This is a new favorite for me in the Darjeeling group. The dry leaf is surprising with its greenish overall appearance and chunky silver tips. I’m not certain if its a 1st or 2nd flush. Its flavor is delicate and complex with a nice honey sweetness and hints of citrus blossoms. There is no astringency or bitterness. The brew is pale gold with a sweet floral aroma. Excellent!
138 Tasting Notes
My husband (an oolong fan), and I received a sample of this premium Oolong (October 2012 harvest). My husband asked me to order more, telling me it was the best Oolong he has ever had. It has the floral aroma and taste you would expect from a high quality Tie Guan Yin. It has a clean, refreshing finish. Very nice.
This was a sample generously sent from Mary at Teavivre. It is my second experience with this particular pu-ehr, and I recall enjoying it last time when I prepared it according to the package instructions. This time, I didn’t prepare it the same way. Instead, I went to the Teavivre website brewing instructions for the gaiwan. I rinsed the leaves (7 gm) twice, then steeped for 20s,30s,40s -later realized it should have been 10s,20s,25s,30s,35s etc. I usually add sweetener to all teas, but this time I didn’t. There is some bitterness by the 3rd steeping-still, not bad. Maybe this could be overcome with shorter steep, but the description on the website says it has some bitterness mid-sip. By the 3rd steep, I decide to add some stevia, and for me, this is better, because it cuts the bitterness. Now I wonder though, if perhaps I should just keep the brewing time shorter, because there was no bitterness for the 1st few steeps. And before, when I brewed it with more water, Western style, I didn’t note bitterness either. So now, for the 4th steep, I use 6 oz water for 30 seconds which pretty much eliminates the bitterness. From my relatively limited experience with pu-ehr, I think I prefer those that are ripened, and Teavivre has some that are quite good. Nevertheless, this was interesting to try, and you may need to play with the time and leaf/water ratio for optimal results.
I’ve been experimenting with this Phoenix Oolong the last couple days, brewing it both Western and Gong fu style. Either way, I found it to be very tasty with a deliciously fragrant aroma. When brewed in a gaiwan with a lot of leaf, I got multiple steepings, and picked up on honey, floral, and nectar-like notes as I went along. Teavivre’s instructions are to use 10 gm with 3 oz water at 212 F, with a quick rinse, then 2-3 second steeps for the 1st 4 steeps, then increase time slightly with subsequent infusions, good for more than 12 steepings.( I modified Teavivre’s instructions a little and used my 7 gm sample in 4 oz water),with good results. I have run out of time, so haven’t made it to 12 infusions, but thus far, am very happy with this oolong. My husband is the bigger oolong drinker, as I lean more toward blacks, but I anticipate re-ordering this since this is one we both like it a lot.
Having this for the 2nd time-it was a sample that was sent with my order last fall. Very nice balance of flavors, different than a Chai, and well suited to a coolish winter day. I had it with a little stevia, without milk, and am really enjoying it today. It makes a delicious dessert tea. I would order this again.
This came in a box of things from Azzrian awhile back. I have not been in the mood for mint lately, which is why I haven’t had it yet. My moods can really vary when it comes to tea! Maybe I like mint better in warmer months. Candy Cane was better than I expected. The mint was not overwhelming-maybe the chocolate toned it down? This was pretty good, even as it cooled down. Glad to have the chance to try it, thanks to Azzrian’s generosity.
When I saw TeaFairy’s review, I realized I hadn’t posted anything on Raspberry Chocolate Bark,though I’ve had it on the shelf for a few months. Since TeaFairy did a great job of describing it, I can’t add much more. I’ve tried several Teajo flavored black teas, and the fact that their single estate Assam base is good and is not overwhelmed by the flavors makes for a great cup of tea. Chocolate and raspberry go hand in hand beautifully in desserts, and the same goes for this tea, making it a very satisfying dessert tea. I’ve found that their teas are excellent hot or cold. You can get 10 cup samples for $2.95, giving the opportunity to trying several flavors. Their teas are organic as well.
I purchased this as part of Upton Tea’s Premium Darjeeling Sampler. Since my experience with Darjeelings has been limited, this has been a great opportunity to check out generous sized samples in tins. Today, after the excitement of sending my 20 yr old daughter on a full semester Georgia Tech Pacific Study abroad trip (Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji), I came home with a few hours until work and decided I would compare this TD74 1st flush against the TD54, another 1st flush from Thurbo Estate. As a sidebar, I read that Tumsong is known as the “garden of happy hearts”. With the Tumsong Darjeeling,the brew is gold and there are notes of tropical fruit, almonds, and a citrus pungency that I find quite enjoyable, despite an ever so slight bitterness.I am sensitive to bitterness,and though I made this according to instructions (boiling, 2 1/4 gm, 3 min. steep), there seems to be a hint of bitterness that I didn’t detect with the Thurbo. Perhaps this would be remedied by using a little less leaf or time on the steep. So,to sum it up, my 1st impression is that I favor the Thurbo, but I will hold back on rating it, and try adjusting the leaf and/or steeping time the next go round.
My favorite Earl Grey thus far has been Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme so I was very interested in trying Diamond Jubilee which is a skillfully blended Earl Grey with a twist. This selection has a hint of grapefruit essence, which is a wonderful addition to the black teas and citrusy Bergamot. I initially steeped it for 4 minutes, but preferred it at 3 1/2 minutes. I liked it a lot warm, but also think it would be very nice cold, and I recommend it to Earl Grey lovers.
I am using my last sample of this excellent pu-erh from Tea Vivre. I got it as part of the Pu-erh sample assortment. My initial tasting notes from last summer indicated at least 9 steeps which I enjoyed hot, at room temp, and cold. Nice and earthy, and especially good with a little stevia. Today, I had 7 gms which I rinsed twice to open up the leaves, then steeped in 6 oz boiling water at 30, 60, 120, etc. I haven’t had pu-erh in awhile, but wanted to share this with my son while he is home from school. It really hits the spot, and I highly recommend it, especially if you haven’t had pu-erh before. There is no fishiness, and I think it is a great example of what a good ripened pu-ehr is like. The Teavivre site shows low quantities of this. If you haven’t dealt with Teavivre before, I can recommend them as a company that provides excellent service and they offer free samples with your order.
I appreciate the opportunity to try Immortal Springs Laoshan White as a sample with my order. I prepared it as advised on Verdant’s website and enjoyed 6 steepings. It may have been possible to get more. I would agree with the product notes which describe this as silky with honey and sugar snap-pea flavors. The taste is sweet and vegetative, reminding me somewhat of some green teas I have had. There is no bitterness whatsoever. If you are a white tea fan, take advantage of the fact that it is currently on clearance. I think you will enjoy it a lot.
I tasted Tower of London side by side with Paris, and they are quite similar, at least in my opinion. I’d be curious to know what others think. Tower of London is supposed have a bit more of a honey taste, but both have bergamot, vanilla, and fruit. I detect caramel in Paris. I think anyone who likes one would like the other. As for me, I’m not sure which I prefer, maybe the Tower of London. I prefer unflavored black teas, but this is a nice change of pace and is growing on me now that I’ve had it a few times.
See my previous note. I haven’t had this in awhile, so while my son is home from school for the holidays, I made us both a cup and was reminded that this is a really well done blend. Though it is a flavored tea, the tea flavor does come through. It is not strongly vegetal like some green teas, and is not bitter. My son does not sweeten tea and thought it was great. I add just a little stevia, but it doesn’t require much. Really nice in the evening. I’m going to do the re-steep as a cold brew like someone else suggested.
I’ve had this for awhile as part of a purchase where I was trying to see what mate was all about. Its okay, but I’m not wild about it, but that’s probably because it has a strong presence of red rooibos in it which I’ve learned is not a favorite for me. Some Teavana teas that I enjoy quite a bit are Peachberry Jasmine Sutra and Lemon Lime Kampai, which have green rooibos in the blend rather than red. As far as Mate, I love Teavana’s Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate iced, and it has no rooibos in it. Samarai Chai Mate as I recall is pretty good, but it has green rather than red rooibos in the blend. I need to try more Mate without red rooibos.
I love the name of this tea-Paris-I am thinking this has to be a fabulous tea to match up to a name like that. I’ve brewed it up a few times so as not to make a snap judgment. I love Earl Grey, but this for me doesn’t have much of an Earl Grey taste. Is it fair to say that I love a good straight up black so much, that it’s hard for a flavored tea to measure up? A really good Earl Grey is an exception to that, but Paris doesn’t rise to that level for me. It is not bitter or astringent. It has more vanilla than Earl Grey, so if you like vanilla, try it. It is nice enough, but not anything I would crave, and therefore, with all the choices out there, I probably won’t re-order it.
I got this last summer as a sample with a David’s Tea order. I like real tea so much that it was not a high priority to make this, but eventually, curiosity got the better of me. As its name suggests, it is an unappetizing murky green like a nearby pond in my neighborhood. Surprisingly, it smells pretty good after brewing it and the taste is better than expected, and different from anything I have previously had to drink. But the crazy thing is that to me, it tastes like Play-doh smells! As a child, I loved the smell of Play-doh, but I somehow knew it wouldn’t taste the way it smelled. This was decent warm, but best iced. Its a fun tea that I think kids would like, and it’s pretty healthy with the green rooibos. I would never have ordered this, with all the other teas out there, but it was an interesting experience.
Will have to do a full review later on this wonderful 1st flush Darjeeling. I just finished my sample that Stacy sent. It is a chilly, rainy day in Atlanta and I am enjoying a delicious bowl of homemade soup which includes carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, garlic, kale, fresh parmesan and chicken. My husband found the recipe on the internet. I love homemade soup and tea on a rainy autumn day! I just wish I could spend the rest of the day checking out my new teas from Butiki instead of going to work. But if I don’t work, I won’t have any money for tea!
I think previous reviewers have covered all the bases on this Organic Nepalese Guranse. I’m not sure what I can add, except to say this is yet another excellent black tea from Butiki. It is late afternoon, and this bright and crisp, yet milder tea is just right for this time of day. It reminds me of a good Darjeeling.
A few months back I reviewed this and said I was going to try to have the willpower to save the last 5 grams to see how it would age in a year or two. Well, I have tons of tea, but I wasn’t up this am when my husband was looking for a morning cup, and which one did he find of all the teas in my pantry? You guessed it—this one. He doesn’t know too much about tea and it was the first thing he found. He figured this was as good as the next. Oh well-I just had to laugh at that point. I should have hidden it away! In the future, I will have to mark anything really special “Do not touch”. At least this pu’er, like most, provides multiple steepings and he had only done 2, so I proceeded to do several more for the two of us this evening. It is a really wonderful Pu’er, but alas, it is out of stock and I will never know how it would have aged.
I am compelled to add another note, because I am enjoying this so much today! To me, this is very different from the Assams and Dian Hongs that I often drink, but is equally worth keeping in my cabinet to drink on a regular basis. I think I’ll use the coupon I was so excited to win from the recent contest to get some more and to also try one or 2 of Butiki’s other blacks.
I have spent the morning with Malachi McCormick, the last of the black tea samples from Harney and Sons. This is described by the company as a simple and unpretentious blend of black teas. Before tasting it, I wondered if it would therefore be boring and blah. I must say no, emphatically no! It is a very flavorful cup of tea-smooth and sweet with a grainy/toasty aroma. That being said, I like black teas in general and as long as a black tea is decent, I’m probably going to like it a lot and rate it at least in the 80’s. This goes in the very good category for me, if not outstanding.
I’m zipping a long through my Harney tea samples, having finished my first cup of Panyang Congou, a black tea blend from the Fujian province-a delicious tea that I would re-order. Now, I’m on to a completely different black, from the Mangalam Tea Plantation in the middle of Assam in India. It is labeled Or. 644 2011. This has a lot of golden tips and the dry leaf has an appealing aroma. It is brisk in a good way, and has a more mellow honeyed flavor than some other Assams I’ve had, along with the maltiness you would expect. It does not require milk and has no bitterness whatsoever. It is still strong enough to make a good morning cup. So far, I’ve been pleased with my Harney selections. They have free shipping ending tonight. Hmmm.
Another delicious black tea from the Northern Fujian Province. The dry leaf has dark colored leaves with some golden tips and a nice aroma a bit like raisins. The drink is a little honeyed, a little fruity, and smooth, with medium body. It is easy going with zero bitterness and low astringency. 2 1/2 grams was perfect for an 8 oz cup. I would order this again-it is something I could drink every day, and I suspect it would be great cold as well.