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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been meaning to get to this tea for some time, but this is the first time I have remembered I have it, and it is the right time to have it, since it is later in the evening and I don’t want any caffeine before bed.
I wasn’t sure how much to use as it wasn’t printed on the package like the other teas, so I just used 2 (heaping) teaspoons and let it steep about 5-6 minutes. Coming here, I see the instructions say to use more, but I think I used the right amount for my tastes.
There is definitely a smell of pineapple with the dry mixture. Once brewed, I can’t really taste anything beyond the tartness. I’ve never been a hibiscus fan, and while roselle is milder, it is still tart. Much more tolerable tart, but more for iced than hot tart.
The colour is beautiful, and the taste is a little lighter than the Blueberry tea, though I think the Blueberry tea is a bit more complex in flavours. I do prefer the Blueberry over this one…though this one will probably be made iced, and possibly blended with sparkling water or juice as a summer treat.
My thanks to Angel at Teavivre for sending this generous sample my way!
Thanks to Teavivre for another stunning package of Samples!
I’ve had a fun day! First I was off to post some samples to TeaFairy, and then to Happy Lucky’s Tea House to purchase a small wooden gongfu tray that can handle my little water spills. (It only cost $24.95!) Andy always serves me free tea too! I ended up purchasing a little Yixing Gai Wan with a handle and strainer (turns out I’m not much good at pouring and straining from my other gai wan…clumsy me). Now I’m ready to rock and roll!
With all the caffeine during the morning and afternoon, I was in the mood for a gentle evening without caffeine. I finished some brown rice California rolls…(WASABI !) and decided on one of the new Teavivre tea’s I had requested (yes you can ask for items you are interested in trying!).
The steep time listed is 8-9 minutes. Nice and long…and fragrant! It was hard to wait those last few minutes as the room filled with bold berry scent. The liquor was very dark purple blue. Had I gone too far and steeped this too long? I hate bitter infusions!
Taking a tentative sip, whew! there wasn’t any bitterness.
This fruity tea was full bodied and juicy like Knudsons Real Fruit Juice. The juice that’s 100% non- reconstituted, not mixed with anything else and coats your whole mouth. There was one element I could not identify so I looked at the wet mash in the basket. Blueberries, currents, grape and woody stuff that’s redish. What’s this red stuff? I read the packet…Roselle and Googled it. OK. This is a variety of Hibiscus…a more fibrous, woody variety with very small flowers that is grown in China. Evidently, you can steep it longer without it being as tangy as the Western Hibiscus I’m used to or Australian Hibiscus. Whatever the case, this Roselle addition mellows the flavors so that the tea becomes a blended fruit tea but not a distinctly blueberry tea.
I drank 24 oz. pot of tea hot this evening and then put a bit on ice to see what the flavor would be like. Very good. I’ll do an iced version for the next tasting since I received a generous portion from Teavivre.
Of all the caffeine free tea’s, every berry type satisfies me. The fruit used in this blend is big and bold. No tiny blueberries but large round fruit mixed with plenty of currents and grapes. I finally found a tea that I rummaged through after steeping. You can see the rehydrated fruit all plumped and I couldn’t resist popping the berries in my mouth.
Tomorrow night my tea shop is having a free tea ‘Happy Hour’ Near East Dance Performance to raise awareness to stop human trafficking. This shop supports this and other causes with 10% of store profits. I like that. One nice thing about small towns.
It’s been a while since I had this tea, and as I decided to work my way through my remaining samples, I picked this one. It’s pretty good, and it’s certainly a lot better than most Jasmine teas that I get at restaurants, but it’s not great. It’s sweeter than some jasmine, but I still prefer my Japanese greens.
I haven’t been posting much lately because I had a slight case of the flu toward the end of last week, and my taste buds just haven’t been up to snuff. But I’m much better now, and I think my taste buds are in check too, as I can taste the wonderful complexity of this Keemun. Bold and smoky, but I don’t find the smokiness to be too aggressive. A hint of dark cocoa in the background, and a layer of sweetness that lingers into the aftertaste.
A very pleasant cuppa, one I’m glad to have in my stash again. Here is my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/12/06/premium-keemun-hao-ya-black-tea-from-teavivre-2/
This is a nice, light, refreshing tea. It’s unfair that I am drinking this after the Mao Feng from earlier. On its own this one carrys its weight. I think for my next tasting I will add more leaf and a longer than 1 minute steep. It does seem to pack some energy I might add. I can only wonder what a stronger brew would yield. Is this one grown among the peach trees? The flavor is very subtle. The energy is not.
I bought a sample sized pouch of this and made a quart of iced tea with it last night. It was probably only enough for really half that, but I let it sit for a nice long time so I think it all worked out in the end.
I feel like this is what that “blueberry merlot” tea from TeaForte should be. This definitely reminds me of a red wine. I was worried I was going to need to add sugar, which I completely forgot and wanted to do while it was hot, but it’s perfect. It’s tart, but not mouthpuckering tart. It could probably use being a little sweeter, but I like it how it is. Definitely tastes like it’s been sweetened by blueberries.
I needed more fruit after having some peach Pinkberry for lunch (SO GOOD.) and now I think I’ve had enough for at least now. I’ll go have my fruit and added sugar to yogurt sugar high somewhere outside!
I’m trying out my first milk oolong thanks to the most generous staff at Teavivre. Thanks! I have actually had this a couple of times now and I keep coming back to it – there is just something special about it. I feel very lucky to be able to play with the steeping times with this tea – thanks to the generous sized samples that were sent. I have to say that Teavivre has great customer service in my experience.
On to the tea! The dry leaf is tightly rolled and smells both sweet, floral, and just a tiny bit vegetal.
1st infusion (1.5 minutes)- The tea is a medium golden color and smells lightly floral. The taste is also light and slightly sweet. There is just a hint of vegetation, but to me it isn’t actual vegetables – more like a lush plant. The taste is very smooth and the tea itself feels as thick as a broth. There is a heavy feeling on the tongue – almost like the feeling of drinking something creamy but without the flavor. The aftertaste is clean and neutral.
2nd infusion (2.5 minutes) – The tea is still light, slightly more on the vegetation side of things, but it isn’t off-putting. The tea still feels very smooth and the texture of a creamy drink is a bit more prominent. I’m still not actually tasting a creamy flavor, but that may be because this is the first unflavored green oolong I’ve had and my mouth is a bit overwhelmed at the novelty.
I’m looking forward to trying more infusions with this tea! I’ll be updating this later. Thanks again to the very generous staff at Teavivre! I’m so looking forward to trying the other samples that I received.
I’m surprised nobody has logged this one yet. I should probably start with the one without flavoring, but I was more curious to know if all the other milk oolongs I’ve had are definitely flavored. This is the first that has actually been upfront about it.
When I took the steeper basket out, all I could smell was the milky scent. I can definitely say that I’ve never had that happen before.
So then I was worried it was going to be SUPER strongly flavored but it’s not. It does though taste like a couple milk oolongs I’ve had, namely the first one I ever bought from a local shop.
Not really a problem, because I bought 100g of this tea. I like to have the milk flavor last for a couple infusions, as I’m sure it will given the smell of the leaves. First one was very creamy and buttery, with a floral aftertaste.
Second one coming up after I finally call my mom to wish her a happy birthday. Although I may not return because the person who has just moved in above me is extremely obnoxious after two days. So, if I kill him, bail me out with tea.
Oddly this empty threat made him and his buddies go inside. I was getting really mad last night because he dropped something RIGHT above where I was sitting while working on my paper and I nearly had heart failure since I was really into the paper at that point.
Anyway. Second steep. I was distracted on the phone while drinking it, but it really tasted very similar to the first steep. A bit more floral, for sure, but still good on the creamy taste. I can’t help but go with one more for the night now…
Still creamy on the third steep! I think all my other oolongs have probably been flavored just a tiny bit judging by this and what others have said about the unflavored version of this tea.
Though I must say, I love that Teavivre even puts the name of the flavoring company on the product page for the tea. Cool to know!
This is another sample that I received from Teavivre.
The cake smelt earthy when dry. My wife thought it was earthier than I did but that just goes to show how different our noses are. I placed 8g of leaf in a 200ml Yixing pot, washed it and then steeped it beginning with a 20 second steep and building up from there. The liquor was thick and slightly reddish. The taste was slightly sweet, earthy and smooth. Very nice. It is a tea that I could enjoy all day long. Actually, I did. I lost count of how often I resteeped it, but I began drinking this one in the morning and finished in the early evening when the tea was reduced to sweet, dark water. The whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and I shall be adding this tea to my wish list for when I put in an order.
This tea is fun to watch steep. Not as fun as flowering teas, but close.
This tea is really sweet and chocolatey. It actually kind of reminds me of a mocha. It’s a bit malty too. I’m not getting much of other notes than that. That’s not to say it’s boring. It’s super smooth, and the flavor is really enjoyable.
I imagine this will be good for a couple resteeps since the pearls didn’t entirely come apart. I think this would be really good to have in the morning too! I’m hoping it’ll get me back to working on my paper but I had so much tea arrive today I just want to try it all. A cup of something new per page, perhaps?
Second Review. I’m beginning to feel better today but still sticking to drinking black tea. I remembered how good this tea was first round and wanted to revisit that memory.
There is such a warm, light, floral nose to this golden tea liquor. Not malty but slightly yammy. When you take a sip your mouth fills with sweet juice and that yam taste at the back of the palate. The tip of the tongue tickles of tannin…just to let you know that your tongue has been coated with tea. Since I was drinking this cup for my morning tea, I added sweetening and that changed the yam. It became a lighter version with a bit of sweet, dried apricot fruitiness. When I added cream, the flavor of airy puff pastry arrived with a ta- da! Um, what a superb cuppa from a black tea so full of wonders!
This would be good with a mild breakfast ham and egg crepe but not too salty with a mild cheese, or just some plain buttered rolls.
Ooh-la-la, this tea,
Treasure of scented pearls, the caviar of tea…
Open the jar…
Close my eyes…
…TRANSPORT-STARSHIP ENTREPRISE, PLEASE CARRY ME!
In another era, from the luxuriant gardens of Forbidden City,
a world where I have never set foot, but that I recognize from the many books I have flirted with …
Am I having this tea as the Emperor’s favorite concubine? No! As the Empress of Imperial China herself!!! (Why settle for less?)
Well, I know that the Emperor’s entourage probably never drank jasmine pearls, as I think floral teas were not the most prized ones, but I still like to imagine they would!
The texture of this tea is just like its shape: surprisingly round, full and velvety on the palate.
NO TRACE of astringency, even after several minutes of infusion (I accidentally steeped it for 5 min. the first time)
2nd and 3rd steep: still that velvety roundness.
The floral note of jasmine is both rich and fresh, but absolutely not overpowering, the sap of green tea is very present in the background.
Contrary to other jasmine teas I have tried, the floral note doesn’t linger and leave a perfumed imprint in the mouth.
Conclusion: This tea is noble, of exceptional quality and commands respect for the history and craftsmanship it bears.
(And I should mention, TEAVIVRE, you are offering it at an exceptional low price, I thank you for that!)
Ok now, TRANSPORT-STARSHIP ENTREPRISE, PLEASE BRING ME BACK!
Thank you Angel from Teavivre, for writing to me and generously offering to send me samples to try. This is by far my favorite of the 5, and have already ordered 100g with my first Teavivre order.
So I started my tea journey trying mostly flavored teas. I am now in the next phase, of attempting to find unflavored teas to love. This one falls in the “love” category. Btw, I am still using honey to sweeten most teas, but this one requires only a minimal amount. Don’t forget that my first love is Coke, so my taste buds are sweet trained. But I’ve found local honey, and using it will help with allergies too (so it has 2 purposes). But the tea itself carries a sweetness to it, that requires little help.
Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tips is really smooth and has absolutely no bitterness to it. Being sensitive to bitterness, this already gives it high praise. Someone called it “Lipton but better” and I concur … much much better. Some mention the sweet potato association. I’m leaning more towards caramelly, but see where those associations are coming from.
Teavivre says that this can be resteeped 12 times. I’ve only gone as far as 3, and on the third the flavors were weakening. Perhaps I need to be more precise with my temps and times. I’ve also tried it cold, and that is where the Lipton comparison comes from. It’s very nice cold, in a Lipton (but better) kind of way. Teavivre is now offering this in the 50g size. Angel sent me a sample of the full-leaf version of this tea, and it will be nice to compare the two. Teavivre’s customer service rocks btw. My order was put into the mail system Upton/Adagio-style (next business day). This and Upton’s Imperial Golden Monkey (ZP85) are my current unflavored favorites (so far).
Free sample from Teavivre.
Yum yum yum. I love this tea. The liquor is dark, rich and full-bodied. The mellow earthy flavour is right there without any fishy taste. It leaves my tongue tingling after each sip. I think this is a tea that I could drink all day. It makes me happy to drink it and I am struggling not to gulp it down just so that I can reinfuse the leaves and start all over again. This one is definitely going on the shopping list.
This is the second green tea I recently purchased from TeaVivre. I have had Dragonwell once before, from Teavana, and it was pretty good-I figured this would be better, and it is.
The dry leaves are a pine needle green and they are actually the size and shape of “needles” on artificial Christmas trees. However, there is nothing artificial about this. The dry leaf aroma is vegetal and spinach-like. The fragrance is pleasantly intensified after a 3 second rinse in 175 degree water (the brewing temperature). I kinda want to pretend I grew this in my garden. Brewed leaf is brighter green and smells much the same with a bit of creaminess added.
First steep was 2tsp/175/1:30. The liquor is a very pale greenish yellow and fairly transparent (I’ve had “cloudy” greens in the past). Not too much of a surprise in the flavor-a very pleasant spinach and cream taste. To me it tastes much like TV’s Xin Yang Mao Jian. In fact, I am going to have a taste off soon, because they taste fairly similar to me-I am very envious of those of you with “advanced palates” who can glean more complex and subtle notes out of teas.
Liquor about the same-can’t really get much paler. Flavor is still solid-slightly weaker, but not much. Flavors are the same-spinach and cream. Refreshing and delicious. Zero bitterness. Could probably go for a third steep.
I have been very happy with my green tea purchases from TeaVivre. I tend to drink 80-90% black tea and I’ve been wanting some lighter greens to balance out my tea drinking. These work well and I will be drinking a lot of this and Xin Yang Mao Jian for the foreseeable future.