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Recent Tasting Notes
Again my thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
Unlike some (or many), I happen to enjoy the Pu-erh teas a lot, particularly in the morning. The strong leathery/earthy smell and taste seem to help my brain kick into gear as I start my day. Maybe this species acts as a form of smelling salts for me. Whatever it is, I like it!
When I opened the sample package, the ol’ trusty leathery smell jumped from within. I steeped the “cake” (which resembled matted brown grass and sticks) for nine minutes. The recommended maximum steep time was 10 minutes so I decided to push the envelope today.
With nine minutes of steeping under its belt, the brewed liquor was a very dark brown that almost approached the black end of the color spectrum. The brewed aroma had Pu-erh written all over it: leathery, earthy, robust.
The taste of this tea, even after almost maximum steeping time, was amazingly smooth and delicious. The expected leather and earth flavors were strong and enunciated. But, there was also a slightly sweet characteristic in the taste. My taste buds detected no astringency whatsoever. The aftertaste was surprisingly smooth and did not linger more than a few moments.
This is a greatly satisfying new tea offering from Teavivre. 2008 must have been a superb year for Pu-erh. Folks seem to either love or hate this tea type. If you already love Pu-erh, you will love LOVE this Pu-erh!
Flavors: Earth, Leather
I tried to broke one tuocha in half for my gaiwan (I know not the best option for puerh), but the tuocha is so hard that I had to use it whole. These are actually kinda cute, like baby tuochas! Cake seems to break apart into small tea leaves and not into leaf particles which is nice.
The smell is nice, they smell like sheng should sweet and smoky, reminds me a bit of bbq sauce? Dry cake is browny green color.
Wet leaves smell still sweet, but new vegetal aroma has emerged. I also enjoy a lot seeing tuocha transform into tea leaves, it fun to watch.
Tea has that typical smoke and woody aroma, I don’t seem to notice any dry fruits in this like some older sheng have, still it doen’t have that typical sourness either that younger ones have. Strong and full flavour and golden liquid, somehow dry tea. (The full tuocha was too much for my 1dl gaiwan.) I might to buy more I really like these.
Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Honey, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood
I ordered a sample of this from TeaVivre during their 3rd Anniversary Sale, just because I was curious. I’ve been experimenting a little bit with oxidized and roasted oolongs lately, mostly due to my love of GTT’s Eastern Beauty. I haven’t really loved them so far, I find that they mostly taste like autumn leaves to me with a little bit of something else mixed in. But still, the curiosity has its way! These leaves are very large and brittle, and quite twisty. They’re very dark in color, and they’re closer to being grey than brown. Dry scent is autumn leaves with hay and some vegetal notes. I did a 2 minute steep at 200 degrees.
Brewed, it still smells quite leafy. There’s definitely a bit of bread there as well, along with some honey sweetness and lovely fruit notes. Hmm… I’m beginning to think these teas may not be for me. This one also tastes like dry autumn leaves, which I guess is because of the roasting done to it. There’s a little bit of bread or grain, along with an earthy wood flavor. I get a tad bit of fruit and some creaminess near the end and in the aftertaste, but I wish these were more present throughout the sip.
I find that this genre of teas tends to bore me a bit, if that makes sense? I’ll probably try this tea gong fu style as well, but I found that it tasted rather the same with the dancong I tried that way. I’ll still try it though, just to give it a chance!
Any recommendations on the best way to brew dancong and da hong pao teas would be lovely. :D
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Earth, Grain, Roasted, Wood
mmmm had a cup of this today in the evening since i’m trying to relax and de-stress a little before the week starts up again. On the plus side, next weekend is along weekend, so that will be nice :) i am a fan of this tea, even with the rose. it blends really nicely and the chamomiles makes for a nice was of subduing the rose, while still letting it be in the tea. thanks angel for sending this one my way!
Another generous sample from Angel that i’m enjoying today in an effort to get more teas closer to sipdown category :) I wasn’t sure whether i’d like this one or not, given my dislike of “rose” as a general flavour in teas. Turns out that this one is pretty tasty. The chamomile balances out the rose sufficiently for me (though maybe that’s because i picked all the really big flower chunks out of my cup before brewing…) Not sure if i’d restock this one, but i am enjoying this quite a bit. It’s a lovely evening tea for relaxing…
Thank you again to Angel for the sample! I picked this one today, mostly just for a break from black teas. I don’t like drinking my greens and whites unless i happen to be in the house. Sadly, this one feel short with me – there are other white teas that i’ve had from Angel that i much prefer. For me, this was closer to “water” than a lightly flavoured white tea. :( oh well, you can’t win them all, and i didn’t hate it – just not a tea for me :)
Another hearty thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
When it comes to Pu-erh tea, people in my realm seem to be divided into two main camps: those who love it and those who (to put it kindly) detest it. Personally, I am a proud card carrying member of the first group so I was anxious to try this new offering from Teavivre. My wife, however, is almost sickened by anything Pu-erh. She hates the smell and taste of it and doesn’t even like to be in the same room when I am brewing or drinking it.
I will start this review by warning you that if you are already predisposed to disliking Pu-erh tea, the initial opening of the package of this one will probably not miraculously endear you to it. The consistency of the dark brown Pu-erh “cake” reminded me of the two-day-old cut grass that becomes dried and jammed in the chute of my lawn mower. The unbrewed aroma is also a little reminiscent of compost. However, do not give up on it at this point! You’ve come this far. Be brave! Steep it!
I brewed the cake and remaining loose leaves for two minutes at 212 degrees. The color was like no Pu-erh that I had ever experienced. Instead of the dark muddy brown that I was used to with the Pu-erhs of my past, this one had a very light gold color. It was almost as light as green tea. The aroma had a grassy attribute that was, again, like green tea. Nowhere to be found was the strong earthy odor that seems to accompany many Pu-erh selections.
The taste of this tea was completely devoid of the expected leathery and earthy flavors that I usually find in the Pu-erh teas that I have tried. The taste of this one was light, smooth, and grassy. The flavor again reminded me more of green tea than either black or Pu-erh. At that point, I decided to stop comparing it to my Pu-erh acquaintances of days gone by and began enjoying it on its own merit.
This tea is quite tasty. The flavor is without astringency and is light and airy. I would liken the taste to a meadow of freshly mowed grass. The aftertaste is very mild and quickly diminishes.
I like this new product from Teavivre. It may be a good alternative to reintroduce the Pu-erh haters to this variety before they attempt to jump back on the traditional robust Pu-erh wagon.
I wonder if the untraditional characteristics of this tea are related to it being advertised as “raw” Pu-erh. It just goes to show you that, as in most areas of life, when you think you’ve seen (or tasted) it all, you haven’t.
Where vanilla? :(
I liked the corn flower blue fruit tea a lot more. This one lacks the sweet berry flavors. They are shy here. The roselle/hibiscus is strong. I don’t mind it chilled but not the best hot. Plus there’s no vanilla in the taste. I might take the cornflower blue and add vanilla bean to it.
Glad to have tried this though!
I’d like to thank Angel & Teavivre for sharing a generous sample of this tea, as well as the white tea cake I sampled earlier today. This is a really delicate looking tea, & I poured the entire sample into my glass test tube steeper, giving it 1 min at 194, with a few resteeps. The original steeping was really very nice, & I’m guessing that the reason this is called peony is because of the floral taste of it. It is floral, and more flavorful that I recall white teas being, so either I’m sampling better more flavorful white teas, or I’m getting the proper parameters down, or maybe I’m actually developing a taste for white tea? Either way, I enjoyed the initial cup, & the resteeps were also ok, although they gradually took on a little bitterness.
I got this tea in the assorted green tea sampler. The first impression that I get from opening the tea is that it is a nice quality. The leaves are a dark green and intact. It smells like hemp protein powder, so stronger than spinach.
I brewed the tea for about three minutes at 176F. The color of the tea brewed is a light green. Very subtle, and it still has that vegetable smell, though now subdued. It has an interesting toasted flavor. That’s all I have now, but I’ll add more once I finish the tea.
This came as an offering from Angel and Teavivre.
One thing I love about Teavivre is when they say sample, they really mean it…VERY generous size, they allow you to have a real gongfu session.
I’m using one full sachet for a 5oz yixing pot. The cake chunks are always separated with care.
After a quick rinse, steep one is a little shy it seems. A bit sweet, slightly fuity with hints of astringency.
It gets interesting at steep three. Nice body and texture to this tea. To me, it’s really fruity.
Like a blend of grape and apple juice…sweet and tart at the same time. The typical young sheng astringency is building up, and that’s something I appreciate.
There’s also a certain woodsy finish to the sip.
I lost count of how many steeps I had, but there were many.
I really enjoyed this one.
Thank you so much Teavivre for the oppotunity.
This reminds me of the other floral tuocha I tried from Teavivre. It’s dark and earthy, with some hinted flower scents. There isn’t much rose flavour in the brew. Mostly earthy, dark, and some leather. Not really what I was expecting, so off to re-steep.
Edit- I did steep too long for my taste. At three minutes, I get more of the floral flavour, with a bit of sweetness, and still earthy. I even get some rose.
Flavors: Earth, Rose
This is delicious! It’s also very interesting, kind of a cross roads of flavors & sensations.
I used 5 G for 6 minutes in a standard mug…10 oz-ish
The resulting cup reminds me of a cross between a sheng & a few of the other Heicha I’ve tried. It’s a lovely rich taste, much different from any of the other white teas I’ve had, much fuller in flavor, with a silky quality & an instant chaqi buzz, along with a potent tongue tingle, & my lips feel full & sexy, LOL. Honey, sugar cane, malt, its really very tasty & sweet, fruity even. I’m actually contemplating a cake of this…
I’m taking a break from the latest session of multitasking: a few more loads of laundry done, a few students, cleaned up the kitchen, gave my yixing their bath, & the hardest decision I have to make is which tea do I want to season with?
I’ll let you know later!
I got a sample size of this just for my son because he loves pineapple. Dry it smells like sweet candied pineapples. Iced, I forgot to smell it-but it was just tart enough for my son to enjoy with a light sweetness that I did not feel the need to add sugar for myself. My son really enjoyed it and said it tasted fruity, I even enjoyed it because it was very refreshing and not too tart. I think I will get more sometime.
When I removed the toucha from the sealed bag, the aroma was incredibly bread. Smells so good. I started with a 40 s steep. The first cup was light and tasted like hazelnut. No bitterness and no astringency that I noticed. Second cup at 30 s was darker and more complex. It started more like a raw pu-erh without the harsh bitterness. It is thick and syrupy with a sweet fruity aftertaste and leaves a sticky lip feel. With the 3rd cup at 30 s, I got a stronger cup, cheek tingle, and a bitterness that I like – not the nasty harsh kind. When it was hot, I thought I briefly tasted leather. As it cooled it became more mineral and almost cave like. In each cup the cooler it got the more I caught the hazelnut flavor.
I did not notice anything I would consider floral and certainly not like any lotus I’ve tried. That doesn’t surprise me. The ripe rose toucha has no rose taste but is one of my favorite ripe touchas. This is definitely a more complex tea than I was expecting. I am looking forward to several more cups – the toucha is loose but largely still intact.
A huge thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
As Teavivre continues to add new teas to its ever-growing repertoire, I am always anxious to try them and see what the young company is up to. The black teas are my favorite so I was eager to take this one for a spin!
When I opened the sample package, the strong aroma of the black and slightly curly leaves was quite interesting. It was faintly nutty, a bit fruity, and a lot like bread.
I brewed the leaves at 195 degrees for five minutes. The steeped result was a reddish gold liquid. The aroma was again nutty and fruity with a bread attribute.
The taste of this selection was slightly sweet. All rolled up in the flavor was nuttiness, a very subtle fruity flavor, and that lurking bread quality. When you put it all together, it reminded me of a tasty piece of fruit and nut bread. The tea was extremely smooth with no astringency. The sweet and soft aftertaste lingered quite pleasantly on my palate.
This is another delicious tea from the folks at Teavivre. For a company that is only three years old, they really have their finger on the pulse…or, should I say, tongue…of this tea lover. I will definitely be adding this great new entry to my shopping list in the future!
Flavors: Fruity, Nutty
Brewed according to the instructions on the package…
Probably like most people, I don’t read the brewing instruction manual on my tea packets, and in the ordinary way of things, I brew 5g of everything with 100-200ml water, adjusting the amount until I find equilibrium.
But since I’m currently well-stocked with 200g of Bailin Gongfu – my favourite black tea – I thought I’d give the instructions a try.
The instructions on the ziplock bag the tea comes in are 2 tablespoons of tea leaves, to 17oz water. By UK measurements, that’s 30g of tea and a gnat’s under 500ml water.
OK, I compromised, and used 1 tablespoon – 15g – and 250ml water.
It was delicious. Malty, delicious, wonderful, floral and just … the best tea I’ve ever had. Like Bailin Gongfu Plus. Super Bailin Gongfu. The Breaking Bad of Bailin Gongfu.
‘course, I then spotted the instructions on the website, which are subtly different to the ones on the package. On the website, it recommends for western-style brewing: “2 tablespoons/6 grams”. So I’m guessing the tablespoons thing is a typo for 2 teaspoons, unless Chinese or US tablespoons are very, very different from mine.
But I have to admit that if I were rich as Croesus, I’d drink it like this all the time.
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Tea
No reviews yet?! :o I guess teavivre didn’t really promote this one like they do their other teas. I had to request this sample specifically. :) I’m not really a fan of roselle/hibiscus, but I love black current. And I’m always down for more caffeine free teas. Plus hubby loves blueberry.
The dry leaf is absolutely mouthwatering. It’s like that concentrated fruit juice you’re supposed to dilute. The tea is not too tart. I did over water the tea so it might be that. Nonetheless, it was tasty. Definitely blueberry and black currant. I bet it would be nice iced.
Another gamble at the wild and crazy Teavivre summer sale, this Osmanthus Oolong really does smell and taste like osmanthus! I wanted to try this tea especially because osmanthus is a mysterious note in perfumery. It’s like a flower with a built-in fruitiness, so it’s very hard to detect when mixed in with anything else (as it always is…). This osmanthus-scented oolong is a great way to become closer to osmanthus, since the oolong tea base does not overwhelm the flower scent and flavor.
Very happy that I decided to try this tea!