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Recent Tasting Notes
I haven’t quite yet figured out how to steep Chun Mei in a way that I really like. Haven’t figured out yet if it’s that I am not a Chun Mei fan or if I just haven’t found the right steeping parameters. For a Chun Mei this is good, it just keeps coming out a bit too dull and bitter for me. I’ve reached the end of my sample so it might be a while before I figure this one out.
The tuocha smells nice – subtle, just a little dark in some way. Not smokey – more like a sweetness of something like caramel.
Tastewise, I’m not digging this. My first infusion I only tasted something like wet cardboard. The liquor smelled much fishier as well.
I figured the steep time might need to be increased so I did a second infusion for 4 minutes.
The second steep was much more flavorful. It had a funny astringency (the cardboard flavor) but it actually worked when the supporting flavors came out (there is a creamy richness under this, like I added heavy cream or something and a nice cocoa flavor).
I had a really hard time rating this tea because it kept changing. I wasn’t wowed by it, but then again, I’m not a pu erh afficionado. I am going to keep playing with this one.
I love the scent of this – it is umami and smokey and meaty in a great way.
This is so neat – it’s completely different from the other lapsang souchong I like. It is sweet! It has a nice astringency to it – I never really like astringency in my tea but this is nice because it balances out the sweetness.
This lapsang is a little lighter on the smokey flavor. I actually really like super dark smokey flavors in lapsang souchong, but I’m still enjoying this. I am going to try it with milk. The addition of milk brings out the sweetness – I love this as a breakfast tea.
Dry smell: When I opened the package I was first hit with the smell of vegetables. It reminds me of fresh picked produce from a farm. Then on further smelling I can detect a nice roasted smell with light floral notes.
Wet smell: The wet smell is a bit more like a wet smokey smell. I can still smell the vegetable smell but it reminds me more of a nice, roasted oolong.
Liquid aroma: The aroma is very deep and rich. I can definitely still smell the smokiness and now the floral notes are coming out.
Liquid taste: The taste is very rich right off the bat. It doesn’t have the bright green oolong flavor, but a darker note. There isn’t much floral flavor which is nice because I don’t like super floral teas. This is a great relaxing afternoon tea and I will definitely be ordering more
Very delicious. I get a little floral/sweetness that’s silky smooth on the nose. The liquid is nice and sweet and the smoothness carries through on the tongue. The creamy, milky-ness is really enjoyable. This seems like a really solid milk oolong favoring fewer powerful flavors over several subtle, deeper notes.
Interestingly, I get a little spice at the end of each sip. Not sure what’s going on there but it’s interesting nonetheless.
This sample was generously sent along by Angel from Teavivre – thank you!
This is the first dragon well I have tried. The liquour was so light I was afraid I hadn’t used enough leaf (I might not have – I don’t have my little gram scale right now).
The flavor is subtle and interesting. It has a buttery scent to it, with a nutty flavor with a funny vegetal aftertaste. I’m not sure that I like it, but I am going to experiment with it and try a shorter steep with more leaves.
A long rainy day of studying and anxiously preparing for a job interview deserves an oolong. This was an excellent choice! Thank you to Teavivre for the sample!
I can basically describe this tea in one word: sweet. It was extremely sweet, almost like honey. I didn’t really get a milky flavour on the first steep, but it started to come out stronger with every steep. The smell was like raspberries mixed with honey, and the smell alone was quite the treat.
Overall, delicious and its going to keep on going (4 steeps and counting)!
I wanted a nice strong black tea while getting ready for a long work day, so I went through my bag of samples and found this gem from Teavivre that I haven’t yet tried. The sample size was so generous!
This tea smells perfect and tastes wonderful! It is perfect just the way it is you don’t need to add anything to this tea (I generally don’t anyhow). This tea has a natural sweetness to it. In fact I think it’d be a shame to add any sweetner to this. It’s hearty and malty with no harsh tastes to the sip at all.
I think this is the perfect cup of black tea! This stuff is seriously awesome. Love love love it! I’ll be taking the second infusion to work with me and plan to continue infusing this throughout the day =)
Edited to remind myself that I used 2 tsp per 14 oz water.
I bought a beeng of this because it was in the sale and I had heard good things about it. I’m glad I did. The dry beeng is warm and inviting with a grassy aroma. The tea, when brewed, is mellow, with a slight tongue puckering astringency that I really liked. I should note at this point that I was destruction testing this tea and brewing it western style per the instructions on the packet. I would not normally make it that strong or brew it for that long. Anyhoo, the astringency was quite pleasant with no hint of bitterness. The tea was earthy, mellow and slightly grassy, and I really enjoyed it.
I have been waiting with great anticipation for my Teavivre samples to arrive. Though they actually did several days ago, with my recent accident I’m still less than mobile and my poor wife must do the running for two; on top of her very demanding schedule. And how do I repay my wife for her sacrifice…I stay up and drink the first sample without her. Hey, hey,… before you start hating on the Davyboy, Angel sent more than one of this selection that she actually suggested to me in my first week here on Steepster. Not only is the sample pack more than I expected, but when she first returned my PM (many of you know I offer a standerd hello with all follow/return follows) she openly offered to let me try her tea. Me being new she made several suggestions to present me some variety, yet still within what I described as my preferences, and then even sent a PM to inform me that she saw by tracking the package that it had arrived and was ready for pick-up. How splendidly thorough is that!
The sample didn’t give me a strong indication of the dry leaf smell, though I won’t hold it against it. After getting the liquor to a bright yellow with a tinge of red I was better able to secure a sniff of the leaf; it’s floral, almost fruity. This same floral note is one of the first things I noticed at first sip. Floral and light with an initial buttery mouthfeel that regretfully subsided half way through the cup. There’s an ever so slight vegetive note with just enough presence to give it a juicy feel as well, yet not too green or grassy. The combination of the light airiness of the drink and the delicate sweet notes that hint at floral and fruity, yet without wholehearted commitment, culminate into a refreshing easy drinker.
I look forward to my next meeting with this tea to see if I can learn anything more from her the next time around. It’s a pleasing tea that I would suggest to a new oolong drinker without hesitation and yet would share with another more acquainted with oolongs as well. I thank you again Angel and know that you’ve gained a future customer.
tunes-Buddy Guy=Five Long Years/Rememberin’ Stevie(Ray Vaughn)/Feels Like Rain/Every Girl I See/Ain’t That Lovin’ You/Where The Blues Begins(w/Carlos Santana)/I’ve Got Dreams To Remember(w/John Mayer)/Baby Please Don’t Leave(groovy song).
One of several teas I shared with my friend Michelle at our tea date today, thank you to the other Michelle for the sample! We had this after Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong. They are a bit similar though this was a bit mellower and less smokey/charcoaly and the sensations in the mouth were less intense. Still this is very very nice, it starts out subtler but in a later steep this evening it left a cool coating on the sides of my tongue and roof of my mouth. I have been wanting to try this one for awhile and it is actually my first ginseng oolong and it is already a favorite. I’m glad I only used half the sample so I can enjoy this another day when it is not following the intense orchid oolong, that many describe as being ginseng-like.
so just a brief summary of my past week
so as alot of you probably do not know i am an avid mountain biker
so on friday last week me and a couple friends decide to go biking on the local hill
so since there is no lift we ride our bikes up switchbacks in order to get to the trails
so me and one of my friends started biking up and we got to the very top and then rode back down a little bit to meet up with two of my other friends
we met up with them and started down the trail
i like to kick up the rear so i waited a little bit before following after them
i very easily caught up to one of my 3 friends and passed him
i caught up to my next friend an stopped for a little bit to wait for the friend i had passed and then kept on going
i go to a place where the trail split into 4 parts and i was not sure where they had gone so i waited for my other friend to show me where to go then started biking again.
this is where it gets a little gruesome/interesting
my friend was 50 metres behind me and we were talking and riding and i hit a rock and my feet slipped of my pedals and i sacked myself very hard.
if your a guy you know how it feels so i hopped off my bike and started hopping around in pain. eventually the pain subsided and i hopped on my bike and kept going.
30 seconds later i felt a liquid in my pants and i screamed to my friend behind me " hahaha i pissed myself"
i looked down
there was blood all over my jersey and all over my shorts.
(since i am a downhill mountain biker not alot of things scare me but this
this scared me)
i told my friend and we decided it would be best to keep going out until we got on the road.
i called my dad and he picked me up and took me to the hospital. it was a very short wait at the hospital and then i went into a room
ill skip all the disgusting details and get to the point
i ended up rupturing my urethra and i have to wear a catheter for a month which means no biking for a month
now to the tea
i stepped out of my comfort zone today as i am not a big fan of black teas
i brewed this one up and the smell of honey hit me instantly
steeped it for 3 minutes and its a browny reddish liqeur
i took a sip and its good
the thing i dont like about blacks teas is the sharp taste and maybe thats because i do not drink alot of black teas
i have yet to learn how to distinguish the flavor notes in a tea and that is something i will have to work on
in all a really good black tea
thats my story for the day
The first few times I tried this one I can’t say I was a fan, however after returning to it, it seems to have mellowed out a bit.
Let me explain: I had tried this type of tea once before and it was delicately sweet with hints of citrus so I was expecting something similar. But when I took a sip of this one I was immediately hit with a salty smoke taste that brought to mind smoked meat (if anyone wants to make a bacon-inspired tea perhaps this would work well as a base…). Now, some people might like this flavor in a tea, but I’m not one of them.
This time however, after my sample had been open for several months, the salty smoke was much less prominent and now I see what everyone is saying about the light “miso” thing. While the tea is now much more palatable, it’s still not really my thing (though I do love miso soup!) but to each their own.
Enjoying this one with my grandmother and husband today along with some fresh homemade donuts. The perfect accompaniment! I also got news this morning that I didn’t get the library job I applied for but they DID offer me a better one so this is an exciting day. Tomorrow my brothers arrive for a March Break visit and all is well in the world. Loving the Dragon Pearls and all the good news!
I was coming to Steepster to up my rating on this tea as it has been a solid and reliable tea for nearly a year now. Turns out I’ve already done that though so all I can do is bask in the goodness that are these pearls. When I run low, I order more. That is saying a lot, for me. I have yet to over-steep it or make it bitter, even under extreme circumstances. They are very convenient (grab a couple pearls and go) and yield a marvellous brew every time. With shortbread tonight while watching my husband play a video game with my brother, this is divine.
This may be my favourite black tea. It’s approachable, it’s easy, it takes a beating well and it always yields rich flavours with a lot of depth. It morphs from light smoke to cocoa to milk chocolate to earthy hay/barn. It is a chameleon and has never failed to satisfy. It’s good hot and good cold (I’m not much for iced tea but this maintains a depth of flavour that many others don’t).
I think of myself as a relatively picky tea drinker, but this one is truly impressive. For a long time, I have saved up my favourite things (tea, treats, etc) as I never want to run out. With this one, I’d rather drink it again and again and just keep re-ordering. From me, this is high praise, and I fully intend to keep this in my cupboard at all times.
Increased my rating for it’s long lasting appeal.
Holy Hannah, these are huge. I expected pearls, not marbles – and I am in love. Taste and smell aside, these things are beautiful. I requested a sample of these a few months back and Teavivre graciously obliged…then they somehow ended up in a strange place and never got used. My bad. Teavivre, thanks again for the sample – I’m so in love with the look that as long as they taste halfway decent, I’ll be ordering more (and some Bailin Gongfu!).
I used 4 marbles and steeped them in nearly boiling water for 3 minutes (my standard black tea steep setup). The liquor is amber, but lighter than many black teas. The aroma is bold, reminds me of cigarettes/cigars. Typically that would be unpleasant, but this isn’t. It’s like the sweetness of tobacco mixed with something musty and rich. Old leather? There’s a hint of “ashtray” which I don’t like, but hopefully that’s just a smell.
First sips are rich, very rich. Like very dark chocolate, sans sweetness. There is a smokiness in the taste which probably explains the “ashtray” aroma I was getting earlier. It is mild, but very there. Reminiscent of a campfire with dark chocolate smores. Now, typically I don’t enjoy smoke or dark chocolate, but this is working for me. It’s very smooth, there is no bitterness, nothing with bite. It is very different from other black teas I’ve tried, but I think this is something I want in my cupboard. I don’t think of it as an every day tea, but I could totally get a hankering for this.
I’ll need to try it a few more times (and get the beau’s opinion too) but I think this is definitely something I should order. I’m running low on good plain black tea, so I should stock up. Right?! : )
I’m on my fourth or fifth pot of this and am absolutely in love. I opened one of the little packets it came in put it all in my steeper and just kept brewing pot after pot. I’ve been brewing it for less than a minute each steep, since that seemed to work best for other steepsterites and it still hasn’t become astringent! While I don’t taste the honey much, if at all, I love the taste of the oolong. It’s rich, but not overpowering, and just gives a wonderful soothing sensation after drinking. Once I run out of all the oolong samples I bought from Teavivre I will definitely consider buying a larger amount of this one. yum yum yum. Even all my roomates liked it, and they don’t drink much tea.
This is such a lovely oolong and is definitely everything that a good oolong can be. In a fit of clumsiness, my tea strainer decided to burst open, so I had to strain out my cup of tea so I wasn’t drinking sludge. I was able to get a good strong 5 steeps from this over the course of the day. Delicious!
This isn’t my first pu-erh but it might be my favorite, I’ve had the mini aged tuocha from Teavivre as well, which was far darker and of course more condensed then this loose leaf.
The first thing you’ll notice about this tea is how fragrant it is, and the light golden leaves, I steeped my first batch in an cast iron teapot; at about boiling for three minutes, its kinda neat how black those lightly colored leaves turn, the hot water seems to release something in them, its by far and again the blackest tea I’ve ever seen. (Including the Pu-erh toucha’s) the leaves come out of the steep pitch black/brown.
The tea itself when piping hot has a sweet aroma with a little hint of iodine, which gives it a slightly fishy taste, not in a bad way, just sort of like really good sushi, as it cools down this taste seems to disappear, replaced by something like burnt molasses and hay, at the very end there’s a copper aftertaste, again not strong, as long as you don’t mind the odd flavor at the start and end, which in fact I enjoy, its an amazing tea, with that earth warm body that I’ve grown to love with all the dark teas from Teavivre.
It might be a little strong or a little scary as someone’s first pu-erh, a flavored would be better suited, but if your feeling adventurous, or like a tea that’s black enough to put most coffee to shame, then I recommend getting this, or at least just a sampler, its amazing.