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Recent Tasting Notes
I waited to pick the third tea for my guest until I had seen her try shu puerh and jasmine silver needle. I used her opinions to pick the final tea, and was leaning toward black tea since she loved the puerh but it had to be just the right one since she had been scared off by a bitter black tea someone else gave her. I called in youngest to help with suggestions. She said, “What about the one we had last week that was so good?”
I turned to my friend and asked, “Do you like sweet potatoes?” “I LOVE SWEET POTATOES!” It was almost a roar! I laughed and pulled this pouch of tea.
This time I got out my tray and tiny teapot with a fair cup. We’d had two teas western style, now she could see gong fu style!
She smelled the liquor and was astonished at the remarkable scent of sweet potatoes, so distinctive. She sipped and said, “This is it! This is my favorite. I liked the others a lot, but this one is perfect. I could drink this all the time.”
She is right. It is a remarkably good tea and I am getting a little low. So I guess that is one more to add to my next order.
I served this to the mother and very young sister of one of my music students today. I told them about Fox News naming Teavivre’s Dian Hong as one of the top ten teas in the world. I drank my plain but I didn’t pay attention to how they made theirs since I was at the piano but I know the mother always takes the tiniest sprinkle of sugar in her tea.
I was delighted when the little girl told me that she liked that tea so much she didn’t even put sugar in it! I know I would not have taken it without sugar as a child so I am delighted to know that some of these little ones are going to have a much more sensitive and varied palate than I had, and it has taken me years to develop.
As an aside, somehow I am receiving messages meant for other people. Just a heads up, so don’t get mad if someone doesn’t respond to you. The message may have gone astray…
Wow. Wow-wow-wow! I believe this was the tea Fox put on the top ten teas in the world list last week, although it may not have been the golden tip version, I don’t remember.
I had completely rearranged my schedule for the snow days and it all fell through. Every single bit. So I had most of the day to do whatever, and I drank tea and ate pound cake! I thought a friend was coming to join me but I ended up drinking alone. (That’s how we know we have a problem, right?) LOL!
This is amazing, and the aroma is not to be missed. Rich, rich, rich. Delicious plain. Delicious any way you drink it. Don’t ever let it run out without a fresh batch on hand.
A little over a year ago, Teavivre sent a sample of this tea. Like so many others, I found that I had to have it, and finally placed my order a couple of months ago. One funny thing – a friend of mine who used to drink just some of the nicer tea bag tea has gotten hooked on better loose leaf teas since we started having tea together. I signed her up for the Teavivre samples and this is one that I told her to get. When she mentioned ordering again, she actually shivered when she named this tea as one that is going on the next order! Ha ha! I understand! I have the tea shivers myself a few times. Mostly with Teavivre teas.
This one is rich warm sweet potato goodness. I made a pot of tea, some apple cubes, and Kerrygold Dubliner cheese to nibble on while youngest and I do her German lesson. I will be serving it again later today for tea time. Excellent tea!
I drank green tea this morning, but when I was cooking lunch I saw the basket of leaves from yesterday. I picked them up and sniffed them. Aaaahh! Baked sweet potatoes, holiday style, roasted until the skin burst then a little orange glaze added. I decided to try resteeping and icing this with a bit of sweetener. Not bad! And it was a great way to be thrifty with my tea.
Is it bad that I am trying to be thrifty with my tea at the same time I am trying to drink up a whole lot of tea and cull my shelves? And the main reason I am trying to clean off those shelves is so that I will feel justified ordering more tea?
A testament to how generous the samples from Teavivre have been….I just made another pot of this and still have enough leaf left to make a generous cup, ad since this resteeps, well, who knows how much tea this could end up being?
After breakfast, hubby put Mr. Samwise in the Burley trailer and took him for a bike ride. they went to Sandy’s house to do a e bit of picking up in the yard. Hubby picked up pinecones, Sam picked up bones and sticks. I joined them and was a little peckish when we got back home after riding around a bit more and decided to have elevenses.
A hard boiled egg with this tea, out on the patio, hit the spot. Youngest joined me for tea. She added milk and sugar, I took mine plain until the final cup. JacquelineM has already given the perfect description of this tea plain, so I will just briefly repeat her….sweet potatoes with a little orange flavor! YUM!
For the final cup I decided to add a little milk and sugar. At first I thought that I didn’t like it as well as it seemed to disappear under the additions, but the more I drink, the more I like it. My first preference for this one is sans additions, though. But if you really want to add sweetener or milk to your black tea, this one is still good. I wonder if the Yun Nan Dian Hong that isn’t golden tip would be better for that, though, and perhaps would make a heartier breakfast tea to take me by the collar and get me going?
This was our second tea for the tasting today, and it was fabulous. The aroma of the steeped tea was so awesome we all had to stop and give it an extra moment of appreciation. No one could describe it better than JacquelineM already did – a naked sweet potato with skin on. I can even picture the amber syrup seeping out from where a fork or knife has pierced the sweet potato.
There is a honeyed sweetness to this. It was excellent paired with our foods today, which were Hickory Farms Beef Summer Sausage, Cheese with Onion, Breton Multigrain Crackers, fresh fudge-y whole wheat brownies from freshly ground wheat topped with whipped cream and served with strawberries on the side. This was the tea I kept coming back to when it was time to refill my cup.
Absolutely delicious. Teavivre, this tea is a magnificent work of art. Thank you!
JacquelineM hit the nail on the head. Bright sweet potatoes! I could not stop sniffing the pouch of dry leaves. What a delight to the senses! The golden tips are awesome. I have read so much about how special this tea is that I wanted to get it right, so I weighed the leaves instead of just measuring. These are long, light, and fluffy and I didnt trust my teaspoon.
Steeped, this has a lovely deep amber (cup nearly empty) to red (cup full) color. The aroma is now malty sweet potatoes. As a yunnan tea, it should.be an assamica varietal, and it has the malty goodness of both those teas, but without astringency, without pepper. This is an amazing tea, probably my favorite yunnan so far. I am considering making this one of my “conversion” teas – tea that I serve to guests who are not tea drinkers that is guaranteed to make them want more!
Youngest daughter, when asked for comments, replied, “nom nom nom!”
This is the last of the sample from Teavivre. I have tried it before, and of the two flowering teas sent I liked Two Dragons and a Pearl the most, so that is the one I ordered from them. This one is also good, and certainly very pretty and entertaining. The liquor is pale and the blossoms have deep color so it makes a very pretty show.
I made this in my 8 ounce Taiwan glass teapot from purepuer.com. Because It opened slowly, I let it steep for about four minutes. It was still weak at that point, so I should have rinsed or just discarded the first steep. As it is, I decided to combine steeps 1 and 2 for a medium body.
The flavor is slightly grassy, but I really taste the marigold, especially on the first steeps. If you don’t like the smell of marigolds (my MIL hates them) you might not like this tea. If other blooming teas have been too weak for you, you might want to try this one.
Hubby hung in there for four steeps. I am still sipping and I think I am on number six. I am impressed with the flower colors. The first flowering tea I ever bought looked like stagnant ditch water in about five minutes. I half expected to see a minnow flit by. This is much, much better. Because I liked these two, I am toying with trying some of their other blooming teas as well, since I want to restock my dragon pearls and I want to try some more of their oolongs and I really REALLY need some more of their Chun Mee.
Since my guest enjoyed the flowering tea last week, I decided to serve a flowering tea again this week. I have been craving really good green tea lately, probably because of my Teavivre samples that have been so delicious. This one was beautiful and very good. We steeped it only twice because I used a slighter larger pot this time. I had three cups! Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
I am looking forward to putting together my first Teavivre order!
SIPDOWN! I got up at 5 am to keep an eye on the new hen. When they are adjusting the pecking order, sometimes the newcomer or the smallest hen will get beaten up, but they have behaved themselves wonderfully. They didn’t even get up until 6 am today!
Another tasting note inspired me to make a pot of this, sit outside, and watch the chickens for a while. The wind is blowing and we are supposed to have a thunderstorm, so it is quite overcast and cloudy with sudden piercing beams of sunlight warming your arms and face. The dogwood trees are sprinkling us with petals and stamens and pistils as the wind ruffles through the branches.
I made three steeps so this is a little lighter than I usually drink it, though I did use extra pearls to finish them off cleanly. No fear. The tin is already refilled with Teavivire’s Superfine Downy Jasmine Dragon Pearls. My next purchase from them will be their Jasmine Silver Needle.
These are the jasmine teas I drink when I want to enjoy an excellent jasmine tea by itself. If I am having food, I drink Silver Jasmine Green instead of pearls.
After getting so utterly wrecked and sore last night from cooking and cleaning, I feel great today. I also have been very lazy and have done little.
I have just finished the fifth steep of one teaspoon of these little pearls, and I must say they have added an elegance and enjoyment to this day as few things can.
The jasmine flavor is still present though fading, and the green base is showing its pedigree. It reminds me a great deal of Huang Shan Mao Feng. This is exquisite, and is one of my panic teas. I panic if it starts to get low and I place an order!
Throughout the day today the memory of the taste of this tea haunted me. As I cleaned the living room getting ready for tea party I could just taste it. I really hadn’t planned to make this one but I started craving it. Why fight it?
This is absolutely heavenly. The green base is so good. I have had other dragon pearl jasmines that had a artsy or astringent base. This one is excellent and sweet on the tongue. The jasmine is a soothing, lovely addition that weaves a cocoon of weave around me. There is no perfume-y or soapy taste, just sweet, glorious jasmine and good green tea.
It is pretty economical, too. I used one tsp. of pearls and resteeped them and combined the steeps in a larger pot to serve it today.
Backlogging from last night: We skipped a week doing our Chinese buffet take out so I was especially ready for it last night. For less than twenty bucks we got six meals, and enjoyed really good tea with it instead of dining in and having…water, because I am NOT taking their bagged black Lipton! LOL!
This was my tea of choice. This is the most soothing, delicious, smooth green tea with the most beautiful jasmine aroma. I was getting a little anxious that I might use up my favorite jasmines, but at last one of my orders has finally arrived in New York, so I could prepare a pot of this without fear of running out too soon. The one I ordered first is still showing as being in Hangzhou. Hmph.
Hubby used to drink just sweet iced tea, then started loving hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar, LOL! I watched him last night down a cup of this and reach for the pot and pour another. He has found a number of greens that he really enjoys and I am soooo glad! This is kne he really likes. He still doesn’t know the names of the ones he likes. I just have to keep track!
I got so excited about the guests liking the tea that I asked youngest to make one more pot! This is a no fail tea as far as I am concerned. It is so good that everyone I have served it to has loved it.
Tonight was no different. One guest had tried it here cancel before and wanted more. The man whose wife is Japanese said it was very good, and he said he doesn’t praise much tea so if he says a tea is good, it is a big deal.I had two cups. I had made several teas, all decaf, and here I go drinking two cups of caffeinated tea before bed!!! Ah well, Teavivre says on their website that this one is low in caffeine. I sure hope so.
Yesterday I did a wee bit of shoveling-up some grass that had overgrown one of my beds outside while it was over 100 degrees for about a month and I couldn’t take the heat to work in the yard. Last night, my back told me it wasn’t very happy with me. Today when I turned to take the kettle off the burner for geometry tea, my back said NO! And I screamed! Lots of time on the heating pad, lots of ibuprofen.
There is a good part – a silver lining to this cloud. We have always had a tight budget because we made the choice for me to stay home with the kids. My income is tiny. Whisper “tiny” to see how small it is! :) For many years we literally only ate at a restaurant twice a year…our anniversary and my birthday. But last month, we started a little tradition of just hubby and me going to the Chinese buffet. The food was plentiful and good, but they only have cheap black tea, so I just made green tea when we got home and we drank it together. (The kids are old enough to stay home alone and don’t Like Chinese food.)
Tonight I told hubby that I just didn’t think I could go. My back is tight and not hurting quite as much, but sometimes when I stand, I scream. I didn’t really want to do that in a big restaurant. Hubby said he would go and get take out. They weigh the boxes. And guess what? It was cheaper to bring it home than to eat there plus you save the tip money AND I made two pots of this great jasmine tea to enjoy WHILE we ate, not just after! I had been worried about whether our budget would allow us to continue our Chinese food night tradition, but this is very do-able! Plus we have leftovers for tomorrow! Hooray!
I had my tea buying ban in effect, but then youngest needed Lapsang so she can do school, and I NEEDED to hit the free shipping mark, so I ordered some of the newer Extra Fine Downy Jasmine Pearls. :) They are on the way.
Oh, and here is today’s geometry doodle. Maybe I should tell her to be a drama major! :D
A friend invited me over for brunch and conversation today. I asked if I couldn’t bring anything and she said no, then changed her mind and told me maybe I could bring some tea since she had heard a lot about it. I chose this and Genteel Lady and thought we could either choose just one or try both.
When I was taking the teas out I asked if she drinks green tea and she said no. She didn’t like green tea. We tried Genteel Lady first but she kept looking at the Jasmine tin. Then she decided to just sniff it. Then she decided perhaps she could just try it.
She could not get her face out of the cup! Sniffing and sipping, over and over. Once again, I find myself placing an order with Teavivre from someone who has fallen in love with their tea! And a green, at that! Hooray! The tea-vangelist strikes again! :D
Finally, after twenty minutes of waiting for this to load, I can review my last tea of the day. Last night I saved my pearls. Tonight I added a teaspoon of new pearls since I had made it on the light side last time. I unashamedly drank the whole pot by myself. This is my quiet tea, my happy place tea, my meditative tea. Always, always must have on hand. I will be taking some to a new “tea friend” to try when I get my stitches out at Duke next week, because he has been paying $6 an ounce for the Teavana ones, while these are less than $4 an ounce. When you drink a lot of it, that is a significant savings if the quality is as good, and I think these are better.