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Recent Tasting Notes


Thanks to the wonderful Angel for sending samples to me! I tried this last night, and was impressed that there was no bitterness whatsoever. The notes that stood out to me more than anything else were vegetal and mineral-like. I didn’t pick up on any floral notes this first time, but hope to in the future. A soft sweetness accompanied the vegetal and mineral notes in the background.

I’m personally not a huge fan of vegetal and mineral notes in tea, but I can see people who are really appreciate and love this one.

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Another of my samples from Teavivre. Has a nice floral, orchid scent. There is a somewhat creamy/ buttery flavour. Still floral and lightly sweet. It’s very smooth too.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Orchid

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A free sample from Teavivre!

I’ve never had a buckwheat tea before, but I certainly find this one enjoyable! Very clean and soothing with toasted grain, nut, and buttery notes and a light sweetness. The brewed kernals also make a nice snack. Since I have another sample packet left I think I’ll have to try mixing this with some green tea, maybe the Lu Shan Yun Wu

Flavors: Butter, Roasted Barley, Sweet

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

so curious about the taste if mixed with other teas.

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Thanks again, Teavivre! The description mentions this one as being more flowery than the Iron Goddess which seems impossible to me, as I adore that oolong. I was already in love with this one at the scent of the rinsed leaves. There is such an ambrosia to this one — a gorgeous floral flavor. There is also hints of spice to the flavor, a kick to it, which I would prefer wasn’t there, since it would be nice if this one just had a full flower flavor. But I don’t think it’s an overbrewed spiciness, since the flavor was still a sweet syrupy nectar. Perfect for sitting outside and reading with, on this late Spring day. With the second and third steeps, that spiciness has disappeared and smoothed leaving only the explosion of floral flavor. I don’t think there could possibly be more flavor, and I think I brewed it perfectly. Is it more flowery than the Iron Goddess? The last harvest I tried, I think it definitely is (though it is fairly similar to the Iron Goddess of a couple years ago). This is definitely the oolong I would want to have in stock! How can tea taste this amazing?!?
Harvest: October 2015
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 16 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 1 minute steep

Flavors: Flowers, Orchid


That sounds amazing!


Definitely one of my favorite oolongs that I’ve ever tried!

Arby Robilliard

Oh my gosh I must buy this tea. Thank you for inspiring me, I have been looking for the perfect flowery oolong for a while now!


This is going on my wish list!

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Western style – 2 tsp – 350ml – 90C – 2mins

Dry leaf – I smell salted caramel, baked bread and stonefruit. Pretty standard for a good quality black BUT also a kind of a boozy aroma which makes this one stand out to me in particular.

Infused – I taste all of the things I smell but a little less of the caramel. Texture has a pleasant thickness to it. Very smooth.

Teavivre is so consistent with their quality!! Happy customer

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Another one to try from Teavivre – thank you! This is a Keemun in all its glory. The dry leaves are black with hints of gold and almost has that shiny sheen that the Keemun Snail has, but not quite. The scent of the leaves is intoxicating. I went with two teaspoons (I guess that is what I usually use for Teavivre teas.) The medium amber brew is what I expect from a Keemun — that Keemun flavor that is tough to describe. It’s so distinct to Keemun, it’s like a tanginess but not the same tangy that other teas have. I could swear with the first few sips there is some sort of berry too. The flavor is light, but complex, if that makes sense. All three steeps were fairly different, though the second was a little oversteeped for me — there was an astringency there. I should have went 30 seconds less. It was still a delicious cup, but the astringency shouldn’t have been there to ruin such a great tea. The third steep was a little lighter and I could have steeped for 30 seconds more. (So each steep should have been 2 1/2 minutes and all three steeps would have been perfect.) The first steep was the best (well balanced – neither astringent or too light). The third steep was definitely like sweet potato, but still had slight tanginess. Overall, a delicious Keemun.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015

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Drank this to wake up. Not thinking too much about it.

It’s doing the job and tasting like hot chocolate minus milk. Me likey. Yay.

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Gongfu, 5g, around 125 ml, 185-190F

Brews a slightly cloudy golden yellow.
Taste is beautifully sweet with a flavorful, savory fruitiness. TeaVivre’s description mentions sweet corn and I find this accurate – this is soft, sweet and mildly nutty without any grassiness. No bitterness. Lovely.

This is the first to try from a sample package of spring 2016 green teas that I won. There was a short delay in getting them as one of the teas wasn’t available yet, so they sent me a silk scarf as an additional gift! Thank you TeaVivre for being so sweet!


190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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Yes, another Teavivre tasting! Thanks again, Angel!

This one piqued my interest the most. I’ve had one wild tree black before, a yunnan by Rishi. However, I found that one a little underwhelming. This tea, however, I could tell just from the dry leaf’s aroma that it was different. The leaves are long and pointed, a sort of dark brown. Most are unbroken and in beautiful shape. They smell sweet and heavily of stonefruit, especially apricots. It’s wonderful, almost like perfume.

The flavor lives up to the scent. It’s a fruity black without any fruit added, with a note of pungency that’s hard to describe. It’s almost like grapefruit? Something I encounter often in puerh that I’ve never been able to nail down. There’s also a very soft mouthfeel that I feel like I should mention. All around satifying black tea with a hint of exotic, unrefined flavor that I love.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Stonefruits, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that one must have tea while reading British classics”. When first brewed, it is a tiny bit smoky. There is a malty caramel scent. (And maybe some sweet potato too.) The flavour is sweet, with malty notes, and hints of roasted yams. Comes across darker than yesterday’s selection.

Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes, Yams


which classic are you reading?

Lariel of Lórien

I’m re-reading Pride and Prejudice.

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I thought I had reviewed this sample previously…hmm.
I enjoyed this tea. It is slightly floral and malty with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is not at all astringent or bitter.
I think I will try a longer brew next time to see what happens. I am not sure that I would purchase this as there are a large number of straight blacks that I prefer (like Teavivre’s black pearls), but it was enjoyable.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Steepster’s got to be eating reviews.. We’ve all felt this at some point havent we – unless group tea drunk hallucinations


Haha, both are likely!


I have experienced this as well! With a tea I almost certainly reviewed in the past. Sad that reviews seem to be disappearing :(

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Taking a break from exploring Clock Town in Termina. Decided to try one of my Teavivre samples. (Liked the spiral leaves.) The brew smells so good. There is a scent of sweet potatoes, and some honey. It has a nice honey flavour. And the sweet potato is still present. Very good. Goes well with banana bread.

Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

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I thought my water was hot but it was just luke warm. Also I must confess that I always add honey to jasmine teas. So my taste compared to others will be a bit different. This is a good jasmine. Light like most whites. I love how the honey and jasmine meld and become great combination. The dry scent is also floral and relaxing.

Flavors: Jasmine

3 min, 0 sec

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I’m not going to remember which of the few samples I ordered and which of the few Teavivre sent along, so thanks for all of them, Teavivre! The leaves of this sheng pu-erh cake are huge – probably because they are wild. I was expecting a tough pu-erh since the leaves are ‘wild’, but the result is nothing of the kind! (Maybe the ancient trees are tougher than the wild anyway.) But I’ve also been sipping many wild black teas lately and also assumed this one might have a bit of the tangy characteristic that wild black teas have. But this pu-erh doesn’t meet anything I was expecting. After a thirty second steep, the flavor is very sweet and syrupy for a raw pu-erh, with a starchy texture somehow. The flavor is like creamy lemon and apricot if you can stretch the imagination a bit. All three steeps somehow manage to maintain that very flavor profile and doesn’t get bitter or oversteeped at all. The third steep is still light and sweet and could probably continue for many steeps past the third. I think I’ve managed to perfect how I like my sheng to brew. Very mellow and perfect for someone just starting out with raw pu-erh, to get an idea of the flavor. I think this is a very nice raw pu-erh, though I would prefer it to have a little something special about the flavor for it to really stand out. But I’m happy with the consistency to the steeps that I rarely see with raw pu-erh, especially if the tea is from wild leaves. I’ll be interested to see how this one ages.
Steep #1 // half sample for a full mug (about 5 grams) // 20 minutes after boiling // rinse // 35 second steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 40 second steep
Steep #3 // 23 min after boiling // 40 second steep

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First off.. Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for sending me a generous sample of this tea.
Dragon Well greens have always been a favorite and I thought I’d have a pot while I study. The leaves are gorgeous. Deep forest green. The flavor of the tea is nice. It has a nice thick buttered veggies taste to it.

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Trying to expand my repertoire. I picked this one because it has chamomile and I could definitely de-stress but also because I haven’t really developed the taste for chamomile. I was hoping the silver needle and rose would save me. I really need to include more types and ingredients with my general tea consumption but overall I stick with whites because let’s not forget why I got into this business.

In preparation, I was already using a chamomile hair mask from Lush (the “Marilyn” for us blonde types), and a Klorane eye mask with cornflower, so it was a theme. There was also pound cake and a Netflix marathon of The Vicar of Dibley which wasn’t on theme I think but there’s your stage set anyway. FUN STORY Peter Capaldi just showed up in the second episode and he looks like he could play young Tom Baker. The episode is from 1994.

This pot (30oz) was made from both a sample and a regular bag. Interestingly, the sample was all fuzzy silver needle with what I think was a fragment of a chamomile whereas the bag was a good mix with a lot of large buds.

I used about 1.5 teaspoons per 8 oz, the bag says 1-2 so I tried to be midrange. 194F, 2 minutes.

It’s a light color and smells strongly of honeysuckle. In taste, a delicate white with lots of sweet rose. I like rose so I like this a lot. There’s a slight, very slightly tart or sour aftertaste that I bet is the chamomile.

I know tiny cute teacup is the standard for the fancy loose leaf but I used a big Pinocchio mug. The flavor stays standard even as it cools, which I like. It’s very sweet and floral. I do feel less stressed but it is a holiday weekend, after all. Perhaps I should install this as my official post-work tea.

Flavors: Rose

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Ohh, I love the smell of Marilyn!

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A sample from a recent tiny order! Thanks again for everything, Teavivre! This tea was intriguing, with the leaves of the silky, dark black, curly type. The fragrance of the dry leaves is just like the flavor: like a sweet, smooth molasses with hints of honey. Also with hints of tanginess that I have been loving in teas lately. One of my favorite types of tea! The unraveled leaves in the infuser are very big. The flavor strength is medium, neither too strong or light. Definitely not as strong flavored as most ‘snail’ types of tea that I’ve tried before. And definitely not smoky like I’d expect keemun to be. The second steep was more mild flavored. I wish there had been more levels or detail or depth to the flavor, but maybe steeping it differently would result in the way I wanted it.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 17 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Harvest: 2015

Flavors: Honey, Molasses

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This sample must be nearly 3 years old..

In the dry leaf I smell tobacco, leather, smoke, red wine, cocoa and sweet potato. Underleafed by accident so the brew is a bit light but all the scents translate into the liquid quite harmoniously. The texture is smooth, the finish is very clean.

Enjoying this very much.

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I’m still working on Lion’s Week of tea. I love black tea so decided to give myself a treat and open a sample I got with my last Teavivre order. Keemun is one of my favorite blacks, so I was looking forward to trying this.

This is a very good tea. The nose gives a strong chocolate aroma with a bit of leafiness underneath. The taste is similar, and the finish is really good: long and luscious. One result of such a long finish is that the tea seemed to improve as I drank it: each sip was reinforced by all the earlier sips. It has strong keemun character: a good example of the type. On an absolute basis, then, this is a very good tea. My only complaint is that on a comparative basis, the tea is only slightly better than keemun #1, which is a fraction of the price, and not IMHO as good as their Hao Ya, at about half the price. So, my real recommendation would probably be to try these other teas at lower price points unless you don’t really have to worry about price.

I used 1.5 g in 6 oz water for 3 minutes (4 min for resteep)

200 °F / 93 °C

When I used to purchase from Upton I would often feel the same way with their higher priced teas in comparison to the same type at a lower price. The significance in price in relation to quality just rarely ever seemed enough to warrant the higher cost.

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Received as a free sample from Angel at Teavivre. Thanks!

Tastes roast-y, wheat-y, and a little sweet. The aroma while brewing is mouthwatering and had I known that the tea was edible after steeping, I’d have eaten it.

Like what the other review mentioned, it’s a great evening tea, especially for anyone who’s caffeine-sensitive. The roastiness is very soothing and the touch of sweetness is refreshing after dinner.

Flavors: Roasted, Wheat

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I requested that this tea be swapped for another that I already owned when I was first offered the sample flight, all for which I’m grateful. Thank you, Angel!

Taken grandpa-style in a glass.


This tea fits the tone of mid/late-spring. I like the appearance of the dry leaf: short, dark green curls. The aroma of the dry leaf is buttery and savory, like a deeply steamed sencha. Of the wet leaf and the liquor, there are sweet notes of sugar snap peas and beans. The liquor is clear, pale green with a creamy texture. Flavorful, tastes briskly fresh, has sweetly vegetal notes, notably beany. Heavy feeling for a green tea.

This is the first time I’ve had a Lu Shan Yun Wu and it’s a good first experience. The heavy/buttery quality in green teas isn’t to my liking, but it’s not exactly repulsive. This is of good quality, one to enjoy every day.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 tsp 11 OZ / 325 ML

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First off.. I have to say thank you to Angel and Teavivre for sending me a generous sample of this. After smelling the dry leaf I’m excited to try it!
The dry leaf has a sweet leafy aroma to it. It’s somewhere between a wet sweet hay smell (like a pumpkin patch in the fall) or bee pollen. It’s fantastic.
The aroma of the tea still has that sweet note like wet hay. The flavor of the tea is awesome. It’s sweet, vegetal, has that sweet hay note. It has a slight bitterness to it but I may have oversteeped and it honestly kind of adds to the flavor. It’s bold for a green tea but it’s quite possibly one of my new favorite green teas.

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Thank you, Angel, for the sample!

Brewed in a ceramic gaiwan, prepared in a gongfu session. No rinse. Steeping times: 15 seconds, 8, 10, 15, 20, 40, 60, 120, 300.

The dry leaf smells mostly of honey with a little bit of malt. After resting in the heated gaiwan bowl, the leaf smells pleasantly of light smoke and caramel. The wet leaf aroma is very different: chocolate and honey are dominant notes, and there is a hint of malt.

The liquor color is a beautiful burned orange. Just lovely in a white fine porcelain cup. Very clear and very clean.


As expected, this Lapsang Souchong has a full body and flavors which fill the mouth. Unexpectedly, it barely has any smoke – it’s very sweet. The session begins with the first infusion being chocolately, slightly malty, and smooth. There is a dominant smoke in the second infusion, but it disappears completely afterward. Third infusion and onward, the liquor is smoother and sweeter, having notes of chocolate and molasses and honey. The aftertaste lingers for minutes. There is absolutely no malt – a first for me with a chocolate-like hongcha.


Positively delightful. I enjoyed every drop and every aspect of this tea. Very glad to have this on a beautiful day off from work!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This is a free sample. Thanks to Angel at Teavivre!

Just to get it out of the way: I tried finding info one what “embryo” , means to but had no luck.

Frankly, based on the name, I’m surprised I like this more than I thought I would. I can’t say anything more about the taste other than it tastes like buckwheat, but it has a clean and full, roasted wheat-y flavor. It makes a good evening ‘herbal’ cup, and it sits well in the stomach after a big meal. The kernels, after steeping in the tea pot, smell so good.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

A baby plant inside a seed is called an embryo, maybe it has something to do with that?

Gooseberry Spoon

What ashmara said. I’m thinking its equivalent to the term “non-degerminated” used on English labels for grains and flours. This means that the germ (embryo) hasn’t been removed meaning 1) the flour has all of the nutrition from the germ and 2) the flour is not as shelf stable because it contains the healthy unsaturated germ oils that have a tendency to go rancid over time.


Thanks, guys! I’m completely unfamiliar with this side of biology and didn’t know how to go about researching.

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