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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is amazing, I haven’t tasted so unusual black tea with such a delicate taste. It is a little bit sweet, a little bit fruity and very pleasant for drinking in the morning to make your day. And it ends so quickly, I should order some more. I think everyone should give it a try.
Thankyou to Angel and Teavivre for this sample
I was a little scared to try this tea, it smells very smoky. And the brew is golden amber.
The taste is suprisingly good. But really, not much from Teavivre suprises me anymore….everything is so good! I was expecting more of a burnt taste, but it is much sweeter than I thought it would be, and more delicate. I am not sure I would drink this everyday, but I think I could get used to this. I think it would be great to use in cooking.
No resteeps today, I got too busy and then it was too late in the day to drink more black tea.
This was the 4th tea in the comparison today. I enjoyed it but it isn’t quite what I was looking for. It would be a pretty nice morning cup if you wanted some thing rich, smooth and sweet. Very well behaved and full bodied but I thought it didn’t have quite the character that the other 3 did. So while I enjoyed it, it won’t be a keeper for me.
This one surprised me. It’s rich and malty. There was a hint of dry hay like I get with Bai Mu Dan. I did find it to be a tad bit smokey. The hay and smoke were totally unexpected but they did work rather well. If I couldn’t find some thing like tarantula tea I would probably pick this one. It’s totally different but it really has a lot of character.
So we had another tea face off. This is my favorite. It’s pretty much what I was hoping to get but just a tad bit better. I wanted some thing to replace tarantula tea since it was discontinued.
This is malty and velvety smooth. The depth of character here calls up the word earthy in my mind. This tea ends so nicely with chocolate and honey like sweet notes. This is truly and enjoyable cup.
As part of our ‘try every black that Teavivre has’ thing, we also were hoping that this Golden Tip was going to be a replacement for the discontinued Teavana tarantula tea that we had picked a couple packs of when they discontinued it.
Side by side, I cannot make a distinguishing difference between this and Teavana’s Golden Imperial Lotus (though, obviously, it’s not held together by a string in a round formation).
The tea is smooth, but with a very rich, malty flavor to it. There is a sweet, caramel undertone that really finishes off the taste. It doesn’t feel quite as thick on the tongue as say the Bailin Gong Fu, but it still has quite a bit of weight to it. It’s a very, very enjoyable black tea.
We’re definitely going to keep this one around, me thinks.
The other side of the coin, yet again my friends!
The full leaf yunnan brews into a notably lighter colored beverage than the ‘standard’ black tea (now referred to as half-full). To match, the flavor is lighter as well. Less bold than the half-full, it still has some of the same maltiness, but where the half-full leaf ends in a very apparent smoky finish, this has a light fruitiness at the end of the sip. A little sweet, somewhat indecipherable flavor that kind of creeps in while you’re drinking.
A little less economical, at about $3/oz, but could be preferable to folks that like more refinement and subtlety from their tea. We brewed these both a little on the strong side (7g for 16 oz), so I’m not entirely sure how that would change the character.
I can’t really pick a clear winner between the two, they’re just different.
Continuing on with Teavivre Black Tea today… Yunnan! It’s like we’re taking a tour of Chinese tea, ha!
I did order a sample of basically every black tea they had at the time (they’ve added two since). It’s great of them to offer samples so you can get a good sweeping view of their product line.
This is the Black Tea, the most economically priced yunnan black they have, at a little less than $2 an ounce. The flavor is bold and malty, with a hint of smokiness to it. Not a lapsang, and probably not as strong as the keemun I tried from Teavivre, but there’s definitely smokiness to it (which surprised me a bit).
Compared to the yunnan full leaf that Missy brewed next to this one, there are striking differences. This tea is bold and malty, where the full leaf is refined and mellow. It is definitely an interesting comparison.
We brewed these both a little on the strong side (7g for 16 oz). Made the flavor pop out good and strong for comparison ;)
Oh, the winner? Hrmm… hard to say. They’re just different.
The other end of the epic taste-off between Bailin Gongfu and Organic Bailin Gongfu!
Much like the non-organic version, this tea is very malty, with a decidedly grainy flavor and texture. It has a slightly more pronounced caramel flavor that develops into a little more chocolate-y of a flavor with a teensy bit of sugar added. It’s an absolutely delightful, earthy experience similar to a very stout, dark beer.
Compared to the non-organic BGF, I find the organic version to be a bit bolder and more flavorful, but at the cost of some of the fantastic smoothness. It’s stronger, earthier, and a bit heartier.
So who wins? It’s a very close call, but I’d choose the non-organic for myself. I could see how the organic version could easily be someone’s preference.
Either way, you’re looking at a remarkably good cup of tea.
Alright, after a week of tooling around, drinking iced Earl Grey and bottled stuff, it’s back to my “tea homework”.
I’ve never had a monkey picked oolong, but they seem to be very popular. I’m sure they aren’t actually picked by monkeys… right? That seems like a health hazard. Anyway. It brewed up to a pleasant shade of yellow after two minutes, and smells different from most oolongs I’ve tried. This smells like it has been roasted. I’m getting sort of a nutty scent, along with cooked veggies. Interesting.
As is my habit, I made it over ice. Wow, is this different from any oolong I’ve ever had. Where most of Teavivre’s oolongs have been gentle and fruity or floral, this one is very hearty. It tastes like straight up roasted nuts and maybe a hint of sesame oil. It’s a very foreign flavor to me, but I like it. I could certainly get used to this. I want to pair it with wakame salad or maybe satay chicken. Mmm.
Yum! I am not usually a fan of black teas, but this tea is something else! Bold and round in flavor, yet very mellow at the same time. It’s one of those teas that’s easy to gulp down, but you’ll miss out on the subtleties if you do.
This tea is rich and malty with bready tones, and a very pleasing aftertaste. I’d like to say it calls to mind caramel and cocoa, but that’s not necessarily a very accurate descriptor. It has the gentle, comfortable characteristics of caramel and cocoa without being very sweet about it. Even though it’s not exactly a flavor descriptor, I’d like to say that this tea makes me feel cozy. It’s yummy alone or paired with desserts! Resteeps well at least three times, and it tastes great even if I forget about it and steep it a bit too long. It never gets overly aggressive or tannic! Excellent! Now that I’m out of my sample, I find myself remembering it fondly and craving more.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample
I am not the biggest fan of green tea, but I wanted to try some good quality straight greens to try to change my mind. So, I asked for some samples from Teavivre.
Dry leaf: smells very vegetal
Liquor: still smells vegetal, very light yellow colour
Taste: vegetal, smooth nutty quality, and that “savory” flavour that I am getting like salted butter. I find the taste to be comforting.
2nd steep: 80degrees, 1.5 minutes, much the same as the first
Unfortunately, I wasn’t really feeling well, so I tossed the leaves and didn’t do more infusions but I think this would go a couple of more infusions.
Overall, I like the Pi Lo Chun from Teavivre better, but this company is starting to change my opinion of green tea!
This tea was a nice surprise yesterday morning. I had it with breakfast and even while eating a high fat, high sugar meal, I could taste the strong as well as subtle flavors in this tea. I can’t pin point exactly what I tasted, but I can say that it was a very refreshing black tea. Most black teas are extremely complex and while this is by no means simple, it feels like this could be drank hot even on a hot day. The flavors are very clean and apparent from the first sip to the last.
As I opened this tea I took a good long smell and the aroma was slightly overpowering. I have drank plenty of good and bad jasmine silver needles and from the strong smell, I was anticipating a soapy type flavor.
Well I was dead wrong.
This tea has a lot of flavor alright, but it was not overpowering at all. It was very gentle with a delicious jasmine taste that topped off the beginning and end of each sip. The man or woman who made this tea must have been highly skilled because it is very difficult to make a perfect jasmine white tea.
This tea is up there on my list and I feel as though it could almost rival thepuritea’s white jasmine or even my Verdant’s jasmine silver needle!
This milk tea is quite fantastic. This arrived in a sample pack and looked and smelled wonderful. The leaves were rolled very tight, and I have honestly never seen such a large amount of unrolled leaves come from 2 initial teaspoons.
The tea itself was very good and have a great milky floral flavor. I am so amazed at the differences from this and regular high mountain oolong. This was a very pleasant tea to drink and lasted for 3 full western style brews. I highly recommend this to anybody wanted to see why milk oolong is so much different than regular.
Sipdown :( This was a pretty tasty sample, though! I’m quickly working my way through all my milk oolongs in preparation for buying more. Who cares if they are expensive; milk oolong seems to be an absolute travel mug staple for me. I think I’m down to a single serving of DT’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong, a single serving of Bon The Place’s version, one packet from Teavivre of the unflavoured version, and a couple random cups’ worth of stuff from Mercuryhime and… whoever sent me a bagged version to try. You know you have an addiction to spending money when the prospect of it is so very, very appealing…
Brewed up for my aunt as she liked the smell. First infusion was absolutely delicious for me, but the second I had some problems with (probably because I don’t have an infuser big enough for a full pot, to let the leaves expand fully). Ended up putting the infuser into my individual cup, and left it too long, so it’s a bit bitter. One thing about this tea is that I get a very “green” taste from it that isn’t all that pleasant. It’s not too bad in the first infusion, but it comes out a bit more in subsequent infusions.
Mom enjoyed this one, but unfortunately my aunt, who has some taste problems, can’t taste it very well and gets an unpleasant aftertaste from it. She apparently has this problem with most greens now.
I was craving a bit of milk oolong this afternoon, and remembered that I hadn’t tried this one generously sent to me by Teavivre yet!
The aroma of both the dry and steeped tea is kind of a caramelly, milky aroma. Very appetizing.
The flavour is pretty delicious as well. I can taste a vegetal oolong beneath the milky, caramelly flavouring, which blend fairly well together (although I don’t recall such a sharp, vegetal flavour with other milk oolongs I’ve tried, but it’s ok). The milky taste and oolong aftertaste linger in your mouth for a while after, which is enjoyable.
Unlike Teavivre’s unflavoured milk oolong, which I enjoyed but didn’t find particularly milky, this one clearly tastes deliciously milky, but I feel a bit like it’s not quite what I want from a milk oolong. I really can’t quite put my finger on it; it may be that it’s flavoured and there’s something not quite meshing, or for all I know, I messed up the brewing parameters. Either way, it is certainly enjoyable!
I think DavidsTea’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong is going to be awfully difficult for other teas to beat… (although the Silky Green from Bird Pick Tea & Herb was very, very close, if not better).
Sample provided by Teavivre – muchos gracias
This is a really well-balanced tea. The silver needles are beautiful and large, not many broken pieces in this sample. I am not normally a fan of straight silver needles, but this tea is smooth and delicate with just a hint of jasmine. It really is quite subtle. I like jasmine teas to be strong and sweet with more jasmine than tea, but this makes me appreciate the nuances of both tea and flavoring. I found this to be most enjoyable when brewed gong-fu style with 80-85 degree water.