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Recent Tasting Notes
From the purchased sample pack. Impressions leave an okay thought, an expensive price tag thought and not much steeps before the flavours just fades to an ordinary tea tree bush vegetal taste thought. To be honest I am not impressed and is no where near the taste and quality of the xing xiang oolong. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay but not for $26 /100g
Roast is okay. Leaves are a bit tattered.
Tea is between light and creamy. A distinct smoke note though not very interesting. I ended up throwing the rest of the sample in the garden.
It’s no secret that I drink an obscene amount of tea, most of which is some form of green tea, but I don’t tend to purchase Dragon Well as often as others. I’m a big baby when it comes to astringency, I just don’t care for it (although it’s something many other tea drinkers truly desire.) Dragon Well often has more of an astringent bite than other green teas—especially those picked later in the Spring. What really sets this tea apart from others of its type is the incredibly smooth flavor and lack of astringency. It’s without a doubt the most enjoyable Dragon Well I’ve had the pleasure of sampling, but it’s also one of the most expensive teas TeaVivre has to offer (50 grams will set you back about $34.) You can certainly find many less expensive options if you enjoy Dragon Well, but comparing a She Qian Dragon Well to anything else is like comparing apples to oranges. She Qian teas are picked much earlier in the year (near the Spring equinox on March 20th) and are highly sought after because of the vastly different flavor profile they offer. They’re only produced in limited amounts, but if you’re a fan of Dragon Well you’ll definitely want to put this on your wish list.
You can read the rest of the review on my blog:
Sipdown! I don’t remember whether I got this as a sample from the company or as part of a swap, so I’m sending out a general thanks and hoping the right person gets it.
Honestly, today’s generally rough for me. I managed to get out of bed and putter around for a few hours but now I’m back. Luckily, my tea tray fits perfectly on my nightstand. I have been drinking good teas but having trouble focusing on them. This one managed to cut through the fog when a delightful floral scent wafted up as I poured from brewing vessel to pitcher. This smells and tastes like jasmine and lavender and rolling fields of heather as far as the eye can see. Later steeps are drier but still quite floral and smooth. Even my tea pet likes it. :-)
This is another tea from Angel at Teavivre. Thanks again, Angel! Sorry it took me so long!
The first thing I notice as I open the pouch is a sweet, almost caramellized fruit aroma. Like a grilled peach. The leaves are very narrow and fine. Dark, dark brown. As the tea steeps, the water goes dark very quickly and the leaves unfurl to perfect little spears of young leaves.
The flavor is smooth and has a distinct sweet potato note. I also get a sort of wheat bread and malt flavor, too. It’s a very heavy black tea, but I love it. It’s very satisfying and is definitely going on my order list for Teavivre. Would be a wonderful winter tea. I think it could also serve as a good substitute for coffee.
A note to self, however: Scoop lightly, this stuff is potent! Maybe go with a shorter steep time, too.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Reviewing the oolongs that came in the sample packs sold quite expensively. This is my second type of oolong testing, first being the Da Yu Ling oolong in the sample pack.
I am liking this one a lot over the DYL, it’s got a creamy, milky, buttery punch with a distinct floral/fruit after tone. Even though appearing to look light the smell is thick on this one. This is a flavoursome one – my mouth and olfactory is filled with it’s flavour. Sitting in front of an empty cup and cha hai that once containted the dong ding, the smell permeates the air in front of me – I am impressed.
The taste isn’t as bright but best described in the milky category, it really reminds me of drinking milk albeit a floral tea one! And you know what? I like it!
Though new to Oolongs, this is my favourite so far from the 8 varieties of oolongs that I have brewed,
I’ve been disappointed with the teas from Teavivre thus far, even their famous blacks like the golden monkey and golden pearl which I am going to give away, but this one I’d recommend and wouldn’t mind stocking up over all the other tea’s I’ve had from them so far.
Brewed gongfu – flash steep – 20s, 30s, 40s
Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Milk, Sweet
My first tasting of this tea was in my gaiwan with about 3 grams of tea and 2 grams of tangerine peel. I did a 5 second rinse then 3 infusions. From the beginning this was a very fun tea just from the packaging. It is so much fun (albeit also frustrating) to open the tangerine and get the tea out. The aroma of the tea was sweet and citrusy to begin with. The taste was light, oily, buttery, and smooth with slight orange/tangerine flavors. The second and third infusions became sweeter than the initial one. The tangerine flavor becomes more subtle and more cohesive. The flavors meld very well. Overall an excellent sweet and refreshing tea for those who like flavored stuff.
Flavors: Butter, Orange
I’ve been reading a book about tea recently, and I just went through a passage about sheng teas. Now I’m conventionally a shu person, but I was hit with a sheng craving that’s been lingering for a few days… luckily, I had a little bit of this left.
I’m doing homework and a little too distracted to do many steepings in the gaiwan, but I gave it a rinse, then did a 3 minute steep. I know shengs are really meant to be made in the gaiwan, and I would probably get so many more flavors if I did, but oh well.
Ahhhhh it hits the spot! So bright and high-pitched and woody. It reminds me of two things at once: 1) snapping a fresh young twig off a tree and chewing it, and 2) someone playing crystal glasses. (Speaking of which! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47TGXJoVhQ8)
It took me a long time to come around to shengs, but I think I almost crave them more than shus. I know shengs are the more “classic” pu erh variation, since shus have only been around since the 70’s, so it makes me excited to try even more varieties than I already have.
It is exactly my bedtime and I reeeeeeally shouldn’t be doing a second steeping of this… but I can’t do just one steeping on these leaves…. aaaaaagh…. tomorrow morning self, I’m sorry.
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Flavors: Caramel, Plums, Raisins, Sweet
A sample that came with my recent order there, there’s a medium roast on this one. For the most part, this is there in a good way, although the roast can tend to over power a little. It adds a sweet caramel-esque touch to the flavors in your cup, though, playing on the edges of the tongue behind the general roasty toasty body.
Opens up sweet, a bit buttery, and a little florally aromatic with a slick, lingering mouthfeel. As the leaves unfurl, it becomes a drying mouth feel tea, loses the bit of flowers, and settles in as a creamy, roasty oolong with sweet edges that confuses my brain as creamy flavor and super dry mouth seems like it shouldn’t be a thing. Quite a nice change up from the normal floral explosion, nuclear green Taiwanese oolongs I’ve mainly tried so far, although still the same light, pure character at heart under the roast. I think I like something more complex and/or heavier, so probably won’t be seeking this out again myself, though.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Roasted, Sweet
This was the final type of green tea from my Teavivre sampler pack and, alas, the only one I didn’t really care for. From the moment I opened the sample, the dry leaf made its presence known. It was strongly vegetal and spinachy, almost pungently so.
I let it steep and the liquor was still quite spinachy smelling. I love spinach but while spinach is the closest word I can come up with to describe the smell it isn’t quite accurate.
The taste, while not as strong as the smell, was dominated by the pungent vegetal taste. It started our sweet but then became hyper spinachy. As the tea cooled, the “spinach” became stronger. It also became more astringent as it cooled, something it wasn’t at all when hot, so, perhaps 2 minutes was too long for the first infusion. I didn’t bother with a second since I didn’t enjoy this one.
Flavors: Astringent, Spinach, Sweet
I’m undecided on this tea.
First steep: steeped 1 minute, less than boiling. Delicious, light and vegetal, more jasmine than peach. They reminded me strongly of something specific, but in all my judicious sipping and savouring the closest I could figure was that it tastes like the old TV show ‘Shining Time Station’.
Second steep: steeped 2 minutes, less than boiling. Much, much darker in colour, the jasmine has turned bitter and the peach has completely run away
Third steep: steeped 2 minutes, less than boiling. Way too bitter to drink.
The first cup was delicious. The last cup was horrible. I don’t know which to judge its merits on. But definitely a short steep at a low temp for this delicate tea.
Oh man this is good. So good. We dumped our 7 gram sampler into our 18 ounce Steeper from DavidsTea. We let the pretty little pearls steep for a mere minute for the first steep, watching them slowly just start to unfurl in the steeper. I’m having mine chilled over ice and it is gorgeous. My wife, De, is having hers hot and she started a second steep as soon as she took a sip of the first. It’s light and peachy and refreshing and just plain delicious. As soon as we have a bit of extra money again, we are definitely ordering a tin. Thank you so much for the sample, Angel from TeaVivre, we have absolutely fallen in love. We plan to steep this for the rest of the day.
This is a refreshing alternative to the ordinary Tie Guan Yin! In fact, I think this may replace unroasted Tie Guan Yin on my cup board! Nice consistent flavor with no huge surprises, but very pleasant nonetheless.
Flavors: Astringent, Plums, Roasted, Sweet
Finally, my tea samples came in! Getting down to the nitty-gritty, this tea is really pleasant! Really juicy and floral, and no discernible bitterness. This is definitely going on my “buy again” list!
Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Sweet, warm grass
After a good 15 second rinse, I brewed this bag for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Honestly, I think the recommended 9-12 minutes’ steeping time is overkill; it’s not as though I am going to impart some new exciting flavor in that extra 5 to 8 minutes.
I think it was the rice that made that yeasty, corn chippy scent and flavor. I could kind of see how the smell was related to rice, but it just tended toward the side of dog feet smell. Even my coworker, sitting three feet away from me, commented on how this tea smelled like dog feet. It tasted much like it smelled: heavy on the ricey, yeasty flavor, but add in some wet wood flavor and just a hint of fishbone from the shou.
And yet, despite this disgusting description, I still drank the entire cup. I’m not sure what this says about me and my palate. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this tea, but it was a certain sort of experience.
Flavors: Bark, Rice, Wet Wood, Yeast
My nephew and I brewed this up yesterday evening. We both really enjoyed it. The first steep was 3 minutes and the second was 5 minutes. The first was the best. Not at all bitter, very smooth, no astringency. There was a honey-like sweetness to it. The second was brewed for 5 minutes and though it came out much darker than I expected, it was still quite good.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet