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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Teavivre for this sample again! I know I had rated this before, but it has been a while since I revisited this tea. I have one more sample of this mini cake left after this. I love the small round cakes with the semi-hollow center.
Dry, it smells like nori and earthy. I rinsed it for a little less than a minute and let the cake soften and unfurl a bit. The bits that fell off were small but larger than CTC leaves. The liquid was a dark amber color. It tasted sweeter than other pu-erhs that I’ve tried… almost like berries in the background mixed with nuts and cacao bits. The earthiness isn’t that strong. One of the things I did notice in the beginning was a sort of cardboard like flavor that quickly disappeared. I will steep this again later. I brewed this in a mug, but this tea can withstand multiple steepings. I added some sugar and milk to this after, which seemed to bring out the berry flavors even more. Good tea overall.
I don’t think I wrote a review for the first time I tried this nice tea from Teavivre. Anyhow I cleaned the first steep for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then i steeped the second time for 30 seconds! The brew was a thick, black tea. The scent is earthy and like wet fall leaves. There was a hint of fish to the scent… However, I burnt my tongue drinking this! I was too excited.
Anyhow the taste was surprisingly light and airy, which I wasn’t expecting due to the liquid’s consistency. The taste was like wet fall leaves mixed in with some sweetness. There is a lot of depth to this tea. There is more lingering in the back of my mouth when I taste this tea. I can’t seem to describe it though. I used a large mug for this tea, and will try another steep of this later. I am sure more flavors will pop up. I didn’t taste any bitterness in this tea.
Thanks teavivre, for the sample
Dry leaf: The leaves are really small, dark brown twisted leaves. The smell is really nice. It has a dark black tea smell, but that is underneath the sweetness that this tea possesses. It has a chocolatey smell but the strongest smell is a certain sweetness. It reminds me of the roses my grandma grows in her garden. It’s a deep rose smell though, more than a floral smell.
Wet leaf: When wet, the rose smell comes out really strong. If I didn’t know better I would think that I was steeping rose buds. The rose combined with chocolate makes this smell like a nice dessert. It has a dark sweetness that gives it a very moisturizing smell.
Taste: The taste is nice. It is a lot lighter than I expected and very sweet. The chocolatey flavor reminded me of a much lighter version of the Fengqing dragon pearl. On top of that is the sweet rose flavor. It has a deep flavor, despite how light it is.
I really enjoyed this tea. It was nice how soothing the tea was and I can’t wait to brew it again.
My Teavivre order came way sooner than I thought it would! Exciting! I have been wanting to try this one for awhile.
I brewed this Western style at 1,2,3 minutes. I also brewed this gongfu. It is equally as good both methods.
It is sweet, a little bit fruity, with notes of butter and maltiness. There is a hint of vegetal in the background. This is really good.
Very pleasant pineapple scent on the dry bits!
Brewed, the smell is more like a muskier pineapple. Not getting as much tart out of it as I expected from the other notes – mine’s fairly fruity, though I am noticing more of the apple and roselle (I think) as it cools. It feels a bit like drinking a pineapple-apple cobbler in tea form!
First let me just say that this is the first Pu-erh I’ve had the opportunity to taste, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I’ll explain my first impressions.
Dry tea smell: I didn’t know what to expect but when I first opened the packaged I was surprised by the extremely strong smell. It had a distinct fishy/oceany smell to it. Under the initial smell was a very moist scent. It reminded me of a moist forest floor and old decomposing leaves. It wasn’t a bad smell, it was just a very different smell from the teas I’m used too.
Wet smell: The tea leaves smell very much the same wet as they do dry. They have the same fishy smell with the underlying moist leaf. It was a little bit lighter smelling.
Taste: Luckily none of the fishy smell translated to flavor. It had absolutely no bitter or tart flavors. The taste was really damp. It reminded me of a misty forest. It’s a very interesting, refreshing, heavy flavor. I did enjoy it, but it will probably be one of those teas I only drink once in a while. It has pushed me to order a few more Pu-erhs to see if they’re my thing or not
This was another of the samples that Angel from Teavivre sent along (thank you!).
I toyed with the directions a tiny bit. I did use boiling water for this oolong (I usually use just under boiling) and steeped it for 2 minutes. The leaves didn’t smell too distinctive – mostly just very vegetal and… chalky perhaps? In a good way :)
Brewed up though this smells mind blowing. Buttered greens. I freaking love the scent of oolongs.
This is very thick with a little bit of astringency. I can sense the creaminess here… it goes nicely with the buttery flavor.
A few seconds go by… ummm yum. It is doing the “oolong throat coating” that I love. Oh! And a surprise! There is a salty sweet aftertaste at the finish with… I don’t even know what the flavor is. Something great and “back of the throat sweet”, if you know what I mean. Artichokes maybe, if artichokes were actually sweet (and lightly salty).
This is great – it keeps unfolding. Not super complex, but super tasty :)
- Vessel: Glass teapot 250ml (3 Oz)
- Leaf: 7.8 grams
- Water: 90 C
- Time: 1m, 2m, 3m
Leaf & Infusion:
Dry leaf – The leaf is one of the most wholesome I’ve ever encountered. Leaves are long, needle-shaped with vibrant golden tips and dull black leaves. Ratio of buds and leaf is 50/50, and leaf shows some of that golden hair too, making more of a impressive display. Leaves air of citrus and cooked potato skin and when hot air is introduced intensive molasses note appear along with blooming undertones.
Wet leaf – This is where the wholeness of leaf is accentuated, along with fat texture and veins exposed. The overall aroma is of citrus and potato skin with blooming hints. The molasses part quickly escapes as the leaves cool.
Infusion(1m) – First infusions is very bright and clear with orange-coppery tone and rising aromas of molasses and potato skin. The liquor is initially light, but as it smoothly slides down the tongue it develops more of medium body and pleasant potato-molasses finish mentioned earlier. Few sips later show hints of bitterness, astringency excluded, and peppery film on tongue, a trademark of Yunnan black teas. The aftertaste is long lasting and molasses develop into more caramel type, and blooming notes are more pronounced here as well.
Infusion(2m) – Second infusions brings this tea to more of a breakfast type: full-bodied, rich in taste and very pleasing. As it cools down some new notes develop, honey-sweet and fruity-sour impression is quite notable at finish. It reminds of Assam and Keemun to certain extent.
Infusion(3m) – Third cup is still rich in flavor and aroma but the decline is notable. Tea shifts back to medium body and keeps a lot of sweet and blooming elements from previous steep. The potato-citrus duo, however, has almost completely diminished. The aftertaste strongly resembles of Keemun when peppery sensation is thrown aside.
Conslusion – Most satisfying Dian Hong, very rich and clean with many changes involved in successive infusions.
Probably the best Dragon Well teas we’ve tried ever, bar none.
We are not into bitterness at all, so we use a lower temp and not too many leaves.
This tea is smooth and not too tannic at all. Very nutty aroma. Flavor has hints of Chinese Five Spice and pineapple. Some floral hints, too — rose.
It is not as strong/bold/tannic as their Premium Dragonwell (which is another stunning tea), but is softer with very similar characteristics.
Teavivre is a company we are discovering and really learning to trust. So far we are loving their teas and customer service.
Dry smell: This tea has a really strong, creamy smell. Its almost like someone mixed the tea with a vanilla coffee creamer. It smells very sweet and smooth on top of the typical oolong smell.
Wet smell: The wet smell also has a creamy, vanilla smell but it is not nearly as strong. It has a nice grassy smell along with a hint of a roasted scent.
Taste: The first steeping is very sweet and creamy. There is no floral flavor as of yet and the creaminess adds a smoothness to the oolong flavor. The second steep still has some of the creamy flavor but the floral, vegetative notes are starting to come out. The third steeping is amazing. There is still a creaminess there but it isn’t overpowering. The floral notes are coming out underneath the vegetative taste but not strong. There is a wonderful balance in flavor with a very smooth swallow and aftertaste.
This is an amazing tea and I’m just about to go order more. ENJOY
So this is the last of my TeaVivre samples from waaaay too long ago, and the only one that I hadn’t tried yet. In between getting those samples and now, we have moved to Southern California, land of perpetual sun and practically no rain (at least so far – I’ve been here since June and he’s been here since March). This pu-erh reminds me of autumn rainyness, without — as I saw in an amusing assesment of ripe pu-erh elsewhere — tasting like hamsters. The closest we’ve come to that after-rain smell here is from the sprinkler system that runs at 4 am every morning in our apartment complex. The tuochas are also a tiny bit bigger than some of the others I’ve seen, so I was able to get away with shorter steeping times for more steepings.
Another in my backlog of teas that I have been drinking but not logging…(going to be a long list) This one is probably one of the best Long Jings I’ve had – the best one being in a tea shop a couple years ago, and I’m not sure where they got it from. This isn’t too nutty or smoky, and it’s also not overly sweet.
Yummy :) On the sweeter side out of all the silver needle teas I’ve had. I love silver needle because it’s (nearly) impossible to ruin it – I just steep the leaves straight in a cup, either while working or on the go, and there is always a 50/50 chance I will get distracted with something and come back to my tea a while later. This one never lets me down.
I haven’t quite yet figured out how to steep Chun Mei in a way that I really like. Haven’t figured out yet if it’s that I am not a Chun Mei fan or if I just haven’t found the right steeping parameters. For a Chun Mei this is good, it just keeps coming out a bit too dull and bitter for me. I’ve reached the end of my sample so it might be a while before I figure this one out.
The tuocha smells nice – subtle, just a little dark in some way. Not smokey – more like a sweetness of something like caramel.
Tastewise, I’m not digging this. My first infusion I only tasted something like wet cardboard. The liquor smelled much fishier as well.
I figured the steep time might need to be increased so I did a second infusion for 4 minutes.
The second steep was much more flavorful. It had a funny astringency (the cardboard flavor) but it actually worked when the supporting flavors came out (there is a creamy richness under this, like I added heavy cream or something and a nice cocoa flavor).
I had a really hard time rating this tea because it kept changing. I wasn’t wowed by it, but then again, I’m not a pu erh afficionado. I am going to keep playing with this one.
I love the scent of this – it is umami and smokey and meaty in a great way.
This is so neat – it’s completely different from the other lapsang souchong I like. It is sweet! It has a nice astringency to it – I never really like astringency in my tea but this is nice because it balances out the sweetness.
This lapsang is a little lighter on the smokey flavor. I actually really like super dark smokey flavors in lapsang souchong, but I’m still enjoying this. I am going to try it with milk. The addition of milk brings out the sweetness – I love this as a breakfast tea.
Dry smell: When I opened the package I was first hit with the smell of vegetables. It reminds me of fresh picked produce from a farm. Then on further smelling I can detect a nice roasted smell with light floral notes.
Wet smell: The wet smell is a bit more like a wet smokey smell. I can still smell the vegetable smell but it reminds me more of a nice, roasted oolong.
Liquid aroma: The aroma is very deep and rich. I can definitely still smell the smokiness and now the floral notes are coming out.
Liquid taste: The taste is very rich right off the bat. It doesn’t have the bright green oolong flavor, but a darker note. There isn’t much floral flavor which is nice because I don’t like super floral teas. This is a great relaxing afternoon tea and I will definitely be ordering more
Very delicious. I get a little floral/sweetness that’s silky smooth on the nose. The liquid is nice and sweet and the smoothness carries through on the tongue. The creamy, milky-ness is really enjoyable. This seems like a really solid milk oolong favoring fewer powerful flavors over several subtle, deeper notes.
Interestingly, I get a little spice at the end of each sip. Not sure what’s going on there but it’s interesting nonetheless.
This sample was generously sent along by Angel from Teavivre – thank you!
This is the first dragon well I have tried. The liquour was so light I was afraid I hadn’t used enough leaf (I might not have – I don’t have my little gram scale right now).
The flavor is subtle and interesting. It has a buttery scent to it, with a nutty flavor with a funny vegetal aftertaste. I’m not sure that I like it, but I am going to experiment with it and try a shorter steep with more leaves.