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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
Looking back over my previous review last year and trying this tea again has
helped develop my opinion on this tea. I’ve tasted 4 different grades of Dragon Well from Teavivre and each them have pros and cons.
The first steep of this tea brought back a sense of familiarity to my taste buds. It’s light, vegetal, buttery and has the typical Dragon Well flavour that I find charming.
Sipping through the second to fifth steeps it remained consistent in flavour. It’s not as well blended on my palate as the Nonpareil version, but the flavour is far from boring or unpleasant. If I were to steep this again I would stop on the fourth, it had a really good flavour and the fifth (while enjoyable) was a bit too watery tasting for me.
The Superfine Dragon Well tea is more subtle and polished on my palate than the premium version. But it doesn’t even compare to the nonpareil version which I found to be most well balanced and refined in taste. When deciding on which type of Dragon Well I’d like to drink or serve, it helps to consider the situation and your budget. If I wanted to impress a guest (with a good palate) or reward myself I’d love to indulge with the nonpareil version. However for a more ordinary situation such as serving tea to someone that just “kinda likes it”, the Superfine Dragon Well offers enough heavy flavour to please people that do not like subtle teas.
Tonight I was able to compare the Superfine and Nonpareil version side by side. Next time I hope to drink some of my own personal Premium Dragon Well with my other sample of this Superfine version to taste how they compare.
Steep time: rinse, 20s, 40s, 70s, 120s, 150s
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
First steep, very smooth, velvety, light liquor, with the familiar Dragon Well flavour.
Second and third steeps, bolder in taste, there is also this almost fuzzy texture on my tongue.
Fourth and fifth steeps, the flavour has weakened a bit but is still enjoyable, and a bit of astringency if present (but not overdone).
Overall I really liked this Dragon Well tea. Teavivre always provides really nice green tea samples, and it’s given me a new appreciation for that type of tea.
Next time I brew this sample, I will use my competition cups to compare the Premium Dragon Well (which I purchased) with this one. After that, I’ll try it western style in a teapot.
100ml gaiwan, 4g-ish (sometimes my digital scale fudges it), 5 steeps (rinse, 20s, 40s, 1m10s, 2m, 2m30s)
I have been sick all this week. When you’re sick, your tastebuds aren’t up to par, and so I’ve been drinking a lot of mediocre teas since I don’t want to waste all my good teas. Since Teavivre is having an upcoming sale on these jasmine pearls, though, I decided to try them to see what I think. I don’t need more tea, and I’ll probably resist buying them, but if they were absolutely amazing I wanted to know.
They are definitely very good. Jasmine pearls are one of my favorite teas, and this is very nice. The flavor is subtle, but I only steeped it for a minute, so we’ll have to see what happens when I steep it for a whopping 2 minutes next time.
I do feel a little bad giving this tea a rating when I’m sick and I’m not 100%, but I suppose it’s all right.
I ordered a bunch of this! I’m a bit surprised tasting it this morning as it isdifferent than I remember. I remember the taste being predominantly of bread and honey. This tea is definitely greener, and more Tieguanyin like, than the sample I had. I could tell immediately when I first smelled the dry leaves that this was different than last time. The taste is all Tieguanyin- green, floral, sweet. I love Tieguanyin, but I specifically wanted this tea for the baked taste. Could it be that this year’s harvest is just that different? Maybe this is fresher than the sample I had? Either way, I’m going to enjoy this tea, but I’m hoping some of that bakey flavor comes through more in future steepings. I’m hoping it’s just my taste buds today.
Another sample provided by Angel at Teavivre. This one is smack your lips good! (even though smacking lips is one of my biggest pet peeves lol) Thank you!!
First steep, one min. At first it was mostly just a roasted nutty flavor , which I was enjoying, with an occasional fleeting floral note. As I neared the bottom of the cup it got increasingly sweet and bakey, like whatever oven it had been roasted in was also used to bake bread, and the tea had soaked up bread nuances. Bread is kind a big deal for me. I have several close relatives and friends that are either celiac or gluten intolerant; I’m hanging on to bread with everything I’ve got!! :P
2nd steep, two min. Mmm it smells so good! I’m trying to wait to sip it, my experiences so far have proven that it tastes the best when it’s cooled a minute or two. I busied myself with getting my daughters lunch ready. She has the strangest tastes for a two year old. We had leftovers from a Japanese place and she was so excited to get edamame (Beans!!!) and stir fried noodles (Noodles!!!). Now that she’s preoccupied, back to my tea! So far this steep is primarily roasty, with some barely discernible floral notes. That oh-so-sweet baked bread profile returns somewhere around the middle of the cup, and strangely more floral notes as well. It’s delicious.
This tea doesn’t strike me as a typical Tieguanyin; isn’t it usually greener, and more floral, not so roasted? Either way, I like this tea! I’m going to save the leaves for steepings later, it doesn’t taste nearly done!
After totaling my truck and having some aches and pains I’m starting to feel back to normal so maybe I can start getting more tasting notes in.
This is another LiberTeas sample and I’m sure glad she selected it for my sample box. It’s good!
Dry leaf has a nice sweet aroma. I’m starting to fully subcsribe to the thought that my nose is not to be trusted; for the second time in a week I say leaf smells like bubblegum-probably grape.
Add boiling water and that soon changes. Its still fruity, even berry notes, but definitely not grape. Color is a deep red/brown.
First thing I found after sipping was a coppery malt flavor. The sweet vein is undeniable and reminds me of a certain type of syrup. I’m not sure what kind, but can pretty much rule out maple. There’s a little astringency, though not enough to scare me away.
This tea gives me a nice warmth in the back of my throat. Couple that with the third shift that I can’t seem to adjust to and my eyes are getting heavy. I will put this in the;‘will make a new tasting note later’ file so I can pay better attention then. The drink got cold and so did this note, better luck next time. Thank you and goodnight,…your humble servant.
tunes-Bob Weir & Ratdog=Two Djinn/Even So/October Queen/Lucky Enough
Backlogging from a few hours ago when Steepster was down.
I had been saving this tea for last, as I am a bit crazy for Teavivre’s regular, non-organic Bailin Gongfu. Upon opening the packet, I knew I was in for another treat, as it smelled just like the regular version. Strong, malty, chocolatey. And so on my shopping list.
This version is almost identical to the other in looks and taste, except that it has a slightly more “toasty” flavor. But this is very welcome, for such a hearty black tea. It would make the perfect breakfast cup, in my opinion. Powerful, dark, and bracing. This could easily be my favorite unflavored black tea. It’s what I’m going to be comparing other Fujian black teas to.
I also want to note that in the second steep, the leaves lost a bit of the cocoa flavor and tasted more nutty and toasted.
I used to think I didn’t like green tea. TeaVivre’s green tea selection has changed my mind. Now, if I don’t have a sample to review, I am most likely going to grab a Chinese green for my own enjoyment. This one is cool right from the start. The leaves are dark, long, and spindly. The smell today is of hay, cocoa, and maybe a touch of malt. No one else noted this, so I thought maybe I imagined it. Steep it up and the small leaf turns green and with a steamed vegetable scent. The liquor is sparkling clear with a light yellow green tint. Sipping brings out a third set of flavors. I still smell the hay and cocoa but do not taste it. The taste I find hard to describe. It is a bit sweet, with a bite bordering on a good bitter. It is not exactly grassy but it tastes green. It’s kind of vegetal, buttery with a touch of grain or nut. This is a clean and refreshing green. Two thumbs up.
I steeped this again today. I was pretty sure I brewed this wrong yesterday. Today I followed the directions (doh!) The first cup at 1 minute was really good. Just like yesterday but I went 2 minutes yesterday. Cup two at 2 minutes was very similar to the first, just slightly lighter. Cup three at 4 minutes was also quite good. So, the secret with this tea for multiple steeps is to hold that first one short. Loving it.
This sample and the one from yesterday were provided by the fabulous Teavivre. The first cup was everything I love about Chinese greens. Buttery steamed veggies, sweet, not grassy. It has a wonderful aftertaste. The first cup is definitely a 90. I think I did something wrong as later cups were not as flavorful. No one else reported this so I am blaming me at this point and will try again tomorrow. I love the first cup. Thank you Angel and Teavivre.
Have had this several times now and am appreciating the subtle yet flavorful nuances of this excellent silver needle. Though mild, it is far from boring. Following the directions, I brewed 2 (heaping) tsp in 8 oz water for 1 min, increasing by 30-60 seconds for subsequent steepings. As I read other reviews, I was nodding when I saw descriptions like cucumber, hay, floral. I would say all these were just hints-combining to give a very satisfying experience. I enjoyed it with a tiny bit of Stevia. Perfect for a soothing cup in the evening
A sad sip down. Hate to see this disappear. I do have a full bag of Jasmine green tea from Teavivre that I won’t open until a few more are gone. I can’t do 12 cups a day like some of you so this will probably take me through most of the day.
I have said it before but I thought I hated jasmine until Teavivre. Wonderful almost grapey goodness.
This morning it is warmer outside than it has been in forever (a whopping 20 F!), so why can’t I get warm? So what do I do? I reach in the fridge and grab a cold brew. No not that kind, the tea kind. I poured it into my Tupperware glass because I’m a bearded redneck. It turned out well. I don’t notice a lot of difference other than it is cold. My personal sweet spot is just above room temperature with most teas. This is no exception. Call me crazy.
While I’m waiting for this to warm up a little – I mentioned playing guitar with a group of friends who put on a concert at our church Sunday. They put up a video on Youtube of a song they wrote the week of the concert. The audio and a few clips are from our church. I am not playing with them :( but it is an awesome slide blues song. Thought you might enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgjpRETiIv8&feature=youtu.be
Digging through my tea drawers (plural – sad in a super happy sort of way) and what’s this!? How can I possibly still have some of this beauty? Oh WOW! It looks like I still have enough for two sessions of many cups of glorious grapey jasmine awesomeness! I love happy surprises – especially when I give them to myself all unexpected like. OK, really Teavivre made this moment happen. I know that but right now I’m not telling me. My day is complete. Party on Garth. Party on Wayne.
These pearls have been sitting quietly in the bottom of my press since the wee hours of the morning. Waiting. I, on the other hand, have continued my 2 month long battle with Healthcare.gov. I scrapped my application and started over today as I could never get past the system errors in the old one. Multiple chat conversations with them over the weekend where they finally admitted it was a glitch. They knew about it but don’t know when it will be fixed. So now I finally get to see what is offered. Only two companies in my county. One of them doesn’t even have contracts with the local hospitals or doctors, so it is pointless. The other is better but more expensive. Hardly what any one but an insurance salesperson or a politician would call affordable. Plus I still can’t tell if I have to pay the mega deductible before the doctor visits or prescriptions are covered except for copay. So after the break I get to try again to speak with someone at the insurance office. Moral of the story – if you live in America and have a job with insurance, no matter how crappy, suck it up and hang on to it.
Oh the tea was really nice. I have come to the conclusion I prefer the bolder premium version a little more but just a little.
Teavivre’s Jasmine makes me think grapes. The is the most amazing scented tea. I could just sniff this all day. The pearls are a little smaller than the premium. The brew is nearly clear. To me the difference between this and premium is this leaf has a mildly woodsy taste. I had 4 cups from one scoop. A trully beautiful tea.
Special thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sharing this nice white in her very bountiful envelope!
First, I must say that my tasting note on this tea may seem a little different than others that have posted. It may be because I chose to add a little extra leaf in the pot, nonetheless the result is very tasty!
The aroma of the dry leaves are sweet and enticing. There is a certain floral undertone to the wet leaves, similar to blossoming honey suckle. Even though there is sweetness at its base, there is certainly much more. I found the liquid when first poured, to have a distinct aquatic flavor. Only one word that I know how to specify exactly – seaweed! I tried several smaller cups (87ml) to confirm this detection. Yes indeed!
As the cup cools, the grassy pelagic notes soften to a smoother, thicker malty sip. With the body of the tea, there is a certain coppery cocoa-like flavor. One last thing, you also find a touch of astringency towards the end, but your palate is left with a clean, ginger-like taste that lingers nicely.
Very nice cup of tea!
Free sample from Teavivre
I love dragon pearls. The little balls of tea waiting to unfurl in my pot have an aesthetic appeal all of their own. So, when Teavivre sent me this sample I was naturally very pleased. These ones are tight little balls of dark olive with silver tips, a beatiful contrast. They smell strongly of jasmine when I open the packet, a flowery, heady aroma that makes me feel good before I have even drunk the tea.
Steeping the tea for the first time results in an almost colourless soup with a delicate jasmine aroma. The taste is sweet and jasmine-y (well it is a jasmine tea after all!). The jasmine is not overpowering and the tea is lovely, leaving me feeling good and relaxed as I finish the cup. And then, crikey, the tea really hits with a wave of well-being and relaxation that is awesome. Brilliant!
On a second steeping the tea is just as good. The liquor is slightly darker and the leaves have unfurled completely in the pot, but the taste and effect are much the same. Now, if you will excuse me I am going to just sit here and feel suffused with well-being, relaxation and jasmine tea.
Finished this off as my morning cup. Now I’m off for our weekly breakfast out with friends. I hope this is loaded with caffeine (but I don’t think so) as I only had three hours sleep. The house is too warm for me and every one else says they’re freezing. Strangely, a good cup of hot tea doesn’t add to my body heat and it does make me happy.
My oldest son came over this morning to help prepare for our thanksgiving dinner tonight. My youngest is at work. The oldest has to work thanksgiving day – stupid black Thursday. Next year it will probably start at Halloween. But I digress. I offered to make tea. My wife wanted Vanilla Bean decaf black tea. My son didn’t care, so I made this one for him and me.
He asked what it was. I read the label as he took a sip. He said, “That will do” as he turned and headed out of the room.
I inwardly sighed. Then it happened.
He stopped in his tracks and went, “Mmmmm, that really has a nice aftertaste. It’s flowery or something.”
Yes! Good tea not wasted!
Second story – a year ago our thanksgiving was stressful. I was losing my job and we were afraid we could lose the house. A year later the house is paid off, we are doing fine, and it looks like I have a part time job! Just enough hours to pay for insurance. That is all I really wanted anyway.
My point, if you are struggling this year and on the verge of giving up – hold on! Tomorrow is another day. A blessed day of thanksgiving to all my Steepster friends.
Sip down. I had more than I really needed for steeping one mug at a time but not enough for two. I always feel a little uncomfortable using more than necessary. Even though I did not pay for this (thank you TeaVivre) I feel like I am being wasteful. I use what I need and steep until the leaves have given their all. Oh well, in the press it goes. I have not, so far at least, been a big fan of Assams. Ceylon black tea is ok. Chinese black tea I have loved almost every one I’ve tried. Those I haven’t loved I liked a lot. This one I could drink every day. It is really a fine tea. Malty, sweet, fruity. Just plain good.