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Recent Tasting Notes
I came back home from vacation to find a brand new box of tea samples from the wonderful Teavivre. It took me all day to figure out which tea to try first, but this won the right to be my 300th tea tasting note.
I brewed three pearls in my french press for two minutes with the first steep and three minutes for the second steep. The pearls themselves are about twice the size of the green jasmine pearls and smelled like dry hay. It was interesting to watch the black pearls unfurl with the hot water.
At first the tea didn’t taste like much. It isn’t as earthy as my yunnan black and that is what I was expecting from the tea for some reason. Only after I let the tea cool down for a while I began to notice a dark note. It wasn’t very strong but it was a dark note. Not earthy and not very sweet, but present.
On my second steep the dark note was a little bit stronger and that was when I was able to pinpoint the flavor. It tasted like a small sliver of bittersweet baking chocolate. I think I am going to have to brew this again with another pearl or two to really bring out the chocolate note.
I think the next time I try this I am going to put either my second or third steep in the fridge to try this iced. I think it would make a nice iced tea.
Thank you again Teavivre for this lovely tea sample. I would have never imagined that I would go from having a tea bag every once in a while to writing about loose leaf tea samples.
Sipdown! Thank you Angel for this sample! I’ve really loved this one. I actually thought that it was gone, but there was one cup left! This has many sweet, roasted notes that last at least 2-3 steepings for me. This tea is pretty unique when it comes to oolongs that I’ve tried. I love it and I’m so glad I got to try it!
thanks for the sample!
This tea looks like little nuggets! I think that the smell of this one has wheat and roasted notes that remind me of Rishi’s Tie Guan Yin. It smells wholesome in a way. Maybe the smell reminds me of wheat flake cereal a bit.
I brewed this for approximately 2 min and I’m pretty surprised about the strength of the smell. It smells really nice and familiar.
This tastes really nice! I’m not 100% sure I’m in on what the ginseng is supposed to taste like. I’m getting a surprising amount of sweetness and grassy notes. The toasty flavored are there, but they are not in the forefront of the sip. This tea is really, really great! I’m really enjoying this steep and I look forward to the rest of the sample!
Made myself one last mug of this tea today. I’m officially out and sad to see it go. This is the tea that made me realize that I actually really do love lapsang souchong. I just needed to associate it with the scent of burning leaves in fall, which is something I hold dear. It’s like drinking that smell, for lack of better words! I’ll miss it!
This is what I took to work today. We’re getting the outer edges of Hurricane Sandy, so the world outside is gray, cold, and very windy. The perfect day for something that smells and tastes of woodsmoke.
I’ve reviewed this tea before, so I won’t go to lengthy detail, but this was pretty perfect for today. Like I’ve said before, it smells more smoky than it tastes. Underneath the smoke, there is the delicious taste of Fujian black tea. Mmmm.
The second I opened my sample packet, I was hit with the strong scent of woodsmoke. I immediately thought of burning leaves in fall. (And I also thought of Brimstone, a Texan whiskey known for its powerful campfire taste.) It wasn’t exactly something summer-appropriate, but the curiosity got the better of me anyway. I’ve had one Lapsang Souchong before, from Adagio, but that was several years ago and I was less experienced then. It frightened me away and I ended up trading it.
Even though I gave the tea less than two minutes to steep, it still brewed up as dark reddish amber as a standard four minute black tea. I lightly sweetened it, and let it cool for a little while. I was a little hesitant, but I trusted Teavivre. Surprisingly, the smokiness seems to be more extreme in the scent. The actual tea is much more subtle and smooth. It reminds me of their other black teas with that sweet, bread-like taste.
I should not have been afraid to try this. But I may save it for the first chilly nights of fall, for the full effect.
Another generous sample from Teavivre!
I’m really glad I read about the difference between Milk Oolong unflavored vs flavored and I’m glad I got unflavored first. For something called milk oolong its more of a subtle milk texture. Its a very nice oolong that balances a slight roastiness with the milky brothiness. It reminds me of miso soup thats been lightly sweetned. I understand that they also flavor this tea but I find the milk taste, although subtle, is more then enough for me. This tea is incredibly relaxing and makes me want to take a nap. Maybe thats because its warm and my brain thinks its milk. I just need some oreos and I’m good to go.
Until I discovered loose tea, I never particularly liked black tea, finding it bitter and too astringent. I have probably tried 50 loose teas in the last couple years, and finally decided to give black tea another try. Thanks to Teavivre, I got a generous sample of their Bailin Gongfu and I just love it! I have tried only about 5 unflavored blacks from a few different companies, but this is my favorite. I steep it for 2 min. at 185, and add 15 seconds for each additional steeping. I got a total of 3 good steepings, but didn’t try for a 4th. To me, it is perfection, without any bitterness or astringency to spoil it, so I’m getting ready to re-order it.
Thanks for this one Liberteas!
I may just be the LAST person on steepster to try this! LOL – It seems like many have beat me to it! Regardless – I’m super excited!!!!
I agree with Liberteas saying this is more subtle than other milkly oolongs – it has a more gentle milk texture and taste and not that more intense sour-sweet type flavor that others seem to. I appreciate that difference!
I love how the flavor lingers! It’s FAB!
Experience buying from Teavivre http://steepster.com/places/2857-teavivre-online—
Note: this review is based on the 2012 harvest.
I received 15 grams of this tea as one of many tea samples provided by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and Teavivre!
This Long Jing Green Tea is advertized as being harvested on March 3, 2012. I brewed this up roughly a week after I received this tea.
Everything about this Dragon Well speaks of its quality: the characteristic appearance and fresh aroma of the both the dry and wet leaf, the movement of the leaves while steeping (more below), and it’s seemingly well-known sweet nutty flavor. As it seems most Long Jings do, this one yielded a mildly green colored liquor.
I started with my standard green tea times and temperatures when steeping (starting at 180F and one minute), and increased the time and temperature up through five steepings. While steeping, the leaves were all on top for 1st and 2nd, half and half on 3rd, such that they were up and active all the way to the 5th; I found the steeping of the leaves enjoyable to watch (with some teas the leaves simply sit on the bottom during the later steepings with little to no activity). I don’t know what all that activity means, but my guess is that movement is an indicator that there is life in the leaves.
I found that the wet leaf had the tell-tale signs of being a quality Long Jing: whole leaves interspersed with plenty of buds and bud sets, all of a uniform army green color. Although it is not the quality of Life in Teacups’s Da Fo Long Jing (the highest quality Long Jing I’ve yet had), this is clearly from a quality pluck.
The flavor was strong, and my wife and I both liked it. Still, as much as I like the taste of a quality Long Jing—and after having a number of them—I am finding that they all have a flavor profile that is not at the top of my list of favorite green teas. It had good flavor up to three steepings and on the forth it had a slight change in flavor that seems to be characteristic of Long Jings, something I don’t quite care for; I don’t know how to describe it, but it may be that it’s too nutty for me. Still, the fifth had an impressive amount of good flavor. With one exception, this is probably the best tasting true Long Jing green tea I have ever had. The price ($20 / 100g) is probably not too bad for an organic Long Jing of this quality, but it’s still too expensive for my tastes; personally, I would rather purchase a less expensive Long Jing. Price aside, this is a Long Jing I would be willing to drink on a regular basis.
I decided that it was time for tea. I have been feeling better today which means I have been drinking less water, juice, and tea overall. I still need to drink more liquids though.
This is just what I was looking for. Slightly buttery and a tiny bit fruity at the end of the swallow. Nice and light and refreshing, but I can still taste what it is supposed to taste like.
I was getting ready to brew up some of my Jasmine Silver Needle only to find that I must have used it all up already! I must remember to keep track of my teas better and to check how much is in the bag before I get ready to pour water in my pot.
So my eyes turn to my Dragonwell and it was exactly what I wanted. Buttery and grassy with a hint of astringency. Just the thing before I start to move on to my new round of sample teas from Teavivre. Have I mentioned how much I love that they let me sample different types of tea from them?
My girl friend didn’t have power last night so she asked if she could come over and borrow our shower since she had to work today. I said sure and she surprised me by also bringing over my fiancee. She likes tea and enjoys having my tea so I let her pick one out to have before she went home.
She picked this one so I brewed it all up and we had tea together.
Time for my green tea after dinner tea plan! Since my white Silver Needle Jasmine tasted better with more leaf, I decided to put in about a teaspoon more leaf than I normally do.
Whoah! It smells green and buttery right from the get-go this time. I don’t even need to get close to my mug to get the yummy buttery smell. I steeped this for two minutes. I am finally getting the butter note that I have missed from my first dragonwell. Then the green tea flavor comes charging in and enveloping my mouth with its wonderful taste. The liquor is still very pale even with the extra leaf. This tea isn’t as astringent as my green jasmine pearls which makes for a lovely bedtime tea.
I think I have been under-leafing my french press recently. I will have to pay attention with my other teas to make sure I am getting the leaf-to-water ratio right and get a new teaspoon for measuring.
I haven’t been feeling very well recently (hence the no tea notes in a while). So today, I forced myself to make a cup of tea because my throat needed it. My oh my, I forgot how good this tastes. It has the nice mineral and slightly astringent taste (perfect to eat with scrambled eggs with onions, bell pepper, and sage).
The more steeps you have of this, the slightly more buttery it gets. It mostly tastes like fresh morning dew with a hint of the buttery note. It makes my throat feel better. In fact, I keep sipping this tea as I am writing this note, which means my nose keeps going into my cup.
Seriously, try this tea. It is yummy.