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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlogging number 2:
We had this tea as well. It was the last of the sample so I made four steeps out of this one. I think it tasted better when I used more leaf so if I get this one again, I will have to remember that I like it with a good bit of leaf the best. I will miss it though. It was my last yunnan in my limited tea stash.
Had a cup of this today when I was cooking the rest of the pancakes for my dad so he could have a hot breakfast. I think letting it cool first really helped the flavor when I took my first sip of it. There is a lesson in that: I need to be more patient.
I’m going to fill up my french press with some water and let the leaves cold brew until I get back from going to the mall with my fiancee. Then I should have a nice cup of iced tea in the afternoon when I get back.
The tea mood has struck again with this wonderful tea. I wanted a black tea, but I wanted something light. This does the trick wonderfully. I’m getting a slightly caramelized sweet potato today.
I think what has prevented me from liking this tea as much as I thought I would from the very beginning is the fact that it is lighter than the full leaf version of this tea. I was expecting something that would really stand up and be bold instead of being a tea that would slink around in the corner and wait to be noticed. But now that I think of it of being a lighter black tea, I have fallen in love all over again.
I had a cup of this last night and a cup of this in the morning even though I am just getting around to saying so. Rich and kinda sweet. Not too complex this time which was nice because I didn’t want something ultra complex, but unexpected since I can normally taste two-three different notes. My tongue must not be up to par yet. Too much cocoa. Lol.
I got a new round of tea samples from the wonderful Angel at Teavivre. This is the first one from the new set and I decided to actually write down the steeps in my journal before logging them into Steepster. It was fun actually writing down a tea tasting in my neon pink ink.
Steep 1: Brewed for two minutes. The tea smells dark and the liquor is a deep warm brown. The first taste is more earth and then a slightly sweet taste creeps in along the sides of your tongue. I looked at the tea packet and saw that it suggested a lower water temperature than I used so I am going to try a lower water temperature with the next steep and see if that changes things.
Steep 2: Brewed for 2.5 minutes. The liquor is slightly paler, but not by that much. It looks more like a dark topaz. It smells slightly like a sweet potato that has been taken out of the dirt and then quickly sprayed off so that it is clean but bits of earth are still clinging to the skin.
The taste is amazing. A very faint cocoa note that mixes with the previous taste to make an amazing slightly sweet rye bread. The kind that is just out of the oven. The crust is crisp and the crumb (the soft part of the bread) is so soft that it deflates in your mouth and releases a burst of flavor. So delicious.
Steep 3: Brewed for 3.5 minutes. The liquor is a light bronze. The flavor of rye bread is still there but it has a slight sweet potato taste to it now. This steep is a little watery, but I think if I had brewed it for another minute it would have been better. This is the last steep for the night.
Overall, this tastes very different from the full leaf version, but I love that it is so different. It just tastes good and makes me think of a warm kitchen when I was little. My mom doesn’t like rye bread so she never made it, but she did make bread. I can let my imagination fill in that it tasted like this tea and I would be content wherever I was at the moment. Delicious.
Thank you Teavivre for this sample.
I had a long day in the lab yesterday (and today.. and tomorrow..) working on my research project.. and came home to find a parcel notification.
This was followed by an immediate email from Angel telling me to check my mailbox and go pick up my parcel. Some people do have lives… and sometimes the post office closes after you finally get home from a long days work. I do not appreciate this urgency. Especially when I paid for tea from them only a day or two after accepting their offer for samples, only to have it not even trackable in Canada yet (‘sent’ one month ago to date). Perhaps they should be more concerned about that instead?
Anyways. Onto this tea.
2 minutes, 100˚C Sweet non-identifiable flavour in the mid-end sip. I take this to be the ginseng. Almost a black licorice flavour actually.. anise/fennel.. when breathing in after a sip. It takes a few sips to understand the flavour, but I enjoy it a lot. It’s almost tongue-coating.. The oolong definitely tastes oxidized, with a sweet and nutty flavour to it. Really lovely.
3 minutes, 100˚C Sweet.. very similar to the first steep in all honesty. No wavering in the intensity of the licorice/toasted sweet nutty flavour. The oolong is very similar to their monkey picked oolong, but I enjoy this much much more. The tongue-coating flavour of the ginseng is really nice and balances out the toasted qualities of the oolong.
Overall – this is a really lovely, enjoyable tea.
Big thanks to CHAroma for this sample! wow, it is amaaaazing.
Ok, well more like the third and fourth cups were that good. First one was just ok, second I had with milk and sugar which made it super tasty…
Third was really salty so I added some sugar to balance it out. Almost a salty paste. Imagine a really salty hummus, but without the hummus. I know that makes no sense but there you have it.
There was a leathery note as well that I loved in later steepings, along with another note that I am having trouble defining.
It was very smooth, velvet even. It was as if someone took very soft leather and translated that into a flavour, but deeper.
And was that a hint of rose in the third infusion? just barely, but yes, it was there!
Ahhhh, to be tea-high once again. It’s a glorious feeling :D
Thanks again CHAroma!!
This… was not what I was expecting. I was really disappointed by this tea. I like puerhs, so I was excited for a nice change in pace with a touch of rose, but on the first couple infusions this tea was actually BITTER. Not the usual bitterness that you expect from tannins either, but bitterness like from okra or something. Very, very off putting… I hoped it was only one tuo cha that was like this, but both were. Oh yeah, and if there was any rose, it was covered up by the bitterness.
A review of Taiwan Dong Ding (Tung Ting Oolong) by Teavivre
Tea Name: Taiwan Dong Ding (Tung Ting Oolong)
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Region: Dongding Mountain, Nantou, Taiwan
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup / loose leaf
Liquor Color: pale yellow
Leaf Characteristics: leaves are fine pellets and when brewed with hot water they are full and plump…two leaves attached as nipped from tea bushes.
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes
I am having another fixing of this Dong Ding Oolong sent to me by Teavivre. I consider myself very fortunate since they sent me a very large sample bag filled with their teas many of which are the same like this Dong Ding sample. I open the small packet and empty half of it into my cup and pour in the hot water and leave it for a steeping time of 3 minutes.
The tea leaves are fuller and plumper; there are two leaves attached to a stem. As I scoop out the tea leaves I see as well that they are green in color and smell very green, I think of veggies. Tea’s color at fist was a light green but is actually very light yellow and when I sip this Dong Ding it is quite pleasing and smooth with slight dryness on the tongue, not when swallowed but as one roll and play about with the tea in the mouth. There is slight bitterness to it as well; I say bitter but it more of the drying effect of this oolong.
Overall, this is a good tea to have after a heavy meal since it is so very light on the stomach; tea seems to wash down a heavy meal quite well. As it is morning, I have not had a heavy meal, but I imagine as much.
Thank you, Teavivre for sending me so many lovely teas to sample and experience.
A review of Taiwan Dong Ding (Tung Ting) Oolong by Teavivre
Tea Name: Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose-leaf
Liquor Color: Light green
Leaf Characteristics: leaves are finely curled and when infused in water for rinsing than steeping the leaves become full and plump and are green in color.
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes
I pre-rinsed 1 teaspoon of the tea leaves with boiling water and then adding more of the freshly boiled water into my mug with the leaves inside. I place lid on tea mug and leave to steep for a few minutes.
Teas’ aroma is green and broccoli like with a light greenish color. When I do this take sip of the tea is mildly astringent for an oolong and the more I drink it I realize it is not bitter, just a freshly clean yet smooth cup of tea.
I plan on having this tea for remainder of the day by just adding more boiling water to it and letting it cool and sips and sips away.
This oolong is light in body with a mildly astringent when first sipping of tea and as I drink more of the tea I realize it is dry on my palette, lip smacking kind of dryness and with more drinks than the thirst is quenched.
I like this Ding Dong Oolong and I have sampled it before from other tea vendors (Fong Mong Tea Corp) and a teahouse in Seattle who purchases teas in Taiwan as well. I seem to recall mentioning that there are high grade Dong Ding and charcoal roasted Dong Ding which gives more a smoky and woodsy aroma as opposed to this Dong Ding which is very light in body and vegetal in taste and aroma.
Thank you, Teavivre for sending this sample for me to experience and write review of.
A review of Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong Tea by Teavivre
Tea Name: Dong Ding
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ leaf
Liquor Color: light green with shorter steep, then peachy with longer steep.
Leaf Characteristics: leaves were finely somewhat rolled than plump when brewed for few minutes and fully blown with even longer steep.
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes
Note: I brewed this tea for few minutes, as I watch the tea leaves unfold and the leaves are very green and always I think of green veggies. There was a sweetly aroma that came from this tea and when I took sip I was pleasantly pleased to find it sweet and smooth with a creamy texture not unlike greens like broccoli.
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes
Note: I brewed this longer this time since I was planning to have my meal with this tea. It brewed a lovely peach color when I removed the tea leaves, there is hints of fruits like nectar. When I taste the tea it is that smoothly full-bodied effect that I had earlier with first steep. I find I always like oolong teas as they are good way to rinse off; no, I mean to finish off a good meal. I enjoyed sipping this with the noodles I had again this evening. I should say half noodles and half pasta since I must sample what I cook for the husband.
I remember sampling earlier this past summer some Charcoal Dong Ding Oolong as there was not a smoky aroma to this oolong. Well I trust that this palette is experiening this oolong correctly; in that it is smooth and lush, not so much of veggie taste with second steeps and third but more of a nectarine/raw peach flavor and I washed it down with dinner wonderfully.
I like oolong teas and thank you Teavivre for sending these samples for me to experience; as this one was definitely likeable by this reviewer. I am a fan of Oolong teas. Thank you.
A review of Organic Green Tea by Midori with a few pellets Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” by Teavivre
Company: Midori Trading, Inc. / teavivre
Tea Name: Organic Green Tea
Tea Type/Varietal: Green
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ tea bag + 2 pellets of the Jasmine Dragon pearls
Liquor Color: light green
Leaf Characteristics: This tea seems so very light that I thought to perhaps try this tea with some of the Jasmine Dragon Pearls to possibly liven the tea up, not that it need be, it is fine as is. Just curious.
Water temperature: 180 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes
I take one tea bag of the organic green tea and two small pellets of the Jasmine Dragon Pearls and place them in my cup and pour in the boiled water and leave to steep with saucer lid as cover for few minutes.
I remove the saucer to find that the tea buds has bloom/plumpness fully and the tea is a milder green color and yes the bouquet permeating the air is Jasmine and smelling strongly. I take a sip and another sip and the tea is dry in taste at first when swallowed but the smell I cannot get past.
So I failed to liven up this organic green tea by introducing and mixing it with the jasmine dragon pearls as once again the scent of the jasmine over powers any enjoyment there could have been of this tea’s mixture.
I simply do not like Jasmine tea. It is not good.
A review of Jasmine “Dragon Pearls”by Teavivre
Tea Name: Jasmine Dragon Pearls
Tea Type/ Green
Region: Fujian China
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose leaf
Liquor Color: light amber/yellowish orange
Leaf Characteristics: very tight buds / pellets like and when immerse in water the leave unfold to become string like or small ropes.
Water temperature: 176 Fahrenheit
Time: 2 minutes
I received this tea with several other teas from Teavivre and I am finally taking the time to sample some of their teas. I am not a fan of Jasmine tea; so with this in mind, I cut open the tea sample and scoop out 1 teaspoon of the small pearl like buds and put this is my tea mug and add the boiling water to the cup. I cover and leave it to steep for two minutes.
After the allotted time I remove the saucer and find that the leaves are now: fine, small loose strings; more like coils of rope, short ones. It is kind of scary when looking at this in my cup. So I am imagining more bad things to come my way since I seem to be paying back or time to give back pass dues. The story by Steinbeck “The Pearl” comes to mind.
My in-laws enjoy dispensing justice of me since I am hardest of hearing.
Anyhow, I sip this tea reluctantly since the jasmine fragrant is strong and over powering. It is heady and must be left alone, perhaps for another time.
Thank you, Teavivre, for sending this tea along for me to sample. It is a lovely and very famous tea, I am just sorry that I cannot find enjoyment in the tasting and smelling of this tea.
Dry aroma puts me in mind of an Iron Goddess, it smells very much like a green oolong. There is a bold aroma, distinct sweetness with some hay and grass underneath it. I’m not much for greener oolongs typically, but this smells pretty nice.
Steeped at 90 degrees for about 2 minutes, the beau thinks we under-steeped it a bit and I tend to agree. There is a very slight oolong aroma and taste, more sweet than vegetal but it was barely there.
The second steep (of 5ish minutes) shows more strength of flavour, with a fairly strong floral aroma and taste. Still fairly unassuming, but nice. Green oolongs aren’t really my forte and this doesn’t really change that but it was a perfectly palatable cup of tea.
I think this is one of those times where I should have followed the instructions and used boiling water, but boiling water doesn’t work with oolongs for me very frequently. I still have three more little pouches, will try again at some point. Thanks Teavivre for this sample! (From ages ago, whoops!)
Thank to Teavivre for this very generous sample!
I feel crummy today and I still have almost 2hrs. before I have to start my homework so I thought I’d relax with some nice, pure tea. I’ve been in quite the flavored tea stint so all this plain tea tasting has brought me back to what I really love to enjoy.
Dry, this tea smells almost similar to a Bai Mu Dan; especially the light hay notes. There is also an almost nutty smell coming through. I’m not sure how much to add to my tiny cup, so I’m just eyeballing it as covering the bottom. I’ve only had one other Dragon Well and to be honest, I hated it. It smelled and tasted swampy.
Wow! Even though I only steeped this for 2min. the smell is very strong. There are lots of pea notes in the front of this brew. It is very crisp and I’m really loving the nutty notes. This particular steep is reminding me a lot of sencha. There is almost a milky-ness to this tea, as I saw other reviews state. Compared to my last run in with Dragon Well this is amazing! This is easily one of my favorite greens and I would really recommend it for anyone new to green teas.
I have just finished work and a bit of house cleaning and could do with a few minutes to relax and my thirst for a pu erh has been growing hence why I chose this tea.
As taken from the Teavivre website:
Gaiwan 3oz Tea:10g
9 steeps: rinse twice,20s,30s,40s,50s,1m10s,1m30s,2m,2m30s,3m30s
Following this rule here is my review:
First steep – This has dark amber coloured liquid that smells mildly of dry leaves. The flavour is slightly sweet and earthy and refreshing all at the same time. The tea at the bottom of my tea bowls is stronger and is much earthier with a touch of astringency.
Second steep – Same dark amber liquid with a more predominant fragrance of flowers. The flavour is also now somewhat floral but still gentle and refreshing. Its also a little woody now also.
Third steep – The liquid is now very dark and reminds me of soy sauce but with a red glow. It’s also much earthier and woodier now but still with that gentle floral touch. Smell wise it reminds me of damp earth or fish but not strong. (I buy cat treats that smell similar).
Fourth steep – The compacted cake pieces have now broken up to resemble dark brown loose leaves. Still getting stronger and stronger with both fragrance and flavour with the most notable being the earthiness. Very nice and full bodied pu erh so far and it keeps improving.
Fifth steep – The red glow has darkened now so the soy sauce appeal is even stronger. Rather astringent and strong, a little smoky but still very earthy. The smell is still reminding me of cat treats.
Sixth steep – Again stronger than the previous steep and earthy…it resembles cocoa, not chocolate but more nib. It’s dark and smoky and earthy and slightly sweet and astringent. Beautifully pu erh.
I will leave my logging there but shall update as I increase the steeps exponentially. :) So far it’s a nice aged pu erh but nothing completely unique. It does quench my pu erh thirst though.
I feel bad because I have had this free sample for review from Teavivre for forever, but I hadn’t ever gotten around to it. Partly because I don’t know how I feel about ginseng. Yesterday I thought of it because I happened to see something that said ginseng is good for a cold, and I seem to have the sniffly beginning stages of one. I portioned it out into my ru kiln pot based on proportions listed on Teavivre’s website, which ended up being about 3 perfect teaspoons (4.5 actual tsp) for my 6oz pot. Then a million things came up, and I never ended up brewing it yesterday. So it was waiting for me this morning!
When I smell the dry leaf right off the bat, it kind of smells green and oolongy, a bit vegetal. But if I blow into the pot with the leaf and smell the air that is released, woah. Very savory and brothy, with a bit of toastiness. For some reason it is appealing to me even though I wouldn’t normally be into that aroma profile.
I did a quick rinse, then a perhaps 5 second steep. And now I feel even worse that I never got around to this tea because I am finding it delicious. It’s kind of light a lightly roasted tieguanyin at first, but then this sweet-savory flavor comes out. It is a bit bready, and I like Bonnie’s suggestion of sesame. The aftertaste is so incredibly sweet, it’s like sesame candy. I didn’t want this steep to be over!
The liquor from the second steep (about 10 seconds) is much darker, kind of a yellowy-orange with a hint of green. This one is more vegetal, though as it cools a bit the sesame sweetness of the ginseng definitely makes itself known. The mouth-coating sweet is kind of amazing, and it would probably be awesome on a sore throat.
Third and fourth steeps (also 10 seconds) are even darker, an amber color. Now the roasty-toastiness of the oolong is starting to come forward. And, against my expectations, that sweetness lingers. The main part of the sip almost verges on bitterness, which is so odd, but then boom, the sweetness is back. It’s a weird combo.
At this point it has taken on the characteristics of a roasted green oolong without much else going on, so I will cease my steepings now. But this one worked out well for me. I don’t know that it would become a regular tea that I crave often, but it’s definitely tasty and could be nice to keep around for its cold-busting properties.
Profile: Liquor is a pale yellowish green. Aroma is mildly vegetal. Taste is mildly vegetal as well; fresh green beans with a hint of smokiness. Aftertaste is brief and clean. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly drying to the tongue, without any bitterness.
Other notes: One could compare it to Dragonwell, though it is thinner and without nuttiness. Also worth noting is that I detected no spiciness or sweetness, which is contrary to other reviews.
Verdict: An inoffensive cup, but not my preference. The complexity of flavors simply wasn’t there, and while it is bolder than some other Chinese greens, still too mild for me.
Received this tea from Teavivre. Thanks so much! My first time trying Teavivre tea and first time drinking a Jasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea. Brewed this tea for 2 minutes. The leaves were not completely open. After 2 more minutes they were. I used a teaspoon in 8 oz of water. When you open the bag a strong beautiful smell comes to your nose. Steeped two times, and was as good the second time. This is becoming a favorite of mine. Teavivre delivers. Drinking this at the end of a stressful day and this tea is soothing and relaxing.
I found this tea is definitely better iced and with a shorter steep time than the package recommends. It’s a very pleasant blueberry tea and really yummy. I found that when I steeped it hot or for too long it took on a medicinal quality.. or at least I think so. It might just be the black currant coming out more though and medicine is what my brain is thinking. So the bottom line is DRINK IT COLD.