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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. It’s time to sit back and relax with a nice cup of tea. Lots of people have given these dragon pearls high marks, so I thought it would be an easy winner.
I used 5 pearls instead of the recommended 3-4 because I prefer strong tea to weak tea. Last thing I want is to brew up a new tea and then find that it tastes like barely flavored water. I’m really glad I added that extra pearl! The first cup was pretty calm. Light cocoa notes playing in a sunny field of Yunnan. Anything lighter than this and it probably would be barely flavored water.
The second steep was for 2 minutes, and it has a much richer and more developed flavor. There’s an added component of spiciness to this cup too. This is a much better tasting cuppa than the first. Let’s go for a third steep for 3 minutes. The spiciness has dissipated, but the Yunnan flavor is still going strong.
This is truly an excellent tea. It’s not bitter or astringent, and it’s put me in a better mood. The world just doesn’t seem as dreary when you’ve got a nice cup of tea in your hand.
I can’t be all poetic about the flavor, because I had a cold when I tried this tea. But it’s a keeper. To me, it was just a good solid black tea. Kind of like the Chinese Folgers of the tea world. I’m keeping it to drink straight and also to mix with other teas to stretch them out or if they have too much flavoring.
All I can tell you about my impressions of this tea is that it smelled just like asparagus to me, and it tasted like sweet asparagus when I drank it. I imagine if I hadn’t sweetened it, it would have had an entirely different flavor profile (unsweetened asparagus) but I don’t really think I’ll be experimenting. This will go on the swap list.
Let me start by saying Lapsang Souchong was my first experience with loose tea and it quickly became my favorite. I felt like I was drinking the whiskey of tea, it seemed to me the most masculine tea you could possibly drink (my friends would disagree with me). Over the last few years though I’ve been trying every new tea I can get my hands on and I haven’t had a lapsang souchong in about three years, which is a total crime.
First off the leaves are great quality with nice golden tips and there is a wonderful smokey smell that isn’t overpowering. Upon first taste I remember why I drank this tea so much in high school. This particular Lapsang blends the perfect amount of smoke with the high quality black tea, which lends it a slight dark chocolate taste. I’ve had a lot of Lapsang Souchong and most are smoked so heavily you feel like a 6am fireplace at the end of the cup but this tea is different. The smoke plays upon your tongue for a little bit but it doesn’t coat your mouth in a nasty ashy taste. A really wonderful tea and the perfect way to end the day.
Also want to add that this came in my gigantic sampler bag from Teavivre, thanks again!
I need your help. I know that Lapsang Souchong is the name of this tea. I also know that a lot of people refer to it as Lapsang. I’m writing a poem about lapsang… is it okay if I refer only to it as Lapsang, or should the Souchong fit its way into the beginning somewhere? I want to be correct.
Tea! Drinking this for a poem. I was SO glad I still had a bit of the sample so generously provided by Teavivre left – I needed the inspiration!
It’s a sweet lapsang. The smoke is mostly in the smell, whereas the tea itself tastes like sweet pine tar, especially as it cools. Steeped in tasting cup – rinse, 15, 25, added a pinch more leaves and then 45, 1 min and 1 min 30. The last three steeps were combined into a travel mug because I didn’t have the time to sit. It produced a wonderfully multilayered brew.
Thanks to Teavivre for this free sample!
Rainy day tea! We took the dog to the park and he loved diving in the water and barking at rocks. Why he can’t chase sticks or toys like a normal pup, we’ll never know. And then it started to rain so we packed up and came home.
This is lovely and smoky but somehow clear at the same time – like drinking a summer’s night where the smoke isn’t being blown into your eyes!
I normally wouldn’t get a straight black tea but this got such great reviews i thought I would step out of my comfort zone.
And….it’s not bad, but it’s not great. I wonder if I used too much leaf. The site said 7g but maybe that was too much? My steepings were short but I’m still getting some astrigency. Getting some smokey flavor which is turn off for me.
I think people who really love black tea will like this, but as more of a green tea fiend, this is just so-so.
Thanks, Bonnie, for the sample
Dry smell: This tea smells very sweet and lightly like a malty milk chocolate.
Wet smell: This tea smells very similar to the black dragon pearls. It has a nice but deep malty chocolate smell. It has more of a cocoa scent when it is wet.
Taste: This tea is really good. It does remind me a lot of the black dragon pearls. It has a really deep cocoa flavor. There is a difference though, it has a kind of a sweet, starchy floral taste. It has a nice deep flavor.
It is time for the last of this sample. There was a little bit more in the bag than I would normally put in, but it wasn’t enough for two french presses, so I poured in the rest of my sample bag.
Starting at two minutes and going to keep re-steep it until I kill it. So probably six steeps worth of tea. A very good choice for an afternoon tea.
It is a cold and rainy day today, so I decided to break out my flavored milk oolong that Teavivre generously sent me to try. Now, I do have to confess that I have had it at least one time before and I just forgot to log it. I also figured that it would be good to review this after I drank the regular milk oolong.
I tossed about 4 teaspoons into my french press this time. I normally brew about 3 teaspoons at a time, but I had a little extra fall when I was shaking out the packet. So I will actually try to steep this tea to death this time because of the slight extra I used. I don’t want to waste any.
So far, the first steep at 2 minutes is very smooth. It has a slight milky scent and is creamy on the tongue. Because it is flavored, the milky quality is upped to the point where I can almost smell warm milk. There is no mineral taste at all yet. It is all satin on the tongue.
Second Steep at about 2 and a half minutes. I noticed that the liquor was a bright golden and it smelled ready, so I stopped it there instead of going onto three minutes. The smell is divine! It smells even better than the first steep. The leaves were opening up more and I can see that the leaves are going to be huge. They still aren’t fully open yet. The taste is still creamy smooth. There is a hint of floral riding with the taste now and a slight caramel hint. It is present enough to make my tastebuds register it as a sweet taste. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough. So second steep, nice and sweet.
Third Steep is even more golden in color than the second steep! Wow. And it has only been for brewing for three minutes now. It is starting to smell wonderfully buttery and I am restraining burying my nose deep into my cup. It now tastes sweet. The sweetness was creeping up in the second steep, but this steep is starting to taste like I put a little agave syrup in it. Not sugar sweet, but agave sweet. It is two distinct sweet tastes. The milky taste is starting to turn and starting to taste creamy instead of milky. There is still no mineral taste like there is in the regular milk oolong. There is a slight taste of green in there because of the oolong base, but no minerals.
It is time for the Fourth Steep! I swear, this tea is like honey dripping out of my french press. Warm and creamy scent to the nose still. I steeped it about 3.5 minutes. The silky smooth taste has drifted from milky to creamy. It is not as sweet as the third steep, but you can tell that it is much sweeter than the first and second steeps. I feel almost like I am drinking a dessert tea. The flavor is not waning at all yet. I am starting to get a hint of butter on the right tip of my tongue. Just a hint. Other than that it is all golden smooth cream. I am still not tired of the flavor yet.
I’m going to pause for a moment before the fifth steep and think about how I have taken one thing of tea from breakfast until dinner and probably one more drink after dinner if the flavor is still strong enough on this steep. Brewed this one for a whole four minutes. It is still as golden as it ever was. It is beautiful. It smells like butter to me now. No more milk, no more cream. Just butter. Wow, just wow. It tastes like cream. Thick and sweet cream. Five steeps in and it still tastes like this. I’m blown away.
I took a shower and decided that I at least needed to go onto the sixth steep. So now I smell like lavender and the tea still smells like butter. This one sat for four and a half minutes. It is starting to develop a very light mineral smell. I think the green oolong might finally be showing its head through the flavor. The flavor is definitely a little lighter on this steep. There is a lot less of a creamy mouthfeel in this steep than was present in the last steep. The flavor is still present but has developed into butter that you can taste best on the back and sides of your tongue. It is still sweet though.
I am stopping at the sixth steep even though I think the flavor could carry you through at least one more steep. The flavor profile is weakening and I think the next steeps will be weaker and weaker. That being said, every steep I made was like steeping enough for two cups so I got at least 12 cups of tea out of this. That is a lot of tea!
I now know why people really like milk oolongs. They are light and sweet. I think I may have found a new favorite type of tea besides Earl Grey. I am delighted that Teavivre let me try and enjoy this tea.
Thanks for being patient with my tea review for today. Next time I do a big one like this, I’m putting it in a notebook first. I didn’t expect to go through six steepings of this wonderful tea!
This smells so buttery – really like buttered popcorn.
This has a nice balance of floral orchid notes to the butteriness. I got to this when it was cold so I might have missed out on some of the flavors.
I think I steeped this for closer to three minutes rather than two. It had a strong vegetal taste verging on bitter. Still not bad. Not my favorite oolong, but not bad either. I think I like this one better than Teavivre’s plain milk oolong.
I tend to forget that I like Keemun. I recently finished off a tin of a low grade Keemun from a local tea store, and turned to this one today to try something I hadn’t tasted before. Teavivre graciously sent me this in my first batch of samples months and months ago – and though I thought I tried it, apparently not. Actually, I owe Teavivre half a dozen reviews. I feel miserable about it, but a lot of times I just want to drink a tea and enjoy it, rather than thinking about the review I owe. Anyway, on to the tea.
We did a steep with boiling water for around 3 minutes, the liquor was rich and surprisingly brown in our new glass bubble tea cups. If you want smallish double walled cups, the Bubble ones at Davids Tea are super cute. I love them. Anyway, the tea was rich in flavour, I remember lots of strong notes, reminiscent of chocolate. Why do so many of my favourite black teas remind me of chocolate?! I REALLY enjoyed this one and would consider adding it to the Teavivre order I am trying to make (for some reason their site is refusing our credit card as payment. I’m a little bummed). The flavour was bold but not harsh and it was very smooth with no bitterness. (all good points in my book!) See my note on Persian Apple for how the second steep went, heheh.
This is a keemun win, for sure. Now to get my order to process…
Ah, Gunpowder.. The first loose-leaf tea I’d ever tried, and it holds a special place in my heart. I’ve since tried several different varieties of this tea, and Teavivre’s is probably the best I’ve had. Slightly smokey, slightly sweet. Especially great for the price.
A new encounter for me so m expectation are a bit high.
the smell inside bag was very smoky, the dry leaves smelled very good, dark and campfire like, just like a goos Lapsang. Using 2tsp of leaves into my teapot for making a cup, and used the suggested time and steep temp. The brew was as expected smoky in flavor, still powerful it filled my senses.
So I scooped out 2 tsp of leaves and put it in my gaiwan, then adding the hot water at the suggested 90 c. temperature. Sniffing the tea liquor as it brewed, the scent of smoke is still pretty powerful, perfect.
My first sip was lighter than the smell earthy, slightly smoky, slightly sweet and a velvety feel. a slight cocoa aftertaste reminiscent of the aroma, very nice touch.
In all it was a very good Lapsang, that i enjoyed. classic but just different enough to be engaging, and work its way into my cupboard.
Why are their tea names so long? I don’t know. It’s a bit annoying, but hey, words, whatever.
Thanks so much to James R for the sample of this! Apparently it’s much like Teavana’s Golden Lotus. Cool.
The leaves are beautiful – really long and thin and beautifully silky. They’re like little tubes. Many of them are a bright dandelion gold, and some of them are bronze and black. It’s so nice to see such a wide variety of colors in a bag of tea.
The first steep is rich, dark and malty. I drank it while it was probably still a bit too hot, and while driving, so I suppose I can’t really comment too much on it. But it was full and promising.
The second steep, I didn’t steep for very long – I poured water over and let it steep until I had finished packing my bag for class. That was also malty, but there was a beautiful natural sweetness to it, especially as it cooled. On my last sip I got a whiff of marshmallow.
Third steep. The tea starts turning bronzey-orange as I pour the water over the leaves. Beautiful. I smell some of that sweetness I picked up at the end of the last steep – I’m not sure I’d go for marshmallow right now – but a cinnamon sort of graham cracker? Maybe I just have s’mores on the brain. Dunno. But I’m starting to get some roasty notes from here, almost like a dark oolong. I didn’t steep this one for very long either – too impatient.
This tea’s too good!
As I was sipping along on this very enjoyable oolong, a new box from TeaVivre arrived-I get so excited when I get a new box of tea. Previously, I had enjoyed a sample of the unflavored version of this oolong and this is my third time drinking the flavored. I wish I had the two side by side to compare. Going from memory, I probably prefer this one, though both are very good. I have not brewed it exactly as instructed because I was afraid of going to boiling with this light oolong. I used 5 gms of tea in my Perfectea Maker, which is similar to using a Gaiwan due to the large brewing basket. I did a quick rinse, then brewed in 6 ounces water at 195. I steeped for 1 1/2 minutes to start with and added 30 seconds for each subsequent brewing. I added just a touch of sweetener. I would describe the overall taste as pleasantly floral and creamy, very nice. For today, I have steeped it 5 times so far, with great results. It just keeps on giving! Not sure I’ll try for more because I want to try Taiwan Dong Ding which came in today’s package. This is one I would order-its something a little different when you’re in the mood for a “comfort” tea.
Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for a bunch of samples that came yesterday. Lunch with a friend fell through, so being the tea addict that I am, I thought it was a perfect day for some tea tasting. I was in the mood for an oolong and now I have the time to do several steepings. This is the first time I had tried the flavored version of their milk oolong. Previously, I had enjoyed a sample of the unflavored version. I wish I had the two side by side to compare. I did not brew exactly as instructed. I used 5 gms of tea in my Perfectea Maker, which is similar to using a Gaiwan due to the large brewing basket. I did a quick rinse, then brewed in 6 ounces water at 195. I was afraid of going to boiling since this is a light oolong. I steeped for 1 1/2 minutes to start with and added 30 seconds for each subsequent brewing. I add stevia to all of my tea, and I think it really brought out the flavor in this one. I would describe the overall taste as pleasantly floral and creamy, very nice. As I write this review, I have had 4 good steepings, and will see if I get any more.Thanks Teavivre for a great selection!