1788 Tasting Notes

Finished the last of this. While it was good, I do not think I shall miss it.

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drank Lychee Black by Vital Tea Leaf
1788 tasting notes

Oh no, the last of my stash of this at the office is gooooone! Thank goodness I have more at home… It was a perfect pot, too, not oversteeped and deliciously juicy.

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With such a long mouthful of a name, this tea sets some strong expectations, before the package is even opened. Knowing Teavivre, I feel as though these expectations will probably be well met. Boasting no less than three organic certifications, Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing green tea (to which I will just refer as “Dragon Well”) was harvested about a month and a half ago in mid-April of 2014. Much like my last review of one of Teavivre’s spring 2014 teas, the freshness is telling.

As I start to open the sample packet, I have to stop and chuckle. As with their Bi Luo Chun, their Brew Guide on the label states that the tea should be steeped for “1 to 6 minutes.” Already deciding to go with three minutes of steep time and see how it tastes, I finish opening the package and the aroma of Dragon Well hits me from at least a foot away. I must admit that Dragon Well is one of my favorite green teas, and the aroma embodies a sweet nuttiness of the leaves, pleasantly. Layered over the top is the scent of fresh, green, grassy aroma, but not nearly to the same extent as many green teas.

Leaves into the infuser basket. Basket into the mug. Water into both. And now I wait. The smell rising from the steeping tea has grown richer and deeper. The nuttiness still presents itself. The fresh, green scent has become more akin to roasted, loamy notes. Three minutes seem to be a long time in arriving, but the timer finally rings.

Much like the infusing leaves, the smell of the brewed tea gives of notes of richness and roasted aromas. My first sip swells across the tongue and departs, leaving reminders of the aroma, mid-tongue. Surprisingly brisk, the taste nonetheless imparts a sweetness that was originally present in the scent of the dried leaf. While some might think the briskness to be unpleasant, it gives this Dragon Well a good amount of character and body. In fact, without it, I think this green tea might very well be dull. The tongue picks up a number of flavor nuances. The roasted aspect moves along the sides of the tongue, while the sweet nuttiness cascades along the middle. For such a pale tea with an unassuming aroma, Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing presents itself well and maintains a surprisingly bold flavor profile.

I would definitely recommend this tea for those, who enjoy teas with roasted flavors. I have tried many Dragon Well teas, and this is one of the best. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this green tea a 94/100.


Six minutes…? Oh, my—that would take paint off my kitchen table!


And the buds off your tongue!

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drank Sugar and Spice by DAVIDsTEA
1788 tasting notes

Brewing the last of my sample bag in a big pot for the afternoon!

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A recent bit of excitement in my life involved the reception of a special box from Teavivre, containing samples of their new green teas for spring 2014. So excited was I to share these teas with you that I decided to share reviews even before the next Tea Review Tuesday arrived!

I cannot say for certain what made me choose Bi Luo Chun as the first of the samples to taste, but I am glad that I did. From the moment in which I opened the packaging, the smell was entrancing. As a bit of a disclaimer, I am not typically one to “oooh” and “aaah” over the smells of green tea. If anytime, I might do so, when drinking a particularly rich shou pu’erh or oolong. But this green tea pulled me into the aroma. Fans of greens will know of the intensity of which I speak, when I describe the tea as smelling sweet, fresh, and vegetal. In some respects, it is akin to fresh grass, but the sweetness embodied within is so much greater. Make no mistake, this is not by any means a sugary sweetness. This sweetness is entirely clean and natural, almost like a fruit, yet not fruity. I had yet to even brew any tea!

Teavivre recommends that this tea be steeped for 1 to 6 minutes. Since I was using enough tea for two cups, due to my choice in mug for the morning, I picked 3 minutes as my steeping time, figuring that such a length would work to gain a good strength in flavor. (The ratio was about 1.5 teaspoons of tea to 8 ounces of water.) Taking a last deep breath of the dry leaf aroma, I pour the water over the leaves and set my timer. In the middle of the steeping, I leaned over the mug and wafted some of the steam toward my nose. Subdued a bit, the sweet grassiness remained! I could tell that this cup was going to be a joy to drink.

At last, the timer rang, and I removed the infuser basket from the mug. The aroma rising from the cup was absolutely bold, and my first sip agreed. Bi Luo Chun might have fruity notes, but this is no weak tea. And to think it was only harvested a month and a half ago (according to their website). The freshness comes through in the taste. I prefer my tea to be a bit stronger. While the flavor was not bitter, I could tell that a longer steep would have caused some astringency. The taste profile seems well-balanced and well-rounded. The aftertaste is full of a memory of the same flavor. Drinking this tea brings one down to earth, rooting the senses with bold aromas and tastes that do not require a connoisseur’s trained nose and tongue to appreciate.

If the other offerings from Teavivre’s spring 2014 green teas are as good as this cup, this will be a line of greens, which you do not want to miss. The Bi Luo Chun in particular is a hit. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this green tea a 95/100.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet, warm grass

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Grape Expectations by DAVIDsTEA
1788 tasting notes

Starting off the morning with fruit and some fruity tea!

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Making a big pot of this for the office!
I greatly appreciate the fact that these leaves can withstand higher temperatures than some greens, as it makes, using the heated break room, water a lot easier.

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drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
1788 tasting notes

Brewed hot, I find that the anise barely shines through. However, cold-brewed – wow! The anise and the cocoa quite pop!

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Just finished this tin. It was good, but I cannot say that I would rush to buy more, now.

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“I love trading tea and trying new teas. My favourites are oolong (mainly Chinese) and pu’erh.
Will gladly talk all day about tea.”

The above was my bio when I joined five years ago, and I felt it needed to be updated. I still love pu’erh, though I have begun to take preference toward cooked, shou. Oolongs are certainly still a go-to tea for me, but I have expanded my horizons to begin including greens and blacks based upon the weather and how I am feeling.

Still more than glad to talk about tea – anytime, anywhere, anyplace.
Additionally, if fountain pens, books, music, or computers are on the discussion list…

My ratings, this “personal enjoyment scale” about which I talk, are just that – based on how much I enjoyed the tea. I might have enjoyed it immensely, yet do not keep it stocked for various reasons. On the flip side, I have a few teas that are “good” but not “great,” which I keep stocked for various reasons.



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