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Recent Tasting Notes
Do you ever fantasize about drinking tea and then have trouble finding something that makes you feel the way you wanted to feel? I do. But tonight I wanted some tea and this one has far exceeded my tea fantasies.
I decided to do a ittle gong fu brewing with hubby joining in. Oh my! The leaves smelled amazingly good when I opened the pouch. I did rinse the leaves quickly, maybe ten seconds. I don’t think that is really necessary with this one. The first steep was light yellow and lightly buttery with vegetal tones. I resteeped, and resteeped, and resteeped. The third steep was darker than the first two.Now on the sixth some amazing things are happening in this tea. There is a mineral quality coming out, and a lingering cool finish rather like the feeling I get when I drink something with licorice root in. It caresses and coats the throat. There is that same quality that made me fall for Wild Forest Oolong, though this is lighter.
I am so glad I ordered their Tie Guan Yin with organic honey. If it is anything like this one, I am in for some highly satisfying tea times.
I don’t think I realized this when I made my first review of this tea, but mine seems to be packaged differently from others. Instead of individual samples that make about a small pot each, I have a large foil pouch inside of a larger zipper pouch.
The aroma is so intense. My mouth started to water as soon as I smelled the dry curled leaves. Beautiful leaves, beautiful scent! It amazes me that something natural and unflavored can be this aromatic.
First steep – light gold in color, light to medium buttery vegetal flavor.
Second steep – went a little too long as I am making bread at the same time and had to go turn on the oven as the bread is rising in the brotform. It isn’t bitter, but it is stronger with grassy notes and is more drying.
Third steep – paying closer attention now. The tea is now a very light golden yellow and so translucent. It is beautiful in the tiny cups. Now I taste an edge of hay framing the buttery vegetable liquor. It is a little less drying now.
I will continue to resteep this today and it looks like I may get another four or five steeps from these leaves.
Delicious, and so fresh. Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
Second steep – I left the leaves loose in the pot so they could swirl and breathe. The first pot of tea had a floral aroma and as it cooled there was a walnut flavor. There was also something elusive in the sip that I first thought was a citrus note, then decided might be a hint of pineapple.
The second steep is a deep yellow straw color. It is still full of flavor and a grassier, walnut flavor is more prominent than the floral aspect to me now. Very good!
This was another sample from Teavivre. Many thanks!
This was the first tea served at tea party yesterday. My guest began as a coffee drinker who didn’t mind drinking black tea. She takes everything plain, even her coffee, no milk, no sugar. I thought that black teas were our only option, but when I have found a good quality green or oolong, I serve it, and without fail, she really likes it. They will become a more prominent part of our tea table henceforth.
This one brought immediate oooo’s and ah’s. It is mild, not astringent at all. The leaves become quite huge when they unfurl! I saved them to make a resteep today! This was a lovely tea. Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
I just reviewed this one but wanted to make note of a drastic change in steeping style today.
I have been looking for/saving for a sterling teapot for five years. I have not purchased one yet but I think I may have found “him”, the one that calls to me. It is not the bachelor size I anticipated getting and I wanted to see how well it would do for my breakfast, so I got a pot out that is about the same size and tried a different style of steeping today.
I put two tablespoons of this tea in the large pot and used cooler water to steep it, but I did not remove the leaves. The tea was good and not too strong. I realize I can only do this method with very particular teas.
Then life happened. I had a noon meeting, hubby needed me to go to the bank, mother-in-law was sick at rehab and needed something from her assisted living room, daughter had to be picked up from her early college class, and then taken to training to work the election. And the leaves sat there in that pot aaaaaaallll day. In half water they had started in.
No worries, I strained the tea into a microwaveable pot, added water, and reheated the whole shebang. AND IT WAS GOOD! The headache I have nursing for a couple of hours went away, too. It is back now, but I am also out of tea.
Time to make another pot and enjoy this thunderstorm by candlelight…
This was the first tea of tea party today. It was served with Swedish Butter Cake. I woke my daughter up this morning with the words, “Instead of the apple thing we talked about, can you make a butter cake?” I woke up with it on my mind and she was happy to oblige me.
This was my guest’s favorite tea today. I think tea party may change a little as my guest is showing a more marked preference for black tea as time goes on. I may largely eliminate green tea at tea times for this particular guest. The light sweet potato notes in this rich and wonderful cup delight all the tea drinkers and tea newbies to whom I have served it.
As we have sipped our way through the last few rainy and overcast days, we have been reading Fatal Enquiry by Will Thomas, an author recommended by GMathis, who has never steered me wrong. It is the only title by this author at our library and we are sad that it is over. I am going to look for some cheap copies at used bookstores. My daughter had picked it up when we checked it out and liked the writing style so much that she asked if we could read it aloud. I LOVE reading books aloud! Our favorite part was the introduction of Mr. Psmith, GMathis! So funny! Thanks for the recommendation!
I ran out of this tea, but I did not remove it from my cupboard because I had already ordered two more bags. We love it too much to let it run out, and guests who don’t normally drink tea find it really tasty.
Today was tea party day, of course. We missed it last week because my guest was in Florida, so this week we made up for it with a home made pumpkin roll that my youngest made from freshly ground whole wheat and a sugar pie pumpkin that we bought at the state farmer’s market. It was delicious, and just as I had hoped, this tea with its natural sweet potato notes was a great pairing with the pumpkin roll.
I waited to pick the third tea for my guest until I had seen her try shu puerh and jasmine silver needle. I used her opinions to pick the final tea, and was leaning toward black tea since she loved the puerh but it had to be just the right one since she had been scared off by a bitter black tea someone else gave her. I called in youngest to help with suggestions. She said, “What about the one we had last week that was so good?”
I turned to my friend and asked, “Do you like sweet potatoes?” “I LOVE SWEET POTATOES!” It was almost a roar! I laughed and pulled this pouch of tea.
This time I got out my tray and tiny teapot with a fair cup. We’d had two teas western style, now she could see gong fu style!
She smelled the liquor and was astonished at the remarkable scent of sweet potatoes, so distinctive. She sipped and said, “This is it! This is my favorite. I liked the others a lot, but this one is perfect. I could drink this all the time.”
She is right. It is a remarkably good tea and I am getting a little low. So I guess that is one more to add to my next order.
I served this to the mother and very young sister of one of my music students today. I told them about Fox News naming Teavivre’s Dian Hong as one of the top ten teas in the world. I drank my plain but I didn’t pay attention to how they made theirs since I was at the piano but I know the mother always takes the tiniest sprinkle of sugar in her tea.
I was delighted when the little girl told me that she liked that tea so much she didn’t even put sugar in it! I know I would not have taken it without sugar as a child so I am delighted to know that some of these little ones are going to have a much more sensitive and varied palate than I had, and it has taken me years to develop.
As an aside, somehow I am receiving messages meant for other people. Just a heads up, so don’t get mad if someone doesn’t respond to you. The message may have gone astray…
Wow. Wow-wow-wow! I believe this was the tea Fox put on the top ten teas in the world list last week, although it may not have been the golden tip version, I don’t remember.
I had completely rearranged my schedule for the snow days and it all fell through. Every single bit. So I had most of the day to do whatever, and I drank tea and ate pound cake! I thought a friend was coming to join me but I ended up drinking alone. (That’s how we know we have a problem, right?) LOL!
This is amazing, and the aroma is not to be missed. Rich, rich, rich. Delicious plain. Delicious any way you drink it. Don’t ever let it run out without a fresh batch on hand.
A little over a year ago, Teavivre sent a sample of this tea. Like so many others, I found that I had to have it, and finally placed my order a couple of months ago. One funny thing – a friend of mine who used to drink just some of the nicer tea bag tea has gotten hooked on better loose leaf teas since we started having tea together. I signed her up for the Teavivre samples and this is one that I told her to get. When she mentioned ordering again, she actually shivered when she named this tea as one that is going on the next order! Ha ha! I understand! I have the tea shivers myself a few times. Mostly with Teavivre teas.
This one is rich warm sweet potato goodness. I made a pot of tea, some apple cubes, and Kerrygold Dubliner cheese to nibble on while youngest and I do her German lesson. I will be serving it again later today for tea time. Excellent tea!
I drank green tea this morning, but when I was cooking lunch I saw the basket of leaves from yesterday. I picked them up and sniffed them. Aaaahh! Baked sweet potatoes, holiday style, roasted until the skin burst then a little orange glaze added. I decided to try resteeping and icing this with a bit of sweetener. Not bad! And it was a great way to be thrifty with my tea.
Is it bad that I am trying to be thrifty with my tea at the same time I am trying to drink up a whole lot of tea and cull my shelves? And the main reason I am trying to clean off those shelves is so that I will feel justified ordering more tea?
A testament to how generous the samples from Teavivre have been….I just made another pot of this and still have enough leaf left to make a generous cup, ad since this resteeps, well, who knows how much tea this could end up being?
After breakfast, hubby put Mr. Samwise in the Burley trailer and took him for a bike ride. they went to Sandy’s house to do a e bit of picking up in the yard. Hubby picked up pinecones, Sam picked up bones and sticks. I joined them and was a little peckish when we got back home after riding around a bit more and decided to have elevenses.
A hard boiled egg with this tea, out on the patio, hit the spot. Youngest joined me for tea. She added milk and sugar, I took mine plain until the final cup. JacquelineM has already given the perfect description of this tea plain, so I will just briefly repeat her….sweet potatoes with a little orange flavor! YUM!
For the final cup I decided to add a little milk and sugar. At first I thought that I didn’t like it as well as it seemed to disappear under the additions, but the more I drink, the more I like it. My first preference for this one is sans additions, though. But if you really want to add sweetener or milk to your black tea, this one is still good. I wonder if the Yun Nan Dian Hong that isn’t golden tip would be better for that, though, and perhaps would make a heartier breakfast tea to take me by the collar and get me going?
This was our second tea for the tasting today, and it was fabulous. The aroma of the steeped tea was so awesome we all had to stop and give it an extra moment of appreciation. No one could describe it better than JacquelineM already did – a naked sweet potato with skin on. I can even picture the amber syrup seeping out from where a fork or knife has pierced the sweet potato.
There is a honeyed sweetness to this. It was excellent paired with our foods today, which were Hickory Farms Beef Summer Sausage, Cheese with Onion, Breton Multigrain Crackers, fresh fudge-y whole wheat brownies from freshly ground wheat topped with whipped cream and served with strawberries on the side. This was the tea I kept coming back to when it was time to refill my cup.
Absolutely delicious. Teavivre, this tea is a magnificent work of art. Thank you!
JacquelineM hit the nail on the head. Bright sweet potatoes! I could not stop sniffing the pouch of dry leaves. What a delight to the senses! The golden tips are awesome. I have read so much about how special this tea is that I wanted to get it right, so I weighed the leaves instead of just measuring. These are long, light, and fluffy and I didnt trust my teaspoon.
Steeped, this has a lovely deep amber (cup nearly empty) to red (cup full) color. The aroma is now malty sweet potatoes. As a yunnan tea, it should.be an assamica varietal, and it has the malty goodness of both those teas, but without astringency, without pepper. This is an amazing tea, probably my favorite yunnan so far. I am considering making this one of my “conversion” teas – tea that I serve to guests who are not tea drinkers that is guaranteed to make them want more!
Youngest daughter, when asked for comments, replied, “nom nom nom!”
This is the last of the sample from Teavivre. I have tried it before, and of the two flowering teas sent I liked Two Dragons and a Pearl the most, so that is the one I ordered from them. This one is also good, and certainly very pretty and entertaining. The liquor is pale and the blossoms have deep color so it makes a very pretty show.
I made this in my 8 ounce Taiwan glass teapot from purepuer.com. Because It opened slowly, I let it steep for about four minutes. It was still weak at that point, so I should have rinsed or just discarded the first steep. As it is, I decided to combine steeps 1 and 2 for a medium body.
The flavor is slightly grassy, but I really taste the marigold, especially on the first steeps. If you don’t like the smell of marigolds (my MIL hates them) you might not like this tea. If other blooming teas have been too weak for you, you might want to try this one.
Hubby hung in there for four steeps. I am still sipping and I think I am on number six. I am impressed with the flower colors. The first flowering tea I ever bought looked like stagnant ditch water in about five minutes. I half expected to see a minnow flit by. This is much, much better. Because I liked these two, I am toying with trying some of their other blooming teas as well, since I want to restock my dragon pearls and I want to try some more of their oolongs and I really REALLY need some more of their Chun Mee.
Since my guest enjoyed the flowering tea last week, I decided to serve a flowering tea again this week. I have been craving really good green tea lately, probably because of my Teavivre samples that have been so delicious. This one was beautiful and very good. We steeped it only twice because I used a slighter larger pot this time. I had three cups! Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
I am looking forward to putting together my first Teavivre order!
SIPDOWN! I got up at 5 am to keep an eye on the new hen. When they are adjusting the pecking order, sometimes the newcomer or the smallest hen will get beaten up, but they have behaved themselves wonderfully. They didn’t even get up until 6 am today!
Another tasting note inspired me to make a pot of this, sit outside, and watch the chickens for a while. The wind is blowing and we are supposed to have a thunderstorm, so it is quite overcast and cloudy with sudden piercing beams of sunlight warming your arms and face. The dogwood trees are sprinkling us with petals and stamens and pistils as the wind ruffles through the branches.
I made three steeps so this is a little lighter than I usually drink it, though I did use extra pearls to finish them off cleanly. No fear. The tin is already refilled with Teavivire’s Superfine Downy Jasmine Dragon Pearls. My next purchase from them will be their Jasmine Silver Needle.
These are the jasmine teas I drink when I want to enjoy an excellent jasmine tea by itself. If I am having food, I drink Silver Jasmine Green instead of pearls.
After getting so utterly wrecked and sore last night from cooking and cleaning, I feel great today. I also have been very lazy and have done little.
I have just finished the fifth steep of one teaspoon of these little pearls, and I must say they have added an elegance and enjoyment to this day as few things can.
The jasmine flavor is still present though fading, and the green base is showing its pedigree. It reminds me a great deal of Huang Shan Mao Feng. This is exquisite, and is one of my panic teas. I panic if it starts to get low and I place an order!
Throughout the day today the memory of the taste of this tea haunted me. As I cleaned the living room getting ready for tea party I could just taste it. I really hadn’t planned to make this one but I started craving it. Why fight it?
This is absolutely heavenly. The green base is so good. I have had other dragon pearl jasmines that had a artsy or astringent base. This one is excellent and sweet on the tongue. The jasmine is a soothing, lovely addition that weaves a cocoon of weave around me. There is no perfume-y or soapy taste, just sweet, glorious jasmine and good green tea.
It is pretty economical, too. I used one tsp. of pearls and resteeped them and combined the steeps in a larger pot to serve it today.