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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample!
I chose this one because I like black teas and I’m always looking for more options – I don’t think I’ve had a Keeemun before, unless it was from DavidsTea.
I steeped this for 3 minutes and the result is a golden amber liquor that smells lightly of honey and smoke. It’s quite tantalizing. I’m getting fruit and a hint of smoke with each sip too. It’s really enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to resteeping it!
I owe Angel and teavivre a better review for this tea – work got insanely busy this afternoon and my first steep cooled before i’d even tried it. Long story short, i’m not a fan of most oolongs. This tea? pretty delicious!
and wow…this has been waiting for several hours for me to finish. not going to happen stupid work. long story short, i need to try this one again when i can pay attention to it. but on the whole, a nice tea, and it you like oolongs, probably even more yummy to you!
soooo random teavivre sample of the day! I pikced this one, and of course didn’t realise, half asleep that i was, that this was an oolong. Now, to be fair I picked up some oolongs, greens and blacks from teavivre as my first order, to try and branch out from my blacks.
When the water hit the leaves, it was the smell that woke me up. There is something about the smell of green oolong that just makes me cringe. I was originally going to take this to work in my travel mug, but as it sat there steeping and the smell intensified, i just couldn’t do it. I was close to just saying i give up and dropping it down the drain, but instead i poured it into a mug and let it sit there…watching me…taunting me.
So i did it. I took a sip (albeit it was after i’d brushed my teeth, so maybe that influenced my tongue) and it was kinda good. While the smell was OOLONG, the taste wasn’t quite the usual oolongy taste that I’ve come to associate with oolongs. I did manage to drink nearly all of it while running around the house getting ready for work and brewing up my other teas to take to work.
I’m going to hold off rating this one because i didn’t take the time to experience it and really focus on it, but all signs point to this possibly being something i might enjoy, if i can ignore the smell. I have the leaves i can resteep tonight, as well as another package i can try.
Soooo for now, thank you teavivre for this. I drank almost a whole cup of greeny oolong! woot woot!
Well my unbridled love for this tea continues. I made this as a cold brew yesterday. Todays cup is extra tart. Not sure why. Maybe because its from the bottom of the pitcher. Still the closest to a blood orange flavoured tea/tisane I have found. Anyway, I am cold brewing what I have left of this overnight. I am going to miss it when its gone. I shouldn’t be too sad about it though, I am pretty darn sure I will be getting more of it!
I got this a long time ago with my last Teavivre order but was never really interested in trying it. I only got it to bump my order up in order to get free shipping. But then I was reading some reviews on Steepster, and many of them said it tasted like blood orange. Well I love blood oranges and have been disappointed by many teas claiming to mimic blood orange. But I am still willing to try to find one, AND this tea does not claim to be blood orange. So might as well try. After reading the reviews on here, I decided to split up my little sample pack in half for a cold and hot steep.
The dry mix does not smell like much to me, maybe a bit of citrous. Nothing blood orange.
The hot brew is not too bad. Steeped for 4 min at boiling temp. It is a bit tart. I am not getting much blood orange but am getting citrous. Sour orange. A bit of green apple.
The cold brew is SUPER good. I brewed for about 9 hours. It smells like citrous but not blood orange. But the taste – BLOOD ORANGE!!!!! It is not exactly like blood orange but it is pretty close.
This one is definitely going on the shopping list. It is unfortunately not on sale with Teavivres anniversary sale that is going on right now, but I am sure I can tag it on to my next order, which will most likely be happening soon!
I used 1 tsp of tea for this cup.
I love jasmine teas and Teavivre has really set the bar high for my expectations of jasmine teas.
This one is a good green jasmine, not quite as sweet or silky as either of the pearls that they offer but it pairs well with meals. The jasmine isn’t overwhelming or perfumey. There is a tad bit of astringency in the aftertaste. This is a decent, economical choice.
Chilled, this is quite refreshing, with less astringency than hot.
Teavivre jasmine comparison coming soon….lol
Thanks again Angel at Teavivre for this fabulous sample!
This tea is so lovely with gorgeous green leaves bursting open in my steeper.
Notes of floral, butter, honey, and green vegetables waft through the air and in mouth. This is luxurious and meant to really be savoured.
Resteep at 2 minutes.
Thank you so much to Angel at Teavivre for this sample!
I used 1 bag for this cup.
Dry leaf: beautiful green tea leaves with an incredible fresh scent
Taste: sweet and buttery oolong with floral notes in abundance, vegetal like fresh spinach
Resteep 3 minutes: WOW, now this is good! Less vegetal, and it seems to be creamier
I think maybe next time I would only do the 1 minute steep, and then resteep. I still have 1 bag to play around with.
I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup.
This tea took me by suprise, I wasn’t expecting it to taste this good. It is slightly sweet with light fruity notes. I am also getting a little bit of a malty note to this. In the aftertaste, I am getting subtle floral notes.
I didn’t get a chance to re-steep but I suspect it would still be wonderful.
Colour me shocked, I will now have to try their other offerings of Keemuns.
Backlog (from this past week). The tea I have is actually labelled “Taiwai Dong Ding”, and I swear I’ve reviewed this before, because I had either 3 or 5 packets of it… but I can’t find a tea by that name anywhere on here. Sigh. I know I wrote a note because I way oversteeped it the first time and didn’t like it, therefore thought I didn’t like Dong Dings (I was very, very wrong). Anyhow, this was delicious, and almost creamier than the Jin Xuan I had from Tea Ave earlier in the week. I really quite enjoyed it, actually. I’m hesitant to rate this tea because I’m uncertain that it’s the same tea others have reviewed, but it’s definitely deserving of a 93. Delicious.
ETA: Well, it turns out my other note is under this heading too, so I opted to rate this tea as I stated. And what has annoyed me for the past while as a bug – when, after posting a tasting note, the system actually shows you the first tasting note you posted on this tea instead of the one you just posted – actually worked in my favour here, since it brought up a note I hadn’t thought existed (because I had no rating for this tea and didn’t bother to scroll through the ratings to look for a note). Anyhow, happy day :)
Super stressed and trying to write a paper that’s due in about 6h that I’m nowhere near complete… gah. Why do I always do this to myself.
Anyways, 6:30am, sounds like a good time for a tea break (also I need some caffeine. Fading really fast.) Time for another sample from Teavivre!
Getting quite a vegetal smell from this one – didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t tried a Dong Ding oolong before.
First infusion (3min/100C)
Smells like sweet boiled veggie. Taste is pretty strong, astringent without being drying. Probably should have gone with shorter infusions but that wasn’t happening tonight… er, this morning.
Second infusion (3min/100C)
Definitely less aroma. Also less flavour, and possibly a strange taste coming out that I’m not sure I like.
Hmm, so I’m not sure that Dong Ding oolongs are for me. This certainly isn’t bad, but it tastes to me like more of a green tea – I’m not getting that oolongy finish that I love. Also, I’m finding there’s too much astringency for me to really enjoy this, so I think I need to cut down the infusion times for the next packet, and perhaps try it when I have time to write a more detailed note!
I received this as a sample from Teavivre – thanks! Figured I would try it out as it’s one of the samples I had yet to get to, but the reviews have been good… so why not!
As soon as the water hit the leaves, I smelled a distinct fishy smell. Not super strong, but enough to make me a little wary. I’m still not a fan of pu’erhs with any fishiness, although I’ve found that sometimes, an initial fishy smell doesn’t translate into the flavour. So, hoping for that!
The initial flavour reminded me a ridiculous amount of Verdant’s Cornfields Shu Pu’erh that I tried recently. Except a bit fisher, and a bit stronger. Difficult to describe. A bit of sweetness, a musty flavour, fairly smooth… definitely a pu’erh, but beyond that, I can’t describe much else. It’s actually a bit too strong for me, and making me cringe a bit, for whatever reason. Too much mustiness per mouthful.
I’m not sure that I’m a fan of this one, but will definitely try a shorter infusion time and less lea next time, as I think it’s best drank a bit weak, for me! I’ll reserve a rating until then, but I don’t think this will ever really be a favourite.
Thanks to Teavivre for a sample of this tea! I haven’t tried too many dragon wells yet, so am happy for the opportunity to try out another one and see how it compares!
The aroma of the brewed tea is light and sweet and a bit like boiled veggies (although that’s really only a hint). Unfortunately, I think I really underleafed this tea (forgot I was using a bit mug, and probably only scooped in ~1.5 tsp), and I am not getting a lot of flavour from it in spite of oversteeping it by over a minute. What I can taste is a bit of rock sugar sweetness in kind of a boiled veggie broth. Not astringent at all (but I’ve found that dragonwells don’t seem to get as astringent as some other greens for whatever reason). I’ll have to give this another shot later, but it’s certainly promising!
I cannot wait for A.C. Perch’s to open in Århus! I’m so excited! Every time I walk past where they’re preparing the store I try to peer in through the windows, although you can’t see plock all.
I’m on a mission to get through some of the older teas in the cupboard. There are a few which are from before we moved in here over two years ago! O.o Probably I’ll end up taking several of them with me to work. It’s easier to get through boring stuff there than it is at home. The trick is to only have boring stuff to choose from. :D I’ve already discovered that if you take a frankly disappointing caramel black and mix it 50/50, more or less, with a lacklustre vanilla, both become quite acceptable indeed.
Now, in order to further this mission I have made Husband make me a cup of something summerly which is a fairly recent acquisition. I asked for something fruity or oolong-y or both, you see.
I’ve actually had this a couple of times before but I haven’t posted about it because something always went wrong. Either I botched the brewing or I forgot to drink it and it turned cold or I simply just had it while being distracted by something else.
Now, this is one of those teas where I’m going to have to try really hard not to compare it too directly with another tea. Sometimes avoiding this is very difficult even though you know that you might as well be comparing apples and oranges. I’ve shared the ACP raspberry oolong with a number of you before, and that was the one I was thinking of when I bought this one. Any sort of red berry flavoured oolong is likely to get my attention, really.
But this really is quite different to the raspberry oolong, and not only because raspberries and strawberries only have being red in common. This is on a greenish oolong base whereas the raspberry oolong is more oxidised. Therefore I would put them in the same general category, but still consider them entirely different beasts.
Gosh, look at me blathering. Let’s just go straight to the tea, which has a strong aroma of strawberry. I mean really, Husband was having strainer related difficulties in the kitchen and I could smell strawberries all the way in here in my room. Granted there’s an open door between it and the kitchen, but it’s still a whole other room. It’s fruity and sweet, but also rather leaf-y. I’m sure the leaf-y note is actually the base oolong, but my brain wants to associate that to strawberries as well and it makes me think of strawberry leaf. I don’t even know if that would safe to drink at all, but my brain doesn’t seem to care about such trivialities. I know raspberry leaf can be used as herbal tea, although I’ve heard that it’s a bit… erm. Let’s just say ‘acquired taste’.
The fruit flavouring is a little more controlled in the flavour. It’s definitely there, still sweet and fruity, and it shows up primarily when swallowing and on the aftertaste. The rest of it is pure oolong. (Thankfully, my brain isn’t enforcing the strawberry leaf clause here, that would just be weird) It’s difficult to tell anything about the oolong, because an added flavouring always comes in the way of analysing it and I can only get a few general notes, if anything at all. This one feels quite smooth and a not too vegetal. As I tend to prefer the more stronger oxidised sorts of oolong, this is a good thing.
I’m quite enjoying this. It’s no ACP raspberry oolong, but it’s quite enjoyable.
Oolong and strawberry…from Teavivre! When I first saw there were flavoured options (aside from the fruit only ones), I thought I’d only find floral additions…rose, jasmine, etc but no, there were two fruit options! So I immediately requested them for my next sample box, which just came today.
The dry leaf smells like a mix of a milk oolong and a bit of real strawberry, none of that fake stuff here. There’s a sweet and somewhat tart scent that mingles with the creamy oolong aroma. The leaves are pretty tightly rolled, as you’d expect from this sort of oolong base.
I used my bamboo tea spoon, which I think holds about 1tsp or so, on average. I let the boiling water cool a few minutes and steeped 3 minutes. First sips, unsweetened, I get an equal balance of oolong and strawberry, none overpowers the other (though I do wish the strawberry was slightly more prominent). Sweetened, with just a tad of sugar (less than I normally take) the strawberry becomes juicier and sweeter. I bet this one would be amazing with some local honey. Wondering about future steeps and iced. The leaves definitely have more unfurling to do, so I expect a few more good steeps at least.
I was really excited to try this tea, and I am not disappointed. I’ve thrown a packet into my best friend’s birthday tea box, but if it was anyone else, I’d pretend I didn’t have any and horde it all to myself. :P
Many many thanks, and much gratitude to Angel at Teavivre for making my strawberry oolong dreams become a reality. I do hope they continue to make more flavoured teas like this in the future.
Ok, so I just got my box of samples from Teavivre this morning and wanted to tear right into them and start drinking. Of this box, I was most excited about the flavoured ones (strawberry oolong and peach jasmine dragon pearl green) but as I had started the day with a keemun yesterday, I thought I’d have the keemun grade 1 today to compare.
I have to say that this one is milder. It’s less smoky than the Red Blossom from yesterday. I do taste a bit of a cocoa (as opposed to actual chocolate) flavour, and a bit grainy. I admit I do not pick up anything floral or fruity. I would say that if there was anything fruity, it would probably be more like a black plum, or maybe date…but any fruit flavour is really mild and indistinguishable from the richer cocoa and grain flavours.
I do think that my straight black tea palate is growing some, so whereas I may not have liked the previous keemun from Teavivre as much, it has grown on me. That said, I think I still prefer the Fengqing Dragon Pearls and Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu over this, but it is a nice smooth flavour that is great to start the day with.
I do thank Angel at Teavivre for providing yummy samples for review, and I can’t wait to try more from my box. Expect a tasting from one of the fruit ones soon…probably the strawberry oolong. I am excited about this round of samples. :)
this is a nice tea… almost a revamped version of a jasmine blossom tea. if you are inclined to add cream (as i usually am) resist the urge, really. with cream it somehow goes from a nice, light floral to a honeysuckle/bull kelp. (i kid you not)
it doesn’t possess an overpowering floral, very reminiscent of walking in a spring garden and once you’ve passed the flowering shrub the scent stops. it reminds me more of a green oolong than a black. no astringency, a small amount of caffeine stick but it’s not at all unpleasant.
there are a few ‘problems’ that aren’t exactly problems and they are these:
- i started with a tea that i wound up adoring yesterday, the milk oolong, and i just don’t like this one as much.
- something about it makes me think i would only ever want to drink it in spring or summer. wrong flavours for fall and winter.
- this last one comes from my wife after she sniffed it: ’it’s a smell i would wear, but not one i would drink’. not so much one i would wear, but i see her point.
a floral jasminesque that james’s wife would prefer to wear than drink.
and one last time: you really don’t want to add milk!
right off the bat, thanks to angel for this wonderful sample! ‘in your experience how is teavivre’s customer service, james?’ funny you should ask, because i was planning on mentioning that first off (because that’s what we all consider first with a tea delivery, lol).
my teavivre samples arrived yesterday afternoon. i was running around like a crazy man and didn’t even have a chance to open the box until evening. then (following short sorceress’s very sensible plan) i vowed not to open it until i had finished my other open samples… after all no tea purchases (mostly) until august. and then i got an email.
it was angel from teavivre. she had received notice that my parcel had arrived and she wanted to make sure there was no damage to the samples. well i HAD to open it up then, didn’t i? it would be rude not to! seriously, i was very impressed… watching the delivery confirmations, checking for damaged samples??? i have received free tea samples before— as a rule the companies aren’t too worried about whether there’s any damage when it’s sent for free. it was also significant that teavivre appeared to be as happy about me receiving my samples as i was to have them. huge props specifically to angel for that lovely bit of diligence.
the tea, ooooooooooooooh the tea. light, sweet, creamy, mild floral notes finishing up with a mild marine note. echoes of a green oolong. no astringency, no caffeine stick on my tongue. this is a comfort tea. the kind that hugs you when you are stuck in traffic and running late. it is naturally sweet and when i take a small sip it seems to fill up my mouth.
i was up early today, running all over the city with nothing but this tea to keep my sanity. i was pressed into a new assessment protocol with this one; i took an extra five minutes (which made me late, but too bad) and recorded my observations on my iphone. another thing: i am notoriously bad for resteeping. i am generally so busy trying new teas that i only steep the one time. the sample package i opened this morning is the only tea i have had all day. why? 1)because i like it that much, 2) because it is that good on a resteep.
i really like this tea, so this is where i take a moment to become a drama llama… (i also sincerely believe this has been well earned):
impressive. in every way. yes i will buy it when i run out of samples.
OH! AND THAT WAS NOTE NUMBER 100!!! appropriate that i hit triple digits with such a great tea…
This is a delicious, yet super strong, black tea. Make sure you come hungry when you sit down to this tea – and don’t steep it long! I tried a number of different steeping times and concentrations of leaves on this one – all produced very strong results. This is definitely for black tea lovers! Though it is powerful, it is very refreshing and lovely. I loved it with and without sugar and though I don’t like milk in my tea, it can definitely hold its flavor with some cream!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Tannin
I must thank Angel at Teavivre for this experience. My tea arrived today and I have been ogling the whole box since.
Black tea is one of the great loves of my life. I brew it daily, inhale the deep aromas, gaze at the dark colors, and sip at it greedily. It is truly a spiritual experience for me, and I consume far more of it than can be considered healthy. We all have our vices, so I justify mine with the fact that it’s tea and not gambling or cocaine. Solid logic, no?
This fragrant black tea is no disappointment. I will say it is not for the faint of heart, however. This is a strong, thick, and powerful blend – even when steeped precisely as recommended. For those looking for something not so powerful, it could easily be steeped for half the time and be quite enjoyable. In fact, I do believe this would do wonderfully iced with just a hint of sugar.
The leaves really didn’t give away the strength of the brew to come, not too dark, faintly aromatic, very unlike the tea they created. To my delight it is not very bitter. Indeed I’ve tasted far lighter black teas with more bitterness and interesting aftertastes.
I am truly biased in my adoration of steaming hot black tea, but I do think everyone should try it.
Thank you again, Angel, for this adventure. I will be reviewing the other teas over the course of the next week and am very excited for the opportunity. I have been ill and homebound these past few months, and tea has been one of my only escapes.