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Recent Tasting Notes
There are those days when simplicity is what is just what the doctor ordered. I have mentioned it before but a good jasmine green is truly a delight. Warms the soul and calms the spirit. Especially since I’ve been battling getting rid of bronchitis. The lungs are purring like a kitty and not in a good way. I love this tea. Reminds me of Summer Breeze by Seals of Crofts. I can’t believe I have not reviewed this yet!
Another go at this one! We obtained another sample or two somehow – I thinkin a prize we won at some point. Between free samples for review, samples with orders and prizes in competitions I have an awesome collection of Teavivre samples, yay! I don’t often turn to oolongs but I faced my sample collection at work and found it consisting entirely of whites and oolongs. Say what?!
I remembered having success with this one and believing it to be more roasted than some other options on hand. Roasty is good, in my world! Because I am at work, I had to grab the kettle somewhere before the boil. No idea the temp, but the tea is not burnt at all (half the sample = 4ish grams @ ?? temp in 12 ounces of water for approximately 3 minutes). The result is really nice, sweet like the aftertaste of cinnamon sugar. This would be amazing with a cinnamon bun. I also think it would be great with something substantial and savoury or even a great cheese bun. I work across from a great bakery so these thoughts are always on my mind.
I don’t find this tremendously floral BUT it may well be as I like floral teas but never recognize it as such until someone tells me. For me, this is a lighter tea as I am used to blacks, and I think it could appeal to fans of both lighter and darker teas. It isn’t bitter even under my weirdo steeping parameters but I think it could be if you don’t watch leaf amount and temp. These leaves have expanded way more than I am used to and take up nearly half my infuser pretty densely. They seem to be in thirds or halves, but not crushed into dust. EDIT: a couple steeps later they have swirled all around and I have found a good portion of intact leaves, in addition to the half leaves. No astringency, but some good flavour. Going on steep number two once I clear the masses of paper off my desk. Mmm!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Hay, Sugar, Sweet
I’m revisiting this one today and am a lot more impressed with it than the first time I tried it (May). Since then I have become a lot more comfortable with oolongs and gotten a lot better at knowing how I like to steep them – I gave it less steep temp and time and what I have here is really tasty. MUCH more like a black tea than a green, which is something I appreciate in a roasty oolong.
That said, it’s not the most remarkable tea I’ve ever had. For me, this would be an every day sort of tea, rather than a special occasions, knock-your-socks-off kind of tea. I’m used to the latter with Teavivre, so this one has me a bit flummoxed but I DO like it. I don’t think I’ll keep it in stock as I’d rather deal with a black than an oolong, but this could be a nice one for those who find black teas too harsh or oolongs too green. It hits the spot, that’s for sure!
Received my second batch of Teavivre samples today (Many thanks!!) and decided to steep this one up while at switchboard. Because I am at work and only have my perfect tea mug I will be doing this western style – something I typically shy away from with oolongs. I kept the water temperature pretty low though, so hopefully I won’t get any bitterness from the steep time (approximately three minutes). After three minutes, the leaves haven’t really opened up much, so I’m guessing there are several steeps left in this one. I used one of the little foil sample packets, it looks to have a few teaspoons of leaves, but this is a 12 oz cup so I assume all will work out!
The dry leaf smelled quite nice, after inhaling deeply I got a faint aroma that was lightly sweet and very natural. Beyond that, however, it just smelled like tea. I’m terrible with aromatics. I always think I smell a hint of cocoa, but I rarely get much beyond that. I also don’t know what I’m looking for, so this is as detailed as it gets for now! : ) The liquor is really rich in colour, almost orange. It’s coloured more like a pale ale than tea – now I want a drink too!
First sips are surprising. The flavour is bold but mild at the same time. Not necessarily assertive, but complex. At the very end of the sip (and in the aftertaste) I get a hint of natural sweetness, almost reminds me of apricots or apples. I’m loving the aftertaste. This is much richer than I typically think of oolongs being, and I’m quite enjoying it. It tastes more like a black tea, so I am assuming this is a roasted oolog? It certainly doesn’t seem very “green.” That aftertaste really is something special. I have been thinking that darker oolongs are more my thing, and further tasting has really solidifed that belief.
Underneath the main sip I get a sense of fuzzy oolong taste, which may not make a lot of sense but is as accurate as I can get. It’s not bitter at all, but it’s almost like the idea that is could be if I weren’t careful. It’s like a warning from the tea…I wonder what this will be like with the gaiwan. As it cools/I continue sipping, the flavour seems to build up on the tongue and becomes a bit overbearing. I think I might prefer this in smaller quantities, as I’m not a true oolong lover quite yet. This is a nice offering to tempt in an oolong newbie such as myself – I can only hope I haven’t totally missed ALL the nuances. : ) Thanks again, Teavivre!
Check out our video-tasting here: http://blip.tv/the-tea-show/teavivre-flower-tea-6159996
Check out our video-tasting here: http://blip.tv/the-tea-show/teavivre-flower-tea-6159996
This is a part of the batch of samples that Angel and Teavivre sent me to try out. Thanks guys!
I think this is the best green tea I’ve tried so far. It’s the least stewed-veggie tasting green I’ve tried. I do get a just a bit of that to start off with but then it moves into a sweet almost spice taste. It’s really interesting that I can’t put my finger on actual spice this flavor comes closest to. It reminds me of several different spices, almost. I just get to thinking it’s like so and so and then I lose it and it’s different. It’s chameleon tea! Now I have to talk Dylan into to liking this enough that it’s the green he wants to keep around. ;)
This is actually Dylan’s sample from the facebook contest. Thanks Teavivre!
I’ll be sipping this one through out the day but so far, I’m getting just a hint of a green taste, like cooked vegetables. It’s fleeting as the sweet apricot flavor takes over almost immediately. I assume the reason this is a milk oolong, is the creamy, buttery flavor that rides the tail end of the apricot flavor. I does have a decadent mouth feel to it for not being flavored. In the end of my sip, resides the floral taste. It’s rather interesting because I thought I really disliked flowery flavors, but this one is good. It’s sweet and mellow, not as heavy as jasmine. This is an excellent tea. I’m not sure it’s the oolong that will get to live in my cupboard because right now I favor the big red robe. I’d totally recommend it to others wanting to explore oolongs.
Many thanks to the Teavivre team for a nicely sized sample of this beauty. I’ve tried this tea several times now and I have to say that this is a pretty good tea. It is light yet rich, smooth yet bold. There is little to no astringency, but there is a pretty decent caffeine kick from this. This is one of the few black teas that is great for multiple infusions. The cocoa notes seem to come out more during the 2nd.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my round of samples from Teavivre and I will be putting the company on my “To Buy From” list.
A lovely Oolong – sweet, and so delicate! The floral notes are very soft in the first cup. With subsequent infusions, the flavors do pick up a little bit, but they remain a little on the delicate side. It is like drinking the air that breezes through a garden: the flowers and the grass, and the clean, crisp air. So delicate and serene.
It is very refreshing too, I find the delicate quality of this tea to be so thirst quenching, and less dry than a more astringent tea might be. Sweet and exotic, and just the right tea for this afternoon. I find myself adoring this tea more and more with each sip.
This is another sample from Angel and Teavivre. Thanks! I remain very impressed with Teavivre after tasting this one.
I brewed this up gringo style since I was making a bazillion gallons of iced tea while I was in the kitchen. Brewing in the gaiwan takes far too much concentration to be multitasking like that. I weighed out my sample and decided it was enough to use in my ingenuitea and I followed the directions on the back of the package.
I found this to be excellent, a complex tea with different hidden flavors to surprise me. At first I thought it was mineral with a hint of that floral taste I got with the high mountain oolong. I let it cool down a bit. I generally don’t drink my tea very hot. Now I’m getting a toasty roasted, nutty flavor. It still has the mineral quality to it, but there is a new sweetness wrapping every thing together. There is a pleasant aftertaste which lingers on for quite some time.
This tea deserves a permanent spot in my cupboard. This is one I can curl up with and enjoy all day long.
I bought this a while back, and have had a few times now. I keep putting of reviewing it because the experience was so different to what I was expecting. Either way, I bought a bunch of it, so it is about time that I write something about it.
The tea comes in little individual serving packages which in turn are double packaged to protect the tea inside. Like most people have already mentioned, it is quite a shock when you open the little package and are faced with a moist and sticky little bunch of tea. When Teavivre says honey, they really meant it. The odd part is that I expected it to give off a rich honey scent, but I only smelled Oolong. I even ventured far enough to taste the sticky liquid, but it lasted like a vaguely sweet Oolong, still not getting any honey.
Also, each little packet is good for a 8oz cup of tea. If you add any more water than that it is too watered down for my taste. So I used two little packets for my 16oz teapot and ended up with a yellow golden brew. The scent was rich and mineral. To me Oolong scent is similar to smelling a lake, that is the sort of mineral that I am hinting at. It still had a tiny bit of latex to the scent, like the last Oolong I had from Teavivre, but it was definitely less prominent. Surprisingly, a bit of honey scent snuck into the brew. I was pleasantly surprised. I absolutely need for something called Honey Oolong that is actually sticky to smell like honey, at least when it is brewed!! :)
The first brew is mostly mineral with a hint of honey. But more than a honey flavor it is a vague honey sweetness (I hope that made sense). I was expecting the honey to be in your face yelling “Here I am!” but I got the honey saying “Oh, hello, I am here chilling with the Oolong…”. I feel like the honey aspect is more of a hint of sweetness when the tea first hits your tongue more than a flavor itself. The aftertaste is more mineral than sweet. Though towards the end of the cup I got a bit of the sweet aftertaste that I love in Oolongs, just not very strong.The second brew had no added sweet from. I actually enjoyed it more than the first. The taste was smoother and the transition from mineral to sweet aftertaste in every sip was
very evident. It is this magical transition that makes me love Oolong so much. I love the fact that the flavors transform as they travel through your mouth.
The third brew was a bit bland, I chugged it down mindlessly. It wasn’t bad, just not much there to sip slowly through.
Overall, I dis enjoy this tea. I had super high expectations, that just weren’t met. It is a tasty Oolong, and worth trying. I love the originality of it and the surprise you get when you first open it. I have had it a few times now and I still enjoy opening the small packets of sticky leaves. So far, I have loved Teavivre’s green teas, but their Oolongs aren’t quite my favorites. I really need to try their blacks teas! The sound sensational!
I’m thinking Teavivre is going to be a company Dylan and I patronize for some time. I’m really impressed with the quality of their tea and their customer acquisition plan. Dylan has informed me we are drinking the lowest grade of Keemun they currently sell. This stuff is just awesome! I love it.
It had a medium bodied malt that mellowed out that tea sharpness. I’m not sure how to describe the sharpness. It’s a bite that is pleasant. Basically just makes sure you know you are indeed drinking tea. The smokey flavor takes over and blends with a sweetness that is just divine. I could drink this all day long.
I really, really love Teavivre’s Keemuns.
For the sake of transparency, I’m technically drinking a Keemun Grade 1.5 tonight, as it was a mix of remaining samples. But I like 2 better, so that’s where it’s getting logged. Nyah nyah nyah.
I drink this, and it pretty much cements in my mind that there’s no real need for Lapsang Souchong in my life. This keemun is rich and smokey, absolutely deliciously so, but without that really heavy smokey pine flavor. Which, all being said isn’t that bad (at least not Teavivre’s version), but is nowhere near as pleasurable as the just slightly smokey flavor of the Keemuns.
Missy’s awesome, she’s letting me finish off the pot because I like this so much. I’m totally drinking more than my fair share on this one… nummy nummy.
Missy and I are doing a Keemun taste off from Teavivre this afternoon, since we ordered a sample of each of them (actually, we put our order in before they offered the Organic Superfine… but then Angel sent us a sample of that one!)
This tea is truly remarkable. It has a dark, malty base flavor to it that really commands attention. There is a strength to the flavor that is rough, but not harsh, with a smokey flavor to the cup that imparts just a little bit of magic. It makes it mysterious.
So how does Grade 2 compare to Grade 1? I might catch some flak for this… but I like Grade 2 better. Grade 1 is great, don’t get me wrong. But it has a little bit of a fruity taste in the back of the cup… it’s a little more complex, less astringent but less strong as well. Thing 1 is a more sophisticated cup of tea. Thing 2 kind of walks through the door, bellows out ‘Hey Everybody, KEEMUN IS HERE!’, and goes and sits at the bar. Depending on your taste for tea, you could go either way.
I really liked the Yunnan tea that we tried from Teavivre, but after tasting these Keemuns… I know where my heart lies.
Approaching the end of the samples I received from Teavivre for the Facebook promotion… thanks again to Angel and the team!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this at the beginning. The aroma is really dark and earthy, like new soil. Almost like fresh leather. It has really similar smells to the pu’erh cake we have sitting in the tea cupboard… just… not offensive.
The taste is very dark, strong, and smoky. I actually asked Missy to make sure this was the Keemun from Teavivre, and not the Lapsang I had ordered from Upton!
There is a power to this tea’s flavor. It has a really strong bite to the tea, with a smooth malty undertone, and then that smokiness is just heavenly. This is superb. It’s like I’m getting a blend, and it’s one lone tea. This is really the flavors I expected from the Baker Street blend that I got from Upton, which has both Keemun and Lapsang (along with Darjeeling) but somehow is significantly less smokey. Although, I did brew the Baker Street at work… I really should give it another chance at home (i.e. have Missy make it instead of me… she’s better at it).
Anyway, this tea is splendid. I honestly want to rate it higher, but something in the back of my mind is telling me that I have to leave room for the next two tiers of quality on this tea that Teavivre offers.
I want to rate this tea a 90, and it’s the lowest of three qualities that Teavivre offers. This boggles my mind.
So I also requested the organic Bailin Gongfu black to compare to the other version that others have reviewed so much. I’m not sure if other folks have reviewed the organic under the other tea’s page, but I created this one to distinguish them. Perhaps because it is in a larger sample bag instead of the small serving packets, the dry dry leaf smells more intensely chocolate. I did a very short rinse and a 10 sec steep.
Mmm getting more chocolate and less rye right off the bat, yes there is still a nice grainy quality but I’m getting some really lovely spice. Oh yes spicy chocolate, oh my! While I am not a fan of chocolate spice flavored teas (Teavana’s Azteca Fire and Zocolatte Spice ::shudder::) it is wonderful to find it as a natural characteristic of the tea. This would be wonderful on a cold fall or winter day.
The second steep is more sweet and less spice, reminding more of the non-organic version (which is a good thing as I liked it a lot). I keep on thinking either of these would be such great introductions to black tea to coffee or cola drinkers (of which I am neither). I really will have to brew the two side by side and western style to determine any real differences and which I should order.
The third is more broth-like and I get a bit more rye. It reminds me of french onion soup with rye bread crumbs, only you know chocolaty. The forth and fifth were a bit mild but still enjoyable. Will update this as I have more sessions. Thank you again Angel and Teavivre, this tea made my day better, after an epic tantrum from the toddler this morning!
Time for an oldie but a goodie! I’ve only tried this milk oolong (or any milk oolong for that matter) on one other occasion. It was delightful!! And I believe I even forgot about it at one point and let it steep for an hour or two and it was still good!
I’m definitely in the mood for oolong, so I picked this one out of my stash, set the tea kettle to boil, and pulled up my favorite application, Word! Today is going to be the day of exclamation points, I can just tell. ;) I can hear the water beginning to boil, and I’m getting super excited!! I’m going to try the first infusion at 1.5 minutes.
It really feels great to be drinking tea and blogging again. It’s very relaxing. And God knows I could use some relaxation after the non-stop dishwashing tour I went on this afternoon. Stupid dishwasher is broken. The maintenance guy came in, looked at it for 15 seconds and said it’s irreparable. On top of that, they don’t have any replacement dishwashers in stock. So, I’m on my own for the foreseeable future.
Thank God I’m leaving this ****hole in a month. It’s just one thing after another. Earlier this week, I went to check the mail and my key didn’t fit in the mailbox. I went by the office and they said they “accidently” changed the lock. What idiots. Seriously, who does that? Ugh.
So yeah, I could use a nice relaxing cup of tea. Mmmm, this is a yummy first cup! It’s sweet and floral and very honey-esque. I’m going to have to take the second infusion to go because I’m off to meet my fiancé, father, and step-mother for dinner. Although it wasn’t a whole lot of time to relax, this tea definitely settled my Ch’i. I’m feeling good!