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14 Tasting Notes

92

The first time I steeped this tea I made the mistake of treating it like a green tea. It is not. It is infact a pu-erh and must be steeped at boiling to really open it’s flavor profile. First lightly sweet wheat flavor giving way to sweet and green apples and finishing off with an ever so light earthy musty note. This tea is fairly simple and yet carries an experience of sophistication that I haven’t ever noted while tasting another tea. What does sophistication taste like you might ask? Order the sample and tell me if I’m wrong. This simple little tuo cha is delicious and a treat in every sip. Steep multiple times to ride the entire flavor train, but it looses me after the fourth.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

TeaVivre has sent me some samples that have been just delicious and this is no exception. this is a delicious raw Pu-erh with a flavor profile very similar to a 1995 that i am wildly fond of from Portola Coffee Lab here in Orange County CA that costs three times as much. this tea is earthy and woody, slightly smoky, a bit dry and astringent with only the slightest hint of vegetal finish. there are some subtle fruit notes in the middle of the sip, but having just realized my last sip is gone i’ll have to wait till i steep another cup of this golden elixir from the generous sample provided to give you accurate notes :-)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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89

Well once again the sample wins out over the tea I actually ordered. I was looking forward to the Milk Oolong from Teavivre, which ended up being moderately disappointing, and was delighted to find a selection of sample one of which was their Bailin GongFu black tea. I steeped a pot from the generous sample and it was delicious!! With so many blacks to choose from they really have to stand out to impress me and this tea did. It’s light and fruity right off the bat with cherry apple and and finishes with all nutty hints of almond and walnut. This tea is great served hot how tea is supposed to be, but serves up great iced like my American brethren seem to prefer. It’s good as is as God intended or with the addition of a sugar cube straight from the pits of hades the fruit flavor explodes up to a whole new level. This is a great back tea

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

One of my top 10 black tea’s.

OtherWillSmith

i know right? it’s that good. i was delightfully surprised :-)

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88

What can I say, another home run from Teavivre. Yet again I am more impressed with the sample than I ever expected to be from the tea I actually ordered. This tea tastes right away of fruit. Peach and apricot making way to a cherry finish with just a touch of fresh cut grass. One thing that stands out when tasting this tea tho is the gushingly wet mouth feel. This tea has no dryness at all making it extremely refreshing as a for a hot tea and I’m planning on trying it iced to see if that wetness carries over. All said its a great cuppa

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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83

This might be the most mild flavored black tea I’ve had. No overwhelming notes of anything. No real hints that stand out. This tea is very delicate with a touch of astringency and medium mount feel. All in all it’s a decent black tea that lends its self well to blending. I’m not much of a flavored tea guy, but I appreciate the medicinal benifiets of plants and have grown fond of the flavor of a few. One that comes to mind is the ginseng vitality offer from Teavana, over priced high pressure money machine that it is actually has a decen ginseng blend and it goes great with this unremarkable tea for your first thing in the morning pick me up. Not bad

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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92

this is one of the best milk oolong i have ever had! i normally don’t fraternize with the likes of a flavored tea as i am a firm believer that tea, it’s cultivation, and terrior are quite enough to make the world of tea reach far beyond the ability of my pallet. that being said if i can’t find a way to order this tea soon i’m booking my flight back to Italy cause i can’t life without it! upon first sip i am overwhelmed with the flavor of butter and cream, but somehow not to the point where i loose the flavor of the high quality tea it is obvious was the base for this scented tea. the regular hints of raisins dates and almond that i expect from an oolong are waiting for the cream to make way culminating in a slight appley finish. i love this tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Looked up their website looks sooo good! Love Italy! One place I’d like to return to!

ashmanra

Have you tried the ones from Teavivre?

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87

This is a delicious tea from a purveyor that I love to give business to. It’s not as complex and flavorful as some other Darjeelings, but it comes across as understated instead of weak. It is a solid black that I enjoy throughout the day as the lightness in flavor doesn’t relegate it to the overbearing realm of breakfast teas. This tea has become a staple in my pantry and I would like to highly recommend The Coffee & Tea Exchange as a great place to acquire exquisite teas at reasonable prices and if you have the pleasure of stopping in either of their beautiful locations make sure you shake Jinny’s hand and let her know what you think :-)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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98

wow! every time i steep this remarkable black tea i am impressed again. this tea is so complex in its flavor profile that it’s difficult to notate as you’re being delivered from one hint to the next. strong honey, black cherry, chocolate and walnut to name a few. i can’t think of another black tea with so much flavor and yet is not overwhelmingly rich. this tea is light and delicate. thank you so much to @ashmanra for the sample that got me switched from Teavana to a better purveyor :-)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

So glad you like it! And welcome back – haven’t heard from you in a while! :)

OtherWillSmith

I’m back!! :-) I was gone with final wedding details followed by two nights at the Disney Hotel followed by 16 days in Italy! It was amazing, but now I’m completely exhausted. Thank gawd for tea :-) I have a favorite coffee shop between home and work and they are under construction on a new tea only section and I can’t wait to report on the teas and add it as a tea house so be expecting those soon :-)

ashmanra

Cool and congrats! My daughter was just there, or at the one in Florida. You were probably in Cali!

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96

let me just start by saying Teavana is a rip off and a high pressure sales environment that i detest and believe to be completely at odds with the vibe of tea. having said that, they do offer a small selection of some great teas one of which is their Golden Monkey Black Tea. this is one of my favorite black teas of all time. the flavor is intensely fruity with notes of pear, apricot, litchi, and green pear that is initially delivered with a wet mouth feel that ends with a surprisingly dry finish. if you are fortunate enough to find this tea offered somewhere else for a reasonable price in a comfortable customer is right situation then i highly recommend it. it is intensely delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Theirs is decent, but for a real swoon you might try both Harney and Sons which is deep and dark and rich – I call it Batman, or Teavivre’s, which is equally delicious but different, more like a willowy princess who has it all – beauty, brains, and wisdom. Too anthropomorphic? LOL! I have both if you want to pm me your address and will be happy to send you some samples to try. Did you know that you can sign up on Teavivre’s site or just send them a message here on Steepster and they will send lots of generous samples of tea? FREE? They are truly worth the wait, and most of us end up falling in love with several teas and ordering.

OtherWillSmith

i loved your anthropomorphic digression! :-) i would love to get samples and thank you for the tip!

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95

This tea is delicious!! It tastes of hops and pear and some apricot with a slightly vegetal finish. It’s a tea refily available from a major retailer, but has the complexity and allure of a small batch boutique tea. I love this tea :-)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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life is too short for a lot of things, one of them being bad tea

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Orange County California

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