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Recent Tasting Notes
Raw – This looks like a good quality white silver needle tea as it’s fresh and beautifully coloured (it reminds me of American white sage) and it smells potently floral. Plus when this states needles they mean it, there are lovely long leaves in the mixture.
Brewed – A quick steep (as recommended) and you are left with a pale yellow liquid that smells of fresh and fairly strong jasmine. It smells like pure jasmine flower (I use the essential oil often at work so I know the smell well) so for me it shows very good quality. It’s lovely.
The first few sips are mellow, floral and very delightful. You can taste the jasmine which is floral, sweet and fresh without any bitterness or being overpoweringly perfumey (like some others tend to). The white tea gently lifts the tea to complete the balance and add extra freshness and lightness.
After half the cup you can taste more of the jasmine and it gets slightly sweeter and stronger. This is such a beautiful jasmine tea and for someone who is used to drinking jasmine green rather than jasmine white I think I may have to change my ways and experiment more.
I received this one from a random sample swap from Meowkattack! I was so excited when I got this one because it was soaked in honey. I have never, ever seen a tea that was soaked in honey. Well I went to Teavivre’s site and read up on it. I decided to do multiple steeps with this oolong. So here it goes!
212° for 1 min.
The color of the liquor reminds me of watered down honey. The smell is light, sweet, and with a hint of fresh veggies. The flavor is kind of floral and sweet. I can get a slight hint of honey in the background.
212° for 2 min.
The color has gotten much, much brighter. Almost to a yellowish-green. The smell is very vegetal. The flavor has gotten a little more deep into the oolong with hints of vegetal and savory flavors.
212° for 3 min.
The liquor has turned to a light brownish-yellow. The aroma has turned deep and vegetal with buttery notes. The flavor has a slight mineral taste to it along with a deep oolong flavor. There is still a slight buttery/vegetal flavor to it but it’s very light.
This is the first oolong I have tried steeping multiple times and I loved it! I think it is so amazing how the flavor changes with every steeping! Thanks again!!
This was my first ever pearl tea and it seemed strange that it wasn’t in loose pieces when it started but looked sort of like black seaweed after it was steeped.
The biggest surprise to me was how smooth this tea was from the first taste. The first steep was only 1 minute and the color was very pale, but the second steep I left for 2 minutes and of course the color was deeper, but still it was a smooth as the first steep, but I did feel like it left a lingering taste on the back of my tongue that I couldn’t identify. I decided to do a third steep, but got distracted and it was left to steep for 5 minutes. Being in a hurry afterwards, I just poured the tea into a glass and later in the evening decided to try it with ice…what a surprise to find that it was great, and so much so that I might plan on doing a long 3rd steep again in the future to use for ice tea.
Thank you for the samples, Angel!!!
Last night I had a minor tragedy and lost TWO plants to mealybugs, so I needed the cheering up. I had clipped a few leaves from my purple basil for dinner and discovered dozens of the fluffy white menace. This plant shared space with some cilantro I had been having trouble with and was neighbors to the dendrochilum I had just performed surgery on yesterday. With chemical assistance I could have saved the herbs, maybe, but I wouldn’t want to eat them. I decided to throw them out before they had a chance to infect everyone else.
What a way to be cheered, though! I was fortunate enough to have today off, and the s.o. was working from home as well, so I was able to sign for my long-awaited samples from Teavivre and we both got to try this one! I started with the ginseng oolong because it was the one most likely to attract the curiosity of the non tea-obsessed. This impressed us both. I fixed up a little pot and we shared it.
The only reason I am not ordering more already is because there are more teas to sample and I want to make sure I try them. Oh, and combined shipping for the ones I decide I must have. If I order more of this now it might be all I drink till the weather turns. But I really love it. I have never tried anything really ginseng-y before, there is something tingly and clean and healthy feeling about drinking this, like a hot honey cough drop, but wonderful.
I hot-brewed and chilled this to see how it would fare… I think it was best before I inadvertently let it warm up to room temp. The hibiscus was a bit less noticeable while it was cold. However, still pretty refreshing and is helping to rescue me from this terrible humidity! (I’m a total humidity wuss, I’m used to dry heat, not repeated evenings of fog because there’s so much moisture in the air…).
Another sample from Momo, thanks!
I was a bit wary of this one because of the roselle/hibiscus, but was curious anyhow. I kept the infusion time a bit shorter than recommended though, as I’d like to be able to drink this, not have to pour it down the sink!
The aroma is fairly generic fruity… oh damn, hazards of tea near computer… just spilled on my keyboard. No major crisis though…
Anyhow, flavourwise, this one is definitely quite tart! However, it’s a pleasant sort of tart even though I know it’s from hibiscus, and I’m actually enjoying it! I wonder if the pineapple is taming the hibiscus somehow (although I have also read that roselle is not quite as…. potent? as “regular” hibiscus.
Either way, I agree with Missy that this is rather like a fruit punch, although tart, so I imagine it would be delicious iced! Always love when the tartness of hibiscus is actually used effectively!
ETA: Second infusion is… pineapply-tart? Odd. Probably would be good sweetened. I don’t think this has another infusion in it, but it is a herbal after all.
From the moment I cut open the bag and caught a whiff of the strikingly golden brown tea leaves, I knew this one would be special… and it did not disappoint! I used numerous 30 second Gongfu style steepings. The first steeping was mild in flavour, but not without aroma. Perhaps I didn’t wait quite a full 30 seconds, as an immediate pronounced rich colour developed. The second steeping was much more pronounced in flavour, aroma and colour, yet it still defied description. My nose perceived a floral, perfumey sweetness; my tongue perceived a malty tartness. Even at the fifth steeping — or was it the sixth, it was no longer possible to keep track — the liquor remained a deep golden brown. I will make it somewhat stronger next time to see if I can more precisely define the tastes.
Well, I have to be honest and say I was a bit dubious when this sample came from Teavivre to try. I love oolongs but was not sure what to think about ginseng with oolong. So, it’s been sitting at the back of my tea cupboard waiting until I drank my other samples. But, with the release of the new straight teas from DAVIDs, my interest was piqued. The description and the picture caught my attention. Perhaps there was a picture and description on the Teavivre site, but I must have missed it or not looked. Anyhow, in light of it all. I decided to break out my sample and try.
Initially, I read the most recent reviews and thought I was in for a treat. And then someone commented on undertones of anise, menthol and something else…I wanna say camphor or eucalyptus. Anyhow, I was worried at they point. Those are not things I care for. At all. I didn’t really detect any if those tones when I smelled the dry leaf, but I could taste them when brewed. So, unfortunately, this is not my preference in oolongs. Luckily, as the tea cooled, the licorice and mint tones were more subtle.
I will probably not have the rest of my sample, but I will scout out my friends who have a palate that likes those flavours.
So as I suspected, this is a brilliant cold brewed tea! Where it’s a nice tangy hot tea, it’s a fantastic cold tea! Tethered a nice berry taste, there’s a bit of tang and the colour is wonderful :) I don’t drink a lot of cold tea in winter but this is likely something to go on my shopping list for summer! Thanks azzrian
So this is a sample from Azzrian and I have to say, it’s pretty tasty. I totally don’t get pineapple when I drink it but what I do get is a nice tangy refreshing beverage. I think this would be pretty awesome cold so I’m going to use the last of my sample to give that a try tomorrow. This would be a really nice drink on a hot summer day…even hot :) it’s that right balance of sweet and tangy that throws a party in your mouth that your mind can dance to heh thanks Azz!
This tea is beautiful!! I have had a sample of this from the ever generous Teavivre for quite some time; I have been waiting to brew it up until I had a friend over who would appreciate it! We used boiling water and steeped for a little over 2 minutes. We like how it tasted; very light with floral nuances. Everyone who saw it thought it was pretty neat! We steeped it twice; it was nummy both times.
Thank you to Teavivre for sending this wonderful set of samples! They finally arrived today and I can finally start digging in.
I am in a black tea sort of mood so I figured this would be a great place to start, that and the tea came in a little once cup pouch so I didn’t have to do any measuring!
The dry leaf smell reminds me of soy sauce with a hint of sesame seed, which is making me really hungry as well as get this tea going. The steeped tea is a nice dark amber color and smells a little soy saucey still with a hint of chocolate.
The taste is very nice. There is no astringency that I can detect, which is very nice and makes for a smooth tea. There are some nice chocolate notes that are coming out as I sip this as well as a hint of chili. I might try less water when I resteep this to try and make it a little more to stronger.
Measuring out the tea, I observe long, full leaves, consistent gold color and a pleasant sweet aroma. Mmm, nice. I anticipate an enjoyable evening with this tea. I’m curious about it-how will it compare to Teavivre Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip which I adore, and Bailin Gong fu, running a close second. Without trying a sample of this first, I had gone out on a limb and ordered 100 gms. I’m glad I did. The drink is smooth and tannin free with notes of oven-roasted sweet potato. The low astringency and sweetness of this tea make it a great every day tea.. The price is reasonable and I’ve been looking for an economical everyday “go to” Chinese black. My experience with TeaVivre has been exceptional. Golden Monkey is a little less pricey, which makes it a tea I will likely keep on the shelf.
These leaves are beautiful – long, slender, and wiry. They are so dark … deep green. Such a dark shade of green, in fact, that they almost appear black. The liquor that they produce is very pale, though. Pale and delicious. Soupy, brothy… like a delicious vegetable soup without the vegetables. Very comforting and lovely to sip. Satisfying.
Mao Feng is one of my favorite green teas, and if I were to choose just one green tea to stock my tea cupboard I’d likely choose a Mao Feng, because I love that it tastes like what I expect it to. It tastes like green tea. Beautiful and comforting. Cozy yet exhilarating. Very refreshing.
The latest batch of samples courtesy of Angel and Teavivre showed up in my mailbox on Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to try them until after I’d gotten back to school from break.
Break was fantastic, but I’m glad to be back, and trying new teas!
I really like this one. The leaves are bright spinach green, and they smell very vegetal. The taste is also very spinach-y and vegetal, but I like it. It’s kind of like my beloved Dragonwell! Delightful.
I’m still working on this very generous sample from Teavivre (thanks again Angel).
I love how much these thin leaves expand while steeping. The taste is light and satisfying and is somehow able to be steeped over and over again with no loss of flavor (I have been resteeping these same leaves all day).
I imagine the order I placed with Teavivre is making its way to me through this gray wet weather. I bought a few different sampler packs, and I look forward to tasting some new options.
There’s no doubt that the quality of Teavivre teas are amazing. I’m always astonished by the number of steeps I get out of a couple of teaspoons of leaves. I’m so grateful to Angel Chen and the Teavivre company for introducing me to their superior quality teas with these free samples. I am waiting with great anticipation for the order I just bought to arrive in the mail, to see what new favorites I might find.
Despite Teavivre’s tea quality being superior to any other company I’ve tried (I’m basing this on their consistently high number of steeps); so far they haven’t satisfied my partiality for flavored teas. I’m not sure if this preference makes my taste less distinguished or sophisticated, but that’s just what I like…so there :P I’ve tried a Teavivre version of flavored tea – in fact their jasmine tea, is my favorite from them so far, and their 5 Featured Flavored teas is part of that order that is currently in transit. But if I had to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life, I must admit I’d choose a company that offers some of those flavors that tea purists would deem gimmicky. I’m sorry, but I appreciate the jazzy little names and the cutesy little non-tea ingredients. I say bring on the chocolate chips, the sprinkles, the candy, and the fruit! Variety is the spice of life. Part of me knows that these ingredients are quite likely part of the reason that I don’t get the number of steeps as a pure tea, but I don’t care – life’s too short to go without sprinkles!
Thankfully, I don’t have to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life. And I am fortunate to be able to experience true variety in all companies, flavors, and grades of tea. I know that whenever I wake up wanting a high quality tea, I can grab this, or any of my Teavivre teas, and I am never disappointed.
One thing that consistently amazes me with all of the Teavivre teas I’ve tried, is the number of times I can re-steep the leaves with little or no loss of flavor, and this one is no exception.
The dry leaves for this tea are long and skinny and include more stems than I’m used to, so when I scooped out my 2 teaspoons, I had to resist the temptation to throw in a pinch of extra leaves to make up for the open spaces caused by their unusual shape. I’m glad I decided to try it as is; otherwise I would have probably had to water it back down. This tea is light and nutty with a slight bitterness that reminds me a little of pecans (or maybe that’s just because I had pecan pie with my Thanksgiving dinner last night, and it’s still on my mind?…yum!) As much as I’m fond of this tea, I have to insist that my taste buds are still partial to Japanese green teas as far as pure green tea goes, so this wouldn’t be my first choice. I will definitely enjoy this on occasion though, when I want a change from the norm.
Thanks again Angel and Teavivre for all the generous samples you provided for review. Sampling your tea has been a wonderful experience. I recently purchased a selection of your assorted tea packs and I look forward to trying more varieties of your tea, and finding new favorites. Thanks for introducing me to your high-quality teas.
Whoops, this is yet another overdue review on a tea from Teavivre. Out of the package, this one has a very bold aroma, roasty and rich with some completely unexpected cocoa notes, but also an earthy, mossy smell. That last note is one which I have grown to appreciate – this is a tricksy oolong, putting me more in mind of a black tea. I love black tea!
I used the whole sample in my perfect tea mug with water that’s probaby around 90ish degrees. The steep was around 3ish minutes, yielding a liquor that is dark for an oolong but would be light for a black – a warm yellow, reminds me of an IPA or similarly styled beer in colour. The steeped aroma is subdued cocoa, with some dark earthy notes – almost reminding me of peat and cocoa. I don’t know why I say peat as I’m not completely sure what that smells like, but that is what comes into my head.
First sips are rich, earthy. I get a fairly bold roasty oolong flavoured, with a hint of spice at the end. Maybe something cinnamon or nutmeg? It’s a little sweet at the finish, unexpected but really nice. I get the sense that there is a bit of bitterness lingering underneath at all, but it isn’t fully developing, so it just gives a sense of complexity. This is a fairly bold tea and could handle additions if you were so inclined but certainly doesn’t need them – the mark of a good tea, in my books.
I have had a couple Big Red Robe oolongs now, and I must say that I really enjoy them. The flavours remind me of black teas more often than not and they’re nicely complex but still drinkable. This one almost has a savoury aspect, it puts me in mind of of a nicely seasoned roast. What is going on in my head today?! IF I can get teavivre.com to finally accept my credit card, this one might get slipped onto the order. Very yum.
EDIT to add that as it cools, I get a smokey note. It explains the sense of tobacco I was getting earlier. This is the second tea I’ve had recently with that slightly smoke that develops late in the game and I am liking it. Maybe I’ll be able to try a Lapsang some day.
PS – This reminds me a lot of the Teavivre Dragon Pearls. What’s up with that? : )
Ahhh… this is lovely! It seems that I’m quite a fan of Teavivre’s Silver Needle White teas. This Jasmine tea has quite a strong smell when I open the package, but as I sip, it’s nicely floral, fragrant, and sweet.
I accidentally spilled a little of this tea on the shirt I was wearing this morning, and I decided I even liked the smell of this tea as a perfume…kind of strange I know.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample, this one was a perfect fit for my taste. I will have to explore any other options you might have with Silver Needle White – I’m curious what other treasures I might find. In the meantime I will be enjoying this one….mmmmm….