Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

My gustatory sense is somewhat dulled, as I am battling a cold. Perhaps that is why I don’t taste the delicate aromas others have noted, such as chocolate, fruits and flowers. I find this tea pleasant, slightly tart, earthy. It is a good, flavourful oolong. I will be trying this one more often.

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83

I bought a beeng of this because it was in the sale and I had heard good things about it. I’m glad I did. The dry beeng is warm and inviting with a grassy aroma. The tea, when brewed, is mellow, with a slight tongue puckering astringency that I really liked. I should note at this point that I was destruction testing this tea and brewing it western style per the instructions on the packet. I would not normally make it that strong or brew it for that long. Anyhoo, the astringency was quite pleasant with no hint of bitterness. The tea was earthy, mellow and slightly grassy, and I really enjoyed it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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85

I have been waiting with great anticipation for my Teavivre samples to arrive. Though they actually did several days ago, with my recent accident I’m still less than mobile and my poor wife must do the running for two; on top of her very demanding schedule. And how do I repay my wife for her sacrifice…I stay up and drink the first sample without her. Hey, hey,… before you start hating on the Davyboy, Angel sent more than one of this selection that she actually suggested to me in my first week here on Steepster. Not only is the sample pack more than I expected, but when she first returned my PM (many of you know I offer a standerd hello with all follow/return follows) she openly offered to let me try her tea. Me being new she made several suggestions to present me some variety, yet still within what I described as my preferences, and then even sent a PM to inform me that she saw by tracking the package that it had arrived and was ready for pick-up. How splendidly thorough is that!

The sample didn’t give me a strong indication of the dry leaf smell, though I won’t hold it against it. After getting the liquor to a bright yellow with a tinge of red I was better able to secure a sniff of the leaf; it’s floral, almost fruity. This same floral note is one of the first things I noticed at first sip. Floral and light with an initial buttery mouthfeel that regretfully subsided half way through the cup. There’s an ever so slight vegetive note with just enough presence to give it a juicy feel as well, yet not too green or grassy. The combination of the light airiness of the drink and the delicate sweet notes that hint at floral and fruity, yet without wholehearted commitment, culminate into a refreshing easy drinker.

I look forward to my next meeting with this tea to see if I can learn anything more from her the next time around. It’s a pleasing tea that I would suggest to a new oolong drinker without hesitation and yet would share with another more acquainted with oolongs as well. I thank you again Angel and know that you’ve gained a future customer.

tunes-Buddy Guy=Five Long Years/Rememberin’ Stevie(Ray Vaughn)/Feels Like Rain/Every Girl I See/Ain’t That Lovin’ You/Where The Blues Begins(w/Carlos Santana)/I’ve Got Dreams To Remember(w/John Mayer)/Baby Please Don’t Leave(groovy song).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Nice song list!

ashmanra

I love this one! I give it the full three minutes and don’t get any bitterness or astringency. If you have enough left, you might want to give it a go!

katgolik

Love your reviews!

Seri

Love this tea! Nice review :)

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90

One of several teas I shared with my friend Michelle at our tea date today, thank you to the other Michelle for the sample! We had this after Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong. They are a bit similar though this was a bit mellower and less smokey/charcoaly and the sensations in the mouth were less intense. Still this is very very nice, it starts out subtler but in a later steep this evening it left a cool coating on the sides of my tongue and roof of my mouth. I have been wanting to try this one for awhile and it is actually my first ginseng oolong and it is already a favorite. I’m glad I only used half the sample so I can enjoy this another day when it is not following the intense orchid oolong, that many describe as being ginseng-like.

Michelle

I’m glad you like it!

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92

ok
so just a brief summary of my past week
so as alot of you probably do not know i am an avid mountain biker
so on friday last week me and a couple friends decide to go biking on the local hill
so since there is no lift we ride our bikes up switchbacks in order to get to the trails
so me and one of my friends started biking up and we got to the very top and then rode back down a little bit to meet up with two of my other friends
we met up with them and started down the trail
i like to kick up the rear so i waited a little bit before following after them
i very easily caught up to one of my 3 friends and passed him
i caught up to my next friend an stopped for a little bit to wait for the friend i had passed and then kept on going
i go to a place where the trail split into 4 parts and i was not sure where they had gone so i waited for my other friend to show me where to go then started biking again.

this is where it gets a little gruesome/interesting
my friend was 50 metres behind me and we were talking and riding and i hit a rock and my feet slipped of my pedals and i sacked myself very hard.
if your a guy you know how it feels so i hopped off my bike and started hopping around in pain. eventually the pain subsided and i hopped on my bike and kept going.
30 seconds later i felt a liquid in my pants and i screamed to my friend behind me " hahaha i pissed myself"
i looked down
there was blood all over my jersey and all over my shorts.
(since i am a downhill mountain biker not alot of things scare me but this
this scared me)
i told my friend and we decided it would be best to keep going out until we got on the road.
i called my dad and he picked me up and took me to the hospital. it was a very short wait at the hospital and then i went into a room
ill skip all the disgusting details and get to the point
i ended up rupturing my urethra and i have to wear a catheter for a month which means no biking for a month
that sucks

now to the tea

i stepped out of my comfort zone today as i am not a big fan of black teas
i brewed this one up and the smell of honey hit me instantly
steeped it for 3 minutes and its a browny reddish liqeur
i took a sip and its good
the thing i dont like about blacks teas is the sharp taste and maybe thats because i do not drink alot of black teas
i have yet to learn how to distinguish the flavor notes in a tea and that is something i will have to work on
in all a really good black tea

thats my story for the day
:)

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH! Well, that settles it. No mountain biking for grandma Bonnie! (be well!)

wiicked

Haha thanks Bonnie

Lynxiebrat

Ouchie….I used to bike alot, but in the ‘burbs. and even though I’m a girl…..I can kinda empathize….Anyways.

I am not a fan of alot of black teas either, there there a few I’d like to try just to say that I did.

wiicked

Yea
Im more of a fan of whites and oolongs

Shelley_Lorraine

I know this note is nearly a year old, but I couldn’t help myself saying that: you mountain bikers are CRAZY! my brother is one of you. how many times I thought he was a goner. . . when we were teenagers and my parents we out, he was outside practicing jumps on a ramp and I open to door to say lunch is ready only to see him flying through the air sans bike landing face down on the electrical box. Oh the anxiety he caused! And when he was out and about on the real trails, he came hobbling home with broken bones cursing about his broken bike rather than himself, while everyone else just wanted to get him to the hospital and he wanted to go salvage his bike first. see, CRAZY. LOL

wiicked

haha yea when i crash the first thing i do is check my bike ;)
just by habit now

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65

The first few times I tried this one I can’t say I was a fan, however after returning to it, it seems to have mellowed out a bit.

Let me explain: I had tried this type of tea once before and it was delicately sweet with hints of citrus so I was expecting something similar. But when I took a sip of this one I was immediately hit with a salty smoke taste that brought to mind smoked meat (if anyone wants to make a bacon-inspired tea perhaps this would work well as a base…). Now, some people might like this flavor in a tea, but I’m not one of them.

This time however, after my sample had been open for several months, the salty smoke was much less prominent and now I see what everyone is saying about the light “miso” thing. While the tea is now much more palatable, it’s still not really my thing (though I do love miso soup!) but to each their own.

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90

Enjoying this one with my grandmother and husband today along with some fresh homemade donuts. The perfect accompaniment! I also got news this morning that I didn’t get the library job I applied for but they DID offer me a better one so this is an exciting day. Tomorrow my brothers arrive for a March Break visit and all is well in the world. Loving the Dragon Pearls and all the good news!

Sil

woot! better job!

Terri HarpLady

Awesome, to everything you shared! Homemade donuts? New Job? Great Tea? Yeah, Awesome!

Fjellrev

Nice, congratulations! And the food combination sounds awesome.

OMGsrsly

Yay for the job! :) Have fun with your family.

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90

I was coming to Steepster to up my rating on this tea as it has been a solid and reliable tea for nearly a year now. Turns out I’ve already done that though so all I can do is bask in the goodness that are these pearls. When I run low, I order more. That is saying a lot, for me. I have yet to over-steep it or make it bitter, even under extreme circumstances. They are very convenient (grab a couple pearls and go) and yield a marvellous brew every time. With shortbread tonight while watching my husband play a video game with my brother, this is divine.

Sil

love these!

TeaVivre

“watching my husband play a video game with my brother”
warm and sweet :D

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90

This may be my favourite black tea. It’s approachable, it’s easy, it takes a beating well and it always yields rich flavours with a lot of depth. It morphs from light smoke to cocoa to milk chocolate to earthy hay/barn. It is a chameleon and has never failed to satisfy. It’s good hot and good cold (I’m not much for iced tea but this maintains a depth of flavour that many others don’t).

I think of myself as a relatively picky tea drinker, but this one is truly impressive. For a long time, I have saved up my favourite things (tea, treats, etc) as I never want to run out. With this one, I’d rather drink it again and again and just keep re-ordering. From me, this is high praise, and I fully intend to keep this in my cupboard at all times.

Increased my rating for it’s long lasting appeal.

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90

Holy Hannah, these are huge. I expected pearls, not marbles – and I am in love. Taste and smell aside, these things are beautiful. I requested a sample of these a few months back and Teavivre graciously obliged…then they somehow ended up in a strange place and never got used. My bad. Teavivre, thanks again for the sample – I’m so in love with the look that as long as they taste halfway decent, I’ll be ordering more (and some Bailin Gongfu!).

I used 4 marbles and steeped them in nearly boiling water for 3 minutes (my standard black tea steep setup). The liquor is amber, but lighter than many black teas. The aroma is bold, reminds me of cigarettes/cigars. Typically that would be unpleasant, but this isn’t. It’s like the sweetness of tobacco mixed with something musty and rich. Old leather? There’s a hint of “ashtray” which I don’t like, but hopefully that’s just a smell.

First sips are rich, very rich. Like very dark chocolate, sans sweetness. There is a smokiness in the taste which probably explains the “ashtray” aroma I was getting earlier. It is mild, but very there. Reminiscent of a campfire with dark chocolate smores. Now, typically I don’t enjoy smoke or dark chocolate, but this is working for me. It’s very smooth, there is no bitterness, nothing with bite. It is very different from other black teas I’ve tried, but I think this is something I want in my cupboard. I don’t think of it as an every day tea, but I could totally get a hankering for this.

I’ll need to try it a few more times (and get the beau’s opinion too) but I think this is definitely something I should order. I’m running low on good plain black tea, so I should stock up. Right?! : )

ashmanra

I ordered these weeks ago, and my last two Teavivre orders have been hung up in Hangzhou for weeks now. I WANT MY DRAGON PEARLS!!!!! (a la five year old kicking and screaming on floor). All other Teavivre orders have come in about seven days.

Yogini Undefined

Ooh I’m so glad you reviewed these today, as I have some as well that I’m wanting to try, but I wasn’t sure how to brew them. I got confused on the tea vivre site that said 10 pearls for an 8oz teapot, but that didn’t seem right. These pearls are MASSIVE! Would you add anything to this tea or drink it straight? I nearly always add stuff to my blacks, but I usually try a sip of it prior to adding anything just to see.

Uniquity

I never add anything, so my opinion isn’t that useful. I don’t like to cover up the tea unless I’ve screwed it up or it’s poor quality. It is very hearty though, I think it could handle additions if that’s what you like – it’s all about your tastes!

Michelle

Agree! I usually do ~4-5 pearls for a 12oz tumblr, or ~3-4 for my 4oz tasting set. I agree, this tea is bold enough to take additions, but even though I can be kind of iffy on strong blacks, this one is smooth enough to go without.

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92

I’m on my fourth or fifth pot of this and am absolutely in love. I opened one of the little packets it came in put it all in my steeper and just kept brewing pot after pot. I’ve been brewing it for less than a minute each steep, since that seemed to work best for other steepsterites and it still hasn’t become astringent! While I don’t taste the honey much, if at all, I love the taste of the oolong. It’s rich, but not overpowering, and just gives a wonderful soothing sensation after drinking. Once I run out of all the oolong samples I bought from Teavivre I will definitely consider buying a larger amount of this one. yum yum yum. Even all my roomates liked it, and they don’t drink much tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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97

This is such a lovely oolong and is definitely everything that a good oolong can be. In a fit of clumsiness, my tea strainer decided to burst open, so I had to strain out my cup of tea so I wasn’t drinking sludge. I was able to get a good strong 5 steeps from this over the course of the day. Delicious!

leafyq

Luckily oolong is easy enough to strain out! (Imagine if that happened with a rooibos!) I had ti kuan yin earlier as well!

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87

This isn’t my first pu-erh but it might be my favorite, I’ve had the mini aged tuocha from Teavivre as well, which was far darker and of course more condensed then this loose leaf.

The first thing you’ll notice about this tea is how fragrant it is, and the light golden leaves, I steeped my first batch in an cast iron teapot; at about boiling for three minutes, its kinda neat how black those lightly colored leaves turn, the hot water seems to release something in them, its by far and again the blackest tea I’ve ever seen. (Including the Pu-erh toucha’s) the leaves come out of the steep pitch black/brown.

The tea itself when piping hot has a sweet aroma with a little hint of iodine, which gives it a slightly fishy taste, not in a bad way, just sort of like really good sushi, as it cools down this taste seems to disappear, replaced by something like burnt molasses and hay, at the very end there’s a copper aftertaste, again not strong, as long as you don’t mind the odd flavor at the start and end, which in fact I enjoy, its an amazing tea, with that earth warm body that I’ve grown to love with all the dark teas from Teavivre.

It might be a little strong or a little scary as someone’s first pu-erh, a flavored would be better suited, but if your feeling adventurous, or like a tea that’s black enough to put most coffee to shame, then I recommend getting this, or at least just a sampler, its amazing.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Tabby

I’m a bit afraid to try this now! That fish and coppery taste always makes me hesitant about puerh…

Kal

Thats unfortunate, because I just mailed some too you.

Tabby

Just because I’m intimidated doesn’t mean I won’t try it~!

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93

Very delicious tea, that was not overly powerful with jasmine fragrance. Very smooth and sultry!! A nice jasmine “pearl” that can be enjoyed anytime ;)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Oh, Happy Day, Happy Day!

I bought some tea from Teavivire, and IT HAS ARRIVED. I bought two huge bags of this stuff, since mum and I both love it so much, and I bought some Strawberry Oolong which I will try either tomorrow or Sunday as I am going out of town for Friday and Saturday. I will finish reviewing the green teas that Angel sent me, and then go on to hopefully clear out much of my tea stock. I’ve said it a ton of times, but I really am running out of space for my tea.

I’ve reviewed the Milk Oolong enough now that I think I don’t have to do a super long review. It’s as delicious as always, and it tastes of honeysuckle with a creamy milk undertone and aftertaste. There’s also a slight touch of something grainy or malt like that I never noticed before, and it balances out the floral sweetness well.

I’M SO HAPPY!!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Honeysuckle, Malt, Milk, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 502 ML

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95

So apparently my last note and drinking of this was a long time ago, and the note was rather short and not descriptive. I’m very glad I’ve gotten better at reviewing more complex teas.

Anywho, Angel from Teavivre is sending me more samples soon (YAY!) and I realised that I still had a few of the old samples left, simply from trying to conserve it, and/or not having time to drink it. That being said, I was looking through what I had and decided to go for this again. I made it in a tea pot, and shared some with my mum, and she put a name to the floral taste and smell I remember not having a name for: honey suckle. BINGO.

It has a lovely floral smell, and a honey smell, so honey suckle is a great description. This is the scent STEEPING, I should note. The scent of it dry is, to me, not heavy, though I can smell a milky/floral combination.

The taste is a rich, honey taste, with light floral notes, and it leaves a soft, fuzzy aftertaste on the back of your tongue. It’s very soothing, and almost addictive. I made a half of a teapot, enough to have probably two and half full mugs, and my mum had one teacup….and then when she left I just kept re-filling my cup so I drank it all. No shame, none whatsoever. I only put a small amount of sugar in it, and there was a creamy, “milky” taste to it, but it did not over power the floral taste, or taste strange with it.

Mostly the taste, as I said, is just this rich, but lightly so (even if that doesn’t seem possible?) sweetness to it. Putting a drop of honey in it was also really great, and I did make one cup with milk, and that definitely brought out the creaminess, but also seemed to cover up the floral taste I loved so I have decided I do not like to drink it with milk, though it can take it.

I steeped it for 2 minutes and a few extra seconds, and as I drank it, it got colder as I went along, since the teapot can’t keep tea warm forever (though my pot does keep it warm for a decent amount.) It was just as good chilled as it was hot or warm. I’m really pleased with this tea, and my mum loved it, which worries me because if I get anymore we’ll probably end up fighting over it, haha.

Seriously though, this is a tea that is great to celebrate the sunny, Spring weather with. Go make a cuppa if you have some!

Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp

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95

Thank you so much Angel! Teavivre is just AMAZING! :D

I’m alive, lovely people! I’ve been drinking tea, but mostly bagged, and just quick in between classes or on the weekends. But I’m here! :D

This one…I smelled milk with the dry and steeping, and it’s a nice smell.

The taste is one that I can’t place, to be honest. I’ve got some milk in there, a creamy flavor, and another flavor, kind of floral flavor. It’s…really yummy, but I can’t give it a name.

It’s really good, and I’m going to try it with cream, even though I always feel like I will ruin certain teas with cream.

This tea is really yummy, floral, creamy, just lovely. I am sorry I don’t have a lot of nice descriptors for this tea, but it’s great!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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62

Much more tart than the other blood orange-type herbal I had! But I am liking it.

This one had a lot more bite than I was expecting (the smell from the dry tea I had wasn’t terribly strong), but as I’m a fan of oranges and citrus flavor, I do enjoy it. I tried it hot + unsweetened, hot + sweetened and then iced + sweetened. I think in the end, I prefer it much more as a tangy hot drink than a sweeter iced one. The sharp taste was almost comforting when warm.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91

Oooo no wonder I’m loving this!!! I didn’t realize this was a) from Teavirve or b) from Taiwan. My taste associations make much more sense now, though I’m kinda glad it just said the name on it and I didn’t look it up prior to drinking, kinda like a blind taste test! This sample is courtesy of Michelle thank you so much!

This is bringing up all sorts of tea memories for me, Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong, Twig Tea, Bancha, and the fabulous roasted Tung Ting I had at my first tea house. I love the cool sweet bakey roastedness of this. It’s a bit woodsy and also reminds me of ginseng, though I haven’t had a ginseng oolong yet, something that will change very soon thanks to Michelle’s magic box which is suited so well to my tastes and teas I need to experience!

Started off with short steeps and have increased it to a min and still going strong. My stomach hurts a bit, but I’m attributing that to food and not tea. It is a type of tea I would seek out again in the future, win!

ashmanra

Nom nom! I bought this one!

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94

When a tea is called fragrant, you know you just have to smell it! I love the aroma of the dry leaf. I can smell cocoa! Deep, rich chocolate-y notes, and hints of freshly baked bread. Malt. It smells so rich and sweet. The fragrance of the brewed liquor is faint when compared to the dry leaf, but it still smells amazing and delicious and sweet.

This is delicious too. It shows a softer side of Keemun – while many Keemun teas can be bold and bracing, this one is strong yet soft-spoken. It lulls you into a state of consciousness rather than gives you that invigorating shake that some other Keemun teas that I’ve tried often offer. I love experiencing this gentler Keemun!

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87

I received a free sample several months ago, and life slipped in and put me on a bit of a tea-drinking hiatus, but a fall breeze had me craving Jasmine tea. So lucky for me, I had TeaVivre’s Jasmine Silver Needle in my cupboard.

Very well balanced flavoring. The jasmine scent does not overpower, and it doesn’t evolve into being a “sugary-sweet” note as with other producers. I could actually still pick up on the flavor of the leaves themselves, and it drinks very smoothly rather than forcing the cheeks to prepare for “syrup wince” – what happens when I try teas that are too sweet for my liking.

It’s persuaded me to re-think whether I’ll buy the other producer’s Jasmine pearls again. Really hit my preference zone for richness, delicacy, and balance.

Pictures and more detail at my blog: http://bit.ly/PaBpEq

CHAroma

What a beautiful iron tea kettle!

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80

I’m a little late to the party, but I thought I would brew this up and see what I thought. My milk oolong experience is limited, but this was the first official flavored one I’ve tried. I was surprised to see that they wanted me to use 10g for 8’oz. That’s a lot of leaf (and a good chunk of my sample), but if you insist Teavivre… I was also surprised to see it wanted boiling water. Aren’t you supposed to use less than boiling for oolongs?

Anyway, the tea itself is not bad. It’s creamy and buttery like other oolongs in the past. It’s not blowing my mind, though. There is a little bit of vegetal taste too. I wish you didn’t have to use so much leaf, too. Maybe I overdid it? I’m interested to see how the rest of the steeps turn out.

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85

YUMMM! Just got my package and ripped right into this one. The first brew was a delightful green tea. It reminded me of the green tea served at sushi bars in Japan, except higher quality. The leaves were also so large and long, I was so surprised. Both the tea and the tea leaves smell wonderful.

At first it had a typical green tea smell, then as it cooled it somehow smelled spicier, I’m not sure how to explain it. The flavor was rich and woodsy.

The second steep was more seaweedy and grassy, but not in a bad way at all. I’m very glad I bought a lot of it because I can see it becoming a staple. Would recommend it to anyone who likes green tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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90

As is my custom with many oolongs, I chose to utilize a gaiwan in the tasting of this tea. Something about the methodical pouring of dry leaves, rinsing them, watching them begin to expand, and putting them through multiple steepings of gong fu-style brewing is, in a way, calming. The rinsing reveals that this tea is quite nutty and perhaps a bit fruity in aroma. I eagerly begin the steeping.

A pale yellow liqueur results from the first infusion. The smell is very intensely oolong. For a first, short steeping, I am actually surprised, pleasantly so. The flavor is developing, but more than just a week infusion. It has body and character – that much I can already see. The nuttiness, which I had detected in the smell from the freshly-rinsed leaves, shines through the flavor a bit. as well. I turn on some music that is completely at odds with tea tasting (electro house), and I somehow find it conforming to my tea session.

The second steeping I find to be nutty, creamy, and well-rounded in flavor. The color remains the same, and the leaves have opened wide. The smell is smooth and very aromatic.

In the third steeping, the most flavor thusfar reaches my tongue. It would seem as though the flavor truly has gotten bolder over the course of this steeping. The slightest hint of vegetal leanings is present, but really takes a backseat to the other delicious flavors. I am certain that this tea has a few more steepings in it, and it makes for a really nice tie guan yin that is worth tasting. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it a 90/100.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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