Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

96

I have a few backlogged teas to get through so I guess I’m gonna slowly work my way through that over the next few hours. Thankfully I have all of today and tomorrow off from work. I certainly appreciate it after my nine and a half hour shift yesterday.

You know what else was yesterday? Tre’s Birthday! He turned 20. To celebrate I brought home a bunch of different alcohol and we drank/had cheesecake. That’d be why I have all the backlog; I fell asleep after getting a bit hammered.

Anyway, this tea is actually from two nights ago. It was my final tea of the night and just something really calm and serene to wind down with. Nothing special or different about the usual taste; although I did notice the needles looked… “frothy” while they were steeping? Meh, whatever I guess.

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96

A perfectly simple tea to end the evening with, and a perfectly simple tasting note to match.

Holy butts I can’t believe I turn 19 in one day! Ahhh!

Nattie

Enjoy it while it lasts! I am fast approaching my 20th birthday, and I’m already mourning the loss of my teenage years ):

Hello.Kiki

Happy birthday!

Iridium

Heeey, happy birthday! (and hey, being old isn’t too bad. You get used to being 20 after a while…)

OMGsrsly

Yay! Happy birthday! :)

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96

A very nice, peaceful evening tea.

This cup in particular was sort of heavy on honeysuckle notes, and was very sweet. I’m happy I haven’t yet come close to getting tired of this blend.

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96

Somehow this seemed like a good Valentine’s tea to me, maybe because of the flowers/floral sort of association? Regardless of whether it fit the theme or not, it certainly tasted lovely like usual. I doubt I’ll ever get sick of this one, which is good because I just cracked open my 100g bag of it.

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96

Welp…

I just had sort of the best and worst day of work, simultaneously. For those who don’t already know, I was hired at Tea Desire and today was my first shift. It was absolutely incredible getting to work so closely with teas, recommending blends for people, scooping tea, and everything else. Even doing manual labor like mopping or compacting cardboard was great. It was basically a dream job.

The “worst work day” part comes in right at the end of my shift. After spending the entire day training, learning how to work the till, soaking up information on tea blends and memorizing tea ingredients, and being given forms to fill out and bring back, my trainer pulled me aside and told me that they had found someone more qualified to fill the position and consequently no longer had a spot for me.

I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m really disappointed and I feel like I was “led on” all throughout the day, but I also understand completely. So, they paid me for the day’s work and I sadly departed. Now I’m back to browsing job listings online, and it’s really disheartening. Most of all, I know my Mom is likely going to call any day now to ask how everything went (I was so excited to be working there) and I’m not sure how to tell her I’m back to job hunting…

Regardless, it was an incredible experience and I enjoyed my time there (and of course I’m going to be continuing to drink their blends – I feel like that doesn’t even need to be said, they’re too good to not drink) – and if anyone here has the opportunity to work in a tea store, if only for a day, I highly recommend doing it!

Silverlining, I suppose, is now I have more time to write tasting notes while job hunting so that I can beat VariaTEA in our competition.

Anyway, this was one of three blends I took with me today. This was the one of three that I drank cold, and it was just perfect. Sweet and floral and yummy! I’m so glad I bought 100g of this to drink whenever I want! Mmm!

VariaTEA

Oh no. I am so sorry to hear that! At least you got to be an employee at a tea shop for one day (especially since one day of pay is better than none at all).

However, you are going to need that free time if you plan on catching up to me. I am a tea drinking machine :P

Yvonne

Oh no – I sympathize with you so much! I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you. But there will be other opportunities out there – just pick yourself up and keep going! :) I’m sure you’ll find something that’s just as good if not better.

Lala

That’s too bad. But you will find something else. If you really want to work in tea retail, I would suggest speaking to managers of tea shops/coffee shops, even if there are no job postings. You are knowledgeable and passionate about tea, it may lead to an unexpected job. A lot of places (esp small stores/companies) don’t post jobs and often hire people they know, etc.

keychange

Wow, I was so not expecting this, and I’m so sorry—it must have come as such a shock. And regardless of how qualified this person supposedly was, no one wants to hear that they’re being let go because they found someone better. I’m kind of mad on your behalf at the moment.

keychange

I may be outing myself here, but I’m concerned about how you were treated. You obviously don’t have to answer any of my questions, but I wonder if you signed a contract with them, and what it indicates. Either way, I’m very disappointed with the way this was dealt with by the company. Very, very poor form on their part, if you ask me. Especially because it could have employment law implications.

TeaVivre

I’m sorry to hear that. keep going! At least there is tea, no matter how bad off you have been knowing you can taste wonderful teas and then write about them keeps your spirits up.

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96

Sort of sipdown (161)?

Sort of in that I’ve already placed an order for 100g more (like, weeks ago) that’s on the way – so I’ll soon have more to enjoy! Also, sort of in that I still have enough leaf left for one more cup, but I promised my Dad I’d save it and make it for him tomorrow.

I was perhaps being overly cautious of my water temperature (here at my Dad’s I have no way of measuring the temperature without guesstimating), and as a result I believe I used water which was too cold – so I don’t think I got the full flavour potential this cup could have had. I suppose that’s better than using too hot of water, though.

Anyway, I’m getting lovely and delicate jasmine and silky notes of sweet white tea; like honeysuckle! It’s still amazing, even if it’s not at its best. I’m excited to be receiving lots more! So thank you Lala for sending this to me – I’ve really managed to make the sample last, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each cup!

Unrelated, I just got back from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and it was a truly astounding and breathtaking movie! 10/10 would recommend to just about anyone! Seriously – amazing acting, and plot, and a killer soundtrack. More people should see it (and keep in mind this praise is coming from someone who worked at a movie theatre for over a year, and who saw a lot of free movies). I’d gladly watch this again.

Plus, it was really nice to go to the theatre I used to work at and visit with all my old co-workers! I got pretty emotional, I’ll be honest. I knew I missed them, but I just didn’t realize how much. I’m still trying to not care about the fact that Kevin (my former “best friend” who helped bring me out of my depression and who basically acted as an older brother to me for months) has ignored me since moving, and then tonight refused to look me in face and acknowledge I was there, though…

That hurt, and was kind of cold…

Tabby

Wow, that’s sad… I wonder why he’s behaving that way…

keychange

I’m glad you had a chance to catch up with old friends. As for Kevin, that’s really unfortunate. But I’m so glad he was instrumental in helping you out when you needed it most, and perhaps he’ll be in touch when he’s ready, for whatever reason.

Lala

Glad you enjoyed the tea and the movie. With your friend, he might feel like you abandoned him when you left (that’s not the case, but that may be what he is feeling). Maybe try reaching out to him. He might just be waiting for you to make the first move. Even a text to say hi, wanna hang out, go for tea, I miss you, etc.

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96

Teavivre Sample #4!!!

Yay! This is the last of the Teavivre samples that Lala sent me! I think I saved a good one for last. It’s jasmine (and I really liked the jasmine dragon pearls), and it’s silver needle – both of which I seem to like. My favourite flavoured whites all use a silver needle base tea, so I have high hopes! Trying this sample also means that I can reward myself with the last Butiki sample that Lala sent me (Cantaloupes and Cream – I can’t wait!). I’ll probably have that tomorrow with breakfast.

Dry leaf for this one smells so good! Gah! It makes me want a nice, LONG jasmine scented bubble bath while I drink yummy jasmine tea. But maybe I’m also dying for a bubble bath because A) Our apartment only has a shower and B) the hot water heater broke sometime this morning (and the plumber won’t be here to check it out until tomorrow afternoon) so I only had an ice cold shower earlier today… I tried to tough my way through it by telling myself that it was preparation for when I’m finally on Big Brother (a girl’s gotta dream big – any other Steepsterites who’re also Big Brother fans?): Odds are that I’ll end up a have not at least once, right?

Steeped 1 1/2 tsp. in 6 oz. of water for a minute and a half.

The tea smells exactly like it did as dry leaf. And I mean exactly.

First few sips are really good. The taste of jasmine is definitely really strong and bold, but it still comes across as delicate. In between sips with the aftertaste hanging in my mouth, I’m reminded of honey. I bet a cup of this with a slice of toast w. honey would make a marvellous breakfast!

Honestly, I had to go back to my review of the jasmine pearls – just going by memory the two teas seem really similar. The only thing that kept me from scoring the pearls higher was the vegetal taste, and this tea doesn’t have that at all. So, it gets a slightly higher rating. I’d love to do a comparison of the two teas to see exactly how different they are.

Definitely holding onto the leaves since I remember I got a really good second and third steeping out of the pearls, and I imagine I’m going to get at least a second steeping from these leaves. Blah. I need jasmine tea in a larger quantity so I don’t have to ration…

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec

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Making a placeholder for this so I can fill it in later, just reminding myself I am in fact trying this today. Sorry guys.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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95

great on a cold morning. toasty, toasted bread, robust, and full-bodied.

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The last time I had this, it was during writers’ group and I was hustling around keeping the tea cups filled and making more steeps, etc. This time I got to really sit down, take my time, and enjoy!

I tasted this tonight with my son’s girlfriend who only started drinking tea when she met us. My son started her drinking Teavivre’s ripened puerh and tonight I invited her to taste this with me. We warmed my tiny pot, enjoyed the aroma of the warmed leaves, and made a number of short steeps. She was fascinated. I smiled when I smelled this because she is a vegetarian and I know what her favorite vegetables are. I asked her what she thought the tea smelled like and she said, “Steamed kale!” I agree!

I wanted her to get the full experience of a tea tasting, so when I took my first sip I slurped and aerated the tea like I have heard the professionals do when they are shopping for tea. When she sipped it, she gave a nice slurp even though I hadn’t explained why we were doing that.

I asked her if she liked it. She said she liked it very much, although she found it very strange that tea would taste and smell like kale. The tea became more creamy and more buttery, losing a bit of the kale aroma and taste as we made additional steeps. She was shocked at the way the leaves had gone in as a little spoonful of pellets and had turned into a bulging mass of leaves. We even took some leaves out and examined them, and tore off a small, soft piece and ate it. I think she will probably be requesting this in the future, so I think I will have to put it on my Black Friday order.

This is one of the best oolongs I have had in a long time. Buttery, vegetal, smooth, and creamy… steep after steep.

Thank you, Teavivre, for the opportunity to try this!

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Kale

Ubacat

Awwww. That’s so nice that you were so warm and welcoming to your son’s girlfriend.

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Last night was Writers’ Group night at my house. Everyone has come to expect unlimited tea! We are trying to come up with a good name for our group and want to incorporate a reference to tea, so if anyone has ideas, let me know!

We had Golden Monkey from Harney and Sons first and everyone liked it but I have found that these folks really prefer oolongs and greens.

From one delicious smelling packet of leaves, we made about 100 ounces of this tea. If it hadn’t been so late when we started drinking it I would have had to open another packet, and we even had one member missing last night. Seriously, I inhaled the aroma of those dry leaves deeply into my lungs over and over, it was sooo good.

This was definitely their favorite. When the first person sipped it, she held out her cup almost reverentially and breathed, “Oh, THIS is GOOD!”

The color was quite pale, paler than many greens, and the flavor was silky, milky, buttery, and super smooth.

Thank you, Teavivre, for this exquisite sample!

Indigobloom

Oooh writers group! You’re such a good host, providing tea :)
If it was me, I’d go with something like the “Seven Cuppers” in reference to the poem. but then I have a slight obsession with that one so am a little biased lol
http://sereniteatime.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/%E2%80%9Cseven-cups-poem%E2%80%9D-lu-tong-a-d-618-907/

ashmanra

That’s a great one! I actually read some Li Bai and a poem I wrote in honor of him about a year ago in our group, so something along that line may be the way to go!

Indigobloom

oh neat, that’s awesome!
Wikipedia said it was written by Lu Tong. Didn’t know there were two names for him.

ashmanra

Oh, I don’t think it is the same person! I just meant that we have explored a little Chinese poetry! :)

TeaVivre

Wow, i think you all had a enjoyable night, talked about literature and sipped tea, a wonderful party. I’m also surprised that you have wrote a poem about Li Bai, you are awesome.

ashmanra

I will dig it out from the reams of paper around here and type it up for you! I also wrote a set of poems each inspired by a different type of tea. :)

TeaVivre

Haha, Li Bai always wrote poems inspired by wine, it seems that you wrote poems inspired by tea. That’s interesting.

ashmanra

So true, Li Bai led quite an interesting life! Tea inspires me more than wine, but then, I do not spend my time lazing around the Imperial Court!

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This was a free sample from Teavivre. Thank you!

This is a green oolong with dark, tightly rolled leaves. The leaves are enormous when they expand.
I tried it both in a gaiwan and western style, and it was very good both ways. I think I most preferred it in the gaiwan, steeped for about thirty seconds or perhaps a little less.

The taste is milky, smooth, and creamy and leaves a sweet aftertaste. If you oversteep there is a hint of grass and a slight sour taste. I mention that because sometimes you WANT that little bite, like a Chun Mee gives.

Thank you for sending this so I can fill my morning with lovely tea! I can tell it still has some good steeps left in it, too.

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86

I had to buy samples of the 2015 harvest of Teavivre’s Golden Monkey! This tastes similar to me as other havests. If you love this Golden Monkey, you can be thrilled that this harvest hasn’t changed much. Not quite as dark chocolate as I would wish my favorite Golden Monkey to be, but milk chocolate. There are also hints of a flavor like keemun, slightly smoky, malty and dark. The dry leaves look the same: dark and twisty with hints of gold. The brew also has the color of milk chocolate. Both steeps had the exact same flavor.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
Harvest: 2015

Nicole/Tea-Historic

Teavivre’s GM is one of my favorites.

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86

Additional notes: Having this one again to think about ordering it for Teavivre’s sale. It’s so so good. I’m just happy this one isn’t tasting like tomato soup like other black teas have been lately. It HAS seemed to adapt that maple syrup like quality I noticed in the red dragon pearls the other day. How nice! It adds a sweetness to that dark. malty, chocolate deliciousness. I love how this one evolves: the first steep is for breakfast: sweet, malty, chocolate. The second steep is much different, almost for lunch or afternoon: a little bit brisker, tougher, bready, hints of cedar. The second steep doesn’t really have the maple or chocolate. Would I like the second steep to be like the first? Yes. But the second cup is really good too. This one will be difficult not to order.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // rinse // 2 min
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 3 min

Flavors: Chocolate, Maple Syrup

NofarS

I love Golden Monkey! There is something lusciously dark in its sweetness that is really compelling.

SimplyJenW

I am drinking this one today! I agree that this one will be difficult not to order…..

Myssy

Love GM!

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86

Additional notes: I’m trying this again with more accurate steep parameters… two teaspoons, waited 10 mins after boiling, rinse, two minutes. This cup is a LOT better than the last time I had it. This Golden Monkey still isn’t as chocolatey as I’m used to, but there is a taste to it that reminds me of wine, or maybe like the muscatel from Darjeeling, but only slightly to make it different than most other Golden Monkey teas. There is slight chocolate flavor, but not like dark or bittersweet chocolate – more like a candybar. MUCH tastier than the last time I had this tea. Teavivre teas are usually the best, but they also seem to be the most changing depending on how you steep them.

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86

A sample from Teavivre! Thank you so much! I may have let the water cool too long.. and I also forgot to boil enough water for a rinse, so I wouldn’t say this steep was by Teavivre’s parameters. I did use the suggested two teaspoons though.

First steep // 1 min 30 sec // water cooled around 20 mins
I can tell this one could have done better with hotter water and a rinse. The flavor seems oaky somehow. I definitely expected a little bit more chocolate flavor… there is a hint. It’s a good cup but I know it can be a lot better if I steeped it correctly. (I recently tried the Bailin Gongfu and it was ridiculously better when I steeped it by Teavivre’s parameters.)

Second steep // 3 min // five mins after boiling
This is much deeper and darker and what I was thinking of. I wouldn’t necessarily call it chocolate though.. I’d just call it a deep dark flavor! No longer oaky. Very good! The second steep was supposed to be only for two minutes but I wasn’t going to resteep the leaves.

I will try to get it closer to Teavivre’s steeping parameters next time but this is still a delicious tea. I really like this blend. I’d call it in the middle of some of Teavivre’s teas – it isn’t quite sweet potato and it isn’t quite dark chocolate. Teavivre has a tea for you no matter which flavor profile you love… I just happen to love all of Teavivre’s teas!

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Ditto about making a placeholder so I can log this properly later as I enjoyed it tonight but am dead tired…

I love how the more you steep it the creamier the texture gets—I’m a big fan of the smoothness of huang shan mao fengs. The flavor is nutty and sweet, and gets more floral upon resteep. I think for me, dragon wells in general are more immediately satisfying/gratifying and straightforward than HSMFs but HSMFs have a nuance and gradually unfolding loveliness that is, in the right mood/context, more enchanting. I really like both, hooray.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
292 tasting notes

The bag I had of this disappeared so quickly it seems.

Delicately malty with light fruity and potato notes.

I love this tea anytime – a delicious treat that I always want in my cupboard!

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90
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
292 tasting notes

Sweet hay aroma with a bit of malt and fruitiness. Simply tasty and always enjoyable; perfect right now.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

I adore this tea…totally delish.

Yvonne

This sounds lovely!

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90
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
292 tasting notes

This is really tasting good this morning. Fruit, light malt and potato, and a bit smokey. Very smooth and so delicious! I’m going to make a couple more cups as one certainly isn’t enough right now.

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90
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
292 tasting notes

Dry leaf smells of clean dry hay.
Brewed aroma is fragrant and sweet with light fruity potato and malt.

Tastes smooth and sweet with fruity sweet potato and mild malt.
This is a very tasty and mildly sweet tea; it is mouthwatering and refreshing and somehow sparkling without any bitterness.

I did 3 steeps and could likely do more. I do want to compare it to the H&S’s golden monkey that I have, but Teavivre’s is really delicious.

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for the generous samples!

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More fancypants Chinese green tea from Teavivre, yay. This smells and tastes wonderful, sweetly nutty and buttery smooth. Like the other huang shan mao fengs I’ve had it’s relatively light, more aroma than taste; that said, it’s a lovely pick-me-up.

I’m becoming quite fond of my little glass teapot (giving my brew baskets a break!)—I love watching tea leaves expand.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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70

Decided to revisit this one today – and I’m also making it a sipdown since after making my Timolino full of this I sent the last bit off in a swap package. I figured I’d revisit it since I had relatively fond memories, but I doubted that I’d enjoy it enough to ever really get around to drinking up the last of it. I’m sure it’ll be better appreciated where it’s going…

For preparation, I steeped 1 tsp. in my timolino with 80 degree celsius water for two minutes. The tea liquor was a pale green yellow like last time – but this time for the quantity of water I used significantly less leaf so I’m expecting the taste to be a bit lighter than what I remember (thinking maybe that’ll ease up on any unwanted vegetalness). I can’t really judge anything from the smell: my timolino seems to have picked up a permanent “white chocolate” creamy type of smell from the White Chocolate Frost I had in it (although I’ve managed to get the lingering taste of that tea out).

Taste wise, I’m fighting through a little bit of bitterness. I guess the steep time I used was too much. However, once I fight through that kinda bitterness the result is a somewhat creamy kind of spinach/cucumbery taste. Not too bad. I think I’m gonna try and hold onto my initial memory of this though: I remember it tasting better that first time. The after taste here is quite pleasant though – and even though there’s vegetalness it’s not in a “seaweed” or “grassy” which so I’m not completely turning up my nose on this one.

I don’t drink straight greens often if ever so sometimes I forget you need to use a very ‘light touch’ with most of them – but over all I think both memories/tasting in mind (edit: I just went back and reread my last tasting note on this) I’m happy with my rating and satisfied with my decision to pass it on, though glad I took the opportunity to try it one more time.

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70

Teavivre Sample #3:

Ughh! I had a longer more detailed review for this one written, but Steepster ate it and it’s late and I don’t so much feel like rewriting it from scratch so mostly I’m just going to summarize…

Anyway, last tea of the night which leaves one Teavivre sample left (a straight white tea) and one Butiki sample left that I’m going to try as my reward for finishing all the straight tea samples that Lala sent me.

I wanted to read the steepster reviews of this one, but there are only two tasting notes. Since there was no info. in the tea description or on the sample packet about how much leaf to use for my cup I basically just guessed 1 tsp. since that seems to be a pretty safe amount for green teas.

The dry leaf smells very fresh and lightly vegetal which is usually unappealing but not so much in this case. I keep going back to the sample packet to take another whiff. There’s something REALLY familiar smelling about the dry leaf for this one, and it’s bothering me – however I’m certain I’ve never tried this specific tea before.

I steeped 1 tsp. for 1 minute, and the colour is a pale yellow/green. The scent is mildly vegetal, but in a way that I don’t find off putting (probably because of how light it is). The taste of this tea is very light and the only notes I can get are vegetal ones reminding me primarily of very lightly creamy spinach. It’s very refreshing, and there’s absolutely no bitterness or astringency to be detected. I’m wondering if I did underleaf this or whether that’s how this tea is supposed to taste. I’m definitely going to need to try this again with more leaf and a longer steep time to be sure.

I keep going back to the words “light”, “refreshing”, and “smooth” in my head. Conservatively, I’m going to rate this tea a ‘75’ for now, but I reserve the right to increase the rating if I taste this a second time and am able to duplicate the taste or can get it to taste better (because I really like it) or decrease it if it tastes really different and unappealing because right now I’m in a bit of disbelief about whether this is really how the tea SHOULD taste.

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec
TeaVivre

Thanks for your honest review,and for the recommend brewing guide will come soon.

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