Recent Tasting Notes


I can’t get over how good this tea is. It’s extremely full bodied but not bitter. Its a rich caramel brew that needs no sweetening whatsoever. It has a smell reminiscent to a freshly baked loaf of bread along with some cacao notes. A truly unreal tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I am addicted to Teavivre’s jasmine selections. They are so well done. I made this one today to chill out while the new washer and dryer were being delivered and set up. I bought this one while it was on sale, so it is doubly a bargain! The jasmine smells very grape-y. Soooo good.

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Just a quick note. I wanted jasmine pearl tea and found to my horror that I was out of it and had to replace it with this one instead. I am craving jasmine at the moment :)

Steeped 6 times in my gaiwan and each cup was as beautiful as the last. Plus in the loose tea there are actual jasmine flowers amongst the white tea leaves and it looks so delicate and perfect, very warm and summery.

It started off gentle and refreshing with just a hint of jasmine and within a few cups it changed to become stronger and stronger with the jasmine exploding marvellously on my tongue.

This wasn’t what I intended to have but it certainly cured my taste for jasmine. Yum yum.

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It is coming time soon to order more of this perma stash tea.
Always my go to tea in the morning when I don’t feel like trying something new.
Its perfection. Dependable. Delicious.
I can feel some sickness coming on … once I am fully awake I am going to switch to some green tea to combat whatever is trying to take over me.


Didn’t get the hype with this tea. I wonder if I made it wrong. :(


Hummm hard to mess up a black tea babe. Maybe you could try it slightly less than boiling? Maybe 195 for 3 to 4 minutes.


I mean it wasn’t bad, but it was definitely black tea. I don’t know, maybe I just expected it to be life altering or something.

Rachel Sincere

Yeah, I tried it twice and then traded it all away. I didn’t “get it” at all.


You Rachels are too much on the same wavelength, you’re freaking me out. =P

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I have just finished work and a bit of house cleaning and could do with a few minutes to relax and my thirst for a pu erh has been growing hence why I chose this tea.

As taken from the Teavivre website:
Gaiwan 3oz Tea:10g
9 steeps: rinse twice,20s,30s,40s,50s,1m10s,1m30s,2m,2m30s,3m30s

Following this rule here is my review:

First steep – This has dark amber coloured liquid that smells mildly of dry leaves. The flavour is slightly sweet and earthy and refreshing all at the same time. The tea at the bottom of my tea bowls is stronger and is much earthier with a touch of astringency.

Second steep – Same dark amber liquid with a more predominant fragrance of flowers. The flavour is also now somewhat floral but still gentle and refreshing. Its also a little woody now also.

Third steep – The liquid is now very dark and reminds me of soy sauce but with a red glow. It’s also much earthier and woodier now but still with that gentle floral touch. Smell wise it reminds me of damp earth or fish but not strong. (I buy cat treats that smell similar).

Fourth steep – The compacted cake pieces have now broken up to resemble dark brown loose leaves. Still getting stronger and stronger with both fragrance and flavour with the most notable being the earthiness. Very nice and full bodied pu erh so far and it keeps improving.

Fifth steep – The red glow has darkened now so the soy sauce appeal is even stronger. Rather astringent and strong, a little smoky but still very earthy. The smell is still reminding me of cat treats.

Sixth steep – Again stronger than the previous steep and earthy…it resembles cocoa, not chocolate but more nib. It’s dark and smoky and earthy and slightly sweet and astringent. Beautifully pu erh.

I will leave my logging there but shall update as I increase the steeps exponentially. :) So far it’s a nice aged pu erh but nothing completely unique. It does quench my pu erh thirst though.


Around 15 steeps in and the flavour gets lost in steeping translation. It hit my top mark around steep 5 or 6 but it has not done badly. :)

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I feel bad because I have had this free sample for review from Teavivre for forever, but I hadn’t ever gotten around to it. Partly because I don’t know how I feel about ginseng. Yesterday I thought of it because I happened to see something that said ginseng is good for a cold, and I seem to have the sniffly beginning stages of one. I portioned it out into my ru kiln pot based on proportions listed on Teavivre’s website, which ended up being about 3 perfect teaspoons (4.5 actual tsp) for my 6oz pot. Then a million things came up, and I never ended up brewing it yesterday. So it was waiting for me this morning!

When I smell the dry leaf right off the bat, it kind of smells green and oolongy, a bit vegetal. But if I blow into the pot with the leaf and smell the air that is released, woah. Very savory and brothy, with a bit of toastiness. For some reason it is appealing to me even though I wouldn’t normally be into that aroma profile.

I did a quick rinse, then a perhaps 5 second steep. And now I feel even worse that I never got around to this tea because I am finding it delicious. It’s kind of light a lightly roasted tieguanyin at first, but then this sweet-savory flavor comes out. It is a bit bready, and I like Bonnie’s suggestion of sesame. The aftertaste is so incredibly sweet, it’s like sesame candy. I didn’t want this steep to be over!

The liquor from the second steep (about 10 seconds) is much darker, kind of a yellowy-orange with a hint of green. This one is more vegetal, though as it cools a bit the sesame sweetness of the ginseng definitely makes itself known. The mouth-coating sweet is kind of amazing, and it would probably be awesome on a sore throat.

Third and fourth steeps (also 10 seconds) are even darker, an amber color. Now the roasty-toastiness of the oolong is starting to come forward. And, against my expectations, that sweetness lingers. The main part of the sip almost verges on bitterness, which is so odd, but then boom, the sweetness is back. It’s a weird combo.

At this point it has taken on the characteristics of a roasted green oolong without much else going on, so I will cease my steepings now. But this one worked out well for me. I don’t know that it would become a regular tea that I crave often, but it’s definitely tasty and could be nice to keep around for its cold-busting properties.


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I finally recieved my beautiful gaiwan tea set from Teavivre yesterday. This morning when I woke up I knew exactly what I was feeling ready for, a pu-erh. Now I haven’t really tried much pu-erh yet so keep that in mind.

I spent lots of time last night pouring with my gaiwan and getting a feel for brewing this style. I feel so important and involved with this process.

I’m not really sure how to review pu-erh tea. I’m not really familiar with the termonology I see other people using to describe pu-erh but I’m going to wing it here. I’m using the suggested gaiwan brewing times from Teavivre.

The first steep is curious. Not as overwhelmingly strange tasting as I was expecting it to be. It’s an interesting flavor, something I’ve never really experienced before. Maybe a tiny bit fishy? But it’s actually not offputting….very weird…

Wow. The second steep looks like a completely different tea. It’s so much darker than the first! The wet leaves smell a little smokey. This steep tastes like the first one, but with a little more oomph.

After a third steep the wet leaves are starting to smell leathery. Now I understand what people mean when they use “leathery” as a description. This steep is surprsingly sweet in a way. Much different than the previous steeps.

By the fourth steep I’m starting to get stuck on the fish smell for some reason. It doesn’t really taste fishy, but it smells just fishy enough to be getting a little weird. I’m having trouble focusing on anything else. One thing I am noticing though is that my tummy is feeling much better than it did when I woke up this morning. It could just be in my head but either way it’s a plus.

I think I’m going to have to stop here. I know I could continue steeping but I think I’ll have to dive into a few more pu-erhs before I take this one all the way. I’m going to hold off on a rating for now.

And I almost forgot to thank LiberTEAS for sending me some of this! What an interesting start to the day =) Oh, I forgot to add I haven’t burnt my fingers once yet! Woohoo!


How fun to have a new set! I don’t know how long your steeps are but maybe too long? They should be 20-30 seconds in a gaiwan and you should have rinsed once first for that long too (which you probably did). I find that this helps. But, there are lots of milder pu-erhs out there too. Some like vanilla, some like bread, some like cedar wood or mushrooms. I wouldn’t stop trying.


I used the suggested times on Teavivre’s website which were : rinse(10s),10s,15s,20s,25s,30s, etc.

I’ve got quite a few more pu-erh samples around here that I have been saving to try so I’m looking forward to how the next one will compare. It’s not that I didn’t like it….just that I’m not sure what to make of it yet. Who knew tea could be so complex?

Brewing this way is so interesting and relaxing to me. It’s so much different than putting the tea in my Breville and letting it do all the work for me. Yeah, I’m definitely enjoying this tea set!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Bonnie, can you recall one that was especially cedar-like? I’m looking to find one – since cedar is one of my favorites :)


WP 2 that are carried by Mandala are 357 gram 2007 Menghai Jade Luster and 357 gram 2008 Menghai Dayi Hong (I reviewed both). Both have nice cedar. The Menghai Dayi 8592 2009 has nice Vanilla.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Mmmm the Dayi Hong sounds delicious!


Thanks for the tea suggestions Bonnie!

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This sample is yet again thanks to the Teavivre gang:)

This tea is not one I am inclined to have again after I am done with the sample. It’s drinkable, but only just. Frankly I got plenty of fruit teas that I enjoy alot more then this, and can get them locally. I’m thinking I should of stuck to black, greens, oolongs, and whites in my taste test, as I’ve been wanting to expand my horizons beyond the herbal, fruit and rooibos teas that have pretty much taken over my cupboard. That being said however, I am looking forward to trying the last tea of the bunch, the Apple Awakening.

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THe cool thing about this oolong is the sweetness stays even with multiple steepings.

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James R

Amazing tea. Your ginseng oolong arrived this afternoon.

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Tea of the afternoon here…. this is pretty nice for a shu. I am noticing today it seems a bit muddy but I haven’t been drinking much shu recently, I seem to have forgotten what they are like… ha

see previous notes for more info

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Profile: Liquor is a pale yellowish green. Aroma is mildly vegetal. Taste is mildly vegetal as well; fresh green beans with a hint of smokiness. Aftertaste is brief and clean. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly drying to the tongue, without any bitterness.

Other notes: One could compare it to Dragonwell, though it is thinner and without nuttiness. Also worth noting is that I detected no spiciness or sweetness, which is contrary to other reviews.

Verdict: An inoffensive cup, but not my preference. The complexity of flavors simply wasn’t there, and while it is bolder than some other Chinese greens, still too mild for me.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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It is time for the last of this sample. There was a little bit more in the bag than I would normally put in, but it wasn’t enough for two french presses, so I poured in the rest of my sample bag.

Starting at two minutes and going to keep re-steep it until I kill it. So probably six steeps worth of tea. A very good choice for an afternoon tea.

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Thanks again Angel and Teavivre for the generous samples of this tea.

This tea has such a delicate and smooth flavor. It’s so light that I’m always amazed at the number of steeps I can get out of the leaves without any loss of flavor.

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Dad wasn’t feeling very good tonight so I made him a cup of white tea spiked with a bit of brandy. Wanting to join him, I made myself a cup of white tea spiked with jasmine.

Mom thinks it is funny when I play my handheld Harvest Moon while Dad is playing Harvest Moon Animal Parade on the Wii.

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Received this tea from Teavivre. Thanks so much! My first time trying Teavivre tea and first time drinking a Jasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea. Brewed this tea for 2 minutes. The leaves were not completely open. After 2 more minutes they were. I used a teaspoon in 8 oz of water. When you open the bag a strong beautiful smell comes to your nose. Steeped two times, and was as good the second time. This is becoming a favorite of mine. Teavivre delivers. Drinking this at the end of a stressful day and this tea is soothing and relaxing.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
587 tasting notes

I’m melting at my desk in school so the only solution is a good cold tea. I decided this would be perfect!


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I thought it would be a good way to wind down the day with my favorite jasmine white tea. I like this better than the green jasmine pearls because it isn’t as astringent as the pearls which means it goes better on its own.

I had a fun day today. My mom, dad, and fiancee took me out to The Gentle Arts yarn shop. They have a pair of plastic sheep when you first enter the store. One looks like it is eating a basket of yarn and the other is wearing a stylish hand knit hat. My mom took a picture of them to show me when they first went there and I got to see them in person today!

I also got to spin on four different spinning wheels! I discovered that I do really like spinning on a wheel and the style I like best is the double treadle wheel castle wheel. Yes, I did get to spin on a baby version of the traditional wheel that looks like the one is Sleeping Beauty. I also got a ball of red sock yarn and 4 oz of light brown alpaca to spin.

It was a fantastic surprise and I love that yarn store. Hopefully, I will be able to visit it again. Maybe next time they will show me how to work a loom!

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1st smell out of the package: smokey. I have to admit that smell made me nervous given my reaction to the Lapsang Souchong. (Which I have not tried the 2nd steeping idea yet.)
Wet smell: Earthy. Slightly leathery aroma, (Which I’ve been told is a good thing with Pu-erh.)
1st taste without sugar: (Yes the 1st taste was with the 1st steeping. GAG. lol) So I pitched it and started boiling water for the 2nd steeping. I steeped it for 1 minute and roughly 30 seconds. Automatically added 4 packets of Apriva sweetener, (Kroger brand of Splenda.) It worked.

I taste an almost creaminess to the tea, I can see how others have gotten a caramel-ish taste in it. I am not wowed at all in this tea, however not about to judge all pu erh by it. I plan on trying out some other ones, (though not willing to yet try the ones with other flavors mixed in, like from Teavana’s)

I would not refuse a cup of this if offered from a friend, though. And now that I finished my cup, I feel mixed, because even though it didn’t wow me, I liked drinking it. How weird is that?! Maybe my palate is changing. That would be great, because I really would love to enjoy traditional teas, though I do not want to give up on my crazy love for flavored tea combos from stores such as Teavana….I don’t think my budget could afford that anyways. Heh.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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