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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh no! I’m so sorry TeaVivre! I was generously given this sample for review ages ago and apparently lost it until just now. It was a nice surprise to find though because I really enjoyed drinking it today. It was very sweet and slightly vegetal with a slight roasty flavor to round it all out. There are some mineral notes as well. Extremely nice oolong and so sorry again for the very late review!
This is truly fantastic. When I made my last order, I looked here to seek out reviews for the best the company has to offer, and wasn’t necessarily expecting a ton from this sample. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is so much more subtle than most jasmine teas, though I do like jasmine, and the tea itself is lightly sweet and fresh and green without being bitter at ALL or intense. Truly a balanced flavor, even with multiple steeps. I am amazed.
FINALLY, my samples from teavivre came in… after a month /sadface. So after having no tea for a few weeks, all of my packages seem to be showing up. Which i need, since my only truck threw a rod, and now is not movable. anywho.
This tea is in the form of small balls, roughly about the same size, and quite small, and each ball had multiple shades of green in them, from pale, cut grass to rich, dark jade. The smell is quite pleasant, but sadly i cannot think of a way to describe it other than to say it smells green, like early, early spring.
I followed the directions on the packet, using a little over 1 tsp for 10 oz of water, steeped for 3 min each at 212.
The liquor is gold with hints of green mixed in, quite pretty. Once again, i cant quite ID a smell, other than say it has a faint odor i am coming to associate with oolongs.
The taste, Thankfully, is better than all of the previous oolongs i have tried before, making me willing to try more oolongs. This is a lighter tea, almost reminding me of a white tea. There is that faint spinach/seaweed flavor that i now associate with oolongs, but it is quite faint, barely there, and i might miss it if i were not so scarred from the other bad teas i tried. I now understand the “buttery” taste i always see associated with this oolong. It almost reminds me of eating movie popcorn. There is also a light floral taste. As the tea cools, a slight astringency develops, but is easily overlookable, what with how silky the texture is, and with the butter taste. This tea will leave a gentle honey/floral aftertaste, and a nice silky feeling.
not a bad tea, i might restock at times. would be a good change from black tea.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Spinach
Super creamy and delicious! I used a lower temp than the directions recommended by Teavivre and it came out as a light yellow with a smooth milky taste. Absolutely no bitterness and it steeps multiple times (I stopped at three).
Flavors: Honey, Milk
Another one I thought I’d love but just wasn’t for me :(
I mean, it wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t like the best black tea I’ve ever had. I think I liked the dragon pearls from What-Cha better than these.
I didn’t know how much to use because it didn’t say on the bag or on here, so I only used one pearl. Steeped it for the proper amount of time and then tried it.
It was pretty light. It had notes of cocoa and wood.
It’s an okay tea, not my favorite. But not my least favorite either.
I’m really glad I got to try it at least! Feels like everyone loves this tea and I’m like the odd one out. So it’s good to not have wasted money on this one!
Anyway, thank you, Terri for the sample! :D
Flavors: Cocoa, Wood
Happy pi day! I don’t have any pie-flavored teas right now, so I’m going for a pu instead. This one comes to me courtesy of Angel at TeaVivre. Thank you!
I’ve only had a handful of pu-erhs before. I didn’t like them much (too much dirt/leather/fishiness), so I’m entering this tasting with a bit of trepidation.
I am using one of my favorite pieces of teaware today: a gaiwan-teapot hybrid that I picked up in Taiwan for a comically low price. It is the size and shape of a gaiwan, but it also has a spout and handle. Aesthetically pleasing + easy to use = win. I used the whole sample packet, which filled a little less than half of the gaiwanpot. Per packet and website instructions, I used boiling water throughout.
The dry leaf smells ok. Earthy and slightly oaky. After a 5 second rinse, I steeped the leaf for 20 seconds. The brew is a light golden color. It has that earthy pu-erh scent with a hint of floral. The wet leaves smell awful – boggy, almost rotten. The flavor of the brew is savory, darkly bitter, and muddy. Not a very promising start.
The second steep was 30 seconds long. The golden color of the brew is more vibrant this time. The smell is earthy and vaguely floral again, but also peaty. The flavor is bitter bitter bitter and somewhere under there is still some muddiness.
I would normally add 10 seconds for the next steep, but the second steep was so bitter that I don’t want to risk overdoing it. So the third steep was 30 seconds long. The brew looks and smells lovely, but the sharp bitterness is still here.
I did the fourth steep at 30 seconds again. This one came out slightly less bitter, with a tree-ish undercurrent.
I can’t do this anymore. No more steeps. This tea is clearly not for me. I won’t rate it because I have no idea whether this is objectively bad for a pu or just bad to me because I don’t generally enjoy pu-erh. I suppose it’s possible that I overleafed. I don’t think so though. After four steeps, the leaf only fills about ⅔ of the gaiwanpot. I’ve successfully brewed oolongs and blacks that nearly overflow the pot after enough steeps. Alas, the search for a pleasing pu marches on.
Thanks to Angel at TeaVivre for the sample! I used approx. 4 grams for 2 oz of water in my little glass gong fu teapot. After a 4 second rinse, I got a solid 9 steeps out of this leaf.
1st steep, 5s – This is a vibrant orange brew. It’s sweeter than I expected; there’s definitely a strong honey note. It’s also bready with a moderately thick mouthfeel. The wet leaf is shades of medium brown and dark green, long and thin, reminding me of vanilla pods in appearance but smaller.
2nd steep, 5 s- The brew is a darker orange, with a richer flavor than the first steep. It smells like dark bread. The flavor is more mushroomy, slightly reminisicent of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black.
3rd steep, 8 s – This steep has the same dark orange color and robust flavor as the second.
4th steep, 5 s – The color is the same, but this steep is brisker and less savory than the previous steeps.
5th steep, 10 s – The savoriness is back! Definitely mushroomy.
6th steep , 15 s – The brew is ever so slightly paler. The mushroominess is still present but has mellowed out.
7th steep, 20 s – This steep is mellower than the last and more bready than mushroomy.
8th steep, 30 s – This steep is lighter in both color and flavor. This leaf is nearing its steepable end.
I neglected the 9th steep and allowed it to cool. This is actually fantastic cold. Very refreshing! I’ll have to try it cold brewed at some point.
Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the sample!
The leaves are so pretty! I love the many shades of brown, from so light it’s almost yellow to a nice chocolate hue. The actual brew has an interesting warmth to it. It took me a while to place the flavor, but it’s fresh-baked Russian black bread and manuka honey. I got about 6 solid steeps out of this in my little gong fu teapot. The flavor didn’t vary notably over the course of steeping, but I’d like to try it with my aroma cup and see if that makes a difference. Lucky for me, Teavivre samples are generous so I’ll be able to play around with this tea a bit more!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey
Another delicious haute black from China. It’s somewhat hard to believe how the flood of mediocrity coming out of that land permanently tarnished our expectations regarding all things Chinese. Fortunately, worthy companies such as Teavivre are working hard to dispel the negative stereotypes…
I have not always been thrilled with Dian Hong teas, but the key words here appear to be ancient wild tree. Very tasty indeed—both the first and the second infusion. This is the sort of fine black tea which makes one wonder why in the world anyone would ever have thought to add flavors or cream…
This sample came from Teavivre a while back. I appreciate getting a free sample, so thank you.
This is a very nice green oolong that comes through with floral and buttery notes. I am also finding the strawberry flavor to be a bit weak. It really needs to be steeped Western style to get any strawberry flavor at all. Hardly any strawberry flavor is present in the 2nd steep for me. If you want a really strong flavored strawberry tea this is not the thing. I was expecting something slightly different from this. It’s ok but I prefer the fruit flavored oolong from Naivetea and Lupicia.
What a lovely tea!
When I taste, the vegetal element is in the forefront, with the sweetness following. Hints of rock sugar and snap peas are present, along with a mineral quality I really enjoy. While waiting for my next infusion to finish steeping, the aftertaste is light and sweet.
This is a very interesting and quite delicious tea, smooth and perfect for a mid morning tea break. :D
The leaves unfurl further with each infusion, turning my gaiwan into an art piece for this tea session…. So pretty!
Thanks Miss-Phi for the sample!
Miss Phi, you have the smallest handwriting that I have ever seen! Somehow you managed to fit the whole name of this tea and the company it came from. I would kill for your fine motor skills, my dear!
Ah, yes. This is my kind of black tea. tippy, more golden fuzzies than not, the leaves are long and skinny and twisty and fun. After the leaves were spent, they were like little leaf noodles in my gaiwan.
The liquor was richly red and brown. The nice and thick malty quality is quite nice. I get some starchy sweet potatoes as well as some light dusting of cocoa powder. It is like some wonderful and delicious monster of sweet potato bread baked with chocolate-covered cherries in the center. So… Yum? Yes. Yum.
Flavors: Cherry, Coconut, Malt, Overripe Cherries, Sweet Potatoes
I ordered this tea from Teavivre, since I didn’t have a single white tea in my cupboard, but was really craving it. My tea arrived on Saturday and was such a happy surprise.
After a day of feeling like I was fighting off a cold on Sunday (I have not been sick in over 2 years, so I have no right to complain, and I think I’ve beaten it off, because I feel almost 100% again this Monday morning) and drinking apple cider vinegar all day, I thought this would taste really nice last night. So, I did this up in my porcelain gaiwan (about 3 grams of tea), using 90C water. I rinsed for 5 seconds, then steeped for 45 seconds (70, 90 second steeps after…). The tea leaves are really beautiful, with their white hairs and delicate structure.
This tea is so lovely! Very light floral, with honey notes and that mouth feel I so desire in whites.
Since it was getting late, I stopped at 3 steeps last night, but have continued on this morning.
This cup in front of me has a honey golden liquor, with sweet floral notes on the tongue, and hints of grass and honey. This cup is like liquid sunshine… I love it.
This is definitely a white tea I’d like to have on hand at all times. :D
First steep smells like french toast, tastes softly floral and vegetal, a little buttery. The second steep had more pronounced and recognizable but still soft gardenia fragrance, just lovely, and the flavor had more personality, floral/vegetal with a bare whisper of vanilla. Third steep was unremarkable, too subtle for me. But there, I remarked it.
This tea is calming both physically and psychologically… like a very gentle cuddle. Understated elegance. It would be a great one to serve to someone who would prefer subtlety to a frank, full-disclosure tea… it retains an air of mystery.
I’ve been waiting a while to get this out and try it. Also, thank you to Angel and the Teavivre team! For some reason I have a hard time with raw pu-erhs. The flavor is always off to me but this one is delicious! It has a juicy raisin flavor with hints of cinnamon and pine. The second steep turns a little more savory/sweet with light smoke notes. There is a soft bitterness that reminds me of a slightly over-steeped green.
I’m going to do more steeps but have to go away from my computer for a minute. I’ll edit it later with the other steeps :)
Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Pepper, Pine, Raisins, Smoke
What a lovely strawberry oolong! Thanks Sil for sharing, this one has been on my bucket list for awhile.
The oolong is very light and refreshing, pairing excellently with the fresh strawberry. Not really tart, but not too sweet either. One day, methinks this will be in my cupboard! I didn’t get to taste it hot so I’ll have to save the more extensive note for next time
Thank you, KittyLovesTea, for a sample of this!
I think I may have slightly oversteeped this one while I was getting my smoothie ready :(. It’s still quite awesome though: a light green tea taste along with jasmine. Yum. I love watching the little pearls unravelling as they steep :)
I wonder if I should get a filter for my water – I always use tap water when making tea and I’m getting a bit of a mineral taste to this tea which I don’t think is the tea’s fault. It might be something to look into…