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Recent Tasting Notes
A free sample with my last order! I love that all of Teavivre’s oolongs are distinctly different. The bright green leaves here have a floral yet milky scent. I used the entire sample pouch for my mug which turned out to be two heaping teaspoons:
Steep #1 // just boiled // rinse // 1 min steep
The fragrance of the mug is the same as the dry leaves – milky with hints of floral and the flavor is the same! If you want another milk oolong option than the two that are actually called milk oolongs over at Teavivre, this is the one. It almost has a buttermilk quality..so creamy it almost translates to the texture. The floral isn’t incredibly noticeable in the flavor. Hints of vegetables, but I can’t tell what type. It has almost a savory quality – salty, brothy, soupy. Much less sweet than some of Teavivre’s other oolongs.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 1 1/2 min
This cup is very different than the first, but I do love when these oolongs change flavors. This cup doesn’t have the milky/creamy quality and even loses some of the savory qualities. Now it’s more fresh, crisp, fruity and floral. Just all the flavors I think about when I think of a great oolong. Very flavorful and perfectly steeped. I think I have steeping these oolongs perfectly now!
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min steep
This cup is very smooth and it seems to have something unique about it, though I couldn’t say what. FULL of that delicious oolong flavor though! Also, there was a twig sticking out of the infuser, I pulled it out and it was actually a tiny branch with a few leaves attached! Now how in the heck did it go from being tiny oolong bundles to that?!? I was a gushing tea nerd for a couple minutes. It’s so amazing all of these oolongs can be so different!
I received this today in my long-awaited Teavivre order as a sample. It’s my first time tasting lapsang souchong.
This is truly tasty, and it reminds me of Islay scotch. Mmm… Word to the bartenders out there… This would make a nice tea cocktail.
It’s smoky as described, smooth and fragrant. Like a campfire in the woods. Yummy!
Tea of the morning……
Well, I moved onto another tea in preparation of my Teavivre order. I have a little homework to do before the weekend, so this one is up next, and to be followed by the Golden Monkey and Superfine Tanyang.
So far, I am thinking of skipping this one. I think my love of basic Keemuns has waned a little since I tend not to sweeten as much. But obviously, that is just me. This is a great tea. All the great characteristics of a good Keemun, plus a little smoke, a little mystery, and a little bit of a bite at the end of the sip. It is missing the earthiness that lower grades of Keemun tend to offer, which is nice. Dark, mysterious, and reasonable!
Usual teapot method.
cavocorax provide me with this sample which i’m willing to bed was the second package from samples she would have picked up from Angel heh. teavivre really is generous when it comes to their samples. I’d be happy with ONE package as a sample and they nearly always send at least 2!
This reminds me of Wild Monk from Mandala but without the smoke that i adore. this is more of a green sort of puerh than an earthy one – leaning towards coming across as vegetal. It reminds me a little of some of the green teas that i’ve had recently from teavivre but without the juiciness. Instead this is more subdued..bordering on almost nut like versus snap peas or something similar. Over all, quite lovely through a few steepings!
This “melon seed” tea is one of the top ten famous teas of China. As expected, Teavivre’s version has a pleasant smooth green taste. Yellow-green tea soup with a distinctly vegetal aroma. Mixed taste of grass and green beans. The smoky, floral and sweet notes add to the complexity of the tea. A tiny bit of spice was detected in the second and third steeps. For those of us who appreciate green teas, this is a fascinating tea and one to enjoy.
So I had enough of this tea left to make one strong cuppa or two weaker ones. I wussed out and made myself a weak cup to try to make this one last even just a little longer, but I do regret that decision now. It still has that malty goodness, but is much more gentle (aka weak) than I’d have liked. I might take what’s left of the leaves and blend it with something else to avoid this problem again. Anyway, it’s still nice to find the time (and weather) to enjoy a hot cup of tea in the midst of a humid summer.
I’ve only had one other Silver Needle before this one. It was Harney & Sons’ Silver Needle. It was back when I first got into tea, and all I noticed was that it tasted strongly of hay. xD Which disappointed me at first because everyone always seemed to love silver needle, and I just didn’t get it.
I really wanted to like it. I love how it looks and how soft and fuzzy it feels. It’s just one of those teas that I just want to feel because it’s just that soft. If I were a bug, I’d totally want to make my home in this tea because it would be so comfy…
Okay, that’s kinda weird I realize…Sorry ‘bout that…
Anywho, this tea surprised me, while it still has that tea flavor, it also has like a natural sweetener in it. The sweetness of this tea distracts from the strong hay flavor. Not bad but not something I’d buy tons of. Definitely willing to try other silver needles in the future. Probably just won’t go out of my way to buy some.
Ever since trying the flavored Milk Oolong tea from Teavivre, I was looking forward to trying the unflavored version. Since I’m pretty sure that I love the entire genre of milk oolong, I just ordered a full bag not too long ago. Now I see that this tea is among those included in the upcoming sale. My batch, however, is from 2013, and now they have the 2014, so that seems like a reason to buy another bag after all!
The liquor is greenish yellow and the flavor at turns milky and floral. The leaves are a rich green color and well-scented, although not quite as strongly as The Republic of Tea’s milk oolong, which also has shinier gnarled pellets than are these.
I really gobbled down the first glass and prepared a second infusion of the leaves, which I have now also already downed. The flavor of the second glass was less milky than the first, and I presume that it will become less milky in further infusions. The leaves have fully unfurled to reveal their bold beauty.
A tasty tea!
Flavors: Creamy, Floral
I’ve no business adding any more Yin Hao to my cupboard, as I have an ample supply of Tazo’s. Nonetheless, I am taking up this sample from Teavivre today to determine whether it’s really possible to have too much jasmine scented tea!
This variety appears to use a higher quality green tea base, hence the silver leaves interspersed with the other dark green spindly ones. I am assuming that those are not jasmine flowers but tea leaves, though I could be wrong.
The liquor brews up pale green, becoming more golden as it sits a bit, and the flavor is quite rich in jasmine. The texture is also good, but I’m not sure that, all things considered, I’d buy this one before the jasmine dragon pearls, which also offer a beautiful unveiling ceremony!
For a simpler, more puritanical jasmine green, this one is certainly good.
I have not really gotten a grip on all of the various Long JIngs available chez Teavivre. This one, the Premium, I brewed up today and am now scratching my head at my last review. Maybe I was having a bad tea day? That happens, of course… It’s also possible that I underleafed or underheated.
Today’s batch was nutty and slightly sweet and very appealing and smooth. It’s time to increase my rating. In order to adjudicate all of these fine Long Jing offerings, I probably need to just break down and order a full bag of each, so that I can do some serious steep-offs chez sherapop.
Happy third anniversary Teavivre! You are the standard by which I measure all other teas and all other tea companies.
Shortly after discovering Steepster this brand new company offered to send me samples.One of those was Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls. Until tasting that tea I never liked jasmine but I loved, no, LOVED dragon pearls. Later I got to try Jasmine Silver Needle White. I was equally blown away. Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls continued the awesome trend – though for my tastes I actually still prefer the Premium version.
So a while back I ordered the Silver Jasmine green tea. I just got around to opening it yesterday. For the first cup I followed directions and used a lot more leaf than I normally would and steeped for 1 1/2 minutes. It was better than most non-Teavivre jasmine I have had but didn’t quite speak to me. It was a little too intense in floral notes though still natural tasting. Definitely not that fake jasmine perfume that lesser teas taste like. My other thought was it tasted, at first, like a jasmine blooming tea. That taste always makes me think globe amaranth. As the cup cooled or possibly as I got used to it that passed and it smoothed out. It was ok but I was pretty sure it could do better.
So today I followed my own rules by using my normal leaf amount of 1 rounded tsp (half what I used previously) and cut the steep to 1 minute. Now this I like. The jasmine is the main taste element but it doesn’t overwhelm my senses and it doesn’t drift into globe amaranth. Another thing I noticed was how the leaf made my fingers smell of grape Kool-Aid. Seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of grape Kool-Aid? And yes, I can’t help but play with my leaf. It is a very lovely less complex cup for simple enjoyment. I can see this being wonderful with a meal or snack.
Next time I plan to kick it back up to 1 1/2 minutes but keep the reduced leaf amount to see if I can pull a little more depth out of this everyday tea. Looking forward to many good cups out of this. Recommended but you may need to tinker with steeping parameters.
Yes, I saw the premium dragon pearls are going on sell and yes, I hope to have a large bag join me soon.
This enjoyable high quality tea is refreshing and delicate. Tightly rolled, a lovely smooth, balanced oolong with floral overtones in the aroma. Greenish-yellow tea liquor which at times, yields both vegetal and buttery tastes in the sip. Li Shans are lightly oxidized and, therefore, resembling green teas in some ways. Delicious and easy to drink cup.
I just realized I had one sample left from TeaVivre’s very generous offerings that I have not reviewed yet. Since it was time for morning tea, I figured it was time to get to it!
Method: 3.3 g, 3 oz, 205 degrees, 15-20-25 seconds, ru kilk gaiwan
Aroma: Roasty scents, with some hints of floral and fruit, and also a mineral note
Flavor: Toasty yum. This tea has some pretty floral notes, but the main show is the roasty toasty flavor. There’s also a bit of sweetness and a slightly dry finish. This has a very pleasant aftertaste that really stays awhile. I blended the first 3 steeps into a mug and I’m having some difficulty not just chugging it all at once! Thanks to TeaVivre for the sample!
First, I’d like to apologize to TeaVivre. I was sent several lovely samples to review and I posted this review under the incorrect tea! So I am moving the review to the correct tea listing.
Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 208 degrees, 3 and 10 minutes, ForLife brew in mug strainer
Dry Leaf Aroma: The leaves had only a very faintly floral scent.
Brewing Aroma: Oh, THERE you are! This smells gorgeous! There’s a very strong floral aroma, like jasmine, but not exactly jasmine.
Flavor: Smooth and floral. I steeped for 3 minutes and the flavor was nice, but not that strong. I put the brew cup back in, intending to try again after 2 min, but I got distracted and another 7 minutes had passed!
The flavor was definitely stronger now. The floral is in your face, but I personally like that, so I’m happy. There was a little astringency, and a bare hint of bitterness, but nothing crazy. I will undoubtedly buy more of this to keep at work for grandpa style brewing. It holds up to long steeps extremely well!!!
Thanks to Angel @ TeaVivre for the sample!
I was late to the Jasmine Dragon Pearls party (where have you been all my life????), but I’m making up for lost time. These beautiful specimens from Teavivre are very nice indeed. I love the uniform size and the silver striations of the dried pearls, the gorgeous unrolling of the leaves during infusion, and above all the taste! They were already on my “to stock” list, but tonight we are reaffirming our vows.
I’ve been noticing that my fear of oversteeping Japanese teas has been carrying over to China greens, which I seem to be systematically understeeping and underheating. Instead of 73C, I now believe that I should be using closer to 79C, in order to extract all of the goodness, especially in a case such as these tightly rolled dragon pearls. They need a bit of a push in order to unfurl. I suppose that the less they unfurl in the first infusion, the more flavor there will be in the second infusion, but I’m going to try to aim for 79C from now on for China greens, since this temperature is giving me consistently better brews. I still believe that 85C is too high, though it is a frequently prescribed temperature on packaging.
The smooth succulence of this tea is a joy to experience. I do believe that I prefer jasmine green to white because of the flavor imparted by the base tea.
Delicate appearing black and gold dry leaf; fragrant like a field of fresh clover hay. Wet leaf smells deliciously sweet like honey.
Taste is flavorful with winey, fruity and floral notes combined with a wee bit of leather. No smokiness that I can detect.
Re-steeped well, and very lovely to drink.
very nice. so glad i bought! teavivre had a sweet discount coupon going that i totally took advantage of.
exam tomorrow. aside from saying malt, chocolate, don’t want to study, wonderful to resteep, malt that isn’t astringent, very smooth and impressive pearl size!
does anyone have a suggestion for a magical tea that inspires a person to study? i am SO done. =0(
Opening up the bag I was hit with a smoky, earthy aroma – surprised to find a hint of smoke in the dry leaf but it is pleasant and not offensive. Medium brown, clear tea soup. The taste is marvelous and nicely balanced – malt, dark chocolate, and leather mixed together. Silky smooth sip and the light smokiness serves to make the other flavors pop. A very nice complement to breakfast foods.
In a side-by-side comparison of this Xin Yang Mao Jian with Teavivre’s Lu Shan Yun Wu, the heartier, more robust and darker green flavor of the Mao Jian really came through. This tea is much closer to Wissotzky Signature Green (in sachets), which I fell for a while back. In contrast, the Lu Shan Yun Wu is like a cross between Long Jing and Bi Luo Chun. Well, sort of… I am quite sure that the profound distinctions between all of these teas would emerge in side-by-side brewings!
The flavors of today’s two teas are certainly very distinct, though the liquors did not differ that much in appearance. The Xin Yang Mao Jian was gold veering more brown than green, which I ascribe to the more cooked quality of the tea. I also noticed that the infused leaves look neat and tidy in the case of Lu Shan Yu Wu, but sort of disheveled and chaotic for the Mao Jian. The dried leaves in both cases looked well-groomed, with the Lu Shan Yu Wu having especially attractive little corkscrew shapes.
Mao Jian is another case, like Bancha in Japan, where the later crop is generally considered to be less desirable than the first flush—Mao Feng in the former and Sencha in the latter case. I find, however, that second flush teas (and this applies equally well to darjeelings in India!) have their own distinctive appeal. I don’t necessarily prefer a tea just because it is harder to come by.
In conclusion, Xin Yang Mao Jian goes on my shopping list, too!
Flavors: Green Beans