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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
Made this the first go-round in the teapot.
Cup 1: This is like an overture of Chinese black teas. The first time it hit my tastebuds, it was earthy, like Bailin gongfu, and a little smoky, a hint of good lapsang. But the longer it stays on the tongue, the maltier it gets. On my first taste, there was a hint of sweet that went with the malty. A bitty bitty hint of black dragon pearl.
Cup 2: Forgot to take the infuser ball out of the teapot and left it steep for 45 min to 1 hour – whoops! But it’s still very drinkable. Very, very malty and good. It’s getting astringent from steeping so long, but not enough to make me stop drinking it. I’m only getting a phantom hint of cocoa, and that mostly in the aroma.
Good, good tea! Can’t wait to try in the gaiwan!
Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for these wonderful samples.
I am not usually a straight green fan, but I always love the opportunity to try free samples as my tastes are getting more refined toward straight teas.
This is a very good dragon well. Smooth and slightly sweet with that lovely buttery taste. This is probably the best dragon well I have ever tasted. Still probably not something I would order though.
Resteep 2 minutes.
Yet another woefully backfired “early to bed early to rise” plan + stupid allergy season makes my throat scratchy every single morning = mmmmmm black tea. I was generous with the leaves this morning, so it’s pretty mushroomy and “atmospheric.” You know what I’m talking about, right? Atmospheric tea? Oh gods I love this tea.
P.S. Anyone know what’s going on with this Steepster Select? It looks like it’s some kind of tea-of-the-month club. So how do they pick the teas? Do they find them from Steepster reviews? Are they all from different tea companies?
After I enjoyed this so much yesterday, I made another couple of cups this morning. Came out on the smoky side rather than the earthy side, but still delish. This tea is also great with sweet foods, I have found.
So funny. When I first tried it, I could have sworn it wouldn’t be a restock. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s growing on me!
Despite having stayed up much too late last night and moving more slowly than I’d like today, I am feeling significantly better than I was the other night! I mean, I still have to go to work today, but I have tomorrow off and I don’t feel mopey and stressed like I have been.
Mmmmm. Earthy smoky goodness. Just what I was looking for. The more I try them, the more I start to like earthy flavors. Perhaps this will become a staple after all…
MY TEAVIVRE ORDER CAME TODAY!!! MY TEAVIVRE ORDER CAME TODAY!!! And I have a day off! And I have my gaiwan! Happy happy happy!
This was the first tea I’ve been wanting to try. I did this in the gaiwan. Dry leaf is dark and twisting, somewhat fine. Earthy scent.
Steep 1: 1 tsp, slightly under boiling, 10s. Wet leaf smells dark and mossy. Tea tastes very similar. Very smooth, little to no astringency, bassy flavor.
Steep 2: 12 s. Not getting a ton of difference in the flavor, but the mossiness is more pronounced. There’s something atmospheric and evocative about teas that taste like this.
Steep 3: 14 s. The mossiness has mellowed. There is the littlest bit of malty in the background.
Again, I had what barely qualifies as an excuse for breakfast, so I’m reluctant to do too many steepings on a relatively empty stomach. I prefer malty over earthy when it comes to black teas, and this was definitely the latter. Nonetheless, a well-made and enjoyable tea.
Nice ripe pu-erh with earthy and a bit flowery scent when dry. First steeps have a clear taste of almonds roasted in some honey. Later steeps becoming more earthy gradually. Absolutely not possible to get this tea any bitter, with any steep time. Nice regular pu-erh drink. About 15 steeps will be good. My review here: http://j.mp/ripepu
Thank you Teavivre for this sample. One of my favourite teas is your Dian Hong Golden Tip and I couldn’t imagine it being any more perfect…then you released Dian Hong with rose and the sheer thought has blown my mind. I love rose teas that are done well and are natural.
This loose tea does not have full roses as in the picture shown, or at least my sample bag didn’t have any. I do see one or two pieces of yellow/pink petals and it certainly has that sweet rose scent. The Dian Hong gives the rose a musk like quality and depth, it smells super delicious.
Once steeped this tea is golden brown in colour with a sweet and earthy rose scent. So very fresh and soft, it’s similar to pure rose oil.
Flavour is light and malty with fruity tones to begin with and then it transforms into a sweet and delicate rose flavour that carries on throughout the after taste. It is exactly as I imagined Dian Hong and roses would taste like together and it truly did not disappoint.
I will be adding this to my must buy list to alternate with original Dian Hong. Great for those pick me up moments :)
Update: I just visited Teavivre to add this to my shopping list and it appears that they are either out of stock or no longer sell this any more :( Super Sad Kitty.
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
I opened the packet and smelt a rather lovely grassy, late spring aroma. The leaves were light green and looked very inviting. Upon steeping they became a very bright pale green. The aroma from the wet leaf was nutty and vegetal, perhaps buttered squash. The liquor was a pale yellow green, hinting at a delicate flavour and it did not disappoint.
Note to self: Make sure the cup is the right way up before you start pouring.
Once tidied up I was able to sample the tea properly. Although the wet leaves had a strong, pleasant aroma, the liquor was far more delicate. It hinted at both floral and nutty notes and did not hit me in the face strongly with them at all, although these notes became stronger as the tea cooled. It was very refreshing with a lasting sweet aftertaste that made me feel like my breath smelt of spring flowers. Lovely.
Additional notes: A sad sample sipdown. This one is lovely and I’d certainly consider ordering it. One of the best from Teavivre, but there aren’t many bad teas. I remember this being lighter for some reason… the cup is very dark red with two teaspoons 20 minutes after boiling. I guess the Tan Yang is a lot more sweet potato.
2/10 sipdowns to go until 1,500 tasting notes!
Tasting note #700! Wow, already? I think they will start slowing down though… not as many new-to-me teas lately!
Another sample I just know will be good from Teavivre – thank you so much! I was in the mood for a Yunnan “golden leaved” black tea. This was it! (Then again, I’m usually in the mood for Yunnan.) The dry leaves had the aroma of that sweet potato with marshmallows concoction that I know some people like to make, but sadly, I’ve never tried. Teavivre’s steeping instructions are 185 degrees with two teaspoons for 8 ounces of water with a rinse and 1,2,3,4 minute steeping times. So I used two teaspoons — it looks like each sample pouch has four teaspoons. Perfect!
I waited for the water to cool about 35 minutes before pouring. After a rinse, I steeped for one minute. This one definitely doesn’t have a strong black tea flavor. It is not like the burnt dark chocolate at all like the Bailin Gongfu I had from Teavivre the other day. It’s a flavor all its own, probably because of the golden buds. The flavor certainly does taste like extra sweet sweet potatoes. And the color of the cup was even the closest color to sweet potatoes that I’ve seen.
Waited another while for the water to cool and steeped for three minutes. This cup had more of a traditional black tea flavor. But still a lot of sweet potato. I don’t love these leaves as much as I love the bailin gongfu, since I am partial to dark chocolate. (And I might be unfairly comparing the two since I just recently had the perfect cup.) But it is a nice change from chocolatey black tea leaves.
Dark Oolong that is light orange in color. I can’t really place the aroma, it is pleasing though. Slightly sweet and mellow, I feel like there are a lot of flavors going on in this tea that I can’t really describe any in particular. Kind of an olio of flavors. It is quite delicious. I think it taste a little like graham crackers.
Light Oolong that is greenish yellow in color. Very pleasant floral aroma. Sweet floral taste that is very creamy and buttery. There is no vegetal flavor that you can get with the light Oolong teas. It is sweet but not overly sweet and is balanced well with the creaminess. I am a big fan of this tea.
thank you Angel for this sample!
I am trying to really get into plain blacks. It is a strange thing to love pu’erh, but not like plain blacks…
Once steeped, this mainly smells like hay to me. Hay and maybe a tiny, tiny bit of chocolate. I think that this may come out more in a second steep.
Ahhh. Although it smells like hay, that note is actually quite subtle. The chocolate tones are far more evident. I also taste some of the sesame that I associate with the Laoshan black from Verdant. This is much more mellow than I expected sigh of relief.