Recent Tasting Notes


Another Teavivre sample! Packaged in a way I had never seen before, too!

DANG I LOVE OOLONG SO MUCH and this is no exception. I brewed it pretty long so the taste pretty strong! Quite flowery too, which I wasn’t quite expecting actually, I think I was prepared for a more earthy grassy taste WHICH IS DEFINITELY THERE but there are certainly some strong floral overtones too. Very good, nonetheless! Especially because I’m a fan of jasmine which this is a bit reminiscent of.

As with most oolongs in my experience, I was able to steep it twice easily and could probably get at least one more out of it, if not two. I do steep mine longer than suggested though so I’m not sure how much that’s sucking out all the flavor HAHA. ANYWAY yes, good oolong, very fresh!

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Free sample fro Teavivre! Haven’t gotten around to reviewing many teas recently, have just been enjoying old favourites on the run.
This tea tasted very gingery to me, an interesting flavour but pleasing none the less. My first steep was very sweet, the leave barely unfurled. After that the colour got darker and the earthy flavour became more dominant over the sweet notes. A very yummy brew, definitely unique!


It was licorice to me. And something faintly minty.

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Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!

I’ve heard so many good things about this tea, I was excited to get to try it. It’s beautiful and chocolatey and kind of bready. It’s sweet. There’s a tiny bit of smoke, but it’s sweet. Fantastic!

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MY TEAVIVRE SAMPLES CAME IN! I’m so excited! This blooming tea was something I was really looking forward to, as I had never had one before and they always look so cool! Unfortunately I don’t have a nice fancy glass teapot but I do have a really large glass mug.

WOW THIS IS LIKETHE COOLEST EVER!? The flower literally opens up into 3 full blooms its insane IT IS SO TALL WOW my mug is JUST TALL ENOUGH TO HOLD ITS FULL HEIGHT. DANG. It’s so pretty! I kinda had a fear that the bloom wouldn’t be as cool as it is in photos, you know? BUT IT’S SUPER COOL.

Okay I think I over-steeped slightly because I spent so much time just looking at it and taking pictures HAH but it still tastes great! Very light and flowery, smooth and slightly sweet. Giving the rating extra points for the EXPERIENCE though because that was AWESOME.

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drank Waterlilies Fruit Tea by Teavivre
4840 tasting notes

So as I suspected, this is a brilliant cold brewed tea! Where it’s a nice tangy hot tea, it’s a fantastic cold tea! Tethered a nice berry taste, there’s a bit of tang and the colour is wonderful :) I don’t drink a lot of cold tea in winter but this is likely something to go on my shopping list for summer! Thanks azzrian

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I’m feeling kind of wonky, so I think that may translate into a wonky review. But here goes anyway! I’m enjoying my first cup of tea in my new apartment! This place ROCKS! But there’s sooooo much work to be done. Unpacking, organizing, decorating, and lots of trips to Lowes and Goodwill are in my future. I am super tired just thinking about it, so I thought this tea might be a good one to start with. Isn’t ginseng for energy? Well, there’s A LOT of ginseng in this tea! So, if you’re a fan of the taste, you’ll love this tea.

While waiting for the cup to cool, I read the purported health benefits. Prevents the decaying of teeth…?! Okay! Well, I can’t dislike this tea now! I wonder if that’s really true…anyway, this is an interesting tea. It reminds me of Blue People, but heavier on the ginseng and minus the awesome cooling sensation in the aftertaste of Blue People (see that tea here: http://steepster.com/teas/vital-tea-leaf/1803-blue-people).

First steep was 1 minute. Second steep was 2 minutes. Second cup is actually too strong for me. I don’t think I’d drink this regularly. The oolong is overwhelmed by ginseng, and I much prefer a plain oolong flavor. Still, it’s not bad and it fits the high quality standard of all Teavivre teas. It’s just not the tea for me. Also I’m still feeling just as tired as when I started drinking this tea, so not sure how energizing it really is… By the way, broccoli soup is gross. And it definitely does not go with ginseng oolong tea. Eww. I think I’ll call it a night and go to sleep.

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Congrats on new apartment! :)


Thanks!!! It’s been a long time coming. We’re really happy with it! :D


Oooh! a new apartment, how exciting! Hope you’re settling in nicely


Thanks, canadianadia!! :)

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I really wanted a black tea this morning instead of my usual matcha. (I’ll reserve the daily matcha for a smoothie this afternoon!) This is my favorite black tea so far, and it’s an affordable luxury. It’s just such a nice way to start the day. Besides, we’re going away for a few days, and as someone else here mentioned, this tea is really useful when away from home: you just need to put in your regular amount of pearls, no measuring needed! So I needed to open my brand new pack of this before we left in case there weren’t any scissors where we’re staying. Justification enough? :)

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I’ve noticed a few others comparing this one with the non-organic. I definitely prefer the non-organic. I brewed this one Western style, and if I get any more, I’d try Gongfu brewing with short steeps. The organic is a little stronger, so some might prefer it, but I love the non-organic and next time I order, I’ll get that one. In fact, the non-organic Bailin Gongfu is one of my favorite blacks-it is one smooth cup of tea!


I keep the non-organic one on my shelf too. One of my top black tea’s.

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Raw – This looks like a good quality white silver needle tea as it’s fresh and beautifully coloured (it reminds me of American white sage) and it smells potently floral. Plus when this states needles they mean it, there are lovely long leaves in the mixture.

Brewed – A quick steep (as recommended) and you are left with a pale yellow liquid that smells of fresh and fairly strong jasmine. It smells like pure jasmine flower (I use the essential oil often at work so I know the smell well) so for me it shows very good quality. It’s lovely.

The first few sips are mellow, floral and very delightful. You can taste the jasmine which is floral, sweet and fresh without any bitterness or being overpoweringly perfumey (like some others tend to). The white tea gently lifts the tea to complete the balance and add extra freshness and lightness.

After half the cup you can taste more of the jasmine and it gets slightly sweeter and stronger. This is such a beautiful jasmine tea and for someone who is used to drinking jasmine green rather than jasmine white I think I may have to change my ways and experiment more.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Ahhhh..after ruining some perfectly good green tea by steeping too long I thought I would comfort myself with this. I’m always afraid that when I have an amazing experience with a tea that it won’t be as good the second time. This tea is still good!

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I’m revisiting this one today and am a lot more impressed with it than the first time I tried it (May). Since then I have become a lot more comfortable with oolongs and gotten a lot better at knowing how I like to steep them – I gave it less steep temp and time and what I have here is really tasty. MUCH more like a black tea than a green, which is something I appreciate in a roasty oolong.

That said, it’s not the most remarkable tea I’ve ever had. For me, this would be an every day sort of tea, rather than a special occasions, knock-your-socks-off kind of tea. I’m used to the latter with Teavivre, so this one has me a bit flummoxed but I DO like it. I don’t think I’ll keep it in stock as I’d rather deal with a black than an oolong, but this could be a nice one for those who find black teas too harsh or oolongs too green. It hits the spot, that’s for sure!


Second steep was equally powerful, though a little less floral and sweet. Didn’t even realize it WAS those things until the qualities were diminished. Could easily go 2 or 3 more (and I’m using my Perfect Tea mug!)

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Backlogging from yesterday. Threw in 6 ‘balls’ and got 3 sturdy infusions out of it. I know I could have gotten more but wanted to move on to my next tea. See previous notes.


I really like this one!

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I received this one from a random sample swap from Meowkattack! I was so excited when I got this one because it was soaked in honey. I have never, ever seen a tea that was soaked in honey. Well I went to Teavivre’s site and read up on it. I decided to do multiple steeps with this oolong. So here it goes!
1st Steep:
212° for 1 min.
The color of the liquor reminds me of watered down honey. The smell is light, sweet, and with a hint of fresh veggies. The flavor is kind of floral and sweet. I can get a slight hint of honey in the background.
2nd Steep:
212° for 2 min.
The color has gotten much, much brighter. Almost to a yellowish-green. The smell is very vegetal. The flavor has gotten a little more deep into the oolong with hints of vegetal and savory flavors.
3rd Steep:
212° for 3 min.
The liquor has turned to a light brownish-yellow. The aroma has turned deep and vegetal with buttery notes. The flavor has a slight mineral taste to it along with a deep oolong flavor. There is still a slight buttery/vegetal flavor to it but it’s very light.
This is the first oolong I have tried steeping multiple times and I loved it! I think it is so amazing how the flavor changes with every steeping! Thanks again!!

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This was my first ever pearl tea and it seemed strange that it wasn’t in loose pieces when it started but looked sort of like black seaweed after it was steeped.
The biggest surprise to me was how smooth this tea was from the first taste. The first steep was only 1 minute and the color was very pale, but the second steep I left for 2 minutes and of course the color was deeper, but still it was a smooth as the first steep, but I did feel like it left a lingering taste on the back of my tongue that I couldn’t identify. I decided to do a third steep, but got distracted and it was left to steep for 5 minutes. Being in a hurry afterwards, I just poured the tea into a glass and later in the evening decided to try it with ice…what a surprise to find that it was great, and so much so that I might plan on doing a long 3rd steep again in the future to use for ice tea.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Thank you for the samples, Angel!!!

Last night I had a minor tragedy and lost TWO plants to mealybugs, so I needed the cheering up. I had clipped a few leaves from my purple basil for dinner and discovered dozens of the fluffy white menace. This plant shared space with some cilantro I had been having trouble with and was neighbors to the dendrochilum I had just performed surgery on yesterday. With chemical assistance I could have saved the herbs, maybe, but I wouldn’t want to eat them. I decided to throw them out before they had a chance to infect everyone else.

What a way to be cheered, though! I was fortunate enough to have today off, and the s.o. was working from home as well, so I was able to sign for my long-awaited samples from Teavivre and we both got to try this one! I started with the ginseng oolong because it was the one most likely to attract the curiosity of the non tea-obsessed. This impressed us both. I fixed up a little pot and we shared it.

Day two:
The only reason I am not ordering more already is because there are more teas to sample and I want to make sure I try them. Oh, and combined shipping for the ones I decide I must have. If I order more of this now it might be all I drink till the weather turns. But I really love it. I have never tried anything really ginseng-y before, there is something tingly and clean and healthy feeling about drinking this, like a hot honey cough drop, but wonderful.


I share your frustration, I have lost many a plant to the mealybug. Hopefully the rest of your plants will still do well.

Londo Mollari

Thank you! I was very concerned, and will be for another few weeks, but so far the most likely victim of proximity infection is still rooting. Funny how the food plants were cast aside to save a plant who’s only value is that it is pretty.


It’s funny how it works out that way sometimes. There really aren’t many guaranteed alternatives, especially since getting rid of mealybugs usually requires pesticides, which isn’t something that’s great to spray on a food source. In the past I’ve gotten rid of pests by spraying the plant and soil with a mixture of dishsoap and water and putting it outside, but I have a feeling that wouldn’t be strong enough for mealybugs. Well, hopefully the saved “pretty plant” will be extra pretty :)

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drank Waterlilies Fruit Tea by Teavivre
2229 tasting notes

Another sample from Momo, thanks!

I was a bit wary of this one because of the roselle/hibiscus, but was curious anyhow. I kept the infusion time a bit shorter than recommended though, as I’d like to be able to drink this, not have to pour it down the sink!

The aroma is fairly generic fruity… oh damn, hazards of tea near computer… just spilled on my keyboard. No major crisis though…

Anyhow, flavourwise, this one is definitely quite tart! However, it’s a pleasant sort of tart even though I know it’s from hibiscus, and I’m actually enjoying it! I wonder if the pineapple is taming the hibiscus somehow (although I have also read that roselle is not quite as…. potent? as “regular” hibiscus.

Either way, I agree with Missy that this is rather like a fruit punch, although tart, so I imagine it would be delicious iced! Always love when the tartness of hibiscus is actually used effectively!

ETA: Second infusion is… pineapply-tart? Odd. Probably would be good sweetened. I don’t think this has another infusion in it, but it is a herbal after all.

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High in fluoride, so good for teeth and bones?

Do you mean the naturally occuring fluorine? Or fluoride? Because fluoride is a toxic bi-product of several industries including: aluminum, nuclear and phosphate fertilizer. It is put in toothpaste and municipal water. It is also sprayed on crops. It is not good for your teeth. Not only that, but calcifies the pineal gland, lowers IQ, contributes to cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.

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I have to admit that I was skeptical of this tea since it is A) a green tea, and B) it has jasmine in it. Turns out my skeptisisms were unwarrented.
I brewed me up a large cuppa this golden/green colored drink merely so I could cross it off of my ‘possible teas’ list. As you can see by my opening statement it turns out that is in fact a possible drinker. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but given that I haven’t liked many greens or any of the jasmines I’ve tried it’s still fairing well enough.
First thing that came to mind on the first sip was buttery, real buttery. After that I found myself questioning what was different about the green flavor. Partly it was the addition of the jasmine, though that was pretty tame, yet there was something else difficult to nail down. It’s a kind of malty green hay thing that, again, is difficult to nail down.
There were some sweet notes present as well, but I didn’t get any of the fruity or honey I read others may have found. I steeped this one a few times and found that the distinctly different notes that jumped out in the first cup had all mellowed and melted into a harmony of flavors.
Even though greens aren’t typically my thing I must still comment on the qaulity that Teavivre delivers. The pearls were beautiful and unfurled into delicate slender leaves. Even though it was AZZ that sent me this sample I must add Angel to my gratitude for the opportunity to experience this tea. Azz you were very gracious to send me so many samples to learn from, and Angel you have made it possible for many people to experience your teas and to taste and see what it is that you offer. Thank you both.
tunes-Gactic,albums-From The Corner To The Block/Carnivale Electicos.


Teavivre is AWESOME! This tea is my soul soother.

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From the moment I cut open the bag and caught a whiff of the strikingly golden brown tea leaves, I knew this one would be special… and it did not disappoint! I used numerous 30 second Gongfu style steepings. The first steeping was mild in flavour, but not without aroma. Perhaps I didn’t wait quite a full 30 seconds, as an immediate pronounced rich colour developed. The second steeping was much more pronounced in flavour, aroma and colour, yet it still defied description. My nose perceived a floral, perfumey sweetness; my tongue perceived a malty tartness. Even at the fifth steeping — or was it the sixth, it was no longer possible to keep track — the liquor remained a deep golden brown. I will make it somewhat stronger next time to see if I can more precisely define the tastes.

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Ugh, my computer froze and I lost my note on this one. I have had it before so it’s not too big of a deal, but still annoying.

Mainly I am trying to figure out some of my gongfu brewing issues. No matter what I can’t seem to have a good gongfu session. Maximally I get one good first steep, a decent second steep, and after that it’s all meh, regardless of the tea. I thought maybe I wasn’t using enough leaf so I went crazy with this one. It’s actually less good than the last time I went gongfu on this one and used half the leaf. Still don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve obviously enjoyed the gongfu sessions I had at tastings that other people ran, and I have even successfully gongfu’d tea myself before (a jasmine green), so I don’t know what my problem is here. I think I cannot seem to figure out the optimal leaf amount for my pot. Maybe someday.

Invader Zim

I’m wondering if it’s the water you’re using.


I always do my bigger posts in a word program and transfer it here for that reason.
Frustrating when that happens.


Invader ZIm— I kind of doubt it for a couple of reasons: 1) I use the same water for all of my teas and I don’t run into other problems with them; 2) I did a taste test with bottle water vs. my water and they were almost identical; and 3) I really doubt the Beijing tap water that I used in my hotel, and one of the few places I had some success gongfu-ing, was of better quality than my current water!

That said, I might try gongfu-ing with different water just to see if it makes a difference.

Invader Zim

That was the only thing that the problem seemed like it could’ve been. I hope you are able to figure it out and enjoy past your second brew.

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Well, I have to be honest and say I was a bit dubious when this sample came from Teavivre to try. I love oolongs but was not sure what to think about ginseng with oolong. So, it’s been sitting at the back of my tea cupboard waiting until I drank my other samples. But, with the release of the new straight teas from DAVIDs, my interest was piqued. The description and the picture caught my attention. Perhaps there was a picture and description on the Teavivre site, but I must have missed it or not looked. Anyhow, in light of it all. I decided to break out my sample and try.

Initially, I read the most recent reviews and thought I was in for a treat. And then someone commented on undertones of anise, menthol and something else…I wanna say camphor or eucalyptus. Anyhow, I was worried at they point. Those are not things I care for. At all. I didn’t really detect any if those tones when I smelled the dry leaf, but I could taste them when brewed. So, unfortunately, this is not my preference in oolongs. Luckily, as the tea cooled, the licorice and mint tones were more subtle.

I will probably not have the rest of my sample, but I will scout out my friends who have a palate that likes those flavours.

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Needed something gentle. Talk about severe storms headed this way has gone on for several days and has rubbed my nerves raw. I may have to break down and pay a visit to the storm shelter builders about digging a hole in our backyard…

This is wonderfully gentle, a nice sweet cereal flavor, but not so light it leaves you searching for something to taste. Trying a second steep as I write this…very pale, taste buds have to work a little harder, but still OK. Its mildness is very soothing.

C’mon storms, get your work done here and move on. I could use some sleep tonight.


“…searching for something to taste.”

I love that turn of phrase!

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