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Recent Tasting Notes
This is my favorite green tea so far. I like it because it is so different. It has a light roasted note that leads to sweet mellow vegetal flavor. Not like asparagus or steamed veggies, like the way small trees smell if cut into the bark. Maybe it’s just a green flavor that is a tiny bit malty. I’ve had some smokey tea today so I don’t know if I am getting the aftertaste from my previous tea or there is a little bit of smoke in this one as well. It’s a really awesome green tea. I was pretty sure green teas weren’t going to be my thing but this is totally changing my mind.
Thanks Teavivre and Angel for the most excellent sample!
As always, a big thanks to Angel and the Teavivre team for this fantastic samples.
It’s been somewhat well documented that Moroccan Mint is one of my favorite teas in ze world. So, as many gunpowders as I’ve drank, this is really the first gunpowder I’ve drank alone (yeah, with nobody else).
The little pellets in this sample are remarkably shiny, I don’t know how to explain it other than that. They look like precious little rocks.
Anyway, so how does it taste? Brilliant, that’s how it tastes. It’s wonderful. There is a sweetness to this tea that is wonderful, and a slight vegetable flavor. Not that in your face, I’m eating a serving of boiled cabbage flavor, but a soft, sweet, this tastes like the forest vegetable flavor. There’s a bit of a tinge of that malted flavor that I associate with black tea as well, that really rounds this out quite pleasantly.
So, in preparation for my big meeting thing tomorrow, let’s break it down to three bullet points (that would fit on a powerpoint slide!):
1. Lightly sweet
2. Tastes like the forest
3. Reminds me of black tea
I definitely think this is going to be a tea I keep around for a while. Actually, I think I’m going to go put in an order with Teavivre right now. I’m missing their Bailin Gongfu, as well.
Last Teavivre tea before I go back and re-try the Pureh! Thanks Angel, and I am sorry it took me so long!!
Smell: Dry, it had a grassy/veggie/earthy smell, if that all makes sense. Steeping it was a bit more smoky/vegetal, all good, of course.
Taste: It was very earthy and smoky, and then a nice, sweet aftertaste popped in, though it wasn’t too sweet, which is good. I also decided to add a small bit of honey, and it went very well with this tea. It has been a long time since I’ve had green tea, though, to be honest, so I don’t have anything else to add right now as I have to build my green tea vocabulary and tasting notes back up to remember what is good/bad about it. But do know that I highly enjoyed this tea!!
This is the first real tea I have since late last week. Finishing this sample off today. Then probably disappearing again. My desktop computer died. My son offered to help build a new one. The parts came in last week and I am still trying to get things set up and old things moved off the old hard drive. Maybe later today I can look up for more than the few minutes it took to enjoy this one. Nice easy to drink, kind of malty tea.
A sample of this was included with my black Friday order. I am just getting around to opening it. I had this a long time ago and recall liking it but not being as wowed by it as others at the time. One thing I notice today is the recommended steep time for western brewing is 5 – 10 minutes. That sounds excessive but maybe it needs it?
I first catch a spicy note like cinnamon that melts into malt. Just past the malt it becomes nutty/woodsy then gets a brisk little bite. The aftertaste has just enough astringent briskness to catch my interest. I can’t think of another Chinese black that has this element. Better than I remember.
Most every one has been crazy for this one. Previously, I just wasn’t as impressed. Let’s see what happens today. This is the last of the sample – 5 pearls and some loose crumbs. I boiled the water and steeped 2 minutes per the label instructions.
Ooh, I do love the smell and the dark golden caramel color. The aroma is like cocoa bread or… brownies! Needs sprinkled with powdered sugar :) Mmmmm brownies, but I digress. The taste is deep and rich and malt and cocoa and delicious. There is also a big chunk of flavor in the back that reminds me of an old barn stacked with hay. Then I notice the cocoa is mixing with notes of nuts and wood. Later cups the roastiness comes out to play. This is pretty amazing. How could this not have caught my attention before? I am really wondering if I used fully boiling water in my previous attempts. I could not have brewed this correctly.
This is awesome. Wish I had realized this at the beginning of the sample. Definitely upping the rating.
6 pearls and boiling water for two minutes. This makes a lot of leaf whose aroma to me is burnt caramel. This is better than I remember. I think it suffered from over blown expectations. From my perspective, I don’t get the chocolate notes of Bailin Gongfu. I don’t get the richness of Dian Hong Golden Tip, or the robust taste of Golden Monkey. I expected it to be all those things combined. What tea could live up to that? What I do get today is a bit of roasted bite up front that quickly dissolves into a lovely light sweet cup that does have enough cocoa notes to make me think brownies. It has a wonderful aftertaste. The aroma of the wet leaf in the press calls for many resteeps. This is a nice tea that is better than I remember. – Interesting update. I went to lunch leaving a half filled mug on my desk. It was room temperature when I returned. This is excellent cooled down. There is a level of smoke that rises up and fills in all the holes in the flavor. A worthy cup.
I used 6 pearls today to see if maybe I just didn’t use enough yesterday. To me it appears like too much leaf after steeping. It does pump the flavor a little. This is a good tea, with hints of smoke, chocolate, and occasional malt. I would never turn a cup of it down. It just doesn’t move me like it has others. I am sticking with my initial score of 85.
Opening the package and viewing the contents is kind of like journeying to another world and trying to figure it out. The closest comparison I have experienced to these pearls is jasmine pearls but these are much larger. They look like miniature flowering tea pods. I am looking at them and trying to figure out how many do I use? I went with 5 as that seems to be the starting point I have read in other reviews. While I am pondering, I notice these smell like unsweetened chocolate.
This is pleasant but not as full bodied as I was expecting. The amount of expanded chocolate brown leaf in the bottom of my press tells me I used a sufficient amount. So, either this is a very light bodied tea, or I need to increase the steep time.
I think the novelty of brewing this amazed me far more than the actual tasting. Don’t misunderstand, this is quite good. It just didn’t knock my socks off like almost everything else I have tried from Teavivre. Since others liked this way more than me, I am going to hold off rating (I was thinking 85) until I try it again.
Generous sample provided by Teavivre.
Sipdown, 127. This is one of my winnings from the recent Teavivre Taiwan oolong giveaway.
Apparently I have tried this one before, although I don’t know if the name has slightly changed because I don’t remember it being specifically Taiwanese the last time I had it. Well, I’m happy to have it again. The smell is definitely traditional TGY… green, but a little roasty too. I looked at the steeping instructions on the sample packet, which said boiling water for 3 to 10 minutes. LOL, whut. That is insane. And perhaps a misprint, since the steeping instructions are different on this page.
Mmm, this is such a pleasant tea. I have come to enjoy the roasted flavors of this type of oolong, and drinking this really makes me see the similarities between traditional TGYs and the unroasted Wuyi oolong I had earlier today. This tea is honey sweet, like honey on a pastry. Yum. Who knows, maybe there is a place in my cupboard for traditional TGY after all.
This was a nice oolong to have with lunch today, and I can see how traditional, lightly roasted tie guan yins like this one are great everyday teas. This is quite tasty, just roasted enough to give it a light touch, and “ground” it more than an unroasted, green, floral oolong. Quite a good example of these types of teas.
Yet another of my free samples from Teavivre… thanks so much for the opportunity to try all these teas! I really consider Teavivre to have greatly contributed to my tea education with all of their samples.
When I opened the sample pouch and sniffed the tea, I was kind of surprised by how super vegetal the leaves smelled. Like, woah spinach and greens. I sniffed some more and started to get roasty scents, and the faintest hint of butteriness. Definitely not like the super green tieguanyins I’m used to drinking. I steeped it up and smelled a super roasted, toasted grains aroma from the liquor. At first it seems like that is the only note, but after smelling it a while I start to detect the slightest hint of sweet florals hiding out. Intriguing.
I have to say I was pretty prepared not to really be a fan of this tea because I don’t tend to like roasted oolongs. But Teavivre proved me wrong. I’m not head over heels or anything, but this is a tasty cup of tea. The roasting is light and doesn’t take over the flavor. It just kind of nicely hangs out there, adding some nice warm, toasty notes. The other main flavors are the slightly floral sweetness of the tieguanyin, with some light vegetal notes, but nothing like it seemed when I smelled the dry leaf. As I’m drinking it the sweetness is growing in my mouth adding to the tastiness of each successive sip. Definitely a tasty tea, and it surprised me by making even this nonfan of roasted oolongs enjoy it.
Thanks again, Angel And TeaVivre, for this sample!
It appears that I wrote a tasting note about this tea a year ago. After I finish this note, I’m going to go back and read last year’s note to see if I’ve become wiser or just more crotchety.
A strong but nice grassy aroma emerged from the sample packet when I opened it. The unbrewed green tea leaves were long, bright, and flat.
I steeped this tea for two minutes at 175 degrees (one degree lower than the recommended 176 degrees due to tea maker limitations). The brewed color was a fairly vibrant golden green. The odor was grassy and sweet.
As you may have seen me write ad nauseam, I am not a green tea banner waver. However, I’ve got to say, I like the taste of this one!
The flavor is fresh, sweet, and grassy, like a newly mowed Spring meadow. Absolutely no bitterness is present. The aftertaste lingers delicately on your palate.
It’s hard for me to rank green teas since I tend to dismiss them after tasting them. But, if forced to do so, this selection would definitely be near the top of my list!
Even though I really need about six cups of strong black tea (taken intravenously) to get my motor running this morning, I couldn’t resist opening the sample of another tea from Teavivre. This time it is the Organic Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea.
I steeped this tea for two minutes at 175 degrees as instructed on the sample packet. The brew that appeared was an extremely light golden green color.
I was worried that the light color, low temperature, and short steeping time would all add up to a wimpy tasting tea. But, as always, Teavivre surprised me again!
This tea does not have a strong flavor but the flavor that it does have is full and complete. The taste is sweet and nutty. There is no grassy attribute to the flavor as I’ve found with a lot of green teas. Instead, it is quite smooth, light, and easy to sip. You also won’t find any bitterness.
Although this would not be my normal morning tea of choice, I will definitely be offering it to guests in the afternoon and evening.
The best word to describe this tea is 亡命徒;喝彩;喝彩声;暴徒 (which I HOPE is Chinese for BRAVO)! This tea deserves that exclamation and much more.
In summary, this is just another wonderful tea from Teavivre. If Teavivre were a baseball team, to me they would still be batting 1,000!
Dry leaves look as if they were freshly cut, they are bright green, they smell of fresh green vegetables and grass and they seem so succulent as if one could soak the fresh juice out of them. Tea soup is light greenish-yellow. After 3 minutes’ steep, the smell is unchanged from the dry leaves, very fresh and inviting. The taste is mild, again it feels as if biting into an incredibly succulent apple or pear. But there is a slightly bitter aftertaste. Steeped leaves haven’t lost the pleasant juicy smell and they have uncurled.
Drinking this straight after a cold third steep of Verdant’s Mi Lan Xiang Honey Phoenix.
I’m noticing that this tastes much softer. The flavors blend and meld into each other. The autumnal taste is more like leaf litter while the other is more like the crisp air of a forest. Yet, in both the honeyed note is clear. Clear but so different. Fascinating.
Today’s been an oolong-y day. Had three different teas, all dark oolongs. I suppose it’s just what I’m in the mood for. I hope it helps my tummy because I feel kinda crappy there. Must sleep soon. Tired. blargh. Long day.
This is a really smooth. It just slips down your throat like liquid silk. The flavor is autumnal and reminiscent of leaf littered forest floor. In between sips, I can taste something fruity lingering in my mouth. It’s peachy or somewhat berry like. I don’t really taste the honey that the official description talks about. I’ve had other Bai Hao where the honey flavor is really strong. Here, it is hard to taste. Still, this tea tastes very good. It’s not entirely my style though.
Excuse my rambling and somewhat disorganized review. I’m very tired. :)
First of all, I appologize for how long it’s been since I last made a post. My allergies (dust mites) decided that last weekend was a great time to act up, so I’ve been suffering the effects of a severe head cold, but without the benefit of my allergy meds (which were left at home…). Byt the time a acquired my meds, and the three days that it took for them to become effective, a week had passed. If I had had the meds on the first day, that would have been hte end of it, but since this only happnes twice a year, I tend to forget about it after 180 days…
Anyway, now that I got that small rnat out of the way, on to the tea! I actually used my larger mug to brew the tea, and transfered it into my usual drinking mug. I let it sit for 15 seconds before the transfer, and actually managed to pour it all out without spilling anything. After letting it cool for a while, a took a sip and was immediatly reminded as to why this is one of my favorite teas. The sweet foretaste quickly transitinos into a delightful sweet ginseng, with the flavors almost perfectly balanced. The contrast is what really makes this first infusion special, since the bold flavors seems to dance arround your mouth before settling onto the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat. the aftertaste is kind of hard to describe unless you had Verdant Tea’s Orchid Oolong from about a year ago, since it’s almost the same, but not quite as good, but it’s still delightful to experience. This flavor lingers for several minutes, and reasserts itself every time you breathe in. Truly a unique experience.
Second cup, same temperature, 10 second infusion. It is a lot less sweet in the fortaste now, but the sweetness returns a lot for the aftertaste. The middle of each sip turns a bit lackluster, where the flavor seems to wane a lot, but it reasserts itself a lot for the aftertaste, which makes everything okay. Hoinestly, this tea starts at the peak of its flavor, and slowly fades into mediocaty. While sad, I realize that not all teas are like puerh, where you can get interesting flavor development for hours.
First of all, a big shout-out to Teavivre for the amazing free sample!
I was really busy packing for vacation, and didn’t have time to do my usual format for reviews, but there’s the highlight reel. The first infusion was steeped in 205 degree water for exactly one minute. The result was an amazing sweet tea, with very tasty licorice flavors dominating the palate. It was just about as sweet as the orchid Oolong from Verdant Tea that I had the other night. The infusions continue, decreasing in potency and sweetness until number five, where only a faint taste of barely-sweet licorice remained. Regardless, it was really, really good, and it was the perfect way to relax after the usual frenzy of packing. And, since my destination is England, all I have to say is jolly good!
EDIT: stupid typos…
I like this one, its very clean tasting with no fishiness at all it is lightly earthy and very smooth, I think a person who thinks they wouldnt like puerh would like this one. It is excellent after a heavy meal. 2 to 5 minutes steep on this one was perfect for me. This one made me think of one of my first puerh it was very similar to this and it made me fall in love with puerh.
Using the last of this one. Maybe its a year and a half old. The scent of grapes still pours out of the bag when opened. I used my clear glass press for this as I love the way the leaf moves in the water. The dance is an important part of my preparation experience, as is admiring the dry and wet leaf and the accompanying aromas through the process. During the dance most of the leaf hangs from the surface like a canopy. Other leaves pirouette downward in glorious freedom. I let this one go longer than normal just to watch. The liquor is a bright yellow/honey. The taste is as fresh as the day this arrived. A beautiful tea.
I have learned more from sipping teas from Teavivre than any other company. Just one of the lessons learned is I really love properly processed jasmine tea. Premium Dragon Pearls is my favorite. This Silver Needle is a very close second.
After slowly sipping on this again today I am still in love. Violet mentioned wondering how this would taste iced. I’ll bet it is really refreshing that way. I may never know. It just won’t stay in my cup long enough.
I called this honey colored last time. I really think it is lighter than that. Maybe white wine? Whatever, it is fascinating me.