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Recent Tasting Notes
Small, wiry, dark green leaves. Primarily vegetal with spinach and green bean notes, but also nutty and roasty with a peach-like fruit sweetness. Not my favorite green tea from Teavivre, but nice nonetheless. I think this would be a good tea to drink with a meal.
Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Peach, Roasted, Spinach
Thanks so much, Teavivre! Teavivre’s description calls this one a “daily drinker” or “beginner’s” pu-erh and I think it is quite tasty for a pu-erh that is so low in price. I am finding that I really like pu-erh aged for about ten years the best. This ripened pu-erh has a scent of fresh hay in the dry leaf — smells delicious! The steeped leaves are quite long. The color of the brew is a deep, rich burgundy. There is a pond scent to the rinse water, but then any of that is gone by the first steep. The flavor is lovely, not as strong as some pu-erhs are to me. It’s not quite like a pu-erh that reminds me of coffee. I really like a deep dark pu-erh — this is consistently medium strength. This pu-erh remains sweet. When the cup cools, the tea tastes like fresh raw bread dough! Very interesting.
Steep #1 // half sample for a full mug (about 5 grams)// 7 minutes after boiling // rinse // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep
From the Pu TTB
A delicate sheng that’s reminiscent of a good green tea. Somewhat vegetal/umami with notes of green wood, honey, and fresh tobacco. Very infusable, very attractive whole leaves. Later steeps have a mango fruityness alongside sugarcane and vegetal notes. Lacking in the punch that I expect from young sheng. Almost definitely a “drink now” puerh.
Overall a very friendly sheng that would serve as a good introduction for someone looking for low bitterness or coming from green teas.
Flavors: Green Wood, Honey, Mango, Sugarcane, Umami, Vegetal
I love keemun but haven’t drank any in awhile. This one is delicious. Mellow and smooth with a bit of winey malt and creamy caramel. Perhaps a hint of smokiness but minimal. Could drink this all day!
Thanks Angel at Teavivre.
Thank you, Teavivre, for the sample!
Gongfu session with a glass pot. No rinse. Steeping times: 10 sec, 15, 10, 25, 45, 35, 45, 60, 90; 2 min.
Based on the website’s description, I expected a soft-going aroma, but that is not the case. The leaf – dry and wet – is very aromatic. Beany, buttery, grassy, and a little sweet. Fills the pot easily and escapes. Additionally, I smelled a little tobacco in the wet leaf after the second steep.
The liquor is pale green, thick, and full-bodied. Full of flavor from beginning to end. For the couple steepings, I taste strong and creamy notes of buttered vegetables, beansprouts. A little bit salty. They are very much like a thick sencha, having umami like a gyokuro. Beginning with the third steeping, the flavor becomes gentler and sweeter. Each cup finishes with a cooling mint leaf. I felt considerably more energetic after drinking the sixth steeping (I consumed 1-6 within two hours, about 12 oz worth).
Buttery green teas aren’t to my taste – they tend to be too heavy for my stomach. However, while this tasted rich, it didn’t feel rich. It was tolerable. Even though I did not take to loving this, I appreciated the mint finish and aftertaste most. I recommend this as an excellent summer tea. The brewing temperature may be a little high for summer, depending, but it’s worth it for the cooling note.
An OMGsrsly sample.
This one is a pleasure to drink, with a decent second steep. It’s a nice accompaniment to my nothing day. I also lately discovered that Radiohead released a new album. It pairs well too. All I have to do is open this Haruki Murakami book (After Dark) sitting here and the day is set for disconnectedness. Wow.
This tea is nutty, vegetal, and then tangy-sweet, kind of like an unripe apricot or some lemon juice. I’m now going to move onto something more lively.
Flavors: Chestnut, Spinach, Tangy
Thanks to the wonderful Angel for sending samples to me! I tried this last night, and was impressed that there was no bitterness whatsoever. The notes that stood out to me more than anything else were vegetal and mineral-like. I didn’t pick up on any floral notes this first time, but hope to in the future. A soft sweetness accompanied the vegetal and mineral notes in the background.
I’m personally not a huge fan of vegetal and mineral notes in tea, but I can see people who are really appreciate and love this one.
A free sample from Teavivre!
I’ve never had a buckwheat tea before, but I certainly find this one enjoyable! Very clean and soothing with toasted grain, nut, and buttery notes and a light sweetness. The brewed kernals also make a nice snack. Since I have another sample packet left I think I’ll have to try mixing this with some green tea, maybe the Lu Shan Yun Wu
Flavors: Butter, Roasted Barley, Sweet
Thanks again, Teavivre! The description mentions this one as being more flowery than the Iron Goddess which seems impossible to me, as I adore that oolong. I was already in love with this one at the scent of the rinsed leaves. There is such an ambrosia to this one — a gorgeous floral flavor. There is also hints of spice to the flavor, a kick to it, which I would prefer wasn’t there, since it would be nice if this one just had a full flower flavor. But I don’t think it’s an overbrewed spiciness, since the flavor was still a sweet syrupy nectar. Perfect for sitting outside and reading with, on this late Spring day. With the second and third steeps, that spiciness has disappeared and smoothed leaving only the explosion of floral flavor. I don’t think there could possibly be more flavor, and I think I brewed it perfectly. Is it more flowery than the Iron Goddess? The last harvest I tried, I think it definitely is (though it is fairly similar to the Iron Goddess of a couple years ago). This is definitely the oolong I would want to have in stock! How can tea taste this amazing?!?
Harvest: October 2015
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 16 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 1 minute steep
Flavors: Flowers, Orchid
Western style – 2 tsp – 350ml – 90C – 2mins
Dry leaf – I smell salted caramel, baked bread and stonefruit. Pretty standard for a good quality black BUT also a kind of a boozy aroma which makes this one stand out to me in particular.
Infused – I taste all of the things I smell but a little less of the caramel. Texture has a pleasant thickness to it. Very smooth.
Teavivre is so consistent with their quality!! Happy customer
Another one to try from Teavivre – thank you! This is a Keemun in all its glory. The dry leaves are black with hints of gold and almost has that shiny sheen that the Keemun Snail has, but not quite. The scent of the leaves is intoxicating. I went with two teaspoons (I guess that is what I usually use for Teavivre teas.) The medium amber brew is what I expect from a Keemun — that Keemun flavor that is tough to describe. It’s so distinct to Keemun, it’s like a tanginess but not the same tangy that other teas have. I could swear with the first few sips there is some sort of berry too. The flavor is light, but complex, if that makes sense. All three steeps were fairly different, though the second was a little oversteeped for me — there was an astringency there. I should have went 30 seconds less. It was still a delicious cup, but the astringency shouldn’t have been there to ruin such a great tea. The third steep was a little lighter and I could have steeped for 30 seconds more. (So each steep should have been 2 1/2 minutes and all three steeps would have been perfect.) The first steep was the best (well balanced – neither astringent or too light). The third steep was definitely like sweet potato, but still had slight tanginess. Overall, a delicious Keemun.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015
Gongfu, 5g, around 125 ml, 185-190F
Brews a slightly cloudy golden yellow.
Taste is beautifully sweet with a flavorful, savory fruitiness. TeaVivre’s description mentions sweet corn and I find this accurate – this is soft, sweet and mildly nutty without any grassiness. No bitterness. Lovely.
This is the first to try from a sample package of spring 2016 green teas that I won. There was a short delay in getting them as one of the teas wasn’t available yet, so they sent me a silk scarf as an additional gift! Thank you TeaVivre for being so sweet!
Yes, another Teavivre tasting! Thanks again, Angel!
This one piqued my interest the most. I’ve had one wild tree black before, a yunnan by Rishi. However, I found that one a little underwhelming. This tea, however, I could tell just from the dry leaf’s aroma that it was different. The leaves are long and pointed, a sort of dark brown. Most are unbroken and in beautiful shape. They smell sweet and heavily of stonefruit, especially apricots. It’s wonderful, almost like perfume.
The flavor lives up to the scent. It’s a fruity black without any fruit added, with a note of pungency that’s hard to describe. It’s almost like grapefruit? Something I encounter often in puerh that I’ve never been able to nail down. There’s also a very soft mouthfeel that I feel like I should mention. All around satifying black tea with a hint of exotic, unrefined flavor that I love.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Stonefruits, Sweet
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that one must have tea while reading British classics”. When first brewed, it is a tiny bit smoky. There is a malty caramel scent. (And maybe some sweet potato too.) The flavour is sweet, with malty notes, and hints of roasted yams. Comes across darker than yesterday’s selection.
Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes, Yams
I thought I had reviewed this sample previously…hmm.
I enjoyed this tea. It is slightly floral and malty with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is not at all astringent or bitter.
I think I will try a longer brew next time to see what happens. I am not sure that I would purchase this as there are a large number of straight blacks that I prefer (like Teavivre’s black pearls), but it was enjoyable.
Taking a break from exploring Clock Town in Termina. Decided to try one of my Teavivre samples. (Liked the spiral leaves.) The brew smells so good. There is a scent of sweet potatoes, and some honey. It has a nice honey flavour. And the sweet potato is still present. Very good. Goes well with banana bread.
Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
I thought my water was hot but it was just luke warm. Also I must confess that I always add honey to jasmine teas. So my taste compared to others will be a bit different. This is a good jasmine. Light like most whites. I love how the honey and jasmine meld and become great combination. The dry scent is also floral and relaxing.
I’m not going to remember which of the few samples I ordered and which of the few Teavivre sent along, so thanks for all of them, Teavivre! The leaves of this sheng pu-erh cake are huge – probably because they are wild. I was expecting a tough pu-erh since the leaves are ‘wild’, but the result is nothing of the kind! (Maybe the ancient trees are tougher than the wild anyway.) But I’ve also been sipping many wild black teas lately and also assumed this one might have a bit of the tangy characteristic that wild black teas have. But this pu-erh doesn’t meet anything I was expecting. After a thirty second steep, the flavor is very sweet and syrupy for a raw pu-erh, with a starchy texture somehow. The flavor is like creamy lemon and apricot if you can stretch the imagination a bit. All three steeps somehow manage to maintain that very flavor profile and doesn’t get bitter or oversteeped at all. The third steep is still light and sweet and could probably continue for many steeps past the third. I think I’ve managed to perfect how I like my sheng to brew. Very mellow and perfect for someone just starting out with raw pu-erh, to get an idea of the flavor. I think this is a very nice raw pu-erh, though I would prefer it to have a little something special about the flavor for it to really stand out. But I’m happy with the consistency to the steeps that I rarely see with raw pu-erh, especially if the tea is from wild leaves. I’ll be interested to see how this one ages.
Steep #1 // half sample for a full mug (about 5 grams) // 20 minutes after boiling // rinse // 35 second steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 40 second steep
Steep #3 // 23 min after boiling // 40 second steep
First off.. Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for sending me a generous sample of this tea.
Dragon Well greens have always been a favorite and I thought I’d have a pot while I study. The leaves are gorgeous. Deep forest green. The flavor of the tea is nice. It has a nice thick buttered veggies taste to it.
Trying to expand my repertoire. I picked this one because it has chamomile and I could definitely de-stress but also because I haven’t really developed the taste for chamomile. I was hoping the silver needle and rose would save me. I really need to include more types and ingredients with my general tea consumption but overall I stick with whites because let’s not forget why I got into this business.
In preparation, I was already using a chamomile hair mask from Lush (the “Marilyn” for us blonde types), and a Klorane eye mask with cornflower, so it was a theme. There was also pound cake and a Netflix marathon of The Vicar of Dibley which wasn’t on theme I think but there’s your stage set anyway. FUN STORY Peter Capaldi just showed up in the second episode and he looks like he could play young Tom Baker. The episode is from 1994.
This pot (30oz) was made from both a sample and a regular bag. Interestingly, the sample was all fuzzy silver needle with what I think was a fragment of a chamomile whereas the bag was a good mix with a lot of large buds.
I used about 1.5 teaspoons per 8 oz, the bag says 1-2 so I tried to be midrange. 194F, 2 minutes.
It’s a light color and smells strongly of honeysuckle. In taste, a delicate white with lots of sweet rose. I like rose so I like this a lot. There’s a slight, very slightly tart or sour aftertaste that I bet is the chamomile.
I know tiny cute teacup is the standard for the fancy loose leaf but I used a big Pinocchio mug. The flavor stays standard even as it cools, which I like. It’s very sweet and floral. I do feel less stressed but it is a holiday weekend, after all. Perhaps I should install this as my official post-work tea.
A sample from a recent tiny order! Thanks again for everything, Teavivre! This tea was intriguing, with the leaves of the silky, dark black, curly type. The fragrance of the dry leaves is just like the flavor: like a sweet, smooth molasses with hints of honey. Also with hints of tanginess that I have been loving in teas lately. One of my favorite types of tea! The unraveled leaves in the infuser are very big. The flavor strength is medium, neither too strong or light. Definitely not as strong flavored as most ‘snail’ types of tea that I’ve tried before. And definitely not smoky like I’d expect keemun to be. The second steep was more mild flavored. I wish there had been more levels or detail or depth to the flavor, but maybe steeping it differently would result in the way I wanted it.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 17 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Flavors: Honey, Molasses