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Recent Tasting Notes

It took awhile to get out of bed. I laid there with my ipad, half asleep, reading & commenting on Steepster reviews. Tuesday is officially my day off, at least from students (although I do have a gig later today). Of course, it’s not really a day off, as I have desk work to do, music to practice, etc, but it’s nice to sleep in a bit & laze around. Besides my bed is SO comfy, it felt good to just lay there for awhile. The only thing that would have made it better was a hot cup of tea. My room is on the 3rd floor, so by the time I made it down to the kitchen, there was no point going back to bed. I drank my tea in the sunroom.

My first cup of the day was this wonderful Keemun. The dry leaf is SO fragrant! The tea itself is so smooth & flavorful. My formula:
1 T + 12 oz (195 F) X 2 minutes = Yeah, baby!
The re-steep was for 3 minutes & it was every bit as delicious.

Sitting here in the sun, my houseplants have reminded me that I forgot to water them yesterday & they are also hungry. There is work to do, even on my day off.


sounds like a lovely lazy morning to me…

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I’ve reviewed this Keemun several times, & it is very tasty, with essence of chocolate, malt, and roses! Of course, there are no roses or chocolate in it, but the flavor is there!

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My first gig of the day is done. It was 4 hours long, but it was fun.
I’ve been sitting here, eating a little leftovers, & sipping this yummy tea. Essence of sweet potatoes & rose petals, it really is nice. I’ve been drinking a lot of Yunnan lately, but I like Keemun too. It’s different, especially in the mouth-feel, but wonderfully tasty.

Now I’m off to play the church gig for the 2nd night, which will be easy. Then I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep!

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In spite of the fact that I have a gig this morning (I have to leave by 10:30, which is way better than yesterday when I had to leave around 6:00), I stayed up kind of late (“how late?” you ask. “I’m not telling”)
So Little Terri, Theresa, and I were jammin’ with the AX, and IT IS SO MUCH FUN!! We’re already fantasizing about Youtube videos with Little Terri playing Bass on the AX, Theresa playing some percussion toys (yes, I have quite a few of those too), and me playing my electric harp & singing a Janis Joplin number. We’re all gonna dress up to express our personalities, and it will be awesome. Oh, the possibilities!!

I originally got this tea as a sample from [email protected] It was quite tasty, and she was sending me some more samples, so I ordered some more of this lovely tea (along with several other items), and had her package them together. No point wasting shipping costs!

I steeped one T in 8oz @ 195 for 2min. It’s a very gentle Keemun, essence of malt, sweet potato, and roses. It makes me wonder if there are rose bushes planted around the tea plants, but probably not. The re-steep was 3 minutes, and that’s a pleasant cup as well.
It’s not particularly smokey, like some of the Keemun’s I’ve tried, but it is tasty, and that’s the most important thing!


Have fun with your new toy!

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I’m trying to get rid of a headache by slamming down several cups of black tea, this wonderful Keemun being one of them. I’ve already reviewed it before, but I’d like to say that I really love the backdrop of rose petals that I taste (although it doesn’t have rose petals in it, it just has a taste of them). I’ll need to order some of this, because it is tasty!

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My thanks to Angel & Teavivre for this wonderful sample!!

I’m on a black tea drinking streak! This & 4 other samples arrived today from Teavivre, & this is the one I wanted. The sample is generous enough, roughly a heaping Tbl’s worth. My first cup was a tsp, brewed for 3 minutes. It was delicious! An enticing croissant-like aroma, a beautiful honey-amber hue, and a very mild, slightly chocolatey hint. It’s a gentle, mellow brew, very smooth in every way.

I tend to like my tea on the strong side, so the 2nd cup was made with what was left in the foil package, roughly 2 tsp of leaf, for 2 minutes. Now we’re talking! Bring on the croissant, bring on a little chocolate feeling in my mouth, & bring on the rose petals! It really seems as if this is a rose tea to me, & there is a sweet earthiness that brings sweet potatoes to mind (& I love my sweet potatoes!).
The 3rd cup was a r-esteeping of all of the above for 3 minutes, & it was also tasty!

The quality is excellent, & although there is no need for sweetener & I love it plain, I added a little stevia to the bottom 1/3 of each cup, & it was SO nice too. Not a hint of bitterness or astringency, I really enjoyed drinking this tea! Get you some! http://www.teavivre.com/black-tea/


Amen and all hail to sweet potatoes!!!

Terri HarpLady

oh yeah, Baby! I’ve been eating sweet potatoes almost every day for a couple of weeks! I LOVE them. I’ve also been eating a lot of fried apples, they are just SO good.


Sounds delectable!

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I’ve noticed a few others comparing this one with the non-organic. I definitely prefer the non-organic. I brewed this one Western style, and if I get any more, I’d try Gongfu brewing with short steeps. The organic is a little stronger, so some might prefer it, but I love the non-organic and next time I order, I’ll get that one. In fact, the non-organic Bailin Gongfu is one of my favorite blacks-it is one smooth cup of tea!


I keep the non-organic one on my shelf too. One of my top black tea’s.

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High in fluoride, so good for teeth and bones?

Do you mean the naturally occuring fluorine? Or fluoride? Because fluoride is a toxic bi-product of several industries including: aluminum, nuclear and phosphate fertilizer. It is put in toothpaste and municipal water. It is also sprayed on crops. It is not good for your teeth. Not only that, but calcifies the pineal gland, lowers IQ, contributes to cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.

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I have to admit that I was skeptical of this tea since it is A) a green tea, and B) it has jasmine in it. Turns out my skeptisisms were unwarrented.
I brewed me up a large cuppa this golden/green colored drink merely so I could cross it off of my ‘possible teas’ list. As you can see by my opening statement it turns out that is in fact a possible drinker. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but given that I haven’t liked many greens or any of the jasmines I’ve tried it’s still fairing well enough.
First thing that came to mind on the first sip was buttery, real buttery. After that I found myself questioning what was different about the green flavor. Partly it was the addition of the jasmine, though that was pretty tame, yet there was something else difficult to nail down. It’s a kind of malty green hay thing that, again, is difficult to nail down.
There were some sweet notes present as well, but I didn’t get any of the fruity or honey I read others may have found. I steeped this one a few times and found that the distinctly different notes that jumped out in the first cup had all mellowed and melted into a harmony of flavors.
Even though greens aren’t typically my thing I must still comment on the qaulity that Teavivre delivers. The pearls were beautiful and unfurled into delicate slender leaves. Even though it was AZZ that sent me this sample I must add Angel to my gratitude for the opportunity to experience this tea. Azz you were very gracious to send me so many samples to learn from, and Angel you have made it possible for many people to experience your teas and to taste and see what it is that you offer. Thank you both.
tunes-Gactic,albums-From The Corner To The Block/Carnivale Electicos.


Teavivre is AWESOME! This tea is my soul soother.

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Today I’m trying Taiwan Dong Ding gong fu style using the instructions provided by Teavivre. I got 7 infusions, tasted each one a few times, then poured them together to finish. This is a lighter roast, more green oolong. It had good character and flavor through 7 infusions. I would describe the flavor as light green vegetable with underlying floral sweetness, even a hint of buttery character. It will appeal to those who enjoy lighter oolongs and is a good value-a very nice tea.

195 °F / 90 °C
Donna A

My husband is an oolong fan and asked me to order this again.

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It just occured to me how similar the taste of this tea is to Shou Mei white tea, am I going crazy?:)

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This is one of the yunnanist Yunnans I have ever had. Really, that is my first thought on sipping this.

To me, Yunnan blacks are the original dessert teas. Chocolate, honey, maltiness, sweetness. When my boyfriend spoils me with super-fancy handmade truffles from the farmer’s market, the kind you have to sit and savor not (just) because they’re practically two dollars apiece, but because they’re just that good, I reach for none other than a good Yunnan black tea to go with them.

I have a long history with Yunnan blacks, beginning with an Adagio signature blend “Silk Road” that I drank religiously every morning for breakfast. Soon I realized the element of the blend I loved most was Adagio’s own blend, “Mambo”, a mix of Yunnan black and WuYi oolong. It didn’t take me long from there to pinpoint that the Yunnan was what I was really after all along, and since then, I have taken a lot of joy in trying assorted Yunnan black teas from many vendors.

These days I even gongfu brew them, something I never would have imagined years back when I was gulping mugfuls of milk-and-sugar laden Silk Road every morning while watercolor painting sheets of would-be origami paper. But that distinct Yunnan-y flavor takes me back, regardless.

Donna A

I love Yunnan blacks too, and this one in particular.

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Thank you to Angel & TeaVivre for this sample!
Smelling the leaf, I’m getting chocolate & yeast.

It didn’t taste very chocolatey, but definitely had a yeasty undertone, like a home baked loaf of bread! Interesting!

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One of my first tea trades was with the lovely Azzrian, who must have read (or intuited) my bio regarding peach tea, because she sent me the most amazing array of peach blends! When I opened the box, the scent of peach was enough to put me into a blissful coma (not really…lol). So, I secretly open that box just to get a whiff at least once a day cuz it smells so good & relaxing. I’ve also been sipping some of those peach brews…I love peach!

Every morning I start off with a cup or 2 of plain black tea. This was one of the non-peach teas in the box, & I felt that it was time to drink a ‘different’ black tea from all the other ones I’m rotating through.

I couldn’t really smell the dry leaf, the outside of the baggy was permeated in the lovely scent of peach, but the brewed tea is a deep red, no peach flavor. Its a nice black tea with malty notes & a good start for the day. I kind of wish I’d brewed it a little stronger, but thus is life. Thanks Azz!


You are most welcome! :)

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My friend Michelle and I tried this flavored version again compliments of Michelle on here, after a few steeps of the unimpresive non-flavored version. This tea smells like peaches! And tastes like peaches & cream! It’s kinda intense and unfortunately a wee bit cloying but still tasty. I have more of this to play around with so we’ll see. But neither were as good as Fong Mong’s Milk Oolong, even though I do think highly of Teavivre.

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I apologize for the abbreviated tasting note on this one, but it was two days ago and I wasn’t terribly impressed. It’s a good green oolong mind you, slightly floral (my friend had a hard time placing it, not orchid, not jasmine, oramanthus, I doubt she’s had oramanthus but I have once), a slight cooling note at the end but creamy? no. buttery? no. I’ve had two other unflavored milk oolongs from Taiwan and this I’m afraid just didn’t measure up, which is unfortunate as I had high hopes for this. Now I suppose there could have been brewing factors or that the sample I got passed on from Michelle, was older or something, but it simply didn’t resemble the other milk oolongs in anyway. ::shrug:: Thanks for letting me try it Michelle

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I was in the mood for a green tea this evening and I picked a good one. The dried leaf has a nice aroma but my spider senses tell me it’s the 2011 harvest. I have a Liu An Gua Pian that was sent from Anhui that looks much fresher. That tea is definitely this years harvest. This is still a very vibrant tea with a nice full flavor. This tea is also making me perspire on my forehead. I can feel the purifying effects of this lovely tea upon my body and mind.


You’ve been enjoying good tea lately…


Love when a tea really makes you feel its benefits! I find greens in particular have that purifying power…

Charles Thomas Draper

I agree TeaFairy

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I was about ready to give up on this one until I ran across momo’s post about trying to cook with it. That inspired me to put a little kick into the turkey gravy that I was making for tonight’s dinner.

I put about half a shotglass worth of leaf in a shotglass and filled it up with water to brew. Then when it came time to add water to my pan to make my gravy, I strained the cup through a strainer and used the tea. I also used a little bit of cayanne pepper and some black pepper on the sausage because dad didn’t spice the sausage enough for my taste.

It came out pretty good! There is a different note underneath the light smokiness. I think that is the actual black tea base. It was different enough to be pleasant and went very well with the turkey sausage.

I want to make a version of this again for the whole family only instead of using a meat for the base, I want to try it with onions and mushrooms. That way I can mold the turkey sausage to look like little t-bone steaks for the family. That will surprise them.

Cooking with this tea might have saved it for now. I will have to figure out how to use it in a satisfying way.

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I had a bad first experience with Lapsang Souchong. It smelled like bacon and tasted like watered down burned bacon grease. That being said, I am a little nervous over this tea because the smell of the dried leaf came back to me very quickly. I brewed this for two minutes and it smells smokey. More like grillhouse smoker type of smoke and less campfire this time.

It isn’t bad. It isn’t what I was expecting either. Yes, it does taste like smoke but it also has a mild and barely detectable sweetness. But I mostly taste smoke and I’m not the biggest fan of that taste. It makes me feel better about Lapsang Souchong now and I know that the tea itself isn’t bad.

If you like lapsang souchong, I believe that you would really love this one. I’m not rating this one because it isn’t a bad tea. I’m just not overly fond of it.

2 min, 0 sec

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I know I have been absent for quite a while. September normally is one of the best if not the best surfing month of the year. And this one was of the best ever. So everything gets postponed. Sidetracked. Except for Tea. I drink it religiously. I just did not write about it. I have to tell you all about my first experience with this Sheng. I never brought a Pu-er to work before because quite frankly they can be wild. Normally it is an Oolong or a green for my 9pm tea. My friends and I enjoyed this. It provided superior flavor and mouth texture and an incredible buzz. I went to my GFs house with this feeling of utter calm and hightened state of well being. Then she gave me the soup made with black chicken, spinach and goji berries and ginseng and some other herbs. Three spoonfuls of the soup and I was sicker than sick. Apparently this is a no-no to combine a young Pu-er with what my friends call a “hot” soup. Not temperature wise but energy wise. OMG it was awful. FF to today I brewed this in my gaiwan and I lost count of the steeps. It started out slightly bitter with a golden hue and morphed into a sweeter liquid later with a flavor that seemed to linger. I feel the same euphoria as before only now I am wiser. I can only imagine how good this will be with aging.


I was drinking Puerh and thinking about surf and the surfers in the family and longboarders today. I’m going to write about that. Too bad you were sick after feeling so good. I love that tea high. I have a puerh that does the same for me. I call it my party puerh.


oh my! Your girlfriend’s soup sounds really good, first time I hear about “hot soup”, guess it didn’t turn out the way she had planned :-) You know better for next time!

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My best friend came over with cheesecake today! Yay! She is a teacher and we took advantage of her day off to spend some time together even though youngest and I did NOT take the day off. We are doing a few extra days of schoolwork because she is going to Northern Ireland, Ireland, and England next month!

With sweet food, I like a contrasting tea. Nothing astringent, mind you, just something to “cut the sweet” and clear the palate so that dessert is delicious instead of cloying. One of my favorite teas to serve with really sweet food is Teavivre’s Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls. My friend had those recently at my house, so I thought we would drink this so she could try something new.

Oh, what can I say? I really love Da Hong Pao teas. One of the first ones I tried (by a different company) was anemic and uninteresting. This one has the fresh walnut flavor, the woodiness, the hints of unsweetened cocoa, that I love in DHP. The dry leaf in particular smells like a chocolate flavored tea! Steeped, the chocolate becomes a hint of cocoa and the nutty flavor comes to the forefront.

I am on the second steep and will be making at least one more with this even though I am making it western style and by the pot. So good!


Someday, every steepster person is going to show up on your door step at the same time for tea and dessert!


Come on, everybody! I would love it! :)


Spending some time together with best friend can relax our body and mood. Meanwhile , enjoying a cup of tea and dessert can bring a good mood, how pleasant it is.

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This is the last of my sample from Teavivre, and once again a sample has caught me in its nefarious snare. I will probably be buying this one on my next order.

I got three steeps from this today and possibly could have made more, but I was cooking lunch and needed to get moving. This is so smooth. The leaves are very dark presteep. This is a dark oolong, not a green oolong, but it doesn’t have the mineral punch of a monkey picked (which I love big time, just saying it for comparison) but there is a lot of nutty smooth flavor.

As requested, I am posting a link to the pictures of the newly completed Tom Baker Fourth Doctor season 16-17 scarf, the largest and longest of the entire series. A scarf for Sam the puppy is now underway.

http:[email protected]/8060458307/in/photostream/

http:[email protected]/8060460390/in/photostream/


Wonderful! and Long! and oh my Sam grew!!! :)


JacquelineM: I believe it is twenty feet! If not, it will get there quickly as it stretches under its own weight. That is what happened to the original. Sam is about 44 pounds now!


Oh my gosh! They are both great pictures but that first one with the close up of his face is PRICELESS! What a sweet kitty face! I would be smooching him all the time!

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This was a free sample included in one of my latest Teavivre orders.

I made three steeps in a row and tasted a sip of the first, then poured all three steeps into my new Chinese pot. But, OOPS! I didn’t look at the online instructions so I just used one heaping teaspoon of leaf for eight ounces of water. Now I see that they recommend much more than that. In spite of that foul up on my part, this is good tea!

I am feeling philosophical tonight and have a lot on my mind, so I lit the candle, turned on yoga radio on Pandora, and made tea. This is a great tea for such an evening. Now everyone else is abed and I more or less have the house to myself!

This oolong is rich and nutty. It doesn’t have quite as dark and roasted flavor as some oolongs, but is definitely not a green oolong. I really want to learn more about tea – the types of plants, their geographical origins and specialities. I feel inept describing this, but I can say it reminds me of a Monkey Picked TieGuanYin a bit, with the flavor leaning a bit more to walnut. There is a lovely lingering aftertaste that I find comforting.

The rice pattern Chinese pot I bought for $5 (for the whole set of pot and five cups) is handling beautifully, too. This is my inaugural use of it and I have never had a pot with the spout that goes up and then curls back downward, though I have heard they are supposed to drip less. This one pours nicely and the downward turn seems to slow the tea so you don’t splash without slowing to the point of impatience, which is how with one of my pots I end up tipping it too far to speed things up and end up spilling out of the lid. And indeed, I have not seen any dripping. So hooray for that! I needed to try it out tonight because someone is coming for tea tomorrow and I wanted to give it a test drive before using it then.

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