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Recent Tasting Notes
This morning I am enjoying this Precious Eyebrow. This is my first time with this tea so I followed the instructions of a 30 second steep. The first steeping yielded a mild cup with a light aroma. The second steeping has picked up in intensity. I am getting the smoky, chestnut flavors others have spoke of. As always, more experimenting is required for teas that I am not accustomed to. Overall from my first experience it’s a very good tea….
This was a free sample provided for me by TeaVivre – thank you so much for your generosity!
Preparation notes: Around 3 tsp. of tea leaves in 500 ml. water at the below parameters, with no additives.
Dry Leaf: Dark green and very thin, like pine needles. There were leaves and bud pairs interspersed throughout and it smelled very clean and floral.
Steeped Leaf: The floral characteristics were still evident after steeping, but with a nutty overtone – and there’s a brownish tint to the pale green liquor that reminds me even more of nuts. It’s not a roasted nutty note like with genmaicha, however – maybe more of raw walnuts or pecans?
The texture is buttery and smooth, and there is no bitterness at all in the taste. This makes me think that it could probably be quite forgiving if the tea were oversteeped. There is some grassy flavor in the tea itself, but it is a sweet grassy flavor, not overpoweringly vegetal.
Overall: This and the Dragonwell are probably my favorite greens from TeaVivre so far – and this would be the one I recommend to anyone who prefers a green tea on the less vegetal side, or someone who is just starting out with greens and needs a wide margin of error as far as preparation goes, and a gentler introduction to the flavor profile. It is definitely going on my shopping list!
This may just be the best smelling tisane of my whole life. The beau and I steeped up a pot of this in the afternoon, enjoying another generous sample from Teavivre. The dry smell is fabulous – strongly blueberry, hint of tart and a hint of something raisin-y behind that. If I could smell only one fruity thing the rest of my life I would choose this. If this were jam, I would eat it by the spoonful. Oh man, it smells like jam!
I steeped 4 heaping tsp. in 12ish oz of boiling water for about 8 minutes, basically following the Teavivre directions. Lately I have found ymself pulling away from fruit based teas, but berry tisanes still hold a place in my heart, and this one smells like the queen of them all. Oh man, am I excited.
The brewed liquor has a tart smell from the roselle, but there is still distinctly jammy blueberry and raisin underneath that. The first sips are very tart, so we added a drop of honey and that made this lovely. The tartness is there, but it is muted a bit by the honey and the blueberry flavour becomes more rich. It still reminds me of jam and has a lovely aftertaste – this is a treat! I look forward to enjoying the rest of this sample, and likely will be ordering it at some point in the future.
EDIT: Made a second steep (10 minutes) and that was really good – the tartness was totally gone, and though the berry flavour was obviously light, it was naturally sweet and deicious, like over-ripe berries. Loving the lighter second steep to go with the bold first!
Thank you to Teavivre for sending a sample of this my way…
I thought this was very enjoyable, perhaps my favorite of the plain greens I have tried from the company. I stepped mine at 2 minutes around 180 F and used approximately 1 tsb of leaf for 12 oz of water.
The long and slender leaf really look very green after steeping and smell sweet and vegetal.
My cup is a light olive color and has delightful sweet and chestnut notes along with some slight vegetal ones. A bit artichoke-y, a bit spicy but not bitter at all. To me it seems more robust and flavorful than the dragonwell. It seems very “nourishing” and refreshing. I’ll definitely be tempted to pick some of this up when my sample runs out.
I have had many Dragon Wells before and this one is at the top. When I opened the bag I was so impressed that this was very fresh. I brewed it in my Gaiwan with about 2 tsp for 2 minutes. When I removed the lid the aroma was so beautiful. I knew that I was about to have a special tea. The best Dragon Wells are described as “an exceptionally light, clear liquor with a complex, expansive aroma that rises off of the cup, at once both distantly sweet and faintly herbaceous, and a delicate , yet lingering, haunting flavor. It is tea at its most refined, an ethereal brew for contemplation, and one of the worlds great teas.” There is a reason that Angel has the confidence to bestow these upon us. This tea is a treasure….
I fully accept the fact that I’m a real girly girl. I know it sounds a bit lame, but when tea is «pretty» I’m predisposed to love it, its appearance adds a little «je ne sais quoi» to the experiment.
This tea is very pretty. Its thin tentacles shaped as little golden spirals are really unique.
The scent of the dry mix is just as special. It smells like hay warmed up by the summer sun…
The liquid is a beautiful amber color, and the taste has sweet natural maple feel good deliciousness to it. I could not describe the taste of sweet potato, but I understand the reference that others have made.
Until recently, I drank a ratio of 75% flavored tea for 25% plain tea. The ratio is now up to 60/40 in favor of plain tea! Who would have thought?
I find myself longing for Teavivre teas every day. They are of exceptional quality for the price. In addition, the personalized service, I mean REAL personalized service, makes the experience that much more enjoyable.
Ok, now I sound like an Info commercial, but this is how impressed I am!
I have had this one quite a few times and find it to be a mild, mellow, very nice puerh tea. What makes it noteworthy tonight? My Tetley loving, extremely picky husband drank it with me tonight! And he said he didn’t mind drinking it, especially if it was good for him! This was one tea I never thought he would try. Will wonders never cease?
Final sample from TeaVivre!
Dry, this tisane is LOVELY and smells just as good. It’s bright red and has a pop of green from the verbena, and the lemon is definitely the strong suit in the aroma. I brewed it with my Noble mug from DAVIDsTEA for 8 and half minutes with boiling water.
I added a little bit of sugar to avoid excessive tartness. This tisane is lovely! The apple ISN’T the forte, which I like. It has a very distinct apple aftertaste, however, and I LOVE it. The roselle adds a nice tartness that’s not too strong, and the verbena adds a nice zing to it. So very very nice, I love this tisane so much, and I thank TeaVivre again so much for this sample and all the others. The quality was amazing throughout, and I thank you for being so gracious!
Just drank four steeps out of 3 grams (250 ml and about 85C per steep), one minute for 1st and 2nd steep, and two minutes for 3rd and 4th. Flavor is lighter and aroma is more subtle, less herbacious with usual characteristics(see previous notes). Even 4th steep had some flavor, like 1/3 of previous steeps, without taste of hot water (this is usually where I pull the plug).
NOTE: Originally, this note was written on non-organic Bai Mu Dan. I just noticed that I made a mistake, so I’m doing copy-paste on an organic one (the one I actually have and drink)
Hmm, now this is an interesting Bai MuDan… Before I get to the point I’ll focus on the dry leaf a bit.
I’ve drank only two Bai MuDan teas so far, this is my third. I noticed that leaf doesn’t have that pollen-y aroma like the other two, it’s more subtle aroma of certain textiles that I can’t quite put my finger on.
Leaf seems to be somewhat broken but has a decent amount of silver tips in two leaves and a bud fashion. I’m not a big fan of white tea, but I’ve learned that you can’t judge the leaf just by smell and appearance. After all, we’re supposed to drink this, right? My guess is that some of the leaf got broken during the handling and transportation. But in the end I don’t really mind, I just want a tasty cuppa.
First infusion (1min)
This tea shows more of taste than of smell compared to other White Peony I’ve drank. With its bright white-pinkish color it’s sweet, fruity, almost sour-citrus-like and it lingers. I really didn’t expect this for a white tea such as this. It’s actually very surprising, in positive manner.
To make myself more clear, this tea is more tasty and refreshing and less aromatic.
Now, into the second infusion (2min)
Second infusion brought out golden note and with taste cut in half where aromas are better expressed with same intensity as taste. I think that temperature of 90 Celsius squeezed a lot of its flavor in first infusion. I might experiment with this one to get two infusions that are almost even in appearance and taste.
This one surprised me. I’ll try cold brewing it overnight and see for the results.
This was delicious! Just a beginning to my review. It actually reminded me of the Da Hong Pao I recently tried from my brother, but this was sweeter and a bit more resonant with maltiness.
The liquor is a gorgeous amber shade with a sweetish, caramel-based aroma. The tea itself isn’t exactly sweet, but evokes sweetness in it. Like cinnamon. It is spicy and fun and a good cup overall!
I think this would be an ideal tea to start my day off before work. Help me wake up and perk up for the hours in the office!
I’ve had a lot of jasmine scented teas over time. Most of the time, they’re pretty nice, but I just have never been particularly drawn to them.
Thanks to TeaVivre, that has officially changed. For this specific one, at least! The floral flavor is so light and sweet. It doesn’t overpower the tea and just makes for a beautiful cup of tea! I’m drinking this gong fu style, so I look forward to trying again in the future in a larger mug/cup.
Thanks agian for the sample, TeaVivre!
I love a good pu-erh tea. I did not always, but I do now! And this one was particularly tasty.
I was a little surprised at just how finely cut the leaves are in this mini tuo, but it did allow for a hearty strong brew, dark enough to satisfy my coffee-craving brother! Most pu-erh I drink, even in mini tuo form, has somewhat larger leaves, but it did not denigrate the flavor of this tea.
As far as pu-erh goes, I really enjoyed this one. It has a distinct malty, earthiness and minimal to no astringency or bitterness.
Thanks to TeaVivre for sending along this sample!
There has been a quality to Yunnan black teas that I’ve noticed multiple times across the various ones I’ve tried. Until now, I haven’t quite known how to describe it. Every Yunnan black I’ve tasted has the same earthy quality that distinguishes it from other black teas. This earthy quality is unlike that I’ve found in other teas because it’s almost dry. Most of the time, I’ve noticed that when drinking an earthy tea, it brings to mind moist soil, a forest fresh after rainfall, etc. But with these, it’s a dryness that really comes to the fore.
I love it! And I’m not even entirely certain why. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, I tend to avoid dry drinks. Leaves a weird taste in my mouth. But with tea? Yes, please!
I received this with a few other samples from TeaVivre, and let me just say… delicious! If you couldn’t tell, I’m a bit of a sucker for a Yunnan Black/Red tea. I’ve got about 3 or 4 others tucked away in my cupboard of varying qualities. Based on the dry leaf alone, this is probably middling quality compared with some I brought back from China myself. But to be fair, I brought back some really freaking nice Yunnan Black!
I love the golden tips, and this one is particularly beautiful to behold. This tea has an interesting, almost dusty scent to the dry leaf that could give a bad impression to someone unfamiliar with this type of tea. But it was exactly what I was hoping for when I opened the package. It’s sharp and lightly floral. Gorgeous.
My first infusion was accidentally a little longer than intended, so had a mild bitterness to the end. But my successive infusions were better timed and absolutely delicious and smooth.
As I opened the package of this tea I started thinking about my experience with white teas… and I realized it’s absolutely minimal! I do tend to lean more towards black/red, oolong, and pu-erh teas. So it was a very pleasant change of pace and please forgive me if my description falls inadequate!
The dry leaf is light and sweet. I love the look of it, too. It just looks pleasant, for lack of a better term. The leaves were whole and unbroken, soft and downy. I was careful to use water of the correct temperature and to brew within the recommended time frame. I’ve noticed how some of my recent teas have been fixed outside of recommended methods and have fallen short for me.
The tea itself is light and springy, mildly vegetal and more grassy, I’d say. But it’s a light flavor, not overwhelming at all. I would love to try this someday as an iced tea as well, though I have a feeling I’ll still prefer it hot. I almost forgot how few infusions can be made from a white tea. As I noted, I am much more used to drinking darker teas that can withstand many infusions, so it was sort of a nice change of pace to end after just a few small infusions.
This tea is very tasty and I’m excited to try it more!
Thanks again to TeaVivre for the sample!
This sample was provided to me by Angel from Teavivre approximately 1 to 2 months ago. My apologies in the delay before tasting, life got away with me. I’ve decided to do all my initial reviews on these teas following package directions. Though I would not ordinarily steep an oolong in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes, I will give it the old college try, and hopefully post an additional note at another time with my usual parameters. For the tasting, I am using my gaiwan with one sample packet and sharing with the beau in our little double walled teacups.
Dry leaves smell sweet, and remind me of hay and grass. The beau proclaims them earthy but as in “of the earth” not dirt. : )
First steep: One minute, boiling water. The liquor is pale yellow with a hint of green, not nearly as deep as I feared. The smell is very vegetal, my first thoughts are boiled spinach and leafy greens. This does not appeal to me, but I’ll give it a shot – once it’s cool enough to drink! The leaves have opened a LOT and are very pretty in my gaiwan. As it cools the boiled greens aroma fades (yay) and the taste is surprising. There is an aspect of green vegetalness (ya, I said vegetalness, what of it? :D) but this is really nice. I am not a green tea drinker and tend to prefer oolongs that are more like black teas, but this is really pleasant. Surprisingly sweet and rich. There is a floral aspect which is very present in the taste, but not overwhelmingly. Reminds me of a few flowering teas I have tried and enjoyed. I’m impressed! The beau, on the other hand, says “it’s kinda plain”. Well.
Second steep: 2 minutes, boiling water. The liquor is much darker this time ‘round though the smell is fairly similar. Let it cool so I don’t burn my tongue and the taste is actually quite vegetal with a hint of bitterness. Jumping up to 2 minutes was clearly too much for me, I should have stuck at 1.5 for now. For an experienced oolong drinker the bold vegetal aspect of this might be appealing, but it is a bit too much for an oolong novice such as myself. Ah well, it’s my own fault! The beau proclaims that this steep is better and he likes it more. He has a recently discovered love for green tea, so this makes sense.
I think I will take a break now to prepare lunch and add any notes about further infusions later on, if I think of it. I have only tried 3 or 4 different Tie Guan Yins now, so I barely know what I am talking about but I found this to be really present and quite bold. Though I feared the boiling water, I think that is what maintained the strength of flavour.
I was excited to get this one in my sample box because I recently tried a different dragon well and really enjoyed it. I am happy to say that this one has lived up to my expectations.
Thanks again to Teavivre for the extremely generous sample of this tea. There’s so much in the pouch! The leaf is bright and smooth, and it smells a bit grassy and a bit nutty and a touch buttery. Steeped, that lovely chestnutty aroma comes out, which reminds me so much of chestnut sweets from a chinese bakery. The liquor is a very pale yellow, only slightly darker than the white of the mug, yet it’s still a flavorful cup. Smooth, lightly grassy, but also nutty and sweet, this tea has a lot of dimensions to it. A really really tasty cup.
As I have no doubt mentioned before, I’m not much of a drinker of unflavored blacks. There are a couple that I have to admit are pretty tasty (Harney’s Golden Monkey, Teavivre’s own Yun Nan Golden Tips), but I still don’t seek out unflavored blacks often. But of course I accepted a sample of this one in my latest round from Teavivre… how could I not, with these reviews? I admit I was still skeptical that I would like it. The leaf is nice looking twisted strands with a scattering of golden tips, and it smells malty and dark and teaish.
This is another one that surprised me with the brewing parameters. 185°F for a black tea? If you say so. The tea came out a lovely dark amber color and again has that malty, sweet aroma. I have to say, alright Teavivre, you got me, this tea is delicious. It is smooth and tasty, with notes of cocoa, raisins, a tiny bit of caramel, a hint of honey, bready, malty… it isn’t actually sweet on the tongue, but it seems sweet, if that makes any sense. Also, this is very similar to the base of The Tea Spot’s Organic Chocolate “O” tea, even though they aren’t the same variety. A big thanks again to Teavivre for this sample; these opportunities really help me step outside my usual teas and experience things I wouldn’t have bought on my own.
This is my 3rd day in a row drinking a Golden Tea. When I opened the bag I was impressed. It really was unique. The visual and the aroma were both beautiful. I somehow, when I brewed this in my Gaiwan, thought I was getting a soft cocoa flavor with a hint of cream. It was a fascinating flavor. Absolutely splendid. More notes to come. Thank you Angel ….
Finished off my sample of this today – it will be missed!
Today I get glimpses of the “orange” flavor that JacquelineM mentioned. I wasn’t as specific with the color, but it did seem bright to me – bright and warm. With a lovely starchy mouthfeel. As it cools I think that some astringence is trying to fight its way through – but for the most part this is a very smooth tea that I am putting on the reorder list – along with the full leaf Yunnan that Teavivre offers – I do so love black teas!