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Recent Tasting Notes

After breakfast tea. A nice rich sweet potato, enhanced with a yeasty/cheesy taste. Tasty!


Huh. Sounds like it’s infused with nutritional yeast. :)

Terri HarpLady

But in a strangely delicious way :)


Yeah! I could see that working in a tea.

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I drank this all afternoon. I went with a gongfu setup:
7G + 4oz porcelain teapot X 5sec (+5 sec for each successive steep)
This made for a very rich brew, malty, with a buttery sweet potato taste, some floral, and that yeasty/cheesy kind of taste. It just gave & gave! 7G was a bit of an overleaf, in retrospect, but it was tasty!

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Sipdown # 2 of the day was provided by Angel & TeaVivre. Thank you so much for the opportunity to sample this tasty tasty tea! A slightly floral sweet potato, with a yeasty cheesy kind of tongue thickening quality as well. Very lovely, & definitely on my list of teas to purchase when I make my next TeaVivre order! Delicious!

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I’ve been part of a couple of ‘group orders’ recently, including one from TeaVivre, which reminded me that I still have several samples that Angel generously sent me to drink & review. I drank this Tan Yang before, & I think it is the only Tan Yang I’ve had so far…maybe?

The dry leaf is lovely, delicate, & variegated in colors of beige & charcoal, with an amazing aroma that is rich, malty, & floral.
My water kettle & I were temperature challenged this morning. First the water was too hot, so I turned the stove off & walked away for a few minutes, then the temp was too cool, so I turned the kettle back on. Then it was too hot again, so I poured a cup of water & put the thermometer in the cup, blinked & it was too cool again. LOL. BTW, I use a cheap thermometer that I got from target, I think it’s this one.

Right now they are available on Amazon for .98 (plus shipping). They have 7 left in stock. I don’t remember what I paid at Target, but it was very inexpensive & I’ve been very happy with it! I put the stick part of the thermometer right in the hole (the whistler) on my kettle. It works out perfectly!

But I digress (I’ve always wanted to say that, hahaha)
This is an interesting cup of tea, kind of ‘cheesy’ tasting, it kind of reminds me of an aged cheese. I know that sounds weird, but it’s like a rich buttery aged cheese. There’s also a malty yeasty taste too it, & even an almost effervescent beer like feeling in my mouth, with a hops like tingle & slightly bitter undertone. This is an interesting tea, with some interesting taste combination.

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This is another lovely sample from Angel @ TeaVivre. Thanks so much!

The aroma of the leaf is very rich & buttery, & once steeped it yields a tasty cup with an essence of sweet potato & a slightly floral high note.
This is one of those teas that has a really rich middle range, with what I can only describe as a “cheesy” taste & feel, as in a fine aged rich cheese. Of course, being allergic to milk, it’s been 30+ years since I actually had any, and it’s taken me awhile to come up with a description of this, but it just hit me as cheesy, so that’s what I’m going with. A nice thick mouth, now I’m thinking yeasty & malty too.

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My next sipdown come courtesy of Angel & TeaVivre!
This is a lovely Dragonwell, sweet & green, with an almost cheesy taste too it. Everything I’ve enjoyed from TeaVivre has been of excellent quality, & this tea is no exception! Delicious!

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I used to drink a lot of Dragonwell at one time. This one is the classic embodiment of what a Dragonwell should be. The leaves are beautiful, flat, sage green, with a heady aroma of green-ness. They brew into a pale yellow.

The flavor is sweet & green, with a thickness to the mouth. Delicious.
Thank you Angel & TeaVivre for this lovely & generous sample!

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Mmm thanks teavivre for the sample. Very neat looking tea pearls.
I used 4 pearls for the cup. Loved the slightly smokey toasty type flavour. Have enough pearls in my pack for one more small cup:)

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Here’s another tea that I meant to review on Monday, & I’d like to thank Angel @ Teavivre for her generosity.

The dry leaf is a beautiful irridescent green, with a sweet & buttery aroma. Teavivre does include steeping suggestions of some of their teas on their website, for both western & chinese style steeping. For this session I used 3G in my test tube steeping, 30/60/90/120
The resulting pale yellow liquor had a gentle taste & fragrance of butter & chestnut, plus sunflower sprouts! Delicious!

Cameron B.

Yum, this sounds delicious! I’m going to have to order a giant amount of samples from TeaVivre in the near future.

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I have no idea what the count on my tea collection is right now, & I’m not going to do the math today. Sil sent me 38, I got 4 from Verdant, & their bundle box is also en route, so who knows, & really, today who cares?

This lovely green tea is gentle & buttery, with a rich flavor of sunflower sprouts, which I love. Thanks again to Angel & TeaVivre for this sample. :)

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I just realized there is a crack in my glass 12 oz little teapot, which I mostly use as a pitcher during gongfu brewings.
…sigh… the crack is by the handle, & it also leaks, a drop at a time. I have really enjoyed this little one. I always feel sad when it’s time to say goodbye to good teaware, but of course this also means I get to look around for a replacement…

This lovely tea is a sample sent to me from Angel @ TeaVivre Thanks so much!
The aroma of the leave is green, of course, but also buttery & rich.
I steeped the whole sample packet in my 12 oz (cracked) glass pot, at 185 for 2 minutes. It’s a delicate, sweet & rich little tea with a light fragrance. It reminds me of eating sunflower sprouts. I haven’t grown those in awhile, & they are just SO good, kind of nutty & buttery & freshly green. This tea reminds me of those, & it is a very nice delicate fresh lightly vegetal cup. Very lovely.
Thanks again Angel :)

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Although I like this one better than the lapsang souchong I got from Della Terra Teas, I’m starting to think that smoky teas are not my thing. In comparison the DTT Lapsang this one is more subtle about the smokiness and there is a silky sweetness that was missing in the other. There is no bitter burnt aftertaste either.

It probably doesn’t help my opinion of smoky teas that I associate the taste with the last time I had the stomach flu-I threw up a whole bunch of smoky bbq ribs. Well at least I tried another smoky tea and could taste that it was higher quality even if it’s not my favorite.

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Thanks to Angel from Teavivre for this sample.

The leaves (both dry and when initially wet) surprised me with their extremely bright green color, which inevitably led to a highly “green” liquor—very floral and herbaceous taste with pale-green liquor coloration, a crisp mouthfeel, and a general lack of persistent, full aroma. I’ll chalk this one up as another modern “green tea” tieguanyin and move on. The flavors were of the general tieguanyin spectrum, although were more subdued than those of other similar spring tieguanyin*, so I won’t go into much detail there. Instead, I’ll focus on the aromatic and textural qualities that set this one apart (for better or worse).

I generally prefer the autumn harvests of tieguanyin for their more pervasive aromatics and depth, especially with this kind of lightly- or un-roasted tieguanyin. I found the fragrance of this one to be quite lacking, as I alluded to above, which seemed to bring out the highest overall intensity after the wash and then fade quickly throughout the session. The scent on the gaiwan lid was fleeting after each steep, while my tasting cup had little to no lengxiang (lit. cold fragrance; the scent leftover after the liquor has been drained). However, I found there to be dimensions of the wet leaves’ fragrance that were unique, such as a deeply vegetal, “green wood” quality that was somewhere in the earthy spectrum of scents.

I found the mouthfeel and general “form” of the liquor to be quite enjoyable. I noticed almost no astringency whatsoever, and a long smoothness for each sip. Although the textural dimensions remained on the light side during the opening and development of a sip, the finish was sticky and somewhat thick, with a faint cooling sensation in the throat. With more leaf in the gaiwan*, a small tartness in the throat is detectable, although the information Teavivre provides for this tea indicates that it shouldn’t have this quality because of the lack of tuo suan during processing. Again, it didn’t seem to be there with lower quantities of leaf (as in half the sample pack per 100 mL of water), but it wasn’t a negative quality to me regardless.

*Using a bit more than half the bag will result in more intense/full flavors, at the expense of some smoothness, in my experiences. Both produce sessions that are good in their own right, depending on what qualities you desire. Teavivre seems to recommend the entire bag for gaiwan brewing, but for my preferences the cramping of the leaves at that concentration produces a sub-optimum infusion.

190 °F / 87 °C

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I spent the afternoon savoring cup after cup of this Shu. It really is a pleasant earthy & sweet tea. I felt like I was drinking the forest floor, a deeply decomposed leaf pile. Later it took on a cedar essence as well. This really is a nice tea. Thank you Angel & TeaVivre for this sample.

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About a week ago I was weeding my blackberry bramble, & as I breathed in the aroma of the mulch under the berry canes, it reminded me of Shu: rich, earthy, musty, damp, wonderful. I have 3 Oak trees in my yard, & every year I pile all the leaves in a very large bin, where they are allowed to break down for 18 monthes. I have 2 such bins, for alternating years, & the resulting leaf mulch gets piled under berry bushes, mixed into garden soil, etc, along with compost from my compost piles.

I haven’t been drinking a lot of puerh lately. I have plenty (believe me…), & I love both Shu & Sheng. I guess I’ve just been busy. Also, I’ve been sampling a lot of teas, & because I like to do long gongfu sessions with Puerhs (and oolongs), I end up just drinking one tea all afternoon, instead of several samples. Also, I’ve been running around on errands &/or gardening a lot lately too, so not a lot of time to sit around pouring gongfu steepings.

So today is the day! Tony & I have been in pajama mode all afternoon, & I’ve been enjoying this generous sample sent to me from Angel @ TeaVivre. Thanks Angel :D

I have a gaiwan at Tony’s, but no scale, so I don’t really know how much tea I put in there, basically the whole sample. It was a beautiful sample: nice dark fragrant chunks of teacake, beautiful brown with golden highlights. I gave it a quick rinse, then started steeping.
1st round, all combined in a cup: 10 sec, 15, 20, 25
2nd round: 30, 40, 50, 60
3rd round: transferred all the leaf to a steeping basket & steeped in the cup for 3 minutes.
I may do another couple of rounds at 4 & 5 minutes.

The resulting brew was a beautiful dark chocolate brown, rich with an earthy grounding flavor, smooth & sweet, with a pleasant qi feeling, & a delightful tongue tingling sensation. A perfect way to spend the afternoon.

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I’ve been wanting to try this one for a long time. Pretty much since I discovered milk oolongs by accident with the American Tea Room’s milk oolong. The bar was set crazy high with ATR’s version and this one doesn’t quite match it, although it is very enjoyable. Thanks Alysha for sending it my way. I’ll definitely be finishing off the whole bag!


FYI, ATR’s oolong is unlike other milk oolongs because it is actually some crazy Tie Guan Yin variety, not a Jin Xuan like most milk oolongs. Just a warning that you may continue to be disappointed! I had to divorce my expectations from that milk oolong and after that I enjoyed other ones much more.


Interesting! Good to know! It probably wasn’t a good one to start with as no other can match it. I actually like della Terra’s a lot too. It’s super buttery.

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Sipdown, 120. Woohoo, made it to 120 before my trip! I looked back at the Hiatus discussion thread where I said I wanted to be down to 140 before my trip, but this is way better. And I’m not done with sipdowns yet for the week!

This is pretty nice but I don’t think it’s my favorite dragonwell. In fact I think I like the lower grade “Premium” dragonwell from Teavivre better. This one seems a bit grassier and less buttery. Maybe it needs a bit less leaf for the amount of water, too, because even at one minute this is very potent. Still tasty, though, and I’m happy to have gotten to try this one.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to Teavivre for this sample for tasting! I am so glad that I my enjoyment for unflavored green teas has gone nowhere, even though I can’t get behind flavored ones so much anymore.

I think I oversteeped/overleafed this one a bit. Looking at steeping cup, I meant to only brew it for 1 minute but got distracted and it got an extra 30 seconds, so it is edging on too bitter-greens for me. Still, this is quite tasty. Very nutty and buttery, with a smooth, silky texture. A bit grassy, though I think that is accentuated by the oversteep. I am enjoying the later steeps as well, though for some reason they are still edging on that bitter grassiness. I’ll probably cut the leaf when I try this again; I’ll wait until then to rate it.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

There must be a contest for the longest tea name ever imagined that these guys are hoping to enter…

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Thanks first to Angel at Teavivre, who graciously sent me this tea as part of the spring harvest offerings.

I’ll start out by saying that I don’t really think I have a well defined palate for distinguishing subtleties in teas, especially greens. I do my best and try to gage what I taste, based on what others are tasting, and if I can connect the two somehow.

The leaves of this one are simply divine…rich green, broad and flat leaves. The scent coming from the newly opened packet was crisp and fresh, with some vegetal presence. I don’t think I could tell you which vegetables though. I used a bamboo tea spoon in my steeper, and used boiled water that had cooled for a few minutes (I lost track of time so I don’t know exactly how long). I also lack a thermometer so I am unsure of the exact temperature at the time of steeping. I did follow the 1 minute time for western style.

The brew, after a minute, was very very pale. I wondered whether I should have steeped longer. I get a mild tasting green tea, which has some presence and body, but not much. It’s still a bit too hot to get a good sip. I did add a small amount of sugar, less than I usually do. It does have that very savory flavour to it, in that brothy sort of way though, with or without sugar.

I am not an expert of green teas, especially Chinese green teas, and I can’t say as I’ve ever had a Dragon Well before. I feel like I have, a long time ago though. Also, I really have a hard time distinguishing varieties of the same tea. Maybe it is my allergies too. I’d like to have a tasting some time, with someone who knows what to look for in the teas to help me develop my palate sensitivity more.

What do I think of this tea then? I think it is a lovely looking tea, and the taste is smooth from what I can tell right now. I suspect more notes will come out stronger as the tea cools some, so I may come back here and add to this note. I can say that I do like what I have tasted thus far, but I can’t say I am in love. It is something that is a nice change of pace for me though.


Oh! I should bring you my three different Dragon Well batches. I promise you’ll be able to taste the difference, barring that they haven’t grown old! :)


Ok. Thanks!

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Sipdown No. 4 today. I’d like to thank Angel @ TeaVivre for this sample.
This is a lovely, lightly vegetal green tea with a heavenly peach aroma. The jasmine is present, but only slightly. The peach flavor is very subtle, although from past experience I can say that if you add a slight amount of sweetener, it moves the peach forward a few notches. What I really like about this is the true peach flavor. So many peach teas taste (& are) artificial. This one is nice.

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Final Tea of the day. This time I used the entire sample packet for 2 minutes, & the results was a gentle green slightly peachy cup. I ddin’t really get any Jasmine from it, but it was a nice afternoon elixir.

Thanks again to Angel & TeaVivre for this sample.

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