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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
My first experience with milk oolong was bad, to say the least. I tried the Quangzhou Milk Oolong from David’s, as it came in a sampler pack, and I took two sips and threw it out. All I could taste was rice pudding, and that’s not what I want when I’m drinking tea.
I tried this with a bit of trepidation, fully expecting to hate it. But I like it!
It’s really creamy and floral, and while the milkiness isn’t my favorite, it’s certainly not as rice-y as I remember the one from David’s to be.
I don’t think it’s a tea I’d buy, but it’s a good cup for today.
This came with my last Teavivre order of teas as a sample. I went a little overboard buying greens so I have not touched the samples much. ;)
Sniffing the lid of the gaiwan after the rinse step. I’m picking up on a strong buttery and slightly smoky (or similar) smell.
First steep tasted much like I expected; boldly vegetal and buttery. There is also a biting sort of characteristic. Not quite bitter,but it still pulls on my senses like bitterness. (in a good way)
Second steep was milder but slightly more bitter and astringent. Overall tastes very “green” and flavourful.
Third and fourth steeps were both great, with the latter beginning to lose some flavour.
Overall I like how bold the green, vegetal flavour gets. However it’s not one of my fav green teas. There are aspects of it I like, others not so much, but still an enjoyable experience. I prepared it in a gaiwan, so I can’t comment whether or not it’s any better in a teapot.
100ml gaiwan, 3g of tea, 4 steeps (rinse, 30s, 50s, 1m20s, 1m40s as recommended on their website)
This is the real deal. I mean wow! Tastes very vivid, clear and elegant. Has absolutely no bitternes or grassy mouthfeel whatsoever. Color is very light and that gray hair from the leaves really makes the tea almost to sparkle.
Lasts for at least 5 infusions (second seems to be the best). Totally recommended!
I wish we would have had these to compare to the other pearls, as they seem to be very similar. Both extremely good, but I honestly can’t remember much difference at this point.
This was another great sample from Teavivre, so thank you!
I’m enjoying this while watching The Producers. All said, a very enjoyable night!
This was provided for review by Angel and Teavivre. Thanks guys!
This is smooth and sweet. I think the jasmine is done well enough it doesn’t hit my “I hate floral” button. I feel like I’m missing out on that apple-y taste the premium jasmine pearls have. I think they might be a bit more subtle on the jasmine as well. If you like jasmine, I think one will definitely fix that craving nicely.
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for another nice sample.
Although I have not tried lots of green teas,Teavivre has done more to get me to appreciate green tea than anyone else. I’ve already had great results with their Dragonwell, Jasmine, and Xin Yang Mao Jian.
This tea is completely new to me. I really appreciate that Teavivre seems to be producing more organic teas.
The dry leaves are bright green and similar in shape and length to pine needles. The pleasant aroma is vegetal in nature. Brewed leaves are a bright, almost kelly green and contain more of the vegetal scent. Liquor is translucent and a pale greenish yellow in hue.
The flavor is more of the vegetal-cooked spinach is the flavor it most resembles to me. The tea is slightly sweet and a touch savory. It is smooth with zero bitterness or astringency-don’t let it cool too much though. Also note the recommended brew temp of 195 instead of 175 which is common on some of their other greens.
This is a nice refreshing cup on a hot day. It is really light. The tea was plucked in March of this year, so the antioxidants and nutrients are probably a little higher in this fresh tea-just the thing you need in summer.
Another good job by Teavivre.
This is another sample provided by Angel and Teavivre for my review. Thanks.
So this is much like the other green I tried today. Butter and spinach-y notes with maybe a nutty quality. I didn’t think it had the floral quality that the Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea had. I think of the two, I would purchase the Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea. It seems to be more complex. This one might be good for a comfortable cup of tea.
This is another sample sent to me by Angel and Teavire for review.
I’m not sure I enjoy green tea as much as blacks or oolongs, but this is pretty good. If I was a green tea lover, this is one I’d keep stocked up on. It’s creamy and smooth in texture. The strongest flavor I get is butter and some thing much like spinach. A floral sweetness shows up next. It’s not perfume-y or soapy. It reminds me of smelling fresh flowers growing in the neighbor’s yard. I guess it’s not powerfully floral. It really has a quite a sweet after taste. Not a bad cup at all. :D
Okay, so my first experience with Lapsang, the sample I got from Upton, made me think that it (surprisingly) wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. I expected smokey, but I didn’t expect my fire alarm to go off. Okay, I kid, my fire alarm didn’t go off, but I feel like it should have.
This? Whole different story. The smoke is much lighter on this blend, which means it actually tastes like a good, quality black tea with some smokiness. The flavor here is almost indulgent, sweet, lightly malty, and just enough smoke at the end to make you think about what you’re drinking.
Congratulations, Lapsang, you have been redeemed. I’m curious as to whether the steeping parameters from Teavivre (195 instead of 205) could make that much of a difference on the smoke aspect. Maybe the Upton one is better with a slightly lower temperature? I’ll probably never know.
I’m not sure I will keep this around as a permanent tea. Both the keemun from Teavivre I want to keep around, and the Baker’s Street blend from Upton have enough of a smokey aspect that it will probably satisfy my smokey tea cravings, without keeping this one on stock. But, I will definitely pick a few samples of this up every second order or so from Teavivre, just as a special treat.
Man, I just cannot say enough about the quality of Teavivre’s teas. These are so good.
I really wanted to try this one after the lapsang I had tried from Upton. For a while, I thought that I liked smokey flavors in tea but not a tea based on the smoke. This is really good and has corrected my opinion.
When I take a sip, I think dainty and light. The smoke seems to be middle of road. It’s not super strong, but there will be no mistaking it either. This really seems to be on the sweeter side as well. I think it makes a good balance for the smoke. I can see keeping a small bit of this around for some thing different to drink. This was quite enjoyable.
This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.
Dry Leaf: Had a sweet and smokey pine aroma.
Wet Leaf: Had the smokey pine aroma.
Liquor: Had a bright and beautiful reddish brown color.
Taste: Had a perfect amount of the pine smoke flavor. This tea was smooth and not bitter at all. The soup was more on the watery side.
Overall Opinion:I give this tea a 89. This tea I believe is a love it or hate it type of tea. I find it very unique. This tea is very smooth and no bitterness. The tea reminds me of sitting by a nice campfire. The only thing I would want from this tea is more texture to the tea soup and that cooling effect you get in the after taste of higher quality Lapsang Souchongs. Again, can not be to hard on this tea since it is not overly smokey and so smooth with a pinch of sweetness.
Vessel: SAMA DOYO Gongfu/Kungfu Teapot. I used 7 grams of leaf for 220ml or approx. 7oz. water in the inner cup of pot.
Another generous sample from Teavivre! This tea smells like roasted vegetables. I did a two minute western style steep at 180. For a green tea its got a very strong vegetal flavor, almost like a gyokuro and chun mee blend. The strong vegetal flavors followed by a nice bite. Not a lot of natural sweetness going on in this tea but thats ok cause you just need to pair it with something, I tried it with dark chocolate and that was a good idea. Nice tea but I wouldn’t drink it on an empty stomach.
This was provided by Angel and Teavivre for review. Thank you! I am grateful I got the chance to try it.
This is such a beautiful tea. Rich and robust with malt and light grain notes. Sweet potato and a light fruity flavor finish this cup. I’m totally keeping this one around.
This sample came to Missy by way of Angel from Teavivre. Thank you!
This tea is fantastic. It is very smooth, but has a dark, robust flavor to it. It is malty, with just the faintest hint of a grainy hay-like flavor. There is a sweet fruitiness in the finish that reminds me a lot of a darjeeling.
This tea seems a little unreal. I’m used to getting great quality tea from Teavivre, but this one really takes the cake. Probably the most fantastic straight black tea I’ve ever tasted. This truly is a treat.
Free sample provided by Teavivre for review
Every time I think I don’t like floral teas, along comes Jasmine. Sweet and naturally “perfumey” I truly enjoy the dry aroma almost as much as the tea.
Teavivre has a new Jasmine tea that is supposed to be even higher quality than their premium Jasmine. While I am not doing a side-by-side comparison today (I’d be all jasmined out) this is a superior Jasmine.
The dry leaves are rolled into tight pearls and are olive green with prominent silver-white fuzz from the leaf tips. In producing this tea, the infusion of the leaves with jasmine is a time intensive process as the tea leaves are scented with jasmine flowers 7 separate times. If you have ever had cheap jasmine tea (that was probably just sprayed with a scent), you will truly appreciate the effort made here.
Liquor is pale yellow and translucent. The flavor is as you would expect-very sweet and jasmine-y. Not sure what else smells or tastes like jasmine. The tea is completely smooth and natural. I got 3 good steeps out of this at 1m, 2m, and 3m respectively with a constant water temp of 175. If you like high-quality jasmine, you should check this tea out.
I’ve never tried a Lapsang Souchong until this one that came as part of the black tea sampler I purchased. Since the description said smoky, I assumed it would not be “my cup of tea” but was pleasantly surprised at how the smoky flavor was just right, not overwhelming the tea flavor. It is a subtle and smooth cup of tea. It would probably never be an everyday cup for me, but that’s a matter of personal taste, not quality. I can envision when cooler weather arrives in the fall,that this would be a very enjoyable cup to savor.
After this morning’s Lipton Mint fiasco, I wanted a “real” tea for my reading. I love my classes to pieces, but I’m in three lit classes and a psych, on top of my Education seminars, so there’s a ton of reading.
Right now I’m sitting out in the grass right behind my window with a pot of this and Oedipus the King.
I’m raising the rating a bit because I think I appreciate it a bit more now, maybe in comparison to that Mint tea! I don’t see how you can rate teas objectively, really, since it can be SO subjective.
There’s something deliciously nutty about this. It tastes a little bit roasted, but I’m not sure I’d call it a roasted oolong. It’s naturally sweet, so I didn’t put any sugar or anything in it. Yum!
Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
I’ve never had a ginseng tea before, and never really had any ginseng. I’ve only really ever seen it on commercials “With ginseng for extra energy!” or whatever ginseng is marketed to do So I don’t know what the ingredient tastes like. But we’ll give this one a try!
The dry leaf smells kind of like a rock oolong. It’s dark and toasty. The feel of the leaves is different: they’re coated in something (probably ginseng). They’re uniformly dark green and almost matted together. The leaves feel sort of rough to the touch, like moss growing over asphalt.
Steeped in my tasting cup (I really want to get my hands on a gaiwan!) for short infusions.
Wet leaf smell – I’m picking up that same rock oolong scent, but stronger. There’s also a bit of a walnutty smell here. I’m hoping that doesn’t come through in the taste, because I’m mildly allergic, and I’d like to avoid starting the day with a headache.
First steep – 10s
The liquor is a rich golden color. It’s not pale at all, the way I’d expect a 10s steep to be. It looks like I’ve steeped it for a lot longer.
Nope, no walnuts in the taste! Excellent. The first few sips were rather tasteless, as I was focusing on the nuts and trying to separate the ginseng taste from the rest of the flavor. I gave up on that, and a sweetness started hitting me incredibly strongly at the back of my mouth. It was like a regular, unremarkable oolong, and then – BAM! Sweet! It’s all aftertaste. Interesting.
Second steep – 20s
The liquor has the same golden honey color as before, but it’s a little darker, a little more bronze. The leaves in the tasting cup have mainly unfurled, but they’re still rather crinkly. Reminds me of my wardrobe after it’s come out of a suitcase… :)
There’s a bit of astringency in the flavor here. The utter sweetness of the aftertaste has abated, and it just reminds me of a more astringent rock oolong.
Third steep – 30s.
Smooth, a little bit nutty. I dunno. This tea just isn’t doing it for me today. Thankfully, Teavivre’s samples are large enough to try a few times, but maybe this one just isn’t for me.
The third and final Teavivre Jasmine tea for our face-off… dun dun duuuuuhhhh!
This feels a lot more like the soothing, relaxation medicine that jasmine tea should be. The jasmine flavor is smooth and sweet, but not overpowering. It blends in with the soft, delicate green tea flavor coming from the cute little wrapped up pearls. It really is a great experience.
This will be our permanent collection jasmine, methinks :)
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample, and all of the samples. It is truly awesome that you do this kind of service for your customers.
We got this one to compare with the jasmine pearls which I love. It makes me giggle now. I used to have a serious hate on floral teas and for the most part still do. They need to be subtle for me to appreciate.
This is again super strong in the jasmine fu. It doesn’t seem soapy or perfume-y, just LOTS of jasmine. It’s heavy and sweet but has a funny sharpness as an after taste. I wouldn’t describe the sharpness as bitterness. I think the jasmine tea for me will remain the jasmine pearls. This one is a bit too strong in the jasmine force, young padawan.