Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

94

Oolong and strawberry…from Teavivre! When I first saw there were flavoured options (aside from the fruit only ones), I thought I’d only find floral additions…rose, jasmine, etc but no, there were two fruit options! So I immediately requested them for my next sample box, which just came today.

The dry leaf smells like a mix of a milk oolong and a bit of real strawberry, none of that fake stuff here. There’s a sweet and somewhat tart scent that mingles with the creamy oolong aroma. The leaves are pretty tightly rolled, as you’d expect from this sort of oolong base.

I used my bamboo tea spoon, which I think holds about 1tsp or so, on average. I let the boiling water cool a few minutes and steeped 3 minutes. First sips, unsweetened, I get an equal balance of oolong and strawberry, none overpowers the other (though I do wish the strawberry was slightly more prominent). Sweetened, with just a tad of sugar (less than I normally take) the strawberry becomes juicier and sweeter. I bet this one would be amazing with some local honey. Wondering about future steeps and iced. The leaves definitely have more unfurling to do, so I expect a few more good steeps at least.

I was really excited to try this tea, and I am not disappointed. I’ve thrown a packet into my best friend’s birthday tea box, but if it was anyone else, I’d pretend I didn’t have any and horde it all to myself. :P

Many many thanks, and much gratitude to Angel at Teavivre for making my strawberry oolong dreams become a reality. I do hope they continue to make more flavoured teas like this in the future.

Kittenna

Oh…. I need to get some of this…. looks like a Teavivre order is in my future…. someday…

JustJames

how did i miss this one? i look forward to trying it.

ashmanra

I just got the email for their big sale. I may have to add this to my wish list.

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82

Ok, so I just got my box of samples from Teavivre this morning and wanted to tear right into them and start drinking. Of this box, I was most excited about the flavoured ones (strawberry oolong and peach jasmine dragon pearl green) but as I had started the day with a keemun yesterday, I thought I’d have the keemun grade 1 today to compare.

I have to say that this one is milder. It’s less smoky than the Red Blossom from yesterday. I do taste a bit of a cocoa (as opposed to actual chocolate) flavour, and a bit grainy. I admit I do not pick up anything floral or fruity. I would say that if there was anything fruity, it would probably be more like a black plum, or maybe date…but any fruit flavour is really mild and indistinguishable from the richer cocoa and grain flavours.

I do think that my straight black tea palate is growing some, so whereas I may not have liked the previous keemun from Teavivre as much, it has grown on me. That said, I think I still prefer the Fengqing Dragon Pearls and Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu over this, but it is a nice smooth flavour that is great to start the day with.

I do thank Angel at Teavivre for providing yummy samples for review, and I can’t wait to try more from my box. Expect a tasting from one of the fruit ones soon…probably the strawberry oolong. I am excited about this round of samples. :)

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59

this is a nice tea… almost a revamped version of a jasmine blossom tea. if you are inclined to add cream (as i usually am) resist the urge, really. with cream it somehow goes from a nice, light floral to a honeysuckle/bull kelp. (i kid you not)

it doesn’t possess an overpowering floral, very reminiscent of walking in a spring garden and once you’ve passed the flowering shrub the scent stops. it reminds me more of a green oolong than a black. no astringency, a small amount of caffeine stick but it’s not at all unpleasant.

there are a few ‘problems’ that aren’t exactly problems and they are these:

- i started with a tea that i wound up adoring yesterday, the milk oolong, and i just don’t like this one as much.

- something about it makes me think i would only ever want to drink it in spring or summer. wrong flavours for fall and winter.

- this last one comes from my wife after she sniffed it: ’it’s a smell i would wear, but not one i would drink’. not so much one i would wear, but i see her point.

a floral jasminesque that james’s wife would prefer to wear than drink.

and one last time: you really don’t want to add milk!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Short Sorceress

I had the same problem with my batch of samples. I started with the Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea and followed it up with the Milk Oolong. I ended up being disappointed with the Milk Oolong because the Tie Guan Yin was just so good.

I love Osmanthus Oolong so I asked Angel to send this one to me with my next batch of samples which should be here any day. I can’t wait to try it, but I know our tastes our very similar, so your review worries me a little.

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95

right off the bat, thanks to angel for this wonderful sample! ‘in your experience how is teavivre’s customer service, james?’ funny you should ask, because i was planning on mentioning that first off (because that’s what we all consider first with a tea delivery, lol).

my teavivre samples arrived yesterday afternoon. i was running around like a crazy man and didn’t even have a chance to open the box until evening. then (following short sorceress’s very sensible plan) i vowed not to open it until i had finished my other open samples… after all no tea purchases (mostly) until august. and then i got an email.

it was angel from teavivre. she had received notice that my parcel had arrived and she wanted to make sure there was no damage to the samples. well i HAD to open it up then, didn’t i? it would be rude not to! seriously, i was very impressed… watching the delivery confirmations, checking for damaged samples??? i have received free tea samples before— as a rule the companies aren’t too worried about whether there’s any damage when it’s sent for free. it was also significant that teavivre appeared to be as happy about me receiving my samples as i was to have them. huge props specifically to angel for that lovely bit of diligence.

the tea, ooooooooooooooh the tea. light, sweet, creamy, mild floral notes finishing up with a mild marine note. echoes of a green oolong. no astringency, no caffeine stick on my tongue. this is a comfort tea. the kind that hugs you when you are stuck in traffic and running late. it is naturally sweet and when i take a small sip it seems to fill up my mouth.

i was up early today, running all over the city with nothing but this tea to keep my sanity. i was pressed into a new assessment protocol with this one; i took an extra five minutes (which made me late, but too bad) and recorded my observations on my iphone. another thing: i am notoriously bad for resteeping. i am generally so busy trying new teas that i only steep the one time. the sample package i opened this morning is the only tea i have had all day. why? 1)because i like it that much, 2) because it is that good on a resteep.

i really like this tea, so this is where i take a moment to become a drama llama… (i also sincerely believe this has been well earned):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-FfEcVcHWU

impressive. in every way. yes i will buy it when i run out of samples.

OH! AND THAT WAS NOTE NUMBER 100!!! appropriate that i hit triple digits with such a great tea…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Dexter

Congrats on hitting 100!!!

JustJames

=0D thank you!

ashmanra

Yes, I have received such an email from them every single time I have ordered, so they are very consistent with checking up on their orders and the condition they arrive in! I am eagerly awaiting a box from them now.

JustJames

do tell! what are you expecting? (vicarious tea shopping here…)

Fjellrev

Congrats! This sounds like a mega swoon. I still need to order from Teavivre. I promise I will soon, Angel! Once I move to my new place and will have a more secure shipping address.

ashmanra

Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea (Mo Li Yin Zhen)
Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea
Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong
I would have ordered a dozen more if I could have afforded it!

JustJames

i did the keemun too, the rose tuocha, the downy jasmine, and the osthmanthus. i am very excited to try them…. heard good things about the iron goddess….

Fuzzy_Peachkin

yay for 100! Teavivre has been pretty good so far.

TeaVivre

@JustJames: I am so happy that you like our tea and I appreciate that you share your notes with the tea lovers.We hope we can keep moving by good product quality and good customer service. We are open to your criticisms and suggestions so that we can go further.

@ashmanra and Incendiare: We will have a 2nd Anniversary promotion, if there is any tea you are interested in you can buy it with great discounts on July 19, 2013.

ashmanra

Thank you for letting us know, Teavivre! Yes, I would like to try more puerhs, and perhaps the osmanthus oolong. I have only had one osmanthus and that was a puerh but I liked the light floral note.
JustJames: my kids are crazy about the Teavivre puerh tuocha! Rose was wonderful.

CHAroma

Congratulations on the big milestone!

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84

This is a delicious, yet super strong, black tea. Make sure you come hungry when you sit down to this tea – and don’t steep it long! I tried a number of different steeping times and concentrations of leaves on this one – all produced very strong results. This is definitely for black tea lovers! Though it is powerful, it is very refreshing and lovely. I loved it with and without sugar and though I don’t like milk in my tea, it can definitely hold its flavor with some cream!

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Tannin

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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84

I must thank Angel at Teavivre for this experience. My tea arrived today and I have been ogling the whole box since.

Black tea is one of the great loves of my life. I brew it daily, inhale the deep aromas, gaze at the dark colors, and sip at it greedily. It is truly a spiritual experience for me, and I consume far more of it than can be considered healthy. We all have our vices, so I justify mine with the fact that it’s tea and not gambling or cocaine. Solid logic, no?

This fragrant black tea is no disappointment. I will say it is not for the faint of heart, however. This is a strong, thick, and powerful blend – even when steeped precisely as recommended. For those looking for something not so powerful, it could easily be steeped for half the time and be quite enjoyable. In fact, I do believe this would do wonderfully iced with just a hint of sugar.

The leaves really didn’t give away the strength of the brew to come, not too dark, faintly aromatic, very unlike the tea they created. To my delight it is not very bitter. Indeed I’ve tasted far lighter black teas with more bitterness and interesting aftertastes.

I am truly biased in my adoration of steaming hot black tea, but I do think everyone should try it.

Thank you again, Angel, for this adventure. I will be reviewing the other teas over the course of the next week and am very excited for the opportunity. I have been ill and homebound these past few months, and tea has been one of my only escapes.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TeaVivre

Thanks for the tasting note, and I sincerely hope that you will soon be restored to health.

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90

Thanks again to Angel at Teavivre for this sample. I really enjoyed this tea. The strawberry tastes natural and sweet.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec

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90

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample!

The strawberry aroma is very strong when this packet is opened.

I used 2 tsp of tea.
I found this tea very subtle. The buttery oolong is the prominent note with a subtle note of strawberry sweetness. I found that this oolong wasn’t vegetal and more on the sweet side which really suits my taste.

Resteep 3 minutes was much the same with a little less strawberry flavour.

I have the rest chilling in the fridge and will edit tomorrow!

UPDATE: cold, this tea is fairly refreshing and it seems like the strawberry notes are a little more prominent. However, I prefer oolongs hot, so I will probably stick with that

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Backlogging
I bought this quite awhile ago in a sample pack and I am just getting around to it now because I have SO MUCH tea!
I thought this was really good. I used 2 tsp of tea.

Taste: Nice and creamy, and a bit vegetal with that buttery smoothness of oolong.
Resteep 3 minutes: losing a bit of that creaminess but still a good cuppa

Cold: a different kind of creamy, but refreshing all the same

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Thank you Angel at Teavivre for the samples!
I was excited to try this one because I love jasmine pearls.

I steeped 1 tsp of this tea. The peach aroma comes through right away when steeping this tea. I didn’t get much of the jasmine taste and it doesn’t seem quite as sweet as the other jasmine pearls. The peach does taste fresh though.
Resteeped for 2 minutes.
I think I would maybe start off with steeping this for 2 minutes right off the bat to bring out more of the jasmine flavour.

I put half of each steep into the fridge to chill. Cold, this tea is very refreshing. The peach tastes pretty natural. I am still not getting as much jasmine as I was expecting to get, just a little hint.
I think I actually prefer this cold.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Hmmm, I haven’t tried this one cold. I still have some left, I’ll have to give that a try :)

TeaVivre

Indeed, this tea doesn’t have strong jasmine flavor. Like you said, the peach flavor tastes pretty natural.

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100

I love these pearls. They are so silky and smooth, but not overpowering or perfumey. The base is nice and light and not bitter.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Teavivre does jasmine really good!

tigress_al

And for decent prices!

ashmanra

Amen to that!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Listen to us three, we sound like the perfect commercial!

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100

Thank you Angel at Teavivre for this sample!
Even though I have already tried these, I would never pass up an opportunity to receive more of them. I love them
They are beautiful little pearls and I enjoy watching them slowly unfurl while steeping. The tea is smooth and silky. The jasmine is not too strong and the green tea is not too vegetal. Absolutely one of my favourite teas

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100

I finally tried these little gems from the sample pack from my last order! I used 1 tsp of pearls for my perfect mug. These are amazing. So sweet and smooth with almost a creamy quality like some others have mentioned. The jasmine isn’t too strong. The green tea is nice and smooth and not too vegetal. This is very refreshing and delicious. I will have to compare them next time to the premium pearls which I also love and see which one will be my cupboard staple. Have many other people compared these two teas?

Resteeped 2 minutes

I also combined half of each steep to drink cold. This tea is just as amazing cold. So refreshing

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

I have had both, and I am really torn as to which I prefer, but I think I may actually prefer the premium jasmine dragon pearls. It is hard to say! The Silver Needle Jasmine white tea is excellent as well. That will be my next order.

tigress_al

Oh yes I Iove the silver needle as well. Maybe I should compare all 3!

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94

Additional notes: Had to buy some of this with my order. I was low on pu-erh and this will keep my stash of pu-erh going! I like this one. I think I’ve figured out I liked ripened pu-erh more than raw pu-erh. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t the ripened pu-erh darker in flavor (like a cup of coffee) and the raw pu-erh is lighter? I’m not sure. And I have no idea about sheng or shu yet, especially as I never see those in the descriptions of the teas. I love the little rose that floats at the top of the infuser for this one, though it doesn’t really contribute much flavor! Three nice steeps with this one.

K S

My take – when you have this next to the ripened mini toucha you can see what the rose adds. It isn’t really the floral, it’s smoothness.

tea-sipper

Ah, I didn’t think of it that way!

TeaVivre

You can read the article to understand the difference between Raw Pu-erh Tea and Ripe Pu-erh Tea with the following link: http://www.teavivre.com/info/difference-between-raw-and-ripe-puerh-tea/. Hope this is useful.

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94

Thank you Dinosara for sending two of these tiny bird nests to try! The leaves here are very dark and there is a rose embedded in the bottom of the nest. I don’t know why I’m trying this one now, as this apparently never expires and I have plenty of other teas that will expire! But the bag this came in is very handy and I’m planning on putting other teas in it.

Steep #1 – Boiling – two minutes – Immediately the rose left the nest like a baby bird and flew to the top of the steeper. The color is very dark. I’ve never seen a darker cup – black until held up to the light and it turns a cranberry red. There is a bit of the fishy fragrance but the flavor itself is not tough… it’s actually very addicting for some reason and tough to explain the flavor itself. It’s a bit cedar like while still maintaining some sweetness. A little spicy.

Steep #2 – Boiling – must have went for three minutes – I think I left this one steeping a little too long since the flavor was very woody. Not terrible but I really liked the mystique of the first cup. The color of the cup is even deeper.

Steep #3 – Boiling – two minutes – The leaves in the bottom of the steeper are actually very tiny. The color of the cup now looks like root beer. The sweeter flavor is back again. I wouldn’t necessarily say there actually IS a rose flavor to this tea, but the flower is a nice touch and it isn’t just a plain pu-erh.

Steep #4 – Boiling- two minutes – I think this one is losing a bit of flavor now, unless I just steeped it wrong. So I’ll just stop here!

Really very nice, as almost everything from Teavivre is! I’m really looking forward to trying more pu-erhs in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Their Mengku Palace is one of my favorite puerh teas!

tea-sipper

Another one I’ll keep in mind!

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91

Long time no see Steepster! Well I have been coming to this site on and off but it’s certainly been quite a while since I actually sat down and decided to put some notes down. Well one factor in making such a decision is that I got this particular green tea from Teavivre as a sample, so I wanted to make a note of how I felt about this tea before it was all gone. Looks like I’ll have enough for two more teapots, and I must say that Teavivre was quite generous with the amount they put into that little package.

So, how DO I feel about this tea? Well, I’ve always heard good things about Dragon Well teas but their high price tag kept me away from actually ordering them. This is the first time I’ve tried it and I must say I’m quite impressed. First off the liquor smells like a mix of vegetables, hard to pinpoint what vegetable exactly, but it’s there. You also get a hint of bitterness from the smell. The taste is quite different, resembling rice or even toasted sesame seeds. In one word, nutty. Not much of the bitter taste coming through, although you can sense it if you pay close attention. Mouth feel is incredibly smooth, almost velvety. I can see why Dragon Well is highly praised. I’m happy to know that there are green teas out there that I can learn to love besides Gunpowder green tea, which is currently one of my favourites.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Smells like a good Yunnan should right out of the bag, fruity and maybe a little cocoa-esque as well. Brewed up dark pretty fast. This Yunnan tea is particularly fruity tasting and smelling, like sun dried apricots and figs. Nice and smooth. I was originally planning to ice it after I tried a few sips warm, as it has been a hot Summer, but this cup is so good hot the ice will have to wait. I can already tell this is worth ordering again.

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

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82

Before steeping, it smells kind of like dark chocolate, malty, and maybe a little like caramel, plus of course some smokey notes.

Taste wise it is kind of hard to describe. Kind of floral in addition to malty tasting. To me it kind of tastes like a cross of the different flavors I get from Indian and Chinese teas. It reminds me somewhat of their bailin gongfu, but has its own thing going on. All I know is I cold brewed some, added ice and sugar, and really like it that way so far.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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62

Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea (Mi Lo Yin Zhen), hello. As soon as you open the bag you’re getting the jasmine. It’s a real perfume–no literally, it smells like a lady sweating out an incense store and for the love of whatever deity you find holy it’s coming out of every pore. Ma’am, why the hell are you trying so hard? What’s there to cover up? You’re a beautiful young white tea, there should be nothing to be ashamed of. This overwhelming odor tones down in the cup, thank god.

Boy, this is not a tea for floral haters. Or even floral dislikers. It is flower power hour here and kids, we’ve got no choice but buckle up and take it. Now, if you do like florals–you crazy cats, you–this tea will be divine. It is resoundingly petalriffic. The jasmine coats your mouth with every sip, imprinting the aftertaste on your palate, while the sip itself contains notes of melon–cantaloupe, to be precise–and honeysuckle. This isn’t a little girl of a tea. Jasmine Silver Needle is a full-fledged, D-cup woman. A real dame, in the slightly abrasive 40′s sense of the word. Any dudefolk drinking this tea may console themselves by thinking of the White Peony warrior in his manly pursuit of flowers, and thus preserve their masculinity.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

K S

“Jasmine Silver Needle is a full-fledged, D-cup woman. A real dame…” Now I understand why I loved this one! Lol.

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73

Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea comes out of the bag with a dried plum fragrance overlaid by the mineral-y soot of its origin. It seems to promise crimson fruit flavors like red delicious apples and heirloom tomatoes–can’t forget those are fruit, too. In the cup, the fruit gets kicked to the curb as the tea brings in golden sweet sesame to play. We’ve got that wonderful Wuyi nuttiness waiting to happen, but these nuts have been barely toasted, only enough to ripen their flavor but not enough to create a whole new layer in the mix.

Upon first sip, the apple from the aroma goes, “I’m still here!” A really brash kind of cup we’ve got going on, this tea wants you to pay attention to it, which it accomplishes by giving you straight up flavors. You’re picking the apples straight from the tree in some remote forest, not a manicured little orchard. And as it cools, you even get a cayenne-y flavor in there, something like paprika. Not fire-spicy, but a sweet, caressing heat. You could have so much fun with this tea, infusing it in different concentrations and varying steeping times to unlock the treasure chest of flavors.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

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91

Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) was another contender for the Most Unexpected First Impression award. The dry leaves hit you with a fresh hay smell, which catapulted me back into fond memories of horse camp. Shows promise to be a fine outdoorsy tea, for sure.

Another letdown, aroma-wise. If Jasmine Silver Needle is the showoff, then Organic Silver Needle is her ludicrously timid younger sister. Again, the steeping instructions don’t let this tea really show what it’s capable of. It’s not very entertaining to have to sit and wait for the flavors to come to you–especially if you’re not the patient type. Go for a higher water temperature and let it sit for longer, that way you can reap the full effect of the softly winding florals that set this silver needle apart. It lacks the heady perfume of the jasmine version, so that the true taste and aroma of the leaves has nothing to hide behind. However, if you steep it according to the instructions, you’ll be there spending more energy coaxing the flavors into mind than actually drinking it, during which time you could have just left it in the infuser another two minutes and gotten the better cup out of it.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

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92

Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea has a surprisingly woodsy smell in the bag. Not what you’d expect from a white tea! The odor packs a lot of green punch but it’s so sweet and soft about it that you’re immediately intrigued. Dry leaves, though their scent can often be misleading, are like meeting somebody for the first time. That initial impression is the one that sets up the entire exchange, and this tea has decided to give you a handshake that catches you off guard with how gentle it is, though you can already feel the strength of the grasp. But does this translate into the cup?

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

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76

I’m trying to use up what I have stored at work, so I can bring in new tea to try.

I’m liking this tea better the second time around. Steeped it for less time and it came out less astringent, and much more buttery! This is the kind of green tea I enjoy. It’s going to be a good Friday morning!

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76

A very light, slightly astringent tea. It’s main flavors are grassy and buttery. Best of all, there is not a hint of seaweed to be seen. Overall this is a pleasant tea, but it is a little to light for my tastes.

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