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Recent Tasting Notes
What a wonderful tea! I forgot that this little beauty was hiding out in the back corner of my cupboard. After a long day of shopping and eating, I’ve been left feeling really dizzy. I think that this is the one thing keeping my mood up! It is very sweet, milky, and I love watching the leaves unfurl. I do prefer the un-flavored version more, but this is still a very amazing and flavorful tea with lots of great floral and green notes as well. Highly recommended.
Many thanks for this sample! I must say that I chose this one first of the new bunch because milk oolongs are my crack. Seriously though, I’m not going to let this one sit around for long. It smells lovely, milky, fruity, and less green than other oolongs. I really like the color of the leaves in this selection. They are very dark green with light yellow bits. This tea is every bit as good smelling and pretty as the unflavored milk oolong.
I’m having this in my smaller teapot which is ~6oz and used about 1 1/2 tsp. The bag says that 1-3 min. should work so I’m using the highest time for this at boiling. It smells very floral and milky when steeped. The flavor of this is much stronger than the regular milk oolong. I think that the flavor mostly comes in at the end of the sip. Next time I make this I’m going to steep it for a shorter amount of time.
I’ve now had 4 steeps of this and it keeps on chugging! I really like this one. I wouldn’t say it is as tasty as the unflavored milk oolong, but I do enjoy the floral and fruity aspects of this when compared to other milk oolongs I’ve tried. I would totally recommend this one!
This sample was provided by Teavivre. The tea originates from Dong Ding Mountain. I opened the generous bag and poured out a spoonful of leaf to examine. This looks like little pieces of volcanic rock covered by moss or maybe petrified tea pebbles. It is dark gray/green and rough textured as if it is painted rocks. I am going on about it because it is really different. The scent at first makes me think peppery. Of course it’s really the ginseng. It also has notes of oats or some kind of grain.
I brought 12oz of water to a roiling boil and poured into my press with about 4g (one good spoon) of nuggets. I steeped for two minutes. When the timer went off some of the leaf was dancing on the surface and some was on the bottom. None of it was completely unfurled. Interesting, there is a light roasted aroma coming out of the press – this wasn’t even hinted at in the scent of the dry leaf. The brew looked golden with a light green tint, in the press. Once poured it became a light orange in the cup.
As the cup sits to cool a bit, the smell of ginseng keeps catching my attention. It is beginning to make me nervous. Is this going to be an overdone flavor extremophile?
I take a sip and must admit I am confused, in a good way. The ginseng is mainly present at the front of the sip, then fades only to return at the end of the sip and is felt at the back of the mouth and throat. It is done with balance. It leaves the mouth with a wonderful cooling sensation. The roasted smell of the wet leaf is a very subdued hint in mid sip. Given that this is from Dong Ding mountain, I was expecting heavy oolong floral notes. Instead this tastes closer to a green tea but not bright and grassy or floral. The best I can do to describe this is it is like a lightly roasted green tea and grain soaked in milk with some ginseng sprinkled on top.
The second cup, also at 2 minutes, is darker. The wet leaf smells like steak. Mmmm steak. This cup is tastier to me. The roastiness comes out more and the ginseng is less pronounced. The sweet floral notes I was expecting are now in the aftertaste taste. A good cuppa. Not that they taste the same but it reminds me of Gurman’s Pepper Mango green tea.
Cup 3 is back to being orange in color and is weaker in flavor but still pretty good.
I highly like this. I can’t say I love it at the moment. More tastings are required. I am fascinated by how different it is from my expectations.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to write a book today.
I am finally getting around to my generous samples from Angel and Teavivre! I meant to try this a few days ago but I was craving flavored teas, and I didn’t want to taste this until I was in the mood for it lest it be wasted on grumpy taste-buds. I just checked and this is the highest rated tea on Steepster, so I was definitely anticipating big flavors!
Right out of the sample bag it smells fantastic, very chocolatey and rich. I’m not that familiar with Chinese blacks, but it was definitely a good first impression! I used water that was a bit hotter than recommended because I’m a spaz, but I don’t think it adversely affected the flavor—there’s zero bitterness or astringency. I do like astringent teas but this seems like a more mellow black and it definitely wouldn’t be fitting with the flavor profile. This is suck a complex cup with notes of chocolate, malt, raisin, caramel/honey, and yeast. My dad tried some and picked up some hay notes, which I always enjoy in tea. It’s so smooth and rich without being heavy. I will most definitely be ordering more of this!
Free sample from Teavivre
Small nuggets of green leaf curled into balls with a vegetal aroma when I opened the packet. The smell promised good things. The first steeping yielded a vegetal flavour, creamy on the palate. It reminded me of asparagus and was very pleasant. There were floral undertones to it, although my wife noticed them more than I did. It’s always interesting getting her view of teas, and it really highlights the differences in our palates and experience of the tea. The second steeping had less of the asparagus flavour and was smoother with the floral notes coming to the fore. I did not really get the baked taste that is meant to be there, but that could just be me thinking it is something else, just a variation on the way I perceive the flavours. We got four steepings out of this tea before we called it a day. Lovely tea. I would be very happy to have this one in the cupboard for regular usage and shall probably get some on my next Teavivre order.
Thanks again Angel at Teavivre for this sample
Sample sipdown and I am sad to see it go because I really enjoyed it.
I steeped this with my new little gaiwan today. I still need practice though because I almost burnt my hand again. I used the website’s parameters (rinse,25s,35,45,55,65,75). I found that the sweetness didn’t have as much of a chance to develop as with western brewing and it seemed like there was a sharpness somehow. Still delicious
Thanks again to Angel at Teavivre for providing this free sample for me.
I used 2-3 tsp for this cuppa.
I think I enoy this one more each time I drink it. And I really enjoy roasted oolongs lately. It really has a sweet baked goods flavour. I am sad I only hadd time for 2 steeps today, because this one is good for at least 3 steeps
Resteeped 2 minutes.
Thankyou Angel and Teavivre for this generous sample!
I used 1.5 teaspoons
Dry leaf smell: overwhelmingly like spinach…..I was pretty worried at this point because I don’t like really vegetal teas.
Steeped leaf: smelled less vegetal
Taste: roasty, slightly vegetal, nutty, with that buttery/milky mouthfeel. A couple of sips into my cup, some floral and sweetness started to develop in my mouth.
2nd steep: 3 minutes, my favourite steep, less vegetal, but still nutty and creamy
3rd steep: 4 minutes, starting to diminish in flavour but still delicious
I like this just as much as the regular TGY Teavivre offers.
I find TGYs to be very comforting. Whether the emotion is happy or sad, TGYs know how to celebrate or soothe the soul.
Almost a sipdown of this one. I had two half-finished packets (gasp), and used all of one, and half of the other for a lovely travel mug full of this on the weekend. Pretty tasty, as expected. A little more on the hay side as opposed to chocolate, but definitely still within my black tea flavour preferences.
I maintain that while this is a good tea, with definite chocolatey tones (which are delicious), I prefer Verdant’s Laoshan Black (and possibly the Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls, although I haven’t had those since July). There’s just a more hay-y/almost vegetal flavour here instead of pure dark chocolate. I suppose it actually tastes more like a cross between Laoshan Black and what I consider a standard black tea to taste like. So, still good and drinkable straight, but could be better.
Regardless, I really appreciate these free samples sent to me from Teavivre!
Thanks to Angel & Teavivre for my wonderful second batch of samples, which generously included this one which I requested specifically since everyone here has been raving about it!
Like the Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls, this tea smelled quite deliciously chocolatey when I opened up the package. It may have leaned a touch moreso towards malty/yeasty, but there was definitely chocolate there. I probably used about 2 tsp for 8 or 10 oz. water.
The result is pretty tasty, very little astringency, a rich, malty, hay-y flavour with chocolatey flavours emerging more slowly. I stupidly finished the other cup of tea before even trying this one (clearly not in the right state of mind for tasting tea right now. Not at all.) but I think I preferred the pearls :)
ETA: Very interesting second infusion, especially after just drinking that of the Fengqing Dragon Pearls! I can’t really taste much of anything chocolatey, but there’s a surprising sweetness! No astringency even though I think it was steeped a good deal longer than the pearls. I think this is a black tea I could actually drink regularly with no additions (along with the pearls, the Laoshan Black…. I see a trend here!)
Sipdown!! Man, this is a tasty tea. One of the first malty, chocolatey, delicious black teas I tried, so it will always have a special place in my… tastebud memory?? Anyhow, I still have the leaves sitting out for a possible second infusion… perhaps that’s what I’ll do after dumping the Persimmon Tea…
Well, I had hoped that this one would win my mom over in terms of black tea (which she has decided she’s not a fan of, although she likes pu’erh… will get to that in a bit). Unfortunately, no dice. Not sure if it was how I brewed it, or just a reluctance to be open to liking black tea. I’m personally finding it deliciously malty and a bit chocolatey today, so an incorrect brew is unlikely. I’d like to have my aunt, who enjoys black tea, try this one when she’s here in a few days.
Oh man. I can’t even write a proper tasting note right now because I totally just asked out a guy that I met yesterday, and am pretty much freaking out about it… (Mostly that he won’t respond… but also that he will…. gah!!) This is new territory for me…
So, uh, anyhow…. I really think I should have stuck to a rooibos/herbal tonight since I’m already really wound up, but I had brought this tea and my sample of Bailin Gong Fu Black downstairs on Friday night to try, but didn’t get around to it, and really wanted to experience the chocolatiness that everyone else has been! Thank you to Teavivre for the opportunity to taste and review this tea!
I used 5 pearls in my infuser, and the temperature probably wasn’t as close to boiling as it should have been, but oh well. The aroma when I cut open the packet was incredibly chocolatey and delicious – kind of crazy (hey, matches my mood!)
The tea tastes malty and chocolatey, perhaps a little less chocolatey than expected, but still quite good. I’m getting almost a yeasty-ish, bready note that I don’t remember finding quite as strong in Verdant’s chocolatey blacks, but it’s not bothersome. The tea is a little weak though, in my opinion, and I’m not sure if that’s because I should have steeped it longer (I went with three minutes), used more pearls, or because I added a bit of cold water after it was done steeping to cool it down a bit so I could drink it sooner (I should say here that I steeped it in less than 8 oz. water to begin with by accident, and the addition wouldn’t have put it over that). I’d be very curious to compare it directly to the Laoshan Black, but I only have a cup’s worth of that one left and don’t want to waste it on a night of comparisons.
… (I so don’t even know what to do with myself right now!)
ETA: This tea held up to a second infusion quite well! Still chocolatey and pleasing. I’m not sure how long I steeped it, but it could have been slightly too long, as there’s a bit of astringency. Still good though.
ETA again: Third infusion, a couple(?) days later, still has enough flavour to be enjoyable, although I do admit I steeped it in a smaller volume of water. I can’t recall now if I went for 3 or 4 minutes, but there’s no astringency this time, just maltiness with flourishes of cocoa every now and again. Really quite pleasant. This tea has definitely made the short-list for teas to buy when my stash is a bit smaller! (And I haven’t checked the price, but I think it is affordable?)
This black tea is beyond fabulous. It’s rich and bold while smooth and void of bitterness at the same time. I’m enjoying my second steep and this caramel flavor comes out nicely in the finish. This is the cup ‘o’ black I’ve been searching for. Many thanks to Teavivre for creating such a masterpiece!
THis was my first time trying Pi Lo Chun and although it’s good it’s not exactly my cup of tea ;P. It holds up really nicely to several infusions and reminds me a lot of gunpowder tea. Be careful though because it can turn astringent fast. The dry leaves are very pretty and have a nice smokiness to them which translates over to the cup. If you like smokiness to your greens by all means you’ll love this! I simply prefer something a little sweeter and floral.
This stuff is terrific! I’m always scared of blacks because if you steep them too long the tannins really come out and they get really astringent, not the case here! This one never get’s astringent. The dry leaves are very classic for a Chinese black and have a nice, spicy, cocoa scent to them. The smell of the liquor is a bit drier but the flavor is completely there. With notes of chocolate, warmth, never astringent, spicy, this is exactly what I expect of a fujian black tea. If Teavivre keeps it up I don’t know what other tea merchants will do . . .
This is my first milk oolong. I’ve tried black milk teas before, but this is almost entirely different. While in black teas with milk flavoring, I felt like the milk was there to soften the bitterness of it… but with this oolong, there is no bitterness or harshness to hide. It’s only there to add a subtle creaminess.
Last night, I made it hot, and enjoyed it greatly. I decided to have it again as my take-to-work tea, over ice since it was already in the 90’s when I left. It was wonderful iced. The Teavivre oolongs I’ve tried before were on the floral side, but this one is fruity! The flavor reminds me of peaches! It’s like a light peaches and cream oolong! I absolutely love it. Best oolong I’ve ever tried; will order.
Additional notes: Having this one again – two teaspoons, 18 minutes after boiling, two minutes. For a two year old opened sample (just in a ziplock), this is still mighty scrumptious. It’s actually darker than the Bailin Gongfu even with the same temp, time, amount of leaves. I’m noticing dark chocolate that I never would have noticed before, to go along with the slight smokiness. SO good. The second steep was steeped after 16 minutes for 3-4 minutes. (Basically these are notes for me for future cups.) Also very delicious. It’s very different from anything else I have, really.
This was not the 2013 harvest…it was from 2011 or 2012, maybe even 2010. Does anyone know if the 2013 harvest is the same/similar?