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Recent Tasting Notes


First off, I would like to thank Angel at TeaVivre for sending me these samples. She was incredibly generous in the amount of tea she sent me last month and I look forward to trying them all.

My first steep of this tea was very light in both color and taste. I had difficulty tasting the jasmine, but there was a very subtle sweetness from the peach. What I love about this was that this tea tastes like a genuine peach, and is in fact the only peach tea I can say that about.

The jasmine pearls were just beginning to unfurl in my pot on my second steep, releasing more flavor into this cup. It was noticeably darker and tasted more like a green tea. I still can’t taste the jasmine in this steep, but the peach flavor has gotten slightly stronger. There is also a bit of astringency this time, but nothing that would make this cup undrinkable. 
I noticed that the astringency was much stronger in subsequent steeps. Ultimately I steeped this six times with fairly pleasing results, although I found that I preferred the taste of the cups that steeped for less time. After the first three steeps I started to play around more. I went back to shorter steep times in order to minimize the astringency in each cup.

Since I decided that I enjoyed the cups with a shorter steep time I opened a second sample pack and played around with my steep times. This time I started at 1m and increased my time 15s each steep, so my times were 1m, 1m15s, 1m30s, 1m45s, 2m, 2m15s. I think that for my tastes these times work best for me. I also think that it may be possible to steep more than six times this way and still end up with an enjoyable tea. It was already after midnight when I got to this point so I stopped.

One last thing I want to mention is that this tea is truly amazing when served cold. The peach is less subtle than it was while hot and I noticed the sweetness more.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Wow, these leaves are GIGANTIC! The shortest was over 3" long.

The dry leaves smelled earthy, deeply vegetal and sweet. The liquor was a neon green.

I brewed this in my glass bodum coffee press to watch the huge thick leaves swell. The cup was light and pleasant, with a clean fresh feel. No sweetness but no hint of astringency either. I feel like this would make an excellent introduction for someone who’s new to green tea.

I wanted to find out more about this tea and found that Teavivre has added some wonderful information, maps, and history to their site. I found it very interesting, and it’s neat to know exactly where the tea you’re drinking comes from.
http://www.teavivre.com/taiping-houkui-green-tea (It’s under the “more info” tab)

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

i’ll have to try this one next!

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Scent is buttery, sweet, titch floral. Leaves are soft with lots of down, and tightly curled. The tea is smooth and brothy, with an oily texture which coats the mouth.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec


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It not only looks, but tastes darker that the oolongs I’ve been having lately. It’s darkly fruity with a little bit of green tea flavor in the middle of the taste. I’m not picking up any sweet potato like the description says. I guess I like my oolongs lighter and creamier.

Thanks, Shelley_Lorraine for the sample.

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I’ve been very bad about getting to these samples. Now as I’m typing this, I realize that I had already sampled this one. doh! I really did feel like a green tea though. And this is a mighty fine green. sweet and smooth. Vegetal and just barely floral. It’s a bit like green oolong, but lighter with less heavy mouthfeel. Me gusta.

It’s been kind of a crazy summer.

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This tea is pretty delicious. Sweet savory greens. Rich green leaves. Beautiful tea. So fresh! I think I’d enjoy this iced. I’m always looking for iced these day. :9

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A solid tea for the morning. Sweet and dark- just what I want.


Ha ha Sil. I thought of you as I wrote this note.


wrong comment box?

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Somehow I always think the taste of this tea is going to be darker and chocolatier. It’s a good tea though. Dark green beans, a little chocolate, and a little honey.


honey and chocolate… can’t go wrong! :)

Holly Faye

Dark green beans? Hmm, hadn’t thought of that. Out of curiosity, when you say you expect this to be “darker and chocolatier,” do you have any particular teas in mind that you expect it to be more like? (My ulterior motive is that that’s what I look for in tea. :D )


Well… Verdant’s Laoshan black is the darkest, chocolatiest, yummy tea I’ve had so far and Teavivre’s Bailin gonfu black is pretty darn yummy too for a cheaper alternative.

Holly Faye

Mmm. The Laoshan black grew on me, and I’m going to have to try the Bailin gongfu; it’s one of the ones I’ve been eyeing. Thanks!


Well if you run across any really yummy dark ones make sure to post those reviews! :-)

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I drank a 2-minute first steep before my four mile run this morning. I really liked it! Full-bodied, malty, and definitely chocolate-y. Also a little earthy and when I first started sipping I thought I tasted mushrooms but that gradually faded.

When I came back I had a second 2 and a half minute steep (got distracted) and it was pretty astringent, but still enjoyable. The chocolate maltiness is still there. It’s not as earthy, but a little more sweet.

I might try a third steep. I hope it doesn’t come out more astringent because that might ruin it for me. At least I know the first steep is pretty darn tasty!

EDIT: 3rd steep for 1 and half minutes. Just the slightest astringency. Still chocolate-y. When it cooled to room temperature I got the mushroom taste back.

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This is the second of five samples from Teavivre for review. I tend to like keemun so I was excited, but when I came to start my note Steepster informed me I have had this tea before…and ranked it a 49! For me, a 49 is pretty bad. So I am being extra cautious with my steeping parameters, to help confirm my impressions one way or another. My previous note indicated that I found it to be very standard and boring. Let’s see what I get today!

Once again I had the dilemma – I could split the sample in two but it wasn’t quite enough for that (likely because the leaves are a bit smaller than I am used to at this stage in my tea drinking). I decided to use the whole thing, and steeped it for one minute. I am looking at Teavivres site and thinking I need to use another of these samples in my gaiwan at home at some point. I think it will be a totally different tea in that manner, they usually are.

The steeped aroma is….pretty bland. No words come to mind. Taste is better but still I have a heard time distinguishing notes or pulling out any intricacies. I get more after the sip with some honeyed notes. No bitterness or astringency, but not a lot else either. I could make a big list of the things I don’t find here but I have a hard time finding things I DO recognize. I think I am going to have to agree with my earlier assessment. It’s perfectly fine, but not remarkable or even all that different from standard tea. I think I would get more from it if the leaves were larger. As it cools I get more cocoa/chocolate notes which I appreciate. Usually I prefer my tea piping hot but this has been sitting for half an hour and now is becoming more interesting. Bizarre!

Rating increased to reflect that it isn’t a bad tea, it just isn’t impressing me. I do find it interesting that I am so out of sync with the rest of the tasters on this one!

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I got a sample of this one on my Teavivre order a month or two back and am finally taking a moment to enjoy it. I am using the whole packet which is a bit much for my tastes but not nearly enough to split into two cups at work. Ho hum.

The dry aroma is light and sweet, seems floral and with some fruity notes but once steeped it comes across as astringent and bitter in aroma. Very reminiscent of standard bagged black tea. Darn you slightly too large sample!! I even decreased the temp and time to account for it. We’ll see how it tastes.

Luckily I don’t get any astringency in the sip, but neither am I getting a whole lot else. It’s black tea. Maybe some light floral behind it all, but nothing impressive. I am getting a lot of Red Rose associations here. It is drying my mouth a bit so I guess it is astringent, but at least it isn’t bitter.

I was hoping this might be a replacement for Keemun Mao Feng from Harneys which I loved but this didn’t do it for me at all. Oh well!

EDIT to add: Wow, am I the lone dissenter or what? I love black tea but this was a disappointment. I wonder if it was mislabelled or maybe a weird batch as there was no cocoa and nothing I typically associate with keemun. Weird. I know the sample wasn’t very old either.


One always has to wonder when they’re pretty much the only person who doesn’t like something… but sometimes it happens!


did you follow TeaVivre’s recommendations?
- Gaiwan 3oz Tea: 5g 6 steeps: rinse,15s,30s,45s,1m10s,1m40s,2m10s 90ºC/194ºF
- Teapot 8oz 1-2tsp(7g) 3 steeps:1m,2m,3m 90ºC/194ºF


It was good to me, but not worth the price (IMHO).

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Water: 8oz Boiling

Leaves: Various mixture of petals & fruit

Steep: 9m

Aroma: Sweet Apple

Color: Deep Red

Taste: This tea is good reminded me of when I had Teavivre’s blueberry tea.It’s a bit on the tart side but I didn’t want to add any sugar to it.I think I might also want to try it cold, since I normally drink my teas hot.Roselle being one of the ingredients is really good for you so that is another plus with this tea. I tried one of the dried apple pieces it had a nice sweetness to it as well.

Boiling 8 min or more

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This is so delicious.

I put four pearls in my tiny glass gongfu and have re-steeped them about six times today. The first cups were chocolate and malt but the last cup was quite peppery!

It took over two months for Teavivre’s package to reach me but I’m already down for two teas I need more of. It was worth the wait.


Sorry for letting you wait a long time, we’ll try to find a faster shipping method to Canada.


Thank you, although the wait wasn’t too bad! The staff at TeaVivre were amazing at tracking my order and keeping me updated; I felt really looked after the whole time.


2 months?? Phew!


Due to some reasons, the package will take a longer time than usual. Here we list the actual delivery time of major countries we delivered packages last month (May, 2013). http://www.teavivre.com/faq/_c_shipping-information/

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Such a beautiful tea! I love opening the tin I have this in and taking a deep breath. It is bright smells of lychee, melon, and somehow, something akin to springwater.
Flavor wise, it is also excellent with lots of melon notes. I normally steep this 3 times. I really have enjoyed this tea.

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Many thanks for this sample! To be honest, I’ve been in a total funk lately; so not a lot of tea drinking.
This tea smells amazing, sweet melon, lychee, greens. The leaves are beautiful: white, greens, downy fuzz.
At a 1min steep this has a very light liquor. It is very soft yellow/champagne colored. This is so amazing. The flavor is very creamy, sweet, and really highlights the fruit notes. It mainly reminds me of lychee fruit, a favorite of mine, so this tea is perfect for me. There are also light notes of spring peas at the end of the sip. This is a really great green tea!
1min30sec: Slightly darker liquor this time. More green notes this time with light floral accents.

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