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Recent Tasting Notes
I would like to thank Angel with TeaVivre for providing me with this sample. When I first opened my package I was surprised with the care they took when packaging the sample. Not only was it vacuum sealed in a foil pack, but the tea inside was also wrapped in plastic to preserve the flavor.
My first steep was a pale golden color with a tinge of green. The aroma and scent from this steep was very floral, almost overwhelmingly so while it was hot. There was a bit of astringency while the tea was still hot, but it disappeared once it cooled. It also had a subtle sweetness that I noticed towards the end of each sip.
My second and third steeps were slightly darker in color and more golden. One thing that I have noticed is that the floral flavors become much more apparent with each additional infusion. There is also a bit of a mineral taste with these steeps that I only noticed while the tea was still hot. Once it cooled to room temperature it, as well as the slight astringency I noticed, completely disappeared.
This tea has such a depth to it that makes it a little hard to describe and I noticed immediately that the flavor isn’t like any other oolong that I’ve had. It very quickly became my new favorite oolong.
Woo! One of the stragglers from my birthday order since the others ship so quickly. I’m gonna try to cut down my reviews a bit from now on too.
I really enjoy this tea so I’m glad I purchased a good amount of it. It’s usually difficult for me to find green teas that are really strong, but the only reason I don’t like more delicate ones is because they don’t taste like this! Usually for me, lighter green teas just taste bland and grassy, and literally my least favorite flavor I can find in a straght tea is anything reminiscent of my lawn.
This however is really delicious because though it’s very delicate and not strong at all, it’s SUPER nutty and sweet and has no grassy flavor that I can taste. Definitely getting vegetables, but more like vegetables pan fried with butter than steamed or raw. It just has a very smooth and warm flavor and I absolutely adore nutty green teas so I’m in love. Really delicious and bound to become a staple!
Rumpus Parable sent this to me AGES ago and I feel terrible I’m just now making a tasting note for it. thank you so much for sending! This is in the Steepster Select pouch, and wow those Steepster Selects must have been fun. I’ve only had one blooming tea before. I think it looked exactly like this one too.. just from a different company. So I had my clear mug out and I think I waited too long for the water to cool…it wasn’t quite boiling. This is a green tea after all and I thought the flavor would go bitter. The bloom was floating and it did take a while to unravel. I waited five minutes and decided to have a second steep later to watch the entire bloom unravel with actual boiling water… the green leaves unfurled, seeing a bit of the red flower. The flavor isn’t bitter at all and has a seaweed and asparagus flavor.
The second steep I used just boiled water and the bloom opened right up. I decided to just keep the bloom in the cup as I was drinking… I thought it’d be nice to look at! But twenty minutes later I took a sip and the cup was FULL of undrinkable bitterness! I guess twenty minutes was a bit too long. Any other tea I would have known this, but it was so nice at five minutes which is very unusual for a green tea. Ah well. Somehow this is elaborate but the flavor wasn’t quite right even in the first cup. Luckily, everything else from Teavivre is much more delicious!
The first steep of this tea surprised me with the subtle floral flavor and creamy notes. I wasn’t sure if I was going to care for this one because it struck me as being overly subtle. The second steep is what changed my mind about this tea. The leaves have completely unfurled in my pot and the flavor isn’t quite as subtle as it was before. The floral flavor really comes through and there is a slight sweetness that I really enjoy as well slight bite to the end of each sip. This was by far my favorite steep of this tea out of the three that I made.
Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable Oolong tea, however, I still prefer the stronger flavors of Tie Guan Yin.
The dryleaf looks really weird= like rocks made of felt! The dry leaf smells very much like the kind of green tea I don’t like, but it turns out I didn’t have to worry. The taste was mellow, roasty, and slightly sweet. The ginseng aftertaste works its way up the nose and back of the mouth. Overall it was pleasant and refreshing.
I was already quite familiar with Teavivre’s pu-erh tea via their Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha (bird’s nest-shaped little tea cake) selection, my absolute favorite pu-erh tea. I liked it so much that I sent away for seven ounces of the product from Teavivre in China a few months ago. When I received the order, the ample amount in the package made me think that I would be tuocha-sufficient through the end of the year. However, I brewed through all of the little birds’ nests in about three weeks! Since I try to maintain Teavivre’s pu-erh and a few of their black varieties in my stash of staple teas, I immediately hit their website to order more pu-erh. This time, I thought I would give their loose leaf Ripened Aged Loose Pu-erh tea a shot, hoping that it would just approach the great quality of the tuochas.
When I opened the package, the strongest pu-erh aroma that I have ever experienced burst forth from the bag. It was a potent, earthy, and leathery smell that screamed pu-erh in several different languages. The long tea leaves looked like shredded landscaping mulch and were a milk chocolate color.
I was surprised (and a little concerned) when I saw that the instructions recommended three to four teaspoons of the leaves for each eight-ounce cup. I was afraid that I would empty the entire package twice as fast as with the tuochas. However, Teavivre’s instructions always seem to suit my taste buds, so I used their recommended amount (three tablespoons), temperature (212 degrees), and brewing time (two minutes).
The steeped brew was a deep dark brown. A fragrant medium-strength pu-erh tea aroma arose from the pot.
The flavor of the tea was absolutely, thoroughly, and incredibly delicious. It was rich, powerful, smooth, and exploding with flavor. The taste was fresh and earthy with a full-bodied leather quality. Bitterness was not in this tea’s vocabulary. The aftertaste lingered blissfully without annoyance.
I would give this tea a rating of 200 if that choice were available. I will do my best to make sure that this tea is NEVER missing from my daily stash.
Water: 8oz at 185 degrees
Leaves: light yellow flower w/ green base
Aroma: floral chamomile spice
Taste: The scent reminded me of chamomile but with a bit of spice added. I must also say this is a very pretty tea,I used 25 pieces. Considering I’m not a fan of chamomile tea,this tea was quite nice.The aroma my be a bit strong for some when drinking.
HOO YEAH! This sample sent me to to Tea Heaven! Best Teavivre tea I received by far! The darkest of black teas- Its roasty, almost ashy foretaste feels like silk in the mouth. It then overwhelmed me with roasted green beans (yes, I’ve been obsessed with beans lately) and was tantalizingly tangy in the aftertaste. That last bit made the impression on me of apple cider vinegar on a green bean salad.
Two mugs of this today. Two words…happy mouth! I can’t say if I like this better or the same as the Golden Monkey, but both are similar, only this one is lighter somehow. This is the type of black tea I find most comforting, straight. It is just warming and it wraps it’s golden leafy arms around you and says it is alright. Partially drunk straight, but I caved and added milk and sugar to the second half of the first cup and second cup.
Many thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample.
Yum! Full details later.
EDIT: So it is quite some time later. I feel like rather than backlog and try to get in the mindset I was in this morning when I had this tea, I better just have another cuppa in the morning and write my tasting then, so it is more accurately described. But I can say I really enjoyed this one today.
This tea is grassy, slightly sea-weedy (but in a good way) and buttery. It tastes fresh and spring-like. As it cools it gets more grassy and leafy. It loses the seaweed flavor altogether.
2nd Steep: No seaweed, even more buttery. There’s a floral sweetness I can’t place.
Short tasting notes- at work.
I’m enjoying the variety in my teavivre samplers. This is a slightly dark, woodsy oolong tea. The smell of the liquor is earthy greenbeans and mushrooms. It seems like a lot of teas lately remind me of beans. The taste is much like the smell with the addition of some very faint honey and citrus tones that work really well to add some brightness and complexity to the earthy tones. The aftertaste doesn’t last very long, but it holds onto the fruity tones and settles into a creamy flavor.
Second Steep: Much more woody, less sweet and fruity. Minerally?
I’m not sure that I get why people recommend drinking pu’erh if you’re used to drinking coffee. The brew sure has a very nice dark colour, but I wish it was more full-bodied. I like this but I really have a hard time describing pu’erhs so I can’t say a lot about it. It smelt a bit fishy at first, but I rinsed it for 45 seconds before brewing it and it got rid of the fishiness. Then I steeped it for 2 minutes in a mug with an infuser.
I got a solid 3 infusions out of this and I’m sure I could get more. It was very good iced with a little bit of lemon and sugar.
Maybe it’s in my head but I’m starting to believe the chinese myths about medicinal properties of puerh. It really quenched my thirst and I felt refreshed after drinking several cups. I wasn’t as hungry as usual in the afternoon.
Had an interesting experience drinking this tea this morning. I had to go to work this afternoon, and that was hanging over my head. I had gotten up and ready later than I had intended, and as a result had less time to do what I wanted. Which was learning the bass line for Led Zep’s “Ramble On,” which to someone like me is definitely a challenge, especially since the chorus is a lot of noodling that’s not done the same way twice. So I was a little stressed and not particularly happy.
Then I had a sip of tea, and I let myself focus in on the color, the flavor, the texture… and my mood changed. I found happiness in the little moment with the tea. I became more positive about going to work. I realized the bass line, although technically challenging, was within my grasp in terms of understanding the fundamental structure, especially since I’d just found a video on YouTube that isolated the bass and made it very clear to listen to. And I still can’t get over Teavivre’s lapsang and how much respect it commands.
This is why I drink tea. It allows me to “practice peace,” instead of “practicing stress,” which for some reason is one of the only anti-stress mantras that really works for me. It pulls me into the present moment when I, by nature, tend to live it in my head, whether in a good place or a bad. And it imbues that moment with something positive.
Cheers to Teavivre for making what could have been a brash, offensive drink into something delicious that helped me find a spark of positivity in my day.
Not that I’ve had many lapsangs, but this tastes like what I think a lapsang souchong should be! Just the right amount of smoky. Don’t think this is a tea I’d do every day, but this is exactly what I’d keep on hand for that every-once-in-a-while I feel like brewing up a smoky cup!
P.S. I broke the damn infuser basket on my new teapot!!! Shows ya what I get for trying to clean it more quickly by turning it inside out. It looks like the mesh just slides up into this little crease in the rim and that’s how it stays, but… ugh. Not sure if it’s even worth the effort to fix it or if I should just get myself a new infuser basket. At least it’s easy to just dunk my tea ball in, hook it on the latch, and use it in place of the basket.
This is my second lapsang souchong, and one that came as a free sample with my significantly more sizeable order of their fenqqing dragon black pearl. I have to say I am more impressed with this version than the one from Mountain Rose Herbs. It is a LOT more subdued… perhaps to the point of being a little too mild. O.o What that means, though, is it’s easy to control your variables so that you can adjust for a tea that’s a little more or a little less smoky, especially if you’re not into OH DEAR JESUS IT SMELLS LIKE A WILDFIRE tea. In fact, the aroma was so subtle I could barely smell it from the opening I’d cut in the bag. … I might try a little more tea next time. But highly recommended if you like a bit of smoke but not a lot!
This morning’s cup is dedicated to Past Me. I usually don’t like the decisions Past Me makes, but this time around, Past Me scheduled an 8 AM dentist appointment that’ll probably take about 25 minutes to get to. In doing so, Past Me got Present Me out of a 7:30 AM work meeting (which nobody in my store knew about before Tuesday) that would have been a 45 minute drive if you don’t count 7 AM rush hour on Columbus-bound route 33, which is a four-lane highway trying to handle six- or eight-lane worthy traffic.
So, Past Me, I raise this warm mug of malty cocoa-tinged perfection to you.
I really, really need to stop writing notes on this tea.
Also, I just realized I’ve had the current bag since summer of last year.