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Recent Tasting Notes
Surprise! This not your usual Tie Guan Yin. As opposed to it’s ususal fresh notes, this one is darker and fruitier.
I was getting honey and dried fruit notes, but would need to spend some more time with this one, as I have around 50g left.
I would recommend this to those who enjoy black teas.
Tea Tumbler 250 ml, 6g for 10/15/30/45… sec @ 90°C
Gaiwan 100 ml, 3,33g for 10/15/20/30… sec @ 95°C
Flavors: Dried fruit, Honey, Baked Bread
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Honey
So I just finished a 100g bag of this tea with a certain feeling of relief.
The quality of this tea in not in question, it’s just that I’m not not really fond of roasted oolongs.
I was hoping this tea would change that, but I don’t see myself buying it again.
Make no mistake, if you like roasted oolongs, this would probably be a really nice budget option, as the tea is refreshing and endures many steeps.
Tea Tumbler 250 ml, 6g for 10/15/30/45… sec @ 90°C
Gaiwan 100 ml, 3,33g for 10/15/20/30… sec @ 100°C
Flavors: Mineral, Toast, Wood, Rowan
Flavors: Mineral, Toast, Wood
As I haven’t really tried many chinese greens to my liking and mostly stick with japanese sencha.
For chinese greens, this affordable longjing has been my go-to tea. Refreshing, sweet and fragrant.
Probably will stay on my regular purchase list.
Organic Superfine is also a more expensive option, but this one is perfectly fine with me.
Tea Tumbler 250 ml, 6g for 5/10/15/20/30… sec @ 80°C
Gaiwan 100 ml, 3,33g for 5/10/15/20/30… sec @ 80°C
Flavors: Vegetal, Grass, Spinach
Flavors: Grass, Spinach, Vegetal
Hmmm…first to review…
Thanks again to Angel at Teavivre for these free samples.
The leaves are long and flat. The dry tea smells of cabbage and sea salt. The brewed tea scent is very strong cabbage, with a hint of sour notes. Not sour in a bad way, but sour as in delicious sour cabbage.
I made this one as an iced tea as it is super hot here today. I brewed a cup as normal and just poured into a water bottle filled with ice.
This is a delicious green tea. It is very smooth, slightly creamy. I think all the ice watered down what would have been a thick feeling liquor. There is no astringency. It is really not that cabbage-y tasting at all. It is definitely more of a vegetal tasting green tea versus a seaweed tasting green tea. There is a very slight sweetness to tea but also a slight bit of saltiness. Not enough to for it to make you feel more thirsty but just enough to make the flavours pop. It was very refreshing. I think this was much better than drinking ice water today.
New favourite green tea.
I am so behind on tea reviews! Honestly, all of my time has either been spent at the office, or out playing Pokemon Go with my husband and friends. We’ve worn blisters on our feet and every muscle in our legs is sore. We literally climbed a mountain yesterday to get to Pokemon at the summit. I’m going to look like a goddess by the time we finally catch them all!
Anyway, I think I’ve said it before, but Teavivre changed the way I see oolong. Their stuff is truly great. This tea is another very tasty example. The dry leaf smells sweet and fresh, with notes of springlike grass and vegetables. The little green nuggets hang out at the surface of the water before absorbing it and sinking to the bottom. Steeped, they are long and almost all whole.
The water comes out to a light yellowy tan, sort of like straw. There is that distinct oolong pungency in the aroma, but I know it will be more in the smell than the taste. After five minutes, the flavor is light but complex. I get sweet notes of flowers, grass, and a garden right after it rains. It’s very satisfying and light, with a tiny hint of creaminess. The floral taste reminds me of gardenias, but it’s subtle. Basically, this is something that would really cheer me up in the winter when I was missing spring.
Flavors: Creamy, Cut grass, Floral, Gardenias, Sweet
I have to apologize to Angel from Teavivre, I received these free samples over two months ago and I am just getting to them now.
As always Teavivre and Angel were so generous to offer to send me free tea samples, which I do greatly appreciate.
I did a kind of mixed gongfu and western style. Lala style I guess. Ha ha. I used the whole 7g package and steeped it for about 45 seconds.
The tea is sweet, thick, bready. There is no astringency or bitterness. It is somewhat malty. Very fresh tasting. This tea is very fragrant, definitely has a strong smell of roasted sweet potatoes. It is very distinctively Yunnan in its flavour.
It does get a tiny bit astringent as it cools, but not in a bad way.
Thanks again Angel!
Thank you for the samples Angel at Teavivre!
With the name “charcoal baked” I was expecting something really smokey and “heavy”. This roasted oolong was smoother and sweeter than I was expecting. It isn’t as roasted tasting as I was expecting either. These are all good things because I found this tea to be very enjoyable. The first steep had mineral notes which decreased a little in the resteep.
The brewing parameters suggest 6 minutes which I thought was a little long but I went with it anyway since they have never steered me wrong yet! I think the mineral notes might not be as strong if brewed a little shorter though, or maybe a rinse.
Teavivre kindly included this in the green sampler pack the sent me for review a while back (and that I’m just now getting to, whoops!). This is one super spinachy tea—I see other reviews mentioning notes of hay and even cocoa, but to me it’s all vegetal. It’s a nice tea, and quite smooth, but I do have a preference for greens on the milder/sweeter/nuttier side. I brewed this up hot and then chilled it for iced tea, since it’s been hot here, and while I don’t think it’s one I’ll purchase just based on my personal preferences it’s made for a refreshing drink.
So.. I’ve been away from steepster for a while. It feels like my life has been twirling around with much change, grief, hope, anticipation and uncertainty so it’s nice to have landmarks to pause and take a breath.
I purchased 100g of this tea and it’s really quite good and versatile. I keep coming back to it because whether it’s steeped western or gongfu it’s very satisfying with the nice bittersweet edge of the gongfu brews or the more rounded malt of the western steeps. Not much more I can say other than I’ve really been enjoying this tea and if you can get it during a promotion it’s definitely worth a try. Teavivre has some pretty amazing deals every once in a while so keep an eye out.
Leaves: Large long flat medium green leaves
Measuring Spoon: no
Color: light yellow
Taste:The first thing i noticed with this tea was the packaging was a dull silver color as compared to the usual shiny silver packets. Upon opening the leaves were long & flat with a vegetable aroma. Since this tea is to big for a spoon measure i went to the website and decided to go with 15 leaves. The instruction were quite different as i pour a bit of the water into my french press first gently swirling it for 30s before adding the rest of the water. The steep was rather short at only 2m. Due to the wideness of the press my leaves didn’t stand up as in the photo. Overall flavor was light i will be going back and making another cup. Before making this cup i had a short Blogilates workout and did a 1m Bad Yogi meditation.
This wraps up my 2016 Spring tea reviews!
Many thanks to Angel for passing down these wonderful samples. I drank this down before having a chance to write about it but it was a super green floral with a healthy helping of buttery undertones. I detected a bit of grassiness alongside the floral notes but nothing too overwhelming. While I enjoyed drinking it, oolongs aren’t really something I’ve been waiting to reach for as of late so I’ll reserve rating this.
Leaves: semi-long, black twisted leaves w/ medium brown bits
Measuring Spoon: no
Taste: Finally back with another review! I hope you all had a great holiday, i spent mine with family/friends & saw fireworks from my house. Finished off the night with a delicious dinner. Now on to the tea the feel of this tea was smooth. Taste wise it was very light with no bitterness present.
Hope you all have a great week!
Backlog: Phew, it’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’m only now getting my feet back on the ground.
Thanks to Teavivre and Angel for this sample. I should have written about it some time back but life got in the way. I’ve not had buckwheat tea before, so had no clue what to expect. It was a pale yellow colour when brewed with strong cereal notes in the aroma, as you would expect. It tastes of toasted grains, kind of like puffed wheat or similar breakfast cereals, with nutty notes and a buttery feel. It’s a bit like breakfast in a mug, and makes a nice change for when you need a caffeine-free drink.
Teavivre sample 5/5
I got a bunch of teaware today from YS :D I’m so excited I finally have a serving pitcher and a cup that I can actually see the tea colour in! yay :D!
Anyways! From the moment I smelled this bi luo chun, I decided to save it for last, I have had it for a week or two and this is my first time having it and well that takes willpower after smelling this, just trust me. It smelled incredible.
It tastes very sweet and roasty, like sweet peas, toasted rice, bok choy, spinach, very very sweet at first. i got a slight bitterness on a couple of the steeps, but I managed to get rid of it with a shorter steep succeeding it. It gets less sweet after the beginning, more roasty in the middle of the session, and then I get corn and carrot notes, it fades out around the 8th or 9th steep, which is a bit longer than I expected, a lot of greens don’t last that long for me. The roasty notes were a lot like a genmaicha, which was really great because it balanced wonderfully with the incredibly sweet vegetals. Lovely balance in this one. Really quite something delicious, but I suspect you’ll need to be quite careful about your steeps, the slight bitterness kept coming back.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Carrot, Corn Husk, Roasted, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
Many thanks to Angel for sending me samples of this wonderful tea. I was initially hesitant, anticipating smoke from this Keemun, but jackpot. No smoke. Whew. The dry leaves are wispy and curled. Delicate. I’ve had this twice now—both yesterday morning and now—both only steeped once both times, so for now, I can’t say how it would resteep.
Keemun Aromatic Snail has a thinner mouthfeel and minimal astringency. I don’t pick up on sweet potato so much. It’s sooner grainier than potato-y to my palate. Starchy, nonetheless. The grains are drizzled in honey.
This makes me sad that I still haven’t tried the Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea (Golden Tip) and Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black that I ordered a year-and-a-half ago. Luckily, they are still sealed, but it breaks my heart that they’re packed away just sitting there. Had I known that finding a steady job and getting my own place would take this long, I would have rescued them from the box last time I was at my mom’s house in the middle of nowhere last winter, since they’re still there. I’ve been craving those kinds of teas lately too, so this Keemun has really helped!
I was not expecting this interesting combination of smokey, floral, and sweet. This one is kind of neat.
Edit I’m so sorry for that unintentional rhyme, fellow steepsterites. It was wrong of me and I’ll be more aware next time.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Kale, Smoke
Thank you for the sample Teavivre!
This tea is certainly fragrant! It smells delicious, like sweet potatoes and brown sugar with a hint of cocoa.
The taste translates fairly well into the taste, but maybe a little milder than I expected. The cocoa notes aren’t as strong as I would have liked based on the taste but it is a lovely cuppa. The sweet potatoe/molasses notes last throughout the resteep as well.
I used the whole packet which was about 2T
Teavivre sample 4/5 :)
This is the second yellow tea I’ve ever had, but the other was also a Shan Huang (from ESGreen). This one smells a lot better, and the leaves look prettier, just based on first impressions, we’re off to a good start.
Steep 1: Soybean sprouts, lovely sweet vegetal, corn, peas, carrots, can I just stress how sweet this is? pear and apple, spinach, bok choy.
Steep 2: It actually tastes a lot like a laoshan green
Steep 3: Edamames!
It’s slightly more astringent than I would’ve liked. After about 5 steeps, most of the complexity is gone, but what remains is spinach, sweet and light and thick, with bits of astringency. Teeniest bit bitter, but it’s balanced out by honey notes. I really want to say that it tastes like the white part of a watermelon, but I just ate watermelon before starting this session so I’m pretty sure that’s where this is coming from.
The flavour of this one fades a bit quicker than I would’ve liked, but before it does, it’s phenomenally complex and extremely tasty :) Definitely the best of the teavivre samples so far!
Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Bok Choy, Carrot, Corn Husk, Honey, Pear, Peas, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
Thanks, Teavivre! I chose this one as the free sample with my last order. The sickle shaped leaves are fuzzy and white! Though this one is described by Teavivre as a raw pu-erh, I usually see these types of tea labeled as white tea, especially when they are also called ‘Moonlight’. I’ve really enjoyed these types of teas in the past. The scent to the dry leaves is very sweet and unique. Teavivre suggests I use 5 grams for the Western style, but I went with half a sample (about 2.5 grams). After brewing, I was slightly worried that more than 30 seconds would have ruined this raw pu-erh (I definitely don’t like to steep my raw pu-erh more than 30 seconds at a time), but the flavor is perfect the way I steeped it. The resulting brew is very light and sweet and almost difficult to describe otherwise. It’s not really lemony or creamy like some of these types of teas can be. The best description might be light honey and hay. The first and second steeps taste like a white tea, but the third tastes more like a sheng pu-erh. So I think less of a steep time will make it taste like white, more of a steep time will make it taste like raw pu-erh. I like this, but it seems like it’s in between a white tea and a raw pu-erh and I’d rather pick those if I’m craving them.
Steep #1 // about 2.5 grams for a full mug// 18 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 8 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015
Unlike some of the other oolongs I’ve sampled from TeaVivre in the past, this tea has a more monotone flavor, tasting mostly of fresh picked flowers. It lacks the depth some of their other offerings have and I find myself missing the notes of hay, vanilla, and sweet fruit that some of my favorites, such as their Anxi Monkey King Tie Guan Yin, bring to the table. While this classic style of Tie Guan Yin isn’t as flavorful, it does have a fabulously smooth, almost butter mouthfeel and slight sweetness that I’ve found quite addictive. This tends to dissipate slightly with each resteeping of the leaves, but the faintest hints are still noticeable, even after the sixth steeping. The fact that this tea can be steeped so many times alone will insure that I’ll order it again, it’s a great choice when economy is something to consider, although I will admit it’s not my favorite of the Tie Guan Yin teas that TeaVivre has to offer.
You can read my full review on my blog: