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Recent Tasting Notes
This is really tasty – I made it to be iced, as I am anticipating plowing through my iced tea collection rather quickly now that 80+ degree days are the norm, and I might need more of this. A lot more. It has hibiscus, which I don’t mind, but it isn’t overpowering like many other fruit blends are. I definitely taste the pineapple as the primary flavor, with the citrussy orange working with the hibiscus to give it a sour bite. I made 16ish oz of it with a teaspoon of sugar, and it balances out the flavors wonderfully.
This was my morning brew for this muggy day. While I was brewing up a cup of these small black and gold curls the aroma of smoke and dark wood escaped from my tea press. The liquor was a light translucent garnet colour. The taste was perfect for a grey day. The initial sip was a light and fruity flavor with an oak undertone. This soft and flavorful brew went well with breakfast. This was a nice calm black tea, and it still had the high caffeine to get me going.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Fruity, Oak wood, Smoke
Thank you to Amariel for sharing this tuocha with me! I was excited to see this arrive as part of Amariel’s package because I’ve tried puerh before and really liked it. The only thing is that the puerh teas I’ve tried before were either flavored or part of a blend so this will be my first time to try it on its own. I’ve also never done anything with a tuocha so this will be a learning process all the way around.
I opened the silver pouch and out slides the cutest little disc of tea. It’s wrapped in paper covered in what appear to be Chinese characters. I so wish I could read them! It is just so beautiful. The tea itself smells very good, no hint of fishiness here. I have to say that I’m a little nervous about the flavor after seeing another note say that this tastes like mushrooms. I’m not a fan so I hope I don’t pick up any of that.
I stepped away from my desk so I steeped this far too long, close to 10 minutes when the recommended time was 4-6 minutes. The leaves did break up on their own as I had read they would and they are now a dull green in the bottom of my basket. Both the leaves and the liquid have a savory aroma. Unfortunately, this is very, very bitter, no doubt because I over-steeped it. It also has some astringency to it. I’m sorry that I wasn’t paying closer attention to this one since it’s the only tuocha I have. Maybe the leaves will still be okay for another cup or two.
I can really feel the effects from the caffeine in this one. Or maybe it was all the sugar in the Pop Tart I just ate.? :)
I love Longjing on a warm sunny day. There is something about the delicate refreshing flavors that just put me in good spirits! I opened the package and revealed long elegant leaves of vibrant green and yellow. These flat slates carried the aroma of fresh silky vegetables and a slight robust floral hint. I brewed these beauties up in my glassware to watch them dance. My tea pot gave off a spinach and chestnut aroma as the hot spring water touched the leaves. I filled my pot in three short bursts to agitate the delicate leaves. I always brew Long Jing with cool water (175F) to get the sweet flavors out. The taste was so refreshing. This brew has a delicate vegetal flavor with a honey nectar sweetness. I can feel my body relaxing with each sip. I was able to pull three steepings out of this brewe, and I deeply enjoyed each one.
Flavors: Green Beans, Honey, Nectar, Smooth, Vegetal
Thanks again for the sample, Teavivre! This will be the last of the new batch to review. The leaves here look wild and tangled, but I know the tea farmers put great care into picking the leaves… it just LOOKS like a mess! The bright green leaves have a sweet corn and cream fragrance. I used half of a sample pouch (so around 2.5 grams)… that seems to work for all of these big leafy green teas I’ve tried, if you are brewing in a mug. The pale brew is delicious – some more cream and corn to match the scent of the dry leaves, with some added nuttiness. I think this is what I imagine the flavor should be if I think “mao feng”. VERY delicious! The second steep wasn’t as good because of my own fault – I didn’t steep the perfect cup (the temperature should have been hotter and the time longer – not paying enough attention.) It is impossible for me to pick a favorite Teavivre green tea. I have loved all of them, both from this year and last year.
Steep #1 // half a sample (around 2.5 grams) for 11 ounce mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 32 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015
Another delicious sample from the Spring green offerings – thank you, Teavivre! The leaves here are very interesting – I’ve never seen anything like them before. They are like dark green twisted needles of grass. They have a very strong and sweet scent of cream and corn. I love it already. I used half of a sample pouch (so about 3.5 grams if a sample is 7 grams) which seems to be working for the greens I’ve been trying lately. The flavor is like the fragrance – cream and corn. But this one has an interesting smoky and mildly spicy flavor to both steeps that remind me of a barbeque sauce type flavor. Very unique for a green tea, I think, which makes something that normally might not be noticeable very apparent with a green tea. Both steeps are exactly the same. I love that all of the green teas that Teavivre offers are completely different in flavor. I didn’t know green teas could have such different flavors. The only complaint I could possibly ever have with my experience of Teavivre so far is that they don’t sell more of their teas in 50 gram or 25 gram sizes so I could buy more varieties of their tea! The teas are always so good!
Steep #1 // half sample pouch for 11 ounce mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Harvest: April 2015
I made this cup and then didn’t get to drink it because the baby had a meltdown. Now that she’s in bed for the night, I can reheat it and enjoy it. The dry leaf aroma is roses. The brewed tea aroma is the familiar chocolate malt of Chinese black teas. The taste? A perfect combination of the two aromas: roses and chocolate malt. Yum! Now this is my kind of Chinese black tea!
I really like the rose flavoring here. It’s mostly in the front of the aftertaste, which transforms and leaves a lingering cocoa taste. The rose is also very natural and not too potent. Mmm, I really like this tea. As it cools, it gets a little bitter. I definitely should have done a shorter steep. It reheats well though. I think I microwaved this cup two or three times because I kept getting distracted with things and couldn’t finish it all in one sitting. Thanks to Teavivre for the free sample! I will definitely enjoy the rest of this.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Rose
I grabbed this one cause I felt like a Chinese black tea. However, this was not the kind of Chinese black that I like. It tasted like smoke and tobacco. Yuck. Not my cup of tea. Sadly, I poured the cup down the drain. It was way too strong and just not to my liking at all. I’m sure it’s perfectly enjoyable to other palates. Maybe I shouldn’t have started with such a long infusion. One or two minutes would have been plenty. Thanks to Teavivre for providing this free sample. I’ll re-home the rest of it to someone who will enjoy it.
Flavors: Smoke, Tobacco
Another sample – thank you, Teavivre! Always happy to try any great new Teavivre offering! The big leaves here are almost impossible to measure with a teaspoon (which is why Teavivre’s instructions are usually by tablespoon, but they still suggest a LOT of tablespoons – 3-4 tablespoons for 17 ounces or 8 grams for this one.) I used half a sample pouch which ended up filling my brew basket halfway anyway. The leaves are connected in a V shape (one bud with one or two leaves). The scent of the dry leaves is delicious – nutty and strong. Once brewed, the leaf color is VERY bright green though the liquor color of the tea itself is very pale. No worries – there is a lot of complex flavor here: nutty, vegetal like sweet corn and something green with hints of fruit. The second steep is completely different from the first – mildly vegetal but fruity at the same time: like cucumber, melon, and another fruit or vegetable I can’t quite name. Very fresh and clean tasting. It’s very delicious! Another fantastic and unique tea. I think Teavivre has tea magic! I would have went for a third steep but it was very late, had to sleep.
Steep #1 // half sample pouch for 11 ounce mug (about 3.5 grams) // 30 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Harvest: April, 2015
Ah…. see, after a not-so-great tea experience, I should just reach for Teavivre. This is the lovely chocolate honeyed goodness I truly adore, with a hint of floral sweetness, and a bit of… crunch?… that I just can’t get enough of. Will definitely re-steep.
Used three balls in 12 oz of water, for a 2.5 minute steep in 185F water.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Honey, Thick
This was a more deep and darker green tea than others of the spring harvests. The dry leaf is beautiful. I opened the package to reveal long forest green and golden hairy strands. They have the aroma of green beans and a fresh garden. I placed these fluffy twigs in my warmed kyusu and shook them up. I didn’t even have to open the lid to take in their scent. My tea room was filled with fresh picked kale and wet seaweed. I brewed up a cup immediately. The initial sip was light and sweet. This brew had a soft vegetal tone with a good bitterness at the end. It was a very refreshing cup, and it helped to get me going. The liquor was a lot darker than most greens. It was a tarnished gold and refracted the light well. I was able to pull three steepings from my pot, and the brew became sweeter with each steeping; as the vegetal tones faded. I really liked this tea, and it was perfect to help me start my morning!
Flavors: Garden Peas, Kale, Seaweed, Smooth, Sweet
The dry leaf aroma is subtle. Nutty, hay, mineral, dry bamboo, reminds me of domesticated bird feathers (no joke, and that’s not a bad thing to me).
The brewed leaf aroma is like green vegetables, raw beans, nutty, slightly smoky, slightly floral.
The liquor tastes green, raw green beans, nutty: almonds, buttery, slightly sweet. The color is pale, yellow-green with downy hairs present.
The first and second steepings were great. The third was too subtle. All were done at 90 C, and times were: 45, 60, 90 s.
Flavors: Butter, Green, Green Beans, Nutty, Sweet
This is a sample I received a while ago, I’m just now getting around to sipping. Thanks again, Teavivre! Even though raw pu-erh is not my favorite type of tea, I wanted to try this one as it seems like a twin to it’s ripened pu-erh that is probably my FAVORITE pu-erh (the Fengqing Zhuan Cha Ripened 2006 – though it isn’t currently available for sale). The first steep of a raw pu-erh is always fine with me – after a longer rinse and a 30 second steep, this one is light, mellow, with almost a creamy quality to it – it’s a little surprising! This is a raw pu-erh I can like! As it cools, it’s slightly more fruity, maybe hints of apple or pear. I made sure to keep the other steeps at 30 seconds, as I’ve learned to do with raw pu-erh before it gets into bitter flavor territory I don’t like. The second cup isn’t as nice as the first (still haven’t mastered steeping raw pu-erh – maybe I should cool the water longer as steeps increase? That seems to be the one thing I haven’t tried yet.) The flavor deepens a LITTLE… luckily not bitter or like cedar chips but raw pu-erh is always tough for me to tell what that flavor actually is. I can’t describe it! But whatever this is, it’s very sweet! The third steep is also similar, it still has that creamy sweet mild fruit flavor. I think the rule I’ve learned with raw pu-erh is 30 second steeps. The pieces of pu-erh cake are barely unraveled so I think I could keep going with MANY more steeps with excellent flavor but it’s already after 11PM! Probably one of the best raw pu-erhs I’ve tried. This one has changed me into a fan of sheng! I wouldn’t mind buying a brick of this one. I’m just now noticing that Teavivre’s own description uses “mellow” and “sweet”.
Steep #1 // 2/3 of sample (probably 7 grams for 11 ounce mug) // 12 minutes after boiling // rinse // 30 second steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 30 second steep
Steep #3 // 15 minutes after boiling // 30 seconds
Flavors: Apple, Creamy, Pear, Sweet
I think I’ve had this a few times but I’m still figuring out the steeping parameters. Tried it yesterday and today with 1 tsp per cup at 90C. At 3 minutes it was kind of bland, but at 4 it was kind of funky.
Should I overleaf? Underleaf? Still not sure.
I like the smell of the dry leaf though – it’s got a chocolaty note that reminds me of Jin Jun Mei.
This is an excellent start to brick pu-erh tea. Nicely priced, this 2005 raw pu-erh tastes excellent through many steepings. There is a dominant tobacco, hay, and earthy aroma; the liquor has a medium-full body, smoky taste, with a slightly dry finish. There are many intricate aromas & flavors that develop from each steep. Be sure to watch the video on Teavivre’s website before you begin to break into your brick—very helpful for someone that’s never done it. (Actually, all of their videos are useful.)
Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Tobacco, Wet Wood
This was my first taste of a pu-erh with added flowers. I wanted to try this because I’m not a big fan of ripened pu-erh alone. However, this makes me a fan! The chrysanthemum really balances the aromas and flavors that I tend to dislike in ripened teas and provides a subtle sweetness. I definitely recommend trying this at least once. I’m on the search for more!
I went through multiple steepings with boiling water: (rinse), 10s,10s,10s,15s,20s,30s
Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Sweet
Very reminiscent of a Chinese Tin Kuan Yin, yet with different complexities. This is my first Taiwan high mountain tea and it will certainly not be my last. I love how the taste varies over many steepings. The aromas are very nice and refreshing. Definitely recommend!
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal
Thanks again for the samples, Teavivre! I think I was supposed to receive the Bi Luo Chun but here is the Jasmine instead. I really wanted to try this one anyway! The dry leaves are very fragrant with jasmine. So lovely, especially in very hot temperatures. I could drink jasmine teas every day. The green and white colored dry leaves are loosely bundled, any tighter and they would look like oolong. I’m glad using more than two teaspoons didn’t ruin the flavor on the first seep – there was just a half teaspoon remaining in the sample so I went with 2 1/2 teaspoons. The flavor isn’t too strong at all. It seems perfect with the first steep being one minute. The jasmine is strong and reminds me of bubblegum. It’s hard to believe these leaves only need to sit around jasmine for 8-10 hours and it has such a lasting impact. The green tea makes itself present underneath all of that jasmine a little more than the white jasmine tea I sipped yesterday, but that is to be expected. The brew is a dark yellow but not at all astringent or bitter – it’s a little like a buttery soupy broth. With the second steep, there is still a ton of jasmine. If I brewed if for more than a minute and a half I think it would have been much more bitter. The third steep IS a little too strong for this tea – the flavor is now marine like. So I think a lower amount of teaspoons would help: maybe even just one teaspoon. I’ll try it again another time with less tea. All of the jasmine teas I’ve tried from Teavivre so far have been winners! I could stock up on all of Teavivre’s teas.
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 tsp. for 11 ounce mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Steep#3 // 30 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Harvest: April 26, 2014
This is another wonderful spring tea of 2015. I opened up the package and reveled tiny cute (if tea can be cute) curls of forest green and silver. These little twirls had small downy hairs lining them, and they carried a strong vegetal tone of green beans with a honeydew sweetness. I placed them inside my warmed kyusu and gave em a shake. This sweet scent became a lot more deeper and robust. It changed into a bold spinach tone. I brewed up a cup and drank. The initial sip was a strong vegetal tone with still a honey sweetness. This brew became sweeter after steeping. The second steeping I used cooler water (175F) to get that honey tone to be more pronounced. The third steeping I used hotter water (190F) to get a deeper spring flavor. This was an awesome green tea! It had a nice and full spring flavor of a vegetable gardens with still keeping it sweet like honey.https://instagram.com/p/24QHlcTGfm/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel
Flavors: Green Beans, Honeydew, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
Brewed with a gongfu glass tea pot. 5-second rinse. Steeping parameters: 60, 75, 90, 120.
My first Bi Luo Chun. I have to say that the aspects I took most pleasure out of were the physical appearance of the leaves and the tactile sensation of handling the leaves by hand.
Short, thin, minty green, curly little things. The leaves are so light, they could weigh practically nothing on the Moon. While I waited for the water to heat, I stuck my hand in the tea pot and gently tossed and turned them over. I think I’d enjoy rolling them in the pan to dry them out, if I ever get the chance tour the creation process.
The dry leaf aroma smells sweetly of freshly cut lawn. The wet leaf, in contrast, offers heavier aroma of cooked asparagus and cream of spinach.
The color of the liquor is greenish, which looks bright against the white of my porcelain cup. To my surprise, the liquor is not clear but very cloudy. Lots of unexpected fuzzies, especially in this first infusion. I didn’t see the hairs on the dry leaf. Guess I should have taken a closer look at the picture on the website….I notice that the darker green leaves have few hairs. My sample contains practically all lightly colored leaves. The liquor becomes more pellucid as the session goes on.
The first infusion has a creamy texture and broth-like consistency. There are notes of savory, green vegetable flavors – beans, spinach, and okra. Hmmmm. I dislike okra, but since I get none of the sliminess: huzzah! The second infusion has a thinner texture, and is much sweeter, veggie-wise, with a pea note. Back to thick and soupy with the third infusion. It is also tangy and somewhat fruity sweet, with a lychee taste that appears if I let the liquor rest in my mouth before swallowing.
Three is all I get, forget the fourth. Bi Luo Chun – or at least this one – is more complex than I’d thought. It’s a little on the heavy side for me as a green tea. Still, generally enjoyable!
What a beautiful green tea…. Such pretty leaves to look at! I may have accidentally slightly oversteeped this as it was a tad bitter, but that’s on me. I will try again because even slightly bitter this was so fresh and clean tasting….I don’t even know.
And the smell. Yum. Teavivre spoils me with their green teas!
Thank you for the sample!
Thank you to Teavivre for a sample of this!
I never thought I enjoyed unflavored green tea until I tried Teavivre’s. There is something amazing and special about being able to drink this bright, fresh, slightly vegetal and buttery green tea, knowing it was picked recently.
I actually used that tag line to tempt my husband’s cousin into having a mug with me. I think next time I would use the whole packet to maximize flavour and deliciousness… But I was happy to share with him some truly tasty green tea… Vs the dusty old crap we are accustomed to buying at local grocery stores.