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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea #9 from Considering a new TTB
I’ve tried TeaVivre’s Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearls, they’re one of my favorite summertime teas, but haven’t had a chance to try the unflavored variety before. I love floral teas and this tea is no exception, it manages to be heavily floral without edging into the soapy range. As with the other teas from TeaVivre I’ve tried, the quality is exceptional, I’ve already steeped this three times and could likely keep going for several more. This was exactly what I needed after two teas in a row that I didn’t care for.
This tea will not be continuing on, there was only a sample size in the box.
A sample of this was included with my black Friday order. I am just getting around to opening it. I had this a long time ago and recall liking it but not being as wowed by it as others at the time. One thing I notice today is the recommended steep time for western brewing is 5 – 10 minutes. That sounds excessive but maybe it needs it?
I first catch a spicy note like cinnamon that melts into malt. Just past the malt it becomes nutty/woodsy then gets a brisk little bite. The aftertaste has just enough astringent briskness to catch my interest. I can’t think of another Chinese black that has this element. Better than I remember.
And another thank you to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
I really enjoyed the last Pu-erh sample from Teavivre so I was very much looking forward to taking this one around the block. I don’t think I’ve met a Pu-erh that I haven’t liked so far.
When I opened the sample packet, a typical leathery Pu-erh smell materialized. I steeped the dark cakes and pieces at 212 degrees for eight minutes (Teavivre recommends 3 to 10 minutes for the first steeping).
The color of the brewed liquor was a dark chocolate brown. The aroma was surprisingly mild but common for Pu-erh.
The flavor of this tea was quite robust and contained the full-blown leathery Pu-erh taste attributes that I personally find delicious. The taste was smooth, consistent, and vigorous throughout the cup. Although eight minutes of steeping does give you a strong cup of tea, I did not detect any bitterness whatsoever. The aftertaste was also surprisingly mild and cordial.
This is a tasty and very fine Pu-erh selection. It has everything that I look for in my favorite teas:
savory, robust, and consistent flavor
Normally, if I were asked to sum up this beverage in one word, I’d say, “Bravo!” But, since this is Chinese tea, I’ll say 精彩
I let this steep too long cuz there was a shiny thing, but it is still pretty good. The taste is slightly astringent from the oversteep, but the rest of the taste is hard to describe. I’ve never had a persimmon, so I can’t compare.
The sample pouch, provided to me from Teavivre for reviewing, was perplexing. It didn’t seem like individual pieces, but pieces and then stuff…I don’t know how to explain. Like buds and leaves? I thought the packet would be solely filled with that in the image. The description on the website said to use 10-15 of them, whatever they are, flower heads? I found that hard to do, so I just measured into my bamboo spoon and hoped it was ok.
So, I’m not 100% sure how to describe this, or what to make of it, but it is tasty, and I may try mixing it with a white or green as suggested.
This is the second time I had this tea. I didn’t leave a tasting note the first time because I was not sure how I felt about it.
This is definitely a tasty tea. The green base is slightly vegetal, but while a few months ago that would have caused me to dump out my cup, I’m finding I don’t hate vegetal greens anymore. I was having a hard time detecting the peach, but I found it. It wasn’t a distinct peach flavour, and not that of a fresh peach, more of canned peaches. I didn’t really detect any jasmine either. I read in another review that steeps 2 and 3 produce the most flavour so I will have to resteep next time. Usually i’m not a resteeper because I get bored easily and can’t stand to have the same kind of tea twice in a row.
Many thanks to Angel for sending me a monster amount of samples, including this one. I’ve had limited experience with keemuns up until now, but I’m sure many here know that I’m kind of whiny when it comes to anything smoky and/or earthy. It’s amazing how our senses of smell and taste are interconnected, because I feel the exact same way about earthy fragrances.
This one isn’t too smoky, but I’ll admit that I was anticipating something maltier based on the fragrance of the delicate, wispy dry leaves. This particular keemun yields a muted, sweetened smoke, more akin with a (very distant) campfire rather than tobacco, though. There’s very minimal astringency. As the cup cools, I’m getting a bit of malt in the background but the smoke is the prominent note for me.
I greatly appreciate having the chance to try another keemun. It’s helping me verify what my stance is on them.
Nice and rich flavour, even after a short-ish steep of a minute or so. There is the classic pu erh earthy flavour, but also a chocolate like note like you might find in a yunnan. I did not rinse, but I did sweeten and add milk. Pu erh, to me, is the coffee of tea. Aside from sheng pu erh, or a white pu erh, I pretty much always add milk and sugar to mine.
I find it to be tasty, and I’m off to make a second cup soon, though, I might like Special Dark from Mandala just a little more. I’m going to share my other packet with a friend who likes coffee and see what she thinks.
This sample was provided from Angel at Teavivre. So I thank her much for allowing me to try it.
EDIT: Second steep, this time, sans milk, but still with sugar.
I think I did somewhere between 1-2 minutes…I was stirring a little basmati rice in oil, prior to adding the water to cook it.
Even this way, it’s rich, but not overpowering.
Overall, my impression is that this is a good starter pu erh, when prepared with a short steep. I tend to like the heavy rich pu erhs and can handle most at a good 3+ minute steep, so I can probably do this one that way too, but someone not used to this type of tea, might be ok with this one, in short steeps.
I am allowing myself to drink more of this one because I just ordered another sample pack with my Teavivre points (can’t afford a whole cake, much less have anywhere to store it! boo!) I also picked up some more jasmine peach pearls, and a sample of tangerine ripe puerh which is exciting!
I love the energy and wildness of this young sheng. Perfect pick me up for an EXTRA EARLY Monday morning. Not a big fan of daylight savings time, heh.
Starting the day off right! Thanks to Courtney for sending me some of this tea to try out! We had such lovely weather this weekend. The sun was shining and for a brief moment I thought that spring was coming. I woke up this morning to snow falling outside my window. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful and wonderful to watch, but I’m tired of being cold!
Anyway, on to the tea. The tea had a nice, malty black tea taste that I’ve come to love and expect in my morning teas. What I wasn’t expecting was the smooth, honey flavor that came along with it. As it cooled, I think I also tasted something like bread. What a wonderfully complex, but robust black tea to help wake me up! I will say that the tea became a bit bitter as it cooled down and had a note of astringency, but nothing I couldn’t handle.
I compared this tea yesterday to the grade 1 version of Keemun.
I find this tea to be maltier (if that’s even a word) and smoother than the grade 1 version. I think it is a little bit less sweet. I do get more notes of the peppercorn.
Hmmm, I am not sure which one I like better because I like each one for a little different reasons.
I sipped this down yesterday as a comparison to the premium keemun to determine which one I would like to stock in my cupboard. Needless to say, it didn’t go according to plan because I like them both for different reasons. I drank them side by side.
In my opinion, this one is a bit fruitier, with more prominent cocoa notes. It is maybe a little bit sweeter than the premium version, but not quite as smooth. It is definitely great for everyday drinking.
Tea of the morning……
I think this tea went through a name change. I know I added it to my cupboard when I bought it, but this is what the pouch says. All of the vital statistics between the two are the same, but there seems to be two pages with differing names. Look up Nonpareil Fengqing China Red Black Tea from Teavivre. If you search that name on the website, you get the Nonpareil Dian Hong pictures, so I think it is right.
Anyway, I enjoy this, but I don’t really think of it as anything too special. I am guessing it is a tea for gongfu brewing, and I just don’t often brew that way. I will enjoy it while I have it, but like I said, I think its uniqueness is lost on me and my western brewing ways.
Usual teapot method.
Flavors: Cocoa, Flowers
Sunday morning tea is often a flowering tea in our house. I picked this practically at random from my tin of Teavivre’s flowering teas. The bloom is lovely and reminiscent of spring. It displays well in the glass teapot. The liquor is pale, buttery and with a hint of pepper. It’s sweet and refreshing, and you can really taste the silver needles in it.
Flavors: Butter, Peppercorn
I tried to go with a shorter steep time as boychik recommended but I kind of lost track… I was at work at the time and got distracted. Oops. This was pretty bold as a result, but not bitter. There was a tiny bit of sharpness at the end but that’s it. It smells great. I’ll have to try it again and vary some steeping parameters. At this point, I prefer Shang’s Bai Lin Kung Fu but I would not hesitate to toss this in my cart with my next Teavivre order.
This is so phenomenal. Stunningly smooth, rich, thick, yeasty… I get the feel of having cream in my tea without actually putting cream in my tea. Which is good, since I’ve been dabbling a little too much cream in my tea of late. :) After ifjuly mentioned it on my last review it makes sense that I love this so much – if tan yang and pan yang are really the same things, because I lust for Harney’s Panyang Golden Tips but can’t justify the price.
Enjoying this one with my grandmother and husband today along with some fresh homemade donuts. The perfect accompaniment! I also got news this morning that I didn’t get the library job I applied for but they DID offer me a better one so this is an exciting day. Tomorrow my brothers arrive for a March Break visit and all is well in the world. Loving the Dragon Pearls and all the good news!
Another tea from this morning and it’s a partial sipdown. I finished off my older bag, but since i recently picked up more of this, no change to my cupboard…just a more fresh cupboard lol While Mandala’s are still my favourite, these are my runner up for pearls, and my go to, since Mandala hasn’t been able to source more of the others :) Just a nice malty tasty cup this morning.
Someone I knew many years ago has been back in touch and had expressed an interest in trying puerh tea. She came today to get some eggs so we sat down for a quick gong fu session before she had to head out of town.
When people tell me they don’t really like tea or that they are afraid of puerh, I like to start them with this one. It is just so good and smooth and sweet! She really liked it and wants to know more. This is probably my all time favorite puerh.
She told me that her son-in-law has a Yixing but she doesn’t know what he drinks, just that he grew up drinking tea and his mother was very much into natural remedies and such, so I got a handful of Teavivre samples together and sent them with her for him to try,an d I am sure he will share a cup or two with his mother-in-law! I can’t wait to hear how he likes the teas I sent. I love introducing people to Teavivre. :) They are amazing!