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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
Great big thank you to Teavivre for this sample! I was very surprised at their generosity. Always a pleasure dealing with them.
I really wanted to try one of the samples of tea from Teavivre, but I had a friend with me who was a novice and so I did not want to turn into a tea geek and start taking notes while drinking my first steeping. Since only two short steepings were done with the leaves throughout the visit, I decided to resteep the leaves the next day. Multiple times. End result? Delicious.
The broth is sweet veggies.. almost like sweet peas that have been concentrated down to their sugar juices and infused with a florally bouquet teeming with nectar. On the previous steep (would have been steep 5), there were buttery tones throughout the cup. All of the steeps were outrageously delicious and very pleasing on this hot day.
I will be posting a gongfu style review soon as well because I think it would be an amazing oolong for it.
So I got me some samples courtesy of Teavivre(with many thanks)and enjoyed it profoundly! I have had many varieties of Keemun tea all of which I found to be either lacking in balance or really just lacking in characters(possibly bad luck). This particular type of Keemun by Teavivre fits what most consider a true Keemun tea! Smoky, rich, alomost vlevety, piney with undertones of sweet and possibly flower character that goes great with a rich overtone.
The first brew at five minutes yielded a flavorful tea with much of the smoky, piney , and undertones associated with Keemun. Its not at all too smoky, nor too piney, does not go bitter when over brewed, and smooth of the palate without drying it out. The second brews and beyond have a less but still prominent character that yields a slighty tannin and slightly astringent taste towards the 4th and 5th steep. The tea itself can handle the usual milk and sugar but also a plain cuppa can be much of an experience and a good introduction into smoky teas! What a great tea this is!
At long last and patience rewarded with most gracious gifts of generosity from
this lovely company! Words cannot describe the immense quality of the leaves and the brew that comes afterwords…Its just heavenly in my opinion! Highly flowery with the jasmine goes really great with a light and smooth taste of white tea. The flavored is exactly balanced while not interfering with its woody, almost nutty and vegetal flavor, brews well and multiple times before becoming slightly tannin but not bitter. Its ambrosia indeed!
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.
This was cold-brewed again for 24 or so hours. I used the whole sample pack in the Mason Jar. The brew is strong even for a white tea and quite invigorating. In my previous reviews it was calming and I even suggested a shorter steep time. All in all I am enjoying this creation. Perfect on a summer day. Very cooling and refreshing.
Free sample from Teavivre
Back to reviewing teas after a few days off. This is the last of my samples from Teavivre and it is one that was well worth waiting for. I love the flat leaf and bud. The aroma of the dry leaf is sweet and nutty. The tea brews into a light yellow liquor and the taste is smooth, sweet, slightly nutty with a slight vegetal hint. The second steeping is as good as the first. I wonder how the third will be. I am really enjoying this tea.
I ordered this sample along with several other teas from Teavivre. My husband and I decided to try it tonight and were glad we did. It was deliciously sweet,fragrant, and smooth just as advertised. We got three flavorful steeps. Loved this tea and recommend it to anyone who appreciates a good jasmine tea.
This is a mug of comfort, and that’s exactly what I need right now. Something has been going on with me lately that is very unpleasant, it started when I was in Boston and it’s been getting progressively worse with each day that goes by. They are headaches but the word “headache” doesn’t come close to describing how horrific they are. It starts when I get up out of bed in the morning, beginning with a feeling of extreme pressure in the front of my head that turns into throbbing, extreme pain. It gets so intense that I can do nothing but lay in bed because with each movement I make, every time I stand up straight or perform any task, I get jolts of crippling pain all throughout my head. Every noise, every little bit of light, every time I move my head or TOUCH anything, I’m hit with pain that hurts so bad it causes me to scream, it got so bad at one point that I was lying in my bed crying and I felt like my skull was simultaneously on fire and about to explode. I’m sorry to whine, it’s just that this is really worrying me. I looked up my symptoms and I’m not finding anything, does anybody have any insight that they could give me?
This is the last of the teas Teavivre sent for tasting. I still have a few unfinished samples here and there, though, so it’s not completely over.
However, I don’t feel as if I have much to say about this tea as I have about the others. To me, this tastes exactly like their other slightly roasty oolong, Taiwan Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin. I’m not entirely sure what ginseng tastes like, as most things I’ve had with it as an ingredient have also had overpowering ginger. I associate the two, unfortunately.
What I’m trying to say is that I can’t tell the difference between this and the other oolong I received. Am I the only one?
I am finally feeling better again. I have less pressure in my ears and my sinus pressure has gone down. Apparently I just need to threaten my body with a trip to the doctors and it behaves. Lol! The decongestant that my fiancee gave me probably helped too.
The leaves to this tea are much bigger than I expected. Instead of shaking them out or getting a teaspoon out, I just took two pinches and put them in my press. The leaves are so silky and look like they have been covered with a layer of delicate white fuzz. The aroma was nearly intoxicating just from the leaves. It smelled like very lightly toasted almonds that have been covered in jasmine flowers.
After impatiently waiting for the water to get hot, I steeped this for about two minutes. The liquor is very, very pale. I didn’t even notice it had color until I put it in my white ceramic mug. I was expecting it to be light because it is a white tea, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this light. The smell is still the same as the leaves, but the jasmine is lighter. I close my eyes and I imagine delicate white lace, lilies, and jasmine.
Confession time: I don’t like white tea. The ones I have tried had no flavor to them and just ended up tasting like hot leaf juice.
This tea is astounding! Mind blowing. It tastes goregous. There is this very light toasty taste (which I am assuming is the white tea) that dances right beside the jasmine. And the jasmine in this tea is light. Very light. I didn’t even taste jasmine the first time I sipped this it was so light. But as you sip on it, the jasmine becomes more and more apparent.
This might become a favorite for a while. It was just what I was looking for today. Perfect to break my earl grey with milk streak. I’m going to have to try to re-steep this after dinner to have as a nice before-bed drink.
If you haven’t had this yet, get it. It is awesome.
Love getting tips from Steepster people!
I like to try different methods and decide afterward if it’s for me or not. After reading Charles T. Draper’s review on having this cold brewed, I had to try it!
( can’t believe I can actually relate to a real life «Draper» guy other than Mad Men Don Draper! What can I say, just can’t get enough of that show!)
Ok back to tea, I’ve been experiencing a lot lately with cold brewing, AmyHo had told me the reason she makes her iced tea this way is mostly cause it’s easy…hey, I like easy too!
Charles had recommended brewing it for 3 days…ummm, It got me thinking that patience not being one of my strongest attribute, it would be a tad too long for me so I had to try it after 1 day… it was OK, but I got some kind of metallic after taste along with bitterness that I wasn’t fond of.
So I waited…NOT patiently! but it was well worth the wait! This stuff is really good, and I can appreciate all the different nuances a lot more. For me, the crisp cold temperature amplified the nuttiness I usually get from the hot brew. Strangely, the bitterness was gone and replaced by some refreshing citrus notes that I thought complemented very well that nuttiness and oolong’s natural creaminess. I was very sad to see my jar empty and made another one right away! Now, I want to try more oolongs and greens this way, I have couple of jars waiting in the fridge!
To TEAVIVRE, I must say I have yet to try one of your tea that I don’t like, they never let me down!
Stole this bit from my post on Tropical Tea Co’s Pai Mu Tan:
I’m not a huge fan of unflavored white tea, as it tends to be a little more… delicate than I think I truly appreciate at this point. It’s good, it tastes good, but it’s not quite the tea I want to drink, you know?
It holds true here, and since I’m comparing two teas against each other, I’m being efficient and plagiarizing myself! And then being inefficient by explaining my self-plagiarism. It’s my prerogative!
(my apologies if you’re perfectly in the like seven year age demographic span to now have a song stuck in your head)
This tea, much like the Tropical version, is very light, sweet, and grassy. The grassy flavor is a little more subdued on this version, leaning more towards the cucumber-y flavor. The somewhat spicy peppery notes take more center stage real estate in this tea, instead of lingering slowly along in the aftertaste.
Together, the flavors seem to be a little more smooth and cohesive. This does add to it’s delicacy somewhat, but still produces an overall more enjoyable brew. I still don’t think I’ll be making this a permanent collection tea at the moment, but I was definitely glad to get to try it again.
I saw this when it was brand new on Teavivre’s website and didn’t hesitate to order 100 grams of it. I had never had a Golden Monkey before but have heard good things about them and was curious.
The leaves were not quite as golden as I expected them to be, but the dry leaf put off a pleasant malty aroma not unlike the Bailin Gongfu black also from Teavivre. I’ve tried this hot quite a few times now and I’m not getting much complexity from the tea. I expected sweet potato and honey flavors along with malty qualities but all I’m really getting is malt. Still, it’s a nice and comforting grainy and malty flavor, just not quite what I was expecting.
Last night, I set up a pitcher to cold brew overnight, and today at noon (12 hours later) I gave it a try. The flavor is TOTALLY different cold brewed. It’s a bit hard to describe. I do get a little hint of sweet potato this way but the brew is more astringent, and there’s also a little bit of what I would call a metallic taste and a slight fruity flavor. As strange as that may sound, I’m finding this to be a very refreshing iced tea and in my opinion, this tea shines most cold-brewed.
I returned from my trip to Boston today and I’m glad to be home. It was a cool city with a lot of interesting things, but I have to say that I am NOT a city person. Being in big cities just makes me feel so crowded in…too many people, too many huge buildings towering over me, too much noise, too much traffic. I’ll take a quiet life in a small town instead. :) Still, it was great to experience a new place. I also took a little day trip up to Maine while I was in the New England area and saw some cool beaches and lighthouses. Sadly, I never got the chance to visit the tea stores that Michelle told me about.I’m a little late in logging this as I’m now on the fourth steeping of this, but I’ve been enjoying it very much and I really missed this one. I loved it so much when I ordered it as a sample a couple of months ago that I decided to order 100 grams of it. It’s very earthy but in a mellow and smooth way, lots of what I would call mushroom flavor with a little bit of chocolate and sweetness. It’s still going strong on the fourth steep and I can see it going for at least two more. I missed all of you guys while I was gone :).
One of my samples from Teavivre! It’s so hot out, there was pretty much no way I was going to be drinking this hot this afternoon, but I’ve kind of neglected my teas from them so I was determined to make this one. I cold steeped it for 15 hours or so, maybe for too long—it has an ever so slightly bitter taste that I haven’t encountered in cold brews before. It’s not really unpleasant, just there in the background. I also dumped a whole one of the cute little packets in, so maybe that had something to do with it?
This is a soft, light oolong, with mild floral and fruity notes. The floral taste reminds me a bit of gardenia, the fruit like a faint whiff of fresh peaches. There’s also a bit of palate-cleansing creaminess at the end of the sip, perfect for a hot day! I’m getting some light vegetal notes as well, maybe some grassiness though it’s honestly a bit harder to pick out such subtle things when your glass is ice-cold! I’m definitely enjoying this iced though, very refreshing and summery.