95

Thank you to Bonnie for this amazing sample from Teavivre!!

I woke up this morning excited to start the day! Tuesdays and Thursdays mean “swim” class with my daughter – although it’s really more like splash around in the pool at the rec center. Regardless, at 15 months old she is a ball of energy and I love the time we are able to enjoy together doing anything at all. 45 minutes of romping in the shallow end left me waterlogged and ready for brunch so it was home and happy in the kitchen next for me! Bonnie was so kind to send me a wealth of samples which I received last night, and I promptly set aside this BaiLin Gongfu knowing that it would be the perfect way to start delving into the myriad of duct tape labeled packages with steeping times and anecdotes jotted carefully across them. This was my first taste of what Teavivre has to offer and I must say that I was very impressed! I was admittedly doubtful when I saw the sample packaging, thinking that it looked more like a bag of novelty candies than tea.. however it is very efficient and locks the flavor in nicely.

After having tried other loose black teas that went vindictive and downright hostile if steeped for more than 3 or 4 minutes, I decided to play it safe and stay just inside the low end of the company’s guidelines and let it dance in the cup for 2:15 on the first go. The result was a smoothly balanced liquor of salted caramel, toffee, and signature black with just a hint of clove in the aftertaste. All in all a deliciously understated cup that left me very pleased with myself for not overdoing it! But..

I couldn’t help myself. The kettle went back on the boil and then over the unwitting leaves before they knew what was coming. 2.. 2.5.. 3.. 3.5.. 4 minutes of rolling red liquor later and I sat down to the business of hoping I hadn’t taken a beautiful thing and marred it with my ambition to pull a toasted monster from the wreckage. Oh WOW! THIS IS THE BEST BLACK TEA I HAVE EVER TASTED!! Sorry for shouting. I promise it wasn’t at you, although it was at the cup in my hands! Take every flavor I mentioned from the first steeping and crank it up 20 notches, then dip it in mocha and you might begin to get a feel for what the evil geniuses at Teavivre are concocting! Bravo!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Good review and good time to have tea after a swim with your little girl (good dad)! This tea is amazing! Glad you steeped it a bit longer!

Doug F

I’ve heard so much about this tea I guess it’s time to try it. I like your reviews!

jason

thanks for the kind words and @Bonnie for the sample!

CHAroma

I’ve just discovered you on Steepster, but I am enthralled by your tasting notes! Very descriptive, engaging, and entertaining! I first tried this tea at a 2.5 minute steep and was underwhelmed. After reading your experience with it, I’m encouraged to go for a longer steep to see what happens. Thanks!

jason

Thank you so much CHAroma, and I’m glad you found this one helpful too!

Bonnie

Masking tape! Now famous here and in Canada!

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Bonnie

Good review and good time to have tea after a swim with your little girl (good dad)! This tea is amazing! Glad you steeped it a bit longer!

Doug F

I’ve heard so much about this tea I guess it’s time to try it. I like your reviews!

jason

thanks for the kind words and @Bonnie for the sample!

CHAroma

I’ve just discovered you on Steepster, but I am enthralled by your tasting notes! Very descriptive, engaging, and entertaining! I first tried this tea at a 2.5 minute steep and was underwhelmed. After reading your experience with it, I’m encouraged to go for a longer steep to see what happens. Thanks!

jason

Thank you so much CHAroma, and I’m glad you found this one helpful too!

Bonnie

Masking tape! Now famous here and in Canada!

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Bio

I am so very new to loose leaf tea and, after decades of really really good coffee, I am blown away by the diversity and complexity that this little leaf has to offer. Every new cup is an adventure and I look forward to sharing them with you!

+ I attempt to rate teas in comparison to others I’ve tried of the same general variety, so a green tea rated at 95 vs a pu’er at 90 doesn’t necessarily mean that I liked the green better than the pu’er – it just means I liked it better than most other greens.

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