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Recent Tasting Notes
The dry leaf of this smells like roasted seaweed. Unfortunately, I got distracted and stopped taking notes soon after starting this sipdown gongfu session, so my impressions are pretty sparse. I have no idea how many steeps I ultimately got out of it or whether the flavor profile changed over time. I do know that this brews up a very pale yellow, to the point that it almost looks like water. The dominant flavor note is roasted seaweed, but it’s light enough to still be pleasant. The trick to this one is definitely short steep times, though. I distinctly remember making it Western-style a while ago and finding it too salty to drink.
My kitchen is filled with all sorts of warming aromas this morning – smoky sausage, hot buttered biscuits, and spiced potatoes redolent with cinnamon, curry, and garlic. And this tea, which smells of chocolate and tastes bold and rich. A perfect tea for the morning.
I had written a note for this the last time I tasted it, but my browser decided to update itself and so I lost it. I don’t remember the specifics, but I do know that I’ve enjoyed this tea both times I’ve had it. When the time comes that I decide to place an order with Teavivre, I’ll be adding some of this to my bag.
This was a gift from Plunkybug and I’m so glad she sent some for me to try. Thank you so much for sharing!
a decent tea
when I smell the ball dry, it smells like white tea leaves.
when I smell the bloomed flower, it smells floral and like green tea leaves.
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells like green tea.
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes like green tea.
I rate this a 75 because it does not taste like much.
also, I thought the ball would never sink. but it did, I feel sorry for the flower when I use all the tea in the little glass pitcher. it looks like it died..
many thanks to angel teavivre for hosting a contest I won in.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Green
Leaves: medium flat leaves
Aroma: fresh, vegetable, grassy
Color: light green
Taste: Dragon Well tea will probably always be a favorite of mine, it’s one I discovered when I first started my entry to the world of loose tea. It’s truly a great tea drinking any time day or night. This was apart of the Spring 2015 Collection and now i understand when it comes to tea picking time is important. These new tea have had a wonderful fresh aroma & refreshing taste. I have actually finished the 1st sample packed upon writing this review. Dragon well seems to be a fool proof tea even if you add a bit too much/ too little tea it’s still nice to drink. I haven’t had any problems in terms of bitterness. The one mistake I’ve made is not closing the packet good enough which in terms brings down the color of the leaves & the water tone. Overall I can say Dragon Well is a must have in any green tea lovers collection! I’ve thought about starting a YouTube channel with photo/slideshow tea reviews.
I thought I had tried this one but the package is unopened. Big thank you to Angel from Teavivre for sending me this free sample! I’ve tried their unflavored milk oolong before and adored it. So I have high hopes for this one.
The dry leaf aroma is mouthwateringly yummy. It smells fresh, green, and delicious. The brewed tea aroma is not as potent, but the leaves are also still mostly furled after a quick one minute infusion. The initial sip is nearly flavorless and then BAM! The flavor hits in the aftertaste! The after aftertaste is a tad yucky though. It’s thick and slightly bitter. Maybe subsequent cups will be better.
The second infusion was for two minutes. The bitterness is gone from the aftertaste now. However, this oolong is fairly one dimensional. It has that “milk” flavor but not a whole lot else. I’m not getting creaminess or floral notes. It does have a slight mineral note; it reminds me of copper. And that’s about it.
Third infusion for 3.5 minutes is pretty good. I think I had enjoyed the unflavored version of this tea more. Of course, part of that could be contributed to this tea’s age. Although I hadn’t opened the foil package yet, this tea has been sitting in my cupboard for over three years. I’m sure that hasn’t helped things. In any event, I’m exhausted. I think I drank about seven different types of tea today. I’m ready to end my tea journey for the evening and go to bed. Sooo tired.
Had brunch this morning with my Dad, Step Mom and nephew – they were all in town for a wedding (relative I’ve never even met, so I wasn’t invited). It was a really nice time; I’m finding increasingly that I’m getting along better and better with my family now that I’ve moved out and don’t have to interact with them daily.
We stopped at McNally Robinson to look around and my nephew got some weird science toy were you make a jello brain, my Dad got a book on Western Canadian Birds and another on bird watching (one of his new hobbies, I’m told; his age is showing), and I picked up a game called Sushi Go! (which I saw on this week’s Tabletop) and another tea-themed book. I’ve spent the last few hours reading it only to look up at the clock and realize that all this precious tea reviewing time is slipping right past me!
And so here we are…
I actually finished this over a week ago; it’s just been sitting in my queue waiting for me to get to the review. Finishing this off was definitely a sad day; I really liked this one. Like, instantly – the moment I popped open that sample packet I was drawn in to the aesthetic of the tea leaves, and then the smell as it brewed, and finally the delicious, heavenly liquor just sealed in the obsession.
This last session was just two infusions in a Gaiwan, though Western style not Gong Fu. The first was very malty, with definite cocoa, honey and sweet potato notes. Just faintly bitter/astringent at the end of the sip but in a really pleasant way. The second infusion was smoother; same notes but with a richer, more prominent sweet potato flavour. It was also a bit fruitier; stone fruit notes being the ones which jumped out the most. They did something neat where it was almost like the ‘bounced’ off the tip of my tongue.
I absolutely adore this tea and I really hope to get it stocked at some point soon; just need to figure out some other things I want to grab from Teavivre first ‘cause I’m not at the point of obsession where I’ll place an order for a single tea…
This tea really wowed me from start to finish. You begin the cup with such attractive, even dry leaf that has a breath taking proportion of golden tips to it. I would agree that you can see the orange pekoe quite clearly in the leaf and I can’t help but wonder what the grade is – I’d guess at least TGFOP? It’s easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing black teas I’ve gotten to try in a long time.
Of course, the grade really has very little to do with the actual taste of the tea; it only describes physical aspects of the leaf and not the taste of the brew – that said, this brewed up bammin’ slammin’ delicious.
There were a lot of flavors going on but they were all so harmonious; the big one for me was the sweet taste of stonefruit that gave the tea an overall jammy quality. It was very much like overripe dark cherries and it easily stood out the most to me. Cocoa, molasses malt, and honey/light caramel notes were all present too – mostly as top notes, with the exception of the molasses which I thought was a bit stronger near the end of the sip. The body was, in addition to being quite fruity, rather starchy as well but in a sweeter way, like from yams.
This easily stands out among the majority of pure black blends I’ve had in the last month – if not longer. There’s no need for sweetener either; Yun Nan Dian Hong has such a solid and nuanced flavor profile all on its own. I absolutely recommend this tea to just about anyone and I look really forward to revisiting it.
a pretty good tea
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell green and smokey.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell really smokey.
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells green and a tad smokey.
when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes green and sweet.
i rate this a 90 because there was no smokey taste to it.
many thanks to Angel Teavivre for this nice tea
Flavors: Green, Smoke, Smoked, Sweet
mmmmm another interesting tea from Teavivre!
The leaves on this one are really cute. they reminded me of buds on trees. Interestingly enough, the brew liquor was less flavourful than i thought it would be. Still tasty, but not what i expected from the leaf. this is more like a darker green…spinach? maybe?It’s not grassy like other greens… subtle, and delicate.
I really appreciate the opportunity to try these out! thanks you again teavivre!
Well hello there, tisane-I-ordered-months-ago-but-kept-stalling-on-trying. I knew I was off to a good start when I opened the bag and a cloud of blueberry filled the kitchen. It gets me in blueberry-jam-making mode, and clearly excessive hyphen usage.
This makes such a scrumptious, non-complicated, juicy cold brew. The liquor is ridiculously red but the hibiscus isn’t crazy. I’d say the blueberry and hibiscus are 50/50 but the latter is gentler and not as tart and rambunctious as it sometimes can be. I can this making excellent popsicles.
This is the last of the Teavivre Spring 2014 green teas I’ve left to try. I left the two Dragonwells until last on purpose so that I could drink them together and maybe compare a little.
In terms of appearance, this one is very similar to the Premium Dragonwell. The leaves are large (about 2-4cm), folded and flat. They’re mostly a medium grass green, although with some lighter and a few darker leaves. These leaves are more mottled than the Premium leaves, I think. There are more yellow and brown patches, on more of the leaves – perhaps because they’re organic? I’m not certain on that count!
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. Brewed, the leaves are mostly unchanged, and have not unfolded at all. The scent is quite pungent, but very fresh – green vegetables (maybe cabbage or asparagus). The brewed liquor is a light yellow-green.
The taste isn’t as strong as I thought it would be, based on the scent of the brewed liquor. I can taste asparagus, and a touch of something cabbage-like that just verges on bitterness. It’s a very smooth tea, although I wouldn’t quite describe it as buttery. The hint of bitterness at the end of the sip is interesting, in that it provides a bit of bite. I guess that’s why I don’t find it as smooth as the Premium, but it’s still pleasant nonetheless.
On balance, this isn’t my favourite Dragonwell of those I’ve tried so far. It’s interesting in terms of flavour, and I’m pleased all over again that I don’t dislike it, but I think the buttery sweetness of the Premium Dragonwell probably spoilt me for this one today. I have some leaves left, so I’ll return to this one another day. For now, though, I’m impressed with the quality of the green teas I’ve tried from Teavivre, and I’m looking forward to the arrival of the Spring 2015 sampler.
I recently ordered a sampler of Spring 2015 green teas from Teavivre, so I’m currently working my way through the remainder of my Spring 2014 pack, in the expectation that I’ll have finished them before the new stuff arrives. That’s the plan, anyway.
The leaf here is fascinating. They’re larger than I would have expected, flat and folded in appearance, and a fairly uniform grass green with some lighter speckles and some dark (brown-ish) patches. The wet leaf isn’t much different in appearance, except that some of the leaves have unfolded a little. The scent is vegetal, rather like spinach, and also a little chestnutty. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it a.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175. The brewed liquor is a pale yellow-green.
To taste, this is another green I’ve found myself unexpectedly enjoying recently. I never would have thought I’d enjoy green teas as much as I do now. In fact, it’s probably time I stopped saying that in general I don’t like them. I’m not sure that that’s true anymore, which means that continuing to try different types has been more than worthwhile.
This is a delicious cup. It’s smooth and buttery, with a sweet, fresh vegetal flavour and an underlying nuttiness. It tastes to me like steamed green vegetables – spinach, perhaps, and green beans. There’s some sweetness that I associate typically wish freshly shelled peas. The nuttiness works really well with those flavours, and pine nuts specifically are what this one brings to mind.
This is another variety that I’ll be adding to my list of “likes”, and another one I’ll look to explore some more. I’m pretty sure Teavivre’s green teas are among the best there are; I’ve never found a run of pure green teas that I like as much, or that have such clear, fresh flavours. This would be a potential repurchase for me, and I don’t say that often about a green tea! Perhaps that’s about to change.
This is such a fantastic tea! The dry leaf consists of long slender black and dark emerald curls. It has a dry grape scent. I warmed these up in my gaiwan and brewed them gongfu. I didn’t even have to open my gaiwan to take in the aroma. My tea room was filled with a smooth smoke and raspberry aroma with every shake of the vessel. It was a deep and intoxicating smell. I washed the leaves once and brewed away. The liquor was a pale and opaque orange. The flavor was so very delicious. The initial sip was smokey with dark fruits. This flavor broadened to a dark cherry wood with a full bodied sweetness. I absolutely love roasted oolongs and this is one of the good ones.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Raspberry, Smoke, Sweet
Sooooooo Happy Ice Tea Day! Is it a coincidence that ice tea month is 6 months from hot tea month in January? No celebration is a must. However I’m celebrating with hot tea rather than the iced version I’m having it hot. https://youtu.be/Xf2MNCu5oqM Yes a little Power Station for your enjoyment. I have a great affection for Ginseng Oolong. I love the sweetness the back end of the sip…funny looks and inquisitions from coworkers. It’s harder to get Oolong flavor because of the ginseng but it’s a pretty good base. If it was a poor quality you would taste it. I’m liking this one quite a bit. I don’t know if I’ll get “boost” from the ginseng but, I’m liking it regardless. Maybe next steep will be on the rocks.
This such a unique green! The leaves are these small moss agate colored rolls. The dry leaf has a deep dry vegetal aroma. I didn’t have enough to brew gongfu, so sadly I brewed this up western styled. The good part is that it still was amazing. The liquor is a pale jade, and the steeped leaves carry a vegetable garden aroma. The initial sip is sharp with a floral spice, but it soothes down to a spinach and honey flavor. I really liked this brew, and I cant wait to try brewing it gongfu.
Flavors: Floral, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
This is such a tasteful brew. I’ve been craving some gold buds lately, and this hit the spot. I opened the packed to reveal small fuzzy curls of ebony and gold. This dry leaf had a soft aroma of a bakery. I placed them inside my wamed gaiwan and gave them a sniff. The bakery scent deepened into a pastry aroma with sweet raisins. I brewed these treasures up gongfu to get the full flavor. The initial sip was deep and bold. The flavor was of a strong malt and redwood. I could hint at a sweetness of salted caramel. The flavor then broadened to a baked bread aftertaste. I really enjoyed this brew, and it was perfect for a rainy day like today.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Raisins, Salt
free sample from teavivre! thank you angel and the rest of the teavivre folks!
this one is not my favourite green from teavivre. it’s slightly vegetal but lacking in that really FRESH! taste that i’ve come to love from other teavivre’s green teas. this was a little green bean like…a little grassy and overall pleasant even if it won’t be a favourite of mine. Thanks a bunch teavivre!