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Recent Tasting Notes
It was hard to move onto another tea after enjoying Teavivre’s Jasmine Silver Needle so much yesterday, but I am glad I tried this today.
Sometimes Tie Guan Yins are a little….harsh…in the aroma to me. This one is much smoother than some I have had. The first impression is of a dark, baked scent, not smokey, not ashy, not harsh, but comforting, like your grandmother’s iron skillet has some slow roasted delicacy in it, an exotic vegetable that has been cooked low and slow to develop wonderful dark tasting sugars and caramelize. The taste is growing more fruity as I sip, with a hint of the frosty note I find in some white teas. This is a monkey picked to love!
Thank you, Angel and Teavivre for this wonderful sample!
After my last tasting of this wonderful brew I iced the remainder for the next day. As I looked at the beautiful color through the Mason Jar I thought this tea would be a perfect candidate for cold-brewing. I put the two jars side by side as I watched the slow process of cold brewing. The darker iced and the lighter cold-brewed. I brewed this for several days and the result is stunning. The aroma and flavor are on par with some of the finest teas I have ever had. Period. Flavors of citrus and pineapple and, ahem, cannabis. I beg you to try this one. One teaspoon and let it brew for 3 days and wham. A sensory delight.
This is my first tea other than Lipton in many days. All through Memorial Day weekend I was feeling fluish. Sick. I had know idea how sick I could get. Finally on Wednesday I called my Mother and she took me to a doctor. When he took my blood pressure and it was 50 over 35 it was off to the emergency room. After explaining my pains, the nurse asked me if I was bit by a tick. I said yes. According to my symptoms they treated me for Ehrlichiosis. The IVs went in and it was 5 days of intense fever, coughing and body aches from hell. This is my first good tea since then. I am sipping it slowing. I will comment more in depth later when my sense of taste returns. In the meantime, this tea has made me feel so much better.
This was the second tea I served to my guest yesterday, a lady I met about 25 years ago but never really got to know as we saw each other only rarely, and briefly.
She liked it very much and said she liked the puerh better, which really surprised me. Then she explained that this tea was delicious, but she knew she would only drink it when she felt very stressed and needed something to help her calm down. She wouldn’t consider it an every day tea, and I understand because I use it in just that way.
So she liked it very much, liked the ouerh more for regular consumption, and here is a spoiler….The tea she really flipped over was Yunnan Dian Hong – Golden Tips.
She said she did not consider herself a foodie and felt that she is an old fashioned cook, using just a few spices that her mother used and not exploring new things. Yet she was spot on with all of her descriptions of what each tea smelled like, how it tasted, what it would be good with. I think we have a potential hardcore tea addict in the making!
Pretty big surgery yesterday. Morphine button a bust – turns out morphine just makes me violently ill. Went painkiller free other than essential oils on my feet and this tea, sent up in a JoeMo by youngest daughter. This tea takes me to my happy place. It really helped me relax and soothed my throat which was irritated by the throat tube. Best of all, having a familiar and beloved tea made me relax, which means hurting a little less. Two containers were sent up, and eldest daughter drank one and loved it. This was her first time having it but I have a feeling it wasn’t the last.
This is one of my favorite teas, and it has only been a few years since I thought I would never be a let o detect flavor in white tea. This one is full bodied and creamy, and the jasmine is absolutely perfect. My best friend tried it and had to have it so she has been buying it for a while and I just gave her a pouch of it for Christmas, and a lady who only just discovered a love of tea here at my house just had to have it and had me order two pouches – one for her and one for her mother for Christmas.
Try this tea at your own risk. You will want to keep it on shelf at all times.
The lady I had not seen in about five years who came for tea last month wanted to come again. She was picking up feed bags for a Pinterest project. Of course, I wanted to serve tea again because she was so stunned at how good the high quality tea tastes last time! I chose this one for today because she mentioned that she and her mother were interested in tea for the health benefits.
Twice now I have had trouble getting people to understand that white tea is higher in antioxidants than green. They keep insisting on green because of all the articles they have read. As I served this one I read the description and details from the Teavivre website. She was very excited when she heard the part about antioxidants.
We tasted the tea and she declared it to be the best tea she has ever tasted in her entire life, and asked me to order one bag for her and one for her mom. She even stayed for a resteep of the pot and we finished that one, too.
This is one of those teas that would be in my shelf if I ever had to have just five teas. (Gasp!)
I was raised in the Bible Belt in a Baptist household. My mother was raised in a Baptist orphanage. It was a loving, nurturing home, but you did not, I repeat, did NOT say “oh my God” or “Jesus Christ” unless you were actually praying. My sister frequently said, “OH LORD!” Then softly added, “And I do mean it reverently.” Yep, we were that Southern Baptist.
These habits are hard to break, and I still do not use those expressions lightly, so believe me when I say I meant it with all my heart when I cut this package open, sniffed, and said, “Oh my God” in a husky voice as my knees shook.
I had only tried a sample of this, but loved it long ago. When a friend signed up for Teavivre samples I encouraged her to try this one, and she fell in love with it and no other tea would do, so I placed an order for both of us. I guess it has been over a year now since I had my samples.
What is so great about it? Everything. The jasmine aroma is lighter than their other jasmines like Dragon Pearl Jasmine, Silver Jasmine Green, and Superfine Downy Jasmine Dragon Pearls. The tea itself is so rich and creamy. The mouth feel reminds me very much of having a bit of real whipping cream. This is a white tea with great body, great taste of creamy oaty grain goodness, and the sweetness of jasmine laid over the top. The jasmine stays with you after the sip in a little ghost of aftertaste.
Hubby tried it for the first time tonight and really liked it. We had five steeps, FIVE!, so far and it is still so very good.
Thank you for sending me samples and introducing me to so many wonderful teas, Teavivre! I end up buying almost everything I taste!
Edited to add: after hubby went to bed I went for a sixth steep. I drank it. I had to get up a lot last night! Just until about 2 am. LOL!
This is a sample provided by Teavivre for review! I already reviewed this one today but I felt that the resteep deserved a review as well because of the circumstances.
I had a late student tonight so I decided to make a resteep of the leaves from this afternoon. The mom of the young lady is not a big tea drinker and has really only had sweet iced black tea and maybe a flavored and sweetened Christmas tea.
I offered her a cup of the resteep and she accepted. She sniffed it and said it smelled like perfume. She sipped. She loved the aroma and the taste, and refilled her cup.
I love when someone enjoys new teas – I don’t think she had even heard of white tea before tonight. She told me that I should tell Teavivre that a tea “imbecile” – her words not mine – loved their tea!
What impressed me was how much color this white tea still had on the resteep, and the flavor was virtually the same as the first steep. And now I have one more friend who is a tea friend as well!
This is the last of a free sample sent by Teavivre. Thank you, Mary, Angel, and Teavivre!
I chose this as the final tea of tea party. Normally a white tea would have been served first and we would progress to darker, stronger, or more flavored teas. But today I wanted hefty black tea to go with our food, and I used this as a “wind down” tea for relaxing and chatting after eating.
If any jasmine tea can compete with Teavivre’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls for the top spot in my heart, this would be it. The jasmine is sweet and not soapy, the tea has great body and color, and everything about it whispers, “quality.” I say it whispers because those two jasmine teas are the ultimate relaxation to me and neither would ever scream. You might even say it purrs.
Aaaahh! Very good, my guest loved it, I loved it. I am thinking this will probably be on my next Teavivre order, which I will be making very soon because I have to order for a couple of friends who came to tea and can’t live without Jasmine and Taiwanese Ginseng Oolong.
Two years ago, I couldn’t really taste white tea. Even a year ago, white tea was pretty much wasted on me. Now that my palate is less jaded from exposure to super sweet sodas and I have learned to seek the nuances in the cup, I enjoy every kind of tea I have encountered.
White tea is still elusive for me, though, and I try to only drink it when I am alone and can concentrate on what I am tasting. But this one was served at tea party yesterday! My guest, a former “coffee only” person, loved it. I loved it, too, and finished the pot later in the day. Then…something strange happened.
The tea that requires concentration to taste because of its subtlety, haunted me all evening long. The memory of the taste tugged at me, but I didn’t think I should make anymore so late. It is no wonder, then, that the first thing I should do today after breakfast was to make a resteep of yesterday’s leaves.
The resteep is even better! I was afraid I had the water a little too hot, but if I did then I need to do that again! I did not lengthen my steep time, yet the liquor is every bit as golden. The jasmine is even more noticeable to me now, it seems. There is a slight, but pleasant, VERY pleasant, astringency now, so perhaps I didn’t cool my water long enough, but I can already tell that when this pot is gone, I will again be haunted by the taste and memory of this tea.
Excellent! Well done! Thank you, Teavivre, for this sample!
Oh wow. Wow oh wow oh wow. I love the smell that hit me when I opened this package. It was almost too rich to be true. The jasmine was muted, the white tea magnificent! This is a sample from Angel and Teavivre.
We made this western style for tea party day. The liquor is a pale golden color, with perhaps the barest tinge of peach color. The aroma is now light, somewhat frosty/fruity, very subtle. The jasmine is there, but it is almost just a sweet high note, not strong like in my beloved Jasmine Dragon Pearls.
This is a lovely white tea and clearly an excellent tea base. You could never accuse this tea of being perfume-y or soapy, or of having too much jasmine. Because I find GOOD jasmine so relaxing and it is a real stress reliever for me, I love the Jasmine Dragon Pearls. I dislike fakey jasmine very much. This is great white tea with a hint of jasmine giving sweetness and interest. The sweet taste lingers and makes me keep reaching for my cup and drinking this much more quickly than I intended!
Thank you, Teavivre, for the opportunity to try this lovely tea!
Backlogging from last month.
I’ve been a little slow to updating my notes. This was a sample I had received from Teavivre, thank you. Now, I’ve only had one other Pi Lo Chun before and I didn’t care for it so I decided to try another from a better vendor, so here we are.
The dry leaves are a curled mix of darker green leaves and fuzzy white ones and smell vaguely of the sea. When brewed up the wet leaves have a sweet, smokey vegetal scent to them. The infusion was light and had a hint of smoke to it.
Upon tasting the first infusion I got notes of sweetness, smoke, salt, and vegetal. Kind of reminded me of a savory miso soup, fascinating. As it started to cool a little I started to get roasted/grilled corn notes. As the infusions went on, I got to 5, the corn notes came out a little more but it didn’t really change, but I wasn’t expecting it to either.
This is a decent green tea, unfortunately I don’t care for smokey teas…I’m a wimp when it comes to that and I’m sure Bonnie is going to say something! I’m glad I got to try this and broaden my horizons a bit, but I’m going to refrain from rating this one because of my dislike of smokey teas. Thank you Teavivre for letting me try this!
This is a sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you, Angel and Teavivre! This is my first milk oolong ever!
As soon as I opened the package, a buttery scent rushed out. I love this aroma in tea! I want to sit outside to drink it, so I decided to go with western style steeping. I made one pot with boiling water and steeped for two minutes. I sampled a tiny bit of that steep and immediately poured the water over for a second steep at just over two and a half minutes. I also sampled the second steep separately before pouring both steeps together in a tetsubin to sit on the warmer.
The first steep was light and buttery. The liquor was a light yellow color. It reminds me of a much milder version of Premium Silky Green by Bird Pick.
The second steep went a little longer and I used less water because my kettle didn’t have enough to fill the pot completely. This second steep was stronger, more assertive. The oolong flavor came through a bit more. I like that! I think next time I make this western style I will go with the longer steep time. This second steep is milliner, also.
I am now drinking the combined steeps with hubby. Now I have the milky flavor and a creaminess is coating my mouth. I noticed when I went in to refill my cup that a sweetness rose up from my throat and lingered. Love teas that do that!
This is very good, and I am eager to try someday the unflavored milk oolong as well!
Thank you, again, Teavivre!
I woke up very bleary this morning, unexpectedly, and actually drank coffee for the first time in a long time.
But as late morning begins to drag on towards lunch, it is time to settle into something softer, so here I am with the last of this free sample and it is just right.
Hopefully it will settle my stomach a bit before it is time to eat.
I am surprised I like this tea as much as I do, but I really do.
Because I messed up my steeping on this last time, I was anxious to get back to it, but I wanted to give Liz a chance to sample it as well. Now that she has, I could come back to it.
Much like the jasmine silver needles, the key word here is “balanced”.
The sweet coating which brings the ginseng to the tea does not produce a cup of candy. The first two or three cups are certainly sweet, but you can still taste the tea well enough.
I’m up to steep five or six now and the leaf is starting to take center stage and there is very little sweetness left. The leaves themselves, once hydrated, are huge, and deep green and they produce a bold, amber cup. This is one of those classic Chinese oolong which is practically a green tea. There is a strong presence of the roasting pan heat beneath the green bell pepper bitterness.
There is a bite that wants to creep in, here, but short steeps are keeping it at bay. This strikes me as a tea that might not do very well with Western steeping.
Again, not a tea that I could see ending up in my daily rotation, but as a medicinal throat soothing tea, I don’t see how you could ask for better than this.
I have finally discovered the right treatment to masque the floral notes of green oolongs.
On the one hand, this is sweet. Not a leaf with a sweetness to it, but actually sweet. I assume part of the ginseng treatment involves a sugar of some kind. This is not just on the tongue, but there is a burnt caramel sugar aroma both in the cup and from the liqueur.
Alas, I radically over steeped my second cup. :-(
Backlogging from this morning: i realized I hadn’t tealogged this one today when my youngest daughter walked by and said, with great depth of feeling, “Mom, we have GOT to get some more of that smoky tea!”
This is the last of my free sample from Angel and Teavivre. Thanks, guys, you are making me break my tea buying ban, but I am hoping this doesn’t count because it is really for my child! (yeh, right!)
We started back to school yesterday and this morning as soon as we opened the geometry book I said, “I am going to HAVE to have some tea! Smoky?” And daughter said, “Oh, yes, please!”
Middle daughter said she couldn’t have made it through Algebra II and Advanced Math without her London Cuppa. I think youngest and I will be swilling through quite a few pots of Lapsang to get through geometry. She has only had it for two days, but already says it isn’t nearly as fun as Algebra. Sigh. I hope this doesn’t mean it’s gonna be a loooong year!
The most remarkable thing is that I asked her if she wanted me to order this or her beloved Baker Street that is almost all gone. She wants this one! Wow! Teavivre, that is amazing, in case you didn’t know! So, oh well, I guess I have to order some tea tonight! It’s for school….
This is a free sample provided for review by Angel and Teavivre. Thank you!
Breakfast is a simple affair in my house. A piece of whole wheat toast or an English muffin for me, toast or waffles for the girls. Sometimes we just have grits. With waffles we drink milk, but everything else is accompanied by milk with Nesquik.
Today, we are out of our homemade whole wheat bread, out of English muffins, and almost out of grits. I opted for waffles and when I thought of the maple syrup somehow I couldn’t get Lapsang out of my head as a great go-with.
I did drink milk with the waffles, but this wonderful tea was waiting for us and I could hardly wait to get to it. Just as sweet and salty go together well, I have been enjoying sweet and smokey together.
Youngest and I are the only ones drinking tea on this rainy morning because middle daughter started community college today. I am really excited for her! I think she is excited, too, because she has been handling all the details without being asked; getting her ID card made, picking up her parking sticker, going to the bookstore, seeing her guidance counsellor, going to bed on time to adjust to the new schedule, buying an extended alarm clock app to guarantee that she won’t be late. Sniff, sniff! We plan to have a nice, hot pot of her favorite, London Cuppa, waiting for her when she pulls up at lunch time!
I did not look at the instructions BEFORE making this. It says to use 2 teaspoons per cup, and I only used one per cup.This is still very good and certainly strong enough to enjoy, perhaps because I gave it the extended 2 minute steep instead of cutting it short to one. I still have a bit left so perhaps I will make a cup of it with 2 teaspoons and see how it changes the taste.
As is, the body is light, the smoke is medium, the tea is sweet, smooth, and delicious!
Thank you, Angel and Teavivre!
This is a free sample that was provided by Angel at Teavivre.
This is my first time serving this tea at tea party day. I wasn’t sure how it would go over. My guest likes coffee, dislikes puerh and ginseng teas. Where would smoke fall in that? She had a Hunan Golden Tip that I thought was pretty smokey once but she said she didn’t pick up the smoke.
I served this as a companion to more peach dumplings today. We were experimenting with Vietnamese and Chinese cinnamons to see if we liked them better than the Ceylon Cinnamon of last week. I needed a tea that was bold enough to sip beside the sweet dumplings in the syrup without getting lost, yet would hopefully pair well and play nicely.
I must say this did very well. My guest liked it, and youngest daughter, she with the great love of Baker Street Afternoon, said enthusiastically, “That was GOOOOOOD!” She is contemplating making another pot of it right now, so I guess I have found one more tea that needs to go on my next Teavivre order! I think this is the first time I have really noticed a Lapsang leaving the smokey taste alongside the sweet tea base, and it was very good. My guest and I agreed that this would be heavenly to drink while sitting by a crackling fire on a rainy, cold night.
Thank you for the opportunity to try yet another of your great teas, Teavivre!
When I first started getting into loose leaf tea, there were two types of tea that frightened me. One was Lapsang and the other puerh. I am pleased to say that I conquered my fear, got past the smell, and like both very much now!
This was one of the samples in my latest box from them, and since my youngest daughter loves smokey tea I thought it would be nice to try it together on the patio with some Kerrygold Dubliner cheese.
One or two lapsangs have really turned me off because they smell like an ashtray. Having grown up with smoking parents and keeping a cough most of my young life, that is a bad association, plus cleaning the ashtrays was one of my chores. O.o
This Lapsang reminds me a bit of Upton’s Baker Street Afternoon Blend in the aroma. This is a sweet, bacon-y smoke, like maple bacon perhaps. It was an excellent match for the Dubliner cheese. But where I find Baker Street to be almost chewy because of its taste texture, this one is lightr bodied.
I don’t like biting, astringent tea, not even to get me going in the mornings. When I want a tea that asserts itself enough to get my attention even while foggy headed, or just because I want something more bold, I think Lapsang is an excellent choice. This one has the right kind of smoke for me, a sweet, food-y smoke. The tea base is sweet, mild, and tasty. No sugar or milk is needed to mask astringency or to add flavor and I can enjoy it plain. My youngest daughter takes all of her tea with milk and sugar, and she enjoyed it that way, so it can handle additions if you want them.
Thank you, Teavivre! This made a lovely start to our day! I am resteeping it now to sip on for the rest of the morning.
I am going to preface this review with two facts
1) Black tea and I aren’t the best of friends
2) I brewed this with boiling water, for a long time and with an ordinary travel mug and a drawstring tea bag, so not ideal brewing conditions for a high quality tea, and I will try again once I have time to do it properly!
Now to the reviewing… I found it to be too strong for my liking (although it wasn’t bitter, which is my number one put-off for black tea). I may have brewed it for too long, I often get distracted at work and forget about my tea just waiting for me on my desk! Anyways, I didn’t get any of the caramel flavours that others did, it was just strongly vegetal for me, and not my favourite flavour. I am going to hold off on the numerical rating until I have a chance to brew it properly and mindfully and then record right away, as this rating is coming from my morning cup yesterday.
It is taking me a while to get everything logged this week, but this was the first tea served at tea party on Wednesday. It was the Queen of the tea party, too. This is delicious stuff.
We made it western style. I think we used about fourteen pearls in a 22 ounce pot. I served it first because I felt that its rich, cocoa notes would cut the sweetness of the baked peaches and ice cream. This is not astringent nor is it in any way sour, but I have trouble describing the rough, tongue scraping quality of unsweetened cocoa that I get from this. It is a highly desirable trait to me in this tea, and I find it in some Keemuns as well. This type of tea has the body and taste to stand next to pretty much any food, and is especially good with sweet things to me. Some green teas cleanse the palate with an astringency that turns to sweetness after the sip, but this clears the palate without astringency. It is so…..present! I don’t think I could absentmindedly drink this tea. It became a cupboard staple from the first taste of the sample Teavivre sent.
My guest and I agreed that this was the best tea of the day.