Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

92

Measuring out the tea, I observe long, full leaves, consistent gold color and a pleasant sweet aroma. Mmm, nice. I anticipate an enjoyable evening with this tea. I’m curious about it-how will it compare to Teavivre Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip which I adore, and Bailin Gong fu, running a close second. Without trying a sample of this first, I had gone out on a limb and ordered 100 gms. I’m glad I did. The drink is smooth and tannin free with notes of oven-roasted sweet potato. The low astringency and sweetness of this tea make it a great every day tea.. The price is reasonable and I’ve been looking for an economical everyday “go to” Chinese black. My experience with TeaVivre has been exceptional. Golden Monkey is a little less pricey, which makes it a tea I will likely keep on the shelf.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

These leaves are beautiful – long, slender, and wiry. They are so dark … deep green. Such a dark shade of green, in fact, that they almost appear black. The liquor that they produce is very pale, though. Pale and delicious. Soupy, brothy… like a delicious vegetable soup without the vegetables. Very comforting and lovely to sip. Satisfying.

Mao Feng is one of my favorite green teas, and if I were to choose just one green tea to stock my tea cupboard I’d likely choose a Mao Feng, because I love that it tastes like what I expect it to. It tastes like green tea. Beautiful and comforting. Cozy yet exhilarating. Very refreshing.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Mao Feng is definitely my favorite green :) This one sounds delicious!

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81

I love a good white tea. This one was pretty good. Refreshing and somewhat herbaceous (in a good way). I feel like I’m drinking refreshing and sweet hay, if that makes sense.

I find it is a great tea for those times when you just want to relax and enjoy subtle notes.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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94

The latest batch of samples courtesy of Angel and Teavivre showed up in my mailbox on Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to try them until after I’d gotten back to school from break.

Break was fantastic, but I’m glad to be back, and trying new teas!

I really like this one. The leaves are bright spinach green, and they smell very vegetal. The taste is also very spinach-y and vegetal, but I like it. It’s kind of like my beloved Dragonwell! Delightful.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Babble

Can you get more free samples beyond the initial 5 or are these some that you paid for?

Michelle

Teavivre contacted me and said they had free samples to send me.

Babble

That’s awesome! They must really like you :)

Michelle

I suppose so!~

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75

I’m still working on this very generous sample from Teavivre (thanks again Angel).

I love how much these thin leaves expand while steeping. The taste is light and satisfying and is somehow able to be steeped over and over again with no loss of flavor (I have been resteeping these same leaves all day).

I imagine the order I placed with Teavivre is making its way to me through this gray wet weather. I bought a few different sampler packs, and I look forward to tasting some new options.

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75

There’s no doubt that the quality of Teavivre teas are amazing. I’m always astonished by the number of steeps I get out of a couple of teaspoons of leaves. I’m so grateful to Angel Chen and the Teavivre company for introducing me to their superior quality teas with these free samples. I am waiting with great anticipation for the order I just bought to arrive in the mail, to see what new favorites I might find.

Despite Teavivre’s tea quality being superior to any other company I’ve tried (I’m basing this on their consistently high number of steeps); so far they haven’t satisfied my partiality for flavored teas. I’m not sure if this preference makes my taste less distinguished or sophisticated, but that’s just what I like…so there :P I’ve tried a Teavivre version of flavored tea – in fact their jasmine tea, is my favorite from them so far, and their 5 Featured Flavored teas is part of that order that is currently in transit. But if I had to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life, I must admit I’d choose a company that offers some of those flavors that tea purists would deem gimmicky. I’m sorry, but I appreciate the jazzy little names and the cutesy little non-tea ingredients. I say bring on the chocolate chips, the sprinkles, the candy, and the fruit! Variety is the spice of life. Part of me knows that these ingredients are quite likely part of the reason that I don’t get the number of steeps as a pure tea, but I don’t care – life’s too short to go without sprinkles!

Thankfully, I don’t have to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life. And I am fortunate to be able to experience true variety in all companies, flavors, and grades of tea. I know that whenever I wake up wanting a high quality tea, I can grab this, or any of my Teavivre teas, and I am never disappointed.

CHAroma

“Life’s too short to go without sprinkles!” Love it! :)

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75

One thing that consistently amazes me with all of the Teavivre teas I’ve tried, is the number of times I can re-steep the leaves with little or no loss of flavor, and this one is no exception.

The dry leaves for this tea are long and skinny and include more stems than I’m used to, so when I scooped out my 2 teaspoons, I had to resist the temptation to throw in a pinch of extra leaves to make up for the open spaces caused by their unusual shape. I’m glad I decided to try it as is; otherwise I would have probably had to water it back down. This tea is light and nutty with a slight bitterness that reminds me a little of pecans (or maybe that’s just because I had pecan pie with my Thanksgiving dinner last night, and it’s still on my mind?…yum!) As much as I’m fond of this tea, I have to insist that my taste buds are still partial to Japanese green teas as far as pure green tea goes, so this wouldn’t be my first choice. I will definitely enjoy this on occasion though, when I want a change from the norm.

Thanks again Angel and Teavivre for all the generous samples you provided for review. Sampling your tea has been a wonderful experience. I recently purchased a selection of your assorted tea packs and I look forward to trying more varieties of your tea, and finding new favorites. Thanks for introducing me to your high-quality teas.

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84

Whoops, this is yet another overdue review on a tea from Teavivre. Out of the package, this one has a very bold aroma, roasty and rich with some completely unexpected cocoa notes, but also an earthy, mossy smell. That last note is one which I have grown to appreciate – this is a tricksy oolong, putting me more in mind of a black tea. I love black tea!

I used the whole sample in my perfect tea mug with water that’s probaby around 90ish degrees. The steep was around 3ish minutes, yielding a liquor that is dark for an oolong but would be light for a black – a warm yellow, reminds me of an IPA or similarly styled beer in colour. The steeped aroma is subdued cocoa, with some dark earthy notes – almost reminding me of peat and cocoa. I don’t know why I say peat as I’m not completely sure what that smells like, but that is what comes into my head.

First sips are rich, earthy. I get a fairly bold roasty oolong flavoured, with a hint of spice at the end. Maybe something cinnamon or nutmeg? It’s a little sweet at the finish, unexpected but really nice. I get the sense that there is a bit of bitterness lingering underneath at all, but it isn’t fully developing, so it just gives a sense of complexity. This is a fairly bold tea and could handle additions if you were so inclined but certainly doesn’t need them – the mark of a good tea, in my books.

I have had a couple Big Red Robe oolongs now, and I must say that I really enjoy them. The flavours remind me of black teas more often than not and they’re nicely complex but still drinkable. This one almost has a savoury aspect, it puts me in mind of of a nicely seasoned roast. What is going on in my head today?! IF I can get teavivre.com to finally accept my credit card, this one might get slipped onto the order. Very yum.

EDIT to add that as it cools, I get a smokey note. It explains the sense of tobacco I was getting earlier. This is the second tea I’ve had recently with that slightly smoke that develops late in the game and I am liking it. Maybe I’ll be able to try a Lapsang some day.

PS – This reminds me a lot of the Teavivre Dragon Pearls. What’s up with that? : )

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84

A nice light and floral white tea. Not an everyday tea for me, but a nice option for when I’m in the mood for something elegant. A lovely tea for multiple steeps.

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84

Ahhh… this is lovely! It seems that I’m quite a fan of Teavivre’s Silver Needle White teas. This Jasmine tea has quite a strong smell when I open the package, but as I sip, it’s nicely floral, fragrant, and sweet.

I accidentally spilled a little of this tea on the shirt I was wearing this morning, and I decided I even liked the smell of this tea as a perfume…kind of strange I know.

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample, this one was a perfect fit for my taste. I will have to explore any other options you might have with Silver Needle White – I’m curious what other treasures I might find. In the meantime I will be enjoying this one….mmmmm….

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69

I finally made this tea without having it make me feel so jittery! Great tea! I might purchase this in the future. It is the right kind of smokey. I am not always a fan of smoky when it is excessive, so this is perfect. Go Teavivre!

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69

Wowzers! This actually made me jittery this morning! No tea has done that for me… at least not in a very long time! This is great for the mornings since I need that caffeine eye opener! I love this malty tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I had to tone this one down the first time I had it. So strong!

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69

Thank you Teavivre for this sample! It was hiding away in my cupboard! I have drank this twice already. This is a great tea. It has a nice, warm, subtly smoky, nutty and toasty flavor to it. It is a smooth tea that brews an amber color. It is bold and perfect for the morning cup. I’ve had it two mornings in a row now. I added some sugar and some milk to keep me going for a little longer.

This is a very delicious tea! I love Keemun teas, especially when I’m in the mood for them around this cooler time of year. Go Keemun!!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Thanks to Angel for sending me a new set of samples of the 2014 Long Jing greens. This Organic Superfine version is consistent with the 2013 harvest. I found the profile immediately familiar and near identical to my impressions from the previous year.

http://steepster.com/markballou/posts/174508

Though I think this is a good Long Jing, it is ultimately not remarkable enough for me to order quantity. In my limited sampling, unlike last year, I prefer the Organic to the Premium. The Organic tolerated resteeping better and had less of a tendency to go bitter. It does retain a strange peppery note that I remembered from last year, but don’t think I wrote about.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

Part 3 of 3 of my Teavivre 2013 Long Jing Smackdown. Spring samples courtesy of the generous Angel over at Teavivire. I cross reference the 3 types of Long Jing teas I received in their respective tasting notes, so if you’re really curious you might want to check them out for a more full account.

Part 1 – “Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea”
Part 2 – “Premium Dragon Well Green Tea”

Both can be found in my Tea Log — http://steepster.com/markballou

Here, with this Organic Long Jing (my previous goto Long Jing for 2012), it got more interesting for me. Again as I’ve mentioned in my Ming Qian tasting note, I didn’t find these teas significantly different. I really wrung my hands over the samples. At one point I had to bust out some competitor’s Long Jing for a kind of baseline. But what finally stood out the most, and what separated this Organic Long Jing from the two others I’d sampled from Teavivre, was an overall bolder smell and taste. OK, that’s pretty base… I tried to put my finger on it when I did my side by side comparison. I’d come to the conclusion these 3 teas were so closely matched that I had to brew them all in one sitting to really feel them out.

Here’s what I can say about this organic version. Have you ever tasted the difference between organic poultry or meat? In my experience I find the flavor to be a bit gamier. Funny enough that’s the best way I can describe this tea. Not that it was literally gamy, but its profile was bolder and broader, more pronounced and very specifically it yielded later infusions that were stronger and more flavorful. Do I like that? Yes, I do. Do I like that enough to pay the extra and forgo the Premium? That’s a good question.

I think, though I find the Organic more complex, the way I tend to drink Long Jing (on the go), some of the benefits might be lost to me. If I were going to save this for sitting, sharing and really experiencing, I’d say it’s worth it. With that said, I may just buy a bit to keep on the side for friends, while sticking with the Premium as my primary bread and butter. Of course, since I was sent the samples, Teavivre is now offering a basic 2013 non-organic Dragon Well Long Jing. So, it’s possible that might be a good solution for an everyday Long Jing… I hadn’t particularly cared for it in 2012, but 2013 is turning out to be a good year across the board.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Nice set of reviews Mark. I like to try to compare similar teas, & often I can taste/feel a difference, but I can’t always define it or put it in words. Being a carnivore with a freezer full of locally raised meat, I definitely got the ‘gaminess’ idea, that was clever. :)

Mark B

Thanks. It’s the only way I could think to describe it. And literally having 3 glasses side by side (along with a glass of water on the side to clear my palate between sips) this is what stood out.

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85

Hmmm. Seems like the tail end of their harvest or something. Been ordering this all through 2012, but now into early 2013 I’m finding the tea less aesthetically pleasing. Bought about a 1/2 lb and found there’s more broken leaf, less uniform shape, etc.

Same great taste, less visual appeal.

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85

This is by far one of my favorite Dragon Well teas out there. I’m not a huge fan of Teavivre’s shipping performance. Free samples came within about 10 days, but my resulting large order of this tea took over a month. Though Teavivre was communicative, I didn’t find their explanations reasonable. But with that said, I’d be tempted to run the gauntlet again and order more. It’s that good. I’ll update this review when I have the time, but it just offers a wonderful complexity, yields more infusions and tastes awesome. Though I like VerdantTea’s Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea, and want to support that company, I’d say this is superior.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Mark B

Since originally posting about this exceptional tea, I recently bought a pound I like it so much. I’m happy to say Teavivre’s shipping performance (paid this time) was much better, like night and day.

Mark B

This was the 2012 harvest.

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74

I took this tea to work in my travel mugs today. It was tasty, but I must say that it tastes much better in a regular mug where I can enjoy the aroma.

Preparation
2 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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74

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for yet another generous sample.

This tea is quite nutty in both aroma and taste. The nuttiness is evident in the first steeping whereas the second steeping brings on a smokier flavor. For the third steeping, I got distracted emailing our real estate agent, and left the leaves in for too long so there was some definite bitterness. I’m sure that this was completely “user error” as my other brews had no bitterness – silly me! This is quite a lovely green tea, but it’s not a must-have for my cupboard. As far as pure green tea goes, it seems as though my preference leans towards Japanese green tea (probably out of familiarity).

My Teavivre samples will likely have a much better chance at winning my heart with their non-green teas (so far their organic silver needle white tea is a definite champ with my taste buds). Perhaps I will give the jasmine sample a try tomorrow. While sorting through my untried teas, I sniff at that jasmine packet like a bloodhound on a hot trail. So hopefully tomorrow will be the morning that I grab that pack out of my bag of goodies while I’m practicing my half-asleep morning tea making ritual…I’m rooting for it!

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67

It’s good but not one I like. It’s too flowery for me, or a taste I associate with flowery teas. As usual good quality and great if you like that kind of thing but for me I’ll pass :D

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96

This is a sample for Teavivre and it’s pretty tasty as with most oolongs I can never identify a specific taste (my brain just says yummy)

Nik

lol! I’m the same way. :D I read K S’s in-depth oolong reviews and I’m all like, how? Oh well, I’m happy with the “yummy,” and I guess that’s all that really matters. =)

Claire

I feel like I can usually taste 2-3 things but I’m amazed by people who list 5 or 6 (or more). I’ve often wondered if my taste buds are ruined because I’m an ex-smoker!

Helena

I think it’s because my brain goes “why the heck do you want to know that?!” and then refuses to answer.

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95

I am finally off of the chai train. I decided to brew up the last of this tea before breaking into my new samples. It is yummy and I have missed pu-erh. I will probably be nursing these steeps throughout the entire day today.

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95

I took my driver’s test today and passed! To celebrate, I made some of this tea for me and my fiancee. He gets the first steep and I get the second steep, then we will share the third steep and maybe the fourth steep if I feel like going that far with one tea today.

Azzrian

Congrats!!!

Hesper June

Yah! Congrats!!!

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