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Recent Tasting Notes
Mmm, this one to start out the morning. After this I have one pouch of this left which I am reserving for a gongfu session (perhaps this weekend, if it’s not too hot out). I am running out of very easily sip-downable teas… almost everything has 3-4+ servings in it. It is slowing me down but I am still making some progress.
Once I pare down my stash to the basics, this tea will likely have a place in it. I really love a good tan yang, and this one definitely fits that description. Malty, grainy, with notes of molasses, a touch fruity, and basically just very delicious. Definite yum.
I am likely going to bounce off the walls this morning with all of these tan yangs, but I just had to try this one back to back with the others. The steeping parameters, including leaf:water ratio, is consistant across all of these cups.
The first difference I notice about this one is the scent. In comparison to the others, it is less molasses and grains and more fruity, with almost an apricot quality to it. Also perhaps a little yammy; it reminds me of other, non-tan yang black teas I’ve been drinking lately, like a Yunnan or keemun. That being said I still thought it smelled very tan yang-y yesterday, so this is only in comparison.
I would definitely say the flavor on this one is also fruitier. By the way I figured out that when I drank this yesterday my water quality was off; now it is as it should be, and the flavors on this are very present and not flat at all. I definitely get some malty grains, and a bit of caramel, but this is also more dried apricots than raisins. Very sweet on the aftertaste. Neither this nor the Harney have the nutty cocoa notes that my tan yang that I brought back from China has, but those are pretty subtle even in that one.
I would say I marginally prefer the Harney version to this (more molasses and caramel, raisins over apricots), but given the price difference, I am more likely to restock this one than the Harney. It is an exceptionally delicious tea for sure.
I feel so lucky that Angel at Teavivre still thinks of me for sending out samples. I’ve benefitted greatly from their free samples, and am happy to review their teas. This time the sample offering was of their new spring harvest green teas, but she also asked if there were any other teas I’d like to try. I have been wanting to try this one since they released it, so of course I asked for it! Thanks so much for sending it along Angel!
The dry leaf is gorgeous, all curly with lots of golden tips. I am actually now on my second cup of this tea. The first time I used half of one of my little sample pouches for my 12oz mug and brewed it at the steeping parameters I’ve used for similar Fujian blacks (and what they recommend for this tea), namely 185°F for 2 minutes. The resulting cup smelled and tasted nice but was also pretty weak. I was craving more so I used the second half of the pouch to steep it at 195°F for 3 minutes.
This smells lovely, like molasses and grains, which is what I look for in a tan yang. The sweet, caramelly, malty, grainy flavors are all there, but still not quite right in the second cup. The second cup is more robust but the flavors are still somehow muted. I think I need to use more leaf… good thing Angel was generous enough to send two more sample pouches of this tea. Also I now have a full pouch’s worth of once-steeped leaves to resteep and play around with. I won’t rate this one until I’ve played around with it more, but even as it is now it would be in the 80s (which remember on my new rating system is very good). I just have a feeling from what I’m getting now that this is actually spectacular, it’s just my brewing of it that is off.
Very earthy aroma which kind of made me hesitant to try it, but, I’m glad I got over it. This is a nice, ripened pu-erh. It doesn’t taste nearly as earthy as it smells. It certainly does have earthy notes, sort of mushroom-y, sweet notes that are a cross between molasses and caramel.
Here is my full-length review of this one: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/02/21/fengqing-golden-buds-ripened-pu-erh-cake-tea-2005-from-teavivre/
Sweet, slight pine smokiness, great price ($5.50/100g). Like many of the other Teavivre teas I’ve tried It’s just good enough to get me interested in seeking out better examples of the category, but not good enough to go out of my way to reorder this one when I run out. (Though while it lasts It’s pretty decent as an everyday staple/breakfast type tea.)
I’m not sure why I purchase another sample of this one with one of my Teavivre orders. I think I thought that I hadn’t tried it before, which is crazy because it is one of my all-time highest rated teas on here. Maybe the long name through me off. I felt silly when I went to add it to my cupboard and saw my own effusive reviews.
Anyway, a discussion on oolongs yesterday got me thinking of really fine tieguanyins and I decided to have this one this morning. Man, this tea is just outstanding. It blew me away again! So sweet, so floral, so buttery. I can’t get over how delicious this tea is. If you love green, floral tieguanyins please do yourself a favor and get some of this. It is truly one of the highest quality ones I have tried.
Sipdown, 137. Awwww, sad. I will miss this delicious tea, although it is hard to be too sad about sipping this down because I have a pile of other delicious green spring TGYs in my cupboard right now.
Just realized that the first time I steeped this one western style I used Teavivre’s instructions (boiling, 2 min), whereas this time I defaulted to my standard western style TGY parameters (195°F, 3 min). Will be interesting to see if it’s noticable!
I’m not sure if the change in steeping parameters made much difference, but this tea is still awesome. So buttery, sweet and floral, fresh and green and lovely. Wow, this just continues to blow me away. I always go out of my way to try the Verdant green oolongs as they are released, and let me say that this is up there with the best of them (like the reserve club first pickings). So good!
Mmm, this was my second gongfu session today. Unlike the aged TGY, this tea epitomizes the floral, green, new-style oolong. This is a beautiful, beautiful tea, and it is exactly my kind of tea. I love these.
The first steeps were sweet and very very floral. The type of flower is most definitely lilac, because it strongly reminded me of some lilac bushes currently blooming outside my office. Slightly buttery, but in a very sweet cream butter way. A bit of peach-flower; almost fruity, but not quite. I feel bad that I got distracted and couldn’t pay attention to the tea toward later steeps, but it was really, really delicious. This is a TGY that I would definitely reorder to keep around, even though I have a pile of TGYs from Verdant, because it’s that awesome (and really, I can never have enough TGYs!)
This tea was actually a surprise; it wasn’t on the list of samples they were sending, and I didn’t request it, but I am so glad it came.
I steeped this one western style following Teavivre’s instructions. I opened the vacuum-sealed pouch, and there was another pouch inside of it! And once I opened that one, the strong, heady floral aroma came wafting out from the dry leaf. It is beautiful, dark green balls shot through with bright green streaks. The minute the water hit it I knew this would be a winner. It smelled sooooo buttery and intensely floral, along with a peachy-melony scent that really rounded things out. The flavor was everything a tieguanyin should be. It is so fresh and green, with lilac-y florals that just surround you. The texture is smooth and creamy. It reminds me of drinking tieguanyin in China because you can tell that it is so fresh and high quality.
When I do make an order from Teavivre this will definitely be on it. It is really really beautiful. Thanks so much for sending a sample of it, Angel!
1 1/2 tsp in 8oz
Really like this! Not as full bodied as the Bailin Gong Fu. A hint of the flavor I usually associate with Dian Hongs, so that’s probably because of all the golden tips. Personally, this would be my pick among the Teavivre black teas I’ve tried so far.
If you like jasmine tea, these are pretty much pure perfection. These are smaller and sweeter than most other jasmine pearls I’ve tried, and the base has a really light almost butteriness that’s only enhanced by that delicate familiar flowery flavor of jasmine. It’s not cloying or artificial, just amazing really.
I was able to get 4 steeps brewing with a standard gravity steeper, and probably could have gotten one more, but it was inching close to bedtime. Will definitely have to experiment here. Especially with my gaiwan.
Unfortunately this was a sipdown, so to the shopping list!
I made this in my gaiwan and did 6 steeps. I wrote more details in my tea journal so I’ll just give you the quick version. The first few steeps were very strong with a leathery/smokey sweetness and earthy undertones. The last few steeps turned earthy but there was still a nice, light sweet smokey flavor. The aroma was deep and woodsy through all of the different steeps. I liked the last few steeps the most.
This tea is nicely balanced. I think jasmine whites are slightly higher on my favorites list than jasmine greens. It has such a pleasant sweetness, and the jasmine isn’t too heavy. I really think the white tea adds something extra. This tea is probably one of the more lightly fragranced jasmines I’ve had, so if you don’t have any experience with jasmine it may be a good choice!
Thank you again Teavivre for the delicious sample! The people at Teavivre really are exceptionally generous. I highly recommend their company!
Venturing a little deeper into the pu-erh world is fun! This is my first raw pu-erh. I didn’t even read the label before I made it – but as soon as I saw the light, golden liquid I did! So different from the ripe ones I’ve already tried. The first steep was light and vegetal – the initial smell reminded me of canned green beans, but not as pungent. The taste was smooth but a bit astringent – just a little drying, but not bitter or unpleasant.
Second steep was sweeter – I got a distinct apricot smell. I steeped it a little longer this time (just over a minute, the first steep was probably around 45 seconds) and it was lovely.
I’m still working on my third steep but this is definitely a nice tea. I think I prefer ripe over raw, just because the flavour seemed more…blunt? My favourite thing about pu-erh is that I have experienced a mineral taste that just feels so quenching and healthy to me. I’m not sure I would buy more of this one for a while, simply because there are so many more ripe pu-erhs that I want to try, but I’d gladly drink it again :)
First, thank you Teavivre and Angel for this really delicious sample!
Wow, I love this tea! The sweet pea flavor is just so refreshing and bright. No bitterness or anything else unpleasant can be found in this tea. It’s even a little creamy, which is my favorite thing to find in a tea. Yay!
Second steep 1 min 15 sec. The leaves smell exceptionally savory this time around. It seriously smelled like pot roast to me. Maybe I’m just really hungry…the tea definitely doesn’t taste like pot roast though. It has more nuttiness this time, and less sweet pea. Still delicious!
I used 2 tsp for 8 oz.
So I got this in the mystery box from the giveaway! :D
I was actually REALLY excited to try this because I’ve always been interested in blooming teas, and just my luck, I got some!
So I put it into my steeper (though I don’t know if I’m supposed to, but I did) and boiled my water.
At first I didn’t want to damage the delicate flower, so I poured the water around it instead of on top. I later on realized the water needed to be poured ON to the flower, so I did.
The flower was the delicate flower that bloomed within five minutes, because it was so beautiful, I expected it to taste just as good as it looks, I ended up a bit disappointed.
The tea itself was just any regular plain fruity-jasminey tea, nothing really special, but nonetheless I really enjoyed it.
I’ve experimented with this a little to find my favorite steeping parameters, and I think 5 pieces is perfect. My favorite part is when it cools; the chocolate comes out a bit. If you like that flavor profile, you will probably like this tea. I didn’t find the cocoa notes very strong, but they were there. I like that this tea is not ‘in your face’. It’s a very pleasant tea to drink for that reason. Thank you Teavivre for the chance to try this tea! I’m very much enjoying finding black teas that I like!