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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea actually tasted much better in my sample pouch. That was why I ordered 100g of this tea, but the floral and fruity qualities have quite diminished in this large portion. The leaves are tightly curled and they smell of smoke with a pinch of floral scent. The sample tea was actually pretty sweet, but that too has diminished. So after a first disappointment, right now I’m drinking this tea on the rocks and with honey and it is fine. It reminds me of the original taste. I have steeped 3 mins with 100 Celsius water and then poured it in a cup half-full of ice cubes and a small spoon of honey. Now it’s a dessert. It has the milky aroma, it’s not bitter, and it feels like honeydew on the palate. I shall continue experimenting with hot vs. cold steeping and brewing.
This one is one that I selected specifically, as an alternative to the lapsang Angel was initially going to send me.
Dry leaf smells very strong. I think I’d have to agree with the malty/grainy description on the current reviews. It’s hearty and almost a bit earthy. And maybe a little sour? Maybe not. But just sort of thick and hearty and warm, and hopefully the cure for my late last night ice cream induced headache this morning.
Brewed, I get a a very dark liquid. Perhaps I used too much leaf. I used my bamboo spoon from Teavana. First sips, unadulterated, I got the same malty and grainy notes, with maybe slight smoke, or something that had a sharp taste to it. I could not really pick up any caramel. I had to sweeten it, and of course add milk. With it sweetened, I picked up a sort of raisin like note, though perhaps that was more caramel…but it tasted like raisin to me.
I’m not as in love with this tea as I was hoping, but perhaps I wasn’t as diligent on the preparation and used too much leaf or let it steep too long, or perhaps my headache has got the best of me and I just can’t judge this properly. I’m about to re-steep though.
(This sample was generously provided to me by Teavivre. Thank you Team Teavivre.)
Dry Leaf: Has a sweet gentle floral aroma with some vegetal fragrances in the background.
Wet Leaf: You get the floral notes up front with a touch of sweetness and that nice vegetal aroma that is light.
Liquor: A dark yellow or even a golden color.
Taste: I get a smooth floral taste with a touch of sweetness and a slight vegetal flavor.The broth feels rich and full in the mouth.
Overall Opinion: I give this tea a 89. Now, the Tie Guan Yin part of this tea is nice and good quality. The problem I have is this tea was soaked in honey and you can see the rolled up leaves covered in a sticky substance but I really never felt like it really gave this tea that big honey sweetness as most people would have thought.So, I think over all people will enjoy the taste of this Tie Guan Yin but feel let down because of the expected honey blast that was never reached with this tea.
Vessel: Sama Doyo 500ml Gongfu Teapot with a single sample(3-5grams) that was placed in the inner cup that holds 220ml of water( around 7oz.)
Thank you Teavivre for this generous sample!
Glorious Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea. There is nothing else like it!
I have been waiting for this sample…anxious to taste what I was imagining would be fine, high quality flavor as all my Teavivre samples have been.
I set aside a time before dinner to enjoy my tasting. Chose Alex Bugnon and Peter White for some Smooth Jazz, and was ready to go.
The fragrance drew me hard into the cup. How could I have resisted.
I was stepping into a Harem, a forbidden place…all incense and silk scarves. A gentle spray of Jasmine flowers was flowing from a crystal pitcher. The taste was heady and luminous. Rivers of flavor so wet with juiciness rolling on and on.
There was something of the forest at the end of that initial taste. It reminded me of pine needles that are blue-green and icy. My cup was never bitter but I felt as though I had gone down deep into a dark blue pool of glacial water. It was the juice that took me to that new place and the flavor I found was in the tea trees. Dark green pine needles, tea needles somewhere high in the clefted hills.
Some tea’s are different by nature. The dance of preparation for this type of tea…spreading of flowers on the tea leaves…taking the flowers off…laying on fresh flowers. It has to be done just right. Everything must be perfect to become this cup. My cup was just so. Just the way I want it to be.
This is the way I love my Silver Needle. The Jasmine so light and fragrant…and the Forest..the tea needles…wild and dark, clothed in mystery.
I drank this straight. Later I tried it sweet and it is delightful for those who like sweet tea.
http://youtu.be/UdRc1bgqKqw Peter White…. Glow
I really like this combination. I was just reading today about the weight loss benefits of oolong (helps to burn calories faster, according to the poster in a local shop, by increasing energy expenditure (EE)). I suppose this is why I typically was served oolong tea while practicing t’ai chi back in the day. But I digress.
I don’t tend to be that into the taste of ginseng, but it goes quite well with oolong actually. The result really, really reminds me of Tulsi (holy basil) tea, if you’ve ever had that. It’s herbal and a bit grassy, tasting predominantly of hay, or fresh straw. If this sounds off-putting, give it a shot, because I am enjoying this and finding it refreshing even on another abysmally hot Texas day. Woo, ginseng power!
I’m really glad I joined Steepster or I would never know about any other teas, other than black that is. Oolong piqued my curiosity because it has a funny looking name and most of the pictures I had seen of it were little balls, such neat little packages. The first oolong I tried was a bit too green for me and almost put me off of them all together. I’m so glad it didn’t as this tea is really wonderful.
I steeped it three times so far. All of my steepings were the same temperature. I added a minute more each time. With each one I’ve had empty cup syndrome. My first steeping was and incredibly smooth, suave cup that hinted at honey and fruit in it’s sweetness. The second was still very smooth and sweet but I felt like the “oolong” taste was deeper. On the third the “oolong” taste was much more intense. It didn’t get in the way of the honey and fruity notes. The tea was still smooth and so comfortable. Very complex with out being overly fussy or hard to suss out. I’m going to save the leaves and begin again tomorrow and see what unfolds.
Thank you Teavivre for this large and beautiful sample!
I began my day with my grandson Ian (11) wandering out from MY bedroom…to see if I was awake yet on the couch. You see, whenever one of the “8” comes to spend the night…they are the king or queen of the house. They get my big comfy bed. We had a strawberry oolong from Butiki with breakfast and then went SWIMMING!
Later, Ian told me that the Puerh I was sending home for him well, he was going to save a piece to celebrate his adoption anniversary. I almost broke down and cried. What a sweet young man.
I took Ian home and arrived back at about 4pm…needing TEA!
Another Oolong? Sure! This was such a sunny day…and I was feeling tired but pretty good.
I used a glass pot with large strainer and steeped 24oz (yep a lot) 4 minutes.
Looking down into my cup…the liquor was golden
My initial impression was sweet honey water. Then my mind wandered.
I remembered a natural spring in Puerto Rico where I went long ago to fill water bottles. The water was sparkling and so sweet but mostly, cool. This spring was in the middle of the rain forest which was humid and filled with wild orchids and ferns, the tree frogs chirping and lizards scattering about. The mist and rain was always dripping down my face, my legs, arms… then circling around me steaming hot. (Not a place to wear makeup!)
I thought of the little hillside house in San German on the Southwest side of the Island where my children and I lived for awhile. It overlooked coffee trees, mango, banana and breadfruit trees. Many trips down the winding road to Boca Raton beach and the salty waves. Sweet smelling sugar cane lining the road and trucks piled so high with it they should have toppled over.
This Oolong had the floral, sweet honey water flavor but also an aftertaste of one of my favorite Island foods, plantain. Not green plantain, but Verdura..sweet plantain. When plantains ripen and become yellow. They are so delicious cooked in a little butter or fried.
Something about this Oolong makes me remember Puerto Rico. The beach at Isla Verde and Boca Raton. Salt Spray and the smell of orchids on a hot day followed by a sweet cool drink. Rock Sugar. Sweet buttery plantain or even yukon potato.
I got scared once in shower when one jumped on me! Pretty sound though!
I always know that a treat is coming when I reach for a Teavivre tea. Even when the tea isn’t of one of my preferred types, I consistently admire Teavivre’s rendition of it.
Oolong is one of those types that I don’t pursue or drink often, but I’m always willing to entertain new attempts to make me a fan.
I love the title of this tea. Is it really picked by monkeys? Do monkeys drink tea or eat it? Those are questions that will have to be answered another time. Now, on to my sampling of this tea…
I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for three minutes as Teavivre suggested. The brewed beverage was a light greenish yellow in color.
Brewed and unbrewed, the aroma was grassy and similar to some milder green teas that I tried.
The taste of this tea was sweet, grassy, and fresh. The flavor was very light and smooth, yet full. There was no bitterness and it seemed to go down my throat extremely easily. In fact, I had to restrain myself from chugging it a few times. It is one of those teas that I ENJOYED drinking.
This is simply another perfect tasty tea from Teavivre. I’m not sure if I’m an Oolong fan yet, but I am DEFINITELY a fan of Oolong tea.
In case you are wondering about all of my glowing reviews of Teavivre teas, I need to specify that I am not affiliated with Teavivre in any manner. I am not obligated to write tasting notes (positive or negative) about these teas. I’m also not compensated for my Teavivre tea tasting notes whatsoever, other than the prior receipt of these wonderful samples for which I am extremely grateful.
I personally consider all of Teavivre’s teas to be among the top of the best that I’ve tried during my 10 months as a Steepster. The Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea has only reinforced my assessment!
Dry Leaf:Has a sweet vegetal smell.
Wet Leaf: Has a warm floral aroma with a sweet aroma.
Liquor: Is a yellowish color.
Taste:Has a sweet floral taste with a vegetal flavor in the background. The broth feels rich and thick in the mouth.
Overall Opinion: I give this a score of 90.I think this is a good tea for someone that likes a lighter tea with a nice floral aroma.
Sipdown, 196. I didn’t want to move on to another oolong after the milk oolong (wouldn’t really be fair to other teas), so I decided to sipdown this one. I don’t have much more to say about this one except that it is a very nice jasmine tea and if you are into jasmine white teas this one should be on your shopping list.
I decided to take a break from rose and have another floral that I haven’t indulged in a while. One step closer to a sipdown with this tea (one more cup left)!
The thick jasmine smell on this tea is awesome. Even though I’ve had this sample for a while and it hasn’t been sealed in an airtight pouch (just clipped shut as well as possible), the jasmine is strong and fresh and hasn’t diminished. Often I think teas are more resilient and long-lived than people give them credit for. I am liking the brightness and lightness this morning, after being kept out too late and not getting enough sleep last night. I really should drink my jasmine teas more, I do love them so much.
This is a big sample, and it’s getting up there in age, especially for a white tea. I really need to drink it down!
I put a big pile of this in my gongfu teapot and steeped it for somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds. Not a lot of precision here, but the result is quite lovely. Sweet, honeysuckle-y jasmine, yum. My second cup is not my favorite… I think the white tea is overtaking the jasmine, somehow, and I think I prefer a green base (rather, a pearl base) for jasmines overall. But still a delicious jasmine tea.
This sample comes thanks to Angel Chen and Teavivre. I haven’t drank a lot of jasmine white teas before. and I wanted to have this one soon after the Jasmine White Yunnan from Verdant yesterday. Of course, this is a Fujian white and that was a Yunnan white, so I’m interested to see the differences.
One thing that’s immediately different is the aroma of the dried leaf. This one is jasminey, but also with almost a savory note to it. Steeped, all the scents kind of mellow a bit, but I still get an almost herbaceous jasmine quality. The flavor on this is bright, crisp. The jasmine is sweet and leaves a slight honeysuckle aftertaste. I get a slight hay-ish note from the white tea, but overall it’s mostly really bright, leaving an almost tingly sensation in my mouth. It’s a light tea, but it doesn’t seem like it’s understeeped as much as just light in character. This is a very tasty tea, but I do think that the white yunnan was more my style. Glad I got the opporunity to try this one, though!
I was glancing through my notes on this one. It seems to be a common theme that I grab this when I haven’t slept well. Guess what? Bed at 11:00 up at 3:00. Thank God and Teavivre for this rich bold cup of malt and cocoa with a hint of smoke. Definitely better than anything on the tea aisle at my grocer and cheaper (even though it is about the same price) because this will re-steep. I bought a bag of Golden Monkey on BF so I guess it will be my replacement wake up after I finish this off next time.
I went looking for some Irish Breakfast but I am too asleep to remember where I put any of it. Note to self: Really shouldn’t hide your wake me up tea.
This one was setting out. I have had it open for almost a year. It still seems fresh as can be. A really good everyday malty black.
Went to bed last night at 10:30. Woke up at 12:30 thinking it was morning. Tossed and turned until 6:30 when I gave up. Definite need of a hefty mug of ambition.
Those of you who worry about expiration dates and such, do yourself a favor and move along. The leaf for this cup was first steeped 3 days ago. I left the lid off the press and this has been sitting quietly waiting until now. Time and air has definitely tamed the hefty malty and cocoa notes. My first thought was liquid milk chocolate. Not as amazing as when fresh but still very drinkable.
This is the tea I last had in a plastic travel mug. I went looking for a ceramic one yesterday but our local Starbucks was out of them. The price is so good ($10) that I can wait until they get them back in.
I had this for my morning cup. I did not have time to sit at home and sip. So I brewed a cup, poured it in a travel mug, grabbed my guitar and went out the door. This smells so cocoa and malt when it is brewing. I was so looking forward to it as I normally really enjoy this one. I was majorly disappointed to see how bad a travel mug sucks the life out of a cup of joy. I mean its not as bad as having it in a paper or styrofoam cup but sure isn’t the same as my ceramic mug. I did not realize what an important part of the flavor came from the sipping vessel used. I know a lot of you use travel mugs. Do you not notice the same thing? Maybe I am oversensitive, or maybe the convenience is just more important?
I have been up since three. I could barely keep my eyes open at work. A friend battled colon cancer for a year and was declared cancer free. Now they say he has a spot on his lung and we are waiting for results. Two weeks from today I will be laid off forcing me into retirement with no insurance and less than half the income. I have no new job prospects on the horizon so I am having a little trouble with Fear Not. As gmathis said the other day, I know how the story ends, but can’t we just skip a few chapters?
I went to my drawer for a little comfort. I was looking for Golden Monkey black tea. When I saw this one I realized I haven’t had it in a long time. It was a great choice. While waiting for the water to heat I started noticing the leaf smell. It is like wheat and malt. Such a nice scent. The cup is so smooth. It is heavily malted with light cocoa notes. I notice today it is even slightly peppery. The malt and cocoa linger long after the sip is gone. It’s funny, not that long ago I had no idea what people meant when they said a tea was malty. I guess it is because I had never tried a tea like this before.
I am more impressed with this today by far than when I first tried it. This I believe is the least expensive version of Dian Hong that TeaVivre sells. I should check that before I say it I guess. Anyway, I think originally I thought it would taste more sweet potato and honey like Golden Tips. You tone those flavors way down into the background and crank the malt and you have this tea. The slight amount of rough edges at the back of the sip I think would even appeal to coffee drinkers. If you enjoy Chinese black tea and would like an everyday affordable version this would do nicely.
Thank you TeaVivre for helping to take my mind off the troubles of the day. Upping the rating.
When TeaVivre offered their latest round of very generous samples, I asked for this one specifically. This is the lowest priced level of the 3 Dian Hong black teas they sell. Even at the low cost this is still a quality loose leaf tea with a fair amount of golden tips mixed in with darker leaf. The dry leaf is a bit malty and has some tobacco leaf scent. I used about 3g (a healthy spoon) and just below boiling water, steeping for 3 minutes in my French press. The liquor is a dark and clear caramel. The wet leaf scent reminds me of brownies. Like baked caramelized sugar and chocolate. (yeah, I know – Yum! Right?)
Comparing this to Golden Tips or Sun Moon Lake is unfair, but I can’t help it as I just tasted tested the latter. So let me get this out of my system – This does not have the wonderful sweet potato notes of the Golden Tips, and it does not have the amazing honey and mint of the Sun Moon Lake. So in this unfair comparison it starts off sounding a little bland. Yet it is $6.90/100g compared to $16.90 and $29.00 respectively. This is a really good tea on its own strengths. It is smooth and malty. I don’t know how this is processed and fired but I detect a light amount of smoke in the cup. That adds character and depth. The cooler the cup gets the more the flavor pops.
At the price point of this tea, having a nice Dian Hong for everyday would be enough. Yet, I haven’t even gotten to the reason I requested this sample. I had a hunch about this tea that I just had to try. I brewed the second cup and poured it over ice. As I suspected, this made a refreshing light glass of iced tea. Where as the mighty Golden Tips faltered over ice, this frugal version took it in stride. No sweetener or lemon required. There was one problem with it – my glass emptied way too fast :)
One last thing, I steeped this 3 times and it was still going strong. Let’s see Twinings do that.
My rating is higher than the others based on the iced tea option.