The tea I dreaded when I first tried it is one of the three I grabbed to take home for the weekend. I was so looking forward to sharing this one. Stupid microwave, I didn’t get the water the right temp so was not full flavored, but good even weak. With the flavor down a little I noticed a real creaminess to it. Still loving this one.
718 Tasting Notes
Started my day with this favorite. 3 cups before overdoing the turkey. Time for a nap!
Steeped 1 minute with boiling water. Toucha remains mostly intact. The brew is dark with a light musty aroma. The wet leaf reminds me of wet musty hay. The first sip is much sweeter than expected. I happily notice the leather notes I got from the rose toucha only much lighter. May be imagination but I pick up just the tiniest hint of smoke. I am also getting that slick slightly tacky lip feel that appealed to me in the China Cha Dao puerhs. No astringency, or fishiness and I don’t find it heavily earthy.
Second cup, toucha completely crumbled. Has a bit more leather and as it cools a bit of bitterness moves in with a heavy dose of hay. Third cup I added a couple small leaves of chocolate mint. Not enough to really flavor it but added a cool mouth feel and evened out the bitterness. Next time I brew this I am going to really short steeps.
The other reviews raved on this tea. I may adjust my rating up or down a bit after I try modifying my steep parameters. I loved the rose toucha. This one I like. Definitely better than meh, but not a wow. IMHO – YMMV (in my humble opinion – your mileage may vary)
This is the one sample I have feared the most. I even turned down one jasmine sample because of my fear of it. Thus far, in my tea journey, I have only tolerated straight jasmines. Teavivre really has their work cut out for them if I am to like this one. Putting on my brave face…
I open the bag and breath in. Hey, this is different. The jasmine doesn’t make me flinch. It is a pleasant fresh floral and not overwhelming. In addition there is a fruitiness like Concord grape or maybe grape soda that is very appealing. Maybe this won’t be too bad…
Steeped 2 minutes at 80 C. Note to self, remember to only go 1 minute next time. Very light amber liquor. The fruitiness is still in the brew and the wet leaf. Even better, it is in the sip. The best part of this cup is breathing in before you sip. It fills your senses with flowers and grapes until your brain stops processing anything else but the aroma. There is even a hint of rose in here. You catch the green tea at the back of the tongue after the fragrance subsides.
Wow. This is really good. Is this what jasmine is supposed to taste like? If it is, then I have never really had jasmine before. Seriously, I could drink this everyday. Bring on cup two.
The dry pure buds and leaves look so dark and delicate. The aroma is grassy and slightly sour. Steeped per instructions at 2m. Excellent clarity in the liquor. It has the palest of green tints. The wet leaf appears to me to be mostly large pieces of small leaves, stems, and some buds. It looks soft and fresh and oddly very green considering the darkness of the dry leaf. The leaf aroma is heavily vegetable – like broccoli or spinach.
In the sip I notice a bit of bitterness (not a bad thing), vegetable, then a green bite in the aftertaste. Complex. Fresh. Interesting. It reminds me of one of the previous Teavivre greens I’ve tasted. I don’t have my notes in front of me so I am not sure which one. The biggest difference from memory is the slight bitterness in this one, which I liked. It adds character.
To the green tea purist stop reading now…
At this point I added sweetener. This evened out the flavors making this maybe less complex and interesting but more to my tastes. I would not call this tea naturally sweet on its own and I have a Sucralose monkey on my back. I know, I know, I am drinking quality tea. I don’t need this stuff, but I NEED this stuff. This green takes sweetener well. I justify my actions by saying, after I establish the flavor profile, I want to just relax as I sip the rest of the cup without looking for all the nuances. In reality, I know that is just the monkey talking. Me and the monkey like this tea.
The first cup was a 90 with the most intense flavor. Steep 2 and 3 are roughly 80 as they lost the heavy vegetable and bitter edge. If I get the slider thingy right this is about an 85.
This is the season in America where we reflect on being thankful for the good things of the past year and hopeful for the future of things that are not so good. This morning I realized how long it had been since I drank a tea that was meh. This last summer the world of tea has really opened up to me and I have been, yes, I will say it, blessed to drink some very good tea.
I intentionally grabbed this today to remind me of where I came from, so to speak. My son gave this one to me. I thought I had written a review of it before but couldn’t locate any notes. It is green tea, chamomile, the dreaded hibiscus flowers, orange peel, citric acid, pomegranate flavor, raspberry flavor, and Japanese matcha. So, what the tea is named after is just flavoring? Hmmm. 3m steep. The bag plumps up nicely. That is a plus for a Stash tea – the home of notoriously overpriced and undersized bags.
I don’t do many fruit teas. They scare me. The fruit is almost always way overdone and artificial tasting. Especially raspberry. I can barely taste the tea in this but it isn’t as bad as expected. Reminds me of a hot shaved ice – wrap your mind around that one. The pomegranate tames the raspberry so it isn’t overwhelming. Still, this is oversweet Kool-Aid in a mug. Reminds me of the Republic of Tea pomegranate I had some time back. Something in this is leaving a bitter aftertaste. I didn’t pour the cup out but I don’t want any more of it. Meh. Here is to wonderful future cups!
Ok, after receiving advice on smoky teas, I had to revisit this one.
First a story – I shared this with a co-worker today who is an all Twinings and the time kind of guy. He said the brew smells like roasted almonds. Then he tasted it and said, “Dude that’s just wrong. It’s like slapping puppies. It tastes like burnt coffee.” He poured the rest of his partial cup out and went back to his Lady Grey. By the way, the first time I brewed this he had cup number two and loved it.
Today I steeped enough for both of us to try on cup one. So I tasted it, and knowing what to expect this time, I did not find it nearly as off putting as the first tasting. I am not flinching. Progress. As the cup cooled the smoke diminished and the other notes started to emerge for me today. Yeah.
The two or three cups you can get after the initial steep are fantastic and easily deserving of a 90+ rating. My feeling is the average first timer will not get past the initial shock to realize there is a really good cup of tea here. I hope I am wrong. I bump my rating a bit.
I have been doing a lot of serious tea drinking for several days. Today as I sit here with my raspberry filled doughnut it just feels like a fun day (the boss is gone that helps). So I dug through my few remaining bags and found this one. It is actually pretty good on its own but today I steeped half a cup as a concentrate added some sweetener, and then poured it and some warm milk into the French press. Pumped a few times and a creamy goodness latte emerged. As the creaminess calmed down I added a bit of Diet Coke for the bite. Ok, the Coke was maybe a bad idea but it was still fun (I love chocolate milk and Coke). Of course now I have a bigger mess than usual to clean up. Oh how I suffer for my art.
Instead of saving back some of the samples that I am pretty sure I am going to love, I notice I am grabbing them first. Oh well, here goes another. The dry buds are long and silvery white with a bit of green. Very fresh and sweet smelling. Hate to over use the hay word but that’s what I picture when I inhale. Let’s call it alfalfa because that sounds cooler.
Steeped per the instructions for 1 ½ minutes. Wet leaf smells really good. The brew is very pale almost clear with a greenish tint. What a contrast to the puerh from yesterday! Hard to believe they both come from the same plant. Well, not literally but you know what I mean.
The first sip is light with cucumber notes or melon as some may interpret it. Sweet with a touch of grass. I am not sure my description is doing this justice. This is a really good cup of relaxation. My stress level has been through the roof lately and this is just the vacation moment I needed. I am sitting back and staring out the window while sipping the cup. Ahhhh. I would hate to imagine any one would slam this down and not take the time to appreciate it. Cups two and three were every bit as pleasurable.
Of all the teas in Teavivre’s web store this is the one I was most curious about. I specifically requested it be included in the samples. I have only had one other rose tea and I did not like it at all, however rose and puerh together just sounds interesting.
The toucha comes wrapped in paper with four in the sample envelope. First brew per the instructions. The toucha bubbled the instant the water hit it and crumpled almost as fast. I don’t know if you are supposed to do a wash with these, so I did not. After two minutes in boiling water, the brew is very dark like burgundy wine. The leaf is almost powdery small with a bit of rose petal. The aroma is pure ripe puerh (you know that “Eeww, do I really want to drink this?” smell. To which you happily reply, “Well, yeah.”). There is only the slightest hint of rose.
The sip is not even close to what I expected. Not at all like the green puerhs I reviewed recently and definitely not nasty like the one canned cooked puerh I bought at the local international food mart. The rose is way in the background and may even reside only in my imagination. The main flavor is leather, makes me think of a horse saddle, with a bit of smoke and spice. As it cools, the smoke and spice subside but the leather remains.
Second steep, only 1 minute this time. This is the darkest cup of tea I have ever made. Dark as dark chocolate. Still that amazing leather taste and a touch of pepper. Third cup back to two minutes. Similar to the second, a little less pronounced. Fourth cup, three minutes, still flavorful but the leather is gone. Just warm and creamy now with the first real earthy notes. Still reasonably dark and flavorful. I may try to push this further later but I am pleased with today’s results. Pretty sure with real short steeps I could get a lot of cups from this but a few really intense cups just seems more appropriate.
I know puerh makes a lot of people nervous but I really like this. Interesting and complex. I kind of wish the rose came through more, but given my past experience maybe it is better this way.
Dry leaf is small pieces and smells of hay and unflavored pipe tobacco. I have never smoked and can’t stand the smell of ash trays but fresh tobacco is a pleasant aroma. Used a healthy spoonful of leaf. Steeped longer than intended, about 3 minutes with below boiling water per label instructions. Wet leaf is smoked hay.
First sip, wow, this is smoky. I don’t believe I have experienced this in a loose leaf before so I am a bit taken aback. I can pick out the Keemun underneath and can really taste it in the aftertaste. It is pleasant but the smoke dominates. It may take me a couple cups to decide what I think of this tea. Cup two and three – strange, this isn’t smoky at all. It’s just a good cup of tea. I guess if you really like the smoke this would be disappointing. Personally, I think if there is a lot of smoke involved then there should be pulled pork. Hey, there is a flavor for all you flavor folk – smoked pulled pork, oh yeah.
Yeah, more samples from Teavivre! Haven’t even tasted it yet and I am loving it. I used half of one of the 4 sample packets. The dry leaf looks small but smells amazing. First, I noticed malt. As I waited for the water to heat, I keep wondering where is that chocolate scent coming from? Oh yeah, it’s the tea. Steeped 2 minutes (increasing on later steeps) with below boiling water per instructions furnished on the sample label. The brew has a slight caramel aroma and is a deep reddish golden color. The wet leaf has a bit of a coffee edge and swollen leaf reveals small broken pieces.
I tried this without sweetener and thought is was a bit beige. So as is my custom, I used sweetener. Now the sip is what I would classify as medium bodied. You don’t have to work at tasting it, but it doesn’t grab you by the throat and kick your teeth in either. Nice. Smooth caramel taste, lightly malt, and creamy. The aftertaste lingers without being offensive. A civilized cup for when you have the time to enjoy it. Three infusions from the leaves.
I don’t normally drink a lot of straight black hot tea. This is my second black from Teavivre. These teas are really winning me over. I honestly didn’t know a black tea could have this much depth. Only problem is my cup keeps going empty! Very nice tea.
Started off my day by going to Steak & Shake and ordering the portabello mushroom sausage skillet, bagel (cream cheese of course) and Darjeeling tea. Very good start but left me with onion breath – go figure. Then off to the pet store before swinging by Barnes & Noble. Ordered a cup of this in the cafe.
I was so excited that it really did smell like red hots and big red gum. HOWEVER, the tea was so hot I burned my tongue and I was still dealing with onion breath. Sat in the window stirring for like forever trying to cool this down. Cinnamon, orange, & clove – some of my favorite add ons for tea all in one cup. I really enjoyed this. Can’t say I could taste the black tea – which was CTC in the sachet – and I probably wouldn’t want this every day but will definitely add it to my Christmas list.
I am really enjoying this. Upped the first steeping time to 2 1/2 minutes. Also bumping up the rating.
Tried a different brewing method today by bringing the water to a boil, pouring into the pitcher, then added the pod. The old method of pouring water over the pod works better. This way the bloom remained floating on top the water for a very long time. It did eventually sink and fully open but I was beginning to wonder. The bloom is very pretty with a silver needle cradle holding a marigold while an arch of jasmine flowers rises above it to hold a globe amaranth. A few loose needles fell off but overall the display stayed intact. The brew is pale amber with a green tint.
Once again the flowers dominate. I believe the primary flavor here is the marigold. It is not an unpleasant taste but also not one I associate with tea. A bit milky? I think this would be good with honey. Not having any honey, I used sweetener. I like the taste of this better than the True Love flower tea but the display isn’t as spectacular.
Final note – while drinking the first cup, I left the remainder of the pot to steep to see what would happen. The result was a dark reddish brown tea resembling OP iced tea. Amazingly it made little difference to the flavor. No bitterness. No astringency. Mostly marigold flavored brew. As with most of my flower tea ratings I combine my sipping pleasure with the visual aspect and skew the rating slightly on the display side.
A good cup of tea is like a hug on a crappy day. I needed three cups today. One of my favorite teas. I sometimes drink nothing but this for days.
This is a lightly oxidized full leaf oolong. The dry leaf is rolled into typical nuggets with a faint grassy smell. I used almost a 3g scoop of leaf. First steep, 3 minutes at about 175F. The wet leaf is dark and looks like broccoli leaves and is mildly grassy smelling. The brew was a very pale yellow almost clear. It has a sweet floral aroma. The taste is sweet and floral with a bit of a grassy aftertaste. A bit weak my fault (keep reading).
On the second steep, 2m, the leaves are now open and covering the entire bottom of my press rising up almost to the plunger screen. Slightly darker brew with more pronounced flavor that is a lot closer to what I was expecting. Still a bit green. I am detecting melon(?) in the aftertaste that lingers. Just noticed Teavivre recommends 212F water! Oops!
Third steep, 2m. Got the temp right this time. Well, hello flavor. Feels a little milky to me now. No bitterness.
Fourth steep, 3m. The TGY flavor is a lot milder. Longer steep would have helped. Still tasty.
Fifth and final steep, 4m. The flavor changed to darker and earthier with almost raw puerh qualities. The aftertaste is a mix of floral, grass, and fruity. It no longer tastes like a TGY but I like where it is going. Wish I had time to try one more steep.
Pretty sure this is what they are serving at Red Lobster when I order iced tea. I get it unsweetened without lemon. I am reviewing this because when a restaurant prepares tea well it should get noticed. The tea at our nearby RL is always fresh, and always has enough bite to be interesting. Maybe it is their water, or the temp, or the timing – maybe it is all of them. I have had so many sour or instant tasting bad teas at restaurants that this one stands out.
Don’t judge me. The rating is based on my happiness level compared with other restaraunts teas.
The most beautiful flowering tea I have seen to date. Silver needle green tea cradling a white bouquet with twin white spires rising up topped with red globes. The flowers look like they were just picked. The picture does not do it justice.
Poured boiling water through a strainer so as not to damage the pod. It began expanding immediately. Not a single leaf or petal came loose in the pot. Poured into cup through the strainer. Clarity is excellent. Color is from pale amber to deep golden depending on steep time. The jasmine flavor is way in the background. One of the other two flowers – the globe amaranth I think – dominates and it is not a flavor I particularly like. Letting this steep longer and letting the cup cool brings out the jasmine a little more.
Visually this rates a 100.
Day two same leaves, and I am ready to commit that I do like this tea. Those of you who crave the sharp green flavor, stick to the first day’s steeps. The second day this takes on a mild earthiness but still maintains the slightly sweet aftertaste.
I love pushing a new tea to see how far it will go. Using same leaf as yesterday. I know that grosses some of you out. Sorry. Today, the tea is still smooth, but now add really creamy. It is also lighter and sweeter. I don’t know if that is the nature of the fifth cup and beyond or because the leaf sat over night. Whatever the reason, it is delicious. Bumping up my rating.
Attempted 2 tsp for 90s. The dry leaf looks just like the picture. The brew is light green. I swear the brew smells like beef stew and broccoli. Sniffed the wet leaf after pouring, yep, still beef & broccoli. The leaf is tiny new leaves and buds.
I have no idea if this is a good example of Dragon Well as I have never had it before and have yet to develop an understanding or taste for the grassy greens. Believe it or not puerh was much easier for me to learn to appreciate.
The first cup I got the water a little too hot. Tastes very green. It feels slick on the roof of my mouth. Not oily, just slick. This didn’t seem to have a lot of natural sweetness hot, but as the cup cools I get notes of slightly sweet hay in the sip and the aftertaste. I don’t detect the floral notes but again I don’t really grasp this type green tea. Second cup I got the water temp right. Tastes is more to my liking. More tealike and less grass. No bitterness. I can see this going well with Chinese take out when we order tomorrow. Chicken with pea pods, mmmmmm.
My rating is based on my experience with the previous Teavivre teas I tried. They nailed what they were aiming at with them so I imagine this does likewise.
Still loving this. I went another 3 cups today with yesterday’s leaf. Even after 8 cups it could have gone more. The last six months are destroying decades of my ideas about tea. I was perfectly happy buying cardboard boxes of tea. That is changing. Bagged tea = 1 ok steep. Grocery store loose leaf, probably 2 slightly more interesting steeps. A better quality loose I can drink off the same leaves all day, or like this tea for two days and each cup is different. Woo Hoo!
Leaf and Brew
The dry leaf is beautiful with orange and gold throughout. The aroma images a barn filled with sweet hay. The wet leaf is a cool chocolate brown and the aroma is still hay but slightly rooibus. So glad Teavivre includes instructions on the package because I would have totally messed this up by overheating and over steeping. 85C for 2 minutes. The liquor is caramel chocolate in my cup.
Tasted with and without sweetener. Not a hint of bitterness or astringency. Very smooth. Still getting that sweet hay with a hint of rooibus but the main flavor I am getting from this is malted milk balls. Having read SimpliciTea’s malty thread I can now claim to know what that means. It lingers long and pleasant in the aftertaste. This is such a good example of it that I now realize I have experienced it before buried in lesser teas. This is nice. For fun I added a tiny bit of French vanilla creamer to it. It was good but totally unnecessary. Only had time for four cups this afternoon it will go further.
I have never had a black tea that would steep more than twice. This can be steeped many times, so I am impressed. It is familiar enough to serve to those whose experience is limited to the grocery store isle, yet is complex enough to delight the more discerning.