Recent Tasting Notes


Thank you Angel from Teavivre, for writing to me and generously offering to send me samples to try. This is by far my favorite of the 5, and have already ordered 100g with my first Teavivre order.

So I started my tea journey trying mostly flavored teas. I am now in the next phase, of attempting to find unflavored teas to love. This one falls in the “love” category. Btw, I am still using honey to sweeten most teas, but this one requires only a minimal amount. Don’t forget that my first love is Coke, so my taste buds are sweet trained. But I’ve found local honey, and using it will help with allergies too (so it has 2 purposes). But the tea itself carries a sweetness to it, that requires little help.

Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tips is really smooth and has absolutely no bitterness to it. Being sensitive to bitterness, this already gives it high praise. Someone called it “Lipton but better” and I concur … much much better. Some mention the sweet potato association. I’m leaning more towards caramelly, but see where those associations are coming from.

Teavivre says that this can be resteeped 12 times. I’ve only gone as far as 3, and on the third the flavors were weakening. Perhaps I need to be more precise with my temps and times. I’ve also tried it cold, and that is where the Lipton comparison comes from. It’s very nice cold, in a Lipton (but better) kind of way. Teavivre is now offering this in the 50g size. Angel sent me a sample of the full-leaf version of this tea, and it will be nice to compare the two. Teavivre’s customer service rocks btw. My order was put into the mail system Upton/Adagio-style (next business day). This and Upton’s Imperial Golden Monkey (ZP85) are my current unflavored favorites (so far).

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

great review cheryl! Glad you’re starting to really enjoy unflavored teas! ( funny we call them «unflavored», this one is so sweet and tasty!)
I agree with you, it will hold 3 steeps easily, but would never strech to 12!


perhaps 12 steeps is for Gong Fu method of brewing tea with very small cups. :)


I enjoyed 5 steeps. It did start to wear off on 3rd, but last two showed some nice sweetness to it. I compare that with reading a good book for hours.
How does the full-leaf tastes like?


@TheTeaFairy – “unflavored” only in contrast to the obviously altered flavored ones.
@Amy – branching out to other brewing methods is in my future, but not yet : )
@kOmpir – I haven’t had a chance to test the full-leaf yet (so many samples, so little time/bladder capacity) : )

Dylan Oxford

Less-adulterated ;)


you can try this tea with Gaiwan.


One of my favorites, too! I ordered 100g on my first TeaVivre order!


Dylan – exactly!
Angel – when I move to next phase of journey, in the plans
Jen – should we start an Ohio chapter of tea-nonymous? or is it shop-nonymous?


@Angel, What would be Gaiwan preferences for this tea (mine is 3 Oz)?


Kompir, this is also depend on your personal preference, usually, you can add 5g tea into your Gaiwan. If you like the stronger flavor, you can add more.


Yes, I would definitely need to join either *-nonymous of the above, but mostly the Tea-buyers Anonymous!


Jen-I’m glad you don’t consider it a tea DRINKING problem! :))

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Free sample from Teavivre.

Yum yum yum. I love this tea. The liquor is dark, rich and full-bodied. The mellow earthy flavour is right there without any fishy taste. It leaves my tongue tingling after each sip. I think this is a tea that I could drink all day. It makes me happy to drink it and I am struggling not to gulp it down just so that I can reinfuse the leaves and start all over again. This one is definitely going on the shopping list.

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How many infusions/fl oz total?


I’m not sure about fl/oz, because I generally work in ml but have been online to the converters! My ripe puerh pot is 200ml (about 7 fl/oz). I put 8g (0.3 oz) of tea in it and have had ten or twelve decent infusions so far out of the one pot. I should also add that my pot loves this tea.

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This is the second green tea I recently purchased from TeaVivre. I have had Dragonwell once before, from Teavana, and it was pretty good-I figured this would be better, and it is.

The dry leaves are a pine needle green and they are actually the size and shape of “needles” on artificial Christmas trees. However, there is nothing artificial about this. The dry leaf aroma is vegetal and spinach-like. The fragrance is pleasantly intensified after a 3 second rinse in 175 degree water (the brewing temperature). I kinda want to pretend I grew this in my garden. Brewed leaf is brighter green and smells much the same with a bit of creaminess added.

First steep was 2tsp/175/1:30. The liquor is a very pale greenish yellow and fairly transparent (I’ve had “cloudy” greens in the past). Not too much of a surprise in the flavor-a very pleasant spinach and cream taste. To me it tastes much like TV’s Xin Yang Mao Jian. In fact, I am going to have a taste off soon, because they taste fairly similar to me-I am very envious of those of you with “advanced palates” who can glean more complex and subtle notes out of teas.

2nd Steep-175/1:45
Liquor about the same-can’t really get much paler. Flavor is still solid-slightly weaker, but not much. Flavors are the same-spinach and cream. Refreshing and delicious. Zero bitterness. Could probably go for a third steep.

I have been very happy with my green tea purchases from TeaVivre. I tend to drink 80-90% black tea and I’ve been wanting some lighter greens to balance out my tea drinking. These work well and I will be drinking a lot of this and Xin Yang Mao Jian for the foreseeable future.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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This one is very nice no bitter at all nice dark color with hints of caramel and malt maybe even slightly spicy notes, very good :-)
Thomas Edward(Toad)

my steepster is acting up bad today


Slap it!

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(Free sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you!)

My schedule is being quite hectic lately, so I don’t have much time and inspiration for writing notes and reviews. However, I was really impressed with this tea, so I decided to scrap up my tasting notes and write a note.

Dry leaf: 3 gr
Water: 250 ml at 85 Celsius
Number of infusions: 1
Steeping time (in minutes): 3

Dry leaf gives away impression of hay being stacked in sunny summer day (if you’ve done it you know what I’m talking about) with mild citrus and molasses edge. I’ve drank a few good Dian Hongs in past couple of years, but this one is the most tippy of all teas I’ve had an opportunity to try. Dropping leaves in pre-heated teapot reveals more malty notes.
Tree minute steep seems to give a rather deep red infusion, almost like that of ripe Pu Erh. I’m getting the feeling that 3 minutes was a bit too much, but it doesn’t matter. Placing my nose over steaming cup reveals rich caramel-molasses and citrus notes with smooth finish.

If Teavivre’s Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha is intensive as espresso (check out my note), thank this tea has intensity that of a coffee. Right after swallowing a starchy dryness builds up in the throat and peppery note covers the tongue. A few sips in and I can sense some flowery hints in the background. Just delicious!
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to resteep it.

Dry leaf: 3 gr
Water: 200 ml at 85 Celsius
Number of infusions: 5
Steeping time (in minutes): 2, 3, 4.5, 5.5, 7


Deep and clear red hue, typical for black teas. Wet leaf has initial citrus aroma that quickly turns into impression of wet hay and (mulja) with flowery hint that sits in between.
First sip is deep and slightly minty. Right after swallowing tongue gets covered with peppery sensation – a Yunnan black tea trademark. Few sips in and I could feel that my throat is getting a bit dry and sore.


Second infusion came out identical to first, only with amped peppery sensation. Nice.


This is where I accidentally left it to steep for additional 30 seconds (I was doing the dishes). This infusion was just a little bit weaker than previous but still it was one impressive cuppa. Peppery taste just can’t seem to dissapear and that’s where I got the idea to pair this tea to something like well seasoned red meat. I just hope it doesn’t slip from my mind by than.


Again, a little bit lighter infusion, both in terms of taste and color, from the previous one. Seems like pepperyness is starting to let go since it was a little bit too strong for my taste in previous steep. Somewhere at the finish I’m starting to get a real nice sweetness to it. Makes me think of Bailin Gongfu black tea.


And this is where I’m calling it a day. I drank 1 liter of tea, and even if I went for another cup or two I would certainly enjoy it, but my stomach is calling shots here. Last, fifth infusion was (again) lighter than previous but the sweetness kept its magnitude and peppery sensations seems to be totally gone.

Magnificent tea. Honestly, I thought I’ll stop after third cup but it turned out to be quite a surprise, from deep and complex character to sweetness in the end… Oh, and not to forget that peppery bite. Not to mention that this tea is really cost-effective, I might get a bag of this in my next order.

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The second of my free samples from Teavivre.

I tried this one before the puerhs they sent me because I was wary of it. I am generally more of a savoury person than a sweet person, although I do like honey every now and then, especially orange-blossom honey and similar types that are not supermarket generic. Anyway, the thought of honey-soaked TGY did not grab me immediately because of my predilection for savoury things. Hmm, I was wrong to be wary.

First up, stick my nose in the packet. I do this with tea, food and books. Especially books. I love the smell of a good book. So, I’m odd! What of it? :-) Anyway, the aroma was more honey than anything else and I thought that the tea would be much the same. The honey smell was gentle and pleasant as I added boiling water to the leaves in my gaiwan, although I felt it dominated the aromas.

Then it was time for the first cup. Yes, honey in boiling water. I only steeped it for a minute but the TGY flavour did not really come through. Should I have steeped it longer? I’m not sure that I should. I drank the first cup and really enjoyed it, then it was time to re-steep the tea. So I went on. Steep, drink, re-steep. I’m on the sixth infusion now and have really enjoyed the journey. The honey flavour steps more into the background and the TGY comes forward more with each steeping. This makes for an interesting journey. Let’s see how long it goes on for.

So, what’s the final verdict? Lovely. Yes, this tea has plenty to offer and the longevity of it is great so that you can get a whole range of flavours from just one session. Marvellous, and thank you, Teavivre.

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Hmm, the tasting notes say there is a hint of caramel there. A hint? I opened the packet and stuck my nose in. The smell was muted at first. Then it hit me as I took a breath and tried again. That was not a hint, it was a whopping great big dose of caramel, like sticking my nose into the middle of a Cadbury’s Caramel bar. Then the floral aroma developed and the two smells worked together to entice me into going further.

I brewed the tea per the instructions and tasted carefully. Floral notes on the front of my tongue and then suddenly a caramel hit as the tea reached the back of my mouth. Crikey, that was sweet and quite a shock. The flavour toned down a bit in the aftertaste but it lingered nicely for a while. Now that I knew what to expect from this tea, I relaxed into the tea and enjoyed the rest of the pot.

This tea is very sweet, perhaps a little too much so for my tastes, but there is no denying that it is a quality tea. I might only wish to drink it when the need for sweet is on me, but it will be going on the shopping list, just for those occasions.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I really intended to resteep my Tropical Green tea by Harney and Sons, but when I ran some things out to the recycling can I was hit by the scent of jasmine. Sure enough, the vines have just started blooming enough for its perfume to envelope me on a quick jaunt out the back door. I knew I still had leaves that had only been steeped two or three times, and the scent of the vine made me want more! Plus, I really shouldn’t keep these leaves much longer! I usually only keep them for about 24 hours resteeping for as long as they will handle it and these have hit that deadline. So jasmine it is, and the Tropical Green will be for tomorrow. When I take it to my neighbor I will use fresh leaves, not a resteep.

In my quest for a decluttered tea shelf of only the very favorite teas, this is another that makes the cut.


I wonder which of us will actually reach that lofty goal (decluttered shelf). Just so many to try… :)


Sigh. It is a noble goal, but every time I tell myself I am not getting more tea, I see more tea and then I want more tea, and then I buy more tea.


Impossible task to declutter the tea shelf. Considering I have well over 100 teas in my cupboard! This jasmine pearls is one I will have in my cupboard from now on though!

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This smelled so heavenly last night that my eyes rolled back in my head in ecstasy. I had to resteep those pearls this morning. I am usually a stay at home homeschooling mom who teaches music lessons at home, but right now I am working for three weeks for the Board of Elections, as I always do when there is an election. I made my resteep, put it in my JoeMo XL and had loveliness to sip as we began early voting. The scent of this tea is so sweet and soothing I just feel tension ebb away when I inhale and sip. This one HAS to stay on hand. Since it resteeps so well, it is well worth the modest amount they charge for it. I think the price is excellent for a tea of this high quality.

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This is absolutely lovely. The milk tones are subtle compared to a manipulated (flavored) milk Oolong, but, I like that. It allows the natural tones of flower and nut to come forward, and gives it a subtle “warm milk” kind of flavor in the background that is remarkably soothing.

Truly a delicious Oolong. I’m on the combination of infusions three and four as I type this, and I think I’ll take it for a couple more.


I think this just went on my order!

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2nd cup I iced. It was meh. After a couple drinks I added sweetener, which I never do to iced tea. It didn’t help. In fact, now it just tastes like Splenda. For my tastes, as magical as this is hot, it simply doesn’t have a bold enough flavor to pull off iced. Disappointed but now I know.


I will remember not to ice this one. I do love it hot, though.


That is why I was thinking the plain one without golden tips might be good for iced tea.


Ashmanra I remembered you mentioning golden tips iced, unfortunately I remembered wrong. I knew you said dragon well didn’t work though. I tried the Keemun Hao Ya iced and I liked it that way.

Charles Thomas Draper

This is becoming one of my favorites….

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:) nothing further need be said

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Continuing along the vein of yesterday…my neighbor has a broken foot that needed surgery. We are helping him with this and that. Yesterday I asked if he drinks tea, and he said he drinks some grocery store bagged greens for health. bwahahahahaha! A new victim!

Since he loved the Silky Green yesterday, I took this one today. He LOVED it. I mean, he LOVED it. He kept exclaiming over the aroma, and how sweet it tasted. Both days, he couldn’t get over the fact that I had added nothing at all to the tea. The jasmine really does lend a sweetness to this already smooth green base. He is already talking about ordering some loose leaf teas next time I place an order, and wants to try puerh and a few others over the next few days.

New tea converts are SOOOOO EXCITING!!!!


You’re like a missionary. :) good job!



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This is exciting-my first order from Teavivre and my first order direct from China!

I’ve never heard of this tea before, but Teavivre’s web site said this is refreshing in hot weather and with an early summer in the States, I thought it was worth a shot.

The leaves are as everyone says-thin and very dark green, almost black (Charleston Green, perhaps?). The dry leaves are very fragrant and smell like spinach and a touch of cream, or maybe even creamed spinach with a bit of nutmeg? Brewed leaves turn a very nice spinach green color.

Have made this two times. First time was 1 tsp at 175 for one minute. 2nd steep was 175 for 1:15. Very pleasant. Taste very similar to aroma. Spinachy, kinda sweet, smooth. Slightly weaker 2nd steep-but definitely worth 2 infusions.

Today I used 2 tsp at 175. First steep was 175 for 2 minutes. Liquor was a pale green-yellow, with more green in it than yellow. Spinach was the dominant flavor-really the only flavor that I can describe. Surprised that there was a bit of bitterness in this steep and I think I brewed this a little too long. Still, it was good.

Second steep: 175/2min. Maximum spinach/vegetal flavor. Zero bitterness. Clearly brewed the earlier steep too long. Liquor is paler, again slightly more green than yellow. Very enjoyable.

Third steep: Liquor is paler still. Again a bit more green than yellow in color. Flavor is weakening. Still slightly spinachy but gravitating toward what I perceive as a generic green tea flavor-a GOOD general tea flavor, but not as unique as the first two steeps.

Well, our hot spell ended before this tea arrived, so I can’t comment on its effect in hot weather, but it is a refreshing tea and I expect it to do well. I may even ice it.

I am mostly a black tea drinker, but I feel I need a bit of balance in my teas. This has worked out well and I will probably order it again-feel stupid for ordering this just before the new harvest came in. Still, excellently packaged and the tea looks and tastes very fresh.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I was excited to get this Keemun Hao Ya. Up til now every place I bought Keemun from just called it “Keemun” – no differentiating between types of grades (not even Rishi).

Packaging is great with a sealed foil envelope inside a re-sealable foil pouch (all Teavivre’s have been like that).

Leaves are black with a few golden buds. Dry leaf aroma is fairly chocolate-y. Brewed leaf aroma has more pine notes. Liquor is very coppery. The taste is traditional Keemun to me-notes of chocolate, pine, smoke. Nothing predominates. It seems more smokey if you let it cool TOO much, though.

I find one heaping teaspoon gets you two solid steeps-maybe 3 depending on your preference. I tried 2 teaspoons, and I got 3 steeps, but they were more inconsistent. I consider this tea a great value-I paid much more for a Keemun Reserve from Rishi and used 6 teaspoons to get 5 steeps-with the first one being almost undrinkably bitter (no matter what adjustments I made). AND, I think this tea from TeaVivre is a little bit better than Rishi’s as well.

I’d say this is the best Keemun I’ve tasted yet. Will definitely re-purchase when the new harvest comes out this summer.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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