534 Tasting Notes
I am so behind on tea reviews! Honestly, all of my time has either been spent at the office, or out playing Pokemon Go with my husband and friends. We’ve worn blisters on our feet and every muscle in our legs is sore. We literally climbed a mountain yesterday to get to Pokemon at the summit. I’m going to look like a goddess by the time we finally catch them all!
Anyway, I think I’ve said it before, but Teavivre changed the way I see oolong. Their stuff is truly great. This tea is another very tasty example. The dry leaf smells sweet and fresh, with notes of springlike grass and vegetables. The little green nuggets hang out at the surface of the water before absorbing it and sinking to the bottom. Steeped, they are long and almost all whole.
The water comes out to a light yellowy tan, sort of like straw. There is that distinct oolong pungency in the aroma, but I know it will be more in the smell than the taste. After five minutes, the flavor is light but complex. I get sweet notes of flowers, grass, and a garden right after it rains. It’s very satisfying and light, with a tiny hint of creaminess. The floral taste reminds me of gardenias, but it’s subtle. Basically, this is something that would really cheer me up in the winter when I was missing spring.
Flavors: Creamy, Cut grass, Floral, Gardenias, Sweet
I have been on such an iced dessert tea kick lately. It’s been pretty much all I’ve been drinking at work to get my day started.
First of all, this tea is so reasonably priced for what you get. Seriously, it’s $7 for 4 oz. Of course, that’s what made me a little wary of Maya Teas, as I’m new to them as a company. So the Creme Brulee was all I bought. But the quality is actually very good! Since then, I’ve gone back and bought a few more to try.
The aroma is incredibly powerful. This is one of those teas where you open the pouch and POOF, the whole kitchen smells like sweet maple syrup and brown sugar. I can’t say much for the quality of the black tea base because it is absolutely obliterated by mapley creme brulee flavor. It reminds me so much of French toast and pancakes. Also, I should note that my husband doesn’t like tea, but he really enjoys this one. Anyway, all around good dessert tea, and I will be investigating more by this company.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Maple, Maple Syrup, Pancake Syrup, Sweet
Another sample courtesy of Teavivre!
The moment I open the packet, I can smell why they call this one “Fragrant”. Wow! Bright, sweet notes of stonefruit, clean hay, fresh cut grass, and sweet potato. I can already tell this is going to be a new Teavivre favorite. Their yunnans really are something else.
The long narrow leaves brew up to a lovely reddish amber. Upon tasting, I notice that the flavor is heartier than the aroma. It has a satisfying, bread-like note in addition to the stonefruit and other flavors. The end of a sip is what tea so interesting, though. On the exhale, you really do get a fragrant, sweet smell/taste that is wonderful. I’m not sure how to describe it, exactly. It’s smooth and complex at the same time. Highly recommended.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Freshly Cut Grass, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Yes, another Teavivre tasting! Thanks again, Angel!
This one piqued my interest the most. I’ve had one wild tree black before, a yunnan by Rishi. However, I found that one a little underwhelming. This tea, however, I could tell just from the dry leaf’s aroma that it was different. The leaves are long and pointed, a sort of dark brown. Most are unbroken and in beautiful shape. They smell sweet and heavily of stonefruit, especially apricots. It’s wonderful, almost like perfume.
The flavor lives up to the scent. It’s a fruity black without any fruit added, with a note of pungency that’s hard to describe. It’s almost like grapefruit? Something I encounter often in puerh that I’ve never been able to nail down. There’s also a very soft mouthfeel that I feel like I should mention. All around satifying black tea with a hint of exotic, unrefined flavor that I love.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Stonefruits, Sweet
This tea has me wondering if I simply don’t like matcha, or if I’m just terrible at making it.
I bought the whisk from Adagio and everything. Though I might be using it too gently. I need a mentor, apparently. Anyway, I’ve been using water that hovers around 170-175F and about a teaspoon’s worth of powder for a small cup, around 8 oz. I followed the directions about letting a few drops fall in, making a paste with the whisk, then adding the rest.
On my first attempt, I tried to drink it straight. It had come out a very deep and heavy shade of green, and there was almost zero froth. It was very, very bitter. Like someone had blended Apple Jacks and seaweed. I hardly made it through the cup.
On my second attempt, I made it latte-style but with 1% milk because that’s all I had. I can see how this would be good as an actual latte. Sure, it still has nutty and seaweedy notes that are a tad odd with cinnamon-apple, it’s a huge improvement from the first time. And with the milk, it’s a very beautiful shade of green. Still, it’s just not really something I’d crave.
Flavors: Apple Candy, Cinnamon, Seaweed, Umami
This tea can only be purchased from Adagio on a full moon! How interesting. I just happened to be placing an order during the last full moon, and thought “Wait, I’ve never seen this EG, it must be new!” A lucky coincidence!
Now, Adagio already offers something very similar to this, Earl Grey Moonlight. EG Moonlight is just a standard EG with a powerful vanilla flavor added. This seems like an expansion on the same idea. It’s a standard EG with vanilla, but also coconut and cream. I was expecting the bergamot to overpower the coconut, but oddly, it doesn’t. The coconut and cream flavors are in the foreground, followed by the lemony bergamot. I’m not sure what Adagio uses to make its tea “creamy”, but it certainly pulls it off.
This would make a fantastic dessert tea with milk, I think. But it’s also going to be nice to start the day with that kick of caffeine and the mild bite of black tea.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cake, Coconut, Creamy, Lemon, Vanilla
I’ve been drinking this tea all day, having it iced while I clean house, paint my nails gray, set up the crock pot, prune the plants, etc.
The dry leaf of this is fragrant and inviting — flat green sencha speckled with chunks of white dried papaya and pink strawberry. It smells a lot like strawberry candy, very fruity and summery. Well, maybe not candy. Perhaps strawberry jelly.
The liquor is a springy greenish yellow, as expected. The sencha is good quality, slightly buttery, but falls into the background as the fruit takes center stage. The strawberry is dominant, pairing with the papaya well. Sometimes papaya can be kind of pungent in a way, almost musky, but not in this case. It’s all bright, happy fruit.
I tried it hot on Thursday and liked it that way, too. Versatile.
Flavors: Berries, Berry, Fruity, Green, Strawberry
Coming back to this after giving it a go with more leaf. I used about twice as much as my last cup, which made a darker and more fragrant brew. This is one of those teas that you pretty much have to do that with because of the sheer amount of fruit and non-tea ingredients.
Since I ended up with more fruit just because I used more scoops, it got a lot more tart. This isn’t a problem, though, as I could easily balance it back out with more sweetner. I still can’t really taste the toffee, though…
The sleepy aspect of this tea is wonderful. It’s a lot like valerian in the way that it makes you more comfortable wherever you are. It kind of makes me feel heavy, like the bed is pulling me down into it. Very relaxing. I’m definitely going to have to explore more passionflower teas.
Flavors: Apple, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Tart
Now this is interesting. Most tea companies are not brave enough to blend lapsang souchong as a base for a flavored tea. The stuff is not for everyone. But of course, I’m all over it. I love smoky tea in winter! (Not that you could really call it winter yet…)
The name has Bauhaus’s guitars and Peter Murphy drawling “The count!” in my head. Its dry aroma is heavily smoky and yet tartly fruity from the little bits of hibiscus and berries mixed in. I think they’re cranberries? I can’t tell and the site’s description doesn’t list them.
Flavor-wise, the lapsang is definitely dominant over the spices and other ingredients. It reminds me of a campfire, smoky and leathery. How very goth. I understand that there is cinnamon and coconut mixed in. I can see them, but I can’t taste them. Coconut is a fickle flavor, so I know how that goes. However, the hibiscus and fruit shine through and add an interesting layer of tartness. The cinnamon is sort of there on the exhale. I’m wondering if next time I should drop in a cinnamon stick. Yay, an experiment!
“Undead, undead, undead!”
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Leather, Smoke, Tart