Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Thank you Teavivre for these beautiful samples. This Sheng is relatively dark brown with little bits of silver and gold buds. The aroma was intoxicating. I let it rest out for a small amount of time and the scent became stronger. I noted that it hadn’t been aged completely properly but that was not a problem. Upon brewing it was a golden pale stew. The liquor was sweet smelling with a hint of smoke. I was able to steep 12 times before I had to leave my home. I know it would have been able to be steeped more and more. I am always a Sheng fan and Teavivre will help me to continue being one.

Flavors: Leather, Menthol, Plums, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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82

The lovely Angel sent this one my way so that i could try it out. I was excited by this one, since i have really enjoyed teavivre’s keemuns in the past and because i am running low on keemuns in my cupboard. this isn’t my favoutite keemun fro teavivre though it’s a really nice cup. It just doesn’t have those slightly almost smokey notes in it that i really enjoy from teavivre’s other keemuns. Ithis one has a smooth body with a tiny bit of malt, a little honey and just some nice tea. While this doesn’t scream keemun to me..it IS a nice tea and it could have a place in my cupboard as just a tea i drink heh

whatshesaid

That must be why I enjoyed it, no smoke!!

Sil

haha it was a nice one…just not a keemun for me heh

whatshesaid

My kind of keemun then, haha

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76

This is another sample from Teavivre – a bit of a puerh tour, how fun is that! Want to start by saying that I am going to have to try short-steeping this next time because it appears my fellow Steeps are appreciating this more than I am; I did like it, though. Did a 10s rinse then 4x 2-3 minute steepings. I kept waiting for the creaminess and other high points to appear, no luck.

All the steepings had earth and just the barest sweetness, with a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. 1st and 2nd steeps had tobacco, 2nd had mushroom with a whisper of chocolate (my favorite steeping), 3rd had damp earth and wood smoke, 4th back to a bit of mushroom and what I could almost but not quite call floral that’s in the tea’s description.

Wondering if it’s my method or my taste buds…

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Another sample from the generous Angel!

Before brewing this (Western style for me), I had finished a mug of the Superfine Keemun Mao Feng that I have recently been super impressed by.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of a “red black” tea.

First sip, I was surprised at how…sour (?) it seemed to taste on my tongue!

Not BAD, but nowhere near as sweet as the aforementioned Keemun.

It was a light color, and it had sort of a strange taste that felt somehow familiar to me, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. The closest I came was like kind of a bitter raisins taste. But I’m not entirely sure.

I appreciate the opportunity to try this one, but it’s not one I would purchase.
Perhaps gong fu style would make a big difference overall.

I’m not rating this time around because I feel like I need to try my second sample first :)

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80

This would be a good puerh, as others note, to use as an intro for the uninitiated. It has a pleasant woodsy, fresh-mushroomy, wet-leaf atmosphere without being at all dank (or fishy). Also there’s some distinct clean leather in the first steep, nice. Medium body, not too light. Smooth, no edge. A hint of sweetness leaning toward malt as well. Also leaves a nice little tingle in the mouth.

Thanks to Teavivre for sending a sample of this my way, I am enjoying it!

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75

I am a puerh noob, particularly raw. I think I like it, but it is an interesting flavor. It is a bit sweet but also a bit bitter. There is a quality I was having trouble describing, but seeing the other flavors listed here as including menthol, and it makes perfect sense now. I steeped this four times, then got tired of it and wanted to move on to new things. I think that is my biggest challenge with puerh. I love that it can give and give…but I like too much variety to stick with one thing all day. Perhaps I just need more steepers. Hmm…

Anlina

I have the same issue with puer – I want to experience the evolution of all the different steeps, but I probably don’t actually want to drink more than 300ml of any one tea at a time.

Maybe I just need a really tiny gaiwan…

Uniquity

That’s what I did/do. Sometimes I just brew it Western or Western/gongfu hybrid and sometimes (not as often) I sit down with smaller gaiwan and have 5 or 6 steeps. Then I put it aside and come back later. Or not. :)

Leah Naomi

I need a gaiwan in general. I am just really strapped for cash lately haha.

Uniquity

If you’re adventurous you can macgyver something with materials at home – even a coaster and a cup could work. It’s not so fun though. I bought myself a gaiwan without knowing what it was years ago, and received my second from Teavivre as a surprise in a gift. If/when you order online next you can toss one in the cart if you’ve got the funds. Oh, money! :)

LiberTEAS

@Leah – if you happen to live anywhere near an Asian grocery (or even better, an Asian mall!) try looking in the tea section (the local Asian mall has a little tea shop in it here) and you may be able to find a gaiwan there that’s reasonably priced. I have found gaiwans for $3 and $4 at the little tea shop in the mall.

Leah Naomi

Thanks for the lead – I am in a pretty whitewashed area, but next time I come across an Asian grocery I will make a point to stop in and check it out :)

LiberTEAS

I was shocked at how low the prices were! Especially when I bought my gaiwan for $20 bucks. Then again, my gaiwan is one of those easy gaiwans with the little fingertip handles and easy pour spout (which, if you’re going to use a gaiwan frequently, is the best way to go because the eggshell porcelain that is used to make a gaiwan is so thin and I always end up burning my fingers when I use other gaiwans.) But for a first gaiwan, you can’t really go too wrong with a $4 gaiwan, you know?

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78

My first Sheng Puerh! Mmmmm. Vegetal, smoky, sweet. I’ve decided I’m not allowed to get interested in puerh until I get a handle on my current tea collection, but… someday… :)

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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86

Predominant note is chocolate , a little tobacco, a little malt and prune-like sweetness. While that description makes it sound like a rich tea, though, it is fairly light. Smooth and round and delightful to drink with no ‘catches’ to distract from the pleasure. This is a tea I would purchase. Very much enjoyed this sample, thank you, Angel!

ashmanra

I taste sweet potato in this one! It is yum!

Jude

Ooh will try it again and ‘look’ for that. It is so yum!

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87

Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Without smelling the dry or wet leaves, all my first impressions came from sipping the first steep. I was a bit surprising to taste citrus (or something that tastes similar). There was also a nice bittersweet chocolate flavour (not overly sweet) and a nice woodsy/earthy characteristic to the black tea body.

Each resteep was pleasant. I really enjoyed the blend of citrus/woodsy flavours. It only weakened when I reached the sixth steep. Less of the charming flavours remained, and more smoky/roasted flavours appeared.

Overall I thought Teavivre’s Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild Tree tea brought out some interesting flavours I didn’t expect to encounter. The quality of the tea is present in the resteepings and the good balance of flavours. For tea preferences, I would recommend this to those that may usually find Yunnan black tea boring or average. But also to those that already enjoy black tea from the region, because it brings interesting flavours with a great tea base that you already have learned to love.

Short steeping as suggested by Teavivre’s website: rinse, 15s, 25s, 35s, 50s, 80s, 130s, 210s

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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86

This is the first tea I tried out of the generous bunch of samples sent to me by Angel of Teavivre.

I don’t know WHY, given that I’ve only tried a few in my lifetime, but when I see the word “Keemun” I always get a little nervous, because I expect them to be smoky. I don’t really do smoky teas, I don’t really dig them.

I was SO pleasantly surprised when I tried this! I absolutely LOVED it!!

Wow. It was such a rich, bright, flavourful cup of tea. A bit of malt, and honey and raisin notes, and not even 1% smoke!

It’s not at all what I expected. It was such an enjoyable cup that I will absolutely order some in the future. Thanks so much Angel, for allowing me to try something I otherwise would have balked at!

Uniquity

I’m pretty excited to try this one. I think it is one of the samples I received recently as well!

DeliriumsFrogs

Adding this to my ‘wish list’! :)

Sil

i’m curious as to how this will compare to the other keemun i love from teavire. I’ve got this one here to try.

Fjellrev

I get nervous for the same reason so I’m going to have to try this one!

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This is a sample from the lovely boychik. Thank you!

This summer I got to try 3 of the Teavivre keemuns side by side. At the time I determined that the Hao Ya was my favorite of the 3. It offered the deep notes of cocoa as well as hints of fruitiness. I think for mornings the Hao Ya may still be my favorite as it offers a tad more briskness, but this is such an elegant tea. It is so smooth. with some of the familiar notes of keemun. When I sip I first am hit with the malt and cocoa aspects of this tea. At the end of the sip in comes a hint of floral followed by a fruity sweetness. I am not getting any woody notes or smoke notes in this tea. When I place an order for the Hao Ya I will add in a sample of all the keemuns to compare again. Thanks again boychik for the sample!

looseTman

It’s hard to pass up an excellent Keemun!

TeaTiff

looseTman, which is your favorite?

TeaTiff

looseTman, which is your favorite?

looseTman

My all-time favorite: TeaVivre’s May 15, 2012 Premium Keemun Hao Ya was exceptional! I thoroughly enjoyed all 700g!
I have TeaVivre’s newest Keemun samples that I’m very much looking forward to reviewing.

TeaTiff

I will have to watch out for your review!

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74

This is one of the free samples that Teavivre recently sent me and I brewed it up this morning at work. I don’t tend to go for teabags or pyramid bags, but I have heard good things about Teavivre pyramid bags, and I love any chance to try shu, especially in a convenient form. Unfortunately, I seem to be contracting the beaus illness so I am not in peak tasting form. I do think that my sense of taste and smell are both still good at the moment though.

There aren’t any reviews on this one yet (what?!) an the brewing directions were quite lengthy (9-12 minutes) so I am winging it. I used boiling water, and I think it got maybe 2 or 3, MAYBE 4 minutes. That is more than I would typically have done for a shou pu but it looked at first like there wasn’t that much leaf in there. That was deceptive though, as it has expanded to fill about 3/4 of the bag.

Despite the lengthy steep time (IMO) this is not too strong. No bitterness or mustiness. Still bold, earthy, and with a smoke note. I don’t notice any rose, but it does remind me of wood fires. My house is heated by wood furnace, so I’m pretty familiar with that. :) I’ve saved the bag so I can steep it throughout the day and I’ll update if anything new and radical comes about. This is a really nice easy drinking shou, even if it isn’t terribly complex. It gets sweeter as it cools as well, maybe that is the rose.

Flavors: Earth, Smoke

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76

I get a lot of vegetal and mineral with this one. I like oolongs a lot, but this isn’t my favorite style. It would be a good summer oolong, very crisp and fresh tasting.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Thank you to Angel at TeaVivre for this sample!

I have had a few different TGY. Several for me have ended up tasting bitter and not very pleasant to my taste buds. The few that I have gotten right have been wonderful. This tea immediately goes into the wonderful category. I have been sipping on this tea all afternoon with no hints of bitterness. It is sweet and floral. As the infusions go on I get a creamy texture and hints of peach. I have done about 7 or 8 infusions and this tea is still giving! Thanks again TeaVivre for so many wonderful offerings. This is another one that will stay on the wish list!

DeliriumsFrogs

Sounds so lovely!!

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I want to start of by saying I am not a green tea drinker as I usually lean towards black or Pu-erh. I also stay away from floral teas as I am usually very sensitive to floral notes. Given all that, I still really wanted to try this tea after hearing/reading great reviews about the subtlety of jasmine notes. After opening the sample packet I saw nice tightly balled pearls with a sweet subtle jasmine aroma. I brewed a 2tsp per 16 oz with first steep of 2 min. Tea was a pale golden yellow/green color and you could smell the jasmine as I poured. Mouth feel was smooth and no trace of bitterness some green teas inherently have. Unlike many reviewers I found the Jasmine to be very strong and almost overwhelming, my boyfriend, who was also sampling felt it was very strong as well although not as overwhelming as I did, He described the jasmine notes as more of a strong forerunner in flavor rather than an subtle undertone . The second and third steep mellowed out the flavor a little more and it wasn’t overwhelming to me any longer however it was still very strong. Overall the tea was good, just maybe not the best for me-being so sensitive to florals. I would have to do a little more experimenting with exactly how much tea to use so that my first steep doesn’t end up so strong.

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I was very interested in trying this Pu-erh and received it as a sample to try out. I was surprised at how large the tangerine peel chunks were in this blend, and it smelled very sweet and full of citrus. I used half the sample packet and steeped for 8 minutes. The color was a smooth brown with a tint of blood orange. The tea was smooth and hints of cocoa with a very faint citrus aftertaste. The overall flavor was weak and i think I ended up with much more citrus peel than tea in my first steep so I decided to add the rest of the sample for the second steep for a stronger flavor. The second steep had a much stronger earthy cocoa flavor with a smooth citrus flavor coming through at the end. I should have started out with the full sample, or at least more than my original steep. I enjoyed the unique flavor this tea had it was a nice change to the everyday non flavored pu-er choices available. Yum Yum

Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Citrusy, Cocoa

Preparation
8 min or more 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

I think when you order the tea as opposed to the sample, you actually get a whole tangerine or orange filled with puerh. Nice tasting note! :)

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90

This is a household favorite for myself and my boyfriend. It is what I consider to be good starter Pu-erh for those that want to dip their toes into Pu-erh tea’s. It has a great flavor with a smooth mouth feel. We like to steep this tea dark and tend to steep for 2 minutes. Color is a dark mahogany with a light earthy aroma that reminds me of fresh mushrooms. The flavor is consistent throughout the first several steeps and is earthy with a pleasant bitter note without being harsh.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Mushrooms

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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70

This is one that Teavivre had sent to me previously for review with some other white teas, but somehow this one got missed! The beau and I were going to brew up one of the new blacks/shou pu for review but I wanted to round out the last batch. We are also both really intrigued by a white tea cake. He has a cold as well, so hot tea sounds lovely.

We’re using the whole sample packet in boiling water in a 24 ounce teapot. This is a really big sample so I am comfortable with those parameters. The dry leaves consist of obvious chunks from a cake in several large pieces and a few smaller broken pieces – possibly from transport and storage. I gave the big infuser a shake and nothing fell through. No crumbs in sight, despite the odd smaller piece.

I am not hugely familiar with white teas, but I did like the ones I tried from Teavivre recently, and I am very interested in how this comes off, since it seems to share similiarities with blacks/shou pu which are more my area. The smell is sweet and honeyed, like hay and fields but also strong. Not very floral in the dry aroma, but very strong. Steeped, the leaves are HUGE. They’ve taken up the entire infuser. If I put them loose in the pot they probably would have filled the whole thing. They are like something from Goosebumps, growing bigger and bigger…

Tastewise, this isn’t what I expected. It reminds me of a lightly roasted oolong, with a hint of smoke and some strong earthiness. But there is also a light floral note which is mixed in really well. I don’t know that I would have guessed this is a white tea if I were presented with it unknowingly. It reminds me of rock oolongs with a bit of a mineral note. I’m really curious to read everyone elses notes on this one!

The beau says it is earthy, but light. Tastes like a white tea but with something more heavy and earthy, like puerh. He also gets a little bit of smokiness.

All in all, this is a really interesting tea experience. I wouldn’t keep it on hand for myself, but that is because my tastes are toward stronger darker teas. I think it would be a really cool introduction to white tea for someone who prefers those stronger flavours though. Really neat!

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Hay, Mineral, Smoke

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I was lucky enough to receive some generous samples of black tea from Teavivre, and I can’t wait to try them all. This was the first one I went for, and seems to be a good choice (though I’m guessing that they all are!). I’ve been tending toward flavored teas lately, and haven’t had a good unflavored black tea in a long time. I always seem to forget how much I love them until I happen to have one and I’m reminded all over again.
This tea was really lovely. It was very smooth, and I didn’t get any bitterness or astringency at all. I got some dark chocolate notes, which I always really love in these kinds of teas. I look forward to trying this tea out some more, and seeing what parameters give me the best results

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Thanks, Angel, for this sample! This is a pretty smooth, solid ripe puerh. It doesn’t have too much fermented taste, just a bit, and there’s a nice caramel sweetness lasting through many steeps. I could see this being a “go to” ripe puerh when I’m in the mood for caramel. :)

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85

A huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this free sample! I received them earlier this week and am diving into this one tonight. Yes it is a bit late for pu’erh, but it’s shu, which is warming, cozy and sometimes very relaxing for me. So we will give it a go this late! :D

The dry leaves smell oh so good, musty, damp wood, a log in the forest. I love that smell, and immediately said to my bf’s brother “I will like this tea, it smells like a damp, musty log!” LOL, you know you like tea too much when…anyways, I was a bit unsure of parameters for brewing this one, so I did 2 short 15s rinses and then a first steep of 30s. I am using about 1.25 tsp in approx 9-12oz water (not sure on the cup’s capacity, it’s one of my smaller mugs though). The steeped scent was heady and rich in the rinses, and has now given way to an actual sweet aroma! Sweet, with hints of must and chocolate. Interesting, haven’t had a noticeably sweet aroma in many shu puerhs yet!

As for the flavor, mmmm this is mellow, lightly earthy and a bit sweet in flavor. Yum, it is like my beloved Noble Mark, but with a bit less mushroom flavor and more sweetness. There is a noticeable sweet aftertaste. It is rich and full bodied, but not harsh and not overly strong either. Just yummy! I am feeling a tiny bit of cha-qi from this, a slight alertness, but hoping this fades into that pu’erh calm that I enjoy immensely.

Overall, this is a rich, satisfying brew. Notes of caramel, earth, mushrooms and a bit of chocolate prevail. Tasty, with a slight tea buzz coming on, but nothing crazy yet. Happy to have tried this, and as I taste this tea more, it might be a contender for my top shu. It has a lot of notes that I am enjoying! Thanks again to the lovely Angel for sending me this tea to try!

ETA – the energizing cha-qi did drop off and lead into a more relaxed feeling, I am very happy about that as I will be able to sleep good tonight! :D

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Mushrooms, Wood

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80

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this generous sample!

This tea is pretty darn delicious as well – a sentiment I am still surprised to find myself saying about a straight black tea! I can’t properly review it right now, because I did take it to work in a mug, but it was malty and fruity; bold yet not astringent (except just now when I used a very bad water:leaf ratio for my second infusion – a bit of dilution helped that quite well though). I’m not sure whether I prefer this or the Tan Yang (the Tan Yang may edge it out just a bit), but both are going to be travel mug treats for me :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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I prepared six cups and this shows no signs of letting up. In fact, the last four cups were steeped only long enough to fill and pour. The brew is dark burgundy by the second cup and stays that way. The flavor is spicy cedar, earthy loam, and faint old book leather. This has magic properties for opening my lungs, or at least it feels as such. The best part is, I feel more mellow than the tea I’m drinking. I am not really sure what tea drunk means but if this is it, it is pretty far out man. Peace out.

ashmanra

Was this a sample?

K S

Yes. I used the entire sample in the gaiwan. Way more leaf than I normally use but it was not rough or bitter with flash steeps.

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