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Recent Tasting Notes
I think I finally got the parameters right for this one. I used about 3.5g leaf in a 100mL gaiwan with 185f water. The smell of the dry leaves was so floral that I knew there had to be some way to get that in the flavor. This worked pretty well, with early steeps being intensely floral, and the flavor getting more nasal and “green” as I went. Like steeped out flower stems or something. I don’t know if this is what it would actually taste like, but the descriptor of chlorophyll came to mind.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Mineral
Enjoyed this one a bit more gongfu style than grandpa style now that I have a functional kettle again. Early steeps were sweetly vegetal, reminding me most of peas. After a few steeps it got more floral, but a pretty “green” or grassy floral flavor. Not super sweet, but did get a good bit of it in the back of the mouth. Nice and smooth, decent body. The leaves expanded quite a bit, with ~5.1g almost overflowing my 100mL gaiwan. I might try this with a lower temp next time to see if it gets a bit sweeter or more floral.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Peas, Vegetal
Drinking this one grandpa style right now. Getting grassy and vegetal notes, no noticeable sweetness. Also some sour notes which I don’t notice on every sip but sometimes creep in. Earthy, but not like a ripe puerh. Instead a higher earthy flavor, maybe could be described as mineral. Cooling in the mouth.
Flavors: Earth, Grass, Menthol, Mineral, Pleasantly Sour, Vegetal
Update: Realised I hadn’t de-scaled my kettle after about a month of use, wondering if this might have contributed to the mineral / metallic taste. Will try again in the future with good water.
1st & 2nd infusions:
Maybe a bit too roasty for me. In the 2nd infusion I smelled notes of cream and burnt sugar, but no hint of sweetness in its austere taste at all. This tastes to me like that Ito En bottled chilled Golden Oolong.
I’m getting a bit nauseous / headachey. My partner pointed out that this tea tastes a bit soapy. It’s probably not entirely the tea’s fault, but this is just not a good experience for me today. I might try the 2016 harvest at some point to give it another shot.
Brewed at 203˚F.
Flavors: Roasted, Soap
Leaves: 1 medium flower
Aroma: floral spice
Color: light yellow/green
Taste: I want to start off with saying how pretty the packaging was for this a yellow packet w/ a clear view decorated circle featuring the flower in the middle. when picking this tea apparently i didn’t look at the packaging online since i had no idea it would look like this lol. This was the first time i had brewed just one flower for a cup of tea, although in the past i have tried the larger blooming flowers balls which are huge in comparison. As for taste it was a very light. Overall not a bad intro back into tea after not drinking any for a little while.
Upon opening the bag I discovered just how aromatic a black tea can be. The leaf is long and spiral shaped with some golden tips. Dry leaf airs of intense notes of orchid, baked pumpkin seeds and touch of molasses.
If brewed in Gongfu manner it will bring out notes of honey, molasses, orchid with full mouthfeel followed with tingling sensation in mouth and a bit dryness in throat.
Brewed in western fashion it will bring out orchid and milk notes in front along with a full mouthfeel and other notes encountered with Gongfu method are rather faint.
All in all it’s an excellent tea at really good price that has that something extra in comparison to a regular Yunnan black. Although I advise not to steep it with water over 90C because it gets a bit bitter and breaks harmony with its’ other fine notes.
Flavors: Honey, Milk, Molasses, Orchid, Pumpkin
No notes yet. Add one?
Thanks to whomever sent this to me! I’m so sorry, but I can’t remember who that was right now. I brewed this one up Gong Fu in a gaiwan on Saturday before all of the birthday shenanigans had kicked off, and to be perfectly honest I was very much not into it…
So far, as I’ve been exploring Pu’erh this year it’s mostly been ripe pu’erh so drinking this raw sample was a bit of a venture to me. And it’s kind of scarred me off a little, if I’m being honest. I tried a good variety of water temperatures and pushed through seven or eight different infusions but ultimately I couldn’t get past the combo of bitter and smoke notes that were just so strong, and so unappealing. Eventually, I also started to taste some earthy notes, a black pepper flavour, and some kind of bitter vegetal notes such as green pepper, but it just couldn’t redeem itself.
I mean, I’m not gonna stop trying out different kinds of Sheng but I’ve heard that most people overall have a strong preference for either raw or ripe and at this point I’m thinking mine is more in the lino of ripe pu’erh.
Flavors: Ash, Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Char, Earth, Green Pepper, Pepper, Smoke
There were lots of tea samples included with my birthday order, and this was the first one I chose to make because I knew that everyone present loved puerh. I used the entire sample because we had two great pieces of orange peel and I was using a large pot. I wanted to stretch the tea since we generally put away a lot of puerh when we get together so I kept the steeps a little on the short side to give us lots of resteeps.
The citrus is more an aroma than a taste. It is only lightly orange flavored. The puerh was earthy, not horsey, and never ever have I gotten a fishy puerh from Teavivre so I feel like I don’t even need to mention that it isn’t fishy!
I made two short steeps and then someone else made the third and steeped it a very long time in comparison. It was still perfectly good and not bitter at all, just a little heartier than my short steeps. I like myshu puerh a little on the strong side and we all enjoyed it.
As we drank it, ChelseaR remembered that she had ordered a sample of this once, and I notice that she has a review on here for it as well! I think being reminded of it and having it again has made her want to order more! She and my son usually drink unflavored shu.
Delicious tea, and thank you to Superanna for the gift and Mary Bao at Teavivre for the recommendations!
I bought a sample of this last time I ordered from Teavivre (which was far too long ago, by the way). Finally got around to trying it yesterday at work, now that I have set up a tea station by my desk. New job, new office, new tea station; it’s almost like a new start! :)
So, the dry leaf was woody with a light citrus component. You can tell it’s shu pu with your eyes closed. There was one honking great huge piece of citrus peel in there with the leaf, like about half a tangerine’s worth! The steeped tea smelt earthy with a hint of citrus. I have a pu with grapefruit that I unconsciously expected it to be like, but this one is way more subtle than the grapefruit pu. The liquor was dark, earthy and woody with the tangerine notes coming through to make it a light refreshing drink. It made a nice change from the usual run of teas that I have been making in the office.
Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Orange, Orange Zest, Wood
Lovely tea! The appearance of the dry leaf is just beautiful, all different size leaves and colors. The tea itself smells like hay and grass. Reminds me of how I used to pluck grassroots as a kid and chew on the ends. Sort of a sweet, not-quite-floral flavor that I haven’t found anywhere else!
When I first got this cake, I was new to pu-erh, didn’t really know how to brew it, and thought it tasted like dirt. Now that I’ve learned more about tea, I think it tastes like earth. Which is way different than dirt! This tea has a sort of spicy sweetness that comes on in later steeps, as well as a sort of fruity taste that I can’t really describe. I’m not sure this is a phenomenal tea objectively, but it got me into pu-erh, and I’ve grown to love it. It’s tasty, reliable, and forgiving to brew!
Update: It’s been 4 hours since I drank this, but I keep fancying that I smell the White Peony fragrance all around my office. That’s probably a testament to how deliciously sticky the scent of this tea is. (Unfortunately, I was also in a terrible mood––one of those days where you drop everything you try to hold, and your joints and limbs just feel completely out of whack. It could very well have been the challah with lemon curd I ate for breakfast, but I’ll have to monitor how I feel after drinking the second sachet of this Organic Bai Mudan as well heh.)
Gosh, Teavivre has amazing Bai Mu Dans. The moment the hot water hits the leaves, a heady aroma just gushes to the nose.
1st infusion: (25s)
Blanched leaves have a really strong fruity scent like dark stonefruit, plum, blackberries with an elegant floral perfume. The liquor smells more floral with a hint of fruit. What an excellent cup of tea.
2nd infusion: (45s)
Darker and more flavourful liquor than the first. I pretty much gulped it down so quickly I couldn’t review it.
3rd infusion (70s)
The leaves just smell steamed now, no fragrance left. Liquor remains floral but no more fruity sweetness. Still yummy though. Pairs decently with my challah and lemon curd.
4th infusion: (90s)
It’s mellowed out a lot, tastes comforting and ever-so-slightly astringent with a beautiful pale golden hue but I don’t think the 5th infusion would taste good, and I have to go to work so stopping here.
Flavors: Floral, Stonefruits
Herbal and Decaf TTB
I haven’t had enough chrysanthemum tea to judge the quality of this, but I liked it. It has a pleasant, lightly floral flavor. Chrysanthemum always reminds me a bit of chamomile, although it’s different enough that eventually I would like to keep both on hand. I find this to be a very relaxing tea, which is nice today since it’s been a stressful week and the boys are a bit cranky.
I’ve had a pretty dreadful week but today is much much better so I’m celebrating by sampling lots of teas. I’ve sampled my way through most of the teabox already but there are still some blacks I’ve been meaning to get to. (I also have notes from some other teas from the teabox that I sampled last week, but I’ll get around to writing those up later.) And Chinese blacks are some of the best! So I’m trying this one.
It’s a nice color and has that lovely elegant fragrance that tends to come with Chinese teas. I’m not so sure about the flavor, though; it’s not my favorite Chinese black, but it does have some interesting points. It does have a bit of astringency and a teensy hint of bitterness. I’ll try resteeping it with slightly cooler water.
From a Teavivre order a while ago! Probably one of the more interesting looking leaf shapes I’ve ever seen… inches long green leaves that look attached and pancaked together. Leaves so long they hardly fit vertically in the tea basket infuser. I’m not really sure how or why they look like this! Though Teavivre does have some info about this mysterious tea: http://www.teavivre.com/info/manual-made-tai-ping-hou-kui/ I used most of a sample pouch for a mug. The flavor is surprisingly mild for such leaves. Sweet and light flavor! Really no flavor notes to distinguish it from more complex green teas, and I really like my complex green teas, so this one might not be my favorite. If I’m really searching for flavors, I might say it has hints of seaweed, butter and vegetables. I think this tea is more of an experience than flavor, so I wish I had brewed it in a clear glass! I think this tea is mild enough that being left in the cup wouldn’t make the flavor too strong.
Steep #1 // 32 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
as i cannot really control the steeping time, i have to do a short review:
Dry flower ball: I smell. Slight floral and spices.
Bloomed flower: I smell medium spices and light floral
Brewed tea: I taste/smell light floral and medium spices. I also taste medium metallic notes.
All in all this is a tasty tea I rate it a 100
Flavors: Floral, Metallic, Spicy
I bought 100g of the Spring 2015 harvest. This tea smells almost unrecognisable from its sample––such a strong fruity smell that I suspected they had mistakenly shipped me the Flavoured version of this tea.
I get strong notes of passionfruit, pineapple and milky peach from the dry leaf scent.
When brewed, I get the same buttery, floral sweet liquor that I got from the sample but with an intense fruity milk flavour, perhaps I just didn’t recognise it when I tried the sample. No metallic or bitter undertone like Tie Guan Yin. This is a great tea to pair with desserts.
Rinse to open up the rolled balls, then infuse for 10s, 20s, 30s, etc. I brewed at 196˚F but this tea can take up to boiling water iirc.
Flavors: Butter, Milk, Passion Fruits, Peach, Pineapple
Dry leaf smells vegetal and slightly buttery. Again, omitting the rinse.
1st infusion: (25s)
WHOA. This is super buttery and milky and delicious.
2nd infusion: (35s)
Dry leaf smells more vegetal already. Hmm, the tea smells buttery but is slightly astringent even though I followed the brewing instructions to a T.
3rd – 5th infusions:
Astringency is gone. These are good infusions, buttery and mildly sweet with a nice substantial mouthfeel.
6th infusion: (75s)
The flavour is almost gone in this one, but it still pairs well with a sweet breakfast. I’m impressed these gentle green leaves have lasted this long.
Flavors: Butter, Floral
I can’t believe I waited this long to try this tea. I’ve had this sample for some time, and I think I was just trying to drink up other opened packages first. I should have tried this earlier though, because it’s just the sort of oolong I like. This roasted tieguanyin has a great nutty, smooth and slightly floral flavor. As the cup cools it gets slightly sweeter. Very nice! Thanks again, Angel and Teavivre!
Note: Brew this at 190˚F. This is my go-to pre-bedtime drink especially after a heaty dinner or desserts.
The flowers are ultra-perfumed, almost to the point of stinging. It tasted bitter when brewed at 195˚. They definitely need the half-teaspoon of sugar to counter the intense florality*.
*not a word, but it should be!
Dry leaves: sudden bright scent of passionfruit / mango.
1st infusion: (25s)
Leaves smell like a complex mixture including bitter chocolate and seaweed. Tea has that roasty, mineral flavour I associate with Fujian oolongs. Drinking this with toasted leftover dimsum now and it pairs alright with the oily sweetness, imparting chocolatey tones.
2nd infusion: (30s)
Liquor is still a beautiful reddish bronze. Flavour is mellowing out from the initial infusion’s harshness. This is growing on me.
3rd – 5th infusions:
More of the same goodness, the colour shows no sign of letting up while the flavour gradually lightens.
6th infusion: (120s)
The leaves are left with a fruity aroma like grape or plum. The liquor has finally turned a coppery amber colour, and tastes a very pleasing, mild flavour with the bitterness all gone––mineral and roasty with fruit aftertaste. Really like this infusion.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Mineral, Roasted, Seaweed, Stonefruits
Next time: Try skipping the rinse and brew at 170 – 173˚F instead since their Nonpareil Silver Needle did so well at a lower temperature.
I am loving pretty much every tea from Teavivre so far. This Silver Needle is so fragrant in a similar way to the White Peony, but less sweet (I specifically wanted a less sweet tea this afternoon). Really happy I could brew this in my new glass gaiwan (which only takes well to lower temperatures like this 176˚F). Did a 2-second rinse.
1st infusion (45s):
The leaves are bursting with perfume reminiscent of a field or garden in summer––floral and dry grass. The liquor tastes floral, but with a refreshing twist like cucumber, and also a hint of soy milk with vegetable broth.
2nd infusion (60s):
Still that nice summer field aroma, but more subdued than before. Starting to taste a bit of that sweet “melon” other reviewers have mentioned, but also starting to get slightly dry and astringent. Still yummy though.
3rd infusion (90s):
Less fragrance now, but the tea is still full-bodied with nice round mouthfeel. Less astringent because I poured the liquor out of the gaiwan promptly (I might have oversteeped on the 2nd infusion).
4th infusion (105s):
I’m impressed that the leaves are still going, this infusion has mostly the dry floral and pine flavour. I could probably get one more steep out of this, but I’m not going to push the leaves any more because I want to move on to a different tea.
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Hay, Soybean, Vegetable Broth
This review is based on the 2015 harvest. Had a gongfu session with a glass pot. Gave the leaf a quick rinse. Steeping times: 30 seconds, 60, 90; 2 minutes, 5.
The fuzzy dry leaf has various hues of green, which become more vibrant after steeping. I particularly liked the rinse coloration:
Most of the leaves are whole. They consist mostly of individual leaves, and a few a leaf and a bud and two leaf.
The dry leaf aroma has notes of gentle seaweed and corn. Once hit washed with water, the aroma becomes stronger, smelling of buttery zucchini and a general sweet, fresh green vegetable hodge-podge.
The liquor is tinted with a very pale green. The body is full. Heavy with flavor, but not heavy itself – light in the mouth. Smooth and creamy texture. The first infusion tastes vegetal and a little sweet with sugar snap peas. Thereafter, the flavor becomes so sweet that it is reminiscent of a Taiwanese rolled high mountain oolong. Very candy-like. It also has a slight cooling effect in the back of the throat. This combination reminds me of the Japanese milk-mint candy. The liquor, though, retains its vegetal essence.
Nothing was short of enjoyable, even though it’s been a year since the leaf was harvested.