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Recent Tasting Notes
I received this as a sample from Teavivre – thanks! Figured I would try it out as it’s one of the samples I had yet to get to, but the reviews have been good… so why not!
As soon as the water hit the leaves, I smelled a distinct fishy smell. Not super strong, but enough to make me a little wary. I’m still not a fan of pu’erhs with any fishiness, although I’ve found that sometimes, an initial fishy smell doesn’t translate into the flavour. So, hoping for that!
The initial flavour reminded me a ridiculous amount of Verdant’s Cornfields Shu Pu’erh that I tried recently. Except a bit fisher, and a bit stronger. Difficult to describe. A bit of sweetness, a musty flavour, fairly smooth… definitely a pu’erh, but beyond that, I can’t describe much else. It’s actually a bit too strong for me, and making me cringe a bit, for whatever reason. Too much mustiness per mouthful.
I’m not sure that I’m a fan of this one, but will definitely try a shorter infusion time and less lea next time, as I think it’s best drank a bit weak, for me! I’ll reserve a rating until then, but I don’t think this will ever really be a favourite.
Thanks to Teavivre for a sample of this tea! I haven’t tried too many dragon wells yet, so am happy for the opportunity to try out another one and see how it compares!
The aroma of the brewed tea is light and sweet and a bit like boiled veggies (although that’s really only a hint). Unfortunately, I think I really underleafed this tea (forgot I was using a bit mug, and probably only scooped in ~1.5 tsp), and I am not getting a lot of flavour from it in spite of oversteeping it by over a minute. What I can taste is a bit of rock sugar sweetness in kind of a boiled veggie broth. Not astringent at all (but I’ve found that dragonwells don’t seem to get as astringent as some other greens for whatever reason). I’ll have to give this another shot later, but it’s certainly promising!
I cannot wait for A.C. Perch’s to open in Århus! I’m so excited! Every time I walk past where they’re preparing the store I try to peer in through the windows, although you can’t see plock all.
I’m on a mission to get through some of the older teas in the cupboard. There are a few which are from before we moved in here over two years ago! O.o Probably I’ll end up taking several of them with me to work. It’s easier to get through boring stuff there than it is at home. The trick is to only have boring stuff to choose from. :D I’ve already discovered that if you take a frankly disappointing caramel black and mix it 50/50, more or less, with a lacklustre vanilla, both become quite acceptable indeed.
Now, in order to further this mission I have made Husband make me a cup of something summerly which is a fairly recent acquisition. I asked for something fruity or oolong-y or both, you see.
I’ve actually had this a couple of times before but I haven’t posted about it because something always went wrong. Either I botched the brewing or I forgot to drink it and it turned cold or I simply just had it while being distracted by something else.
Now, this is one of those teas where I’m going to have to try really hard not to compare it too directly with another tea. Sometimes avoiding this is very difficult even though you know that you might as well be comparing apples and oranges. I’ve shared the ACP raspberry oolong with a number of you before, and that was the one I was thinking of when I bought this one. Any sort of red berry flavoured oolong is likely to get my attention, really.
But this really is quite different to the raspberry oolong, and not only because raspberries and strawberries only have being red in common. This is on a greenish oolong base whereas the raspberry oolong is more oxidised. Therefore I would put them in the same general category, but still consider them entirely different beasts.
Gosh, look at me blathering. Let’s just go straight to the tea, which has a strong aroma of strawberry. I mean really, Husband was having strainer related difficulties in the kitchen and I could smell strawberries all the way in here in my room. Granted there’s an open door between it and the kitchen, but it’s still a whole other room. It’s fruity and sweet, but also rather leaf-y. I’m sure the leaf-y note is actually the base oolong, but my brain wants to associate that to strawberries as well and it makes me think of strawberry leaf. I don’t even know if that would safe to drink at all, but my brain doesn’t seem to care about such trivialities. I know raspberry leaf can be used as herbal tea, although I’ve heard that it’s a bit… erm. Let’s just say ‘acquired taste’.
The fruit flavouring is a little more controlled in the flavour. It’s definitely there, still sweet and fruity, and it shows up primarily when swallowing and on the aftertaste. The rest of it is pure oolong. (Thankfully, my brain isn’t enforcing the strawberry leaf clause here, that would just be weird) It’s difficult to tell anything about the oolong, because an added flavouring always comes in the way of analysing it and I can only get a few general notes, if anything at all. This one feels quite smooth and a not too vegetal. As I tend to prefer the more stronger oxidised sorts of oolong, this is a good thing.
I’m quite enjoying this. It’s no ACP raspberry oolong, but it’s quite enjoyable.
Oolong and strawberry…from Teavivre! When I first saw there were flavoured options (aside from the fruit only ones), I thought I’d only find floral additions…rose, jasmine, etc but no, there were two fruit options! So I immediately requested them for my next sample box, which just came today.
The dry leaf smells like a mix of a milk oolong and a bit of real strawberry, none of that fake stuff here. There’s a sweet and somewhat tart scent that mingles with the creamy oolong aroma. The leaves are pretty tightly rolled, as you’d expect from this sort of oolong base.
I used my bamboo tea spoon, which I think holds about 1tsp or so, on average. I let the boiling water cool a few minutes and steeped 3 minutes. First sips, unsweetened, I get an equal balance of oolong and strawberry, none overpowers the other (though I do wish the strawberry was slightly more prominent). Sweetened, with just a tad of sugar (less than I normally take) the strawberry becomes juicier and sweeter. I bet this one would be amazing with some local honey. Wondering about future steeps and iced. The leaves definitely have more unfurling to do, so I expect a few more good steeps at least.
I was really excited to try this tea, and I am not disappointed. I’ve thrown a packet into my best friend’s birthday tea box, but if it was anyone else, I’d pretend I didn’t have any and horde it all to myself. :P
Many many thanks, and much gratitude to Angel at Teavivre for making my strawberry oolong dreams become a reality. I do hope they continue to make more flavoured teas like this in the future.
Ok, so I just got my box of samples from Teavivre this morning and wanted to tear right into them and start drinking. Of this box, I was most excited about the flavoured ones (strawberry oolong and peach jasmine dragon pearl green) but as I had started the day with a keemun yesterday, I thought I’d have the keemun grade 1 today to compare.
I have to say that this one is milder. It’s less smoky than the Red Blossom from yesterday. I do taste a bit of a cocoa (as opposed to actual chocolate) flavour, and a bit grainy. I admit I do not pick up anything floral or fruity. I would say that if there was anything fruity, it would probably be more like a black plum, or maybe date…but any fruit flavour is really mild and indistinguishable from the richer cocoa and grain flavours.
I do think that my straight black tea palate is growing some, so whereas I may not have liked the previous keemun from Teavivre as much, it has grown on me. That said, I think I still prefer the Fengqing Dragon Pearls and Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu over this, but it is a nice smooth flavour that is great to start the day with.
I do thank Angel at Teavivre for providing yummy samples for review, and I can’t wait to try more from my box. Expect a tasting from one of the fruit ones soon…probably the strawberry oolong. I am excited about this round of samples. :)
this is a nice tea… almost a revamped version of a jasmine blossom tea. if you are inclined to add cream (as i usually am) resist the urge, really. with cream it somehow goes from a nice, light floral to a honeysuckle/bull kelp. (i kid you not)
it doesn’t possess an overpowering floral, very reminiscent of walking in a spring garden and once you’ve passed the flowering shrub the scent stops. it reminds me more of a green oolong than a black. no astringency, a small amount of caffeine stick but it’s not at all unpleasant.
there are a few ‘problems’ that aren’t exactly problems and they are these:
- i started with a tea that i wound up adoring yesterday, the milk oolong, and i just don’t like this one as much.
- something about it makes me think i would only ever want to drink it in spring or summer. wrong flavours for fall and winter.
- this last one comes from my wife after she sniffed it: ’it’s a smell i would wear, but not one i would drink’. not so much one i would wear, but i see her point.
a floral jasminesque that james’s wife would prefer to wear than drink.
and one last time: you really don’t want to add milk!
right off the bat, thanks to angel for this wonderful sample! ‘in your experience how is teavivre’s customer service, james?’ funny you should ask, because i was planning on mentioning that first off (because that’s what we all consider first with a tea delivery, lol).
my teavivre samples arrived yesterday afternoon. i was running around like a crazy man and didn’t even have a chance to open the box until evening. then (following short sorceress’s very sensible plan) i vowed not to open it until i had finished my other open samples… after all no tea purchases (mostly) until august. and then i got an email.
it was angel from teavivre. she had received notice that my parcel had arrived and she wanted to make sure there was no damage to the samples. well i HAD to open it up then, didn’t i? it would be rude not to! seriously, i was very impressed… watching the delivery confirmations, checking for damaged samples??? i have received free tea samples before— as a rule the companies aren’t too worried about whether there’s any damage when it’s sent for free. it was also significant that teavivre appeared to be as happy about me receiving my samples as i was to have them. huge props specifically to angel for that lovely bit of diligence.
the tea, ooooooooooooooh the tea. light, sweet, creamy, mild floral notes finishing up with a mild marine note. echoes of a green oolong. no astringency, no caffeine stick on my tongue. this is a comfort tea. the kind that hugs you when you are stuck in traffic and running late. it is naturally sweet and when i take a small sip it seems to fill up my mouth.
i was up early today, running all over the city with nothing but this tea to keep my sanity. i was pressed into a new assessment protocol with this one; i took an extra five minutes (which made me late, but too bad) and recorded my observations on my iphone. another thing: i am notoriously bad for resteeping. i am generally so busy trying new teas that i only steep the one time. the sample package i opened this morning is the only tea i have had all day. why? 1)because i like it that much, 2) because it is that good on a resteep.
i really like this tea, so this is where i take a moment to become a drama llama… (i also sincerely believe this has been well earned):
impressive. in every way. yes i will buy it when i run out of samples.
OH! AND THAT WAS NOTE NUMBER 100!!! appropriate that i hit triple digits with such a great tea…
This is a delicious, yet super strong, black tea. Make sure you come hungry when you sit down to this tea – and don’t steep it long! I tried a number of different steeping times and concentrations of leaves on this one – all produced very strong results. This is definitely for black tea lovers! Though it is powerful, it is very refreshing and lovely. I loved it with and without sugar and though I don’t like milk in my tea, it can definitely hold its flavor with some cream!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Tannin
I must thank Angel at Teavivre for this experience. My tea arrived today and I have been ogling the whole box since.
Black tea is one of the great loves of my life. I brew it daily, inhale the deep aromas, gaze at the dark colors, and sip at it greedily. It is truly a spiritual experience for me, and I consume far more of it than can be considered healthy. We all have our vices, so I justify mine with the fact that it’s tea and not gambling or cocaine. Solid logic, no?
This fragrant black tea is no disappointment. I will say it is not for the faint of heart, however. This is a strong, thick, and powerful blend – even when steeped precisely as recommended. For those looking for something not so powerful, it could easily be steeped for half the time and be quite enjoyable. In fact, I do believe this would do wonderfully iced with just a hint of sugar.
The leaves really didn’t give away the strength of the brew to come, not too dark, faintly aromatic, very unlike the tea they created. To my delight it is not very bitter. Indeed I’ve tasted far lighter black teas with more bitterness and interesting aftertastes.
I am truly biased in my adoration of steaming hot black tea, but I do think everyone should try it.
Thank you again, Angel, for this adventure. I will be reviewing the other teas over the course of the next week and am very excited for the opportunity. I have been ill and homebound these past few months, and tea has been one of my only escapes.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
The strawberry aroma is very strong when this packet is opened.
I used 2 tsp of tea.
I found this tea very subtle. The buttery oolong is the prominent note with a subtle note of strawberry sweetness. I found that this oolong wasn’t vegetal and more on the sweet side which really suits my taste.
Resteep 3 minutes was much the same with a little less strawberry flavour.
I have the rest chilling in the fridge and will edit tomorrow!
UPDATE: cold, this tea is fairly refreshing and it seems like the strawberry notes are a little more prominent. However, I prefer oolongs hot, so I will probably stick with that
I bought this quite awhile ago in a sample pack and I am just getting around to it now because I have SO MUCH tea!
I thought this was really good. I used 2 tsp of tea.
Taste: Nice and creamy, and a bit vegetal with that buttery smoothness of oolong.
Resteep 3 minutes: losing a bit of that creaminess but still a good cuppa
Cold: a different kind of creamy, but refreshing all the same
Thank you Angel at Teavivre for the samples!
I was excited to try this one because I love jasmine pearls.
I steeped 1 tsp of this tea. The peach aroma comes through right away when steeping this tea. I didn’t get much of the jasmine taste and it doesn’t seem quite as sweet as the other jasmine pearls. The peach does taste fresh though.
Resteeped for 2 minutes.
I think I would maybe start off with steeping this for 2 minutes right off the bat to bring out more of the jasmine flavour.
I put half of each steep into the fridge to chill. Cold, this tea is very refreshing. The peach tastes pretty natural. I am still not getting as much jasmine as I was expecting to get, just a little hint.
I think I actually prefer this cold.
Thank you Angel at Teavivre for this sample!
Even though I have already tried these, I would never pass up an opportunity to receive more of them. I love them
They are beautiful little pearls and I enjoy watching them slowly unfurl while steeping. The tea is smooth and silky. The jasmine is not too strong and the green tea is not too vegetal. Absolutely one of my favourite teas
I finally tried these little gems from the sample pack from my last order! I used 1 tsp of pearls for my perfect mug. These are amazing. So sweet and smooth with almost a creamy quality like some others have mentioned. The jasmine isn’t too strong. The green tea is nice and smooth and not too vegetal. This is very refreshing and delicious. I will have to compare them next time to the premium pearls which I also love and see which one will be my cupboard staple. Have many other people compared these two teas?
Resteeped 2 minutes
I also combined half of each steep to drink cold. This tea is just as amazing cold. So refreshing
Additional notes: Had to buy some of this with my order. I was low on pu-erh and this will keep my stash of pu-erh going! I like this one. I think I’ve figured out I liked ripened pu-erh more than raw pu-erh. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t the ripened pu-erh darker in flavor (like a cup of coffee) and the raw pu-erh is lighter? I’m not sure. And I have no idea about sheng or shu yet, especially as I never see those in the descriptions of the teas. I love the little rose that floats at the top of the infuser for this one, though it doesn’t really contribute much flavor! Three nice steeps with this one.
Thank you Dinosara for sending two of these tiny bird nests to try! The leaves here are very dark and there is a rose embedded in the bottom of the nest. I don’t know why I’m trying this one now, as this apparently never expires and I have plenty of other teas that will expire! But the bag this came in is very handy and I’m planning on putting other teas in it.
Steep #1 – Boiling – two minutes – Immediately the rose left the nest like a baby bird and flew to the top of the steeper. The color is very dark. I’ve never seen a darker cup – black until held up to the light and it turns a cranberry red. There is a bit of the fishy fragrance but the flavor itself is not tough… it’s actually very addicting for some reason and tough to explain the flavor itself. It’s a bit cedar like while still maintaining some sweetness. A little spicy.
Steep #2 – Boiling – must have went for three minutes – I think I left this one steeping a little too long since the flavor was very woody. Not terrible but I really liked the mystique of the first cup. The color of the cup is even deeper.
Steep #3 – Boiling – two minutes – The leaves in the bottom of the steeper are actually very tiny. The color of the cup now looks like root beer. The sweeter flavor is back again. I wouldn’t necessarily say there actually IS a rose flavor to this tea, but the flower is a nice touch and it isn’t just a plain pu-erh.
Steep #4 – Boiling- two minutes – I think this one is losing a bit of flavor now, unless I just steeped it wrong. So I’ll just stop here!
Really very nice, as almost everything from Teavivre is! I’m really looking forward to trying more pu-erhs in the future.
Long time no see Steepster! Well I have been coming to this site on and off but it’s certainly been quite a while since I actually sat down and decided to put some notes down. Well one factor in making such a decision is that I got this particular green tea from Teavivre as a sample, so I wanted to make a note of how I felt about this tea before it was all gone. Looks like I’ll have enough for two more teapots, and I must say that Teavivre was quite generous with the amount they put into that little package.
So, how DO I feel about this tea? Well, I’ve always heard good things about Dragon Well teas but their high price tag kept me away from actually ordering them. This is the first time I’ve tried it and I must say I’m quite impressed. First off the liquor smells like a mix of vegetables, hard to pinpoint what vegetable exactly, but it’s there. You also get a hint of bitterness from the smell. The taste is quite different, resembling rice or even toasted sesame seeds. In one word, nutty. Not much of the bitter taste coming through, although you can sense it if you pay close attention. Mouth feel is incredibly smooth, almost velvety. I can see why Dragon Well is highly praised. I’m happy to know that there are green teas out there that I can learn to love besides Gunpowder green tea, which is currently one of my favourites.
Smells like a good Yunnan should right out of the bag, fruity and maybe a little cocoa-esque as well. Brewed up dark pretty fast. This Yunnan tea is particularly fruity tasting and smelling, like sun dried apricots and figs. Nice and smooth. I was originally planning to ice it after I tried a few sips warm, as it has been a hot Summer, but this cup is so good hot the ice will have to wait. I can already tell this is worth ordering again.
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.
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/