Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

76

A sample from Teavivre. The day after Thanksgiving here in the USA, much thank to them!

A tea I have no experience with, I’m looking forward to giving it a try. I was in the mood for something different, rather than my usual Longjing fix, when I remembered the handful of samples I’d received from Teavivre.

Brewed in my Finum I find this is just the perfect single serving Gaiwan-like experience with out all the hassle of dealing with hot lids, multiple cups and fairness pitchers. Plus I get the added benefits of double wall clear glass. I dump the whole sample pack into my 5 oz. cup

With my 1st steep at 30 seconds I get smoke. Not overt, but there. Vegetal, with light mildly astringent brightness and a creeping sweetness that played around the periphery. “Yellow-green” in color, as Teavivre describes it, would be accurate. I’m liking it. I’m not bowled over, but I’m liking it.

2nd steep I take a little less time at 20 seconds. I tend to find that brewing this way. The first steep takes a moment to wet the leaves, but by the 2nd, the wet leave are primed and ready to go. Third and onward I’m coaxing out flavor, extending the time bit by bit. Color is still true. Smokiness clear, but still not overwhelming. The notes from the first steep, if anything more defined.

3rd Steep and it’s all smoothing out for me. Everything’s still present, just leveled out, coasting across my palate. Color’s maintains its vibrancy, sweet tones are somewhat more pronounced. Mouthfeel is expansive.

4th steeping is the most agreeable for me. Water temp in my kettle has dropped considerably, and I can’t be bothered to get up and get any hotter. Smokiness has been reduced considerably and it’s become more about the things I like about this tea. That being the subtle sweetness and the afterglow that it leaves.

5th steep now with fairly hot water, probably verging on 190˚F. Oops, that had to be over a minute there as I searched for the degree symbol on my keyboard. Oh well. It’s pretty hot, so I’ll let it sit for a bit. Smoke is back as I slurp to cool. Colors still pretty vibrant. Overall I’m pleased with the experience, but not dying to repeat it. That’s funny… candy cane. Just the smell, not the the taste. Hmmm.

I’ll probably be able to get a 6th and maybe 7th steep out of this. But I’m losing interest. If it’s anything particularly notable, I’ll add more details later. In the meantime, I’ll let this rest.

Caffeine? Nothing terribly noticeable. I’d say fairly low. I’m pretty sure I could drink this and go right to bed.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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85

Another of the samples sent by the lovely Angel from Teavivre.

As others have mentioned, this comes vacuum-sealed and boy does this smell fresh!

I separated my first steeping of this tea into three cups, each steeped for a minute longer. 1 minute was light, as you would imagine, and pleasent. Not tasting any honey at this stage, but the overall flavour makes me look forward to cup #2. 2 minutes and the flavour was beautifully rounded. I could taste the honey just barely and it complemented the oolong beautifully. 3 minutes and the vegetal oolong comes out. For personal taste, I’ll probably steep it around the 2 minute mark from now on.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tea and have marked it down as one to purchase. The little packets would make great stocking stuffers actually. Might have to pick up a bunch for Christmas!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

Tea stocking stuffers. I think you just made me cry.

Miss Starfish

With joy, I hope?

ashmanra

Yes! Just the thought of those adorable little packages of tea squirreled away in a stocking!

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71

I have had a terrible day today thanks to a mixture of ill health, busy work and a complaining customer. I drank Jasmine Phoenix Pearls and wished I had gone for something stronger so I pulled this one randomly out of the samples I had from Teavivre’s Pu erh sampler pack.

The raw tea looks amazing, the same colour as chocolate and in large pieces of wood looking sticks that smell earthy.

Not sure if it’s because I just had the Jasmine Phoenix Pearls but this is super strong. It could be the Paddy flavour (whatever that is, all I can imagine is ground up Irish leprechauns).

A few steeps in and I can taste flowers and earth, it’s very strong and a little ear waxy( don’t ask me how I know that). I would think that I brewed it too strong as it tastes that way but I used 10g which is a sample pack as recommended by Teavivre. I am also following their steeping rules on website.

The liquid is dark honey in colour and looks a little cloudy. Perhaps when I mentioned flowery earlier it should have said perfumey, the strong floral tang that reminds one of perfume but in the mouth…I’m picking that up.

Overall it’s nice but just not going it’s job today. I have rated according to my taste test for today but I do have more samples and will adjust my rating in the future so if I am having an off day when it comes to tasting I would have put it right.

Nik

“…ground up Irish leprechauns.”LOL

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89

A review of Tawain Jin Xuan (Milk Oolong Tea) by Teavivre

Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Jin Xuan
Tea Type/Varietal: oolong
Region: Taiwan
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose leaf
Liquor Color: light green
Leaf Characteristics: small pellets that bloom to fuller leaves when steep/immerse in hot water.

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 5 minutes

I trying to finish some tea samples sent to me earlier in the year or several weeks ago; Teavivre had sent me a big tea packets and each time I reach in the bag I find a sample pack; this one I reached in for I had just the other day; I did not realize how many oolong teas were in this packet and some are the same 2 or 3 of the same kind.

I open and empty the pack into my cup and add the boiled water to it; I leave it to steep for 5 minutes and the teas’ aroma when done is definitely of milk; that honey dew quality and the tea’s color is a lovely light peach-yellow base.

I scoop out the tea leaves, noticing how fuller they are and plumper; they look buttery even. I take a sip of the tea and another and it is good for my palette. I continue to enjoy this drink until gone.

2nd Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 4 minutes

I fix some more of the oolong tea using same tea leaves and this time that honey dew or cream of broccoli is most prevalent. Shorter infusion seems to bring out the softer nuances of this tea (buttery with slight peach flavoring) with no tartness as can be with unripe peach; I think if served cold this aspect would present itself in the tea.

This is for me a favorite oolong and I know it is one that I will return to time and again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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89

A review of Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea by Teavivre

Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Taiwan Jin Xuan
Tea Type/Varietal: oolong
Region: Taiwan
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ 1 scoop
Plucking Season:
Liquor Color: light green/ yellow base—pale peach
Leaf Characteristics: small pellets like leaves as this is pure tea buds and leaves hand rolled into these fine peletts.

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes

I chose to have this milk oolong after having had some wonderful green tea powdered matcha tea. I also have had many fine teas from Teavivre who sent me a number of teas to sample and I have a few remaining.

I opened this small packet and emptied its content into my cup and adding the freshly boiled water to my cup I cover it, leaving it to steep for few minutes. After a few minutes, I remove the saucer and scoop out the leaves which are fuller and green in color with hints of veggies for an aroma.

The tea is a smooth light green in color with a milky aroma; more like broccoli. As I sip the tea I find it to have no astringency, having instead a milky dew quality that can be compared to honey dew and fresh peach; but as for my self it is a bowl of cream of broccoli soup in the making.

2nd Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

I continue to have more of this tea with more steeps and using the same tea leaves; tea’s color is a light peach color with no astringency. Tea is very good and I can drink this throughout the day and enjoy every drop.

I am very grateful to have been exposed to oolong teas as they are exceptional teas and good for you to have with a meal or after. Thank you, Teavivre for sending these teas for me to sample.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

A review of Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong by Teavivre

Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Jin Xuan Milk Oolong
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Region: Alishan Nantou, Taiwan
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose leaf
Plucking Season:
Liquor Color: light amber with orange/yellow base
Leaf Characteristics:

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

I am happy to be having another of Teavivre tea samplers. This one is a milk oolong. I opened the foiled packet to find small pellets like of green colored leaves. I empty the packet into my cup and pour in the boiled water and placing a lid over my cup I leave it to steep for 2 minutes.

After the set time, I remove the lid to find the leaves have grown fuller and very green and tea cup smelling of greens and somewhat strongly astringent. I guess this is freshness and partly from the Osmanthus, I hope I am not reacting to it as I do Jasmine. I scoop out the leaves and the tea is a light amber color and when placed directly under the lights it is orange/peach like.

Upon sipping the tea which seems more astringent than I was expecting; tea seems kind of bitter and not sure why since steep time was very short. Perhaps from not rinsing or discarding this first brew, I am unsure.

I did finish the cup however, and added more boiling water over the leaves for another cup and still there is that slight astringency in flavoring.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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89

A review of Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea by Teavivre

Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Region: Taiwan
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose leaf
Plucking Season:
Liquor Color: a very pale yellow with first steep and with longer steeps tea color is darker yellow/peach in color.
Leaf Characteristics: Tea leaves are very finely crunched into tiny little stones and dark in color and when steeped the leaves are fuller and green in color. I should say leaves are full leaves and not broken.

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

I steep this tea for two minutes in boiled water (after first rinsing the tea leaves and discarding of the water), I then pour more of the boiled water in my tea mugs with a cover on it. When cover is removed what is notice at first are the tea leaves since they are fully blown and the tea leaves are whole. It is amazing, these fine granules tea buds become full leaves when steep. Tea’s aroma is faint and light; nothing as striking as the leaves being fully evolved. I like the tea’s color although it is not bright. A paradox since it sounds as if I am not impressed as yet.

I taste the tea and thinking of its name milk oolong…and of something I had read about brewing oolong that are full-leaf; in that because they have such large, flat leaves, they can be steep for seven to ten minutes without turning bitter.

This much I can attest and have attested with the leaves being fuller. And the tea has not bitterness; it is very light/mild tea. This is something that I could drink throughout the day.

I am grateful for Teavivre for sending me more of these fine teas to sample. I am happy for the experience of sampling and reviewing of their teas. Thank you.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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98

wow! every time i steep this remarkable black tea i am impressed again. this tea is so complex in its flavor profile that it’s difficult to notate as you’re being delivered from one hint to the next. strong honey, black cherry, chocolate and walnut to name a few. i can’t think of another black tea with so much flavor and yet is not overwhelmingly rich. this tea is light and delicate. thank you so much to @ashmanra for the sample that got me switched from Teavana to a better purveyor :-)

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

So glad you like it! And welcome back – haven’t heard from you in a while! :)

OtherWillSmith

I’m back!! :-) I was gone with final wedding details followed by two nights at the Disney Hotel followed by 16 days in Italy! It was amazing, but now I’m completely exhausted. Thank gawd for tea :-) I have a favorite coffee shop between home and work and they are under construction on a new tea only section and I can’t wait to report on the teas and add it as a tea house so be expecting those soon :-)

ashmanra

Cool and congrats! My daughter was just there, or at the one in Florida. You were probably in Cali!

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84

Mmm molasses.
Very tired and emotional today. I just need a break from the world. This is the best tea I have for such situations at work. Wish I could take the day and hike off into the wilderness.
I need to bring more teas in.

boychik

Hope the rest of the day will be peaceful;)

Mercuryhime

Not too bad. I’m feeling better now. Thanks. :)

ashmanra

I am almost out of this one. That must not happen. But they were sold out when I last checked so I guess I had better hang in there!

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84

I forgot to log this tea from earlier today. Work totally distracts from the tea drinking experience. Rude.

I remember a lot of sweet syrup. Lightly malty. I was hoping for a roasty chocolate taste, but it was light this time. Not really how I remember it. Hm.

I need sleep.

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84

I’m in the office and I smell something thats exactly like SpecialTeas’ Almond Cookie tea. Is there a tea lover on this floor? I’m surreptitiously peeking into other people’s cubes but I can’t find the source of the smell! And its another dept that shares our space so I don’t know them well enough to ask. Haha what a unique tea addict problem.

Anyways, I’m having this tea again with three pearls and cooler water. Much better! This leads me to conclude that most people prefer their teas a lot stronger than I do! I’ll keep that in mind in case any Steepterites ever show up to my place for tea. :)

ashmanra

Step up and proclaim, “Hey, what smells so delicious in here!” You may get some weird looks, but you may score a real cookie or make a new tea friend!

Hesper June

I had to giggle. I just caught a glimpse of the gossip at the water cooler in your office today…there is some gal sneaking around sniffing peoples cubicles;)

Mercuryhime

The smell is gone now. Would it be weird to proclaim “Hey, what smelled so delicious earlier?” haha
Also, I hope I wasn’t that noticeable! I Thought I was really subtle! :)

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84

So I heard lots of good things about this tea. Sadly, I don’t find it all that tasty. Did I brew this wrong? It was kind of sour. I do some of those chocolate flavors people are talking about but it’s also kind of bitter. I think I’ll use a lower temp next time. I find the boiling water never really works out for me unless it’s an herbal. I suppose I’m sensitive to the stuff the boiling water brings out of teas. And there’s a lot of caffeine in this. Holy cow.

I’ll try this again before I rate it.

As I was brewing this, husband walked by and said, “I was looking for some tea this morning and I noticed that you have way too much!” He doesn’t touch my stash usually. He has no real idea how much tea I have. There’s more hidden under my desk. muahaha

Donna A

I used 5 pearls with 8 oz water for 3 minutes at almost boiling and really liked it. I read that it can be a little tricky to get right. The other alternative is to brew it gong fu style-some teas that I don’t like Western are great gong fu style.

Mercuryhime

I only used 4 pearls with 8 oz. It tasted too strong for me. Though I think I over brewed it since it forgot about it for a few minutes. Usually when this happens, I add more hot water to dilute it and it works out. If not, a lower temp and lower steep time usually fixes things for me. Hotter water leeches out more bitterness and I guess I’m pretty sensitive to that. We shall see next time! I think I"ll bring the rest of my sample pouch to work tomorrow and try it out there!

Charles Thomas Draper

4 pearls and boiling water and a 5 minute steep and I am loving it

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80

Thanks Teavivre for yet another generously-sized sample of a tea I’m quite interested in trying! I seem to have developed a fondness for jasmine whites instead of jasmine greens, so hopefully this one works for me!

The aroma emanating from the packet is strongly of a sweet, delicious jasmine. It almost makes me think candy! Delicious. The tea is a bit more subdued (probably a good thing), but has a nice jasmine aroma that makes me think of Chinese food (haha), but unlike the tea I have at my favourite Chinese restaurant, the flavour here is sweet and delicate (and quite floral, although that’s the same), and completely smooth and silky. All the jasmine deliciousness without the bitterness/astringency from green tea.

I’m not quite sure whether I prefer Verdant’s Yunnan White Jasmine or this tea (I’m not likely to keep multiple white jasmines on hand), so will have to do a comparison one day.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95

Like the Blueberry Fruit tea by Teavivre this one is also much better cold. I steeped for approx. 4min and found it was just right. This tea turned my water in to a medium pink colour. I find hot or steeped too long makes it undrinkable for me. So if you buy this make sure to have enough to experiment with otherwise you might miss how good this tea is.

Preparation
Iced 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

It’s very tasty I oversteeped mine though I think as I lost track of time…oops! oh well it’s still good but I think it might work better for me cold :D

Preparation
Boiling

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92

Since my doctors fiasco this morning and having had stomach ache for half the day I have decided to treat myself to a gaiwan steeping of this wonderful jasmine dragon pearl tea.

My tasting notes are just quick, I will write a better review soon.

The pearls are magically perfumed before and during steeping and the only thing that could match it’s fragrance would be it’s taste. Perfumey sweet jasmine with fresh grassy green tea leaves and a pinch of sunshine.

It’s fun to look at the pearls after each steep to see them change, at my second steep in they changed from being tight pearls to becoming 6’s or 9’s due to unravelling slightly. Fourth steep and they are starting to look like long spirals.

My stomach feels better now too :) Plus the jasmine has perfumed my mouth.

Nik

I love the idea of drinking sunshine! =)

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88

A review of A review of Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha (sample) by Teavivre

Date: 11/19/2012
Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha
Tea Type/Varietal: Pu-erh
Region: Fujian Taiwan
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ one small bird’s nest (cake) pu-erh
Plucking Season:
Liquor Color: darkish amber/ raisin/stewed prunes
Leaf Characteristics: when I remove the mini tuocha from its wrapper it is shape like a fine small bird’s nest and when the water is poured into the cup the Tuocha seems do dissolves into the water; over time leaving fine powder like residue at cup’s bottom.

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 185 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

Note: I fixed for myself another cup of this pu-erh and what I am noting today is the aroma and strength of this pu-erh is somewhat like coffee; very mild since not as roast or robust as a cup of coffee, yet very much so. What do I mean exactly? Tea’s color is that of coffee bean and does smell raw and the base of it is dampness. As the tea cools one can find some what of fragrant cup of coffee perhaps not caffeinated; there is strength in this tea with a raw and malt flavoring which I missed when first I had this tea. I seem to have accomplished this by drinking it cold. I made the tea quite sometime ago and it has gotten cold and there’s the malt and robustness in the cup that I had not notice as when the tea was very hot.

So do I like hot or cold? Tea for me should be hot.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

A review of Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha (sample) by Teavivre

Date: 11/16/2012
Company: Teavivre
Tea Name: Ripened Age Pu-erh Mini Tuocha
Tea Type/Varietal: Pu-erh
Region: Yunnan China
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ mini Tuocha
Plucking Season:
Liquor Color: dark cranberry
Leaf Characteristics: Small coin like Tuocha

  1. Steepings

1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

Note: This is another sample sent to me from Teavivre and I am looking forward to trying this Tuocha. I cut open the sample pack and take out one of the individually wrapped Tuocha and remove the covering from it. It is semi-soft and rolled like a little weaved basket/ resembling a small bird’s nest, I take this and put it in my tea mug and pour the already boiled water into the mug, I place the saucer on the cup and leave to steep for two minutes.

When I remove the saucer/lid from my mug, the aroma starts to permeates the air around me; smelling of dampen earth, it is very noticeable smell (dampness in towels, basements, moisten soil) all images that I am conceiving as I breath in and out. The tea’s color is a lovely dark cranberry; more like dark cherries.

I take a sip and swallow and another sip yet again I swallow; there is that dryness effect on the palette and back of throat when I swallow. This pu-erh is somewhat like pu-erh I have had from Stash Teas, yet they were loose leaves. Anyhow, there a dryness and raw cacao nibs taste to this Tuocha and it is not bitter, in fact it is quite smooth and fuller in the body. I think I mean to say that the taste of this pu-erh is consistent throughout.

Upon first sip I am met with a dryness effect and very light on the palette, this tea is not heavy at all. It is very smooth and I definitely taste something of the cacao nibs…aspect of this tea. Or perhaps best to say that darken chocolate taste of both bitter/sweet chocolate when raw, unprocessed.

Do I like this tea? Yes. Do I like the tea’s color? Yes. And of the smell/aroma, is the teas’ bouquet to your expectation? Yes, I expected it to smell of dampened earth…a dewy, wet odor left from moisture permeating in the air. It smells as if something was not properly dried.

In all this is a good cup of tea for this inexperience palette.

2nd Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes

Note: With this second steep and continuing to drink this tea for the remainder of the day I find the tea’s color to remain like that of cranberry or darken cherry and the tea is smoother and richer with more infusions. It is just a nice cup of tea, it has substance and one an experience palette would be able to place quite readily since nothing is hidden with this tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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