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Recent Tasting Notes
This week I’ve been revisiting some tea’s. A few have been tucked away for awhile and this one was in a little orange tin sitting inside my Teavivre bin (in a closed cupboard).
Lapsang Souchong is usually my culinary tea. I cook with it quite a bit for smoky rubs and steamed veggies. It creates and nice BBQ smell in the house that I like better than cauliflower, broccoli or steaming brussel sprouts.
This morning I thought I’d just drink it as TEA. (What a novel idea)
I made a cup using my Finum basket and steeped the leaves just over a minute which was just right. Not too strong, not bitter and smooth.
My other Lapsang Souchong is stronger and sweeter than this one, but I do like Teavivre’s for how smooth it is to drink. The astringency is low and the smokiness won’t knock you down like some LS’s out there.
I’d keep this one around JUST for drinking. It isn’t strong enough for a culinary LS. Not smoky enough.
I challenge anyone who has never tried a Lapsang Souchong to venture out and try some. Experiment with it. Blend a little with other tea’s to create a smoky blend or add a little to a t-sac when steaming veggies. Read the story of how Lapsang Souchong came about in China…it’s a great little story.
I would think this would be the drink when watching Grimm or Ever After or a Fairy Tale with woods and dark misty marshy things.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
I used the whole sample packet in my 12 oz cup, hoping it won’t be too strong!
Wow! It’s not too strong at all! A nice complex cup that’s not too bold. A sniff of those wet leaves is divine- fruity and bakey. This first steep doesn’t have fruity notes that i can pick out, but it has a nice sweetness, especially when it’s cooled off a bit.
Holy carp second steep!! My first sip was intensely sweet, like I had added a spoonful of honey; and yet bready and a little astringent. And incredibly enough it’s continuing through the whole cup! It amazes me how LEAVES can taste like bread and honey! There’s a nuttiness that hits the back of my tongue as well that’s not unpleasant. Later in the cup I’m finally tasting some fruitiness, not sure which fruit specifically.
Third steep isn’t as sweet or fruity; more nutty and roasty. The honey is still there, just not as strong.
I really enjoyed this.
This is very tasty. I love how green the dry leaves look. Delicious sweet floral flavor. I’m detecting melon and cucumber. There’s something like pastry in this. A sweet bakery aroma. Num. I really love the smell. Very refreshing. I’ll let you know how the caffeine treats me. :D usually whites make me really jittery and headachy. Black give me an alert shakey buzz. funny how different caffeine affects me differently. This tea is worth it though!
I used the last of my stash of this to make a pot of cold steeped tea and holy cow is it ever tart. Not necessarily in a bad way, but the first sip did make my lips pucker. Still, it’s darn tasty and if I ever put together an order for Teavivre, this is definitely going in there. I love the blueberryness of it!
I had this a little earlier today. The leaves are dark and green, and smell vegetal and green. Very fresh, really. Brewed, this is not quite a dark oolong, yet it seems to have more body than a lighter green one. It has nice earthy toasted tones; not too bitter. The leaves are a bit veiny as well, once brewed, and you can see them open up wit multiple infusions…they get bigger and bigger. My third infusion was a little milder, but that is mainly because my water was not as hot. Overall, this is a nice oolong. Very balanced. Many thanks to Angel at Teavivre for including this sample in my last batch. I have a few more teas to get through, including one more oolong, a white, and a green.
Wasn’t sure what to expect. Would the leaves be dry? You can’t “dry” honey. Maybe crystalized. Nope, I realized when I got the vacuum-sealed bag open and went in to scoop some out. Honey coated. Not leaves in a pool of honey, though. Really infused.
Couldn’t smell the honey on anything but my spoon after I’d scooped. Brewed in a gaiwan, the liquid is a cloudy, toasty yellow. Smells like a toasty oolong, no sweetness.
First Steep: Despite the obvious stickyness of the leaves, I’m not getting too much of a honey flavour. A nice oolong—not sharply vegetal, very pleasing, buttery notes. When I breathe out… Sweetness, I think, bordering on honey. As if the honey does not directly add any flavour, but somehow enhances the oolong itself so that I am enjoying this immensely.
More sweetness as I sip. I have a feeling the honey may have settled to the bottom—as it tends to do when you stir it directly into the tea anyhow. Starting to get a sticky honey taste with just a touch of sweetness.
Second Steep: Bolder taste in the second steep, as I didn’t actually rinse this. I think I’m getting more honey. Just a faint, sticky sweetness under the toasty oolong notes. I like darker, roasted oolongs, and I think the honey goes with it well.
Third Steep: Didn’t pay as much attention to this one. Still fifteen seconds. Didn’t get any sweetness.
Thank you Bonnie for this Sample
This tea was very smooth, without too much earthiness ;) First couple of infusions had a sort of fishy aroma from the wet leaves..thank god the smell was not detected in the Tea infusion! This would be an easy tea for people who are daunted by Pu-erh’s! I actually liked the Ripened aged Pu-er better..it had a deeper earthy flavor which I quite enjoyed ;-D
Thanks to Teavivre and Angel especially for the sample of this!
Steeped for awhile – probably about 4 minutes, so it’s a bit more grassy than I’d ordinarily like. But it’s a credit to this tea that it’s still perfectly drinkable, just different.
It has such a unique, pure flavor that I’m struggling to describe it with any words other than “Strong Dragonwell.”
Dragonwell is my favorite kind of green tea, though. I haven’t been drinking looseleaf for very long, so most of my teas have been come-and-go. Dragonwell (Teavana variety) is the only one I’ve repurchased over and over.
I trained a girl at work today, because I’m apparently the star cashier. It’s not because I’m particularly good at my job; I’ve just been there longer and I actually do my job, as opposed to some of the boys / high school kids who just kind of stand up there and text the whole time. Training is lovely, but exhausting. We’re busy for BTS anyway, and when I’m training I don’t even have the lull in between customers to myself. But she’s good, and she’s sweet, and I’m hoping she’ll learn quickly and well.
So this tea is really good to just curl up in bed with and watch old DW episodes :)
Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for this delicious sample!!
My samples came today, yaaaaaay! This is the first one I picked out to try. It smells amazing, both the dry leaf and the brewed tea. I thought the leaves smelled rather chocolatey, but the brewed tea aroma reminds me distinctly of honey on a warm, soft freshly baked roll. I am currently on the third steep and it still smells this way.
Taste is roasty and sweet. I really like it, and I’m super glad I picked this one first. Another one to put on the shopping list!
My third round of Teavivre teas arrived today! I couldn’t wait to get home and get started.
This is my first Golden Monkey. I know, right? How could I be such an avid black tea drinker, but missing out on this? Anyway, I opened the packet to smell it as the water heated, as usual. Faintly smoky, with hints of cocoa, hay, fruit, and malt. So deliciously promising.
Even after only two minutes, the tea was a dark red amber. It smelled less smoky and more malty, still reminding me of fresh clean hay. The taste, of course, is fantastic. It reminds me a lot of some of Teavivre’s other black teas… they all have a distinct cocoa-like taste that I’m starting to think may come from their tea region itself. It’s delightful, and I haven’t tasted it anywhere else so far. But it’s difficult to describe. I know it may seem weird, but it kinda tastes the way a new, clean piece of printer paper smells. I’m also getting the yam/sweet potato taste others have mentioned, and I really like it. This is such a savory, satisfying black tea.
Thank you to Angel and Teavivre for this sample.
When I opened the sample pouch it was like a batman comic – ZIP BAM POW!
The aroma was intense and intoxicating!
So yummy of an aroma of spinach, butter, and sweetness!
THIS was going to be A MAZE ING!
I let my cup steep a bit longer than recommended as I tend to find all green teas a little too light for my liking so allowing it to steep 3 minutes I have a very full brothy cup of buttery vegetable goodness!
This green is a bit more intense than most I have been drinking as of late and I appreciate that! Often I feel green teas to be just too light, too lacking, but this has a full wonderful flavor profile!
I have actually been drinking many pure greens as of late but hesitant to log them because I kept feeling maybe I was doing something wrong. Not only has this tea been quite enjoyable but has affirmed that I actually do know what I am doing but have been drinking inferior green teas!
I probably didn’t even need the extended steep on this one but even still I did not get any astringency or bitterness by allowing it to steep longer! Yes I know I am supposed to add more leaf rather than let a tea steep longer but I was getting a bit frustrated with adding more and more leaf only to get no added flavor results form those other greens!
So with that said I am truly loving this tea.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for allowing me to sample this!
NOTES: Buttery, vegetal, creamy, full mouthfeel, brothy, strong flavor, intense aroma, crispy long stringy leaf pre steep, long puffy delicate and fluffly feeling leaves post steep, rich flavor that leaves me wanting more!
I love how these leaves are so “matter-of-factly” – they are sturdy and stand their ground! Precise, skinny, longish green-grey leaves…lovely!
Upon opening the bag I was stunned with how FRESH and amazing the aroma was – very much like dark leafy greens, spinach, and something sweet…sugar snap peas, perhaps! Very nice! Powerful nose!
Once infused the aroma mellowed-out quite a bit.
The liquor color was that of a yellowish-green…bright but light with little to no texture to the eye.
As for the flavor…a tasty, slightly vegetal, slightly green-veggie type broth taste. There is a bit of buttery-goodness, to it, too! Very nice! This is completely FRESH and CLEAN and CRISP!
Mao Feng’s are among my favorite greens! This is superb!
This tea is a perfect 10/10 in my books! Seriously, you guys. As someone who could eat condensed milk straight out of the can with a spoon, or subsist on nothing but tres leches cake all day, this tea is a godsend. It is a boldly flavored, distinctive tea, so it’s not necessarily the tea I would pick if I had to have one “desert island” tea for the rest of my life, but if somebody told me I could never have baked desserts or candy again, I would use this tea to fill the void!
The dry leaf smell is striking. The tightly rolled, vivid green pellets have a rich sweet cream sort of smell. The buttery fragrance lets you know you’re in for a treat! The first four infusions have a luscious creaminess to them. If I steep it past the point of milky perfection, its flavor profile reminds me a lot of Teavivre’s Tie Guan Yin.
The aroma and flavor calls to mind milky candy, condensed milk, and caramel. A subtle creamy floral note perfectly marries the condensed milk flavors with the smooth, vegetal, green oolong ones just beneath them. Some people initially balk at the notion of a milky caramel candy flavor pressed up against green tea, but the flavors here are so artfully balanced that everyone I’ve offered this tea to has been really impressed. It’s delicious and deeply satisfying, but it also seems so… delicate. It’s not the clumsy slap of a sticky, oily caramel cake that just popped out of a vending machine, it’s the little kiss of a petite treat from a chic pâtisserie.
One of the best things about this tea is its full, creamy mouthfeel. A lot of oolongs have that subtly “buttery”, heavy mouthfeel, but this one is the densest feeling I’ve tried yet! Even without sugar, it’s a subtly sweet treat, but the addition of a little bit of sweetener takes it to new heights of decadence in a tea cup.
Considering how many times I can infuse this tea and still get fantastic flavor out of it, it is a wonderful bargain too. I hope I can keep my cabinets stocked with this for life!
- 8 Oz glass teapot
- 7 gram dry leaf (2,5 tsp.)
- 95 Celsius water
- Infusion time: 1 min – 1,5 min – 2 min
Leaf & Infusion:
Dry leaf – small, tightly rolled pebbles with dark olive tone and roasted glaze glint. Aside from sturdy roasted notes there’s some fruity twist to it, best associated with plums and peaches.
Wet leaf – leaf gradually opens and fills out 2/3 of the teapot after the third infusion. As leaf starts to open it holds many fine notes that are equally present in the cup and leaves room for succeding steeps. After the third infusion leaf is entirelly open with signs of wearing off as the tone shifts to more bright green.
Infusion (1st) – First steep gives amber and thick liqour with initial dry and astringent aroma. First sip reveals thick and pleasantly astringent mouthfeel that balances with citrus sourness. Right after swallowing roasted and lightly smoked notes make a lingering comeback and gentle tickling on the tongue. After few sips a more fruity profile develops as one can sense notes of dried fruits. When compared to an average gunpowder this one gives a very clear first infusion and it’s well balanced.
Infusion (2nd) – Even though the liquor tone doesn’t change in second infusion, it gets a bit murky which is common with gunpowder, sometimes right of the bat with first infusion. As mouthfeel is equally thick like in previous steep in this one has a diminished roasted aftertaste and astringency as citrus-sour notes gain the advantage as fruitiness is still ever present.
Infusion (3rd) – Equally murky as previous with just a hint of sourness and astringency. Suprisingly, this cup is more sween and leaves a nice nutty film on the tongue leaving out the fruity part.
Wheeee! My tea arrived from China! It was rather awkward, too.
We have a digital keypad lock on the front door, but my son forgets since he moved out after we installed the new one and still locks the knob, thereby locking himself out. He told me he was going to his car to get his iPod cord, so when I heard a knock at the door I thought he had locked himself out again. In a silly, high voice, I said, “Who is it?” a male voice said, “Mailman.” I said it again, thinking my son was playing around. Again, “Mailman!”
I opened the door to let my playful, funny son in, and….it was the mailman. I was so embarrassed. He wanted me to sign for my Teavivre package. LOL! I hastily explained as I signed, but he didn’t seem overly amused. :)
So now, I made a big pot of puerh to share with my son this morning because I don’t have to hoard the last of my sample anymore! I can have all the puerh I want.
I put three teaspoons of tea in my 22 ounce Beehouse pot, poured boiling water over, and steeped 4 1/2 minutes. Second steep at five minutes is every bit as good. If anything, the rich, polished cedar beam taste is more prominent. This one is only lightly horsey and not fishy at all. Second pot is almost all gone, and I plan to make a third steep. Excellent tea!
Carrying one of the longest names I have ever seen in tea, Teavivre’s Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun (also known as Pi Luo Chun) is a non-fermented green tea with a bold taste. In my tasting, I used three teaspoons of leave in two cups of water for one and a half minutes of steeping. The leaves do give off a fruity aroma, and I wonder if the tea will taste the same way.
This tea is certainly far less vegetal than others, such as gunpowder greens. “Fruity” does not not quite describe it, but it has a certain fruit edge to it. Other prominent flavors include a distinct nuttiness and natural sweetness. This tea is quite pleasant and provides an enjoyable drinking experience. For green tea fans, it is well worth a try. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it an 85/100.