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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve spent a good part of today organizing my tea, even though I have a ton of other work that I should be doing (I am a master procrastinator!) According my cupboard I have 336 teas, but realistically it’s probably closer to 350; I’ve been really bad about updating it when I get review samples. As soon as I’m done traveling for the summer, which should be next week, I’m going to start working on getting the number down to a more reasonable number (maybe 200?) While I was organizing I came across a stray sample of Organic White Peony that Angel sent me. I originally reviewed it a year ago and it was just as enjoyable today as it was when I first reviewed it.
Thanks again go to Angel at TeaVivre for providing me with these samples. So far I have really enjoyed everything she has sent me and have been constantly impressed by the quality of the teas. I’m also grateful that she included several sample packets of this particular tea because the first time I prepared it I discovered that I couldn’t taste a thing because my head was so stuffy from my allergies.
My first steep was a very pale yellow color. There was a slightly sweet yet mild vegetal flavor, but I didn’t seem to get much of the peony flavor that I was expecting.
That all changed on my second steep, the aroma and scent from this steep was lightly floral and the color deepened to a golden yellow. It was this steep where I can really taste the floral flavors from the peony, although they are still very subtle. One thing that I enjoy most about white tea are the subtle flavors that emerge around the second steep, although with this particular tea I had trouble distinguishing the flavors that emerged (this could just be a leftover problem from my allergies though). I was left with a vague sweet floral impression and this steep was noticalbly sweeter than the others.
With the third steep the tea headed back towards tasting vegetal, losing the floral flavors that I enjoy most about this tea.
With my last sample packet I increased my initial steep time to 1m30s, the second steep stayed at 2m and third steep was 2m30s. I found that the flavor was much more enjoyable for me that way and my first steep ended up with a less subtle flavor, my second steep stayed just how I like it and the third steep still had a stronger vegetal taste than I enjoy.
This is a great all around Yunnan tea when it comes to taste, smell, and price. Has the notes on taste that remind me of fig cookies. Nice, smooth, and medium bodied… not too light; not overly strong either. It doesn’t need sugar but I like to add some anyways, which tends to bring out flavors that make me think of mild molasses.
Iced it tastes a little bit like a Keemun tea. Very good hot or cold.
Directions call for 2-3 teaspoons at 194F. This smells good in the bag, kind of like honey and leather. Slightly tastes like a Dian Hong to me, except I’m getting the addition of earthy, oaky, roasty nut-like flavors, some sips even bring to mind coffee notes. That honey like smell comes through on taste too. This isn’t bitter what-so-ever (that is a good thing).
Pretty unique. I’m having a hard time thinking of how to describe the taste of this, but it’s good. It kind of reminds me of ripe grapes and/or raisin, except it also has some mild toast-like notes going on. I cold brewed my leftover leaves and it came out very flavorful.
Update: After drinking more of this, the best method for me seems to be a steep of
This morning I enjoyed these lovely 2013-harvested needles over a two hour period. I understand the high reviews. It is quite a lovely tea.
Needles largely unbroken. The leaves themselves are green with the classic white fuzz and the liquid produced is a pale, pale green (almost yellow) color. The flavor is vegetal, floral, and nutty all at the same time.
Very smooth liquid and I definitely recommend to all. This is everything a silver needle should be – subtle, sweet, delicate.
Awesome! Rich, delicious, smooth, chocolate-y, caramel-y … just pure, black tea goodness!
For me, this tea falls somewhere between a rich, malty Assam and a smooth, even-tempered Ceylon, with notes that are familiar to a top-notch Fujian Black tea.
Love this! Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/03/31/superfine-tan-yang-gong-fu-black-tea-from-teavivre-2/
I have bought over 1000g of Pu Erh in the last few days… it would seem my tea cravings are for ripe rather than my preferential raw. Well I have this sample with me and now is as good a time as any to indulge myself with some Pu Erh magic.
This Pu Erh has beautiful reflective golden tips with dark brown and mature green leaves all compacted into one chunky cake piece. I love reflective leaves, like cats eyes, just so beautiful. The Pu Erh has little hairs and looks to be wonderful quality.
Still raw it has a sweet earthen floral scent. Like dirt and flowers and wood all blended together. A tree would be perfect to use in my explanation as it has all three.
I have my Gongfu teapot with me so I shall use that to brew this tea. Using Teavivre guide here is my layout -
Tea :10g 5 steeps:30s,1m,2m,3m,4m 100ºC/212ºF
First Steep – 30 seconds
The tea soup is light yellow in colour with a gentle wooden yet grassy scent.
Flavour is sweet and a little smoky. Picking up wood, grass, flowers and dark honey. All in one gentle and mild package.
Second steep – 1 minutes
Much stronger with new sensations of musk and perfume. Less sweet and no longer honeyed and has been replaced with a slight dryness.
Third steep – 2 minutes
Side note – The cake piece has almost fully broken apart and expanded to reveal fresh, long, green leaves.
Flavour is thicker with more musk and wood but carrying on well in style. Only a little astringent towards the after taste but still very nice.
Fourth Steep – 3 minutes
Side note – Pu Erh is completely broken up now.
Mellowing a lot in flavour and the astringency has completely gone. The sweetness has still not quite returned but it is more noticeable than the previous steep. As to what is left I can taste clearly grass, flowers and musk.
Fifth steep – 4 minutes
Very little left at all in this now. Wood, grass and musk in a pinch can be tasted but personally for me it’s one steep too much.
Overall – It’s been a nice raw Pu Erh but it was not as special as some others I have had from Teavivre. I love raw Pu Erh (despite my recent cravings) and it’s such a shame that I didn’t love this one. I really liked it though and enjoyed drinking it. Would not buy it again in the future mainly because I prefer a few others but would drink it again very happily.
Okay, this one blows the Bailin away. I thought that was tasty, but this one is by far my favorite. The color of the brew surprised me with how dark it was and I couldn’t really figure out what it smelled like. The flavor totally shocked me. So dark and rich. Like baker’s chocolate complete with that bitter flavor bakers chocolate has, but in a really good way. And each subsequent steep got darker and richer. This will most definitely take up permanent residence in my already overflowing cupboard. I still have like 6 more black teas samples from Teavivre to try but it’s tough to imagine any of them being this good. But if they are, I’m in for a huge treat!