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Recent Tasting Notes

From the HHTTB

I’m not sure who put this in the box, but the box is WAY TOO BIG & FULL.
So thank you!
This tea is yet another example of the excellent quality of teas the TeaVivre produces, & although I don’t drink as much green teas as I used to, this is very nice. Its a delicate green & the jasmine is there, but very lightly. A very nice & refined cup!

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I feel like I wasted half my sample – I didn’t realize that I was supposed to steep this at 85C and so I dumped my poor leaves into boiling water as I would most black teas.

/0\ Ok. Never assume anything. Let’s move on.

This tastes fine by the way, but I’m not rating/reviewing until I do it “properly”.


This is one of my favourite teas of all time. The lower steep really smooths out the malted flavour and sweetens it up. :)


I meant to say lower temp steep.

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I have really grown to love Keemun black teas. This one did not disappoint. It’s got all of the characteristics one might expect from a keemun, but this one seems a bit more refined than the usual fare. It’s definitely on the light side for a keemun, but at the same time the flavors and aromas are noticeable. The smokiness is there as expected, but the dominant aroma in this cup is unmistakeably floral. Those are the aromas at the forefront, with subtle malt, hay, and cocoa notes floating in the background. The finish is slightly bitter and dry, in a very enjoyable way, with very slight cherry/strawberry notes at the tail end. Despite all the flavors that sometimes indicate a heavy drink, this one leaves me feeling refreshed.

Very good. Many thanks to the wonderful people at Teavivre.

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Very good tea! Today I am getting a more roasted nut vibe from my last sample pack along with the smooth green savory broth. Excellent for an organic Dragon Well. I am so glad I ordered a large tin of this or I would be writing another sad sipdown note this week, lol.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Was in the mood for a straight green while I try (once again) to get started on my last paper for the semester. It is a family case study with regard to health policy, so pretty boring to research and write about. At least to me. :/

Anyhow, I was happy to find one more sample bag of this hiding behind the flavored matcha. I used a little bit less leaf than last time and it is still great. Fresh, sweet, and a bit buttery with that hint of water chestnuts that I like so much- just what I wanted this fine afternoon.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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Dry: Bright green flat leaves/buds, quite large. Measuring this one would probably be best by weight if you want to be exact, but it seems pretty forgiving as far as green teas go. Smells fresh and crisp from the bag with almost a spicy or sparkling note.

Steeped: Pretty pale green clear liquor. Rich buttery spinach aroma; I am excited about this one!

Taste: This one does not skimp on flavor at all. Rich is the word I would go with for aroma and taste both. It is vegetal, buttery, and a bit nutty with a thick and smooth feel to the tea itself on the tongue. I agree with another review that it is almost like the water from water chestnuts meets a quality green tea. I am enjoying this one quite a bit and it is holding up nicely to multiple steeps of 1m, 2m, and 3m. Lovely tea and organic, too!

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.

The bright green, flat leaves instantly tell me this is a Long Jing. The aroma of the dry leaf is grassy and pleasant like a spring meadow. Upon steeping, the aroma becomes savoury, as I would expect. It sets my taste buds tingling. The liquor is a lovely greenish yellow colour with a delicate savoury aroma. It is not as robust as others that I have tried, promising a delicate, more gentle experience. Sipping the tea I notice the nuttiness first and the warmth on my tongue. The aftertaste sparkles, for want of a better word. It is sweet and tingly. I think I prefer this to the other Long Jings that I have had. It is less ‘in ya face’ and has greater depth. The non-pareil label is definitely well-deserved.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Well expressed. I hopped on your description and could almost taste the sparkling finish.


Thank you, Bonnie.

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This is a great clouds and mist green. Refreshing is definitely the biggest word that comes to mind. It’s got a solid sweetness too it, balanced by a fairly assertive but well-balanced vegetal intensity reminiscent of a Japanese green. It is a very “brisk” tea as well, there is a pleasant bitterness on the finish that leaves your mouth feeling very clean and refreshed. This would be a great everyday green, I imagine it would be great cold-brewed. Very fair price for a solid casual green tea.

Thank you to the ever-generous Angel for the sample.

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Thank you Teavivre for this sample tea!

When you open the silver packet of tea, the rose fragrance is potent…released as it should be from a properly sealed container (which Teavivre does so well with much care).

The rose scent can be a bit off-putting. Even I was wary…and in my mind I spoke to myself “Oh no, a perfumy tea!” But I was wrong.

I had Eric brew some up (I tried it first at home and was excited for his reaction at the tea shop). He said out loud what I had thought when he put his nose down into the dry leaves…“A perfumy rose tea!” And when he sipped the tea, “Huh, it doesn’t taste strong rose, in fact this is really good!”, said he.

George lumbered behind the bar…with his “Watcha drinkin”, rinsed out a cup and poured from the gaiwan after sniffing and saying the third “Oh wow ROSE!”…then “Huh?…this isn’t strong like I thought, it tastes Yunnan Black, really good, almost Golden Monkey.” And off he went out the door. (He owns the shop)

I like having other opinions after I’ve made my own. Makes me chuckle to see other people have the same reaction…like I have a secret that I’m springing on them.

My Black Tea loving friends are thumbs up on this rose tea. I think it’s the best Rose Black I’ve had too.

Very, very fragrant aroma…lovely not icky strong scent that fools one into thinking the taste will follow and be rose too but it doesn’t go there.
The flavor is hearty with a HINT of floral not a bouquet just the way it should be. Plenty of body and robust flavor in the tea. Not girly, fru-fru or tea-party-only tea.

I’d share this with a man (if I could find one).

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The rose taste is present but not strong nor does it taste like you are drinking a bottle of perfume. The tea is not bad, just not for me. I have determined I just don’t like the flower taste in a black tea.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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Thanks to Heather for passing down a sample of this. I’ve never been a huge fan of white tea, but seeing that I haven’t had a straight up white tea in years, it wouldn’t hurt to revisit them.

Freshly steeped, there are notes of cooked vegetables, maybe mild snow peas. It’s hard to pinpoint but definitely some sort of cooked green vegetable. As this is cooling, it’s going a little wonky, along the lines of chlorine, unfortunately.

Beautiful leaf but the flavour is not my thing. I’ll abstain from rating seeing that no one else has so far and I’m not the greatest fan of white tea to begin with.

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Good morning Steepster!! It’s the long weekend here in Canada and our Thanksgiving, so I am looking forward to an amazing turkey dinner on Monday and not working for a glorious 3 days! With the insane hours and stress of this past week, this could not come at a better time. Busy times!

So now I can get back to logging notes. I also binged and placed a large Verdant order last night for some of those new pu’erhs! But enough about me, this tea! I needed this this morning, it is quite a strong tea usually for me so I don’t have it as often as I should, as caffeine sometimes messes with me. But I have a headache this morning so I wanted a strong caffeinated tea, but not as much honey flavor today. This is just the right amount of sweet in it, mostly just malty and sweet potatoey, very appropriate for the Thanksgiving weekend! Hope everyone enjoys their Saturday! See previous notes on this tea :)

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I’ve finally gotten around to trying this sample from the lovely Angel at Teavivre!! Thank you for the free samples!!

After my lapsang fiasco this morning, I needed a good black tea to counteract the tastes in my mouth. I knew this would be a good black even though it’s my first time trying it haha, so into the steeper it went. The dry smell is a lovely Yunna black tea, that sweet hay and potato scent. I used about 1/3 of the sample packet at 185 degrees for 2 minutes.

The resulting liquor is a dark golden brown, and smells so malty and honeyed good!! The flavor is definitely a dian hong, possibly my favorite type of black teas. Malty, sweet potato goodness, smooth with a touch of hay. Mostly sweet potatoes though, mmm almost bready in texture to me! I am wishing there was a little more honey to the aftertaste like there is in the aroma, but maybe it would come out more with a slightly longer steep time. In comparing to other dian hongs I’ve had, it’s definitely rich and a thick mouthfeel. Golden fleece had more honey, Zhu Rong had chocolate, and Yu Lu Yan Cha was darker and chocolatier as well. But this one definitely holds its own. It is possibly the most sweet potatoey and that malt…mmmm. A very easy cup to drink, it feels heavy in the mouth, but refreshing at the same time. I feel like I could have multiple cups of this and feel just perfect, at peace with the world. Oh, and dian hongs seem perfect for fall with their texture and flavors :) so a good pick for today!

Overall, this is a very delicious tea! I am so happy to have tried it, and am excited I still have 2.666 sample packs left! Probably the dian hong that I could drink many times and enjoy, not get overwhelmed by sweetness, etc. so far of the ones I’ve tried. Once again, thanks Angel for the sample!!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I used the recommended amount of 4 tsp and it was a little strong. I think that brewing a shorter time might not make it quite as tart either with all that roselle.

I find that orange and apple are the most prominent with currant in the background. A little too tart. A tsp of sugar helps it out a bit.

I think I will stick with the blueberry fruit tea, I enjoy it much better.

Boiling 8 min or more

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The dry leaves are thin and needle-like, with a bright vegetal smell. They unfurl into the cutest little yellow-green leaves. The brewed tea is a very, very pale yellow. As in, you can barely tell it’s not water. But it sure doesn’t taste like water! This is wonderfully vegetal and buttery, without being too heavy. There’s a nice dry aftertaste too. This easily gave me two good steeps. I probably could have gotten a third, but I’m trying to make a dent in my stash. As usual, high marks for Teavivre. Many thanks to Alysha for the sample.

Protip: Teavivre’s sample packages always have more than one serving but aren’t easy to reseal. Luckily, the labels on Teavivre’s sample-size packages peel right off and stick nicely to a tin or baggie! Most people have probably already figured this out, but I thought I’d share for anyone who hasn’t.


I actually just did that like five minutes ago! The little DAVIDsTEA samples are the same way. Now if I would only work for Verdant! ;)


Teavana labels are actually like that, too (though with Teavana’s reputation, I’m slightly ashamed to admit knowing that).

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Thank you Teavivre for this sample.

Wow some of these leaves are huge! An estimation of 5cm long and 2cm wide, some of the largest leaves I have ever received. Half are large and the others have unfortunately broken in half :( but hey ho. In appearance the leaves are very thin in width but dry and slightly crisp to the touch. They are a mixture of dark and medium greens with a beautiful silver shine that always reminds me of cats eyes (well the way that they reflect anyway). After time to breathe from the packet the leaves have a sweet yet strongly green and vegetal scent. Rather broccoli and grassy in combo.

Using Teavivres steep guide I shall be doing the following:
Teapot – 8oz (roughly 200ml)
Leaves – (7g)
3 steeps – 1m,2m,3m
Temperature – 80ºC/176ºF

First Steep – Once steeped the tea is light yellow with a buttery and mineral green aroma with a little sweetness. Flavour is light and sweet with a floral and green nature. Not quite as mineral as the aroma but almost, like fresh broccoli with sweet flowers and a touch of butter. Light but a very nice introduction to the tea and what it has to offer.

Second Steep – The green mineral flavour is enhanced and very fresh tasting without being bitter, dry or perfumed. The sweetness has been toned down a little or at least blends in better than the previous steep. Still I must say it’s not as floral or strong as I was expecting but again it’s in a good way. As long as a green tea has flavour then it doesn’t matter about it’s strength.

Third Steep – This is the first steep that is so heavily mineral that it is a touch dry in the after taste but only minimally. All that is left after the mineral flavour is a hint of sweetness.

Overall – It’s a nice mineral green tea that remains fresh and light throughout. Another mild green tea hit for me.

175 °F / 79 °C

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didn’t enjoy the vegetal notes of this tea. i like spinach, however i don’t like spinach flavored water.

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I am really glad that I ordered this sample because I find myself really enjoying roasted oolongs.
I used the whole sample package for this cup.
This is delicious. I didn’t get the coffee notes, but I also only brewed for 1 minute. I found it a bit sweet and roasted notes really shine through with that buttery TGY. It tastes almost a bit creamy.
I might have to order this!

Resteep at 2 and 3 minutes. I think the second steep was my favourite because all the notes really melded together and it was really smooth and almmost velvety.

I probably could have gotten more steeps out of the leaves but I ran out of time in my day :(

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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Ok….last cup of the day…well caffeinated cup. Gonna make me an iced herbal next…then bed time.

I really need some nice creamy, hot herbals to go to sleep with…all I have are fruit herbals…and I’m not a fan of entirely fruit herbals..it’s like hot juice…weird.

Anyway…lemme tell you, this one REALLY expands in the steeping basket. It would probably love a tea pot because my basket looked a little crowded.

It smells really good. Really oolong. And almost sweet. Comforting. I can’t wait for it to cool enough to drink.

It is kinda rich. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. It does have a strong oolong. but it is sweet. Not incredibly milky…well,,,there is some dairy aspect to it…and it is sweet…but the oolong lends a pretty strong vegetal. It’s really good tho. Sort of has a thick texture…I mean if tea can be thick. I dunno…it don’t find it as sweet and buttery and creamy as some others I’ve had. I think it’s the oolong base. It’s strong. I brewed it as directed on the packet…and I think I will brew it another time at a lower temp…maybe that would change it. It is a little drying to the mouth…not bitter but kinda dry……
But the flavor is good….just maybe not the best one I’ve ever had.
Hubs took a sip tho and he says wow…it’s like tea and milk…haha!
Still a tasty one. I’ll give it another go at lower temps and see if it doesn’t change the intensity of the base. Because I think it’s overwhelming some of the other creamy characteristics for me. So no rating for now.

Ok as it cools it starts getting a lot better…I do pick up more of the sweet creaminess left over…lingering in the aftertaste. And it starts to get sweeter….gonna sip on this one slowly for the rest of the night…let it unfold it’s magic…and then try and go to sleep with all this caffeine. HA!

Edit: Oh baby…the closer you get to room temp the sweeter and creamier it gets…it just kind of goes from “i dunno” to better…and then better…just gonna keep sippin’

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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A sample I got in my very generous sample bag from Teavivre today. I’m so giddy. Opened up the package to find so many goodies! And I’m so glad I was given an herbal. I end up drinking most of my tea in the evening and night. So herbals are what I usually end up stocking up on around here and I was kinda bored with my current stash.

I open it and the dry fruits smell PRETTY. I mean yes, fruity and pineapple…but PRETTY pineapple. :)

I am going to drink this iced…because I can…and sometimes the idea of drinking warm pineapple and fruit just weirds me out. Unless it has a crust..(ya know…pie crust)…warm fruit is just unnatural. Anyway…

So I went ahead and steeped the whole sample packet and I’m going to put it on ice. I really enjoy drinking my fruity herbals this way. It’s so refreshing and brisk.

Anyway….back to waterlilies….

It’s brewed and it still smells…PRETTY!. :)
Sipping on it warm and it’s still pretty…but in that slap you in your face with too much lip gloss kinda pretty. It’s sweet, and fruity and good but woooooweeeee! That’s tart. Like lemonade tart! Gonna have to put this on ice for sure! But I will say it is PACKED with juicy flavor. It’s juicy and good but watch out for the tart…

So on ice….

It’s like KoolAid red!

But mmmmmm….so good. It’s like the most adult fruit punch I’ve ever had…adult in that it isn’t too sweet…but my god don’t add sweetener! And the tartness has mellowed a bit. It’s fresh pineapple and def apple. I don’t get too much of the rose hip…well maybe a little…maybe that’s why it feels like a grown up fruit punch and not my 4 year olds juice box.

I mean seriously…I really like it. It makes a really nice fun, fruity drink…like juice but the most refreshing juice ever… I find juice to be too thick and sickly sweet….this is great. It’s not like flavored water which is what happens to some of my other fruity herbals on ice…it holds it’s own in that icy glass.

I recommend as a fun fruity summer beverage on a hot day.

Boiling 8 min or more

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An interesting tasting.

I quite like the dry leaves – they’re green, rolled up, and really easy to handle. I meant to steep them for 1 minute, but that wound up not quite happening, although I think they’re still under 2. At the beginning of the sip, the aroma is that half-vegetal, half-roasted flavor that I now associate with oolongs (did I mention I’m still fairly new to oolongs?) But then something interesting happens. Now, I’m not familiar with the flavor of ginseng, so I’m probably tasting it without recognizing it as such. But the longer the tea remains in my mouth, the more of a bright citrusy tangent the flavor takes, getting higher and higher in pitch while the vegetal/roasty oolong base remains until I swallow. It’s almost a bitter flavor, but it’s such an unexpected development that, at least for this tasting, I don’t mind it because it’s a cool experience…

Did you know this goes really well with vanilla ice cream? I had absolutely no intention of them being a pairing, but the pointed, morphing quality of the tea makes a great contrast with the vanilla WHOMP. Damn!

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