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Recent Tasting Notes
I finished this sample off last night, along with The Everything Box, by Richard Kadrey. The book wishes it were Good Omens, and a few other humorous things, but it’s not. I may now be resistant to the blockbuster and pulpy trends of urban fantasy though, if the Dresden Files run-through earlier this year didn’t set that in stone already. There’s been too much urban fantasy in 2016 and not nearly enough green tea.
The mellow, sweet, and almost creamy notes in this smooth green tea probably deserves better. I’ll have to order more of this and green tea in general when the cupboard is running lower and Canada Post isn’t nearing a strike.
Flavors: Green Beans, Mineral, Peas, Powdered sugar
Leaves: flat dull light green leaves
Measuring Spoon: no
Color: light yellow
Taste: From reading my reviews over time I’m sure many of you know how much i enjoy dragon well tea! It’s always seems to be top shelf favorite no matter what variety or when it’s picked. This is the first time i’m trying a She Qian Long Jin which from the website states " picked shortly after the buds sprout". the scent was noticeable even when i only opened the silver packer a little bit.I allowed the the to steep for a little over 3 minutes. The taste was surprising as this was the first time i’ve had any bitterness in a dragon well tea. The bitterness lasted throughout the cup leaving an after taste on the tongue. I then looked at the website then at the instructions on the silver packet. I found that the problem was there was a misprint the packet stated to brew it at “185 degrees” while on the website it said “176 degrees”. This goes to show how important it is to have the proper temperature when making a tea. I’m going to have to try it again later with the right water temperature. With the bitterness noted this was an okay cup not as great as the other dragon wells considering the incorrect instructions.
Backlog. I tried a number of different spring green teas from Teavivre recently and this was my favorite of the bunch. The pine needle shaped leaves are bright forest green and exude a fresh green and floral aroma. The taste is sweet and crisp like lettuce with a light body. This is a very clean tasting tea with little to no grassiness or heavy vegetal flavor and no bitterness. I didn’t mind getting leaves in my mouth because like the Shi Qian dragon well, the leaves were quite tasty. I think this would be a good choice for people trying green tea for the first time.
Thank you to Teavivre for the sample!
Flavors: Lettuce, Vegetables
Thank you Teavivre for these samples! This is the first one I’ll be reviewing, which I honestly chose just because of the ratings on steepster, and frankly the dry leaves smell amazing, like cocoa, wood, earth, sweet potato, almost smells like grapes?
Anyways, so the first steep is relatively reminiscent of the smell, without any of the sweet potato; chocolate, earth, wood, theres quite a fruitiness to it, like grape and maybe peach?
Ooh, wow the second steep is quite different, it’s a much darker chocolate taste, with a lot of woody notes, plus a nice richness, and a kind of maple-ness, it has a really thick texture, like syrup, just a little astringent, still with its grape notes,
I think I slightly oversteeped this one, it’s very woody, less complex, there’s very light cocoa in the background, quite astringent, it’s still nice though
Yeah, the fourth is much sweeter, grape, chocolate, earth, less wood.
I can finally taste a bit of that sweet potato in the fifth, quite astringent, sweet, cocoa starting to fade too.
The astringency does get quite strong for me, my mouth is drying out a bit, but it still tastes really nice, the grape is gone now.
I reheated my water, which was actually quite necessary apparently. I’m getting a bit of marshmallow notes, the cocoa is almost gone, also the yam and earth. It’s even a bit grassy, I’m actually getting notes of graham crackers, and yeah so uh no I know you’re thinking s’mores but it doesn’t taste like s’mores. Even with all 3 components, its like I’m having each one separately. Also they aren’t very strong compared to the earth and yams and uh some cinnamon I just noticed. I got a bit of banana flavour here, that’s interesting. I’ve never seen banana notes in a black .. or in a tea actually well alright then. It’s a bit like chocolate chip banana bread, after I don’t know how many steeps
Raisins! Also raisins
Flavors: Astringent, banana, Cacao, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Graham Cracker, Grapes, Grass, Maple Syrup, Sweet Potatoes, Wood, Yams
Leaves: medium green flat semi-long leave
Measuring Spoon: no
Color: light yellow
Taste: I decided to have this tea after dinner in which this time i had instant curry over rice. For this as with the previous tea (although not mentioned) i added new steps into the brewing process, i took pictures of the dry leaf, wet leaf & cup to show a more visual aspect in what i do. I also posted it on my instagram in a collage form to make it easier to see all at once. The aroma coming from the dry leaf was faint and difficult to detect. the wet steeped leaf bought out a vegetable aroma. In terms of taste i didn’t notice much although i was able to finish my cup & went back for a second.
I decided to add a measuring spoon section to my reviews instead of always typing out rather or not the leaves fit with in the main review.
A huge thank you to Teavivre for the opportunity to win this tea along with 4 other spring greens in a giveaway!! I have received the teas after a long journey and am excited to get back into tea with some new ones in my cupboard. It’s been a while in a tea rut for me so maybe I’ll spring out of it now!
The dry leaves smell so yummy and vegetal, reminiscent of Laoshan green from Verdant to me, I wonder if it’s coincidence that Laoshan and Lu Shan sound similar haha :) the leaves are fine and slightly curled in appearance. Smellso so fresh! I steeped these Western style for 3 min with 175 degree water.
The steeped liquor smells richly nutty and vegetal, with a slight salted note. I want to say cashews, even though I have never eaten themy cuz of my peanut allergy lol.
As for the flavor, wow this is so rich and good! Very nutty, I’m not sure what kind of nuts but that is the main flavor, with a beany soy and vegetal greens note. The aftertaste is salty nuts and lingers for quite some time.
Overall, this is a very satisfying and rich tasting green tea. Not overly light in flavor, it has lots of body. Hopefully the caffeine doesn’t snack me too hard haha. Once again, thank you Teavivre and especially Angel for ensuring this tea arrived after a long journey :)
Flavors: Nutty, Salt, Soybean, Vegetal
Thank you Angel from Teavivre for sending me this sample to try.
I love the name of this tea, Moonlight Beauty sounds so pure and happy. The website says that though this tea is a raw Pu-Erh it is also similar to a white tea due to the processing of the leaves. You can see the similarity when you inspect the leaves.
In appearance the leaves are long and fairly thin with lots of downy hairs. They are a very pale green, almost white colour and they bare a soft, fresh scent of grass and pepper. Enough to smell like a Pu-Erh but living up to it’s subtle nature. The leaves are also crisp to the touch and could easily be broken into small pieces with fingers.
I will be using 5g of leaf in a 220ml teapot with boiling water.
First Steep – 1 minute
After the first steep the leaves now smell malty and wooden, a real contrast to their dry form. The tea also shares hints of wood and malt, with pepper and sweet pine. The liquid is very light yellow.
In flavour this is more subtle than it smells. The first thing I notice is the smoothness of a fresh pine and sweet peony notes. The after taste is dry and slightly nutty. It actually reminds me of a Bai Mu Dan white tea in flavour.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
More peony and slightly sweeter than the previous steep, though just as mild. More drying in the after taste too. It tastes like spring rain drops that have landed onto flower petals, that imagery is in my mind every time I sip.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
Slightly sour during this steep but with a creamy finish and just as much peony. It has to be said that the dryness is somewhat spoiling it’s subtle elegance.
Overall – I am not a fan of white tea usually and that is exactly what this tea reminds me of. It’s not very Pu-Erh like except for the peppery, wood notes in the leaves once you start to infuse it. That being said it was still a pleasant and non offensive tea. I don’t think I could drink it all the time though, it’s just too mild for my personal taste. I imagine it’s great to keep hydrated with on hot summer days though. I also imagine that the mild nature of this tea would make it rather forgiving should you over steep it. Essentially it remained very similar throughout all three steeps.
Leaves: dark green, long twisted leaves
Color: light yellow
Taste: This tea wouldn’t fit in my teaspoon so i eyeballed how much i would need. I also noticed with my more recent reviews I’ve been immediately diving into doing longer steeps for teas instead of giving them 1m+ per steep, i may go back to try multiple steeping times and adding on 1+ each time. As for taste: light in flavor with a smooth mouth fill & slight bitter hint that lingers after the last sip.
This also starts off my Spring 2016 tea reviews!
Angel sent me this sample a few weeks ago. I was very curious to try this out when I saw it on the website. I was so excited to open this up! I had never tried a tangerine peel white tea… not even an orange peel tea, though I have seen them in the past viewing tea sites, chats, and blogs. So I used a very small clear glass teapot for this – approx 200mL. Upon opening this up, I poured the contents into the teapot. I saw two large pieces of dried, tough, dark orange tangerine peels mixed with fluffy white to medium green leaves that were small to medium sized. Some pieces were smaller I am assuming due to the packaging and me opening it up so excitedly! The scent of the dry leaf was fragrantly sweet but not overly so.
Brewing this tea – I didn’t use a timer but it was under 1 minute (approx 40 seconds). I loved observing the tangerine peel and tea leaves unfurling and dancing in the water. The brew was a light to medium yellow with a citrus scent. YUM! I love citrus. I did two brews only for this tea as it is late. (Just watched Copa America – Argentina vs USA! Messi is amazing!) Talk about tangent… anyway, the taste of the first brew was light, delicious, citrus with a mild walnut/nutty taste to it. I also detected a trace amount of floral tones to it. Maybe its just me. I love the sweetness this imparts with a hint of astringency toward the end of the cup. The second steep was a lot lighter. I steeped for 1 minute. Perhaps I could have gone longer but I am always wary of doing that. I don’t want to “burn” the tea. The wet leaves had a sour/sweet citrus scent. The liquidy goodness was still good but at this point the acidity of the citrus prevails – but not in a bad way. There is a hint of metallic-ness to it just like how some oolongs give me that flavor. Almost reminds me of lemon and water. The first steep was my favorite for sure. Good overall! I need to look up how this tea is made. I love the picture – I can imagine the tea being packed in that tangerine peel. I will definitely be trying my second sample of this soon.
Flavors: Citrusy, Sweet, Tangy, Tart
Leaves are fragrant of sweet hay, honey and spice. Brews a clear golden yellow – amber.
Tastes smooth, mild, sweet and slightly spicy floral. Pleasant soft/slippery mouthfeel.
Very enjoyable and easy to drink. Re-steeps many times.
5g, 110ml, 185F, 60 sec
Thank you for sending this, Angel!
This is an assertive green tea with a strong vegetal flavor and aroma. Notes I could detect included green bean, cooked spinach, toasted rice, and stewed vegetables. A chestnut or peanut like flavor is present too – especially if more leaf is used – along with a tiny bitterness at the end. This isn’t my favorite, but may be interesting to those who want a green tea that’s robust and less subtle.
Flavors: Green Beans, Spinach, Toasted Rice
I liked this better than Teavivre’s Nonpareil TGY. It has the classic TGY flavor profile but mellower and not over the top floral. Just a nice, smooth orchid/violet flavor. It’s a little one-dimensional to me but still a nice every once in a while tea.
Flavors: Orchid, Violet
Thank you Lala for adding a sample of this into the box for me! It’s one I’ve been curious about for a while now, but not curious enough about to actually buy any.
I cold brewed half the sample Lala included, and then left the rest so someone else could also get a taste of this one if they were interested. I’m wishing, now, that I’d taken some proper notes because I’ve since forgotten any of the finer details/nuances of the tea I’d observed at the time of drinking it. What I do remember is that I definitely tasted more of the vegetal base than anything else and that I felt like there was an overwhelming lack of strawberry flavour, or even fruit flavour in general.
Eh, you can’t love ‘em all. If this makes it way to me again and I get a chance to revisit it I think I’ll definitely choose a different style to prepare this in.
Another sample courtesy of Teavivre!
The moment I open the packet, I can smell why they call this one “Fragrant”. Wow! Bright, sweet notes of stonefruit, clean hay, fresh cut grass, and sweet potato. I can already tell this is going to be a new Teavivre favorite. Their yunnans really are something else.
The long narrow leaves brew up to a lovely reddish amber. Upon tasting, I notice that the flavor is heartier than the aroma. It has a satisfying, bread-like note in addition to the stonefruit and other flavors. The end of a sip is what tea so interesting, though. On the exhale, you really do get a fragrant, sweet smell/taste that is wonderful. I’m not sure how to describe it, exactly. It’s smooth and complex at the same time. Highly recommended.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Freshly Cut Grass, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
A free sample from Teavivre!
The dry leaves are a medium long and yellow-green. It’s a very clean and sweet and mineral brew. Notes of green bean, chestnut, and sugarcane with a slightly floral finish. As the leaves open up they become bright green and reveal nice budsets. A nice and refreshing green, mao fengs are my favorite.
Flavors: Chestnut, Floral, Green Beans, Mineral, Sugarcane
Free sample from Teavivre
I’ve not had this before so when I opened the packet I was amazed and delighted by the size of the leaves. They’re huge and flat and green; actually longer than the infuser basket I’m using which is as deep as my mug. Crikey! They smell grassy with a hint of peas.
The liquor is pale green and has a soft mouthfeel. The taste is light and vegetal with a hint of pepper. It’s a savoury tea and quite refreshing with a pleasant, slightly peppery aftertaste.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Peas, Vegetal