Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

82

I purchased this tea from TeaVivre, along with a huge amount of Dragon Pearls and blueberry fruit tea. You can’t go wrong with 350g of tea for 36 bucks with fast, free shipping to the other side of the world. I had to include this tea with my order, even though I’ve never tried a milk oolong before. The reviews were already looking promising, so I took the plunge. Now I wish I bought more than 50g!

This is soooooo delicious! The leaves look like polished jade rocks of beautiful oolong goodness. I steeped 3 tsp in a 250ml gaiwan for a minute, with no rinse. The result was a lovely flavour that reminded me of sweetened condensed milk mixed with a buttery taste found in good quality oolongs. I wish the milk notes lasted more than one steep though. The second cup had almost no milkiness left, but this is still a damn good oolong.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
TeaVivre

This one is natural milk oolong tea without adding any flavor so the milk notes not last too long. We will also add another JinXuan Milk Oolong Tea which is added milk flavor so that the milk notes laste more steeps. The flavored Jin Xuan Oolong tea will online in next week, it is good for tea lovers who like stronger milk taste.

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68
drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
141 tasting notes

Thanks TeaVivre for the sample; thankfully Canada Post only hoarded this box for a month before letting me know they had it…

This flowering tea is slightly less flavourful than the Two Dragons and a Pearl tea. It is not as nutty; it is a bit sweeter and more floral, but I found the flavour didn’t last as many steeps. Definitely a lighter flavour over all. Still enjoyable and pretty to look at. I had three love flowers on mine, as opposed to two in the picture.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91

I noticed I rated this higher than anyone else. I love the look of the dry leaf. I love the fresh hay smell. I love the Cheerios early on, followed by a light fruitiness that reminds me of TGY, and the sweet lingering hay aftertaste. I prefer the lightness of this green over a heavy grassy cup. I drank several cups on just a couple spoons of leaf – and there is still a lot of leaf in the pouch. 4oz of this would last me forever. I would enjoy every cup.

gmathis

Sweet hay tea … you know, there’s some merit in that … :)

K S

Not how Teavivre describes it but that’s how my peasant tastebuds defined and enjoyed it… yeah tastebuds.

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90

WOW! So moving on to the second in the wonderful bouquet that Angel at Teavivre has sent along, and I couldn’t be more excited to try this. This was one I was really looking forward to. So without further delay I’m gonna jump right in!

Visually this tea is unlike anything I’ve seen. The long, golden tips are incredible! And the look, scent and feel are all so much more fresher than can be believed. I already know I’m in for a treat. The scent is fragrant and complex. The taste is absolutely divine! It’s balanced nicely with lots of flavor without being astringent. It just might be the perfect black tea. It produces a deep golden color liquid, and was delicious through multiple infusions. I am in love with this. Unreal.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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82

The dry leaves have a very fruity smell and sweet aroma, bringing to mind dried strawberries. The leaves are silvery and very tippy; they are covered in the white down that often characterizes a well-harvested and gently processed green tea. I infused this at about 85C for 1 minute for the first infusion.

The wet leaves retain a little of the fruit flavor which comes across as a gentle smokiness. In the mouth, the aroma continues to remind me of strawberries. The tea is highly sweet and mouth-filling, like a honeydew melon with a bit of the woodiness of a young sapling.

The second infusion was also at about 85C, for 1.5 minutes. The woody flavor increased here, but not in a bad way. It’s almost like a young sheng puer, carefully brewed: the aromas of cut hay and straw.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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88

This is the type of tea I would think of for teatime. It’s a wonderful pick me up. So full of black tea flavor. Bold yet so incredibly smooth. I brewed this basket style which seems to be my favorite method of brewing black tea. Perhaps 1.5 tsp and approximately 4 minutes steeping yielded a luscious brew. Truly a winner in my eyes….

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79

I’ve sort of lost the whole tea writing mood lately, as you can see from all the short I’m-behind-posts. We’re having this one right now, though, and I’m going to make myself sit down and write something pseudo-intelligent about it.

I like a Keemun to be largely smooth and rounded, but with a little bit of a smoky edge to it. Just a bit. I like the smokier tasting Keemuns better than the more floral tasting ones, and my least favourites are the ones that fall right in the middle of that spectrum because they’re so confusing!

This one has a mild aroma. It’s grainy and kinda sweet, and unfortunately it’s one of those where I can’t tell whether I think it’s more one or more the other. sigh In many other things I would call that a perfect balance, but in this particular kind of tea? I really really want it to be more smoky than floral. I really can’t decide what I think here, and now I’ve put lotion on my hands and can’t smell anything other than that so we’ll just move on.

The flavour is going a lot better in terms of leaning towards smoky or floral. Unfortunately for me, it’s more floral. Still, it’s better than the middle of the scale.

It makes up for this, though, by being extraordinarily cocoa-y. It’s just not a note I’m connecting with this type at all, normally, so it’s really interesting to find it here. It was actually the boyfriend who found it and pointed it out to me, and now I can’t untaste it.

It’s like all the grainyness that I would normally have expected to find has been transformed into cocoa. How interesting!

Another thing that’s interesting is how I’m apparently the only one to have thought it more floral than smoky… It makes me feel a little disappointed in my own tastebuds.

I’m dithering about this one. It’s a very good tea, yes, but it’s not at all what I want in a Keemun. I have to say, I miss the grain. I miss the association to proper Danish rye bread, dark and wholegrain-y, like this http://www.grillguru.dk/forum/userpix/1312_DSC_1283_1.jpg (not my site, not my picture. The magic of Google image search)

I’m definitely very much enjoying this one, but it’s not… it’s not it! So, if you were me, would you rate it solely on the experience of this particular cup, or would you deduct points for not being what you wanted it to be?

I’m going to give it a tentative score. Then we’ll see if I end up adjusting it.

Thomas Smith

I can’t really tell from the picture they have – how tippy or golden is this one? Many of the Hao Ya versions I’ve had are either floral-fruity or a lightweight cocoa and I’ve come to associate the level of down prevalence with level of cocoa character for Hao Ya just as I do for northern Fujian reds.

Angrboda

I can’t really tell that sort of thing. At the site there is a better picture where you can zoom in. http://www.teavivre.com/keemun-hao-ya/ Mysteriously I actually thought I had cheaped out and ordered the Grade 1 instead, and had to check the bag several times to convince myself that it wasn’t. Maybe it was the Bai Lin I did that with, regular as opposed to organic…

I’ve had a Hao Ya Keemun before and remember that one as really good but that was before I was experienced enough with them to be able to define what I wanted from the type.

I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps I’m just not made for higher grades of tea. Often I find them too dainty and with not enough oomph to them. I tried the higher grade of the Tan Yang Te Ji (oh gosh at a price!) once and discovered the same thing.

Oh, and I hear you met a friend of mine at the tea festival! Small world! :D

Thomas Smith

Hahaha, yeah I was hoping I’d meet a few steepsterites who I’ve read reviews from but only talked to one person who identified herself as a user. It was a nice event that I hope is improved upon for next year.

I’m in the process of moving right now, but in a month or two after getting settled I would like to throw some teas out your way to get your opinion on them. If you send me an address in a personal message I’ll see what I can do after my furniture and finances have settled back down. May include some of the more florally reds you may not care too much for but will attempt to make up for it with others I think you’ll like. I’m flakey on trades, though, so if two or more months have gone by I haven’t forgotten (ask Auggie).

Angrboda

I wish I could have gone and met Steepsterites too. I would particularly love to meet the woman you met in person, I’ve known her for several years now. Unfortunately that sort of travelling is not for me, partly because I find it a rather large expense and partly because travelling is super-stressful for me. I have learned to handle the trip to the UK to visit with the boyfriend’s family fairly, but I still don’t think I could do it alone.

As for the swap, I sent you a message. Sounds like you have some specific things in mind you want to share. How intersting. :D

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72

This is quite delicious. I never thought I would find a flowering tea to taste good, but this one is light and not heavy on the flowers at all. A slightly buttery, slightly veggie but in a mild way, kind of green tea. Little bit of jasmine and…something else floral. These are things I like right now.

Looks cute when blooming too :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TeaVivre

Also looks very beautiful!

ashmanra

I bought ten of these after trying the samples. Pretty AND yummy!

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90

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I love this tea! I have previously had a thing against jasmine. But this tea is actually very tasty. It is highly relaxing to drink this on blustery, busy days like today.
The jasmine in this is very well balanced. The base isn’t too noticeable, but I do enjoy it. The floral in this is very fragrant and drinking it reminds me of fond memories. It is not bitter or astringent at all and steeps very well. Each time I make this tea I get 4-5 really good steeps out of it.
Highly recommended

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86

I’ve enjoyed this twice now. The first time, I steeped it for a full five minutes with a low temperature (about 170°F) and it had a pleasant flavor, but it was lacking, somehow … and the bulb did not fully open. I steeped it again and the bulb did not open, and the flavor was still needing something.

The second time, I increased the temperature to 185°F and steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes the first time. The bulb did not fully open but the flavor was much nicer. The second infusion was even better (although the bulb still wasn’t fully open), and with the third infusion, it was still tasty although the second infusion tasted better… but the bulb was fully open and GORGEOUS.

The flavor is light and floral, with a sweet grass and hay background. a VERY nice blooming tea.

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90
drank Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea by Teavivre
1248 tasting notes

I love the look of the dry leaf. So delicate, thin (wispy?), and dark. The leaf smell is cocoa and light grass. Add water and the leaf turns green and expands nicely. The liquor is green and the aroma, for reasons I can’t explain, once again reminds me of the beach.

Today, I am having this with homemade peanut butter cookies. What a great combination. It brings out and intensifies flavors I don’t remember catching before. The primary one being a dark rich roastiness. I recall this having a bit of bite but the cookie pretty much negates that aspect of the sip.

Cup two and three without the cookies and we are back to a pleasant amount of bite without the roastiness, but with a lot of vegative flavor.

I am glad I got to try this tea at this point in my journey. Not long ago, in my flavored tea bag days, I would have blown right passed this and never noticed or appreciated its complexity. I find Xin Yang Mao Jian to be a very enjoyable cup.

kOmpir

Sipping it right now. Review will have to wait a bit though…

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90

This green tea fascinates me. The leaf looks like black tea – very small dark pieces. It calls for nearly boiling water and a less than 30 second steep. That just seems all wrong. The wet leaf is small torn pieces and remains dark. The brew has an orange tint and is quite dark for a green. By the look I expect a heavy brisk smoky flavor. Instead, it is mildly roasted with just a hint of smoke. In mid sip the flavor shifts and reminds me of some of the shengs I have been drinking – including the mouth feel. The biggest difference is in the late sip as this leaves you with a dry mouth which I guess indicates astringent but not at all bitter. I think if there were a mild green Keemun this might be what it would taste like. I would also venture to guess if you don’t follow the steeping instructions this could get overwhelming in a hurry.

ashmanra

I didn’t see how 30 seconds was going to work, but it does. Oh, it does. I love the sweet lingering aftertaste of this one.

TeaBrat

30 seconds or so is very common in puerhs, too

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97

Steep Information:
Amount: 5.4g
Water:750ml at 185°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: floral, sweet, vegetal
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, floral, lightly delicate vegetal
Flavor: smooth, silky, sweet
Body: Light
Aftertaste: floral, vegetal
Liquor: translucent light yellow-green

Resteep:
750ml at 195°F for 3 min
weaker flavor and smell

Resteep:
750ml at 195°F for 4 min
weaker flavor and smell, no longer silky smooth mouthfeel

Steep Information:
Amount: 4.8g
Water:750ml at 185°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: floral, sweet, vegetal
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, floral, lightly delicate vegetal
Flavor: smooth, silky, sweet
Body: Light
Aftertaste: floral, vegetal
Liquor: translucent light yellow-green

Delicious, smooth, silky, wonderful cup of tea for just sipping and enjoying. 2 minutes was better than 3.

Rating: 4/4 leaves

Blog: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2012/02/teavivre-loose-leaf-white-tea-white.html

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Hubby drank tea with me again last night! I can not convey how soothing I find a good jasmine to be, and this is one of the best I have had. We made about six steeps from two teaspoons of pearls in an eight ounce glass pot. The jasmine does start to fade a bit after several steeps, but it is still there, and the green tea base was still going strong!

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91

(This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.)
Dry Leaf: Has a sweet and vegetal aroma.
Wet Leaf: The vegetal aroma is more dominant but the sweet aroma is still in the background.
Liquor: Has a pale yellowish color nice brightness and good clarity.
Taste: This tea has a smooth crisp and clean floral and vegetal flavor with some sweetness. The broth seemed rich in texture in the mouth too.
My Score/ Over All Opinion: 91, I enjoyed this tea is was clean crisp and refreshing. This tea is lighter oxidized so has more of the vegetal aspect. This tea reminded me slightly of mellow monks top leaf with some subtle differences.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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69

Another free sample generously provided to me by TeaVivre!

Dry leaf: Small and dark green leaves that smelled of spinach. They were whole, but the leaves were so small that they resembled a BOP grade, almost. I understand the reasoning behind the short steep time when looking at the leaves.

Steeped leaf: Once steeped, the liquor is a light brown – the fact it is so dark is surprising given I’ve steeped some greens for 2 minutes and only gotten a pale green. The smell is quite brothy and savory, and as it cools, almost…floral, strangely enough.

The taste is…strong. And very different. It’s drying like a white wine on the tongue, but not thin or watery. It seems kind of bitter, but that plum aftertaste was there – it seemed a bit metallic, though. It is definitely memorable and different than any other green tea I’ve tried. As it cools most of the dryness and the sharpness in the aftertaste fades away. It leaves more of a sour nuttiness in its stead.

Overall: I’m glad I got to try it but I don’t know that it’s a tea I want to keep on hand. It could be the fact that it shares so many qualities with wine or sake – I don’t drink alcohol because I can’t stand the taste and so this is has unpleasant associations to me. Maybe later steeps will be more to my liking?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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84

This is another sample from my recent batch, so thanks again to Angel Chen and Teavivre for the samples, which I have been enjoying very much. I love jasmine teas and I very much liked their dragon pearls, so I was excited to try this one as well. The dry leaf smells very pungently of jasmine, but it’s not quite as sweet or purely floral as pearls, as if it’s a little rough around the edges. The green tea comes through in the aroma and grounds the jasmine a bit.

The aroma of the steeped tea is jasminey but also intriguingly buttery at first, though the jasmine seems to overwhelm it a bit as the tea gets cooler. It’s very heavily floral jasmine, moreso than the pearls; this one isn’t holding back. I like this tea and I’m enjoying my cup, but I wonder if a steep at 1 minute wouldn’t result in a more balanced cup between the jasmine and the green tea. I guess that’s something to try out next time!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Invader Zim

This tea sounds lovely, I love jasmine pearls and your description of this makes me want to buy some now!

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92

Dudes, this is totally unprecidented. I tried this tea for the first time just a couple of days ago, but I’m already going back for another cup. This afternoon I was trying to decide on a tea and my mind just kept coming back to this one. I mean, me craving the same tea within a couple days of having it is not common anyway, but with an unflavored black? Never! Until today, apparently. Since this tea comes in little individual sample pouches I had used some from a pouch already and there was a little less leaf left in the pouch than I normally use. I didn’t want to open another pouch just for that, though, so I’m brewing it for 3 minutes instead of 2 (still within the recommended range) to see how it goes.

Annnd then I got caught talking to someone and it cooled off a lot (it’s still warm, but just), but you know what? It’s still delicious. I really wouldn’t have guessed that I would find an unflavored black tea that I like so much, but here it is. I have to say thanks again to Teavivre for sending me this sample, which I did not expect to like, and exposing me to these kinds of teas!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Scatterbrain

I’m getting this one as a sample. Very excited to read this review as I’m also not usually one to go for unflavored blacks but am trying to broaden my horizons. :)

Dinosara

Yup, this one is great, and I think it’s a good intro for people who don’t usually like unflavored blacks.

TeaBrat

Everyone is loving this lately!

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92

Dry Leaf: There is a sweet toasty or nutty aroma.
Wet Leaf: There is a sweet vegetal bean aroma with a faint toasty or nutty aroma too.
Liquor: Light pale sort of golden color. Good brightness and clarity.
Tatse: I get a smooth but sweet vegetal bean taste with a faint toasty or nutty flavor.
My Score/ Over All Opinion: 92, I think this tea was a pleasant and I enjoyed it. You are getting quality tea with a nice price.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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99

This was yesterdays noon tea. I brewed it basket one cup style with the whole pouch. Needless to say I was on the go. The flavor and aroma are top flight. Truly on of the worlds finest teas in my opinion. Warm and sweet with a cocoa-caramel flavor with a hint of a dark honey. There is a reason why people on Steepster have been raving. This is the real deal. I literally was buzzing the rest of the day. I did not need anymore tea. I love this….

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98

Let’s just get one thing clear here. This will probably not be news to most of you.

Fujian black = OM NOM NOM NOM!!!

That said, let’s move on.

I should do a proper intro first. You see, you may have heard about this here massive order I put in with Le Palais des Thes recently. Massive. Massive, Steepsterites. When the boyfriend came home and saw the opened box, this is what happened.

“That’s for work, right?” says he.

“Um, no…” says I.

I was being Looked At

“What?” says I, somewhat defensively.

“That’s enough tea for an army!” says he.

innocent look says I.

That was when I decided to not tell him about this order, although it’s much more reasonable in size with only three different teas. And yes, the LPdT one did get slightly out of hand. Slightly.

So the TeaVivre order arrived today. I have tinned it and hidden as much of the evidence as I could in my own room. I recently rearranged the Tea Corner slightly, so I’m counting on him not noticing the three extra tins that have appeared.

If he sees them, he’ll mock me for weeks.

So that’s the current status in my house. Yup. Sneaky tea. At least I don’t have to hide it in a desk drawer like I do with chocolate when I get cravings after having told him to help me cut down on snacking and sweets.

Now, tying it all back to the very beginning of the post, anybody who has known me for a while will know that when it comes socks-in-orbit-awesome, nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, surpasses Tan Yang in my opinion. I love all Fujian blacks, I’ve never met one in recent history that I didn’t, but Tan Yang is the very definition of tea perfection for me. Bai Lin came close, but not quite there. A little less wild, a little more well behaved. I love the wacky feel to Tan Yang that I get some times, when it seems to display multiple personalities between steeps, and often between sips if brewed Just So.

I have to say that the first sip of this one had me eyeing the cup suspiciously. I have, it appears, been drinking the wrong Bai Lin. This one hits almost all the markers that I love about Tan Yang. The only one missing the wacky feeling, but I can’t tell that from just one cup anyway. It might be there.

There’s nothing well behaved about this. It’s loud and self assured. It marches into the room shouting, “BAI LIN IS HERE! HI FANS!” It’s not at all subtle, but it seduces me all the same.

But I expect you lot wants to know about my experience in more descriptive terms as well. The aroma is malty sweet and a bit grainy. I got a whiff of caramel, but only because the flavour told me to look for it. You see, this has a pretty good caramel-y note. It’s mostly in the aftertaste and it reminds me of the dulche de leche (an expensive and rare luxury) I had on toast for breakfast this morning. The body of the sip is all long and grainy and dark, but at the very front was where I found the real surprise. Sort of prickly, kinda floral and kinda almost pseudo-smoky! More floral than smoky, but it was definitely pointing vaguely in that direction.

And that, I expect, is what broke the Good Boy image for this one. That’s the sort of thing I expect from Keemuns and Tan Yang. This tea definitely feels male to me, which is peculiar, because all other Bai Lins I’ve had struck me as rather more female tasting.

(Yes, flavours occasionally have genders. They sometimes have colours too.)

Tina S.

OMG I loved the sneaking tea story! My friends and family are attempting to tea-intervention me soon so I totally get it!

kOmpir

Good stuff, in terms of black tea it comes second just after Jin Jun Mei for me (haven’t tried Tan Yang yet).

ashmanra

Barley tastes purple. I love how our dirty little secrets are tea orders and we hide tea the way some people hide booze. LOL! Lately I have taken to loudly announcing that I have to order tea for my son, or for my daughter, and they are paying us back. No need to mention that there are several tins for me included in that order, right? :)

LadyLondonderry

I have the mailroom guys at work making comments like, “So, you haven’t ordered any tea in a while …” For some reason they find it hugely amusing that I get tea shipped to me.

CHAroma

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post get 37 likes before, but this one definitely deserves it! I laughed out loud at your story. I could totally see you surrounded by tea packets and your boyfriend walking in the room, stopping, and staring like you’d gone mad. Hahahahaahhaa!! Priceless! What a wonderful tea story, and I think all us tea fanatics can relate in one way or another.

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We drank this on the heels of Chun Mei tonight, and as much as I liked the Chun Mei, I must say this tea blew me out of the water. The sour Chun Mei with its sweet aftertaste only intensified the sweetness of this jasmine beauty.

We made this one gong fu style and got about five steeps out of it before running out of hot water. We were not yet out of flavor though, so the leaves have been saved for another pot tomorrow. This one has to stay on my shelf, not matter how ruthlessly I try to cut my tea inventory. Smooth, sweet, silky, this is a great tea.

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