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Recent Tasting Notes
I have been craving Keemun lately at breakfast time. I have some of the finest Keemun, but it is not as bracing as I was wanting for my morning tea, though I love it as afternoon tea.
This one really hit the spot today! After a sweet pancake breakfast I wanted something to cut the sweetness and give me a little boost and this did the trick. I had one cup at home and took a JoeMo to go with me. There was a nice bread and cocoa flavor, and the smoke was more evident somehow from JoeMo, perhaps just because the tea was starting to cool and the flavor profile was morphing. It reminded me a bit of my beloved Queen Catherine.
Very nice tea experience!
I got a sample of this with my most recent Teavivre order, because I love peaches & it sounded interesting. The first thing I noticed is that the dry tea smells delicious. I ate a few small pieces of tasty dried fruit from the bag, & then I brewed the tea.
It’s very red, & the flavor is tart, so I’m thinking hibiscus, but I don’t see it listed on the ingredients.
I’ve never drank a tea with roselle in it, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, & sure enough, it is a member of the (you guessed it) hibiscus family.
I can handle a little hibiscus, from time to time, provided the drink is also sweet, so I added a little stevia. It’s fruity & drinkable, but I think it would be much better over ice.
This is really really tasty. It is buttery without tasting oily (which I hate in tea, usually found with coconut for me), sweet, and creamy, but balances with the veggie notes really well. I also like that it is so full flavored after just one two minute steep, leaving it available for more. The leaves are long and flat and cool looking too, as a bonus. I love pretty tea.
The tasting note from KS reminded me that this is almost a sipdown…so I decided to brew up a giant mug of it. Ahhh, bliss.I didn’t appreciate this tea enough while I had 50 g’s of it, and was kind of looking forward to it being gone. Now that I have enough for only 1 more cup, I feel a little bit panicky. Perhaps a Teavivre order is looming sooner than I anticipated.
Tea of the morning……
I was so excited when Teavivre decided to offer a Keemun Mao Feng. This is one of my favorite varieties of tea. Of course, this one does not disappoint. It is not as smokey and earthy as the other variety I keep in my cupboard. This one is much more refined. I get notes of honey, cocoa, and loveliness! I am definitely keeping this around.
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey
Last night was just awesome, it was Thursday meaning Board Game Night at Tabletop, and it was certainly one of the better nights I have had there. I played so many good games (will be discussing some of those tomorrow on my weekly Geeky rambling post) and then after gaming just hung around with friends talking until almost 3AM. I feel wretched today and my sleep schedule is all messed up, but it is totally worth it.Today’s tea is Fengqing Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2014 from Teavivre, a Sheng Pu-erh from Alihou Village in Fenging, Yunnan. The leaves were harvested in April-May of 2014 from Large Leaf trees that were 300-600 years old, making this the youngest Pu-Erh I have had the pleasure of meeting. I still have a lot to learn about Sheng Pu-erh, having only had a few examples so far. The aroma of the dry leaf is quite potent and a little pungent, but in a good way. The aroma is at first very sweet, like fresh hay and apricots, this transitions to more of a wet hay mushroom aroma with a strong honey note. There is also a very faint saltiness to it which is quite interesting.
Once I give the leaves a rinsing and then a brief steeping their aroma is still sweet and just a little bit fruity, but it is mostly wet hay, a bit of barnyard, and a sharp almost sour quality that does not really have a familiar aroma note, it is more of a sensation in my nose. I should state that it is not an unpleasant sensation, but it is an unfamiliar one. The liquid is very sweet, a mix of apricots, freshly mown hay, and honey. I was surprised at sweet it smelled.
The taste of the first steep is both sharp and sweet, it causes a very strong salivary response and an intense cooling sensation which is very refreshing. The flavor notes are freshly mown hay, apricot, and a finish of vegetation and a tiny bit of bitterness. There is a sweet honey aftertaste that lingers for a while.
Onto steep two! The aroma is sweet apricot and freshly mown hay, this still might be the sweetest smelling Sheng Pu-Erh that I have ever sniffed, I find that really kinda awesome. The taste this time around is a lot more mellow, no sharpness, no bitterness, no cooling salivary response, just smooth sweetness. The flavors are wet hay, fresh vegetation, and apricots. At the finish there is a tiny bit of camphor, which is something I do not get to say very often.
The aroma for the third steep is honey sweet, apricots, and fresh hay. There is a little touch of wet hay and barnyard this time, but it is very faint. The taste is very sweet and rich, the cooling sensation has returned along with tastes of fresh hay, honey, and apricot. I think this tea still has quite a few steeps in it, but sadly after the second steep I started noticing stomach spasms and knew after steep three that I had to call it quits. This has NOTHING to do with the tea, sometimes my stomach decides to freak out, and I have noticed that it has a mixed track record with Sheng, so don’t let my belly stop you! I really thought this tea was enjoyable, especially with how sweet it is.
I started drinking this yesterday afternoon. It started of with a rich creamy texture, developing into a fruity taste, at least to me. I did a rinse today to freshen the leaves & then drank several more steepings this evening. I’d like to give a much more in depth review, but I’ve been doing desk work this whole time & although I thoroughly enjoyed each steep & am enjoying the good energy, I just don’t really have much else to say.
I’d like to thank Angel & Teavivre for the generous sample, & there is enough that I can drink it again, so I’ll try to be more focused next time :)
Every review I have read on this one has been positive. This is another one. The leaf smells of fall leaves to me. It looks like bark flakes rather than white tea. The brew is dark honey almost ale. The taste is like sweet hay with grassy notes. Crisp and clean with a mineral fresh spring water taste under the hay. Fruity late in the sip. The taste is definite white tea though everything else about it keeps you guessing. Where silver needle and white peony to some extent are subtle and lean towards cucumber/melon, this one is bigger flavored and leans toward leaf and fruit. A nice peaceful treat on this hectic day.
I did this one today grandpa style for my morning tea. It was a great tea to do this way, at a bit of a cooler temp. Creamy, buttery, sweet, tasty!
It’s a good thing I had good tea to keep me company as my day has just been really cruddy at work. I don’t know when we’ll even see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But good tea to keep one company is a great start. And it’s almost the end of the work day, which really helps.
I liked the sample so much that I had to buy a whole tuocha, success right?
The flavor is not that bold that other sheng that I’ve tried, but I like it that way. Golden-orangeish color with nice aroma, bit hayish. When using my glass steeping mug I can taste some dried fruits like apricot and plum, it so awsome I have never tasted tea like that before. This sheng is very mildy smoky and typical raw pu erh flavours like wood and earth are not so strong.
Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Hay, Plums, Smoke, Wood
Yet another large thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
Since it is Friday morning and the weekend is ahead as I prepare to try out this new tea, I am already in the mood for something WILD! Ancient WILD Tree black tea will do just fine!
The aroma that oozed from the package when I opened it was malty and bread-like. I steeped the long black leaves for five minutes at 195 degrees. The finished product had a yellow/orange hue. The odor was similar to sweet baked bread.
Even at first sip, this tea had an exquisitely sweet, malty, and velvety taste. There was also a hint of baked bread in the mix. For good measure, a rich Yunnan tea flavor blended masterfully with the other attributes. There was no bitterness. The after taste was peaceful, subtle, and equally delicious. The rest of my cup (which disappeared quickly) had amazingly consistent flavors throughout. I didn’t just drink this tea. I savored it.
This is one of those rare teas that I have to restrain myself from chugging instead of sipping. It is an outstanding new selection from Teavivre. Everything that I want from a black tea is contained within: a robust and wonderful blend of flavors, smoothness, and the extra punch that only black tea can give me.
Congratulations, Teavivre! You have another (WILD) winner!
Flavors: Malt, Sweet
Thanks, Amariel, for this smooth and subtle green. This has some really lovely notes of chestnut, coconut, and even some sugar-like sweetness. It’s a nice balance between savory (nutty) and sweet.
I hope I get around to picking up more of this before the new year, or in time for the latest harvest.. maybe as a reward for when I finally finish The Wheel of Time (I’m so close).
Flavors: Chestnut, Coconut, Sugar
This is third time I write this since my computer is one butt.
When Teavivre had their pu erh sale it was really hard for me to decide if I buy this or 2006 tuocha that I had tasted before as a sample. I bought the tuocha and got sample of this.
Dry leaves smell sweet and woody with hint of hay. Wet leaves have kinda same aroma.
Tea itself has golden colour and veery smoky aroma, smokiest tea I have ever tasted. It’s not a bad thing though. Smokiness fades after couple steeps and makes room for sweet, maybe floral and woody taste. I really like this, I might get some more of this too. I start to get addicted into sheng pu erh.
Flavors: Campfire, Floral, Smoke, Sweet, Wood
Again my thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
Unlike some (or many), I happen to enjoy the Pu-erh teas a lot, particularly in the morning. The strong leathery/earthy smell and taste seem to help my brain kick into gear as I start my day. Maybe this species acts as a form of smelling salts for me. Whatever it is, I like it!
When I opened the sample package, the ol’ trusty leathery smell jumped from within. I steeped the “cake” (which resembled matted brown grass and sticks) for nine minutes. The recommended maximum steep time was 10 minutes so I decided to push the envelope today.
With nine minutes of steeping under its belt, the brewed liquor was a very dark brown that almost approached the black end of the color spectrum. The brewed aroma had Pu-erh written all over it: leathery, earthy, robust.
The taste of this tea, even after almost maximum steeping time, was amazingly smooth and delicious. The expected leather and earth flavors were strong and enunciated. But, there was also a slightly sweet characteristic in the taste. My taste buds detected no astringency whatsoever. The aftertaste was surprisingly smooth and did not linger more than a few moments.
This is a greatly satisfying new tea offering from Teavivre. 2008 must have been a superb year for Pu-erh. Folks seem to either love or hate this tea type. If you already love Pu-erh, you will love LOVE this Pu-erh!
Flavors: Earth, Leather
I tried to broke one tuocha in half for my gaiwan (I know not the best option for puerh), but the tuocha is so hard that I had to use it whole. These are actually kinda cute, like baby tuochas! Cake seems to break apart into small tea leaves and not into leaf particles which is nice.
The smell is nice, they smell like sheng should sweet and smoky, reminds me a bit of bbq sauce? Dry cake is browny green color.
Wet leaves smell still sweet, but new vegetal aroma has emerged. I also enjoy a lot seeing tuocha transform into tea leaves, it fun to watch.
Tea has that typical smoke and woody aroma, I don’t seem to notice any dry fruits in this like some older sheng have, still it doen’t have that typical sourness either that younger ones have. Strong and full flavour and golden liquid, somehow dry tea. (The full tuocha was too much for my 1dl gaiwan.) I might to buy more I really like these.
Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Honey, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood
I ordered a sample of this from TeaVivre during their 3rd Anniversary Sale, just because I was curious. I’ve been experimenting a little bit with oxidized and roasted oolongs lately, mostly due to my love of GTT’s Eastern Beauty. I haven’t really loved them so far, I find that they mostly taste like autumn leaves to me with a little bit of something else mixed in. But still, the curiosity has its way! These leaves are very large and brittle, and quite twisty. They’re very dark in color, and they’re closer to being grey than brown. Dry scent is autumn leaves with hay and some vegetal notes. I did a 2 minute steep at 200 degrees.
Brewed, it still smells quite leafy. There’s definitely a bit of bread there as well, along with some honey sweetness and lovely fruit notes. Hmm… I’m beginning to think these teas may not be for me. This one also tastes like dry autumn leaves, which I guess is because of the roasting done to it. There’s a little bit of bread or grain, along with an earthy wood flavor. I get a tad bit of fruit and some creaminess near the end and in the aftertaste, but I wish these were more present throughout the sip.
I find that this genre of teas tends to bore me a bit, if that makes sense? I’ll probably try this tea gong fu style as well, but I found that it tasted rather the same with the dancong I tried that way. I’ll still try it though, just to give it a chance!
Any recommendations on the best way to brew dancong and da hong pao teas would be lovely. :D
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Earth, Grain, Roasted, Wood
mmmm had a cup of this today in the evening since i’m trying to relax and de-stress a little before the week starts up again. On the plus side, next weekend is along weekend, so that will be nice :) i am a fan of this tea, even with the rose. it blends really nicely and the chamomiles makes for a nice was of subduing the rose, while still letting it be in the tea. thanks angel for sending this one my way!
Another generous sample from Angel that i’m enjoying today in an effort to get more teas closer to sipdown category :) I wasn’t sure whether i’d like this one or not, given my dislike of “rose” as a general flavour in teas. Turns out that this one is pretty tasty. The chamomile balances out the rose sufficiently for me (though maybe that’s because i picked all the really big flower chunks out of my cup before brewing…) Not sure if i’d restock this one, but i am enjoying this quite a bit. It’s a lovely evening tea for relaxing…
Thank you again to Angel for the sample! I picked this one today, mostly just for a break from black teas. I don’t like drinking my greens and whites unless i happen to be in the house. Sadly, this one feel short with me – there are other white teas that i’ve had from Angel that i much prefer. For me, this was closer to “water” than a lightly flavoured white tea. :( oh well, you can’t win them all, and i didn’t hate it – just not a tea for me :)
Another hearty thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
When it comes to Pu-erh tea, people in my realm seem to be divided into two main camps: those who love it and those who (to put it kindly) detest it. Personally, I am a proud card carrying member of the first group so I was anxious to try this new offering from Teavivre. My wife, however, is almost sickened by anything Pu-erh. She hates the smell and taste of it and doesn’t even like to be in the same room when I am brewing or drinking it.
I will start this review by warning you that if you are already predisposed to disliking Pu-erh tea, the initial opening of the package of this one will probably not miraculously endear you to it. The consistency of the dark brown Pu-erh “cake” reminded me of the two-day-old cut grass that becomes dried and jammed in the chute of my lawn mower. The unbrewed aroma is also a little reminiscent of compost. However, do not give up on it at this point! You’ve come this far. Be brave! Steep it!
I brewed the cake and remaining loose leaves for two minutes at 212 degrees. The color was like no Pu-erh that I had ever experienced. Instead of the dark muddy brown that I was used to with the Pu-erhs of my past, this one had a very light gold color. It was almost as light as green tea. The aroma had a grassy attribute that was, again, like green tea. Nowhere to be found was the strong earthy odor that seems to accompany many Pu-erh selections.
The taste of this tea was completely devoid of the expected leathery and earthy flavors that I usually find in the Pu-erh teas that I have tried. The taste of this one was light, smooth, and grassy. The flavor again reminded me more of green tea than either black or Pu-erh. At that point, I decided to stop comparing it to my Pu-erh acquaintances of days gone by and began enjoying it on its own merit.
This tea is quite tasty. The flavor is without astringency and is light and airy. I would liken the taste to a meadow of freshly mowed grass. The aftertaste is very mild and quickly diminishes.
I like this new product from Teavivre. It may be a good alternative to reintroduce the Pu-erh haters to this variety before they attempt to jump back on the traditional robust Pu-erh wagon.
I wonder if the untraditional characteristics of this tea are related to it being advertised as “raw” Pu-erh. It just goes to show you that, as in most areas of life, when you think you’ve seen (or tasted) it all, you haven’t.