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Recent Tasting Notes


With a liquor as dark as wine, you’d think that the tea would have a similarly intense presence. As it turns out, not so much. It’s an understated fellow, this one. You get a mouth full of smoke that sits even more heavily on the tongue than the Lapsang Souchong, leaving an ashy residue feeling, however it’s not overpowering. This tea could be the shy guy at the corner of the D&D table. His character’s stats aren’t amazing, but he’s got steady luck on the dice, and you aren’t creeped out by his silence–in fact, you’re a little curious if he’s got more to say. For the tea, this means trying out further infusions and seeing how the underlying flavors develop. Admittedly the fishiness is still there on the initial sip, but it doesn’t leave an aftertaste; only the smoke does. This gives us a slow-to-show richness and depth to the tea–meaty, even.

Alright, it’s a steak in a cup. Carnivores, full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/25/snooty-tea-review-teavivre/

Rumpus Parable

I just shared the D&D part with my Family and on my twitter/Facebook accounts. It may be the best tea review portion I’ve ever read. Funny, totally relatable, helpful for me. Geektastic description, thank you!

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Lapsangs have a predisposition to fishy odor. This one is true to form; in the bag, there’s definitely a pescetatious* smell. I’m a New Yorker with hard-earned Jew cred, which involved its fair share of lox and cream cheese. As a result, I can get into the mood for this tea, but if you don’t like fish, then this ain’t the brew for you. If you’re brave and try it anyway, you’ll be relieved to find that it loses most of that aroma once steeped, getting more into the coppery zone, and subsequent infusions rub it out altogether.

As far as taste goes, well, first impression is that even if the smell is muffled, we’re back to the fish. Really heavily smoked fish. Lapsangs take a certain finesse to prepare in such a way that the first infusion is pure smokey goodness without the salty friend, and this particular cup didn’t reach that ideal state. (Experienced lapsang and pu-erh drinkers, you have my envy and admiration.) But back to the tea: gotta say, it really sits in your mouth trying to convince you that it’s a piece of salmon. Want to talk about mouthfeel? Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/25/snooty-tea-review-teavivre/

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The smell in the bag is closer to a green tea, vegetal and seaweedy. Once in the cup though, that is some floral right there! It’s a burst of jasmine into your nose hole.

Dry tea is full of lies.

This tricky goddess was just pretending to resemble a green tea, but her charade ended as soon as the hot water hit. Another example of misleading liquors; the delicate, pale yellow color of this tea hides an abundance of flower power. Now we know how the goddess likes to be worshiped: her altar must be strung with pungent garlands and sweet-smelling candles. Luckily… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/25/snooty-tea-review-teavivre/

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The smell of the dry leaves brings to mind the deepest, darkest of woods, the kind you’d find in Redwall when Brian Jacques is really trying to send shivers up your spines. Once steeped, you get more of that sweet loam, but without the dustiness.

Steeping this tea in a large, transparent infuser will show you exactly why they’re called dragon pearls. Each one opens up like a dragon uncurling from its slumber, yawning and stretching and making the same creaky pterodactyl noises that you do in the morning. It;s got the sesame bronziness of most Chinese blacks, with a really sweet aftertaste. The longer it sits, the more profoundly sweet it gets. That’s the beauty of tea–it’s a transient experience. The flavor changes with every sip. This one’s immediate, fresh-poured taste was just a pregame… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/25/snooty-tea-review-teavivre/

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In the bag, you get a blueberry muffin at your service, or better yet, a blueberry granola bar. The cup takes this and mellows the aroma out even more, bringing in an undertone of raspberry and maybe apple as well, for an earthy kind of fruit tea.

Berry teas especially can be a flavor blast to the mouth, some verging on jam-ish sweetness. This one, however, does well in maintaining its distance. The currant in here serves to hold all the other berries in check, cooling off any tartness that could otherwise show up. You’d probably hit sour if it was oversteeped, of course, but who knows… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/25/snooty-tea-review-teavivre/

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Sipdown! This is number 3 for today! (As I finish writing this in the morning, oops!)

This is a really lovely green tea. The tea itself is gorgeous. Little curly, downy leaves that smell delicious! The liquor is a very very light green, a bit vegetal and a bit sweet, and very smooth. As far as particular notes go I’m actually kind of forget because I didn’t get that far in my notes while sipping. I guess I’ll have to just get some more the next time I order from Teavivre!

Tea: ~2 tsp
Water: ~2 cups
Additives: none
Brewing method: A lovely DT teapot

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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A day with my wife and kids, games, and hot dogs. Also a day in America when we remember those who served that we might enjoy freedom and opportunity to prosper.

I added more leaf and steeped this again. Much more and bolder flavor this time. This is such an interesting juxtaposing of flavors. The smooth and mild side of a highly oxidized though lightly roasted oolong, meets the throat scratching and lingering floral aftertaste of a TGY. Very good and interesting cup.

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I did not know what to expect with this one. The dry leaf looks more like black tea than oolong. The dry scent is kind of grape/malt/cocoa with very mild roasted hints. When I put the leaf in my freshly washed and still wet press, the aroma became like the leaves of a tomato plant. Brewed up the golden liquor scent was mildly roasted tomato leaves.

I was apparently not awake enough to leaf this properly so I added a bit of sweetener to compensate. The front of the sip reminds me of the Formosa oolong I had a couple days ago. The late sip and aftertaste are tiguanyin. While floral it is not overly so. It is fruity and sweet (not just from my additive). This is much more subdued than I expected. By the look of the leaf I thought it would be very strong. I am going to add more leaf now that I am awake and see what happens.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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A full review will be posted soon on http://sororiteasisters.com/ but here are my snippets:

The flavor of this tea is like none other. Seriously this is not your average green tea! Yes there is a note of vegetation and unlike my SororiTea Sister I do get a bit of a grassy note, but it is so much more complex than that and I am in agreement with my SororiTea Sister Anne, that it is a stellar green tea to covet! Like her, I think my new favorite.

I too get that kick of a spicy note and a deep earthiness for a green. Something like peat moss perhaps. This is easily a tea that I could get all flowery with the words about but rather I want to just sit back and relax into this sublime cup. It is sweet, a tiny bit tangy and tart, a kick of spicy, a whole lot of grounding earthiness, vegetal, subtly grassy, with a touch of fruit flavor very much like that of a melon yet I also detect something perhaps like lychee with a light floral undertone to it.

An absolute MUST try!!


Azz, I know you’re now a sororitea sister but we miss you here !!! :)


Wow has it really been a year since you posted?? Miss you babe!

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In raw form this tea is incredibly sticky and the honey glaze is very noticeable. The Oolong balls are dark and medium green in colour and they have a sweet and toasted but also floral scent.

Using my Gongfu teapot for this Tie Guan Yin with the hope to bring out the honey flavour in full.

Once steeped this tea is brown/yellow in colour and has a sweet and toasted honey aroma. Like a slice of honey loaf cake or honeyed cereal (been eating a lot of that recently and it reminds me very much of it).

Flavour is green and floral at first before the sweet honey melts everything into one super smooth and silky tone. It isn’t over the top sweet but compared to the average Tie Guan Yin it’s much sweeter and smoother and less thick and floral/woody. It’s honeyed without being pure honey is what I was trying to say. For a first steep it’s very nice.

The second steep shows a thicker toasted scent and more floral flavour. Honey is still present but not as sweet as the previous steep, partly because the thickness of the other Oolong flavours has grown. Still very nice, not sure if I prefer the first or second steep the most so far.

Side Note – The Oolong has now fully opened, from being what looked like a small 7g lot of balls to filling half my Gongfu teapot with large pieces of broken down leaves. The leaves themselves look very good quality ie no stems, discolouration.

My third steep is more floral then previously but less toasted so the sweetness is once again more noticeable. It still has a fair amount of flavour which is very pleasing and if you really wanted you could probably get another steep or two quite easily.

Overall I really enjoyed this tea, it was my first time trying any form of honey soaked tea and I can now say that in this case it worked very well. I browsed the Teavivre website in the interest of adding some to my ongoing cart but unfortunately it doesn’t look as if they sell this one any more. :(


That’s too bad. I remember these honey oolongs being really good.

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Life has been going on overdrive lately. When was the last time I posted anything here? Oh my.

Let me do a quick recap: (in case anyone is wondering. :))
-Week long trip to Yosemite/California vineyards turned into nursing husband back to health. It was still fun and his doctor says he’s fine now.
-Husband’s friends from Germany came to visit for about 2 weeks straight after we returned home. Entertaining guests is very time consuming! But they were great and I’m glad they came.
-Lost our dog, Mr. Snuggles. It was 24 hours of frantic searching, calling, flyer printing/posting, etc. Finally someone called to say she had our pup. (flyers worked!) Right after we came home with Snugs, I became violently ill. Vomiting, light headed, pounding headache. I had literally worried myself sick. But I’m ecstatic and relieved that he’s home.
-New project at work is escalating. I was informed it would entail 15 – 25% of my work time. More like 60-70%. I can’t believe I volunteered for this.
-My MIL’s 10 peach trees are exploding with fruit. It’s been non-stop canning over here. Help!

Thank goodness for Labor Day! And now, I’m having a cup of tea before starting a batch of peach jam. Sigh, first world problems. This tea is as delicious as I remember. The quality especially shows now that I’ve overbrewed it and it still tastes fantastic. Smooth, hint of milk chocolate, delicious toasted grain. Mmmm… Just the boost I need for peach overload.


I’m sorry to hear that you have undergone many unlucky things. Fortunately, everything is ok now. Hope our tea will take you away the pressure, bring you a good mood.

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Mmm, oh my. This is good. I knew the quality would be good, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it this much. The mouthfeel of this is almost syrupy smooth. And speaking of smooth…the taste of this tea! Super smooth. Just a bare hint of astringency so that you know this is tea. And the flavors! Creamy and malty. Not very malty, but discernibly malty and mouthwatering. Faint aftertaste of milk chocolate. All tied together with a sense of savoriness so common in Chinese teas.

This is nearly good enough to make me forget how dreadful the weather has been of late. Thankfully, my nasturtium sprouts seem to have survived the flash flooding we had a couple nights ago. In fact, a new sprout showed up this morning! Yay! I can’t wait for the beautiful/tasty flowers and mini lily pad leaves.
In other plant news, my indoor succulent garden has a case of mealy bugs. :( My poor little plant babies. Will it get better once I move it outdoors in the warmer weather?


Oh no, my mom always worries about buggy plants in the house. Moving it outside when it warms up sounds like a good idea.


My MIL gave me some insecticidal soap to spray on it. Hopefully that will help.

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Sniffing the tea liquor, I got the impression this would be too sweet. But with the first sip, it’s much more toned down. There are a lot of enjoyable flavours here; malty, honey, spices, marzipan, grains, raisin, chocolate. They’re all very mellow and underwhelming though.

The following second through seventh steeps didn’t really impress me either.

To try and get more flavour out of my cups, I did both a western steep and another short steep (with more leaves). Both attempts were unsuccessful. To be truthful, I just couldn’t get into this tea at all.
And overall I while enjoyed the sample, it couldn’t compare with some other Oriental Beauty teas I have tried.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 4g, 7 steeps and rinse (30s, 45s, 1m, 1m10s, 1m20s, 1m30s, 1m40s)

185 °F / 85 °C

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In raw form this tea is dark brown, thin, very long and has a leather, dried fruit scent. Sweet but with dark under tones. I can see quite a few leaf stems.

Once steeped the tea soup is light brown in colour and has a sweet but dark, fruity, wooden aroma.

Flavour is similar to it’s scent. Fruity highs of currant and thick, strong lows of wood and leather. So far it’s very smooth and honeyed.

The second steep is musky but still very wooden and sweet. Thicker this time and more robust but not enough to be bitter.

Third steep is still sweet and wooden and stronger in flavour than I expected. Also still curranty and smooth.

Overall it’s a nice, wooden and sweet Oolong with dark fruit tones. I usually prefer greener Oolongs personally but my husband really enjoyed this. It wouldn’t be something I would stock again for myself but may get the odd sample for my husband. :)


Sounds delicious. I think I may have a sample for when I have the time.


i think i’ll have to try this one. beautiful description…


This is one of my favorite oolongs. Great review!

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This was very good! I didn’t use nearly the amount of dry tea suggested in the description — I used 2-1/2 tsp for a 16-oz mug, and steeped for almost 10 minutes. A really nice blend of sweet, and slightly tart or tangy, fruits. (Thanks to Starfevre for this sample.) Great for when I’m in the mood for a fruit tea.
(And I, umm, ate most of the fruit afterwards. Hehe.)

Boiling 8 min or more

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I have tried the non Organic version of this tea from Teavivre a while ago and remember it being a nice black tea but not one of my personal favourites. When it comes to black tea I love malty and fruity teas such as Dian Hong and while the original Bailin Gongfu came half way towards the perfect tea it left out a few things. Perhaps the Organic version will be more to my taste.

Raw leaves are dark brown with a few golden tips mixed in for colour. In form they are long and thin with a slight curl. They have a sweet but wooden scent.

Once steeped the tea is dark red in colour and has a malted, wooden aroma. It has sweetness and depth but also smells like cocoa nib.

Flavour is mild in comparison to it’s aroma. Fresh and sweet like caramel and cocoa with wooden and malted clean tasting tones. Very smooth and silky in texture and light in the after taste.

The second steep sweeter and more wooden. Much lighter altogether in tone but still showing caramel smoothness.

Overall it’s smoother than I remember and much sweeter. Not something I would stock ahead of my Yunnan Gold Tips but still pretty darn tasty.

185 °F / 85 °C

To which Yunnan Gold Tips are you referring? Thanks!


Oops my bad, meant to say Yunnan and Gold Tips. The Yunnan reference was nothing particular but my favourite Gold Tips are from Teavivre called in full Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea – Golden Tip.


Thanks for the 3-way Teavivre black tea comparison:
Bailin Gongfu vs. Organic Bailin Gongfu vs. Yun Nan Dian Hong – Golden Tip.

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Is it annyoing if I say I agree with ALL the good comments. haha. It is a great tea. I bought about 5 Ooolongs this month and this was my favorite. 100% for me.

Write me if you have any questions. SO GOOD.

Also tried this iced. Mmmmmm. Didnt need long to open up and bring out the flavor. 30-60 seconds was plenty

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I thought I had already reviewed this tea but apparently not. Well I’m having some tonight so I may as well write a quick review.

The leaves are thin and long (needle like) and have a sweet yet perfumed scent, also rather mineral. The closest I can think resembling it would be broad bean. I love broad beans :)

First steep – 30 seconds
Extremely mild yet sweet. Has a dry and perfumed after taste. Just a gentle hint of mineal.

Second steep – 50 seconds
More flavour now but remains gentle. Still sweet the the mineral has increased to a nice level in the after taste. Still getting a broad bean vibe. Or maybe sweet pea.

Third Steep – 70 seconds
Yes sweet pea like with a broad bean after taste and some dryness. Overall it’s still very soft and refreshing.

I did review this before, for some reason Steepster said I hadn’t rated or reviewed it before yet when I scrolled down to read other reviews I saw my original one. I hate the new changes, they have made more things worse than better :/

190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 6 OZ / 170 ML

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I went sample crazy a few months ago and this is one chosen at random from my large stash. Funnily enough it’s a green tea which matches my current cravings.

The raw leaves are a beautiful vivid green colour. They are long and thin and also (for the most part) straight. Looks to be of very nice quality.

Still raw they have a thick grassy fragrance that is sweet and ever so slightly floral. I think the floral scent is very similar to orchid.

Once steeped the tea is light yellow in colour and has a light, very sweet and floral scent with hints of leafy, green vegetables.

Flavour is sweet and gentle with high fresh pea and orchid flower notes. Also grassy, vegetal and a little toasty.

Second steep is buttery and lighter, more floral but keeping it’s toasted quality.

Overall I really like this tea, it’s fresh, sweet and very vegetal but also has a unique quality about it. Another green tea added to my ongoing Teavivre cart. :)

185 °F / 85 °C

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behind in my tea logging today – having a work from home day so that i can be productive and catch up on a few things before round two of travelling next week. eep. I am a fan of this one, so i’m glad that i picked up another sample with my new tea pot! :) I don’t want to fully stock another large amount of this one, so it may just be samples here and there when the mood strikes

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SIPDOWN! turns out this was on my shopping list of teas to try which i noticed this afternoon so thank you terri for knocking one off that list even though i didn’t realise it the first time i had it :) Still a really enjoyable cup of tea. It’s unassuming but delicious and found a way to have me drink it up right quickly when i had it.


This is also on my list…in fact, it’s in my shopping cart, just can’t get myself to click the order now button. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have 2 other tea orders on their way?? Maybe??


haha don’t do it! you can wait! there will be another sale!

Terri HarpLady

TeaFairy, I still have a little left…Would you like me to send you a sample?
Sil, I’m glad you enjoyed it :)


Ahhhh! Too late girls!! I DID IT, I CLICKED, I DID!!!! I am doomed … but thank you so much Terri, people here are just the best :-) And thank you Sil for trying to reason with me… I’m just hopepless, sigh…

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Morning tea from Terri! I’m doing my best to try and get through the rest of the samples that she sent me and i finally feel like i’m starting to make some headway lol. I brewed this western style since i need to pack and go, but i may try resteeping this tonight when i get home since it’s such a lovely tea.

This isn’t a BOLD tea, but it is a sweeter, malty tea that has a full flavour going on. It’s been a nice comforting cup during this morning’s crap show at work.

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First steep exceeded my expectations. It’s very floral of course, but not in an obnoxious way. And there is an almost menthol like refreshing sensation with each sip.

Second through fourth steeps were very consistent in flavour. But on my fifth steep I started tasting some nectarine (fruit) notes along with spices.

Sixth through seventh steeps were still very flavourful with a nice touch of sweetness.

I have not gone out of my way to try many tie guan yin teas, but this one really impressed me. I’m not even sure what else I would expect from this tea. Just an amazing experience all around. :)

100 ml gaiwan, sample size, 7 steeps and rinse

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