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Recent Tasting Notes
I guess it skipped straight to summer here, second night in a row with a storm. This one is way worse though, for a while I was worried my power was going to have to go out with how often there was lightning. So I had to make tea before it was too late!
I forgot I had two samples from Teavivre I had yet to try, and I am feeling like a green so I grabbed this one. The leaf is so pretty, it’s very fluffy and a bit curly, but I am mostly entranced by the fluffiness.
This is really light, I used about 1 1/2 tsp for my cup, and it brews up lightly colored. It’s a bit fruity but mostly it tastes light and savory. I definitely see where people who compare it to broth are coming from.
It’s good, but not really something that piques my interest. I like the other more savory greens I’ve tried, but this one just is a bit too light for me.
Writing a review for this and throughly enjoying the cup. On second steep and just as lovely and can go many many more steeps.
I am not much on floral teas but this one is a spring and summer MUST!
Wow, the instant the water hit the leaf the room was filled with the scent of wonderful sweet hay. The wet leaf is a bit seaweed. The first sip, as with the white peony, still reminds me of mild cucumber, but today there is another element that… it reminds me of fresh garden picked sweet peppers. You know the kind with no heat or pepperiness to them, they just taste green. The aftertaste is melon. Multiple cups tell me this packs a pretty good amount of caffeine.
My new tea disciple buzzed me today to ask what made oolong different :) in explaining it to him I mentioned white tea… white tea? I have never heard of that!.. Um, would you like to try some? I think he was in my office with his mug before I could hang up. I showed him the dry leaf, then poured him a cup. He thought it just looked like water but sniffed and caught the hay note. He had the 3rd cup. My 4th was still going strong.
You don’t chug this and run. You get quiet with it and meditate on its subtle flavors. When you do it speaks in a nicely complex way. This is really good.
Since I am already rambling – I had a spinach salad at lunch with cucumbers and mushrooms. As I am biting into the cucumber I am thinking this isn’t quite the same as what I called cucumber in the tea. Then I bit into the mushroom and it tasted so earthy like forest dirt smells, and all I could think was puerh! I am becoming such a tea nerd.
Okay, I should have given this a shot earlier. It took me a long time to get around to it, as I “don’t like” Dragon Well. But this is really quite nice. It’s sweet, warm, nutty, and very smooth. Definitely the best Dragon Well I’ve tried, though my experience hasn’t been extensive since for some reason most turn me off. Thanks to Teavivre for the sample and opening me up to trying more Dragon Well!
This one stays hidden in the back of the drawer. I broke it out today to share with a co-worker. He recently let me try the Governor Gray he got on vacation. It peaked his curiosity about tea and I thought I would give him some of what I consider the best. He was impressed that it was Fujian. Was amazed at the little pearls and how much it unfurled after steeping. He told me he wasn’t going to drink it. He was just going to sit and smell the cup :) I know how he feels.
He came in much later and told me he got tied up on the phone and the whole time the aroma of the tea was filling up his room. The tea got cold before he got back to it. He was afraid it was ruined until he tasted it. He poured it over ice shortly after and asked for the web address. Time will tell if I have my second convert. He tends to be a hobby of the month person. At least for the moment he seemed to get it.
I continued to drink on the same leaf the rest of the work day.
Second Review. Sample thanks to Angel at Teavivre.
I mentioned in another review that Sunday the temp. here in the Rockies was 81 and today when I woke up it was SNOWING! Good Grief! Right away I know I wanted a great Pu-erh and decided to review this one a second time. I used my PIAO I glass pot which is easy to brew Pu-erh and observe all the color and action of the leaves. I sat my tray by the patio window watching the snow when a huge robin joined me…sitting and watching for a long while. (later the snow went away and turned into light rain…the first in 7 months…and the forcast for the next 10 days is back to the 70’s). All the steep times 4minutes.
1. The small Toucha with the rosebud on top has a hidden world inside. Who could guess what after one quick rinse and a 4 minute steep such an extra-dark beef-broth colored liquor could extract from such an innocent looking pebble. There isn’t a fishy-foul smell or sour odor or bad taste to this clean, gentle Pu-erh. For the first time ever I am NOT running to add sweetening or milk to temper the earthiness on the first steep. This is very clean tasting and has an bit of earthy, dark and musty cave scent and flavor with a slight mineral finish. I can’t taste any rose but I do taste a little caramel.
2. The leaves now smell like hot, wet leather.(That will get you to buy Pu-erh!)…so now that I have your attention, the liquor is still dark Chocolate Brown. The rosebud is floating at the top of my steeper like a submarine and the Pu-erh leaves are heavily sinking to the bottom like wet mulch. Oh the flavor is beautifully mellow even more than before. Slightly sweet with the perfect level of Pu-erh earthiness that lovers of this type of tea crave. Straight up this is a delight. The slightly astringent finish is not bitter or dry. I added sweetening to see what would happen and the caramel jumped out as a surprise. I added cream and decided that this is THE perfect choice for latte’s…the one I would share with my best friend!
3. The color has changed to a lighter Whiskey Brown…with a very light and gentle taste. Hints of earthiness are now very fresh and clean straight up. The flavor is sweet and medium juicy with a little tannin. There is a little smoke. I caught another scent and had to think about it for awhile….hum….the scent is like when I wash and clean Kale…when I am ripping off the leaves from the stem. (Sorry, best I can do on that one).
This was a nice morning ritual. Great tasting snowy/rainy day Pu-erh. Delicious!
I just drank about 24oz. of Pu-erh in less than an hour so I’m done at 3 steepings for now…gurgle…but this is so delightful! Teavivre is sending me some more Pu-reh’s to review which is exciting for me! I do so want to learn more about them! I have found that they take my appitite away and I need to drop some weight. Good side effect!
Last Note For lunch I made a Vietnamese Sweet Yellow Curry Soup with coconut milk and green peas and cilantro for color. I needed some added richness, ah ha! I still had Pu-erh from the morning brew. I steeped a quick one in the pot and poured about a cup of weakened Pu-erh into my soup. Um! Then I sprinkled some very dark black Urfa smoky chili flakes on the soup and the belovely bowl was ready. Yellow and bright green, noodles and speckles of black smoked and sweet chili, an undertone of Pu-erh and coconut curry. Come on over and have a bowl!
This was the first white tea I’ve had that I actually went for a second infusion. It has a warm hay/dried grain aroma and flavor in lighter quality, floral notes are strong and tend to linger.
I brewed this as directed, but ended up liking the 1 min brew more than the 2, personally finding the subtle gentle flavors more appealing than a bolder brew.
The leaves are very pretty, fuzzy frost blue spears, very little dust at the bottom of my cup :) if I were to serve this for guests I would be pairing it with a little bite that had a floral component, like a lavender-salt goat cheese spread with a nutty/multi grain cracker, or something similar.
It has been a long day at the office. No particular reason, just very very long and I am ready to go home. To accompany me on this long slow Monday there has been this Oolong in my cup. Also, throughout the day I have been greeted by chocolate chip cookies, edamame, sushi , and graham crackers. I am sure they are all having a great party in my stomach right now… Wish I could join them.
This tea is very good, but it isn’t quite great. Please do note that this is only my opinion. I tend to judge my oolongs by the sweet aftertaste that lingers after each sip. That tends to be my favorite part of drinking an Oolong.
The dry leaves of the tea are marvelous. They are large and emerald green. The scent is mouth watering, bit of mineral and a bit of sweet, the perfect mix for an oolong in my opinion. For some reason (and don’t get me wrong, I love Oolongs!) the smell of Oolongs has started to remind me vaguely of the smell of balloons and surgical gloves. Strangely, this isn´t a bad thing… Odd…
The first steep of was golden and delicious looking, also delicious tasting. The flavor consisted of a strong mineral component and a bit of pear and edamame. The aftertaste was a bit more sour than I would have liked and the sweet was a little more subtle than I usually want in an oolong. Still, delicious.
The second steep was a bit milder. The mineral played down and the pear stood out. The sweet aftertaste I enjoy so much was much more evident. It rolled across my tongue with every sip. By far my favorite of the three steeps.
The third steep was a bit too vegetable like for my mood in the late afternoon. Sadly, the sweet aftertaste was more of a faint memory than actually there in this cup. It was not bad at all, but it wasn´t quite what I wanted at that particular point of time. I feel like it could have benefited from a slightly longer steeping time (I only steeped it for 2 minutes).
Overall, I enjoyed it. I like having it handy at the office to accompany on “one of those Mondays”. Yum… Definitely worth a try.
Smell: sweet grass/hay
Liqour: very light yellow
Taste: grass/hay but not in a bad way. It tastes very fresh and excellent quality. There is a slightly sweet note so that it isn’t bitter.
2nd steep: 90degrees, 2 minutes, just as good as the first
I also paired this with Pomegranate Magnolia white from my local tea shop which was way too sweet and floral….now this makes an amazing tea!! In the middle of both worlds….sweet and grassy!
This is my second favorite Teavivre tea. The first is Jasmine Dragon Pearls. I noticed the video on their website for preparing this tea and it looks like what I have been doing with the exception of they add the leaf to the heated water instead of the other way around. So I did just that this time. The dance of the leaf was great fun to watch. I love the look of the dry leaf. I love the smell of it. I love the vegetable aroma of the brewed leaf. The color of the liquor is pretty. I find the taste refreshing. It’s green but not too green.
This was an exhausting weekend. Friday night and Saturday morning I finally was allowed to work a little overtime to try to dig out from under. Saturday night our praise band opened at a benefit concert. It was too loud. Sunday morning we led worship and once again it was too loud. I am a guitar player – we never say it’s too loud! Our sound guy went to a Skillet concert Friday night (you tube – Feel like a monster) and I think he was still deaf. Last night the house was so hot I couldn’t sleep. Today I have a bad headache and I need caffeine. Chun Mei to the rescue – I hope. Near boiling water and a 30 second steep. Light smokiness followed by grassy green and tapering off into sweetness in the aftertaste. Love it. Several cups – lost track.
I am head over heels in love with Chinese greens lately. Thanks TeaVivre for sending some delicious samples this way! I want to finish each green individually so I get a good idea of the taste and subtleties, since my taste buds have been slightly dulled by super strong coffee over the years.
This is my first Mao Jian as well, and it reminds me of the premium dragonwell I sampled recently from this company; more vegetal and less buttery. I have been enjoying several cups after work lately and it makes me feel cleansed. I would say this tea caps at four steeps. That was a stretch for me, but it seems like four was the max for some other people as well. I suppose it depends on your taste buds though.
I was very excited to see that my Teavivre order came today, I’ve been out of loose tea and impatiently waiting for my order for what feels like forever. I couldn’t ask for a better tea right now, I feel like I’m drinking the essence of spring. It’s green, floral and minerally and manages to be very refreshing hot. This was just what I needed right now. I’ve had an extremely rough couple of months and right now this is making me feel much better. I was a little disappointed to find that there was only one sample included in my order and it was just white peony, but I’ll live.
This is the 3rd Golden tips tea I have had. Thanks to Teavivre for the sample. This is a hearty tea to drink. No astringency at all, very smooth.
Tea of the afternoon…….
..with a little change. I almost always drink my black teas with a little Splenda. I know it is not the greatest choice, but I do revisit healthier sweeteners from time to time (honey, stevia, etc.), and they all have a weird taste to me. I am also trying to shift my tastes away from sweet things and eat a more plant based, whole food diet. Fewer chemicals in the diet has to be a good thing. After drinking this tea yesterday, I remembered having it without additions for my first sampling. Today, I decided to try it plain again. I think this will work. I do still get the cocoa notes, but it is a little more malty without adding sweetener.
Usual teapot method. No additions.
TeaVivre sent me some samples of their greens from last year.
When I received the package, I was quite impressed with labels. They have marked down production dates and manufacturers! Bag also had some storage and brewing instructions, and it was nice to note that wulongs, greens, white and blacks had distinctive shelf lives. Aluminium bags with TeaVivre’s labels contained smaller, sealed bags used by manufacturers.
This is fairly cheap, and judging be the leaves pricing seems fair. These aren’t strictly Mao Feng, bud and leaf. There are some lower leaves, some leaves have a bit of oxidation, some twigs etc. Leaves are generally whole. Leaves are fairly long, making production date (5/20/2011) seem realistic.
There seems to be two major tastes whirling around here. Weird, little ill-balanced round, almost milky taste, which changes into a light vegetality. I didn’t like the initial milky taste, and the vegetality should have been little stronger to balance that out, methinks. Aftertaste is fairly pleasant, round and soft, if slighly uninteresting.
Overall, I think this is fairly priced, quite decent tea. I have had a couple of casual glasses of this, and those I enjoyed a lot. Now that I sit down and drink this properly with focus, tea feels lacking in many ways. Then again, which green from 2011 isn’t now? This isn’t top tea, but TeaVivre isn’t asking a price of such from this. I would be happy to recommend this for a casual drinking, and I have very positive image of TeaVivre now.
I was really excited for my box of different teas to come from Teavivre. Spent too much money, but it’s been absolutely worth it.
It’s an oolong with the larger dry leaves, like a Li Shan or Ali Shan. They smell good, and promisingly like those of Shan Lin Xi, which is my all-time favorite. The liquor is a vivid gold, almost green, like brass. It smells sweet and floral, with just a hint of that bakiness that some of the more traditionally made oolongs have.
This steeping seems to taste rather vegetal, but still rather flora, with an aftertaste of that bakey flavor. This seems to be how some teas are supposed to taste, and others, it’s when I haven’t made it quite right, so I’ll be making a followup review, just in case. As it cools a little, that herbaceousness takes more of a background role, and it turns into a delightfully well-balanced tea. In the aftertaste, I see what people have been saying about that butteriness; it’s smooth and quite pleasantly mild.
My adjective department is somewhat lacking today, which I’ll try to fix in the followup review. Really tasty tea, and I’ll be purchasing again from Teavivre when I run out.
Tea of the morning……
Just a double check that this one is as good as Gong Fu Black (which is organic) from Zhi Tea. Yes, this works as a substitute for me! I have not tried TeaVivre’s organic version of this tea, but I am guessing it is very similar. Yum. The tea I love at a cost I can live with drinking it everyday.
Usual teapot method.
So I made this one gongfu style because, well, actually I don’t know why, I just did. It was pretty good; kind of had this sweet/peppery thing going on and a roasty bakey goodness. I liked it.
Thankyou so much again TEAVIVRE for this generous sample!
Dry leaf smell: sweet jasmine, very floral
Liqour: light golden
Watching those cute little pearls unroll is pretty!
Taste: light, sweet, not overly perfumey or scented like a lot of other jasmines. This tea has a silky, full mouth feel.
2nd steep: 80degrees, 2minutes, still silky and smooth
3rd steep: 85degrees, 2.5minutes, getting a little weak now, but still has a hint of sweet jasmine
Overall, I would say that this is the best jasmine tea I have had to date! Just wonderful…..this tea deserves to be served at fancy tea parties in pretty glass teapots!
Thankyou TEAVIVRE for this generous sample!!
4teaspoons of dry leaf with 24 oz water, cold brewed for about 18 hours. I didn’t really use the recommended teavivre amount because it was brewing so long.
Dry leaf: looks fruity purple and smells wonderfully sweet
Taste: I was worried about tartness with the roselle, but it was appropriately tart. I definitely got the grape flavour with hints of blueberries and black currants! What a great tasting iced tea. I will certainly have to order more of this to have this summer. I will be making this by the pitcherfull!