Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

84

Sipdown (182)!

Now that I have my (admittedly small) Teavivre order from Tea Jail I don’t feel so bad about sipping down one of the few Teavivre samples I still have kicking around from the care package Lala sent me when I was brand new to Steepster.

This final amount of leaf was just a little bit more than a tsp. worth of pearls, which I steeped in 80 degree celsius water for 1 min. 30 seconds.

The tea was very light and delicate with a tolerable green base (vegetal, but light and buttery too) and the jasmine was just a touch sweet and perfect. This was a very, very nice tea to calm down and relax to – especially since I’m watching the most recent episode of Supernatural and it is an emotional rollercoaster. I definitely needed something to anchor me to a nice feeling of “zen”, if you will.

I got two lovely resteeps out of this. What a beautiful sipdown!

VariaTEA

I WATCHED THAT AT THE SAME TIME!! We are kindred spirits you and I :P

Roswell Strange

I started watching Chuck while on vacation – and I kept thinking that it could be something you’d be interested in :P

VariaTEA

I started watching it too :P I ended up watching Covert Affairs instead. By the way, I thought of you the other day. My friend gave me a honey rooibos tea and I thought it was something you would like because it is similar to Honey Bee. I will be buying it when I go back to Thornhill because they sell it in a bakery by my place. When I pick it up, I will send you some :)

Roswell Strange

You’re too thoughtful!

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84

So this came with me to work today.

I woke up really sore and stiff, and I just KNEW it was going to be a lousy day so I figured something delish and soothing like Jasmine would be the perfect comfort drink today during my shift. And I was so right.

Actually though, my shift started off alright and I spent a few hours texting Robyn about all of the ridiculous calendars we sell. But, at the same time I really wish I had been texting James. Pardon my language (I seem to recall reading somewhere to avoid swearing in reviews or on the forum), but fuck him. I’m so frustrated with how things worked out (I even shared my favourite tea with him!) – and I guess I only have myself to blame for being so stupid about all of it and so trusting. Still, even if it was only a month or so talking to him during every shift sort of became a routine for me…

Anyway, this was practically a sipdown for me. I only have enough leaf left for one more cup, which is disappointing because this was SO good. I savoured this ALL day – and it was perfect hot and cold. I need, NEED to get more.

And, because I don’t want to cram it all into one review, tales of my awful day will continue in my next tasting note for what I’m currently drinking… Best to pace the pissed off rants, right?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
keychange

We can’t swear in our tasting notes? That’s a shame…there goes half my personality, LOL.

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84

A gift from Lala! I’ve never tried a Teavivre tea before, nor have I tried dragon pearls so this is a really new experience for me! Out of the Teavivre samples Lala sent me, I picked this one to start off with because it’s not REALLY a straight green tea – there’s jasmine in it. So, that seems like a pretty decent middle ground when it comes to trying out new green teas and straight teas.

I’ll admit, I haven’t had a lot of exposure to jasmine flavoured teas. That’s not because I dislike jasmine though (I actually quite like jasmine), more so it’s because there are just so many flavours I like more. Dry leaf for this one DOES smell like jasmine, in almost a perfumy sort of way but still more natural than perfumy. In fact, all I CAN smell is jasmine – no green tea. Hmm, that’s pretty appealing to me. I’ll be honest though, I think I’m secretly hoping that I’ll hate this tea since, based on the different stores and websites I’ve been to, dragon pearls are NOT a cheap tea. It’d just be so much easier on me if I turned out to have a taste for the really cheap stuff!

So, I’m using 1 tsp for about 6 oz of water, steeped for a minute. The liquor barely changed colour at all during the steeping time, but finally settled on a very pale (almost peachy) yellow colour. The smell is still purely jasmine, but a much more toned down jasmine.

First few sips and… Ugh! I’ve made a mess! I totally forgot I was wearing BRIGHT metallic red lipstick, and now it’s all over my cup and all smudged. On the plus side, the tea itself tastes great! The tea is very lightly jasmine flavoured but still has enough flavour you don’t have to search for the jasmine. I CAN actually taste the green tea, but it’s not really all that vegetal so I’m not minding it too much.

Well darn, I was really hoping I wouldn’t like such an expensive tea. Maybe I can make it work by getting relatives to buy me it for holidays and such, so I don’t have to sell out the money myself. I’m probably gonna have to look, now, for a cheaper jasmine alternative since, now that I really think about it, I don’t actually own any tea with jasmine in it. I think jasmine definitely needs a spot amongst the teas I permanently stock. My friend Robyn has DT’s Buddha’s Blend and I think that has a large amount of jasmine in it – I’ll have to see if I can steal a sample from her.

EDIT: Got a really good resteep out of this one. I doubled the steep time, but otherwise everything was left unchanged. Tastes practically identical to the cup I enjoyed earlier today.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec
tigress_al

Teavivre sells a cheaper version of these pearls that is excellent as well!

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Thank you to Teavivre for this sample tea!

As always the service from Teavivre is of the highest quality with the best packaging and kind notes from Angel!

Now and then I encounter a tea that is…“not my cup of tea” and there is no way to get around saying it. I can’t possibly love all tea’s… nobody can.
I discovered last year is that I can’t taste some green tea’s whatsoever! A few Butiki’s flavored green tea’s taste like water to me because I can’t taste the base tea. Silly taste buds!

The fault isn’t the tea or Teavivre or me, it’s what happens in human beings.

All that being said, I’ll tell you what the tea tasted like to me and you might chuckle (or not).

I’m a super-taster of sorts due to the health condition I have which gives me a stronger than average sense of taste and smell. I have to be careful not to wear perfumes when I drink tea. I tasted Golden Monkey on two occasions to make sure there wasn’t anything interfering with my senses.

What I tasted both times was like V8 Juice.
Primarily Celery leaf juice, brothy diluted tomato with mixed vegetables. Not the best tasting tea if you know what I mean, but an ok soup.

I know, I know… different than anyone else…yada yada.

I’m a black tea lover not a hater but this one hit the stranger than strange tea alarm in my mouth.

Sorry Angel, this one was a giggler. It happens.

Indigobloom

Soup!! I love soup :P

Bonnie

Hi cutie professional lady!

Indigobloom

hehe hi hi Colorado belle :D

Stoo

Coincidentally, I’m drinking this TeaVivre Golden Monkey Black Tea right now! My allergies-racked taste buds also detect a different taste to this one than TeaVivre’s other black teas but V8 Juice isn’t registering. I’m thinking…hhmmm…something more like…broccoli!

Bonnie

Mmmm breakfast broccoli! I loved the rose black and keemun….um…going to go look for those. You should have added a little lapsang souchong to your broccoli tea since you like it and that would make a soupy cuppa. I’m nuts huh!

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88

a quick note on the fly here.

i stuffed this entire immense sample into my steeping basket. it was excellent!!! lychee notes, bamboo notes, very smooth.

lovely clear steep, tiny bit of sugar added. will buy for sure…. and back into the craziness i go. (haven’t even had a cup of tea yet today!!!)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
keychange

Here’s to hoping the craziness settles down some.

OMGsrsly

Hope school’s going well, James! :)

JustJames

nope! the day stayed completely mad! i have midterms in less than a month too!!!!! i am one hiccup away from being a spaghetti monster, lol!

OMGsrsly

Yeah, that’s the way of school. :) You can do it!

JustJames

my first 2 test results are in 90% and 100%. not giant tests, but hey, it all counts! =0)

OMGsrsly

Woohoo!

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99

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for sending me a sample of this. I love this tea. To be honest this is up there with dragon pearls. It’s easily one of my favorites. The dry leaf smells like melted chocolate and caramel to me.
The flavor is so rich and delicious. It has a nice malty sweetness to it then it has a nice sweet potato sweetness with a light twist of caramel.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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99

Bleh. I’m feeling rather lazy today and I feel like I need to clean my house. I don’t think it’ll happen… This is nice and comforting. There is a lot of sweet potato flavors going on in this cup. Thanks again Angel!

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99

Thank you Angel and Teavivre! Oh the aroma of this one is just lovely. It’s sweet and has notes of honey and fruit. There is something a little deeper I can’t put my finger on though. The flavor is delicious! There is a hint of baked sweet potato with notes of caramel, cocoa, and honey. This is such a nice black tea and I think I’m in love :) Thank you again!!

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A tiny sample from Heather Martin. Just making half a cup of this to taste.

The dry leaves smell so tasty. Nice and dark and malty.

Ohhh, I like this one. A lot. It’s fairly light, sweet, malty, yet strong. (Light maybe because I underleafed.) So good. Definitely on my “to buy” list for Teavivre.

Thanks, Heather! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Sipdown! (126)

This was good, and would likely be better appreciated by someone who better appreciated green teas. :)

(Speaking of which, why did I order 9 oolong tea samples? I will likely enjoy them, but I’ll have to force myself to drink them. Otherwise I’ll just choose black teas all the time!)

Holly Faye

You have the exact same thing with teas as I do. There are some green, white, and oolong teas I really like, but by default I always want black teas!

Cavocorax

That’s good to know. I’ll have to pay even closer attention to your reviews!

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95

I think this is one of my favorite oolongs I have tried so far.

The smell of the dry tea is not really floral, more fruity sweet and woody. The smell of the brewed tea is almost like aged hard wood. Slightly roasty.

The brewed tea is light, clean and fresh. There is a slightly roasted wood taste but it is not heavy. Slight floral taste. Natural sweetness. The liquor is thick and creamy, although it doesn’t remind me of milk or dairy.

I think next time I will consider steeping this one for a bit longer to get a stronger flavour.

I think I may have gotten a sample of this from Tigress Al, but I know I also got a sample from Teavivre – I have a few sample pack of this floating around. I think I am going to have to hoard these :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I’ll have to add a sample of this to my Wuyi collection.

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Thanks, Shelley_Lorraine for this tea!

A light, spring-like oolong. It starts out with buttery like sauteed asparagus with a hint of a floral. It becomes spicy with hints of minerals at the end of the cup.

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84

this was a very nice sample by the ever generous angel at teavivre.

this is a very smooth, warm blend. i think it’s impressive when the taste of a tea is warm over and above the temperature. has a decidedly black essence, but with a less heavy more rosy evolution.

lovely curled black gold yields a medium hued steep. lovely with cream and a bit of sugar.

i plan to buy this in future.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Holly Faye

Have you had their regular Dian Hong? How does the golden tip compare? I’ve only had the regular, but it’s excellent.

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90

…Uh, so confession: I’m not actually sure this is the tea I’m drinking. I took one of my Teavivre pu-erh samples, put it into a tin, didn’t label the tin, and then forgot about it until I randomly opened it up one day while I was looking for something else. Occam’s razor says this is the shu that fits.

I don’t really have anything to say about this that I haven’t said before. I just really, really like it. I always think of fresh, dark spring dirt and moss. I also like how the flavor is so thick. I was strongly considering coffee this morning, but I decided I needed tea instead, and the thickness makes me feel like I’m drinking a wake-up beverage.

So overall, this tea – like any of my favorite shus – is a combination of caffeine, imagery, and the placebo effect!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

LOL! The shu that fits…love it!

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90

Exactly how do you rinse a tea? I gave it what I thought was a rinse, but I’m not sure I did it right.

At any rate, I still like this tea. Mellow, earthy, oddly spicy, full-bodied. And a needed wake-up.

KittyLovesTea

To rinse a Pu Erh I Pour boiling water into the teapot for roughly 5-10 seconds and discard the water. The idea is to open up the leaves so they steep with more flavour.

TeaVivre

Yes, The rinse step can help washing and waking up your tea leaves. You can put the tea into the Yixing teapot and pour boiling water, it doesn’t need too much water this time, just cover the tea leaves.

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90

Did a second steep on this this morning, for a little under 2 minutes because it was a resteep. It’s actually pretty similar to what I tasted last night, except without seeming underleafed. I actually quite like the tea itself, although I think I have to be in the right mood for it. Earthy is a good flavor for foggy gray fall mornings. Still a malty aftertaste, which is unexpected but cool. The smell is something I have to get past.

Next time, I’m rinsing this!

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90

Uh… 3-4 teaspoons for 8 oz?

WHOOPS

This is what happens when they don’t put the leafage on the bag! Grrr!

Ah well. It’s a free sample, so there’s only so much griping I can do. I would try steeping it longer, but I have a bad feeling that would only result in the overwhelmingly flagrant essence of FISH! Like the last pu-erh I had, which is still sitting in a bag in the back corner of my cupboard with absolutely no plans for a sipdown anywhere in this dimension of time and space because it tastes exactly like FISH!

This one is… earthy? It’s got a fair amount of FISH!, especially in the aroma, but the flavor itself is darker and bassier. There is actually a bit of maltiness in the aftertaste too. It’s actually fairly pleasant, at least once I stop smelling it. Next time, I’ll use more cake per water. Also I won’t spill it all over the damn stove as I’m trying to pour it.

JustJames

some really are that way,though i have no idea why. verdnat’s golden buds puerh isn’t and the mandala puerhs aren’t…. but i’ve discovered that i taste a moss pillow or fish if there isn’t astringency to balance it(but that’s just me). =0)

Holly Faye

Yeah. I was wondering about that, since I’d only had one other pu-erh and I figured since I’d heard good things about that kind of tea, they can’t all taste like FISH! In fact, I’m curious to explore the world of pu-erhs simply because I’ve heard so many contradictory and counterintuitive things said about them, I can’t help thinking they must be such an interesting tea, even if not my favorite cuppa.

JustJames

have you tried steap shoppe’s cinnamon swirl bread? that’s a combination black and puerh with the puerh playing the part of the bread VERY convincingly. so long as you like cinnamon this may be a good way to get into them?

i started with flavoured ones from david’s teas and teavana and then moved into the unflavoured. for myself an astringent (but not acrid or bitter) balance is necessary or i really feel like i’ve been whacked in the tongue with a moss pillow dipped in fish, lol.

Dexter

I’ve never had this pu’erh, but Teavivre has good quality teas and all the reviews are favorable. I’m just wondering if you didn’t rinse it enough. Sometimes lack of rinse or too long of a first steep with yield some fishiness even in great pu’erhs. I would suggest 2 10 second rinses and then short first steep. Even western brewing a pu’erh I usually only steep 20-30 seconds for the first steep. I’m not sure, just suggesting. Did you resteep it? Was the next steep also fishy? If not then I would look at longer/more rinse for next time.

Holly Faye

James, I have yet to try a flavored pu-erh. To be honest, the flavor of pu-erhs is so distinctive I have a hard time imagining them with other flavors! It sounds like at least the cinnamon swirl bread was a success though?

Dexter, it’s definitely a good tea. I have yet to rinse a pu-erh although that’s something I’ve heard you should do, more than anything because I just haven’t had the time/patience to do it yet. :P I would have resteeped, but it was late at night and I was afraid to do more than one cup of a fairly caffeinated type of tea.

keychange

Ew. There’s tea that tastes like fish in this world? Even if you rinse it…I just. I can’t imagine why you’d rinse away the fishiness of tea when there’s so much tea that isn’t fishy to begin with?

Dexter

LOL keychange – I’m not sure if that’s a rhetorical question or if you would like an explanation. My answer would be because great pu’erhs are AMAZING teas. If you look at my tea ratings and change the sort by to highest rated, 5 out of my top 6 are pu’erh. When it’s good it’s amazing, but it’s not for everyone – some can’t get past the fishy, some can’t get past the “earthy”, “barnyard”, “mouldy”, “stinky feet” part of it. There are lots of unflattering words used to describe it. I put some in the travelling tea box. You should at least give it a sniff if you get the chance. :))

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82

It was time for me to stop being a wimp and to just try this.

Look! It’s puerh! It’s really great!

I only steeped it for a minute because I thought under was better than over-steeping and I’m really enjoying this mellow earthy blend. I don’t know enough about puerh to say where this ranks amongst the others, but I know I like it which is encouraging!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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85

aside from the matcha-genmaicha tea mix, this is the other green tea i enjoy. toasty, vegetal (non-spinach), and balanced.

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70

this used to be my favorite, however i tried a tastier version from verdant tea. it’s good, but it isn’t great. floral, sweet, vegetal, and loses flavor quickly.

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50

have you ever accidentally tasted a cologne/perfume mist? that’s all i remember from this tea. just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean it tastes good.

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Backlog from Thursday night, since my computer was Down With the Sickness.

THIS is the oolong I effed up the first time I tried it! So I attempted it once more the other night after I got home from work. Recently, I found this article that’s actually from Verdant Tea’s website, written by David Duckler. It’s about how to best enjoy tasting a tea, and I found it so enlightening that I’ll leave it here if you haven’t seen it: http://verdanttea.com/how-to-taste-tea/ What hit home the most with me is that, rather than being the Tea Critic who jumps to figure out what I’m tasting, how it compares to what I’m told is in it, and how highly I would rate the tea, the most important thing is just being present in the experience of the tea and enjoying what I’m drinking.

With that article in mind, I took a bit of time to do some gaiwan brewings and tastings of this oolong. This time, I used a thermometer to gauge the water temperature so that I was sure I did not burn it.

I’m not sure I liked the tea itself, it reminds me too much of other oolongs I’m not crazy about, but it was a very enjoyable experience. I did four steepings. The first two had a roasty, slightly “burnt” flavor, but I did find that on the third steeping, the roastiness had subsided and I was getting more of the fruity/floral tone. I’ve rarely had luck with multiple steepings, so I enjoyed finally being able to discern a difference. I also enjoyed smelling the flavor of the wet tea leaves in the nose cup, if that’s what you call it.

But my favorite part about doing gaiwan steepings, honestly, is the auditory experience. Working in a music store, I relish the lack of background noise that I get in a quiet room (we live in what I’d call a rural suburb, so it is possible to achieve complete silence.) There’s something about the sequence of pouring water and the little clacking of the lid on the cup that’s exquisitely soothing, in this way I can’t really describe. I think I would quite enjoy having a whole gongfu set, which I plan on putting on either a birthday or Christmas wish list.

So the tea? Eh. The tasting? Mmm!

keychange

Oh, thanks for sharing that link. And I completely agree with you about the auditory experience and how important it is. As someone who’s blind, sound (and smell) matter a great deal to me.

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100

Thank you Teavivre for sending me a sample of this! The aroma is delicious. Warm, buttery, and slightly nutty. Like browned butter..(that makes me crave browned butter and myzithra noodles…) It has a soft buttery flavor with nutty notes… There is a hint of something… like sweet potato… but it’s SUPER light.. It’s a really nice oolong :)

Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetal

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100

This sample came with my order I placed a while ago. So thank you Teavivre!
Oooo the dry leaf smells so sweet. The flavor is lovely. It’s sweet. Like a light lemon/peach or something. There is a faint butter flavor that blends in. I really enjoy this oolong. :)

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