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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks Teavivre for this free sample!
I steeped this following the brewing guide on the website. The only difference was that I’m using a 4 oz vessel rather than 3 oz. The sample was only 7g so I couldn’t add more to correct the ratio.
I really wanted to like this tea but I couldn’t get it to work for me. The flavor was a bit underwhelming, not really for me. Vegetal, a hint of floral, a really tiny hint of roasted flavor. Next time I’ll increase the steeping times to make up for the discrepancy in water/leaf ratio.
Flavors: Floral, Roasted, Vegetal
I’m a big fan of rice shou, so I stocked up on this during TeaVivre’s black Friday sale without even tasting it first. Luckily it is a good one! And SO convenient. The sachets are individually wrapped!!! I’m normally not a big fan of sachets or wasted packaging in general but these are going to be SO convenient for travel. Seriously. Awesome.
Another Black Friday tea!
This was a tea that I bought blind, so to speak – I’d never tried a sample, but instead based my decision to buy on the reviews of others on Steepster and on Teavivre’s website.
When I smelled the leaves, I thought I’d made a good choice. Lovely, buttery, vegetal – just a good, strong, green tea smell.
However, the taste was very unexpected despite my research. If I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn this was a gyokuro tea!
Both this Tian Mu and gyokuro have that same delicate vegetal snap to them, like spinach or kale. I’m surprised by how much I’m liking this, since I’ve thought for a long time that I’m not a gyokuro person. But this is pretty good!
The leaf is very long and fuzzy here, so I made sure to be generous when I was brewing. I steeped it for 2 minutes, which is the max that Teavivre recommends. Even with the generous amount of leaf, the high steeping temperature (~90C), and the longish (to Teavivre) steeping time, the liquor is a jewel-like surprise. The liquor was pale golden upon first sip, and very heavily vegetal.
However, I believe that the full impact of this tea is lost if you drink it during the winter. This tea is so light that it’s perfect for spring mornings. I can’t wait to have this again some time in March or April when you can smell the earth and the sunshine and the dew all together. This will be such a good tea to have in the spring!
Couple more to go, this ones name was probably my favourite of them all since I really like dragons and this one is called two dragons and a pearl. Maybe jasmine vines resemble the dragons and globe amaranth is the pearl, and those dragons are fighting for the pearl so another one can rise to the heavens and be the Celestial Dragon! Sight, that D-war -movie could be good if it wasn’t that cheapy.
Back to the tea. I really like the appearance of the flower, the arc is pretty. Tea doesn’t have any specific aroma, also I have a flu so I my nose doesn’t work that well. I really like the taste, it’s like creamy vanilla with hint of sour. I haven’t mentioned the packaging before in these reviews but it’s really excellent, every flower is vacuum packed and in zip bag. Also in every vacuum bag is picture of the flower and name of the flower.
Flavors: Cream, Jasmine, Vanilla
I’ve had this twice so far: once yesterday and once today.
Normally I don’t double up on teas like that, but yesterday I underleafed despite the instructions on the package. I figured I would follow the instructions today.
Speaking of which, the instructions on this one are super weird – 2 tablespoons of tea for 17 oz? At 80C? That sounds like a lot of tea (about 3x what I would normally use for brewing tea Western-style), and the temperature is much lower than I would expect! That’s why when I brewed it yesterday, I only used abou 1 tablespoon for 24 oz of tea.
It was okay, but kind of underwhelming.
The sad thing is, I did use enough leaf today, and I’m still not having my socks wowed off. Should I try using 100C boiling water? Should I use more leaf or less?
I’m getting a bit of smoke and a bit of malt, but this just isn’t ringing my bell. I even used filtered water, too, to avoid that weird alkaline flavour I noticed with some other black teas a few days ago.
Oh, yum. This is a lovely jasmine green tea – smooth, silky and fragrant. Not a hint of bitterness from the green tea base, and none of the soapy aftertaste I got from the last jasmine pearls I tried. And I love tea that comes in pearls! These didn’t all fully unfurl in the first infusion, so I’ll definitely be resteeping.
This is tasty – I am glad to have a bit of a break from teaching, as student teaching is now over, so I have days where I can resteep a bunch of times. I am at my parents’, so my skills as a tea brewer are being tested a bit. I only have my kettle that boils water so I estimate temperature, and there is no water filter so I am aware flavors might not quite be true.
That might be the case with this one, which tastes predominately mineral with floral creamy notes too. It got more floral and less creamy with each steep, and I steeped it three times before being done with it. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t super special.
This is another of my favourite teas I’ve been drinking lately. The taste is sweet and very smooth with a rich smokey scent. I detect notes of pine resins, roasted peanuts and sweet potatoes. I steeped it three times and it kept its flavour until the last infusion. I use to serve this tea to my friends and everybody appreciate it!
I have been drinking this tea for a while but never found the time to review it. So here I am! The golden monkey it’s a really good black tea, with hints of caramel and cocoa. Easy and pleasant to drink. Also the smell is very good and strong as I first opened the bag.
And now it time for the flavoured version of Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk oolong. The smell that comes from the zip bag is oddly familiar. It smells same that that milk oolong that I bought from Forsman. This thing differs from the unflavoured one with the milk flavouring that is sprayed on the leaves, so this is supposed to have stronger milk flavour. At least it smells like milk, bit vinegary like milk or sour milk.
Nuggets of this tea are more even in size compared to the unflavoured milk oolong. Yellow in colour and has milky aroma, but without that osmanthus. Wet tea has more vegetal aroma.
It has quite sweet milk flavour, with hint of vegetality. Milk flavour could be stronger, now it’s about as strong as the unflavoured tea. It’s still pretty good one but my number one in milk oolongs is still from the local tea shop. It has been steamed with goats milk, and that is the stuff.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal
Cooking TTB #12
This tea has such great reviews, I was really excited to try it! And I got even more excited when it was steeping because it smelled just like a fresh, ripe strawberry. But the flavor was a huge disappointment…very weak and watery. I’m wondering if I should have used a higher temperature or a longer steep time for this one? I followed my usual parameters for oolong, but the package actually calls for boiling water. Withholding rating until I try this again, following the directions!
I was stuck up north for 2.5 extra days because the planes couldn’t fly due to weather (fog, then freezing rain I think?). Anyway. I’m home now, and apparently all of my Black Friday / Cyber Monday purchases finally arrived last week so now I have All The Tea. I chose this one as my first to try, and I’ll probably do a proper tasting note later, right now I just want to say that this is soothing and delicious and just what I needed. :) Cheers, everyone.
Part of my Black Friday order. Jasmine green tea is one of the first teas I really loved and it’s really what got me into loose leaf tea about a year ago. I love the smell of this tea – super floral! Brewed up, this is just what I expected, very floral and light. For some reason this tastes more jasmine-y than the pearls version, which to some people might be a bad thing, but definitely a plus in my book :)
My oolong package finally arrived, it still annoys me that I didin’t taste that delicious Tie Guan Yin tea before ordering these. I have to wait until next sale.
This was the sample, but I wanted to try this first. Other ones are strawberry oolong and flavoured milk oolong which, I think is same as this but its leaves are sprayed with milk. So now I can compare which is better one.
I have had milk oolong before and they’re still one of my favourite ones, especially in oolongs (at least for now before I go on adventure in the world of oolong). Nuggets are mostly dark green in colour but the also have bit green and brownish hues. It has vegetal aroma, I was expecting something like milk but since this is unflavoured it might be normal. Their size also vary a lot, there is small, medium and large ones.
In Teavivres site it’s said this has a natural milk flavour which is quite cool since I have never before met a tea that tastes like milk, without flavouring.
Leaves have expanded into big pieces and whole leaves and have pretty vegetal and floral aroma.
This yellow tea has that bit milky aroma, there is also bit osmanthus in it, pretty sweet overall and full. It really has that sweet milky flavour and that osmanthus only gives it a push and makes it more delicious. If this flavour comes natural, this tea is amazing in it’s own kind of way. Pretty unique. Full bodied and buttery mouth feeling and flavour. Sadly that flavour won’t linger for long but you can always take a new sip. It gives 7 delicious steeps, I managed to get 8 but after that it won’t give more. It is really relaxing if you drink it by evening, like warm milk. Makes at least me pretty drowsy. Let’s see if flavoured version beats this, I don’t think so.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Milk, Osmanthus, Sweet, Vegetal
Wow, so much rose! From the other reviews, I was expecting the floral flavor to be a bit more subtle, but I found it very strong. It’s a nice, natural rose scent and taste, but just too overwhelming for me. I could see someone who’s really into floral teas LOVING this, however!
A sample from KittyLovesTea. There are few teas as beautiful as this one. The small packet belies the contents, because as soon as it’s opened out tumble whole dried chrysanthemum flowers. There are so many, and they’re so large and springy, it’s hard to imagine how they all fitted in the little sample pouch! There are some loose petals, but in the main these are whole flower heads; creamy yellow in colour, and beautifully preserved.
For my first cup, I gave 2tsp of flowers (about half the sachet) 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a pale yellow-green, and smells very lightly herbal. To taste, it’s a subtle flavour. It’s hard to pin down exactly, but it mostly reminds me of chamomile, with the tiniest touch of mint. I was expecting something much more heavily floral, but it’s not like that at all. It makes me think of daisies.
It’s a very light, refreshing cup. I reckon it would be particularly perfect in spring/summer, or as a relaxing pre-bedtime cup. Definitely one I’d consider purchasing with a future Teavivre order.
Cooking TTB #10
I’ve been having so much fun sampling a bunch of different teas from this box! This was another winner for me. The base is a lovely light, creamy green tea that would be delicious on its own. The peach flavor is natural, juicy, and sweet and the jasmine is very subtle, mostly showing up in the aftertaste. A great calming bedtime cup!
Flavors: Creamy, Jasmine, Peach
After my disastrous cup of Aloha Pu’erh, I decided to try something I was certain to like. Chinese blacks! Golden tips! How could you go wrong?
And I was right – this was AMAZING!
I’ve been steeping my Chinese blacks Western style lately, which has yielded pretty good results, but often a cup that’s slightly lighter than I would like. So I decided to go with lots of leaf and a short steep for this. I used two good teaspoons for an 8oz cup, first steep for 1min and the second steep for 1:45.
So delicious. Bold and full mouth flavour, with bread, malt, caramel and sweet potato, with the faintest hint of smoke. I can see myself drinking this often, and I will have to pick up more than just a sample when I’ve got through all my untrieds.
I enjoyed the first steep a bit more than the second. It was sweeter and more malty. Still, I enjoyed my second cup a whole lot, too.
Sadly, I suck, and dumped out most of the rest of my open sample packet onto the carpet when I was trying to transfer it to a better bag. I picked up what I could, and I still have another sample packet, but still, boo. What a waste.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Malt, Smoke, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Hey all, still not feeling 100% yet, something about the transition from moderately warm and cold to full on constant cold winter always throws my body for a loop. Luckily taking a chill and getting some much needed sleep last night definitely seemed to help, along with a little thrift store therapy. I found some adorable new tea gear for an amazing price, I will have to have another tea gear show off soon! I am hoping after the ‘Christmas rush’ slows down I can get back to reviewing tea gear and tea books, but for now it is all tea all the time. I hope you all do not mind too terribly much.
So for today we are finishing up the Oolong tasting event from Teavivre with Superfine Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong Tea! This Gao Shan is from the 1,000 meter zone of Ali Shan, this particular tea is a Jin Xuan varietal (one of my personal favorites, in case you were curious) and apparently irrigated with fresh spring water. I want to be irrigated with fresh spring water, that stuff is delicious and so clean tasting, but I am not a plant so I must live vicariously through tea. The aroma of this tea is really quite sweet, like sesame candies with honey (ever had those things, they are delicious!) along with a touch of honeysuckle nectar and sweet cream, the cream notes border on buttery. Ok, so this just might be a Southern thing, but it reminds me a little of that super creamy honey butter for biscuits, yes I have been guilty of just eating the butter and forgoing the biscuit.
The aroma of the brewed leaves is unsurprisingly very sweet, they smell like a blend of honeysuckles and fresh growing things in summer. There are also notes of yeasty baking bread and a touch of chestnuts. The blend of bread and chestnut makes me want to bake, I absolutely love chestnuts, but they are obnoxiously expensive and I was spoiled as a kid since I lived near a chestnut tree. The liquid is no where near as intense as the wet leaves, it is mild and sweet with baking bread notes and a touch of slightly creamy honeysuckle.
The first steep is light in taste but powerful in mouth feel. It is so smooth that I will go out of a limb and say it is silky, it does not fill the mouth, it caresses. The taste is sweet, blending yeasty bread and honeysuckles with a distinct green quality, not vegetal, just green. I find myself wondering if the taste is really that mild or if the sensation of the tea is so intense that I am distracted by it, a very real possibility.
Whoa, the aroma of the second steep really steps up its game, where the previous steep was pretty mild, this one is sweet and yeasty with flower notes and a touch of sweet cream. Surprisingly, the taste is not really sweet, it blends notes of spinach, growing green things, and bread. Specifically either a really mild sourdough or country farm bread. At the finish there is a hint of sweet flowers and chestnuts. I love how bread like this tea tastes, I do not run into a more savory green oolong very often, so it is a bit fun!
The third steep is similar to the second with its delightfully sweet and floral aroma, specifically it is the aroma of honeysuckles, one of my favorite summer flowers. The taste surprises again, it starts off similar to the second, not as green and primarily yeasty. Then it blooms into honeysuckles and honey which lingers to the finish where it is joined with chestnuts at the aftertaste. This is not my favorite ever Oolong, but it is quite enjoyable.