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Recent Tasting Notes
Got this as a sample from Angel at Teavivre. :) I was really excited to try all of the teas I was sent, but I went with this one first, because I was looking for a black tea at the time. Anyway, the dry lead smells lightly… fruity? I can’t quite put my finger on it.
The flavor is… all right. I tried this tea on two separate occasions, thinking the first time was just a fluke. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaf? The second time I know I used more than the first… but I just can’t coax much flavor out of this tea. I steeped it according to the directions, which is even longer than I normally do with blacks. For some reason, it just tastes like hot tap water to me. :/ I want to like it, so perhaps I’ll try it again, with different parameters. Stay tuned.
Organic Jinhao golden tip black tea by Teavivre.
Ru Yao dragon teapot, gongfucha.
Dry leaf: toasty, spices, pepper.
(Forgot to take picture)
Wet leaf: spices, pepper, earth, toasty.
Light steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight
-> pepper, spices. (Taste) light -> earth, pepper, spices, toasty.
Medium steep; I taste/smell: (smell) light
-> pepper, spices, earth, roses. (Taste) medium -> earth, clay (?), roses, pepper, toasty.
Heavy steep: same as medium, except for the addition of medium raisins to the taste.
All in all a decent tea despite black teas not being my favorite. Decent tastes/aromas, decent chaqi. I rate a 75.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Clay, Earth, Pepper, Raisins, Rose, Spices, Toast
Drinking this now because it is caffeine free. I put this on to brew and totally forgot about it. I don’t know if I brewed it for five minutes or even ten minutes. But it seems to be hard to overbrew. Came out tasting good with the earthy apple taste peculiar to chamomile tea. This is good chamomile tea.
I brewed 4 tsp leaf in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper for I am guessing five minutes with boiling water.
Another one from Angel this was interesting to me. Tightly packed ball. I’ve steeped this a few times now – the first was a long steep which barely opened the ball up. THis has a light taste to it…slightly sweet as infusions moved on. It probably didn’t get stronger until after the 5th? infusion, but i did lose track of things.
I’m thinking i was sent a different tea than what’s on the label of this sample from angel. Instead of a single ball in my package there were small balls – similar to the dragon black pearls. I’m going to assume that this is NOT jasmine dragon ball black tea since i don’t get any jasmine in the scent nor is it visible. No rating on this one since i don’t think it’s the right tea heh BUT thank you for the sample Angel. Whatever this is, it’s enjoyable to drink this morning :)
Well hello Steepster, it’s been a long time again! Since my last note I’ve been to Japan and back, which was absolutely amazing and I wish I was still there, and had delicious tea, partook in a tea ceremony and bought copious amounts of tea and a new matcha bowl for myself haha. But that can be for a different note, today it is the last day of bitterly frigidly cold temperatures before a MASSIVE warm up (from – 20 C to -1..overnight) so I had to have a cozy black tea today as it’s been way too long since I’ve had a good black tea!
This tea came to me as a free sample from the ever generous Angel at Teavivre, thank you so much for your kindness to send me this tea to sample!! I opened up the sample expecting a few small pearls, but there was one giant tea ball in it (large in comparison what I’m used to anyways haha) in the cutest little wrapper. Love how it looks!
The dry smell is so sweet and seductive, wow! I was reading about the roses used in this tea and I agree that they are much different than other roses I’m used to in tea, this tea was much sweeter than rose smelling, however the floral note is still there, just luxuriously sweet, so interesting! I decided to steep it Western Style as I want a cozy mug, so I used 194 degree water and steeped for 3 minutes.
The resulting liquor is quite a dark rich red, and smells phenomenal, robust honeyed Yunnan black tea notes, with some grain notes.
As for the flavor, wow this seriously blew me away with the first sip. I have not had a good black tea in a long time, mostly due to my caffeine tolerance, but this is something else!! Bready, malty, and so much honey notes!! The rose is very subdued, it is mild but adding to the mouthfeel with a bit of dryness and that floral feel, hard to describe but it is definitely there. I can’t get over how much sweet honey there is in this, it’s like a floral honey really!! Wow. Also so far not hurting me for caffeine, my heart rate is super low drinking this and I feel great.
Overall this is a super delicious tea! Lots of honey, malt, a touch of floral, but not the rose you are thinking. If you have a fear of rosey, floral teas, this one might change your mind.
It’s also slightly romantic in a way to me, maybe because rose reminds me of my garden in the summer, and evokes fresh summer memories, but it’s making me feel sentimental. Could also have something to do with that today is mine and the bf’s 7 year dating anniversary :) a perfect tea for today! Wish he was home from work!
This tea is fairly tasty. It has very little bitterness and a taste that reminds me of an Indian Orange Pekoe grade tea. It doesn’t have a major fruity note but maybe a lesser one.
I steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper witih 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 min.
Very green and verdant with the beautiful characteristic taste of TGY – milky, nutty, leafy, sweet. I shared this with my mother who is completely unfamiliar with loose leaf teas, oolongs, or tea in general. She enjoyed it, which I mark as a big win since it is not like anything she knows she likes. I could drink this over and over again.
I’m in love with this tea. I was already in love with it as I unwrapped the fragrant little ball composed of downy leaves and dropped it into my basket. What could be easier? After brewing a dozen different teas in a week I admit I am lazy.
The flavors were bright, fragrant, lightly floral but in no way as forward as some jasmine or oolongs, and subtly sweet. Brewed well even after a few long infusions (forgot it, as I said, was lazy).
When I bought this I thought I was getting 15 Tea Bags. That is not what I got. Each “teabag” was one loose chrysanthemum flower. I used five flowers to make one 16 oz cup of tea. Basically this tea is a rip off. The flavor is good, tastes like apples. I still don’t recommend this tea because it is not as sold.
GCTTB DAY 4
Been eyeing this one for a few days and finally mustered up the courage to give it a shot. Not because I’m afraid of the flavour, but because I’ve read that silver needle tea is notoriously finicky and fragile in terms of brewing parameters, and since I normally just eyeball and guesstimate things I was a little apprehensive about messing it up. However, it actually turned out okay. I don’t have a variable kettle so I baby sat the water as it heated with the top open and my face pretty much stuck in there in place of a thermometer. I turned it off as it was just getting hot, which is assume is around the right temperature. Steeped a teaspoon for about two minutes.
Not too sure what I think of this one. On the one hand it’s my first time tasting silver needle white tea (albeit flavoured), but in all honesty it just tastes like a rather weaker green tea to me. It has a slightly fishy/seaweedy taste to it that is offputting, but the familiar jasmine note is there. I wasn’t very impressed with this one. Maybe I went in with too high expectations? Silver needle tea was also one of those “expensive rare teas” that I always dreamt about trying but never had the chance to. Never meet your heroes, eh?
Just kidding, it just wasn’t my type of tea. I much rather just prefer my Jasmine Gold Dragon tea from Tea Time which has the most similar flavour profile to this one.
Random note: the wet leaf reminded me of edemame.
I purchased a sample myself when I last ordered. The leaf amount in the packet ended up being 5.1g rather than a rounded 5. I prepared this is a 120ml gaiwan. Gave it a flash rinse to wake up the leaves. I followed the infusion times on Teavivre’s website: 60 seconds, 65, 70, 60, 65, 70, 80, 90, 120.
A Moonlight White with only buds is certainly pretty! It looks like Silver Needles. This is only me second Moonlight White, and I totally taken aback by the dry leaf aroma since it’s incredible different from my first. It smells like a cooking herbs mix and tomato sauce, which is what I sometimes get with Dianhong. But once the leaves are washed and steeped, the wet leaf aroma is what I remembered: blueberries and cream oatmeal, very fragrantly fruity, barely sour. Aaaaaaah.
The liquor – also notably fragrant – is pale yellow, medium-bodied, and clean. This takes a bit to warm up, but from the third infusion onward, it tastes much like the wet leaf aroma: sweet and blueberry-like. The texture is thick and silky.
I didn’t quite like this Moonlight White as much as the first (that one was more powerful), though this is good quality and I enjoyed drinking the more flavorful infusions. I love tasting fruits in unflavored teas as opposed to fruit-flavored teas – they’re so much more like the real McCoy. Surprises my brain every time (“Wow this is really happening???”) Moonlight Beauty is no exception to this. And I have to note again that the liquor is so fragrant that even my cups smells after I finish drinking! I don’t get that much from non-oolongs. I recommend it for those who are interested in trying it for themselves.
Exquisite. Light, flowery, and smooth with an unmistakable sweetness present throughout. From the time you open the package and examine the near perfect buds to the aroma coming from the dried tea to the last sip, this is probably my favorite tea. It is of a superb quality, and one of the best silver needles available. Just a perfect light cup of sweet and floral tea. Perfect for the summer, or any other time for that matter :)
Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Sweet
I bought some of this during the Black Friday sale. At first I was gonna pass over it, but I think it was 30% off and I said “eh, why not”. I’m a big fan of matcha powder, as long as it’s not too overpowering. I especially love matcha iced. Great way to get that green tea flavor without having to wait for steeping, especially if you’re in the mood for something cold. You’ll see a fair amount of my reviews were from matchas prepared cold.
You’re supposed to use 1 tsp of powder for a 20 oz. cup but that is really too strong for me. So I used a 1/2 tsp, poured in some water, ice, and gave it a good shake. The result is a really good grassy green tea beverage. It’s definitely no matcha, but it’s honestly not bad. I could drink this on a regular basis as it’s quite affordable.
Another rogue Teavivre sample included in a previous tea swap. This one was different from any other green tea I’ve had before. The leaves looked almost shiny/oily, and indeed when I was brewing the tea, I could see a bit of an oily looking sheen on top of the water. The leaves had a nutty aroma with a bit of grassiness, but really reminded me a bit of peanut butter. After the first brew, they smelled quite savory and brothy as well.The tea had an intense nutty sweetness, more than in any other tea I have yet to experience. It had a moderately thick and brothy texture to it – I think this was a very savory tea, but the nuttiness provided enough sweetness for it to almost still be refreshing somehow. This is my first Mao Feng Green Tea – I’ll have to try out some more samples next year when fresh greens are coming out again.
Flavors: Broth, Nutty, Sweet
Unsmoked or mildly smoky Lapsang Souchong counts among my favourite teas but I can still love a smoky Lapsang when it is done well. There needs to be a nice balance between the flavours from the smoke and the flavour of the underlying tea. This one is quite enjoyable. The tea itself has a silky oolong like texture in the mouth and in early steeps is intensely sweet. This contrasts nicely with the cooling menthol like notes from the pine. For a smoky tea the aftertaste is actually quite refreshing and even cooling. Thank you so much Angel for the sample I quite enjoyed it.
2.5 g in 110ml of water at boiling
The dry leaf is moderately broken colour mostly dull dark chocolate brown some stems.
The smell is quite smoky but with a sweet pine tar smell mixed with a sweet caramel fruity note in the tea. It smells like fall at my cousins cottage on Georgian bay. It is a mix of syrup, forest and maple notes.
First steep 45s. The first flavour note is sweet caramel mixed with tart stone fruit that opens up to a spicy woody pine/ menthol note mixed with mild smoke which afterwards blends into an even sweeter almost birch syrup ( cooler maple) note. It finishes with very refreshing note in the mouth.
The tea feels very soft and silky in the mouth. The colour is a slightly red toned caramel.
2nd steep. The scent is less smoky more of an aged spicy wood scent that is sweet like a cedar lined sauna. There is a slightly thicker feeling in the mouth with a mild astringency. The tea is slightly more fruity with a touch of malt added to the mix above. Once again a very bright cooling aftertaste is present.
3rd steep. The smoke and pine/cedar wood scent smells more like spent incense. The colour of the tea is more red than caramel. This steep returned to a creamy silky feeling on the tongue. There is a taste of caramel complete with hints of vanilla and hints of ripe plum. It still ends with a cooling feeling on the tongue and an aftertaste of spice and incense.
4th steep. The flavour is fruity and incense like. The tea remains cooling on the tongue. The caramel sweetness is less apparent. You can still taste pine on the edge of the flavour notes.
5th steep. The tea still has a nice body but the flavours are waning.
I got a sample bag of this as an add-on in a swap with somebody. I used the whole 7g in a 100mL gaiwan. The dry leaf smelled weirdly sweet and herbal – must have been the smell of ginseng – not sure I’ve ever smelled or consumed that before.
Turns out ginseng is gross – to me anyways. It was sickeningly sweet with a weird almost medicinal vibe. Also left a very strange feeling in my mouth. Sort of like menthol, but also I tasted that funky sweetness every time I inhaled – like the ginseng powder coated the inside of my mouth. I only made it through around 3 steeps, as it wasn’t good and was starting to make me feel slightly unwell.
Maybe it’s for some people, but it’s definitely not for me.
Flavors: Medicinal, Menthol, Sweet