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Recent Tasting Notes
I picked a green tonight because it has less caffeine. This one is not bad, very vegetal. I get the note of spinach too. It has been a long day and my trip to the vet for my cat did not go well. My cat is in the early stages of kidney failure and may have cancer of the eye. I do not have thousands of dollars to spend in attempts to slow down the progression of the disease. It would cost a couple thousand dollars and there is no guarantee of success.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and 175 degree water for 3 min.
Flavors: Spinach, Vegetal
Morning tea and God knows I prefer black teas or super oxidized Oolongs in the morning … but for one time I decided to try this sample offered by Angel Teavivre .
This tea has a beautiful pale green tea colour, translucent. The infusion lasts 5 minutes but it can be up to 10 minutes according to the information provided by Teavivre .
The coloring process is very slow .
The leaves are whole leaves of course and look pretty “dry” after the infusion . They do not seem to hold water. Funny.
The taste of this tieguanyin is floral, light and extremely refreshing but in my opinion it contains a type of flower I particularly like : the rose.
It also has a creamy texture , slightly buttery . The finish is clear , light , “clean” . An afternoon tea for my tastes and an exceptional tea.
Strangely it is not my favourite from all my Oolong samples kindly sent by Teavivre but I like it.
Pics of this lovely tea are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/nonpareil-anxi-qing-xiang-tieguanyin-oolong-tea-teavivre/
This tea is excellent. I need a good cup of tea this morning as I wait for the animal hospital to open. My cat is very sick. This tea is sweet with a moderate amount of fermentation flavor. I am only getting the sweet notes, perhaps the various other notes only come out when you gongfu it. But anyway it is good
I brewed this tea once in an 18oz teapot with 7g leaf and boiling water for 30 sec.
Got back really late last night from a quick work trip to Arizona and found my BF/CB teas had arrived! It was a nice sight to see after a flight that was delayed three hours. Ugh! Anyway, still not sure where I’m going to put everything, as my cupboard is exploding now!
I have a bit if a scratchy throat, so didn’t want to try anything too complex, this Shou really hit the spot. These little cubes are convenient and are very clean and smooth-tasting. The tea page mentions a clay taste, and I think I get that in most ripe puerhs. It was evident here, but the flavor was nice and uncomplicated, and sweetened upon further steeps. It steeps out fairly quickly. Overall, it’s a great everyday Shou.
It’s raining here today and in the low 40’s. That is kind of achy weather. So pretending it is sunny and mid 70’s, I finally opened up this sample. Right from the start this smells wonderfully peachy – very natural. I enjoyed reading several of the reviews and what they did or did not detect. I am not sure how to account for all the differences. For me, fixed western mug style, I got a wonderful cup of light peach tea. I am not sure I detect the green tea in the first cup. If I did not know it was scented with jasmine, I don’t know if I could have made that connection. It bounced around from kind of vanilla, to maybe caramel, then into a wine like flavor, and back to peach. All of it was mellow and without bitterness. There is a slight amount of astringency in the form of cheek tingle. On the second mug I got distracted by shiny objects and oversteeped. This produced a mug with a lot of green tea flavor along with more astringency but I like that in a green. The jasmine was far in the background. The peach was light but still present. Very different than the first and still a solid mug. As a peach tea this is pretty good though I have to admit to preferring the Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls.
Warning ! I am tasting the second “monkey” of Teavivre . This is again a beautiful sample offered by Angel . Slighly roasted . Green . A teguanyin to sum up … but not just any!
A beautiful rolled leaf that unfolds entirely at the first infusion. It Looks like a salad :)
It is a so sweet tea , green , floral even very floral but also a little fruity. A nice fruit , peach, but not from a too sweet variety , too heady .
The long finish is impressive. The taste lasts and lasts … it makes me want to go directly to a second infusion. Let’s do that !
The body and texture of the juice remains intact for the second infusion but the peach is more present. The light creamy taste is still there too. Adorable tea. I don’t know which one I prefer between the first and the second monkey Teavivre . Alike and also dissonant . I like both .
Some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/anxi-monkey-king-ma-liu-mie-tie-guan-yin-oolong-tea-teavivre/
From the Cooking TTB.
The dry leaf is long and twisty, and covered with lovely golden dust. A generous amount of whole rose buds are mixed in. The rose scent is powerful and masks any other fragrances.
This is a nicely balanced rose tea. The rose is strong for sure, but I can still taste the sweet, malty notes of the tea itself. I think I would like a bit less rose to tea, but that’s personal taste more than anything lacking in the tea.
If you’re a rose fan, I think this is a really excellent choice.
Flavors: Malt, Rose, Sweet
This is one of those teas that I have sitting around that I know I need to try and write a review for but I kept putting it off. I’m not a big fan of Chamomile and rose is so intense (good ) that you really need to be in the right mind set for it. Actually, both of those flavors blend very well in this tea. Though rose is still the dominating flavor the chamomile leaves a gentle cooling after taste. Not something I would drink everyday but better then I expected. That being said I don’t taste much white tea. It’s there a little bit but not enough.
From the Cooking TTB.
I made two cups of this. The first was from some leaf that was in a ziplock baggie. It didn’t have a lot of fragrance to it, and the taste was very mildly peachy and not much else. The second cup I made from leaf out of a sealed sample packet. The fragrance is much stronger, and there’s more jasmine to the flavour, but it’s still extremely mild.
A pleasant cup to drink but not particularly distinctive. I was hoping it would have the same intensity of the regular jasmine dragon pearls, but alas, it’s no where near as lovely.
Flavors: Jasmine, Peach, Vegetal
This was one of the free samples that I found in my tea box which I ordered from Teavivre, thank you!
I have love-hate relationship with oolongs, green ones especially, I really love way they looks and those big whole leaves when they are steeped, they have nice aroma and that deep jade green colour. But I avoid them because of that spinach taste I really dislike. I have tried Dong Ding and other Tie Guan Yin oolong before and both had that spinachy taste (Gunpowder also has that). But then this one came, I wasn’t hesitating in tasting this but when I opened the sample really flowery and floral aroma emerged. Before that experience I was wondering what the heck is that wonderful floral aroma that everyone keeps telling me about, now I’ve found it. I wasn’t firstly sure if that flowery aroma came from this tea, I was wondering if it comes from scent candles or something like that. Dammit (Is it ok to say that) Teavivre, now I have to buy bag of this too.
Long story short, leaf nuggets are beautifully dark jade green coloured, bigger and smaller ones. They smell flowery and nicely vegetal with sweetness. I used about 2 teaspoons of nuggets with my 100ml gaiwan. Tea has green-yellow colour and it smell floral with vegetal aroma, aaand surprisingly its really tasty and juicy. Taste manages to stay with all those 7 steeps, I managed to get 8. First steeps aftertaste was really fruity, almost tropical but sadly it disappears after that, but I still love that mellow, sweet, full-bodied taste that lingers on your tongue for a long time.
And those steeped leaves where just awesome, most of them where big and whole, there was also half leaves and smaller ones tree leave style branches.
Overall really really good tea, I finally became into oolong drinker. At least this one earned a place in my cupboard. And my milk and strawberry oolong are on their way, let’s see how they taste. Also does roasting/fermentating/other make oolongs more or less spinachy?
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal
Thanks to Angel for generously sending me an oolong sample package! I have been rather curious about a few of these for quite a while now, but admittedly kept stalling on ordering since I’ve been waiting for the black pearls to go back in stock. Her generous offer actually sparked me to go ahead and make an order the other day, anyway. :)
This is a wonderfully delicate and light oolong. I’ve only steeped this once, but so far, I’m picking up on sweet floral notes nuttiness. As this cools, the nuttiness is overpowering the floralness.
Mmm, there is a bit of creaminess there too.
I’d talk about subsequent steeps but I’m about to indulge in some Tikka Masala, which will clearly cloud my judgement.
Looking forward to trying the others, and of course, to get my BF parcel in the mail.
Yummy but doesn’t shine quite as bright as other teavivre oolongs. I think I hold them to a higher standard than most.
I’m actually enjoying this cooler rather than just steeped. I’m not really good at describing it well right now. I had some wasabi ranch snapea crisps with them and that was a really lovely pairing. I think the creaminess of the tea cut the heat of the wasabi.
I’ll definitely do a couple more steepings of the leaves.
It’s time for next flowering tea. I’m as excited as previously. Opening of the flower was really funny to watch (great if you host tea parties or something). This one opened differently than Family Happiness flower that I reviewed last time. It started opening on the surface instead sinking to the bottom, but then surprisingly the ‘tea part’ dropped to the bottom and flower vine left floating upright, it was almost like yoyo. I’m really looking towards to the other ones, how might they open.
This is really flowery tea, you can smell and taste the flowers. It is really sweet too. Liquid has golden colour. Overall pretty good tasting tea, since I think taste is minor point I will focus more on the looks of the flower than taste.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey
So somehow I’ve misplaced that wonderful selection of Oolong samples for review that Teavivre sent me. I know I’ll find it soon, I just have way too many tea stashes. I decided that I should still have a Teavivre oolong day today and drink from my ample stash of samples I’ve bought. I randomly reached my hand into the box’o’samples and this is what I got.
On to the tea. This tea is like wood nymphs dancing through a forest. Ok that may sound a bit overboard but really somehow it manages to smell perfumey(not in a bad way, something I’d love to wear) but not taste like perfume which I abhor.
It’s definitely floral but not sharp. I don’t taste much fruit while it’s in my mouth but there’s a lovely fruity aftertaste I can’t quite pinpoint. Melon and stonefruits?
This tea is divine and I’m actually smiling right now as I drink the final sips.
This is truly a lovely tea experience. I have enjoyed all Keemun teas from TeaVivre, but I especially like that this is organic. The dry leaf is small, very dark with a few light buds mixed in, and tightly twisted. They feel airy and light as they go into the infuser. The smell is fresh and malty. The liquor is clear mahogany- very attractive to look at. The smell of the steeped tea is something particularly enjoyable as it is an unusual combination of honeyed flowers with malty yams or sweet potatoes. I can see why some people would think of brown sugar or baked goods, though this completely lacks any nuances of yeast or baked breads found in some other teas.
The taste of this tea is a deepening of the fragrance- mild, smooth, malty on the tongue with the notes of sweet flowers, malt, a hint of fruit (apricots?), and sweet potatoes. The malt is fine and low on the flavor profile. This tea takes many common Western black tea flavors and replaces them with delicate sweetness that is difficult to describe other than what I’ve said above. Do I like this tea? YES! I just placed an order with this vendor for Dragonwell and I am already planning my next..
In other news, Steepster is breaking again! Last night I couldn’t get back to reply to a discussion and today I can barely load any other tasting notes or reviews. I am liking other posts and the likes are vanishing right before my eyes. I also went to look at some of my historical notes and the number is there, but the review is gone. Thank goodness for this delicious tea to keep me calm while trying to load pages over and over. :)
Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes
From the Cooking TTB.
I think I like this. The berry flavour is intense, bordering on artificial and candy-like. There’s a pleasant green oolong flavour that is under the strawberry on the first steep and then becomes better balanced with subsequent steeps.
In a lot of ways it reminds me of Teavana’s Six Summits oolong, which is one of my all time favourites. I wish the strawberry was a little more subdued, but this is still very enjoyable.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Floral, Strawberry, Tangy, Vegetal
From the Cooking TTB.
Oh this is such a beautiful jasmine. Bright and floral, smooth, light body, with a very full mouth flavour, and slightly fruity notes. A hint of vegetal on the finish.
Definitely a keeper.
35s, 45s, 60s, 65s, 70s and I could probably keep going with these leaves
Flavors: Fruity, Jasmine, Vegetal
From the Cooking TTB.
This is very pretty. Silver needle leaves with whole rose buds and chamomile flowers. The fragrance of rose and chamomile are dominant in the dry leaf and once steeped. This carries through to the flavour – the rose and chamomile are very well balanced, but quite overpower the white tea, which I only get the faintest hint of on the finish.
This is a very nice chamomile – light and floral and inoffensive (I generally like chamomile, but I think the last tea I had with chamomile in it had a note of cat pee which was unpleasant.)
By the third steep, the white tea is starting to show a little more. We got four good steeps out of this and could probably keep going.
This is a very nice rose and chamomile tea, and if you like these flavours a lot then you should try this. I’m enjoying it, but I don’t think I’d ever crave this combination enough to need more than a small sample. But I’m glad I had a chance to try it.
60s, 75s, 90s, 105s.
Flavors: Floral, Rose
Time to rejoin the real world, with much regret. I have been an overstuffed, lazy, derping in front of the TV watching stuff or gaming, lump. In order to celebrate my return to normalcy post holiday, I decided to play with rocks! I went through my mom’s (she gave me a few really pretty pieces, including a very dirty Savannah River Agate) and I collected a few of my old gemstones I had left with her for safe keeping. I then spent several hours researching the Carolina Bay’s geology and formation, spoilers, it is really cool.
So, enough about my nerding out about rocks (though don’t be surprised if they start showing up in my photos) it is time for some Oolong! Today’s tea is Teavivre’s Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea, one of Taiwan’s Gao Shan (high mountain) teas grown at an altitude of 2,000ft on Li Shan. This specific tea is called a Gao Leng (woo, I learned a new tea phrase!) meaning high (I knew that much) and cold, referring to the environment the tea is grown in, this in theory makes the tea sweeter and more valuable. The about section on the website has a lot of neat info about Taiwanese teas, including which ones are grown at different heights, difference between high and low mountain Oolong, and so forth. Li Shan is not the highest grown tea, but it is certainly up there. The aroma, well, often I find myself going ga-ga over the roasted oolongs, but wow, when I have a dance with a Gao Shan I wonder, why did I ever get seduced by roasted tea? It is so sweet and so very floral, like a bouquet of honeysuckles, hyacinth, orchids, and lilies, it is intensely floral and at the same time very delicate, no worry of being blasted in the face by a perfume shop. There are also notes of chestnut and cream with a very sweet nectar finish.
I should point out that I am still not on the best terms with the gaiwan I am using for this tea review, it is a great gaiwan from a functionality standpoint (or I would have smashed it) but it is so not ok visually, grumble grumble. May I will give it a full review tomorrow, spoilers, it won’t be pretty…but I digress. The aroma of the steeped leaves is so immensely sweet, I want to hug it with my nose but that would be just odd. Again with the flowers, it is a blend of honeysuckle as the dominant, hyacinth, lilac, and spicebush. This transitions to a bit of creaminess and honey with a finish of chestnut. The aroma of the liquid (hehe, my notes in my notebook are crooked, always a good sign) is as expected very sweet, a delicate blend of flowers, primarily honeysuckle, osmanthus, and spicebush, this transitions to a sweet finish of chestnut.
First steeping sipping time! First steeps always excite me, they are liking starting a story or journey, you get an idea of how things are going to go, but there is room to grow and evolve. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, it coats the mouth and fills it with floral, sweet, happiness. This steep is pretty mellow, a nice sweet nectar start that blooms into hyacinth, orchids, and honeysuckles. The finish is a delicate honey sweetness with a lingering floral note.
The road goes ever on and on, ok, no…Gao Shan is not really a hobbit tea, it is more a tea you would expect the Sindar who dwelt in Gondolin to sip while writing poetry about how they are better than everyone else. The aroma is again, quite yum, the floral aroma has ramped itself up from delicate to intense, there are notes of spicebush, honeysuckle, orchid, osmanthus, hyacinth. So many flowers! There are also notes of chestnuts and a touch of creaminess. And yeah, the taste is sweet and floral, as expected, where the previous steep was flower nectar, this is full on flower essence and creamy chestnut sweetness. You also get a little bit of green fresh vegetation. The aftertaste is floral honey that lingers for quite a while.
Ok, quick question, have any of you ever licked the condensation of the lid of a gaiwan after steeping tea, if you have not, really I suggest doing it because it will be the best thing ever. So super sweet and like the essence of tea distilled into tiny droplets. The aroma is so much flowers, really it smells like a pile of springtime air while visiting a fancy garden, it is so sweet and full of flower nectar that I swear I can smell spring time. The taste is crazy mellow, very smooth and floral with lots of honey and chestnut, this transitions to a touch of mineral and a finish of spicebush that lingers for a while.
Flavors: Chestnut, Flowers, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Orchid
This very lightly roasted Oolong , I love it. It is exquisite.
Dark green oolong with rolled leaves go for 5 minutes into aboiling water.
The wet leaves look terribly like spinach branchs.
With the taste everything changes. Here is a festival of flavours . Peach succeeds honey, puffed rice to nuts and warm bread… It has also floral notes , characteristic of Tieguanyin but I prefer them in this tea vs the high mountain Oolong tea because these notes are not isolated here.
The texture is also interesting : fluid, light yet creamy , mellow . I really really love this tea.
I cannot resist to reproduce here what Teavivre explains about the name of this tea :
" Legend has it that the cliff is too abrupt for people to pick the Oolong tea leaves. Therefore, monkey is trained to climb the cliff and help tea farmers pick the Oolong tea leaves. Another saying goes that tea farmers need to tie a rope around the waist during the process of picking, just like a monkey. Hence obtains its name"
Lovely tea that offers a very pale yellow liquid.
You can see pics of my session here :http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/taiwan-monkey-picked-ma-liu-mie-tie-guan-yin-oolong-tea-teavivre/