Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

I was coming to Steepster to up my rating on this tea as it has been a solid and reliable tea for nearly a year now. Turns out I’ve already done that though so all I can do is bask in the goodness that are these pearls. When I run low, I order more. That is saying a lot, for me. I have yet to over-steep it or make it bitter, even under extreme circumstances. They are very convenient (grab a couple pearls and go) and yield a marvellous brew every time. With shortbread tonight while watching my husband play a video game with my brother, this is divine.

Sil

love these!

TeaVivre

“watching my husband play a video game with my brother”
warm and sweet :D

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90

This may be my favourite black tea. It’s approachable, it’s easy, it takes a beating well and it always yields rich flavours with a lot of depth. It morphs from light smoke to cocoa to milk chocolate to earthy hay/barn. It is a chameleon and has never failed to satisfy. It’s good hot and good cold (I’m not much for iced tea but this maintains a depth of flavour that many others don’t).

I think of myself as a relatively picky tea drinker, but this one is truly impressive. For a long time, I have saved up my favourite things (tea, treats, etc) as I never want to run out. With this one, I’d rather drink it again and again and just keep re-ordering. From me, this is high praise, and I fully intend to keep this in my cupboard at all times.

Increased my rating for it’s long lasting appeal.

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90

Holy Hannah, these are huge. I expected pearls, not marbles – and I am in love. Taste and smell aside, these things are beautiful. I requested a sample of these a few months back and Teavivre graciously obliged…then they somehow ended up in a strange place and never got used. My bad. Teavivre, thanks again for the sample – I’m so in love with the look that as long as they taste halfway decent, I’ll be ordering more (and some Bailin Gongfu!).

I used 4 marbles and steeped them in nearly boiling water for 3 minutes (my standard black tea steep setup). The liquor is amber, but lighter than many black teas. The aroma is bold, reminds me of cigarettes/cigars. Typically that would be unpleasant, but this isn’t. It’s like the sweetness of tobacco mixed with something musty and rich. Old leather? There’s a hint of “ashtray” which I don’t like, but hopefully that’s just a smell.

First sips are rich, very rich. Like very dark chocolate, sans sweetness. There is a smokiness in the taste which probably explains the “ashtray” aroma I was getting earlier. It is mild, but very there. Reminiscent of a campfire with dark chocolate smores. Now, typically I don’t enjoy smoke or dark chocolate, but this is working for me. It’s very smooth, there is no bitterness, nothing with bite. It is very different from other black teas I’ve tried, but I think this is something I want in my cupboard. I don’t think of it as an every day tea, but I could totally get a hankering for this.

I’ll need to try it a few more times (and get the beau’s opinion too) but I think this is definitely something I should order. I’m running low on good plain black tea, so I should stock up. Right?! : )

ashmanra

I ordered these weeks ago, and my last two Teavivre orders have been hung up in Hangzhou for weeks now. I WANT MY DRAGON PEARLS!!!!! (a la five year old kicking and screaming on floor). All other Teavivre orders have come in about seven days.

Yogini Undefined

Ooh I’m so glad you reviewed these today, as I have some as well that I’m wanting to try, but I wasn’t sure how to brew them. I got confused on the tea vivre site that said 10 pearls for an 8oz teapot, but that didn’t seem right. These pearls are MASSIVE! Would you add anything to this tea or drink it straight? I nearly always add stuff to my blacks, but I usually try a sip of it prior to adding anything just to see.

Uniquity

I never add anything, so my opinion isn’t that useful. I don’t like to cover up the tea unless I’ve screwed it up or it’s poor quality. It is very hearty though, I think it could handle additions if that’s what you like – it’s all about your tastes!

Michelle

Agree! I usually do ~4-5 pearls for a 12oz tumblr, or ~3-4 for my 4oz tasting set. I agree, this tea is bold enough to take additions, but even though I can be kind of iffy on strong blacks, this one is smooth enough to go without.

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92

I’m on my fourth or fifth pot of this and am absolutely in love. I opened one of the little packets it came in put it all in my steeper and just kept brewing pot after pot. I’ve been brewing it for less than a minute each steep, since that seemed to work best for other steepsterites and it still hasn’t become astringent! While I don’t taste the honey much, if at all, I love the taste of the oolong. It’s rich, but not overpowering, and just gives a wonderful soothing sensation after drinking. Once I run out of all the oolong samples I bought from Teavivre I will definitely consider buying a larger amount of this one. yum yum yum. Even all my roomates liked it, and they don’t drink much tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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97

This is such a lovely oolong and is definitely everything that a good oolong can be. In a fit of clumsiness, my tea strainer decided to burst open, so I had to strain out my cup of tea so I wasn’t drinking sludge. I was able to get a good strong 5 steeps from this over the course of the day. Delicious!

leafyq

Luckily oolong is easy enough to strain out! (Imagine if that happened with a rooibos!) I had ti kuan yin earlier as well!

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87

This isn’t my first pu-erh but it might be my favorite, I’ve had the mini aged tuocha from Teavivre as well, which was far darker and of course more condensed then this loose leaf.

The first thing you’ll notice about this tea is how fragrant it is, and the light golden leaves, I steeped my first batch in an cast iron teapot; at about boiling for three minutes, its kinda neat how black those lightly colored leaves turn, the hot water seems to release something in them, its by far and again the blackest tea I’ve ever seen. (Including the Pu-erh toucha’s) the leaves come out of the steep pitch black/brown.

The tea itself when piping hot has a sweet aroma with a little hint of iodine, which gives it a slightly fishy taste, not in a bad way, just sort of like really good sushi, as it cools down this taste seems to disappear, replaced by something like burnt molasses and hay, at the very end there’s a copper aftertaste, again not strong, as long as you don’t mind the odd flavor at the start and end, which in fact I enjoy, its an amazing tea, with that earth warm body that I’ve grown to love with all the dark teas from Teavivre.

It might be a little strong or a little scary as someone’s first pu-erh, a flavored would be better suited, but if your feeling adventurous, or like a tea that’s black enough to put most coffee to shame, then I recommend getting this, or at least just a sampler, its amazing.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Tabby

I’m a bit afraid to try this now! That fish and coppery taste always makes me hesitant about puerh…

Kal

Thats unfortunate, because I just mailed some too you.

Tabby

Just because I’m intimidated doesn’t mean I won’t try it~!

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93

Very delicious tea, that was not overly powerful with jasmine fragrance. Very smooth and sultry!! A nice jasmine “pearl” that can be enjoyed anytime ;)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Oh, Happy Day, Happy Day!

I bought some tea from Teavivire, and IT HAS ARRIVED. I bought two huge bags of this stuff, since mum and I both love it so much, and I bought some Strawberry Oolong which I will try either tomorrow or Sunday as I am going out of town for Friday and Saturday. I will finish reviewing the green teas that Angel sent me, and then go on to hopefully clear out much of my tea stock. I’ve said it a ton of times, but I really am running out of space for my tea.

I’ve reviewed the Milk Oolong enough now that I think I don’t have to do a super long review. It’s as delicious as always, and it tastes of honeysuckle with a creamy milk undertone and aftertaste. There’s also a slight touch of something grainy or malt like that I never noticed before, and it balances out the floral sweetness well.

I’M SO HAPPY!!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Honeysuckle, Malt, Milk, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 502 ML

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95

So apparently my last note and drinking of this was a long time ago, and the note was rather short and not descriptive. I’m very glad I’ve gotten better at reviewing more complex teas.

Anywho, Angel from Teavivre is sending me more samples soon (YAY!) and I realised that I still had a few of the old samples left, simply from trying to conserve it, and/or not having time to drink it. That being said, I was looking through what I had and decided to go for this again. I made it in a tea pot, and shared some with my mum, and she put a name to the floral taste and smell I remember not having a name for: honey suckle. BINGO.

It has a lovely floral smell, and a honey smell, so honey suckle is a great description. This is the scent STEEPING, I should note. The scent of it dry is, to me, not heavy, though I can smell a milky/floral combination.

The taste is a rich, honey taste, with light floral notes, and it leaves a soft, fuzzy aftertaste on the back of your tongue. It’s very soothing, and almost addictive. I made a half of a teapot, enough to have probably two and half full mugs, and my mum had one teacup….and then when she left I just kept re-filling my cup so I drank it all. No shame, none whatsoever. I only put a small amount of sugar in it, and there was a creamy, “milky” taste to it, but it did not over power the floral taste, or taste strange with it.

Mostly the taste, as I said, is just this rich, but lightly so (even if that doesn’t seem possible?) sweetness to it. Putting a drop of honey in it was also really great, and I did make one cup with milk, and that definitely brought out the creaminess, but also seemed to cover up the floral taste I loved so I have decided I do not like to drink it with milk, though it can take it.

I steeped it for 2 minutes and a few extra seconds, and as I drank it, it got colder as I went along, since the teapot can’t keep tea warm forever (though my pot does keep it warm for a decent amount.) It was just as good chilled as it was hot or warm. I’m really pleased with this tea, and my mum loved it, which worries me because if I get anymore we’ll probably end up fighting over it, haha.

Seriously though, this is a tea that is great to celebrate the sunny, Spring weather with. Go make a cuppa if you have some!

Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp

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95

Thank you so much Angel! Teavivre is just AMAZING! :D

I’m alive, lovely people! I’ve been drinking tea, but mostly bagged, and just quick in between classes or on the weekends. But I’m here! :D

This one…I smelled milk with the dry and steeping, and it’s a nice smell.

The taste is one that I can’t place, to be honest. I’ve got some milk in there, a creamy flavor, and another flavor, kind of floral flavor. It’s…really yummy, but I can’t give it a name.

It’s really good, and I’m going to try it with cream, even though I always feel like I will ruin certain teas with cream.

This tea is really yummy, floral, creamy, just lovely. I am sorry I don’t have a lot of nice descriptors for this tea, but it’s great!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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62

Much more tart than the other blood orange-type herbal I had! But I am liking it.

This one had a lot more bite than I was expecting (the smell from the dry tea I had wasn’t terribly strong), but as I’m a fan of oranges and citrus flavor, I do enjoy it. I tried it hot + unsweetened, hot + sweetened and then iced + sweetened. I think in the end, I prefer it much more as a tangy hot drink than a sweeter iced one. The sharp taste was almost comforting when warm.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91

Oooo no wonder I’m loving this!!! I didn’t realize this was a) from Teavirve or b) from Taiwan. My taste associations make much more sense now, though I’m kinda glad it just said the name on it and I didn’t look it up prior to drinking, kinda like a blind taste test! This sample is courtesy of Michelle thank you so much!

This is bringing up all sorts of tea memories for me, Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong, Twig Tea, Bancha, and the fabulous roasted Tung Ting I had at my first tea house. I love the cool sweet bakey roastedness of this. It’s a bit woodsy and also reminds me of ginseng, though I haven’t had a ginseng oolong yet, something that will change very soon thanks to Michelle’s magic box which is suited so well to my tastes and teas I need to experience!

Started off with short steeps and have increased it to a min and still going strong. My stomach hurts a bit, but I’m attributing that to food and not tea. It is a type of tea I would seek out again in the future, win!

ashmanra

Nom nom! I bought this one!

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94

When a tea is called fragrant, you know you just have to smell it! I love the aroma of the dry leaf. I can smell cocoa! Deep, rich chocolate-y notes, and hints of freshly baked bread. Malt. It smells so rich and sweet. The fragrance of the brewed liquor is faint when compared to the dry leaf, but it still smells amazing and delicious and sweet.

This is delicious too. It shows a softer side of Keemun – while many Keemun teas can be bold and bracing, this one is strong yet soft-spoken. It lulls you into a state of consciousness rather than gives you that invigorating shake that some other Keemun teas that I’ve tried often offer. I love experiencing this gentler Keemun!

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87

I received a free sample several months ago, and life slipped in and put me on a bit of a tea-drinking hiatus, but a fall breeze had me craving Jasmine tea. So lucky for me, I had TeaVivre’s Jasmine Silver Needle in my cupboard.

Very well balanced flavoring. The jasmine scent does not overpower, and it doesn’t evolve into being a “sugary-sweet” note as with other producers. I could actually still pick up on the flavor of the leaves themselves, and it drinks very smoothly rather than forcing the cheeks to prepare for “syrup wince” – what happens when I try teas that are too sweet for my liking.

It’s persuaded me to re-think whether I’ll buy the other producer’s Jasmine pearls again. Really hit my preference zone for richness, delicacy, and balance.

Pictures and more detail at my blog: http://bit.ly/PaBpEq

CHAroma

What a beautiful iron tea kettle!

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80

I’m a little late to the party, but I thought I would brew this up and see what I thought. My milk oolong experience is limited, but this was the first official flavored one I’ve tried. I was surprised to see that they wanted me to use 10g for 8’oz. That’s a lot of leaf (and a good chunk of my sample), but if you insist Teavivre… I was also surprised to see it wanted boiling water. Aren’t you supposed to use less than boiling for oolongs?

Anyway, the tea itself is not bad. It’s creamy and buttery like other oolongs in the past. It’s not blowing my mind, though. There is a little bit of vegetal taste too. I wish you didn’t have to use so much leaf, too. Maybe I overdid it? I’m interested to see how the rest of the steeps turn out.

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85

YUMMM! Just got my package and ripped right into this one. The first brew was a delightful green tea. It reminded me of the green tea served at sushi bars in Japan, except higher quality. The leaves were also so large and long, I was so surprised. Both the tea and the tea leaves smell wonderful.

At first it had a typical green tea smell, then as it cooled it somehow smelled spicier, I’m not sure how to explain it. The flavor was rich and woodsy.

The second steep was more seaweedy and grassy, but not in a bad way at all. I’m very glad I bought a lot of it because I can see it becoming a staple. Would recommend it to anyone who likes green tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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90

As is my custom with many oolongs, I chose to utilize a gaiwan in the tasting of this tea. Something about the methodical pouring of dry leaves, rinsing them, watching them begin to expand, and putting them through multiple steepings of gong fu-style brewing is, in a way, calming. The rinsing reveals that this tea is quite nutty and perhaps a bit fruity in aroma. I eagerly begin the steeping.

A pale yellow liqueur results from the first infusion. The smell is very intensely oolong. For a first, short steeping, I am actually surprised, pleasantly so. The flavor is developing, but more than just a week infusion. It has body and character – that much I can already see. The nuttiness, which I had detected in the smell from the freshly-rinsed leaves, shines through the flavor a bit. as well. I turn on some music that is completely at odds with tea tasting (electro house), and I somehow find it conforming to my tea session.

The second steeping I find to be nutty, creamy, and well-rounded in flavor. The color remains the same, and the leaves have opened wide. The smell is smooth and very aromatic.

In the third steeping, the most flavor thusfar reaches my tongue. It would seem as though the flavor truly has gotten bolder over the course of this steeping. The slightest hint of vegetal leanings is present, but really takes a backseat to the other delicious flavors. I am certain that this tea has a few more steepings in it, and it makes for a really nice tie guan yin that is worth tasting. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it a 90/100.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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90

Pretty vegetal, but still smooth. Not a bad tea.

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89

Sipdown! I’ve been saving my last little tuocha of this tea for just the right moment. This isn’t an everyday tea for me but sometimes I really crave this earthy, mushroomy, brothy tea. This is only the 2nd puerh I’ve ever had, so I’m looking forward to getting another in my cupboard to try. Can anyone recommend a good beginner puerh? Besides this one, I’ve also tried another from Teavivre- I think it was called Ripened Aged Puerh? I liked that one too. I may just reorder one or the other.

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89

I love these cute little tuochas! I made the mistake of using the term ‘tea cake’ in the hearing of my daughter and I had to make sure she didn’t try to eat one! Hehe
I rinsed this tea for about 20 seconds, then steeped for one minute. The first steep was very mellow and complex; the only word I can think of to describe it is wood. But, that makes it sound bad. It’s a good thing!
Second steep, 2 min. This was my favorite steep! Still had that woodsy taste but much sweeter.
3rd steep was a combination of flavors of the first two, but I think I needed to steep it a little longer as it seemed to lose the complexity it had at first.
This is a comforting brew that I enjoyed! Thank you to Teavivre and Angel for another generous sample from them!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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92

Fantastic. So good, earthy, smooth. Not fishy at all.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

Back to school, which also means back to tea because I have way more free time on my hands to brew and review. My housemate and I had a mini tea party with this one today. She loves black tea whereas I am picky so I figured that way I’d be able to give a more complete review.

This was my first black pearl tea so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it was fun to watch steep! I decided it was a worthy tea to christen my cast iron pot (which didn’t make watching the unfurling all that easy in hindsight).

For a pure black, by my taste, it was good. I am usually turned off by the astringency of black tea, but this one was smooth and not at all bitter! To me it tastes like a combination of hay and chocolate, which sounds weird but tastes decent. I think that I may have let it steep for too long (3 minutes or so) and that could be where the earthy hay taste came from. Overall, for a black tea, I did enjoy it, but it won’t be a tea that I crave.

My housemate found it too earthy for her taste, compared to other dragon pearls that she’s tried.

Upon second steep, I have to up the rating! The second steep was much more sweet and chocolate-y and less earthy. I think I got the brewing time right this time!

Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for the latest round of samples! I cannot wait to try them all in the next few days!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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94

This is a lot better the second time around. I think I used the wrong temp last time (which never helps) Definitely very tasty :D

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