Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

I broke into this one a couple of days ago to drink with my fiance. I brewed it for a minute and then poured out a glass for each of us.

I was expecting this to be overwhelmingly smokey, but this surprised me. There is a little hint of smoke and a slight sharp astringent quality. But there is this nice light sweet taste to it that was just calling to me. The taste is nice and grassy. Almost a little spinachy. It just tastes green.

I brewed another steep today for about a minute and a half and added sugar. Oh my! This is going to replace my hot chocolate cravings for a while with that extra sugar. It brings out the natural sweetness of the tea and the smoke takes on an extra quality to it. It reminds me of fresh vegetables. I bet this would be wonderful brewed up, sweetened, and then iced. Yum.

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Thank you to Angel @ TeaVivre for this sample!

It’s been a busy day, running around doing the things self-employed musicians have to do when they aren’t performing or practicing. I’ve drank a fair share of black teas, but didn’t really have time to comment on them, & I’m not in the mood for backtracking, so onward…

This is a really pleasant Shu! I steeped for 1 minute, 2nd steeping for 2 minutes, & will probably try for a few more before I release the leaves to my compost pile.

It’s very dark! I like that in a tea!
It’s ultra smooth, creamy even, & sweet with a raisin bread-like taste & a hint of vanilla.
I needed this…(sigh)…

Terri HarpLady

They have some lovely teas, Paul :)

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I made a batch of my astragulus ginger lemon tisane earlier this afternoon to share with Tony, & then I enjoyed a cup of this delicious sweet cup of caramel yum. Now back to our regularly scheduled program (aka supernatural).

TheTeaFairy

Mmmmm, you always make me crave what you review :-)

Terri HarpLady

Glad to be of service :)

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nom nom!!!
I feel like cookie monster right now, this tea is so delicious. When I saw it in the Here’s Hoping TTB, I immediately said to myself, “That’s MINE! mineminemineminemine!!!”
I want to thank the people who had that box before me, you know who you are (awkward soul, claire) for including some really wonderful teas that I wanted to try!! Usually by the time the box gets to me, it’s just a bunch of chemical laden cast offs that nobody wanted, so I’m generally disappointed. THIS time was different, & I really am grateful. So again, I thank you!

Yes, I took all the awesome stuff from the box, & I would feel guilty, but as Tea Sipper will discover, I loaded it with goodies just for her! So I am absolved of all guilt! LOL, I also tossed in a few castoffs of my own, which aren’t bad, just not to my taste.

Today I poured the whole sample into a cup, steeped 1 min/2/3. All steepings were AWESOME! And it’s a sipdown, leaving me with only 265 teas!

Today is my youngest child’s 21st birthday. His name is Leif, & I posted his pic on my FB https://www.facebook.com/terri.langerak. He’s a great kid, in his 3rd year of college, & although he looks like a stoner, he’s actually as straight as they come, AND he drinks tea.
Feel free to wish him a Happy Birthday.

K S

I used to have hair like that. Actually it was to my waist. Nowadays it is mostly down the sink. I miss my hair. Jealous.

Terri HarpLady

In my house we refer to that as ‘Robert Plant’ hair. My oldest bro had the exact same hair. Leif’s hair has been long most of his life. in 4th grade he begged me to let him die it blue, so for his birthday we bleached & then died it midnight blue. Over the next month it fades down to a soft blue, then we died it again. We re-died it a few more times, & then he let it go. Eventually we cut out the remnants of the treated hair. That was his last hair cut. It’s hard to be a rebel in my house, because almost anything goes. The only real rule is no drugs or alcohol on the premises. And be nice. And Be responsible for yourself & your stuff. Oh, & BE yourself! That’s pretty much it.

Shelley_Lorraine

My brother has the exact same color of hair and almost as much curl, but it’s more wave really. He lets his grow to shoulder length, but sometimes cuts it short. When my husband first met him, he thought for sure that my bro was a stoner because of his voice/accent. 8 years later, my husband is still suspicious, but I try to convince him that its just the rocky mountain outdoor dude voice. :) It doesn’t help, though, that my brother just acts plain weird, seriously on-another-planet weird. :)

Bonnie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY and keep your cookies away from mommy!

ashmanra

I love your rules! The friend who introduced me to my hubby had waist length hair and it was luminized, so it was deep, shiny black with almost a blue sheen! He is now bald but that looks great on him, too. He really pulls off bald! He misses his hair, though.

TeaVivre

Happy birthday to your to your youngest child :)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the birthday wishes for my son Leif!
And Angel, thanks always for the wonderful tea! I split an order from TeaVivre with Sil recently, but I’ll probably have to place another one before long for myself!

TeaVivre

Terri, thanks for your support on our teas. We will continue to share more and more good teas with you- tea lovers, as well as provide good service all the time.

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Continueing my sipdown of teas from Azzrian, this Bailin Gongfu is awesome! It’s a black tea drinker’s black tea! Aroma of chocolate, but the tea itself is more of a caramel & malt taste, & a little fruity. It’s also ridiculously smooth, & mean the whole cup just went down!
Thanks Azz!

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I’m finally sampling Bailin Gongfu, thanks to our dear friend Angel, @ TeaVivre.

I’ve read various peoples reviews of this tea over the last few months, & as I recall, it is a bit temperamental. I was careful to make sure the water temp was 185, meanwhile wafting the addictive smell of cocoa tinged maltiness emanating from the leaves as I painstakingly weighed them, first all in one cup, 7oz, & then taking away leaves until I was down to 3.5 oz. The other half of the sample got tucked back into my black tea sample bag for another day.

I got a massage this morning. I’m feeling very ‘open’, my breakfast is sitting here waiting to be eaten. This tea is luscious, mouthwatering, and delicious: Malt, chocolate, & bit of caramel sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt. My mouth is watering, my qi is flowing, & I’m smiling. Good start for my day!

Bonnie

It’s a good one. Somewhat refreshing.

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A pleasant tea of the afternoon while teaching from home. Sweet potato & a little malt.

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I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping as long as I wanted/needed to today, laying there, coming in & out of consciousness until 10. I could actually probably sleep until noon, but I do have 2 weddings to play at today, one at 1:30, the other at 5:00, with quite a bit of driving in between, so I figured I’d better get rolling.

This is a lovely & sweet tea, with a rich flavor & fragrance: hay, malt, sweet potato, caramel. No blaring brass, not particularly bassy, I’d say it’s a woodwind quarter, with maybe a little cello & viola thrown in.

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A lovely mellow tea, served to myself, my daughter, & one of my students this morning. It was great with a breakfast of savory sweet potatoes, bacon, & eggs.

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I split a pot of this with one of my students today, as I know she really loves this one, and what’s not to love, I ask you? This is a super tasty Fujian Black, sweet, rich, a little malty & yeasty, kind of like a piece of toast.

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Good morning Steepsterites!
My dad is 80 years old today. Mom turned 79 on xmas eve. They live in Florida, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but I chat on the phone with them pretty much every day. It’s a bit scary watching your folks grow old, seeing them become children again in some ways, but I’m really grateful. I’ve always had a good relationship with my mom, my relationship with my dad was not so good. It took a long time to heal, a lot of song lyrics written, a lot of journaling. The path to peace is always acceptance & forgiveness, it seems, & honesty. Dad & I understand each other now, we’ve worked out our issues. I’m grateful for that!

This tea is a comforting cup of rich buttery sweet potatoes. Nothing bright here, nothing brash. It’s not particularly bold. It’s a quartet of clarinet, viola, Cello, & Alto Flute.

K S

Your quartet makes sense to me. I’ve never been one for brash instruments. This tea rates 100 with me. Work some Iommi crunch riffs in with this quartet and I’m in heaven.

K S

Your path to peace is beautiful as well. Happy birthday to your mom and dad.

NofarS

Happy birthday to your mom and dad!

TeaExplorer

A belated happy birthday to your Mom and Dad!

It’s heartening to hear that you found a path to understanding and peace with your Dad. That may be one of the most important things you could do in this life. Song lyrics, journaling, honesty, acceptance and forgiveness are all powerful tools. You followed a difficult and potentially painful path, which speaks of your inner strength.

I recently went through a similar experience with my parents growing older. Mom and I always got along great, but it took decades to heal most of the distance between my Dad and myself. We both put forth an effort and made great strides, which I am immensely grateful for.

Their health began to decline around Christmas a year ago. I flew to Pennsylvania every month for nearly a year and watched them decline both mentally and physically, becoming more of a caretaker with every visit.

Mom passed in mid November before I could get there, but I was able to stay with my Dad as he slipped away over the next eleven days. I had the honor of holding his head and talking to him as he crossed over.

Later I went back to my hotel, made a cup of tea, and meditated on the feeling of being at peace.

Even though you can’t get to Florida very often, phone calls are a good way of staying connected. I truly hope you enjoy the time you have left with your parents.

Terri HarpLady

Sorry to hear of your parents passing, but so happy to hear that you also found a path of peace with them & was able to be there.
One of the fun things regarding my relationship with my Dad is that when I was young, he strongly discouraged my musical path, but as he got older he revealed that he had wanted to be a musician, & was never able to pursue it, so there had been some resentment there for him. (sidebar: Mom & Dad both played banjo ukeleles & the night they met, they both walked into the door at a party, each carrying a banjo uke, knew all the same songs, & basically spent the entire evening jamming on folk tunes!).

So I started giving Dad piano & music theory lessons, mostly over the phone, several years ago, & whenever we visit, it’s a long long lesson every day. His desire to really understand music theory & how to apply it has been fun to satisfy :)

TeaExplorer

Very cool story about how your Mom & Dad met! It’s unfortunate that your Dad had to suppress his dream, but at the same time it’s uplifting that you have been able to connect with him on that very level. Giving music lessons over the phone takes patience and dedication on both your parts. My Dad got his first computer 20 years ago in the days of DOS and WordPerfect, and I taught him over the phone several times a week for about a year. Although frustrating at times, it was also a rewarding and bonding experience. It sounds like you are having a similar time!

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I’ve been having a Teavivre day, so it seems. I’m not quite as low on this one as I am on the Org. Superfine Keemun, but it’s close.
NOW, I really have to get back to practicing.

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I drank a pot of this earlier this afternoon. So tasty, so richly sweet potato & malty. Delicious! Just what I needed.

JustJames

that’s an excellent description… sweet potato. very effective!

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I’d like to start the day by saying, “Thank you Sil”
Thank you for being the best tea sister ever, & for sharing this teavivre order with me. Even with the crazy postal mix ups, its SO worth it. This cup of tea is lovely, a perfect start to what will be a busy busy day with me cloistered away in the practice room at UMSL, followed by a rehearsal with the choir, followed by more cloistering, a lesson with my student there, dinner at a BBQ joint nearby, a little more practice, & then the concert tonight. I’m bringing my laptop, just in case I have time to take a break from playing music & work on my novel a little. That’s my day. This tea is wonderful. Like a comforting baked sweet potato, straight from the oven. So rich, malty, & soothing.

Nightshifter

Ooo, I can’t wait to try this one!

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This was first cup of the day, I’ve reviewed it before, so all I’ll say here is its tasty! I’m taking the re-steep to the bubble bath.

Terri HarpLady

Sip Down! This morning I polished this off, as my first tea of the day. It’s been a pleasure to sample, so once again thanks to Angel & TeaVivre for the generous sample of this excellent quality tea.

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Good morning Steepsterites!

I’m enjoying the 2nd steeping of this lovely Golden Monkey, with its malty sweet potato profile, a nice start to a busy day. I drank the first steeping while I fixed my breakfast. There is also a buttery texture, it’s the ‘sparkly’ sensation I get from some teas, it’s like my taste buds take turns twinkling like stars. I don’t really know how else to describe it, but I like it!

This is a wonderful tea to relax with, hanging around in my ‘roadie’ outfit (jeans & T shirt) before I head out for a very busy day. I have an Electric Harp gig at Whole Foods Grocery from noon til 3:00, where I’ll be dressed in a long red xmasy outfit with what I call Angel Sleeves (the kind that drape down), playing a mix of Holiday music (xmas, Chanukah, classical, peace & snowy weather related), along with my usual mix of Jazz, Rock, Originals, & Blues with vocals. Hopefully I’ll sell a bunch of xmas CD’s so I can buy more tea! (you can get yours at www.harpsinger.net)

After that gig, I’ll grab a bite to eat, change to a long black velvet outfit with draping chiffon sleeves, & go play a church service gig with the choir & orchestra. I’ll be done around 9pm, I think. Just in time to drive to Tony’s & watch SNL!

Thank you, Angel & TeaVivre for this delicious sample!

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Thank you Angel & TeaVivre for this wonderful sample of tea.
I have to say, I LOVE the samples from TeaVivre, they are SO generous!

After all my gigs these past 3 days (and students), it’s really nice to have a morning to chill out & just sample some teas. It’s taken me an hour to get through my breakfast, simply because I was more interested in the teas. This will be my final review of the morning, as I have to meet a friend at noon for, you guessed it, Tea! LOL!

This is really nice. The dry leaf smells of hay…& chocolate…& there’s one other aroma I’m trying to place…it’s sweet…its…caramel!

2t + 8oz @ 2 min = YUM!

It’s smooth, dark, sweet, and its…its gone??? Little Terri!! You drank the whole cup!

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I decided it was tea time and I was getting my tea ready when I noticed that my little sampler bag of tea was harder to open. It was the long skinny type and usually there is one serving in there. When I dumped it into my press it really started to look like two servings in there. Maybe it just looked like that because the leaves are so fluffy. I brewed it anyway for one minute and then poured it into my TARDIS mug to take downstairs with me.

The liquor was really yellow. I was expecting it to be pale since my other white tea was water-like in color. It smells like a flower. I’m not sure what a peony smells like but I imagine this is spot on. I could wear the scent as a perfume.

It tastes exactly like it smells. It is not chemically or perfume-like, but it tastes like a flower. I ate a dandelion one time and the way this tastes reminds me of that texture.

I’m not sure if I actually like this or not. I get the mouth feel of chewing a flower and it smells like a flower but it is tea. I can see why people like using it as a base for flavored teas. I bet this would add a lovely texture to other flavors. I can imagine making a really good vanilla cake tea out of this.

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Well, since there’s no way I’m drinking this, I tried cooking with it. I infused butter with some of the leaves and brushed it onto a spaghetti squash to roast. Then I added a bit more in there, and tried it that way. Couldn’t take it.

I ended up making avocado sauce too (lemon juice, garlic, avocado, salt, pepper) and that went along even better, though the raw garlic is pretty strong.

I just don’t like the smokiness. I am going to try it with meat instead, maybe spaghetti squash isn’t savory enough for me to enjoy lapsang (not that it tastes like anything anyway!). I will find a way to make the smokiness enjoyable!

steelhead

I have the same feelings about all the Lapsangs I’ve tried. My alternative is either to pass it on to those who actually like the extreme smokiness or mix with vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup as a BBQ sauce. I’ve also been told that almost all is produced for export. Apparently the Chinese aren’t big fans either.

momo

BBQ sauce sounds like a good use, I’ve seen a lot of people say they use it as a rub. I typically don’t ever make anything that requires one so that may be the way to go instead.

Shmiracles

hah, well, maybe try mixing it with a few other teas? idk. you’ve probably already tried that.
i actually am in love with the adagio Sherlock blend right now, which has Lapsang Souchong in it. but is also mixed with Assam Melody and Oriental Spice teas. I can’t seem to get enough i like it so much!
but ya, a rub does sound yummy.

LiberTEAS

I could not handle the smokiness the first time I tried it too. I couldn’t even handle having the tea in my house, it was so strong. I’ve since learned a better way to infuse it – it does help lighten the smokiness somewhat, maybe if you infuse it this way, it will work for you when you cook? When you brew it, use a method that makes it easy to discard the first infusion … in other words, you’re going to do a “rinse” of the leaves for 15 seconds. I use my gaiwan, but, for cooking purposes this might prove to be a lot of effort since the gaiwan is small. You could also use one of those “smart brewer” type of devices, brew for 15 seconds, discard the liquid, and then brew for 2 1/2 minutes. A lot of the smokiness – especially that dusty smokiness – gets rinsed away with this method.

MegWesley

I’m going to try using this tea in my turkey gravy tonight since I still have my sampler pouch on me too. I will report back to see how that works.

Bonnie

I make a rub by grinding a little with sea salt, black peppercorn, urfa hot pepper (you can use something else). Don’t overdo the tea. I’ve added granulated brown sugar or granulated maple sugar to the rub mix and used both on chicken and fish.

Lynxiebrat

I’ve thought about making the last of the sample I have of the LS and putting vanilla or raspberry syrup in it. Which might make it totally gross, but….it might not.

Terri HarpLady

Momo, I have a recipe Tea Brined 5 spice Chicken. It uses Lapsang, & it was pretty tasty, as I recall. Let me know if you want the recipe.
I’ve been thinking of cooking a pork roast in the crock pot, and using a cup of Brewed lapsang instead of water…

Teavangelical

Or, i can send you some Oh Canada and you can mix them together and drink bacon

Shmiracles

Hahaha bacon!! like like like!

momo

Haha, that sounds good but I know I won’t like it. I just cannot drink this stuff!

Teavangelical

Yeah it’s not for me either. The smell brings back some cozy memories from my childhood but it also is super offputting for me.

Lynxiebrat

I like the smell of smoke from campfires, but the smokeness of this tea…..found it hard to deal with.

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I was not too excited to try this one because I’m not a big ginseng fan. But I do like oolong, and Teavivre was nice enough to send me the samples, so time to finally do it!

As an oolong it was really good, kind of roasted, but still vegetal. The ginseng kind of reminds me of a hybrid of some kind of sweetener and eucalyptus. It had that cooling feel but the aftertaste was this lingering, back of the throat sweetness. I didn’t really like that part.

I started drinking it far too late to get any more steeps out of it, but I plan to try it again soon. I imagine past that first steep that sweetness is more subtle as the ginseng fades, and I am pretty curious now about the oolong in here by itself too.

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I made a cup of this in the morning to drink in the car en route to work, drank a few sips, & then accidentally left the rest of it in the car. By the time I realized it, class was starting, so it sat out there all day. On the way home, I sipped it. It was chilled & super yum!

MzPriss

Instead of sheng I opted for some Teavivre black tea as well. I’m REALLY enjoying the Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild Tree. I’m 7 steeps into it and its DELICIOUS

Terri HarpLady

yeah, that one is really nice!
I need to polish off some of my tea vivre teas & I’m so close, so that I can place a new order! I also need more money ;)

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I’m taking a few moments to enjoy a cup of this lovely one before I leap into action. This morning it is sweet, a little tangy, with a sweet potato richness. I’ll take my resteep to enjoy on the road. We got our first snow of the year this weekend, but of coarse, it wasn’t enough too cause any travel problems.

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