779 Tasting Notes


Free sample generously provided to me by Teavivre. Thanks so much! From what I’ve tried of oolongs so far, my favorites are the milk oolong and dan cong varietals – so I was really excited to give this tea a try!

Preparation notes: 2 of the 4 enclosed red packets in 500 ml. water in my Breville at the below parameters.

Dry leaf: The dry leaf is typical of milk oolongs I’ve seen – small, tightly rolled dark green leaves that give off a grassy smell with a slight creamy hint.

Steeped tea: The steeped liquor is a greenish yellow with a predominantly creamy scent and underlying grass notes. A slight floral aroma seems to become more evident as it cools.

The tea itself is quite smooth – I don’t pick up on any bitterness. I feel like I’m getting hints of milk or caramel towards the beginning of the sip before it fades into more of a green, buttery taste (with some floral accents) typical of a ti kwan yin. Towards the end of the cup I did notice that it seemed to be drying out my mouth, but this wasn’t unpleasant, just something I picked up on.

This is yet another solid offering from Teavivre – while it’s not my favorite milk oolong, it is still very good and an affordable option for what can be a pricey tea.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This tea smelled so good in the tin this morning that I decided to have honeybush for breakfast (even though I’m a caffeine addict). 3 tsp. leaf, 500 ml. water, in my Breville at below parameters. Added milk and sugar because that’s what I like with my breakfast.

Unfortunately, I think I over sweetened it, or my tongue has been desensitized to the flavor too easily, because right now it tastes mostly like icing. Cinnamon infused icing. If I take my time between sips a hint of breadiness sneaks back in, but mostly the sweet is overpowering. The mouthfeel is a little thin too, strangely, because I’ve added milk so you wouldn’t think that’d be a problem.

I think I liked it better when I had it iced because it had more of a well rounded flavor. I will likely use the rest of the leaf this way, and save my coconut cream pie/coconut cheesecake honeybush to be made hot.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Happy new year everyone!!!

Free sample generously provided to me by Teavivre. Thanks so much!

Preparation notes: 3 heaping tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water steeped in my Breville at the below parameters.

Dry leaf: Thin dark green leaves – they remind me of dried blades of grass. The smell of the leaf is initially a kind of grassy smell that is quickly overtaken by smoke – cigarette smoke, to be specific. It reminds me of the Keemun I once tried (and really didn’t like) from Upton. I’m hoping this doesn’t carry over into the taste.

Steeped tea: The liquor is a light, bright green. Luckily that smoky scent is completely gone in the tea itself, replaced by a strong spinach aroma – it is very reminiscent of sencha to me which is a huge plus because I love sencha!

The taste of the tea is quite spinachy and sweet. There seems to be a slight astringent note in the taste as well, coming out more as the tea cools. It is sencha-like, but not as smooth a tea as the sencha can be.

Still, I love green teas, and this is no exception. It’s one of the more vegetal greens, so if that’s your thing, you will definitely love it!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Happy New Years!!! : )

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
779 tasting notes

Prepared my usual way.

When you add milk and sugar to this it really pops – coconut, cream and black tea in perfect balance. A perfectly decadent tea to enjoy on this last morning of the year.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Free sample generously provided to me by Teavivre. Thanks so much!

Preparation notes: 5 heaping tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water in the Breville (side note: my beloved Brevi is 1 year old today!!) at the below parameters. No additives needed. I want to add here that one of my favorite things about the Teavivre samples are that the steeping parameters provided are bang on – a huge help to someone like me who just isn’t familiar/confident with the lighter teas.

Dry leaf: Fluffy white long skinny leaves – they are so soft and fuzzy! There is a very evident note of hay or grains in the smell.

Steeped tea: The tea brews up almost colorless – that’s how pale yellow it is. There is a faint aroma of hay or grass, which matches the taste. The sweet hay notes come out more as it cools.

This is a very quiet and soft tea – the way it tastes reminds me of watching a snowfall at night. Very refreshing and clean.

In general I am just learning about white teas and their flavor profiles, but I think I’ve established that their main taste characteristic is that of hay or straw. This is the second white I’ve tried from Teavivre, and it is so far my favorite of any that I’ve tried. I like how straightforward it is – sometimes you just want a tea to drink and appreciate without having to overthink it, and this is definitely in that category.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Free sample generously provided to me by Teavivre. Thanks so much!

Preparation notes: 3 heaping tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water in Breville. No additives.

Dry leaf: Dark dullish green, gnarled and twisted, fluffy looking (kind of reminded me of a white tea. Scents of grain/bread, but also a musty note that I found kind of off putting.

Steeped tea: The liquor appears faintly yellow/green tinged. Very light, but not surprising given a short steeping time.

Still a musty smell, though fainter, and less offensive to my nose – it has become a grassier mustiness. I agree with the Cheerios description – think Cheerios infused green tea. It has a slight musty taste that fades as the tea cools.

This is not a particularly vegetal green tea, in fact it seems to me to almost be a hybrid between white and green teas. It has that wonderful grainy mouthfeel and yet a grassy taste. I like greens in general, and this one in particular speaks to how versatile they can be.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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This was day 10 (I think?) of the 12 teas of Christmas sampler from 52teas – I am finally getting around to trying both this one and the one from day 12 – both of which were the only new ones (to me) of the last half of the box. This particular sample was the only one of the 12 that had an improperly sealed bottom, but I was able to collect it and still have enough for two full cups, so it ended up okay!

Anyway – steeped one heaping tsp. of this in about 7 oz water at below parameters. The dry leaf was very ground up – I used a paper tea filter instead of my Breville because I remember someone saying how it easily got through the mesh basket, and I didn’t want to have a huge mess on my hands. It smelled quite spicy – no hints of vanilla and caramel, though.

Once steeped, I added milk (probably about 2 oz) and sugar because that’s how I like my chais prepared. Taste-wise, I think the overall spiciness of the chai was kind of weak – it didn’t have as much bite as I wanted. However, I did get a touch of vanilla and buttery caramel, which I suspect the milk and sugar were instrumental in bringing out. I didn’t notice any underlying astringency with the black tea base, but I didn’t try it sans additives so that could be why.

Overall, I think it is a nice, though mild chai. More for people who like the idea of vanilla and caramel tea with a hint of spice, rather than the other way around – but more than a welcome addition to my tea cabinet during this cold weather!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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I need a detox soooo bad after this past weekend and the scandalous amount of chocolate and decadent food I ate. Luckily, I had this in my cupboard.

I really like the light, vegetal quality of this – makes me feel a little bit healthier (even though I know it’s a placebo effect) after drinking it. It hit the spot tonight for sure.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Backlogging 2 cups from the Christmas weekend – this tea was made for the holidays. :)

One thing I’ve learned from this past weekend is that I can leave the sachet in for the length of the cup and it doesn’t get bitter. I think this will become my go to travel tea because of the flexibility and portability of it. It is lovely!

Boiling 8 min or more

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So I skipped a couple of days of the Christmas sampler mostly because I’d had those teas before, and been busy working at some semblance of a job during the day. This is the first tea (since day 4) that I have not had before, and it seemed to sound better to me as an iced tea, so I brewed it and let it cool to try it that way. I just couldn’t imagine flat, hot ginger ale!

I definitely got the bergamot and some of the ginger, though the ginger didn’t have an overwhelming amount of bite to it. I also got some vanilla, strangely enough – I wonder if that’s the bergamot? To me the flavors didn’t resemble ginger ale at all as I know it – though maybe that’s the carbonation I’m missing?

Eh, it’s not bad – I just don’t see myself wanting to reach for it at any specific time. I think of ginger ale as more of a sick drink, so maybe that’s why I’ve had such a lukewarm response to this.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I love ginger ale, but in tea form…not so much.

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A few of my favorite teas (in no particular order):

*Dessert flavored blacks
*Breakfast blends
*Virtually any black tea (but lapsang/keemun!)
*Dancong oolong

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "


Atlanta, GA

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