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Recent Tasting Notes
This Raw puer is really nice, less bitter than some other puer this young. There’s a sweet overtone and the undertone is of wood and white pepper. A little lasting bitterness stays in your mouth, along with the peppery taste.
The funny thing about Puer teas is that there’s so much info out there about how you can steep it 20+ times. Granted, that’s true, the question I find myself asking when drinking a Puer tea is… do I want to?
If I can make it through 5 or 6 steepings and still be interested that’s saying something. I love the Gongfu approach to tea, but for me to really do a lot of extended infusions means it has got to be cream of the crop flavor, or it has got to have some interesting changes from one infusion to the next. Sometimes if I don’t see that really happening over the first 5 or 6 I’ll just stop there because the water I use for tea is expensive relatively speaking… it’s about 35 cents a gallon and I have to walk over a mile with a glass jug weighing over 50 pounds to get more. Thankfully I have a little cart with wheels to help me with this, but pulling it up and down hills can still be tiresome. I’m veering off course a little bit, but these are my thoughts at the moment.
Back to the tea. I like how sheng puer teas tend to mellow out after the first 4 or 5 infusions, and I think this is when I enjoy them the most. Some people rinse them at least twice before drinking to get to this point sooner, and while I don’t do that myself, I can see the appeal. As I move deeper into the infusions on this one, there’s a bit of a sweet floral taste emerging, overtaking the wood notes, but pepper is still the dominant flavor.
This was not a bad puer. It’s not as complex or suited to my tastes as many others I’ve had, but it is also agreeable and nice to drink.
Flavors: Floral, Pepper, Sweet, Wood
A very lovely Pu-erh. A well-defined first infusion that delivered sweetness, vegetation, wood and earth (mushroom-y earth flavor). I also picked up on notes of stone fruit.
The tea became stronger and the flavor deeper with subsequent infusions. An amazing sweetness, lovely fruit notes with hints of grapefruit, and woodsy tones. A vegetal note that reminds me of a green tea. The sweetness is like sugarcane! Lovely!
here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/02/2006-fengqing-raw-pu-erh-tea-tuocha-from-teavivre/
Thank you, Angel, for providing me a sample.
Prepared gongfu style with a ceramic gaiwan. Steeping instructions are from the website, save for the second 5 sec rinse. Steeping times: 25, 55, 75, 90, 100, 120, 160.
This wonderfully bright Tie Guan Yin has a powerful yet light floral fragrance. The season of early spring – a garden not quite yet flourishing flowers – comes to mind. The liquor is the color of sunshine yellow and has a slightly thick texture and clear mouthfeel. This was my first time using 7 grams instead of 4 or 5 in a gaiwan – my gaiwan was practically BURSTING with leaf. My cups were incredibly flavorful. Essentially floral, sweet, and candy-like, moving on to more plants fully grown, like in late spring. Peach, banana, and clementine appear in the middle of the session, leaving a fruity aftertaste, which, generally, stays with you for minutes and minutes.
If you live in a colder climate and need a bit of spring in the middle of it all, this is one Tie Guan Yin to drink. A cup of spring for you.
How do I love Teavivre? Let me count the ways!
Really, there is nothing bad about this company. The service is top notch, the packaging is better than anyone else’s, they have amazing teas.
This sample was provided for review by Angel at Teavivre. Thanks Angel! I am drinking this on a Friday afternoon. This week has felt like it was made of Mondays, and I feel the stress just melting off of me as I drink this.
Mostly, I drink Oriental Beauty oolong. This one is more roast and has a little bit of a woody or tobacco note. It’s really nice. It is definitely not floral at all, more fruity – with the fruit being on the raisin end of the spectrum.
By the third steep, it’s very sweet and tasting closer to the Oriental Beauty. Extremely yummy and I’m getting a nice qi from it. This is an extremely good oolong and I highly recommend it!
Thank you for the samples, Teavivre! I was waiting for a rainy day to try this one. I’ve never seen a white tea cake before! It actually looks like compressed white tea, made into a cake like pu-erh. I wonder why other types of tea aren’t made into cakes?
Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling // rinse // 2 min steep
Teavivre suggested using boiling water because this is fermented and also seven grams for a 12 ounce mug, so I used most of my ten gram sample pouch. I didn’t want to use boiling water, especially for the first steep, so I waited 15 minutes after boiling. The scent of the steeped tea reminds me of maple syrup and it’s in the flavor too. A very sweet smooth white tea. It does taste differently than most white teas I’ve tried, except for a Kenyan white tea… I wonder if that one was fermented as well? It also has a mild autumn leaf flavor. This doesn’t look like one of the fuzzy leaved white teas, more like the “rainbow of autumn leaves” white teas.
Steep #2 // 12 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min
I’m noticing that like the maple syrup flavor, the color of the brew also looks like maple syrup! Very interesting. The maple in the flavor is still here, but there is also a tangy flavor (not astringent or oversteeped) that I wasn’t getting before. It could almost remind me of a mild, less sweet apple juice, but that sounds to me like a raw pu-erh and it definitely doesn’t taste like that.
Steep #3 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Another nice cup.. loses some of the tangy but also loses some of the flavor. I can’t believe how full my infuser basket is! I’ve never seen so many leaves. I really like this one for its seemingly “all the senses” theme: the appearance of autumn leaves in the dry leaf (and the flavor) as well as the scent and flavor of maple syrup while also looking like actual maple syrup in the cup.
Flavors: Maple Syrup
This is worth trying a sample just for the dance of the leaf. The unscented bi lou chun is long twisty curls of delicate silvery and dark leaf. This jasmine version rolls it into balls resembling a cross between dragon pearls and tieguanyin. It is highly jasmine scented dry. In the water the pellets drop to the bottom and bubble. Then like Godzilla rising out of the ocean, the expanding and relaxing whole leaves begin to slowly rise from the bottom. Most fun I have had steeping in a while. Best viewed from the front row.
The tea is delicious. It is fairly heavy on the jasmine up front along the lines of Silver Jasmine Green rather than the more delicate grapey premium dragon pearls. The tea flavor comes in later and is quite nicely brisk and somewhat grassy. I found it a touch drying. In the aftertaste it adds on a fruity element, that I think it was Kitty Loves Tea, compared to melon.
This is the second of my free oolong samples from TeaVivre. I must say, I am somewhat perplexed by the naming of tie guan yin teas. I find it hard to know which ones are roasted and which aren’t, as well as the level of oxidation. Oh well! I can tell this one is roasted by the color and scent of the dry leaves. The pellets are very irregular and seem loosely rolled, and the color is a medium green/brown. Dry scent reminds me of roasted grains and has a touch of sweetness and grassiness.
Once steeped, this tea’s aroma is heavenly. I am definitely reminded of Gui Fei. There’s a rich roasty aroma along with sweet apple notes. Mm, this tea is so comforting. The main event is the soft, but rich flavor of roasted grain or leaves. Then there’s a lovely sweet element that vaguely reminds me of golden delicious apples combined with wildflower honey. The sweetness lingers into the aftertaste where it’s joined by the lightest, most refreshing floral element and a hint of roasty flavor. Yum, I’m in love!
Flavors: Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Floral, Grain, Grass, Honey, Roasted, Toasted Rice
Hooray, first sample to try from cookies’s swap package! I’ve actually never had a straight Lapsang before, I’ve only tried them in Whispering Pines’s blends like S’mores and Campfire Blend. The leaves are somewhat wiry and very dark, almost black. Dry scent is… odd. It doesn’t really smell smoky to me, it almost smells like menthol or eucalyptus and somewhat chemically. We shall see!
Once steeped, it smells much more like what I was expecting. There’s still a bit of that menthol-ish aroma, which I assume is from the pine. I can also smell smoke and some woodiness that reminds me of scotch. I know a lot of people around these parts recommend maple syrup with smoky teas, but unfortunately I don’t have any at the moment. Hmm, I must say, I don’t love it. There’s a lot of wood flavor as well as a touch of earthiness, with just a bit of smoke over the top. I think I would enjoy it a lot more with maple added, I feel like it needs that bit of sweetness to balance it. Nope, this one’s not for me. Withholding rating.
Flavors: Earth, Pine, Scotch, Smoke, Wood
So, I didn’t end up making this to take to work, but the leaves were waiting quite nicely in my little gaiwan after work. I love that my family doesn’t touch my tea stuff because they know I re-steep my oolong.
This cup holds steeps 5-8 and they are still really, really lovely. The flavor is much more floral and less sweet. Still very creamy bordering on the buttery side instead of the milky side.
I also held the steeps a little bit longer. Just enough for me to swirl the lid around on the gaiwan before pouring it out. I have also decided that I need to get a thermos bottle made to easily pop the top and pour out water into a cup so I can bring my set up into my room.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral
This time instead of decanting into a different container from my gaiwan, I just filled up a mug. I did notice that I only got a little bit of tiny leaf from my second steep in the cup, so I need to pay attention to how I am holding the gaiwan on that motion so I can modify my grip.
Anyway, yesterday was my birthday and it was fun. Now I get to have a nice cup of tea after my snack of some leftover cake. I waffled over a couple of oolongs before deciding on this one.
Steepings: Four steepings at about 10-12 seconds each probably. I just poured on the water and then poured out the steep into my cup. I did do a rinse first.
Liquid Color: A very light golden stream was coming from my gaiwan when I poured it. It looks darker in my cup because my cup isn’t white.
Smell: Warm and sort of woody in a good way. My nose has gotten better at smelling since I’ve been dabbling in perfume oils and I can smell my tea better. Which probably sounds strange, but smelling your tea is all part of the anticipation of drinking it, right?
Taste: I was expecting the tea to taste light and to be slightly floral, but I wasn’t expecting a creamy taste on my first sip with this one. It must be coming from some of the earlier steeps in the cup because it tastes sweet and creamy when you first drink it then it evolves into a more floral taste when you keep drinking it. The finish of the sip is starting to ring a little nutty, but not heavy because of the creamy mouthfeel.
Hmm, that is about the best I can do today. I might end up filling up my travel mug with some more steeps of this and bringing it to my work because there is very little drying element here. So it won’t make me more thirsty during work.
Why did it take me so long to try this one? I think the label of “superfine” intimidated me a little bit. Again, thank you Teavivre for the lovely samples and once again making me fall in love with my tea.
Flavors: Creamy, Flowers, Milk, Sweet
Hooray, my free oolong samples (for review) from TeaVivre arrived in record time! Thanks to Angel, as always. Now, I have not been the biggest fan of green oolongs in the past, but as I have little experience with the tie guan yin and dong ding styles, I saw this as a great opportunity to try more of those types. The pellets here are yellow-green with brown tones, and they’re quite irregular in both size and shape. I was very surprised by the scent, it’s definitely very vegetal and reminds me of Japanese green teas. There’s also a hint of mineral.
The steeped liquid smells much more oolong-ish to me than the leaf – it’s creamy with some butter, fruit, and floral notes. Liquor is a very pale yellow with just a touch of green. Wow, I am so glad I chose these teas to try. I love this one! It’s definitely the most vegetal green oolong I’ve had, so much so that it’s almost mimicking a green tea. I would describe the vegetal flavor as raw greens such as spinach, kale, etc. It does have that thick, buttery, rich oolong texture that I’m familiar with. It’s somewhat grassy, but in a rich way as opposed to a rough one. There’s definitely some nutty influence here as well, but it’s a rich nut such as cashew or macadamia. Possibly the tiniest hint of floral in the aftertaste, but it’s light and unobtrusive (happily for me). The whole thing is rather rich, but at the same time there’s a crisp mineral note that makes me think of clear water from a stream.
Thanks so much to Angel for sending me samples of these tasty teas! :D
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Kale, Mineral, Nuts, Spinach, Vegetal
Thanks for the sample Angel and TeaVivre!
So excited to break in to my oolong samples, and this one was first on my list! I think Dan Cong is probably my favorite type of oolong, though I’ve only had a couple of different Dan Congs so far. This one is roasty and sweet, with a smooth sweet potato/honey thing going on. It is nice, but I prefer a more floral type of Dan Cong myself. If you like dark and roasty oolong you will probably dig this one!
As much as I love Keemun in blends, I rarely find myself wanting to drink it straight. There’s something about it that almost seems too much. Like a chewy thick quality that is often quite heavy. This one is a bit different. It has some nice brightness that eases the heft. It’s quite creamy, but there’s a decent amount of floral notes that lightens the feel. Then there’s a bit of a green taste in it… almost like the way wet grass smells. Something I definitely wasn’t expecting.
I have to thank the lovely Cameron B. for sending me too many samples in our swap, because I’m totally counting them toward my sipdown goal. Which is only cheating a little bit
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Wet Moss
Dry leaves smell lovely. Floral, creamy, and green.
First impression is very floral. I unfortunately scalded my tongue so now I need to wait awhile until I can taste this.
After it cooled a bit, this tea is very much like other high mountain oolongs I’ve tried. Long lasting floral aftertaste, going down green and creamy. It also resteeped really well.
Thank you Angel for this tasty sample!
Wow, I forgot how nice it was to have a simple cup of tea over here. Just the tea with nothing else added. I brewed this with my little gaiwan and made a mess over trying to strain out some tiny little tea leaf dust from my last three brews. Still haven’t mastered it quite yet, but I’m getting better at it.
Anyway, I have no idea what an osmanthus should taste like. I had to look up what one even looked like because I had never seen one before. But this tastes kinda like a mix between apricot and peach with a floral quality thrown in. It is really smooth and even. It smells really good as well.
The tea is a little drying, but that would make it fantastic to actually have with a meal. I’m drinking about two cups of this before lunch and it isn’t filling me up, but I feel I am preparing my mouth for food.
I’ve been away from my teas for so long that this review feels a little clunky, but I picked the right sample to just get back in the game. Thank you Teavivre for letting me try this one out! I am going to enjoy drinking the rest of the samples I have.
thank you Angel for this sample. Sadly, i’ve had this a couple times now and it’s not the right puerh for me. There’s something about the taste that comes through on this one that just doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s too green? not sure but i was still happy to try it. I know Angel has some fantastic puerhs that i do like, so i can handle not loving all of them :)
Happy Sunday everyone…
Thank you Teavivre for sending me a sample of this tea. I really would love to have a nice dragonwell in my tea collection, but the good ones are pretty expensive! I was glad to try this for review.
I decided to gong fu this so I put the entire sample in my gaiwan and have been doing short steeps of around 1 minute. I am using the “Summer” gaiwan by Red Blossomm Tea:
This yields a very light colored tea liquor that is packed with flavor. I am definitely picking up chestnuts with vegetal notes of peas and artichoke. There was a tiny bit of bitterness with steeping for 60 seconds, but that disappeared when I tried steeping for 30 seconds. I preferred the latest steeps a bit more because they were on the sweeter side.
This is definitely a fresh tea that has lots of flavor, I’ve had some really boring dragonwells that seemed stale and flavorless but this is yummy and it resteeps well. I like it a lot!
I’d like to thank this tea for it’s lovely flavor and sinus clearing effects tonight. I am cat sitting a regular cat (not hypoallergenic like mine) and it is definitely getting a bit rough lol. Might have to vacuum daily for allergies. At least this tea, my inhaler, and an allergy pill are helping lol. And this tea is by far the most pleasant of the three. See previous notes on this lovely tea!
First of all, a huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this free sample!! I am finally getting around to trying it. Today is a grey, kind of dull looking day here, so I wanted a tea that will give me some happy cha qi, so hopefully this hits the spot!!
I am brewing this in my gaiwan, and I don’t really know what parameters to use. I covered the bottom of my gaiwan (probably a few grams of tea? I don’t know) and did a 15s rinse with boiling water, then did a 15s steeping for the first one. Oh, the dry smell is quite green and nice, with that honey-hay note that I find in some white teas, particularly aged white tea cakes. The steeped aroma is quite light for the first one, a slight honey note and some fresh green scent.
As for the flavor, it is starting out quite light. Very much like an aged white to me, there is a bit of grassiness, a chewy hay-like note, and yes, a lingering sweetness. Mostly hay so far.
I made the second steep and when I opened the gaiwan, this amazing honey scent wafted out. I absolutely love that smell, it reminds me of the first aged white tea I had, sooo good. So after a 20s steep, the flavor is becoming more pronounced and green. There is a fresh, almost cooling sensation near the end of the sip. The honey aftertaste is still there, but I am having a tougher time tasting it due to the fact I am eating lunch with it haha (leftover vietnamese, actually goes quite well with this tea, but mutes some of the sweetness).
Overall, I am enjoying this tea so far. It is an inoffensive raw pu’erh, not too crazy, not many crazy flavors that some sheng can have, just enjoyable. Not a whole lot of that fuzzy tea drunk feeling (yet haha) but more of a slightly energizing, sinus opening experience. This one feels great for my allergies so far! One of the best ones yet! I feel a warm sense of energy, but am still relaxed. Kind of weird, but I’ll roll with it haha. My mood is also improving, and the sun is starting to come out, so it’s a good combo for feeling cheerier. I plan to drink a few more steeps of this tea, then toddle down to the nearby DavidsTea and try to snag some winter blends. Hoping the lineups aren’t horrendous, my mom has already asked me to get a tin of Cocomint Cream for her (her all time favorite tea, she has been looking for a substitue for ages lol). So this tea should provide some energy to tackle that today, as well as laundry haha, as long as it doesn’t make me too tea drunk ;). Thanks again Teavivre for the opportunity to sample this lovely raw pu’erh!!
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey, Sweet, warm grass
Thanks to Ost for this sample!
When I checked out the brewing instructions on Teavivre’s website, I was really surprised: 2 tablespoons for 2 cups of liquid? That’s about 3 times as much as I normally use when brewing that amount of tea.
I used up all of Ost’s sample when brewing it, and even after 1.5 minutes in hot water, this tea was DARK. It was rich, strong, smelled of malt and sweet potato and bread, and a pretty decent cup. I got at least 3 steeps out of that single batch of leaf, and the 3rd steep in particular smelled citrusy. However, I really do wonder if the western-style steeping instructions on the site are correct.