Recent Tasting Notes


This sample came to me from Flyawaybirdie, and I’ve held on to it until I had a day where I could sit down and appreciate it. Today is rainy, cold, and I’m taking it slow and easy. It’s a perfect muti-steep tea sipping day!

The dry leaves are fluffy, soft, and tiny. Little baby tea leaves are so cute! Once steeped there is a pale liquid with a soft melon-like scent. I wasn’t expecting melon, but I like it. The taste is more oat cake than melon although there is a honeydew note as the tea cools. Otherwise, I get oat cake and a bit of a grassy note. The tea is soft, clean, and very pleasant.

The second steep is much like the first, but the melon note is more pronounced. I’m really liking this a lot. It’s like a moment of summer in the middle of winter, and a tasty moment, too! There is still a good amount of oat flavor, but the grassy note is not present. The steep is also slightly creamier than the first steep.

I’ll keep steeping this throughout the day. It’ll be fun to see where this tea takes me.

Thank you, Flyawaybirdie for sharing this with me!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Last tea in my Teavivre oolong tasting. Then it’s back to tasting random things, I guess!

The little leaf nuggets of this tea are tiny this time. Itty bitty, super tightly rolled leaves. They still expanded to reveal they were mostly complete, however. As they steep, the water turns bright greenish yellow. A very cheerful color!

The scent is pungent and a little nutty, but the flavor is neither. It’s so creamy! Buttery, even, with a sort of slow-cooked vegetable taste. However, in the exhale and aftertaste, I’m getting flowers. Maybe gardenia or hyacinth. Even after four minutes there is no astringency or bitterness. Just lovely summery notes.

This oolong has a lot going on, but it’s a harmony. I keep saying “this is my new favorite oolong” when I try these teas, but I feel that way each time I try a new one! Sad to see my Teavivre oolongs go. Maybe once I get through more of my stash, I’ll reward myself with more.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Vegetal

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Red Fennekin

Mmm, this sounds like the type of oolong I’m really into at the moment. I love that kind of floral, creamy, vegetal combo that they have :D


If you haven’t tried any of Teavivre’s oolongs, I highly recommend them! They taught me just how great oolongs can be after years of thinking I didn’t like them. Also, I’ve been meaning to say that I love your username. I took my Fennekin all the way to the Elite Four.

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I know this is heresy, but I’m finding that while Teavivre’s black teas are or high quality, they’re just not ringing my bell. It turns out I’m not a huge fan of the sweet potato note found in teas like this – and while this one does smell and taste somewhat chocolaty, I really want something a bit smoky (but not LS smoky). Hmm….

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I am surprised I am not sloshing. We had this again yesterday with some additions to our party. Everyone preferred this over the others puerhs we had. My son and his girlfriend were going to have me order for them again, which I don’t mind doing, but I told them they might as well start getting some rewards points and save on future orders, so we made a Steepsterr account, drank LOTS of tea because they want to order some green tea as well, and they placed their very first Teavivre order of their own! If you see ChelseaR, please follow her so she can get a good start on Steepster!

Some tea is brisk or astringent, and supposed to be that way. But not this one. This tea is smooth, creamy, and JUICY. The cedar and earth flavors are so sweet and smooth that your mouth never feels dry.

I had ordered a large beeng of a different sort before Christmas and I do like it, but in spite of good sense I am ordering this one, too. I won’t run short of puerh for a while!


What a great time to be had drinking all that tea, and with son! Life is good.


Indeed, it is, Cwyn. Indeed, it is.

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We are tasting some puerhs tonight that my son has never tried because he wants to place a puerh order during the sale. This was the final tea we tasted and everyone loved it most of all.

It has a nice, full. round mouthfeel with that creamy/oily feel. The first steep is reddish and the next three are very dark. By steep five (and I did rinse first) the color is starting to get a little lighter but these leaves are by no means done, and we have had six or seven steeps.

I was surprised to get this much smooth flavor from a 2013, but then I saw that it was actually picked in 2006. And it is from Lincang, one of my favorite sources! No wonder we loved it. Going on the order for sure. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but it is a HUGE cake at 400 grams and well worth it.

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Compared to teavivre’s golden tipped version, the dry leaf of this is larger and darker with a bit of gold. Scent is slightly less fragrant but still lovely.
Brews a darker cup and tastes more of chocolate and less potato, so perhaps a wee bit less delicate in taste as compared to the golden tip. Very delicious!!
I am glad I bought this and have gone through my bag quickly. I will certainly restock.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I was all out of straight Pu-erh so this was a part of my Cyber Monday purchase. Sooooooo good! This is all that I love about a good Pu( I may be snickering like a 6 year old as I write that). Dark. Rich. Earthy. It may be a placebo effect, but I feel better when I have a daily cup. I seem to feel more relaxed and balanced drinking Pu-erh regularly. This is definitely a favorite.

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Warning: Depressing tea note to follow. If you just want to read about the tea skip to the last paragraph.

I’m behind on my tea notes, so I’m going to start with what I’m drinking now and work backwards from there.

Oh guys, it has been a rough past few days. My daughter’s boyfriend’s father passed away unexpectedly late last week, so this week has been filled with helping young teenagers try to understand the unexplainable. The funeral was yesterday, and it was hard and so, so sad. My daughter and I both came home and slept for hours because we were emotionally drained, and then today I woke her up, made her tea, and watched her walk to the bus stop because life goes on. I’m sure there will be more tears and many more questions, but there will also be more smiles and more joy in the coming days.

Since one of my joys (and comforts) is tea I have been taking my time and enjoying the process of making each cup. This tea has beautiful tea leaves that have a bright jade color while steeping. The flavor is also beautiful. It’s a mix of vegetal and nutty with a bit of dryness at the finish. The nut flavor is a bit like chestnut, but there is another note in there as well that I can’t quite pinpoint. The tea is smooth, slightly creamy, and hints at sweetness. The resteeps are consistent with the first cup but with an even creamier note. Delicious.

To life and the simple joys that make that life beautiful. Cheers.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you can take small comfort from the tea


Thank you.


Your daughter is blessed with a very special & supportive Mom!


One of the hardest truths to convey to kids is that things break, life is hard, and sometimes chaos rules. Aren’t you glad God eases the path with small comforts like good tea?


I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. Bright blessings to you all in this difficult time.


There is so much wisdom in this post. During such a sad time for your family you are able to offer them, and us, such a meaningful perspective. What a lucky daughter you have. I’m sure she knows it.

As gmathis so aptly put it – “Aren’t you glad God eases the path with small comforts like good tea?”

Thinking of, and praying for, your family on this day.


I’m sorry to hear about this


Thanks everyone. I appreciate all of the encouragement and kind words.


@gmathis – I want to take everything you said cross-stitch it, frame it, and hang it on the wall. Every word is so true, and I’m very grateful that God allows small things to help heal big hurts.


I’m so sorry. Death is such a hard thing to have to deal with when you’re a teenager. It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job of supporting your daughter.


That’s a hard time to loose a parent. I’m glad that he has you and his daughter to help him through this time. Hugs and best wishes as you all go through this difficult time. My mom died when I was in university and I went through a period of shock for 6 month after which a period of deeper grieving set in, be watchful and realise that he may need more support later on.


Veronica, I’m so sorry to hear this, but I love your approach. Thinking of you and yours.


@yyz – Thank you for the advice. I’ll keep that in mind. Hugs to you, too!


I’m so very sorry for your loss.

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Teavivre is one of my favorite companies, especially when it comes to Oolong teas. They have some really outstanding Oolong teas. (And green teas … and other tea types too. They’re just good.)

This is a really yummy TieGuanYin. The roasting process gives it a delicious, sweet, roasty-toasty nutty flavor. I like how the strong floral and vegetal notes of a TieGuanYin take on that nutty tone when the tea is roasted.

The first cup (infusions one and two) was surprisingly full-flavored. The first cup tends to be the softest tasting tea, but this cup was very strongly flavored. Nutty, sweet with hints of orchid in the background. The buttery notes are more like browned butter.

The later infusions had developed flavors of caramel and light honey notes.

Here’s my full-length article: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/13/nonpareil-anxi-yun-xiang-tieguanyin-oolong-tea-from-teavivre/

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Very good oolong with big honking leaves that’ll explode your gaiwan!

The flavor is flavorful and good – quite floral orchid and buttercup, with the early infusions kinda lemon creamy. The aftertaste is an awesome peachy floral. Later infusions the oolong is buttery. I got 7 infusions, with the last two being a little dry, but overall pretty good.

I found Teavivre’s gongfu instructions too long for me, making for the tea to be overly strong for my tastes and I ended up doing shorter infusions.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/nonpareil-anxi-qing-xiang-tieguanyin-oolong-teavivre/ hoot

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
leaf in hot water

Lol @ ‘big honking leaves’, great visual! :D


Tie Guanyin are always so visually interesting when they unfurl- big honking leaves indeed!


Do the leaves actually honk?

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Thank you so much to Angel and Teavivre for sending me a generous sample of this tea. The dry leaf is a beautiful grass green. The aroma of the dry leaf is buttery and leafy. The flavor is rather different than other tie guan yin oolongs I’ve had. Usually I’m used to strong floral flavors but this has much deeper flavors. It’s woodsy, buttery, floral, sweet, and a touch of creaminess. I’m going to enjoy a few more steeps of this one :3

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal, Wood

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I drank this again last night and this morning. I must say I think I have to order it while they are having their sale.

I am finding that I taste so much more in my puerh teas when I let them cool a bit. When they are hot, they are so similar but as they cool I detect more flavors and more delicate nuances. This one developed the wonderful cedar oil flavor that I adored in Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds, which is no longer available but was my favorite puerh of all time. Perhaps the elusive flavor is coming from the golden buds.

This is a small beeng which I think is really nice. It makes the price very similar to the one I bought myself for Christmas, which was double the price but also much heavier.
I plan to get this one, the rice-ripened (which I loved and wish came as plain loose leaf and not just as bags!), lots of the plain tuocha, and maybe some rose or chrysanthemum! I think I have until the 20th to decide what to buy on their sale!

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It tastes better than a puddle of water, and is pleasing to my pigeon palate. My crop feels slightly stimulated by it.

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Thanks for the sample Cameron B

Apparently ginseng is NOT for me. It tastes a little sweet and a little like oolong but mostly it tastes like licorice and medicine. So, WARNING, if you do not like the taste of licorice beware of ginseng!


I always wondered about ginseng oolongs…doesn’t sound like I need to explore them. :P


Haha, I didn’t find ginseng quite as bad as licorice, but I totally get the comparison!

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Got a sample of this one from a Steepster friend. Thanks!

Nice clean rich shou with a delicate rose scent. Not a lot of rose flavor but I actually prefer it this way!

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Thank you so much for sending some of this tea, Angel! I’m always excited to try floral oolongs, and haven’t had an osmanthus tea in over five years (a green that Tea Desire used to offer). This is much lighter floral oolong than what I was anticipating. Maybe a touch of sweetness but at the moment, I’m not able to discern any unique differences in this one in comparison to other non-osmanthus floralesque oolongs I’ve experienced in the past. Perhaps my tastebuds are off today. I’m looking forward to trying it again. Maybe next time I’ll pick up on more/different nuances.

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Third time’s a charm. I cold brewed this one overnight with the wet leaves after brewing it with hot water. I wasn’t in the mood for re-steeping, but didn’t want the tea to go to waste.

It cold brews beautifully. It came out a lovely light yellowish green tint and had that bitter quality I like in greens.

Flavors: Bitter

Iced 8 min or more 5 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Second time trying this tea. I upped the leaf and steeped for a shorter amount of time with cooler water. I’m getting a more umami and savory flavor out of the tea. Must tastier than last time. I have a ton of wet leaf left over since my boyfriend wanted a cup, so I’m going to cold brew the rest.

Flavors: Umami

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First time trying Dragon Well. I started off with 2 grams of leaves to 4 oz of water. Steeped for 30 seconds using 175 degree water. The wet leaves smelled vaguely sweet and a little spinach-y. The tea itself had a light yellowish green color and also tasted spinach-y. A little bit astringent at the back of my throat. A second steeping, the spinach flavor went down and the astringency went up. Somehow, I don’t think I’m brewing this right.

So far, I’m not digging it. I like my greens to be either more sweet or more bitter and this tea is neither. Since this is my first time trying it, I’ll try out different ratios/steep times.

The wet leaves are beautiful, however. They look like fresh leaves that have just been plucked. You can tell this is a high quality tea.

Flavors: Spinach, Vegetables

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

I had to redo this comment. Silly typos. Anyhow I like uptons dragonwell. Quite sweet to me. I got some on the way from yunnan sourcing

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Finished the rest of my sample today, western-style. At 3 minutes, it was incredibly buttery. Yum! Nice light strawberry flavor too. I dunno, I might consider getting some in a future order, but I better stop buying tea for awhile…it’s gotten a little out of hand lately! ;)

Cameron B.

Let me know if you want some, I have 100g of this one from Black Friday. :)


I bought this during their black friday sale too. It is good.


Thanks for the offer, Cameron…I’ll think about it. I have so much stuff right now! :)

Cameron B.

Same here, dear. Just letting you know in case you decide you’d like some. :)

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This needed to be steeped on christmas, so I did. I will use my notes to write this review since I have been kinda busy.
These are always so enjoyable to watch, when they sink and suddenly start bloooming. This is pretty looking one, I like how those four flowers form a triangle and really look somehow like colourful christmas tree, globe amaranth on the top is like christmas star.
Pale yellow tea tastes really flowery and sweet. It was really entertaining show in christmas table.

Flavors: Flowers


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I ordered samples from Teavivre so I could try this one head-to-head against their unflavoured Jin Xuan. :) I steeped 1tsp (3g) in a 10oz mug with steeping basket – boiling water but I find it cools quite quickly when poured into a mug, so they probably actually steeped at about 90C.

This one definitely has a sweeter, milkier scent to the dry leaf, and the leaves when wet are less vegetal than the unflavoured one. You can still taste the grassy, vegetal base, but there’s an additional sweetness and depth of flavour that wasn’t present in the other one. Interestingly, I don’t find this to be particularly milky, even with the flavouring. It’s definitely less strongly milk-flavoured than other “milk oolongs” I’ve tried, even ones that claimed to be unflavoured. As with the other one, I’m finding this light and pleasant, but also thinking that gong fu might give me a more interesting tasting experience.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I ordered samples from Teavivre so I could try this one head-to-head against their flavoured Jin Xuan. :) I steeped 1tsp (3g) in a 10oz mug with steeping basket – boiling water but I find it cools quite quickly when poured into a mug, so they probably actually steeped at about 90C.

This one smells more green and vegetal, in both the dry and wet leaves. The taste is sweet and grassy, and I would describe it as more buttery than creamy. The flavour is quite light and refreshing the way I’ve steeped it… I think next time I’ll probably try a longer steep and see if the flavour deepens a bit. It’s nice but it’s not blowing my mind or anything. I’m looking forward to trying it gong fu style.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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