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Recent Tasting Notes
Another rogue Teavivre sample included in a previous tea swap. This one was different from any other green tea I’ve had before. The leaves looked almost shiny/oily, and indeed when I was brewing the tea, I could see a bit of an oily looking sheen on top of the water. The leaves had a nutty aroma with a bit of grassiness, but really reminded me a bit of peanut butter. After the first brew, they smelled quite savory and brothy as well.The tea had an intense nutty sweetness, more than in any other tea I have yet to experience. It had a moderately thick and brothy texture to it – I think this was a very savory tea, but the nuttiness provided enough sweetness for it to almost still be refreshing somehow. This is my first Mao Feng Green Tea – I’ll have to try out some more samples next year when fresh greens are coming out again.
Flavors: Broth, Nutty, Sweet
Unsmoked or mildly smoky Lapsang Souchong counts among my favourite teas but I can still love a smoky Lapsang when it is done well. There needs to be a nice balance between the flavours from the smoke and the flavour of the underlying tea. This one is quite enjoyable. The tea itself has a silky oolong like texture in the mouth and in early steeps is intensely sweet. This contrasts nicely with the cooling menthol like notes from the pine. For a smoky tea the aftertaste is actually quite refreshing and even cooling. Thank you so much Angel for the sample I quite enjoyed it.
2.5 g in 110ml of water at boiling
The dry leaf is moderately broken colour mostly dull dark chocolate brown some stems.
The smell is quite smoky but with a sweet pine tar smell mixed with a sweet caramel fruity note in the tea. It smells like fall at my cousins cottage on Georgian bay. It is a mix of syrup, forest and maple notes.
First steep 45s. The first flavour note is sweet caramel mixed with tart stone fruit that opens up to a spicy woody pine/ menthol note mixed with mild smoke which afterwards blends into an even sweeter almost birch syrup ( cooler maple) note. It finishes with very refreshing note in the mouth.
The tea feels very soft and silky in the mouth. The colour is a slightly red toned caramel.
2nd steep. The scent is less smoky more of an aged spicy wood scent that is sweet like a cedar lined sauna. There is a slightly thicker feeling in the mouth with a mild astringency. The tea is slightly more fruity with a touch of malt added to the mix above. Once again a very bright cooling aftertaste is present.
3rd steep. The smoke and pine/cedar wood scent smells more like spent incense. The colour of the tea is more red than caramel. This steep returned to a creamy silky feeling on the tongue. There is a taste of caramel complete with hints of vanilla and hints of ripe plum. It still ends with a cooling feeling on the tongue and an aftertaste of spice and incense.
4th steep. The flavour is fruity and incense like. The tea remains cooling on the tongue. The caramel sweetness is less apparent. You can still taste pine on the edge of the flavour notes.
5th steep. The tea still has a nice body but the flavours are waning.
I got a sample bag of this as an add-on in a swap with somebody. I used the whole 7g in a 100mL gaiwan. The dry leaf smelled weirdly sweet and herbal – must have been the smell of ginseng – not sure I’ve ever smelled or consumed that before.
Turns out ginseng is gross – to me anyways. It was sickeningly sweet with a weird almost medicinal vibe. Also left a very strange feeling in my mouth. Sort of like menthol, but also I tasted that funky sweetness every time I inhaled – like the ginseng powder coated the inside of my mouth. I only made it through around 3 steeps, as it wasn’t good and was starting to make me feel slightly unwell.
Maybe it’s for some people, but it’s definitely not for me.
Flavors: Medicinal, Menthol, Sweet
This tea is a dark oolong that is amber in color with a fruity mineral aroma. It is light and fruity with flavors of oranges, kiwi, and strawberry. It also has a that mineral flavor you get with Wuyi rock tea. This would be a great tea to have with breakfast.
Flavors: Mineral, Orange, Strawberry
This tea has a rich amber color and an aroma of hay and molasses. It has interesting flavors of hay, like a white tea, and molasses, like a black tea. I also get a little spiciness, like cinnamon, reminiscent of a Rou Gui Oolong Tea. It isn’t something I would put into my regular rotation, but I am glad I tried it.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Hay, Molasses
This is what was promised and I’m so happy about it – as others have mentioned, it stands out among other jasmines.
I brewed a very small teaspoon of these extra-small pearls at 180 degrees for 2 minutes. The jasmine scent is more verdant and tropical than I was expecting. It smells exceptionally sweet and leaves behind a very lasting perfume. Silky, buttery, and fruity also. This would be excellent blended with something else sweet in a summer drink, but would be too precious to drink that way! My only negative comment is that this would not be a daily drinker due to the sheer power of the jasmine flavor, but I would gladly sip it as a treat or digestive occasionally.
This is a nice Chinese green—mildly savory and vegetal with a little nuttiness. I’m not sure I would pick this to order over some of the other similar Teavivre greens I’ve sampled, as it’s not super distinctive—but I’m not sure that I wouldn’t, either. It’s very mellow and drinkable. Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!
Rose deliciousness is inside: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/01/05/rose-dragon-ball-black-tea-from-teavivre/
Thank you Angel at Teavivre for sending this my way as this is a lovely tea, both aesthetically and flavor wise. The leaves have been steeping for over a half hour and yet there is no astringency or bitterness whatsoever. Just smooth black tea with a hint of rose. Malty and floral with a hint of honey and a dash of pepper. It’s mellow and would be nice for those days when you just want something simple that you don’t need to really think about.
Yunnan Rose Dragon Ball Black Tea. By Teavivre.
Ru Yao dragon teapot gongfucha.
Dry leaf: sweet, musty.
Wet leaf: sweet, roses, spices, Beer (?)
1x short rinse.
Light steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight spices. (Taste) light
-> spices, pepper, toasty.
Medium steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight
-> spices, roses. (Taste) light -> roses, spices, toasty, pepper.
Heavy steep; I taste/smell: (smell) light
-> pepper, roses, beer (?). (Taste) light roses. Medium to strong -> pepper, spices, toasty, beer (?).
All in all an amazing tea! Nice aromas/tastes, decent cha qi. i rate a 100 even though i’m not much for black teas.
Where to buy: http://www.teavivre.com/rose-dragon-ball-black-tea/
Flavors: Musty, Pepper, Rose, Spices, Sweet, Toasty
Soon, on the Xbone, Ark will be getting some new creatures, including a favorite of mine, the Megalosaurus! In Ark they are adorable nocturnal death machines that you find sleeping curled up like a cat into a little ball during the day, and that is cool and all, but missing one of the best things about Megalosaurus, and that is how it shaped Paleontology! If you are not familiar with the history of Paleontology, Victorian Paleontologist had a really…unique…way of thinking that dinosaurs worked. Megalosaurus was one of the first non-avian dinosaurs named and became an early poster child for bringing awareness to the general public, problem was the was it was presented was so unbelievably wrong that it was hilarious. Originally thought to be a quadrupedal hunch-backed amphibian who were only carnivorous to old and ill animals. Obviously, we have advanced our understanding of dinosaurs, each year some new advancement seems to completely change the way we think they looked or behaved, but in part we have the incredibly derpy early depiction of Megalosaurus to thank for a lot of advancement.
You all know me, I could go on about dinosaurs all day (I have done this a few times to people foolish enough to get me started talking about them) but this is a tea blog and not a dinosaur blog, so it is on to today’s tea! Teavivre’s Yunnan Chrysanthemum Dragon Ball Tea, a hand-rolled ball of Dianhong with an addition of a yellow chrysanthemum flower, combining two of my tea loves into one. I have had several blends of Shou and chrysanthemum and it has never really worked for me, I often thought that blending with a Hongcha would be amazing, so when I saw Teavivre had just that, I knew I needed to try it. Sniffing the tightly rolled ball I was greeted with the sweet pollen, aster, and peppery aroma of chrysanthemum flowers along with malt, chocolate, yams, and honey. Oddly the blend of chrysanthemum and Dianhong give a slightly savory finish, though not necessarily like a specific savory food, just a savory quality, which is pretty neat.
Steeping time! My large engagement gaiwan got some love with this tea since it is a big ball that needs to expand. The aroma after the first steep is very strong, notes of chocolate and white pepper, malt and yams, and of course, chrysanthemum flowers. It, like the dry ball, is surprisingly savory, almost herbaceous. Similar to a white pepper and, well, the herb savory blended together, it is a surprising thing to smell with the more familiar Dianhong but it really works. The liquid lacks the savory quality, instead, it is sweet honey, peppery chrysanthemums, cocoa, and a rich malt, more what I expected this tea to smell like so no surprises there!
Oooh this tea is fun! First off, that mouthfeel, combining the usual thick and smooth texture of the Dianhong with the thick and cooling texture of the chrysanthemum makes for quite the thick treat, almost like a high mountain Oolong with how thick it is. The taste is pretty unique too, mixing familiar notes of malt, cocoa, and molasses with undertones of yam sweetness with the peppery and pollen note of the chrysanthemum blend together into something unlike anything I have had before. It was so unique that it took my brain a moment to really process it, but it is not a surprise that I ended up really enjoying it. Especially with the pollen and honey aftertaste that lingers.
I went for another steep of course, the aroma has a stronger cocoa note with a slightly stronger chrysanthemum note as well, which is not surprising since the ball has unfurled a great bit more. The taste is very similar to the first steep, just more! Stronger cocoa and yam, sweeter honey and molasses, and blooming chrysanthemum coat my mouth with soothing cooling tea.
This tea has longevity, getting many steeps out of with strong chrysanthemum until the fifth steep, at that point the chrysanthemum has mostly faded and what you are left with is a rich chocolate and yam heavy Dianhong. Since I frequently turn to chrysanthemum when I am unwell, I brewed up one of these balls when Ben recently had that nasty sickness, he found it very soothing and the two of us happily spent the day drinking this tea.
What I found surprising about this tea was that it didn’t fit the flavor-profile that I typically associate with Keemun—there’s no smokey aftertaste. Instead I found it to be rich, full-flavored, and sweet with a slight floralness that hangs on the tongue. It was really unexpected and before I knew it my cup was gone. Before today if you had asked me if I enjoyed Keemun I’d likely have told you that it wasn’t one of my favorites, even though I do occasionally fix a cup, but this tea really has changed my opinion about what a good-quality Keemun should be.
You can read the full review on my blog:
Another of my older Teavivre samples. I’m not sure why it’s sat neglected for so long, because all of Teavivre’s black teas are absolutely amazing, and this one’s no exception. I gave 1 tsp of leaf (very long and fine, with beautiful golden tips) 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.
To taste, it’s pretty much everything I’d want in a black tea. There’s a strong chocolate note up front, very reminiscent of dark chocolate (rich, strong) but not in a drying, cocoa kind of way. The mid-sip has a more yam-like flavour, along with baked bread towards the tail end. It’s very smooth and creamy, very easy to drink.
I’m enjoying this one. It’s one of the sweeter black teas I’ve tried from Teavivre, but wonderful just the same. I’ll be repurchasing this one in a hurry!
I was super super excited about this tea! The look of it is nothing like any other tea I’ve seen. I saw other reviewers say notes of butter and vegetal, and I was SOLD.
I didn’t get that with my sample. I used 15 leaves for 6 oz of water, brewed at 175ishF for 3 minutes. I wasn’t blown away, the flavor was just one note green tea. I don’t know if the 2016 harvest is different, but I didn’t get what others here reviewed about. I will change my review after I attempt to brew the rest of my sample. I just wasn’t impressed, and was left disappointed. I do love almost all of what I have ordered from Teavivre….just spent $90 yesterday. But this tea just wasn’t my favorite, maybe I have to adjust brewing time or more leaves?
A yellow tea offered from Teavivre! I’m not sure why this specifically is a yellow tea, as it very much shares many elements of Teavivre’s awesome green teas. The dry leaves are equally scented sweet and nutty. I suppose the leaves do look more yellow in color than most green teas, but the flavor is much the same: very mild and light, sweet, and nutty. Fresh, fragrant, and delicious. As usual, an exceptional cup of tea from Teavivre but I think some of their green teas are more to my tastes because of their stronger flavor. But if you’re looking for light flavor, give this one a try.
Steep #1 // half sample for a full mug// 32 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steeped 5 grams of this in the gaiwan this morning, but drank while multitasking, so no detailed notes. That being said, I don’t think I would have /too/ much to say about it, as it’s not really anything special. It’s good, drinkable and a good value for a daily drinker. Doesn’t really have anything about it that stands out much. Smooth, sweet and mellow, as teavivre and other describe, and the taste remains pretty nice and consistent throughout steeps. Nice, calming cha qi, as well.
Flavors: Earth, Smooth, Sweet
This is a sample from Angel who is always super generous with her samples. I haven’t had this keemun before so it was great to try it out. this has no smoke and is a light brew. there’s some astringency here but it’s still a good cup of tea. I prefer the keemun snail aromatic but this was an interesting experience.
Thanks again, Teavivre! I always appreciate the samples! This is a BIG individually wrapped dragon ball of black tea with whole jasmine blossoms embedded in the tea. When I was infusing the tea ball, I saw at least EIGHT whole jasmine blossoms floating! Unfortunately, the usual intoxicating amazing jasmine scent and flavor that Teavivre’s teas usually have is not with this one. I tried tasting hints of jasmine, but I can’t taste it at all. However, there is a TON of tea leaves here, almost completely filling up the infuser basket when steeped, though it never gets too astringent or bitter. The flavor is a lovely black tea — very dark and deep, with notes of dark chocolate and wine. So as a jasmine tea, this is a fail but as a black tea, this is delicious. If only it had the jasmine flavor like the other Teavivre jasmine teas.
Steep #1 // 1 piece for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // rinse // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
I hope everyone who celebrates is having a great Thanksgiving!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Red Wine
Thanks so much for the new set of samples, Teavivre! I’m very excited to try the new teas! I’m thrilled that Teavivre is carrying a new type of black dragon ball. I’ve been looking for a black dragon ball to stock up on! To my tastes, the other one, the Fengqing was not my favorite, only for the reason that the flavor was too light. The flavor with these, is much darker and deeper and much more to my tastes. Six pieces results in a very dark and luxurious brew. Somehow, the main flavor profile of this tea, other than being an excellent black tea flavor, is a mysterious flavor of cinnamon! I love that these pearls have a much darker flavor. They could be steeped for many more than two steeps. These are the dragon pearls for me!
Steep #1 // 6 pieces for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep