Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

90

MzPriss inspired me to drink some Bailin this morning.

I need all the yumminess I can get and this is a full cup of exactly that.

I so love this tea, it’s like a comfy pair of jeans or slippers. You just know it’s going to hug you the right way in all the right places!

Think freshly baked bread, with honey and cocoa notes. It’s creamy and malty, with some hay.

It might not the be the most complex tea, but it is so good and tasty, it makes everything right.

This has been a permanent tea in my collection, and it’s not going anywhere!

TeaTiff

Oh I love the comparison to comfy slippers. Yum!

Marzipan

Sometimes it’s enough just to know what you’ll be getting.

MzPriss

It’s in my permanent collection too and likely to stay that way since I can’t get the lid off the tin…

Marzipan

Ship it to me, I’ll get it off. Mua ha ha.

TheTeaFairy

Yep, Teatift, total slipper comfy kind of tea!

Marzipan, you are so right, sometimes you need the 100% proof stuff.

MzPriss, Maybe ask Kali’s help since Tina is temporarily disabled? (Don’t trust Marzipan, she’s totally going to drink it all…I know cause I would do the same ;-))

TheTeaFairy

(Oops, sorry I massacred your name TeaTiff )

Marzipan

I’m busted.

MzPriss

I need to get a little thin bladed knife down in there but yes – if I give it to the girls they could get it open.

Marizan – you ARE busted :)

and you’re right TeaF – total comfort tea this

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88

Praise to the tea gods. (Teaities?) This smells pretty awesome. I get mostly honey, and a light scent of yams. The flavour is more malty cocoa and hints of molasses.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Yams

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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100

Several months ago Angel at Teavivre sent me five black teas to review. If I had known how absolutely nummy this one is, it wouldn’t have taken me until now to try it out! It’s slightly toasty, with a rich, creamy maltiness that I can just sink into. This tea is a new favorite, and hopefully I can talk hubby into getting me some for my next birthday!

For some pretty pictures, you can visit my blog at:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2014/07/nonpareil-yunnan-dian-hong-chinese-red.html

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

One of my requested free samples from Angel at Teavivre. I was very surprised when I saw this tea. Usually when a tea is called golden tips it means there are golden tips included. This one looks like it’s almost all golden tips! It smells malty and there is a strong apricot scent along with some honey.

First time, I did a 4 minute steep at about 190 degrees. The aroma is very malty with honey and a light stonefruit note along with some raisin. It tastes like yummy toasty bread with some honey over the top. Maybe a tiny bit of peach or apricot jam. Very tasty!

I saw that a lot of people had mentioned sweet potato so I tried a 3 minute steep. The flavor is definitely lighter, but it’s still primarily malt. I can see how it might be a little sweet potatoey. The honey is still there but I don’t really taste fruit anymore. Overall, I think I preferred the longer steep, especially with a touch of sugar. And it doesn’t seem to be astringent in the least.

Thanks again TeaVivre!

Edit: I forgot to mention that I also received a sample of this from TeaTiff! Thanks lady! :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Stonefruits

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Marzipan

Teavivre does free samples?

KiwiDelight

I just requested samples to review as well: http://www.teavivre.com/contacts/free_tea_tasting/

Cameron B.

Marzipan, yes they allow you to pick five teas to try, and the only stipulation is that you post reviews for them. They send super generous samples too! I was shocked!

KiwiDelight

I didn’t expect 3 packets of each :O

Cameron B.

No kidding! And some of the black teas I ordered were fluffy, so it ended up looking like a giant amount when I emptied it into a tin!

Marzipan

Oh but you have to have a blog =\

KiwiDelight

lol fluffy tea! Did you get black teas mostly?

I’ve only opened the larger packet. I can’t drink any of them for the next day or so because my nose is stuffed xP Aroma is one of the best parts and I hate missing it.

KiwiDelight

Marzipan, Steepster counts!! :D

Marzipan

Thanks, here goes!

KiwiDelight

Yay! Which are you requesting?

Cameron B.

I actually got all black teas. :) I opened them all and transferred them into tins since the packages aren’t resealable.

Marzipan I hope you enjoy them! :)

Mandy

Funnily enough I saw someone mention that Teavivre does samples but didn’t link that link so I just contacted them separately asking to receive samples in exchange for reviews, and they responded back with 5 teas they said they could send me. I didn’t even think of picking out the specific ones I wanted. They should be here soon and hopefully they’re all good anyway (:

Cameron B.

Mandy, I don’t think I’ve seen a negative review for any of their teas, so I’m sure they’ll all be good quality. I just hope they’re all types of teas that you enjoy. :)

Mandy

Cameron B That’s what I meant, good tasting to me, haha. They’re sending me an assortment of greens and oolongs since I mentioned in my email that that’s what I prefer. Wish I would have requested some black now though, since in the last couple of weeks I’ve been starting to fall for them too.
This is what they’re sending me:
Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea
Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea
Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea
Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea
Taiwan Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao) Oolong Tea

Marzipan

I offered to let them pick which they want reviewed.

Cameron B.

Marzipan, that’s so nice of you! I was like GIMME THESE ONES NAOOOOO! :P

Marzipan

Well I said non smoky blacks or very oxidized oolongs, so it wasn’t wide open.

Mandy

I’m sure they’ll do a great job picking out. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t pick mine because I would have gotten over whelmed by all the choices, and the ones they picked all sound like something I’d like! (;

boychik

If you have enough left pls do gongfu. You don’t need gaiwan. 1 tbsp 4 oz rinse 5/5/10/15sec etc. you will notice more flavors including sweet potatoes ;)

Cameron B.

boychik I have a ton! Ha ha. I was planning on trying some pseudo-gong fu this week with a couple milk oolongs and I’ll be sure to try some of these blacks as well, especially this one and the Fengqing pearls. I’ll jot down your parameters. How long of a rinse would you recommend?

KiwiDelight

The gongfu process is magical.

boychik

Rinse just few secs to awaken leaves. 2-5 sec

Cameron B.

Oh boychik, always so helpful. :) I’ll make sure to try gong fu this week.

Nicole

I have only gotten sweet potato a couple of times from Yunnans/Dian Hongs. Everyone else seems to get it a lot more than I do. I usually get a lot of malt in the ones I like and not as much malt but added smoke in the ones I don’t care for as much. :) Everyone’s taste buds are different!

Marzipan

Hah Kiwi, I got my first tea drunk experience today from gongfu!

Cameron B.

Nicole I’ve only gotten smoke from one Yunnan so far, and it was extremely mild smoke. Enjoyable smoke! :)

KiwiDelight

Marzipan It’s such a euphoric experience, no? :D

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I slept in this morning, and now I feel a little groggy and out of my element. I’ve got a lot of stuff/chores to do, and ‘cos I feel so bleh, it’s gonna be hard to get going.

So to make myself feel better I decided chocolate was the way to go. Chocolate tea, that is. YUM! Malty, chocolatey deliciousness.

Thanks for the sample, Dexter!

Cameron B.

How did you brew them? Trying to find the sweet spot on this one. :)

scribbles

Western style. 4 pearls with near boiling H20. Hope you find what works for you! Is so good.

Cameron B.

How long did you let it go for?

scribbles

Oops…sorry, meant to include that. 1st steep 4 min, 2nd at 6 min.

Cameron B.

Thanks for the help! I really want to love this one but I felt it didn’t live up to its full potential when I tried it. :P

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This was part of my sampler prize. I don’t usually make white tea, and might have steeped this too warm. It smells nice though, a bit floral and sweet.

Not so sure of the flavour at the moment, but it does seem to go with my orange cake.

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85

Yay I finally got my TeaVivre samples! I’ve been really excited to try their black teas. Thanks Angel for the very generous samples! This tea was the one I was most anxious to try because it’s so unique. :) The pearls are about a half-inch in diameter, and the color is about an equal mixture of brown and golden tips. They smell divine – very sweet honey with some cocoa, malt, and bread notes. I did two separate steeps (4 pearls each) and then a resteep.

The first steep, I followed the package directions and let it go for 5 minutes. The aroma was very malty in a beer kind of way, with bread and honey and some light cocoa. The taste was…meh. It was very one-note and the malt dominated. I was surprised it did not get bitter at all, even with the long steep.

Second try, I went for 3 minutes. The aroma was more sweet honey this time, but the beer scent was still there with stronger cocoa. The taste was more complex, with some strong honey notes and a little bit of bread or malt. Not really cocoa though. I then resteeped the same leaves for 4 minutes, and got a flavor somewhere between the other two.

I feel like I didn’t get the full flavor out of this tea. The steeping parameters that others have used are so widely varied that it’s hard to know what to sweet spot is. My only idea is to try more pearls, maybe 5, and a shorter steep time. Any suggestions would be amazing. :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tealizzy

I like this one steeped for 9 minutes. Sounds weird for a black tea, but it’s good! I also like my black teas with a splash of milk and a little sugar. That timeframe seems to bring out the dark chocolate notes. Good luck!

Cameron B.

Thanks! I definitely have enough to try this a few different ways, although I generally try not to add anything to straight teas.

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68

I could’ve sworn that I reviewed this the first time I had it, but I didn’t even find this in my cupboard much less find a review for it. Which is frustrating since I’m missing one packet and I know I drank it and could’ve sworn I reviewed it. huffs Annnnnd found my review. Apparently Steepster had either not registered that I put this in my cupboard or something. And my review was on the very last page of this tea listing. Lol.
OveralltThat’s just par for the course today since I’m missing another tea that my cupboard says I should have, but I can’t find it anywhere in my kitchen and I know I didn’t swap/sell it. _
In any case, I wanted to try this (again) to compare it to Andrews&Dunham’s because I’m so tempted to order their Spring Keemun, but I’m looking for excuses not to. XD
1 3/4 tsp (half the sample packet)/12oz water @ 193*
Dry this had a slightly smoky, woody sort of scent when I opened the packet.
Brewed…I’m wondering if I should’ve used 2 tsp since this seemed kinda weak/light to me. Or maybe steeped longer (though I did use right in the middle of their recommendations). Or maybe it’s just too subtle for me. XD I get a hint of smoky sort of taste and it’s vaguely fruit/winey to me when I roll it around in my mouth. And I get a bit of woodiness. Just a smidge of astringency and no bitterness. Maybe a bit of flowery/perfume-yness at the back of my mouth.
I’m not sure what I think overall. It’s not as heavy handed/potent as some of my other teas. I’d almost be tempted to say delicate even? It’s definitely good, and I’ll finish the other half of this sample plus the last full packet, but I’m not sure if I absolutely need this in my cupboard. /ponders/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
donkeytiara

I have both this tea and the A&D spring keemun. I’ve reviewed them both and I think they’re both really nice kemuns, but there are definite differences! this one is more delicate, A&D is a heavier mouthfeel….check my reviews for details…by the way, I own 2 tins of A&D’s spring keemun. :)

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82

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 205 degrees, 3minutes, French Press

Dry Leaf Aroma: Smells like sweet florals. Very pretty

Brewing Aroma: Roasty, like toasted rice. It smells like a genmaicha!

Flavor: This tastes roasty with a light floral tone. It’s interesting. I’m picking up the same kinds of flavors that I’d find in a genmaicha. It wasn’t astringent or bitter. This was a nice, smooth breakfast tea. Yum!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I can’t find any notes for this tea even though I had it many times. Oh well
3G 205F 2 min
Nice smooth but something is off. I dunno. Probably me. I blame my taste buds. I should retry some other time .

Preparation
3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

did you hve this one or the other 2 versions lol and yes steepster has been eating a lot of notes lately

mj

There’s a whole thread about Steepster eating notes!

TheTeaFairy

Conspiracy theory?

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83
drank Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea by Teavivre
4536 tasting notes

I’ve enjoyed this one while i’ve had it, but after 100g i think i’m ready to relegate this to less desirable than the keemun i love from teavivre, but still a good tea that i would be willing to split if other friends wanted to share. lol sound good? :)

boychik

I had a cup of this tea too. I had better memories. It’s not working today:(

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90

I feel that maybe I am late to the party reviewing this one, but it’s the 4th of July and I actually have the day off. I just finished roasting some Sumatra Mandheling coffee beans and the wife and little man are both napping so it’s tea time. As far as flavor goes I don’t notice any difference between Monkey picked and non Monkey picked Ti Guan Yin. Not to say it’s bad because I have yet to meet a Ti Guan Yin that I didn’t like. There’s maybe a little more pronounced flavor. The somewhat roasted, hint of honey, hint of flower, I think a little like olive oil flavor. I am a happy camper right now.

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Another free sample from Teavivre. Thank you. This is the last of the most recent batch of samples I was sent.

I bought a sample of this tea some time back and really enjoyed it, although I did not remember this until I came to write a note about this new sample. Last time I found it to be a powerful, full body experience. So, how does it fare this time around? The initial impression is woodsy and smoky with a strong, pleasing kuwei after a 5 second steep. Further perusal and steeping suggest prunes or muscatel, and hay notes in the aroma, but less so in the tasting. The aftertaste is sweet with a little smoke and a mild astringency. Like last time, I can feel this tea in my legs first and then the relaxation spreads throughout the rest of my body. I avoid getting tea drunk, but the possibility is definitely there. This is still a powerful tea. I reckon it will really help me through the working day.

Flavors: Hay, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 150 OZ / 4436 ML
TheTeaFairy

Don’t fight it…just let the “drunk-ness” play its magic :-)

Roughage

I’ll just weave my drunken way back to the kettle then … hic! :)

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I spent yesterday drinking this tea and really enjoying it. I find that it is a tough tea to get the best out of but when you do manage it, it is sublime. There are honeysuckle, peach and spice notes in it that make it really refreshing, while vegetal undertones keep it grounded. I like this tea and find it worth the effort. That is probably just as well, because I have a whole tin of it!

Flavors: Honeysuckle, Peach, Spices

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
TheTeaFairy

Mmmm, OB is all honey goodness…You gotta love those little leafhoppers!

Roughage

Part of the reason I first bought OB was the story about the tea jassids. I love things that have a little extra story to them.

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Thank you to Teavivre for for this free sample, and my apologies that I am totally behind on reviewing the teas I was sent. Still, only one left to try. That will be today’s project.

So, I drank this a while back but have not managed to write it up before now. I made it in an yixing pot and managed to get a good few steeps from it. The dry leaf had a strong hay aroma with a slight floral edge. The liquor brewed up yellow with some honey, hay and floral notes. The tea is smoky with vegetal notes. It is sweet and has a lasting aftertaste. There is some puckering of the tongue from the astringency that is quite pleasant. As I resteeped the tea, the flavour deepened and mellowed. I liked the way the tea developed and the flavours became more pronounced for the first half dozen steeps.

One thing I did find a bit odd was the recommendation to brew with boiling water. I normally brew sheng at 85-90 degrees C. With this tea I tried both. I found that I had to wait for it to cool before I could taste anything when I brewed it with boiling water while the cooler brew did not impair the flavour at all. I am still undecided about which is better but probably prefer the cooler brew. Perhaps I need to get some more to experiment a bit.

Flavors: Floral, Smoke, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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82

I think I still prefer Teavivre’s white jasmine tea, but this is definitely growing on me. It’s a bit fuller tasting (again, I can’t help but think of butter somehow); the jasmine is strong, but you still definitely get the green base. The color (steeped) is a rich golden-brown.

Flavors: Jasmine

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80

Sipdown of this one from MissB!

Very enjoyable yesterday morning. Not overly chocolatey to my tastebuds but it had a nice silky thick mouthfeel.

Maybe I will buy some one day!

Thanks again, MissB :)

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Many thanks to Mary Bao of Teavivre for sending me this! I won one of the free 50g tea prizes from their contest a few weeks ago, and requested this as my prize.

I’m slowly becoming more acquainted with yunnan blacks, and this one is of a deeper, subtler, more complex nature than the others I’ve tried (Simple Loose Leaf’s Yunnan Breakfast Black and RiverTea’s Golden Yunnan). The smell of this one is malty and sweet, slightly leathery, slightly earthy.

I was surprised by the instructions on the label, as they said to use 1 tbsp of leaf for 17 oz (approx 2 cups) of water at 90C. That seemed a bit heavy on the leaf for me, but I followed their instructions for my first steep, and the result is not bad.

I steeped it for 3 minutes, and as others have noted, the liquor here is quite pale compared to other Yunnans – this was more of a thin, clear, umber than the coffee-coloured liquid I’ve gotten from other Yunnans. However, the smell is really complex. I got the characteristic notes of malt and earth, but underneath that I got a deep dark sweetness, like honey or dried fruit like prunes and dates.

The flavour is very gentle. No astringency, rather subtle. I wonder what it would be like to add sweetener to this and see if I can bring the honey/fruit notes to the fore. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as much from a second steep. It tasted a bit flat, and I can’t tell if that was due to the water or the leaf.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 17 OZ / 502 ML

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83

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 195 degrees, grandpa style

Dry Leaf Aroma: Surprisingly non-floral. I didn’t smell much of anything.

Brewing Aroma: Buttery and floral.

Flavor: This is a great oolong! I have found that lightly oxidized oolongs tend to be my faves. I love picking out floral notes when I know the tea has not been scented with petals. I oversteeped this, because I forgot to set a timer and got distracted, but the tea was forgiving. There wasn’t bitterness in the first cup. I added more water, and the floral was there, but there was also fairly pronounced bite. Not the tea’s fault!

Thanks to Angel @ Teavivre, who provided very generous samples. Because of that, I can try this again and steep it properly. I think this may benefit from short steeps and/or gong fu brewing. I’ll update when I try it again!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Oh, those high mountain buttery oolongs just rock my world :-)

Sarsonator

Then this would be right up your alley! It’s very good. I am steeping my special dark from Mandala now. I’ll be writing it up soon! Yay!

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40

Eh, not super strong. Maybe it’s because it’s a bit too hot right now, but even smell wise it’s not strong. I think I like Teavana’s Peach Jasmine better…it’s definitely a lot stronger.
It tastes faintly of jasmine, but nothing really strong. Oh well. Least it was just a sample. xD
Thank you for the sample, darby! (:

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92

Another superfine tetsubin of this superfine Dragon Well from Teavivre. Despite our sweat shop environment in the kitchen today. I’ll definitely be restocking this yummy stuff.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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98

Thank you so much Teavivre! My order and contest winnings have arrived. I was very excited to win a pu-erh cake from that awesome contest, and I figured I might as well order with all my reward points I’ve accumulated so that the pu-erh cake didn’t have to travel through the mail so lonely. haha. (I ordered this one, the Keemun #1 which won in my taste test of all four keemuns and the review that won Teavvire’s contest and a bunch of samples, mostly oolong!)

I wanted to try this one right away. My previous sample of this one was almost two years old, so the harvest was bound to be different. It is. I tried to steep using similar parameters. It still has the distinctly bailin gongfu flavor, but it’s lighter than it once was. The flavor before was deep dark chocolate. This is still chocolate, but not dark chocolate! Still no astringency. I will probably find I love it more every time I steep this one, just like the previous harvest. I think this is the tea I’ve written the most tasting notes for.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps // 20 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min steep

TheTeaFairy

So much love for this one…and congrats again for your winnings :-)

TeaTiff

I really need to bust this out again. I remember loving it when I tried it but I haven’t touched since.

Stephanie

Mine haven’t arrived yet but I am so excited to get them!

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88

I’ve been hoarding this one, which is silly because it’s not a limited edition, i can get it anytime and i love it. So i dug it out as a little reward today for finishing off my october teas, and because technically i should be working through my 100g of this anyway haha. Added a little maple syrup as i usually do and loved every last drop of it! yay for being back to work after working from home for 4 days lol

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