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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Teavivre for the samples I won on your Facebook page woop!
It’s exciting for me right now – I’m in a place where I’m delving into straight teas more than I have in the past (and not just oolongs, even though they’re my favorite). I found it very exciting when I correctly identified the unmarked tea from my aunt in China as Big Red Robe!
With this tea, I’m discovering what makes it a fujian – and right now for me that flavour is in the realm of pumpkin seeds and caramel.
This particular tea had a hint of savoury tomato in it, which to be honest is not my favorite when I catch that flavour (as I have in many Adagio teas), but after the first steep it settled into a nice, rich, dark profile that I did enjoy.
There’s a little too much malt for me, and the tomato notes aren’t really for me either – but this is a quality tea and I did enjoy my half sample of it. Thank you! :)
This was my first time drinking pu-erh tea and i did not really know what to expect. So far I haven’t had very pleasent experiences with black teas and I wasn’t sure how pu-erh compared to black. I can tell you now that they don’t. This pu-erh took me off guard and pleasantly surprised me!
The dry disk was a hard brick of dark tea with a noticeable earthy smeel. To be honest, the smell had me nervous but my fears were quite unfounded.
I rinsed the tea first then steeped it at 212 for 1.5 minutes. The leaves broke up pretty well I would say but I might rinse it more next time to provoke the breaking more. The liquid was an incredibly dark brown with a earthy smell. Now at this point I really had no idea what to expect. The taste was earthy with a slight fishy sweetness and not bitter at all!
The second was at 208 for 1 minute and broke the tea up completely. It did not lose any flavor at all! I’m sure this could be steeped over and over for awhile. I look forword to much more pu-erh in the future!
My first experience with white tea.
The dry leaves were strong and full with beautiful white hairs. The leaves had a nice fresh, cool scent. I was immediately impressed.
The first steep was at 195 for 2 minutes. The liquid was a hint of gold with a toasted aroma. The taste was a delicious borderline sweet leaf, full of flavor yet mellow….I had always heard of white being a weak tea, certainly not! Quite a pleasent surprise!
The second steep was at 195 this time for 3 minutes. The liquid was a strong gold color with a vegetal scent. The taste only benefited from the first steep and stood out proudly.
My expectations were quite exceeded but this tea!
Now on my third infusion of this late at night, just how I like it. Taking in its smooth, rich earthiness. I love it.
I doubt anyone’s up right now (at least in this time zone) but I’m just so excited about this that I had to share…
This is what I plan on getting as my first gaiwan
I think it’s BEAUTIFUL, what do you guys think?
This is a mug of comfort, and that’s exactly what I need right now. Something has been going on with me lately that is very unpleasant, it started when I was in Boston and it’s been getting progressively worse with each day that goes by. They are headaches but the word “headache” doesn’t come close to describing how horrific they are. It starts when I get up out of bed in the morning, beginning with a feeling of extreme pressure in the front of my head that turns into throbbing, extreme pain. It gets so intense that I can do nothing but lay in bed because with each movement I make, every time I stand up straight or perform any task, I get jolts of crippling pain all throughout my head. Every noise, every little bit of light, every time I move my head or TOUCH anything, I’m hit with pain that hurts so bad it causes me to scream, it got so bad at one point that I was lying in my bed crying and I felt like my skull was simultaneously on fire and about to explode. I’m sorry to whine, it’s just that this is really worrying me. I looked up my symptoms and I’m not finding anything, does anybody have any insight that they could give me?
I returned from my trip to Boston today and I’m glad to be home. It was a cool city with a lot of interesting things, but I have to say that I am NOT a city person. Being in big cities just makes me feel so crowded in…too many people, too many huge buildings towering over me, too much noise, too much traffic. I’ll take a quiet life in a small town instead. :) Still, it was great to experience a new place. I also took a little day trip up to Maine while I was in the New England area and saw some cool beaches and lighthouses. Sadly, I never got the chance to visit the tea stores that Michelle told me about.I’m a little late in logging this as I’m now on the fourth steeping of this, but I’ve been enjoying it very much and I really missed this one. I loved it so much when I ordered it as a sample a couple of months ago that I decided to order 100 grams of it. It’s very earthy but in a mellow and smooth way, lots of what I would call mushroom flavor with a little bit of chocolate and sweetness. It’s still going strong on the fourth steep and I can see it going for at least two more. I missed all of you guys while I was gone :).
Dry Leaf: Has a sweet maltiness aroma.
Wet Leaf: Has a warm sweet malty aroma.
Liquor: Has a dark reddish color.
Taste:This tea has a smooth sweet malty type of flavor. As you continue to drink this tea it builds a slight sweetness in back of mouth. This teas leaves a pleasant stickiness or even a dryness on the tongue.
Overall Opinion: I give this tea a 90. This is a great full bodied tea. I think it would be great for the mornings.
Thank you Angel and the Teavivre team for sending me this! It’s hard to believe that I haven’t even reviewed all of the teas they sent me….. I’m working on it!
So, I’m pretty sure that black teas are my favorite. Actually, scratch that, I am sure. I like how reliable they are and how hard they are (most of the time) to mess up. I just generally really like them (I’m going to make an order from Upton hopefully very soon to try some of their millions of blacks, I’m so excited!). This one is no exception.
The folks at Teavivre know their stuff. And they know it well. This one is super yummy. Not quite as good as the Bailin Gongfu, but still very yummy. Others have described this one perfectly, so I’m just going to basically back them up. This one has a very definite yam flavor base-slightly potato-y (in a not yucky way) but with that yam sweetness. Very good. As it cools more, the yam starts to turn more into a yam-mixed-with-a-regular-potato flavor. The potato note comes out more and the sweetness backs off. There’s also a bright, almost citrus, note in the front. Absolutely delicious. I also get kind of a honey sweetness stirring around, playing with your tastes. Also, a little bit of a malty hint, but just a nudge. Not a full-forced push. This one is so good. I love it!
Thank you again Teavivre and I can’t wait to finish this sample off!
Another backlog. This one is from yesterday, and I remember it a lot more. Thank you Teavivre for sending this sample!
This was a very nice tea. I’m a pretty big fan of golden tip blacks, and this one was no exception to that favor. It had a nice, bold background and then a very unique sweetness (almost citrus-y) that climbed up through it and presented itself towards the swallow. As it cooled, more of a sweet potato-esque flavor emerged, and it was very lovely.
This was very nice and I plan on reordering it!
I just recieved my samples from Teavivre today and could not be more pleased! The samples i recieved were very generous. Thanks again to Ian for the recomendation.
The dry leaves were beautiful dark green clumps with a subtle scent of vegetation.
The first steep was at 212 for 3 minutes. The leaves unfurled nicely, revealing dark full green leaves. The liquid was a pale gold with a light vegetative scent familiar to oolong. The taste was delightful with light floral notes. The tea leaves a subtle taste in my mouth after sipping that reminds me to take a second and relax.
For the second steep i went with 208 for 5 minutes. This steep reinforced the first by bring a more mellow floral taste forth.
First of all, thankyou to Angel and TEAVIVRE for this generous sample.
I have been wanting to try unflavoured pu’erh for awhile now, so I thought Teavivre samples was a great opportunity.
Smell: earthy, reminds me of working in the garden! Not fishy smelling at all like some bad pu’erhs can be
Taste: very earthy tasting, and not bitter at all with just a tiny note of sweetness at the end of the sip.
2nd steep: 2minutes, same taste, a little lighter brew, the toucha has opened up now though
3rd steep: 2.5 minutes, this still doesn’t lose any flavour.
I suspect this could re-steep all day. I have lots of errands to run today, so this is it for me today though.
In summary, I think you have to be in the right mood for such an earthy flavour and it would feel good to drink this after a heavy sweet meal.
At this point, my palate still appreciates flavouring (maybe I will give the rose toucha a try next time). However, I did enjoy this today.
I slept in today…had to…stayed up with the other late night Steepsters until 2am chatting away. It happens sometimes.
The luxury for me is that I don’t have to work ever again! Tap dance!
My idea of spoiling myself in the A.M. is a fantastic Black Tea or Puerh by the Pot. Not a cup full of tea…a WHOLE POT all to myself on a tray.
I take my tray to the couch and have a paper and pen ready to jot my tasting notes. That is how my morning begins. What could be better?
(I can think of some better things too…but this is dang good!) ;)
The last time I enjoyed this Puerh I had a different experience compared to today. It goes to show that it is important to revisit and retaste tea. You never know what can change due to mood, awareness, brewing method,etc.
This time I steeped 5 minutes (shorter than last time) after a quick 20 second rinse. The liquor was dark brown and smelled bready.
The flavor was salty and had the taste of a Trisket Cracker but without the rough mouthfeel. This was not an earthy, dirty Puerh. It was smooth and mild but still rich and full bodied.
On my first review, I was not inclined to add sugar and cream for a latte. Now, since I could taste saltiness I thought it would be worth a try.
These additions were wonderful. The Puerh became a salted caramel delight that had depth of flavor. The caramel and salt with the classic (though mild) Puerh flavor reaching well into the nose at the finish.
My first review was not incorrect but based on that day and a different steeping time and method.
This second review using a Western brew method and shorter steeping time produced a completely different experience.
Up goes my rating from 87….to 93!
Thank you Teavivre again for this Pu-erh sample!
I requested a some Pu-erh samples in my last batch from Angel and was so pleased at the generous amount of Pu-erh bark packaged so beautifully. I adore a rich brew in the morning…especially Pu-erh!
The packaging was brown paper with a farm scene printed on it depicting pots filled with picked tea leaves, a storage crock and a pressed Pu-erh cake. Inside the bark was like a dark chocolate bar changed into chunky bark form.
The directions on the package said to steep 2-10 minutes. Wow, that was a big time range! Since I enjoy rich Pu-erh, I chose a longer 8 minute brew in my glass Western Style pot with big stainless basket so I can peek and watch.
The wet leaves were auburn brown with long beautiful shreds but not very fragrant.
The pour was dark and at first taste tingly in my tongue, juicy and mild. I was surprised that this tea was not herbaceous or earthy considering such a long steeping. There was mineral, almost no salt and a light natural sweetness. I wondered if this was a tea leaf picked from trees on a rocky hill, or volcanic soil instead of lush forest because of the mildness. There is tannin and dryness.
I tried some sugar and cream but the tea is not strong and rich enough to support these additions. You need more earthiness and salt for latte goodness. This Pu-erh is one of those that is definately better straight up!
I brought up the online notes for brewing and discovered the difference between the package directions (2-10 minutes) and the online directions (1-2 minutes) EEKS!
To be fair I went back and did a shorter steep time to see if the flavor was completely different.
Second steep at 2 minutes. Nice redish golden liquor, very little nose to the liquor at all.
The flavor was juicy still, super mild and sweet enough to drink as is. There is that tannin but not overly obnoxious and there is a little saltiness. I can’t imagine anyone having issues with this Pu-erh. All the Pu-erh haters should put down their protest signs and enjoy this tea because it is so gentle.
I added a little sugar with this lighter version and actually liked it. It brought out a bakery flavor like a cream cookie which was unexpected.
Here you have two ways to have a Pu-erh depending on how you like your brew.
1. Long steep and drink it straight up.
2. Short steep and add a little sweetening for a bakery cookie flavor
Either way, this is so mild that you can share with Pu-erh sceptics and have no fear. There is no fishiness or heavy earthiness here. A good introduction to raw Pu-erh.
Sample sipdown! Thanks again to Angel at Teavivre for this sample. I really enjoy this tea. The nutty and hay notes are most prominent.
I did a comparison to the silver needle and found them very different. My tastes have changed so much. I used to think all white tea tasted the same but now I can definitely tell the difference.
Thankyou to Angel and TEAVIVRE for this wonderful sample!
Dry smell: tastes like sweet hay and fresh grass
Taste: I still taste the hay a little bit but there is certainly floral and sweet notes poking through this very fresh white tea base. I like white teas because they are so fresh and light!
2nd steep: 95degrees, 3minutes, now the white hay base is lighter and the floral sweetness is really taking centre stage, my favourite steep
3rd steep: 95degrees, 4minutes, losing the sweet floral taste but still good.
I think this tea would also be good to mix with other teas that are floral
I wanted to steep this tea with my gongfu pot to see if I could bring out a little more of the chocolate notes and less of the grainy feeling to the tea.
Using my little gongfu pot. One note here: the leaves don’t get very large so make sure you use a straining device or else there will be leaves in your cup.
I did four steepings at 30seconds, 40seconds, 60seconds, and 75seconds
I found with the gongfu steeping, there was a milder grainy aspect, which I enjoyed. It still wasn’t as sweet as I was hoping it would be. However, the chocolate did seem to come out a little more. I am pleased with this method and will continue to steep using this method with this tea.
Or if I continue to western brew this tea, I will take the first steeping as a rinse because I enjoyed the second and third steepings much more.
Once again, thank you Angel and TEAVIVRE for their generosity for this sample!!
I only used 1 tsp.
Dry smell: fresh cut hay
Taste: grainy (but not in a bad way), slightly sweet like caramel but not as sweet as I thought it would be from all the reviews on here. I might try a 3 minute steep next time and see how that goes
2nd steep: 90degrees, 3minutes, less grainy, a tad sweeter
3rd steep: 95degrees, 4minutes, I found this to be the sweetest steep, and not as grainy, so this is now very smooth, this was my favourite steep.
I would have went for more steeps, but I was out and about for too long and had to throw out my leaves.
I am so excited I finally got to try it!
Phew finally finished a marathon steeping with this tea!
(Okay that’s untrue. I slowly enjoyed it over 2 days and it was wonderful)
I found the 3rd steep to be my favourite – it was the sweetest and creamiest with no hint of bitterness.
And the price for this tea is phenomenal! Thank you Angel and team for the samples, I think you found a new customer in me (and I’ve only tried one sample!)
Full Review here: http://www.daisychubb.com/review-taiwan-jin-xuan-milk-oolong-tea/
I believe this is my first non flavoured milk oolong.
The flavour is definitely subtle, but very smooth and just the right amount of sweetness.
Vegetal and buttery, light but full bodied. All of this from the first one minute steep!
Thank to you Teavivre for the samples – this is a delicious and high quality tea that is on my list. :)
Full review later! I have many steeps to go :)
(Wooow what an amazing aftertaste. It lingers. I like that.)
Hurray, today I finally got a chance to sit down and properly appreciate this tea. I’ve made it a couple times but always ended up dashing or getting distracted and I never got to give it the chance it deserved. Today though, I was able to relax and sip as I watched my current favourite actor in an absolutely horrible movie. What better time to have a great cuppa?
This tea is SO delicious. As everyone else has said it has a great full bodied flavour and holds up to multiple steeps. I’ve never gotten four steeps from a tea before but this one was still going strong! I’m only sorry that by the fourth steep I was craving something different. Thank you so much to Angel from Teavivre for the extremely amazing sample of this tea. I love it and am glad to have enough to be able to experience it again and again!