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Recent Tasting Notes
My order from Teavivre arrived (yaay) I decided to try this one first. I think it would be better iced. I tried this straight and didn’t like it much so I added some splenda. A little too much splenda but it taste better sweetened I just have to balance the splenda a bit better :D
Ahh! This smelled so, so good. Licorice-y and caramel-y, very sweet and dark. I could sit there and smell it all day.
Brewed up it smells even more delicious. It may be my mind playing with me because of seeing “pine-needle shaped,” but I even feel like I’m getting a pine-y taste. It’s like a combination of a woodsy and medicinal (which is in no way negative for me) feeling – it tastes like something that could have once been called an elixir. This is one of those where I actually whispered a little “wow” after the first sip. There’s a lot about the taste that I’m not experienced enough to name (though I know I love the full-bodied-ness of it) – I see a lot of other members mentioning malty, which I think is what’s making me think of medicinal things.
My amazement might come from never having had a non-flavored, high quality black before. But I love this! I am so glad Teavivre sent this sample along with my flavored sample pack, because this one really impresses me.
I was looking for something fun to try tonight while get ready to watch some Sherlock Holmes episodes staring Jeremy Brett (my first Sherlock). I was digging into my sample bin and I found this one. I was nervous to try it at first because I am not a huge fan of lots of bits of tea getting into my cup. (Long story)
I went for it. I’m glad I did. Not only did it brew up a pretty pot of tea. But it is also a pretty yummy cup of tea. Very fragrant and also smells slightly sweet too. The taste reminds me of something between a green and an oolong. I might be in love! I might also have to ask Santa to bring me some for the holidays!
So this is another of my free teas samples that I got from Teavivre. It seems like it might be something interesting, so here we go.
Dry Smell: Like peanuts, more specifically when you open a new jar or tub of peanuts from the store. Making me hungry.
Wet: Smells like wet spinach with a little bit of the peanut smell lingering in there.
Taste: Like peanuts and spinach. It’s kind of like a salad, which is interesting. I would drink this again.
This is a backlog from Sunday. I had a friend over, who was not a big tea drinker, so I made this to share. Unfortunately, it’s the last I had, so now it is gone. I am very sad. :( I really love this tea, it has a beautiful, full jasmine flavour, while still being light and sweet. It’s a pretty colour, and this time, I added cream—non-dairy, powdered—and it was HEAVENLY. I didn’t think Jasmine tea with cream would be good, but oh my goodness, it’s phenomenal!
I’ve got to get more of this sooner than later or I will start having withdrawals. Seriously, I love this tea so much.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Honey, Jasmine, Sweet
This is one of my all time favorite teas. I’ve logged it once, drank it…twice, I think? But maybe only that once. I was craving it today, and decided to make some.
Last time I made it, it steeped light, nearly colorless, but still kept a great flavor. This time I steeped it, and it was a bit darker, and STILL had the great flavor. I honestly think I cannot do anything to make this tea less in any way. The jasmine flavor floods your tongue, but doesn’t overpower you, the tea is light and refreshing, perfect for summer time. I’ve never drank it cold, but I’m sure it’s just as good cold as it is hot, and again, I seriously doubt it’s possible to ruin this tea, but again, I’m a bit biased because, well, I just think this tea rocks.
Every sip makes me happy, it’s just smooth, floral filled, and wonderful. Go make yourself a cup if you have any, and if you, for whatever insane reason, do not like it, you know someone to pass it on to!
On a serious ending note, though, this tea is splendid, and it makes me love tea even more, and it has every good thing in it.
So I want to say THANK YOU to Angel at Teavivre, and also apologize for being slow on the reviews. School has made it hard to really sit down and enjoy a cup of tea, though I’ve gotten a few bagged teas in.
To be honest, I’m still adjusting to the different flavors of Chinese tea. I think since Chinese tea is probably the most natural compared to bagged teas or other loose leaf, learning how to taste and like the different flavors has been an interesting challenge. So far, I like many of the teas I’ve tried, and then there are some that I need to taste a few more times.
However, this tea has blown my mind first try. JASMINE BLOSSOMS ARE YUMMY! Or at least in tea, I’ve never eaten a full one. Haha, but no, really, the floral smell hits you right out of the bag and is light enough to not choke you but strong enough to be enjoyed, even with my slightly stuffy nose.
Steeping it’s just as strong, and the first sip I literally went “Ooh!” because there was just this explosion of floral, jasmine awesomeness and then a very light, mellow taste of white tea. It blends so well and is just really pleasant, I have no complaints.
Just for anyone’s reference: This tea steeped really light in color for me, which makes sense because, duh, it’s a white tea, but it was much lighter in color than some white teas I’ve tried. That being said, the flavor was not missing at all, so if you feel that it didn’t steep strong enough, I’d try it first because it is PERFECT for me. Of course, tastes and preparation varies from person to person, so do it your way! Either way, GO DRINK THIS TEA! With a good book or movie! And something sweet to eat with it! (Although I’m craving popcorn…)
UPDATE: Each sip gets better and better! I LOVE THIS TEA!!
Dry Smell: Somewhat buttery and vegetative.
Wet: Mostly vegetables or leaves.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a milky taste up front as it tastes like TKJ. Now the aftertaste is where we start getting into the milky area of things. The feeling it leaves in the mouth is very similar to that of having just drank a tall glass of milk.
Wooooaaaaah. This is way too tart for me. I thought 3.5 minutes would be enough to tame the hibiscus, but apparently not! I can tell that there is a berry flavour in here too, but mostly, TART. I can see this being ok sweetened/as an iced tea, but this is not for me, sadly.
Thanks for sending some too me, CHAroma!
The smell of the dry leaves on this one was like a licorice-y butter to me, though the wet leaves had a much more darkly vegetal scent – I think this may be the greenest oolong I’ve tasted so far. I’m not sure I’m getting too much of the milk (I think I was expecting it to be really strong, since this was the flavored version), but it does have a really pleasant creamy-buttery taste. The cup is tasting better and better as I drink more of it (I think because I’m getting better accustomed to the greenness), and between sips there’s a long lasting pleasant aftertaste. After I let it cool down a bit more, I can taste more of the milk flavor in the aftertaste.
With the second and third steeps (at two and three minutes), all the flavors started coming out much stronger – more vegetal, but also way more milk taste and almost a kind of spiciness to it.
Hands down, best long jing on the planet. No smokiness or bitter chestnut, just mellow toastiness with a light chestnut aroma that reveals a floral, perhaps orchid, aftertaste . And the price is great to boot! Viva la Teavivre.
*tip: buy copious quantities in the spring.
I haven’t had any of these pearls in a while and my first sip is of nothing but regression. How could I ever forget my beloved Fengqing Dragon Pearls? Well I just finished off last nights Chinese dinner of noodles and mushrooms in Chinese curry sauce for lunch and this tea went amazingly well with it.
Now I have 24 orders to make and gather after the long weekend and bank holiday. Gives me time to catch up with Glee :)
Over the last few days I have been drinking a lot of this tea and it’s reminded me how much I adore it. My Teavivre tins arrived the other day and so now my pearls are stored in one of them and in my kitchen which makes for easier brewing access.
More than ever I am craving malty Yunnan tea so I suppose it was handy to have hidden a bag of these pearls for when I truly wanted them.
I have been adding new jewellery ranges on my eBay shop all day and I’m tired so the balls are great for a quick brew. I pop 4 balls (5 balls if I want extra strength) in an empty tea bag/sac and once water is added they work their magic to taint my water. Easy, quick to measure and so tasty.
It’s very malty with a smooth and sweet cocoa finish. Deep brown in colour with a sweet malty smell. Perfect!
I have just had a relaxing bath and the perfect way to end my day would be to try this amazing looking Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea. The pearls themselves are so tightly packed with dark brown and golden yellow leaves and are also uber cute with virtually no fragrance.
Again I am using my gaiwan and the instructions are as follows:
Gaiwan 3oz Tea: 5p 5 steeps: rinse, 30s,50s,1m10s,1m30s,2m 100ºC/212ºF
Steep 1 – Once the water was introduced the pearls have loosened up somewhat but are still keeping their shape. The tea now smells slightly dark and smoky with a little tinge of dark chocolate. Colour is dark brown but remains opaque. First few sips are refreshing and very subtle but there is a sweet background, florally sweet rather than sugar sweet. About finished now and there is a slight malty taste that only comes up in the last remaining dregs.
Steep 2 – The pearls have now finally given in and have split up completely resembling the look of any normal loose tea. Colour is the same but smell is slightly thicker and somewhat more like dark chocolate or cocoa. The taste is more prominent now with a mixture of malty smoke with subtle cocoa sweetness. Much nicer than the first steep as the chocolate flavour is stronger. It’s also very smooth with no bitterness.
Steep 3 – Again the colour is about the same but the smell is stronger again, this time very malty and dark but still chocolatey. The taste is still a very similar strength but now we have a touch of bitterness (only slight) but a little noticeable at the bottom of the cup.
Steep 4 – I am starting to feel that the description of dark brown is not good enough for the colour. It remains the same throughout the steep but It’s more than just a dark brown, it’s brown with red and gold tinges and delicious looking. The smell is still getting stronger with malty chocolate being the main characters. Taste is still fantastic but it’s a touch lighter than my previous cup, that will make it my last steep. It’s been absolutely delicious from start to end and I will definitely be buying more of this.
To summarize: Key words – Smoky, chocolate, malt, floral, astringent, sweet.
I am finishing off one the small sample bags today with my husband. It’s our first time using the gaiwan together instead of a traditional teapot so this could be interesting.
I think I may be adjusting to the perfumey taste, it doesn’t seem to be getting to me much today…infact it’s quite nice. Maybe this is one of those drinks that you like the more of it that you drink, I found Lapsang Souchong to be that way for me too.
Such a lovely way to relax on a Sunday.
This was a sample pack that I am trying from Teavivre. I will be using my gaiwan for this infusion. Notes state on their website the steeping times as follows: 5 steeps:rinse,20s,40s,1m10s,2m,2m30s.
Raw the tea is thin and sharp and they also snap in half so they are rather dry. They are a lovely grassy green colour with yellow and white whisps. It smells gently floral with a slight astringency.
First steep – 20 seconds – Colour is very pale yellow. Smell is slightly astringent but fresh with it. The flavour is nice and subtle, there is a definite florally perfume taste (similar to jasmine but on a much weaker scale) along with a natural grassy sweetness. There is no real bitterness.
Second steep – 40 seconds – Yellow (darker than the first steep) and with a stronger perfumey fragrance. Taste is also a little stronger, more floral and again a little grassier than the previous steep. Still very pleasant as there is no real bitterness and there is still a hint of sweetness about it. A slight nuttiness peaks through. For me this is about the peak of the tea, any stronger and it would be ruined and any lighter and it loses a lot of it’s character.
Steep three – 1 minute 10 seconds – Colour is yellow with a a fairly astringent and somewhat floral perfume fragrance. Both being slight stronger than the previous steep. The nuttiness is coming through vividly now (chestnut would be an adequate description). The sweetness has now gone and has been replaced with a touch of bitterness leading from the over perfumed taste.
I am not at the point of wincing a little while drinking due to the perfumery and I think this will be my last steep. It’s not badly (fubar’ed) but I don’t see myself enjoying the next two steeps and for now I am happy enough to have good memories of this tea with it’s earliest steeps.
Overall I would say this was of good quality and once steeped for the second time it unleashes it’s sweet, grassy and nutty magic. I would drink this for a change but not sure I could see myself buying it for personal use. It’s a little too perfume heavy for me.
THANK YOU Teavivre for sending me this sample MANY MONTHS AGO. I apologize for not opening it – I was on a tea hiatus of sorts and am now back.
This tea smelled like chocolate when I opened up the package.
The result has very little astringency and a light malty flavor that is slightly sweet. As the tea cools the sweet notes emerge. I really enjoyed this sample and recommend this tea!