Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

87
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

SOMETIMES….though it doesn’t happen often with me…i forget that i have a particular tea in my cupboard. This one sort of got lost (in plain sight) and i hadn’t had it in a while…so the other day i put it in a REALLY obviously place to remember to drink it more often. And today, i was glad for it :) i still really like the taste of this one. happy i picked some up in a sale from teavivre a while back.

also..since i’m guessing there will be little to no tea drinking this evening having just had uh..a VERY large glass of coke and toasted caramel rye…

Final Count: 149 (merci Ysaurella!)

TheTeaFairy

Did I hear a big fat burp at the end of this note???

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87
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

mmmmmm I opened my sample of this from teavivre, forgetting of course that i have 50g from my last order. Oh well, at least i’ve managed to sipdown the little sample pack haha. I really enjoy drinking this one from teavivre. It’s malty with notes of cocoa without being like my laoshan black. It’s also unassuming so until i take my first sip, i always forget how much i enjoy drinking this one :)

K S

I love this and have 100g that I can’t open because I have like a zillion other teas open already that need me first. I also have golden tips I can’t touch. I need, no I NEED, to start sipping some down.

Sil

haha…that’s the worst…

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87
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

it’s been far too long since i had this tea. I pulled it out this morning to kick start the day. My other half has the entire weekend off – he hasnt even had a single weekend day off since vacation in October. So we’re taking advantage. This was a wonderful start to the morning, which ended up being almost my only cup of tea today because we were out for longer than expected.

i may need to have this again tomorrow as it really was a fantastic cup this morning.

Dexter

Hmmmm interesting, I keep getting samples of this with orders, and I keep tossing them into swap packages. I really should try this one of these days….

Sil

i would! haha it’s one of those teas that i forget about, don’t think i enjoy as much as others and then have a great cup of it!

Terri HarpLady

I love this one. I almost drank this today :)

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87
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

SIPDOWN!

Also, still getting an initial smokey taste from this tea as I steep it. Not sure what’s up with that, but I do enjoy it and would order this again.

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87
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

Teavivre random tea of the day! this one smells delicious in unsteeped form. I’m always on the lookout for a reasonably priced strong delicious black so I’m happy to try this one!

The initial taste of this one is…smokey? Weird I think my tastebuds need a reset lol I know it’s not even 9…well it’s nearly 9 but man a small piece of maple fudge with this tea and i’m in heaven!

Once that’s all cleared up, this is a nice rich malty tea that I can absolutely see myself restocking as an every day black to have with some of my other favorites. I don’t get the sweet potato flavour that others have mentioned but it’s delicious and yummy!

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98

This is super backdated, as I’ve since placed and received an order for this incredibly soothing tea. The Jasmine is strong, but also light at the same time. I was originally afraid it might be a bit cloying, but that wasn’t the case at all. I’m a huge fan of Teavivre’s Silver Needle, so anything using it as a base is almost a guaranteed home run in my books.

I figured I’d attempt to unwind from the holiday craziness with some aromathera-tea and I have to say it’s working very well.

I blind purchased Teavivres Jasmine Pearls as a Christmas gift for my mother. I’m looking forward to sharing a cup with her and seeing how they compare to this lovely tea (superb as usual for Teavivre, I’m sure).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

I have both kinds of Jasmine Dragon Pearls that they sell and I have tasted this tea. They are all fabulous! Your mom will be very happy with her gift, I believe!

Miss Starfish

Thanks for the heads up Ashmanra!

CHAroma

Unrelated to this tea, but I read your bio on your profile page and laughed out loud. Oolong time! LOL! That’s actually a really good one. P.S. I’m super jealous that you live in New Zealand. Always wanted to go there.

Miss Starfish

So glad that I was able to make you laugh! Should you ever make it over, I’d be happy to give tourist pointers over tea.

CHAroma

Oooooh, I’ll have to take you up on that! All I know so far is that I want to see the Weta Cave and as many LOTR sites as possible. :D

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87

Thanks to Teavivre for the very (very!) generously sized free samples.

I’m afraid I’m too much of a novice with Pu-Erhs to give any sort of informed opinion on how this compares to others, but this is certainly very good. Earthiness and leather are, of course, the first things that come to mind, but there is also a sort of vague mint flavor as well. Certainly doesn’t sound pleasant on paper, but this is somehow very enjoyable.

Preparation
Boiling

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87

My buddy Reqwer was kind to treat us with this tea at his place. I can’t say I felt every note of it’s taste, mostly because I was eating so much cookies and chocolates at the same time..But it went great with all the sweets and gave everything a warm earthy feeling. Not really my cup of tea (no pun intended at all), but I enjoyed it very much though.

Booklog:
Yes, Steepster isn’t a place for this, but I just wanted to keep it here, since books & teas go so well together :) I’ve just started reading The Black Company by Glen Cook. So far so good, we’ll see how violent will it get later, I sense a lot blood being spilled in the future.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 45 sec

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90

Profile: Liquor is a pale, clear beige. Aroma is a natural and exceptionally sweet floral bouquet of jasmine. Taste is similar, with sweet jasmine diffusing across the palate and an undertone of soft green tea grounding it. Aftertaste lingers pleasantly, revealing notes of honey and grapes. Mouthfeel is smooth and light, with no bitterness or astringency.

Other notes: The freshly steeped leaves are intoxicating. Breathe in deeply and a potent whiff of jasmine will greet you. Aroma is very much a part of this experience as the taste. The pearls are also a pleasure to watch unfurl.

Verdict: A complex and truly superior jasmine tea, and perhaps the best I’ve tried. There is a sweetness here that overshadows lesser teas, the floral aspect is not cloying or artificial, and the leaves themselves are clearly a cut above the typical quality, leaving no trace of astringency. If you seek this style of tea, I would currently recommend no other as highly.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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96

Wow this is so lovely. I love jasmine teas and this is a really good one. Very smooth and sweet. It has just the right amount of jasmine not overpowering at all. This is so calming and soothing. I got this as a sample and I must say I can see myself ordering a full amount next time. Thanks Teavivre!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

Started the morning off with this and another from teavivre, in part because i wanted to make sure i got my sipdowns in today before i had to go out and run errands in in part because i wanted to start the day off with something black and delicious. This fits that perfectly! I’ve had this one before and really enjoy it. I haven’t restocked it into my cupboard except as samples though, because i’m trying to get my cupboard under control. it’s always nice to revisit it though as it’s always a tasty cup.

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83
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

sipdown! not really working on anything specific today as we’re trying to get laundry and the house tidied up while i also have to work today. I quite like this one and will restock this at some point.

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83
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

Morning tea today, and not much to say about it, besides the fact that it is a most satisfying cup this morning as I didn’t get enough sleep today. I am digging this one and it will likely be a reorder when I get through the last of my package.

Edit: also a sipdown as the rest is off to omgsrsly so that she can help convert her brother! hahaha

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83
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

Started the morning with this delicious cup of goodness. This was one of the first teas i tried from teavivre and i still really enjoy it. Not much to say outside of that besides this is a great black that’s not astringent or bitter.

Terri HarpLady

It is! I think I may still have a sample of this around here somewhere. Did we order some?

Fuzzy_Peachkin

You read my mind this morning! This is a good one!

Sil

i don’t think we did terri but if you’ve never had it, let me know since i can certainly send you a bit. :)

Terri HarpLady

Oh, I have a sample of it!

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83
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

god i’d forgotten how much i enjoy this tea. Pulled it out this morning since Cavocorax’s recent order with this one made me want to drink it again. Still as bold and delicious as i rememebr! Must order more of this once i’m through my sample.

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83
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
4939 tasting notes

So a while back I placed an order with teavivre and I have to say their customer service was pretty awesome, or at least unexpected. They actually emailed me because they were tracking my package and let me know the post office had said they’d tried to deliver. Now, unbeknowest to them, the post office here is riduculous and hadn’t but at least i was able to get right on the post office about where my order was.

Anyway, i digress. Since I need to get my cupboard under control, I’ve got to start drinking some of the tea samples from teavivre! I figure I can drink at least one a day which will get me through the first half of the samples i picked up (love that the samples come in 2 little packs instead of one big one!).

This was the random tea i grabbed this morning from the bunch..it’s like a grab back of delicious excitement waiting to happen! I have to say, this one is pretty darn tasty. I’ll be doing re-steeps tonight when i get home but this first brew is one I can see keeping around for one of my morning blacks. I’d put this one up there with my taiwanese assam from butiki and laoshan black from verdant. I’m sure there will be others but those are my favs at the moment.

This is a nice smooth black, that has a malty taste to it without being as intense as say, laoshan black. There’s a hint of caramel at teh end of the sip but it’s not overly pronounced. mmmm this is a really nice start to the morning.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec
Donna A

Good review. I like Bailin GongFu Black (non-organic better than organic IMO), and I agree with you, their customer service is great. Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip is another very nice one from Teavivre.

Sil

I’ll have to check that one out Donna, thanks. Though, that being said it’s possible that one’s in my bag of goodies lol If not i’ll add it to the list of future things to try! :)

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95

I’ve been drinking this tea every few days for almost half a year now. It tastes great with sugar or without it and accompanies many different meals in a magnificent way. I usually steep it a little bit stronger than it’s recommended by TeaVivre, but that’s just my personal way of drinking it :) A delicate taste, very rich, but also humble and very “quiet”, so to say. I can recommend this to everyone who is looking for an everyday tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I like humble and unpretentious teas :)

Froogle_jimmy

I agree totally with this review. I just got my order of this and I love it!!

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77

For years I have been amazed by the beautiful blooming flower tea’s that I have been secretly wishing to try. They look like miniature secret gardens that you can drink and watch slowly fill the bowl with magic. Well I finally decided to make it a reality for me and so for Christmas my auntie agreed to buy me a see through tea pot with matching cups and a bag of random blooming tea’s.

I got them all from Teavivre earlier this year and kept them safe, now is the time to try it. I need a little water after having admittedly too many glasses of whisky this year (it’s my poison of choice) and thought I would do so in style. So chosen randomly from the bag came this marigold blossom flower tea.

The tea is in a subtle w shape and it smells very sweet and floral. I boiled the water and added it to the closed bud and watched with delight as it started to slowly open up but only ever so slightly. It would seem that for full exposure it will take a few steeps over quite a long process, right now it only looks slightly puffy and water logged.

2 minutes steep in boiling water reveals virtually no fragrance of colour. The taste is also extremely subtle but it does have similar properties to a white tea which makes sense considering it’s made of white silver needle. It has that clean and slightly floral taste of the first steeps of white silver needle.

I do a 2 minute 30 second steep with the same bud to see if it will open more and thankfully it does. Not exposed are yellow marigold flowers. Yep there we go it’s half open :) The liquid is also much darker now though is pale yellow so still light in colour as far as tea goes and it smells a little more floral. It’s sweet and much stronger now and edging on the verge of tasting like a green tea. It does taste very much like what you would expect a flower to taste like.

It’s a nice experience to watch something being created from what looks like nothing. Plus it’s also tasty so I can fun, play and drink :) It certainly makes a nice change having something so pretty and unique to watch. I may be slowly becoming a blooming fanatic.

Preparation
Boiling

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100

Fantastic tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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91

I am using my last sample of this excellent pu-erh from Tea Vivre. I got it as part of the Pu-erh sample assortment. My initial tasting notes from last summer indicated at least 9 steeps which I enjoyed hot, at room temp, and cold. Nice and earthy, and especially good with a little stevia. Today, I had 7 gms which I rinsed twice to open up the leaves, then steeped in 6 oz boiling water at 30, 60, 120, etc. I haven’t had pu-erh in awhile, but wanted to share this with my son while he is home from school. It really hits the spot, and I highly recommend it, especially if you haven’t had pu-erh before. There is no fishiness, and I think it is a great example of what a good ripened pu-ehr is like. The Teavivre site shows low quantities of this. If you haven’t dealt with Teavivre before, I can recommend them as a company that provides excellent service and they offer free samples with your order.

Preparation
Boiling

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70

A huge thank you to Angel from Teavivre for this sample.

The last fruit tea from Teavivre that I had was blueberry and I enjoyed it very much so I have high hopes for their apple tea. Apple is funny with me and I have to be in the right mood for it, I think it’s because my husband loves apple juice so I always have to buy some for him and I’m an orange juice kinda gal.

It’s a long 9 minute steep for this fruit tea so I helped myself to a piece of apple in the raw mixture and it was very fresh and scrumptiously good.

The tea once brewed is reddy/purple in colour with only a subtle apple/fruit fragrance. Whoops I burnt my lip trying to taste it’s fruity essence too eagerly :( Waiting a few minutes before sipping again I can taste mixed fruit of which apple is the background ingredient behind what tastes like rosehip. It’s very sweet but it tastes naturally so and it’s also a little sour, sort of like apple candy/sweets.

It’s a very nice subtle apple tea and it is refreshing and clean tasting. The downside for me is that I would prefer if it was a little stronger with the apple and a little less rosehip. I bet this would make a delicious iced tea.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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75

Thanks Teavivre for the sample!
Can I just say that these are super cute? For whatever reason I think these pearls are just precious. The thing is, I generally don’t like straight black teas (other than pu’erh) so this is a big step in a different direction for me.
I’m surprised how light this brewed! It is a very light, almost clear broth color. This smells very hay-like. The tea is pretty thin compared to other blacks I’ve had. I think I know why blacks are strange for me: they’re kind of meaty. This mostly has meaty, hay notes. It’s not a great tea for me, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people would really love this one!

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69

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!

I really wanted to love this one, but it’s just not happening. I mean, it’s nice to sip on when I’m not thinking about it, but it’s not the delicious tieguanyin I’m used to. I understand this is a Taiwan version, but I’ve had jin xuans that taste more like tieguanyin than this tea. This tastes much more like mao xie (hairy crab) oolong than tieguanyin, actually. The sweet, potent florals of tieguanyin are pretty dull in this tea, and the added roasting just adds awkward charcoal flavors that make the taste seem unbalanced and somewhat stale. It’s really strong for the first couple steeps, too. I have to make the wash extra long just so I don’t have overbearing burnt barley and metallic flavors in the first steep.

The leaves and liquor have aromas that smell like roasted wheat and unripe fruits, mixed with some cooked vegetables and lots of grass. Actually, most of the steeps have a very grassy profile. Into the later steeps, things improve a bit with notes of asparagus and genmaicha, finally landing on some really vegetal qualities of tiequanyin. There isn’t much sweetness to this one, which seems to contribute a great deal to the unbalance of flavors. There are a few faint traces of melon, as well, and after sneaking a few peaks at some reviews of this tea, I agree with KS about the aftertaste seeming a bit like watermelon rinds. It’s interesting, but not the most satisfying.

The mouthfeel is common and uninteresting. It typically gets a bit creamy and slightly juicy during middle steeps, but it isn’t anything extraordinary. Most of the steeps end up being a bit dry.

Overall, this one is just “okay” to me. Nothing jumped out at me and the unbalance of flavors really threw things askew. I dunno, it just did not match up to all the other oolongs that I have tried.

Edit:
Based on the conversation with KS below, I tried this again with a method closer to the suggested style: 4g per 100mL at boiling, wash, 25",35",45". I’m not sure if it’s that much better, but it is different. I’m also not sure which I prefer, flavor-wise. There are definitely some new blends of flavors. There are more fruity nuances, it’s surprisingly sweeter, and isn’t as bitter as I was expecting for such a high leaf to water ratio. It certainly is more bitter this way, however. With these added dimensions, it feels a bit more balanced, but the body becomes more monotonous. I still can’t get past the charcoal flavors, which are even more potent. Now that this is more severe with this session, I’m now recalling that every time I’ve tried this tea, it’s given me a headache. :/ Sigh, this just isn’t happening, folks.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
K S

Good notes on this one. After reading your review, I went back and read mine,then all the others. The reactions are all over the place. I noticed a lot of difference in steeping parameters. Of course there is also varying amounts of experience. I am a total nube at monkey picked.

I was curious your leaf to water ratio and your typical steep times. From your profile I am guessing you used a gaiwan? I have tried to understand the gaiwan method but have never liked the results. Yet you often get some amazing results.

I typically would use 2.5g with 12oz water in a French press. The time and temp I would have followed TeaVivre’s instruction.

Cody

Hi KS, I’ve tried this one using multiple methods, which is why this was the last of the samples from Teavivre that I logged. I usually prepare it gong fu style in a 100 mL gaiwan with around 2-3 grams of dry leaf. I do about a 3 second wash and my first steep is around 4 seconds.

I’ve tried this with many variations in water temperature as well. I think boiling, as Teavivre recommends, is too hot for this tea. The times I went straight to boiling during the first steeps caused them to turn pretty bitter if they steeped too long. I can’t imagine what the 7g per 3oz for 25 seconds at boiling (Teavivre’s gong fu instructions) would do… I still have some of the sample left, so I’ll experiment with your method and Teavivre’s method.

K S

I had the advantage of no expectations of what this should taste like and the thrill of a new adventure. So I loved it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I hope it doesn’t come off as me challenging or argueing with your comments. I am trying to understand if the parameters could have affected the experience. Apparently not.

I do the same thing you did, with other teas, when following the instructions doesn’t produce a good cup. Changing time, temp, or leaf to water just a little does usually make a difference. I just don’t have enough experience yet to anticipate what change will bring the best result. I have found, for me personally, Teavivre’s instruction have been pretty spot on even when it seemed all wrong. In fact, I often use their instructions on other companies similar products.

From what I am reading here, you did experiment and no matter how you approached it, this tea simply did not meet your expectations. That is fair enough. I do enjoy your reviews because they make me think. Thanks for letting me pick your brain, in a non-zombie way of course.

Cody

No, you didn’t come off that way at all! I was hoping someone was going to chat about their methods; it seems like everyone but myself absolutely loved this tea and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy lol. It’s a shame I couldn’t try this one without any expectations as I’m sure it would have made a difference. I think it comes down to that roast. I find that when lighter teas are given the extra roasting and it doesn’t integrate perfectly, it’s a pretty big turn off for me. I’m sure that’s part of the reason I’m not as happy with this tea as others seem to be. I’ll play around with different methods tonight and let you know how it goes. I’m not giving up yet!

K S

I felt the same way about black fengqing dragon pearls. I liked it but seemed like I was missing out reading everyone else’s reviews. I tried several times and just didn’t get it.

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