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Recent Tasting Notes
My order from Teavivre arrived (yaay) I decided to try this one first. I think it would be better iced. I tried this straight and didn’t like it much so I added some splenda. A little too much splenda but it taste better sweetened I just have to balance the splenda a bit better :D
The first thing I have to say is that the sample size sent to me was so generous! There is enough tea for multiple pots rather than just a cup or two! I was very pleased when my sample box arrived =)
I really enjoyed this tea this afternoon while watching documentaries on netflix. I’m not too farmiliar with green teas, but this was very plesant. A nice clean, fresh flavor but not too overwhelmingly grassy or anything I was worried green tea would be like.
I do think I could have used more leaves though. I used 1 tsp per cup of water and got a very light flavor on the first steep. Second steep I increased the temp and steep time a little and got a better result.
I think I can see more green teas in my future…
Thank you Angel at Teavivre for the sample. I’ve had a few milk oolongs before. But this one was a little different, more milky and that is awesome. There is a sweet note to this tea too. Really all kinds of great flavors are coming out of this tea and I really love it! So much that I made a small pot of it for myself. I’m hoping to get another infusion out of it later tonight!
After sitting with it and enjoying it a little more (MIL was over offering her advice ‘sigh’) it has helped to calm me down a bit and center myself so I can enjoy the rest of my day.
First off, I got an apartment, woot woot! It is a nice little one bedroom and I am really looking forward to it. Finally!
I had a huge lunch of Indian food today so I wanted something relatively light. I also wanted to try to use up some of my Teavivre samples that have been opened so that they don’t age too badly. I decided to have another go at this one. It is very tasty but it lacks a creaminess to the body that I usually want from my milk teas. It is nicely fresh and green, with a bit of buttery peachiness. It’s particularly delicious as it cools down, making me think this would be a fantastic and refreshing iced tea as well.
I had been saving this sample for towards the end of my sample stash because I tend to save the best things for last. But I’m having a really hard time right now and I need to calm down and treat myself.
I was a little confused about how much to use for my teapot with 200ml of water. Teavivre’s site says 1tsp and equates that to 7g, and that’s not right. Others here have mentioned using 1tsp. Most notes though haven’t said outright how much they used, but hinted that they used the whole sample pack of 7g. I hedged my bets and used 3.5g, which turned out to be exactly my tea scoop that is 1.5tsp! With that amount I did Teavivre’s recommendation of 1, 2, and 3min steeps.
1st steep: On opening the pack, I was met, no, I was virtually mugged by sweet jasmine. But mugged in a good way, of course. Behind that was a subtle woody scent. After the steep, the pearls were only starting to open, and the woody scent seemed to be in the middle of the jasmine now, making me picture a swirling ball of jasmine with a small, central core of the woody-ness. It was just like being able to smell the flower and its stem. Tomato lovers know that a tomato smells best when it still has some vine attached, and this is the same; you get a fuller sensation. In the cup it was just the same, and all the heady aromas really filled my mouth and nose.
2nd steep: The pearls were most unfurled now, but they still kept the general pearl shape in the centers. This was very much like the first cup, but the woody scent in the wet leaf was now much more like green tree sap, a bit richer and deeper. I wouldn’t have expected to pick up on that. Rather proud of myself there.
3rd steep: I’m surprised that there still seems to be some centers of pearls mostly together. Looks like I could get another steep from this, but it’s getting late. I’ll have to try getting to four steeps next time. It’s also not noticeably different from the previous cup.
This is so smooth and velvety that it is almost creamy as someone else here mentioned. I haven’t tried the lower-priced Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls, but based on everything I’ve had so far from Teavivre, I can’t imagine they would be a disappointment. But it looks like I’ll be getting one or the other of them for my permanent stash!
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
First through seven steeps were consistently bold in flavour. I enjoyed how potent the liquor tasted. Lately I haven’t been drinking any strong black teas. This one had a very bold, earthy and malty flavour.
I’m looking forward to trying this western style (probably steeped in a mug). That being said, bold black teas are not my favourite. They’re not something I’d drink all the time, but it’s still a pleasant experience.
100ml purion teapot, 2tsp, rinse and 7 steeps (with Teavivre’s suggested times: 10s, 20s, 30s, 50s, 1m10s, 1m30s, 2m)
Edit: tried this western style, and it’s still quite nice and bold.
My adult son who is visiting for the weekend and I sipped this excellent green tea this afternoon-it was my second experience with it as a result of ordering the green tea assortment samples. I am picky about green teas, but I am excited about this one, and my son thought it was wonderful also. It has everything I am looking for in a quality Long Jing. Tomorrow we will try the Superfine Pre Ming Dragonwell for comparison. I used the whole 7 gm packet with 8 oz. 175 water.1st steep 1 min, then 2nd and 3rd steeps 2 min
This is a repeat of my posting on Teavivre:I steeped the entire 7 gram sample in 8 oz for a minute at 190. I find that I like green tea as long as it is not bitter This one is very enjoyable-plenty of flavor and no bitterness. (I add stevia to all my tea though.)7g of these long green leaves is quite a few tsp. If you only measured 1 or 2 tsp, might be too weak I would think. Better to weigh it on a scale and use 7 gm as they recommend. I got several steeps.
Having been forewarned by the description that this tea had a slightly bitter taste, I prepared myself for something akin to a slightly-oversteeped black tea-astringency. On the contrary, I found that this tea was nothing like that.
Preparing a small, two-cup teapot of this Chun Mei, I noticed the sweet, grassy smell that wafted up from the packaging. The pale yellow-ish tea that resulted from the steeping yielded these same characteristics – sweet, yet grassy. The bitterness was there, but it was more akin to eating a slightly bitter herb, where the bitterness is almost an afterthought. It does not at all ruin the tasting of this tea but, rather, keeps it complex, to a degree.
Teavivre’s Chun Mei is a great tea to try, especially for those who enjoy lighter greens, such as Dragonwell. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea an 82/100.
(Free sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you!)
- Vessel: Gaiwan 85 ml (3 Oz)
- Leaf: 5.8 grams (2 3/4 tsp.)
- Water: 100 C
- Time: 25s, 35s, 45s, 55s, 65s, 75s, 85s
Leaf & Infusion
Dry leaf – Rolled with dull shades of olive green to earthy brown, various in size – small to medium large when compared to average TGY. Smelling reveals roasted and smokey notes with some flowery notes underneath.
Wet leaf – As quantity of leaf overcrowded gaiwan in seven steeps the complete leaf unfurl is seldom. The wet leaves are closer to darker tones of olive green and look ripped, which prevents identifying its picking tandard. Aroma that arises from this heap is generally roasted with hints of flowery notes and a certan heat and a whiff of butter. There aren’t many stalks and most of them are thinner when compared to your average rolled oolong.
Infusion – Deep golden liquour tone stayed pretty much the same throughout numerous steeps. Initial aroma takes off with strong roasted aspect and touch of orchid. First steep gives away rich and full mouthfeel with pleasant amount of bitterness and finishes with pleasant amount of lingering bitterness in throat. After few sips there are some honey notes involved that gives the impression of Dan Cong oolong. Later steeps tend to shift to more astringent-citrus-fruity aspect still in pleasant range followed by its usual lingering roasted background. At third steep flowery notes seem to have completely dissapeared which makes room for fruity peach impression to take its form. As the session is half way through fruity aspect starts to decline and shifts more to herbal aspect which strongly reminds of Bai Mu Dan white tea at last steep.
Thanks LiberTEAS for this sample. Let me start by saying this is a good tea to break me (or anyone else needing broken in I suppose) to green teas in that I’ve not had but a couple I enjoyed and I am an oolong fan so obvious deduction= green oolongs.
Dry leaf is, as you would expect- green (shocker) and smells floral and maybe even fruity. The liquor steeped to a bright yellow with just a tad of greenish brown. Wet leaf smells very green indeed, kinda like seaweed maybe.
I was happy to see that, although this is a green oolong, it starts out not overpoweringly green and with a certain amount of nutiness in the sip. A faint sweetness is present, aside from the organic kind of sweetness I associate with grasses,but there’s not a strong enough presence for me to decipher what it resembles. The level of astringency is within my embarrassingly low threshold of tolerance for enjoyment. It, as I’m learning, leaves my palate feeling clean without any kind of bitter aftertaste. As the cup cools the grassiness becomes stronger, thereby reinforcing my earlier statement that it’s a good drink to break in to greens with. With the utmost of manners it brought me along into it’s vegative flavor and in turn kept itself from being poured out prematurely. Who knew that common manners could be so self preserving.
Since the cordial mannerisms of this tea were worthy to make mention I also deemed it worthy a second steeping. Fret not those of a frugal mindset; I shall not waste this sample but rather once this note is finished will continue steeping for any family members enthusiastic about drinking it during the wind down moments before bed.
Second steeping; a little info to start- often times I try to split even small samples in half in case I oversteep or something. I’m not stocked up on teaware yet so to do this I use one of those two cup glass pots with the finum basket inside you see at Asian groceries. It loses temp quickly. That said, when I went to steep a second time I forgot to set a timer (do not mock my primitive means you fortunate ‘Breville One Touch’ owners) and it went for maybe ten minutes. To my surprise it wasn’t bitter or overly strong…it seemed fine. I can only now assume that with the rapid temperature loss that the tea ‘stopped’ steeping once it got low enough. It was greener still,with a slightly more dry mouthfeel which may have been due to oversteeping. Generally this was a good tea, just not so much for me with my slowly but surely leaning away from green stuff palate.
tunes-Johnny Cash=Hurt/Rusty Cage/Thirteen/God’s Gonna Cut You Down
First off THANKS TO TEAVIVRE FOR THE WONDERFUL SAMPLE!!!
Dry smell: The first thing I noticed was the deep, earthy, chocolate aroma. It has a slight pungency but not in a bad way.
Wet leaf: When steeped the leaves get an earthy smell but also has tones of lilac coming through.
Flavor: The tea is very floral but still has a deep earthy flavor when left for a longer steeping. It has a slight tartness in the back of your throat when you swallow, but the aftertaste is a nice, light floral note.
I got 10 6 ounce steeping with 5 grams of this tea and probably could have gotten more. It is a nice summery/spring tea and I’ll definitely be buying some to have on hand. It isn’t going to be my every day tea but, on the right occasion, it is really nice.
I discovered ginseng-covered oolongs several years ago, and I have always enjoyed the strange sweetness that comes with their “alterting” properties. As I sit outside, watching the sunrise (sadly over other houses, not over the mountains, I breath in the ginseng powder aroma and wait for the water to boil. As I am at a location other than my home, I do not have an electric kettle here, instead opting for a stovetop, whistling tea kettle to prepare my hot water. Setting out my travel gaiwan set, I glance up as the sun breaches the horizon. Rinsing the leaves, the rinse water is discarded into the lawn, and I briefly smile at how much easier it is to drink tea outside, where anything may be disposed naturally.
My first steeping is for a mere thirty seconds, yet I feel that it captures the essence of this tea quite well, albeit weakly. The flavor of the ginseng has already begun to release itself from the oolong leaves. The smell is sweet, with a touch of the buttery essence of some oolongs. The flavor, too, is sweet, a bit weak, but refreshing, nonetheless.
Steeping number two brings out more oolong flavor, as the initial intensity of the ginseng has been diminished. The flavor is a bit darker, not quite so sweet, yet the leaves have only now begun to fully open, leaving much room for evolution.
In the third steeping (all have been for thirty seconds), I notice now that the ginseng and oolong flavors are blending together well. One can see that the oolong leaves have all but unraveled themselves, releasing their flavors. The diminished sweet taste is reminiscent of light honey or, perhaps, agave nectar. It is quite pleasant.
After the fourth steeping, I place all of the leaves in a large mug and pour hot water over them to leave them for an extended steep. The fourth steeping itself is wonderfully smooth, as though it has at last matured. This was quite tasty, and it seems the sunrise has been overwhelmed by rain clouds. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea an 87/100.
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.
Om nom nom… while looking around Steepster in an attempt to catch up on things I saw mention of some black dragon pearls, and suddenly I had a craving for these before I even finished my (extremely delicious) cup of Bailin Gongfu. I honestly feel a bit tea crazed right now… it’s like, when I got back and still hadn’t had any tea I was just cruising along, not really super craving tea at that point. And then I had the first cup and now I definitely cannot get enough tea. YUM. Why won’t this cup cool down faster to a drinkable temp so I can drink it up??
See what I mean about a bit crazed? LOL. I think these pearls have suffered a bit from sitting in a non-airtight pouch (clipped shut, but not sealed) for 2 months, but they are still pretty tasty. I think I will up the number of pearls and steep time for my next batch to see if I can counter the effects of age, because this was the same as my first trial of these but I remember that batch being much more robust. I think it does go to show you that air tightness really does make a difference because my Bailin Gongfu black was older but still fresher when I steeped it today, and it is in an airtight pouch. Must drink teas faster!
Now watch as I survey some of my favorite teas. Going back to all of these after two whole months away is interesting. On one hand it is a revelation, I can’t believe tea can taste that good (Malagasy tea is really that bad). I also pretty much forgot how all of my teas really taste. But on the other hand they are all so familiar, like an old comfy sweater, and when I sip them its as if I had just been drinking them the other day.
This one is easily one of my favorite blacks, and I am always astounded that it is so affordable and delicious. Lovely cocoa-caramel-grainy notes that I could just drink all the time. I think I have a couple more cups of this before I need to order more, although again I am torn by the want for my staples that are gone, and the need to drink the tea I have before I order any more. My stash is kind of astoundingly big, and I think my new goal is to drink it most of the way down before I move in 4 months (this time moving out of my office, too, which is where all my tea stash is).
After this morning’s Lipton Mint fiasco, I wanted a “real” tea for my reading. I love my classes to pieces, but I’m in three lit classes and a psych, on top of my Education seminars, so there’s a ton of reading.
Right now I’m sitting out in the grass right behind my window with a pot of this and Oedipus the King.
I’m raising the rating a bit because I think I appreciate it a bit more now, maybe in comparison to that Mint tea! I don’t see how you can rate teas objectively, really, since it can be SO subjective.
There’s something deliciously nutty about this. It tastes a little bit roasted, but I’m not sure I’d call it a roasted oolong. It’s naturally sweet, so I didn’t put any sugar or anything in it. Yum!