but not bad bad.
if it blossoms later, like on the 6th steeping or something, i’ll let you know….

my sister is watching anime. Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist


This was my first puerh tea ever, and I’ve found I just don’t like them in general.


I was just thinking of how I liked this one better when I was writing my tasting note for another Teavivre pu-erh.

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This versatile and flavourful black satisfies plain or with milk. The aroma wafting around the teapot catches the nose immediately. The amber brown liquor is lighter than to be expected from the black leaves, but it is not short on flavour. Taken black, it has a pleasant, malty sweetness that is free of astringency and does not dry the palate. To get a satisfying dark brew when taking with milk, it is necessary to make it stronger, but the splendidly full-bodied, almost syrupy flavour of molasses, malt and caramel is delightfully heady and aromatic.

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If you enjoy Chinese black teas, you must try this one! Open the packet and inhale deeply – hay, cocoa, malt , maybe a little fruit. Smells delicious.

I used less than boiling water, as suggested by Teavivre in their brewing instructions – 2 tsp in 8 oz of water. Flavorful for 4 steeps (1m, 2m, 2.5m, 3m). The tea soup is a rich brown and it tastes fantastic. I cannot wait to serve this to guests. I’ll definitely be keeping this one on hand!

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I’ve been putting off trying my pu erh teas for a time when I can sit and relax. The first time I tried this one I could not get it to taste right. This time I steeped it for 1.30 at 212. degrees. Much better :3 It is sweet with a lovely floral note. The sweetness almost reminds me of peach or apple. It still has a soft earthy taste to it. I’m happy I chose this one today. Very relaxing.


sounds yummy!

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So I tried making this in my gaiwan last night and apparently failed miserably. I followed steeping instructions on the website but no matter how I tried steeping it it had a horrible bitter chemical flavor. Does anyone know why? I’m completely puzzled…. :(


Hello KallieBoo,

Our this raw pu-erh tea cake is made by the tea buds and leaves from Yunnan large-leaf tea trees. The process of making this kind of raw puerh cake is totally manually and without any chemical material.

The bitter taste of tea is caused by the component of catechin in tea leaves. The catechin in large-leaf tea trees is usually more than other tea tress. The tea cakes made by the material which contains more tea buds will be bitter than other teas because of the high containing of catechin.

The bitterness often can be divided into several situations.
1. You feel bitterness once the tea liquor into your mouth, but a quick enjoyable aftertaste sweetness will come to your tongue and even throat. This is a good sign for high quality raw pu-erh teas.
2. You feel bitterness from the beginning of the drink to the end without any aftertaste sweetness or astringency. This kind of tea will be a little poor quality that the fist situation.
3. The bad one is for the feeling of bitterness with astringency

For the bitter chemical flavor you mentioned, I think it may because you are not accustomed to the natural bitterness of the raw pu-erh tea which then you mistaken as chemical flavor. If this kind of bitterness is not quite acceptable by you at the beginning. I suggest you shorten the brewing time, at the first few infusions you can quickly pour out the tea liquor in a few seconds after you pour the boiling water to the tea. In this quick brewing way the bitterness may be a little decreased.

The bitterness of raw pu-erh tea may be not quite acceptable for the raw pu-erh beginners. However, many pu-erh tea lovers love this kind of bitterness and sweet aftertaste after some time of adjustment period.
After more than 7 years of natural oxidation, the sweetness aftertaste of this pu-erh tea is quite obvious. I believe you will also love this kind of pu-erh tea once you are used to it.

Here are also some other tea lovers reviews for this teas:


Thank you for helping me Angel!! I’ll have to try it again.


You are welcome, please contact us if you have any questions about tea:D

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My very first keemun was Teavivre’s Keemun #1, and it is still one of my favorite teas. I have been looking forward to trying its “big brother”. I was curious because it seemed to be quite inexpensive compared to other Hao Ya teas I have recently tried.

This tea’s nose has much less smoke than #1, but there are hints of chocolate. It seems very refined and elegant, but less powerful than I would like. The taste is also a bit on the weak side, but pleasant; without a hint of bitterness.

The tea really comes into its own in the finish. It opens up and shows both power and complexity. There is still a lot of flavor a full minute after I swallow. This long finish seems to help the taste build up: each sip seemed stronger than the first, so that by the end of the cup, I can’t really complain about the lack of power.

I gave this pretty much the same rating as the Keemun #1 but they are very different teas. This one is more subtle but lacks the smoke and power that I’ve come to look for in Keemun teas.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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woops over leafed! but not oversteeped, and still good. whew.
kinda average milk oolong in my inexperienced opinion.
or i could be distracted by downloading fic and learning how to use twitter.

thanks for the sample whatshesaid! i know you aren’t online much these days, but hope you are having an awesome baby growing time!!


Wooooo twitter! :O
I grabbed some of this tea, but I don’t remember how much. I hope it’s tasty! :P

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Backlog from yesterday:

These tea leaves are the strangest leaves I’ve ever seen. They look more like those seaweed snacks that are becoming super popular these days. I put them all in my test tube steeper vertically and they went almost all the way to the top. The tea itself was pretty good. I got a few good steeps out of it, but it wasn’t anything too crazy.

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this is my favorite so far! i love a nice jasmine tea. this is flavored with peach extract so not overwhelmingly peach but it plays nicely with the jasmine

i steeped for 2 minutes. the pearls werent able to completely unfurl so i will try a second steeping to see how it will affect the flavor

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I’m always scared to try peach anything, same with cherry. I love fresh peaches (and cherries), but dried and/or artificial flavors hardly ever compare and are often an affront to my taste buds. It’s good to hear that it’s not overwhelming.


one of my favorite teas is fruta bomba from teavana. its a green with peach in it (and other things). they use real fruit and its a lovely flavor. not overwhelming. on the other hand, teavanas sakura allure is a green that has real cherries and its such a strong cherry flavor that the tea isnt even green, its dark red. i love cherries also, that one is so strong i typically like to ice it to thin it out some

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i steeped for 3 minutes which gave it a very light amber color. the leaves were able to unfurl all the way to release the full flavor of the oolong.

the strawberry flavor is from strawberry extract and i think because of this the flavor is very light, secondary, and not overwhelming. the tea has a faint strawberry fragrance also.

overall, i like it. its nice if youre in the mood for a flavored tea that isnt strong.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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It is a pleasure to work with Teavivre – their tea is delicious and the customer service is just as good. Today I am enjoying their Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong. The thick creamy taste is superb. Hard to believe that this rich creamy flavor is natural but it definitely is.

The liquor is a medium gold with a slight vanilla cream aroma. Both the flavor and the mouthfeel suggest sweetened condensed milk. I prepared this according to instructions provided by Teavivre for an 8oz cup Using my test tube steeper, I watched the leaves unfurl and expand and was able to enjoy four flavorful infusions (1m, 2m, 3m, 4m). I was delighted to discover that the flavor had staying power throughout the process.

This is one rich, delicious brew. Certainly one I plan to keep on hand and enjoy regularly.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I’ve not had this one for awhile so I’m really enjoying it this morning. Rich, malty, bready flavor. A wonderful black tea to savor and enjoy without adding milk or sugar. Time to go resteep…..

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This tea hit the spot this morning – full of deliciousness. I’ve been working my way through a few teas in the traveling teabox and I needed the comfort of one of my favorites. Bailin for me!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I am enjoying Teavivre’s Spring 2013 harvest and have taken advantage of their 2nd anniversary sale. The speed with which they deliver their tea is very impressive.

So I have finally tasted the highly regarded Bailin. Though a milder black tea flavor than I prefer, this tea is most enjoyable! The flavor is rich and gentle with a definite sweetness. While the smell of the dry leaf is definitely mild, the aroma of the liquid is strong and very pleasant.

It produces a dark copper brew. The taste is woodsy, sweet, and fruity all in one. Brewed below boiling (I used 190 degree water) and there is no bitterness at all. Added 1 minute to each 8oz infusion (1m, 2m, 3m, 4m).

If you’ve not had the opportunity to try this tea, do yourself a favor and give it a try!

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Quite possibly the finest ti guan yin of my life. The scent of the leaves alone was enough to send me into ecstasy. It’s like being in the best most fragrant flower garden. Absolutely amazing.
I had no idea the leaves would unfurl so quickly and at such volume. My basket was almost overflowing.
The taste of this tea is magical. Floral and fresh. Apple aftertaste. Just a bit vegetal, but unlike any vegetable I know. Slight peachiness. This is gently energizing. Perfect for me as I’m feeling pretty tired.

This is a beautiful tea.


Great review. You make me regret not ordering a sample of this!


Awww! Now I have to fix myself a cup of this, after reading this lovely review :-)


I almost didn’t get a sample of this either. I figured it can’t be so different from other to guan yins, but it is. Great tea inspires great reviews. :)

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