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Recent Tasting Notes
Approaching the end of the samples I received from Teavivre for the Facebook promotion… thanks again to Angel and the team!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this at the beginning. The aroma is really dark and earthy, like new soil. Almost like fresh leather. It has really similar smells to the pu’erh cake we have sitting in the tea cupboard… just… not offensive.
The taste is very dark, strong, and smoky. I actually asked Missy to make sure this was the Keemun from Teavivre, and not the Lapsang I had ordered from Upton!
There is a power to this tea’s flavor. It has a really strong bite to the tea, with a smooth malty undertone, and then that smokiness is just heavenly. This is superb. It’s like I’m getting a blend, and it’s one lone tea. This is really the flavors I expected from the Baker Street blend that I got from Upton, which has both Keemun and Lapsang (along with Darjeeling) but somehow is significantly less smokey. Although, I did brew the Baker Street at work… I really should give it another chance at home (i.e. have Missy make it instead of me… she’s better at it).
Anyway, this tea is splendid. I honestly want to rate it higher, but something in the back of my mind is telling me that I have to leave room for the next two tiers of quality on this tea that Teavivre offers.
I want to rate this tea a 90, and it’s the lowest of three qualities that Teavivre offers. This boggles my mind.
So I also requested the organic Bailin Gongfu black to compare to the other version that others have reviewed so much. I’m not sure if other folks have reviewed the organic under the other tea’s page, but I created this one to distinguish them. Perhaps because it is in a larger sample bag instead of the small serving packets, the dry dry leaf smells more intensely chocolate. I did a very short rinse and a 10 sec steep.
Mmm getting more chocolate and less rye right off the bat, yes there is still a nice grainy quality but I’m getting some really lovely spice. Oh yes spicy chocolate, oh my! While I am not a fan of chocolate spice flavored teas (Teavana’s Azteca Fire and Zocolatte Spice ::shudder::) it is wonderful to find it as a natural characteristic of the tea. This would be wonderful on a cold fall or winter day.
The second steep is more sweet and less spice, reminding more of the non-organic version (which is a good thing as I liked it a lot). I keep on thinking either of these would be such great introductions to black tea to coffee or cola drinkers (of which I am neither). I really will have to brew the two side by side and western style to determine any real differences and which I should order.
The third is more broth-like and I get a bit more rye. It reminds me of french onion soup with rye bread crumbs, only you know chocolaty. The forth and fifth were a bit mild but still enjoyable. Will update this as I have more sessions. Thank you again Angel and Teavivre, this tea made my day better, after an epic tantrum from the toddler this morning!
Time for an oldie but a goodie! I’ve only tried this milk oolong (or any milk oolong for that matter) on one other occasion. It was delightful!! And I believe I even forgot about it at one point and let it steep for an hour or two and it was still good!
I’m definitely in the mood for oolong, so I picked this one out of my stash, set the tea kettle to boil, and pulled up my favorite application, Word! Today is going to be the day of exclamation points, I can just tell. ;) I can hear the water beginning to boil, and I’m getting super excited!! I’m going to try the first infusion at 1.5 minutes.
It really feels great to be drinking tea and blogging again. It’s very relaxing. And God knows I could use some relaxation after the non-stop dishwashing tour I went on this afternoon. Stupid dishwasher is broken. The maintenance guy came in, looked at it for 15 seconds and said it’s irreparable. On top of that, they don’t have any replacement dishwashers in stock. So, I’m on my own for the foreseeable future.
Thank God I’m leaving this ****hole in a month. It’s just one thing after another. Earlier this week, I went to check the mail and my key didn’t fit in the mailbox. I went by the office and they said they “accidently” changed the lock. What idiots. Seriously, who does that? Ugh.
So yeah, I could use a nice relaxing cup of tea. Mmmm, this is a yummy first cup! It’s sweet and floral and very honey-esque. I’m going to have to take the second infusion to go because I’m off to meet my fiancé, father, and step-mother for dinner. Although it wasn’t a whole lot of time to relax, this tea definitely settled my Ch’i. I’m feeling good!
Phew, I am sore! I’ve been the exemplary sedentary American. I know I need to get more, or rather I should say any, exercise. My fiancé bought me the Zumba 2 Wii game for Christmas, and I finally broke it out yesterday. Holy crap! That game is WAAAAY harder than I anticipated! I couldn’t even finish a medium intensity full length class. I kept thinking, this has to be the last song, and then another one would play. Rinse and repeat. Ugh, I literally hurt in the weirdest places, like my lower back and love handles. Hopefully, that means I’ll lose fat from those areas, but it remains to be seen how effective of a workout it will be. I even have rug burn on my toes. :( Tip: Don’t dance barefoot on carpet for an hour. I also think it would be more fun as a live class. Still, there are some benefits to being alone in my apartment, such as no one has to witness my incredibly uncoordinated dance skills, or lack thereof.
Anyway, get on to the tea already! This is my first milk oolong experience, courtesy of Teavivre and their generous free samples!
The dry leaves smell really good! The aroma is like regular oolong but richer somehow and maybe a little darker. Woodsy definitely isn’t the correct description because that’s reserved for the dark Formosa oolongs. But there’s definitely an added component here than what’s in a regular green oolong.
I did a quick 1 minute steep. The tightly rolled balls unfurled into huge, whole leaves with long stems attached to the ends. The brewed tea aroma is luscious. This is definitely a green oolong but again, somehow richer and more distinctive than non-milk oolongs. It’s like the difference between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. This tea is definitely the dark chocolate.
I really want to drink it, but I know I’ll burn all the taste buds off my tongue if I do. A few patient minutes later and…Wow, from that build up of aroma I didn’t expect the taste to be so subtle. It’s definitely flavorful, but a lot of the flavor is in the aftertaste. It does have a certain creaminess to it, but I wouldn’t describe it as milky.
From experience, I know that the second or third steep is usually better than the first. So, I’m hopeful that the next cup will be better. That’s not to say this cup was bad, not by any means. It just wasn’t fully developed, akin to unripened fruit.
Second steep for 2 minutes and now the leaves have fully unfurled. Ah yes, and there’s a much more developed oolong flavor now too. It’s buttery and floral, but honestly I can’t tell that much difference between this and a Tie Guan Yin. Hmm, that second cup disappeared rather quickly…time to brew a third! I’ll try 3.5 minutes this time.
The flavor is still going strong. It’s a little less creamy but still enjoyable. I don’t have much to add so I think I’ll end the tasting note here. But I plan to keep steeping these leaves until there’s no flavor left or until my belly is sloshing with tea, whichever comes first. ;)
EDIT: I completely forgot about the fourth cup and let it steep for what must have been an hour or two. But it’s still delicious! No bitterness or astringency whatsoever. This is an amazing tea!
Angel from Teavivre approached me via email about trying some tea. Of course I agreed since Teavivre was already on my list of future places to buy tea from. I was pretty excited when I got my box with the little chinese characters on it. I wanted to rush out and try all of them right away, but at the same time I want to make sure I take time to enjoy the tea as well. I believe this is called a conundrum. So enough rambling and on to the tea.
This is a green I could enjoy in the future. With the greens I’ve tried so far, I decided I may be a black tea person. Some times greens just remind me of mushy vegetables, not a flavor I’m looking to keep around. I found this a bit vegetal but not in the mushy sort of way. It’s actually pretty sweet. I wonder if that is that orchid taste I read about. I’m going to have to smell some of those and compare. I found this tea steeps up decently at 1 and 2 minutes. At 2 minutes you get a deeper body but largely the same flavor profile. I’m glad I got the chance to try it. Thanks to Angel and Teavivre.
journalogging #1 of 4
Thank you to Bonnie for this decadent sample from TeaVivre!!
As I’ve never tried a straight White, this one completely refashioned my perception and respect for what they have to offer! This Bai Hao Yin Zhen is fragrantly refined and tempered living hayfields yet is also tinged with the slightest salt balance in the cup. The buds were amazingly downy and delicate but tripped the light fantastic when given the chance over five steepings. Simply quite wonderful and a splendid offering from TeaVivre!
It occurred to me tonight that for whatever reason (ok, it’s because I have too much tea), I hadn’t yet made it through all my samples from Teavivre! So since I was craving oolong (and dessert), it seemed like a perfect tea to try. I used the whole, sticky package in my tiny glass teapot.
First infusion (~boiling/1:15)
Honey-sweet, with a lovely round, sweet oolong aftertaste. There’s just a hint of astringency coming through at the end – glad I didn’t steep it any longer. The sweetness is reminiscent of the honey flavour I got with Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver). I’m really enjoying this infusion! It is perhaps a touch on the light side, but that’s ok.
Second infusion (~boiling/2 min):
Definitely moving into a woody flavour here. Perhaps that’s the astringency – I hadn’t meant to steep it this long but was trying to multitask. The sweetness is gone, but I didn’t expect it to last for a second infusion. Aftertaste is lightly oolong. This isn’t bad, but it’s not what I was expecting.
I’m a bit disappointed – after the amazing first cup, I was expecting something a little better for the second. I do have another package of this one, so perhaps will try some different parameters – perhaps a shorter first infusion and similarly short second infusion would help. I can’t recall what the price is, but it’s hard for me to justify purchasing an oolong that really is only capable of one amazing infusion. Even though it really was so very delicious…
Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!
ETA: I just finished off the last of my second infusion, and feel like I need to revise my previous opinion, as I wonder if my tastebuds were tainted by either the first infusion or the chocolate bar I ate… the last sip was actually quite good! Yes, there was astringency, but chalk that one up to my error. I got a lovely honey oolong aftertaste, and aside from the astringency, it was actually quite nice. I still think it might be a bit pricey of a tea, but I may actually try a third infusion now. Also bumping the rating.
ETA again: Third infusion, boiling-ish water for about 1:45, is kind of woody/dark/nutty, as late steepings of oolongs tend to be for me. Not bad, and still that oolong aftertaste. Overall, I’d have to say that this is a perfectly fine oolong, but not one for me.
I’m still new to unflavored black tea and I have to say that there’s a lot more too it than I expected. I wasn’t aware that so many different flavors and layers of complexity could be present in black teas. I guess the reason for that is just the fact that whenever I thought of black tea, some kind of bagged English breakfast was always what popped into my mind. And because of my expectations, when I first opened my sample bag of Teavivre’s bailin gongfu black I was blown away. I actually felt a rush of adrenaline from the excitement in knowing that I was in for a treat and a surprise. I was shocked. Upon opening this sample bag provided for me in my second round of Teavivre samples, I experienced a flashback to that moment of awakening. The leaves are beautiful. Part rich cocoa color, but mostly a rustic gold composing the beautiful twists of leaf. The golden color of the leaves is much like the amber glow pouring in through my windows just before sunset this evening. Before I got into loose-leaf tea, I NEVER would have thought that “black” tea could look this way, and to be honest I still don’t understand what causes this to happen, but it sure is cool. Now on to the taste. All of what I taste in this tea has been said before. Mostly cocoa, a little malty, with little hints of sweet potato and honey intermingled. Also, there is a definite genuine sweetness to it when I allow it to sit in my mouth for a bit and let it touch different parts of my tongue (as strange as that may sound). It is delicious, and it’s a perfect end to a not-so-good day.
I’ve been wanting a cheap Yunnan black tea so I purchased this. I figured, even if it doesn’t taste good it’s very cheap. ;)
Looking inside the tea pouch, the leaves look more complete than I imagined. There are some golden leaves, and while the leaves are broken they do not resemble specks of pepper (no tea dust).
The scent of the tea leaves is also encouraging. My senses immediately made the connection to Yunnan black tea.
Onto drinking the stuff;
Sipping from my tea mug, I’m tasting a nice full black tea body, familiar earthy Yunnan flavour, maltyness, and no bitterness (I brewed it to 5 minutes to check this).
Where I live, it is hard to buy any tea that isn’t absolutely rubbish for $7/100g locally. So for the price, it’s an amazing fresh black tea I can drink whenever and not feel guilty about the price.
Even though this tea is not comprised of golden buds, it doesn’t suffer much in the flavour department. Perhaps it’s not a terrific short steeper, but I’ve only met a handful of black teas I can slap that label on anyway.
500ml glass tea mug, 2 generous tsps, 1 steep
So a fair bit back, I just so happened to be the lucky winner of Teavivre’s Facebook contest. The timing was amazing because I had been planning on placing an order for this tea and a few others, but the day I was going to do so just happened to be the day I got a call that my debit card had been stolen. A day or two after was when Angel informed me of my good luck.
The dry leaves are amazingly tight little balls of dark green goodness stripped with the occasional bit of light green, just waiting to explode. There’s a very clear vegetal scent here. Once brewed though, the only thought that comes to mind when I smell the leaves is good, sugary, sweet southern greens. I’d like to pick out specifics for you, but that’s the total package, and you just have to know that taste/scent to know what I mean. Delish.
The tea is super smooth with a nice heavy mouth feel. This is one of those teas that I (literally) end up chewing. As many have stated, the milkiness isn’t super pronounced, but as a lifelong skim drinker, I tend to prefer a more subtle taste when it comes to milk. I’m loving the buttery vegetal taste with hints of sweetness coming through.
This tea is wonderful, and certainly warrants a purchase.
I’m not a big green tea drinker, or at least I never used to be. Black tea was always ‘tea’ in my head. Part of it just has to do with repetition. When you order black tea, you just ask for tea. If you want green tea, you typically have to specify. Or, taken a different way… if a restaurant only has iced tea, it will probably be iced black tea (or ‘sweet tea’).
Long story short, I don’t have a lot of green experience, and it’s all very new and a little weird. I had a somewhat disparaging experience with the Golden Moon Sencha, which served to entrench my belief in the dominance of black tea in a not-insignificant way.
So, bring in the samples from Teavivre! This one was sent to Missy actually (although, she told Angel that we’d both be drinking it… and I think they definitely upped the amount of tea they sent us because of that… so a big thank you to Angel and the Teavivre team!
Opening the bag on this tea… I was a little shocked. The leaves are huge, roughly four inches long (stop giggling). Depending on the size of your teapot and your infuser, you could really have trouble brewing this.
Then we brewed the tea. It smells a little vegetal, but the aroma isn’t strong or overwhelming. Just lightly like stewed plants.
The first sip… wow. There is a really noticeable sweetness to this green tea. It’s a very smooth, buttery, steamed vegetable flavor. It’s very pleasant, I’m not sure if it’s the sweetness or the complete lack of any bitter, seawater kind of flavor. It is a very, very good green tea.
More offerings like this could definitely make me a green tea drinker. Well, not as often as ‘real’ tea, but you know what I mean. For those of you that are really fond of green tea, I would definitely give this one a try.
Thanks again to Angel and the Teavivre team! This tea was delightful.
Anyone who follows my notes enough, must know that I love honey … and use it to sweeten my teas. This was a untested, last minute addition to my early April order, but have been busy testing other teas to do a fair tasting. Yesterday I wrote up my thoughts on Teavivre’s (non organic) TGY, so want to follow up with this one (to compare).
I bought 50g, and that means 7 separately sealed packets in the pouch. I used one for today’s comparison. Brewing, it behaved in much the same manner as yesterday’s. The brewed aroma is very similar (hey, I added honey to the TGY yesterday : ) Others have mentioned that this doesn’t strike them as sweet. I agree. Very strange. Since I like my teas on the sweet side, I’m even pondering adding some honey. More strange. The TGY is very strong and upfront, vegetal and … uh, ack … hold on (runs to add honey) … ok, it now tastes very similar to yesterday’s. Not favoring overly sweet things, this is baffling to me right now.
Organic TGY w. honey is their highest priced oolong, priced more than twice the price of the (non organic) TGY (for 100g, $10.50 vs. 22.90). I can add my own (local raw) honey.
Another yummy tea from TeaVivre! Dragon Pearl Jasmine teas (really, jasmine greens in general) are among my favorites. I’ve yet to drink one I didn’t like. And I’ve yet to try a TeaVivre tea I didn’t like, so I was pretty much guaranteed to love this one.
First off, this is delicious. Mine came out a gorgeous golden-green color, smells beautiful, and has a lovely, light flavor with floral overtones. I don’t find the jasmine as strong in this cup as I have in other DPJs, and as a jasmine fan, that was a little disappointing. It’s definitely still there — and it adds a wonderful sweetness to every sip — but it’s not as strong as I would like.
That said, I tend to like very strong teas, and there are a ton of really strongly flavored DPJs out there, so I think this one fills a niche that needs to be filled: A lightly flavored, more balanced and very yummy cup. Those who like a little less jasmine and a little more tea will love it.
After the first cup, I got a bit distracted and the second was lukewarm. It was still tasty! And I bet it would be good iced, too.
(Sample provided free by TeaVivre.)
(This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.)
Dry Leaf: Has a vegetal aroma slight sweetness to it with a slight smokey aroma.
Wet Leaf:Has a vegetal aroma think maybe boiled spinach.
Liquor: Has a yellowish green broth.
Taste: I get a vegetal flavor with a plum after taste but can even see someone saying smokey. A very slight bitter touch that does leave a slight dryness in the mouth. The broth feels rich or thick in the mouth not watery.
Overall Opinion: I give this a 86. You will have to play with amount of tea and water and time of steeping. I feel this tea gets quit bitter after 30seconds so be careful. This tea would be good on a hot day because it is refreshing. It has a smoothness to it. I would recommend this tea to Gunpowder Green Tea fans in my humble opinion.
I’ve only tried ginseng oolong once before, when I received it as a sample in an ebay order. But during that tea session my husband tried it and instantly fell in love with it’s unique aroma. Maybe it is because we live in Canada, but we really have not been exposed to the ginseng flavour before. So our first encounter with it was full of exotic charm.
So I was delighted to see that Teavivre was selling ginseng oolong. I have been wanting to place an order for more of their teas lately, and this one got added to our latest one. (As a note, I am also receiving some samples in the future. Like always, I mention in tasting notes whenever I am reviewing free samples)
Moving onto drinking the stuff;
The first steep is good, not too overwhelming. Nice sweet almost licorice-like flavour from the ginseng hits the roof of my mouth and the back of my throat. What I can taste of the oolong base is nice, subtle.
Second steep is still quite nice, I like the extra short steeps to get just hints of ginseng in each cup. It has a powerful effect on me, so I’d rather not steep it all out in one long brew. And with each of these short steeps, I get a bolder ginseng flavour at the back of my throat. Which is a nice sensation. :)
Third steep continued to get more intense, and looking inside the gaiwan the leaves have yet to completely unfurl.
Fourth to sixth steeps had consistent flavour. I’ll end my tasting note here even though I will be resteeping this throughout the day.
To be honest, I did not have high expectations with this tea. I’m not sure how you could screw up oolong + ginseng. Although now that I say that I am sure there are bad examples out there!
Anyway, I quite liked Teavivre’s ginseng oolong and I’m sure my husband will be delighted to take this to work.
100ml gaiwan, 1 generous tsp, 6+ steeps (rinse, short steeps starting at 3s-ish and increasing slightly)
Wowza – I guess I didn’t log this yesterday but I had this lol. Today I am re-steeping it and it is so interesting but after being allowed to sit out on the counter all night and all day today it is peachy, VERY peachy and jasminey of course.
I had to do a double take when the peach flavors hit my mouth. For a moment I was not sure I was drinking what I thought I was but then the jasmine came through – of course still not totally convinced I had to check my leaves. Still uncurling too! So many more steeps to go with this one! Upping the rating because it is so yummy AND very resilient!
A simply STUNNING and DELICIOUS beauty of a tea. Floral, sweet, and soothing! This tea really calms the nerves and relaxes you!
Steeps multiple times and is truly a beautiful tea to watch (glass pot recommended!)
There are just not many words that have not been said about this one. Its lovely. Get some!
Today I received my Teavivre order (yes this is a paid purchase) and I couldn’t wait to tear into their Lapsang Souchong pouch! This type was the first loose leaf tea that got me into the world of tea. So perhaps my expectations for each new encounter are a bit high.
Sniffing inside the bag, the dry leaves smell very smoky.
At this point I wasn’t sure how to prepare the tea, but I thought that if the smoke was too powerful I should short steep it.
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.
However my fears were washed away when I took my first sip. It’s woodsy, slightly smoky, earthy, very slightly sweet and has a velvety mouth feel. The aftertaste is lighter version of the aroma with the addition of cocoa notes, it’s also not tarry in anyway.
Second steep felt really good in my mouth. The tea leaves are not fuzzy, but still there is a velvety texture that fills mouth. I’m also getting more sweet/cocoa notes in the second cup.
Third steep still tastes great and isn’t bland. Getting more of the smoky aroma now, and less sweet flavours. I could keep steeping but I’m done drinking smoke for now. (Just getting the feeling that if I stretch out the resteeps it might rub me the wrong way.)
I am always a bit worried when I try a new Lapsang Souchong tea. Either they’re good, amazing, or emotionally scarring. ;)
This LS from Teavivre is pretty good, but you’ll either love or hate this type of tea. Even the best LS I’ve tried won’t please everyone because of the smoky aroma. So for anyone wanting to try LS for the first time I recommend a sample size. And as a tip, if you don’t like LS western style… please try it short steeped! I am a big fan of short steeping all black teas, and I feel that this type of tea can benefit from it greatly.
100ml gaiwan, 2tsp, 3 steeps (rinse, 30s, 45s, 1m)
I will try this western style sometime in the future, maybe at work.
(This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.)
Dry Leaf: I get a sweet vegetal aroma. I can even see someone say grassy.
Wet Leaf: I get a vegetal aroma almost like a boiled green bean or something close to that.
Liquor: Clear and pale.
Taste: I get a light refreshing sweet vegetal flavor. The broth gives your tongue a slight dryness on your tongue that is nice.
Overall Opinion: I give this tea a 90. It is crisp, light refreshing and totally reminds me of drinking a Long Jing. If you are a Long Jing tea drinker I think you will enjoy this tea also.
(This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.)
Dry Leaf: I get a old damp wood aroma.
Wet Leaf: Has a warm rich old damp wood aroma.
Liquor: Dark brown.
Taste: This has a rich and smooth earthy taste with a very gentle sweetness to it.
Overall Opinion: I give this tea a 88. I also noticed that I didn’t get as many steepings as you would usually get with a puerh. I tend to be more partial to puerh cakes but, for a on the go options this is a good option. You can easily take this with you to work,to school, or even a road trip.
I’m going to start with a little story. Yesterday, members of my local family (my Momma, Grandma, Aunt), went for Mother’s Day brunch and we had a good time. I passed on the horrible restaurant tea and opted for….wait for it…COFFEE!! Egads! It was bad too-only a little sugar made it tolerable. As the conversations moved along, occasionally, I thought of my good tea at home and my fellow Steepsterites. Then it occurred to me-while I am not a huge fan of Facebook (extremely rarely on), I love Steepster. :)) Steepster IS my Facebook! Then I smiled. :)) I spent the rest of the day with my Momma.
I am sending a huge Thank You to JenW for this delicious sample. :)) Beautiful long and slender leaves that are a combination of colors-some black, some black/beige, while most are a tippy golden beige color. The aroma is terrific, with a sweet honey aroma, and lighter chocolate notes.
The wet leaves exude a toasty, woody, medium to dark chocolate sweetness. The thought of sweet potatoes crossed my nose (maybe a little). Then came the smell of musty/earthy fallen leaves. Ahh….the sweetness…I inhaled so deeply, so many times, I was nearly hyperventilating! Is it true? I was picking up on a lighter candy sweet cherry note. Maybe it was just the lack of oxygen to my brain, because as the leaves cooled I couldn’t detect it. Now, I was detecting toasty and wood-like sweetness.
The cup was a dark brown. Where was the bottom of my cup? The cup revealed aromas of sweet honey (raisins?), combined with a musty, earthy aroma. The flavor was quite malty, earthy, and dark chocolatey, with a mild sweetness. The feeling on my palate was smooth, with no bitterness.
Then other aromas in the kitchen invaded my senses :-//, so the review will be continued…….
At 9:30 PM tonight, the Horseshoe Casino is opening in Cleveland. I’ll get there sometime soon. I steeped the leftover leaves from my last steep with about 2 tsp of additional leaf (190 for 3 min.). I hope my leftover tea leaves aren’t too much of a gamble for my intestines! :-//
My second steep unearthed honey, earthy sweetness while steeping. The wet leaves also had honey earthy aromas, cooling to a more earthy than honey sweet aroma. The cup was even darker-or seemed to be. I was thinking, “Is there anybody in there?!”. Oh yeah….there was…I saw my own reflection! :)) My sinuses were really bothering me, so my cup aromas were hampered. I did detect darker honey, slightly earthy yunnan mustiness, and some malty aroma. The flavors I noticed were slight & thin (sinuses), with some mild astringency-not bitterness. This is in large part due to steeping the previous leaves again.
This was not quite the review I was hoping for, but I will review this tea more after dinner with my Dad and a friend of ours at a local sports bar called Bootleggers. For now, I have to bolt (as in Thunderbolt). :)) Steep on steepies…….
Had a great dinner on an outdoor patio with lots of sunshine, but it did get cooler before we left. It was also very calming listening to a water fountain. :)) Good conversation, laughter, and music (Led Zeppelin, Journey, America, Def Leppard, etc.).
So for my third cup (2 tsp, 185 for 2:20), I did read some reviews after my first cup. Some people got (baked) sweet potatoes, or a raisin quality. Dry leaves smelled of honey, malty sweetness with chocolate notes. My sinuses were clogged AGAIN, so the wet leaves smelled mainly honey sweet (possibly raisins), mild chocolate, and some sort of baked sweetness. The cup smelled malty sweet, chocolatey, and earthy. Flavors in the cup were mainly malty, chocolatey, and earthy.
My last cup was similar (boiling for 3 min.), and I added the rest of the sample to the steeped leaves from the third cup. I tasted less sweetness, and it was mainly full of musty earth, and less chocolate. I was hoping to taste some of the baked qualities. :-// The feeling on my palate was smooth and quite full without bitterness!
What a great and delicious tea! I will definitely be ordering some more. This tea reminds me more of Autumn, but it is awesome anytime! Thanks again JenW-this was much appreciated. :)) A perfect end to another beautiful day! I’m gonna go…….seems I keep rambling on…and on….and on. :))
Cupped & Reviewed: Monday, May 14, 2012.
Sample provided by TeaVivre – thank you Angel and company
The fuzziness of the curled dried leaves is quite interesting. This looks to me like a green Golden Spring Yunnan-like tea. Oh, it tastes like a black tea too…
This one took me by surprise because of the miso-taste. It reminded me of golden fuzzy yunnan buds from Adagio I tried in one of my first tea adventures. I could not pinpoint any flavours that reminded me of chinese green tea: no nuttyness, no vegetable notes, no buttery flavour. I got a smoky, miso-soup type flavour, and folks, I really don’t enjoy those things in my green tea. The polarity of this tea compared to my expectations did make me appreciate the vast differences in green tea. I love that this was not what I expected, and over the next few cups I hope my taste buds learn to appreciate a smokey green tea like this one.