Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

86

Thank you to Teavivre for providing this sample for me to try.

This is a very mild and mellow pu-erh so it is perfect for beginners. It doesn’t have much of a noticeable smell. Perhaps I am weird but this seems a little bit too sanitary for me. The wet leaves smell a bit like wet dirt. The predominant flavor I’m picking up here with the tea is chocolate. I steeped it for 3 minutes with boiling water. It is certainly pleasant enough and very low in acids/tannins which is just what I needed today. I am not dying to have more but I have enjoyed it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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99

This morning I was having even more trouble than usual shaking the slumber off of my metabolism so I could face the day. I yearned for some potent black tea which usually does the trick.

However, fate dealt me a different hand as I accidentally, with squinting eyes, reached for the Teavivre Organic Silver Needle White Tea instead. Since, in my half-asleep state, I had already ripped the seal from the packet when I realized my mistake, I decided to make the best of the situation and go with it.

As I raised the cup to my lips and the first few drops of liquid trickled down my throat, my eyes popped open, not from the usual caffeine jolt of black tea, but from the incredible flavor that emerged from this amazing white tea!

I’m not a fan of flowery tasting teas, but the wonderful sweet floral flavor of this tea brought me back to memories of my childhood when I would suck out the sweet nectar of honeysuckle blossoms during the hot and humid New Jersey summers.

This tea has an extremely smooth taste to it. The floral and sweet flavors are in perfect harmony. There is no bitterness and neither flavor sensation overpowers the other.

The clean light golden yellow color of this tea, like white wine, is very inviting. You may want to serve this one in clear mugs to get the full effect.

Teavivre has once again broadened my horizons with another fantastic tea. I now see (and taste) the value and good in all tea colors. Black, white, green; they are now all equal in my sight (and tastebuds).

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Has anyone else tried this in a gaiwan? I forgot I had it, and so I got it out for some gaiwan steeping.

I also paid no attention to how long it was going. I’m gonna guess 10 seconds for the first steep, because I counted to 15 for the second.

It’s so sweet! I don’t really taste anything other than sweetness in this, but it’s soooo good. Like sparkling sugar.

I ended up steeping this a total of 7 times in the gaiwan. None of the steeps were as good as the first two. I am not sure I like gaiwan steeping for this tea because it loses out on that baked sweet potato taste. I could smell it in the 4th steep at least, although it was very citrusy/orange. But it didn’t translate into the taste at all.

Oh well. I also got a sample of more of this in my last Teavivre order because I wasn’t paying attention at all. But I’ve had this one for a long time so maybe I’ll try that one out with this style of steeping.

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Now that I’m drinking this at a normal hour when I’ve had enough sleep it tastes even better. It’s still got that baked good taste, which is just making me hungry right now. Oops. This has to be one of my favorite unflavored teas.

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I can’t sleep so I am drinking tea and listening to a playlist comprised of songs I used to love. Like it’s seriously playing O-Town right now.

This tea tastes like an orange scone, or a scone and orange juice. It’s kind of amazing. I’m not sure if that’s because I want a scone or what, but I really think it’s the tea.

It’s got this breadlike flavor, something just baked, just sweet enough, and it’s just screaming scone. Well not screaming, because it’s just this taste that makes you think about it.

Before brewing I smelled the tea in the bag and it smelled really peppery, like I can’t believe this is the same tea. They are also really pretty leaves, pretty sure I said something like “how curly!” while measuring it.

Seriously all these Teavivre samples I’ve tried have had me branching out into more teas that aren’t flavored – a couple months ago I probably would not have gotten kukicha if given a menu filled with flavored teas like I did on Saturday. (And a combination of them and Steepster caused me to have to buy a gaiwan WITH PANDAS ON IT so I am waiting impatiently for that.)

The Purrfect Cup

I had to chuckle at you listening to O-Town as they’ve turned up on my playlist recently too….weird. I am loving reading how everyone seems to be getting very different flavors out of this particular tea. I feel looking for these flavors as I try it again and again. :)

CHAroma

Pandas!!!! Post a pic when it arrives!

momo

of course!

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80

Had a cup of this tea with lunch. This is definitely one of my favorite greens from Teavivre. It’s so nutty and delicious! It’s amazing to me how my tastes have changed, because I’m pretty sure that early in my tea journey I would have tried this one and not thought that it was anything special. Now I appreciate the subtleties of green teas so much more than ever before.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

I had this tea with lunch today, and it certainly was tasty. Having a tea with a meal is not the best time to suss out all the flavors, but I do think that the 1 minute steep time worked out for me well here. I used a fair amount of leaf (about 2 “perfect teaspoons” for a 12oz cup) and after 1 minute at first I thought it didn’t look like it possibly could have steeped long enough because it looked so pale, but the scent persueded me otherwise. Definitely nutty and lovely.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

This is another green tea that I requested from Teavivre with my samples based on its description so that I could broaden my tea horizons. So thanks again to Teavivre for providing me with these!

The dry leaf has that kind of “green tea” scent that I associate with a standard green tea. The leaves are fairly long and twisted but they also are relatively curly so they pack fairly well and I think my measurement of them should be fairly accurate. They are dark green when dry but after steeping they have turned a very bright yellow green, and the liquor is a medium yellow color. The steeped tea smells really good, and not like I would associate with a green tea. The description mentions chestnuts, and I definitely am getting the kind of nutty aroma I might associate with them. Also maybe roasted sweet corn? It is a scent that is familiar but that I’m having trouble placing. As it cools a definite buttered cooked veggie aroma is coming more forward.

I definitely get sweet, nutty, buttery, cooked vegetable notes in the flavor as well. It’s a hint bitter, so I’m wondering if I used a tad too much leaf (or maybe I should have done a 1 minute steep). Either way, it’s not too bad and I definitely love the other flavors going on. This one actually has the same combination of flavors that add up to a cookie-type note like I experienced with Verdant’s Jingshan green (in a blend), which is totally unexpected for me but I really like it. If I can figure out my optimal steeping parameters for this tea I might just fall in love.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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89

2nd Infusion

Findings:
Post Infusion Color: SUPER Brown/Black – Tar-like.
Aroma: Subtle Pu-erh earthiness
Taste: Malty, Sweet, Floral, Earthy…more malty than before.
Still a nice Pu-erh!

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89

For the rest of today I will ONLY be sipping and posting NEW TO ME Teas and Tasting Notes :)

For this one…I will do an infusion test.

1st infusion
1minute

Color: Medium Brown
Aroma Prior To Infusing: Edamame-like and semi woodsy
Aroma After Infusing: Earthy and Woodsy but subtle than most Pu-erhs
Taste: It’s quite nice! I’m pleasantly surprised! It’s caramelly, semi-malty-cocoa, and a hint of floral mixed with woodsy. I’m very glad this isn’t overly floral. Also very glad this isn’t too harsh of a pu-erh “muddy” flavor. This is very nice! I really enjoyed the first infusion! I’m looking forward to the 2nd infusion…to compare. As it cools a bit it does get sweeter…neat!

ScottTeaMan

This tea sounds delicious!

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100

This is my first sampling of Pu-erh tea. If Teavivre’s Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha is representative of other teas of this type, I will be seeking out additional members of this club soon!

This tea is absolutely delicious! It has a rich, robust, and bold wood taste with a sweet edge to it. The color is a full-bodied dark brown, like maple syrup filtered through mahogany wood. The aroma reminds me of freshly cut fine wood in a furniture maker’s shop.

I found myself swirling the tea around my mouth longer than usual with each sip. I just didn’t want to swallow it and end the fabulous flavor ride.

As always, I followed Teavivre’s preparation instructions to the letter. I brewed this tea at 212 degrees for two minutes. That method seemed to perfectly produce one of the best tea experiences I have ever had.

If there is such a thing as a tea drinker’s tea, this has got to be it. I would enjoy this beverage at any time of the day or night. This tea is now listed at the top of my rapidly growing tea shopping list.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

This is the first puerh that made me CRAVE puerh.

Stoo

Yes, it’s great stuff!

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25

Words cannot begin to describe how terrified I am. I’ve been filled with dread ever since I started researching pu’er/puer/pu-erh. What do they do to this tea?? In case you couldn’t guess, this is my first pu-erh experience. Okay, enough’s enough (as my boyfriend always says). Let’s move on to the tea review.

Man, when they said these are mini tuocha, they meant mini. These are itty, bitty, tiny, bite-sized cakes. I wasn’t expecting that. They’re actually pretty cute. I spent all day reading about pu-erh and how to break it apart. I don’t have a tea needle or an envelope opener, so I was contemplating using a metal chopstick. But as it turns out, all that knowledge is useless with these little things. At least it fits in my tea strainer! Problem one solved.

The dry leaves have a very faint, slightly fishy aroma. Of course, part of me only thinks it smells fishy because I’ve read reviews using that word. Now it’s stuck in my head, and I can’t think of another way to describe this. I really like KS’ review where he said, “The aroma is pure ripe puerh (you know that “Eeww, do I really want to drink this?” smell. To which you happily reply, “Well, yeah.”).”

That’s pretty much exactly what I thought when I smelled the brewed tea, except minus the enthusiasm. I’m still not sure how this is going to turn out. I only did a one minute steep because I was so afraid. Did I rinse it enough? Because I mean, I only poured boiling water over it for like two seconds. Oh, the dread!!! The anxiety!!

It smells…kinda’ gross…like mud-covered gym socks or like a musty, dust-covered wood cabin in the middle of the Adirondack mountains. I wish I could place the aroma because it actually smells somewhat familiar. It’s tickling my memory anyway, but I’m not coming up with anything. I definitely get the idea that this is cooked pu-erh as the word “cooked” readily comes to mind. Hmmm, dare I sip it? Oh come on! Why am I so afraid of this? Red rooibos put the fear of the unknown into me, let me tell you. Who’s afraid of tea? I mean really?

Okay, man up! First sip…I’m not sure what to make of this…It’s not 100% off-putting. Only slightly off-putting. It definitely still has that weird, hard-to-describe taste that’s in the aroma. Woodsy, I guess. It’s not bad, just really weird. I’m getting a little bit of leather, but not nice leather. It’s not like walking into a leather outlet or a horse stable. It’s more like riding in the rain and mud and then having to clean the saddle. Or leather cleaner maybe. It’s not entirely pleasant.

This is definitely what I would describe as an acquired taste. I wouldn’t expect the average tea drinker to enjoy this, especially one like me who has a passion for green, white, and oolong teas. But the flavor isn’t overtly in-your-face. I’m not getting any bitterness (or rose, but I wasn’t expecting to since this is my first pu-erh). It’s actually quite smooth. But I think four sips are enough for this first infusion. I can’t bring myself to finish the cup. Let’s see what happens with a second infusion! This one for two minutes.

Phew! This second cup is even more fragrant than the last one. I suppose if I had liked the first cup, this second cup would be better. But unfortunately, that quality I didn’t really like only got stronger. I gave the cup to my cat to sniff. He sniffed it for a good 10 seconds. He kind of perked up near the end, and I thought he might actually want to try it. Then he thought better of it. I made myself sip it, and it was actually sweeter than I expected. But I don’t think I can drink this tea. It’s just not my style.

To finish off the pu-erh night, I gave it to my boyfriend to try. He often likes things I don’t. He took a tentative sip, wrinkled his brow, and took another sip. Then he said, “It’s dry and it tastes like leaves.” “It’s called pu-erh,” I said. He replied, “More like just poo.” The boyfriend concurs; this is not for us.

But I’m sure my first pu-erh experience could have been a lot worse than this. I’m still convinced that this is high quality tea. If anyone would like to take the remaining three mini tuochas off my hands, send me a message!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
K S

Oh my goodness, that was hillarious. I am pretty new to puerh but really like it. I seriously think puerh people are wire different or maybe aren’t wired right. thanks for starting my day with a laugh.

Camiah

Loved this! I also recently got a bag of straight up pu-erh and took one whiff of the dry leaves and wondered what I was smoking when I decided to get two ounces. I’m hoping it tastes less fishy than it smells.

TeaBrat

lmao – I like pu-erh myself but not sure I would like it mixed with flowers…

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82

So, I should start this note off with the confession that I’ve never had pu-erh tea before. It’s not that I didn’t want to try it, it’s just that it seemed a little intimidating. But I got this as a sample, and took to YouTube to learn how to prepare it (yes, I am a nerd) and gave it a shot.

The smell is interesting and almost like wet earth. I’m picking up a bit of fish, too, but the good smell of fresh fish, not awful like a fish market. For some reason, I’m reminded of Monterey; kind of the woodsy, oceany atmosphere together, I guess? I’m not sure. I was really surprised by how dark the tea got, almost black.

I do think this was a great first pu-erh, because I am really enjoying it! I wasn’t sure what to expect. It starts out like a standard black tea (or at least, how I think good black tea should taste!), but gets very complex after that. I can see why people describe pu-erh as earthy, because it’s definitely that, but there are some spicy, subtle, almost chocolatey hints. It’s pretty nice. I don’t know how it would stack up to other pu-erh teas, but I like it.

(Sample provided free by TeaVivre for review.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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72

This is quite delicious. I never thought I would find a flowering tea to taste good, but this one is light and not heavy on the flowers at all. A slightly buttery, slightly veggie but in a mild way, kind of green tea. Little bit of jasmine and…something else floral. These are things I like right now.

Looks cute when blooming too :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
TeaVivre

Also looks very beautiful!

ashmanra

I bought ten of these after trying the samples. Pretty AND yummy!

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72

I watched this tea flower in a large brown betty pot. It was quite pretty to watch, I must say. Tastes like nutty green tea to me, with a hint of jasmine and what must be marigold (flowery-ness). The flower stayed mostly intact with my ghetto brew method. As the tea cools, the nutty green tea flavour moves on to a more floral green. Me gusta.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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96

Sipdown, 118. This was very enjoyable this afternoon. I was pretty impressed actually, since recently it’s been a little lackluster due to age. I think there may have been more pearls in the infuser, which probably helped a lot. That does seem to be the cure for old teas that are waning in flavor… just use more of them. Which, of course, uses them up faster. Perfect solution.

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

Is this your favorite Jasmine pearl?
I have only tried Teavana for this tea and really enjoyed it mixed with a fruit herbal. I would like to get some pearls by themselves.

Dinosara

They are definitely among my favorites, and they are a great deal. I also really love Harney’s, but I think they are pricier. I honestly haven’t tried too many different pearls because I am very satisfied with these and Harney’s.

ashmanra

I prefer this one over Harneys. I think they are AHMAZING!

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96

Almost a sipdown, and I will finish this tea off by the end of the week. It is lovely but kind of old and fading a bit. However I think these are my last jasmine pearls! Sadness! I will definitely have to reorder these from Teavivre when I do get around to a big order from them. This fall!

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

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96

I thought I might be within one more cup of a sipdown of this tea, but then I thought about it a bit. Did I really want to try to push the amount I had left into two cups, when it was really more suitable for three? Did I really want to rush through a sipdown of these, the only dragon pearls in my cupboard right now? The answer was no, I did not want to. Now that I’ve cleared my cupboard of easy sipdowns, its easy for me to fall into rotating only through the teas I have 5-10 servings of, hoping for a sipdown, but frustrated by how far away sipdowns seem to be. I’m still going to be working hard toward sipdowns, but I also have to remember to drink some tea from the larger tins and pouches in my stash.

So yes, I will savor this lovely tea and not rush a sipdown, although sipping it now it is clear that I shouldn’t wait too long… these pearls are pretty old and getting older, and they have lost some of their sparkle. Still, they are rich and sweet, with lots of lovely honeysuckle flavor to them. My favorite for a jasmine tea. And to think, these aren’t even the highest grade Teavivre offers! I will have to try the Superfine Downy pearls sometime.

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

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96

Earlier today I tried this one gongfu style in my ru kiln pot. I followed the instructions on Teavivre’s site exactly, and this time I had a scale, too, so I have the amounts right.

I did a quick rinse, after which the pearls barely looked like they changed at all. After a 40 second steep the liquor was light colored and light in flavor, though distinctly jaminey. It was also not super exciting as a jasmine tea. Teavivre next called for a 1min10sec steep, and after that the liquor was dark and overly strong, edging on bitter. So for the third steep, I went for 1 minute even instead of 1min30sec. Still, it was unpleasantly strong and bitter. Then I left it for a while, and thought maybe I was done with it, but then I decided to give it another shot. This time I went only 15 seconds, and it was very nice. Jasminey, fresh. I did another 20 second steep after that, and that too was nice. Ah, yes, with 8oz in a 6oz pot, this definitely needs short short steeps.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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96

Back to floral teas, eh? I am very excited to try this one because I loooove jasmine pearls. My favorite so far has been Harney & Sons, but I honestly haven’t gotten to try too many different ones (which is partly because I am so pleased with Harney’s I don’t seek them elsewhere). Thanks to Teavivre, I get to try these pearls!

And it seems like I’m in for a treat; when I opened the package I was greeted by the most amazing jasmine aroma. Seriously honeysuckle aroma there, and rich, heady florals like sticking your head into a jasmine bush in full bloom. Yum. The liquor steeped to a pale golden yellow color, and it retains that honeysuckle-jasmine aroma, though in a more subdued way. There’s also something different about this jasmine aroma that I can’t quite articulate. Let me try: most jasmine seems “high” and “bright” in the aroma, like the equivalent of a soprano voice, but this jasmine has some serious “low” and “dark” notes in the aroma, like the equivalent of an alto or tenor, in addition to the usual high and bright notes that really make it a lush experience.

I was writing all that about the aroma, but it holds true for the flavor as well. The soprano notes are present right at the front of the sip, while the tenor notes grow at the tail end and in the aftertaste. The jasmine is lovely and fresh, and not overpowering or perfumy at all. I always look for a natural sweetness in the tea that reminds me of eating honeysuckle nectar, and it is lightly present here (especially as the tea cools), but not as much as I would have expected. Still, these are top notch jasmine pearls, and at just over $3/oz, they seem to be a bargain for the quality.

Added note: I had three extremely flavorful and tasty steeps (12oz each) of this tea before I got jasmined out. This tea definitely keeps going strong!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Speaking as a rusty alto, I like the description! (Now I’ll be humming all the good lines from “Hallelujah Chorus” all afternoon.)

Stephanie

I love the musical analogies—tea symphony! :)

Dinosara

Some people taste colors, apparently I taste sounds. :D

K S

Never considered myself a tenor fan until now. Love the description.

gmathis

Hmm … so … what tea would constitute (a) a rich, low Southern Gospel bass like whats-his-name from the Oak Ridge Boys (b) a really great scratchy pop voice like Rod Stewart or Joe Cocker. This will make me ponder all day!

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84

First of all, thanks again Teavivre for sending me this sample!

This is my first lightly-oxidized Tie Guan Yin, and also my first confirmed spring picking, so I was a bit excited. The aroma of the dry leaves was a bit fruity, with hint of flowers and nuts. The first infusion was had the same aroma as the dried leaves, but the smells were a bit more muted, which allowed them to become more harmonious. The taste was a bit fruity, with a slight aftertaste of nuttiness. The second infusion was mostly the same, but a bit nuttier overall, and with the fruity flavors starting to subside a bit.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81

Dry leaf: white downy pearls. Just as one would expect.
A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 75C for 3 minutes
Aroma: Aroma is straight jasmine. Like holding a flower in your hand.
Infusion: Nearly clear, light green liquor.
Taste: Sweet and bright with a brisk mouthfeel. The jasmine aroma sticks to the roof of the mouth. Slightly drying. A classic Jasmine Pearls tea. Not overpowering, but perhaps more jasmine than I like these days, although I used to be addicted to the style and this is as good a representative of it as I can recall.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83

A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Dry leaf: wiry and thin black with a good amount of gold tips
Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 85 for 1.5 minutes
Aroma: Aroma of a damp forest: earthy and sweet.
Infusion: Amber-gold liquor.
Taste: Light body, candy sweet, not drying. Very similar to a Bai Mu Dan, actually, although more chocolatey. This is likely due to the fact that they’re both a Fuding, Fujian leaf, possibly the same cultivar?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

That’s a great insight. It isn’t often you find leaf from the same cultivar which has been processed in radically different ways. Fascinating that one can taste the similarity despite that processing.

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82

A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Dry leaf: wiry and thin for a golden buds tea which in my experience tend to use larger leaves (perhaps this is a different cultivar than I’m used to). This does not bear to judge the tea, as the leaves are still very uniform and beautiful.
Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 90 for 1.5 minutes
Aroma: Aroma of cinnamon or bitter chocolate.
Infusion: Orange liquor.
Taste: Drying taste as it hits the roof of the mouth. Not as sweet as the aroma implies, but very rich. The taste of earthy sweetness that accompanies a bitter chocolate.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

A golden “tip” should be very small, because anything “tippy” is supposed to be the terminal, unopened leaf bud. So, I would, somewhat cautiously because I am not a true expert, suggest that these smaller leaves means this is better quality rather than potentially lower.

Payton

Well said, Jim. I agree that leaf size is far from a measure of quality and that indeed smaller leaves can carry amazing flavor (Tai Hu Bi Lo Chun, for example). Yunnan is well known for its big leaf varieties, though, even in the “buds”, and often I find all-tips Yunnan teas that seem more akin in size to a Silver Needle (well, that’s a wholly different region). Anyway, I only mentioned the size for comparison to other Golden Buds tea. Many thanks for the comment!

Jim Marks

But… Lipton insists that smaller is better…!

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