Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

100

Yunnan perfection! The taste is smooth, sweet. Beautiful peach fragrance. Steeping in zisha teapot makes it even better. Such complexity is rare in Yunnan teas. Fruity, zesty, honey sweet, not flat even after many steeps. This is an ideal tea for every occasion. Clay teapot strongly recommended. Do not use boiling water. Wait at least 3 minutes for water to cool down. Pour vigorously over the leaves. This is a keeper for sure!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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100

Exquisite is the word here. I was never a fan of Yunnan teas, but this one changed my heart. Sweet, not grassy, yet deeply aromatic. Smells of heliotrope flowers. Most wonderful tea for gentle evenings and mornings.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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87

Tea of the afternoon…..

The sample was sent for review by TeaVivre. Thank you so much, Angel, for arranging this tea tasting with Steepster members. It has been wonderful to see how others experienced the tea you are currently drinking.

I have about four versions of this tea in my house. I do have to say, that I do enjoy a good jasmine green. In looking at the price points of the versions I have on hand, it runs all across the board from just over $5per ounce when purchased in around a 4 oz amount to this one which is just over $3.50. One of the close to $5 versions is organic, but the other is not. The one that I have that is close in price to this one, I have relatively zero information on it as I purchased it from a glass jar at my local Asian Market. I think the offering from TeaVivre is the one I will stick with…I have much more information on it, and it definitely smells fresher than the one I bought locally. I know green teas have a shorter shelf life than black, so it being very fresh is important. (I wish I had known that about my local purchase….while it is good, it is not nearly as bright tasting as some of the others I have tried, and who knows how long it was sitting in that glass jar?!) They all look very similar, but the two that are closest in smell are this one and the version from Harney & Son’s. My local one, and the organic one from the Summer Steepster box both smell kind of flat, although the local one is slightly floral, while being flat, and closer to what would be expected in a jasmine tea. (I am not even sure I want to try the organic one. It just doesn’t smell right, and I just opened the package…)

Onto the tea. It makes a pale, golden-green liquor and has such a lovely, relaxing, light floral scent. More of a refreshing scent than you would find in rose scented teas. The flavor has a slight butteryness and I definitely taste a light floral note as well as smelling it. I find this very good and I think jasmine tea would be more of a Spring/Summer choice for myself, but I am trying to push myself to drink more green tea. I always forget jasmine pearls are green, though! This is a very good and reasonably priced version of this tea in my opinion, especially since it is a good resteeper.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

so I’m pretty new to white tea but I’m warming up to it quickly. As others have commented this is a beautiful long sage green leaf with lots of white fuzz.

I steeped this in approx 170 – 180 F water for about 2 minutes.

I’m just sitting here trying to figure out what to say about it. I was thinking vaguely spearmint but somehow that isn’t quite right. It seems lightly floral with a touch of lilac, with a lingering bit of fruit like lychee in the finish. I don’t think I’m enough of a white tea expert to know if this is better or worse than other white needles but I am enjoying it a lot. It has a very smooth feel in your mouth.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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94

Finishing off the last of this sample today -kinda sad to see it go, it’s yummy (see previous tasting notes)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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94

oh, this is nice! Like others I have noticed the sweet smell of the leaves when you open up the bag, it is quite lovely!

I did steep this in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, it is delicious this way but I should have paid attention to the instructions that said 185… A nice lingering flavor of sweet potatoes and raisins. It’s malty and delicious. I could not not resist adding some soymilk to mine. I am still not used to drinking a lot of black teas plain aside form pu-erh. So I will try this gong fu style again some other time, I think that will be an endeavor well worth my time. Definitely a cuppa worth having around!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Amariel

I need to try this again to try to capture these flavours.

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99

thank you Angel at Teavivre for this generous sample
coming home at 6:30 AM from work I was looking around at what kind of tea to try..and perhaps review here on Steepster. I was also pretty hungry, so I started re-heating my Vegan Jamaican Curry Chicken to go along with the Tea.
This is a great black Tea, smooth, slightly smokey and with that delicious maltiness that is great alone and very much complimented my ‘Curry Chicken’
It has a familiar aroma & tastes I’m trying to describe..? Maybe nutty as well? Hmm, it’s an awesome black tea that’s a “stand alone” and for when I’m felling in the mood for a black with a pedigree. It’s something to savor. I will order this one for sure
I brewed it according to Teavivre’s suggestion at 185, but almost went for boiling.
Did I mention the dried leaves were beautiful?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I want this recipe for the vegan curry chicken. :P

rmark25

I’ll pm it to you soon :)

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96

Backlog:

I finished off the last that I had of this sample yesterday evening, it was a lovely tea with which to unwind as the day ended. Here is my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2012/01/11/silver-jasmine-green-tea-mo-li-yin-hao-from-teavivre/

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96

As I mentioned last night, I wanted to revisit this tea today. Today, when I steeped this, I used a little bit more leaf, and the results are still quite pleasing. A stronger flavor, of course, but, still nicely balanced. A very fine jasmine offering, I’d recommend this to all jasmine lovers out there, it’s really delightful.

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96

This is an amazing jasmine, there is such a remarkable balance between the flavors of green tea and jasmine. It doesn’t taste overly flowery or perfume-y at all. The flavor is light and sweet and delightful. I was about to write a full-length review of this for SororiTea Sisters (to be published next week), but, I think I shall hold off on the writing for just a little while, because I wish to just sit and enjoy this tea for a while. I think I will have it again tomorrow so that I can write then.

So lovely!

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82

I like flowering teas, but I’ve never found them to be the tastiest of teas. There was a point about five years ago where I stocked up on blooming tea because they were so portable – you pop a bloom in a tumbler, add hot water, drink and add more hot water, and you have flavored tea/water for most of the day. I took it with me on bike rides and to 5k walk/run events because it was easier to drink than plain water. That’s not to mention that it’s entertaining to see each bloom pop open. But it isn’t the first thing I reach for when I’m craving “real” to, so-to-speak.

This was another generous sample provided by Teavivre and it’s certainly the highest quality blooming tea I’ve tried. I put mine in a glass tumbler with 10 oz of water, decanted into a regular mug, and found that to be fine for extracting flavor. It did get slightly bitter, but not undrinkably so. It maintained its green sweetness, and of course there’s the floral that shows up more in the aftertaste than in the initial sip.

I would have no problem using this as a centerpiece at an occasion – a small 2-cup glass teapot on the table at a wedding reception or bridal shower for something delicate to go with delicate sweets…the possibilities are intriguing…

I took a close up pic and posted on my blog review: http://bit.ly/whMPIh I’d definitely purchase more of this True Love variety for a future occasion.

TeaVivre

this looks so beautiful after steeped^^

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82

Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review

This is a follow up from yesterday where I brewed it with short steeps. Today I brewed this western style but in two different ways.

(#1) First I used the whole packet (5g?) with 500ml of water, steeped it twice.

(#2) Then I used the whole packet with 250ml of water, and also steeped it twice.

(#1) was good, with the liquor from the second steep having a better taste. The leaves didn’t unfurl completely until the second steep either, so I think a minimum of two steeps for Dong Ding prepared western style is a good idea.

(#2) was also given a rinse because I wanted to “wake up” the leaves a bit more. The flavour from the first cup is pretty intense, with the lichee aroma really grabbing my attention. At three minutes (#2) is on the edge of becoming bitter but never really cross the line. My second cup tastes a bit different, maybe a bit less fruity with the tea body becoming stronger. Anyway, it’s still a good flavourful cup. The lichee notes really seem to make it quite mouth watering.

Out of the cups I made today, my preference is for (#2’s) first steep which is similar to the steeping directions listed by Teavivre. And even though both were brewed in boiling water, the tea liquor did not taste too bitter or unfriendly.

While I enjoyed this Dong Ding I don’t think I like it enough to purchase some. Out of the three oolongs I’ve tried from Teavivire, this is my second favourite with TGY being my least favourite, but only due to personal preference. As mentioned in the other tasting note, I enjoy this Dong Ding because the additional flavours are not too overpowering. This is why I don’t like the TGY so much, because it is very floral and quite sweet when prepared western style. Again, I’ve mentioned this before but I do not have a sweet tooth, so I prefer earthy teas or those that are only slightly sweet.

Overall I think this is a good oolong for those that enjoy “oolong” flavour without too many floral/sweet characteristics. Not a favourite but still a good experience.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82

Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review

After having the Milk Oolong today, I didn’t expect to be so blown away by Dong Ding’s scent. When I stuck my nose in the small tea pouch, the scent of lichee was a nice surprise.

Sipping from the first steep, tasting something quite earthy, a little sweet, and still has a touch of lichee fruit flavour with a hint cinnamon.

Third through fourth steeps continued to build in flavour, with the fruit flavour remaining.

I could keep resteeping but decided to stop here as I grew less interested in drinking more Dong Ding. It satisfied me and that’s enough.

Unfortunately I do not have a lot of experience with Dong Ding oolong so I can’t say how good this is compared to others. What I like about this tea is the fruity flavour, it keeps the tea interesting and slightly sweet without becoming too sweet for my tastes (I do not have a sweet tooth, so this is important to me). But the fruity flavour is not very strong, just a hint of it.
My husband came home to try the third and fourth steeps. He liked it but was not too interested. I think the thoughts of bringing a bit of Milk Oolong to work tomorrow raised his tea expectations too much. ;)

125ml yixing teapot, 1 packet (5g?), 4 steeps (rinse, 30s steep, +15s resteeps)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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70

Backlogging (so, based almost entirely on my notes)

Experience buying from Teavivre http://steepster.com/places/2857-teavivre-online

Age of leaf: advertised as spring 2011. Received fall 2011, brewed up days later.

Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Beautiful looking leaves which look similar to Jing Tea Shop’s HSMF; smells fresh and possibly not as smoky an aroma as other HSMF teas.

Brewing guidelines: Based on information from their website, I went a little hotter of the later steepings. 10 grams tea, 5 cups water. Loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added.
……….1st: 170; 1’
……….2nd: 182; 1.5’
……….3rd: 186; 2.5’
……….4th: 192; 3’

Color tea liquor: pale yellow.

Flavor of tea liquor: Good, mild. Second steeping had a little more flavor, with a hint of something like cinnamon. The forth steeping had little flavor.

Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: They have a fresh, deep-green look to them, with a possible hint of cinnamon.

Value: Reasonable for a HSMF at less than $3/oz.

Overall: I was not very impressed with this tea. Nothing really stood out about it accept the appearance of the leaves. Looking at the wet leaves revealed a quality pluck: mostly bud sets with a number of whole leaves and buds. And in general I like the way HSMF leaves look (I can’t think of what it is about them at the moment, though). We tried China Cha Dao’s grade 3 HSMF the same day, and we liked the flavor of China Cha Dao’s better than Teavivre’s (although the quality of China Cha Dao’s leaf was clearly not as good). If you like HSMF, then this is an OK tea for the price.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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90

As it turns out, night time is not a good time for drinking this tea. I had a craving for something full of umami and and hint of smoke. Shoulda stuck with my Tencha Houjicha from Den’s. That’s a tasty tea that’s low on caffeine!

This tea is tasty too! Clearly I wouldn’t have pumped myself full of caffeine at 9PM if it wasn’t. :) It’s a total mystery to me how this tea can taste like concentrated umami and other teas can taste like fruit or chocolate. Tea is magical! There is something really familiar about the flavor in this one. It’s like a food that I can’t put my finger on. What is it??? It smells like the inside of a Chinese dry foods store. Where they sell dried squids, dried scallops, dried mushrooms, dried herbs and roots and nut and berries. Dried everything you can imagine! It smells like that store. Any body have experience with such stores know what I’m talking about? Next time you pass by a store in China town with open bins of mysterious dried things for sale, walk in and take a good sniff. Then try this tea and tell me if I’m crazy.

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90

Mmmm…nummy. THis is perfect for when you’re in a mood for savory flavors. At first, the scent of the leaves confused me. Then I realized I was smelling nori. I love nori. This tea totally reminds me of a chinese pantry. Dried shrimp, dried shitakes, fermented soy products… all those things used in chinese cooking to add a punch of umami. Is umami even possible in tea leaves? Delicious. Slightly brothy and a hint of dryness on the tongue. Am I having soup?

Ok, let’s back pedal a bit and talk about the leaves and the steeping parameters. I was tickled to see how mini the little leaf pellets were in the pouch. Adorable! I was also surprised by the steeping instructions. Less than 30 seconds in 90 C? I’ve never seen a green calling for such a short steep. And the temp is a bit high for my usual greens, but since the directions were so specific, I figured they were worth following. I can’t imagine going for more than 30 seconds with this tea. The flavor is perfect at 29 seconds. I imagine it would get astringent if left longer, judging by the dryness already present. I love the care Teavivre shows toward their teas. Every variety is treated with respect.

I bet this could go a few more steeps too. I’m off for steep 2. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

Umami is mentioned regarding the Japanese green teas in Michael Harney’s Fuide To Tea, so yes! Tea can have umami, I guess!

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83

I cold steeped some of this (3tsp?) in a big glass jug (1ltr?) for about 24hrs. It tastes pretty good, I’ll have to make some again during the summer. Still preferring a hot cup during these colder months. :)

Preparation
Iced

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83

There was some mix-up with Teavivre’s manufacturer because the sample I received was “flavoured” when Teavivre’s intention was to sell the unflavoured stuff. (Old notes have been deleted because they don’t apply to the same tea) Anyway, I ordered it and received the proper natural Jin Xuan tea. So it’s like I am getting to know this tea for the first time now! ;)

First steep is slightly floral, fruity (apricot), sweet, and vegetal. There is also a slight creamy aftertaste. Seems like a nice balanced tea, nothing seems out of place.

Third to third steeps were consistent, with the third being a bit sweeter and fruity.

Taking a break and sniffing inside the teapot, the leaves do smell sweet and almost creamy. But it’s not a heavy cream scent. It also made me think of apricots

Four to fifth were more vegetal and less fruity. I kept resteeping but eventually stopped on the ninth when I could hardly taste any tea.

If you are looking for a flavoured Milk Oolong with heavy cream and fruit flavour, try somewhere else. Apparently that stuff is not natural and is flavoured to achieve that result. However this Jin Xuan Milk Oolong tastes very natural, and for me is a lovely tea with a good price. Sometimes less expensive oolongs do not satisfy my palate, but this one is tasty and cheap enough that I can drink it very often in my yixing teapot.

The leaves are quite big, and the 1 1/2 tsp I put in looks about right.
125ml yixing teapot, 1 1/2 tsp, (rinse, 10s, 15s, +10s resteeps)

Preparation
Boiling
K S

Curious, how did you find out you had the wrong stuff?

Dorothy

I confirmed it with Angel, and besides that flavoured Milk Oolong has a very very different taste from natural Jin Xuan “Milk Oolong”.

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74

Sample provided courtesy of Teavivre…

I’ve never had a Chysanthemum pu-erh before and I was looking forward to trying this one. It was very nice the way the flower opened up after this steeped. 195 F water for 2-3 minutes. I should have used boiling but that’s what our water boiler is set to currently.

First steep: This is pretty earthy and woodsy! It’s also a bit seaweedy with a hint of smoke. I wonder if I should have tossed the first steep?

Second steep: Floral scent is emerging! I am getting a bit of the sweetness here and it’s a lot less murky than the first steep. I need to get into the habit of rinsing these a bit in boiling water before steeping them.

When it comes to pu-erhs I am biased and picky. I do have definite preferences and flavor profiles but I don’t think this is one of them. I may have to spend some more time with this tea before I can really assess it. I was glad I had the chance to try it but I’m a little confused by it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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79

Backlogging (so, based almost entirely on my notes)

Experience buying from Teavivre http://steepster.com/places/2857-teavivre-online

Age of leaf: advertised as spring 2011. Received fall 2011, brewed up days later.

Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Looks and smells like quality leaf: deep green color; fresh, nutty aroma.

Brewing guidelines: 7 really big tsp, 6 cups of water. I went a little hotter than my standard green tea temps based on what they recommended on their website. Loose in glass Bodum pot, Stevia added.
……….1st: 180. 1.5
……….3rd: 190, 2’
……….4th: >190, 2.5

Color and aroma of tea liquor: Smells fresh and vegetal; standard Dragonwell color.

Flavor of tea liquor: Great flavor that any good Dragonwell seems to be known for: sweet and nutty. Little flavor on the forth.

Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: Looked and smelled fresh. Lots of budsets, a number of whole leaves and buds, and a few stems, and brown leaves, and two flower stem/buds (I don’t know what else to call them). Quality leaf.

Value: good price for the quality of this Dragonwell (less than $4/oz).

Overall: This is a great Dragonwell. It’s been awhile since I drank it, so I don’t know what else to write, other than I was expecting much from this tea (based on the reviews), and it met my expectations. If you like Dragonwell, it is worth buying.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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93

I may have stated before but, my previous experiences with white tea have been lack luster. I am fairly certain that this is my first White Peony(Bai MuDan) as well. However the offerings that I have sampled from Teavivre have changed my outlook on white tea. I am liking more so than I like straight up green tea. I’m beginning to think maybe my previous attempts at white tea were fumbles at the goal line. The dry leaf is fuzzy like a peach with some buds mixed in. Pale yellow liquor. Much like the white silver needles the flavor is a little nutty, slightly vegetal. There were some floral notes too on a couple of sips as it cooled. At one point I thought that I caught a cinnamon note and cocoa note. I might be crazy on those but I’m also a tad congested lately. I am very much in like with the white teas that I have sampled from Teavivre. I may have to explore some more white teas now.

TeaBrat

I liked it too!

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98

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 tsp
Water: 12 ounces hot tap water
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweet, roasty, delicious
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, roasty, delicious
Flavor: sweet bakey
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: toasty
Liquor: translucent dark brown

Delicious, from the smell you knew it would be a smooth toasty black. It has its own sweetness, and just enough toast to be soothing but not an astringent black.

Resteep: 2 minutes, 12 ounces hot tap water
Lighter body, but still delicious

This tea puts up with poor preparation (at work) and has been a once a week treat on my first day of work. The smooth mouthfeel and gentle toasted sweetness wake you up gently and not with the vicious shake sometimes given by an assam.

Solid performer, I have been drinking this at work and it has been hard to mess up, and consistently delicious without being jarring. This is not a kick you awake tea but a tea to perk you up with friendly soothing sips.

Rating: 4/4 leaves

Blog: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2012/01/teavivre-loose-leaf-black-tea-bailin.html

ScottTeaMan

When I order from Teavivre, this tea will be in my order. It looks and sounds amazing! :))

AmazonV

@ScottTeaMan i hope you <3 it as much as i do, i also recommend their white peony which i need to post but also LOVE

TeaBrat

I liked both of those as well. :)

ScottTeaMan

ok…….AND THERE IS OTHERS i WANT TO BUY. :))

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95

Tea of the morning……

Ahhh. Now that is what I remember. Have you ever prepared a tea and it is just not what you remembered? That has happened to me the last few times I made this. I just wasn’t as crazy about it. I was also having a moment of disappointment as I have at least a year’s supply of this on hand. Well, I think I have to call the last two pots as being my error in preparation. This tea can be hard to measure due to the long, fluffy leaves. It seems this one works out best with the leaves lightly in the measuring spoon and slightly mounded. I do have a few teas that are best measured on the scant side by volume, too, so unless I plan on using my gram scale every time I make tea, I will have to adjust. I am thinking of adding a sticker to the tin I have them stored in for measuring and water temp tips if they very from my norm.

As usual, super wonderful. Caramelized sweet potato, a hint of maltiness. Heavy liquor. :D <——Really says it all.

Usual teapot method, with a loosely packed but slightly heaping measure.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

Tea of the morning…..

Why is the week of daylight savings so hard? I just can’t seem to adjust as quickly as I used to. And it is only an hour. I am so hoping I am not alone in this.

Anyway, I finally made it to Saturday. This is the kind of day where I can pick a tea that I will resteep. This one is a perfect choice. Always very good and special. Cocoa notes, caramelized sweet potato notes, heavy mouthfeel. Resteep is usually spectaular, too.

I used to reserve it for special days as I only had a small amount in my stash. That was until Teavivre had their Anniversary Sale over the summer and this was 30% off. Yeah, I bought a little. 500 grams. The way they package, that is 10 50g pouches. I love that I know it will be fresh when I am ready for a new pouch because of their awesome packing methods. I know some would not be comforted by having so much of one kind of tea in their possession, but for me it is perfect. My stash is settling around favorite teas. I have tasted enough of what is out there, that I am satisfied I have my favorites covered.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

No, I was having a hard time too, felt tired all week!

Terri HarpLady

I’m there with you both. Why do they even bother with a time change anyway?

Tea Sipper

Oh I could never settle on favorites.. I would think there was a really great tea I was missing that I hadn’t tried yet!

SimplyJenW

See, Tea Sipper, that might be true, but I guess I am tired of ‘kissing frogs to find that prince’.

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