Recent Tasting Notes



I love the chestnut flavor (and aroma) of this tea. Sweet and delicious. It has a pleasant toasty flavor to it, reminiscent of the flavor of a freshly roasted chestnut. A delightful creaminess in both taste and texture.

This is less vegetal and more nutty. Usually, I expect a vegetal tone to a green tea, but I like that there’s more nutty flavors than vegetative. If you’re one who tends to shy away from a green tea because of the strong vegetal overtones, this would be an excellent tea to try.

Lovely taste, restorative, a beautiful tea! Read more here:

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Got this one from Sarsonator in our swap a few weeks ago. She surprised me and gave me a whole lot of Teavivre samples. ^^ Because she is just awesome like that!
Now unlike Oriental Beauty, this one actually is floral-y.
It’s smooth and strong. Kinda grassy but really floral-y.
So it’s definitely a win in my mind! Woo!
Thanks, Sarsonator! :D

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Smooth


Yay!!! Swap tastings!


Thanks so much for the samples! you da best! :P

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Got this sample from Albertocanfly a few months ago. Haven’t actually had an Oriental Beauty yet, I don’t think. But this seemed to be well praised, so figured it was about time I had this one.
For some reason, I was expecting it to be more floral….
But it kinda turned out to taste a lot like grapes. Kinda vegetable and sweet. Really sweet actually.
This is just a weird combo of flavors. xD I don’t really know how to feel about this one-haha! Luckily Albertocanfly gave me a few tsp so I have time to figure out what I think. I don’t not like it. It’s not what I expected, but I guess I’ll just see if I like it. xD So I’ll wait to rate this.
Thanks for the sample, Albertocanfly! :D

Flavors: Fruity, Grapes, Honey, Honeysuckle, Sweet, Vegetal

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Bold black flavour. Floral and fruity with briskness but no astringency.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 375 OZ / 11090 ML

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Dry leaf smells like sweet potato. Sweet, floral, tuber vegetable-tasting. Flavour tastes a bit dilute- I may want to infuse for a longer amount of time in the future.

Rating: 77

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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I think I am in danger as I really enjoyed this introduction to Sheng. I loved the mix of exotic woods, spice, fruit, floral notes, leather, honey, vegetal notes and cream. I also loved the warming sensation it produced in my body. Can see why people can get addicted to this style of tea. It was also really long lasting I ended up getting 27 steeps out of one tuocha steeped in a 140 ml gaiwan. Thanks so much to TeaVivre for the chance to sample this tea. It has definitely left me with a desire to sample more.

I used short steeps and near boiling water for this tea.

10s rinse.

5s: slightly darker broth than my average green tea.

Sweet, straw like nnotes, honey, cocoa, cotton flower in the scent with flavours of cotton flower, straw, honey, cocoa, hint of ffruit, plum, and a touch of artichoke and leather. The tea had a creamy buttery texture and produced a slight tingling on the underside of the tongue.

7s deeper gold colour. With regards to the scent and taste, the leather note is stronger, with hints of aged cedar mixed with sandalwood, honey, floral notes and cocoa.
There are some vegetal green tea notes, with spinach, artichoke and spice, hint of frackensence. Plum. Creamyspicy woody, honeyed floral taste overlying some bitterness

9s frackensence, cedar, plum, floral notes, aged spicy woods, honey.
Cream, artichoke with spinach, exotic wood and spices, some honey, over some bitter tones. It presents a warming sensation in my body.

11s similar to above but a little sweeter and fruitier smelling.
Cream, spinach and artichoke frakinsence, aged cedar, allspice, honey, leather,plum, aftertaste of spice. Warming in the body, cooling in the mouth.

15s. Spice, plum, hint of spicy floral.

Cream, exotic woods and spices, indistinct savoury veg, hint of leather,

20s. Floral mixed with woody notes_ plum and artichoke.
Similar to above still spicy exotic woods, veg,plum, and honey over bitter notes, a little more drying in the mouth.

23s. Spice, cotton flower, plum, brighter than last steeps.

Even blending of above flavours exotic spices devolving into a spicy floral note cream, fruit. Gardenia.

26s similar to above but slightly more bitter and spicy floral notes are slightly biting.

30s tart intro to scent mix.
Cream honey ,veg note, gardenia, plum and a touch of exotic woods.

34s More honey and plum, bitter veg tone and gardenia mixed with exotic woods.

40s bright spice over letter, woods and greens, smell a little of perfume.
Frakinsence, cream, aged cedar, artichoke, plum.

46s. Cream, plum than other notes in succession.

54s. Plum, cream, woody notes, spice. Honey

62s same as above with some floral notes. Honey move forward with cream.

70s Much more intensely sweet with hints of licorice to the honey, plum, spice. A mild woody dryness and lots of warmth and heat produced in the. Front of the mouth yielding to a cooling.

80s similar to above but slightly creamier.

90s slightly stronger cedar, and spice notes, very warming.

110s spicy exhautic woods, salt, cream, some savoury notes.

120s. above mixed with bitter sweet greens

130s honey, spice, greens, cream.

140 s similar but a little weak.

160 s same.

180s. Licorice woody notes, spice, plum

3.30min plum, woody notes, licorice, spice.

4 min softer version of notes above.

5 min creamy soft with licorice appearing with spice and honey.

6 min. Honey, cream, sweet cooked greens, faint hint of spice.

Thanks again I really enjoyed it!


Wow! That is a large number of steeps.


Sounds amazing.


i cant believe you never tasted sheng before


I know! Pu-erh in general intimidated me for awhile.


Welcome! very addictive;)

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First thoughts: Wow, those are big! The leaves are uniformly whole, about 1.5 inches long.

I got some of this in my recent package of samples from Teavivre and now that Steepster seems less broken, I’m finally reviewing it. I don’t often drink white tea but when I do I tend to enjoy it. I steeped this for about two minutes in 75 degree water per the instructions on the sample. I used the whole packet to make a pot for the beau and I since he is a big fan of white teas.

At two minutes western style, this is light tea. Very light. Maybe too light. I poured the tea back into the pot for another minute steeping – and made a mess. Whoops. Then I forgot it, and it went two more minutes. So, a four minute steep it is. The water was only 75 when poured though, so I’m not worried about over-steeping.

Now, we have a lot more flavour. It is still a light-tea but full-bodied and sweet with some notes of hay and melon or cucumber. No bitterness, astringency or dryness. Light but yummy. Sort of unassuming. Another tea that I like when I drink but don’t always think to go for. The beau proclaims it “really good.” He gets a bit of jasmine (which is likely floral in general). He had a sip of scotch before trying it though, so his impressions are now confused.

I don’t think we will have any problem enjoying these samples and I am interested to compare it to the Organic Silver Needle we also received. I think I will try a second steep of this later at higher temps as well to see what we get.

It’s been a little while since I’ve had the white peony, but so far I would say I liked that a little better. It had a little more oomph for me and stood out a bit more. I think it also had different brewing parameters though which can really change the outcome.

Flavors: Cucumber, Melon, Sweet

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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Yeasty dry leaf aroma.
Very flavouful, bright sweet taste. Lingering sweetness.

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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This was the winner in today’s game of “Help Lariel select a tea” in the chat room. Teavivre was nice enough to send this so I could try more white teas. I get a mild floral/ honey scent. The flavour is pretty similar to scent, and still mild.

Not really my preference, but it was nice to try something different.

Second steep- Used a bit more leaf, and I like the floral flavour more.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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I ended up using my entire 7 gram sample packet for this pot of Superfine Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong, in part, because the dark little nuggets were so deceptively small. It just did not look like very much tea at all.

In reality, the nuggets unfurl by the third infusion to produce huge, whole, perfect leaves. To my amazement, the volume of the wet leaves filled nearly half the pot! What a stunning metamorphosis!

Equally amazing is the delicious taste of this oolong—all the way through four distinct but equally delicious steeps. The flavor is lightly floral and super smooth like silken cream, fading slightly more with each successive infusion.

I decided to save the fourth infusion to imbibe iced tomorrow as the forecast is for more 90F+ weather.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 18 OZ / 532 ML

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Hubby and I have not had a quiet evening gong fu session in a while so I asked him if he was game for it tonight. He hasn’t had a lot of raw puerh, and this may be only the second one he has tried, so I didn’t know how it would go for him, especially since this one is SO young.

Raw puerh didn’t do much for me way back when, but I enjoy it much more now than I used to. And with this being a 2014, I was halfway expecting to walk away after a few steeps.

I used about 5 grams in an eight ounce pot with water that was 212F but the kettle sat beside us, so it was cooling with each steep.

I feel like I am in a strange mood tonight – I may be tea drunk – but the aroma that hit me smelled like….optimism. Bright lights ahead. Hope. Lightness of being. The initial steeps were zingy with youth, a little grassy with sunshine on top. Definitely feeling the chi with this one.

The liquor was deep, rich yellow in the little white cups. It stayed that way until about steep seven, when the color lightened considerably and the flavor became a little more milky.

I asked hubby how he felt, and he said he felt like he was winding down and felt ready for bed. This from a man who often can’t sleep and is restless for far too long considering how early he has to get up. While the tea was mellowing him, it was invigorating me. But now after two more steeps drunk alone, I am also ready to wind down and go to sleep. Happy and giddy, but sleepy.

This session has convinced me that I need to add more raw puerh to my tea stash. It is a good thing I am placing a combined Teavivre order for myself and a friend tomorrow.

Thank you, Teavivre, for this sample from your birthday pack!


hurray for more raw puerh fans! I love that chi feeling :)

Zen Tea Jazz and Sci Fi Books

I love raw puerrh cake :) It also puts me in slumberland quickly with peaceful dreams. I love the feeling of a restful night sleep after drinking raw puerrh :)

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No notes yet. Add one?

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Crafting the Tea Advent Calenders officially starts today, since yesterday was the final day of gathering supplies. The total amount of calenders I am making this year is 13, that is a ton of origami envelopes to fold, but I am up to the challenge. I estimate that it will take me about a week to cut all the paper and fold them, of course I won’t be doing much of anything else recreational while I am working on it. I am excited for it, but I am a bit of an origami addict.

Today’s tea is 2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha, by Teavivre, a Sheng Pu-erh hailing from Fengqing, Yunnan, home of many great Pu-erh teas. This particular tea was plucked back in April of 2006, I am going to be honest, I do not even remember what I was doing back then! It must be an awesome feeling to pick a tea and process it, knowing that it might be many years before anyone drinks it, and seeing how it changes over those years. The aroma of this tea reminds me of nature, it is like being on the edge of a pine forest and a field right after a summer rain storm. There are notes of wet hay and wet wood, along with fresh pine and camphor, also a little hint of flowers and minerals, much like rain water. It is very sweet and refreshing.

Giving the leaves a brief rinsing and steeping, the now quite soggy leaves smell of wet hay, cooked spinach, camphor, and a bit of a barnyard finish. The liquid is quite sweet, a mix of fresh hay, sugar cane, and camphor. I am really digging the camphor notes, you just don’t run into that often so it is a treat.

The first steep is delicious! It starts of sweet like sucking the juice straight out of a sugar cane. This transitions to a slightly sour taste and a cooling mouthfeel with a finishing zing of camphor. The end of the sip is fresh hay and a cooling sensation that lingers. I think I should drink this when I have a cold, because it feels so clearing to my chest.

For the second steep the aroma is still very sweet, with notes of sugar cane, hay and that oh so invigorating camphor. I want everyone to know that why I am writing this, I am also painting my miniatures, tea and painting go together really well. The taste of this steep starts out with the sour note, which immediately causes a salivary effect making the tea sugar cane sweet. There is a cooling sensation that lasts until right before the end, at which there is a slight bitterness that fades into a sweet aftertaste.

Third time around the aroma is more fresh hay and sweet, with only a hint of camphor at the finish. The taste is intensely sweet and causing so much of a sour salivary mouth response, I love it, this might be one of my favorite things about Sheng Pu Erh. I have noticed that Sheng Pu Erh that has this mouth response and cooling sensation that I do not have any stomach problems, so that is awesome! The finish of this tea is now dry and somewhat bitter. I tried to go for a fourth steep and was greeted with a sweet explosion that immediately turned to intense bitter. I imagine that a more advanced sipper of Sheng could push through this to discover even more epic sweetness and flavor notes, but I am still learning the art of the raw pu erh.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/09/teavivre-2006-fengqing-raw-pu-erh-tea.html


Ooh, that sounds good.

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I ended up enjoying this tea a lot, but not the first steep. I added some of the tangerine peel to this tea so it was very smoky in the first infusion. By the second infusion this smoke flavor was dulled and I started to enjoy this tea. By the third infusion the smoke flavor was barely a memory. By the fourth infusion it was nearly gone. Once this smoke flavor dissipated I started to get the base flavor of the tea, a nice ripe, slightly sweet ripe puerh. Thank you Teavivre for this sample.

I brewed this six times in a 160ml teapot with 6.5g leaf, 1g tangerine peel, and boiling water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. I think I could get about two more steepings out of this tea if I chose, maybe three. By the sixth steeping the flavor of the tea is somewhat weak, nearly but not completely played out.

Flavors: Orange Zest, Smoke

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 5 OZ / 160 ML

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This is my very first Phoenix Dan Cong experience, also thanks to the great oolong sample pack from Teavivre. I believe that I paid for this set, but I am grateful nonetheless for the opportunity to try such a wide array of fine teas! I’m pretty sure that I’ll end up eventually trying each and every one of their excellent offerings…

I have been focusing on the greenish, low-oxidation oolongs as I make my journey through the vast universe of Chinese tea. This oolong, however, is far more oxidized and produces a peachy-amber color similar to a light darjeeling (since darjeeling is on my mind!). Of course the taste is completely different. I’m not really sure, actually, how to describe this flavor. It tastes about midway between a rich bready black and a smooth and silken creamy green oolong—logically enough!

I love the range of flavors and textures of oolong teas. I’m sure that I’ll be ordering some more of this one after my sample is depleted.

I see that this tea is apparently salubrious as well as tasty (see Teavivre’s note about this). It’s always nice to know that we get extra benefits from drinking teas which are worth drinking for the experience alone!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

Any white flower or lilacs?


Definitely not white flowers—at least not my concept of them. No lilacs either. Of course, I have strong perfume-related concepts of those scents, so I may just not be able to tease them out from the tea itself. I’ll be drinking this more though, so hopefully I’ll start to grasp some of the complexities…

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Hello, hello, hello…. Is anybody in there?

Broken Steepster is not much fun.

I had this one yesterday. This is a really nice young sheng. The first cup is almost subdued. Sure it is slightly bright like raw sheng tends to be but not in an overpowering way. It is slightly mineral and slightly mushroom, yet neither are strong or offensive. Crisp, I think fits this nicely. The aftertaste really hangs on and seems floral to me. The second cup has a bolder but similar flavor. I detect some hints of leather. The third is the brightest, with an almost puckering bitterness. Cup four returns to a much milder cup with apricot notes. The aftertaste lingers and changes from cup to cup. It starts floral then seems more like a tieguanyin. By cup four it has a combination of both. These have all been about 8 oz cups. I have no idea how far it will go but it shows no signs of letting up. Very nice. Thank you Teavivre for this lovely sample.


I’m there :) Nice to see the Dashboard’s activity back – I loved this one too.


I am here! Are you the one that knocks? Steepster must still be buggy – people can’t seem to find my follow-profile-button ;)


Opportunity knocks. I just barge right in and click the follow buttons. I’m a natural born button pusher. Hope we are up and running for real for a long while.


i’m annoyed still at the forum pages not refreshing properly and the 50 notifications coming through all about the same thing lol


I agree. I so need a forum fix.

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Typical green pellets, strong with fresh vegetal scents. The brewed tea is rich orangey yellow with a light floral aroma. Floral notes and a buttery finish complete this simple tea. A good choice for an afternoon cup, or late night, when a stronger black or Darjeeling would be too brisk for the moment.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Angel sent me this tea for review! Thank you!! I’m so grateful to be able to sample some raw puerhs. :)

After yesterday’s excitement of the 2013 old tree raw puerh, I was looking forward to trying this one for comparison. I think some samples of raw puerh will be going on my wishlist. I again brewed this up with my pseudo gaiwan set up. Here are my notes:

Tangy aroma of dry leaf. Wet leaf aroma is more pleasant than the puerh I tried yesterday… It doesn’t make me cough! Ha!

15sec: Really mild, no astringency, tastes like a roasted oolong.
30sec: more flavor, still oolong-like, a little astringent, some tobacco there but in background.
45sec: oolong-like, subtle note of dried fruit,
1min: similar to last steep.
1min30sec: smoother, sweeter.
2min: sweet, like an aged oolong.

Overall, this is fine, but it was a bit boring for me after trying the old tree puerh. I think maybe it has to do with how young it is. Maybe once it ages for awhile, it will have more complexity. The one I loved yesterday was a year older….can they really change that much in a year? What do really old raw puerhs taste like? I’m just embarking on my raw puerh journey, and I have so many questions! So excited to try more!


Glad that you tried two raw puerh to compare .This 2014 produced raw puerh taste better next year. Actually, the puerh tea is varied from time to time. And also the taste and flavor are related to the storage condition. So i don’t know what old raw puerhs taste like. But if you stored it in good condition, the tea will become more complicated and changable.
Good luck.


Thanks, TeaVivre! I’ll have to try this one again after some time passes!

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I am so behind on reviewing some green tea samples Angel and Teavivre kindly sent me earlier this summer. Life keeps getting in the way of things and, being not much of a green tea drinker, I wind up instinctively reaching for a familiar oolong or pu’er tea on most days. But, I’m feeling a little more adventurous right now and thought I’d brew this up and give it a try!

(Spring 2014 batch)

Brewed aroma: Grassy, vegetal. Almost like freshly mown grass.

Taste: Also grassy and vegetal, with a hint of salt and a pleasant, smoky bitterness lurking in the background. Crisp, refreshing aftertaste that’s very satisfying, almost as if I’ve finished a hearty vegetable stew. Sometimes I can also taste some sweetness creeping in a little later.

Like I mentioned before, I don’t usually drink green teas, but this was a nice and enjoyable one! Thanks Teavivre!

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

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Backlogging and based partly on my memory

This is, I believe, a sample I purchased from Teavivre at the end of last year (2013).

I used my standard raw pu-erh brewing parameters while steeping it: 150ml gaiwan; start water temperature at near boiling and work my way up to boiling; 15’ rinse, 30’, 45’, 60’, etc. Stevia added.

The tea liquor had a nice clear, yellowish color, with the standard raw pu-erh aroma.

The flavor was what I have come to expect from a quality raw pu-erh, although it is not a flavor I particularly like or can get excited about—too fishy, sour, or like bitter greens (I got that phrase from yyz’s review).

Although the wet leaf was largely whole, I noticed that there were a lot of long stems amongst the wet leaf, mostly stems attached to leaves (perhaps that is standard, I haven’t analyzed the wet leaf of enough quality raw pu-erh teas yet).

Overall, having had a number of pu-erh samples from a a few companies over the last 6 months or so, I find Teavivre’s pu-erh to be quality—the leaf is more or less whole, the flavor of the tea is clean, and the tea liquor has a good aroma. This tea is no exception. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to pu-erh (having been drinking it for about for about 8 – 9 months), especially raw pu-erh, so I don’t have much here to say about this particular tea. I was able to get four good steepings out of it, and it could perhaps have yielded a fifth. Although I did not find anything ‘stand-out’ about this tea, I think it is a tea I could drink on occasion as a kind of tonic for my digestive system.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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This was pretty good – I brewed it four times, and it held strong each time. First steep was a minute, and I added a minute on each resteep. I really like that about the high quality teas – they might be a hair pricier per cup…until you do the math on the resteeps. This started out being very toasty and fruity, but got less and less fruity for me with each resteep. Next time, I will call it quits after 3.

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

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This is my second experience of Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe), thanks to a generous sample from Teavivre. I believe that this one came in the oolong sample pack.

The last time I tried this darker shade of oolong (I believe that one was from Harney & Sons), I appear to have overleafed and oversteeped. Fortunately, boychik corrected the error of my ways, and I am happy to report that I like this tea a lot! I already had three delicious infusions, steeped in a nice ceramic mug with a deep infuser and a lid. It seems the perfect method for preparing multiply infusable oolongs and probably will be my new vessel of choice for this type of tea in the future.

So why is this good? The liquor is dark amber and tastes like a combination of all of the tasting notes listed by everyone else. Basically indescribable, but highly imbibable!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

I’m glad you like it. It became my fav too.


I love this one too.


It’s actually impossible to overleaf Da Hong Pao. Some people will use up to 12gr in a tiny Yixing. They fill it up, crush the leaves, and then fill it up even more. A lot of “tea masters” tend to do this

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Backlog from yesterday morning.

I paid much more attention to this tea yesterday compared to the first time I brewed it, and it tasted a little sweeter, less buttery this time. I steeped it twice – first for 3 minutes, then for 4.

However, the second steep was a little weak in flavour, so I didn’t finish the second pot of tea. This is good, but I’m pretty sure now that I would probably stick with Teavivre’s Bi Lo Chun over this.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Backlog from a few days ago.

I tried this in the middle of the week right as Steepster was having its meltdown.

I don’t remember a lot about this tea now, but I do remember that I let the entire pot cool down before finishing half of the liquid I brewed, and didn’t even finish it after reheating it once or twice.

Based on that, I’m just going to assume that this tea didn’t grab me when I first tried it. I’m not sure why. I suppose it was far more vegetal and savoury than I expected.

However, I still have a very generous sample of this remaining, and I look forward to seeing if it suits me after all. if not, I’ll probably just order a lot Bi Luo Chun from Teavivre instead.

Thanks very much for the sample, Angel!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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