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Recent Tasting Notes
First, I would like to thank Angel at Teavivre for sending a very generous pack of samples for me to review!
Second, I can feel a seasonal flu sneaking up on me, so a large cup of jasmine tea was exactly what I needed. This tea is fabulous. Others have commented on the lack of astringency and I would agree; the cup is so smooth, so delicately flavoured, and the pearls put on an excellent show as they unfurl. The scent of jasmine is very comforting without being like drinking a cup of jasmine perfume. I feel better already.
Check out a picture of the beautiful pearls: http://instagr.am/p/QDu9edSkQc/
Thank you Angel for the sample. I actually forgot I had this and some other samples to try until last night when I was looking for something to drink before bed. I was thrilled to see this in the samples as I do love Black Dragon Pearl (see the note from yesterday).
The dry leaf smells slightly malty. Actually smells the same as the other companies tea I was drinking yesterday. But what about the taste? MALTY CHOCOLATE goodness!! Now I see and taste what all the talk was about. This is mighty good tea! I’m going to need to place an order when I get low on the other tea I have like this. Def. one for the perm. collection.
I also wanted to add there seems to be a sweetness on the end like honey or something. I don’t know what it is, but I love it! I also love that a few pearls will probably get me a few more steeps today. :)
decided to place an order with teavivre a few weeks ago. mainly wanted to try out their bailin gongfu and figured i would pick up samples of other black teas while i was at it, i ended up buying this tea in a larger quantity because the value seemed very good and it was well reviewed here at steepster.
few notes on the teavivre packaging, everything came in bags(generic like most companys) but teavivre only puts 3.5oz into each bag and has the teas inside the zip bag in another bag, superior packaging imo.
the tea itself when you open the bag it smells sweet even spicy; a really pleasant aroma. taste wise it reminds me a lot of an earl gray at first…. just a really subtleness of the same flavor. the sweetness/mild spicyness comes through pretty well to the taste, also has a nice heavy mouthfeel
at first i wasnt sure if i was going to like it, was interesting but reminded me of earl gray too much(wasnt fond of); after a week-two of drinking ive taken a liking to it(complex teas take a while for me to get acclimated to.. had this experience with a fujian in the past)
overall so far this outshines the bailin gonfu for me, really glad i picked up more than a sample size of this…. great value tea, good tasting especially to those of you who prefer sweeter teas(blacks)
Today was a good tea day! Three pots of sweet potato goodness :) A very nice flavor to ease into the autumn with. I am also enjoying the orangey tea liquor in my glass cup. Is matching my tea liquor to the season Too Much? As Mae West said, too much of a good thing can be wonderful!
When I raised the blind in my office this morning it was early daylight. It is in the mid 30’s and I could see frost covering the roof of the building next door. Southern Indiana has beautiful rolling hills. I can see them off on the horizon. They are purple and there is fog rising up between the layers of hills. Yep, fall is definitely in the air.
I have a stack of unopened samples I need to review. Not today. I want something to warm my innards and put a guaranteed smile on my face. I grabbed this one. Amazingly I still have enough for today and one more down the road. Woot! There, I am smiling already. Anyway, this gets my vote for one of the most beautiful dry leaves to behold. They look like fall. Perfect choice.
This is so comforting. For a brief moment I can almost forget the troubles of my world. The company just got this years insurance quotes. I know this is going to cost me. If you are a politician, insurance person, or health care provider, don’t tell me today, so I won’t be tempted to punch you. Oops, takes another sip. Ahhh. Three much needed mugs of joy. At the moment I have heat, a roof over my head, and excellent tea. Rejoice! I say it again Rejoice!
Upped the rating!
I got a sample pack of this from my swap with aisling of tea! Thanks dahling!
Usually I have a straight up black tea in the mornings, but today I had a hankering for a pot of green.
This is such a pleasant, gentle tea. I find the taste to be light and delicious – no astringency and so gentle, in fact, that I kept my leaves in throughout drinking the entire pot and it just got tastier and tastier, without a hint of bitterness!
The taste is slightly sweet and spicy, like a pink peppercorn. Definitely not heavy like a Dragonwell – I think it’s like comparing a thick juice to a flavoured water! Very quenching.
As I get to the end of the pot, the aroma is grassy and the flavour reminds me of fresh black olives – juicy and savoury – just a bit nutty.
So happy I got to try this one!
Based on pre-infused aroma I wasn’t sure if I would ‘dig’ this one much but it tastes different than I anticipated.
The taste was of a sweet wood – maybe with a hint of something citrus. There was a dark-type of mocha likeness to it, too, which I wasn’t expecting.
THINK – walk in the woods after a light rain…in the fall…while sipping on a Dark Mocha.
I forget I still have all these Teavivre samples, I don’t think I have ever actually finished a package and I still have some new ones from months ago that I have yet to try, because I completely misplaced them.
They are found now so I will definitely need to get drinking them.
I just made a bowl of “Singapore curry” because this morning’s F1 race was in Singapore, but I was not much a fan of it, since it was made with shrimp and meh. So I went through the drawer of samples to find a savory tea I could have instead.
This time around I get less of a fruitiness and more of the broth-like tastes that I noted other reviews mentioned. It’s still sweet, but mostly vegetal and savory. It’s not too heavy, which is just what I want because I didn’t get to eat lunch until 4 (who goes to play racquetball for 2 1/2 hours at 1pm without even waking me up beforehand to say hey maybe we should eat lunch first since we were up at 7:30? my boyfriend!). I’ll probably go grab one of the teas I’ve yet to try instead of resteeping this one just because I really feel bad now that I haven’t had them yet!
Dry leaf: The dry leaf smelled a lot different than I expected. I has a much darker and creamier aroma than I expected. The first thing that came to mind was a really light milk oolong. The leaves are very light colored and super flat.
Wet Leaf: At first I thought that this tea smelled like a light sencha, but as I smelled more I found this very bright sweet note. If I had to compare it to something it would be like a buttered pea. It has that creaminess about it, but once you bite into it a dark, sweet, and bright flavor comes out.
Taste: When this tea first hit my tongue there was a crisp vegetal note that didn’t have the sweetness I was expecting. As I began to swallow, however, I got that sweet oolong creaminess. After I swallow this tea is my absolute favorite, because I was left with a very sweet pea flavor running down my throat. It left a refreshed feeling in my mouth and a very smooth feeling in my throat.
Additional notes: I decided to have a third cup yesterday, so I boiled the water and steeped it for about twenty minutes. I had a look of shock on my face at how sweet the last cup tasted, way sweeter than the other two cups. It is impossible to have this one get astringent and bitter not matter how long you steep or how high the temp, it just gets sweeter! Nice!
I don’t think I wrote a review for the first time I tried this nice tea from Teavivre. Anyhow I cleaned the first steep for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then i steeped the second time for 30 seconds! The brew was a thick, black tea. The scent is earthy and like wet fall leaves. There was a hint of fish to the scent… However, I burnt my tongue drinking this! I was too excited.
Anyhow the taste was surprisingly light and airy, which I wasn’t expecting due to the liquid’s consistency. The taste was like wet fall leaves mixed in with some sweetness. There is a lot of depth to this tea. There is more lingering in the back of my mouth when I taste this tea. I can’t seem to describe it though. I used a large mug for this tea, and will try another steep of this later. I am sure more flavors will pop up. I didn’t taste any bitterness in this tea.
Thanks teavivre, for the sample
Dry leaf: The leaves are really small, dark brown twisted leaves. The smell is really nice. It has a dark black tea smell, but that is underneath the sweetness that this tea possesses. It has a chocolatey smell but the strongest smell is a certain sweetness. It reminds me of the roses my grandma grows in her garden. It’s a deep rose smell though, more than a floral smell.
Wet leaf: When wet, the rose smell comes out really strong. If I didn’t know better I would think that I was steeping rose buds. The rose combined with chocolate makes this smell like a nice dessert. It has a dark sweetness that gives it a very moisturizing smell.
Taste: The taste is nice. It is a lot lighter than I expected and very sweet. The chocolatey flavor reminded me of a much lighter version of the Fengqing dragon pearl. On top of that is the sweet rose flavor. It has a deep flavor, despite how light it is.
I really enjoyed this tea. It was nice how soothing the tea was and I can’t wait to brew it again.
First let me just say that this is the first Pu-erh I’ve had the opportunity to taste, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I’ll explain my first impressions.
Dry tea smell: I didn’t know what to expect but when I first opened the packaged I was surprised by the extremely strong smell. It had a distinct fishy/oceany smell to it. Under the initial smell was a very moist scent. It reminded me of a moist forest floor and old decomposing leaves. It wasn’t a bad smell, it was just a very different smell from the teas I’m used too.
Wet smell: The tea leaves smell very much the same wet as they do dry. They have the same fishy smell with the underlying moist leaf. It was a little bit lighter smelling.
Taste: Luckily none of the fishy smell translated to flavor. It had absolutely no bitter or tart flavors. The taste was really damp. It reminded me of a misty forest. It’s a very interesting, refreshing, heavy flavor. I did enjoy it, but it will probably be one of those teas I only drink once in a while. It has pushed me to order a few more Pu-erhs to see if they’re my thing or not
Very pleasant pineapple scent on the dry bits!
Brewed, the smell is more like a muskier pineapple. Not getting as much tart out of it as I expected from the other notes – mine’s fairly fruity, though I am noticing more of the apple and roselle (I think) as it cools. It feels a bit like drinking a pineapple-apple cobbler in tea form!
This smells great, both dry and steeped. Comes across as sweet and grainy to me. It’s a beautiful pale blonde in the cup, and has the temperament of a nice, friendly bowl of cereal. At first I was a little stumped about which brand of cereal, but hubby nailed it as far as I’m concerned—Sugar Pops! (Or Corn Pops or whatever politically healthily correct name it’s been given now.)
Love to my enabler ashmanra for the opportunity to try this one. Looking forward to Steep #2 in a bit!
This was another of the samples that Angel from Teavivre sent along (thank you!).
I toyed with the directions a tiny bit. I did use boiling water for this oolong (I usually use just under boiling) and steeped it for 2 minutes. The leaves didn’t smell too distinctive – mostly just very vegetal and… chalky perhaps? In a good way :)
Brewed up though this smells mind blowing. Buttered greens. I freaking love the scent of oolongs.
This is very thick with a little bit of astringency. I can sense the creaminess here… it goes nicely with the buttery flavor.
A few seconds go by… ummm yum. It is doing the “oolong throat coating” that I love. Oh! And a surprise! There is a salty sweet aftertaste at the finish with… I don’t even know what the flavor is. Something great and “back of the throat sweet”, if you know what I mean. Artichokes maybe, if artichokes were actually sweet (and lightly salty).
This is great – it keeps unfolding. Not super complex, but super tasty :)
My Teavivre order came way sooner than I thought it would! Exciting! I have been wanting to try this one for awhile.
I brewed this Western style at 1,2,3 minutes. I also brewed this gongfu. It is equally as good both methods.
It is sweet, a little bit fruity, with notes of butter and maltiness. There is a hint of vegetal in the background. This is really good.
- Vessel: Glass teapot 250ml (3 Oz)
- Leaf: 7.8 grams
- Water: 90 C
- Time: 1m, 2m, 3m
Leaf & Infusion:
Dry leaf – The leaf is one of the most wholesome I’ve ever encountered. Leaves are long, needle-shaped with vibrant golden tips and dull black leaves. Ratio of buds and leaf is 50/50, and leaf shows some of that golden hair too, making more of a impressive display. Leaves air of citrus and cooked potato skin and when hot air is introduced intensive molasses note appear along with blooming undertones.
Wet leaf – This is where the wholeness of leaf is accentuated, along with fat texture and veins exposed. The overall aroma is of citrus and potato skin with blooming hints. The molasses part quickly escapes as the leaves cool.
Infusion(1m) – First infusions is very bright and clear with orange-coppery tone and rising aromas of molasses and potato skin. The liquor is initially light, but as it smoothly slides down the tongue it develops more of medium body and pleasant potato-molasses finish mentioned earlier. Few sips later show hints of bitterness, astringency excluded, and peppery film on tongue, a trademark of Yunnan black teas. The aftertaste is long lasting and molasses develop into more caramel type, and blooming notes are more pronounced here as well.
Infusion(2m) – Second infusions brings this tea to more of a breakfast type: full-bodied, rich in taste and very pleasing. As it cools down some new notes develop, honey-sweet and fruity-sour impression is quite notable at finish. It reminds of Assam and Keemun to certain extent.
Infusion(3m) – Third cup is still rich in flavor and aroma but the decline is notable. Tea shifts back to medium body and keeps a lot of sweet and blooming elements from previous steep. The potato-citrus duo, however, has almost completely diminished. The aftertaste strongly resembles of Keemun when peppery sensation is thrown aside.
Conslusion – Most satisfying Dian Hong, very rich and clean with many changes involved in successive infusions.
What’s a girl to do when she wakes up at 5am and can’t get back to sleep without ruining her entire sleep schedule? Why make a good solid black tea of course! This was the one I chose and those first sips were exactly what I needed to get through those first moments of “what the hell am I doing up at this hour”. I settled in to read my RSS feeds and . . . forgot about the tea because of a few wtf things going on. This one tepid is . . . not so great. Luckily I’d kept the leaves for a second steep so I’m enjoying that now, sweetened this time with just a drop or two of Irish Cream Agave. Definitely a great way to start a day that started way too early.
Probably the best Dragon Well teas we’ve tried ever, bar none.
We are not into bitterness at all, so we use a lower temp and not too many leaves.
This tea is smooth and not too tannic at all. Very nutty aroma. Flavor has hints of Chinese Five Spice and pineapple. Some floral hints, too — rose.
It is not as strong/bold/tannic as their Premium Dragonwell (which is another stunning tea), but is softer with very similar characteristics.
Teavivre is a company we are discovering and really learning to trust. So far we are loving their teas and customer service.