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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this lovely tea sample!
I appreciate Teavivre’s generous samples! Don’t know what got into me the last few days, but I’ve been screwing up pots of tea and over-brewing the past few days.
You think I’d know better after all the tea I’ve had but Nooooo, even an experienced tea drinker can get arrogant!
Too much water to tea leaf ratio or an overdone steeping causes astringent tea that makes a person retch!
I owe those who harvest and process this tea an apology because I should have followed directions and remembered to take care.
So, I began again…humbled by my own tea rudeness, with 16 oz fresh filtered water boiled at 185 degrees…and steeped the leaves for 2 minutes. For the packet of tea provided, this was perfect.
The liquor was dark golden brown with the scent of brown sugar and clover honey.
My first sip was not too sweet and tasted like whole grain wheat bread warm from the oven.
I added cream (not milk) and the rich breadiness became croissant pastry. Flaky, sweet, buttery layers and a light honied aftertaste.
Having enough tea to brew again was important in my discovery of what this tea had to offer since I blew it with my earlier lack of effort and care. I’m so glad that I had a second chance at redemption!
The moral of the story for me is to pay attention and not take for granted what I think I know about tea. Never get lazy about brewing tea either, because I’ll be sorry if I do!
This is a tea worth tasting!
So I found a hidden sample of this in the cupboard yesterday, which was great because I thought I was out completely. It was exactly what I needed to soothe an unhappy tummy. Bright sparkling minerals, airy, naturally sweet, and faintly nutty- what’s not to like? For those that don’t like strong savory greens, this would be a good one to try.
This one is a sad sipdown as I really like it and will need to get more. Bright air and sparkling minerals meet soft nutty sweet notes. I wish I could describe it in more tangible terms, but it is light and lovely, like the clouds when you are laying on your back in the grass trying to decide what shape they are. I will miss you Huang Shen Mao Feng and will see you again soon. :)
Dry: Light, feathery long leaves, buds, and stems. I was intrigued from the scent of the dry tea. It smells subtle, sweet, and ever so slightly green and dewy without any heavy vegetal notes. It is not a stretch to imagine that this tea is grown in the clouds and mist of the mountains.
Steeped: This brews into an exceptionally pale yellow clear liquor. The scent from the infuser is more green than the dry leaf with an almost nutty aroma.
Taste: This is where this tea really shines for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by the flavor, which has nice depth and character. This is not a heavy buttery vegetable tea, but rather light and airy, naturally sweet, with soft hay and floral notes. I am not getting anything fruity, roasted, or nutty from the taste, but I am also not getting any bitterness whatsoever. This is holding up nicely to short steeps of 1 min, 2 min, and 3 min- just lovely!
I am really enjoying all of the Teavivre greens, but this one might need to become a staple in my home at some point.
Wait a minute I logged this before? When??? I don’t remember this tasting note. I remember there was one oolong I tried to do, but I crapped it up so much I didn’t even bother with a tasting note, and I thought this was it. Apparently not, because it appears I’ve rated the damn thing, and quite highly too. Argh! My short-term memory SUCKS!
I’ve found I don’t much care for the roasty-oolong flavor I get a lot, so I did this for about 1 min 15 sec (especially since the water was still a little on the hot side.) It’s quite pleasant. I need to stop comparing everything to bai mu dan, but honestly, that’s what it makes me think of out of the other teas I’ve tried. It’s grassy, but it’s also a little floral and sweet in a delicate, enjoyable way. A bit of brightness on top of that sweetness too, in a way I really can’t quite define. I’m wondering what would happen if I tried it for a little longer?
Also, for the love of god, somebody please start reminding me to use bottled and/or filtered water for my tea. I’ve been trying to be more careful with all the other variables in my tea-making, but for some reason, water is the one element people talk about making a big difference, and I’ve just always been kind of punk rock about it. We get well water out here, or we used to, and I’ve found it to be the most “neutral” tasting of the waters I’ve tried, but I’ve never given really good filtered water a try.
Day off wound up being a little bit of an off day. Nothing went quite as intended, and I’m just left feeling kind of frustrated and slobbish rather than relaxed.
Finishing off with this tea, one from the oolong sampler. I’ll have to give it another try on a day I haven’t left the water to cool so long. So far, I’m getting a light, pleasantly floral/vegetal oolong with a bit of… not maltiness, not roastiness, but a somewhat savory effect. Refreshing and relaxing.
Let me preface this that I am giving a numerical rating based on what I believe the quality of the tea is, not my personal preference. I don’t generally like jasmine or strong floral teas at all, but this one really is very, very good if you like jasmine tea.
Dry: Lovely silver-tipped buds rolled into tight pearls, creating an interesting variegated pattern. The scent is bright, sweet jasmine. It smells like I am holding the blossoms right up to my nose.
Steeped: Pale yellow clear liquor. The pearls unfurl in the infuser like flower buds opening, lovely to watch. This smells heavenly as it is steeping. Pure, sweet jasmine wafting delicately across the kitchen to tickle my nose! This scent could be bottled and worn as a perfume, not artificial at all.
Taste: This tea is sweet and very fragrant. I do not care for jasmine tea, but even I have to appreciate how potent and real the taste and aroma is. The tea leaves and the tea taste/smell are exactly what they are supposed to be. No bitterness whatsoever and it held up to three steeps. I followed the instructions on the Teavivre site and did 1 min, 2 min, and 3 min. I think it would have been noticeably weaker for a fourth steep, but since you don’t need many pearls for the brewing itself then you still get a good value. I really wished I loved jasmine tea. If I did, this would be the one I would order again and again.
Sipdown! I’m going a little batty tonight with the program notes. There have been some… challenges while researching this particular batch.
Anywho, I was steeping this while I was researching one particular piece on which there is JUST ABOUT NO INFORMATION WHATSOEVER besides the composer and the lyricist. No commission information, nothing about the first performance or the inspiration behind it, no hints as to whether or not the song is traditional or an original piece, can barely see the copyright date. NOTHING. Thanks a lot, publishers, thanks a lot. But the point is, I got so carried away in what I was doing that I steeped this thing for, oh… about fifteen minutes? Whoops. And guess what? It tastes fine. Hooray for forgiving teas?
So that’s one more down, not sure I’ll really miss it. Tomorrow I plan to finish off the Rose Dian Hong (CRYYYYYYYYY!) So that way I can make room for the impending tea splurge (YAYYYYYYYY!)
Sipping on this while continuing my Family Ties viewing / putting off working on the program notes until tomorrow. I was about to do the H&S Holiday Tea for the third time in two days, then I realized – wait. Black Friday’s in four days, Cyber Monday’s in a week, and I’m planning a tea splurge regardless of whether or not the companies in question are offering discounts or not. My cupboard’s not enormous by Steepster standards, but I better sip down a few things up in here.
I oversteeped this by a bit, so it’s a little bitter. But still good and smoky. Little mushroomy, but that might be the oversteeping. I wish I could say more, and more intelligent stuff. But it’s enjoyable.
I have a Saturday off!!!! WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!!!! AND I have Sunday off too! I have a real weekend?!? WHAT IS THIS??
ahem Sorry. Working retail does things to me.
I think I had this tea exactly ONCE, then never bothered to try it again. It was more smoky than I liked or something. This time around it’s quite enjoyable. I think it’s a tea you need a longer steep time for; I tried like a 3 min steep (Western style, of course) and it was pretty underwhelming. It’s a dark, smooth kind of smoky, like you’d get from a good lapsang. I didn’t really pick up on the sweet potato until I read it in the item descrip; I get a hint of it if I know to look for it. Then again, I’ve never been good with the subtleties.
Don’t know if it’s distinctive enough for me to restock, but clearly a quality tea. Pretty in dry leaf form, too.
Another one of my Teavivre samples, did it with the gaiwan. I’m feeling a little lazy, so I’m not going to log the individual steeps.
I know this flavor but I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s not quite chocolatey. It’s like a combination of slightly earthy and some dark fruit thing, with a bit of smoky thrown in for good measure. The aroma of the wet tea leaves is really smoky. It’s very smooth.
I think it’s gonna be a little too much on the smoky side for a restock, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Sipdown! Finally starting to get organised after being away forever…budget figured out, work emails taken care of and now i can do laundry and clean..and more importantly, back up pictures, and add ALL the tea in my house in to my cupboard so i finally have an accurate picture of how bad it is (and then maybe place a small order…)
I’ve been sipping on this one most of the early afternoon, just enjoying how light and relaxing this one is. This is a tea i could drink every day without getting bored even after multiple steeps!
Oh man….first tasting note and its going to be a crappy one :) ill likely save the other half of this sample size until I get home and can properly write a decent note. I had this in the morning and ran through a few steepings of this while we made breakfast. Took a cup out to the dock to sit and drink while I just rested, and took in the wonderful scenery. This puerh is pretty tasty, though its nothing that blew my mind. It is something I could drink every day though and may look to reorder once I get around to sorting things out.
Simple sip down! Another “not adding to this to my cupboard” tea! Had this in the morning when we woke up so that my friend could try. I couldn’t handle sleeping in the same room with my snoring fiend so I made my other half pitch a tent last night so we could sleep in it! Soooo much fun! Sleeping in a tent at the cottage :) it’s raining today too so we get to sleep in the tent while its raining and I’m super happy about it! I adore the great outdoors…and when you can do it occasionally, it’s a nice time…especially since there’s the house 2 feet away hahaha
I like this one a lot, but likely not a restock since I prefer my tea to be tea. It would be a tasty “juice” for the little ones.
Today was my birthday!!! Which meant a self-assigned day of doing whatever I wanted. Well, for the most part. I would have really liked to sit around and chill a bit more, but I wound up going to a concert tonight and did other stuff and it was a bit busier than I’d intended.
But anywho. Had this for a morning cup, which was delicious. Then I made a resteep and put in the thermos to take on the drive to the concert… and then forgot it. Whoops. But that meant I still had it, all nice and warm and everything, for me when I got home to start watching my favorite movie. Shoulda left it in the thermos, that way it wouldn’t have cooled as I drink it oh so slowly. Ah well. Still delicious and masterful.
Also this may have been a sipdown? I’m not sure; I’ll have to tidy up my cupboard to see for sure.
P.S. After a month and a half of not getting any new teas (!!!), I used my coupon to place a Verdant order. So excited! … If only I’d not waited until after the Zhu Rong Yunnan was out of stock; that one has always intrigued me.
There are certain teas that just command your respect when you drink them. They may not be your favorite, favorite teas per se, but you just go, “Wow. That’s quality.” There are two teas that are like that from me, and they’re both from Teavivre. One is their exquisite lapsang souchong, which I can’t seem to drink without raving like a proud parent talking about her honor roll kid who placed first chair in the band and directed an anti-bullying video. The other is this one.
I don’t know if “complex” is the right word, but the flavor evolves. The longer it stays in your mouth, the more it progresses from earthy to malty, like a chameleon changing color. And it’s a pleasant and satisfying taste all the way. It’s one of those teas that’s best enjoyed when you don’t have to put all your concentration on something else. It is just really, really well made.
I wish it wasn’t night. Because I want another cup of this. Actually, screw it. I’m making another cup!