Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

82

I picked up a few of these during the anniversary sale, and I’m glad I did!

This is nice creamy rich shu. I found no off flavors here, and I did give it a nice rinse before I drank it. I’ve never had anything with Chrysanthemum in it, but I found the flavoring similar to a rice scented tuocha I had once time. Similar but a little lighter. Good stuff!

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70

This tea is tasty but bitter. I may have oversteeped it a little. Will try again another time. I brewed it western style in an 18 oz teapot. I used 3 tsp tea with 195 degree water for 3 min. It is quite bitter. Bitterness is what I taste. I also get the malt and astringency. The flavor described as coffee is present. I had to add some honey to cut the bitterness. Could you tell this is bitter.

Flavors: Bitter

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
TheTeaFairy

Oh, too bad…this is a favourite of mine and I never noticed any bitterness at all…Hope you have better luck next time :-)

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70

Tea pop!

The dry leaf of this is full of huge dried berries. The smell is a pretty nice balance of vanilla and berry. Unfortunately, the vanilla doesn’t translate into the flavor. The flavor really resembles hibiscus. It’s pretty strong, so I steep for under 1 minute. The short steep brings out a teeny bit of the vanilla flavor. Still overwhelmingly berry and tart though.

So, I thought… tea pop! I use a small amount of leaf, probably about 1/2 teaspoon, and a small amount of boiling water, probably about 3 oz. Then I add 4-5 ice cubes and top it off with seltzer. Such an improvement over the hot brew! This is a nice non-chamomile herbal option for a hot evening.

Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for the samples!

Stephanie

Yum sounds good

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89

This is the other oolong I ordered from Teavivre and it is also quite good. It has tightly rolled, dark green leaves that smell very floral. The color of the brewed tea is a spring green and very floral. There is also a strong mineral component to the taste with a buttery background, finishing with just a tiny hint of spinach. Initially, there is a creamy mouthfeel feel only at the finish, but the creaminess builds as you sip until it is both more intense and present throughout the sip. Another great green oolong from Teavivre, although I do slightly prefer the Anxi Monkey King TGY

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Mineral, Spinach

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92

I FINALLY finished my presentation for my meeting with my boss tomorrow. I only spent the last day and a half on it….le sigh. But, I recently found out that my boss uses my presentations as examples for how he wants people to put together their data, so I’m a bit pleased :)

Anyway, on to the first Teavivre oolong that I ordered. I ordered this, the iron goddess oolong, bailin gongfu, and the yun nan dian hong golden tips based on the recommendations that TheTeaFairy was kind enough to give me. Thanks for being my Teavivre guide! All her recommendations have been great.

The leaves of this oolong are a jade green and tightly rolled. They smell creamy with a hint of floral, qualities I love in an oolong! They brew up a very light green and produce a really nice, creamy oolong mouthfeel. The taste is also creamy, offset by bright florals that end in a sweet, clean finish. It also has a pleasingly mineral quality to it. This is a great green, floral oolong and was my favorite tea out of my Teavivre order!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Mineral, Sweet

TheTeaFairy

So happy you like it!!! We are oolong sisters, it’s also my favourite oolong from Teavivre!!

mj

We should have a virtual oolong party sometime! Thank you again for the recommendations! Your oolong taste is flawless :)

Lariel

Yes, oolong chat party.

Cheri

I’d come play if we had an oolong party!

TheTeaFairy

Mj, that’s a great idea! When would you guys want to do that?

Cheri

Not this weekend because I’m busy, but let me know.

mj

I’ll be out of town for Labor Day weekend, and probably a lot of other people will be too. Maybe after Labor Day then? (Labor Day is September 1st, in case the Canadians among us don’t know that).

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90

This was a freebie bonus sample from Stephanie. She magically managed to send me a different one than I got from the last round of TeaVivre samples, and for that I am very thankful! The leaves are large and fluffy, fuzzy and silver-green in color. They cling together tightly, I had a difficult time separating the sample into halves. Dry scent is soft hay and oats with a slight grassy aroma. There is also a touch of honey. I brewed this at 185 degrees for 3 minutes, just because I wanted to. :P

Once brewed, this tea smells strongly of sweet hay and oats/oatmeal, with a bit of a vegetal note and some lovely honeydew or cucumber (I have trouble telling them apart when there’s sweetness in the tea). This tea is extremely creamy and lovely, and there are strong oat and grain notes with a bit of hay mixed in. I am reminded of slightly sweet pastry, maybe with a touch of honey over the top. I’m so happy to find honeydew/cucumber in the taste as well as the aroma, as I love melon in general.

Overall, I’m finding this tea to be delicious and I’m amazed that this is TeaVivre’s “lowest grade” of silver needle. I can only imagine how wonderful the organic and nonpareil varieties are! Thanks again, Stephanie!

Flavors: Creamy, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Oats, Pastries

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Oh good, glad you hadn’t tried this before! :D Don’t forget to get your points for the review ;)

Cameron B.

Oh, totally already done. I’m on top of that always. ;)

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90

Another from my recent Teavivre order and definitely one of my favorites :). The tea has small leaves that are a mix of black and golden. They smell extremely bready and produce an oak-colored brew. At first sip this tea shouts “BREAD!” and I’m like, thanks tea, I think I will. Once you get past the bread bomb, a buttery quality asserts itself along with a little malt, sweetness, and a slight tang at the very end of the sip that is kind of citrus-y in nature. This tea is smooth and mellow, very like what you might expect from a yunnan. You can tell that it’s high quality and also just plain yummy :).

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus Zest, Malt, Sweet

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82
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
259 tasting notes

My Teavivre order finally arrived on Friday! That same day, I got an email from Mary at Teavivre checking to make sure that everything arrived in good condition, which was really nice. Good customer service for sure!

I was excited to try this tea as it’s so highly regarded here on steepster. The leaves are small, dark, and twisted and smell malty, yeasty, and somewhat like cocoa. They yield a very bold sienna brew. The sip is dominated by a very strong sourdough bread note, much like I get from Verdant’s Laoshan Black. The taste is grainy up front, morphing into sourdough with subtle hints of honey and cocoa. The finish, though, was quite tannic to me, which was a slight minus in my book.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Grain, Honey, Tannic

Marzipan

What temp and length did you do?

mj

I did 194F for 2 or 2.5 min (somewhere in that range)

mj

Actually 195F, but close enough

Cheri

I love that they email to make sure everything is there and okay. I feel like if something wasn’t okay, they’d replace it immediately. They have good customer service.

yyz

You could try either brewing it at a lower temp and/or reducing the amount of leaf you used.

boychik

I recommend gongfu. Works all the time;) very short steeps

mj

yyz and boychik, I can try both those suggestions since I have 100g of it lol

yyz

Lots to play with:).

mj

I tried it at 185F this morning and it was much better! I haven’t had a chance to gongfu it yet, but I will try that soon!

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89

This is such an incredible green tea. I did 5 steeps yesterday and drank this tea all afternoon. Bright, beautiful green color and it smells so good. I was happy all day!

Please note that my reviews as not as deep as some of you but I am starting and trying to do my best here. I am sure that after couple months of practice tasting teas my taste buds will detect the different flavours.

Sil

Who cares! Have fun with it! The joy is in sharing and being able to enjoy what you’re doing. As long as you’re writing how you want, that’s what’s important :) bienvenue a steepster ma belle!

Helene

Merci! I appreciate. I want to be able to enjoy a cup of tea during the day.

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93

I chose this as a sample with my TeaVivre (I think it may have been one of my free samples? I don’t remember :P) order. I don’t have much experience with Keemuns, but I’ve liked all of the ones I’ve tried so far. I thought they were supposed to be smoky, but I actually don’t think I’ve tried a smoky Keemun yet. Weird. The leaves of this tea are super thin and twisty. I had a hard time separating out a teaspoon as they all wanted to stay tangled together! :P Dry scent is very sweet and malty with dried apricot, yums! I did a 3-minute steep.

Brewed, the tea smells like rich, deep dried fruits with honey and molasses. I also pick up on a little bit of floral. Oh my, this tea is a wow moment! I think this is the smoothest, creamiest black tea I’ve ever had. The main flavor is creamy, smooth grain with honey dancing around it. In the background, I pick up on that deep, rich dried fruit flavor combined with a bit of molasses or burnt sugar. There’s maybe the tiniest bit of floral somewhere in the middle, but it’s not enough to make me love this any less! When I first started drinking this cup, I noticed a little bit of bitterness, but it seems to have dissipated as I continued to drink.

Thanks TeaVivre for yet another delicious black tea! Love you gals! :)

Flavors: Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Honey, Molasses, Smooth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

I’m pretty smoke sensitive (strongly dislike) and I’ve never noticed smoke in any keemuns I’ve tried either…

Tealizzy

Yay! Looking forward to trying my sample of this tea too!

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86

I have to admit that I’m a coffee drinker and green tea lover. I don’t usually pick a black tea during the day. Today I’ve decided to try this tea I have received from TeaVivre. I have to say that it will take me couple days to adjust to drinking black tea, especially after I drank 2 cups of strong coffee. I really like the taste but at the moment cannot distinguish all of the nuance and flavours of this tea. Hopefully with tasting more black tea I will become more knowledgeable and be able to talk about how it taste. Any tips for starters of black teas like me?

Marzipan

Maybe try some vastly different types, like the golden Yunnan types are so different than the Assams, so different from Darjeeling. Maybe if you hit the different ends of the spectrum, then you will be able to more easily see where things fall as you drink them. I have to say that the golden Yunnan teas were a revelation to me.

Helene

Marzipan: really great idea, I will do that. It is easier for me to grasp different flavors in a floral tea. If you have a moment could you kindly look at my cupboard and tell me in which order I should try my black teas? I would appreciate. Thanks in advance.

Marzipan

If you haven’t tried this one yet, it will be very different from the Keemun: http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/21629-yun-nan-dian-hong-black-tea-golden-tip

Helene

Thanks Marzipan it will be my next one to taste.

Sil

If you’re finding black teas too wimpy compared to your coffee, you could always pick up the sampler pack of puerh that Garrett (mandala) has on right now, to see if that’s more up your alley. It’s reasonable to Canada and comes with the smart soak! Haha

This particular tea is a great Keemun though – teavivre has some great greens and blacks (others so well, but I’m not as much a fan of whites and oolongs personally)

Helene

Hi Marzipan I am trying the Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea Golden Tip this morning. It is nice smooth tea, not strong. Thanks!

Helene

Sil: thanks I will look into this. I could drink green all day but I want to try other teas as well.

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89

In an effort to trying and actually get through some of my puerh samples, i figured i should try to have 1-2 today, since my day is pretty much shot thanks to work stuff. I like this one, for much of the same reason i really love wild Monk from mandala…that smokey taste in the background of a smooth tasting brew. I’m not going to wax poetic about this one, but it’s one that i could see picking up a cake of, in the future when we have a proper place for me to have mountains of puerh!

Thanks for sharing this one with me Cavocorax

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80

Thank you Angel from Teavivre for this sample.
I am very very very far from being an expert in Pu-erh. I am even an absolute beginner at this type of tea. I think I only tried one before this one.

First while opening the sample packet, the aromas are lovely as are the dark leaves, with some white points. Funny leaves. After steeping they are now so long, so green, still lovely.

I steeped this tea western style, 6 minutes as recommended and in a boiling water.
The liquor is very very pale, incredible regarding the dark leaves.
I add 2 brown sugar rocks and the liquor becomes now a pale orange.

Drinking it now it is a little bitter but not that much and a kind of special bitterness which adds personnality to a tea.
The notes are fruity : grapes and apricot maybe ?

This is a pleasant tea and ideal for the season, not too heavy, easy to drink.
I am knowing by now I can and should drink some straight pu-erh without fear.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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Received my Anniversary order today. So happy since we are going to Philly for 5 days. I wouldn’t want to leave my package unattended. Guess what, mail lady left it on a top of the mail box. She didn’t bother to bring it on the deck. Anyone driving by would be able to snatch my box. The saddest part is it probably would be non tea drinker.

Back to the tea. I made it according to Teavivre’s parameters.
175F 3G 8 oz 2 min

The cup is beautiful golden color and very aromatic . It’s chocolaty fruity and very smooth. Perhaps too smooth for me.
i wonder why Teavivre suggests such a low temp.
Last year notes are 195F. Should I increase temp? Anybody tried new harvest and have better parameters? Resteep was not bad but kinda flat.

I think this tea would be perfect for some beginners into loose leaf or someone who is afraid of strong or smoky flavors

Marzipan

The notes on my sample size of this were 194.

boychik

That makes me think that maybe you have last year sample. I went on website and it is 175F. Did you like it? It has profile similar to Bailin.

yyz

Weird, I’ve only needed to go that low with one of my tippy black teas otherwise it would get this vitamin C tinge to it.

boychik

I will try 195F next time. It makes more sense. I’m just wondering if I care for Keemun a all…

boychik

“at all”

Marzipan

Loved it. I reviewed it a few days ago.

looseTman

Perhaps Angel could give us an update on brewing TeaVivre’s 2014 Keemun teas?

looseTman

Marzipan, How did you brew your sample?

Tealizzy

My package says 176 degrees for 1-2 minutes, and my first cup of this tea turned out good, but I may have had it on a day I microwaved my water at work, so who knows how hot that was! Probably was hotter than 176.

Marzipan

195 for I think 2 mins.

Terri HarpLady

Oops! I always brew it a boiling temp!

MzPriss

Me too Terri

looseTman

Marzipan,
What quantities? tsp. (g) / oz. Thanks

TeaVivre

dear all, the Recommend Brewing Guide on our web is the best taste for us. And everyone is different, so the best taste for you is different. You can try different temp./quantities to find a best way for you to brew the tea.
Good luck.

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76

This is a very floral and slightly sweet oolong. It’s not as exciting as other floral oolong teas I’ve tried but it’s nice in a simple way. The broth leaves the sensation of a buttery coating on the tongue- that’s something I usually appreciate!

Flavors: Butter, Floral

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I ordered this sample with my TeaVivre order. I figured since this was the only one of their Dian Hongs that I hadn’t tried, I should order a sample. The leaves are extremely dark, and they’re long and twisty. They kind of remind me of a smaller-scale version of the “creepy tree branch” Taiwanese teas. Dry scent is sweet honey with malt and some cocoa notes. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is quite light, with grainy bread and honey scents. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with this tea brewed western-style… It was kind of just vaguely bready/grainy with a little bit of honey and a bit of a mineral note. And overall, it felt kind of dusty in my mouth, like it should have been rinsed first. I’m thinking this tea either needs to be steeped longer, or it just doesn’t lend itself well to western style preparation. I’ll definitely try it gong fu style when I get the gaiwan that I ordered recently. For now, I’m not going to rate this.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

I also got a sample of this one, for the exact same reason you did :)
It just came yesterday, so I haven’t tried it yet.

Cameron B.

Well, I hope it comes out better for you! :P Can’t wait to see what you think of it.

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80

I picked up this tea by accident. I had meant to purchase the delicious Yun Nan Dian Hong Full Leaf, but somehow I purchased this one instead. Oh well. This is still quite delicious and if I hadn’t tried the full leaf version I would probably have purchased this one anyway as it ended up being a whopping $5.30 for 100g during their sale.
Overall it’s not as rich tasting or intricate as the flavors in the Full Leaf or Golden Tips, but it’s still tasty. The leaves are beautiful twisty things with a surprising amount of gold woven throughout and a sweet scent of dried fruit. The taste is sweet and cocoa-y with a lovely hint of citrus and maybe some molasses as well. I think this would be a wonderful breakfast tea. A flavorful way to start the day without being too overpowering.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Cocoa, Molasses

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First quick steep had a light body, and a nice mix of cinnamon, spice, fresh fruit, honey and crisp finish that I expected. It still tastes very much like typical fresh loose leaf white tea.

Gradually from the second on through my sixth steep, leaves of the tea cake unraveled and the liquor color darkened. It tasted less crisp and refreshing, but became sweeter and more mellow. Consistent flavour from each steep until my final sixth cup.

Trying a white tea cake for the first time was a wonderful drinking experience. I’ve only had fresh white tea before, and I didn’t expect this to taste any different. It was surprising to taste a white tea with a much heavier body and darker character. I think it’s a good tea to try if you already enjoy drinking dark teas like black and ripe puerh. It brings a nice balance between fruit and spice with a dark liquor and mellow body while still retaining fresh white tea’s charm.

Preparation
Boiling 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75

I received some white tea samples for review from Teavivre the other day and on this nearly rainy Saturday I am sitting down with the beau to try this one out. Thanks Teavivre! We are brewing Western style according to the Teavivre directions with the full packet of leaves at 90 degrees for about a minute. We’ve got three samples of each tea, so we can try with a gaiwan at another time. For now, my liquor is a light yellow and smells faintly of hay and maybe something cucumber related, but I think that is because I accidentally saw the flavours list on Steepster before beginning my review.

Since it only steeped at 90, I am able to try it fairly quickly. This is the advantage of lower temp teas, I swear! First sips are mild. A light note of hay but not as sweet as the green oolong I had the other day. It is flavourful but light, if that makes sense. Not like weak tea or lightly favoured water but not a bold flavour either. My non-tea drinking brothers might not find any taste here at all, but the beau and I do. It is hard to describe, but hay and a bit of floral are present. I always worry that people will think hay means unpleasant, but it’s not. I love the smell of fresh hay. I am getting some residual sweetness that I think is a result of my earlier Jolly Rancher. Whoops.

The beau reports: “This is good. I like it. It has less of the earthy taste you get in other whites. More like jasmine but less in your face.” He says it has “a hint” of floral. I don’t notice, but I rarely do. We both like it, he more than I as whites are more his forte. For me, as a Chinese black tea drinker, this is a nice cuppa occasionally but not something I’m likely to enjoy regularly. He says it might be under-steeped and isn’t strong enough to get a high rating from him right now. I will do another steep in a bit and put a number on it after that one. I think he is right and a bit more time would have boosted the profile here. Will report back then!

EDIT: Second steep was forgotten in the pot which yielded a more flavourful brew but (surprisingly) no bitterness. It was enjoyable, but maybe a bit too much white tea in one day for me.

Flavors: Floral, Hay

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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85

I’m loving the mulled and mellow taste of this. I got it as a free sample with my last order, used half the sample last night, and I’ve been steeping the other half this morning. It’s deliciously woody with a muted tang of orange in the aftertaste – there are pieces of dried orange rind in the sample, which I put in along with the leaves when I steeped, and as the rind softened, more orange taste came through so later steeps were more ‘mulled’ tasting.

It’s very warming and soothing; I drank this right up until bedtime last night and felt very cosy. I think I’ll be buying more of this before winter comes, and then hoping for snow so I can sit by the fire sipping it snugly.

Flavors: Orange, Orange Zest, Pine, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Sorry, but I killed this one. I had a hard time deciding what ratio to use, and ended up with the whole packet, which was way too much, and I should not have used the whole packet with my 12 oz of water. What I could taste of it, it was like the sheng from David’s and Verdant that I’ve had.

I am thankful to Angel at Teavivre for sending this one my way. I sent the other pack to a friend to see what she thinks because she doesn’t like pu erh teas, but I told her these were different, and not the thick pu erh teas they’re likely to have had. Anway, I feel bad I busted my only sample. :(

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88

Sipdown! (108)

This tea really grew on me as worked my way through the sample packets. The balance of strawberry and oolong is just perfect, and it’s a very inoffensive green oolong with no floral grossness. I will definitely be repurchasing this one with my next TeaVivre order, whenever that is. Yum!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

This was one of the samples I ordered from TeaVivre. I’m not really into green oolongs, but I do love strawberry so I figured it was worth a try! The leaves are fairly tightly rolled and various shades of green. Dry scent is sweet and tart strawberry candy, and something about it kind of reminds me of pineapple too. I brewed for 3 minutes at 190 degrees.

The brewed aroma is also strawberry candy, but I can smell the fruity green oolong in the background too. I actually like this quite a bit, considering it’s a green oolong. There are fairly strong peach notes that meld really well with the strawberry flavoring, and I don’t really get much floral, which is very nice. The strawberry itself is definitely more of an artificial strawberry flavor, but I find that it works quite well in this tea. There’s a also a lovely creamy texture here, and the tiniest bit of vegetal green taste at the end of the sip. Really, quite nice, especially considering I don’t like green oolong much. :)

Flavors: Creamy, Peach, Strawberry, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Lariel

It’s good with the milk oolong.

Amariel

It’s a very mild strawberry, but at the same time, not cloyingly artificial either, so I really like this one.

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