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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is a complete mouth/nose experience. Unlike other Lapsang Souchongs I’ve had (mostly bagged), the smoke flavor doesn’t overwhelm the smooth, sweet black tea base. Instead, you get the satisfying smokiness from the smell, from the breath out, and from a subtle, lingering aftertaste.
Save this tea for non-cold or -allergy season – you don’t want anything to get in between you and the smell. Also, stay away from scented lotions on your hands when drinking, nothing spoils this experience like fake vanilla/peach/lemon/whatever.
Flavors: Smoke, Toffee, Vanilla
Thanks to Angel at teavivre for this free sample! I didn’t log my first cup of this apparently and didn’t pay a ton of attention to my cup this morning lol so I will write a more detailed note later! This was fruity, malty, a bit sweet, and really good. A good feeling after drinking it and it wasn’t a heavy black tea. So far, yum! And yes, a more detailed note later :)
I’m wondering if Keemun isn’t another kind of black I just don’t really adore plain. This tasted malty. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great.
It might have been my mood though. I will need to try it again. I woke up to a text from a guy I was seeing wanting to break things off just as I was starting to like him. It’s ok, he is a mess, as it turns out. Dating just sucks, and I think I’m going to be taking a rest from it for awhile!
This is my first Keemun. What strikes me is how fruity it is compared to other black teas. I taste a strong sour note down the middle of my tongue that is getting more bitter the further into the cup I sip. I can see why people get obsessed with Keemuns – this is not a tea to be taken lightly.
Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Sour
I enjoy white peony in general, and this is no exception. It is fruity and floral, lovely hot but I prefer it cooled. This particular brand of this tea doesn’t stand out to me, but that might be from just enjoying this tea everywhere. I’ve started to find that I notice quality differences more in black tea, which I often dislike.
I am disgracefully behind in writing tasting notes. I have many, many wonderful samples from my tea friends, that I really need to get sipping.
This one came my way from dex, don’t even ask how long ago. I don’t remember.
This style of tea I really need to be in the mood for. When I drank it a couple of days ago, it was windy and chilly. The perfect day for a warm comforting tea. Sometimes in this type of tea, the smoke it too much for me, and in those cases I usually use it for my home-made pea soup for a smoky flavour in lieu of bacon. This tea, however, was nicely smoky. I added a splash of maple syrup, recommended by another steepster member, and it made for a delicious sweet smoky cup.
Thanks for the sample, dex!
Oh dear, I really thought I logged this when I first tried it — I finished off the sample pouch weeks ago so now I’m trying to do this from memory.
I did like it. I thought it was a bit more sweet pea than sweet potato, and there was something slightly biting about it. I think I still prefer milk oolong, but this is definitely worth trying if you are interested in oolongs on the green side.
I regret being forced to rush through this one this morning in my frenzy to prepare to substitute teach today. It was my first day ever, and I know most subs suck, but I am really intent on making sure I break that mold.
This was perfect this morning. A bit sweet, not bitter at all, and very earthy and woody. There was a thick fruitiness, but I’d need to drink it again to be sure. But drink it again, I most certainly will!
This is a really nice lapsang! It’s smoky, but not too smoky… and it tastes SUPER GREAT with maple whipped cream.
https://instagram.com/p/00gBKwR5Dt/ (In Dexter’s handmade cup! Thanks so much! :D )
1.5 tsp in 10 oz, 2:45, 195F)
Now that I finally like lapsang, I thought I’d try Teavivre’s version and so I ordered a sample in my last order. I’ve only had lapsang brewed western before, but I love gong fu, so I went for it. This one is much more mild than the other 100% lapsang tea I had. The smoke is smooth and mild and sweet. Very good quality, but I wanted more depth and complexity. I think I’ll have to try this one brewed western to see if a long steep brings out the depth I was seeking. Overall it’s nice, but I wanted something more punchy!
This is very tasty. It definitely tastes like cherry, which I have never really tasted it it to you before. I would say that it is more tart cherry than sweet, because there is a bit of a sourness that does not come from astringency. It is also malty and hearty. Yum!
This is my first Dan Cong! Woo! I almost bought some at DavidsTea, but I’m glad I didn’t, because this is much better quality. The color of this tea is a strikingly gorgeous honey amber. I got several infusions out of it, with each one getting slightly sweeter.
There is a nice roasty note, but it’s not as pronounced as the Da Hong Pao I had the other day. The flavor reminds me a lot of pomegranate…a little tart and a little sweet. Interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted that note in a tea. Overall, I liked it, but I think I might like the Da Hong Pao a bit more. :)
May I just say that I adore this tea? It is malty and chocolatey and bready and not at all bitter or astringent, not even the way that chocolate can be bitter or astringent (which, in chocolate, is a yummy quality, but not always in tea). I really like a tea that I can sink my teeth into, that is perfect as is, and this tea is it. No frills, no complex flavorings (although those also have their place). Just a good black tea with hints of honey and yeast and chocolate. Yum. I’d have this for breakfast every morning if my budget would allow me. :)
When TeaVivre posted this on Instagram, I knew I had to have it. It’s just so unique! And at the time, I don’t think I even had 1 traditional gaiwan. I have one now, along with a couple of what I’d consider “easy” gaiwans. I really love brewing things gong fu style now! This is really like an in-cup infuser/gaiwan/serving pitcher. I really like the serving pitcher part, as I still don’t own one…I’ve been using a small Pyrex measuring cup for that (lame, huh?).
Anyway, this came in the mail today, so I tried it out with the Da Hong Pao sample I ordered.
The overall quality is pretty good. One thing that bothers me about one of my easy gaiwans is that the holes look unfinished and have sharp points on the inside. This one has an infuser with both holes and a fine mesh metal strainer inserted inside and the holes look nice and finished. The fine mesh strainer will be nice to catch sediment or little pieces of leaf. I found three scratches on the glass pitcher portion, which worry me a bit regarding its integrity…hopefully they won’t be a problem. The pitcher and infuser portions don’t sit as securely in the base as I expected, but it’s not terrible. I found the lid can double as place to measure out your leaf. ;)
Since you can sit the infuser in the base while you pour from the pitcher into your cup, people used to traditional gaiwans may find themselves almost pouring the water for the next steep into the infuser without putting the infuser back in the pitcher….I almost did this! That would not be wise!
Also, it’s important to watch the water level in the pitcher when pouring into the gaiwan, rather than the water level inside the infuser, as you may overfill and cause a spill. Not a problem if you’re using a gong fu tea tray, but otherwise it would be. Also, overfilling will make the top of the pitcher hotter, making it more difficult to handle/pour.
I know some folks like to agitate the leaves with the lid while brewing, but you can’t really do that with this one, as the water level in the infuser is lower than in a traditional gaiwan, and the infuser is not as wide.
I like the portability of this, as you don’t need a separate pitcher. I also really enjoy watching the color of the liquor change as it steeps, which could also be a very useful indicator of how long to brew it. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it and expect to use it often!
This is the second Da Hong Pao I’ve had. I thought I’d order a sample in my last Teavivre order and see what they have to offer. Teavivre teas are usually good quality, and I wasn’t disappointed.
This tea is roasty, with a delicious sugarcane sweetness. Yum! It’s smooth, warming and cozy. I didn’t get much of a fruity note, like I did in the other Da Hong Pao I tried, but it was still nice, maybe just a little less complex.
Started my day off with this tea and used it to distract myself during a meeting.. Pretending I’m paying attention while writing a tasting note in my head :P
I got this as a sample from Teavivre, so thank you!
Very interesting to get some loose pu in a bag. It said to steep for up to 12 minutes, so I opted for 8 minutes and it was quite strong. Very dark color (obviously, since it’s a shou) and has a creamy and woody flavor – definitely a lot of rice flavor. Maybe a hint of fruit, but it’s a very rich shou. Because of my steeping situation at work, I couldn’t really rinse it, so I don’t know if that would have made a difference on such a long steep. Overall, pretty good and very convenient for making pu on the go.
Long overdue tasting note on this tea…
This sample comes from Angel at Teavivre…and I think it is probably my first red tea. When I first tried this I git a little sour, but in a bittersweet chocolate sort or way, that eventually turned into an earthy any or grassy feel. It’s an interesting tea for sure. I don’t think this is my favourite black (red) tea, but it is not bad. I did brew this western style and add milk and sugar to it. It may have been a different experience gong fu style, but I don’t have my gaiwan set yet….probably not for a few more weeks at least. I’m not sure if I would recommend this or not just because it is a certain flavour profile, but it is a good one…so I’m sure some would like and some would not.