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Recent Tasting Notes
Definitely tasted sweet potatoes, and more-so like sweet potato pie because I added a bit of agave. Just a teensy bit. But it was so delicious that way. A short steep time was a good idea, since this brewed up dark quickly. I can appreciate this black tea due to it’s smoothness. I should try it at 85 C next time instead of trying to be a rebel.
I definitely love how this tea looks in the packaging. It’s so soft and beautifully rolled, and gold! You can’t go wrong with gold coloured tea. A+, from a straight black tea avoider.
Since I just had Teavivre’s other jasmine tea yesterday, I’m going to compare the two.
First impression, yum! These are quite similar teas, but I’m detecting a heavier sweetness to these pearls. The jasmine is again very nice and very well executed, but the pearls seem a little less floral than the Mo Li Yin Hao. The green tea is also more absent.
With both teas, I started out with a 1.5 minute steep and increased subsequent steeps by 30 seconds. They both held up to multiple infusions equally well. However, I am detecting a tad more astringency. I remember the Mo Li Yin Hao getting astringent at the end of the third cup. But the astringency appeared in the pearls halfway through the first cup.
I don’t want to be too critical. It’s still a delicious cup of tea. I think I just prefer the other one. The Mo Li Yin Hao was just so perfectly balanced. Still, this tea wins out on cuteness.
How adorable are these little tiny pearls??! I’ve never had jasmine pearls before, so I’m glad I finally got to see what all the hype is about. They’re much smaller than I expected, but they unfurl really beautifully. I’m not sure what pearls have to do with dragons though…Perhaps they hoard them?
Overall, a very nice tea experience tonight. Very relaxing after an incredibly stressful couple of days.
This sample very generously provided to me by Teavivre.
This tea smells and tastes like a weak black tea (I’m not familiar with white teas so I’m using the knowledge base I have). There is a roasted, vaguely honeyed undertone that I’m picking up on (the black tea part) but there is also a grassy note that exists alongside it. Together I guess that does equal the hay-ish taste others were getting.
This tea is very smooth and light, with no astringency. The brew does seem a little thin, but I may have been too stingy on the leaf used because I’ve never measured out leaves that fluffy before and likely miscalculated as a result of it. I will change that for next time and see if that improves the mouthfeel any.
This tea is quiet and understated; the kind of tea you’d want to be able to focus on while you’re drinking so you don’t miss any of the flavors.
I’ve tried a few blends that called themselves white peony, but this has to honestly be the first real Bai Mu Dan I’ve encountered, and I like it. I’m truly not a fan of white tea simply because the ones I’ve tried in past were too delicate to be noticed or would otherwise have to be oversteeped to the point of being bitter to get any flavor to suit me.
Teavivre’s version is truly just a blend of different leaves and buds, the number of white downy leaves had me impressed. It came in a single-serve pack, one pack made a nice aromatic 2-cup pot that was smooth, delicate, but it also had flavor. A bit floral, and a bit of hay.
I enjoyed two pots of it on Thanksgiving day and am reserving the other two packs to sip closer to the other holidays. I now “get” what people who like Bai Mu Dan are talking about.
Eventually it had to happen. I just poured the last of this wonderfully sweet hay scented leaf into my press. Verily, verily, I say unto you; my heart is heavy with sadness. Yet, will I rejoice in the goodness of the cup that awaits. I shall lift up my cup in song and celebration. Yes, in remembrance of the time we have shared old friend, will I sip. Forgetting now the sorrow of our parting I shall carry the joy of our time together in my heart until the day we once again are united.
This was an exhausting weekend. Friday night and Saturday morning I finally was allowed to work a little overtime to try to dig out from under. Saturday night our praise band opened at a benefit concert. It was too loud. Sunday morning we led worship and once again it was too loud. I am a guitar player – we never say it’s too loud! Our sound guy went to a Skillet concert Friday night (you tube – Feel like a monster) and I think he was still deaf. Last night the house was so hot I couldn’t sleep. Today I have a bad headache and I need caffeine. Chun Mei to the rescue – I hope. Near boiling water and a 30 second steep. Light smokiness followed by grassy green and tapering off into sweetness in the aftertaste. Love it. Several cups – lost track.
This green tea fascinates me. The leaf looks like black tea – very small dark pieces. It calls for nearly boiling water and a less than 30 second steep. That just seems all wrong. The wet leaf is small torn pieces and remains dark. The brew has an orange tint and is quite dark for a green. By the look I expect a heavy brisk smoky flavor. Instead, it is mildly roasted with just a hint of smoke. In mid sip the flavor shifts and reminds me of some of the shengs I have been drinking – including the mouth feel. The biggest difference is in the late sip as this leaves you with a dry mouth which I guess indicates astringent but not at all bitter. I think if there were a mild green Keemun this might be what it would taste like. I would also venture to guess if you don’t follow the steeping instructions this could get overwhelming in a hurry.
Almost boiling water and a 30 second steep. That just sounds all wrong for green, but it works. I remembered this one as soon as the steam hit my nose. Light smoky goodness. The lemon zest cookies I had with this clashed and overpowered the tea :( I really need to learn how to think through tea/food pairing.
Pure tea buds and new leaves. The inside of the sample bag is covered in a fine powdery dust. The dry leaf is shiny, grayish looking (very dark green and white mix). Smells of hay and fresh tobacco. Used one spoonful at approx 194 F for 30 seconds per instructions.
The wet leaf smells a bit like toast with a non-threatening hint of smoke. The leaf expands into a big loose clump in the bottom of the press reminiscent of a Twinings loose tea. The liquor in the press appears light yellow/green in the low light level of my office. Appears much darker in my cup.
The sip is a balance of light grassiness and smoke. There is also a creaminess to the cup. Sometimes smoke frightens me. Here it really does compliment the green’s flavor. Once again I find I am really liking this offering by Teavivre. As the cup reaches room temperature, I am reminded of the base that Ahmad uses in their Earl Green. I use to love that tea, so it is no wonder this one immediately appeals to me.
Apparently I like this a lot more than the others who rated it.
Sadly, this is my last new sample by Teavivre. Thank you Angel for allowing me to review your company’s products. I am impressed. The good news is I still have partially filled sample bags so I get to enjoy each one of these at least one more time, while I try to whittle down the must have list to a manageable level. Since I rated most of these teas at 90+ that will be difficult.
Feeling a bit exhausted. Things are a little too hectic at the moment. So I could whine, or curl up in a ball and hide, or I could just have a cup of tea (maybe six). I choose the tea. I finished off the sample. I am not sure if I have more of it somewhere or not. If so I’ll stumble on it later and be surprised. I have always really liked this one. The leaf is beautiful. The wet leaf scent is so vegetal and inviting. The best part though, is just sitting quietly with the cup and enjoying it. Excellent refresher.
Bi Luo Chun how I love you. This review is for the spring 2014 production.
When I first met this tea from Teavivre it was in January 2012, so it must have been a 2011 tea. I was blown away. This was a light bulb moment tea for me. I had been drinking bagged grocery store stuff prior to this. I had no idea green tea could taste so amazing. I likened the scent to Cheerios and the leaf to the appearance of upholstery stuffing. I remember resteeping it until it literally had nothing left to give.
Today the leaf is even more beautiful to me with its green and white fuzzy leaf. I notice the temp has been revised upward to 185 F. Pretty sure it was 176 or so before. I went with a 1 1/2 minute steep. The cup looks like white wine and the wet leaf is so aromatic I want to dig in with a fork and chow down. I resisted.
This is buttery creamed corn in a cup with the good kind of lightly bitter bite at the end. The flavors is light and refreshing. It does not overpower the senses, yet you don’t have to search for it either. Very near the top of my green tea favorites list.
Now for the awwww part of my note. Yesterday, as some may have read, we got a Chineranian puppy, which is a mix between a Japanese Chin and a Pomeranian. It is a little 2 pound fuzz ball. I was concerned how Spike our Chihuahua/Russell mix would react. He goes berserk when the cats even walk into the room when he has a toy or a rawhide treat in the floor. Within just a couple hours Buffy the Chihuahua Slayer was allowed to examine and play with both.
My son brought his big 60 pound dog over to meet Buffy. JJ is blind but he could smell her. So he wanted to nuzzle and sniff her up close. Spike growled. Protective and jealous. I think he is smitten. This morning I noticed Spike hanging half out of his bed to make room for his new puppy love. He gave me a pathetic “What are you gonna do” look that us guys understand. I laughed at him. Tell me about dog.
The moment my feet hit the floor I knew I needed a strong black tea. I got up, went to the fridge, grabbed the milk and chocolate syrup. Poured the milk and realized the chocolate syrup was actually pancake syrup. Another trip to the fridge and as I stirred the milk I realized it was not strong black tea. That kind of morning. Chugged the milk and started looking for the tea. Except I couldn’t read the labels, or at least my brain couldn’t decipher them. Decided on this as it was the first label that I understood. It is a beautiful tea even if it isn’t strong black tea. All that to say thanks Teavivre, the life you saved this morning may have been my own.
As I opened my eyes this morning, I declared this a me day. My wife went grocery shopping and my son went to a friends. I got out my acoustic guitar and played hard and long. Now I am sipping on this most beautiful green. I think this is my favorite green tea – or at least it is at this moment in time on me day. Its buttery, sweet, grain, beans? and a spiciness that leads into a pleasant bite before the lingering aftertaste kicks in.
It may be time to break out the electric guitar and crank the distortion to 11. Hope the neighbors are in a good mood.
So I get to the den this morning, I’m thinking, "I really need a Yunnan or Fugian black. But there is a problem. I have a nasty I can’t think headache and my bag of black teas aren’t finding me. I did stumble upon this and it is one of my favorite Teavivre teas. The leaf is beautiful and interesting too look at. Once brewed it looks so fresh and spring like green. The wet leaf aroma is soup beans. I must be craving ham and beans with cornbread. The liquor is a lovely yellow. The taste is grain (Cheerios) and fruit. The aftertaste is lingering and sweet. This is a very gentle cup. My head is already pounding less. This will probably be my only opportunity for sipping so glad it was a good one.
I went to the clinic Saturday due to an earache that won’t go away that has kept me so dizzy I haven’t wanted to brew tea. Drugs haven’t helped much yet but this morning I needed a good cup.
I previously reviewed what I recall was the 2011 version. Ain’t gonna lie to you. I freak’n love this tea. It is hard to pick a favorite from TeaVivre but this one is definitely very near the top. The leaf still reminds me of old time upholstery stuffing and the sip still tastes like Cheerios. There is a floral element similar to green oolong hiding in the middle of the sip. This turns creamy late sip. Good aftertaste. Resteeps well. My favorite part is when I sip it the world around me dissapears for a moment. Who couldn’t use a little of that now and then?
Thanks Angel for the sample.
Ever have one of those mornings where it makes no difference if you have your glasses or not because your eyes won’t focus? Haven’t been sleeping, so I haven’t had much tea lately, which is ok as Steepster hasn’t been letting me post much anyway.
I swear half these TeaVivre samples are bottomless (which makes me very happy!). I think it is because they resteep so well. I pity the fool who doesn’t resteep (said in my best Mr. T. voice). A scoop of leaf and your good for the day.
Dry this smells of sweet hay. Steeped, today it is reminding me of tiguanyin. I would do a better job with a description but my brain waves are on scramble. What’s the frequency Kenneth? Look a squirrel!
This is my second favorite Teavivre tea. The first is Jasmine Dragon Pearls. I noticed the video on their website for preparing this tea and it looks like what I have been doing with the exception of they add the leaf to the heated water instead of the other way around. So I did just that this time. The dance of the leaf was great fun to watch. I love the look of the dry leaf. I love the smell of it. I love the vegetable aroma of the brewed leaf. The color of the liquor is pretty. I find the taste refreshing. It’s green but not too green.
I noticed I rated this higher than anyone else. I love the look of the dry leaf. I love the fresh hay smell. I love the Cheerios early on, followed by a light fruitiness that reminds me of TGY, and the sweet lingering hay aftertaste. I prefer the lightness of this green over a heavy grassy cup. I drank several cups on just a couple spoons of leaf – and there is still a lot of leaf in the pouch. 4oz of this would last me forever. I would enjoy every cup.
Not sure why, but today sniffing the wet leaf made me think of the smell of the air at a beach we picnic at in the summer. When I took my first sip I realized I have a problem. I burned my tongue a couple days ago (queso). It is still very tender and apparently I am not picking up subtle tastes. Besides it hurts. This tastes only of light melon and water. I thought I would switch to Mtn Dew until my taster healed but it hurts just as bad :( Looks like room temperature drinks for a while.