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Recent Tasting Notes
Another free sample courtesy of Teavivre. I loved the smell of the dry leaves, reminded me of sweet strawberry mochi. I brewed the tea with some trepidation expecting this to have an artificial and/or overwhelming fruit flavor like most flavored teas. I’m happy to report that my fears were unfounded. The first steeping was creamy smooth with a gentle strawberry flavor. You actually can taste the base oolong and the strawberry complements it instead of competing with it.
Those that prefer fruity teas might find it underwhelming but for me the flavor profile of this tea was on point. Unfortunately the strawberry flavor is mostly lost after the 1st steeping so all you taste on the 2nd steeping is the oolong itself.
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Milk, Strawberry
Yesterday I tried the Premium jasmine pearls. Today, on an even hotter day (maybe the hottest of the year so far), I’m trying the Superfine. Honestly, I can’t really tell much of a difference. The scent, appearance, steeped leaves are the same. The color of the brew is slightly a darker mellow yellow here than the Premium. Maybe I’m too much of a jasmine pearl amateur to know the difference. There MIGHT be a slightly more silky quality and slightly sweeter flavor over the Premium, but I might just be trying to find something that is different. But the flavor is gorgeous as usual, perfect for this hot day. A third steep also had quite a lot of flavor. I’ve adored all of the jasmine teas I’ve tried from Teavivre. The jasmine couldn’t be any better on any of the jasmine blends. Choosing one to buy is quite a problem, as I wouldn’t mind stocking up on all of them. That was why I wanted to try all of the jasmine teas though – I knew I definitely wanted to stock up on at least one of them! Any of these would satisfy any jasmine fan.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Leaves: large long medium thick leaves
Color: Light yellow almost clear
Taste: Upon opening the package this tea was a pretty vibrant green accompanied by a fresh spinach aroma. The leaves were larger than expected. When pouring my water over the leaves I noticed a random brown ball floating in my cup, not knowing that it was i picked it out and made a new cup of tea. This time hoping the same thing wouldn’t happen again I continued the brewing process. Also I want to note my tea ball isn’t good at the moment so for brewing these larger leaves so I decided to try a new method. I placed the tea leaves directly in my cup & pour water over them. The first cup worked great because a majority of the leaves floated to the top of my cup making it easier for me to remove them while only a few settled at the bottom that i didn’t remove. The clarity of this tea was great with no cloudiness, crisp & clear i would say. As for the taste I found it to be nice light and refreshing for a afternoon drink. This brings me to the last of my Spring 2015 Tea reviews!
I adore jasmine teas on hot summer days. It’s perfect! This tea features some lovely scented little bundles of light green and white leaves. I’m reminded of the white of the leaves when I see the color of the brew – a pale color I would consider more like a white tea. So much flavor is here! Yes, it’s mostly the endless jasmine but it pairs so well with the green tea. So refreshing and summery. Peeking into the brew basket, the leaves were hardly out of their bundle shapes, but the second steep was much more unraveled. Both steeps tasted exactly the same. The green tea is much lighter in flavor than the other green jasmine teas from Teavivre (though I will be trying the Superfine pearls tomorrow.) So these pearls almost taste like just jasmine petals without the green tea. The other two green teas have just hints of green tea flavor with all that jasmine. Though I didn’t steep these pearls with Teavivre’s parameters, I think all steeps tasted perfect to me! (I had a third steep that was also delicious.)
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for mug (about half a 7 gram sample) // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
I think this may be my favorite green tea. The tea leaves smell so good, you want to eat one (I do anyways lol ), and once brewed the tea smells just as good. It tastes smooth and buttery. Nutty. A little toasted. A slightly sweet nectar taste. Will definitely be getting more of this.
I love this. It is more reminiscent of peach with other fruit equally represented, as opposed to straight up peach, perhaps more like peachberry, as it is still very hibiscusy and has a berry quality. But with a bit of honey the peachy juiciness is brought out. I am impressed, and will consider repurchasing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tea and was delighted with how sweet it was. My mom and used to get dragon pearls in Hawaii pretty often, and this one comes really close to matching the memory. This tea was really refreshing, clean, and sweeter than I expected. Numi’s jasmine does have a little bit more body because of the buds, but honestly, it would depend on my mood and the price to choose between the two. I slightly prefer this one because of how clean and fresh it is, which is to be expected given the loose leaf quality. I just wish that this type of tea was more available in the areas that I live in, and that shipping wasn’t a burden. Moving on from that note, I would like to try the superfine version to see if its any better, though it might be a few steps higher. I definitely recommend this tea though to Jasmine lovers, experienced or not.
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Sugarcane
Very floral, green oolong. The milky aspect was there, but a little to subtle for my tastes. Has lasting power, but not one that I would drink over and over. I am not entirely sure that I would recommend this one. I was kinda bored. I love oolongs anyway, and did enjoy the little bit I had.
Flavors: Grass, Milk
Really smooth, really smooth and sweet. I wanted to try a golden tipped tea, and the only other black that I could compare this to would be a Mokalbari Assam, and maybe a Keemum. Like the Assam, it had a malty full bodied aroma and taste, but with the smooth cocoa notes of a Keemum and its lack of astringency. I drank it on an empty stomach and thankful that it didn’t upset it like the Assam.
If I had the option of drinking higher grade black tea consistently, I would probably pick this one as one of them. The only deterrent would be the simplicity of this tea. The taste and smell are certainly sophisticated, but I personally was expecting a little bit more flavor. A stronger Keemum, Ailoshan, or maybe Fujian black might be more preferred because of their more distinct cocoa.
Altogether, probably best for someone who likes black teas and wants to try something smoother and different. Gotta drink them all!
Flavors: Caramel, Carrot, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet
I was able to get 9 full bodied steeps from one sample in a western style. For being a white tea, it endured. The jasmine taste and smell balanced perfectly with the smooth, almost silky texture of the silver needle itself. My only set back was the fact that I’ve had very similar tasting flowering teas to this one for cheaper. Nevertheless, it reminded me of the tea that I used to drink a lot growing up in Hawaii. The flavor was almost the same, and honestly, the taste was best by the fourth steep and kept on getting smoother and smoother save the very last two steeps.
This is my first tea from Teavivre, and I got it pretty promptly considering the distance from China to Michigan. All the teas in the sampler I got were fairly fresh, and out of all of them, this one is probably my favorite. The service was great, and I am so glad I got free shipping. If it weren’t for the sale, though, I am not sure if I would have gone out of my way to get this one.
You can say that I was very satisfied, but not jumping up and down for it. I would introduce someone new to tea using this one, and maybe drink it with my more tea obsessed friends if they like jasmine.
Flavors: Cream, Herbaceous, Honey, Jasmine, Sweet
Very green tasting. A bit of a minty tone. Strong note of bean. Milk creaminess. Medium thickness mouthfeel. Milky taste and texture near the end of the sip. Orchid floral note. Mild chamomile sweetness. More of the milky flavour comes out as the tea cools.
Flavors: Beany, Creamy, Floral, Milk, Mint, Orchid
Had a gongfu session with a ceramic gaiwan. One 5-second rinse. Steeping times:. 2, 2, 5, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 35, 75.
The dry aroma has delectable notes of lychee and red grapes, and the aroma of the leaf after the rinse smells more intensely of grapes, and of also wet rocks and maybe stonefruit.
The color of white grape juice sits in my cup. The liquor is not completely clear (wouldn’t say foggy or murky, just not clear), but the last couple infusions eventually become so. Full-bodied. Mellow, smooth, easy to drink. The first and second infusions are heavy on the mineral side and leave behind a tingling sensation. After that, the flavors don’t evolve throughout the session. Each infusion is consistently fruity, with notes similar to that of the aromas – grapes, lychee, etc.
Once on the tongue, that is. Seconds later, if I let the liquor sit in my mouth, a heavy roasted quality and bitter taste settle in, and these merge with the juicy flavors. Incongruous. Only the first two and last two infusions had not such bitterness. Could be due to personal taste, or possibly the brewing temp. Still, I decided to keep it consistent rather than lower it partway through the session. I wasn’t completely displeased, and it this does a nice, relaxing effect.
Just finished my sample and I am not too impressed with this tea. I tried brewing it both gongfu and western style and found the flavor to be weak. Flavor-wise, this tea is mostly vegetal with faint notes of milk and floral. It lacks the intense sweetness and complexity of a good green oolong. It’s drinkable, but pretty forgettable overall.
Flavors: Milk, Vanilla, Vegetal
I had to try all of the jasmine teas from Teavivre! They have a new harvest of this one now. So much jasmine in both the fragrance and flavor here! The green tea seems to be many shades of green. The steeping instructions seemed to suggest too hot of a temperature, so I went a lot cooler. The flavor is great as is typical of all Teavivre’s jasmine teas. There is so much jasmine I can hardly taste the green tea. Definitely a nice burst of sweet jasmine for a jasmine fan! Very strong! This seems similar to me to the Jasmine Bi Luo Chun. I probably couldn’t tell the difference in a taste test. I think I used the correct amount of leaves for my tastes. I love the Jasmine white tea the best and I’ll be trying the Jasmine Pearls soon.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. for a mug (about half a 7gram sample) // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute
I recently sipped a sample of this and loved it so much I bought 100grams during the sale. I could tell upon opening that this was a different tea from the sample, even though they were both from 2015. The rose fragrance is very prominent in this one, where it wasn’t before in taste or scent. The black tea seems different too. The leaves are larger here unless I’m remembering wrong, but the taste is definitely different though. The flavor is weaker now, like a light milky chocolate, when before the flavor was deeper and more complex – it seemed like it had elements of Keemun, Zheng Shan Ziao Zhong and sweet potatoes, which is why I liked it. I didn’t even mind that the rose was mostly missing from the sample, since the base so good. Now the rose takes over the flavor of the tea. This one seems more like the Yun Nan Dian Hong Full Leaf blend, though I can’t be sure. I’m disappointed it has changed from the 2015 sample! Lowering the rating from a 95.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3-4 min
This was the perfect choice yesterday, on a rainy day! I was hoping I could figure out if this rose blend has the base of another of Teavivre’s Yun Nan Dian Hongs but it is so hard to tell! The dry leaves don’t seem like any of the other Yun Nan Dian Hongs and the flavor doesn’t seem like the others that I’ve tried but the flavor is GOOD. First of all, I didn’t see much rose in my sample and it doesn’t seem infused with any rose otherwise. So the rose isn’t there at all. But I am perfectly happy with this as a Yun Nan Dian Hong. It is NOT really chocolate to me at all. The flavor seems like three different teas: the lightness and sweetness of a Yunnan, the lovely flavor qualities of a great Keemun, and the slight smokiness and other characteristics of a Zheng Shan Ziao Zhong (and the leaves look like the one Teavivre offers too.) Otherwise the flavor is malty sweet potatoes. It’s an awesome black tea combo that hits many black tea cravings. I think I steeped the first cup perfectly. I want to drink 10 mugs full of this today.
Steep #1 // half a 7 gram sample (about 2 tsps. for a mug) // 14 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3-4 minutes steep
This tea has a swampy, smokey aroma. It taste vegetal, but I do not get the usually veggie flavors of a green tea. I am having trouble with this one, maybe bok choy mixed with green bell pepper and a little bit of black pepper. It is definitely a unique tasting green tea.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Bok Choy, Green Bell Peppers
From the Not MY Cup O’ Tea TTB
Tasty milk oolong. subtle milk/creaminess going on. Doesn’t have the artificial milk flavoring that I find in some milk oolongs. Slightly floral. Quite lovely. I wonder how high the caffeine level is in this. I guess I’ll just have to look it up. I can see this being a good evening tea if it’s not too caffeinated.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Milk
This does not look like that picture and it isn’t that great, but it is doing what I need it to to.
Here’s the thing… I’m trying not to cry as I read this letter from Great Lakes saying I’m defaulted to owe $499 a month on my student loans. I’m only two months out of graduating… what stupid expectations :(
Never thought I would have to apply for an income driven payment plan :/
I forgot I had a sample of this tea, so finding it was a nice surprise on this otherwise lame day. The flavor is very complex. There are pea notes, floral notes, a touch of honey flavor — it’s sort of fruity and vegetal at the same time. Has a lovely and slightly spicy smell — I don’t actually get spices in the flavor though.
Always a pleasure to try another pu-erh from Teavivre, as I know it’ll be good. I ended up using an entire sample for a mug (10 grams), which probably wasn’t necessary but half the pouch didn’t look like enough. I think I should have used 2/3 of the sample. The flavor wasn’t too much as ripe pu-erh never is anyway, but I know I would have had more nuance from the flavor without using so much tea. It was tough to tell specific flavor notes from this one. It has a deep, dark flavor though while being smooth with almost a creamy quality to it. Not the most chocolate of the pu-erhs. None of those unwanted pu-erh qualities about this one though. The dry leaf had a nice sweet dried grass fragrance. After steeping, the brew basket is very full but the leaves aren’t as large as some pu-erhs I’ve had lately. All three steeps were solidly the same. But there are so many special pu-erhs from Teavivre that this one doesn’t seem to have enough uniqueness for me (again, probably because I overleafed this one and just got a very deep flavored cup.) If I steeped this the way it should be, I would imagine it would be even better. I love my pu-erh strong anyway, so this was delicious.
Steep #1 // one sample pouch (10 grams for mug) // 20 second rinse // just boiled // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min steep
Thank you to TeaVivre for sending me a sample of this!
The scent of the dry leaf is fresh and slightly seaweedy. The brewed leaf smells of asparagus and freshly cut grass. I used half the sample packet in my ~ 6oz gaiwan/teapot hybrid. After a 5-second rinse, I steeped the tea at 182f for 30 seconds. This first steep yielded a very pale green brew. The immediate flavor note upon sipping was artichoke. The second steep (176f, 60 secs) came out slightly bitter and drying, which was surprising and really distracted from my enjoyment. That slight bitterness was still there in the third steep (180f, 90 secs). The dominant flavor note was asparagus and maybe peas, but that bitterness kept bugging me.
I used the other half of the sample pack for a Western-style brew: 186f, 4 minutes. Much better! The flavor was light, vegetal, and evocative of a stone fruit – maybe apricot? The second steep tasted much the same. I put the third steep in the freezer for quickie iced tea. It was really tasty that way!
I decided to cold brew another sample pack to see if I could get the good notes without the bitterness. It worked! The cold brew is grassy, vegetal, and light. Really lovely for a summer afternoon. Even my dad liked it, and he’s pretty iffy on iced teas.
Flavors: Artichoke, Asparagus, Peas, Vegetal