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Recent Tasting Notes


I bought a whole bunch of samples from Teavivre recently. I haven’t explored much of what Teavivre has to offer before now. I bought some tea-ware from there a while ago and received a couple of samples then, but that’s the extent of my experience.

I’ve had two cups of this tea today (12oz water, 175F, 3min steep). For the first I used 1.5tsp of leaves. The smell while brewing was fairly strong of wood, mineral, and pepper. I expected a stronger flavor in the cup, but it is surprisingly delicate. I brewed a second cup with the remainder of the sample (more than 1.5tsp, less that a tbs) and the flavor is slightly stronger.

It’s nice, but not my favorite green tea.

Flavors: Mineral, Pepper, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is a tasty tea with strong notes of malt and slightly weaker notes of chocolate or cocoa. This tea seems to be very popular on Steepster as it has nearly 300 reviews. This tea is I think good quality but I don’t know why it has so many reviews. If anything to me this is a standard black tea but a good one, not spectacular but worth buying. If I were charged the prices of Whispering Pines for this I’d be annoyed. But Teavivre sells this for quite a reasonable price. It just seems to me that this tea is slightly hyped up, that’s all. I do enjoy the tea.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Agree. Good solid but not spectacular


Glad you agree.


i miss garett’s black pearls :(

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Here’s Hoping TTB (round 5)

I went into this without reading about it, which I should have done. With no idea that keemun may have smoked flavors to it, I was caught off guard by this tea. The few keemun teas I have had were either malty or semi bitter with a strong black tea taste (which differs for everyone). I’m not sure if I like the notes of smoke in this since they kind of sit there mildy. I may have to come back to this sometime since I am currently not a fan of smoked teas, I’m trying to be though.

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This is an interesting herbal from Teavivre. Bought it during their last sale and am drinking it now because I have had enough caffeine for the day. The main flavor of this tea is contained in the Jasmine Flowers. They have a sort of sweet flavor I don’t properly know how to explain. There really isn’t too much Chrysanthemum in it as I can’t really taste it. I’m not unhappy for having tried this. I wouldn’t want to drink it without sugar though. It just in my opinion needs to be sweetened. It has a bit of a bitter taste to itself in truth. Also some sweet taste but there is definitely bitterness there.

I followed the directions on the Teavivre page and used 7g leaf for a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker with 200 degree water for 5 min. The website says you could resteep this twice but I couldn’t see myself doing that so I threw out the leaves. This tea is a sacrifice I make because of my insomnia or I never would have bought it. At least all the ingredients are considered good for you.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This tea is very tasty. It is somewhat malty and has notes of chocolate to it. Adding a little sugar has really made the chocolate notes pop. I think I am getting plum notes too. It should be noted that this is not the smoky Lapsang. I will try that another day.

Brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for approx 3 min.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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First thing’s first: How awesome is Teavivre’s customer service?! Colour me impressed. They confirmed my address before shipping (which was fortunate because I did screw up on it and said I was from the opposite side of Canada) and have followed up immediately after delivery.

And of course, the tea. It’s yummy. It’s very mellow, smooth, and bready. Dry leaf I picked up a bit of a smokey note, but I’m not getting any of that in the cup, which… I was slightly disappointed initially, but now I’m liking this cup for what it is and not minding that the smoke doesn’t come through.

… Increasingly finding it difficult to peg numbers to notes. Maybe after a few more cups.

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Cold brewed this last night and drank it with dinner tonight. It is quite sweet and delightfully tart. This is a good caffeine free iced tea. I will eventually have to try this hot.

4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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This is an interesting herbal I received today in my order from Teavivre. The first ingredient is missing from the list because Lotus Leaf is not in the catalog and couldn’t be added to the tea description. I find that this tea is fairly good with sugar and it is supposed to be healthy. Mostly I am drinking it tonight because it is caffeine free. It has kind of what I would describe as a somewhat sweet and an earthy flavor. By this I do not mean the earthy of ripe puerh but the earthy of chamomile. As it cools a bit I begin to taste the orange peel a little. Strangely I am really beginning to enjoy this tea.

I did my best to follow the brewing directions on the Teavivre site. I brewed 7.1g of leaf in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with boiling water for 5 min. It says you can resteep it up to two times but I doubt I want that much tea tonight.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I tasted sweetness of chinese white almond in this one, I also tasted a little bit of ginseng. Very interesting.

It was slightly smoky, less than grade 1, but more than premium hao ya.

I want to do a tasting session for all the keemun teas I ordered from Teavivre. Gotta order some tasting cup sets.

Flavors: Almond, Malt, Smoke, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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I liked this much better than the Grade 1. My colleague preferred the smokier notes of Grade 1 though.

To me, this tasted sugarcane sweet, Japanese black sugar syrup sweet. Sweet and smooth, in a quiet Chinese calligraphy practicing kind of way.

Second steep was as beautiful as the first steep.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Sugarcane

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
134 tasting notes

Very much enjoyed this tea, I like Golden Monkeys a lot. Even like their name. Would like to meet one, one day. Mm cocoa-y and smooth, a comfort tea that is so easy to drink.
Thank you for the opportunity to sample this, Angel!

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Meh. This tea left me sorta disappointed. There was little to no milky flavor to it at all. I gave it a quick rinse and then brewed around 205 F for 2 minutes, followed by subsequent brewing at the same temperature with longer steepings. The flavor of the tea was vegetal and somewhat burnt. No milky/creamy notes at all. The second time I brewed it at lower temperature (185 F) and that began coaxing out the milk flavor from the tea. Still it was weak overall and prone to bitterness on subsequent steepings.

Honestly, it just tasted like a generic green oolong and lacking other aspects of flavor. It could all be me though so I’ll keep it around and report back if anything changes.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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When it comes to green tea, I’ve always been partial to Japanese tea. For a long time, all I ever drank was sencha and gyokuro. But this particular dragonwell has completely upended my perception of Chinese green teas.

This tea tastes like spring in a cup. It has a bright, crisp flavor reminiscent of freshly cut grass and a sweet vegetal note as it goes down. Just a wonderfully delicate and very clean tasting tea that refreshes the palette. It reminds me a lot of some of the top Japanese green teas I’ve had more so than your typical roasted Chinese green tea. I much prefer this dragon well to Yunnan Sourcing’s which has a tendency to become astringent.

Like most green teas, this one is a little fussy. You have to pay attention to steep time and temperature. Followed Teavivre’s instructions, I brewed it for 2 minutes in 185 F water and found it bitter. Dropping the time and temperature to 1 minute and 175 F gave the best results. I increase the steep time for each subsequent infusion. The first two infusions are excellent and then the flavor starts fading by the 3rd.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Seaweed, Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I saved the leaves to see if this can be resteeped. I am happy to say that I did get another good steep out of it. There is still enough rosy flavor left to recognize. The liquor is a little paler and it isn’t a super dark black tea to begin with, but it wasn’t too terribly light and tasted good. I drank some of it cold because of the miserable heat and humidity we have had.

In other news – (stop reading if you are only interested in the part about tea) – I have performed a chicken experiment. Last year, one of my Black Copper Marans got broody and was very hard to break of it. Living in the city limits, I have no rooster. When she went broody again this year, I decided to give in and let her have babies.

I let her sit on three infertile eggs for over a week. (She had been sitting on stolen eggs or in empty nest boxes for at least a week already.) Then one night just after dark, I slipped the eggs out and slipped some one-day-old baby Cuckoo Marans in. She was pleased as punch to become a mother and it is an absolute miracle to watch how she mothers them. She has a special sound that she makes that I had never heard from her or any other chicken of mine before. It always means that she has found food for them. She lets them eat first, and crushes anything too large. She picks up the food and puts it down to show them what they should eat. She summons them when she thinks they have explored too far. She is patient with their constant shenanigans, like repeatedly pecking her head and eye, practicing “scratching” on her back (then hilariously losing their balance and falling off), and getting under her and then poking their heads out between her wing feathers so she looks like a Gary Larson-esque mutant chicken.

They are just over a month old now and they decided they no longer want to sleep in the maternity ward. They fly onto the ramp of the main coop and get in a nest box with their mother.

I really don’t think I fooled Bluebell in the least. I think she knows she didn’t hatch those babies, but she doesn’t care because she got what she really wanted – to be a mom.


What a sweet story!

Terri HarpLady

First, the tea. I had some of this one for awhile, and although it wasn’t bold, it was lovely & enjoyable to drink.

Now on to the chickens! Yay! I love this posting! :D
I have been talking myself into & out of getting hens for a couple of years now, and the rule I’ve made is I can’t get chickens until I build a coop. I’m also just nervous that I might be too neglectful to have them, but I really want the eggs, & the manure for my compost heaps, so I really need to get my act together & get them next spring.


That is so sweet! I’d love to have chickens, but our town doesn’t allow them.


Our city, which is not a huge city, allows ten hens and zero roosters. We did lots of reading to prepare. I buy organic soy free feed. Supposedly you should cull (eat) your chickens around 18 months old because they stop producing eggs as well. My chickens are from 2 1/2 to 4 years old and all lay just like when they were young.

We have an automatic door on an elevated coop. Nothing can get in to get them at night. NOTHING. Hubby built it after reading extensively about what works best. They have both large (for strength) and fine (to keep flies and gnats out) hardware cloth on the vents. They free range all day and we have “chicken powered composters” in their pen. They put themselves to bed and their door closes automatically.

I love cooking breakfast and telling everyone who “provided” their food, since I can tell their eggs apart. I get way more eggs than I need with just seven or eight hens, but I provide eggs to my athlete son and to my married daughter, as well as the four of us.

If anyone wants chicken advice, I am happy to share any knowledge I have gleaned! So far we have stayed totally medicine free and use organic and natural options for care.

I hope everyone who wants to get chickens can experience it someday! It is fun and feels so good, I still get excited going out and collecting eggs, after all this time!


My aunt used to get ticketed by the city all the time because of her chickens.


That sounds so cool— I have chicken envy! We are rural with plenty of space for chickens but not much free time to care for them. Seems like it won’t be possible until I am to cut back hours at work (semi-retirement, which is a long way off) or until the teenagers have flown the coop.


That’s really cute. Friends of mine who bought some land outside of town just got chickens and we were all so excited when they found the first egg.

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I chose this as one of my free samples on my last Teavivre order because I was curious about it. I have had the Rose Ripened Puerh, which has lovely rose petals in it but doesn’t really taste like rose. The rose just makes that one sweeter to me.

For some reason I expected the Rose to be just as subtle in this tea. It is not. It is much stronger, but still not as strong as Rose Scented Black by Harney and Sons, It was very, very good and I plan to try resteeping it tomorrow.

This is a good tea for floral fans, of which I am one.

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Since I found it too smoky for my taste last time, I made a weaker brew this time.

3g tea leaves vs. 240ml boiling water for 2 minutes. I like this much better.

It’s sweet, malty, a little bit smoky, and strong. Comparing to Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black tea from Postcard Teas, I somehow really wanted to describe this Keemun as masculine.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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Unbeknown to me, I had similar teas when I was a little kid. I remembered hating it. I grew up in and still live in Hong Kong. All the Chinese / Cantonese restaurants here would serve their customers teas in grandpa style. Now I that start exploring black teas, I just figure out some upscale restaurants serve high grade Keemun tea.

This is one of the promotional discounted teas I ordered from Teavivre.

Brew guide provided by Teavivre: 1 tablespoon for 17oz of water at 90’c (194’f) for 2 to 5 minutes

Since I didn’t want a big pot of brewed tea sitting around for hours, I only made a small cup.

This tea was very smoky. At first sniff, I smelt roasted chestnut. Then I got tastes of lightly roasting dried seaweed and tobacco. No wonder my little kid self hated it. This tea just took me back to my childhood. Now as an almost grown up, I can appreciate its strong characters.

I found the first steep too smoky for my taste. To me, the aftertaste was like I just finished smoking a cigarette. My colleague loved it though.

I preferred the second steep.

Flavors: Astringent, Chestnut, Seaweed, Smoke, Tobacco

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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This tea is so amazing! I was greeted with an explosion of gold dust upon opening this tea. The scent from these curly gold twirls was spectacular! It was a sweet and caramel like scent. I brewed these beauties up gongfu. I placed them in my warmed gaiwan. I was getting the aroma of sweet red potatoes from my brewing vessel. I washed these treasures once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves smell of baked bread and malt. The flavor is delicious. This rusted red liquor tastes of malt, dark wood, and buckwheat honey. This brew is more deeper and bold than I thought it would be. Instead of caramel, silky tones I received wooded and hearty. I am in no way complaining. I needed something with some punch to wake me up. This is a beautiful Dianhong, and I am so happy to have tried it.


Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Dark Wood, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Decent milk oolong. Liquid smells caramel. Very light and unobtrusive .
Caramel doesn’t transfer to taste, which is good if you ask me.

Flavors: Caramel

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This is my last tea for the night. I haven’t had white tea in awhile, and I remembered that I had this. The dry leaf looks a little darker. This tea resembles more of a tarnished silver rather than a silver. However, I don’t judge tea solely on appearance. I decided to brew these little needles in my glassware. I used cool (175F) water to brew it up. The liquor was a pale glistening white gold. The taste was incredibly sweet. This brew begins with a dry hay and melon flavor and then smooths out to sweet and honeysuckle. This helped calm me down before bed. it was nice to revisit white tea again.

Flavors: Hay, Honeysuckle, Melon, Nectar, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This was an incredible tea session! I opened my package to reveal these massive forest green nuggets. These beauties carried a creamy watercress scent. I placed them in my warmed gaiwan and shook them up. I removed the lid and took in a fantastic aroma. The warmed leaf smelled exactly like apple oatmeal. It was unbelievable! I knew that this would be a treat. I washed the leaf once and prepared for gongfu brewing. The steeped leaves gave off a complex fuji apple and pear scent. The liquor was a pale translucent jade. The taste was phenomenal! It was a heavy soup with a creamy finish. I could taste butter beans wrapped in magnolia nectar. The aftertaste was sweet with a warming sugared undertone. The leaves are massive! This session began in my gaiwan, and then I moved to my Zisha. Afterwards, the leaves continued to expand, so I moved to my cha hai and brewed grandpa style. The flavor became more floral and more sweet. I loved this so much. I was tea drunk and laughing throughout the session.



Flavors: Apple, Butter, Flowers, Nectar, Oats, Pear, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g

Wow. That sounds impressive!


I loved it :) This will be a definite top 5 oolong for me.

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Good morning fellow tea lovers! This is my morning brew. I’ve gotten a lot of this stuff, and I’ve been meaning to try it out.

The dry leaf resembles a more fragile and darker jin jun mei. These small ebony curls give off a dry currant and baked bread scent. I brewed them up gongfu. I placed a generous fluffy amount (the tea feels soft and silky) into my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. The aroma was sweet, yet it was also very dark and crisp. I washed them once and began brewing. The flavor is very heavy. This is a bold black. This still has the yunnan sweet tones, but it leans more towards the malt. I get a lot of dark wood, stain, and baked bread. The most overpowering flavor was that of wood. There is a light honey tone present in this brew. The liquor is a vibrant blood red. I enjoyed this tea, and it did a great job in waking me up. I would use this as an everyday black.


Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Wood, Honey, Malt

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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again, I can’t help but fish out a similar black from my cupboard to taste beside this sample! so out came my Pure Gold black tea.

disclaimer: I do not usually steep gongfu but that should change soon.

they both looked the same, more or less, with this Superfine looking just a bit more golden. they both smelled nice too! (sigh)

first steep: Pure Gold tasted sweet (have to admit that to my simple tastebuds that is almost always the first flavor that i notice, lol) and Superfine, it was also good..

after a couple more steepings, I can say that this has stronger cocoa notes and yes this is a stronger tea than the other but it is just right. It is my first Tan Yang and so I probably shouldn’t compare it with a Yunnan? anyways, I gotta lot more learning to do on Chinese blacks XD

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