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Recent Tasting Notes
Profile: Liquor is a pale, clear beige. Aroma is a natural and exceptionally sweet floral bouquet of jasmine. Taste is similar, with sweet jasmine diffusing across the palate and an undertone of soft green tea grounding it. Aftertaste lingers pleasantly, revealing notes of honey and grapes. Mouthfeel is smooth and light, with no bitterness or astringency.
Other notes: The freshly steeped leaves are intoxicating. Breathe in deeply and a potent whiff of jasmine will greet you. Aroma is very much a part of this experience as the taste. The pearls are also a pleasure to watch unfurl.
Verdict: A complex and truly superior jasmine tea, and perhaps the best I’ve tried. There is a sweetness here that overshadows lesser teas, the floral aspect is not cloying or artificial, and the leaves themselves are clearly a cut above the typical quality, leaving no trace of astringency. If you seek this style of tea, I would currently recommend no other as highly.
Wow this is so lovely. I love jasmine teas and this is a really good one. Very smooth and sweet. It has just the right amount of jasmine not overpowering at all. This is so calming and soothing. I got this as a sample and I must say I can see myself ordering a full amount next time. Thanks Teavivre!
Started the morning off with this and another from teavivre, in part because i wanted to make sure i got my sipdowns in today before i had to go out and run errands in in part because i wanted to start the day off with something black and delicious. This fits that perfectly! I’ve had this one before and really enjoy it. I haven’t restocked it into my cupboard except as samples though, because i’m trying to get my cupboard under control. it’s always nice to revisit it though as it’s always a tasty cup.
Morning tea today, and not much to say about it, besides the fact that it is a most satisfying cup this morning as I didn’t get enough sleep today. I am digging this one and it will likely be a reorder when I get through the last of my package.
Edit: also a sipdown as the rest is off to omgsrsly so that she can help convert her brother! hahaha
So a while back I placed an order with teavivre and I have to say their customer service was pretty awesome, or at least unexpected. They actually emailed me because they were tracking my package and let me know the post office had said they’d tried to deliver. Now, unbeknowest to them, the post office here is riduculous and hadn’t but at least i was able to get right on the post office about where my order was.
Anyway, i digress. Since I need to get my cupboard under control, I’ve got to start drinking some of the tea samples from teavivre! I figure I can drink at least one a day which will get me through the first half of the samples i picked up (love that the samples come in 2 little packs instead of one big one!).
This was the random tea i grabbed this morning from the bunch..it’s like a grab back of delicious excitement waiting to happen! I have to say, this one is pretty darn tasty. I’ll be doing re-steeps tonight when i get home but this first brew is one I can see keeping around for one of my morning blacks. I’d put this one up there with my taiwanese assam from butiki and laoshan black from verdant. I’m sure there will be others but those are my favs at the moment.
This is a nice smooth black, that has a malty taste to it without being as intense as say, laoshan black. There’s a hint of caramel at teh end of the sip but it’s not overly pronounced. mmmm this is a really nice start to the morning.
I’ve been drinking this tea every few days for almost half a year now. It tastes great with sugar or without it and accompanies many different meals in a magnificent way. I usually steep it a little bit stronger than it’s recommended by TeaVivre, but that’s just my personal way of drinking it :) A delicate taste, very rich, but also humble and very “quiet”, so to say. I can recommend this to everyone who is looking for an everyday tea.
For years I have been amazed by the beautiful blooming flower tea’s that I have been secretly wishing to try. They look like miniature secret gardens that you can drink and watch slowly fill the bowl with magic. Well I finally decided to make it a reality for me and so for Christmas my auntie agreed to buy me a see through tea pot with matching cups and a bag of random blooming tea’s.
I got them all from Teavivre earlier this year and kept them safe, now is the time to try it. I need a little water after having admittedly too many glasses of whisky this year (it’s my poison of choice) and thought I would do so in style. So chosen randomly from the bag came this marigold blossom flower tea.
The tea is in a subtle w shape and it smells very sweet and floral. I boiled the water and added it to the closed bud and watched with delight as it started to slowly open up but only ever so slightly. It would seem that for full exposure it will take a few steeps over quite a long process, right now it only looks slightly puffy and water logged.
2 minutes steep in boiling water reveals virtually no fragrance of colour. The taste is also extremely subtle but it does have similar properties to a white tea which makes sense considering it’s made of white silver needle. It has that clean and slightly floral taste of the first steeps of white silver needle.
I do a 2 minute 30 second steep with the same bud to see if it will open more and thankfully it does. Not exposed are yellow marigold flowers. Yep there we go it’s half open :) The liquid is also much darker now though is pale yellow so still light in colour as far as tea goes and it smells a little more floral. It’s sweet and much stronger now and edging on the verge of tasting like a green tea. It does taste very much like what you would expect a flower to taste like.
It’s a nice experience to watch something being created from what looks like nothing. Plus it’s also tasty so I can fun, play and drink :) It certainly makes a nice change having something so pretty and unique to watch. I may be slowly becoming a blooming fanatic.
I am using my last sample of this excellent pu-erh from Tea Vivre. I got it as part of the Pu-erh sample assortment. My initial tasting notes from last summer indicated at least 9 steeps which I enjoyed hot, at room temp, and cold. Nice and earthy, and especially good with a little stevia. Today, I had 7 gms which I rinsed twice to open up the leaves, then steeped in 6 oz boiling water at 30, 60, 120, etc. I haven’t had pu-erh in awhile, but wanted to share this with my son while he is home from school. It really hits the spot, and I highly recommend it, especially if you haven’t had pu-erh before. There is no fishiness, and I think it is a great example of what a good ripened pu-ehr is like. The Teavivre site shows low quantities of this. If you haven’t dealt with Teavivre before, I can recommend them as a company that provides excellent service and they offer free samples with your order.
Great tea, always in my cupboard.
A huge thank you to Angel from Teavivre for this sample.
The last fruit tea from Teavivre that I had was blueberry and I enjoyed it very much so I have high hopes for their apple tea. Apple is funny with me and I have to be in the right mood for it, I think it’s because my husband loves apple juice so I always have to buy some for him and I’m an orange juice kinda gal.
It’s a long 9 minute steep for this fruit tea so I helped myself to a piece of apple in the raw mixture and it was very fresh and scrumptiously good.
The tea once brewed is reddy/purple in colour with only a subtle apple/fruit fragrance. Whoops I burnt my lip trying to taste it’s fruity essence too eagerly :( Waiting a few minutes before sipping again I can taste mixed fruit of which apple is the background ingredient behind what tastes like rosehip. It’s very sweet but it tastes naturally so and it’s also a little sour, sort of like apple candy/sweets.
It’s a very nice subtle apple tea and it is refreshing and clean tasting. The downside for me is that I would prefer if it was a little stronger with the apple and a little less rosehip. I bet this would make a delicious iced tea.
Thanks Teavivre for the sample!
Can I just say that these are super cute? For whatever reason I think these pearls are just precious. The thing is, I generally don’t like straight black teas (other than pu’erh) so this is a big step in a different direction for me.
I’m surprised how light this brewed! It is a very light, almost clear broth color. This smells very hay-like. The tea is pretty thin compared to other blacks I’ve had. I think I know why blacks are strange for me: they’re kind of meaty. This mostly has meaty, hay notes. It’s not a great tea for me, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people would really love this one!
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
I really wanted to love this one, but it’s just not happening. I mean, it’s nice to sip on when I’m not thinking about it, but it’s not the delicious tieguanyin I’m used to. I understand this is a Taiwan version, but I’ve had jin xuans that taste more like tieguanyin than this tea. This tastes much more like mao xie (hairy crab) oolong than tieguanyin, actually. The sweet, potent florals of tieguanyin are pretty dull in this tea, and the added roasting just adds awkward charcoal flavors that make the taste seem unbalanced and somewhat stale. It’s really strong for the first couple steeps, too. I have to make the wash extra long just so I don’t have overbearing burnt barley and metallic flavors in the first steep.
The leaves and liquor have aromas that smell like roasted wheat and unripe fruits, mixed with some cooked vegetables and lots of grass. Actually, most of the steeps have a very grassy profile. Into the later steeps, things improve a bit with notes of asparagus and genmaicha, finally landing on some really vegetal qualities of tiequanyin. There isn’t much sweetness to this one, which seems to contribute a great deal to the unbalance of flavors. There are a few faint traces of melon, as well, and after sneaking a few peaks at some reviews of this tea, I agree with KS about the aftertaste seeming a bit like watermelon rinds. It’s interesting, but not the most satisfying.
The mouthfeel is common and uninteresting. It typically gets a bit creamy and slightly juicy during middle steeps, but it isn’t anything extraordinary. Most of the steeps end up being a bit dry.
Overall, this one is just “okay” to me. Nothing jumped out at me and the unbalance of flavors really threw things askew. I dunno, it just did not match up to all the other oolongs that I have tried.
Based on the conversation with KS below, I tried this again with a method closer to the suggested style: 4g per 100mL at boiling, wash, 25",35",45". I’m not sure if it’s that much better, but it is different. I’m also not sure which I prefer, flavor-wise. There are definitely some new blends of flavors. There are more fruity nuances, it’s surprisingly sweeter, and isn’t as bitter as I was expecting for such a high leaf to water ratio. It certainly is more bitter this way, however. With these added dimensions, it feels a bit more balanced, but the body becomes more monotonous. I still can’t get past the charcoal flavors, which are even more potent. Now that this is more severe with this session, I’m now recalling that every time I’ve tried this tea, it’s given me a headache. :/ Sigh, this just isn’t happening, folks.
So, I have had this for a really long time and I’m just now getting around to trying it. Sample provided very generously by Teavivre!
Steep notes: 3-4 tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water in my Breville at below parameters.
I really wanted a black tea tonight but for some reason I didn’t have any in my cupboard. I mean, I did, East Frissy and David’s Breakfast blend are in there, but I wanted something…not breakfasty? I don’t know. I’m fickle, it’s cold and rainy and windy and I wanted some warm, no frills (no dessert!) tea.
So in this one went. The dry leaf had almost a malty smell to it, which is a characteristic I normally find in Assams and which made me very happy. Dry leaf looked like long spindly blades of grass.
The steeped liquor is a yellow green and has a vague buttery scent. Taste wise, I get buttery and nutty. The nutty flavor especially lingers as an aftertaste. It’s very smooth, though, and slightly (pleasantly) astringent.
I like this – it’s a very delicate flavor that would go well with dinner, as I find most green teas do. It works well for night when you just really don’t want anything heavy.
Many thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
The dry leaf of this smells very similar to the Xiaguan toucha I was drinking earlier. I prepared this tea per Teavivre’s instructions of ~1 min. steep times. Pouring this tea was really interesting! I noticed that at first the water was very russet/copper colored and then ended with very deep browns and reds. I guess I never paid attention to that before.
This pu’erh has a distinct hay and bread like quality. There is some sweetness, but it is at the back end of the sip. It also kind of reminds me of cream of wheat for some reason; so farina like. Something about drinking this makes me think that it’d pair well with almonds and crystallized aged gouda cheese bits. I think that the mouth feel of this reminds me a bit of almond skins and that’s where I’m getting this. That sounds really weird when I write it down! Overall this is really easy to make and it is a great pu’erh for newbies like me.
I’m watching a generic Christmas film and I got the sudden urge to drink a gaiwan of black tea. So my hand goes into my large bag of Teavivre samples and I pulled this one out. My husband is having his work party tonight so I am on my own all day :(
The tea is made with small leaves that have been thinly rolled and dried. They have a dry earthy smell.
Gaiwan 3oz Tea:7g 6 steeps: rinse,15s,25s,45s,1m10s,1m30s,2m 90ºC/194ºF
Steep one – 15 seconds
The tea soup is honeyed brown in colour with a sweet, earthy and slightly floral tone. It does taste sweet and malty to my delight with no bitterness and of fair strength.
Steep two – 25 seconds
I’m starting to pick up a musky deep fragrance now. Malty and sweet still and very rich but still smooth.
Steep three – 45 seconds
Increasing in strength and becoming maltier and very thick and earthy.
Steep four – 1 minute 10 seconds
The colour reminds me of pu erh as it has that brown/red glow. Very sweet …reminds me of marmite a little.
Steep five – 1 minute 30 seconds
This has weakened somewhat and has increased it’s floral flavour again, it’s like jasmine but earthier.
Steep six – 2 minutes
No malt or richness to speak of anymore but it’s still sweet and floral.
I love Yunnan tea’s and straight away I could tell that this was one of them. It has the lovely strong, malty trademark that Yunnan’s usually have which is a pure bonus. On the most part it was rich and smooth but very balanced and clean.
Admittedly not one of my favourite Yunnan’s as the smell is a little too musky for my liking but it was a pleasant and smooth drink. It’s amazing to think that such small leaves can create such large flavour and aroma.