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Recent Tasting Notes
I want to tell you upfront that this is a truly special tea. Every once in a blue moon I feel the need to talk about the texture of a tea because it really stands out. This is one of those teas that I feel the need to hold on my tongue every time I take a sip. It has a wonderful silky mouthfeel that I don’t often encounter. I had to be really careful to remember to take notes on each steep, because last time I came across a tea like this I was distracted by the texture and managed to drink 4 complete steeps without taking a single note. Thankfully Angel at TeaVivre provided me with three samples, one I can write about and two I can get lost in.
The first steep of this tea immediately showed me how special it was. As I mentioned above it had a nice silky mouthfeel to it that just begs to be savored, although the flavor is slightly drying. I did notice that this particular Tie Guan Yin is not as floral as many others that I have had.
Make sure to check out the rest of my review on my blog:
The final new-to-me Teavivre sample I have to review! I must say that I love Teavivre just for how generous they are. I love the contest they have going right now… I hope I win! I swear whenever I see a Steepster note for anything from Teavivre, it is mentioned as being a free sample! They know their teas are the best! I would probably buy ALL of them if I had the money.
This one is an actual milk oolong, and the milk flavor is in the leaf growing process and not actually flavored with something artificial. I know this because this one is called a Jin Xuan and not just ‘milk oolong’. Teavivre’s instructions are for 212 degrees, 2-3 teaspoons with a rinse and then 1,2,3 minute steep times. One sample package had about two teaspoons (honestly if I used three teaspoons, the unfurled leaves would have been pouring out of the brew basket!)
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 1 min
It’s new to me that boiling will not burn an oolong. It certainly doesn’t ruin this one. I just thought it would be more like green tea and less like black tea. Steep times and temps seem to be the most different with oolongs. The dry leaves are so bright green and actually smell like vegetables. The steep color is a light butter yellow and the main flavor profile is the same. It isn’t floral, fruity or vegetal — it is sweet, creamy, butter. Less like milk, but when it is an ACTUAL milk oolong and not flavored as such artificially, it doesn’t have as strong of a milk flavor.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 2 min
More delicious butter! That is still the main flavor profile. So so good. I love the different flavor profiles that oolongs have. I’m surprised this cup stayed so similar to the first cup, since oolongs usually change. The bottom of this mug tasted like cream, even cold!
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
This one seemed a touch too bitter, less butter, though it was still drinkable. It tasted more like orchids this time! I would have went two and a half minutes for this steep. This tea is lovely!
After hearing so much about this one, I knew I had to have it as my next oolong sample! (sipdown – 96)
I steeped it for 2.5 minutes, which might have been a bit much. This tea is very strong and roasty, but it almost tastes like a Yunnan or some variety of black tea, instead of an oolong as I’m used to it. Maybe that’s because I’m not getting ANY floral notes at all?
This smells wonderful though – dark and sweet, and the tea itself tastes just as nice. It’s very woodsy with a bit of honey.
I’ll update when I re-steep this later on.
I think I prefer the Da Hong Pao, but this is close.
ETA: Second steep was 2 minutes, and is almost too mild! I went from too much to too little.
I’ll have to buy more samples of this in the future!
I put off trying this a little while because I’m like that when it comes to pu-erh. It’s something that’s sort of a conditioned response for me. But I’m glad I finally got around to finally trying it.
Subdued earthy notes, sweet (like molasses) and smooth. A very nice, mellow tea.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/07/05/mengku-arbor-tree-ripened-puerh-cake-tea-zhenmu-lingya-2007-from-teavivre/
I think I’m in the minority here. This was just ok for me. I’m not a huge fan of green oolong, but I was expecting this to be more like fruit flavored green tea. Nope, not what I was expecting. There is real strawberry in here, but it’s subtle and overshadowed by the oolong. I can appreciate that this is a high quality oolong with real strawberry flavors.
I think I’m more of a fake, in your face flavor sort of girl. I either was straight tea, or I want flavored tea. This was too close to the middle for me.
How is it that I have no tasting note for this? I could have sworn I had it before! This is a free sample provided by Teavivre for review.
We haven’t been out for Asian buffet take out in a few weeks and decided to go tonight. We like to drink a nice green or oolong tea with our meal and this one caught my eye. I put the entire sample packet into my 24 ounce pot, heated the water to 175F, and steeped for just barely over one minute. The tea was so fragrant already! I immediately poured that steep into a tetsubin and resteeped those leaves, again for just a few seconds over one minute.
There is a lovely, light chocolate-y aroma here, as if I had eaten a candy bar and a little chocolate melted on my fingers and I can smell that faint scent. This tea has a lot of body, a vegetal taste, and just enough strength to make it taste super mellow with your food and still really good even without food. It doesn’t get astringent or bitter making it this way. I am rarely a fan of astringency. As I was eating, I noticed that the tea sometimes seemed creamy, without tasting buttery. Lots of body here!
This is a tea of high pedigree, and I would gladly recommend it to the friend who wants to start drinking greens but until last week had never found one she liked. This is a very enjoyable dragonwell!
Thank you, Teavivre, for the marvelous and generous sample!
Thanks to Teavivre for a sample of this tea. I am excited to try Teavivre’s new Taiwanese high mountain oolongs; this one I had a gongfu session with this afternoon.
The first steep was light and floral, slightly buttery and a hint of sugary sweetness. In the second and third steeps, more of the vegetal flavor came out, spinachy and generally leafy. Also the sweetness abated, leaving mostly floral and vegetal. As I have noticed with Taiwanese high mountain oolongs in the past, this is crisp and clean, without the really buttery and fruity notes that characterize tieguanyins. I tried each steep then dumped the remainder into one cup to drink later. It’s more floral and a touch sweeter when all are combined, but otherwise pretty similar to the individual steeps. This is a very nice example of these high mountain oolongs, nicely fresh and floral.
Also I had only one pack of this so sipdown, 137. Thanks again to Teavivre for the sample.
This is a really nice oolong tea. I first had it at work, and it tasted delicious despite the water conditions at work generally hurting the flavor. I tried it again at home, and it was indeed very pleasant. I think I steeped the leaves four times on Friday, and it tasted great every time. The expansion of the leaves is also really impressive. Dried, they are so tiny… and after steeping, they become the BIGGEST. LEAVES. EVER. Okay, perhaps not “ever,” but they are massive compared to their dry state. Overall, very tasty tea.
(Sample from silentrequiem. Thanks!)
This is a quite floral smelling and tasting oolong on the first steep (in a good way). On the second steep it balances out more with earthy/minerally notes. I originally only intended to have one mug of this while watching a movie, but I was enjoying it and drinking it down so fast, I kept pausing the movie to go make more. Has a creamy mouthfeel. I bought more of this 2 years after the initial review and it has some scents that remind me of cinnamon kind of.
Honestly, I didn’t know how I would like the flavor of a Oolong Milk tea. As soon as I poured the hot water over the leaves my sense of smell came alive. It had a wonderful scent of creamy fruit that I just loved. Yes, I would love to have this tea again. Thank you so much Teavivre!!!
This was a free sample from Teavivre with my last order.
I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. I have tried the Dian Hong before and liked it. I was a little suspicious of rose because other rose teas I have had have been very perfumey.
Upon opening the package there are pretty little light pink rose buds mixed in with the Dian Hong. It smells pleasantly like natural rose buds (I have many rose bushes in my garden and I love the smelle of the blooming rose buds in the early summer!). It is not perfumey rose like the perfume my grandma used to wear.
I only brewed for one minute because I still had the fear that the rose would be too strong. It tastes delicious and delicate. I get the taste of the Dian Hong tea, it is smooth but moderately bold, slightly earthy, slightly malty. It is perfectly balanced with the slightest rose flavour, slightly floral but not too much and certainly not perfumey. The rose really lightens the black tea. This would be a perfect afternoon tea or a tea when you are just winding down. I think this one would have been just fine had I brewed for my usual 2 minutes.
I quite like this one.
Another free sample from the ever generous Teavivre. Thank you once more.
Like the others I have written notes on, this oolong is curled up into dark green balls that open up to become dark green whole leaves in the pot. There is something really quite lovely about the appearance of all these unfurled leaves filling my glass teapot. You would think there was no room for water with the way they unfurl.
The aroma is immediately floral and slightly milky. The liquor is dark yellow with a hint of green. It is sweet-tasting, like honeysuckle but thicker and with a creamy mouthfeel and that floral aroma emerges in the tasting too. This is a very refreshing tea and not too demanding. It sits comfortably with you in silence rather than requiring you to pay constant attention to it (yes, Tibetan Flame, I am thinking of you). I find it quite relaxing too, as my body takes it on board and decides that the stresses of the day are not equal to the stressbusting powers of this tea. This could be an everyday tea for me. I enjoy the sweetness and I do not feel compelled to try to get to the bottom of every flavour in the cup. Good stuff.