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Recent Tasting Notes
This is one of my favourite pu erhs to date. I have never had a ripe pu erh that is smooth and delicate. Don’t get me wrong it has a lot of flavour and it’s very deep and rich but it’s also refreshing and honeyed beautifully.
I need to order some more :) Check my previous steeping notes for a detailed review.
Wow a Teavivre Pu Erh that no one else has reviewed. I feel honoured to be the first :)
I’m full of Chinese food now and I rummaged in my bag to find my sample of this. It’s in a rather large silver sealed bag instead of the usual Teavivre sample bags and I can feel that the tea is a large piece of cake. That sounds nice … a large piece of cake. It would see I have more than one stomach, one for Chinese food and one for puddings.
Anyway I opened the bag and pulled out this large piece of broken off cake. It weighs 21g so I’m going to have to half it. There we are I now have 10g in my Gongfu. It’s a mixture of dark and medium browns in colour with a rich and slightly smoky fragrance.
Tea:10g 5 steeps:30s,1m,2m,3m,4m 100ºC/212ºF
The table above was taken from the Teavivre website so I will try following those rules, if it’s too strong then I will lower the steeping times.
Steep 1 – 30 seconds
The colour is reddy brown similar to mahogany and it smells sweet, woody, earthy but fresh. The flavour is actually quite subtle, it’s fresh and light but it has a mature sort of taste.
Steep 2 – 1 minute
The colour now is almost black and looks like cola. It tastes earthy and thick, a little sweet and woody to. Despite it’s strength it’s still fresh and smooth. The quality is starting to make itself known and I’m impressed so far.
Steep 3 – 2 minutes
It still keeps increasing in strength but remains smooth and rich but fresh. For being ripe there is still a sweetness there and no harshness at all like some lower quality Pu Erh has. This is smooth all the way with that sort of caramel finish. Smoky, woody caramel.
Steep 4 – 3 minutes
The caffeine has made me a little tea drunk, it’s pretty awesome. It’s still the same colour as cola. The sweetness is increasing but not as much as some Pu Erh, this really has balanced perfectly.
Steep 5 – 4 minutes
In a few words this tea is: rich, sweet, woody, earthy, smooth, light, fresh, mellow, smoky and a little fruity. The strength has weakened a little in this steep but I think it would easily hold for another few.
I think this is the best ripe Pu Erh I have ever tasted. It’s not heavy or bitter which is what I was expecting and it was also very consistent throughout. Delicious.
Thank you Teavivre for this sample.
The tea itself is a mixture of dark brown and light brown leaves compacted together into broken cake pieces. They have a sweet and earthy smell equal to most raw Pu Erh. I shall be steeping with a table taken from the Teavivre website.
Teapot Gongfu Tea:2pieces 4 steeps:30s,1m,2m,3m 100ºC/212ºF
Once the tea is rinsed it bears a much sweeter and woodier scent.
Steep 1 – Yellow in colour. A slight smell of fresh cut wood. The taste is sweet and slightly smoky and vegetal. Even though it’s light it’s also on the rich side.
Steep 2 – Darkening in colour to become a little golder. The flavour has increased to double the first steep. Now it’s very rich but still remains sweet. Also picked up floral and perfume tones but on a subtle basis.
Steep 3 – Much sweeter with a dry perfume after taste. The richness has also increased along with smokiness but it manages to stay refreshing.
Steep 4 – I do like that the sweetness has continued all the way through and now that it’s settled it’s become woody again. It tastes like a forest, it has the sweet wood, the green fresh leaves and the rich soil flavours all in one.
Overall I do like this Pu Erh very much as it remained consistently good throughout the 4 steeps. It’s also fairly strong and potent which I have to be in the right mood for. If I was going to say anything negative it would be that the tea left my mouth bone dry and it had that strange perfume taste that gathered at the back of my throat.
Nice ripe pu-erh, deep and not too simple. Chrysanthemum blossom adds some interesting taste at later steeps. http://www.teablr.com/?p=531
Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
I’m not the biggest green tea drinker, but this is a new favorite of mine. It’s sweet, fresh, light, and crisp. All the things one usually seeks out in a green tea with the addition of some nice oolong-y characteristics and a basic flavor framework that reminds me of a dragonwell. The leaves are an awesome shade of vivid green and smell very dragonwell-like: oats and nuts and potent veggies. I haven’t decided whether I prefer gong fu or Western style with this one yet, but each has it’s pros.
Gong fu style
This allows for a huge change in flavors from steep to steep, but getting more than three solid steeps is rare. But let me tell you, those three steeps are pretty awesome. It’s like a fifteen-steep session condensed to one fifth! With about 1/4 to 1/3 of my gaiwan full of dried leaf, 175 F water, and a seven second first steep (no rinse) it comes out wonderfully. I receive notes of fresh hay, a malty sweetness, thick and “chewy” vegetal qualities, and faint tones of nuts. Maybe almonds? The liquor’s color has great clarity and is so light and vivid it’s almost neon.
The second steep at about 14 seconds brings a lively mouthfeel with a sort of sparkling texture. A new nuance that reminds me of whole wheat toast becomes most apparent and the nutty qualities become more pronounced. The third steep seems to do well somewhere between 30 seconds and one minute. Twenty seconds is a bit too short and it comes out really weak, and one minute introduces some bitterness and astringency (two things that usually aren’t present with this tea except for extra long steep times). The nutty and toasty qualities subside a great deal at this point and are replaced with a strong herbal quality. It’s far more “green.”
With the aforementioned leaf to water ratio, a fourth steep is possible, but it’s flavor faded and it has a heavy mouthfeel. It comes out like a mixture of steep 2 and 3.
While the flavor doesn’t change dramatically between steeps, each steep is lovely in its own way. Western style produces a light-bodied cup with great character. The “darker” flavors like toast and nuts and such aren’t as apparent this way, but instead blend in with the other nuances so that all the flavors kind of meet in the middle. Yet, a lively, sparkly/fizzy mouthfeel helps add another dimension to keep things interesting.
The main drawbacks to this method, for me at least, is I have to use a ton of leaf. I did 3 heaping teaspoons in my 16 oz cast iron with 175 F water. I performed the recommended one minute steeping time, took the leaves out, and poured some off. Still really weak. So I plopped the leaves back in and went for another minute. This worked much better.
Ultimately, I’ll be using Western brewing when I want a sipping tea and gong fu when I want a short, but power-packed session. I also prefer gong fu to pull out the best flavors this tea offers, like that whole wheat toast note that I look forward to every time I drink this one. I think the textural intrigues of this tea are pulled out much more easily with Western style, though.
There’s a good chance that I’ll be stocking this one as my one green tea on hand at some point. :)
Noooo, Steepster ate my huge tasting note!
Dry, the leaves look thin, dark and spindly. There’s beautiful sea-spray and freshly cut grass scents to the leaves and brewed tea.
Very light liquor – like a green tinted white tea. Smooth, slight hint of seaweed, grassy and “fresh”. Depending on how resteeps go, this could definitely belong in my cupboard.
My thanks to Teavivre for the sample!
The dry leaves look green, freshly cut and smell faintly nutty. I’m really looking forward to steeping this – hurry up kettle!
This tastes a little like toasted nuts to me. I’m also getting a light freshly cut hay note followed by the vegetal wallop. Somewhat-light with a buttery texture.
I’m on the fence about this one. I’ll have to see what other steepings and cups are like – thanks to Angel for the generous size that allows me to do so!
Edit: Revisited this one and steeped for just over a minute. Beautiful light flavour – like an elegant vegetable broth, if there is such a thing. Flavour present to the 4 steep, where it starts to diminish.
Edit 2: Found out that I really enjoy this cold or cooling. No astringency present like I thought there would be.
There is this time in spring when jasmine bushes and bird cherry blooms and the scent is so thick you can drink it. The first thought when sipping this tea was that now I truly can. Completely different from Verdant’s TGY with its buttery/floral backgound this one is like a cup of flower essence.
This tea is doing double duty – first tea in the new house and first review with the new system! I am using my phone but so far so good. The site is still super clunky on my phone but the font is actually legible now! I can’t use the slider bars though and I am at constant risk of losing my note. Hmmm.
Anyway, I served this tea for the beau and our first guest in the house and everyone liked it. It is very affordable, rich in taste with a natural honeyed sweetness and some cocoa notes. It resteeps well and is never bitter. Lovely!!
This is an impressive tea, especially for it’s cost. For a long time, my favourite black tea was the Wild Black Yunnan from Davids Tea. For me, this one is even better. Stronger, bolder flavours with less (read: no) astringency or bitterness. It holds strong through multiple steepings but is so inexpensive that I don’t mind calling it quits at just one steep. I actually prefer it to the other Yunnans that Teavivre offers, as this one has the cocoa and earth POW that I love. I am very glad to have 100 grams on hand, and will re-stock this one rather than the Davids when the time comes. Mmmm!
THis is a sample that I thought I had tried but apparently neglected. Luckily it was still sealed so when I opened it up I got a POW of aroma. The leaves are not whole but are in decent shape for an affordable yunnan and there are some golden ones in there. The aroma is richly cocoa, very bold and present, with a sense of bitterness and maybe some malt.
Steeped, the aroma remains as strong with the bitter malty notes over-riding the cocoa. I would like to have a cinnamon note here but I do not. I’m a little intimidated by the aroma, I tend to like my blacks a little gentler but smells can be deceiving. First sips reveal that I have been deceived. I’m getting some earthiness, some hay, some barn-like flavour that reminds me of a puerh. It’s not unpleasant and it is all supported by a sweet note but I can sense that this will build up in bitterness as I sip/the cup cools.
I think it’s the sweetness mixed with the earth that makes me think of fresh hay in a barn, and it’s really surprising for me. I’m not used to this in a yunnan, like I said above it is more of a puerh quality. I am pleasantly surprised by the flavour and feel it is much more complex than the initial aroma led me to believe. I am starting to get a sense of cocoa morphing into the back of the sip which is nice and more what I am used to. While I don’t think can take quite the same beating as my beloved Wild Black Yunnan from Davids, this one is a very nice offering. It also happens to be about $6 less per 50 grams than the Wild Black Yunnan which is a nice selling point. I think that next time I do a Teavivre order I may pick up more of this, or perhaps try out the next grade up in their Yunnan set (the full-leaf which contains more buds. For this price, I might pick up both of them!
I’m definitely digging this one – bold and rich but not bitter, that shows a good quality tea. I have a coworker who is super into Indian teas for their strength and not so much liking the Chinese blacks – maybe this one could help pull her over to my side! :)
I’ve been experimenting with this Phoenix Oolong the last couple days, brewing it both Western and Gong fu style. Either way, I found it to be very tasty with a deliciously fragrant aroma. When brewed in a gaiwan with a lot of leaf, I got multiple steepings, and picked up on honey, floral, and nectar-like notes as I went along. Teavivre’s instructions are to use 10 gm with 3 oz water at 212 F, with a quick rinse, then 2-3 second steeps for the 1st 4 steeps, then increase time slightly with subsequent infusions, good for more than 12 steepings.( I modified Teavivre’s instructions a little and used my 7 gm sample in 4 oz water),with good results. I have run out of time, so haven’t made it to 12 infusions, but thus far, am very happy with this oolong. My husband is the bigger oolong drinker, as I lean more toward blacks, but I anticipate re-ordering this since this is one we both like it a lot.
My order finally came in! I can’t wait to use this new gaiwan. Bought the organic tea sampler from Teavivre, as well as one from Tea Forte, all of which I am very eager to try. Next on my list is to buy an electric tea kettle to make it easier to monitor temperatures.
I can’t tell if I’ve ruined this brew, but the aroma was very intense. I don’t mean to offend, but the brewed tea smelled terrible, exactly like canned tuna. A little bit of a turn off, and my first sip was incredibly bitter. Though as I kept drinking, it became a very buttery, vegetal flavor. I’m sure with a proper rinsing, this would be a marvelous afternoon tea. Will definitely brew this again after work today.
Ugh… this is horrible >_< Teavivre’s teas are mostly a miss for me, but this one is so disgusting I cannot even smell it much less drink.
Some completely alien flavor is strongly present in the smell of this tea and, after tasting it, it immediately becomes apparent that it smells like that for a reason.