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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you so much to Angel and Teavivre for sending me a generous sample of this tea. The dry leaf is a beautiful grass green. The aroma of the dry leaf is buttery and leafy. The flavor is rather different than other tie guan yin oolongs I’ve had. Usually I’m used to strong floral flavors but this has much deeper flavors. It’s woodsy, buttery, floral, sweet, and a touch of creaminess. I’m going to enjoy a few more steeps of this one :3
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood
I drank this again last night and this morning. I must say I think I have to order it while they are having their sale.
I am finding that I taste so much more in my puerh teas when I let them cool a bit. When they are hot, they are so similar but as they cool I detect more flavors and more delicate nuances. This one developed the wonderful cedar oil flavor that I adored in Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds, which is no longer available but was my favorite puerh of all time. Perhaps the elusive flavor is coming from the golden buds.
This is a small beeng which I think is really nice. It makes the price very similar to the one I bought myself for Christmas, which was double the price but also much heavier.
I plan to get this one, the rice-ripened (which I loved and wish came as plain loose leaf and not just as bags!), lots of the plain tuocha, and maybe some rose or chrysanthemum! I think I have until the 20th to decide what to buy on their sale!
Thank you so much for sending some of this tea, Angel! I’m always excited to try floral oolongs, and haven’t had an osmanthus tea in over five years (a green that Tea Desire used to offer). This is much lighter floral oolong than what I was anticipating. Maybe a touch of sweetness but at the moment, I’m not able to discern any unique differences in this one in comparison to other non-osmanthus floralesque oolongs I’ve experienced in the past. Perhaps my tastebuds are off today. I’m looking forward to trying it again. Maybe next time I’ll pick up on more/different nuances.
Third time’s a charm. I cold brewed this one overnight with the wet leaves after brewing it with hot water. I wasn’t in the mood for re-steeping, but didn’t want the tea to go to waste.
It cold brews beautifully. It came out a lovely light yellowish green tint and had that bitter quality I like in greens.
Second time trying this tea. I upped the leaf and steeped for a shorter amount of time with cooler water. I’m getting a more umami and savory flavor out of the tea. Must tastier than last time. I have a ton of wet leaf left over since my boyfriend wanted a cup, so I’m going to cold brew the rest.
First time trying Dragon Well. I started off with 2 grams of leaves to 4 oz of water. Steeped for 30 seconds using 175 degree water. The wet leaves smelled vaguely sweet and a little spinach-y. The tea itself had a light yellowish green color and also tasted spinach-y. A little bit astringent at the back of my throat. A second steeping, the spinach flavor went down and the astringency went up. Somehow, I don’t think I’m brewing this right.
So far, I’m not digging it. I like my greens to be either more sweet or more bitter and this tea is neither. Since this is my first time trying it, I’ll try out different ratios/steep times.
The wet leaves are beautiful, however. They look like fresh leaves that have just been plucked. You can tell this is a high quality tea.
Flavors: Spinach, Vegetables
This needed to be steeped on christmas, so I did. I will use my notes to write this review since I have been kinda busy.
These are always so enjoyable to watch, when they sink and suddenly start bloooming. This is pretty looking one, I like how those four flowers form a triangle and really look somehow like colourful christmas tree, globe amaranth on the top is like christmas star.
Pale yellow tea tastes really flowery and sweet. It was really entertaining show in christmas table.
I ordered samples from Teavivre so I could try this one head-to-head against their unflavoured Jin Xuan. :) I steeped 1tsp (3g) in a 10oz mug with steeping basket – boiling water but I find it cools quite quickly when poured into a mug, so they probably actually steeped at about 90C.
This one definitely has a sweeter, milkier scent to the dry leaf, and the leaves when wet are less vegetal than the unflavoured one. You can still taste the grassy, vegetal base, but there’s an additional sweetness and depth of flavour that wasn’t present in the other one. Interestingly, I don’t find this to be particularly milky, even with the flavouring. It’s definitely less strongly milk-flavoured than other “milk oolongs” I’ve tried, even ones that claimed to be unflavoured. As with the other one, I’m finding this light and pleasant, but also thinking that gong fu might give me a more interesting tasting experience.
I ordered samples from Teavivre so I could try this one head-to-head against their flavoured Jin Xuan. :) I steeped 1tsp (3g) in a 10oz mug with steeping basket – boiling water but I find it cools quite quickly when poured into a mug, so they probably actually steeped at about 90C.
This one smells more green and vegetal, in both the dry and wet leaves. The taste is sweet and grassy, and I would describe it as more buttery than creamy. The flavour is quite light and refreshing the way I’ve steeped it… I think next time I’ll probably try a longer steep and see if the flavour deepens a bit. It’s nice but it’s not blowing my mind or anything. I’m looking forward to trying it gong fu style.
I drank this for most of last night. It was slightly sweet and had a clean vegetal note that reminded me of really crisp lettuce. There was also a mineral note that I found pleasant, and again, clean with a really fresh finish. I want to say the finish was minty, but I think it was closer to eucalyptus than mint. At any rate, it was very nice, and the tea withstood seven steeps before I felt that it was starting to lose some flavor. I probably could have continued for a few more steeps before the leaves were truly spent.
It’s 10 degrees in my neck of the woods this morning. That’s a little chilly for South Carolina. Ten degrees is probably a little chilly for polar bears. All is not lost, though, as I am about to try out a new tea (new for me) from Teavivre on this arctic morning!
When I opened the customary Teavivre silver double packaging, my nostrils were immediately greeted by the rich, leathery, sweet, and earthy aroma that is a trademark of my favorite Teavivre black teas. This made me even more anxious to begin the brewing process.
I steeped the long black and brown full tea leaves for three minutes at 195 degrees. The finished color was a dark reddish amber. The aroma was sweet with a slight honey quality.
The taste of this tea was instantly complex. After about my third sip, my taste buds began to disseminate the different flavor sensations. Sweet, fruity, and malty were all recognized. There also was just the right twinge of earthiness to cap off a fine flavor symphony. As with several of Teavivre’s teas, this one was so smooth that I had to force myself to savor each sip and not gulp it down.
There was no astringency to this blend. The aftertaste was light and gentle. It dissipated as if in a delicate mist.
You probably have surmised by now that I like this tea. Wrong! I LOVE this tea! It’s another terrific selection from the folks at Teavivre. This one is a bit more expensive than some of their other black teas but I am already saving my pennies for my next order!
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Malt, Sweet
From the Cooking TTB
Blergh. Probably because by the time this sample got to me it was mostly a broken up mess. I used up the last of this sample.
The smell is really nice, a sweet peach scent that is just a touch floral.
But the tea! Gah! Maybe I overbrewed it, but I used only what I use on most of my other greens (185F for 2-3 min). Nope. It was a bitter mess. So sad. I wish that there was more so I could try again. The resteep didn’t go much better.
I think I bought a sample of this oolong a long time ago and drank half of it and saved the rest, and here we are! Another rediscovery! Anyhoo, I enjoyed a nice session with this tea today, I love how oolongs can be steeped and resteeped a bunch of times and still put out flavor. This tea is a very light oolong, with notes of orchid and butter. Reminds me of spring!
Another sample, thank you so much Teavivre! I feel like I’m getting a handle on the general flavor profiles of pu-erh, at least by types if I’m going by Fengqing and Menghai. But of course every pu-erh is different, so I could be wrong, especially if I’m not steeping it entirely the same way. I used an entire 10 gram sample pouch. The reddish leaves do have marine-like scent to them, and the first burgundy steep tastes a little like that, so this one may have more pu-erh characteristics than some of the other pu-erhs that Teavivre has in stock. The flavor isn’t as deep as the coffee & dark chocolate pu-erh I tried the other day. It’s a little difficult to say what this one actually does taste like. Just a standard pu-erh flavor, I guess. This is a good one, but some of the pu-erhs from Teavivre are perfect.
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
Thank you Stephanie for this one. This toucha took me on a wild ride. I used my gaiwan and did 6 cups. It would have gone more. I did not do a rinse – because, lets be honest, I’d just drink it anyway. So the rinse I didn’t do, was breaded deep fried fish and chips meets hazelnut. Yep, that’s what I got and I liked it. Cup two at 10s was bitter spicy barnyard. Almost added sugar or poured it out but did neither. Cup 3 at 5s was spicy, cedar, and underlying leather. Cup 4, 5, 6 @ 10, 12, and 15s, were all similar but each an improvement on the prior. Each mellowed more with the spiciness detaching from the cedar and reattaching on the old book leather. Pu-erh is so much fun!
Another rediscovered tea lost in my move that was so graciously given to me by Angel and Teavivre.
The leaves in this tea are stunning in their own right. Gorgeous greens and yellows begging to be steeped to wow your taste buds. Brewed, the liquor was a light, elegant gold. With all this gold one might think I am royalty. Not royalty, just incredibly spoiled with some of the best teas on the face of the planet.
Light, smooth and grassy this pu-erh knows how to treat your taste buds. Never was there any bitterness or astringency. Towards the end of the sip, there is a most gorgeous fruity flavor. Together with the grassy note I can not help but to think of Spring .
I don’t know how Teavivre does it, but their pu-erhs floor me every time. And I was able to get four steepings with maintained integrity while steeping it western-style-Incredible.
Flavors: Fruity, Grass
Got this as a sample from Teavivre several months ago. Thanks, Angel!
Anyway, I’m not terribly experienced with green teas in general— so far, I know that I really enjoy long jing and bi luo chun, but I’ve admittedly done little else in the exploration of green teas.
I’m presently drinking this grandpa style after a random flash steep with my infuser (I changed my mind and decided to go grandpa style right after).
For the flash steep (a large splash of room temperature with 208F water, so I’d guess somewhere around 170F) : Sweet, creamy/buttery, refreshing. Not at all vegetal.
Grandpa style (probably closer to 180F this time): Vegetal, simultaneously savoury and sweet. Somewhat nutty. Light but pleasant astringency.
Overall, I really like it. Light but flavourful and not too subtle. Quite refreshing. I’m very tempted to get more but good grief my tea box is overflowing.
Finally getting around to try this one, which I chose as my free sample with my TeaVivre Black Friday order. Oddly enough, this doesn’t seem to be on the website anymore, and I know for a fact that it was a new tea when I ordered it. I wonder what happened there. Anyway, the leaves are very thin and wiry, and they have a very dark chocolate brown color. Dry scent is a yummy combination of chocolate, honey, hay, and perhaps a touch of rich dried fruits.
The fruit aroma has become much stronger in the steeped tea, and there’s also a strong, sweet honey scent. That sweet honey is also present in the tea itself, which makes me happy since honey is one of my favorite notes in tea. There’s also a thick bready flavor and texture that works well with the honey, as well as plenty of sweet potato. I can taste a slight amount of molasses along with rich and syrupy dried fruits such as prune or raisin. The only thing I wish there was more of is the cocoa, which is present near the end of the sip in a very unsweetened manner. Super tasty and satisfying, and of course, perfectly smooth!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Honey, Molasses, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick
Another lovely sample from Teavivre. I feel like I’m getting a proper oolong education through them. Thanks again, Angel! The packaging is very attractive – metallic maroon and gold foil, vacuum-sealed tight.
Now, this is a dark one. The leaves are not green at all, in fact, they’re dark brown. They smell sweet and nutty, like a dessert! Reminds me of baklava. When hit with water, the aroma intensifies. I’m getting a sort of nutmeg and walnut scent. The water changes to a color much like a black tea, sort of ambery brown. By the end of the steep time, the nutty scent was accompanied by a rather strong roasted smell. I am so curious – will this be like a bracing black tea? A mellow dessert? Maybe dark and woodsy?
The instructions on the packet gave a 3-10 minute steep time. I thought that was a pretty wide range! Staying on the lighter side, I went with 4 minutes. Upon first sip, I taste roasted seaweed. Not exactly what I expected, but still nice. I’m also getting notes of toasted sesame seeds. It reminds me of these little crackers I used to get at the Asian markets when I was a kid. There is some nuttiness to the taste, especially in the finish, but I’m mostly getting sesame and I like it. Definitely taking the rest of this pot to work with me.
Flavors: Nuts, Nutty, Roasted, Seaweed, Sweet, Walnut