Teavivre

Recent Tasting Notes

95

Tea of the morning……

I was so excited when Teavivre decided to offer a Keemun Mao Feng. This is one of my favorite varieties of tea. Of course, this one does not disappoint. It is not as smokey and earthy as the other variety I keep in my cupboard. This one is much more refined. I get notes of honey, cocoa, and loveliness! I am definitely keeping this around.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML

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89

Last night was just awesome, it was Thursday meaning Board Game Night at Tabletop, and it was certainly one of the better nights I have had there. I played so many good games (will be discussing some of those tomorrow on my weekly Geeky rambling post) and then after gaming just hung around with friends talking until almost 3AM. I feel wretched today and my sleep schedule is all messed up, but it is totally worth it.

Today’s tea is Fengqing Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2014 from Teavivre, a Sheng Pu-erh from Alihou Village in Fenging, Yunnan. The leaves were harvested in April-May of 2014 from Large Leaf trees that were 300-600 years old, making this the youngest Pu-Erh I have had the pleasure of meeting. I still have a lot to learn about Sheng Pu-erh, having only had a few examples so far. The aroma of the dry leaf is quite potent and a little pungent, but in a good way. The aroma is at first very sweet, like fresh hay and apricots, this transitions to more of a wet hay mushroom aroma with a strong honey note. There is also a very faint saltiness to it which is quite interesting.

Once I give the leaves a rinsing and then a brief steeping their aroma is still sweet and just a little bit fruity, but it is mostly wet hay, a bit of barnyard, and a sharp almost sour quality that does not really have a familiar aroma note, it is more of a sensation in my nose. I should state that it is not an unpleasant sensation, but it is an unfamiliar one. The liquid is very sweet, a mix of apricots, freshly mown hay, and honey. I was surprised at sweet it smelled.

The taste of the first steep is both sharp and sweet, it causes a very strong salivary response and an intense cooling sensation which is very refreshing. The flavor notes are freshly mown hay, apricot, and a finish of vegetation and a tiny bit of bitterness. There is a sweet honey aftertaste that lingers for a while.

Onto steep two! The aroma is sweet apricot and freshly mown hay, this still might be the sweetest smelling Sheng Pu-Erh that I have ever sniffed, I find that really kinda awesome. The taste this time around is a lot more mellow, no sharpness, no bitterness, no cooling salivary response, just smooth sweetness. The flavors are wet hay, fresh vegetation, and apricots. At the finish there is a tiny bit of camphor, which is something I do not get to say very often.

The aroma for the third steep is honey sweet, apricots, and fresh hay. There is a little touch of wet hay and barnyard this time, but it is very faint. The taste is very sweet and rich, the cooling sensation has returned along with tastes of fresh hay, honey, and apricot. I think this tea still has quite a few steeps in it, but sadly after the second steep I started noticing stomach spasms and knew after steep three that I had to call it quits. This has NOTHING to do with the tea, sometimes my stomach decides to freak out, and I have noticed that it has a mixed track record with Sheng, so don’t let my belly stop you! I really thought this tea was enjoyable, especially with how sweet it is.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/08/teavivre-fengqing-ancient-tree-raw-pu.html

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I started drinking this yesterday afternoon. It started of with a rich creamy texture, developing into a fruity taste, at least to me. I did a rinse today to freshen the leaves & then drank several more steepings this evening. I’d like to give a much more in depth review, but I’ve been doing desk work this whole time & although I thoroughly enjoyed each steep & am enjoying the good energy, I just don’t really have much else to say.

I’d like to thank Angel & Teavivre for the generous sample, & there is enough that I can drink it again, so I’ll try to be more focused next time :)

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Every review I have read on this one has been positive. This is another one. The leaf smells of fall leaves to me. It looks like bark flakes rather than white tea. The brew is dark honey almost ale. The taste is like sweet hay with grassy notes. Crisp and clean with a mineral fresh spring water taste under the hay. Fruity late in the sip. The taste is definite white tea though everything else about it keeps you guessing. Where silver needle and white peony to some extent are subtle and lean towards cucumber/melon, this one is bigger flavored and leans toward leaf and fruit. A nice peaceful treat on this hectic day.

Sil

i was going to pull this one out today but didn’t have a chance!

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I did this one today grandpa style for my morning tea. It was a great tea to do this way, at a bit of a cooler temp. Creamy, buttery, sweet, tasty!

It’s a good thing I had good tea to keep me company as my day has just been really cruddy at work. I don’t know when we’ll even see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But good tea to keep one company is a great start. And it’s almost the end of the work day, which really helps.

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91

I liked the sample so much that I had to buy a whole tuocha, success right?
The flavor is not that bold that other sheng that I’ve tried, but I like it that way. Golden-orangeish color with nice aroma, bit hayish. When using my glass steeping mug I can taste some dried fruits like apricot and plum, it so awsome I have never tasted tea like that before. This sheng is very mildy smoky and typical raw pu erh flavours like wood and earth are not so strong.

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Hay, Plums, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 128 OZ / 3785 ML

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91

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99

Yet another large thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!

Since it is Friday morning and the weekend is ahead as I prepare to try out this new tea, I am already in the mood for something WILD! Ancient WILD Tree black tea will do just fine!

The aroma that oozed from the package when I opened it was malty and bread-like. I steeped the long black leaves for five minutes at 195 degrees. The finished product had a yellow/orange hue. The odor was similar to sweet baked bread.

Even at first sip, this tea had an exquisitely sweet, malty, and velvety taste. There was also a hint of baked bread in the mix. For good measure, a rich Yunnan tea flavor blended masterfully with the other attributes. There was no bitterness. The after taste was peaceful, subtle, and equally delicious. The rest of my cup (which disappeared quickly) had amazingly consistent flavors throughout. I didn’t just drink this tea. I savored it.

This is one of those rare teas that I have to restrain myself from chugging instead of sipping. It is an outstanding new selection from Teavivre. Everything that I want from a black tea is contained within: a robust and wonderful blend of flavors, smoothness, and the extra punch that only black tea can give me.

Congratulations, Teavivre! You have another (WILD) winner!

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Veronica

Nice review! That sounds fantastic.

Stoo

Thanks, Veronica! I enjoyed that tea a lot! I will have to put it on my shopping list! Thanks for your comment!

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85

Thanks, Amariel, for this smooth and subtle green. This has some really lovely notes of chestnut, coconut, and even some sugar-like sweetness. It’s a nice balance between savory (nutty) and sweet.

I hope I get around to picking up more of this before the new year, or in time for the latest harvest.. maybe as a reward for when I finally finish The Wheel of Time (I’m so close).

Flavors: Chestnut, Coconut, Sugar

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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85

This is third time I write this since my computer is one butt.
When Teavivre had their pu erh sale it was really hard for me to decide if I buy this or 2006 tuocha that I had tasted before as a sample. I bought the tuocha and got sample of this.
Dry leaves smell sweet and woody with hint of hay. Wet leaves have kinda same aroma.
Tea itself has golden colour and veery smoky aroma, smokiest tea I have ever tasted. It’s not a bad thing though. Smokiness fades after couple steeps and makes room for sweet, maybe floral and woody taste. I really like this, I might get some more of this too. I start to get addicted into sheng pu erh.

Flavors: Campfire, Floral, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Thanks TeaVivre for including this sample with my recent order.

This is a mild, sweet, haylike white. It is creamy and tasty, but I generally find white teas a little bland and boring. Not bad though! Glad I got to try it :)

KiwiDelight

YES. BORING. I couldn’t think of the term to apply to white tea. But this one’s good :]

mj

You two are crazy :-P. White teas are amazing!

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95

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

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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88
drank Raw Pu-erh Mini Tuocha by Teavivre
10 tasting notes

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
KiwiDelight

ooooo yes this is such an autumn tea. I like dark oolongs gongfu style because they seem more complex. Maybe it’s even more so with yixing? I’ve only used a ceramic gaiwan. Dunno if that’s helpful…

boychik

5g 100ml gaiwan 195F
Rinse/pause/short steeps 10-15sec
See if you like it, increase or decrease steeps, but not 2min for sure;)

TheTeaFairy

I agree with boychik on this one. I just use slightly higher temp. though

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82

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!

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82

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…

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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 :)

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89

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.

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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72

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!
Thanks Teavivre.

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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.

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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.

Flavors: Spinach

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85

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.

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