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Recent Tasting Notes
My new way of trying tea samples is to steep three different ones at once…maybe that’s not the best way of doing it, but it keeps me more focused and distracted from everything else. So that’s just what I do now. XD
Out of the two other teas that were steeping right next to this one, this tea smelled the strongest. It smells incredibly roasty.
The flavor is pretty much the same. Think I’ll enjoy this one more later on when I’m back on my roasty tea kick. xD
Really surprised that this one hasn’t been rated yet…Kinda weird.
But this tea smelled a lot like sweet potatoes when it was steeping. Which made me excited. Because I do love a good tea that tastes like sweet potatoes.
The flavor didn’t exactly betray me-but I was definitely not expecting it to get super earthy. It still tasted strongly of sweet potatoes, but the earthiness appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. And i really don’t like teas that are this earthy D:
Disappointed with this one. :( If the earthiness had toned down this would be a great cuppa for me! Perhaps next time I will try steeping it shorter. That might help some. :S
Flavors: Earth, Sweet Potatoes
GUESS WHAT YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE FINALLLLLYYY RELEASING THE JURASSIC PARK 4 TRAILER ON THURSDAY!!!!!!!!
I’ve seriously been waiting so long and no one ever actually believed me when I said they were gonna make another one and finally they did and I’m so freakin’ excited!!!!!!!!!!
Now just gotta wait for Child’s Play…
This tea is alright. It’s super buttery and grassy. Much too buttery for me.
Always feels like I get sick after super buttery teas…it’s like too strong for me.
This one reminds me more of a green tea, to be honest. I know a few people who would really love this one, this one just isn’t for me.
I will just have to pass it on to someone who likes buttery and grassy teas!
Thank you to Teavivre for these samples!
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Vegetal
Thank you, Angel, for the samples and including me in the oolong flight!
Brewed with the gongfu method in a gaiwan. Followed the website’s instructions. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 30, 30, 50, 70, 90, 120, 150, 180.
The session begins with a seaweed-y and sweet dry aroma, followed by a buttery wet aroma with a note of sugar snap peas. Wonderfully flagrant – one of the pleasures this tea offers. And the leaf itself is another. It has such a beautiful shade of green, and the leaves appear so lively as they float in the gaiwan.
The liquor is light greenish gold in color, clear and clean, and full-bodied yet light, like water from a small pristine pond. Though the flavors are not fully developed, the first infusion offers a creamy texture and a buttery sweetness reminiscent of kukicha.
The creaminess disappears in the infusions thereafter, though the smoothness doesn’t. The second infusion is very sweet with a creamed spinach aftertaste. Three, four, and five have a stronger floral note. Five in particular tastes of spring flowers that entice bees excited for fresh nectar after a long winter. Additionally, the texture is thicker, and the buttery note returns. I am reminded of shincha.
The sixth and seventh infusions have fewer flowers and more sweet candies. Ending the session, the eighth is the fruitiest and juiciest, with an aftertaste of strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.
This is only my second Da Yu Ling. A good one to end this oolong flight!
Thanks Angel and Teavivre for the samples!
So generally, I’m not a huge fan of floral teas. Or floral anything. Can’t stand jasmine-scented anything, lavender alarms rather than soothes me.
The one exception to that rule is osmanthus.
I remember when I was a kid, my mom would mix a bunch of little osmanthus flowers with sugar. She’d just use a tiny bit of the scented sugar in whatever thing she was making (usually some kind of congee or porridge) and the whole kitchen would explode with the fragrance. I’d come running to breakfast that morning. I loved the taste and smell of osmanthus so much.
It’s been years since I’ve lived with my parents, and even longer since I’ve had that congee. We moved and good osmanthus flowers pretty much became impossible to find. That jar of osmanthus sugar lasted for one glorious year and I still remember how sad I was when it ran out.
Anyway, this tea is fantastic. Not at all overly-scented or artificial-tasting. It might be my memory playing with me, but I think it’s slightly sweet, far from cloying. The natural floral flavour of the base tea works well with the osmanthus flavouring. Osmanthus still lingering in a resteep, but just barely. I really like this one.
I don’t understand how unflavored white tea can be so tasty!
I haven’t had much luck with it in the past, but clearly this is different! I really really loved it!
Had a good robust taste to it, not an average white tea. I enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you to Teavivre for the sample!
Wish listed :)
Thank you for the sample, Angel!
Brewed gongfu-style with a gaiwan. Followed the website steeping instructions. 5 second rinse. Steeping times: 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 75, 85 (I added 105).
Beautiful dry leaf, a fresh kind of green as if the leaves weren’t at all plucked and processed. The aromas are floral and sweet with a hint of butter and mineral. The liquor is light yellow, medium-bodied, clear, bright, and crisp. A pleasant light floral note consistently appears throughout the session. In the beginning there is an aftertaste of a “tropical” smoothie – mango, papaya, pineapple – though this disappears after the third infusion, leaving the floral aspect completely to dominate the scene.
This Tie Guan Yin didn’t say anything special to me or make me feel a certain way after each cup, though it is a lovely Tie Guan Yin of good quality.
This one is pretty roasty, but not overly so. It has a slight slant towards a more green, floral oolong, but the primary flavor is the roast. It’s smooth, and not too harsh or in your face like some roasty oolongs are.
But it’s just a nice and smooth Li Shan. Makes for an enjoyable cup (:
Thank you for the samples, Teavivre!
Flavors: Floral, Roasted
Teavivre generously sent me some more oolong samples to review. I love the selection that they carry of oolongs, they definitely have some of the best oolongs I’ve tried so far!
It’s always a privilege to try more!
Right when this tea began to steep, a strong, buttery aroma filled the air.
And the taste was nearly the same as the steeping smell. It’s super buttery, but also mixed with floral notes. So I really am enjoying this one!
Wish there were more floral in this one of course, but It’s still a lovely oolong. I will enjoy sipping down the rest of these samples! :D Thank you, Teavivre for giving me more opportunity to try more of your teas!! :D
Flavors: Butter, Floral
So how to say that with elegance ? I see no other possibility than that: This tea takes me out of my seat and I almost levitated … When I think that one year ago I was afraid to taste Pu-erh … if I had started with this one I would not have waited another 6 months to try the second.
I have a "packed"leaf typical since my sample is a piece of a cake . We can admire large pieces. This is a Pu- erh Sheng (raw and green) and not a shou .
Look at this beautiful whole leaves of a bright green and yellow…
The liquor is a light golden yellow . The taste was a festival of yellow fruit with delicious little acid notes. But that’s not all , it also has an herbal taste and even a taste of hay (although I am not stupid to the point of having already hay for dinner … but I ’m sure it has that taste , hay ) . Very little bitterness , just a touch .
This is simply exquisite . Thank you to Angel from Teavivre for allowing me to discover this delicious tea. It goes directly into the wish list … but why… why did I just pay my local taxes … misery …
You can see some pics of my session with this lovely tea here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/fengqing-wild-tree-yesheng-raw-pu-erh-tea-cake-2013-teavivre/
Flavors: Hay, Herbs, Stonefruits
Overall I found this to be a very nice tea. It had a good balance of flavours. It is soft, but has enough fruit and biting spice notes to create interest without being bitter or overly aggressive. I sometimes find this style of oolong to mild to suit my tastes but this one had enough complexity to hold my interestover 15 steeps.
The dry tea scent was of hay and clover flowers with a hint of smoke. The leaves themselves are amedium to larger sized rolled oolong with a nice bright colour thast is almost like a cross between the colour of grass and darker lime rind.
I steeped the tea in a 100ml gaiwan using enough tea to cover the bottom( around 1.5tsp). I started with a water temperature of about 90°c and increased it gradually after the 6th steep. After a rinse I steeped this tea 15 times (20, 25, 27, 32,40,50,60,70,80, 90,110,130,160, 190,240s,). The broth was a pale antique gold colour.
20s scent: soft and floral with hints of gardenia and magnolia, with honey and a sweet fruit scent of candied grape mixed with pineapple and apricots, with cream.
Taste: sweet cooked greens, mixed with cream and a cool floral a mix of magnolia and lily, hints of corn and corn silk, light hint of honey. The aftertaste is floral with a faintly sour fruit note.
25 s. Scent: stronger floral and fruit scent
Taste: similar blend of sweet vegetables and a floral fruit mix with a stronger gardenia note, a hint of mineral and spinach mixed with cream.
27 increasing fruit notes(apricot and pineapple), corn, cream, increasing gardenia note with a much more present biting spice note appearing . These notes are over top and are mostly hiding a spinach note and a mineral note. There is a tingling on the underside of the tongue, the back of the throat and lips.
32 stronger pineapple and apricot with a hint of orange, biting spicy floral notes, cream, cane sugar, faint hint of corn, veg and a definite mineral note.
40s cream, lilac, gardenia, apricot, mineral notes over sweet vegetables.
50s. Similar to above with a bit of cane sugar and sweet corn not as creamy on the tongue.
60s. Cream, corn with hints of spinach, lilac, spice, apricot.
70s cream, apricot, corn, soft lilac. Thick creamy texture.
80s apricot, cream hints of spinach, lilac, pepper, corn. ( increased temp of water). Hints of sugarcane.
90s cream, lilac, apricot, sweet greens
110s. Sugar cane, apricot, sweet greens, lilac, pepper.
130s. Light vegetable note, pepper, apricots, cream, hint of lilac.
160s. Cream, apricot, light vegetable, light lilac,pepper.
190s. Apricot , cream, light vegetable, faint lilac.
240s sweet vegetable and apricot.
As noted the finished leaves are huge with three entire leaves attached to a stem. The margins are mostly entire. Overall this was a pleasant experience and this is an oolong that would appeal to many different tastes. Thanks Angel and Teavivre for giving me the opportunity to sample this tea. I enjoyed it!
This is a sample very generously sent by Teavivre for review. I had to send a message and ask, because my sample as labeled Monkey Picked but the website only showed Monkey King. I was assured they were the same.
I tried this both Gongfu and western, and I think I preferred the western style. I made two steeps of it western, so I did get a lot of tea from these leaves.
This is one of the more impressive teas for growing exponentially when steeped. It looked like a very small amount of pellets that went in the Gongfu pot but after the first steep they were fairly bursting out of the top.
The tea has a very strong aroma, VERY strong, mainly of spinach and fresh leafy greens. That is another area where this one really impressed. You would think it might be a little biting when you experience that scent, but I found it to be one of the softer, greener Monkey Picked style teas I have tried. It is smooth, but if you want a brisker tea you can get it by increasing your steep time carefully just a wee bit, not too much or it will be bitter. Even with Gongfu style I used shorter steeps that the site called for.
I had my second western style pot earlier today. The resteep is a slightly paler yellow and is a little more floral than the first, definitely more subdued.
Thank you, Teavivre, for the opportunity to try it!
It’s been a long time since I have sipped sheng. I have almost forgotten how enjoyable tea it is. Steeped in a Yixing pot of course.
So, this is my third (or fourth) Fengqing raw puerh I have been tasting and this differs from those other ones and also other younger shengs I have tasted.
I used 4-6g of tea instead of 10g since it seems so much tea won’t fit into my teapot. Anyway dry leaves are quite big, some of them have yellow hair, dark brown to almost black color and the best thing is, they are all whole! I don’t see any leaf particles around like some of those cheaper cakes have. (It has some stems) Dry tea smells smooth with sweetness and bit like raisins.
Liquid has pale yellow to yellow coloring and has mild, but sweet aroma. Quite like oolongs or green tea. Don’t stick to ‘mild’ word, I may have used too few leaves next time I will use more. Leaves have turned into dark green/green and continue to ‘lose color’. At the end leaves were yellowish green in color, typical sheng. Wet leaves have sweet, mellow, fruity aroma.
In the taste I can detect some fruits, grapes maybe, and woodiness. first steeps had a bit astringency but not too much. Very pleasant sweet and grapy aftertaste that lingers long on the tongue. I really liked that this hadn’t any smokiness or similar aromas. I managed to get 12 steepings, last one was 1min 30sec. I believe this will taste really good when aged by couple of years, acquiring stronger taste. I can recommend to try this young sheng puerh, for beginners and puerh veterans.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Melon, Raisins, Sweet, Wood
Thank you Angel and TeaVivre for the sample!
This oolong is floral, sweet and vegetal, with a light toasty baked flavor! Really lovely lingering taste on my tongue. There might be a hint of a mineral note, something I can’t quite put my finger on. Quite complex and a refreshing change from the strongly vegetal green oolongs!
I’m 15 tasting notes away from 1,500 tasting notes! Whoa. My goal is to have 10 sipdowns from my tea cupboard before I get to the 1,500 tasting note.
Another sample to try – Thank you Teavivre! This one is very similar to another oolong I’ve tried from Teavivre, though I’m not sure which one it is now… I’ve tried many of them! It’s one of the savory types of oolong. The bundles are very green and have the scent of fresh vegetables. I used two heaping teaspoons for my 12 ounce mug.
Steep #1 // 7 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
I really think I’ve figured out steeping green oolongs now. They seem to have perfect results this way. I can’t remember how many oolongs I was waiting around a half hour after boiling to steep in the past — that means I wasn’t tasting those oolongs at their best. I can tell this is a savory oolong even from the scent from the mug – brothy/soupy, hints of salt, buttery… not really floral or fruity at all. It’s very delicious when it’s the type of oolong I’m looking for.
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
This is another cup that tasted deliciously similar to the first steep, but with very potent, strong flavors. Super soupy! It seems like this oolong could be resteeped forever, but it also doesn’t get astringent. But I’m amazed at how flavorful this one is… I could have probably steeped a teaspoon and a half leaves rather than two.
Steep #3 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Another solid cup. The steeped leaves are gigantic, a very dark green – as usual, amazing that the leaves can be bundled so small. This is a very nice example of a savory oolong (the flavor never tastes floral or fruity) and the flavor stays very consistent. I love that there are different oolong flavor types… keeps it interesting! Though I would imagine I could drink one really nice oolong all the time anyway.
Flavors: Broth, Butter, Salt
I thought it was time to get to some of my Teavivre samples before my Bluebird and Butiki orders arrived (can’t wait)! I think I went a little overboard but I’ve been planning a Bluebird order for years and with Butiki closing, I definitely needed to order!
I NEEDED to try this one – I love a good jasmine tea. I don’t think I’ve ever tried jasmine on a Silver Needle base before. The dry leaves are definitely a fragrant jasmine! I used two teaspoons that weren’t quite full… I didn’t want to drop any of these precious leaves!
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
There is no doubt this is delicious jasmine overtaking the senses. I can’t really taste the white tea because there is so much jasmine… a shame because I know the white tea would be divine on its own. It’s SO GOOD though. The jasmine is the type that somehow reminds me of bubblegum. There seems to be an underlying milkiness to the tea, not quite cream or butter.
Steep #2 // 23 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
This cup is magic! Almost as much jasmine as the first steep but now more of the flavor of the white tea is combining with the sweet jasmine. There is still too much jasmine to make out what the white tea itself tastes like, but this is such a perfect combination.
Steep #3 // 23 min after boiling // 3 min
Another delicious cup – one of the best teas I’ve had in a while! The jasmine is now fading but it’s the level of jasmine that I usually find in jasmine teas. This is one of Teavivre’s best teas (aren’t they all?) I will certainly consider this one with my next order!
It is my birthday tomorrow, so as expected the subject of cake came up with my mom. Since this is the first year in a very long time that I am gluten free, this is a bit of a conundrum, do I want to try a gluten free version of a favorite cake or try something new? We were going to make a really amazing cheesecake (one of my favorite recipes) but the goat cheese in this part of the world for some reason costs an arm, leg, and a goat. After spending an hour wandering around the store trying to come up with a solution we finally gave up and chose some fudge. Life is complicated sometimes (kinda like my birth, sorry mom!)
Today’s tea has nothing to do with cake or fudge, except that I think it tastes really good with either of those. Teavivre’s Nonpareil Anxi Yun Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong Tea, a Fujian oolong which is made in the traditional manner of roasting (rather than the more vibrantly green ones that have become popular as of late) which requires a lot of extra work. The Yun Xiang (roasted) kind of Tie Guan Yin was the first oolong I fell in love with back when I was in high school working at a tea/coffee shop almost fifteen years ago. Memories! The aroma is richly roasted, as expected, with notes of char, roasted chestnuts, walnuts, pecans…this is a nutty tea! Finish that off with a distant orchid aroma and you have a very intense aroma, I do suggest sitting down if sniffing this tea.
Into my roasted oolong dedicated Yixing teapot the rolled leaves go for their bath. After their first steeping, the leaves let out a powerful blend of char and toasted nuts. The fire roasted chestnut aroma coming out of the leaves really makes me wish I had access to a fire place and free chestnuts (ah, those were the days.) The liquid has the same roasted nuts and char aroma but with caramelized sugar and a touch of flowers giving the tea a layer of sweetness.
That is a smooth start, smooth and rich, it begins with chestnuts and caramelized sugar, this transitions to black walnut, and lastly it finished with a touch of smoke and char. The mouth feel is almost velvety and thick, it is definitely a whole mouth tea.
Onto steep two! The aroma is very similar to the first, except someone upped the nut-ometer (this is a thing now, and it is a good thing) I mean holy moly that is a lot of roasted nuts, there are chestnuts, pecans, walnuts, and a nice finish of orchids. The taste does not disappoint, it starts out sweet, like caramelized sugar and flower nectar and builds into roasted nuts. The roasted nuts linger until it fades into char which stays as an aftertaste for a bit.
The third steep, well, I got lost in memories a bit. It is sweeter in both aroma and taste, there is still a strong roasted nut presence, but the sweetness and flower nectar have a much stronger presence. This tea is a much higher caliber than the first one I tried, or even the Yun Xiang Tie Guan Yin that was my everyday tea for many years, but it has the familiarity that always puts me in a nostalgic state. That moment when I first made the Tie Guan Yin and took my first sip, it was like something exploded in my brain, it was a moment of pure bliss that I will never forget, my tea awakening.
Flavors: Chestnut, Orchid, Pecan, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Walnut
I might have tea overdose soon.
Needle like deep/olive green leaves. One bud with one or two leaves. Aroma is really fresh, crispy and oily, my favourite kind. There is hint of butter and nuts reminds me of longjing.
1dl gaiwan and 3g of tea, brewing guide says water should be 90C for gaiwan, quite hot but lets try.
Pale green liquid with fresh, full and grassy aroma, leaves turned into yellowish color from deep green. They also start reminding wet longjing, maybe this is longjings long lost cousin. Buttery and fragant.
Tea tastes mild, flavour disappears quite quickly from tongue, it doesn’t matter though. It’s mellow, mildly grassy and sweet like other chinese greens. Nuttiness and butter, slightly floral too, not too much. It gave 5 steeps as promised, I tried 6th but it had no more flavour. It reminds me a lot from longjing, just milder but this tea has still its own signature. “It is suitable for organic tea lovers as well as clean green tea lovers.” Yup, it keeps it promise. (Also organic is plus as always.)
Flavors: Butter, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grass, Nutty, Sweet
I’m finding this tea quite bitter, first and second infusions. I thought I let the first infusion go too long, so I reduced the time, but the bitterness is still there. It’s still drinkable, and I’ll keep going as long as the leaves keep giving.
Both infusions brew up really dark, like coffee, and it is strong. The first infusion was earthy and bitter. I did pick up dates too.
Infusion two is earthy and bitter, with a bit of nuttiness.
Because of the bitterness, it’s not really a favourite of mine, but for now it’s keeping me warm on this really cold day.
Thanks for sharing Cameron B!
Found this as extra from my sample packet with couple others, that made my day so thank you Teavivre.
“My first…” – saga continues as this is my first unflavoured white tea, yay.
Smells like sweet hay and flowers, looks like shrivelled leaves. As white tea is supposed to be. Dry leaves are picked with bud and one to two leaves -method, couple branches can be found. Leaves are greenish-white color, dark and pale greens can be found, most of them are covered with thin white hair.
I used 1dl gaiwan and about 3-5g of tea (I don’t have scale). Liquid color varies from pale yellow to orange-yellow. Wet leaves has brownish-green color and that white hair is no more to be found. Aroma is flowery, sweet hay with grass like scent.
First steep (25s) has that usual sweet hay taste with some grassiness and flowers, color is pale yellow it might have some honey in it. Next steep is more darker color and has more sour and grassy taste in it. Third steep has more hay flavour, hay and grass almost take turns with every steep, all steeps still has that lingering sweet taste. Final steeps start to lose the hay and sour grassy flavours, but more delicate flavours like flower and sweet emerge. Overall I’m pretty pleased with this tea, it’s nicely calming at the evening and suits to cold early winter/autumn.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Hay, Honey, Sour, Sweet
Thank you Teavivre for the samples! I initially didn’t want to try the raw pu-erh for sampling, since I’m not sure my palatte understands the flavors in raw pu-erh. I’m also not quite sure the correct way to steep them, especially when Teavivre’s website and the sample pouch seem to be giving different parameters. I always want to be tasting a tea properly! I used the majority of my sample pouch, though I’m supposed to be using 10 grams of tea for a gaiwan 100ml/3.4 oz. I’m using my big mug but only filling it halfway, so it’s still steeping in about 6 ounces of water. The leaves in this cake are very long and wiry! I haven’t had a raw pu-erh in a while, so here goes…
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // rinse // 40 second steep
As I suspected, it’s very tough for me to puzzle these flavors out! Raw pu-erh is always very mild to me, but at the same time, seems very full with flavor, if that makes sense. There is a buzzy characteristic to the mouth feel, though I’m not sure what that means.. like it has the tiny fuzzies of a white tea, but I don’t see many in the mug. The flavor is a little of many things: creamy, lemony, licorice (maybe the mouth feel), maple, autumn leaf, apple, butter.
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 40 seconds
I think I’ll try steeping this tea decreasing the steep time each steep by five minutes.This pale gold brew seems like tiny hints of many flavors. Now it’s pineapple, more apple, apricot, many hints of fruit while not being entirely fruity. Also hints of cedar trees happening. There is still a buzziness happening (I’ve never had this with any other tea before, so it’s a little odd), and it also seems like it could become a touch too bitter, so I’m glad I didn’t steep this one with more leaves, hotter temp or a longer steep time.
Steep #3 // 17 min after boiling // 50 second steep
Steep #4 // 15 min after boiling // 50 second steep
The other two steeps were fairly the same but a little astringent. The first two steeps were much tastier. If I only knew the correct way to steep this tea! Though it’s very good, raw pu-erh isn’t my choice in what I’d be drinking… the astringency likes to take over in later steeps with raw pu-erh. I love the smooth, coffee-like ripened pu-erhs any time! Somehow the ripened pu-erh always stays smooth no matter how long its steeped. I think I like a couple more of the raw pu-erhs from Teavivre slightly better than this anyway.
Sent samples of the Spring harvest of this tea by the generous Teavivre, am clearly ungraciously late in my review.
I admit I have a very hard time with straight white teas, because I don’t find they taste like much. I would even rather prefer a vegetal type of green tea instead.
This one smelled pleasant and haylike in the bag.
Tonight when drinking it. I admit I am surprised to report that I was tasting something slightly haylike, yet still refreshing somehow, and juicy?? Maybe like a tiny hint of peaches or honey.
Nice to see my tastebuds are improving slightly!
I will keep working on my white tea tastes.
Thank you Angel!