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Recent Tasting Notes
This was my first taste of a pu-erh with added flowers. I wanted to try this because I’m not a big fan of ripened pu-erh alone. However, this makes me a fan! The chrysanthemum really balances the aromas and flavors that I tend to dislike in ripened teas and provides a subtle sweetness. I definitely recommend trying this at least once. I’m on the search for more!
I went through multiple steepings with boiling water: (rinse), 10s,10s,10s,15s,20s,30s
Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Sweet
Very reminiscent of a Chinese Tin Kuan Yin, yet with different complexities. This is my first Taiwan high mountain tea and it will certainly not be my last. I love how the taste varies over many steepings. The aromas are very nice and refreshing. Definitely recommend!
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal
Thanks again for the samples, Teavivre! I think I was supposed to receive the Bi Luo Chun but here is the Jasmine instead. I really wanted to try this one anyway! The dry leaves are very fragrant with jasmine. So lovely, especially in very hot temperatures. I could drink jasmine teas every day. The green and white colored dry leaves are loosely bundled, any tighter and they would look like oolong. I’m glad using more than two teaspoons didn’t ruin the flavor on the first seep – there was just a half teaspoon remaining in the sample so I went with 2 1/2 teaspoons. The flavor isn’t too strong at all. It seems perfect with the first steep being one minute. The jasmine is strong and reminds me of bubblegum. It’s hard to believe these leaves only need to sit around jasmine for 8-10 hours and it has such a lasting impact. The green tea makes itself present underneath all of that jasmine a little more than the white jasmine tea I sipped yesterday, but that is to be expected. The brew is a dark yellow but not at all astringent or bitter – it’s a little like a buttery soupy broth. With the second steep, there is still a ton of jasmine. If I brewed if for more than a minute and a half I think it would have been much more bitter. The third steep IS a little too strong for this tea – the flavor is now marine like. So I think a lower amount of teaspoons would help: maybe even just one teaspoon. I’ll try it again another time with less tea. All of the jasmine teas I’ve tried from Teavivre so far have been winners! I could stock up on all of Teavivre’s teas.
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 tsp. for 11 ounce mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Steep#3 // 30 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Harvest: April 26, 2014
This is another wonderful spring tea of 2015. I opened up the package and reveled tiny cute (if tea can be cute) curls of forest green and silver. These little twirls had small downy hairs lining them, and they carried a strong vegetal tone of green beans with a honeydew sweetness. I placed them inside my warmed kyusu and gave em a shake. This sweet scent became a lot more deeper and robust. It changed into a bold spinach tone. I brewed up a cup and drank. The initial sip was a strong vegetal tone with still a honey sweetness. This brew became sweeter after steeping. The second steeping I used cooler water (175F) to get that honey tone to be more pronounced. The third steeping I used hotter water (190F) to get a deeper spring flavor. This was an awesome green tea! It had a nice and full spring flavor of a vegetable gardens with still keeping it sweet like honey.https://instagram.com/p/24QHlcTGfm/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel
Flavors: Green Beans, Honeydew, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
Brewed with a gongfu glass tea pot. 5-second rinse. Steeping parameters: 60, 75, 90, 120.
My first Bi Luo Chun. I have to say that the aspects I took most pleasure out of were the physical appearance of the leaves and the tactile sensation of handling the leaves by hand.
Short, thin, minty green, curly little things. The leaves are so light, they could weigh practically nothing on the Moon. While I waited for the water to heat, I stuck my hand in the tea pot and gently tossed and turned them over. I think I’d enjoy rolling them in the pan to dry them out, if I ever get the chance tour the creation process.
The dry leaf aroma smells sweetly of freshly cut lawn. The wet leaf, in contrast, offers heavier aroma of cooked asparagus and cream of spinach.
The color of the liquor is greenish, which looks bright against the white of my porcelain cup. To my surprise, the liquor is not clear but very cloudy. Lots of unexpected fuzzies, especially in this first infusion. I didn’t see the hairs on the dry leaf. Guess I should have taken a closer look at the picture on the website….I notice that the darker green leaves have few hairs. My sample contains practically all lightly colored leaves. The liquor becomes more pellucid as the session goes on.
The first infusion has a creamy texture and broth-like consistency. There are notes of savory, green vegetable flavors – beans, spinach, and okra. Hmmmm. I dislike okra, but since I get none of the sliminess: huzzah! The second infusion has a thinner texture, and is much sweeter, veggie-wise, with a pea note. Back to thick and soupy with the third infusion. It is also tangy and somewhat fruity sweet, with a lychee taste that appears if I let the liquor rest in my mouth before swallowing.
Three is all I get, forget the fourth. Bi Luo Chun – or at least this one – is more complex than I’d thought. It’s a little on the heavy side for me as a green tea. Still, generally enjoyable!
What a beautiful green tea…. Such pretty leaves to look at! I may have accidentally slightly oversteeped this as it was a tad bitter, but that’s on me. I will try again because even slightly bitter this was so fresh and clean tasting….I don’t even know.
And the smell. Yum. Teavivre spoils me with their green teas!
Thank you for the sample!
Thank you to Teavivre for a sample of this!
I never thought I enjoyed unflavored green tea until I tried Teavivre’s. There is something amazing and special about being able to drink this bright, fresh, slightly vegetal and buttery green tea, knowing it was picked recently.
I actually used that tag line to tempt my husband’s cousin into having a mug with me. I think next time I would use the whole packet to maximize flavour and deliciousness… But I was happy to share with him some truly tasty green tea… Vs the dusty old crap we are accustomed to buying at local grocery stores.
Brewed with a gongfu glass tea pot.
Steeping parameters: No rinse. 30 seconds, 45, 60, 120
This would be my second Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, the first being from Wegman’s years ago. From the dry leaf alone I can tell that this one is of much better quality. Short and twisty, unbroken, they mostly are very dark – near black – peppered with a few golden leaves. They smell of burned conifer wood and smoke. The wet leaf aroma, of barbecued spare ribs. A hint of vanilla rises from the liquor.
Reddish in color, clear, and smoothly textured, it tastes much like it smells, and then some, including a pungent yet mellow smoky meat flavor. This tea leaves behind a sweet barbecue sauce aftertaste and a dry throat.
No rating, but recommended since I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t have this kind of tea often, but this is one I would go to if I wanted something different and smoky.
Wow. This is.. wow. I actually thought it was a black until I grabbed the bag to log it – it tastes surprisingly like a Yunnan. Really, really enjoyed it, and wish I had a bit more.
So… I can picture who I got this from, I’m just so horrible with handles…. please forgive me, lovely Canadian I had tea with in Edinburgh, and did this tea swap with! (I know your real name, just not going to say it here).
Method: Gongfu glass teapot.
No rinse. Steeping times: 20, 10, 10, 20,
I had to admire the lovely dry leaf at the very start of the session. Twisty, half-inch, very few broken in the packet from traveling. Mostly bright gold with some browns, and very, very fuzzy. When the leaves steep, though, the gold immediately disappears, and they become uniformly chocolate brown. And throughout the session, the fuzzies just keep on coming. Each infusion is cloudy from all of the fuzzies floating around. They clump together at the bottom of each cup I pour myself.
I’m still getting over my cold from earlier this week. I tried my best to discern the aromas with a semi-stuffy nose. The dry leaf aroma has notes of malt, baked breads (notably pumpernickel), and bergamot; while the wet leaf aroma smells of fudge at first, and then roasted red peppers. Pretty sure about that last one, even though it sort comes out of nowhere, considering the kind of tea this is.
The liquor has a beautiful golden color – shining in the light, it’s like treasure. Full body, warm feeling, a consistent creamy texture and note of sweet potato as each cup cools a bit. (No need to mentions this orange tuberous plant anymore then.)
I have to take a moment to get used to the flavors – it’s been a while since I’ve had a Chinese black tea. Initially, the first infusion tastes malty and nutty, and then the sweet potatoes arrive. Second infusion is WELCOME TO FUDGETOWN. Basically. Three and four have prominent chocolate and citrus notes, a combination that reminds me of those chocolate oranges you smash on the table. There is no 45-second infusion because it was too weak. Moving on to the true fifth infusion – all sweet potatoes.
This is my first Dian Hong. Beautiful to behold, and nice to drink. Overall, this was a good first experience.
I Love Spring Tea!!! If you have yet to experience fresh spring tea, you must try it! I opened this generous sample to reveal a giant amount of leaves. The dry leaf consists of long glossy ivy green strands. The long vibrant tendrils are decorated with small downy hairs. They have a deep vegetal and olive oil scent with a slight floral undertone. I placed them inside my warm kyusu and let them sit for a little bit. I returned to the kyusu and lifted the lid to be greeted with a great spring scent. My brewing vessel wafted fresh greens into my tea room. I brew fresh tea very lightly; I use cool water (170F). The colour of the liquor was a pale iridescent jade. I gave this gem a taste, and the flavor was fantastic. The initial sip was of butter and watercress covered with a deep vegetal tone. The brew grew sweeter after each steeping. The third steep yielded a slightly darker liquor and a sweet floral flavor. I was able to get three steeping out of this fantastic leaf. This tea session was awesome!
Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Olive Oil, Vegetal
Additional notes: I wanted to try this one again with two teaspoons (the last steep session used one teaspoon and it was a little light – I knew the flavors would be better closer to Teavivre’s parameters.) So with almost the same temperature and steep time that I used last, there is an improvement. This is the BEST green tea!! This is the green tea for me, that is for sure. Two teaspoons is the sweet spot for a 11-12 ounce mug. The flavor is stronger and nuttier and sweet and unique without being astringent or bitter. Basically the same as with one teaspoon but bursting with flavor. The best green tea flavor! I’d definitely use two teaspoons in the future. It’s perfect. I really wish Teavivre would sell more of their teas in 50 gram amounts (or even 25 grams) because I could stock up on ALL of their awesome green teas, but I’d rather keep stocking up on them with fresh 25-50 gram pouches!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 32 minutes after boiling // 55 second steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Thanks again for another batch of samples, Teavivre! I was trying to decide which one of the five new green teas to try from Teavivre today and realized this one has a similar name (if you change one letter) to my FAVORITE green tea of all time. I had to try this one first! I also steeped it like I steep that other favorite, rather than following closer to Teavivre’s suggestions. I’ll try closer to their parameters another time.
Upon opening the sample, the strongest, most delicious scent from a green tea – very nutty, like the chestnuts Teavivre mentions! The dark green coils are very twisty. So far, exactly like the other favorite. The flavor is possibly a little lighter than the tea I’m comparing it to. I COULD have used more than a teaspoon of leaves. The color of the brew is a very light neon green. But the flavor is DIVINE – again, this is my favorite type of green tea. It’s very sweet and creamy, yet nutty. It’s very smooth! Nothing vegetal or savory about it other than a slight hint of corn. So delicious! I’ll be experimenting with different amounts of leaves with this one, trying to find the perfect flavor for this perfect green tea.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp in 11 ounce mug // 32 minutes after boiling // 55 second steep
Steep #2 // 28 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Harvest: April 10, 2015
This is one of the better teas I’ve ever tasted. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but sometimes you have to treat yourself! The aromas and flavors are so wonderful. I feel like I am “drinking spring.” What an excellent tea. Wow, just WOW!!
Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Vegetal
2005….where was I? I was a kid trying to succeed in the radio business, no kids, single, and trying to make ends meet. I guess you would call this my Throw Back Thursday Tea. Ten years later I wonder if I’ve still really made it in this biz, 2 kids with one here anytime now, on my second and last marriage, and there’s a whole lot more in between. First I’ve never met a Pu I didn’t like. Erh that is. This one is no different. Dark. Smooth. Earthy. Everything that you would expect from a great Pu-Erh. Good tea is a part of a great daily trifecta. A good cup of coffee, good tea, and a good BM. That’s really all you need to have an excellent day. I am now remembering why I need to take the time to make good tea. Pu-erh has a balancing effect on me. It may be real it may be in my mind. I feel more relaxed after having this tea. I never worry about the quality either. I have not had a tea from Teavivre that is not top quality.
Flavors: Coffee, Dark Wood, Earth, Smooth
Mao Feng is one of the few varieties of green tea I really, really enjoy. This is the Spring 2014 harvest, so I’m a little behind the times, but I have huge confidence in Teavivre’s packaging, so I’m not too worried at this stage. I used 2 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a clear pale green, and the scent is mildly grassy. The scent of the dry leaf is stronger – fresh green vegetables with a light floral edge.
The overall taste is a lot lighter than I expected, and I think for my next cup I might use a little more leaf and leave it for longer (possibly up to 4/4.5 minutes). That’s unusual behaviour for me with a green tea, but I’m glad I underdid things first time in any case. The flavour savoury, with mild hints of buttered green vegetables; green beans and sugar snap peas primarily. There’s a slight pepperiness to the initial sip that’s really rather pleasant, but the cup as a whole is very, very smooth. I’m glad I’ve managed to prove to myself that not all green teas are strong and bitter, because at one point it would have been very easy for me to give up on green tea entirely. I would have missed out on this, had I done so, and on discovering that there are varieties that I do really enjoy. That’s probably been the biggest revelation of my tea journey so far, and it makes me glad that I persevered.
I would happily purchase Mao Feng from Teavivre again – their green teas are among the best I’ve tried, and this cup only confirms that I’ll soon be back for more!
Had a nice big cup of this in the morning before heading off to work (have I mentioned how much I love my new kettle since it takes the guesswork out of temperature??).
This morning I paid more attention to it, and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The leaves are such a beautiful dark green when brewed, and the liquor is a nice golden colour. The flavour is intensely vegetal – think green beans, kale, snap peas. There’s no hint of astringency or smokiness, just a really clean, green, soupy flavour.
I think that next time I’ll try this tea side-by-side with the Hunan Cloud and Mist I have from Capital Teas – I suspect this tea will win the competition.
Backlog from this morning.
I don’t remember a whole lot about this tea because I had it right before I went to work, but here’s what I do remember:
- Its leaves were darker in comparison to the Hunan Cloud and Mist green I have from Capital Tea – more of a dark olive green, curly, with no fuzz visible. The Capital Tea Cloud and Mist looks much more like a Bi Luo Chun
- The tea was a big stronger smelling, but it had less of a smoky note. More vegetal.
- The liquor was fairly mild except for the final swallow at the bottom of the cup, which had quite a buttery, green-beany taste.
This will be interesting to play with. I brewed it at 85C – I wonder what it will be like at 75?
Brewed in a glass, grandpa-style. I started drinking after a 1-minute steep.
This is probably one of those instances in which I taste a tea so differently from everyone else, or it’s probably this particular batch.
When I stuck my nose into the sample packet, I didn’t expect it smell like certain shengs I dislike: black pepper, beef stew, and a hint of apricot I was able to pull out from somewhere. As the leaves steeped in the glass, I smelled buttered popcorn.
The liquor is green-ish, full-bodied, cream-like, and savory. The flavor is very buttery (even near salty) with notes of Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and beans with a green pepper finish. I dislike green peppers, more so in my tea, if it’s not subtle. Not for me.
This tea tastes exactly how the dry leaf looks – soft, downy, and light. Though not as strong as black and green teas, this almost clear cup in no way tastes of water. It is somehow full without being at all assertive. The cup ends with an unexpected and pleasantly surprising peppery note on the breath out.
Flavors: Honey, Pepper
To celebrate my turning a quarter of a century old, I’m having this fresh Chinese spring green with my new glass tea pot and tea tray. What else could be a better solitary way to celebrate? (Besides having a tea pet for a companion!)
Brewed with a gongfu glass tea pot. Steeping times: 1 minute, 1 minute and 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes (supposed to have been 4…).
It’s been a while since I’ve last seen such gorgeous leaves. Shaped like silver needles, they are mostly moss-green, with some having enough soft hairs to look white-ish. Their sizes range from just an inch to an inch and a half.
The dry and wet leaf bursts with a buttery, zucchini aroma. So strong, I sneezed. After the second infusion, the wet leaf gives boiled asparagus.
When steeping for the first time in the pot, the leaves look like those from an aquatic plant. That’s not tea, that’s a living creature! One leaf and a bud, two leaves and a bud, two leaves. Vivid green.
The liquor is consistently clear – not cloudy, and also almost having no color, a very, very pale green. The first infusion is creamy, having vegetal and mineral notes, and a almond aftertaste. The second infusion goes away from vegetables and we have sugar snap peas. Sweet, sweet, sweet, very sweet – yellow warblers agree! I feel calmed yet rejuvenated. After this point, the intensity of the flavors decreases and becomes less powerful. Or more gentle, depending on your outlook. Still full-bodied, the third infusion is also sweet, though in a farmer’s market ear of corn sort of way. And in the last infusion, I taste beans.
A free sample for Angel at Teavivre. Thank you
The dry leaf smelt mainly of hay with an undertone of floral scent. It looked lovely: a lot of little twisty black leaves. The liquor was a dark brown with an aroma of grain and a hint of malt. The tea itself was silky in the mouth with a light, fruity taste reminiscent of raisins, plums and honey. It’s a great afternoon tea with no bitterness or astringency. All it really needed was jam and scones to accompany it, and my afternoon would have been complete.
Flavors: Fruity, Hay, Honey, Plums, Raisins