1316 Tasting Notes

drank Silver Jade by The Tea Merchant
1316 tasting notes

I have been anxiously awaiting my turn to review this companies tea. Today, they finally worked their way to the front of the line. I love the way this is packaged. Others have mentioned it as well but it is a nice touch, making the experience seem more special.

Silver Jade is a white and green tea blend. When you open the bag that is obvious as there is white downy buds mixed with darker green leaf. It smells and looks fresh. Mostly I am picking up on the scent of white tea with just the lightest hint of citrus from oil of bergamot.

I steeped a large scoop for about 3 minutes in steaming water. The result is a golden green cup. The taste is mostly what I think is white peony. The green I can’t really separate out but it does add heft to the cup. It reminds me slightly of White Monkey. Late in the sip and far in the distant background is the faint touch of citrus. The more the cup cools the more the citrus is sensed, but it never reaches a point where you would think ‘bergamot’. As another review noted, it seems more a part of the tea than an addition.

It is slightly milky and sweet with notes of honey. They call this cup a smooth, mellow, fresh taste. I would agree. A nice refreshing take on white tea.

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
1316 tasting notes

I saved yesterday’s leaf by removing the top of the press and spreading the leaf out so it could dry. This morning I heated another 12oz of water to almost boiling and poured. The water immediately started turning dark. I knew this was going to be a good day. I steeped for 2 minutes. I have yet to increase my time on this one. The resulting mug was rich and dark. Lighter in flavor than yesterday in a more mellow sort of way. It was still incredibly delicious and this was the fourth steep.

Mug five at 3 minutes is still delivering a mellow malty cup.

Mug six! At 4 minutes is more of the same quality tea. I think the more times I steep this, the more it is developing the sweet potato yam flavor along with the mellow malt.

The leaf is still producing a hearty cup and I am confident it would go at least once more but I am going to have to stop. Golden Monkey exceeds my expectations.


Yep, this is going on my order Saturday when I get the magnificent Silver Jasmine Green Tea that will be on sale that day.

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
1316 tasting notes

Ok, if opening this sample doesn’t make you say, “Oooh!” out loud, then just box up your stuff, send it to me, and go back to drinking soda or coffee or whatever else you were drinking before tea. This is so fragrant with caramel, honey, and fruit. So fresh smelling. The leaf is tan buds and darker brown leaves. Gorgeous.

I used an extra large scoop, simply because I could. 12oz of heavily steaming almost boiling water and my press. The steep was a little less than two minutes.

As soon as the water hit the leaf, the already wonderful aroma came into full bloom with a scent like wine. It was also malt but not heavily so. Oh My Goodness this smells good. In my press this is deep golden in color. It is more orange as it pours into the mug. The wet leaf looks like chocolate shavings.

The sip is so rich. It is even more fruity wine-like in the sip than in the scent. It is caramel and honey. It is malt and sweet. As the cup cools I notice a wheat component. It is not real yammy like Golden Tips, or heavily chocolate like Bailin Gongfu. Yet it is kind of in that same flavor range. The aftertaste is strong and lasting. It is sweet, wheat, and maybe yeast. It does seem a bit drying, which is as close to a negative comment as I can make.

I had time for three cups. Amazingly, the first cup was the lightest and the third the darkest. The fruit like wine taste fades after cup one but the other flavors intensify. I don’t know how many cups this would go. I may try to continue with the same leaf tomorrow and see.

This is simply perfection in a cup. I haven’t looked at the other reviews and frankly it doesn’t matter. Maybe it is just my mood today, but by my scale this is as close to a 100 (my first) as I have ever tasted in a black tea. Bravo!

Glorious sample supplied by Teavivre.


This was served at tea party two weeks ago. Based on my guests reaction, I HAVE to order it! It was fantastic.

Charles Thomas Draper

This is an awesome tea. I had to order some


OOh, I was adding teas to my cart for my Teavvire order tomorrow because I need more dragon pearls and they are on sale tomorrow. Now, I added this sample to my cart too! Thanks


Thank you for your review. It really wet my appetite, so I ordered some from Teavivre today. Actually it was my very first purchase of loose leaf tea anywhere, along with some samples of other teas (just to get free shipping, of course: I wouldn’t want to waste money on shipping, when I could be buying tea with it.


Brett: did you see that you can sign up on the page for free samples? They send lots of them, too! They have so many excellent teas.


Brett, reading your notes it looks like you are on much the same tea path as I have been travelling. I still enjoy my Ahmad tea. I think you will love this one. Frankly almost everything by TeaVivre is excellent.


K S, Kudos for a highly detailed wonderfully descriptive review. Just reading your tasting notes for TeaVivre’s Golden Monkey is enough to cause one to salivate and grin from ear to ear in anticipation of what is yet to come! Well done!


looseTman, thanks. I used to think I didn’t much care for straight black tea. TeaVivre really changed my mind. I pretty much have loved every China black tea I’ve tried. This one hit that sweet spot for me of combining everything I like into one package.


You’re welcome. Your review was obviously inspired and a pleasure to read! It’s also a great example of how to write a tasting note!

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I woke up this morning (the beginning of many a great blues tune), feeling overwhelmed by the stress work. I need tea – good tea, but I don’t have it in me to analyze what I am sipping. TA-DAA This tea is the perfect day starter. It is in a bag so I don’t have to figure out how much, blah, blah, blah. It is nice and stout. It is way better than it has to be. If you can’t remember to take the bag out on time (I’m asleep), I guess you could add a splash of milk. I didn’t notice when the cup was hot, but as it cools there is a nice amount of malty goodness.

If this is against the forum rules, someone simply inform me and I will edit this but… In a shameless attempt to gain followers on my blog, I am hosting a contest through the end of September 2012, to give away some Paisley Tea. Details at http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/.

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Oooh I get to be the first to review this one!

I opened the sample bag and pulled out a big chunk of puerh. I managed to separate enough leaf to brew without difficulty. It did not require a pick or a knife. The dry leaf is on the large side and looks like beef jerky. The scent is that of straw, which is not as bright or sweet as hay. It is a nice fresh smell.

The first steep was just shy of 2 minutes. The color of the liquor was very light for puerh. It was golden yellow and quite clear. The leaf aroma is green and fresh. Absolutely nothing offensive is rising into the air out of the press.

The first cup begins with an instant coating of the lips. It is slick and sticky at the same time. I don’t notice others reporting this, but it happens to me often with a raw puerh. The flavor of the first cup is light. It is at first kind of woodsy. Then it is briefly metallic, though not in an offensive way. The aftertaste is light and sweet. Maybe I am imagining it but there seems to already be very light traces of leather developing in this young tea.

I doubt I would ever guess this is a Yunnan if I had not read it. There is none of the sweet potato notes I associate with them. I don’t know if I am tasting chocolate or just thinking so because I do know it is a Yunnan.

Cup two is a bit more hardy. Similar to the first but stronger flavors. This has more bite. Cup three and four were the best yet. I increased the steep time to between 4 and 5 minutes. This made for a stronger darker cup that had good young flavor. I brew 12oz at a time. 48oz in one day is all I can handle :)

Now that I have reviewed this one, I intend to store it away for a good long time to let it age. I think this one will improve very nicely

Thank you Teavivre for this sample.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Great review!!! Look forward to reading more

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drank White Monkey by Zenjala Tea Company
1316 tasting notes

Sipping this tonight and trying to learn a little more about it. IF my research is correct this is technically a green tea, but it is listed as a white and sure looks like a white. It also has many of the light delicate characteristics of a white but has more heft. I think this is also known as white monkey paw. What ever it is or what name it goes by, this is delicious. Love it.

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My youngest works 3rd shift. He came in at 6:15 and woke us up. “Where’s the truck?”
“Your brother had a dead battery, he came and borrowed it so he could go to work”
I start to drift off. My oldest returns the truck at around 7:00. Of course he has to come in and announce the truck is back.
So knowing I have to be out the door by 8:30 to set up for the morning praise team, I give in and try to get up. Problem is I can’t wake up.
This is where bagged teas are a necessity. Thanks again gmathis for this one. It got me moving and out on time.


Pleased I could help :)

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drank Darjeeling by Mother Parkers
1316 tasting notes

Been a while since I’ve logged this. With all the amazing loose leaf teas I get to review each day, you would think I would get tired of this one… but I am not. It is a simple bagged tea with a pleasant taste. It goes well with the breakfast. Today I got a waitress that brought me two bags because she gets it. Coffee and iced tea drinkers can get free refills all day but order hot tea and most of the waiters will only bring you more hot water. Yes, she got a nice tip.


Good for the server! I like the ones who don’t charge me for hot water if I bring my own tea bag.

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What a name. This is another sample provided by Teavivre. I opened the very stuffed sample bag and removed one hefty scoop. The remaining leaf, seems to leave the bag looking almost as full as before I got in to it. I believe if I had poured it all out, I would have a hard time putting it back. The leaf is dark green slightly rolled but straight. It is kind of flattened. It looks like dried grass. It smells nice and sweet.

I brewed for almost two minutes in heavily steaming water. This produced the lightest of yellow green liquids. The aroma of artichoke fills the air.

The sip is sweet and slightly salty. It reminds me of mild dragonwell without the butteriness. It does seem milky. I am getting a bit of numbing on the lips. Mid sip it takes on mineral notes. The aftertaste is fresh, not grassy, with a very slight tartness. Tart may be the wrong word but I can’t quite put a label on it.

On the first cup I added the tea to the water. All the leaf clung to the surface. The second time I steeped, I added a bit more leaf and poured the water over the tea. Now the leaf dances in the water. That is what I was after. There was not an artichoke aroma, until I poured the brew. The leaf is fully open, and reveals small pale green leaves. The taste at first seemed to be pretty much the same as the first cup. As it cooled a bit it came alive and produced a much more flavorful drink.

The third cup was the best yet. The flavor turned sort of cucumber. Not quite like a white tea. In whites, I think of the cucumber as leaning towards watermelon. This did not have the melon notes. Maybe this would go another cup but I don’t have time to find out today.

Chinese green tea fans, this is another great one!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Oolong by Unknown
1316 tasting notes

This one comes courtesy of Gmathis. She says this is her favorite Cheapster Steepster oolong at an incredible $0.31/oz! Did I read that right?!? That’s $5/lb. This looks like mulch. ha. There are all kinds of different sizes, shapes, and colors in this bag. I steeped about 4 minutes.

This is a prime candidate for a Finum basket. Some of this is very fine and is clinging to the mesh on my press. The way I brewed this it makes a light bodied cup. The taste is similar to Foojoy but lighter. The roasted notes of Foojoy are more toasted here. Actually, it is somewhere in the middle between Foojoy and a genmaicha. It doesn’t have that strong rice flavor but the toastiness is very similar.

After having the strawberry tea just before this one. I am thinking this would make a great base to add some fruit or mint and see what happens. A good bargain everyday tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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