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Recent Tasting Notes


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

175 °F / 79 °C 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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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

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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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.

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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

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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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

3 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Angel from Teavivre had sent me several samples again. Thank you so much Angel. I need to post more frequently here. I still drink a lot of tea. I just don’t post as often if ever.

Me being an oolong fan, this one did not disappoint. Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea is very delicious. The dry leaf was a mix of light to dark green leaves curled up fairly loose with some trace fuzziness to some of the leaves. The smell was very fresh, mild-moderately fragrant – floral. The scent of the steeped tea was delicious and beautifully fragrant when I get about 2 inches away. The tea was a very light yellow. The taste was delicious – yum! The first steep was very smooth, creamy, and had a buttery mouth-feel to it. The taste was slightly sweet with hints of flowers, honey, and very mild grassiness.

This is a complex oolong and changed with each steep. The 2nd steep became less sweet and a bit astringent toward the back of my mouth and a kind of dryness. The 3rd steep was more watery but I don’t think I steeped it long enough. I only did 3 steeps of this tea as I become distracted very easily. I love how tea keeps me centered and focused (for the most part!). My daughter turned 3 a few days ago. I can’t believe I’ve been on steepster for longer than that. Times flies super fast.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Brews a pale yellow. Taste is surprisingly roasty although I brewed it quite strong. The second steeping was better I thought with more of a puffed wheat taste without the extra roast (although I am not sure that this is actually roasted).
I saw after on teavivre’s website that the recommended brewing instructions were less than what I used so would use their parameters next time.
A nice non-caffeine drink!
Sample from Angel at Teavivre – thank you!


whole Embryo?


Their description explains the process better, but it is the inner nutritious part of the buckwheat that is called the embryo as far as I know.


ok, i thought it was a mistransalation


haha, I don’t think so..


Tartary buckwheat is one of my favorite non-caffeinated drinks while in China, and it’s nice to see I can get it online too! It comes in two styles and the “whole embryo” is the less processed (and tastier) one.


Less processed is good. :) And it is tasty!


i’ve ordered some from yunnan sourcing. it was ok


I forgot I have some of the yunnan sourcing buckwheat as well. I really liked it. Not sure if they are the same but will have to have it again. I think it will be good cold too but haven’t tried that yet.


i really don’t know how to make iced tea :(


Often I put the leaf I have already brewed in a jar, add cold water, and leave in fridge overnight. This way I get more out of the leaf and have a nice cold drink.
If I am just using tea leaves for iced tea, I brew it as usual, let it cool a bit, then put it in the fridge. If planning to add ice, then brew it stronger so the tea isn’t too weak as the ice melts. Or just brew strong tea and pour it over a glass of ice, and drink.
Another method people use is cold brewing which is just putting the tea leaf in water in the fridge for a day or so and it brews like that – very easy.
Give it a try. :))

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The dry leaves are big, attractive silver needle buds. The aroma is oceanic, pine, and just slightly floral.

The first brew is very mellow and soft. Slight honey and pine notes with a floral background. Slightly earthy and dank like wet leaves and rich soil. This is a very mild tea, I attempted to overbrew it and bring out bitterness and found that I could not.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Honey, Pine, Wet Earth

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Scent of sweet spice, grains and potato.
Tastes the same with gently spiced sweet potato and a creamy, honeyed nuttiness.
Fragrant, full of flavor and delicious.

195 °F / 90 °C

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Small, wiry, dark green leaves. Primarily vegetal with spinach and green bean notes, but also nutty and roasty with a peach-like fruit sweetness. Not my favorite green tea from Teavivre, but nice nonetheless. I think this would be a good tea to drink with a meal.

Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Peach, Roasted, Spinach

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Thanks so much, Teavivre! Teavivre’s description calls this one a “daily drinker” or “beginner’s” pu-erh and I think it is quite tasty for a pu-erh that is so low in price. I am finding that I really like pu-erh aged for about ten years the best. This ripened pu-erh has a scent of fresh hay in the dry leaf — smells delicious! The steeped leaves are quite long. The color of the brew is a deep, rich burgundy. There is a pond scent to the rinse water, but then any of that is gone by the first steep. The flavor is lovely, not as strong as some pu-erhs are to me. It’s not quite like a pu-erh that reminds me of coffee. I really like a deep dark pu-erh — this is consistently medium strength. This pu-erh remains sweet. When the cup cools, the tea tastes like fresh raw bread dough! Very interesting.
Steep #1 // half sample for a full mug (about 5 grams)// 7 minutes after boiling // rinse // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

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From the Pu TTB

A delicate sheng that’s reminiscent of a good green tea. Somewhat vegetal/umami with notes of green wood, honey, and fresh tobacco. Very infusable, very attractive whole leaves. Later steeps have a mango fruityness alongside sugarcane and vegetal notes. Lacking in the punch that I expect from young sheng. Almost definitely a “drink now” puerh.

Overall a very friendly sheng that would serve as a good introduction for someone looking for low bitterness or coming from green teas.

Flavors: Green Wood, Honey, Mango, Sugarcane, Umami, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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I love keemun but haven’t drank any in awhile. This one is delicious. Mellow and smooth with a bit of winey malt and creamy caramel. Perhaps a hint of smokiness but minimal. Could drink this all day!
Thanks Angel at Teavivre.


185 °F / 85 °C

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Thank you, Teavivre, for the sample!

Gongfu session with a glass pot. No rinse. Steeping times: 10 sec, 15, 10, 25, 45, 35, 45, 60, 90; 2 min.

Based on the website’s description, I expected a soft-going aroma, but that is not the case. The leaf – dry and wet – is very aromatic. Beany, buttery, grassy, and a little sweet. Fills the pot easily and escapes. Additionally, I smelled a little tobacco in the wet leaf after the second steep.

The liquor is pale green, thick, and full-bodied. Full of flavor from beginning to end. For the couple steepings, I taste strong and creamy notes of buttered vegetables, beansprouts. A little bit salty. They are very much like a thick sencha, having umami like a gyokuro. Beginning with the third steeping, the flavor becomes gentler and sweeter. Each cup finishes with a cooling mint leaf. I felt considerably more energetic after drinking the sixth steeping (I consumed 1-6 within two hours, about 12 oz worth).

Buttery green teas aren’t to my taste – they tend to be too heavy for my stomach. However, while this tasted rich, it didn’t feel rich. It was tolerable. Even though I did not take to loving this, I appreciated the mint finish and aftertaste most. I recommend this as an excellent summer tea. The brewing temperature may be a little high for summer, depending, but it’s worth it for the cooling note.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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An OMGsrsly sample.

This one is a pleasure to drink, with a decent second steep. It’s a nice accompaniment to my nothing day. I also lately discovered that Radiohead released a new album. It pairs well too. All I have to do is open this Haruki Murakami book (After Dark) sitting here and the day is set for disconnectedness. Wow.

This tea is nutty, vegetal, and then tangy-sweet, kind of like an unripe apricot or some lemon juice. I’m now going to move onto something more lively.

Flavors: Chestnut, Spinach, Tangy

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown! Thanks again to Teavivre for passing these samples down. I gave my last little packet to a friend who is a fan of green tea so I hope she’ll enjoy it! This personally wasn’t my favourite kind of green since I’m not into vegetal or mineral notes, but I know there are peeps out there who love that.

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Thanks to the wonderful Angel for sending samples to me! I tried this last night, and was impressed that there was no bitterness whatsoever. The notes that stood out to me more than anything else were vegetal and mineral-like. I didn’t pick up on any floral notes this first time, but hope to in the future. A soft sweetness accompanied the vegetal and mineral notes in the background.

I’m personally not a huge fan of vegetal and mineral notes in tea, but I can see people who are really appreciate and love this one.

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Another of my samples from Teavivre. Has a nice floral, orchid scent. There is a somewhat creamy/ buttery flavour. Still floral and lightly sweet. It’s very smooth too.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Orchid

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A free sample from Teavivre!

I’ve never had a buckwheat tea before, but I certainly find this one enjoyable! Very clean and soothing with toasted grain, nut, and buttery notes and a light sweetness. The brewed kernals also make a nice snack. Since I have another sample packet left I think I’ll have to try mixing this with some green tea, maybe the Lu Shan Yun Wu

Flavors: Butter, Roasted Barley, Sweet

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

so curious about the taste if mixed with other teas.

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Thanks again, Teavivre! The description mentions this one as being more flowery than the Iron Goddess which seems impossible to me, as I adore that oolong. I was already in love with this one at the scent of the rinsed leaves. There is such an ambrosia to this one — a gorgeous floral flavor. There is also hints of spice to the flavor, a kick to it, which I would prefer wasn’t there, since it would be nice if this one just had a full flower flavor. But I don’t think it’s an overbrewed spiciness, since the flavor was still a sweet syrupy nectar. Perfect for sitting outside and reading with, on this late Spring day. With the second and third steeps, that spiciness has disappeared and smoothed leaving only the explosion of floral flavor. I don’t think there could possibly be more flavor, and I think I brewed it perfectly. Is it more flowery than the Iron Goddess? The last harvest I tried, I think it definitely is (though it is fairly similar to the Iron Goddess of a couple years ago). This is definitely the oolong I would want to have in stock! How can tea taste this amazing?!?
Harvest: October 2015
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 16 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 1 minute steep

Flavors: Flowers, Orchid


That sounds amazing!


Definitely one of my favorite oolongs that I’ve ever tried!

Arby Robilliard

Oh my gosh I must buy this tea. Thank you for inspiring me, I have been looking for the perfect flowery oolong for a while now!


This is going on my wish list!

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Western style – 2 tsp – 350ml – 90C – 2mins

Dry leaf – I smell salted caramel, baked bread and stonefruit. Pretty standard for a good quality black BUT also a kind of a boozy aroma which makes this one stand out to me in particular.

Infused – I taste all of the things I smell but a little less of the caramel. Texture has a pleasant thickness to it. Very smooth.

Teavivre is so consistent with their quality!! Happy customer

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Another one to try from Teavivre – thank you! This is a Keemun in all its glory. The dry leaves are black with hints of gold and almost has that shiny sheen that the Keemun Snail has, but not quite. The scent of the leaves is intoxicating. I went with two teaspoons (I guess that is what I usually use for Teavivre teas.) The medium amber brew is what I expect from a Keemun — that Keemun flavor that is tough to describe. It’s so distinct to Keemun, it’s like a tanginess but not the same tangy that other teas have. I could swear with the first few sips there is some sort of berry too. The flavor is light, but complex, if that makes sense. All three steeps were fairly different, though the second was a little oversteeped for me — there was an astringency there. I should have went 30 seconds less. It was still a delicious cup, but the astringency shouldn’t have been there to ruin such a great tea. The third steep was a little lighter and I could have steeped for 30 seconds more. (So each steep should have been 2 1/2 minutes and all three steeps would have been perfect.) The first steep was the best (well balanced – neither astringent or too light). The third steep was definitely like sweet potato, but still had slight tanginess. Overall, a delicious Keemun.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015

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