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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a backlog from Sunday. I had a friend over, who was not a big tea drinker, so I made this to share. Unfortunately, it’s the last I had, so now it is gone. I am very sad. :( I really love this tea, it has a beautiful, full jasmine flavour, while still being light and sweet. It’s a pretty colour, and this time, I added cream—non-dairy, powdered—and it was HEAVENLY. I didn’t think Jasmine tea with cream would be good, but oh my goodness, it’s phenomenal!
I’ve got to get more of this sooner than later or I will start having withdrawals. Seriously, I love this tea so much.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Honey, Jasmine, Sweet
This is one of my all time favorite teas. I’ve logged it once, drank it…twice, I think? But maybe only that once. I was craving it today, and decided to make some.
Last time I made it, it steeped light, nearly colorless, but still kept a great flavor. This time I steeped it, and it was a bit darker, and STILL had the great flavor. I honestly think I cannot do anything to make this tea less in any way. The jasmine flavor floods your tongue, but doesn’t overpower you, the tea is light and refreshing, perfect for summer time. I’ve never drank it cold, but I’m sure it’s just as good cold as it is hot, and again, I seriously doubt it’s possible to ruin this tea, but again, I’m a bit biased because, well, I just think this tea rocks.
Every sip makes me happy, it’s just smooth, floral filled, and wonderful. Go make yourself a cup if you have any, and if you, for whatever insane reason, do not like it, you know someone to pass it on to!
On a serious ending note, though, this tea is splendid, and it makes me love tea even more, and it has every good thing in it. <3
So I want to say THANK YOU to Angel at Teavivre, and also apologize for being slow on the reviews. School has made it hard to really sit down and enjoy a cup of tea, though I’ve gotten a few bagged teas in.
To be honest, I’m still adjusting to the different flavors of Chinese tea. I think since Chinese tea is probably the most natural compared to bagged teas or other loose leaf, learning how to taste and like the different flavors has been an interesting challenge. So far, I like many of the teas I’ve tried, and then there are some that I need to taste a few more times.
However, this tea has blown my mind first try. JASMINE BLOSSOMS ARE YUMMY! Or at least in tea, I’ve never eaten a full one. Haha, but no, really, the floral smell hits you right out of the bag and is light enough to not choke you but strong enough to be enjoyed, even with my slightly stuffy nose.
Steeping it’s just as strong, and the first sip I literally went “Ooh!” because there was just this explosion of floral, jasmine awesomeness and then a very light, mellow taste of white tea. It blends so well and is just really pleasant, I have no complaints.
Just for anyone’s reference: This tea steeped really light in color for me, which makes sense because, duh, it’s a white tea, but it was much lighter in color than some white teas I’ve tried. That being said, the flavor was not missing at all, so if you feel that it didn’t steep strong enough, I’d try it first because it is PERFECT for me. Of course, tastes and preparation varies from person to person, so do it your way! Either way, GO DRINK THIS TEA! With a good book or movie! And something sweet to eat with it! (Although I’m craving popcorn…)
UPDATE: Each sip gets better and better! I LOVE THIS TEA!!
Dry Smell: Somewhat buttery and vegetative.
Wet: Mostly vegetables or leaves.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a milky taste up front as it tastes like TKJ. Now the aftertaste is where we start getting into the milky area of things. The feeling it leaves in the mouth is very similar to that of having just drank a tall glass of milk.
Wooooaaaaah. This is way too tart for me. I thought 3.5 minutes would be enough to tame the hibiscus, but apparently not! I can tell that there is a berry flavour in here too, but mostly, TART. I can see this being ok sweetened/as an iced tea, but this is not for me, sadly.
Thanks for sending some too me, CHAroma!
The smell of the dry leaves on this one was like a licorice-y butter to me, though the wet leaves had a much more darkly vegetal scent – I think this may be the greenest oolong I’ve tasted so far. I’m not sure I’m getting too much of the milk (I think I was expecting it to be really strong, since this was the flavored version), but it does have a really pleasant creamy-buttery taste. The cup is tasting better and better as I drink more of it (I think because I’m getting better accustomed to the greenness), and between sips there’s a long lasting pleasant aftertaste. After I let it cool down a bit more, I can taste more of the milk flavor in the aftertaste.
With the second and third steeps (at two and three minutes), all the flavors started coming out much stronger – more vegetal, but also way more milk taste and almost a kind of spiciness to it.
Hands down, best long jing on the planet. No smokiness or bitter chestnut, just mellow toastiness with a light chestnut aroma that reveals a floral, perhaps orchid, aftertaste . And the price is great to boot! Viva la Teavivre.
*tip: buy copious quantities in the spring.
I haven’t had any of these pearls in a while and my first sip is of nothing but regression. How could I ever forget my beloved Fengqing Dragon Pearls? Well I just finished off last nights Chinese dinner of noodles and mushrooms in Chinese curry sauce for lunch and this tea went amazingly well with it.
Now I have 24 orders to make and gather after the long weekend and bank holiday. Gives me time to catch up with Glee :)
Over the last few days I have been drinking a lot of this tea and it’s reminded me how much I adore it. My Teavivre tins arrived the other day and so now my pearls are stored in one of them and in my kitchen which makes for easier brewing access.
More than ever I am craving malty Yunnan tea so I suppose it was handy to have hidden a bag of these pearls for when I truly wanted them.
I have been adding new jewellery ranges on my eBay shop all day and I’m tired so the balls are great for a quick brew. I pop 4 balls (5 balls if I want extra strength) in an empty tea bag/sac and once water is added they work their magic to taint my water. Easy, quick to measure and so tasty.
It’s very malty with a smooth and sweet cocoa finish. Deep brown in colour with a sweet malty smell. Perfect!
I have just had a relaxing bath and the perfect way to end my day would be to try this amazing looking Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea. The pearls themselves are so tightly packed with dark brown and golden yellow leaves and are also uber cute with virtually no fragrance.
Again I am using my gaiwan and the instructions are as follows:
Gaiwan 3oz Tea: 5p 5 steeps: rinse, 30s,50s,1m10s,1m30s,2m 100ºC/212ºF
Steep 1 – Once the water was introduced the pearls have loosened up somewhat but are still keeping their shape. The tea now smells slightly dark and smoky with a little tinge of dark chocolate. Colour is dark brown but remains opaque. First few sips are refreshing and very subtle but there is a sweet background, florally sweet rather than sugar sweet. About finished now and there is a slight malty taste that only comes up in the last remaining dregs.
Steep 2 – The pearls have now finally given in and have split up completely resembling the look of any normal loose tea. Colour is the same but smell is slightly thicker and somewhat more like dark chocolate or cocoa. The taste is more prominent now with a mixture of malty smoke with subtle cocoa sweetness. Much nicer than the first steep as the chocolate flavour is stronger. It’s also very smooth with no bitterness.
Steep 3 – Again the colour is about the same but the smell is stronger again, this time very malty and dark but still chocolatey. The taste is still a very similar strength but now we have a touch of bitterness (only slight) but a little noticeable at the bottom of the cup.
Steep 4 – I am starting to feel that the description of dark brown is not good enough for the colour. It remains the same throughout the steep but It’s more than just a dark brown, it’s brown with red and gold tinges and delicious looking. The smell is still getting stronger with malty chocolate being the main characters. Taste is still fantastic but it’s a touch lighter than my previous cup, that will make it my last steep. It’s been absolutely delicious from start to end and I will definitely be buying more of this.
To summarize: Key words – Smoky, chocolate, malt, floral, astringent, sweet.
I am finishing off one the small sample bags today with my husband. It’s our first time using the gaiwan together instead of a traditional teapot so this could be interesting.
I think I may be adjusting to the perfumey taste, it doesn’t seem to be getting to me much today…infact it’s quite nice. Maybe this is one of those drinks that you like the more of it that you drink, I found Lapsang Souchong to be that way for me too.
Such a lovely way to relax on a Sunday.
This was a sample pack that I am trying from Teavivre. I will be using my gaiwan for this infusion. Notes state on their website the steeping times as follows: 5 steeps:rinse,20s,40s,1m10s,2m,2m30s.
Raw the tea is thin and sharp and they also snap in half so they are rather dry. They are a lovely grassy green colour with yellow and white whisps. It smells gently floral with a slight astringency.
First steep – 20 seconds – Colour is very pale yellow. Smell is slightly astringent but fresh with it. The flavour is nice and subtle, there is a definite florally perfume taste (similar to jasmine but on a much weaker scale) along with a natural grassy sweetness. There is no real bitterness.
Second steep – 40 seconds – Yellow (darker than the first steep) and with a stronger perfumey fragrance. Taste is also a little stronger, more floral and again a little grassier than the previous steep. Still very pleasant as there is no real bitterness and there is still a hint of sweetness about it. A slight nuttiness peaks through. For me this is about the peak of the tea, any stronger and it would be ruined and any lighter and it loses a lot of it’s character.
Steep three – 1 minute 10 seconds – Colour is yellow with a a fairly astringent and somewhat floral perfume fragrance. Both being slight stronger than the previous steep. The nuttiness is coming through vividly now (chestnut would be an adequate description). The sweetness has now gone and has been replaced with a touch of bitterness leading from the over perfumed taste.
I am not at the point of wincing a little while drinking due to the perfumery and I think this will be my last steep. It’s not badly (fubar’ed) but I don’t see myself enjoying the next two steeps and for now I am happy enough to have good memories of this tea with it’s earliest steeps.
Overall I would say this was of good quality and once steeped for the second time it unleashes it’s sweet, grassy and nutty magic. I would drink this for a change but not sure I could see myself buying it for personal use. It’s a little too perfume heavy for me.
THANK YOU Teavivre for sending me this sample MANY MONTHS AGO. I apologize for not opening it – I was on a tea hiatus of sorts and am now back.
This tea smelled like chocolate when I opened up the package.
The result has very little astringency and a light malty flavor that is slightly sweet. As the tea cools the sweet notes emerge. I really enjoyed this sample and recommend this tea!
Wow, this name was quite a mouthful. Taking the recommendations of the packaging, I boiled two cups of water and steeped this pu’erh for two minutes (Teavivre recommends one to two minutes). The dry leaves have much less of an earthy smell than I would have expected from a ripe pu’erh, but when the steeping is done, I am left with a wonderfully smooth-smelling pot of shou tea. This first pot is very smooth, a little bit earthy, if not slightly weak (understandable for a first steeping. I finish this first pot and steep another, this time increasing the time to two and a half minutes.
The second steeping strengthens both the aroma and flavor of this pu’erh. The earthy notes have come out stronger in both aspects. However, the tea has still kept its full smoothness. My only disappointment with this tea is the lack of complexity in the flavor profile. It is very much just a straight forward, simple shou pu’erh. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give this tea an 85/100.
Finally getting this sample! Thanks Teavivre!
First impression of the dry leaf is that it smells a lot like DT’s milk oolong. Make you wonder if theirs is flavored. It’s like condensed milk. Yummy!
First steep is more like cream cheese frosting than milk. There is a lot of vegetal flavor coming through. Smooth and sweet.
Second steep is less milky and more vegetal. Maybe like creamed veggies. :)
The leaves expand like crazy, of course. Good old dependable green oolong. :) I think I might like the unflavored version more but this is something I’ll enjoy to the last drop anyways.
If you’ve kept up with my tasting notes, you know that I am a huge fan of Teavivre Teas. I have yet to be disappointed by any of their products.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Teavivre’s fabulous Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. That tea is nothing short of incredibly fantastic, albeit a little pricey. This time, I thought I would save some money and hope that their Grade 1 Keemun selection was good enough to satisfy my Keemun itch.
I love the aroma of the short unbrewed tea leaves. It is a rich, sweet, and earthy smell that seems to belong only to Teavivre’s Keemun.
I steeped the tea at 205 degrees for three minutes as instructed on the packet. The color of the brewed liquor was golden brown.
As I brought the cup to my lips, I could already smell the savory Keemun. The first sip was absolutely delicious. The taste was sweet, earthy, full-bodied, and very smooth. There was no bitterness to be found. Subsequent sips…and cups…were at least equally delightful.
In my opinion, this Grade 1 Keemun is every bit as delicious and satisfying as Teavivre’s Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea. If you are on a budget (as I am), and you love Keemun, take advantage of the great taste and very reasonable price (currently – 10/24/2012 – Teavivre is also offering 20% off!) of the Grade 1 Keemun tea. I am very glad that I did! By the way, if your budget is even more restricted than mine, Teavivre has a Grade 2 Keemun black tea at even greater savings (and also currently – 10/24/2012 – 20% off)!
This is again thanks to Angel and the Teavivre crew. smiles
This is a better review than the Lapsang Souchong by a mile! LOL. I had wanted to try a more ‘traditional’ Oolong because I’ve had such limited experience so far, and wanted something to compare teas with an Oolong base to, even teas that have a lot in it. I had a imsomnia filled night so if my wording comes across as odd, that is why. Lack of sleep can make me a little loopy.
1st smell Dry: Sweet and uncomplicated. I can easily picture myself relaxing after a long days work with a cup of this, though long before I go to bed, as the minor caffeine amounts may affect my sleep later that night.
Wet: Even more sweet, and maybe because I was expecting it: Creamy.
1st taste: In reading the reviews for the tea before sipping my cup, I noticed frequent mentions of a buttery taste. Truthfully, the idea kind of repulsed me, even though I have had and do enjoy butter tea. But when I took the 1st sip, without any sweetener, Mmm. Nice. I knew I had to add sweetener….I’m getting resigned to that factor…..lol. So I added one at a time, took a sip so I would make sure not to accidently put to much.
Oh, almost forgot to mention: I do not have any traditional tea items for this, I had thought if I did get to where I really like at least 2 of these samples, then I would start saving up for a nice gaiwan. So instead, I was going to use one of my teapots, but one is ridiculously big, to big for 1 cup, and the other is in the dishwasher. So I used my owl cup and favorite strainer. I put the visual equivalent of what I use for other loose tea, rinsed them, preheated my cup and then boiled more water, and set the top on it. When I took the top off, my 1st thought: (Mind you slightly befuddled due to lack of sleep.) that the leaves had exploded! Then I thought….Ooooo I think I put to many in the cup. So I thought to myself that I’d better do at least 1 more steeping of the leaves, that is if I could stand drinking down the 1st cup.
It isn’t the usual type of tea that I’ve gotten used to, so I don’t think I would choose this one very often. It is sweet, creamy, kind of grassy. I just might decide to buy this in bulk form.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for all the wonderful samples! I was so excited when these came in and I ended up being sent a lot more than I expected to receive!
I decided to start my taste testing out with something I have never had before, White Peony. When I opened the package I took a whiff and got didn’t really get anything worth mentioning. It was light and fresh.
Actually after reading the instructions, I just realized that I have been using only 1tsp per 8oz instead of 2-3tsp. OOPS! Regardless, I cannot stop drinking this. I drank 3 12oz cups, and made 2 8oz cups with the same leaves yesterday, and have had 3 12oz cups again today. Though the taste is really light it’s really great. It’s definitely something I could drink at any time of the day. It’s floral, and calming. The leaves are really cute too. Next time I’ll make it with 3tsp instead of just the one, but I’m really loving this as is.
Thanks to the Teavivre gang, especially Angel, for these samples.
When I got up today, (Got up really late.) I wanted to start on the tea tasting of the samples I got yesterday. I was most curious about the Lapsang Souchong so that is what I picked.
Dry smell: strongly smokey, not unappealing, but not appealing either.
Wet smell: more or less the same…though the smell reminded me a little bit of hay.
1st taste: Like many Americans, my palate has been affected by the high content of sugar, but I did try a few sips without putting any in, didn’t want to make it to much of a sacrilege. Alas…I knew by the 3rd sip that if I was to be able to finish the cup I would have to add some sweetener, so I added Apriva, (Kroger version, kind of like Splenda.) I ended up having to add ALOT. Which I really winced over, and still wincing as I am writing this. Wincing because I wanted to enjoy this without having to add anything to it.
Even with the sweetener however….can’t say I really like it. sad face this is NOT reflected on Teavivre, but rather on me and my palate. Hopefully this will be the only tea that I dislike from the group.
I will pretty much be reviewing only 1 a day, as I do not want to complicate the taste test with other teas. And hopefully when I get up each day, so that would be the only taste fresh in my mouth.