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Recent Tasting Notes
One of the very best – if not THE best – Mao Feng green teas that I’ve yet to try. An outstanding Mao Feng!
Soft, earthy, sweet, creamy … with a creaminess that is somewhere between a milky/buttery creaminess and vanilla. So nice and luxurious tasting.
By mid-cup, I noticed some apple-y flavors with a tangy note. A very well-rounded cuppa.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/08/10/nonpareil-te-gong-huang-shan-mao-feng-green-tea-from-teavivre/
Well I must say that I was excited when I was asked to participate in another tasting of Teavivre tea. Even more excited when it after being sick all last week with bronchitis. This was the first that I decided to try. I went with the green because I heard that green tea can help booster antibiotics. I probably heard it on John Tesh since I produce his show for the station I work at. I opened up the packet and noticed a little bit of roasty aroma. It’s definitely a much lighter green in the color of the liquor. A medium body. I like the slight roasted flavor to this one. It reminds me a lot of the tea my brother gave me a few years ago for Christmas. He got it at an Asian market in Ann Arbor and I tried to see if anyone on Steepster could read it. I’m thinking maybe it’s Lu Shan Yun Wu. They are definitely similar flavor profiles and the leaves are similar. Who knows. It almost tastes like silver needles. I definitely like this one.
Sipdown, but a lovely one. As strange as it sounds, today I am getting a faint leathery note with the honeyed sweet potatotes and malt. This is one of those teas that always comes out a little bit different each time I steep it, but always makes for an enjoyable cup. TGIF!
Flavors: Honey, Leather, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this fantastic sample!
Dry: Twisty longer black tea leaves with tons of lovely golden tips. This is not one of those teas that is supposed to have tips that has a few lighter bits sprinkled into the black leaves. It looks at least half gold in the infuser. The dry aroma is very fragrant, thick and bready.
Steeped: Dark orange-brown clear liquor. Smells earthy and almost a touch smoky-sweet from the tea pot, like roasting sweet potatoes with natural burnt sugar bubbling on the potato skin. The leaves expand and unfurl quite a bit in the infuser, so they need a little extra room to breathe.
Taste: This is my first Golden Monkey black and it is quite lovely! I brewed it with the Western method and it came out as an enjoyable cup. Very mildly fruity with nothing added and there are still those roasty, malty sweet potato notes. In the aftertaste, there is an earthy, almost bready lingering flavor that lasts far beyond each sip. I would agree that this is a distinctive leaf, completely different from the other I’ve tried before and I am looking forward to steeping it again!
This evening I wanted another cup of tea, but only an oolong would do! This one looked like a nice choice. I generally like ali shan oolongs, perhaps not my ultimate favorite, but a solid choice. The scent of this tea is buttery and floral. The floral notes are sweet and simply gorgeous! I’m excited to see what this tea will taste like because the scent is beautiful.
Sipping… this is quite delicate! I was expecting more of a floral smack in the face, but this is very smooth.. it’s almost like a whisper of what I want it to be. A tiny bit of astringency finishes off the cup, but otherwise it’s very smooth and almost milky. I wish that this tea had a little bit more to offer in terms of the flower or butter notes, but it’s nice. I think that this could be a good choice for people who are new to oolongs and aren’t sure where to start.
Even though I could use a little more flavor, I could see myself popping this into my shopping cart. Thank you, Teavivre, for a sample!
This is another Teavivre sample from Sil. I love samples from Teavivre, they are always so generous, & the quality is excellent. This one is no exception. The tea is in nuggets, & once steeped it is an iridescent green. Although I don’t love ‘green’ oolongs as much as I love the more roasty ones, I do enjoy them from time to time. This one has a buttery floral aroma, with a light floral taste. The flavor is also both sweet & savory, with a thick sensation. A pleasant afternoon cup.
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this wonderful sample!
Dry: Short and twisty black loose leaf tea with a few golden tips mixed in. Has a pleasant notably sweet and lightly malted fragrance. I really like Teavivre’s Keemuns apparently because this one is another winner!
Steeped: Medium coppery-brown clear liquor. I didn’t add anything to this and the brewed aroma (Western method) retains a bit of that sweet note from the loose leaf. There is also a touch of smoke and of course that lovely malt.
Taste: I really like this tea, just as much as I enjoyed the Grade 1 I tried recently. They are very similar, but this one seems to be a bit more flavorful perhaps. I may need to do a side-to-side comparison soon so I know which one to order a larger bag of. I love the feeling when you taste a tea and just know you need to keep it around.
Anyhow, this is a wonderful breakfast choice for a Sunday morning. Thick mouthfeel added to a rich, fruity, mellow base. There is a slight pleasant mellow floral and smoke aftertaste. The complexity makes me think of a lower cacao percentage dark chocolate with that sweet aroma and taste dancing around on my tongue. I might need to have a nibble of the hazelnut and currant dark chocolate I have stashed with this tea for just such an occasion. :)
This really is a lovely tea. As far as smokey teas go, it strikes a perfect balance between smoke & sweetness, & I’m thinking it is the sweetest of the smokies in my shelf. I have occasionally added a little maple to it in the past, and I admit that is a wonderful dessert tea, but it honestly is sweet enough by itself, which is the way I usually choose to drink it, and the way I’m drinking it now.
What tea goes good with BBQ for lunch?
Lapsang Souchong, of course!
This one is very nice, in that it has the smokey quality, but is not over done. I know from experience that a little maple can really bring out the caramelized sugar flavor of this, but I elected to drink it straight, & it was just so tasty with my lunch.
I just finished breakfast: omelettes with Brussels sprouts, leftover crumpled sausage, & garlic. Tony had dilled havarti on top of his, & toast with jelly. I only had the omelette, which was plenty, believe me, but I’m finding myself feeling resentful regarding food today. I want what I cannot have, & it pisses me off. Not at anybody, just really at my food sensitivites & at the consequences of dumb choices on my part recently. There, I’ve vented.
Anyway, breakfast was very tasty, & I’m following it up with this equally tasty smokey tea. It is a sample size, sent to me from Sil, & as a Lapsang, it is the perfect blend of smokiness & sweetness. A little maple syrup would be a wonderful enhancement, but honestly, it’s lovely rich cup as is. Even though I’ve already spent more money on this weekend’s sales than I ever imagined spending, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to stop by Teavivre’s cybermonday sale & get a few things, including some of this!
Another sample from my most recent box from Sil.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would grow to love smokey teas, I’m not sure I would have agreed. They used to kind of freak me out, but now I love them. Sometimes I like to sweeten them, which brings out a deep caramelized flavor. Yum! Right now I’m drinking this one plain, & it is very satisfying. I’d like to try it with Maple…if I could just get myself to get up off the couch & walk to the kitchen…ok, I did it, & OMG this is tasty!
This was my 2nd ‘long hot bath’ tea, because face it, one cup of tea is not enough! Lovely rose black, gentle & soothing. Just the right amount of rose, & yes, there was a sweet full rosebud floating in my steeper basket. I steeped 2 minutes, with a resteep of 3. The 2nd cup features more rose flavor, actually!
I never got around to posting this one yesterday, but it was my final cup of actual tea (not counting tisanes), & it really is a lovely one. I first tried it a month or so ago when Sil sent me a sample that someone had probably sent to her. Flowers are not her thing, & they aren’t always mine, but I enjoy them from time to time in my tea (except lavender, which I love the smell of…in my bubble bath! LOL).
So I actually enjoyed this one enough to purchase some in my recent Teavivre order. It was the perfect tea to come home to after a massage yesterday, with a buttery sweet dian hong base, & the level of roses is just right, very soothing & relaxing.
Now this is a pleasant cup!
It is a sweet mouth filling dian hong, laced gently with rose. What can I say? I enjoy the rich sweet potato taste of DH, & unlike my tea sister Sil, who sent me this Teavivre sample, I love the scent of roses, & I enjoy roses in my tea from time to time, so long as they aren’t overdone, or fake. This one is nicely done! It’s a sipdown, as I used the entire sample (2 minutes), but I only got it a few days ago & never added it to my database, so I don’t really get to count it. Thanks to Sil, Teavivre, & whomever the sample was originally sent to, for this lovely afternoon cup.
TeaVivre arrived today, yes! That was pretty quick from China, I must say. I should also add in a thank you to caile for introducing me to TeaVivre.
Hello Bailin. I’ve been waiting for you. Because the name is so close to “Balin”, this tea will forever be a dwarf from The Hobbit in my mind. Which just endears it more to me.
Now I shall sip away and work on an assignment that’s due at midnight.
Mmm, this one has that natural honey-like sweetness going on. I love that flavour. It’s the very reason straight black teas are my favourite. The scent is intoxicating.
The taste isn’t overwhelming, but still a lovely subtly strong black tea. Subtly strong sounds like an oxymoron, but I’ll have to come up with a better way of illustrating it if something else strikes me.
My one wee pet peeve is when black teas have a lower steeping time (though that isn’t a reflection solely on this tea). It really shouldn’t bother me at all, but I’m so often in a rush and teas that steep at boiling are such a delight in those moments.
Thanks for sharing caile! I’m thrilled I have some of this en route.
Update: The second steep of this is delightful with plenty of flavour. (1.5 tsp/14 oz.)
Once again, shout-out to Teavivre for the tea!
First steep – 15 seconds in a Gaiwan using near boiling water. The aroma is pleasantly floral, doubly so since I have gotten over my brief cold. The initial flavor can have a touch of astringency fading quickly to a smoothness that is unique to high-mountain teas. I put this uniqueness down to the minimal roasting and oxidation used in these tea, which preserves the delicate flavors of the tea. The thing that really makes this tea stand out is how long the slightly-mineral aftertaste lasts. it was lingering for over a minute and half with my tea. That’s almost a record, and the other such tea was a big red robe, which is a much stronger tea. Truly remarkable. The other thing in the palate of the tea is a bit floral, which reminds me of some bushes near my grandmother’s house. I’m not sure what they are, but I’ll call her to see. All in all, this was a great cup of tea, and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Second steep – 5 seconds with near-boiling water. The result is much better, the floral flavors have really matured. Oolongs are almost always better on the second steep, peaking on the third, but improvement this pronounced is pretty rare. It’s like the first steep was a sketch, and the second was the painted final version: There are details and nuances that there not initially present. The aftertaste has also improved, becoming much sweeter. The end result is a much more balanced tea, with the right amount of sweetness to accentuate the other flavors.
Just when I think that I have a break, I find out my roommate is very sick with something that it is actually really serious. This has put a severe damper on my plans for the evening, ans so this will probably be the last note I have time for. Anyways, the third steep was prepared same as the second, and the results were actually a bit less satisfying than the second. It lost enough of the sweetness that the flavor wasn’t as perfect as before, which was a bit surprising. I think that the wash I gave it to begin with was actually detrimental to the flavor, so I probably won’t do that next time I taste the tea. It’s still an exceptional tea, but it lost the perfect balance between smoothness, floral flavors, and sweetness that made it exceptional. Anyway, I wish all of you the best, and hopefully the rest of your weekends will be more relaxed than mine.