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Recent Tasting Notes
I was so excited about my new teapot that came in the mail! Cute, practical, easy to use, and a good bit smaller than the asinine crapper I’d been using. I showed it to my mom, thinking she’d find it cute – and she laughed at me! “You’re obsessed! How many pots is this now?” (Two, Mom. It’s two.) I did the offended-laugh and reminded her of her “small” collection of singing bowls. She concurred.
Anywho. Resteeped the batch from last night. I was so excited about having the weekend off and doing fun things today that I didn’t sleep for crap, so it’s a good thing I had two cups worth of this stuff I’d preserved from yesterday!
This week. Has been. A freaking. CIRCUS. I’ve spent the past five days wondering if there was a full moon out or something because ALL the crazies are out, and ALL the crazy things are happening, and they’re out and happening ALL at once… the week I had to work the store by myself for pretty much the whole time.
Well, that question was answered on the 11:00 news tonight when they were talking about the “Supermoon” that was supposed to be out tonight.
I was going to start sipping down some English Breakfast or Yunnan Noir this morning. Instead, I made this. Because some mornings you just need your favorite tea. And I didn’t finish what I made.
To hell with it being midnight! To hell with the caffeine! To hell with me wanting to get up relatively early tomorrow morning! I’m drinking this mother and nobody’s gonna stop me!
P.S. I don’t think this is the first time I’ve gotten raisin-y vibes in this tea, but I think this is the first time I’ve known what to call it. Sigh. Raisins. First they betray me in cookies that look like they have chocolate chips, now they betray me in tea that smells like cocoa. Raisins are traitors. Damn raisins.
Okay. This time I did three pearls for two cups of tea. I’m on infusion one, cup one, right as soon as it reached drinkable temperature. It smells cocoa-y and heavenly, as any black dragon pearl should. At this point, it’s earthy, a little astringent, with an undertone of the maltiness that I really came for. From my experience, though, the cup I like best is usually the second one, the one that’s had the chance to sit and cool for a bit. That’s where the maltiness and the cocoa undertones really come in.
Isn’t it funny how different flavors become prominent as temperature changes? Tea is awesome!
Edit: Infusion 1, Cup 2: The tea had cooled down enough that I reheated it a bit… by the microwave… (lights and sirens) (Tea Police pull up outside and surround the premises) THIS is the tea I bought this big bag for! Astringency is toned down and the smoothness is more prominent.
Infusion 2: I added one more pearl, boiled water, and let this steep for about a minute, seeing as the liquor was the deep dark red color almost instantaneously as I poured the water. The cocoa aroma has intensified. There’s still a bit of astringency (perhaps a bitty bitty bit more than the Adagio version of this tea?), but this is the black dragon pearl tea I fell in love with.
The thing about this tea is that it’s just off to the side of being perfect. I find that foods and beverages that are like that, that have a good flavor that’s just off the center, are the ones that hook me the most. Good in the morning, good in the afternoon, good in the evening. Love this tea love this tea love this tea.
The dry leaves have a sweet and dry aroma, and the liquor smells honeyed with the faintest touch of malt. The lightness of the cup prevents it from pairing too well with milk but it re-steeps great.
This is a nice smooth and round tea; I can see where they draw the sweet potato comparison from. I most easily pick out the fruity and floral sweet notes, and then the malt. Bigger gulps make me think of fruitier dark chocolate near the finish, but it’s a loose association. There’s a lot going on with this tea- it’s deceiving.
Despite the gentleness of this tea it makes me think of rainy winter days where my clothes have been soaked through; I can see me wanting a cup of this then. It’s not something I’d reach for all the time though.
What should I have for breakfast… some green tea would hit the spot.
The raw leaves are very long, thin and crisp with dark and medium green tones. Some leaves have criss cross patterns on them which must be from the drying basket/tray, how divine and special. There are no holes, marks or discolouration to mention. They have a strong scent of cucumber, seaweed, flowers and grass.
First steep – 1 minute – Tea soup is light yellow in colour with a gentle floral and grassy aroma. Flavour is a little dry and perfumed with notes of peony, sweet grass, white cabbage and crisp pear.
Second steep – 2 minutes – Smooth and buttery and with a little more depth than the first steep but keeping all of it’s flavour. The dryness is a little more perfumed but still on the delicate side which keeps this tea refreshing and pure.
Third steep – 3 minutes – Floral, sweet, smooth, buttery and very delicate in this steep.
Overall it was delicious throughout and on the perfumed yet delicate side which I found to be similar to Long Jing but this is more delicate and with much more flavour. It does leave your mouth a little dry but also with a wonderful perfumed after taste.
Oh boy did I have too much caffeine today! 4-5 large cups of black tea. Last sip at around 5pm. I am still feeling shaky. Why didn’t someone stop me! So what to drink tonight? Thankfully, Angel sent me a sample of this lovely herbal! I’m always up for caffeine free stuff! But what the heck is a camellia anyway? Camellia sinensis is the tea plant, so is this tea its flowers?
Wikipedia to the rescue!
I can’t believe I used to go to the library to use Encyclopedias and books to do research.
So from what I gather, this may not necessarily be the flower of Camellia Sinensis but any of genus Camellia’s many species. In any case, it’s a beautiful flower.
The dried buds are light as feathers and smelled like sun dried hay and honey. The brew is sweet and reminds me of chrysanthemum, but less herby. I actually like this a whole lot. I can see the dried persimmon after taste Teavivre is describing here. Nice.
Now let’s hope this helps me push the caffeine out of my system so that I can sleep tonight. :(
Water: 8oz at 175 degrees
Leaves: bright green tea leaves
Color: almost clear
Taste: I don’t know if it’s just me but so far w/ the green teas they’ve almost all smelled the same regardless of their type. This tea was okay I didn’t get much flavor at all i used started w/2tsp then 3tsp of tea but nothing really changed.
I purchased this tea as part of the flavor tea assortment last Fall, but with the way Teavivre packages it, I feel certain that it’s as fresh as the day it was packed.
This is a perfect tea for when I’m in the mood for an oolong with a subtle sweetness. Like other oolongs, this re-steeps very well, but it also differs from others I’ve tried in the past. It comes double wrapped in airtight packets and the tea leaves are rolled then bonded together by the honey in a single oolong ball.
When I saw the sticky oolong ball I expected the taste of honey to be front and center, but despite the honey stickiness, the sweetness is actually quite delicate. It’s more in the background and supports the flavor of the tea, rather than overwhelming it.
This tea is growing on me. Finished off the 7g sample packet I brought to work with me.
Still very simple- Creamy greenbeans!
Well maybe there is a little more going on than I first thought. As I keep drinking it, I’m picking up a dark, baked almost ashy taste- very smooth, so it blends well into the vegetal aspect of it. That’s probably why I didn’t pick up on it at first. Now I see why people mention cocoa or baked tones.
I taste dark green beans with an extremely smooth creamy aftertaste. I pick up on some faint florals when I hold the liquor in my mouth. Not very complex, but a very pleasant cup and I wouldn’t mind having it again.
So far out of the 4 blacks from teavivre I’ve tried, I’ve like the Black Dragon Pearls the best. That tea had the most complex flavor and I loved the chocolate tones.
Giving this another go-around and finishing up the sample packet I have at work. After 3 minutes of steeping I am at least getting a hint of fruitiness, but the flavor is still lacking.
I decided to keep the strainer in and steep this for a ridiculously long amount of time to see if I could coax out some more flavor. 6 minutes in and there are some slight green bean and chocolate notes. At least it does not get astringent.
9 minutes in and this tea actually gets a flavor! The chocolate becomes a stronger and the green beans last into the aftertaste. Still pretty smooth in the mouth and only a teensy bit of astringency.
I brought a whole bunch of the teavivre sample packets I bought to try out at work. More black tea for the mornings! Yes!
When I first taste this tea, I pick up green bean flavor. It deepens as a I sip and there are some slight chocolate tones. Somehow though, I feel like the taste is lacking. It’s almost like eating a salad of wilted lettuce leaves- it doesn’t necessarily taste bad, but it leaves you wanting something crisper and fresher.
This is a sample I bought in my last Teavivre order. Or one of the free, I actually don’t remember which. Either way, it’s new!
Dry, this leaf has a powerful smell. The more I inhale it the stronger it gets, but I am having trouble naming the aroma. Something reminds me of fresh herbs, like my basil with some honeyed cocoa as well. There is a note of something sharp like lemon zest as well. It is interesting and appealing, though more complex than many others I’ve been drinking lately.
I used the full 7 g packet in my 14 oz mug with 90 degree-ish water (from the tap at work), though it was way more leaf than I usually use so I only allowed it to infuse about two minutes. The steeped aroma yielded more honey and cocoa than the sharp herb and citrus smells from before.
The liquor came out a warm yellow, and provides a much lighter taste than expected. It is still very present and enjoyable, just not as bold as anticipated. I get some honeyed sweetness, and a bit of a tingle on the tongue that reminds me of those initial herb and lemon aromas. It is nice and dark and really quite appetizing. I think the second steep on this one with more time will really be impressive. This is a good balance of leaf/temp/time/water, I’m glad I might I made the right call for my tastes.
I don’t get any green or grassy flavours from this (that’s important for me). The cocoa has largely subsided as well and as I get deeper in the cup/it cools I find the citrus sense is really developing. It is pretty interesting but I don’t think I will stock it regularly since I already have a couple roasted oolongs I enjoy. This is a really nice one though, maybe I will alternate between this and the big red robe?
Edit to add: After reading the other tasting notes I could see grape/currant/grapefruit in lieur of what I was picking up on as citrus-y. Someone else also mentioned IPA and I totally see that. Now that this cup is almost gone, I am really digging this one. Might be a contender for a future order, I’ll have to see what the beau thinks of it. It’s also a great deal at $12.90/100 grams. Okay, I’m putting it on the shopping list, even though I won’t be ordering from Teavivre for a few months.