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Recent Tasting Notes
1 heaping tsp for 8 oz
I am going to be sampling a few different Keemuns over the next few days. In my last tea phase, I drank Keemun almost daily. It was my favorite breakfast tea.
This Keemun is much smoother and lighter than the Keemuns I remember. It will be interesting to try others I have from Adagio, Harney, etc. This one doesn’t really scream Keemun to me. It is a very pleasant, smooth black tea but doesn’t have too much personality as far as I’m concerned. The Bailin Gongfu had a thick maltiness going for it, and this is just lighter all around. I’ll try a longer steep maybe next time though I do want to avoid any bitterness or astringency.
First introduced to this tea by Nuvola, I became an instant fan. At a value price, this incarnation by Teavivre carries over a lot of the same characteristics I shared in my tasting note on Nuvola’s tea:
I brewed the entire sample about 1 min, per the instructions, in my Finum at approximately 185ºF. Blew threw multiple infusions, much like I’d expect.
Differences to note that have me favoring Nuvola:
• Overall uniformity, quality and balance of leaf color somewhat inferior (see photo reference on Steepster. I think it’s pretty accurate)
• Tendency towards a dryer mouthfeel than Nuvola. Where Nuvola complimented, here it’s more pronounced overshadowing the complexities of this tea.
• Sweet notes are present, in line with Nuvola
• Bitter undertone noticeable, not all pleasant but fades after a few steepings
I don’t think my observations of this tea would be corrected by less tea or a shorter steeping time, as I feel I was fairly conservative. However, I did NOT do a rinse this time. I drink mostly green and honestly just forgot. Had I tried this tea before Nuvola, I wonder what I would have thought.
Either way it’s a good value versus the pricing at Nuvola, and now that I think about and read Teavivre’s online gaiwan brewing instructions, I could have gone with an even shorter brew time than was on their packaging. Wish their brew guide on the sample was the same as is on their web site. I might have had a more positive experience.
I’d encourage a sample of this tea, but I’m not as knocked out by it as I was by Nuvola. This is just a bit baser of an experience, while Nuvola more refined.
Again, I have to point out how much this tea reminds me of Verdant’s Golden Fleece.
2 rounded tsp in 16 oz
Enjoying this tea today. It’s smooth and dark with a quality that I think is what people call “malty” though I’m personally not too sure what that is. I notice than it doesn’t have nearly as many golden tips as the Superfine Tan Yang and so is lacking that sweet Dian Hong – like characteristic. It’s what I’d classify as a very good basic breakfast tea.
2 rounded tsp for 16 oz
Brewed it a little stronger this time. Still rounded, smooth, silky. Drinking it first thing in the morning without milk and sugar which is a big deal for me. I am eating toast between sips which helps my stomach handle the straight tea first thing. But, this tea is so smooth, it is going down easy.
Rounded tsp in 8 oz
Worked great as a breakfast tea with no additions! Towards the end of the cup, it was cooling off and I was feeling the astringency. I took a tip from Stacy of Butiki and added some more hot water, and that really worked to smooth it out enough to keep drinking it without adding sugar or milk!
1 rounded tsp for 8 oz
This is a full-bodied, malty black that is smooth as silk with no astringency or bitterness. It’s doesn’t have a particular flavor that jumps out at me, but it is just a really good strong tea that I could actually drink first thing in the morning without milk and sugar.
1 heaping tbsp for 16 oz
Possibly overleafed and water too hot. It was astringent for my taste this time. When I watered it down and added a little touch of sugar, it was better. Definitely has a characteristic Yunnan dian hong flavor. I just have to be careful of of my brewing parameters.
1 tsp even for 5 oz
OK, trying this side by side with Adagio Yunnan Gold.
It’s obvious which is the better quality. The dry leaves have the same colors, but the Teavivre is slightly more neatly rolled. The Teavivre has more aroma, and the Teavivre liquor is clear and coppery red while the Adagio liquor is cloudy and orange.
Teavivre is more flavorful and smoother. Enough said.
1 heaping tsp in 6oz. (This was about 1/3 of my 7g sample, so approx 2.3g)
The dry leaf wasn’t as golden as the Adagio Yunnan Gold that I used to drink like crazy, but the taste was very similar. That classic Yunnan flavor. Very nice version… smooth with barely any astringency. A great morning cup!
I have a sample from Adagio coming, since that was the tea I used to drink so much, I want to try it side-by-side and see what I discover.
(I did a 2nd steeping which was good too although less flavorful.)
I really enjoyed this offering from Teavivre. I loved the pollen-y quality to it. I find myself wondering how drinking something like this will help reduce seasonal allergies … but probably not so much unless one happens to be surrounded by tea plants since it is camellia sinensis. This time of year is hell on me with my allergies. Fortunately, they have gotten considerably better after a couple of years of consuming quite a bit of locally harvested raw honey. Still have the allergies, but they aren’t nearly as severe.
Anyway, back to the tea. Or tisane. I enjoyed this. I brewed it a bit strong but I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it the way it was brewed. Sweet, honey-esque and floral. Pleasant. I like!
My full-length review is here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/02/01/organic-dehydrated-camellia-from-teavivre/
This tea is just about perfect as far as I’m concerned! This is one of several Teavivre teas that I NEVER want to be without.
The dry leaves are beautiful. The liquor is deceptively pale for a beverage that packs so much flavor! It smells and tastes wonderful, and has a pleasingly buttery mouthfeel. Smooth and slightly sweet, with facets of chestnut and toasted cereal and a subtly grassy, vegetal side. It’s a friendly tea – comforting and uplifting – and holds up well to a second steep to boot.
1 1/2 tsp in 8 oz
Had to raise my rating on this. When I tried it side by side with Adagio’s Bai Hao, I thought I preferred the Adagio. But, yesterday I had some of the Adagio, and today the Teavivre, and now I think I prefer the Teavivre or at least it is very close. This one is lacking the honey-like aftertaste that I notice in the Adagio, but it is a very subtle difference.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this today. It is smooth and flavorful with a natural sweetness. I tell you, I just love this style of oolong… pretty highly oxidized and not heavily roasted. It’s fantastic.
1tsp in 4oz
Comparison of 3 Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) oolongs — Adagio’s Formosa Bai Hao, Harney’s Fanciest Formosa Oolong, and Teavivre’s Taiwan Oriental Beauty
My favorite (surprisingly)! Darkest liquor, most flavor, sweetest, least astringency. Really nice honey flavor in the finish.
Least flavor, lightest body, lightest liquor
In between in terms of flavor and body, but the most astringent.
So, I guess I’m buying more of the Adagio. Really surprised at this result. Was hoping Teavivre’s would be my fave since it is the least expensive, but I’ll have to go with the one I like best. Luckily it’s not the most expensive. Harney’s is almost double the price of the Adagio.
2 tsp in 8 oz
This is obviously the style of oolong that I’ve been looking for. Quite oxidized, but no “roasted” flavor. It is a finer version of the basic “Formosa Oolong” teas I used to drink. This is what I love to drink in the afternoon!
It is slightly more astringent than I like, but in every other way, I love this tea… A great, comforting flavor.
I will have to experiment with brewing and also try some more steeps. I went with 2 tsp for 8 oz this time (that was exactly half of my 7g sample, so 3.5g) and the longer brewing time. Next time, I will try the same amount but at just 2 minutes.
A sample that came with my recent order of Longjing. I was curious what one of Teavivire’s most expensive greens tasted like. I was struck by the long spear-like vibrant green leaves, uncharacteristic in comparison to the other greens I’m used to.
Overall I’m pleased, but wasn’t knocked out. I initially steeped for about 30-45 seconds, and I’m imaging I should have let it be, but I was hoping for something more overt and allowed it to brew another 30-40 secs. I think that was a mistake. I ended up introducing a bitter note to what had been a smooth, lightly sweet, mellow vegetal, milky brightness. I think what I was hoping for would have been better corrected with more leaf and less time.
2nd stepping, I backed off and played it safe at about 40 secs.. Not quite enough flavor for me and I introduce a bit more steeping time (10-25 more secs). I’m playing on the edge of bitter, but I like where this tea is going. My tastebuds don’t appear to be so dialed in today, but I’m getting the continued sweet notes and a dry mouth feel. That bitter is just hanging there…. I’m not sure I’d make an investment, but if I had some more of this, I’d certain enjoy and afternoon of playing with quantity, steeping times and temps, getting to know it. But alas, it’s price and with my first impressions, I’m not inspired. But let’s see where this tea continues to go.
My 3rd steep and I think my impatience with this tea has stripped it of what it has to offer. Flavor is weak. There’s not much left to this. I’m tempted to request another sample next time I order from Teavivre.
This tea comes in a 5 gram sample, unlike most of their other teas which are usually 7 grams. I think they’re doing themselves a disservice. Brewing in a my little Finum, which is like a 5 oz cup, I think I would have had a better experience with 7 grams of tea. But then the nature of the size of these leaves would have made it difficult to fit them all and get an even steep.
I’m going for it with the 4th steep leaving it in for a solid 2 mins as recommended by Teavivre’s gaiwan instructions. There is certainly a long-lasting sweet aftertaste, bordering on saccharine. Even as I have abused this tea, there’s still a distinct vegetal smell. Bitter is gone, and surprisingly enough, I find this steep somewhat satisfying. What a weird little trip.
From a caffeine/theanine standpoint, I’m honestly a bit jacked from this tea. But then that might have been all the dark chocolate nibs I had earlier…. Or it might be that these leaves are considered more mature. Who knows. Interesting experiment overall, results inconclusive.
Who said white teas had to be bland?
The smell of the brew: I get lost in it, tea drunk at first sniff! Oh, I could just bathe in its holy water!
It has a round texture, feels like a cloud of pudding in my mouth!
Of course, I can’t deny the freshly cut hay, it dominates this first infusion. It’s sweet and slightly flowery. Beautiful pale yellow nectar. I’m slurping it like there’s no tomorrow, thinking my 4oz Gaiwan is way too small, I’d rather have a gigantic pot of this! But as they say, with great patience comes great rewards!
Brings more sweet, honey like flavor with hints of citrus and melon in the background. I can see this being an excellent iced tea.
The later steeps are still sweet, but they also kick in with a peppery aftertaste, nice addition to the already complex symphony of flavors, it gives it a second life. It’s definitely very potent.
In conclusion, this is white tea with an attitude , some kind of a white boy with a James Brown swag signing «I got soul!!»
I found this tea to be similar to Verdants’ Fuijian White Jasmine. The jasmine in this is very nice and floral with no honeysuckle. I found the floral in this one to be more garden floral, not hot, humid summer floral with honeysuckle. I could also taste the white tea too, melon, sweet, and hay notes throughout. I found this to be a very nice balanced jasmine tea that isn’t overpowering with its jasmine taste.
I can’t believe I never reviewed this Long Jing from the spring 2012 season. They are currently sold out, but I will order more when spring 2013 becomes available. These are my notes from previous tastings. A winner! Delicate, light, fresh, yet plenty of flavor and with no bitterness whatsoever. Overall effect was relaxed and refreshing. When it was cool it was still very good. More expensive than their organic superfine dragonwell long jing. Both were very nice.
I REALLY enjoyed this tea. Very refreshing yet mildly vegetal flavor.
Dry leaves: The dry leaves are a deep green with lots of budsets. They’re rolled into loosely needle-like fashion.
Brewing: Strong vegetable aroma with a slight minty coolness. The tea liquer is extremely clear and green-gold in color. The brewed leaves look healthy and plump, and are largely unbroken.
Tasting: The early infusions are mild and sweet with flavors of cantaloupe and pomelo. The mouthfeel is extremely clean with a slight sparkling quality. As the tea cools it shows a more vegetal side with flavors of green bean and chestnut. Around the third steep, the tea gains a creamier quality with flavors of olive oil, hazelnut, and fig. After the fifth, the tea becomes very light and sweet with crisp flavors of edame and barley.
Thanks Teavivre for this sample!
My samples from Teavivre came! Yay thanks Angel!
The leaves are beautiful here, long and fuzzy. The smell out of the bag is subtle, grassy and a bit floral. So when I took my first sip, it was completely unexpected. Salt. hmmm.
I had to make myself try another sip, but it was well worth it. Not sure where the salt came from, but now it was wonderful. A bit like hay as others have mentioned, but soft and silky, with later sips giving way to notes of melon, savory grass, and a light, delicate, floral. This is only my second or third silver needle, but it has left me very intrigued. I love the subtle, delicate but complex nature of this tea. I look forward to trying more silver needles to compare.
A nice, lighter golden alternative to my usual pu-erh. Teavivre was nice enough to send me a sample of this along with an order, and it’s very much appreciated! Warm, mouth-feel, stomach settling and relaxing. “Golden buds” describes it well. Nice to enjoy on a cold day when you need a hearty tea to warm up with!