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Recent Tasting Notes
Yes, sweet potatoes. Not a fan of sweet potatoes but somehow a massive fan of this tea.
Smooth and drinkable and refreshing. It’s so light and lovely that I find myself making pot after pot of this, drinking it as if it were a replacement for water and deluding myself about the caffeine content, justifiably paying for it at 4am when I’m as awake as an owl.
Very mixed feelings about this one. Many popular teas on Steepster live up to their hype, so I was expecting big things from Teavivre’s Golden Monkey, especially after having just tried and loved their Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip.
First try was with my new yixing clay teapot, which had been recently seasoned with an oolong at the tea house where I’d bought it. Was concerned that future cups of black would taste like oolong but the shop owner assured me that it would be fine. Steeped 3 minutes at 90C per instruction. The result seemed to be rather undetectable medley of flavours, perhaps some tobacco and leather but bold and smooth with a tiny bit of astringency. Can’t say I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would though.
So I tried again with my porcelain teapot, same temp and timing. Seemed smoother and minus the slight smoke detected with the yixing.
Leaves were still in the yixing so I steeped them again, this time for five minutes. While it was clearly still the same flavour profile, there were now certain, specific notes making their appearance with gusto. The first thing that struck me was how much it tasted like honey water. Honey water with flowers. Rather too sweet and floral for me, but this would be absolutely delicious for someone who likes honey and flowers.
Brewing a third steep, seven minutes. More honey water and flowers. A little lighter now. Would make a great, naturally sweet iced tea.
Perhaps today I was after something different to this. I do have a feeling it might grow on me though, and am happy to try it again at a different point in time.
With Steepster being mostly down this week, I haven’t logged any teas, so get ready for quite a few notes from me! I’ve decided I don’t want to wait anymore for the site to be perfectly fixed. At least we can read the latest notes from the link on the explore page.
I ordered a sample of this tea in my last order, because I thought it would be fun to try another Keemun. I am really liking Keemun. This one was really different. It had a nice cocoa aroma, but when I tasted it, I was blasted with this smooth stone fruit flavor…maybe plum? Whoa! Fruity! There was a hint of smoke, but it was very subtle. This was pretty delicious, and not what I expected. I think overall, I prefer other Keemuns, but this was a nice departure from the usual.
Thank you one more time, Angel and Teavivre, for the sample!
This is my second consecutive day of trying out a white tea. I was quite pleased with the one I sampled yesterday so I was hoping for a similar experience today.
When I opened the sample package, the leaves were long, wide, green, and fresh looking. The aroma was rich and grainy and perhaps a little sweet.
I steeped the leaves for five minutes at 195 degrees (no 194-degree setting on my tea maker). Even with maximum steeping time, the color was a very light (almost transparent) yellow. The faint brewed odor was slightly sweet with a hay-like quality.
The taste was not robust but it was ample and sweet. As I swished the liquor around my mouth, flashes of fresh hay, grass, and honey registered on my palate.
The more I sipped this tea, the more I liked it. The brew was quite smooth without any hint of astringency. The mild flavor seemed to increase its presence as I journeyed toward the bottom of my cup. By the time I finished my first cup, I had achieved enjoyment status. The aftertaste was delicate but also smooth and likable.
As a white tea, this one is quite good. I didn’t find any undesirable characteristics. My only recommendation would be to bring out this fine selection with lunch, dinner, or dessert. There was nothing wrong with it at 8:00 AM, but I personally depend on the stronger and more robust teas at that time of the morning to jerk me out of my sleepy stupor.
Flavors: Cut grass, Hay, Honey
I must also thank Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
It’s been a while since I’ve tried a white tea. I’m usually focused on the bold black and Pu-erh teas which help me return to the land of the living each morning.
When I opened the sample package, the flat and clumped “cake” pieces were dark brown and reminded me of raked fall leaves that meld together in the pile after a few days of rain. The emitted odor was earthy like a Keemun black tea.I set the tea maker on 212 degrees for nine minutes. (The recommended maximum steeping time was 10 minutes.) The brewed color of the liquor was a bright amber. The aroma was interesting and sweet. It wasn’t at all unpleasant but I struggled to identify it. I finally settled on describing it as a mixture of honey and hay.
The taste contained a sweet and medium-powered bounty of honey, hay, and green wood. This fusion was further complemented by grass with light and fresh tea components. The sum of the parts was a delightfully smooth and satisfying cup from start to finish. The aftertaste danced and rolled on my palate with no astringency in its vocabulary.
Teavivre has produced a splendid new white tea with this offering. All of the flavors blend perfectly at the right volume and seem made for each other. I could easily enjoy this selection at morning, noon, or night. Once again Teavivre has made me emerge from my black tea cocoon and be glad that I did!
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey, Wood
This tea has a pleasant smell of rotten leaves when dry. You should brew it with hot water 96°C to 100°C and wait for at least 6 minutes first 3 brewings and add another 2 minutes each next time. The brewing should be quite dark for the white tea. The taste is refreshing and tonic with mild aftertaste. I liked it but in small amounts. Like the another pu-erh tea I’ve got Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian Raw Pu-erh it affects blood pressure and you could feel some negative effect if you have drunk too much of this tea.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Smooth
What with one late summer thing and another, I haven’t been tasting too many new teas and certainly have not had time to write ’em up over the last few weeks. I’ll try to rectify that over the coming long weekend and moving forward. I’ve got a whole box of teas that are crying out for some attention.
I’ll start with Tea Vivre’s Yunnan Palace Ripened Pu-ehr 2005 (with apologies to the pu-ehr mavens who could no doubt do a much clearer analysis). So far, I’ve done four steeps: 30/30/45/60 at boiling; I used about half of the sample package in my small gaiwan. The wet leaves are very mushroomy and earthy, as I’d expect a pu-ehr to be, but . . .
1: dark caramel color, almost a sweet nose, with a much lighter and dryer flavor than I’d expected given the odor.
2: much darker liquor, slightly caramel odor. It had the more familiar shen flavor – really earthy – but it was smooth and not heavy at all.
3: do I smell steak?! That would be particularly weird, considering I’ve been a vegetarian since my teen years, but it really seems like that’s the odor (though I have to wonder if it was affected by the onions I was sautéing as I was sipping). Still very smooth texture.
4: again with the dry taste and somewhat flattening out. I’ll let it rest now till tomorrow and see what happens then.
Altogether a fine brew, though it doesn’t knock my socks off. I’ll enjoy the rest of the sample, but I don’t think this is one I’ll stock.
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Mushrooms
I don’t know if this got contaminated or what, but the dry leaf smelled so buttery and creamy and almost cake like. It was in a plastic bag stacked I a pile of my other samples in plastic bags so it’s possible.
I started with a 15 sec rinse, and did three 1 minute steeps. 7g 8oz boiling water.
The rinse was sweet and buttery and creamy and cake like, which I think might have been contamination. The first steep wasn’t as dessert like as the rinse, furthering my conclusion, but it is still buttery and creamy and a bit sweet, but less so than the rinse. The second steep loses more of the sweet, but remains buttery. The third is less buttery, and a tad bit astringent, so I stopped there.
This was surprisingly buttery which I enjoyed, and I’m glad I got to try it.
i can’t remember the last time i had a moment to review!
this tea is beautifully balanced, and a very mouth-round feel. it reminds me vaguely of malt and the sweet smell of pipe tobacco.
i have 10 seconds to review a half hour worthy tea!!!!!! ack!
lovely. worth the money. made my day. wouldn’t change a thing….. my new fave.
When I opened the package I was greeted with amazing bright long tea leaves. I did a 5 seconds rinse and first steep was 30 seconds. It has a green color and a grassy taste, which I like a lot. This is an afternoon tea that complimented really well my home baked dates squares. 2nd brew time was 1 minute and still a nice color and grassy taste. I love the huge tea leaves.
I should start off by mentioning that the tea that got me into drinking tea was Wuyi, now it was indeed a teabag, but I think we all were there at one point or another :P (in-fact I am relapsing back into teabags). After about 6 months of strictly drinking Wuyi as my tea of choice, I decided to move on and try different teas, about 3 years has passed since then, so this was the first time in 3 years that I tried Wuyi again, and I was not disappointed! This tea was everything that I remembered minus the bitterness and a bit more full bodied. After a quick rinse, the first steeping was a bit bitter and uneventful, but I find that common in oolongs. The second steeping was where all the flavor came out, and it brought back memories of drinking my Wuyi out of a 32 oz. Mason jar in a massage chair looking out the window in mid fall _. The third steeping was a little bit weaker than the second, but it was still very good, but then I felt like it had a sudden drop off at the fourth steeping, but the way I was steeping it, I was quite impressed with the third! I’ll admit, the tea was a little dusty, and had a decent amount of sediment at the bottom, but for the most part, it was clear, and very nice to look at. I would recommend this to a friend that is on the fence about drinking tea, this is a darker tea, but I recommend it just by the mere fact that it drew in me, a devoted coffee lover instantly.
Over all, the taste was 100/100, aroma 100/100,and the was appearance 93/100.
Flavors: Earth, Floral, Smoke, Tobacco
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Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Smooth
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Grass, Strawberry, Sweet, Vegetal
Thank you so much Angel and Teavivre for the opportunity to taste this Pu-erh.
I wanted to do a simple cup of this one but I cannot manage to cut the little cake, too hard. So I decided to go for a full teapot to use the entire cake.
After steeping, the leaves are very green and are a mix of cut and entire leaves.
The taste is not so smocky but very on the honey and dry stone fruit side to my opinion. It has none bitterness at all.
The texture is light, not mellow, very refreshing.
I loved this one very much, sure I’m not afraid at all anymore of Pu-erh !
You can see some pics here on my blog :http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/raw-pu-erh-mini-tuocha-teavivre/
I’ve had this a few times now, and I like it more and more every time. It has a thick, almost creamy mouthfeel, scents and tastes of aged leather, pipe tobacco and woodsmoke, and a salty-sweet aftertaste.
This afternoon, I’m steeping it in a gaiwan with about 100ml boiling water for 10-40s a time, and for me that brings out its best – not too strong but with all its aromas and tastes intact.
I’ll definitely be buying a cake of this for my winter stock-up.
Flavors: Leather, Salty, Smoke, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wood
I’ve been drinking this with my mum over the last couple of days, and she found it very nice, quite light, and calming.
I didn’t enjoy it as much, but I’m not sure why – it has a lovely earthy-leather scent, and the early steeps were nicely sweet – a little syrup-ish (in a nice, caramel way). It wasn’t too overpowering (very strong puerhs aren’t to my taste much), but it didn’t quite come together for me; the shous I’ve enjoyed the most have a woody or woodsmoke undertone, so maybe I’m just missing that darker note.
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup
My last white tea sample from TeaVivre’s last tasting event. I’ve loved all of them so far, even though I’m certainly not a white tea fanatic. I find that white tea makes a lovely evening beverage as it is very light and calming. This tea looks like other bai mudans I’ve had – leaves of various sizes and colors mixed with lovely fuzzy silver buds. Dry scent is hay and alfalfa. I did a 2 minute brew at 185 degrees.
Once brewed, this tea has the usual hay-like white tea scent, but there’s a strange mineral edge that I haven’t experienced before. The taste is mostly lovely hay and grain flavors, and it’s quite naturally sweet. That unusual mineral note is also present here, and it’s throwing me off a little bit. I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t rinse my cup after my last tea, but I’m fairly certain that I did… So odd!
Overall, a nice standard white with an interesting and unusual mineral taste.
Flavors: Grain, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Straw, Sweet
“Three minutes was a very sufficient length of time, as the tea is full without any astringency of which to speak!
“The aftertaste is pleasant, clean, yet still full, and it lingers in the mouth…I believe that the freshness of the leaves adds a lot to the experience, and I highly recommend trying this one sooner, rather than later.”
Full review coming tomorrow to CreateWriteDrink.com.
Thanks once again to Angel and Teavivre for this new tea sample!
I sampled another Teavivre raw Pu-erh tea cake last week. It was last year’s (2013) model but quite tasty. I was anxious to see how the 2014 version stacked up against it.
When I opened the package, the same grassy, compost-like aroma encountered with the 2013 rendition was experienced. However, I do believe the color of the unbrewed matted “cake” was a little greener in the new entry than the one harvested last year.
I steeped the leaves for 9 minutes at 212 degrees, again opting for almost maximum strength. The brewed color was a light gold. The odor had a mowed grass trait.
The taste of this tea was much like the 2013 entry. It was quite grassy with very similar flavor attributes as green tea. The main difference that I noticed with this younger offering was a tanginess to the taste. I wouldn’t call it astringency or bitterness. It was probably due to the more recent harvest and processing. The tanginess did eliminate the light and airy quality that I enjoyed in the raw 2013 tea.The tangy attribute also hung around for the after taste.
This is a cordial tea with pronounced flavor. Like the other raw Pu-erh that I sampled last week, this entry tasted much more like a green tea than a black selection. Having said that, though, this one (like the 2013 version) might be a nice tangy alternative for folks who are nauseated by the more robust and ripened Pu-erh teas.