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Recent Tasting Notes

Today was the family trip to the big city mall for Christmas shopping. We left home at seven am and got back about 12 hours later! There may have been a bit of eating out during those shopping hours…

Got in bed and went OOF! Tummy too full of fatty food to sleep well. I knew what I needed to do. I hopped up and got out my gaiwan and put the kettle on. This sample from Teavivre will save the day!…um, I mean, night!

This time I washed the leaves. My first steeps were noticeably darker, inky black, in fact. I resteeped immediately several times, pouring each steep into a larger cup. As I sipped, my poor overextended, overtaxed tummy started to rumble happily and the yucky feeling disappeared as the puerh worked its wonders. This is a nice, mild puerh that is very smooth. I can’t imagine ever adding anything to a puerh. They are what they are supposed to be, for me, and they make me feel better when I have overdone it with fatty food.

I agree that this would be a good puerh for the puerh novice. Woodsy, earthy, mild, not fishy, and nicely soothing. I would love to try some of Yeavivre’s other puerhs, and will probably put one or two not my order.

Thank you, Teavivre and Angel Chen!

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My puer loving friend was finally able to come over this evening to try this with me. This puer has an earthy aroma, not the fishy smell some puers have. I gave it almost two minutes on the first steep. It was not terribly strong, so if you like it strong right off the bat, you may want to wash it, then steep. give it the full two minutes at least.

I thought it was great! The second steep was even darker and still had great flavor, not diminished at all. This was a lovely puer. I will most likely give it one more steep. Thank you, Angel!

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Have you ever been away from home and wanted to be back so bad you fantasize about having the transporter from Star Trek? That’s how I felt today as we drove ALL OVER Moore County.

We picked up Chinese buffet takeout and I called youngest to prepare some tea. This one. And oh my goodness, it was so amazingly good it made it twice as nice to be home. Smooth, rich, and so flavorful that I could plainly taste all of its goodness even with the food, and I am so grateful that there is a bit left in the big ole pot to keep drinking because I am exhausted but I want more more more!

My daughter told me that this finished the bag. I told her that I would be lying in the floor crying if that were true. I have more Teavivre TGY’s waiting!

Terri HarpLady

I’m getting down to the bottom of the tea tin on several of my Teavivre teas.
Only a matter of time…


The offer still stands..


Thank you, mrmopar! I will definitely take a look!


This is my FAVORITE oolong. :D

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Yesterday was an adventure. I needed to finish my pickles, which take about three days for all the steps. Youngest was waiting for the chance to have the kitchen because she was making an Italian Cream Cake from scratch, from freshly ground soft white wheat. As I was pickling, I managed to set a spoon on fire, scorch my dish towel, and burn my hand (on the flaming spoon whose nylon hanging string melted and burned into my hand). Then the phone rang and the lady who has breast cancer wanted to come over to talk about her surgery and pre-op some more since, like mine, they didn’t get it all the first time, and I had a new student coming just after lunch and needed time to eat lunch myself, and….well, you get the idea.

So today was the first day of school for my final homeschooled child, who is a junior this year, and it was TEA PARTY DAY!!! Yay! It has to be a better day when you are going to have Italian Cream Cake and tea with with friends.

I checked the package today and noticed that this tea is technically expired. It is still truly delicious, and I do have more of their newer harvests as I ordered a couple of different ones because the samples were so, so good. It would be considered expired on 6/12/13. We have actually had it a couple of times lately and it was a favorite with guests both times. In spite of the age, this is a fabulous tea that still shows its fine pedigree. It is almost gone, but expired tea is what happens when you buy way more than you can drink, even when you drink it in groups.

I keep thinking that I will pare down my cupboard, and then I see a tea I must keep on hand for so-and-so, or one that I have been wanting to try, or one that I can’t bear to run out of. Ah well, I will keep I drinking and sharing and it will all work out!


Hope your hand is feeling okay!


It is great, thanks to a miracle salve called Seabuckthorn that I buy from Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve. I have never seen anything like it for making a burn stop hurting almost instantly and taking the red out. Last time I got a burn it didn’t even peel. I am a burn wimp and usually whine for a long time with my offended part in ice water. Not anymore.


Where do you buy that Ashmanra? I work in a restaurant and burn all the time!


Darby: I buy it online. I know it is sold in Whole Foods Market up north somewhere, near their physical location. I think it works far better than lavender oil. I also use their shampoo bars, chickweed salve, soap, and shampooch for the dog! A friend who lives up there recommended them to me. She has lots of serious allergies and uses their products now to prevent reactions. They have a Facebook page and they send out a monthly email if you sign up for them. Burns stop hurting in less than two minutes for me, sometimes less than one.


Cool! Thx! We have whole food so I’ll check it out.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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…

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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!


Author is from the next state over. There was such a long gap between Fatal Enquiry and the previous book, I was tempted to drive down and camp in his backyard until he finished it! “The Limehouse Text” is my favorite out of the bunch (lots of chuckle till you snort moments), but they are all great.


I want to be a part of your life!


GMathis: I will especially look for that one!

Keychange: I wish you were nearby! I would love to have Steepsterites gathered around cross-legged on the floor or sitting around the tea table drinking tea and eating my daughter’s delicious baking!

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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 need to re-order this too…

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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.


Love this one too!


This is now going on my wish list – I love your tea party descriptions!

Lariel of Lórien

All hail the mighty sweet potato tea!

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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?


Oh, the rationalizations we go through. ;) I am right there with ya!


“Waste not, want not” was drilled into my psyche during childhood, so when the resteeping realization hit me, it slowed (slowed, not stopped, lol) my urge for more. And it was this tea that did it (and Upton’s Imperial Golden Monkey, which is pulling me towards another Upton order … and the wish list over there is very scary, haha). I mean, there’s only one of me here….


I think it would be bad not to steep and resteep and then steep some more especially with this one (and the dragon pearls).


I have the same argument with myself allll the time! guh…


I read about drying leaves when you can’t resteep for some reason right away. If you live in a really dry climate like I do…I can put the leaves on a plate and within 20 minutes they are dry. I put them in a tin and resteep as soon as I can. You can’t just leave them wet for hours and hours because they pick up bacteria.

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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?


Sweet potatoes and orange sounds good!

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We made this after lunch, and it was brilliant. Baked sweet potatoes with caramelized juices, and this time I am getting a lemony or citrusy high note as well, especially as it cools. This was DELISH!

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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!

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Second steep – success! A black tea that resteeps really well is a treasure. This is definitely a treasure!

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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!”

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drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
2154 tasting notes

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.

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drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
2154 tasting notes

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!


I’m glad that you like it^^


How much water do you think should be used with these blooming teas? I was thinking maybe three cups?


I think I started with about two at the most, and each time I poured a couple of small cups, around four ounces each, I added a small amount of hot water back to resteep. I believe I may even have been just shy of sixteen ounces for the first.


Thanks! I’ll try 16 oz. I want to try this one over the holidays for certain!


I just saw that the glass pot sold on Lupicia especially for blooming teas are only a little over seven ounces. That makes sense. I noticed at Southern Season that they steep their blooming tea in a wine goblet which wouldn’t be much more than that, and they don’t fill it all the way. It definitely resteeps well, though.


That seems so small. These blooms would completely fill that pot up. Guess I will have to try it that way once. I was using an 8 cup coffee decanter – 8 cup thats 4 real cups!


I have a liter carafe – I have to try filling with say 10 oz and see if it is too shallow. I may have to buy a tiny charming glass pot – oh how terrible :)


I used my Bodum iced tea glass carafe. It is about 40 ounces, I think, but I only filled it about one-fourth of the way up.

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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.


What jasmine pearls that you have tried are your favorite so far?


I had the Harney and Sons pearls that most people love, but I didn’t like them as well. I have had both of Teavivre’s and loved them. I have had a few loose jasmine teas like Jasmine Black from Southern Season, and it was too perfume-y. Grace Rare Tea has a jasmine pouch one that is pretty good, but nothing touches Teavivre’s jasmines for me so far.


Cool! I’ve tried a few, Butiki’s organic pearls so far have been my fave. I haven’t tried any from Teavivre yet.


I have tried a few Jasmine scented teas before but never pearls. Is this one you would suggest to start with?


Absolutely! Did you know you can sign up on their site for free samples? Use your Steepster name where it asks about your blog. I love this one and the Jasmine Silver Needle most probably, though Superfine Downy Jasmine is amazing. I love Teavivre!


Love these beautiful pearls!


I am all over the free samples thing! Thanks for the tip!


Great! Thanks.

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