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Recent Tasting Notes
May I just say that I adore this tea? It is malty and chocolatey and bready and not at all bitter or astringent, not even the way that chocolate can be bitter or astringent (which, in chocolate, is a yummy quality, but not always in tea). I really like a tea that I can sink my teeth into, that is perfect as is, and this tea is it. No frills, no complex flavorings (although those also have their place). Just a good black tea with hints of honey and yeast and chocolate. Yum. I’d have this for breakfast every morning if my budget would allow me. :)
When TeaVivre posted this on Instagram, I knew I had to have it. It’s just so unique! And at the time, I don’t think I even had 1 traditional gaiwan. I have one now, along with a couple of what I’d consider “easy” gaiwans. I really love brewing things gong fu style now! This is really like an in-cup infuser/gaiwan/serving pitcher. I really like the serving pitcher part, as I still don’t own one…I’ve been using a small Pyrex measuring cup for that (lame, huh?).
Anyway, this came in the mail today, so I tried it out with the Da Hong Pao sample I ordered.
The overall quality is pretty good. One thing that bothers me about one of my easy gaiwans is that the holes look unfinished and have sharp points on the inside. This one has an infuser with both holes and a fine mesh metal strainer inserted inside and the holes look nice and finished. The fine mesh strainer will be nice to catch sediment or little pieces of leaf. I found three scratches on the glass pitcher portion, which worry me a bit regarding its integrity…hopefully they won’t be a problem. The pitcher and infuser portions don’t sit as securely in the base as I expected, but it’s not terrible. I found the lid can double as place to measure out your leaf. ;)
Since you can sit the infuser in the base while you pour from the pitcher into your cup, people used to traditional gaiwans may find themselves almost pouring the water for the next steep into the infuser without putting the infuser back in the pitcher….I almost did this! That would not be wise!
Also, it’s important to watch the water level in the pitcher when pouring into the gaiwan, rather than the water level inside the infuser, as you may overfill and cause a spill. Not a problem if you’re using a gong fu tea tray, but otherwise it would be. Also, overfilling will make the top of the pitcher hotter, making it more difficult to handle/pour.
I know some folks like to agitate the leaves with the lid while brewing, but you can’t really do that with this one, as the water level in the infuser is lower than in a traditional gaiwan, and the infuser is not as wide.
I like the portability of this, as you don’t need a separate pitcher. I also really enjoy watching the color of the liquor change as it steeps, which could also be a very useful indicator of how long to brew it. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it and expect to use it often!
This is the second Da Hong Pao I’ve had. I thought I’d order a sample in my last Teavivre order and see what they have to offer. Teavivre teas are usually good quality, and I wasn’t disappointed.
This tea is roasty, with a delicious sugarcane sweetness. Yum! It’s smooth, warming and cozy. I didn’t get much of a fruity note, like I did in the other Da Hong Pao I tried, but it was still nice, maybe just a little less complex.
Started my day off with this tea and used it to distract myself during a meeting.. Pretending I’m paying attention while writing a tasting note in my head :P
I got this as a sample from Teavivre, so thank you!
Very interesting to get some loose pu in a bag. It said to steep for up to 12 minutes, so I opted for 8 minutes and it was quite strong. Very dark color (obviously, since it’s a shou) and has a creamy and woody flavor – definitely a lot of rice flavor. Maybe a hint of fruit, but it’s a very rich shou. Because of my steeping situation at work, I couldn’t really rinse it, so I don’t know if that would have made a difference on such a long steep. Overall, pretty good and very convenient for making pu on the go.
Long overdue tasting note on this tea…
This sample comes from Angel at Teavivre…and I think it is probably my first red tea. When I first tried this I git a little sour, but in a bittersweet chocolate sort or way, that eventually turned into an earthy any or grassy feel. It’s an interesting tea for sure. I don’t think this is my favourite black (red) tea, but it is not bad. I did brew this western style and add milk and sugar to it. It may have been a different experience gong fu style, but I don’t have my gaiwan set yet….probably not for a few more weeks at least. I’m not sure if I would recommend this or not just because it is a certain flavour profile, but it is a good one…so I’m sure some would like and some would not.
White puerh? Ok, why not? I probably shouldn’t have steeped this for the full 10 min as it IS a bit stronger than I’m used to with puerh, but I can see how this is a white/puerh blend. It’s definitel dark and earthy, but there’s also that tree barky flavour I expect with certain white teas. There’s a bit of sweetness in there – like honey – and the liquor is dark and rich.
The honey notes actually become more prominent further in the cup, and as it cools. INTERESTING. This isn’t one I thought I’d immediately love but it’s growing on me!
Thank you Sil!
Sometimes (not often) I feel bad for constantly drinking JUST Teavivre’s teas, and not giving other companies a chance.
But then I make a cup of tea and that thought goes away.
This is a tea I’ve never had before, so I was excited to try this. There was something appealing about the name of “Iron Goddess.” My feminist sensibilities thought I should give this one a chance.
Floral notes are deep in this tea, but they are soft and are more undertones than overtones or highlights. There is a vegetal, slightly astringent (mildly so) after-taste. I also taste something smoky—but this is an extremely slight taste, it’s barely there. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the flavours of the tea only come out more as the tea gets colder. I do not know how I’d like it iced, but I don’t mind it lukewarm for sure.
If you like Oolong, and you like floral teas, you’ll appreciate this one!
This is very, very tasty. I brewed it strong and steeped relatively short, which seems to be how I prefer un-resealable samples. I also committed and made two cups at once in my GIANT mug. I am glad I did. I immediately tasted cocoa upon first sip, with bread and malt in the background. It is a hair sweet, but not very. As it cooled, the cocoa flavors took a step back and the bread was like HELLO I AM HERE. Still good. Still very good. I am glad I got to try this.
I actually enjoyed this one. Very light with jasmine notes and it has a subtle creaminess that makes this a very enjoyable session. I got about 12 steeps from this mini toucha. I steeped at very short intervals, increasing by five seconds after the first three steeps.
Flavors: Creamy, Jasmine
The taste is OK but nothing special.
I mean the color is special and the baked bread taste is nice but I guess I was expecting better by seeing all the good reviews …
This tea is really similar to “Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea”.
The tea leaves
On a side note, it’s pretty cool that Teavivre displays the Quality Safety Results of Analysis … let’s say that I’m a little concern with food from China with all the pollution … especially when a Black Tea is red :P
Flavors: Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes
Oh no! I’m so sorry TeaVivre! I was generously given this sample for review ages ago and apparently lost it until just now. It was a nice surprise to find though because I really enjoyed drinking it today. It was very sweet and slightly vegetal with a slight roasty flavor to round it all out. There are some mineral notes as well. Extremely nice oolong and so sorry again for the very late review!
This is truly fantastic. When I made my last order, I looked here to seek out reviews for the best the company has to offer, and wasn’t necessarily expecting a ton from this sample. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is so much more subtle than most jasmine teas, though I do like jasmine, and the tea itself is lightly sweet and fresh and green without being bitter at ALL or intense. Truly a balanced flavor, even with multiple steeps. I am amazed.
FINALLY, my samples from teavivre came in… after a month /sadface. So after having no tea for a few weeks, all of my packages seem to be showing up. Which i need, since my only truck threw a rod, and now is not movable. anywho.
This tea is in the form of small balls, roughly about the same size, and quite small, and each ball had multiple shades of green in them, from pale, cut grass to rich, dark jade. The smell is quite pleasant, but sadly i cannot think of a way to describe it other than to say it smells green, like early, early spring.
I followed the directions on the packet, using a little over 1 tsp for 10 oz of water, steeped for 3 min each at 212.
The liquor is gold with hints of green mixed in, quite pretty. Once again, i cant quite ID a smell, other than say it has a faint odor i am coming to associate with oolongs.
The taste, Thankfully, is better than all of the previous oolongs i have tried before, making me willing to try more oolongs. This is a lighter tea, almost reminding me of a white tea. There is that faint spinach/seaweed flavor that i now associate with oolongs, but it is quite faint, barely there, and i might miss it if i were not so scarred from the other bad teas i tried. I now understand the “buttery” taste i always see associated with this oolong. It almost reminds me of eating movie popcorn. There is also a light floral taste. As the tea cools, a slight astringency develops, but is easily overlookable, what with how silky the texture is, and with the butter taste. This tea will leave a gentle honey/floral aftertaste, and a nice silky feeling.
not a bad tea, i might restock at times. would be a good change from black tea.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Spinach
Super creamy and delicious! I used a lower temp than the directions recommended by Teavivre and it came out as a light yellow with a smooth milky taste. Absolutely no bitterness and it steeps multiple times (I stopped at three).
Flavors: Honey, Milk