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Recent Tasting Notes
My “Anniversary oolong-order” from Teavivre came today. I somehow ordered only oolongs! Teavivre actually made me an oolong-addict so now circle is complete. Along with this I got some dancong, anxi TGY and anniversary sampler + some samples. So much new tea to taste…
I’ve only tasted Dong Ding-like oolongs like Green Jade and I’ve loved them so this was obvious choice to try. Aroma is delightful, sweet and fruity with hint of pea-like vegetality. Big oolong balls are light to dark green in color and they have a yellowish brown stem.
I used 5g/60ml, a porcelain gaiwan and 90C water for green oolong (maybe a wrong choice, but I like to live dangerously).
Tea is mildly yellow and has very little aroma. Taste is sweet, but mild. Maybe it needs hotter water.
Taiwan Dong Ding starts to open up despite wrong temperature choice. Sweet and fruity taste and aroma with little astrigency. Tea color is now greenish yellow.
Going even more green. Same taste as in 2nd steep. Nice creamy-buttery mouthfeel and taste.
This tea is just as I imaginated. It’s beautiful, it has nice sweet, fruity and creamy taste with buttery mouthfeel and wonderful aroma. I just likey-likey this kind of oolongs. This was from 2014 so it’s bit over an year old. I wonder what would fresh one taste like… More tasting notes coming from this one definitely.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Sweet, Vegetal
This tea is very tasty. It has strong notes of chocolate. It has weak notes of malt. This is fine by me as I prefer notes of chocolate. I added sugar to this tea so I’m not sure but I think it’s got some sweet notes too. This is another tea from Teavivre that I think is just a good value for the quality level. It’s not up there with Whispering Pines but it’s damn close and less than half the price. It’s really quite tasty, almost but not quite spectacular. I think it’s better than their Fengqing Dragon Pearl Tea.
I brewed this once in an 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min. I almost used boiling water but thought to read the directions on the label which call for 194 degree water.
White Comparison 8/17/15 Tea #4
Thinking on how to word this tasting note… basically, scratch that like this
basically : this is exactly what it is… it’s silver needle. Not bad, not good, not average. It just is.
I bought a whole bunch of samples from Teavivre recently. I haven’t explored much of what Teavivre has to offer before now. I bought some tea-ware from there a while ago and received a couple of samples then, but that’s the extent of my experience.
I’ve had two cups of this tea today (12oz water, 175F, 3min steep). For the first I used 1.5tsp of leaves. The smell while brewing was fairly strong of wood, mineral, and pepper. I expected a stronger flavor in the cup, but it is surprisingly delicate. I brewed a second cup with the remainder of the sample (more than 1.5tsp, less that a tbs) and the flavor is slightly stronger.
It’s nice, but not my favorite green tea.
Flavors: Mineral, Pepper, Vegetal
This is a tasty tea with strong notes of malt and slightly weaker notes of chocolate or cocoa. This tea seems to be very popular on Steepster as it has nearly 300 reviews. This tea is I think good quality but I don’t know why it has so many reviews. If anything to me this is a standard black tea but a good one, not spectacular but worth buying. If I were charged the prices of Whispering Pines for this I’d be annoyed. But Teavivre sells this for quite a reasonable price. It just seems to me that this tea is slightly hyped up, that’s all. I do enjoy the tea.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
Here’s Hoping TTB (round 5)
I went into this without reading about it, which I should have done. With no idea that keemun may have smoked flavors to it, I was caught off guard by this tea. The few keemun teas I have had were either malty or semi bitter with a strong black tea taste (which differs for everyone). I’m not sure if I like the notes of smoke in this since they kind of sit there mildy. I may have to come back to this sometime since I am currently not a fan of smoked teas, I’m trying to be though.
This is an interesting herbal from Teavivre. Bought it during their last sale and am drinking it now because I have had enough caffeine for the day. The main flavor of this tea is contained in the Jasmine Flowers. They have a sort of sweet flavor I don’t properly know how to explain. There really isn’t too much Chrysanthemum in it as I can’t really taste it. I’m not unhappy for having tried this. I wouldn’t want to drink it without sugar though. It just in my opinion needs to be sweetened. It has a bit of a bitter taste to itself in truth. Also some sweet taste but there is definitely bitterness there.
I followed the directions on the Teavivre page and used 7g leaf for a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker with 200 degree water for 5 min. The website says you could resteep this twice but I couldn’t see myself doing that so I threw out the leaves. This tea is a sacrifice I make because of my insomnia or I never would have bought it. At least all the ingredients are considered good for you.
This tea is very tasty. It is somewhat malty and has notes of chocolate to it. Adding a little sugar has really made the chocolate notes pop. I think I am getting plum notes too. It should be noted that this is not the smoky Lapsang. I will try that another day.
Brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for approx 3 min.
First thing’s first: How awesome is Teavivre’s customer service?! Colour me impressed. They confirmed my address before shipping (which was fortunate because I did screw up on it and said I was from the opposite side of Canada) and have followed up immediately after delivery.
And of course, the tea. It’s yummy. It’s very mellow, smooth, and bready. Dry leaf I picked up a bit of a smokey note, but I’m not getting any of that in the cup, which… I was slightly disappointed initially, but now I’m liking this cup for what it is and not minding that the smoke doesn’t come through.
… Increasingly finding it difficult to peg numbers to notes. Maybe after a few more cups.
This is an interesting herbal I received today in my order from Teavivre. The first ingredient is missing from the list because Lotus Leaf is not in the catalog and couldn’t be added to the tea description. I find that this tea is fairly good with sugar and it is supposed to be healthy. Mostly I am drinking it tonight because it is caffeine free. It has kind of what I would describe as a somewhat sweet and an earthy flavor. By this I do not mean the earthy of ripe puerh but the earthy of chamomile. As it cools a bit I begin to taste the orange peel a little. Strangely I am really beginning to enjoy this tea.
I did my best to follow the brewing directions on the Teavivre site. I brewed 7.1g of leaf in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with boiling water for 5 min. It says you can resteep it up to two times but I doubt I want that much tea tonight.
I tasted sweetness of chinese white almond in this one, I also tasted a little bit of ginseng. Very interesting.
It was slightly smoky, less than grade 1, but more than premium hao ya.
I want to do a tasting session for all the keemun teas I ordered from Teavivre. Gotta order some tasting cup sets.
Flavors: Almond, Malt, Smoke, Sweet
I liked this much better than the Grade 1. My colleague preferred the smokier notes of Grade 1 though.
To me, this tasted sugarcane sweet, Japanese black sugar syrup sweet. Sweet and smooth, in a quiet Chinese calligraphy practicing kind of way.
Second steep was as beautiful as the first steep.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Sugarcane
Meh. This tea left me sorta disappointed. There was little to no milky flavor to it at all. I gave it a quick rinse and then brewed around 205 F for 2 minutes, followed by subsequent brewing at the same temperature with longer steepings. The flavor of the tea was vegetal and somewhat burnt. No milky/creamy notes at all. The second time I brewed it at lower temperature (185 F) and that began coaxing out the milk flavor from the tea. Still it was weak overall and prone to bitterness on subsequent steepings.
Honestly, it just tasted like a generic green oolong and lacking other aspects of flavor. It could all be me though so I’ll keep it around and report back if anything changes.
When it comes to green tea, I’ve always been partial to Japanese tea. For a long time, all I ever drank was sencha and gyokuro. But this particular dragonwell has completely upended my perception of Chinese green teas.
This tea tastes like spring in a cup. It has a bright, crisp flavor reminiscent of freshly cut grass and a sweet vegetal note as it goes down. Just a wonderfully delicate and very clean tasting tea that refreshes the palette. It reminds me a lot of some of the top Japanese green teas I’ve had more so than your typical roasted Chinese green tea. I much prefer this dragon well to Yunnan Sourcing’s which has a tendency to become astringent.
Like most green teas, this one is a little fussy. You have to pay attention to steep time and temperature. Followed Teavivre’s instructions, I brewed it for 2 minutes in 185 F water and found it bitter. Dropping the time and temperature to 1 minute and 175 F gave the best results. I increase the steep time for each subsequent infusion. The first two infusions are excellent and then the flavor starts fading by the 3rd.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Seaweed, Sweet, Vegetal
No notes yet. Add one?
I saved the leaves to see if this can be resteeped. I am happy to say that I did get another good steep out of it. There is still enough rosy flavor left to recognize. The liquor is a little paler and it isn’t a super dark black tea to begin with, but it wasn’t too terribly light and tasted good. I drank some of it cold because of the miserable heat and humidity we have had.
In other news – (stop reading if you are only interested in the part about tea) – I have performed a chicken experiment. Last year, one of my Black Copper Marans got broody and was very hard to break of it. Living in the city limits, I have no rooster. When she went broody again this year, I decided to give in and let her have babies.
I let her sit on three infertile eggs for over a week. (She had been sitting on stolen eggs or in empty nest boxes for at least a week already.) Then one night just after dark, I slipped the eggs out and slipped some one-day-old baby Cuckoo Marans in. She was pleased as punch to become a mother and it is an absolute miracle to watch how she mothers them. She has a special sound that she makes that I had never heard from her or any other chicken of mine before. It always means that she has found food for them. She lets them eat first, and crushes anything too large. She picks up the food and puts it down to show them what they should eat. She summons them when she thinks they have explored too far. She is patient with their constant shenanigans, like repeatedly pecking her head and eye, practicing “scratching” on her back (then hilariously losing their balance and falling off), and getting under her and then poking their heads out between her wing feathers so she looks like a Gary Larson-esque mutant chicken.
They are just over a month old now and they decided they no longer want to sleep in the maternity ward. They fly onto the ramp of the main coop and get in a nest box with their mother.
I really don’t think I fooled Bluebell in the least. I think she knows she didn’t hatch those babies, but she doesn’t care because she got what she really wanted – to be a mom.
I chose this as one of my free samples on my last Teavivre order because I was curious about it. I have had the Rose Ripened Puerh, which has lovely rose petals in it but doesn’t really taste like rose. The rose just makes that one sweeter to me.
For some reason I expected the Rose to be just as subtle in this tea. It is not. It is much stronger, but still not as strong as Rose Scented Black by Harney and Sons, It was very, very good and I plan to try resteeping it tomorrow.
This is a good tea for floral fans, of which I am one.
Since I found it too smoky for my taste last time, I made a weaker brew this time.
3g tea leaves vs. 240ml boiling water for 2 minutes. I like this much better.
It’s sweet, malty, a little bit smoky, and strong. Comparing to Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black tea from Postcard Teas, I somehow really wanted to describe this Keemun as masculine.
Unbeknown to me, I had similar teas when I was a little kid. I remembered hating it. I grew up in and still live in Hong Kong. All the Chinese / Cantonese restaurants here would serve their customers teas in grandpa style. Now I that start exploring black teas, I just figure out some upscale restaurants serve high grade Keemun tea.
This is one of the promotional discounted teas I ordered from Teavivre.
Brew guide provided by Teavivre: 1 tablespoon for 17oz of water at 90’c (194’f) for 2 to 5 minutes
Since I didn’t want a big pot of brewed tea sitting around for hours, I only made a small cup.
This tea was very smoky. At first sniff, I smelt roasted chestnut. Then I got tastes of lightly roasting dried seaweed and tobacco. No wonder my little kid self hated it. This tea just took me back to my childhood. Now as an almost grown up, I can appreciate its strong characters.
I found the first steep too smoky for my taste. To me, the aftertaste was like I just finished smoking a cigarette. My colleague loved it though.
I preferred the second steep.
Flavors: Astringent, Chestnut, Seaweed, Smoke, Tobacco
This tea is so amazing! I was greeted with an explosion of gold dust upon opening this tea. The scent from these curly gold twirls was spectacular! It was a sweet and caramel like scent. I brewed these beauties up gongfu. I placed them in my warmed gaiwan. I was getting the aroma of sweet red potatoes from my brewing vessel. I washed these treasures once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves smell of baked bread and malt. The flavor is delicious. This rusted red liquor tastes of malt, dark wood, and buckwheat honey. This brew is more deeper and bold than I thought it would be. Instead of caramel, silky tones I received wooded and hearty. I am in no way complaining. I needed something with some punch to wake me up. This is a beautiful Dianhong, and I am so happy to have tried it.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Dark Wood, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes