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Recent Tasting Notes
I am ashamed to admit that I still have samples untasted that Teavivre sent to me. Tonight, after a productive work day, I decided that it should also be a productive tea day. So, on to tasty Teavivre samples! This particular one was one of the ones I was most excited to try.
The smell of the dry leaves is a mix of malt and hay. I get a hint of chocolate, but mostly I get malty notes and even a bit of molasses. The leaves are a beautiful mix of black, brown and golden.
The brew is a dark burgundy brown. It smells thick and inviting. I can see how it reminds some people of chocolate. I get sweet molasses notes and a hint of creaminess. The flavor is malty and still holds hints of hay. There is a strange sour flavor that lingers at the end of each sip. I added a little rock sugar and it helped smooth it out a little. It did taste quite a bit like malted chocolate balls! (or Milo which is malted chocolate milk that they have here in Ecuador!)
Sadly it, isn’t quite what I wanted but I recognize that it is very very good. I can see how it could be some people’s favorite. :)
First, I would like to thank Angel at Teavivre for sending a very generous pack of samples for me to review!
Second, I can feel a seasonal flu sneaking up on me, so a large cup of jasmine tea was exactly what I needed. This tea is fabulous. Others have commented on the lack of astringency and I would agree; the cup is so smooth, so delicately flavoured, and the pearls put on an excellent show as they unfurl. The scent of jasmine is very comforting without being like drinking a cup of jasmine perfume. I feel better already.
Check out a picture of the beautiful pearls: http://instagr.am/p/QDu9edSkQc/
Thank you Angel for the sample. I actually forgot I had this and some other samples to try until last night when I was looking for something to drink before bed. I was thrilled to see this in the samples as I do love Black Dragon Pearl (see the note from yesterday).
The dry leaf smells slightly malty. Actually smells the same as the other companies tea I was drinking yesterday. But what about the taste? MALTY CHOCOLATE goodness!! Now I see and taste what all the talk was about. This is mighty good tea! I’m going to need to place an order when I get low on the other tea I have like this. Def. one for the perm. collection.
I also wanted to add there seems to be a sweetness on the end like honey or something. I don’t know what it is, but I love it! I also love that a few pearls will probably get me a few more steeps today. :)
decided to place an order with teavivre a few weeks ago. mainly wanted to try out their bailin gongfu and figured i would pick up samples of other black teas while i was at it, i ended up buying this tea in a larger quantity because the value seemed very good and it was well reviewed here at steepster.
few notes on the teavivre packaging, everything came in bags(generic like most companys) but teavivre only puts 3.5oz into each bag and has the teas inside the zip bag in another bag, superior packaging imo.
the tea itself when you open the bag it smells sweet even spicy; a really pleasant aroma. taste wise it reminds me a lot of an earl gray at first…. just a really subtleness of the same flavor. the sweetness/mild spicyness comes through pretty well to the taste, also has a nice heavy mouthfeel
at first i wasnt sure if i was going to like it, was interesting but reminded me of earl gray too much(wasnt fond of); after a week-two of drinking ive taken a liking to it(complex teas take a while for me to get acclimated to.. had this experience with a fujian in the past)
overall so far this outshines the bailin gonfu for me, really glad i picked up more than a sample size of this…. great value tea, good tasting especially to those of you who prefer sweeter teas(blacks)
I got a sample pack of this from my swap with aisling of tea! Thanks dahling!
Usually I have a straight up black tea in the mornings, but today I had a hankering for a pot of green.
This is such a pleasant, gentle tea. I find the taste to be light and delicious – no astringency and so gentle, in fact, that I kept my leaves in throughout drinking the entire pot and it just got tastier and tastier, without a hint of bitterness!
The taste is slightly sweet and spicy, like a pink peppercorn. Definitely not heavy like a Dragonwell – I think it’s like comparing a thick juice to a flavoured water! Very quenching.
As I get to the end of the pot, the aroma is grassy and the flavour reminds me of fresh black olives – juicy and savoury – just a bit nutty.
So happy I got to try this one!
Based on pre-infused aroma I wasn’t sure if I would ‘dig’ this one much but it tastes different than I anticipated.
The taste was of a sweet wood – maybe with a hint of something citrus. There was a dark-type of mocha likeness to it, too, which I wasn’t expecting.
THINK – walk in the woods after a light rain…in the fall…while sipping on a Dark Mocha.
Dry leaf: The dry leaf smelled a lot different than I expected. I has a much darker and creamier aroma than I expected. The first thing that came to mind was a really light milk oolong. The leaves are very light colored and super flat.
Wet Leaf: At first I thought that this tea smelled like a light sencha, but as I smelled more I found this very bright sweet note. If I had to compare it to something it would be like a buttered pea. It has that creaminess about it, but once you bite into it a dark, sweet, and bright flavor comes out.
Taste: When this tea first hit my tongue there was a crisp vegetal note that didn’t have the sweetness I was expecting. As I began to swallow, however, I got that sweet oolong creaminess. After I swallow this tea is my absolute favorite, because I was left with a very sweet pea flavor running down my throat. It left a refreshed feeling in my mouth and a very smooth feeling in my throat.
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.