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Recent Tasting Notes
now that I can drink tea as my throat feels better I will do a full review as per deal with teavivre:
this tea when dry smells like flowers and peaches :)
when I smell the tea leaves when wet, it smells like flowers too
when I taste the tea it tastes like flowers and honey :D
many thanks to angel tevivre for this amazing tea
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Peach, Sweet
Dry leaf has a peppery scent. Earthy-woodsy tone. Medium thick mouth feel. Sour-type wheat-y note close to the end of the sip.
Second infusion at 2:45 gave me a bit of a buzz. I’ve never experienced this with tea before and I’ve never even been sensitive to caffeine. I had trouble sleeping afterwards which may be attributed to this tea.
The Aroma of this Tea is Outstanding! Very good I enjoyed it. It really smells like yummy strawberries, filling the entire room with fragrance.
The flavor let me down just little bit only because I was expecting a really strong strawberry flavor to match the intense aroma. The tatse of the Tea itself is nice slightly sweet and vegetal with a creamy smooth buttery mouthfeel, very nice.
The strawberry taste in the tea fell a bit short to me not because it wasnt tasty but because it was just so subtle, don’t get me wrong it was quite good but the aroma was just a bit misleading because thats where all the strawberry really was.
With the buttery smooth creamy mouthfeel of the Tea itself and the real strawberry notes it is more like a “Strawberry and Cream” tasting tea.
The subtle faint strawberry tatse in this tea is actually good for this one because it don’t mask the taste of the tea itself, it just add a hint of taste to it without making it taste fake or just too much, it is surely a step above other fruit flavored teas that I have tried.
I commented earlier in a Tea group when someone asked the question “Sweetener or No Sweetener?” and This one was one of those Teas that I couldn’t help but wonder if I should add a sweetener too or not.
My answer on the comment was No Sweetener in straight/plain teas BUT that some flavored teas can actually benefit from a little sweetener added. Some Flavored Teas DO NOT taste like the fruity flavors they are suppose to have untill you have added something in them to sweeten them up and make them taste right, thats just how it is.
ANYWAYS, I figured that perhaps this one would be one of those teas so i decided to add a little sweetener to see if that would boost the Strawberry a little bit.
Not Good, this one is NOT one of those flavored Teas that could use a little sweetener, In fact adding sweetener to this one totally ruined it for me, Granted the Sweetener DID increase the sweetness of the strawberry taste and made it a litle more intense it also ruined it by making it taste very ODD, it almost had a medicinal cough syrup kinda taste when the sweetener was added, BAD IDEA!!
I liked this one pretty good, it was missing something for me just not sure what, The Tea itself is very good and the strawberry taste is REAL but subtle and the Aroma is Top Notch!
Considering that this one was good on its own even tho subtle in strawberry And the sweetener totally ruined it, I think this tea actually a perfect flavored tea, nothing can improve on this one if it were anything more it would be like all the other run of the mill super sweet fruity teas.
Most likely not a Tea that I would buy and have on hand but surely one I can enjoy, I could actually enjoy just steeping this up and smelling it instead of drinking it I think, lol :)
DAMN!!! I Really Really Really want a big ass bowl Strawberry Shortcake Dessert right now.
Flavors: Butter, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Vegetal
Thanks to Cameron B for a generously-sized sample of this tea!
This one has long, dark twisty leaves, similar to other dancongs I have tried. The aroma is roasty with hints of grapefruit. With a short (1 min) infusion, the grapefruit note is very present, along with a bright repertoire of spice and wood notes. If sparkling afternoon sunlight had a flavor, it would be something like this. With a 3-4 min infusion (I lost track a little bit), the overall effect is smokier, with a slightly bitter edge to the flavor becoming like grapefruit rinds. The recommendation is for 1-5 min, so a longer infusion apparently doesn’t hurt.
I’ve been finding that I really enjoy dancong teas, and this is a good addition to the ones that I’ve tried. It is somewhat lighter than the ones from Verdant and Whispering Pines, and maybe not so friendly to gongfu brewing, but good for brewing longer.
Thank you Angel at Teavivre for this sample. This tea was good, I really enjoyed it. It had an incredible strawberry flavor but you knew you were drinking an oolong. The second flavor was that characteristic oolong flavor but it was mild, a barely perceptible roasted barley flavor. They go very well together. There was virtually no bitterness to this tea and no astringency or sour flavor. This was good tea. I will have to buy it the next time I place an order at Teavivre.
While I add sugar to most tea, I made a point of tasting this without sugar. It was very sweet on its own, almost but not quite like it was made with sweetener in the tea. It was that sweet.
I steeped this five times in a 220ml gaiwan with 6.9g tea leaf and 190 degree water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. The tea did not appreciably weaken by the fifth steeping but I have had enough tea despite how good it is.
Flavors: Strawberry, Sweet
Thank you, Angel, for providing me samples!
Gongfu method with a ceramic gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 10, 5, 10, 5, 15, 20, 30, 60, 90, 120.
The dry leaf has an aroma of earth and old leather. The wet aroma evolves after the rinse and first couple infusions – sugarcane, leather, bread, pipe tobacco – and remains sweet and earthy thereafter.
Throughout the session, the liquor is full-bodied, sweet, and soft. Early and late infusions have rusty, brick-like color, whereas those in between are darker, resembling coffee. The first infusion has a thin texture and notes of leather and tart plums. Second introduces wood of trees that are neither young nor old. Aftertaste of black coffee, which is present in the third infusion and only partially in the evergreen-like fourth. The fifth infusion tastes like leather bound books. Up to this point, the texture has been thin. The sixth infusion is notably thicker. Creamy, sweet and sugary as well – the climax of the session. The intensity now decreases. The seventh and eighths infusions have a thinner texture and loam, wood, and chocolate notes. Lastly, the ninth and tenth infusions – combined – taste of burned wood, fried potatoes, BBQ ribs, and salt. with a smoky aftertaste. A thick texture returns.
The tartness early on was not to my taste, but I like how this shou evolved. Great finish. Interesting how the texture wasn’t consistent.
Thanks to Cameron B for this sample! I’ve been curious about Teavivre offerings for a while, and you can hardly go wrong with Dian Hong.
The dry leaf for this one comes in small, dark twists. I was expecting more of a gold-buds type of tea, though it does brew up to a dark golden color. There is very little dry aroma, while the brewed tea smells richly of malt and bread, similar to other Yunnan teas I’ve tried. The taste of this brew is also rich and malty, with one thing that distinguishes it from similar teas: there’s a lingering, almost floral tea fragrance that reminds me of lighter black teas and even green oolongs. It adds a bit of freshness to the overall experience, which is less decadent than some others of its kind, but uniquely enjoyable.
I thought it would be fun to steep a white tea gong fu-style, so I opted to try this tea out. Thanks for the sample, Angel!! I’ve had a white tea gong fu-style at Samovar, but they used too much leaf, in my opinion, and the steeps came out bitter. For this session, I used probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the sample packet with the recommended 194-degree water. I did a super quick rinse just to wet the leaves, and then steeped it 15/30/45/60/90/180sec. The first steep was similar in taste to other white peony teas I’ve tried before…sweet hay notes. This one, however, was smoother than others I’ve had. Sometimes the hay note kind of causes a drying feeling in my mouth, but I didn’t really have that with this tea. In the second steep, the hay note moved to the background and a pleasant peach taste came through! There was also a bit of a vegetal note, similar to what I find in green oolongs. In the later steeps, that vegetal note came through as sweet zucchini! Nice and light and great for hot weather (which we can’t seem to get rid of around here!)
This twiggy looking tea has a nice peppery note, which surprisingly stuck around for the second steep. The faint spice mixes into dash of malty hay and the syrupy sweet flavours of honey and overripe stone fruit. This bright orange tea is fitting on this warm autumn day.
Thanks for the sample, Amariel!
Flavors: Apricot, Hay, Honey, Malt, Pepper
Thank you Angel for this sample. I enjoyed this tea. I thought it was good. I also have reason to beleive my taste buds are a little off lately. Luckily, I have enough sample left for at least one more gongfu session. This tea was slightly sweet and had a very, very slight bitterness. It also had a slight sourness, very slight. But I believe that the sourness may have been my taste buds, because all puerh tea has been tasting slightly sour to me lately. So I do not take that into consideration unless the taste reappears when I sample this again. While I did notice some complex notes in this tea I did not pin them down as specific things. There was a certain amount of fermentation flavor that disappeared by the fifth steeping, but not too much.
I brewed this 6 times in a 220ml gaiwan with boiling water and 9.6g leaf. I steeped it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, and 2 min.
No notes yet. Add one?
Why didn’t I drink this when it was hot outside? The colder this gets the more intense the strawberry becomes. It is not a candy fake flavor but not actually as tart as biting into the real thing. Of course I am not sure I would really want it that tart.
It is, much lighter than I expected based on the bag scent. Once I realized it was intentional I was more than fine with it. Teavivre explains it is to “ensure that both the strawberry fragrance and Oolong tea’s unique flavor can be tasted”. My opinion is how rare is it that you are supposed to taste the flavor AND the tea. Brilliant! That has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. When I want to drink Kool-Aid, I drink Kool-Aid. When I drink tea, I want to taste tea.
Speaking of which, the oolong here is a green oolong but not one of those highly floral or latex aftertaste ones. This is green, light, and fresh. Seems perfectly matched to the flavoring to me. The leaves are kind of huge in my press.
Dry leaf aromas: Sweet potato, bread, wheat, sawdust, licorice
Brewed tea aromas: Sweet potato, hint of juicy citrus, light mineral smokiness
Tasting notes: Sweet potato and juicy fruit flavour (I am getting a taste of litchi) on the sip. The smokiness comes through as a top note throughout the sip and is the predominant lingering aftertaste. Some honey sweetness on the aftertaste. There a note in here that reminds me very strongly of a characteristic leathery black tea flavour.
Second infusion at 3:15 minutes gives the flavour a floral characteristic
Flavors: Leather, Lychee, Smoke, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Backlog from last night.
I brewed multiple steeps of this in my gaiwan, but I think I underleafed it, as the flavour was extremely light throughout. The liquor was mostly pale gold, and while I did get stonefruit notes and a hint of astringency/leather, this tea really didn’t grab me the way I thought it would.
The dry leaf scent scared me. It smelled smokey and meaty, like bacon. And I hate bacon. So I double rinsed it, and smelled the wet leaf. Woodsy, earthy, foresty, and maybe a touch smokey. A definite improvement from the bacon dry leaf aroma.
10g, 8oz water, boiling, 2 10 sec rinses, 10,15,20,25,30 second steeps. Sweetened with stevia.
I don’t know if it’s do to the rinsing, but I definitely don’t get any smoked meat taste here, thankfully. Very earthy and forest like in flavor. Almost soupy in texture, coats the throat and lingers nice and long. Sweetening it, takes it from rustic wild forestry, to sweeter and mellower. The earthiness becomes soft and muted, and theres a sort of caramel like note laying on top. Second steep unsweetened, I can sort of taste pine, and maybe some leather added to the previous notes. Sweetening has a similar effect as the last time, but also kinds of makes the cup bland. While I liked the first steep sweetened, this steep seems to have suffered from the addition of stevia. As it cools, the flavors improve, bring it back on par to the first steep. Third steep has an almost smokey note at the end of the sip that lingers in the aftertaste pre-sweetened. Again, sweetening it hurts more than helps this pu-erh. Usually I like the sweet earthy caramelly dark complex raw cocoa types of flavor that emerge when I sweeten a ripe puerh, but this one is so rustic and earthy that sweetening does it an injustice. The problem is that while some people love those earthy, loamy, forest flavors, they don’t do it for me. So while I don’t care for it, if those are your thing, I’d definitely recommend giving this a shot.
The leaves of this are long and twisted into tight strands. There’s a nice splattering of golden tips, maybe 25-30% golden tips. The dry sent smells like bread honey and a hint of smoke. Like fresh crusty straight from the oven bread that’s got a little bit of charred spots on it, drizzled with a healthy helping of honey. The wet leaf loses most of that smokey note, leaving just perfectly cooked bread and honey.
1.5tsp, 8oz water, 195F, 1,1,2,4, minute steeps. Sweetened with stevia.
Oh wow, definitely a fruity note here. I don’t always get fruity notes in black teas that other people experience fruit notes, but this really tastes like apricots. There’s also the crusty hearty bread, and honey, and some grainy notes. This is a thick slab of fresh baked 9 grain bread, smothered in apricot jam, and drizzled with honey. I should have used a longer steep time with cup two, because it’s a bit more weak, and loses the apricot jam and grain notes.
Third cup I accidentally let go cold, still good, bread and honey, but wish I tried it hot. Forth cup some cocoa comes out to play. And some sweet potato. It’s now light bodied and the texture is a touch thin, though.
Yum. Next time, I think I’ll do 1,2,3 and then maybe 5-6 minute steep. Definitely delicious. More thick slab of bread while the Golden Tip version they have is more sweet potato fries. Both delicious and I don’t think I could choose which I like more!
This one smells so good. It was honestly a bright ray of sun shine in a storm cloud herd of black tea (too much black tea!!!!). I’ll probably pick up more of this to try at some point- potato teas are pretty awesome.
Thanks for all these Teavivre samples, Amariel! There are some fantastic teas in this sample pile, but I wish I hadn’t finished off all the green varieties first..
Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Potato
I was lucky enough to get the third steep of this from my wife, who was sampling it for Teavivre. It was so good! I’m picky about my oolongs, but this one was just gorgeous. Buttery and fresh, and the strawberry flavour was mixed in well with it. Not too floral, a little bit sweet. Excellent.
I was so sure that I would have reviewed this tea already. But I couldn’t find my review, so I thought steepster was eating the reviews again. I then sashayed over to the teavivre website but I had not posted a review there, so I shamefully have to say that this one was my fault. This was a free sample from Teavivre. Thank you so much Angel, you’re the best!
This tea so sooooooooo cute :) It is little, loosely curles leaves of differing shades of green. It is a perfect looking fall tea. The tea has a strong cabbage type smell, which is my favorite.
The first taste I get from the tea is fresh sweetness and a very slightly caramelized flavour. It is smooth and milky. I feel like in the very first part of the sip there is a quick saltiness to the tea, almost like Sencha, but it soon disappears. There is a cabbage flavour but it is very light. There are faint hints of a green tea floral. I feel like I am getting hints of spinach and turnips. To me this feels like an autumn tea. It is very crisp. This tea is very fresh and clean on the palate, I am not getting much of an aftertaste, which is very pleasant.
Thank you for the samples, Angel!
Brewed gongfu method with a gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 5, 5, 10, 20, 30, 60, 90, 120.
The dry leaf smells like…fish. I tried to make out something else, but that’s all there was. Fortunately, my experience improves thereafter. The wet aroma is complex, changing as the temperature cools and the leaf is steeped more: cooked vegetables, maple syrup, brown sugar, cooked meat with honey BBQ sauce, pork in teriyaki sauce, and – near the end – chocolate.
Throughout the session, the liquor is full-bodied, smooth, thick-textured, and, as *Teavivre*’s website says, mellow and sweet. The first infusion is damp earth and leather. The second tastes more like wood, reminding me of a pine forest whose trees and ground are coated with moss. (Infusions three and four, similar). The liquor becomes more broth-like and smoother at the fifth and sixth infusions. Seven’s flavor is lighter, though still sweet, and now a bit chocolatey. The eight infusion has bitterness, but this disappears in the ninth, which resembles hot cocoa (very dark chocolate). Lastly, the 10th infusion tastes weaker and the leathery note returns.
A relaxing and thorough shou. It says, “Take it easy, bro.”
Thank you to Teavivre for a sample of this tea! I’m sampling it at the same time as the “Premium” grade of this tea, and I have to say I prefer the latter… it’s more vegetal and has a distinct sweetness, whereas this tea is more on the hay-y, slightly nutty side. Still similar flavour profiles, but I’m a huge fan of vegetal, sweet greens, so the Premium version gets my nod here. As mentioned in my previous note, I did perhaps understeep this (or under leaf), so more to come for my second infusion.
ETA: Second infusion, pretty similar. A bit more on the vegetal side, but the Premium version is just better, IMO.
Thank you so much to Teavivre for sending this sample to review, and my sincerest apologies for taking so long in getting to it. I finally dug out my Teavivre packages, and hopefully will get the majority of them reviewed in the next few days.
Anyhow, first up is this delicious-smelling tea. The aroma from the baggie is sweet, vegetal, green beany…. my ideal green tea. I also am brewing up the Nonpareil Te Gong version, and this one was a darker green with a more intense vegetal aroma, although both smell great.
First sips… and I think I’ve made a couple mistakes here. A) contaminated palate (just ate some supper), so the tea tastes weaker than I think it actually is, and B) I think I may have underinfused. I neglected to set a timer, but was pretty sure I’d given the teas about 2 minutes, my standard green infusion (at about 180F); the bag recommends 3-5 minutes, and I think next time I’d go a bit longer. There’s certainly no indication whatsoever of bitterness, just a light, creamy, vegetal green, with a wonderful sweet, hay-like aroma. Comparing to the Nonpareil version, I think this one has greater flavour potential, although I believe both are nice. Looks like, however, I’ll be waiting until the second infusion (during which I will infuse more generously!) to make more detailed notes.
Side note: I did only measure out about 1.5 tsp… it’s possible that I underleafed, since the leaves here were delicate and intact. Hard to say where exactly I went wrong, but personally, understeeping is preferable to overstepping!
ETA: Yep, this one is the more flavourful/vegetal/beany/sweet of the two, and therefore more enjoyable. I added probably another tsp of tea to the infuser, and gave it a 4 minute infusion, and it was great. The original flavours, but amplified. No bitterness. Hard to believe with such a long infusion!