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Recent Tasting Notes
MY TEAVIVRE SAMPLES CAME IN! I’m so excited! This blooming tea was something I was really looking forward to, as I had never had one before and they always look so cool! Unfortunately I don’t have a nice fancy glass teapot but I do have a really large glass mug.
WOW THIS IS LIKE… THE COOLEST EVER!? The flower literally opens up into 3 full blooms its insane IT IS SO TALL WOW my mug is JUST TALL ENOUGH TO HOLD ITS FULL HEIGHT. DANG. It’s so pretty! I kinda had a fear that the bloom wouldn’t be as cool as it is in photos, you know? BUT IT’S SUPER COOL.
Okay I think I over-steeped slightly because I spent so much time just looking at it and taking pictures HAH but it still tastes great! Very light and flowery, smooth and slightly sweet. Giving the rating extra points for the EXPERIENCE though because that was AWESOME.
I’m feeling kind of wonky, so I think that may translate into a wonky review. But here goes anyway! I’m enjoying my first cup of tea in my new apartment! This place ROCKS! But there’s sooooo much work to be done. Unpacking, organizing, decorating, and lots of trips to Lowes and Goodwill are in my future. I am super tired just thinking about it, so I thought this tea might be a good one to start with. Isn’t ginseng for energy? Well, there’s A LOT of ginseng in this tea! So, if you’re a fan of the taste, you’ll love this tea.
While waiting for the cup to cool, I read the purported health benefits. Prevents the decaying of teeth…?! Okay! Well, I can’t dislike this tea now! I wonder if that’s really true…anyway, this is an interesting tea. It reminds me of Blue People, but heavier on the ginseng and minus the awesome cooling sensation in the aftertaste of Blue People (see that tea here: http://steepster.com/teas/vital-tea-leaf/1803-blue-people).
First steep was 1 minute. Second steep was 2 minutes. Second cup is actually too strong for me. I don’t think I’d drink this regularly. The oolong is overwhelmed by ginseng, and I much prefer a plain oolong flavor. Still, it’s not bad and it fits the high quality standard of all Teavivre teas. It’s just not the tea for me. Also I’m still feeling just as tired as when I started drinking this tea, so not sure how energizing it really is… By the way, broccoli soup is gross. And it definitely does not go with ginseng oolong tea. Eww. I think I’ll call it a night and go to sleep.
Just a quick note. I wanted jasmine pearl tea and found to my horror that I was out of it and had to replace it with this one instead. I am craving jasmine at the moment :)
Steeped 6 times in my gaiwan and each cup was as beautiful as the last. Plus in the loose tea there are actual jasmine flowers amongst the white tea leaves and it looks so delicate and perfect, very warm and summery.
It started off gentle and refreshing with just a hint of jasmine and within a few cups it changed to become stronger and stronger with the jasmine exploding marvellously on my tongue.
This wasn’t what I intended to have but it certainly cured my taste for jasmine. Yum yum.
Raw – This looks like a good quality white silver needle tea as it’s fresh and beautifully coloured (it reminds me of American white sage) and it smells potently floral. Plus when this states needles they mean it, there are lovely long leaves in the mixture.
Brewed – A quick steep (as recommended) and you are left with a pale yellow liquid that smells of fresh and fairly strong jasmine. It smells like pure jasmine flower (I use the essential oil often at work so I know the smell well) so for me it shows very good quality. It’s lovely.
The first few sips are mellow, floral and very delightful. You can taste the jasmine which is floral, sweet and fresh without any bitterness or being overpoweringly perfumey (like some others tend to). The white tea gently lifts the tea to complete the balance and add extra freshness and lightness.
After half the cup you can taste more of the jasmine and it gets slightly sweeter and stronger. This is such a beautiful jasmine tea and for someone who is used to drinking jasmine green rather than jasmine white I think I may have to change my ways and experiment more.
I received this one from a random sample swap from Meowkattack! I was so excited when I got this one because it was soaked in honey. I have never, ever seen a tea that was soaked in honey. Well I went to Teavivre’s site and read up on it. I decided to do multiple steeps with this oolong. So here it goes!
212° for 1 min.
The color of the liquor reminds me of watered down honey. The smell is light, sweet, and with a hint of fresh veggies. The flavor is kind of floral and sweet. I can get a slight hint of honey in the background.
212° for 2 min.
The color has gotten much, much brighter. Almost to a yellowish-green. The smell is very vegetal. The flavor has gotten a little more deep into the oolong with hints of vegetal and savory flavors.
212° for 3 min.
The liquor has turned to a light brownish-yellow. The aroma has turned deep and vegetal with buttery notes. The flavor has a slight mineral taste to it along with a deep oolong flavor. There is still a slight buttery/vegetal flavor to it but it’s very light.
This is the first oolong I have tried steeping multiple times and I loved it! I think it is so amazing how the flavor changes with every steeping! Thanks again!!
This was my first ever pearl tea and it seemed strange that it wasn’t in loose pieces when it started but looked sort of like black seaweed after it was steeped.
The biggest surprise to me was how smooth this tea was from the first taste. The first steep was only 1 minute and the color was very pale, but the second steep I left for 2 minutes and of course the color was deeper, but still it was a smooth as the first steep, but I did feel like it left a lingering taste on the back of my tongue that I couldn’t identify. I decided to do a third steep, but got distracted and it was left to steep for 5 minutes. Being in a hurry afterwards, I just poured the tea into a glass and later in the evening decided to try it with ice…what a surprise to find that it was great, and so much so that I might plan on doing a long 3rd steep again in the future to use for ice tea.
Thank you for the samples, Angel!!!
Last night I had a minor tragedy and lost TWO plants to mealybugs, so I needed the cheering up. I had clipped a few leaves from my purple basil for dinner and discovered dozens of the fluffy white menace. This plant shared space with some cilantro I had been having trouble with and was neighbors to the dendrochilum I had just performed surgery on yesterday. With chemical assistance I could have saved the herbs, maybe, but I wouldn’t want to eat them. I decided to throw them out before they had a chance to infect everyone else.
What a way to be cheered, though! I was fortunate enough to have today off, and the s.o. was working from home as well, so I was able to sign for my long-awaited samples from Teavivre and we both got to try this one! I started with the ginseng oolong because it was the one most likely to attract the curiosity of the non tea-obsessed. This impressed us both. I fixed up a little pot and we shared it.
The only reason I am not ordering more already is because there are more teas to sample and I want to make sure I try them. Oh, and combined shipping for the ones I decide I must have. If I order more of this now it might be all I drink till the weather turns. But I really love it. I have never tried anything really ginseng-y before, there is something tingly and clean and healthy feeling about drinking this, like a hot honey cough drop, but wonderful.
I hot-brewed and chilled this to see how it would fare… I think it was best before I inadvertently let it warm up to room temp. The hibiscus was a bit less noticeable while it was cold. However, still pretty refreshing and is helping to rescue me from this terrible humidity! (I’m a total humidity wuss, I’m used to dry heat, not repeated evenings of fog because there’s so much moisture in the air…).
Another sample from Momo, thanks!
I was a bit wary of this one because of the roselle/hibiscus, but was curious anyhow. I kept the infusion time a bit shorter than recommended though, as I’d like to be able to drink this, not have to pour it down the sink!
The aroma is fairly generic fruity… oh damn, hazards of tea near computer… just spilled on my keyboard. No major crisis though…
Anyhow, flavourwise, this one is definitely quite tart! However, it’s a pleasant sort of tart even though I know it’s from hibiscus, and I’m actually enjoying it! I wonder if the pineapple is taming the hibiscus somehow (although I have also read that roselle is not quite as…. potent? as “regular” hibiscus.
Either way, I agree with Missy that this is rather like a fruit punch, although tart, so I imagine it would be delicious iced! Always love when the tartness of hibiscus is actually used effectively!
ETA: Second infusion is… pineapply-tart? Odd. Probably would be good sweetened. I don’t think this has another infusion in it, but it is a herbal after all.
From the moment I cut open the bag and caught a whiff of the strikingly golden brown tea leaves, I knew this one would be special… and it did not disappoint! I used numerous 30 second Gongfu style steepings. The first steeping was mild in flavour, but not without aroma. Perhaps I didn’t wait quite a full 30 seconds, as an immediate pronounced rich colour developed. The second steeping was much more pronounced in flavour, aroma and colour, yet it still defied description. My nose perceived a floral, perfumey sweetness; my tongue perceived a malty tartness. Even at the fifth steeping — or was it the sixth, it was no longer possible to keep track — the liquor remained a deep golden brown. I will make it somewhat stronger next time to see if I can more precisely define the tastes.
Well, I have to be honest and say I was a bit dubious when this sample came from Teavivre to try. I love oolongs but was not sure what to think about ginseng with oolong. So, it’s been sitting at the back of my tea cupboard waiting until I drank my other samples. But, with the release of the new straight teas from DAVIDs, my interest was piqued. The description and the picture caught my attention. Perhaps there was a picture and description on the Teavivre site, but I must have missed it or not looked. Anyhow, in light of it all. I decided to break out my sample and try.
Initially, I read the most recent reviews and thought I was in for a treat. And then someone commented on undertones of anise, menthol and something else…I wanna say camphor or eucalyptus. Anyhow, I was worried at they point. Those are not things I care for. At all. I didn’t really detect any if those tones when I smelled the dry leaf, but I could taste them when brewed. So, unfortunately, this is not my preference in oolongs. Luckily, as the tea cooled, the licorice and mint tones were more subtle.
I will probably not have the rest of my sample, but I will scout out my friends who have a palate that likes those flavours.
So as I suspected, this is a brilliant cold brewed tea! Where it’s a nice tangy hot tea, it’s a fantastic cold tea! Tethered a nice berry taste, there’s a bit of tang and the colour is wonderful :) I don’t drink a lot of cold tea in winter but this is likely something to go on my shopping list for summer! Thanks azzrian
So this is a sample from Azzrian and I have to say, it’s pretty tasty. I totally don’t get pineapple when I drink it but what I do get is a nice tangy refreshing beverage. I think this would be pretty awesome cold so I’m going to use the last of my sample to give that a try tomorrow. This would be a really nice drink on a hot summer day…even hot :) it’s that right balance of sweet and tangy that throws a party in your mouth that your mind can dance to heh thanks Azz!
This tea is beautiful!! I have had a sample of this from the ever generous Teavivre for quite some time; I have been waiting to brew it up until I had a friend over who would appreciate it! We used boiling water and steeped for a little over 2 minutes. We like how it tasted; very light with floral nuances. Everyone who saw it thought it was pretty neat! We steeped it twice; it was nummy both times.
Thank you to Teavivre for sending this wonderful set of samples! They finally arrived today and I can finally start digging in.
I am in a black tea sort of mood so I figured this would be a great place to start, that and the tea came in a little once cup pouch so I didn’t have to do any measuring!
The dry leaf smell reminds me of soy sauce with a hint of sesame seed, which is making me really hungry as well as get this tea going. The steeped tea is a nice dark amber color and smells a little soy saucey still with a hint of chocolate.
The taste is very nice. There is no astringency that I can detect, which is very nice and makes for a smooth tea. There are some nice chocolate notes that are coming out as I sip this as well as a hint of chili. I might try less water when I resteep this to try and make it a little more to stronger.
Measuring out the tea, I observe long, full leaves, consistent gold color and a pleasant sweet aroma. Mmm, nice. I anticipate an enjoyable evening with this tea. I’m curious about it-how will it compare to Teavivre Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip which I adore, and Bailin Gong fu, running a close second. Without trying a sample of this first, I had gone out on a limb and ordered 100 gms. I’m glad I did. The drink is smooth and tannin free with notes of oven-roasted sweet potato. The low astringency and sweetness of this tea make it a great every day tea.. The price is reasonable and I’ve been looking for an economical everyday “go to” Chinese black. My experience with TeaVivre has been exceptional. Golden Monkey is a little less pricey, which makes it a tea I will likely keep on the shelf.
These leaves are beautiful – long, slender, and wiry. They are so dark … deep green. Such a dark shade of green, in fact, that they almost appear black. The liquor that they produce is very pale, though. Pale and delicious. Soupy, brothy… like a delicious vegetable soup without the vegetables. Very comforting and lovely to sip. Satisfying.
Mao Feng is one of my favorite green teas, and if I were to choose just one green tea to stock my tea cupboard I’d likely choose a Mao Feng, because I love that it tastes like what I expect it to. It tastes like green tea. Beautiful and comforting. Cozy yet exhilarating. Very refreshing.
The latest batch of samples courtesy of Angel and Teavivre showed up in my mailbox on Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to try them until after I’d gotten back to school from break.
Break was fantastic, but I’m glad to be back, and trying new teas!
I really like this one. The leaves are bright spinach green, and they smell very vegetal. The taste is also very spinach-y and vegetal, but I like it. It’s kind of like my beloved Dragonwell! Delightful.
I’m still working on this very generous sample from Teavivre (thanks again Angel).
I love how much these thin leaves expand while steeping. The taste is light and satisfying and is somehow able to be steeped over and over again with no loss of flavor (I have been resteeping these same leaves all day).
I imagine the order I placed with Teavivre is making its way to me through this gray wet weather. I bought a few different sampler packs, and I look forward to tasting some new options.
There’s no doubt that the quality of Teavivre teas are amazing. I’m always astonished by the number of steeps I get out of a couple of teaspoons of leaves. I’m so grateful to Angel Chen and the Teavivre company for introducing me to their superior quality teas with these free samples. I am waiting with great anticipation for the order I just bought to arrive in the mail, to see what new favorites I might find.
Despite Teavivre’s tea quality being superior to any other company I’ve tried (I’m basing this on their consistently high number of steeps); so far they haven’t satisfied my partiality for flavored teas. I’m not sure if this preference makes my taste less distinguished or sophisticated, but that’s just what I like…so there :P I’ve tried a Teavivre version of flavored tea – in fact their jasmine tea, is my favorite from them so far, and their 5 Featured Flavored teas is part of that order that is currently in transit. But if I had to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life, I must admit I’d choose a company that offers some of those flavors that tea purists would deem gimmicky. I’m sorry, but I appreciate the jazzy little names and the cutesy little non-tea ingredients. I say bring on the chocolate chips, the sprinkles, the candy, and the fruit! Variety is the spice of life. Part of me knows that these ingredients are quite likely part of the reason that I don’t get the number of steeps as a pure tea, but I don’t care – life’s too short to go without sprinkles!
Thankfully, I don’t have to choose a single company to purchase tea from for the rest of my life. And I am fortunate to be able to experience true variety in all companies, flavors, and grades of tea. I know that whenever I wake up wanting a high quality tea, I can grab this, or any of my Teavivre teas, and I am never disappointed.