Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

82

Before steeping, it smells kind of like dark chocolate, malty, and maybe a little like caramel, plus of course some smokey notes.

Taste wise it is kind of hard to describe. Kind of floral in addition to malty tasting. To me it kind of tastes like a cross of the different flavors I get from Indian and Chinese teas. It reminds me somewhat of their bailin gongfu, but has its own thing going on. All I know is I cold brewed some, added ice and sugar, and really like it that way so far.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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62

Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea (Mi Lo Yin Zhen), hello. As soon as you open the bag you’re getting the jasmine. It’s a real perfume–no literally, it smells like a lady sweating out an incense store and for the love of whatever deity you find holy it’s coming out of every pore. Ma’am, why the hell are you trying so hard? What’s there to cover up? You’re a beautiful young white tea, there should be nothing to be ashamed of. This overwhelming odor tones down in the cup, thank god.

Boy, this is not a tea for floral haters. Or even floral dislikers. It is flower power hour here and kids, we’ve got no choice but buckle up and take it. Now, if you do like florals–you crazy cats, you–this tea will be divine. It is resoundingly petalriffic. The jasmine coats your mouth with every sip, imprinting the aftertaste on your palate, while the sip itself contains notes of melon–cantaloupe, to be precise–and honeysuckle. This isn’t a little girl of a tea. Jasmine Silver Needle is a full-fledged, D-cup woman. A real dame, in the slightly abrasive 40′s sense of the word. Any dudefolk drinking this tea may console themselves by thinking of the White Peony warrior in his manly pursuit of flowers, and thus preserve their masculinity.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

K S

“Jasmine Silver Needle is a full-fledged, D-cup woman. A real dame…” Now I understand why I loved this one! Lol.

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73

Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea comes out of the bag with a dried plum fragrance overlaid by the mineral-y soot of its origin. It seems to promise crimson fruit flavors like red delicious apples and heirloom tomatoes–can’t forget those are fruit, too. In the cup, the fruit gets kicked to the curb as the tea brings in golden sweet sesame to play. We’ve got that wonderful Wuyi nuttiness waiting to happen, but these nuts have been barely toasted, only enough to ripen their flavor but not enough to create a whole new layer in the mix.

Upon first sip, the apple from the aroma goes, “I’m still here!” A really brash kind of cup we’ve got going on, this tea wants you to pay attention to it, which it accomplishes by giving you straight up flavors. You’re picking the apples straight from the tree in some remote forest, not a manicured little orchard. And as it cools, you even get a cayenne-y flavor in there, something like paprika. Not fire-spicy, but a sweet, caressing heat. You could have so much fun with this tea, infusing it in different concentrations and varying steeping times to unlock the treasure chest of flavors.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

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91

Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) was another contender for the Most Unexpected First Impression award. The dry leaves hit you with a fresh hay smell, which catapulted me back into fond memories of horse camp. Shows promise to be a fine outdoorsy tea, for sure.

Another letdown, aroma-wise. If Jasmine Silver Needle is the showoff, then Organic Silver Needle is her ludicrously timid younger sister. Again, the steeping instructions don’t let this tea really show what it’s capable of. It’s not very entertaining to have to sit and wait for the flavors to come to you–especially if you’re not the patient type. Go for a higher water temperature and let it sit for longer, that way you can reap the full effect of the softly winding florals that set this silver needle apart. It lacks the heady perfume of the jasmine version, so that the true taste and aroma of the leaves has nothing to hide behind. However, if you steep it according to the instructions, you’ll be there spending more energy coaxing the flavors into mind than actually drinking it, during which time you could have just left it in the infuser another two minutes and gotten the better cup out of it.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

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92

Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea has a surprisingly woodsy smell in the bag. Not what you’d expect from a white tea! The odor packs a lot of green punch but it’s so sweet and soft about it that you’re immediately intrigued. Dry leaves, though their scent can often be misleading, are like meeting somebody for the first time. That initial impression is the one that sets up the entire exchange, and this tea has decided to give you a handshake that catches you off guard with how gentle it is, though you can already feel the strength of the grasp. But does this translate into the cup?

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/05/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-2/

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76

I’m trying to use up what I have stored at work, so I can bring in new tea to try.

I’m liking this tea better the second time around. Steeped it for less time and it came out less astringent, and much more buttery! This is the kind of green tea I enjoy. It’s going to be a good Friday morning!

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76

A very light, slightly astringent tea. It’s main flavors are grassy and buttery. Best of all, there is not a hint of seaweed to be seen. Overall this is a pleasant tea, but it is a little to light for my tastes.

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82

Smells malty and sweet in the bag. The taste for me is pretty much the same as the smell: malty with a little bit of sweetness in the aftertaste. Perhaps some earthiness as well? Sugar brings out honey-esque notes. I cold brewed the leftover leaves for iced tea and it’s good that way as well, nice and refreshing taste. I’m drinking it iced now and liking it more and more with each sip.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

I’ve got to drink more pearl teas. I just love how pretty they are and they seem more fun than other loose leaf teas. I can’t remember who sent this to me (I’m sorry for forgetting!) but thank you! The scent of this tea is very sharp and a bit brisk. I wasn’t expecting this kind of strength, but thought that I would smell something a bit more soft and sweet.

Sipping… this one is sweet and smooth. There is a prominent hay flavor which gives each sip an earthy note. I’m not tasting a whole lot of chocolate/cocoa, but that could very well be due to age — this tea has been in my collection for a while! Very pleased to have tried this tea, but there are some other black teas that I like a bit more.

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83

Sipdown! For some reason I find dragonwell particularly warming. The office is chilly, so I pulled this out.

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83

A lighter tea for my afternoon tea time at work.

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83

I’ve mostly been focusing on green teas lately because I prefer them, but I decided to break into the green tea samples I got from teavivre. The taste is like fresh grass and sea-weed combined. The grassy aspect is vibrant and there is a creaminess that saves it from being to much seaweed. I do not pick up on chestnut like some people say they do.

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87

I am enjoying tasting the Spring 2013 harvests from Teavivre and others. Opening the bag of this Pi Lo Chun reveals green, curled dry leaves with a sweet vegetal fragrance.

Heated water to 175 and steeped for 2min because I wanted stronger flavor. This resulted in a pale yellow-green tea with a rather sweet vegetal taste and very green open full leaves. The smooth and mellow flavor of the liquid is pleasant and very enjoyable with no bitterness at all.

The second steep was almost as good as the first. Definitely recommend this tea as a nice green for any collection.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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81

I’ve spent a good part of today organizing my tea, even though I have a ton of other work that I should be doing (I am a master procrastinator!) According my cupboard I have 336 teas, but realistically it’s probably closer to 350; I’ve been really bad about updating it when I get review samples. As soon as I’m done traveling for the summer, which should be next week, I’m going to start working on getting the number down to a more reasonable number (maybe 200?) While I was organizing I came across a stray sample of Organic White Peony that Angel sent me. I originally reviewed it a year ago and it was just as enjoyable today as it was when I first reviewed it.

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81

Thanks again go to Angel at TeaVivre for providing me with these samples. So far I have really enjoyed everything she has sent me and have been constantly impressed by the quality of the teas. I’m also grateful that she included several sample packets of this particular tea because the first time I prepared it I discovered that I couldn’t taste a thing because my head was so stuffy from my allergies.

My first steep was a very pale yellow color. There was a slightly sweet yet mild vegetal flavor, but I didn’t seem to get much of the peony flavor that I was expecting.

That all changed on my second steep, the aroma and scent from this steep was lightly floral and the color deepened to a golden yellow. It was this steep where I can really taste the floral flavors from the peony, although they are still very subtle. One thing that I enjoy most about white tea are the subtle flavors that emerge around the second steep, although with this particular tea I had trouble distinguishing the flavors that emerged (this could just be a leftover problem from my allergies though). I was left with a vague sweet floral impression and this steep was noticalbly sweeter than the others.

With the third steep the tea headed back towards tasting vegetal, losing the floral flavors that I enjoy most about this tea.

With my last sample packet I increased my initial steep time to 1m30s, the second steep stayed at 2m and third steep was 2m30s. I found that the flavor was much more enjoyable for me that way and my first steep ended up with a less subtle flavor, my second steep stayed just how I like it and the third steep still had a stronger vegetal taste than I enjoy.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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91

This is a great all around Yunnan tea when it comes to taste, smell, and price. Has the notes on taste that remind me of fig cookies. Nice, smooth, and medium bodied… not too light; not overly strong either. It doesn’t need sugar but I like to add some anyways, which tends to bring out flavors that make me think of mild molasses.
Iced it tastes a little bit like a Keemun tea. Very good hot or cold.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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