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Recent Tasting Notes
I really enjoyed this offering from Teavivre. I loved the pollen-y quality to it. I find myself wondering how drinking something like this will help reduce seasonal allergies … but probably not so much unless one happens to be surrounded by tea plants since it is camellia sinensis. This time of year is hell on me with my allergies. Fortunately, they have gotten considerably better after a couple of years of consuming quite a bit of locally harvested raw honey. Still have the allergies, but they aren’t nearly as severe.
Anyway, back to the tea. Or tisane. I enjoyed this. I brewed it a bit strong but I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it the way it was brewed. Sweet, honey-esque and floral. Pleasant. I like!
My full-length review is here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/02/01/organic-dehydrated-camellia-from-teavivre/
This tea is just about perfect as far as I’m concerned! This is one of several Teavivre teas that I NEVER want to be without.
The dry leaves are beautiful. The liquor is deceptively pale for a beverage that packs so much flavor! It smells and tastes wonderful, and has a pleasingly buttery mouthfeel. Smooth and slightly sweet, with facets of chestnut and toasted cereal and a subtly grassy, vegetal side. It’s a friendly tea – comforting and uplifting – and holds up well to a second steep to boot.
1 1/2 tsp in 8 oz
Had to raise my rating on this. When I tried it side by side with Adagio’s Bai Hao, I thought I preferred the Adagio. But, yesterday I had some of the Adagio, and today the Teavivre, and now I think I prefer the Teavivre or at least it is very close. This one is lacking the honey-like aftertaste that I notice in the Adagio, but it is a very subtle difference.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this today. It is smooth and flavorful with a natural sweetness. I tell you, I just love this style of oolong… pretty highly oxidized and not heavily roasted. It’s fantastic.
1tsp in 4oz
Comparison of 3 Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) oolongs — Adagio’s Formosa Bai Hao, Harney’s Fanciest Formosa Oolong, and Teavivre’s Taiwan Oriental Beauty
My favorite (surprisingly)! Darkest liquor, most flavor, sweetest, least astringency. Really nice honey flavor in the finish.
Least flavor, lightest body, lightest liquor
In between in terms of flavor and body, but the most astringent.
So, I guess I’m buying more of the Adagio. Really surprised at this result. Was hoping Teavivre’s would be my fave since it is the least expensive, but I’ll have to go with the one I like best. Luckily it’s not the most expensive. Harney’s is almost double the price of the Adagio.
2 tsp in 8 oz
This is obviously the style of oolong that I’ve been looking for. Quite oxidized, but no “roasted” flavor. It is a finer version of the basic “Formosa Oolong” teas I used to drink. This is what I love to drink in the afternoon!
It is slightly more astringent than I like, but in every other way, I love this tea… A great, comforting flavor.
I will have to experiment with brewing and also try some more steeps. I went with 2 tsp for 8 oz this time (that was exactly half of my 7g sample, so 3.5g) and the longer brewing time. Next time, I will try the same amount but at just 2 minutes.
A sample that came with my recent order of Longjing. I was curious what one of Teavivire’s most expensive greens tasted like. I was struck by the long spear-like vibrant green leaves, uncharacteristic in comparison to the other greens I’m used to.
Overall I’m pleased, but wasn’t knocked out. I initially steeped for about 30-45 seconds, and I’m imaging I should have let it be, but I was hoping for something more overt and allowed it to brew another 30-40 secs. I think that was a mistake. I ended up introducing a bitter note to what had been a smooth, lightly sweet, mellow vegetal, milky brightness. I think what I was hoping for would have been better corrected with more leaf and less time.
2nd stepping, I backed off and played it safe at about 40 secs.. Not quite enough flavor for me and I introduce a bit more steeping time (10-25 more secs). I’m playing on the edge of bitter, but I like where this tea is going. My tastebuds don’t appear to be so dialed in today, but I’m getting the continued sweet notes and a dry mouth feel. That bitter is just hanging there…. I’m not sure I’d make an investment, but if I had some more of this, I’d certain enjoy and afternoon of playing with quantity, steeping times and temps, getting to know it. But alas, it’s price and with my first impressions, I’m not inspired. But let’s see where this tea continues to go.
My 3rd steep and I think my impatience with this tea has stripped it of what it has to offer. Flavor is weak. There’s not much left to this. I’m tempted to request another sample next time I order from Teavivre.
This tea comes in a 5 gram sample, unlike most of their other teas which are usually 7 grams. I think they’re doing themselves a disservice. Brewing in a my little Finum, which is like a 5 oz cup, I think I would have had a better experience with 7 grams of tea. But then the nature of the size of these leaves would have made it difficult to fit them all and get an even steep.
I’m going for it with the 4th steep leaving it in for a solid 2 mins as recommended by Teavivre’s gaiwan instructions. There is certainly a long-lasting sweet aftertaste, bordering on saccharine. Even as I have abused this tea, there’s still a distinct vegetal smell. Bitter is gone, and surprisingly enough, I find this steep somewhat satisfying. What a weird little trip.
From a caffeine/theanine standpoint, I’m honestly a bit jacked from this tea. But then that might have been all the dark chocolate nibs I had earlier…. Or it might be that these leaves are considered more mature. Who knows. Interesting experiment overall, results inconclusive.
Who said white teas had to be bland?
The smell of the brew: I get lost in it, tea drunk at first sniff! Oh, I could just bathe in its holy water!
It has a round texture, feels like a cloud of pudding in my mouth!
Of course, I can’t deny the freshly cut hay, it dominates this first infusion. It’s sweet and slightly flowery. Beautiful pale yellow nectar. I’m slurping it like there’s no tomorrow, thinking my 4oz Gaiwan is way too small, I’d rather have a gigantic pot of this! But as they say, with great patience comes great rewards!
Brings more sweet, honey like flavor with hints of citrus and melon in the background. I can see this being an excellent iced tea.
The later steeps are still sweet, but they also kick in with a peppery aftertaste, nice addition to the already complex symphony of flavors, it gives it a second life. It’s definitely very potent.
In conclusion, this is white tea with an attitude , some kind of a white boy with a James Brown swag signing «I got soul!!»
I found this tea to be similar to Verdants’ Fuijian White Jasmine. The jasmine in this is very nice and floral with no honeysuckle. I found the floral in this one to be more garden floral, not hot, humid summer floral with honeysuckle. I could also taste the white tea too, melon, sweet, and hay notes throughout. I found this to be a very nice balanced jasmine tea that isn’t overpowering with its jasmine taste.
I can’t believe I never reviewed this Long Jing from the spring 2012 season. They are currently sold out, but I will order more when spring 2013 becomes available. These are my notes from previous tastings. A winner! Delicate, light, fresh, yet plenty of flavor and with no bitterness whatsoever. Overall effect was relaxed and refreshing. When it was cool it was still very good. More expensive than their organic superfine dragonwell long jing. Both were very nice.
I REALLY enjoyed this tea. Very refreshing yet mildly vegetal flavor.
Dry leaves: The dry leaves are a deep green with lots of budsets. They’re rolled into loosely needle-like fashion.
Brewing: Strong vegetable aroma with a slight minty coolness. The tea liquer is extremely clear and green-gold in color. The brewed leaves look healthy and plump, and are largely unbroken.
Tasting: The early infusions are mild and sweet with flavors of cantaloupe and pomelo. The mouthfeel is extremely clean with a slight sparkling quality. As the tea cools it shows a more vegetal side with flavors of green bean and chestnut. Around the third steep, the tea gains a creamier quality with flavors of olive oil, hazelnut, and fig. After the fifth, the tea becomes very light and sweet with crisp flavors of edame and barley.
Thanks Teavivre for this sample!
My samples from Teavivre came! Yay thanks Angel!
The leaves are beautiful here, long and fuzzy. The smell out of the bag is subtle, grassy and a bit floral. So when I took my first sip, it was completely unexpected. Salt. hmmm.
I had to make myself try another sip, but it was well worth it. Not sure where the salt came from, but now it was wonderful. A bit like hay as others have mentioned, but soft and silky, with later sips giving way to notes of melon, savory grass, and a light, delicate, floral. This is only my second or third silver needle, but it has left me very intrigued. I love the subtle, delicate but complex nature of this tea. I look forward to trying more silver needles to compare.
A nice, lighter golden alternative to my usual pu-erh. Teavivre was nice enough to send me a sample of this along with an order, and it’s very much appreciated! Warm, mouth-feel, stomach settling and relaxing. “Golden buds” describes it well. Nice to enjoy on a cold day when you need a hearty tea to warm up with!
It is so cold. I know I shouldn’t complain. I have lived in this darn country and province my entire life. I have made a conscious decision to continue living here. I actually quite like how we get four distinct seasons. I normally would not mind if it was this cold. But come on polar vortex, it is March 1. It is supposed to be like -5C, starting to melt a little every day.
It is currently -40C, feels like -52C. If you would like to know what that is in Fahrenheit, -40 is where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales meet. That’s right! It is -40F feels like -61.6F. WHAT?!?! I am not even going to bother going outside, not because any exposed skin will freeze in 3 seconds, or because my nostril hairs will freeze on contact to the air, but I am scared my door will break off its hinges if I open it because it is so cold.
So I am drinking this to warm up. I brewed it a little extra time today so it is nice and thick. 7 pearls for 2 minutes (I usually do just 1 minute). It is thick and bold and malty. Some hints of cocoa, but a lot of sweet dark plum flavours. It is STRONG. And I need that today.
I declare today a tea day!
This is a tasting note for the second steep. I used 4 pearls.
The second steep was much darker in colour and much stronger than the first. It was sweet, dark chocolate taste. There was a taste of ripe prunes. I liked the first steep better, but second steep was still good.
The dry tea is large pearls of black tea. While steeping the balls unfurl into a mass of black tea leaves.
The brewed tea smells sweet and slightly floral. There is a hint of sweet grains – maybe wheat or rice – I can’t quite place it.
The tea has hints of a sweet milk chocolate bar with rice crisps in it. Mmmmm. Delicious. This would be a great tea for after a heavy meal, just a touch of sweetness.
Edit: The more it cools, there is strong nutty taste to it, like unsweetened hazelnut.
I was curious about this post: http://steepster.com/discuss/5668-radical-iced-tea-directions-from-upton-tea-customer-darius-mcgregor
Cold brewing for 4 days? I usually max out at 12 hours. Every once in a while it goes for 24 hours. But I thought I should give this a try.
I actually only cold brewed for 3 days because I forgot to get it into the fridge and if I don’t drink it today, it will brew for 4 more days before I can get to it. Overall, I would say it doesn’t taste a whole lot different than my usual 12 hour brew. It is almost like all the flavours had been steeped out of the tea after about a day and really its just been chilling there for days. I do think it is a bit sweeter, and the flavours are a bit more complex vs a shorter brew. There is a strong keemun taste, kind of malty, a sweet honey type flavour, there is a strong keemun as well as a floral fragrance to the tea. I would have anticipated it to be quite a bit stronger after sitting for 3 days. Overall, it is a delicious cold brew, but I don’t think the extra few days makes a hug difference. What it does show me, is that it is a lot more forgiving if I forget about it, than I thought it would be.
Keemun is my all time favorite black tea. Now as I say that I realize that almost every black tea I review is my favorite black tea. But I think for sure keemun is my favorite, but maybe also CTC assam is my favorite. Hmmmm.
This keemun smells like keemun. It is hard to describe how it smells. There are hints of chocolate, coffee bean, and there is a floral fragrance to it. The tea tastes the same as it smells. It is a medium bodied tea. I find it to be very refreshing. Good for any time of the day, unless you want to sleep at night, then maybe avoid it in the evening.
Lapsang souchong is one of my favourite kinds of black tea.
First off, I wanted to start by saying Teavivre packaging is super awesome. The scent of this tea did not permeate through any of the packaging. I could only smell it once I opened the package. This was nice since I had a lot of other teas in the packaging, and they were not sullied by the scent of the smokey lapsang.
On first opening of the package, there is a smokey scent. It is not terribly strong, but it is very distinct. It brews dark brown-red colour. The liquor is thick feeling.
To me, this is a very light tasting lapsang. There is a light smokey pine taste. There is a sweet after taste. The smokiness lingers a little in the aftertaste, but mellows into a sweetness.
I prefer to have a stronger lapsang, but this is still a good one. I think this would be a good lapsang for anyone that wants to try it but is scared of the smokey flavour.
Canada Dry Gingerale is the bestest drink ever (excluding tea, so I guess it is the second bestest drink ever). There is nothing better. I am in love with Canada Dry Cranberry Gingerale. It only comes out around the Christmas season. So last year, when I was trying to find it, I had everyone I knew on the look out. My mom ended up buying me two cases of Canada Dry raspberry gingerale with white tea. Not what I wanted but I drank it. So I eventually found the cranberry gingerale and WWWAAAAYYYYY stocked up. I still have a box and a 1/2 of this in my basement because I was hoarding it, and my mom showed up last week with a fresh case that she just saw at the store as it is now on sale for the season.
So thinking of the raspberry gingerale with white tea, I mixed the cranberry gingerale with this silver needle. I brewed the silver needle as per usual, cooled it in the fridge, and then mixed half and half with the gingerale. It is very good. Mostly tastes of cranberry gingerale but the sweetness and carbonation is much toned down. It seems to be smoother with the white tea. I get a taste of the silver needle in aftertaste. It tastes more like a drink/juice vs a soda/pop – so of course I feel better about drinking it.
Tea makes even the second bestest drink better!
I am not the biggest white tea fan. But I do like this one. I think previous to this I have just never had actually good white tea.
The dry white tea smells slight vegetal, like and flowery. The tea peices are dark green, and almost look downy, they are uniform in shape and colour.
The tea liqour is very light golden yellow, as I would expect a white tea to brew up. It had a light vegetal and flowery smell. It taste clean and light. Very refreshing, almost like drinking fresh spring water.
I have been very impressed with the sample sets I got from Teavivre. Their tea has always appeared to be high quality.
Water: 8oz Boiling,then let sit for 1 minute.
Leaves: Dry leaves-yellow/brown tone, medium length leaves & Wet- brown in color and slightly larger once steeped.
Steep: 3 minutes w/30 second rinse
Aroma: The scent reminded me of other black teas I’ve had in the past but lighter.
Color: Dark Golden yellow
Taste: In the beginning brewing this tea gave me a bit of trouble either I made it to light or too strong (which gave me a bitter taste). Now after many trials and errors I finally managed to get it almost right. I can say this tea would be good paired with a meal. I want to make this tea properly so I can get the full experience.