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Recent Tasting Notes
Bought a bag of this powder in the Black Friday sale. This is my first attempt using it. I have a Hamilton Beach Freeze Fountain which is an ice shaver. I used a small tray of ice cubes. After shaving the ice, I put it in my blender and added about 10 oz of milk (Yes my den is better equipped than our first kitchen). Then I opened the tea pouch and watched a green powdery fog come out it. My desk is a mess. Took out a half scoop which is a healthy tsp of leaf. Kicked on the blender which created a clay colored (not green) thick foam. Poured into a tall glass and then remembered I did not add sweetener. Had to stir it in with a spoon. Everything mixed well even if I should have reversed the order a bit.
I learned several things –
1. Obviously, Starbucks is not using China green tea powder (as I had hoped) in their green tea frappachino. :(
2. I need to use a little less tea and a lot more sweetener next time.
3. Tea powder is messy and clean up will take a little effort.
4. The ice shaver/blender combo works great. I want to try this with a strong black tea, maybe an Earl Grey.
As for the taste, it is different. Good different – bad different I haven’t decided. I think I’ll add either a touch of vanilla or a little vanilla yogurt and see what happens. Plain it tastes kind of generic green tea with an earthy quality. I drank it all pretty quickly but still don’t know what I think. I do know I have a lot of it and I am not afraid to experiment.
I seem to have flip-flopped back into a nocturnal sleep schedule again, and I am ok with that because it means I am super creative. Not sure why that goes hand in hand but I seem to be much more keen on spending hours on various craft projects when they are in the wee hours of the morning. Last night I discovered that mixing Perler Beads and embroidery makes for some awesome designs, of course these observations were made with the help of copious amounts of tea.
Today’s tea Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea by Teavivre is a beautiful Red tea (or Black tea to us Westerners) from Huangshan in Anhui, China. Fun fact, Keemun is one of China’s Ten Famous Teas and is one of the prominent ingredients in English Breakfast. The aroma of this tea is a wonderful blend of earthy, floral, and muscatel. It combines the rich, loamy aroma of the forest with freshly harvested grapes and a gentle hint of squash flowers. This tea has a very pleasant and gentle aroma, even though they are all very distinct it feels more like an olfactory caress than a bombardment.
While the leaves are steeping I notice a lovely muscatel aroma filling the room, it is honey sweet and reminds me of scupernongs. The leaves out of the water still retain their muscatel aroma with notes of honey and wildflowers. The earthy notes are less pronounced in the steeped leaves, and there is a mild yeasty note at the end. The liquid’s aroma is warm and sweet reminding me of honey, apple butter, and sun-warmed scupernongs. The aroma very much so reminds me of warm summer days in my Grandparent’s garden.
The first thing I notice about the taste is the strong muscatel note, it is sweet and rich, again reminding me of scupernongs. There are also notes of earthiness and a slight hint of oaky astringency at the mid-taste that adds a wonderful brightness to the flavor. There is a honey sweet aftertaste that becomes more prominent as it cools. I also noticed a very slight note of squash as well which was surprising but enjoyable. As the tea cools the earthy mid-taste fades to loam which compliments the oak notes. This tea is wonderfully complex and enjoyable! I certainly recommend drinking it straight as additives would not blend well with the flavors.
This arrived yesterday and was an impulse buy thanks to the awesome Teavivre Black Friday sale.
The leaves are dark brown with some golden tips and stem amongst them. They are small for the most part but are squiggly and thin. It has a rich cocoa and sweet wooden scent.
Using my new Gongfu teapot which holds 200ml with 7g of tea.
1 minute – Smoky, sweet, musky and wooden. A rich first steep with a wonderful dark and smoky base that carries on through to the after taste.
2 minutes – The smoke has carried through but this steep is sweeter than the previous steep. Also getting some fruit behind the smoke and wood, like mature prunes. The after taste has some cocoa.
3 minutes – It’s still smoky and smooth and the prune is thicker in this steep. So very wooden and mature.
It’s a nice smoky black tea and though it will never replace my beloved Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tips this is a nice alternative for when I want some variation. Very happy I got this tea, it’s certainly a welcome addition to my black tea collection.
Haaaa, I guess I should have read everyone else’s reviews before I attempted to brew this! I used all 8 balls that were in my sample pack, brewed at 204 like the package said…luckily I only steeped for a couple of minutes ;)
I will definitely get several resteeps today, heh.
This is very nice! Reminds me of Mandala Special Dark without the puerh taste. Very rich and dark and malty! This is definitely one I will restock some day :D
This tea is kind of hard to describe, but really good. I’m getting nutty, vegetal, seaweed-like flavors (but in a pleasant, unharsh way). Some other people say it reminded them of miso soup, which I guess I can sort of see in that it has a nice thick, broth-like mouthfeel, but the taste doesn’t make me think of that.
Free sample with the purchase. Thanks Angel.
No jasmine flavor for me but knowing this from other reviews i mixed some Harney’s jasmine pearls I had. very nice delicate result. i want to try cold steep
Edit: i think i prefer it cold steeped. peach is very pronounced and very juicy. i gave it to my daughter to try and she said its also kind of minty and have cooling sensation. i think it will be great summer iced tea
Mustn’t forget the queue! I’m not very good at not forgetting the queue, am I?
Last time I placed an order with Teavivre, I got this as a sample. I actually have a couple of samples here from them that I haven’t tried yet, including a dragon pearl one that I was rather looking forward to at the time when I placed the order. Unfortunately the first time I tried it was about an hour or so before it became very clear to me indeed that I had acquired some sort of food poisoning. I remember it tasting lovely, but it is now linked with illness in a way that makes me unable to really face dragon pearl yet. It’ll come eventually, just… not right now. (Once after having had a food poisoning it took me almost half a year before I could eat beans again)
At least I can do the other samples now. I’ve been sort of avoiding them, because I didn’t really want to have anything to do with the dragon pearl one. I didn’t even want to look at it. I know logically that the tea could not have caused the food poisoning (I’m fairly certain that was some mayonnaise), but it was still the last thing I had before it really started, so… Sometimes the mind is just not very logical at all.
You did not come hear to read about an illness I had months ago. As I said, I got this one as a sample with my order, and I was a little in doubt about it at first. Yunnans can generally swing both ways for me. Sometimes it’s awesome, other times it just tastes like a cup full of wet hay. Sometimes the same batch of a tea can give both these result even in identical brewings. I have, however, found much more luck with dian hong than I have with the golden ones, so eventually I decided to chance it and give it a go. It’s just a sample anyway, so no harm done if it turns out to be another round of straw.
It smells a bit straw-like, but it’s not the dominant note. I can’t really pick up much in the way of pepper which is another thing I associate with Yunnan, but that’s mostly in the golden types. I’m also getting a bit of cocoa and something vaguely fruity. Berry-y. Generic fruit, really.
It does have a fairly characteristic Yunnan flavour, with the straw note, but again it’s not the dominant note. There’s also a fairly grainy note with a faint hint of dark cocoa to it, but the generic fruit-note remains only in the aroma.
It’s quite nice this, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to acquire more of it. I might get some if I were shopping anyway, but it would be unlikely to be the cause of an order.
Very tasty peach tea…but where is the jasmine???
I’ll have to try next time at home where I can more accurately control the temperature and such rather than here at work. Also I might try mixing a few of these pearls with some actual jasmine pearls to try to get the jasmine/peach ratio more what I was expecting.
This came my way before we realized that the reason my allergies were going insane was that I am allergic to apple. As such, I do want to still be able to try a sip, but we’re going to be relying a little bit more on my husband’s tastebuds for this one!
The dry blend is very, very chunky and looks like it’s nearly entirely dried fruit. In appearance it is very similar to the other Teavivre fruit tisanes we’ve sampled.
Teaware: 16oz travel mug
Measured dry: Contents of sample, approx. 3-1/2tsp
Temperature: 212º F
Steeping Time: 8min
Additives 4tsp raw sugar
My little sip is yielding a very rich, juicy hot drink. The rosehips and apple are the most prominent, with the pineapple and orange in more of a supporting and layering role.
Jake’s take on this is that it reminds him an awful lot of sugar plums. He says the elements are blending together in such a way that they create a new flavor experience, something very different from what they would taste like on their own.
Oh, hello rich earthy cup!
This has been a very long day.
First I had to go by Metro High to pick up a harp that I had placed there a few years ago for a student that was attending there. He graduated in spring, & I’ll need that Harp!
Then I went to Carr Lane, the school I’m teaching at, & got to work about 9am.
I had to move 9 harps from the far wing of the building, where they have been stored in a closet, but first I had to move a bunch of junk out of the closet, because they were in the very back. I use a dolly, & I should have turned on my pedometer, cuz I’m pretty sure I walked at least a couple of miles today!
Once the harps were moved, I had to clear all the junk out of my classroom. The previous teacher had that room for years, & she retired & left tons of stuff in there. I moved it all into the empty classroom next door, which is where everyone is putting stuff they don’t want.
That took hours, & more walking. Now I have an empty closet, lots of open shelf spaces, my harps are lining the walls, & although there’s still a ton of stuff to do, I should be good to go for the first day of classes, & I can do the other things (like spray & wipe the entire room with Ms Meyers clean day – Lemon Verbena, empty the desk drawers that are full of junk, redo the bulletin boards, etc) a little at a time.
I’m on the 2nd steep of this tea. I came home, had the first steep while I taught a student, had a rehearsal with my flute player for 2 hours, drank this 2nd cup, & I’m done for the day.
Teas I brought to school with me:
The Black Lotus
Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha
I was there for 7 hours. That wasn’t enough tea!
I’ve been suffering steepster withdrawals for the last couple of days. So many teas drank & not reviewed…sigh…So I am grateful to the Steepster Gods Who Walk Among Us for getting things back on track. I’m not gonna even try to backtrack & log all the teas I drank this week so far, but I will comment on a few of them in a little while.
For now, I’m enjoying a cup of this one with breakfast (yes, I know it’s almost noon here, & 1:00 on the east coast, but that’s just the way we roll here at Terri’s Airy Fairie World).
Anyway, this is a deliciously awesome Keemun, in my opinion. Bold enough to stand up to brunch, lightly smokey & earthy & leathery & sweet like caramelized brown sugar. There’s alot of depth to this cup, & I find this one to be much more interesting than so many of the other Keemuns out there. Kind of masculine & bassy. I’m picturing an ensemble of upright bass & cello, bass clarinet, bassoon, & the low end of a marimba.
This is exactly what I need this morning!
2tsp + 8oz (194 more or less) X 2 min yielded a deep & perfect brew, rich with earthiness in such a wonderful way that I really just want to keep drinking it.
A resteep at 3 minutes yielded a pleasant & very drinkable cup, though it was a mere shadow of it’s former self.
Out to the garden…so much to do!
I drank this earlier this afternoon, before I left to play an outdoor wedding on the 8th floor patio of a hotel here in St. Louis (photos on my FB https://www.facebook.com/terri.langerak).
It was cold up there, & windy too.
I guess my Keemun ‘trials’ are beginning.
I drank the ‘Superfine fragrant’ yesterday, & I’m drinking this one today. I’d still say that this one is more masculine, more bassy, more smokey. It’s funny, but I do have trouble explaining the difference between teas sometimes.
Looking at the leaf, the ‘super fragrant’ is more tippy, & slightly bigger sized. As for this cup, I’m enjoying it’s light smoke, notes of brown sugar, slightly floral, pine mulch, red grape awesomeness. Oh…& a dark chocolate lingering after – feel.
I need breakfast!
I’ve been composing a piece for tomorrow’s Winter Solstice gig at the Unitarian church, where we’re doing Ceremony of Carols, plus my original song, “Midwinter’s Canon”, from my xmasy CD of the same title, & this original piece, which I haven’t named yet, LOL. For the musicians in the room, it’s new agey, improvising over a framework, a little wierd, haha, starts in C minor, eventually ending in C Major, the theme being light emerging from the darkness. A little cliche, I know, but I’m known around here for my improvisations, & they asked me to create something special, so that’s what I’ve been working on.
And now I’m taking a break with this Keemun, which is tasty! I think I mentioned last time I drank this that it is a more manly Keemun than the Organic Premium Superfine. I think I love them both!
Now back to work…
This is one of the teas that I got in my recent Teavivre order, & I’m glad I did! I love their superfine org keemun, & I wanted to get some of this one, as well as samples of the Keemun Grades 1 & 2, so that I can eventually compare them all.
This one is robust, & I’d even go as far as to say it’s manly, in that the flavor is bold, thick, & husky! I like it! There’s a musky kind of grapiness to it, & a deep forest floor earthiness. I think I might love it. There is also some smoke, but not SO much, just some. It’s a beautifully balanced cup that is much more assertive than the superfine organic keemun, but also not as sweet. I’d say that this one is the yang to the other one’s yin, if you know what I mean.
He’s a rugged, nicely bearded, good looking, outdoors kind of guy, who likes to fire up his smoker.
This tea has a nice dark brown color with a woodsy aroma. This tea has that earthy, woodsy flavor that you usually get with Pu-erh teas with a nice lightness at the end and a tinge of sweet to finish. The flavor is enjoyable and not overpowering with a pleasant aftertaste.
I’m drinking this with milk and maple syrup.
Yep, that’s right. Milk AND maple syrup.
I made it after work (I didn’t get home till 8pm, boo!) because I wanted to go out dancing, but I’ve been having problems with my neck and shoulder all day and it flared up pretty bad so I ended up staying home. Sadness. But I already had the tea made, so I’ve been drinking it. And I like it quite a bit, but not more than other teas I have in my cupboard. I think the “Premium” keemun is better. At least, for my tastes. But I haven’t opened that one yet because I have So Much Tea so you won’t get a comparison from me.