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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you once again, Angel and TeaVivre, for another sample!
OK. I don’t want to beat a dead horse (or tea leaf) but green teas and I aren’t close. I’ll try them and any other variety of tea, but I’m a black tea kind of guy.
When I opened the sample package for this selection, a fairly strong grassy aroma burst forth. The leaves were full, bright green, and flat.
I steeped this rascal for two minutes at 175 degrees. The brewed aroma was again grassy and a touch sweet. The color was a fairly golden green (which became bright gold after 30 minutes of post-brewed heating).
I was pleasantly surprised by the moderately full taste of this tea. Sometimes green teas don’t contain enough flavor to completely register with my taste buds. This selection had a very recognizable grassy and sweet flavor. The taste was light and lively with an equally affable aftertaste.
I’m not ready to replace my stash of black teas with green blends, but I did find this variety quite pleasant to sip during the early afternoon. I’m sure I would also enjoy it during my days off from work when my brain doesn’t require as much kick-starting.
Thanks again to Angel and TeaVivre for this new sample!
Let me quickly again sum up my feelings about green tea: not much into it. However, I am always willing to try new varieties, and have found a few that I’ve liked, not enough to make them a daily habit, but they’ve been tasty.
The flat bright green leaves in the sample package of this selection had a sweet grassy aroma. I steeped them for two minutes at 175 degrees as recommended in the instructions (176 degrees was recommended, but close counts).
The brewed liquid was an extremely pale golden green. The steeped aroma was very faint and slightly sweet.
It took several sips before my brain and taste buds could process enough flavor information to classify it. Then, I began to discern a sort of sweet, slightly spicy, kind of grassy taste. The flavor was smooth, very light, and too delicate to produce any bitterness.
This tea was pleasant to drink and may be a fine late afternoon or early evening selection, but I prefer stronger and more robust flavors. To be fair, I should also mention that we are now in peak pollen and allergy season here in South Carolina, so my tasting apparatus isn’t as sensitive as it is at other times of the year.
Having said that, there is nothing at all wrong with this tea’s amiable flavors. The volume just isn’t pumped up enough for my preference.
Hats off to Angel and the Teavivre crew!
This came as a part of the tea sample set I received from their company. At a glance, I was impressed by just the sheer appearance of the leaves. Clean, white, full needle-like leaves.
The scent was very potent—heavy jasmine wafts from the package. Smells like a fresh flowering garden in the spring! I was a bit nervous to try it, as I thought it would be overwhelmingly flowery (almost like an overpowering jasmine artificially soaked into the leaves) but I was mistaken!
I drink my tea straight up, no sugar or honey. This tea was incredible. The jasmine is strong, but not overpowering. For me, it’s the perfect level. The actual liquid washes over your mouth smooth and soft…like velvet.
All in all, I’d say this tea is a delicate, flowery masterpiece which is perfect for a refreshing spring day.
8p / 220ml yixing.
Ah the first cup is pure bliss! Full of honey and malty sweetness. However the following cups loose that superb taste, turns more malty and less honey. Perhaps i will try with two shorter steepings. Or the recommended parameters. :)
Will be drinking a whole lot spring teas in the time to come. 2014 spring harvest is only a couple of months away!!
7p / 220ml zhuni yixing
1m/2m/3m @ 100C
This tea is magnificent, one of the absolute best yunnan blacks ivé tried.
first cup is full of honey, so sweet and slightly malty. this time i actually added 1tsp of highquality forest honey to the last two cups. They tasted just like the first…. haha no need to add anything sweet to this tea. Never want to run out of this!
8p / 220ml zhuni yixing
1:10m/1:40m/2:20m @ 100C
After a tough week with a cold and loads of work today on a saturday :/ i felt i needed a treat. So i brought out my favorite black.
Superb as always. Full of sweet honey and maltiness with a bit of chocolate and a wee hint of citrus. First infusion was pure magic! i did the three infusions in rapid succession. first in a cup the other two in a pitcher. Don´t want to let the leaves cool between infusions.
Been crawing this tea for some time now. Putting it of in favor for new teas.
Still absolutely wonderful, my favorite yunnan black.
9p / 220ml Zhuni yixingpot.
1m/2m/2:30m/3m. 4 infusions was enough for today but the leaves could easily handle a couple more.
The overall flavour was honey, chocolate, malty. Naturaly sweet!
I did 5 infusions.
9 pearls in a 220ml yixingpot.
1: 1min 100C Clear taste of honey and a bit of chocolate aftertaste.
2: 2min 100C A bit long. will shorten to 1:30 next time. still sweet.
added 30 sec per steeping with superresult.
Ill be sure to keep this one in my cupboard.
Up early this morning to go fishing in a friend’s pond. It was almost big enough to be a small lake. Lucky him. The weather was cool (for July) and only enough clouds to keep the sun from making it miserable. Caught several small bluegill. Such a stress busting day. So why am I so tired now? I’m getting there, but I’m not that old… or am I? Sheesh. This lovely tea is my attempt at re-energizing before going to play cards with my parents.
I am trying thee 2014 harvest of this glorious tea today. I cannot tell it from last years leaf. To me that is a good thing. Given the crazy weather last year I wasn’t sure how it might affect the tea. This at least survived very well. The dry leaf always brings images of country fields full of fresh baled hay. Sweet, sour, green fresh. The wet leaf fills my tiny room with an amazing aroma of buttery veggies. The taste is corn, maybe popcorn. It is not so much buttery, though it is there, as it is milky feeling. This is very crisp with an edge that suggest bitter but in a good way. One of the reviews I saw said something like spring in a cup. To that I would agree. A very delicious cup. Time for more.
So I steeped this up and set it on my desk while listening to Emmylou Harris. She is the voice of the angels, or at least I think so. Strange I would think this seeing how most of my music is ’70’s metal (Sabbath, Zeppelin). I found a 5 pack of her early albums today at Walmart. Wow she was really old school country when she started but what a voice. Then I got distracted trying to relearn an old Promise Keepers song our band did years ago that we can’t quite remember how it goes – I refuse to give up. Anyway when I picked the cup up it was almost room temp. Oops! It is buttery, green, and beautiful just the same. And now its gone. Emmylou is still here though ;)
So after the blender mishap you would think I would learn. You would be wrong. I went to fill up my kettle and poured half the water on the table. I guess I am in too big of a hurry to drink tea today.
This one is worth the mess I made. The label says, “Superfine”, why yes, yes it is. Clean and crisp. Much love.
Off to see what I can dump or break next.
After just reading TheTeaFairy’s painful and chaotic start to the day mine is far less dramatic. I woke up this morning around 6:00 and I could taste dragonwell. I love when the mind does that and you just know what tea you are starting with this day. Got up went to the den and thought I should start with milk and toast. I often do this and immediately follow up with tea. Got sidetracked stranding 3 more kerbals on Mun. I didn’t kill them at least. I landed gently but the ship fell over as I hadn’t stopped all the lateral thrust. Honestly I didn’t have enough fuel to get them home anyway. Don’t tell them. They are still smiling thinking a rescue mission is in the works. Silly deluded guys. So at 8:00 as I was about to finally get tea, my wife asked me to take her to the doctor. Nothing serious. She is dizzy and congested like half the people we know. Get out of the doctor, go to the pharmacy, then grab a sandwich to take home from Arby’s. Finally, I am home and go to make tea only to realize my press is too grungy to use. Give it a much needed scrubbing and having my first tea of the day at 2:00 in the afternoon. You know what? It was worth the wait. So very good.
When I first tried this, my thoughts were I preferred the premium version. I’ve realized now the earlier premium was based on water when I was working and the superfine was home water. I have since fixed my home water with a Brita filter pitcher. Day and night difference. Seriously, if your tea always seems a little bland go get a filter. You will not be sorry.
So today I steeped this for two minutes in my press with 176F water. OH MAN! I can smell the butteriness across the room. This is very lightly golden colored and leaning towards green. The taste is so fresh and green. It is buttery and vegetal. A nice bite at the end. An excellent contrast to the smoky lapsang I just finished.
I have changed my mind. This is definitely tastier than the premium. Love! I’ll be sipping this probably until I go to class this afternoon.
This is the first day in over a week I am not frantically running everywhere. I have been very lazy. Finally got around to breakfast and morning tea – at noon – A bowl of rice and a warm mug of this. I think I personally prefer the more boisterous premium version but this is exquisitely smooth. The liquor is so clear and sparkly yellow. The nose is buttery veggies. The late sip and after taste have just a light bite and the flavor really lingers long after the sip is gone. A really tranquil tea for my much needed lazy day.
Just got back from town. It’s cool (my wife says cold). It’s dreary and lightly raining. This was the perfect tea for this moment. It is warm. The taste is fresh and green with enough bite toward the end of the sip, to make you take notice without crossing the line in to bitterness. Really hitting the spot.
Today we went shopping for our very first ever NEW mattress. My wife and I have slept on hand-me-downs our entire lives. We did own a new water bed years ago but that kind of doesn’t count. It will not be delivered for a week or so because we special ordered the foundation. But it is going to be awesome.
In the last month we have paid off the house, the truck, the tractor, and the credit card. The mattress is a small victory celebration. There is still a mountain of medical bills that we hope to conquer next. All this has occurred after I was permanently laid off. It does not add up on paper. All I know is we have been blessed beyond measure.
This is the Spring 2013 production of this tea. The dry scent in the sample bag is slightly sour and reminds me of fresh baled hay. The aroma of the wet leaf makes me think stew beef and buttery beans. The liquor is light yellow green and very clear and bright.
The sip is crisp and fresh with a slight bitter edge with a mineral finish that I find produces a very refreshing mug. There is a milkiness to the feel. The taste is vegetal and what I guess is best described as nutty. I find it more savory than sweet. The aftertaste lingers nicely.
Going strictly from memory (usually not a good idea) of the premium grade I tried long ago I believe this version is brighter with less of a roasty feel about it.
I would not normally think to ice this, but as I was typing my notes the mug reached room temperature and I must say I really liked this cold.
This is a free sample provided for review by Angel at Teavivre. Thank you!
The dry leaves are so pretty – little pearls with streaks of white – that just putting them in my tea strainer feels like a special occasion! The pearls smell wonderfully like jasmine perfume.
I don’t have the equipment to make this perfectly, but I did my best. I brewed one serving in 8 oz of water at approx. 180 degrees for 1.5 mins. The first steep comes out a nice golden color and smells very intensely of jasmine. It’s actually almost too strong. The flavor is a beautiful, delicate green tea with a strong jasmine element. Again, the jasmine is very nearly overwhelming, but doesn’t actually cross the line. This tea is very smooth and leaves an almost minty aftertaste. So far, very enjoyable.
Second steep for 2 mins, approx. 180 degrees. The grassy green tea flavor comes forward, though the jasmine is still strong. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel. The slight dryness of the green tea base and sweetness of the jasmine balance each other nicely.
Third steep! 3 mins, approx. 180 degrees. Still quite a good cup. Tastes about the same as the second steep.
I actually got a good fourth steep out of this, too. It should be noted that this tea is very energizing – more than I have found most green teas to be. Which is awesome, unless you start drinking the tea at 8pm. So I stopped after the fourth cup, but I saved the leaves and will try to make more tea with them later.
If you like jasmine, this is the tea for you. If you don’t, this isn’t a tea that will ease you into it. Personally, I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to the rest of my sample.
update: I ultimately got SIX good cups out of this! Granted, the last one had to be steeped for a long time and was a tad weaker than the previous cups, but it was still quite good. Very impressive.
5g / 360ml Banko-yaki kyusu
2m @ 80C
Mild but sweetly nutty. Classic Yin Zhen flavour.
Just to little leaf. my satsdard amount for 3 infusions is 4g/100ml.
guess for a single infusion i should steep 5g for 3-4m or 7.5g for 2m.
Will have to try! April is soon here for restocking :)
Man oh man, I recieved this sample from Teavivre quite a while ago. I brewed it a few times and wasn’t impressed. As it turns out, I think I was just brewing it wrong. This is a wonderful tea!
Dry leaves: The dry leaves are “every color” ranging from warm brown to black, to military green, to gorgeous white tips. The leaves are fairly small for an oolong, and have a nice apricot aroma.
Brewing: When I made this tea before, I was not using enough leaf, and the result was a weak, bland brew. It needs more leaf than I would think, it seems to be lighter/fluffier than it looks. This time I filled my gaiwan up about 1/3 of the way with leaves. The spent leaves open up to short and plump in chocolate brown color with a twinge of green. Brews up a gorgeous red-gold liquer!
1st steep: The first steep yields a rich, spicy flavor of apricot, nutmeg, moist butter cake, and pineapple with a slight roasty/woody quality like dry fall leaves.
3rd steep: Around the third steep the tea begins to smooth out with a very slight grassiness and a fresh, cooling mint note that contrasts the overall warm flavor. The tea is mildly sweet and has a creaminess as if milk were added. It flows over the tongue like a rive of warm silk.
7th steep: Around the seventh steep, the fruityness starts to wane, revealing clover leaf, champagne, and citrus tones as well as a pastry-like quality. Very tasty oolong, and pretty resteapable as well.