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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Angel and TeaVivre for this sample!
I am always excited to try new black teas. The black blends are definitely my favorite. I love their robust and powerful flavors as well as the extra jolt of caffeine that they give me in the morning to launch my day.
This selection from TeaVivre worried me at first because of the word “fragrant” in the title. I tend to not enjoy blends that include flowery or perfume-like tastes and aromas. However, I was immediately encouraged when I noticed that there was no flowery or perfume smell when I opened the sample packet.
I steeped the thin black short leaves for three minutes at 195 degrees (one degree more than the instructions recommended due to tea maker limitations). The brewed color was a dark amber. There was no “fragrant” aroma wafting from the cup (which was fine with me).
The taste of this brew was slightly sweet and malty. It also had the earthy quality that I’ve grown accustomed to with other Keemun teas. I did not detect any floral or fragrant attribute in the flavor either.
The aftertaste was pleasant and a tad sweet. Bitterness was completely absent.
This is another very nice tea from the folks at TeaVivre. In my opinion, the absence of anything “fragrant” makes it even better!
My allergies have been particularly rough during the last several days. This morning I planned ahead. I steamed out my sinuses in the shower so I’d be ready to accurately review this tea from Teavivre without any blockages.
When I first opened the sample package of this tea, the aroma that burst forth from the fine dry leaves was almost a little pungent. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the brewed version if this aroma carried into the flavor.
I steeped the tea for three minutes at 195 degrees as recommended (actually, 194 degrees was recommended, but what’s one degree between friends?). The brew that resulted can be best described as a muddy honey color.
I was happy to learn that there was no pungent aroma to the brewed tea. The smell was light and rather nondescript.
I was pleased to find that the taste was sweet and amiable. There also was a flavor attribute present similar to oatmeal. Bitterness did not exist.
I enjoyed two cups of this tea very much. It is a tasty black brew with a full sweet but gentle flavor.
Shame on me for doubting Teavivre EVEN for one second! This selection is another winner in Teavivre’s constantly growing array of fine teas.
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
On opening the packet I did my usual thing and stuck my nose right inside, before breathing in deeply. There is a warmth to the aroma of the dry leaf. My first thought is of hay, but tempered with the smell of fresh wheat, newly harvested and threshed. This aroma develops into something slightly malty and a bit flowery when the tea is brewed. The taste of the liquor is sweet and mellow. There are chocolatey undertones here, but little of the maltiness of other similar teas. Instead it is lighter and the unmalted grain flavour comes through. I’m not sure I get the fruitiness that Teavivre’s site tell me is there, but the sweet, mellow, grainy flavour is very good, and the aftertaste lingers pleasantly on. I like this tea.
I just received this tea in the mail from Angel of Teavivre on Saturday. It was hard to wait until today (Monday) to take it for a spin. I saved the tea for this day for two reasons, to:
1. Make Monday something to look forward to for a change.
2. Start the new week on the right foot with a new tea.
The unbrewed tea leaves have the familiar rich leather-like aroma similar to other black teas from the Fujian Province. The leaves are black with golden tips.
I steeped the leaves, as instructed, for two minutes at 195 degrees (actually 194 degrees is the recommended temperature but my one touch tea maker is not that flexible). When the steeping process finished, a golden amber liquid was the result.
My first sip didn’t quite register with my tastebuds. It is allergy season here in the Carolinas so that might have been a contributing factor. I thought my first taste had an astringent attribute but this dissipated quickly with subsequent sips.
Even with my sixth, seventh, and eighth sips, I was not able to detect a recognizable flavor. Incredibly, I was at the beginning of my second cup when a sweet potato flavor started to penetrate my allergy-tortured tastebuds.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I contemplated that drinking tea without tastebuds would be like listening to music without ears. Fortunately, the flavor had arrived and I liked it.
The taste has a unique veggie/malt quality that is smooth and full without bitterness. The leather taste of the Fujian Province teas also accompanies the other flavors. If you like sweet potatoes, you will find this tea especially enjoyable.
In summary, after a slow and rocky start (not the fault of the tea), I found this selection to be another fine brew from the folks at Teavivre. I am looking forward to drinking it in the middle of the winter when my allergies settle down. Maybe I’ll discover new flavor dimensions that I missed today.
Thank you LiberTEAS for this great sample!
This is one fine Milk Oolong! It is a lighter creamy oolong, with faint fruity notes. Very smooth and relaxing. Plenty of depth and substance in flavor.
The color is a light yellowish color, and almost has hints of a fresh ripe honeydew melon in the end of the sip. There is not a noticeable bitterness with this tea, even with a longer steeping. This tea also takes a higher water temperature very well.
This is definitely an oolong that’s in a class of its own. Very delightful and delicious!
This sample was generously provided to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.
Dry Leaf: Has a sweet vegetal or even grassy aroma.
Wet Leaf: Has a fresh vegetal aroma with a very slight nutty aroma.
Liquor: Was pale in color or a yellowish green.
Taste: This tea was smooth and watery in the mouth. There was a light vegetal flavor with a touch of sweetness and splash of something floral maybe orchid but that would be a wild guess. You also may get a very light nutty flavor too.
Overall Opinion: I give this tea a 89. I think this is a very fresh and clean green tea that is very enjoyable. I think people who enjoy Long Jing would also enjoy this type of tea in my humble opinion.
Vessel: SAMA DOYO Kungfu/Gungfu teapot. 7grams for 220ml or 7oz. of water in the inner cup of pot.
Hmm it seems I never properly logged this, just gave a comparison on the Full Leaf’s page, I went to edit my tasting note and it simply wasn’t there. So this is a backlog from yesterday which was my sipdown for this complimentary sample from Angel from over a month ago, when I drank it with the husband. I liked it much better yesterday follow the given parameters of 185 F water for just over 2 mins. It was smooth, sweet and a bit savory too. There are a few other black teas (Bai Lin Gongfu, Laoshan and a couple of wild picked Yunnans from Verdant) that I find either more complex or to my tastes, but make no mistake this is a very fine cup, that outshines the majority of blacks I’ve tried and is quite delicious. It also helped me with my migraine yesterday. I’ll be updating the other two versions as I finish them. but for today it will be British Blends for the Olympics!
Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
My first experience with milk oolong was bad, to say the least. I tried the Quangzhou Milk Oolong from David’s, as it came in a sampler pack, and I took two sips and threw it out. All I could taste was rice pudding, and that’s not what I want when I’m drinking tea.
I tried this with a bit of trepidation, fully expecting to hate it. But I like it!
It’s really creamy and floral, and while the milkiness isn’t my favorite, it’s certainly not as rice-y as I remember the one from David’s to be.
I don’t think it’s a tea I’d buy, but it’s a good cup for today.
This came with my last Teavivre order of teas as a sample. I went a little overboard buying greens so I have not touched the samples much. ;)
Sniffing the lid of the gaiwan after the rinse step. I’m picking up on a strong buttery and slightly smoky (or similar) smell.
First steep tasted much like I expected; boldly vegetal and buttery. There is also a biting sort of characteristic. Not quite bitter,but it still pulls on my senses like bitterness. (in a good way)
Second steep was milder but slightly more bitter and astringent. Overall tastes very “green” and flavourful.
Third and fourth steeps were both great, with the latter beginning to lose some flavour.
Overall I like how bold the green, vegetal flavour gets. However it’s not one of my fav green teas. There are aspects of it I like, others not so much, but still an enjoyable experience. I prepared it in a gaiwan, so I can’t comment whether or not it’s any better in a teapot.
100ml gaiwan, 3g of tea, 4 steeps (rinse, 30s, 50s, 1m20s, 1m40s as recommended on their website)
This is the real deal. I mean wow! Tastes very vivid, clear and elegant. Has absolutely no bitternes or grassy mouthfeel whatsoever. Color is very light and that gray hair from the leaves really makes the tea almost to sparkle.
Lasts for at least 5 infusions (second seems to be the best). Totally recommended!
I wish we would have had these to compare to the other pearls, as they seem to be very similar. Both extremely good, but I honestly can’t remember much difference at this point.
This was another great sample from Teavivre, so thank you!
I’m enjoying this while watching The Producers. All said, a very enjoyable night!
This was provided for review by Angel and Teavivre. Thanks guys!
This is smooth and sweet. I think the jasmine is done well enough it doesn’t hit my “I hate floral” button. I feel like I’m missing out on that apple-y taste the premium jasmine pearls have. I think they might be a bit more subtle on the jasmine as well. If you like jasmine, I think one will definitely fix that craving nicely.
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for another nice sample.
Although I have not tried lots of green teas,Teavivre has done more to get me to appreciate green tea than anyone else. I’ve already had great results with their Dragonwell, Jasmine, and Xin Yang Mao Jian.
This tea is completely new to me. I really appreciate that Teavivre seems to be producing more organic teas.
The dry leaves are bright green and similar in shape and length to pine needles. The pleasant aroma is vegetal in nature. Brewed leaves are a bright, almost kelly green and contain more of the vegetal scent. Liquor is translucent and a pale greenish yellow in hue.
The flavor is more of the vegetal-cooked spinach is the flavor it most resembles to me. The tea is slightly sweet and a touch savory. It is smooth with zero bitterness or astringency-don’t let it cool too much though. Also note the recommended brew temp of 195 instead of 175 which is common on some of their other greens.
This is a nice refreshing cup on a hot day. It is really light. The tea was plucked in March of this year, so the antioxidants and nutrients are probably a little higher in this fresh tea-just the thing you need in summer.
Another good job by Teavivre.
This is another sample provided by Angel and Teavivre for my review. Thanks.
So this is much like the other green I tried today. Butter and spinach-y notes with maybe a nutty quality. I didn’t think it had the floral quality that the Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea had. I think of the two, I would purchase the Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea. It seems to be more complex. This one might be good for a comfortable cup of tea.
This is another sample sent to me by Angel and Teavire for review.
I’m not sure I enjoy green tea as much as blacks or oolongs, but this is pretty good. If I was a green tea lover, this is one I’d keep stocked up on. It’s creamy and smooth in texture. The strongest flavor I get is butter and some thing much like spinach. A floral sweetness shows up next. It’s not perfume-y or soapy. It reminds me of smelling fresh flowers growing in the neighbor’s yard. I guess it’s not powerfully floral. It really has a quite a sweet after taste. Not a bad cup at all. :D
Okay, so my first experience with Lapsang, the sample I got from Upton, made me think that it (surprisingly) wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. I expected smokey, but I didn’t expect my fire alarm to go off. Okay, I kid, my fire alarm didn’t go off, but I feel like it should have.
This? Whole different story. The smoke is much lighter on this blend, which means it actually tastes like a good, quality black tea with some smokiness. The flavor here is almost indulgent, sweet, lightly malty, and just enough smoke at the end to make you think about what you’re drinking.
Congratulations, Lapsang, you have been redeemed. I’m curious as to whether the steeping parameters from Teavivre (195 instead of 205) could make that much of a difference on the smoke aspect. Maybe the Upton one is better with a slightly lower temperature? I’ll probably never know.
I’m not sure I will keep this around as a permanent tea. Both the keemun from Teavivre I want to keep around, and the Baker’s Street blend from Upton have enough of a smokey aspect that it will probably satisfy my smokey tea cravings, without keeping this one on stock. But, I will definitely pick a few samples of this up every second order or so from Teavivre, just as a special treat.
Man, I just cannot say enough about the quality of Teavivre’s teas. These are so good.
I really wanted to try this one after the lapsang I had tried from Upton. For a while, I thought that I liked smokey flavors in tea but not a tea based on the smoke. This is really good and has corrected my opinion.
When I take a sip, I think dainty and light. The smoke seems to be middle of road. It’s not super strong, but there will be no mistaking it either. This really seems to be on the sweeter side as well. I think it makes a good balance for the smoke. I can see keeping a small bit of this around for some thing different to drink. This was quite enjoyable.
This sample was generously provide to me by Teavivre. Thank you Angel and the whole Teavivre Team.
Dry Leaf: Had a sweet and smokey pine aroma.
Wet Leaf: Had the smokey pine aroma.
Liquor: Had a bright and beautiful reddish brown color.
Taste: Had a perfect amount of the pine smoke flavor. This tea was smooth and not bitter at all. The soup was more on the watery side.
Overall Opinion:I give this tea a 89. This tea I believe is a love it or hate it type of tea. I find it very unique. This tea is very smooth and no bitterness. The tea reminds me of sitting by a nice campfire. The only thing I would want from this tea is more texture to the tea soup and that cooling effect you get in the after taste of higher quality Lapsang Souchongs. Again, can not be to hard on this tea since it is not overly smokey and so smooth with a pinch of sweetness.
Vessel: SAMA DOYO Gongfu/Kungfu Teapot. I used 7 grams of leaf for 220ml or approx. 7oz. water in the inner cup of pot.
Another generous sample from Teavivre! This tea smells like roasted vegetables. I did a two minute western style steep at 180. For a green tea its got a very strong vegetal flavor, almost like a gyokuro and chun mee blend. The strong vegetal flavors followed by a nice bite. Not a lot of natural sweetness going on in this tea but thats ok cause you just need to pair it with something, I tried it with dark chocolate and that was a good idea. Nice tea but I wouldn’t drink it on an empty stomach.
This was provided by Angel and Teavivre for review. Thank you! I am grateful I got the chance to try it.
This is such a beautiful tea. Rich and robust with malt and light grain notes. Sweet potato and a light fruity flavor finish this cup. I’m totally keeping this one around.
This sample came to Missy by way of Angel from Teavivre. Thank you!
This tea is fantastic. It is very smooth, but has a dark, robust flavor to it. It is malty, with just the faintest hint of a grainy hay-like flavor. There is a sweet fruitiness in the finish that reminds me a lot of a darjeeling.
This tea seems a little unreal. I’m used to getting great quality tea from Teavivre, but this one really takes the cake. Probably the most fantastic straight black tea I’ve ever tasted. This truly is a treat.
Free sample provided by Teavivre for review
Every time I think I don’t like floral teas, along comes Jasmine. Sweet and naturally “perfumey” I truly enjoy the dry aroma almost as much as the tea.
Teavivre has a new Jasmine tea that is supposed to be even higher quality than their premium Jasmine. While I am not doing a side-by-side comparison today (I’d be all jasmined out) this is a superior Jasmine.
The dry leaves are rolled into tight pearls and are olive green with prominent silver-white fuzz from the leaf tips. In producing this tea, the infusion of the leaves with jasmine is a time intensive process as the tea leaves are scented with jasmine flowers 7 separate times. If you have ever had cheap jasmine tea (that was probably just sprayed with a scent), you will truly appreciate the effort made here.
Liquor is pale yellow and translucent. The flavor is as you would expect-very sweet and jasmine-y. Not sure what else smells or tastes like jasmine. The tea is completely smooth and natural. I got 3 good steeps out of this at 1m, 2m, and 3m respectively with a constant water temp of 175. If you like high-quality jasmine, you should check this tea out.