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Recent Tasting Notes


First of all, a big thank you to Teavivre for the huge samples! I have been anxiously waiting to try their milk Oolongs. I love milk; and I love oolong. How could this not be the best thing ever?!

A first sniff of the leaves is wonderful; it’s more caramelly than I expected. The steepings were the same. The caramelly, creamy goodness stayed through three steepings. The golden infusion smelled amazing the whole way through. I would consider this a dessert tea, it was so sweet! Now to try the unflavored version..

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Got in some samples from Teavivre the other day and had to try this one right away. I love jasmine pearls…in case no one has noticed :) and this immediately made it’s way toward the top of my list.

These are beautiful little balls of green and white leaves with a very pleasant aroma of sweet jasmine and hints of honeysuckle. The wet leaves are heady without being cloying while the infusion is a very soft floral.

Taste is a wonderful soft sweet jasmine with honeysuckle in the tail end of the sip lasting into the aftertaste. There is a wonderful silky texture throughout the sip and an almost sparkling quality in the aftertaste.

It’s sweet jasmine without being cloying.
It’s floral without being soapy.
Caffeinated yet wonderfully calming.

The only problem of loving jasmine pearls is the price, usually they are expensive. Teavivre’s price for these on the other hand make these well worth the purchase. Excellent quality for an excellent price.

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I am glad to read this, because I LOVE Teavivre’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls, but I have never tried any others and didn’t know how they compared. I know the price of some others, enough to know that these are tasty and the best bargain I have seen.

Invader Zim

Rishi and Teavana’s are relatively the same, overly priced and can get bitter easier. Harney and Sons has nice quality pearls, but these ones are a bit better and cheaper. I would stick with these.

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I always thought that a tea labeled Tieguanyin meant it’s an Anxi oolong from China, but this tea is from Lishan mountain in Taiwain, which would make it more of a formosa oolong. Anyway it doesn’t really matter, I was just a little surprised by that.

I decided to do short steepings of this in the gaiwan this morning.

Steep #1: around 30 seconds and yielded a light yellow liquor which is very vegetal and reminds me a bit of celery. There’s a bit of a nutty quality and a slight sweetness in the finish.

Steep #2: the leaves are just starting to open up here. A bit more of a nutty quality is emerging with a nice sweetness in the background. I went to Teavivre’s website to find this tea is baked and 100% fermented.

Steeps 3 & 4: seem about the same to me. Lightly roasted, vegetal, nutty, a hint of sweetness.

This is a nice, average oolong but I can’t say there is anything about it that causes me to feel it stands head and shoulders above the rest. Might need to try giving it a cold steep to see what happens. Not my favorite tea from them so far, but still enjoyable.

Thank you for the sample Teavivre and Angel!

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When I tasted the Fong Mong high mt. oolong, I kept thinking tie quan yin but yesterday’s tasting proved that wrong. Maybe I was close and should thought monkey picked. Point is I had tasted something very similar before. This may be it.


I still have the rest of my samples from them I need to try. I always feel like an oolong needs to be gong fu’d at least the first time I drink it, so it may take me a while to get through my sample stash, lol. :)

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Knowing that my mom is a fan of ginseng and fun new teas, I brought this sample packet home to share with my family. So we made a cup then got distracted by doggies. I think this cup steeped about 10 minutes. So it’s a bit strong, but not bitter or astringent at all! good stuff! My mom and dad were sipping it and going, “I don’t taste any ginseng.” I couldn’t really taste the ginseng either. Then the cup cooled and I tasted it. The ginseng is a slight cooling bitterness in the back of your throat. Very pleasant.

The oolong itself is a very roasty grainy type. It’s not really my thing, to be honest. But I think the quality is really good despite my personal preferences. :) any tea that doesn’t get bitter and astringent when you get distracted is good in my book.

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I was given this one by TeaVivre, so thank you again!

I drank it this morning after an almost sleepless night to calm me down a little bit. While steeping, the chrysanthemum flower came of and blossomed in the pot, which made the act of brewing so much more fun :)

The color was really thick and dark, just the way I like it. At first I thought I oversteeped it, but it turned out to be just right. The taste is really earthy, with some wooden touches. On the second steeping, the floral hints are becoming more apparent, which I like very much. And is leaves a great sweet aftertaste, but I still added half a teaspoon of sugar to help that floral taste to be richer.

A great tea, I will be looking forward to ordering this one and maybe trying some of the other TeaVivre Pu-Erhs.

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Thank you Teavivre for this lovely tea sample!

It has been quite a day!
Schey (granddaughter) and I went to Algiers Hookah bar (first time for her) and had a good time together. Her mom (my daughter) looked at us as though we were misbehaving teen’s. Harrumph! (She used to shave her hair on the sides so what can she say to me now!) We tried a Melon blend…too harsh. Then a Mint Vanilla blend that was just right. There we were…on our pillows with a pot of sweetened mint tea, lounging with our hookah. So relaxed.

I took Schey home…and Micah (7) ran to the car with a DVD for me to watch tonight. One of his favorites…Puss and Boots. ;)

I had my camera and since my daughter lives 10 miles from me and close to Douglas Lake (great views of the Frontrange Rocky Mountains)I went down the road and took a few pictures just to get an idea of how big the current Hill Park Fire is. (If you look at the picture, I live under the black smoke on the left…up against the mountains).

By the time I got home I was hungry! I made a smoked salmon pizza and waited for the right time to start tea.

I’d been waiting for this Milk Oolong!

The perfect ending to a lovely day would be this tea.

The Pour:
Elegant and light, full of the most beautiful luscious flavor on my first tenuous sip.
(I had no idea what the meaning of the milk part would be. Creaminess? Milk flavor? I still don’t know what that means. I didn’t taste anything like milk.)

If you took the most fragrant flowers (gardenia, vanilla, jasmine, orchid) and made them into a light and creamy dessert without any perfumey harshness, that would be the taste in this tea. There was a flavor surge, right after the first liquor passed my lips… a wave… almost immediately followed by endless creaminess and richness.
As the tea cooled the thickness and creaminess increased making me lick my lips and look to the bottom of my cup anxious for more, needing more like a tea addict.(Oh yes we all know about this!)

No way would I want to share this pot of tea with anyone tonight(but maybe with you). I want it all to myself(really). Every drop was dripping heavily with nectar-like creamy goodness. As smooth as fine silk sheets…a luxury tea to dream with.

No,no I was not tea drunk…wish I was with this tea though…
It was delightful.

Thank you Teavivre for the perfect tea for completing my day!

Fire Photo from Douglas Lake today…http://flic.kr/p/ceWazy


Schey is beautiful! But look at her gma right! :)
Glad you found a nice tobbacy you enjoyed!
You should really eat BEFORE smoking though to avoid headahces – they should have given you some little snack!
Anyway always LOVE your reviews!
The smoke looks to be getting pretty thick there!


I ate pita yoghurt and zaatar before going at about 2pm. Got home 6 ish


I second that Schey is a very pretty young lady. I looked at many of your pictures and you have a beautiful family.




I agree!

Jim Marks

What are you, Antiochian now? Hookahs? Not enough smoke for you out in nature? ;-)

The “milk” is an “edible flavor adding to enhance the milk flavour”.

I noticed it as an extremely creamy mouthfeel and a bit of grittiness after two or three steeps when it began to break down.


Jim…Schey is Antiochian and I was until moving here. My brother is an Antiochian Deacon. (For those who don’t know Antioch was the first place where believers in Christ were called Christians. In the America’s, we have Orthodox from all over the World and the Antiochian is from the area of Damascus, Palestine, Lebanon etc.)…hence the hookah comment! We are all one Faith though! And, we have native American Saints too

Jim Marks

As you said, it was too good to pass up ;-)



Invader Zim

Thank you for explaining that for us Bonnie, well at least for me since I had no idea what Antiochian was. I learned something today!


Jim is a Chanter. He sings the Psalms and Hymns during the services of the Church. We sing much of our service. No band or Piano’s etc. We do have Choirs. Chanters are very important!!!

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Ahh, it was a great breakfast with Lapsang. All my food (sandwiches, mostly) tastes like smoke after the first cup, it’s amazing! Love this :) Steeped it long this time, really thick and heavy smoke taste, like I wanted. See my previous notes about this tea too.

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Sorry for being away for a while. I had a nice boat trip, enrolled in the University and got some small jobs for music composition. Overall, a great few summer weeks.

I just came home and drank this Lapsang. It is amazing. This time I accidentally added more sugar than always but it didn’t ruin it even a small bit. A lovely smell, makes everyone in the house wonder if I’m smoking meat in the kitchen :D

Hope you all are having a great summer!


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You too, have a nice summer!

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I just got this one from TeaVivre and I was really excited about the sample package! I was surprised by the generous sizes of the samples, thank you again, TeaVivre!

I steeped this one for 1 1/2 minutes and it smelled amazing right away. I’ve never tried a Lapsang Souchong before, so it’s my first experience :) The dry leaves do smell so intense that I took a deep breath and then coughed for a minute or two! It is amazing.

When I took the first sip I didn’t feel anything, but a split second later a wild smoky taste blossomed in my mouth, but I still could feel a great deal of good black tea leaves. A really nice sour’n’sweet aftertaste is also present and gives a good strong finishing touch.

Overall, it is an amazing tea and I don’t really have the words or skills to properly describe it. It is just the most surprising tea I’v ever had and I am totally going to buy some more.

This is so far one of the

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Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this Sample

I had all three granddaughters helping out on this review and we went through three steepings using a french press (of all things..this was big enough to brew for 4 people).

The first pour was the lightest colored. Light golden brown and toast scented. Schey said the taste was grassy and the other girls thought the flavor was good but tasting like earth and somewhat astringent.

The second pour was medium honey brown and smelled like wheat bread to all of us. We sweetened the tea and enjoyed the sweet bread and honey flavor. Megan noticed that there was a little saltiness.

The third pour was the most interesting. We labored to find the words for what the flavor was.

“Sesame!” I said….“Exactly, yes”, was their reply. But I couldn’t just stop there and leave well enough alone.

“Sesame Street!” I cried! (I meant to say Sesame Tahini!)

We rolled, cracked up…cried…laughed till we hurt…what a goofus!

So, ok ok ok…I thinketh this tea tasteth like Sesame Tahini and Honey!

We all liked it. We had a good laugh!

The next review I PROMISE to be serious Teavivre! Really!


I bought this one and I ADORE it! Glad you all had fun drinking it!


When tea is FUN it makes it even better! LOVED reading this tasting note!!!


I like to include notes on the tea education of my grandchildren (not the 2 toddlers yet) ages 7,9,11,15,17,18 all close by. Some love LS, one Puerh, one Yabao and some Chai or Oolong. Little by little!


Love hearing about your tea tastings with your grandchildren, Bonnie. So glad you can share that with them!


Wow! So many grandchildren!! By the way, what is sesame tahini?


CHAroma… My daughter and son-in-law had 3 daughters then adopted 3 boys and then have fostered 27 children so far (they have 2 right now) that’s why so many. But the house is big (3 bathrooms), on an acre. Sesame seeds ground up like peanut butter make a spread or tahini. It usually is found in the grocery store in a can and the oil separates so you have to stir it like natural peanut butter until it’s incorporated with the ground seeds and smooth.


Wow, your daughter and son-in-law are awesome people!! (But I’m sure you already knew that). ;) I’ve always wanted to adopt. There are so many kids out there that need/deserve good homes. It makes me really happy to hear that your daughter is being so generous. I wish her all the best!

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A very light lovely cleansing oolong! Not a “typical” oolong either.
Sweet honey notes with a lovely earthy essence but not OVERLY earthy!
Some floral notes, yet not OVERLY floral!
Some fruity notes, yet not OVERLY fruity!
LOL this tea has a little bit of everything within it yet nothing is lost, muddled, or confused!
This is a very complex BLEND yet a very easy to drink and easy to distinguish on the palate!
I feel this is an excellent beginner oolong yet satisfies the long time oolong lover!
Just beautiful!


hehe that’s what I told Dylan. This is the one people new to oolong should try. It’s complex but very mannerly.


Ha! I like that! “mannerly” :)


I love that word, too, as it gives the tea personaliTEA!


Yes and so many of us do use personification in our tea reviews!

Invader Zim

I finally got my sample of this in the mail today! I’m so excited after seeing all these wonderful reviews I’ve been really wanting to try this one.


hehe @ personaliTEA


Zim I would not say it is Teavivres BEST but its one I could see drinking daily almost like a morning black – more of an afternoon daily oolong. Dependable and smooth.

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I received my shipment from Teavivre the other day wickedly excited of course. As I am finding with other teas there are many degrees of the lapsang…like Kevin Bacon. Which reminds me of one of the most amazing sandwiches I had from Melt in Cleveland named the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon(six kinds of bacon!). A great tie in to lapsang or Tea review ADD? You decide. I do love lapsang and I’m finding that I like the more subtle lapsangs as well. I’m starting to appreciate lapsangs that have a great black tea base as well as the smoke. This one is a little less smokey. Much like the Upton Black Dragon as opposed to the strong smokiness of Dr. Tea’s. There’s a little sweetness that comes through. I’m also detecting some nuttiness(almond) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qtEjJuGo_U As much as I love drinking lapsang I also love cooking with it. I combined this with Man tea’s Jalapeno black and made a turkey brine and then smoked the turkey. Another great lapsang

Autumn Hearth

Now I not only want some Lapsang but I also want to go to Melt, was the 6 Degrees on the menu recently?

The DJBooth

That was a couple months ago it was one of their weekend only special. It was a well spent 16 dollars…so much bacon. Amazing like a double rainbow!

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AmazonV was good enough to share some of this with me…thank you! I’ve been hitting the coffee every day this week. The reason being I’ve been staying up late at night prepping for vacation and general goofing around. Anyway, I had to remind myself why I stopped drinking coffee and opted to bring this to work with me instead.

Now we don’t have a proper kettle or anything like it here in the office. Just a water cooler with HOT water spout and a Keurig. So I worked with what I had with the hot water spout thing. I have to say it didn’t turn out too bad! I loved the little nest shape with the rose pressed into the bottom of the nest. This pu-erh smelled like others I have tried – earthy. But I love that about pu-erh. However, I can taste something extra as I sip this tea in my very quiet office..which I assume must be the rose. All in all it is a really nice tea and being a pu-erh I’ll get at least three more steeps out of it this morning. Why was I drinking coffee again?

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I like this one better than the standard Toucha exactly because of the something extra.

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Free sample from Teavivre

The pearls smelled malty and slightly chocolatey when I opened the packet. They were larger than other pearls I have had. I must say I rather liked the hefty chunk of them. So, out with the infuser mug, which I generally reserve for my jasmine pearls and gunpowder, but that is a practicality decision, not because it brews them best. I was not sure how many pearls to put in, so I plumped for five pearls. The mug is about 200ml.

As I poured the water over them, the maltiness of the aroma increased. Once steeped, I had to wait a bit, because it was really too hot to drink. I am not good at waiting! The first sip told me what I needed to know. This tea is malty with a smooth, thick underlying chocolateyness that is gorgeous. The liquor is reminiscent of dark chocolate too. The sweet aftertaste lingered at the back of my tongue for some time too. Lovely. In some respects, this tea was like drinking a mug of cocoa, but nicer.

In the end, I managed to get four steepings out of the leaf, but the real flavour only lasted for the first two. After that it was slightly chocolatey sweet water.

I generally struggle to find black teas that I really like (other than Darjeelings), but this one definitely hits the mark and will be making a reappearance in my cupboard soon.

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This is good. I think based on you liking this tea I’ll send you a sample of Laoshan Black from Verdant.


Thank you.

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Sample from Teavivre

Cold brewed this time. I just realized that I didn’t write my original tasting note in here…I’ll have to do that later. Anyways, Cold brewed I found this tea to be much more enjoyable. Before when I brewed it hot I found it to be very floral without much of the tea base coming out and it lacked a bit of the sweetness that I have found in other jasmine. It also had a bit astringency no matter how I brewed it.

This time when I threw it in the fridge over night I gave it a sip and threw some in my travel mug for class this morning and boy was it delicious!

The slight astringency was gone, the jasmine had a wonderful sweetness to it and I could taste some of the tea base. The tea base wasn’t very strong, it was there enough to taste it and help balance the jasmine. But the sweetness of the tea was what really impressed me since I wasn’t getting any of it hot.

I didn’t add much sweetener either, 1 Tbsp brown sugar (not packed) for a quart of water with 2 heaping tsp of tea. That’s how much sugar I always add to cold brews, but this had that natural nectar-like sweetness to it…delicious!

I only have a little bit of this left and it’s all going to be cold brewed!

Thank you Teavivre for this sample!


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Thanks YET AGAIN to LiberTeas for this one, too!!!

This was Charcoal-like with a sweetness and a dry taste in the after taste. I actually like this one chilled or iced a bit better than hot. It’s sweeter and seems more complex as it’s cooler. Puts a smile on my face!


This is a really good tea. I enjoyed it and would consider it to be of high quality. I also think people who enjoy teas like Dan Cong and Taiwanese Oriental Beauty will enjoy this tea too since they all seem very similar. Take care and like always keep on steeping.

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I’m starting to have black tea withdrawal symptoms but they are not severe enough to keep me from trying another non-black sample from Teavivre. Oolong is not my favorite but Teavivre always seems to make it interesting.

When I opened the sample packet, a somewhat sweet and milky or malted aroma spewed forth. The green and yellow tea leaves had been rolled into tight little nodules.

I steeped this blend for three minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed color was a light yellowish green.

The flavor of this tea is rather sweet, malty, and tangy. There is also a light tea taste reminiscent of Teavivre’s green teas. I didn’t find any bitterness. A soft and sweet aftertaste was left on my tongue.

I noticed, in the description of the tea, that it is recommended to use three to four teaspoons of tea per cup. I didn’t see that in time and scooped my usual one teaspoon per cup. I still thought the flavor was full and ample enough to enjoy.

Oolong (any Oolong) wouldn’t be my morning beverage of choice, but I would really appreciate this one at the end of the work day or as part of my dinner dessert.

This is yet another very nice tea from Teavivre. If Oolong is your preference, you will probably like this tea even more than I did!

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Lovely. Nutty, vegetal but not overly so, mildly grassy, lovely smell, slightly sweet. Everything a Dragonwell should be.

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This is my favorite green tea so far. I like it because it is so different. It has a light roasted note that leads to sweet mellow vegetal flavor. Not like asparagus or steamed veggies, like the way small trees smell if cut into the bark. Maybe it’s just a green flavor that is a tiny bit malty. I’ve had some smokey tea today so I don’t know if I am getting the aftertaste from my previous tea or there is a little bit of smoke in this one as well. It’s a really awesome green tea. I was pretty sure green teas weren’t going to be my thing but this is totally changing my mind.

Thanks Teavivre and Angel for the most excellent sample!

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I love gunpowder greens! :)

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As always, a big thanks to Angel and the Teavivre team for this fantastic samples.

It’s been somewhat well documented that Moroccan Mint is one of my favorite teas in ze world. So, as many gunpowders as I’ve drank, this is really the first gunpowder I’ve drank alone (yeah, with nobody else).

The little pellets in this sample are remarkably shiny, I don’t know how to explain it other than that. They look like precious little rocks.

Anyway, so how does it taste? Brilliant, that’s how it tastes. It’s wonderful. There is a sweetness to this tea that is wonderful, and a slight vegetable flavor. Not that in your face, I’m eating a serving of boiled cabbage flavor, but a soft, sweet, this tastes like the forest vegetable flavor. There’s a bit of a tinge of that malted flavor that I associate with black tea as well, that really rounds this out quite pleasantly.

So, in preparation for my big meeting thing tomorrow, let’s break it down to three bullet points (that would fit on a powerpoint slide!):

1. Lightly sweet
2. Tastes like the forest
3. Reminds me of black tea

I definitely think this is going to be a tea I keep around for a while. Actually, I think I’m going to go put in an order with Teavivre right now. I’m missing their Bailin Gongfu, as well.

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