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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
This is my second time brewing this. Previously I used short steeps in a gaiwan, today I’m using a glass mug (about 400ml). I know everyone is not interested in short steeps, but I enjoy comparing a tea using both methods. For people that have read some of my previous tasting notes, you’ll notice that I typically short steep all of my black teas. Usually I prefer the flavour of that method, but I also enjoy the additional tea ritual steps. ;)
On the taste of today’s brewing results:
My two steeps came out pretty mild, which depending on your Keemun preference is good or bad (good for me). With the familiar flavours of its type coming up very subtly. I really enjoyed how the floral flavours were mild, while the spices were a bit stronger.
Overall I liked this Keemun tea because the flavour wasn’t bold and in my face. That being said, I am still not a big fan of this type of tea. If you like Keemun, but want more subtle flavours this is a nice tea to try. But if you prefer a bolder cup, Teavivre’s other Keemun teas fulfill that role better.
400ml-ish glass mug, 4-5g, 2 steeps (3m, 6m)
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
The first through sixth steeps were actually pretty consistent in flavour. Sometimes Keemun black tea is a bit harsh or almost bitter, but this one was very nice and mellow. Just the right mixture of usual Keemun characteristics, earthy, malty, and hints of spices.
Overall this is one of the better Keemun black teas I’ve tried (which isn’t a whole lot, maybe about 6-7 now). Throughout the six steeps, it never became bitter or too strong. That being said, I’m not a big fan of this type of black tea but it still managed to exceed my expectations. I’ll have to try this western style sometime with the rest of my samples.
100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp (4g-ish), rinse and 6 short steeps (from their website: 15s, 30s, 45s, 1m10s, 1m40s, 2m10s)
This is another one I’ve had my eye on for a few months. I was thrilled when it was offered to me by Angel at Teavivre. I’ve previously tried their Keemun Hao Ya, and I loved it. While it was smoky, this doesn’t smell smoky at all.
The dry leaves are particularly dark, almost black, and extremely thin and long. Like brittle spider legs as I measure them above my slightly cooled water. They smell very strong, pungent even. Once brewed, the tea smells like honey and wood with a hint of something that kinda makes me think of pumpkin.
The taste is intriguing and delicious. This is a rather strong black tea as far as Teavivre’s lineup has been so far. It makes me think of a malty puerh. I’m going to give it maybe three minutes and thirty seconds next, in hopes of making it even stronger. Must experiment. But for now, I think I liked the Hao Ya better.
Thank you to Teavivre for this sample!
Sniffing the brewing leaves was actually kind of exciting! It smelled like delicious, simmering garden greens. I brewed it according to their directions of 194 degrees for 1 minute.
The taste is as good as I was hoping. Juicy, mouthwatering, savory, brothy, salty. I really think green teas like this could make a really good soup base. Onto the shopping list it goes!
I do love black pearls … OMG. It’s been a while since I’ve had some, and it’s kind of like meeting up with an old friend that I’ve not seen in a while. Lovely!
I brewed this in my gaiwan just so that I could watch the pearls unfurl … and I don’t know if it’s the brewing method or that these pearls are just awesome but, these taste even better than I remember (I’ve tasted the black pearls from thepuriTea and these are just as good if not better, red blossom tea company – these are just as good if not better and also the black pearls from teavana, and these are better than I remember those tasting)
Rich, malty, and very deliciously chocolatey! So very yum! I do love these pearls. Love LOVE love them!!!
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
After trying this with short steeps, I brewed it in a teapot today. The result was a bit different, and better in some ways. I noticed a lot less strong charcoal flavour, and more of a smooth and sweet liquour.
Overall I prefer the flavour of short steeping this, but it’s still nice from a teapot. If you drink a lot of tie guan yin western style, drinking this da hong pao might be a nice change of pace. It’s a very different experience, but still a good cup of oolong.
I’ve never really been charmed by da hong pao before, but I can see why people like it. With my limited experience tasting this type of tea, I cannot vouch for it’s quality. That being said, I didn’t find any of the flavours to be off putting.
400ml, 5g, 3 steeps (1m, 2m, 3m)
Tea provided by Teavivre for review
Sniffing inside the tea pouch, I’m picking up on charcoal, some sweet scent and raisins.
First through fourth steeps were pretty good. The flavours suggested by the dry leaf scent were accurate. There was also a hint of chocolate in those steeps.
Continuing on for another two, the fifth and sixth steeps were pretty light but enjoyable.
Overall I liked it, but the liquor seemed to be lacking enough depth. Maybe I’m just being picky. Like I said though, it’s still a very enjoyable tea to drink. I’ll prepare this western style the next time I use more of this sample.
100ml gaiwan, 1 sample pouch (5g?), rinse and 6 steeps (as directed on their website: 25s, 40s,60s, 80s, 1m40s, 2m20s)
Free sample from Teavivre
Opening the packet I am struck by a strong grassy aroma that reminds me of a Dragonwell. Initially the dry leaf looks flat like a Dragonwell too, but then I look more closely and see that it is actually curled on the edges with colours ranging from yellow-ish green to a mid green colour.
Brewing the tea reveals a pale yellowish green liquor with a buttery feel and a grassy/nutty flavour. It is mellow with a sparkly aftertaste, and less pork-chop-in-ya-face than the Dragonwells that I have tried. Yes it is slightly meaty but there is more of the good, light grassiness about it and the aftertaste lingers nicely.
Another good tea from Teavivre and worthy of keeping some in stock for when the mood takes.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this terrific sample!
What a thick and full black tea! I really like the maltiness. There is also some creamy notes that add to the deliciousness of this tea. It differs from other smoker Keemuns that I have tried. This one has a faint smokiness to it’s sweet liquid. It taste more of a charcoal seared or toasted leaf, than a smoldering embers enhancement (no gaming or adult story reference here – thought I should clarify)
I’m very pleased with this light medium bown colored tea. This is certainly not a medium quality tea. It matches what you would expect to get, from an excellent company as Teavivre – tasty!
Thank you to Angel and Teavivre
What a very interesting tea!
From the texture, weight, shape, size, even color of it, not to mention its aroma and flavor!
These cute little bluish nuggets steep into this delicate oolong favor with the absolute most sweetest aftertaste that sits in the back of your throat. Then as you inhale there is this almost minty cooling sensation yet absolutely no minty flavor.
The ginseng is light, very light to me, and is found to sit mostly in the front of the mouth near the teeth and dissipates as you swallow again leaving that trail of sweet down the throat with the cooling after bust.
I just can’t get over this tea its so VERY unique. I can’t say I have ever had anything quite like it. It is a must try for anyone who says they want to try every tea they can!
Superfine and Supergood!
Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for the sample!
This is not AS malty, not AS chocolaty not AS strong as some other teas of this nature but it is oh so good!
Smooth and relaxing.
A definitive sweet potato flavor and aroma. (Yummmm)
Slightly drying on the back of the throat.
Absolutely no bitterness or astringency.
Grainy baked bread flavor. (double yummmm)
This is perfect for today’s fall like semi rainy weather.
Makes me feel like walking in the woods amongst crunchy leaves!
Sweet without any added sweetener!
Almost a little like molasses.
If you swish it around in your mouth you get the taste of rainwater and wood.
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
Opening the packet I thought, “This smells like tea.” What I mean by that is that it smells more like the teas I grew up with, rather than the teas I drink now. Interesting reaction. Is this tea used in English breakfast teas at all? Or maybe one like it is. The leaves are tiny curls of dark brown mixed with golden curls. They look great.
I put 8g in a 250ml pot and set it to brewing according to Teavivre’s instructions. The liquor is thick and dark, a reddish brown colour. The aroma is malty, almost what I have come to expect from Teavivre. No complaints on my part for that. I like it. It lacks the cocoa undertones (or even overtones in some cases) that other black teas I have tried from Teavivre have, but it is great all the same. There is no astringency at all as far as I can tell. The liquor tastes as thick as it smells. It is malty with a fruity Christmas cake flavour underneath. The taste as I exhale after swallowing is sweet and that sweetness lingers on my tongue as a delicious aftertaste. Then the qi hits me and suddenly I feel slightly warmed and relaxed at the same time, especially in my legs of all places. How peculiar!
The second steep is less malty and has more grain to it, but still has all the excellent notes of the first steep. I expect this process to continue with the third steep. I might share that one later, but right now I am just going to enjoy this tea as it deserves to be enjoyed, instead of intellectualising (is that a real word?) my enjoyment of it. When I am not focusing on what I can taste in it, I can feel it resetting my concentration so that I can return to my work with a clear mind, ready to progress on the next section.
Overall this is another excellent tea from Teavivre, but I really do need to eat more sweet potato so I know what they mean in their tasting notes! Still, maybe I can divine that flavour from the next two pots. This sample is large enough for three generous pots, so a huge thank you to Angel and Teavivre. I can’t wait to try the rest of the sample, then I shall have to buy some of this for myself.
Another big thank you to Angel and Teavivre for sending me a sample of this tea.
What a delightful sample. I was expecting it to be quite light but it actually has a really wonderful aroma and taste! It reminds me of a dragonwell somewhat. There is a sweetness in the aroma of the steeped leaves. It is very juicy in the mouthfeel with a slight peachy floral flavor mixed in with grassy notes and buttery honey notes.
There is a lot going on in this cup! The wet leaves turn out like a dragonwell too but a bit less fluffy and downy.
This is a hardy green too! I got distracted by local news and over steeped this tea in water too hot. I had forgotten I had added water to my Zojirushi and it reboiled so the water on my second steep was at around 208 and then I proceeded to let it steep for at least 3 minutes lol what a mess one would think but nope its still wonderful! A great green for the most “spacey” tea drinkers out there.
I really do like this one. Light, buttery, a little nutty, slightly floral but not too much, with just slight notes of honey and peach.
Thank you TeaVivre for the sample!
Smokey teas scare me still, so I dove into this sample with hesitation. It’s also blazing hot outside, but this tea was still enjoyable. 2 western steeps later and I’m liking this tea, although it really is burning me up drinking all this hot liquid. I really didn’t want to let this cool for fear of it being gross ;) It’s probably an unfounded fear anyway. This is a great lightly smokey, sweet and bold black tea. I’m going to save the rest of my sample for cooler weather!
Thanks to Angel from Teavivre for the generous sample and fast shipping! This tea was sweet and slightly floral, and good for a couple brews, making it a very good value indeed. There is a mild milky note that was quite pleasant, and I found myself looking forward to a mug of milk oolong each morning. Careful not to steep too hot, I find this kills that milky flavor. I haven’t yet tried the flavored milk oolong from Teavivre, but that’s next on the steeping list!