Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

89

And our last contender, Keemun number 4! Or maybe I should call it Neg One (-1). There’s Grade 2, then Grade 1, then Hao Ya must be Zero, and this would be -1. Anyway, Neg One was courteously provided by Angel and the Teavivre team as a free sample to Missy. Continuing with the Steepster’s Digest layout:

-Similar to the Grade 1 Keemun, I’m kind of thinking of it as 1’s cooler brother
-Sweeter than the other Ks
-More grainy than malty at this point, share’s some similarity with the Bailin Gongfu
-That sweet fruitiness has returned with a passion
-Smokiness has gone away (sad face)

It’s tough to decide between this one and the Grade 1 for third place. The flavors of this tea are probably the most complex out of the Ks I’ve tried today, but I really feel like it’s missing something without that smokiness that I so enjoyed out of the “lesser quality” Ks. I put lesser quality in little quotey bits because calling any of these teas anything but awesome quality is a disservice.

This would be the K from Teavivre I would recommend to someone that was appalled by the thought of smoke flavor in their tea, but still really wanted a K in the cupboard somewhere. I still stick by what I wrote under the K Hao Ya post: depending what you’re looking for, any of the four grades of Teavivre’s Keemun are excellent choices.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Love how you guys are doing tea comparisons. Very helpful to those of us too lazy to buy everything and compare ourselves! Also entertaining.

Dylan Oxford

It’s actually quite a bit of fun… and it’s nice knowing that you’re going to be drinking your favorite out of the bunch… at least this year’s crop ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

This had the same dark chocolate, malty notes I expect. It did surprise me with the addition of a grainy flavor. I thought it was softer than the others. It ends well with a fruity flavor but very little smoke. In fact, I thought this one was the least smokey of them all.

While I believe all of these teas to be of equal quality, grade 2 is the one I shall keep. I like the robust qualities it shows. Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for the chance to try this one out. :D

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

So, Keemun number 3! Semi-backlog, as I finished this about an hour and a half ago, but I was in the middle of making dinner. So you get the Steepster’s Digest version:

-More similar to the Grade 2 Keemun than either the Grade 1 or the Superfine
-Stout, but not as as stout as the Grade 2
-Malty
-Lacking a lot of the fruitiness of the Grade 1, but it’s still apparent. Just… less so.
-Not as smokey as Grade 2, but smokier than Grade 1
-Somewhere around no astringency. Very smooth.

Out of the four, this is my second favorite. It’s very, very good, but something about the Grade 2 just appeals to the blue collar in me. It’s like a working man’s tea. So yeah, if sometime in the future, Marty McFly is reading this and wondering what tea to buy… I would recommend giving all of them a shot. It’s almost like you need to toss them on a scatterplot, or some sort of four-square diagram. Depending what you’re looking for, any of the four grades of Teavivre’s Keemun are excellent choices.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

This is smooth and rich with malt and chocolate notes. I find it falls a little shorter on the fruit notes than the grade 1. I also thought it had less smoke. ohmygurd where is the smoke!? The smoke I was looking for is pretty tame with this one. A great tea but I really want more in the smoke department, so grade 2 is still top dawg!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
DaisyChubb

where the smoke at?!

Missy

I feel like I should be dressed as an old lady, ( the one from where’s the beef commercial) and yelling out where’s the smoke on an airplane or some thing. :D

DaisyChubb

Absolutely – we’ll get you a tshirt made then. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Keemun Grade 1 vs Keemun Grade 2… fight! Okay, so teas can’t really fight each other… the gloves won’t fit!

I found this tea to be extremely tasty, a very solid black tea that anyone would be lucky to have. It is dark and smooth, a little bit malty with a sweet, lightly fruity finish. I almost wrote ‘fruity finish at the end’, but I stopped myself (and then shared!). The smokiness on Grade 2 is a little lighter at first than Grade 1, but brings itself out in the aftertaste pretty prominently. It lingers on the tongue a little while, as a very pleasant memory.

Ill-fitting protective gear aside, this was a brew destined to do battle against it’s lower grade brother, and sadly it lost. At least for me. The flavors in this cup of Keemun are a little more complex than the Grade 2, but ultimately I prefer the strength and gusto of the Grade 2 Keemun. Either of them make a fantastic cup of tea… and had I not enjoyed the Grade 2 SO MUCH, the Grade 1 would feel more remarkable.

So, in an nutshell – if you like more contemplative, interesting flavor profiles, take the Grade 1. If you want a powerful cup of awesome, take the Grade 2. Or take the blue pill, and you’ll wake up tomorrow thinking this was all just a dream (I recommend the tea).

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

haha, I am getting a picture in my mind of little pearls of tea with boxing gloves on….I guess I am in a silly kinda mood!
I haven’t tried any of Teavivre’s Keemun’s, I will have to order samples when I acutally buy tea from them!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Today we have another tea faceoff. The contestants shall all be Keemun. Lovely stuff so far.

This is much like the grade 2 we tried previously but smoother and more refined. I think there is a fruity sweetness to it that the grade 2 doesn’t really have. The smoke that follows the rich, malt seems to be about the same in each. I do think that Grade 2 has my attention for now. It just feels a little more robust. This is for a more classy lady than I. ;)

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

I haven’t had any of their Keemjns yet! I can hardly wait to try them!

Missy

I really like keemun as far as I can tell right now. It seems like I’m always finding some thing else I really like too, lol.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Got my order from Teavivre today :D And I received this as one of my samples. I have tried this one before but it was when I was first exploring the wonderful world of pu-erh. So hopefully I’ll like this one a bit more then the last time. I’ve been playing around with my gaiwan today and thought I’d do multiple steeps for this tea. So here it goes!
10s rinse
1st at 10s:
The flavor is light but it’s good. It’s woodsy and sweet. There is a bit of a smokey flavor to it.
2nd at 10s:
The liquor is certainly darker. The aroma is strong and very earthy. The flavor kind of reminds me of a cigar. It’s musky, earthy, and a bit smokey.
3rd at 10s:
The liquor is a dark, velvety brown now. The aroma has lightened but it’s still pretty earthy. It’s turned very smokey and musky. There is a bit of a sweet, floral note coming through, though.
4th at 15s:
The liquor is starting to lighten up a little bit. The aroma is earthy and sweet. The flavor is earthy and has a bit of a floral\sweet note to it. This is actually my favorite so far.
5th at 20s:
This steep is mellow and quite enjoyable. The aroma is sweet and earthy. Much lighter than the last two. The flavor is sweet and earthy. A tiny, tiny bit of floral comes through.
6th at 30s:
This one is much like the first. It’s light. It has more of the earthiness to it but still has that sweet note to it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

First of all, a big thank you to Angel and Teavivre for the free samples!
This tea took a few sips to get used to. The taste is kind of earthy and musty with a super(and I mean SUPER) light floral tone. I might have let this one steep a little too long and get a tiny bit bitter, but it’s still pretty tasty.
Overall, not my favorite pu-erh but I would definitely order it again :]

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

Drum-roll please…. I’m back! I had a wonderful vacation in Europe. I even got to try delicious new teas from new places! Reviews coming soon! :) When I got back I found a nice big bag of samples from Teavivre waiting for me! What a great way to end your vacation! Admitedly I am swamped with work but I will make time for tea and Steepster. I missed you all while I was away!

This is the first tea from the samples that I have decided to try. I chose it randomly, and I have to admit that I am a pretty good random chooser (if I may say so myself!)!! hahaha… This tea is delicious! 

The leaves are long and elegant. The dark brown and golden yellow make the leaves a pleasure to look at. The smell is incredible… It is a combination of extreme maltiness a hint of chocolate and a dash of honey. It is a party in your nose! My mouth couldn’t wait to join in!

The scent while brewing is spectacular, an extension of the deliciousness of the dry leaves. Once brewed the used leaves turn true golden and the golden brow liquor that they produce smells of fresh baked chocolate bread! I am in love… Unsweetened I get a tiny bit of welcome bitterness followed by the taste of fresh baked bread with just the right amount of maltiness and a hint of honey to finish of the sip. Wow… Sweetened a chocolate note becomes apparent and it is pleasure in a tea cup. 

The second steep is just as delicious, but not quite as bold in flavor. I find it, surprisingly, a tad bit more astringent than the first, but still delightful.  

This tea makes you double check if it is flavored… I really felt like I was eating freshly baked chocolate bread with honey! 

A great welcome back tea! :)

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Welcome back!

Scatterbrain

We missed you.

LiberTEAS

Glad to have you back!

Ninavampi

:) I’s soooo happy to be back in touch with everyone! I have a whole lot of reading reviews to catch up on! I am looking forward to it!

Cheryl

Good random chooser indeed :)

Missy

Welcome back! Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. :D

CHAroma

Yay! Welcome back! :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

I am really loving this tea! Thanks TeaVivre team! This gives a new meaning to malt, in my books. I was never a fan of malt, even as a child Whoppers disgusted me. But WOW this is such a delicious chocolate malt flavour in a tea. I’ve been steeping 5 pearls in 10-12 oz mugs, with 3 min steeps to start. This can go for at least 3 steeps, probably more. The flavour sticks around throughout the steeps as well and doesn’t get too watered down like some black teas do after the first steep. Very smoothe too. My favourite part about this tea has to be the fact that it’s AMAZING iced with some sweetner and lemon juice.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

Free sample provided by Teavivre, thanks again to them. This is my first Keemun, hooray! I always love when I get to try something completely new to me. As far as aroma goes, I noticed similarities to my previous experiences with Chinese black teas, such as a malty aroma with hints of cocoa and a slight bit of honey. While the leaf was steeping, the cocoa aroma intensified and a small amount of smoke presented itself. Every tea has a tone or a feeling to it, and the tone that this tea was presenting was dark and haunting.

The taste followed suit with the aromas. Dark chocolate, lots of malt and a little smokiness. This tea has some real heft to it. It’s not bitter, but it’s intense. It’s not astringent, but it’s robust. It reminds me of some really high quality coffee in its intensity, but it lacks the acidity of coffee. The smokiness is almost like an illusion to me, you can’t smell it or taste it on nearly the same level as a lapsang souchong, you just kind of feel like it’s there.

This tea would make a great wake up cup as well as an awesome late night tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

First site of the leaves: they seem to be very well rolled with a great mineral aroma. First steeping is pretty much what I expected. It’s definitely recognizable as an oolong because even though it’s got a lot of flavor, it’s never overpowering. Very good, clean rocky aftertaste and I’ve found that after a while it tends to dry your mouth out. My first Da Hong Pao, but I doubt my last. Thank you Teavivre!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

Thanks so much to Angel and Teavivre for these samples! They took a little while to get here, but in perfect condition. Teavivre is, in my opinion, well worth the wait.

I’ve never had a black pearl tea – the only pearls I’ve ever had are the small jasmine ones. I went for that little sample packet first. Upon opening it, I was surprised by how large the pearls are, and how tightly packed. They’re mostly a dark mahogany color with little striations of a lighter yellow, sort of like pine. I suppose trees are on my mind today – it was Red Pine Forest day with my preschoolers at camp. They very much enjoyed building “mouse houses” in the dips between the tree roots!

Tea! The dry leaf smell immediately conjures up something musty and dark. There’s almost a hazelnut to it, but there’s something more than that. It sort of reminds me of walking through a darkened barn, with the scents of hay and leather hanging thickly in the air, the rustle of horses and cows as they shift about and flick their tails to ward off the flies.

Never having had a black dragon pearl this big before, I think I overdid it – I put three pearls in my little tasting cup and steeped for around 15 seconds the first time. The wet leaves have such a distinctive smell – it’s the same scent as of the dry leaf, but sharper, finer, more present. It’s not as muted. I read recently that the human nose works best in warm, damp conditions… I can definitely see that here! I don’t smell so much of the hazelnut connection as I do something burnt… not badly burnt, but deliberately charred. I can’t think of what, though. Chestnuts at Christmas? Macadamia nuts? There’s more than a little bit of dark chocolate in here too, and some notes of currant. Chocolate covered nuts? It’s bothering me that I can’t put my finger on it, especially because it’s so distinctive and I just know that there’s a name for it.

The liquor of the first steep is a warm golden-red in the white porcelain tasting bowl. I notice immediately how smooth the mouthfeel is. There’s almost no astringency or drying, and it leaves a sweet aftertaste on the tongue. The scent I identified in the scent is extraordinarily present in the taste. Usually I have a hard time distinguishing exactly what something is going to taste like based on the smell, especially straight teas (It’s much easier for me to approximate the flavors of spicy chais or fruity herbals) but there’s a direct link to the taste of the tea all the way back to the smell of the dry leaf.

Second steep, and as I pour the water into the cup it immediately blossoms a deep red. The pearls have mostly unrolled and are like spider legs climbing up the side of the cup. The liquor is a deep red-brown color. Definitely overdid it with the pearls – the first thing that hits my tongue is a strong astringency. It actually helps define the flavors I was missing earlier – it almost reminds me of a graham cracker. That coupled with the chocolate notes and the astringency in this steep – it’s like a warm summer night, all your friends sitting around a firepit, roasting marshmallows on sticks, the smoke blowing through the breeze and stinging your eyes when it’s aimed in your direction.

Possibly the best black tea I’ve ever tried!

Edit:

I’m steeping three pearls now, Western Style for three minutes. It’s just as good, and I’m even getting notes of butter in the middle of it. Incredible! This tea just keeps on giving!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

It does take a little while for the samples to get here, but I have ordered from them twice and my order came much faster! Just so you know, in case you were thinking about ordering! And that was with the free shipping, too, not expedited.

Bonnie

You did a beautiful job on this review! It takes effort but you obviously connected with the tea and the moment!

Michelle

@Ashmanra – yes, that’s been my experience as well! I think this tea absolutely needs to be a permanent member of my collection, so I’m glad you say the ordering time is faster than the sample time :)
@Bonnie – I actually felt like you while I was writing this. Thank you :D

Bonnie

Now that you know it’s worth it, I hope you continue.

Babble

How long did your package take to arrive? Mine took over 30 days, but I guess that’s normal. I almost ALMOST got a sample of the black pearls, but opted for the silver needle instead since I’m not always a big fan of black pearls. But now your review is making me wish I had. Have you tried Teavana’s black pearls?

Invader Zim

Their packages usually take a while. Mine took about 25 days to get here, but the price and taste of the teas are well worth the wait in my opinion.

Michelle

I honestly don’t remember when I ordered it. Teavivre emailed me awhile back saying they had new samples and do I want to try them? Of course! So yeah, not complaining about the wait time at all – it’s just that when I do order from them I’m going to have to be more careful about monitoring when they run low.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

The last but not least from the samples given, its best described in my opinion as the cu de gra of tea itself! Comfort. The richness of natural oolong flavors just coincides with an addition of a milky flavor that’s naturally harmonious altogether, and gives the said drinker a little more comfort (think of hot milk in cold day). The milky flavor is not at all too overwhelming but as to complement a slight vegetal and nutty flavor of the oolong itself. High quality in taste, even the raw leaves are still attached to its stems! Decent and rewarding, recommended to all! Drink on Steepsterites!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

97

Oh, jasmine. I’m not sure there’s a more intoxicating smell on this earth. It envelops you, comforts you and lets you know you’re in for a treat…it’s truly something special.

This one tastes very pure and natural. The jasmine does not smell or taste perfumey or over-the-top at all. As I sat and contemplated the imagery this tea was presenting to me, I noticed some of the same things that Bonnie identified. Pine forests and blue glacial water like in the Canadian wilderness. Then to a moonlit forest late at night, seeing the precious jasmine flower bloom before me. Wonderful. I absolutely love the imagery that tea can give me.

This is a very smooth and very sweet tea, probably the sweetest jasmine tea I’ve had. Absolutely marvelous, thank you for the sample Teavivre.

Bonnie

Hope your headaches are better!

Charles Thomas Draper

My bonsai jasmine is in bloom now. Nothing compares to the aroma

Invader Zim

I just received some of this and am very excited to try it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

This is my first Milk Oolong type tea. Thanks to Teavivre for allowing me to sample this tea. I already love Oolongs for their nutty and buttery characteristic. So I was excited to try this one. I have a pouch of Verde au Lait that I acquired in a trade and it fell short of the goal. I made it at work and shared with my co-worker who I am making a tea lover as well. A pale yellow liquor typical with most green oolongs. I’ve been going nuts a bit with getting a week ahead on music logs since the baby will be here any day, and I’ve been re-inventing our broadcast clocks…tea is much needed. This is great! Milky? I am not really getting a milky flavor from this tea. Buttery? Absolutely! I feel like I’m in the theater enjoying a huge bucket of popcorn with double butter. For dinner last night I made garlic lime shrimp in a butter sauce. I think this would make a great butter substitute in cooking. Four tasty pots were made with the leaves.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

This sample was sent to me by Angel and the wonderful Teavivre team. And many thanks to them!
This herbal tea has an amazing aroma and a beautiful color when brewed. It has a sweet pineapple/citrus flavor. I love the tart taste so I didn’t sweeten it.. But it almost reminds me of an unsweetened fruit punch. It is absolutely delicious! And I could only imagine it would be even more so iced! Definitely going to be ordering more.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

First of all.. A huge thank you to Angel and the Teavivre team :] The samples they sent me were very generous.
This is a wonderful white tea. It has a floral taste to it and finishes with a fruity after taste. It is sweet and finishes a bit astringent. Such a beautiful light amber colored liquor as well.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Dry Leaf: I get more of a rich woody aroma.
Wet Leaf: I get a sweet malty or even a raisin aroma and just a slight touch of wood.
Liquor:I get a dark reddish color.
Taste: I get a malty or even a raisin flavor with a slight sweetness and I also get a slight astringency.I also get a faint wood flavor too.
Overall Option: I give this tea a 89. I think this is a mid-grade tea that taste nice and is very affordable for daily drinking. I also think Dan Cong drinkers would like this type of tea just my humble opinion.
Vessel: SAMA DOYO Gongfu/ Kungfu Teapot. 5 grams of leafs for 220ml or 7oz. of water in the inner cup of pot.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Dry Leaf: I get more of a rich woody aroma.
Wet Leaf: I get a sweet malty or even a raisin aroma and just a slight touch of wood.
Liquor:I get a dark reddish color.
Taste: I get a malty or even a raisin flavor with a slight sweetness and I also get a slight astringency.I also get a faint wood flavor too.
Overall Option: I give this tea a 89. I think this is a mid-grade tea that taste nice and is very affordable for daily drinking. I also think Dan Cong drinkers would like this type of tea just my humble opinion.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

Another day and another review of samples from Teavivre! This time around its Organic superfine Keemun that found its way in my cuppa this morning to much of my delight! The tea has much of the usual Keemun qualities of a slightly smoky plum flavor but with characteristics of Assam in the starchy department. The brew itself at near boiling water yielded a smooth liquor, non astringent without much bitterness on the palate. An excellent quality tea made with buds, great taste and makes a fine cuppa! Drink on Steepsterites!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
TeaVivre

This tea is really very nice, it tastes smooth, also combined with unique Keemun fragrance^^

Anthony Bazic

I can give a toast to that! Its really different from most Keemun while other Keemun teas in the market tend to be overly dominant in flavors that can be too overwhelming. The best part is its really not too astringent with great flavor.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

I was so absolutely excited the day the lovely samples from Teavivre arrived. I had just finished the final exam for my long, drawn out genetics course and it was finally a beautiful sunny day! I knew these little gems were in there so I was actually giddy with joy when I picked them up.
I haven’t had very good timing lately to try this tea as I wanted to pay very good attention to it, as well.. the sample bag is larger than an individual packet, and therefore I needed to be somewhere where I could repackage them immediately. So here I am.
Dry: I get that same strong umami flavour smell as I do with the Bailin Gongfu Black (BGB)…. but then I huff the bag a little more and float to a dark 80% chocolate cloud. Malty too. Yum I-am-so-excited!
Liquor 1 min: Amber liquor tastes like cream..then the flavour builds to the umami that I get which is slightly salty and sweet. Soy sauce like… it then melts into some 60% chocolate. Delicious
2 min: I’m excited because the balls are still 75% intact.. This steep is much darker. Closer to a blonde coffee. It tastes like cream still and umami with the salty sweet. Similar to the BGB. Interesting.. I just had a red berry flavour pop up and then disappear. If anything.. the chocolate flavour in this is minimal to the creamy umami to me. If it were chocolate it would definitely be 60%.. therefore more sweet malt than cocoa punch. I think perhaps if I used 5 pearls instead of 4, I would be picking up on more of the chocolate? I dont know. All I know is that I am in love with the umami sweet salty I get from some blacks. This being a big one.
2.5 min: I was putting on some sun screen when I waited for this next cup to cool and found I was getting a fishy aftertaste. Odd.. I haven’t eaten anything yet. I’m not apposed to it, but my taste buds are so weird. Did anyone else get a slightly fishy aftertaste? I kinda like it with the whole umami theme. Reminded me of fish sauce. Back to the tea. A sweeter, more malty side has come out. With a cocoa edge and still some saltiness that I am loving on. No big umami presence anymore.. it’s like they switched roles. Delightful!

I am going to stop posting now as the tea is inspiring me to paint for a bit before I go biking. Such a lovely day here! I hope it is for everyone else too =)

Preparation
Boiling
ScottTeaMan

In your 2 min review you mention blonde coffee. Is that coffee with milk or cream??

Lynne-tea

Oh sorry! Blonde as in a light roasted coffee. So a lighter coffee color for sure =)

ScottTeaMan

I’ve never heard that befre.

Amariel

I loved this tea!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

Another great tea and helping cup, this time its Golden Monkey! Its very much like Yunnan type black teas with a complex and layered flavors that seem best to come out during multiple steeps and playing around with temperature. It has a distinct flavor almost near to Assam which explains the sweet potato flavor with the amount of slight sweetness without it being to brisk on the palate. I can taste however the Yunnan qualities that works well with this tea, it gives a soily, maybe woody body, with smooth almost chocolaty on the back end of the palate. Just perfect!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.