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Recent Tasting Notes

Do you ever fantasize about drinking tea and then have trouble finding something that makes you feel the way you wanted to feel? I do. But tonight I wanted some tea and this one has far exceeded my tea fantasies.

I decided to do a ittle gong fu brewing with hubby joining in. Oh my! The leaves smelled amazingly good when I opened the pouch. I did rinse the leaves quickly, maybe ten seconds. I don’t think that is really necessary with this one. The first steep was light yellow and lightly buttery with vegetal tones. I resteeped, and resteeped, and resteeped. The third steep was darker than the first two.

Now on the sixth some amazing things are happening in this tea. There is a mineral quality coming out, and a lingering cool finish rather like the feeling I get when I drink something with licorice root in. It caresses and coats the throat. There is that same quality that made me fall for Wild Forest Oolong, though this is lighter.

I am so glad I ordered their Tie Guan Yin with organic honey. If it is anything like this one, I am in for some highly satisfying tea times.

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I don’t think I realized this when I made my first review of this tea, but mine seems to be packaged differently from others. Instead of individual samples that make about a small pot each, I have a large foil pouch inside of a larger zipper pouch.

The aroma is so intense. My mouth started to water as soon as I smelled the dry curled leaves. Beautiful leaves, beautiful scent! It amazes me that something natural and unflavored can be this aromatic.

First steep – light gold in color, light to medium buttery vegetal flavor.
Second steep – went a little too long as I am making bread at the same time and had to go turn on the oven as the bread is rising in the brotform. It isn’t bitter, but it is stronger with grassy notes and is more drying.
Third steep – paying closer attention now. The tea is now a very light golden yellow and so translucent. It is beautiful in the tiny cups. Now I taste an edge of hay framing the buttery vegetable liquor. It is a little less drying now.

I will continue to resteep this today and it looks like I may get another four or five steeps from these leaves.

Delicious, and so fresh. Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!

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Second steep – I left the leaves loose in the pot so they could swirl and breathe. The first pot of tea had a floral aroma and as it cooled there was a walnut flavor. There was also something elusive in the sip that I first thought was a citrus note, then decided might be a hint of pineapple.

The second steep is a deep yellow straw color. It is still full of flavor and a grassier, walnut flavor is more prominent than the floral aspect to me now. Very good!

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This was another sample from Teavivre. Many thanks!

This was the first tea served at tea party yesterday. My guest began as a coffee drinker who didn’t mind drinking black tea. She takes everything plain, even her coffee, no milk, no sugar. I thought that black teas were our only option, but when I have found a good quality green or oolong, I serve it, and without fail, she really likes it. They will become a more prominent part of our tea table henceforth.

This one brought immediate oooo’s and ah’s. It is mild, not astringent at all. The leaves become quite huge when they unfurl! I saved them to make a resteep today! This was a lovely tea. Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!

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I ran out of this tea, but I did not remove it from my cupboard because I had already ordered two more bags. We love it too much to let it run out, and guests who don’t normally drink tea find it really tasty.

Today was tea party day, of course. We missed it last week because my guest was in Florida, so this week we made up for it with a home made pumpkin roll that my youngest made from freshly ground whole wheat and a sugar pie pumpkin that we bought at the state farmer’s market. It was delicious, and just as I had hoped, this tea with its natural sweet potato notes was a great pairing with the pumpkin roll.


I need to re-order this too…

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I waited to pick the third tea for my guest until I had seen her try shu puerh and jasmine silver needle. I used her opinions to pick the final tea, and was leaning toward black tea since she loved the puerh but it had to be just the right one since she had been scared off by a bitter black tea someone else gave her. I called in youngest to help with suggestions. She said, “What about the one we had last week that was so good?”

I turned to my friend and asked, “Do you like sweet potatoes?” “I LOVE SWEET POTATOES!” It was almost a roar! I laughed and pulled this pouch of tea.

This time I got out my tray and tiny teapot with a fair cup. We’d had two teas western style, now she could see gong fu style!

She smelled the liquor and was astonished at the remarkable scent of sweet potatoes, so distinctive. She sipped and said, “This is it! This is my favorite. I liked the others a lot, but this one is perfect. I could drink this all the time.”

She is right. It is a remarkably good tea and I am getting a little low. So I guess that is one more to add to my next order.


Love this one too!


This is now going on my wish list – I love your tea party descriptions!

Lariel of Lórien

All hail the mighty sweet potato tea!

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I served this to the mother and very young sister of one of my music students today. I told them about Fox News naming Teavivre’s Dian Hong as one of the top ten teas in the world. I drank my plain but I didn’t pay attention to how they made theirs since I was at the piano but I know the mother always takes the tiniest sprinkle of sugar in her tea.

I was delighted when the little girl told me that she liked that tea so much she didn’t even put sugar in it! I know I would not have taken it without sugar as a child so I am delighted to know that some of these little ones are going to have a much more sensitive and varied palate than I had, and it has taken me years to develop.

As an aside, somehow I am receiving messages meant for other people. Just a heads up, so don’t get mad if someone doesn’t respond to you. The message may have gone astray…

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Wow. Wow-wow-wow! I believe this was the tea Fox put on the top ten teas in the world list last week, although it may not have been the golden tip version, I don’t remember.

I had completely rearranged my schedule for the snow days and it all fell through. Every single bit. So I had most of the day to do whatever, and I drank tea and ate pound cake! I thought a friend was coming to join me but I ended up drinking alone. (That’s how we know we have a problem, right?) LOL!

This is amazing, and the aroma is not to be missed. Rich, rich, rich. Delicious plain. Delicious any way you drink it. Don’t ever let it run out without a fresh batch on hand.

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A little over a year ago, Teavivre sent a sample of this tea. Like so many others, I found that I had to have it, and finally placed my order a couple of months ago. One funny thing – a friend of mine who used to drink just some of the nicer tea bag tea has gotten hooked on better loose leaf teas since we started having tea together. I signed her up for the Teavivre samples and this is one that I told her to get. When she mentioned ordering again, she actually shivered when she named this tea as one that is going on the next order! Ha ha! I understand! I have the tea shivers myself a few times. Mostly with Teavivre teas.

This one is rich warm sweet potato goodness. I made a pot of tea, some apple cubes, and Kerrygold Dubliner cheese to nibble on while youngest and I do her German lesson. I will be serving it again later today for tea time. Excellent tea!

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I drank green tea this morning, but when I was cooking lunch I saw the basket of leaves from yesterday. I picked them up and sniffed them. Aaaahh! Baked sweet potatoes, holiday style, roasted until the skin burst then a little orange glaze added. I decided to try resteeping and icing this with a bit of sweetener. Not bad! And it was a great way to be thrifty with my tea.

Is it bad that I am trying to be thrifty with my tea at the same time I am trying to drink up a whole lot of tea and cull my shelves? And the main reason I am trying to clean off those shelves is so that I will feel justified ordering more tea?


Oh, the rationalizations we go through. ;) I am right there with ya!


“Waste not, want not” was drilled into my psyche during childhood, so when the resteeping realization hit me, it slowed (slowed, not stopped, lol) my urge for more. And it was this tea that did it (and Upton’s Imperial Golden Monkey, which is pulling me towards another Upton order … and the wish list over there is very scary, haha). I mean, there’s only one of me here….


I think it would be bad not to steep and resteep and then steep some more especially with this one (and the dragon pearls).


I have the same argument with myself allll the time! guh…


I read about drying leaves when you can’t resteep for some reason right away. If you live in a really dry climate like I do…I can put the leaves on a plate and within 20 minutes they are dry. I put them in a tin and resteep as soon as I can. You can’t just leave them wet for hours and hours because they pick up bacteria.

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A testament to how generous the samples from Teavivre have been….I just made another pot of this and still have enough leaf left to make a generous cup, ad since this resteeps, well, who knows how much tea this could end up being?

After breakfast, hubby put Mr. Samwise in the Burley trailer and took him for a bike ride. they went to Sandy’s house to do a e bit of picking up in the yard. Hubby picked up pinecones, Sam picked up bones and sticks. I joined them and was a little peckish when we got back home after riding around a bit more and decided to have elevenses.

A hard boiled egg with this tea, out on the patio, hit the spot. Youngest joined me for tea. She added milk and sugar, I took mine plain until the final cup. JacquelineM has already given the perfect description of this tea plain, so I will just briefly repeat her….sweet potatoes with a little orange flavor! YUM!

For the final cup I decided to add a little milk and sugar. At first I thought that I didn’t like it as well as it seemed to disappear under the additions, but the more I drink, the more I like it. My first preference for this one is sans additions, though. But if you really want to add sweetener or milk to your black tea, this one is still good. I wonder if the Yun Nan Dian Hong that isn’t golden tip would be better for that, though, and perhaps would make a heartier breakfast tea to take me by the collar and get me going?


Sweet potatoes and orange sounds good!

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We made this after lunch, and it was brilliant. Baked sweet potatoes with caramelized juices, and this time I am getting a lemony or citrusy high note as well, especially as it cools. This was DELISH!

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This was our second tea for the tasting today, and it was fabulous. The aroma of the steeped tea was so awesome we all had to stop and give it an extra moment of appreciation. No one could describe it better than JacquelineM already did – a naked sweet potato with skin on. I can even picture the amber syrup seeping out from where a fork or knife has pierced the sweet potato.

There is a honeyed sweetness to this. It was excellent paired with our foods today, which were Hickory Farms Beef Summer Sausage, Cheese with Onion, Breton Multigrain Crackers, fresh fudge-y whole wheat brownies from freshly ground wheat topped with whipped cream and served with strawberries on the side. This was the tea I kept coming back to when it was time to refill my cup.

Absolutely delicious. Teavivre, this tea is a magnificent work of art. Thank you!

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Second steep – success! A black tea that resteeps really well is a treasure. This is definitely a treasure!

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JacquelineM hit the nail on the head. Bright sweet potatoes! I could not stop sniffing the pouch of dry leaves. What a delight to the senses! The golden tips are awesome. I have read so much about how special this tea is that I wanted to get it right, so I weighed the leaves instead of just measuring. These are long, light, and fluffy and I didnt trust my teaspoon.

Steeped, this has a lovely deep amber (cup nearly empty) to red (cup full) color. The aroma is now malty sweet potatoes. As a yunnan tea, it should.be an assamica varietal, and it has the malty goodness of both those teas, but without astringency, without pepper. This is an amazing tea, probably my favorite yunnan so far. I am considering making this one of my “conversion” teas – tea that I serve to guests who are not tea drinkers that is guaranteed to make them want more!

Youngest daughter, when asked for comments, replied, “nom nom nom!”

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drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
1926 tasting notes

This is the last of the sample from Teavivre. I have tried it before, and of the two flowering teas sent I liked Two Dragons and a Pearl the most, so that is the one I ordered from them. This one is also good, and certainly very pretty and entertaining. The liquor is pale and the blossoms have deep color so it makes a very pretty show.

I made this in my 8 ounce Taiwan glass teapot from purepuer.com. Because It opened slowly, I let it steep for about four minutes. It was still weak at that point, so I should have rinsed or just discarded the first steep. As it is, I decided to combine steeps 1 and 2 for a medium body.

The flavor is slightly grassy, but I really taste the marigold, especially on the first steeps. If you don’t like the smell of marigolds (my MIL hates them) you might not like this tea. If other blooming teas have been too weak for you, you might want to try this one.

Hubby hung in there for four steeps. I am still sipping and I think I am on number six. I am impressed with the flower colors. The first flowering tea I ever bought looked like stagnant ditch water in about five minutes. I half expected to see a minnow flit by. This is much, much better. Because I liked these two, I am toying with trying some of their other blooming teas as well, since I want to restock my dragon pearls and I want to try some more of their oolongs and I really REALLY need some more of their Chun Mee.

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drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
1926 tasting notes

Since my guest enjoyed the flowering tea last week, I decided to serve a flowering tea again this week. I have been craving really good green tea lately, probably because of my Teavivre samples that have been so delicious. This one was beautiful and very good. We steeped it only twice because I used a slighter larger pot this time. I had three cups! Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
I am looking forward to putting together my first Teavivre order!


I’m glad that you like it^^


How much water do you think should be used with these blooming teas? I was thinking maybe three cups?


I think I started with about two at the most, and each time I poured a couple of small cups, around four ounces each, I added a small amount of hot water back to resteep. I believe I may even have been just shy of sixteen ounces for the first.


Thanks! I’ll try 16 oz. I want to try this one over the holidays for certain!


I just saw that the glass pot sold on Lupicia especially for blooming teas are only a little over seven ounces. That makes sense. I noticed at Southern Season that they steep their blooming tea in a wine goblet which wouldn’t be much more than that, and they don’t fill it all the way. It definitely resteeps well, though.


That seems so small. These blooms would completely fill that pot up. Guess I will have to try it that way once. I was using an 8 cup coffee decanter – 8 cup thats 4 real cups!


I have a liter carafe – I have to try filling with say 10 oz and see if it is too shallow. I may have to buy a tiny charming glass pot – oh how terrible :)


I used my Bodum iced tea glass carafe. It is about 40 ounces, I think, but I only filled it about one-fourth of the way up.

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SIPDOWN! I got up at 5 am to keep an eye on the new hen. When they are adjusting the pecking order, sometimes the newcomer or the smallest hen will get beaten up, but they have behaved themselves wonderfully. They didn’t even get up until 6 am today!

Another tasting note inspired me to make a pot of this, sit outside, and watch the chickens for a while. The wind is blowing and we are supposed to have a thunderstorm, so it is quite overcast and cloudy with sudden piercing beams of sunlight warming your arms and face. The dogwood trees are sprinkling us with petals and stamens and pistils as the wind ruffles through the branches.

I made three steeps so this is a little lighter than I usually drink it, though I did use extra pearls to finish them off cleanly. No fear. The tin is already refilled with Teavivire’s Superfine Downy Jasmine Dragon Pearls. My next purchase from them will be their Jasmine Silver Needle.

These are the jasmine teas I drink when I want to enjoy an excellent jasmine tea by itself. If I am having food, I drink Silver Jasmine Green instead of pearls.


What jasmine pearls that you have tried are your favorite so far?


I had the Harney and Sons pearls that most people love, but I didn’t like them as well. I have had both of Teavivre’s and loved them. I have had a few loose jasmine teas like Jasmine Black from Southern Season, and it was too perfume-y. Grace Rare Tea has a jasmine pouch one that is pretty good, but nothing touches Teavivre’s jasmines for me so far.


Cool! I’ve tried a few, Butiki’s organic pearls so far have been my fave. I haven’t tried any from Teavivre yet.


I have tried a few Jasmine scented teas before but never pearls. Is this one you would suggest to start with?


Absolutely! Did you know you can sign up on their site for free samples? Use your Steepster name where it asks about your blog. I love this one and the Jasmine Silver Needle most probably, though Superfine Downy Jasmine is amazing. I love Teavivre!


Love these beautiful pearls!


I am all over the free samples thing! Thanks for the tip!


Great! Thanks.

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Asian buffet takeout with hubby, two steeps of green tea = Friday night. This is one of my all time favorite teas and I hope to have something I love this much on shelf always. Yum!

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This is one of my “if you could only have ten teas” cupboard staples. Heck, it is in the top five! This was the third tea of tea party and at the first sip I sighed, my shoulders relaxed, and too tight muscles began to melt.

I. Love. This. Tea.


Love Jasmine Dragon Pearls also. I just ordered a POUND of them from Ovation’s liquidation sale (Yikes!).


Jasmine Dragon Pearls is one of my favorites too… Definitely something I want to keep a stock of. :)


Mmmm, I agree, this one HAS to be in my cupboard!

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After getting so utterly wrecked and sore last night from cooking and cleaning, I feel great today. I also have been very lazy and have done little.

I have just finished the fifth steep of one teaspoon of these little pearls, and I must say they have added an elegance and enjoyment to this day as few things can.

The jasmine flavor is still present though fading, and the green base is showing its pedigree. It reminds me a great deal of Huang Shan Mao Feng. This is exquisite, and is one of my panic teas. I panic if it starts to get low and I place an order!

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Throughout the day today the memory of the taste of this tea haunted me. As I cleaned the living room getting ready for tea party I could just taste it. I really hadn’t planned to make this one but I started craving it. Why fight it?

This is absolutely heavenly. The green base is so good. I have had other dragon pearl jasmines that had a artsy or astringent base. This one is excellent and sweet on the tongue. The jasmine is a soothing, lovely addition that weaves a cocoon of weave around me. There is no perfume-y or soapy taste, just sweet, glorious jasmine and good green tea.

It is pretty economical, too. I used one tsp. of pearls and resteeped them and combined the steeps in a larger pot to serve it today.

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Backlogging from last night: We skipped a week doing our Chinese buffet take out so I was especially ready for it last night. For less than twenty bucks we got six meals, and enjoyed really good tea with it instead of dining in and having…water, because I am NOT taking their bagged black Lipton! LOL!

This was my tea of choice. This is the most soothing, delicious, smooth green tea with the most beautiful jasmine aroma. I was getting a little anxious that I might use up my favorite jasmines, but at last one of my orders has finally arrived in New York, so I could prepare a pot of this without fear of running out too soon. The one I ordered first is still showing as being in Hangzhou. Hmph.

Hubby used to drink just sweet iced tea, then started loving hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar, LOL! I watched him last night down a cup of this and reach for the pot and pour another. He has found a number of greens that he really enjoys and I am soooo glad! This is kne he really likes. He still doesn’t know the names of the ones he likes. I just have to keep track!

Daniel Scott

Hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar. I know that one! I used to drink that one all the time. :P


I still lightly sweeten my tea. My brothers brew sugar and sugar and sugar then wave some bags over it. Hurts my kidneys to drink their tea… erh sugar water.

Yogini Undefined I used to drink my tea like that as well too when I was younger..gallons of sugar lol!

I used to drink all my teas sweetened too, but, I slowly transitioned away from it by adding less and less, and now I can drink tea straight and I prefer it that way usually … although there are some teas that benefit from a small amount of sugar. I wanted to retrain my palate, and it took a while, but I finally managed it and have been drinking most of my teas sugar-free for about a year now.

Daniel Scott

Nice job, LiberTEAS! I kind of want to do that too. I have gotten down to a bit less than a tablespoon per cup, but no lower, generally. Still, that’s down from (mumblecough) amount of sugar, so…


My mom used to put three cups of sugar per gallon of iced tea! She balked when I cut it back to two. I started out sweetening my teas, but two friends who drank their coffee black started having tea with me, and they drank their tea without sugar, too. I was ashamed to put sugar in…made me feel like a little kid! – so I quit adding it in front of them and eventually just got used to it without sugar. Now I like it best without sugar, except one or two out of a hundred teas! Hubby will get there eventually! He has made a great start.

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I got so excited about the guests liking the tea that I asked youngest to make one more pot! This is a no fail tea as far as I am concerned. It is so good that everyone I have served it to has loved it.

Tonight was no different. One guest had tried it here cancel before and wanted more. The man whose wife is Japanese said it was very good, and he said he doesn’t praise much tea so if he says a tea is good, it is a big deal.

I had two cups. I had made several teas, all decaf, and here I go drinking two cups of caffeinated tea before bed!!! Ah well, Teavivre says on their website that this one is low in caffeine. I sure hope so.

Ooh, I may have to try my sample of this tomorrow!

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