Popular Teas from TeavivreSee All 115 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I drank this tea while having a phone interview for a job I applied for last week. New tea, new job perhaps? Anyways, fingers, eyes and toes crossed for good luck!
Dry leaf: The leaves were dark green-brown, tightly curled little nuggets. They smelled sweet, kind of like apricots. I’m guessing that this is the osmanthus talking.
Steep parameters: I steeped this 3 times, and each steep lasted between 1 and 2 minutes, with about 80-85°C water. I used a teaspoon of leaf and 8 oz of water each time. Before the first steep, I rinsed the leaves with hot water for 10-20 seconds to wake them up.
Liquor: The first 2 times the liquor was a nice sunny yellow with green overtones. The third time, it looked a bit more amber toned. The aroma and taste were fairly similar all three times, though I admit I haven’t developed a subtle enough palate to detect the variety of different flavours in different steeps.
There was a sweetness kind of like apricots, but it was very subtle. All three times, the steep was light and floral, with a hint of oolong nuttiness. I liked this much better than Teavivre’s Strawberry Oolong that I had a few days earlier – that one had a much muddier, earthier taste to it.
Verdict: I’ve still got two more oolongs to taste from the sample pack I ordered, but this is pretty satisfying!
By the way, the phone job interview went well, and I’ll hear back within a week about whether they want to interview me in person. Any and all good employment vibes from my fellow Steepsterites are appreciated. :-)
Flavors: Apricot, Nuts
I made this alongside the last cup, which means the water was a little hotter than last time. This tea doesn’t seem to have suffered for it, and in fact it’s just as good as last time.
In this cup I’m getting some of the deeper oolong flavors with a darker stonefruit note. It’s a little like cooked peaches with some alcohol mixed in with a darker-roast oolong. There’s a note almost like coffee in the background that’s really interesting with the other flavors. I like it this way but I think my preferred steep is just a little less heat—I love the lighter florals present in the last cup.
Teavivre just happened to offer me some more samples. They are the best! I can never say no to more Teavivre samples (hey, they offered!) thank you so much, Teavivre! Teavivre’s instructions say 17 ounce of water which seems odd with a tablespoon of leaves which also seems odd at 203 degrees with a rinse and 1,2,3,4 minute steep times. I went with two teaspoons.
Steep#1 // 15-20 min after boiling // 2 min after rinse
I probably waited too long for the water to cool… not on purpose. The color of the tea looks like it does in Teavivre’s picture of the cup of tea… however the flavor doesn’t seem strong enough to be a favorite tea of mine. The flavor is so light! Also a bit tangy and a bit drying, which is why it might not be a favorite for me. BUT I’m probably not steeping it the correct way, since I didn’t follow any of the instructions… 17 ounces is confusing when I have 8-9 ounce mug… that probably threw everything else. This cup is tough for me to figure out since the flavor is so light.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
This cup has a deeper flavor… but not my much. It has a texture like those little fuzzies I thought were only on white teas… but this is the second black tea I’ve had this week like that. I wonder if I just haven’t noticed it before? I’m sad this tea didn’t taste like the chocolatey plum, apricot, cherry stone fruits that I’ve seen mentioned because those are my absolute favorite types of teas. This is like a lighter chocolate… very subtle flavors. This one isn’t my favorite from Teavivre… but pass me the perfectly steeped cup and it would probably be much better than this one.
So after the blender mishap you would think I would learn. You would be wrong. I went to fill up my kettle and poured half the water on the table. I guess I am in too big of a hurry to drink tea today.
This one is worth the mess I made. The label says, “Superfine”, why yes, yes it is. Clean and crisp. Much love.
Off to see what I can dump or break next.
I will eventually try this as a hot beverage but not today. I finally got proportions worked out for a nice frothy frappuccino type drink. Once I accepted this is not going to taste like Starbucks (because it is not matcha) I liked it fine. The main problem is learning to use less. A 1/2 tsp in a 16 oz drink is plenty. I made a creamy, sweet, green tinted tan concoction. The taste is more brown than green.
Safety tip – when you use a blender make sure the base is screwed on tightly. Yeah, all over the desk top.
Sipdown and one that I am sad to see go. I am bumping the rating up for this one because I brewed it stronger tonight and new and fragrant notes came through that were light, savory, fresh, and mineral all together. It was particularly purifying after an afternoon of sampling craft beers from Colorado and Georgia both. I am headed to Colorado in a couple of weeks so we wanted to try some from there before we arrive. It was fun, but I was really looking forward to a mild green tea afterwards with nothing added and this fit the bill perfectly. Resteeps nicely also. I am moving on to my third and it is still quite lovely, if a touch watery. Goodbye for now, Liu An Gua Pian!
Despite their popularity, Keemun black teas remain one of the black tea “families,” to which I have not heavily been exposed. Thus, with the opportunity to try this tea, I am eager to brew a cup. Teavivre’s website makes suggestions for brewing this tea gongfu-style or as a whole pot, Western-style.
I opted to use a Finum infuser basket to brew a single cup. Into the basket went a teaspoon of the black tea leaves. Then I placed it in a mug and poured water, which had just finished boiling, over it. Time-wise, it was a bit of a toss-up. The website suggests two to five minutes. After two and a half, for which I set the timer initially, the tea looked and smelled a bit weak, so I left it for another minute (three and a half minutes in total). When the timer rang, and I removed the brew basket from the mug, I stopped to smell the tea…and was intrigued.
Instantly, I could tell that this tea was different than most of the black teas I consume. The smell was a complex combination of a number of aromas. Foremost, I noted spiciness. The peppery spice walked alongside a sweeter spiciness, which seemed almost like cinnamon but devolved into the malty body of the scent. Oddly, there was a bit of a floral aspect to it, which puzzled me but compounded the experience.
The first sip carries those aromas into taste. The foretaste is surprisingly lacking in impression, but, when the tea covers the tongue, all of the nuances emerge. Boldy, the flavor embodies the moderate maltiness. The pepper smell has become a tingling undertone in the taste and mouthfeel of this tea. Highly reminiscent of a breakfast tea, it would pair with food nicely. Three minutes might have been enough for this tea, as I can sense the start of astringency on the edges, but that does not detract from the enjoyment to be found in this cup. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this Keemun black tea an 87/100.
Flavors: Malt, Peppercorn
I bought this online from Teavivre a while ago. I used all the leaves from one packet, but I could have split it into two or three parts to use later. Keemun is not particularly my favorite black tea, but it was one of the first loose leaf teas I had ever bought. This tea is actually very good. It is smoky but not overpowering or ‘in your face’. It is a little woody and has a hint of cacao in it. It is ever so slightly astringent, but it is VERY smooth. In fact, I didn’t add any additives to this tea at all. This was a pleasant and good experience and a great morning brew.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Wood
I made it in to the office this morning despite the snow and ice. Luckily I brought plenty of this tea to warm me up, and some homemade chili for lunch.
Still very much enjoying this tea. It is very comforting, sweet, and malty. Loving it! Perfectly full bodied for a cold and snowy day.
I love drinking and reviewing pu’erh. Something about the earthiness in the flavor strikes me as absolutely delicious, clean even in a murky way.
Having been provided with several pu’erh samples by Teavivre, I chose to begin with this one. As I prepared my teaware for a gaiwan session, I read a bit of the background of this tea. Teavivre’s website lists this pu’erh as having been harvested in the year 2007. Since it was probably not aged all of the time since then, these tuocha (the name for the small, bird’s nest-shaped compression of tea) were probably aged for five or six years. Many times, but not always, a lengthier aging will mellow out a ripe pu’erh (as opposed to raw pu’erh, which is another story entirely). One fact on their website about which I wondered was the statement “Low caffeine (less than 10% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee).”
Please indulge some flimsy science, here. If an 8 ounce cup of coffee has somewhere between 100 and 200mg of caffeine in it (very, very rough estimate, based on numbers taken from around the internet – not decaf coffee), then it would follow that this pu’erh has less than 10 to 20mg of caffeine. While the caffeine content in tea varies, based on the variety of tea and which part of the tea plant is being used (bud versus two leaves and a bud, for example), there is no realistic way in which an 8 ounce cup of pu’erh will have that little amount of caffeine, short of being commercially decaffeinated.
Discussion of tea caffeine levels aside, this tea was ready to go! Gaiwan…hot water…mini tuocha…rinse the leaves and begin the first steep! Thirty seconds later, the steep was done, the tea had been decanted, and I was on my way to tea-drinking enjoyment. I may have over-brewed this first steep, as it resulted in a very dark cup. My taste buds did not care one bit.
The deep, dark cup is full of flavor. As is standard for shou (ripe) pu’erh, it tastes as though you are drinking the smell of a forest, wet soil and all, in the best way possible. For as little aging as this pu’erh has undergone, I am surprised at how smooth it is. Other shou pu’erh of this age tend to have rougher edges. That said, what this tea lacks, being young, is complexity. The impression this first steeping gives is that of a straightforward, tasty, ripe pu’erh. Period. There is some interesting sweetness to the edges, but those flavor tones are a part of the whole and not nuances to be followed down rabbit holes of tasting.
Despite what I just said, I am enjoyed my cup immensely, and the soon the second steeping followed…and then the third… Thus far, the tea had maintained a consistent flavor, and I would have been disappointed, had this pu’erh not been able to withstand three solid steepings. By the fourth steeping, the flavor had begun to wane, but I pushed the leaves through two more, just to extract as much pu’erh goodness as possible.
Teavivre’s Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha make for great daily-drinking-pu’erh, as they are quite affordable and a good value for the flavor. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate these tuocha at 80/100.