431 Tasting Notes
This is my second Tie Guan Yin, the first from my local farmer’s market. I’ve been wanting to get into oolong, and I think I’ve found the first that I truly like.
This oolong is fresh and highly floral in a way that reminds me so much of spring. (Which is a little depressing in November, I have to add.) The flavors remind me of gardenias, honeysuckle, and jasmine. There’s also a note of sweet, clean hay.
It still has that nutty oolong flavor, but it’s mostly in the scent. At first I was a little nervous, since the vegetal scent was so strong. But no, after a little honey, this is lovely and satisfying. I’m going to have to start trying oolongs to Teavivre’s brewing instructions, I think.
It’s actually a little cold here in Atlanta today. I guess winter really is coming. I was starting to think it had forgotten us.
Anyway, I’m warming up with this tea, which I am just as fond of the second time. It’s smoky but mild, with a decent amount of caffeine. I’m saving the rest of this sample for Kaliska, I think.
Well, my apartment complex’s office has a Keurig now. However, I didn’t want to be down there any longer than I had to, despite the cookies, so I snagged the pod and got the hell out.
The leaves are not in good shape at all, crushed to pieces about the size of sugar in the raw. However, that might have something to do with it being compatible with the Keurig, so I’m not complaining. I brewed them in a steel infuser instead and got what I assume are the same (if not similar) results.
This is a little weaker than what I’ve been having lately, as far as black teas go. The flavors are very straightforward and a little coarse, but it gets the job done. I think Adagio’s English Breakfast was much better. Anyway, this is a fairly boring tea, but I wouldn’t turn it down if it were free again.
At the sight of this tea, I knew I would like it. It’s a lovely mix of fragrant and brightly colored dried fruits with a few pale green leaves. (And anything with rosehips is golden in my book.)
The tea brews to a lovely amber red. The Steep Time counter only goes up to 8 minutes, but I steeped mine for about 8:45. The result tastes strongly of dried apple, and is a little on the tart side even with sugar. I can definitely taste the rosehips as well, but I’m not sure about the other two ingredients. I’ve never had anything with verbena leaves in it before, so I’m not sure what I’m tasting.
Either way, this is pleasant and reminds me of drinking juice. I bet it would be fantastic iced, which I will certainly try some time soon.
The first thing I noticed when I was steeping the tea was a bold, smoky scent. I was reminded of lapsang souchong, as the tiny black leaves also brewed up very dark, very quickly.
The flavor, however, was less smoky than I expected. Which is good, because smokiness is something I’m still adjusting to. Anyway, it’s a strong, hearty tea that would go great with breakfast. There is no harsh aftertaste at all, just a sort of rounded maltiness and woodsmoke taste.
This would be a good segue tea between plain blacks and lapsang, I believe. And I also think a slightly longer steep time is in order. I’d like to taste what this tea is like when it’s stronger. So, next time…
Today, I discovered a nearby Oriental market that was literally a mile from my house. I wanted to cry when I went in, because I could have been buying my spicy ramen, wasabi, frozen dumplings, and tea there the entire year since I moved here.
Anyway, since I walked there, I was limited in what I could carry… and I wasn’t leaving without a case of Shin Bowl. But I made sure to get some Thai tea. I have a pitcher cooling in the fridge as I write this. No steeping involved, just mixing it with hot water.
It smelled heavenly when I opened the container. Like creamy, soft vanilla. I found that the ratio on the label made it rather weak, so I nearly doubled it. For 5 cups of water, I used 21 teaspoons of mix. Don’t judge me! It’s pretty good this way. Still not as strong as the Thai tea we make where I work, but it’s close. And it’s good for how convenient it is to make. No sticky, sweetened condensed milk to deal with.
There is a sort of powdered milk taste that I’m not liking about it, though. It’s mostly in the aftertaste, but it reminds me of the center of a Whopper. (The chocolate-covered malt candy, not the burger.)
I tried this last night, but ended up going out before I could write a review. So I’m having another cup first thing in the
morning afternoon. And laughing a little because out of the corner of my eye, I keep reading it as “Ballin’ Gongfu”. Haha.
I read what other have said about this tea and upon smelling the dark, smaller leaves, I definitely agree with people mentioning cocoa. Cocoa is the strongest flavor I taste, along with a sort of light nuttiness that’s mostly in the scent. My brother said something about it reminded him of coffee, since it’s so strong and bold. I think he was onto something. I definitely feel more alert after drinking it.
Anyway, this is a hearty, delicious tea that I could see myself drinking instead of coffee some mornings. I kinda regret not tasting it before I placed my order last night. When I make my next one, I’m going to get some of this as well. It’s delightful.
I also wanted to mention that I love the little red individual pouches it comes in. That’s a nice touch.
Made another pot to share with my brother. We tried Teavivre’s Bai Lin Gong Fu and he didn’t like it, so I made this again. (Personally, I thought it was great and will write about it later.)
I also mentioned liking it on Facebook, to which my Dad replied that he wanted me to bring some along when I visit on Thanksgiving. But I only have one cup left!
So I broke down and bought the 100g bag. And I’m excited about drinking it all winter.
The pot I made and shared last night left me wanting more, so after running my errands, I immediately came home and made another cup. It has a sort of apricot flavor to it, but only slightly. Caramelly in the finish, but still fruity in a balanced way. Still loving this tea.
My thanks go to Angel Chen, who let me sample a generous amount of Teavivre’s offerings! I was shocked at how much tea was in the package! Thank you!
First of all, I want to mention that the tea geek in me loves the stickers on Teavivre’s pouches. They have all kinds of info about where the tea came from, how much leaf to use, what the perfect temperature for brewing is.
I made a pot this evening and think I have found my new favorite unflavored black tea. The leaves are long and narrow, harvested young, and gently rolled. Even after shipping, they are all long and unbroken. Mine are not as yellow as in the picture. They’re more brown and champagne colored. There is no leaf dust in the pouch at all.
It’s incredibly smooth and almost fruity in some way, like a darjeeling but more creamy and caramel-like. Hard to describe. I have had yunnan in the past before, but it was never like this. Even after such a short steep, it is very flavorful, but not bitter. There is nothing harsh about the taste. I truly love this tea. It has seriously struck a chord with me.