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Recent Tasting Notes
Over the last few days I have been drinking a lot of this tea and it’s reminded me how much I adore it. My Teavivre tins arrived the other day and so now my pearls are stored in one of them and in my kitchen which makes for easier brewing access.
More than ever I am craving malty Yunnan tea so I suppose it was handy to have hidden a bag of these pearls for when I truly wanted them.
I have been adding new jewellery ranges on my eBay shop all day and I’m tired so the balls are great for a quick brew. I pop 4 balls (5 balls if I want extra strength) in an empty tea bag/sac and once water is added they work their magic to taint my water. Easy, quick to measure and so tasty.
It’s very malty with a smooth and sweet cocoa finish. Deep brown in colour with a sweet malty smell. Perfect!
I have just had a relaxing bath and the perfect way to end my day would be to try this amazing looking Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea. The pearls themselves are so tightly packed with dark brown and golden yellow leaves and are also uber cute with virtually no fragrance.
Again I am using my gaiwan and the instructions are as follows:
Gaiwan 3oz Tea: 5p 5 steeps: rinse, 30s,50s,1m10s,1m30s,2m 100ºC/212ºF
Steep 1 – Once the water was introduced the pearls have loosened up somewhat but are still keeping their shape. The tea now smells slightly dark and smoky with a little tinge of dark chocolate. Colour is dark brown but remains opaque. First few sips are refreshing and very subtle but there is a sweet background, florally sweet rather than sugar sweet. About finished now and there is a slight malty taste that only comes up in the last remaining dregs.
Steep 2 – The pearls have now finally given in and have split up completely resembling the look of any normal loose tea. Colour is the same but smell is slightly thicker and somewhat more like dark chocolate or cocoa. The taste is more prominent now with a mixture of malty smoke with subtle cocoa sweetness. Much nicer than the first steep as the chocolate flavour is stronger. It’s also very smooth with no bitterness.
Steep 3 – Again the colour is about the same but the smell is stronger again, this time very malty and dark but still chocolatey. The taste is still a very similar strength but now we have a touch of bitterness (only slight) but a little noticeable at the bottom of the cup.
Steep 4 – I am starting to feel that the description of dark brown is not good enough for the colour. It remains the same throughout the steep but It’s more than just a dark brown, it’s brown with red and gold tinges and delicious looking. The smell is still getting stronger with malty chocolate being the main characters. Taste is still fantastic but it’s a touch lighter than my previous cup, that will make it my last steep. It’s been absolutely delicious from start to end and I will definitely be buying more of this.
To summarize: Key words – Smoky, chocolate, malt, floral, astringent, sweet.
I am finishing off one the small sample bags today with my husband. It’s our first time using the gaiwan together instead of a traditional teapot so this could be interesting.
I think I may be adjusting to the perfumey taste, it doesn’t seem to be getting to me much today…infact it’s quite nice. Maybe this is one of those drinks that you like the more of it that you drink, I found Lapsang Souchong to be that way for me too.
Such a lovely way to relax on a Sunday.
This was a sample pack that I am trying from Teavivre. I will be using my gaiwan for this infusion. Notes state on their website the steeping times as follows: 5 steeps:rinse,20s,40s,1m10s,2m,2m30s.
Raw the tea is thin and sharp and they also snap in half so they are rather dry. They are a lovely grassy green colour with yellow and white whisps. It smells gently floral with a slight astringency.
First steep – 20 seconds – Colour is very pale yellow. Smell is slightly astringent but fresh with it. The flavour is nice and subtle, there is a definite florally perfume taste (similar to jasmine but on a much weaker scale) along with a natural grassy sweetness. There is no real bitterness.
Second steep – 40 seconds – Yellow (darker than the first steep) and with a stronger perfumey fragrance. Taste is also a little stronger, more floral and again a little grassier than the previous steep. Still very pleasant as there is no real bitterness and there is still a hint of sweetness about it. A slight nuttiness peaks through. For me this is about the peak of the tea, any stronger and it would be ruined and any lighter and it loses a lot of it’s character.
Steep three – 1 minute 10 seconds – Colour is yellow with a a fairly astringent and somewhat floral perfume fragrance. Both being slight stronger than the previous steep. The nuttiness is coming through vividly now (chestnut would be an adequate description). The sweetness has now gone and has been replaced with a touch of bitterness leading from the over perfumed taste.
I am not at the point of wincing a little while drinking due to the perfumery and I think this will be my last steep. It’s not badly (fubar’ed) but I don’t see myself enjoying the next two steeps and for now I am happy enough to have good memories of this tea with it’s earliest steeps.
Overall I would say this was of good quality and once steeped for the second time it unleashes it’s sweet, grassy and nutty magic. I would drink this for a change but not sure I could see myself buying it for personal use. It’s a little too perfume heavy for me.
THANK YOU Teavivre for sending me this sample MANY MONTHS AGO. I apologize for not opening it – I was on a tea hiatus of sorts and am now back.
This tea smelled like chocolate when I opened up the package.
The result has very little astringency and a light malty flavor that is slightly sweet. As the tea cools the sweet notes emerge. I really enjoyed this sample and recommend this tea!
Wow, this name was quite a mouthful. Taking the recommendations of the packaging, I boiled two cups of water and steeped this pu’erh for two minutes (Teavivre recommends one to two minutes). The dry leaves have much less of an earthy smell than I would have expected from a ripe pu’erh, but when the steeping is done, I am left with a wonderfully smooth-smelling pot of shou tea. This first pot is very smooth, a little bit earthy, if not slightly weak (understandable for a first steeping. I finish this first pot and steep another, this time increasing the time to two and a half minutes.
The second steeping strengthens both the aroma and flavor of this pu’erh. The earthy notes have come out stronger in both aspects. However, the tea has still kept its full smoothness. My only disappointment with this tea is the lack of complexity in the flavor profile. It is very much just a straight forward, simple shou pu’erh. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give this tea an 85/100.
Finally getting this sample! Thanks Teavivre!
First impression of the dry leaf is that it smells a lot like DT’s milk oolong. Make you wonder if theirs is flavored. It’s like condensed milk. Yummy!
First steep is more like cream cheese frosting than milk. There is a lot of vegetal flavor coming through. Smooth and sweet.
Second steep is less milky and more vegetal. Maybe like creamed veggies. :)
The leaves expand like crazy, of course. Good old dependable green oolong. :) I think I might like the unflavored version more but this is something I’ll enjoy to the last drop anyways.
If you’ve kept up with my tasting notes, you know that I am a huge fan of Teavivre Teas. I have yet to be disappointed by any of their products.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Teavivre’s fabulous Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. That tea is nothing short of incredibly fantastic, albeit a little pricey. This time, I thought I would save some money and hope that their Grade 1 Keemun selection was good enough to satisfy my Keemun itch.
I love the aroma of the short unbrewed tea leaves. It is a rich, sweet, and earthy smell that seems to belong only to Teavivre’s Keemun.
I steeped the tea at 205 degrees for three minutes as instructed on the packet. The color of the brewed liquor was golden brown.
As I brought the cup to my lips, I could already smell the savory Keemun. The first sip was absolutely delicious. The taste was sweet, earthy, full-bodied, and very smooth. There was no bitterness to be found. Subsequent sips…and cups…were at least equally delightful.
In my opinion, this Grade 1 Keemun is every bit as delicious and satisfying as Teavivre’s Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. If you are on a budget (as I am), and you love Keemun, take advantage of the great taste and very reasonable price (currently – 10/24/2012 – Teavivre is also offering 20% off!) of the Grade 1 Keemun tea. I am very glad that I did! By the way, if your budget is even more restricted than mine, Teavivre has a Grade 2 Keemun black tea at even greater savings (and also currently – 10/24/2012 – 20% off)!
This is again thanks to Angel and the Teavivre crew. smiles
This is a better review than the Lapsang Souchong by a mile! LOL. I had wanted to try a more ‘traditional’ Oolong because I’ve had such limited experience so far, and wanted something to compare teas with an Oolong base to, even teas that have a lot in it. I had a imsomnia filled night so if my wording comes across as odd, that is why. Lack of sleep can make me a little loopy.
1st smell Dry: Sweet and uncomplicated. I can easily picture myself relaxing after a long days work with a cup of this, though long before I go to bed, as the minor caffeine amounts may affect my sleep later that night.
Wet: Even more sweet, and maybe because I was expecting it: Creamy.
1st taste: In reading the reviews for the tea before sipping my cup, I noticed frequent mentions of a buttery taste. Truthfully, the idea kind of repulsed me, even though I have had and do enjoy butter tea. But when I took the 1st sip, without any sweetener, Mmm. Nice. I knew I had to add sweetener….I’m getting resigned to that factor…..lol. So I added one at a time, took a sip so I would make sure not to accidently put to much.
Oh, almost forgot to mention: I do not have any traditional tea items for this, I had thought if I did get to where I really like at least 2 of these samples, then I would start saving up for a nice gaiwan. So instead, I was going to use one of my teapots, but one is ridiculously big, to big for 1 cup, and the other is in the dishwasher. So I used my owl cup and favorite strainer. I put the visual equivalent of what I use for other loose tea, rinsed them, preheated my cup and then boiled more water, and set the top on it. When I took the top off, my 1st thought: (Mind you slightly befuddled due to lack of sleep.) that the leaves had exploded! Then I thought….Ooooo I think I put to many in the cup. So I thought to myself that I’d better do at least 1 more steeping of the leaves, that is if I could stand drinking down the 1st cup.
It isn’t the usual type of tea that I’ve gotten used to, so I don’t think I would choose this one very often. It is sweet, creamy, kind of grassy. I just might decide to buy this in bulk form.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for all the wonderful samples! I was so excited when these came in and I ended up being sent a lot more than I expected to receive!
I decided to start my taste testing out with something I have never had before, White Peony. When I opened the package I took a whiff and got didn’t really get anything worth mentioning. It was light and fresh.
Actually after reading the instructions, I just realized that I have been using only 1tsp per 8oz instead of 2-3tsp. OOPS! Regardless, I cannot stop drinking this. I drank 3 12oz cups, and made 2 8oz cups with the same leaves yesterday, and have had 3 12oz cups again today. Though the taste is really light it’s really great. It’s definitely something I could drink at any time of the day. It’s floral, and calming. The leaves are really cute too. Next time I’ll make it with 3tsp instead of just the one, but I’m really loving this as is.
Thanks to the Teavivre gang, especially Angel, for these samples.
When I got up today, (Got up really late.) I wanted to start on the tea tasting of the samples I got yesterday. I was most curious about the Lapsang Souchong so that is what I picked.
Dry smell: strongly smokey, not unappealing, but not appealing either.
Wet smell: more or less the same…though the smell reminded me a little bit of hay.
1st taste: Like many Americans, my palate has been affected by the high content of sugar, but I did try a few sips without putting any in, didn’t want to make it to much of a sacrilege. Alas…I knew by the 3rd sip that if I was to be able to finish the cup I would have to add some sweetener, so I added Apriva, (Kroger version, kind of like Splenda.) I ended up having to add ALOT. Which I really winced over, and still wincing as I am writing this. Wincing because I wanted to enjoy this without having to add anything to it.
Even with the sweetener however….can’t say I really like it. sad face this is NOT reflected on Teavivre, but rather on me and my palate. Hopefully this will be the only tea that I dislike from the group.
I will pretty much be reviewing only 1 a day, as I do not want to complicate the taste test with other teas. And hopefully when I get up each day, so that would be the only taste fresh in my mouth.
Starting my Sunday off with a nice big pot of this. As much as I want to get out of the house after being sick all week I would really love to stay home all the time. It was nice. But I am going a little stir crazy. That and I think I may have watched everything Netflix had to offer on instant play!
Right the tea! My sense of smell is still a little shot…so the dry leaf smelled like nothing at all. But as the tea steeped? It certainly smelled like honey and very sweet. Which I didn’t notice the first time I had this tea. It smells SO good. I brewed this up in a glass tea pot so I really got to see the great copper/fall liquid of this tea. The taste is slightly sweet and very malty. Now back to the laundry and NaNoWriMo already in progress. :)
Thanks to Teavivre for this generous free sample, and apologies for such a slow review!
I used about 2 tsp of tea in 2.5 cups of water for this tea, as I did with the DT version. This version definitely brewed up more quickly and strongly than the other, and even though it had less than half the time to brew, the flavour is quite similar. The biggest difference I’m noticing between them is in terms of sweetness; this tea is noticeably sweeter, and the sweetness emerges prior to swallowing, so is not just in the aftertaste. Other than that, both have a sweet, slightly seaweedy aroma, and the flavour of crispy fried seaweed, which is kind of toasty/seaweedy/delicious. Very interesting! After a bit of thought, the flavour could be described as quite “buttery”, which is how the fried seaweed comes off because of all the oil present. It’s tough to say which tea I’d prefer; I imagine that Teavivre’s has greater longevity, so if I was to purchase this again, that would probably be my choice, although I doubt I’ll pick this one up again of my own accord.
Been busy all weekend, so I have had no time to try any tea and it has been driving me crazy! So now that I finally have time I decided to make this up from the sample bag that Teavivre.
The dry smell is very pleasant, which was surprising to me for some reason. It’s probably because the last Pu-erh I had was very fishy. The wet smell is very interesting as it smells kind of spicy like chili peppers or cooked green peppers. The color of the liquid is interesting as well since it is kind of a copper color similar to Oolong tea or a light black tea. The taste is a little oily in the mouth with a nice plum flavor. I sort of like it, it’s interesting.
Lazy sunday afternoon….
Yes, so I am finally reading Fifty Shades of Grey… I resisted all summer long, being constantly hassled by friends: «Oh, you MUST read it, Oh Christian Grey this, Oh Christian Grey that!», I’m telling you, a bunch of puberty high school girls! (giggles)
To the point that I thought for sure this book was overrated, too much fuss and publicity surrounding it.
I was kind of suspicious of an author made famous instantly for writing a few hot and steamy sessions. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I caved in! I will admit that Mr.Grey has something on the collective fantasy world of women… Not highly intellectual literature, but hey, can a girl have some pure entertainment readings once in a while?
So I thought I’d pair this book with a «hot» tea, something sexy of course…
Mmm, some Ginseng love potion?
My first ginseng tea ever…I ordered 100g strictly based on *Roughage*’s review, he had mentioned he could taste Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. I adore them and thought it would be wonderful to find a similar taste in a beverage.
Dark bluish green little nuggets, how unusually shaped they are! I am so curious about them… I brewed the tea in my glass pot in order to watch the leaves doing their dance. 90 sec. They barely opened up, they are rolled very tightly. The infusion turned slightly green, darker than most oolong.
The aroma is definitely oolong, with a twist of…je ne sais quoi…
Miaow…This is really fifty shades of flavour! How can I describe it?I understand the cough drop reference, some kind of eucalyptus freshness surfing in my mouth and tingling my tongue, coating and warming my throat along with the buttery taste of oolong.
It also reminds me of some vintage candy my grandma used to give us, in french, they were called «Boules Noires» (doesn’t translate so well in english, but if you want to know, there you have it: Black Balls)
That’s exactly what they were, little black balls, hard as a rock and as you’d let them melt in your mouth, they would change colours… Lots of fun and very tasty! As I remember, they had a sweet liquorice fresh menthol feel to them and this tea is very reminiscent of that. I am really enjoying this.
Second steep and the leaves are on their way to unfurl, but not completely yet. I know some of you mentioned that the ginseng powder was pretty much gone after first steep, but I still get quite a bit of that flavour. It is more subtle though, and the oolong is more present. This oolong is very buttery, in a baked cookie kind of way.
I don’t know how many infusions I will get out of it, but this is what I’m having for the rest of the day!
It was the perfect choice to pair with what I’m reading at the moment… just like the book, it made me blush a little :-)
My first normal tea in a while!
The smell is smokey, sweet, kind of like chocolate. I initially get a muskiness as I drink, but it turns into something mineral and juicy, then a pleasant sweet smokiness in the back of my throat. The astringency seems to hit kind of randomly for me – I think this may actually be my first tea that has it/that I’ve tasted it in. I had no idea it was more of a physical sensation than a taste, but I looked it up just now to account for the sourness I kept feeling. It goes pretty well with the flavors in this!
On the second steep, it’s started to get the floralness to it that I saw mentioned in other reviews, and has much less bite. Definitely smoothing out by the third and fourth cups.
I finally got around to sampling this from Teavivre. Sorry it took me so ling. :( this tea is just lovely to look at. It’s cute and furry. I almost felt like I was drowning little fuzzy animals in hot water as I brewed my cup. :( fortunately its just dried leaves I’m drowning! Delicious dried leaves!
The tea is light yellow smells softly floral and tender green grass. Like a perfect spring day. It’s good to remind oneself such days exist on miserable rainy cold days like this one. I’m also getting some summer squash. Second steep went a bit too long but there’s no bitterness. This tea is truly lovely. If teas belonged to a season, this would go with spring. Drinking this tea now is like having a perfect summer tomato in the middle of winter. This tea is out of its rightful time. To get the proper feel of fall, I’ll have to drink some darker oolongs later. :)
THE LAST OF MY TEAVIVRE SAMPLES AND UM. WOW. WOW THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING BLACK TEA. I don’t think I ever expected myself to rate an unflavored black tea this high, especially without adding more things to it as well. I usually always doctor up my black teas with sugar and/or milk because they’re just too strong and sometimes bitter but WOW NOT THIS ONE! I didn’t have to add anything!
It SMELLED sweet at first! And the leaves looked so cute and curly, I don’t have any other tea that looks quite like this. When I went to take my first sip I was PREPARED FOR HEAVY BITTER BLACK TEA TASTE but then it… SURPRISINGLY… WAS NOT! It was rich but not bitter at all, very sweet, kinda reminiscent of hazelnuts! I saw some people mention sweet potatoes as well and YES I think that describes it perfectly! A bit malty, ever so slightly butterscotch-y… what a great black tea, dang!
Many thanks again to Teavivre for these wonderful samples! I’m pretty much sold; most definitely want to buy some in the future!