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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m so excited to be the first person to review this puerh. Thank you Teavivre for the generous samples for review!
My first steep is extremely creamy and nutty, and just a little mushroomy. It is earthy but not at all dirty tasting. Very full bodied and rich!
2nd steep is woodsy and brighter…this steep is clean but still very rich.
Very nice shu! Glad I have the opportunity to drink it a couple more times :)
2nd Teavivre sample treat of the day! Thanks Teavivre!
This is a very rich, satisfying black. Very honey sweet and malty with faint floral and cocoa notes. This is the kind of tea I could definitely develop a craving for in the future! Absolutely no bitterness or astringency. Top notch stuff!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Honey, Malt
I want to preface this by mentioning that I don’t generally care for flavored teas. They just aren’t… my cup of tea. [sic] But when Angel offered to send this Strawberry Oolong with some other samples, I wanted to give it a try and see if perhaps my tastes had changed or perhaps this was an exception to my “rule”.
The tea itself smells exclusively of strawberry to me. But it’s not a sugary, candy-like strawberry. It’s a natural smell.
Following a brief rinse, I gave it a 15 second infusion and it smelled faintly of sweet strawberries and had a slight buttery aroma. The tea is super light and certainly is not overpowering in any sense. It is pretty easily one of the best flavored teas I’ve had to date.
The second infusion was a little less sweet and there was more emphasis on the buttery/creamy flavor. In a way, it made me think of eating pancakes with a strawberry puree at a local diner here in town. The strawberry flavor is definitely still there and adds a nice extra touch.
The third infusion is where the strawberry really starts to fade and you get a little astringency from the oolong. Overall, I would like to try this as a single full cup from a single, longer infusion. I think I’ll do that next time and let you know how it goes.
I received this tea along with a few others as free samples from TeaVivre, and I can’t be more excited! The dry leaf is a gorgeous dark loose oolong with a rich aroma. Following a brief rinse, the leaves unlocked a lightly vegetal and spicy scent. It reminds me a little of a Da Hong Pao, actually. Just a bit!
With the first 30 second infusion, the liquor is a light amber color and starts to give off a light floral scent. The tea itself is slightly astringent and the flavor is nicely mild. It no longer reminds me of the Da Hong Pao, but I’m intrigued to continue tasting further infusions.
The second infusion pulled out the astringency and led to a more full flavor. I started to identify some floral notes in the flavor. With the third infusion, it left most of the floral behind and went the vegetal/grassy route.
Overall, I enjoyed this tea, but it probably won’t be a daily preference. Definitely one to bring out with company I’m teaching about tea, though!
This is amazing. The dry leaf smells so strongly of malt it seriously smells like something I’d get in trouble for having at work! Steeped it is just as malty. It’s deep, cocoa-y, smooth, buttery and yet not heavy. I had a little square of a Valrhona Guanaja Grue 70% dark chocolate bar with cocoa nibs as I finished the cup and that really brought out the more cocoa-y notes here.
Much like high quality dark chocolate, it doesn’t take much of this tea to satisfy a need. I don’t feel like I’d need to drink a full pot of this or like I’d need to drink it all day long. So while I absolutely adore this, it will last for a little bit at least. :)
I overleafed this by a bit. But this is simply a fantastic tea, heavy on the leaf or not. And I will certainly be resteeping.
A delicious tea for a lazy Sunday! Smooth yet brisk, with some gentle fruity, citrus notes. I’m definitely going back for a second cup!
You can see photos here:
Thanks so much to Teavivre for providing another round of samples for me to review. I just love trying new teas!
This MIGHT be my first straight keemun?? If not, I am definitely not well versed in them, regardless. I am finding this to be a perfectly bold malty breakfast cup, and although it is sweet, there is a twinge of something a tiny bit sour or tart at the end. But don’t get me wrong, not in a bad way at all! I find this element adds some fruity interest and keeps the tea from being too basic or boring. I think I am going to try it again another day before I give it an official rating, as I’m eating oatmeal with spicy Indian pineapple and golden raisins for breakfast and it might be influencing my palate. Also I am not getting any smoke from this tea even though I hear all the time that keemuns are smoky!
Very enjoyable tea :)
Tea of the morning……
There is some new Golden Monkey in town….. Well, at least this one is new to me. It is a new harvest. All of the tasting notes prior to this one are for the 2012 harvest. Now we are onto the 2013 harvest. I have to say, I like this one even better.
I don’t think it is quite as fuzzy. Leaves are long, curly and have golden orange tips. The volume on my 100g pack did not fit into the tin I had been using, so I have about a pot and a half still in the bag. Very fluffy! I do find this one slightly less earthy, and more sweet than the 2012. During my last cup of the 2012, I was almost thinking that I could skip reordering the Golden Monkey, but now I am not so sure. (I know my tea notes seem to focus quite a bit on paring down the number of teas in my possession, but it is hard to imagine that I need 50 versions of straight black tea until I go tasting them!) Yummy good. I will leave you with that!
Usual teapot method, slightly heaping spoons for measure. One if these days I might get out my scale……
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey
Resteep. This actually didn’t work so well. I might try more leaf in my next cup just to see what happens. The oolong flavor is much milder now and the strawberry is stronger, oddly, but in the middle of the sip the oolong taste isn’t strong enough to hold up. It feels as though something is just…missing. The fruit flavor is good but this one actually may be too subtle for me.
A gorgeous LiShan! Of course, I expect no less from Teavivre. They rock when it comes to awesome Oolong teas. (Or any tea for that matter. I haven’t had any real memorable bad experiences from Teavivre … I can only recall pleasant memories!)
Floral but not sharp. More like a sweet orchid with maybe hints of honeysuckle in the distance. As I continue to sip, I notice the floral notes becoming more complex.
Thinned creaminess – that is to say that it’s creamy but it isn’t a thick, heavy creamy taste and texture. Soft and silky!
I almost taste a cake-like flavor to this … imagine if you would an orchid infused cream cake. Sound good? Try this tea!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/14/nonpareil-taiwan-li-shan-oolong-tea-teavivre/
My samples from Teavivre came today! I was not expecting such a large bag, but I think I’m going to be very happy for it. I couldn’t resist brewing one up right away.
This smells delightfully fruity both dry and brewed. The taste is much more subtle than I expected from the smell, but it’s delicious and I wouldn’t change it. The taste that comes first is actually the oolong, with a freeze-dried strawberry taste coming afterward. The oolong itself is green but has a little bit of the roastiness I would expect in a darker oolong. The mouthfeel is amazingly juicy, and I’m liking it more with each sip. This isn’t a fruit oolong that whacks you over the head with the fruit flavor, but everything blends together in a delicious way.
Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity.
This one is an interesting oolong. I was expecting a normal Taiwanese oolong, but there is a bit of a surprise to this one.
It is a light green oolong, with some floral scents. It is smooth and creamy, almost like there is a bit of milk oolong in there. There is also a pleasant metallic taste, as well as a spice to it. On my first sip, I almost thought this was a ginseng oolong, but there is not real ginseng taste to it. The more I drink it, the less like an oolong it tastes to me. It is taking on a more bold, very slightly roasted flavour. I am hardly getting any sweetness. It is reminding me of a green and black tea blend. It is quite good. I am a little sad I have waiting so long to try it.
Dry, this smells like straw. Not hay, but straw, if you are farm enough to know the difference. :) The year that Grandpa planted a field with wheat my brother and I got a straw fort after the harvest. This tea smelled just like that fort.
Steeped, it’s wheaty, sweetish, honeyish, mildly malty and just fantastic. I just got a sample of this one. I wish now I’d gotten a full package. I need to try this back to back with Harney’s Golden Monkey. I suspect this one will come out on top.
The shipping was amazingly fast considering it was overseas. I was a bit disappointed that although the website said free shipping with orders over $30 when I went to Paypal it charged me shipping. But it wasn’t enough to put me off of completing my order. :) Truthfully, it was extremely reasonable shipping for international. Less than some domestic shipping I’ve paid.
And now I’m unsubscribing from the Misc. Sales thread and not trying any more teas from any swaps! Not for awhile. I have been spending like a drunken sailor only on a tea binge. I can’t keep doing this every couple of months! My husband started linking our bank accounts to some financial tracking software and while he never says anything about my tea spending, he can now see just how much I’m buying. Eeek!
I don’t know how to cross out stuff, or I would cross out the shipping part. Angel at Teavivre very helpfully offered to check on the shipping issue and it turns out that although Paypal had me choose shipping with a cost, I was not actually charged any shipping. Add to the excellent tea, excellent customer service, as many others on Steepster have noted. :)
Mmmmm, this smells so good in the bag. VERY sweet. It also tastes very sweet and makes me worry there might be some form of sugar hiding in there because I’m on a diet and don’t want to have sugar. Luckily I only got a sample of this and won’t be able to drink it anymore. I liked this better than DAVID’s milk oolong, but only because it is sweeter. I fyou don’t like sweet teas, I would stay away from this one.
Tea of the morning…..
Do you ever have that moment sipping your tea where you just have to stop what you are doing and savor the moment? Well, that is happening this morning. It is like I chose the perfect tea for the moment and it is perfection. I will admit to having too many choices for great black tea in my cupboard, and it is only occasionally that I have a moment like that.
The tea is wonderful. Notes of honey, maybe raisin, light on the cocoa. Mouthfeel is thick. The leaves are curly brown and golden orange with a fuzz. So glad I have some of this in my stash.
Usual teapot method with the spoons slightly heaping as this is a fluffy tea.
Edit to add: the resteep for 6 minutes was also very good! Bonus!
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Raisins
I had this earlier today, and it tasted really good after it had cooled. So I popped a cup of cold brew into the fridge for a few hours. But it wasn’t as good. It was a bit sharp as a cold brew, not as creamy. Definitely more vegetal than floral. I think next time I will brew it hot and just let it cool to room temperature.
I finally opened up a package of this tea that I had bought from Teavivre a long time ago. I love the shiny purple packaging. Upon opening it up, there was another plastic bag inside that I had to peel off the tea leaves. The tea leaves were sticky and looked glazed. I put them in a small teapot and watched as the water turned a translucent and slightly muddy honey color. The leaves expanded and were medium-large in size. I love oolong teas, but this is the first time I have had this blend before. This tea tastes great! It has a floral and sweet taste to it. I love how the honey is infused in this tea, and it isn’t overpowering either. This is a delicious tea. I have one more packet left!
Flavors: Flowers, Honey
I’m finally finally getting down to the samples that Angel so generously sent me last month. They’ve been sitting on my table staring at me but I’ve rarely been home to really sit down and enjoy teas like this. I never like having oolong on the go.
So, you know how burning tea leaves smell like something else? Right? Well, the dry leaf smells a little like that, which I guess I shouldn’t be so shocked about because this is a roasted oolong and all. I find it amusing.
Taste-wise, this is probably the best Wuyi anything I’ve had to date. I normally dislike Wuyi teas because I don’t care for mineral notes, but I’m not getting that here. Instead, I’m mostly getting cocoa notes and general roastiness. Kind of bold for an oolong, which is awesome. And I love that this has the perfect amount of roastiness to it, as some roasted oolongs taste on the burnt side, almost like burnt toast. None of that here.
I get hints of a floral note in the background but it’s ultimately masked by the aforementioned notes. So tasty.
Thank you so much, Angel. I am truly looking forward to making an order sometime, as soon as my stash dwindles down.
I wanted gaiwan but my husband pulled a face and said “Can’t we just use a teapot instead”? so I caved in and steeped this into a large teapot. I had to use two packs so hopefully the level of tea to water will be fine.
I’ve had Ginseng Oolong before but it was a while ago, I remember it being tasty but strange, granted that was the best part of a year ago. Time to re-visit.
Thick bready scent once steeped but with beautiful sweet ginseng behind it. Almost like an aromatic ginseng baked bread that you would find in a specialist shop.
Flavour is light, sweet and floral with notes of ginseng, honey, fresh bread and some sort of herb that I can’t put my finger on. Cilantro? Fennel? It has the same refreshing quality as fennel/aniseed does (if you know what I mean).
I’m still undecided about this one, it’s perhaps a little too sweet for me. I never liked Fennel/aniseed and this reminds me strongly of it, though I love the smell of it. My husband wasn’t sure about this one either, he said it’s nice but strange. Am I just too Western for this one? It looks that way, ginseng I’m sorry but I don’t think we are meant to be together.
Another one I received from Angel at Teavivre for the free tasting activity!
This is a great black tea. It is complex, dark, roasty. I always seem to get a different taste every time I try it. It is re-steepable. I brewed this one up my usual western style. I actually used the whole sample to make a pot of tea. Which is unusal for me as I usually go cup by cup because I always want to try something else. But I knew I would enjoy drinking this one today.
The dry tea is small leaves, uniform, quite airy. It smells of roasted potatoes. The brewed tea is dark in colour, reminding me of black coffee.
Today I am getting roasted nuts, potatoe-french fry-carb notes in the brewed tea. There is a slight, natural sweetness to the tea. I feel like there is some dark plum or black current notes hiding in the tea somewhere. I know a lot of people get chocolate or cocoa out of this tea, but I don’t. There may be some slight dark cocoa notes in the aftertaste but I think I am just looking really hard for it. Its still good either way. It is thick and bold with no astringency.
Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity (back in November). Thanks Teavivre for being so awesome!
I have had this one before and quite liked it. The dry tea is varying shades of dark green. The leaves are rolled into small but loose balls. I brewed this one western style, 1 tsp per 8 oz for 1 minute.
The brewed tea smells sweet and floral. There is a dairy-type smell. I associate it with fresh unpasteurized milk. It smells creamy.
The best way I can describe this tea is fresh, bright and sunny. The liquor is thick and creamy. There are definitely sweet, floral notes. But it is not perfumey or bitter floral. It reminds me of edible flowers that you get in baking or salads. There is a very slight vegetal component to this tea but it is very slight and sits underneath the floral flavours. I would not say this tea tastes like milk, but it has the sensation of creaminess in the mouth. It is thick, slightly sticky in the aftertaste.
I took a sip after this one cooled and the first thing that came to my mind was green tea milk shake. I want to drink more of this cold.
The leaves have unfurled but not completely with the first steep. Definitely will be able to get more steeps out of this.