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Recent Tasting Notes
I got a sample of this tea for free from Angel at Teavivire.
The dry leaf was beautiful – wiry, long, and golden. The smell as it brews is very sweet and malty.
As I drank the tea I tasted the sweet notes immensley. Honey, toasted rice, warm barley all came to mind. As the tea cooled I got more of the astrignent flavor. I drank this tea as I was on my way to work in traffic — I have enough of my sample to try again when I can cocentrate more on the tea and less on outside annoyances like traffic jams.
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
Decided to make this a green tea morning by trying my next Teavivire sample: Bi Luo Chun.
The dry leaf scent is nice, but I can’t quite describe it. There is nothing else I can think of that fits the profile. It’s a very nice smell and not what I expected.
Moving on to drinking the liquor. The first steep tasted sweet, a bit smoky, with spice notes, overall very interesting flavours to experience. The tea body has a nice deep flavour, not too vegetal. And I felt a warm fuzzy peach texture in my mouth
Second steep was still nice but a bit weaker. I agree with some of the people on here that this tastes much like a white tea, and I’m getting more of that “tea” flavour I experience with white tea.
Third steep felt soft, sweet, warm, and fuzzy. Still tasting a bit of the spice notes, but the tea body is weakening.
I ended on the fourth cup, which while weak was still pleasant and satisfying.
I’ve never tried this type of tea before but I like Teavivre’s offering. Out of the other green tea samples from this company, I prefer the Premium Dragon Well (which I have purchased) but Bi Luo Chun would have to be my second favourite. This was my second time brewing it (first time reviewing), so I still have plenty of leaf to experiment with and find an ideal steeping method.
235ml water in a glass mug, 1 tsp, 4 steeps (1min, +30s resteeps)
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
Had a much better experience with this tea today. I used exactly 235ml of water as opposed to too little like 100ml with a gaiwan, or the usual 250ml amount I use for most teas.
First steep tasted wonderful, very delicate, with some floral and fruit notes, very vegetal and buttery, with a hint of smoke.
Second steep was almost a little too bitter for me, but still palatable. The green tea body is much bolder and sweeter.
I adjusted the steep time for the third cup, which worked just as I had hoped. More delicate green tea, no bitterness, still has a strong aroma but weakening due to it being the third steep.
Fourth steep was actually much sweeter than I expected. With a sort of baked aroma, along with the weakening buttery and vegetal flavour.
Still not sure I would buy this, but I feel that depending on how you prepare this tea it can taste really good or really bad. The water to tea leaf ratio seems to be very important and I’ll be using the rest of my sample to figure out what I like best. And I’m happy that Teavivre sent me this as a sample because it’s allowed me to experiment with green tea. In the past I have had a few bad experiences with green tea and that might be due to bad preparation and/or bad tea.
235ml water in a glass cup, 1 tsp, 4 steeps (1 min, 2 min, 2 min, 2:30 min)
At one in the a.m. I was still awake and heard rain, and since I had a bit of a dry and scratchy throat I thought it would be nice to get up, make a pot of tea, and write letters while listening to the rain falling. While my tea steeped, I stepped out back to enjoy the sound of the rain. Lovely! And hardly chilly at all.
The dry leaves are beautiful…so fluffy and light. The aroma is outstanding, I would even say it is arresting. There was a bare hint of smoke, lots of grain, and buttery but somehow slightly spicy veggies, and for the first time I thought I caught a whiff of fine pipe tobacco.
I steeped for just over one minute and immediately started a resteep, because I don’t want to waste this and I knew I could reheat it in the morning.
The flavor is very light, almost like a white tea. There is a tiny touch of astringency, the good kind!
The warmth is soothing my throat, and the tea is soothing my soul. I think when I finish writing this letter to my friend, I will sleep very well indeed.
Next, I want to try steeping this in my gong fu set. I find sometimes the flavors unfold and pop out more brilliantly when the tea is prepared that way. I can hardly wait to try it!
Thank you to Angel Chen and Travivre for this sample!
3 heaping tsp. of tea, 500 ml. water in the Breville at below parameters.
There is more smoke than I remember in both the smell and the taste of the steeped tea this time. The smoke is right at the beginning of the sip, and then the vegetal note takes over toward the end. It’s reminding me of smoked meats. I think that this would have been good with a savory meal.
I have enough tea to have a few more cups, so I’m curious to see whether this steep (with the smoky notes) or the previous one (which was much more green/spinachy), was the odd one out.
This puerh really goes a long way. My friend who loves puerh came over again today and we took out one mini tuo cha for my gong fu set. I rinsed to allow the cake to start breaking up. Then we steeped about six times. I thought the first steep might be too mild for her, but she said it was strong enough to be enjoyable. (As a former coffee drinker she usually likes strong but smooth teas.). The last steep, which may actually have been number seven as I wasn’t counting carefully, was a bit weak.
This is good tea, good puerh. I look forward to trying the rose puerh which should be here soon. Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
Dry paper, flowers, and perfume. Read my full review here…
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
I tried this in a gaiwan (30s, +10s resteeps) but didn’t enjoy the result very much. So I then prepared it in a glass and used longer steeps.
First steep tasted sweet, vegetal, with honeydew and cucumber flavour, and was slightly buttery. Liquor felt very smooth and soft in my mouth.
Drinking from the second steep, the flavour is obviously much stronger, but still nice and not bitter. I prefer the delicate aroma of the first cup though.
As a personal preference, I think this tea benefits from a higher water to leaf ratio than offered by a gaiwan. One cup of water (I tend to use a bit more at 250ml) per 1 tsp worked very well for me. I still have plenty of the tea sample left so I will keep adjusting the steep settings to find what I like best.
Overall Xin Yang Mao Jian turned out to be very nice with a strong aroma and a fresh vegetal feel.
Glass mug, 250ml of water, 1 tsp, 2 steeps
Sample provided courtesy of Teavivre…
I think I’m going to hold off on rating this for now because I really don’t love jasmine tea for the most part, however I did like the jasmine pearls from Teavivre a lot. This pretty much tastes like the jasmine green tea I got from Adagio and I really feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s pretty much like any other decent loose leaf jasmine tea I’ve ever tried. It is pleasant enough but very floral and a bit drying.
I have to admit that I was disappointed with this tea. I tried it at least four times, and the result was always the same. Maybe the flavor was just too subtle for me. I like my Pi Lo Chun to be a little more robust. It also had a slight smokey flavor—almost like Dragonwell. Don’t get me wrong, this tea is not horrible. It just is not quite the chun I like.
As I mentioned last night, I wanted to revisit this tea today. Today, when I steeped this, I used a little bit more leaf, and the results are still quite pleasing. A stronger flavor, of course, but, still nicely balanced. A very fine jasmine offering, I’d recommend this to all jasmine lovers out there, it’s really delightful.
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
Now here is a strange “tea” for me to review, a fruit tea! Obviously the word tea is meant here as something brewed in hot water and not relating to camellia sinensis (real tea leaf). This one lists using 3-4 tsp per 230ml of water, and with that in mind Teavivre graciously gave me about 50g of Waterlilies Fruit Tea to try.
I prepared some of this last night, with 500ml and about 5 tsp of fruit tea. The brew was a bit too tart for me, so today I’m adjusting the steep variables.
Tonight I tried 250ml of water and 2 tsp of fruit. It was still a bit too sour for my tastes so I added bit of honey. The result was much more palatable and the honey gives the liquor a nice texture.
Next time I’ll try this with a simple sugar syrup (sugar and water boiled in a small sauce pan) to see if that enhances it more. But I will still use 2 tsp of fruit per 250ml, because the flavour is much the same. If you want a more intense tart fruit flavour, use the full 3-4 tsp.
I’m not a big fan of hot fruit flavour, but this isn’t bad for it’s “type”. If you want to avoid caffeine and enjoy a tart fruit drink, this wouldn’t be a bad one to try. I think the addition of honey or sugar is needed to bring down the sourness. Normally I dislike adding sweetener to tea, but this isn’t tea it’s fruit, and as you know fruit drinks do tend to have a sweetener to make them more palatable.
250ml of water, 2 tsp, 1 steep (8mins exactly)
Tea of the late afternoon……
The last of my samples from TeaVivre. I did end up placing an order, so it will be interesting to try the new samples they send along with my order.
We had an odd break in the cold weather today, so it was a great day for lighter teas than I normally drink. This was my first Tie Guan Yin. I really liked it. It was buttery like the milk oolongs I have tried, and lightly floral. One thing I find very interesting about the greener oolong varieties is how the liquor almost feels heavy in the mouth. I am sure it is part of the magic of tea, and it something that draws me to oolongs, or maybe more vegetal teas in that you feel you are drinking much more than water. The other thing I really like about greener oolongs and the jasmine green I had earlier today is that I really enjoy them without additions. This one was not an exception. The leaves brewed up huge and bright green. The liquor was pale yellow with a hint of green. Really a great tea. It is going on the shopping list!
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
This is a follow up from yesterday where I brewed it with short steeps. Today I brewed this western style but in two different ways.
(#1) First I used the whole packet (5g?) with 500ml of water, steeped it twice.
(#2) Then I used the whole packet with 250ml of water, and also steeped it twice.
(#1) was good, with the liquor from the second steep having a better taste. The leaves didn’t unfurl completely until the second steep either, so I think a minimum of two steeps for Dong Ding prepared western style is a good idea.
(#2) was also given a rinse because I wanted to “wake up” the leaves a bit more. The flavour from the first cup is pretty intense, with the lichee aroma really grabbing my attention. At three minutes (#2) is on the edge of becoming bitter but never really cross the line. My second cup tastes a bit different, maybe a bit less fruity with the tea body becoming stronger. Anyway, it’s still a good flavourful cup. The lichee notes really seem to make it quite mouth watering.
Out of the cups I made today, my preference is for (#2’s) first steep which is similar to the steeping directions listed by Teavivre. And even though both were brewed in boiling water, the tea liquor did not taste too bitter or unfriendly.
While I enjoyed this Dong Ding I don’t think I like it enough to purchase some. Out of the three oolongs I’ve tried from Teavivire, this is my second favourite with TGY being my least favourite, but only due to personal preference. As mentioned in the other tasting note, I enjoy this Dong Ding because the additional flavours are not too overpowering. This is why I don’t like the TGY so much, because it is very floral and quite sweet when prepared western style. Again, I’ve mentioned this before but I do not have a sweet tooth, so I prefer earthy teas or those that are only slightly sweet.
Overall I think this is a good oolong for those that enjoy “oolong” flavour without too many floral/sweet characteristics. Not a favourite but still a good experience.
Beautiful tea like a finest perfume. Smells indeed like peony flowers. Perhaps someone could use it for making perfume. I have tried this tea just once from the sample I received from Teavivre, however I was instantly impressed. The taste is gentle, not grassy, and the sweetness stays on a palate for a long time.
A+ for this one!
so I’m pretty new to white tea but I’m warming up to it quickly. As others have commented this is a beautiful long sage green leaf with lots of white fuzz.
I steeped this in approx 170 – 180 F water for about 2 minutes.
I’m just sitting here trying to figure out what to say about it. I was thinking vaguely spearmint but somehow that isn’t quite right. It seems lightly floral with a touch of lilac, with a lingering bit of fruit like lychee in the finish. I don’t think I’m enough of a white tea expert to know if this is better or worse than other white needles but I am enjoying it a lot. It has a very smooth feel in your mouth.
Tea of the afternoon…..
The sample was sent for review by TeaVivre. Thank you so much, Angel, for arranging this tea tasting with Steepster members. It has been wonderful to see how others experienced the tea you are currently drinking.
I have about four versions of this tea in my house. I do have to say, that I do enjoy a good jasmine green. In looking at the price points of the versions I have on hand, it runs all across the board from just over $5per ounce when purchased in around a 4 oz amount to this one which is just over $3.50. One of the close to $5 versions is organic, but the other is not. The one that I have that is close in price to this one, I have relatively zero information on it as I purchased it from a glass jar at my local Asian Market. I think the offering from TeaVivre is the one I will stick with…I have much more information on it, and it definitely smells fresher than the one I bought locally. I know green teas have a shorter shelf life than black, so it being very fresh is important. (I wish I had known that about my local purchase….while it is good, it is not nearly as bright tasting as some of the others I have tried, and who knows how long it was sitting in that glass jar?!) They all look very similar, but the two that are closest in smell are this one and the version from Harney & Son’s. My local one, and the organic one from the Summer Steepster box both smell kind of flat, although the local one is slightly floral, while being flat, and closer to what would be expected in a jasmine tea. (I am not even sure I want to try the organic one. It just doesn’t smell right, and I just opened the package…)
Onto the tea. It makes a pale, golden-green liquor and has such a lovely, relaxing, light floral scent. More of a refreshing scent than you would find in rose scented teas. The flavor has a slight butteryness and I definitely taste a light floral note as well as smelling it. I find this very good and I think jasmine tea would be more of a Spring/Summer choice for myself, but I am trying to push myself to drink more green tea. I always forget jasmine pearls are green, though! This is a very good and reasonably priced version of this tea in my opinion, especially since it is a good resteeper.
oh, this is nice! Like others I have noticed the sweet smell of the leaves when you open up the bag, it is quite lovely!
I did steep this in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, it is delicious this way but I should have paid attention to the instructions that said 185… A nice lingering flavor of sweet potatoes and raisins. It’s malty and delicious. I could not not resist adding some soymilk to mine. I am still not used to drinking a lot of black teas plain aside form pu-erh. So I will try this gong fu style again some other time, I think that will be an endeavor well worth my time. Definitely a cuppa worth having around!
Been a l-o-n-g week; reentry after the holidays has been nuts. So I needed something really good to coax me out the door this morning.
Thanks to the lovely jacquelinem, I have just that—a cup that starts out cocoa-sweet at the beginning with a tangy, fruity sign-off at the end. Really too good for a workday morning. Highly recommended.
thank you Angel at Teavivre for this generous sample
coming home at 6:30 AM from work I was looking around at what kind of tea to try..and perhaps review here on Steepster. I was also pretty hungry, so I started re-heating my Vegan Jamaican Curry Chicken to go along with the Tea.
This is a great black Tea, smooth, slightly smokey and with that delicious maltiness that is great alone and very much complimented my ‘Curry Chicken’
It has a familiar aroma & tastes I’m trying to describe..? Maybe nutty as well? Hmm, it’s an awesome black tea that’s a “stand alone” and for when I’m felling in the mood for a black with a pedigree. It’s something to savor. I will order this one for sure
I brewed it according to Teavivre’s suggestion at 185, but almost went for boiling.
Did I mention the dried leaves were beautiful?
This is an amazing jasmine, there is such a remarkable balance between the flavors of green tea and jasmine. It doesn’t taste overly flowery or perfume-y at all. The flavor is light and sweet and delightful. I was about to write a full-length review of this for SororiTea Sisters (to be published next week), but, I think I shall hold off on the writing for just a little while, because I wish to just sit and enjoy this tea for a while. I think I will have it again tomorrow so that I can write then.