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Recent Tasting Notes
I brewed this in the Gaiwan with the whole sample pack. I love it! Someone please tell me is this what you would consider to be the proper amount of leaf. I know we have rules of thumb. This was so much better this time so I am assuming that for me it was the right amount. It was sooo so good. Black tea heaven. Tea heaven period…. Angel, your thoughts?
Do you ever fantasize about drinking tea and then have trouble finding something that makes you feel the way you wanted to feel? I do. But tonight I wanted some tea and this one has far exceeded my tea fantasies.
I decided to do a ittle gong fu brewing with hubby joining in. Oh my! The leaves smelled amazingly good when I opened the pouch. I did rinse the leaves quickly, maybe ten seconds. I don’t think that is really necessary with this one. The first steep was light yellow and lightly buttery with vegetal tones. I resteeped, and resteeped, and resteeped. The third steep was darker than the first two.Now on the sixth some amazing things are happening in this tea. There is a mineral quality coming out, and a lingering cool finish rather like the feeling I get when I drink something with licorice root in. It caresses and coats the throat. There is that same quality that made me fall for Wild Forest Oolong, though this is lighter.
I am so glad I ordered their Tie Guan Yin with organic honey. If it is anything like this one, I am in for some highly satisfying tea times.
There was some mix-up with Teavivre’s manufacturer because the sample I received was “flavoured” when Teavivre’s intention was to sell the unflavoured stuff. (Old notes have been deleted because they don’t apply to the same tea) Anyway, I ordered it and received the proper natural Jin Xuan tea. So it’s like I am getting to know this tea for the first time now! ;)
First steep is slightly floral, fruity (apricot), sweet, and vegetal. There is also a slight creamy aftertaste. Seems like a nice balanced tea, nothing seems out of place.
Third to third steeps were consistent, with the third being a bit sweeter and fruity.
Taking a break and sniffing inside the teapot, the leaves do smell sweet and almost creamy. But it’s not a heavy cream scent. It also made me think of apricots
Four to fifth were more vegetal and less fruity. I kept resteeping but eventually stopped on the ninth when I could hardly taste any tea.
If you are looking for a flavoured Milk Oolong with heavy cream and fruit flavour, try somewhere else. Apparently that stuff is not natural and is flavoured to achieve that result. However this Jin Xuan Milk Oolong tastes very natural, and for me is a lovely tea with a good price. Sometimes less expensive oolongs do not satisfy my palate, but this one is tasty and cheap enough that I can drink it very often in my yixing teapot.
The leaves are quite big, and the 1 1/2 tsp I put in looks about right.
125ml yixing teapot, 1 1/2 tsp, (rinse, 10s, 15s, +10s resteeps)
Tea of the morning……
And the end of this sample. I think I have kind of figured out where this falls….. I think the Grade 2 is the smokiest of the three, slightly more earthy in taste, and the most astringent at the end. The Premium really has very little in the way of astringency, and is slightly smoother and more complex in that there are a few different flavor notes than Grade 1. Grade 1 and Premium are both very light on the smokiness…there is just enough so that you know you are drinking Keemun. The astringency can mostly be controlled by the amount of leaf, steep time, and steep temperature, but in similar steeping parameters, the astringency is greatest in Grade 2 and gets less as you go up in quality. Obviously, more leaf, longer time, and hotter temperature make the tea stronger, too. When I say smokey, of course the notes are light and nothing near that of a true smokey tea. In summary, the Grade 2 is essentially smokier and the Premium is smoother and more complex when compared to this one. I do think the difference in price on this one is worth it. Once my Grade 2 is gone, I am not sure if I will get this one or the Premium.
Usual teapot method…..a little light on the leaf, but for the full 4 minutes. (And it was still a little less astringent than the Grade 2 at 3 minutes….)
When I looked through my box of Teavivre samples tonight I was between this one and the Yunnan Dian Hong. This one won because it’s smell was a tinge darker and more earthy compared to the slightly brighter (maybe fruity?) scent of the Yunnan.
But I remembered that this tea had a note of smoke when I made it previously, so I decreased the steep time by about 30 seconds to avoid it. It worked pretty well, I think – the cocoa notes I got before are stronger than the smoke essence. It still retained its thick texture, and seemed very bready to me again tonight.
It is still perfect without additives, and I think because of the reduction in smoke I will raise it up a few points. A wonderfully satisfying black tea.
I decided to continue with this today as I had not gone beyond three steeps with it before. Cup number four @ two minutes, is the first where the brew looks more like a black tea instead of ink. The leather is reduced but still the predominate flavor. Mild and a bit earthy. Also getting the sticky lip feel.
Cup five @ three minutes. Light and mild. Almost like a sheng. More sticky lip, and now a soapy taste, and add numbing metallic mouth feel. I have experienced this before but never this intense. Interesting.
Cup six @ five minutes. The liquor has an orange tint. I am using a 12 oz mug, so this is like cup 11 and 12 using standard cups. Time to call this one. I am not tasting water but this cup is very light and mild.
Tea of the late afternoon…..
First of all, “Happy Friday”! I am so thankful the weekend is here. Secondly, thank you to Teavivre for sending this sample along with my first order. (I will just let you know, that I am becoming a huge fan of this company!)
The tea: I have had white teas in the past, but they have mostly been flavored versions. And I probably sweetened them, too. This is a good one because it is good all on its own, no added flavors, no need to add sweetness. It is light and has notes that are both floral and slightly vegetal. It is lighter than my favorite green tea (Premium Dragon Well), and really reminds me of Spring. A very good offering, and since I need some white tea in my life, I will order this at some point. Definitely my favorite white to date. (I have had at least 2 unflavored whites, but they did not impress me much.)
Right about now, I should be asking what Teavivre puts in their tea to make it so good! I think it is excellent, fresh tea, and excellent service.
About 3 tsp tea (it is fluffy!) in a 15 oz mug, about 180 water for 2 minutes. No additions. (I love teas that are great plain!)
A really great tea! I was feeling down and so this is my late night pick-me-up. I really appreciate how much information was given on this tea package. I think that it was nice to have exact information about the distributor/steep times/etc.
Something that I was reading on another forum about was an idea that I’m trying to encompass. I know that some teas can be steeped over and over again, but at some point they really do loose that pizzazz. I think that I’m going to be more cautious with steep times and temp. so I can narrow down when I should continue re-using leaves.
The dry “leaves” smell amazing! Just like blueberries and raisins in a berry trail mix! Eight minutes later and the brewed liquor is a deep purple. The aroma is more subdued now than before.
I ate a bunch of fresh blueberries before I brewed this tea so I could compare the tastes. My first tiny sip of this tea was tarter than the entire bowl of fresh blueberries! It does taste like blueberries, but that’s more of a secondary note. When it first hit my mouth, it was pure tart hibiscus.
I know this doesn’t actually have any hibiscus in it. But it might as well. Still, this is waaaaay better than the herbal teas I’ve had that do have hibiscus in them. It’s a significant improvement. If you like tart, you’ll love this! But it’s not the blueberry tea I’ve been searching for.
Per Ashmanra’s suggestion I had this one today. Really had to twist my arm ;) When I sniffed the dry leaf, I chuckled out loud. I was reminded of TeaEqualsBliss’ review of the tea that smelled of outhouse. Now, I don’t find this tea offensive like that, but I can see how the uninitiated might. Anyway this is everything I want in a ripe puerh. I love this.
Tea of the afternoon…..
This is my favorite green tea. I must have some for my cupboard. It is so smooth, the taste reminds me of very fresh roasted asparagus in a high quality olive oil. Not a hint of bitterness or astringency, just smoooooth, lightly buttery goodness. Thank you so much to Teavivre for the sample. I am hooked!
(And thank you to ashmanra for the recent review that suggested I should be drinking this one right now!)
Mug method with about 180 water. 2minutes first steep, three minutes for the second.
Thanks to Teavivre for the free sample of this tea! I accidentally oversteeped the first infusion, so it had a bit of astringency in it, but it was a surprisingly small amount when compared to some Jasmine tea that I’ve had. The aroma was a very nice jasmine scent, but it wasn’t overpowering. The taste of the tea is hard to discern underneath the astringency, but I do taste something flowery, which suggests that that taste will be fairly strong if I don’t oversteep the next infusion.
Okay, I was REALLY careful with the second infusion, using degree water and steep for exactly two minutes. The result was a cup of tea with a nice sweet flowery flavor, with not even a hint of astringency. This is the second be jasmine tea I’ve had to date (after the jasmine pearls that I got from Teavivre back in November).
Interestingly enough, the third infusion with this tea was exactly the same as the second. I don’t often find green teas with this type of longevity (they usually only last for four steepings), but I figure that I will get at least five infusions out of this tea, which is a pleasant surprise.
I lost track of what steeping I’m on, but rest assured it is at least number six. I brewede this infusion at a low termperature, like 140 degrees, and the resutl was pretty goo. I actually forgot about the tea, so it was infusing for somewhere between 6 and 10 minutes before I took the leaves out. The resulting tea is still a bit flowery, but the generic green tea taste is beginning to seep in. Interestingly enough, there is no astringency, even though it was a VERY long infusion, most likely due to the low water temperature and the high number of previous steepings.
All in all, this is a very good tea, and certainly better than a lot of Jasmines that I’ve had. I’m seriously considering using this to replace my Yamamotoyama jasmine, given that this has a better taste and lasts longer.
Oh, yes! This is the kind of green I enjoy most! The dry leaves smelled nice and vegetal when I opened the pouch…not quite as sweet as buttered squash, but maybe a bit like bok choi? The liquor is pale yellow. The taste is so so smooth. I am so glad a made a pot of this and not just a cup.
Long ago I wanted to drink green tea for my health. I bought grocery store bags and prepared them all wrong, drank what tasted like hot water and got a stomach ache.
When Sandy first took me to A Southern Season, I bought a dragon well tea because I had heard they were some of the healthiest. When I made ithe tea, it was such a far cry from the first bagged green I had tried that I could hardly believe it.
This is really excellent. The greens I have had this week so far have been astringent. This one is not. It is smooth, sweet, and wonderful. Here is another tea that needs to go on my Teavivre order. I can’t wait to have my daughter try this one.
Thank you, Angel and Teavivre! This is really hitting the spot!
When I made the last Ripened Aged Mini Tuo Cha from Teavivre it took until the third steep for it to really break up. I often do not rinse my tea if they seem to steep to a deep color right away. I hate to waste any of the tea so I drink it and enjoy, but that one really did need the rinse to be strong enough. This one, however, disintegrated as soon as the water hit it. As I poured off the rinse, it was at first very light and then quite dark at the end of the tiny pot.
I then added more water and did a short steep. Delicious! Earth and leather! It takes me back to my childhood when I owned a pony. This is the scent of the field full of horses and my little fellow freshly saddled. (I had prayed every night for a pony and one day a lady asked me to sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. Another lady heard me, started crying, said she was from West Virginia and asked me if I wanted a pony. I was about ten years old. I said yes. I named him Sam.)
I do not have the most sensitive or educated palate in the world, but I am not finding the rose flavor. Like KS, I feel that it may be there or it may exist only in my imagination. It may be lending a ghost of a hint of sweetness. The rose bud is pretty and I think this will make a beautiful tea for my son to give his girlfriend for Valentines Day, but the bud is tiny and I just don’t find the flavor of it in my cup. I agree that it might be a good thing.
The bottom line: this puerh has no fishy or shrimpy aroma or taste. There is rich earth and also saddle leather. On the third and fourth steeps the liquor is still quite dark (it was inky black at first) and it is becoming rich, plowed farm soil in summer sun. This is one of the best puerh experiences ever. I may try to have their plain puerh again a little later today to compare and see which I want to put on my order. I definitely want to keep this around, and need to since three frequent visitors to my home have become hooked on it.
Almost boiling water and a 30 second steep. That just sounds all wrong for green, but it works. I remembered this one as soon as the steam hit my nose. Light smoky goodness. The lemon zest cookies I had with this clashed and overpowered the tea :( I really need to learn how to think through tea/food pairing.
Thank you Teavivre for sending me this sample. It has been enjoyed. For a full review…
Second tea of the morning……
And this is the end of my sample! I do think this is the first sample sent from Teavivre that I have finished if that is any indication how good it is for a drinker of black teas. (My samples of the Balin Gongfu and the Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip are close behind, though…) While I am sad to see this go, I know their Keemun Grade 1 and Keemun Grade 2 teas are also very good. I do think I might spring for this one once I get through my sample of the Grade 1 and purchase of the Grade 2. It really is just a little extra special when compared to the other two.
Usual teapot method, light on the leaf and 3 minute steep.
This is my first Chun Mei, at least as far as I know!
The aroma and look of the leaves was completely different from the green tea I drank yesterday. This was not as brightly green, and had a completely different aroma. No wet cooked turnip or mustard greens here!
I accidentally used too much leaf. The first sip was astringent and a little sour, my fault. I had already resteeped the leaves so I did what I had read in an article on serving tea in Britain through the years. I read that sometimes tea was made extra strong and the hot water pot was used for people to adjust the tea to their liking. I picked up the kettle and added water until I had the right amount for the amount of leaf I used. All better!
This is still a drying tea, as it is supposed to be. It is neither bitter nor sour. It makes me think of sunshine on dry hay. I made four steeps and combined them all into one pot after tasting a sip from both the first and second steep unmixed. There is plenty of flavor left. I shall enjoy having this as my morning green!
Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!