185 Tasting Notes
This sample came to Missy by way of Angel from Teavivre. Thank you!
This tea is fantastic. It is very smooth, but has a dark, robust flavor to it. It is malty, with just the faintest hint of a grainy hay-like flavor. There is a sweet fruitiness in the finish that reminds me a lot of a darjeeling.
This tea seems a little unreal. I’m used to getting great quality tea from Teavivre, but this one really takes the cake. Probably the most fantastic straight black tea I’ve ever tasted. This truly is a treat.
This is really quite an interesting tea, thank you to Sandy for sending me a sample of this.
It is somewhat shocking how much this tastes like cantaloupe. Cantaloupe with an a (thankfully Steepster spellchecks!). I taste the cantaloupe first, followed by a bit of a dry peppery taste that must be the white tea. I’m not getting the cream so much, but I’m noticing most people did a 3+ steep on this one, and we only did a 2. I don’t know if I’m missing it or not. The tea doesn’t necessarily ‘need’ it.
Another quality, flavorful tea from Butiki. I’m glad to have had a chance to try them!
A big thank you to Sandy for the sample of this one!
The chocolate is very tasty, with a tangy raspberry flavor following it, before the smooth base tea at the end. The chocolate leaves a surprisingly noticeable aftertaste that kind of lingers for a little while, and is very pleasant.
Overall, a very enjoyable tea.
I think you would be hard pressed, especially in the tea-drinking community, to find someone who was not at least passably familiar with peppermint. Maybe not a fan, but at least familiar.
I’ve decided that there are certain blends of herbs, teas, other such things that I wanted to try my own hand at making. However, I’m pretty self-aware in what I’m lacking, which is a base understanding of what particular ingredients truly taste like. And if I’m going to do this, I need to do it right, and that starts at the basics: stop and understand, truly understand, what each ingredient tastes like.
And what better to start with than something as ubiquitous as peppermint?
The smell of the dry leaf is truly wondrous and powerful. Though, it is an 8 oz bag, so it’s a LOT of mint (think if you stacked three bricks on top of each other, and that’s the approximate size of this bag of peppermint). The smell is sweet, lush and foresty. It feels cool on your nose at first, but with a sharpness at the end. Invigorating.
While steeping, that aroma begins to fill the room, and I find myself challenging my first preconception: the liquor is not green. It’s actually a reddish-amber color, that deepens to an auburn-brown as it steeps. Darker than I expected, more of an earthiness to the color.
The smell of the brew is significantly less powerful than the smell of the dry leaf. It is still sweet and foresty, but the cooling sharpness has mellowed to a more agreeable level.
The taste is sweet and pleasant, Sharp, fresh, cooling. The taste has similar qualities to pine, but less abrasive, muted, like a pine forest after a rain. Powerful from start to finish, from the moment it crosses your lips, to the lingering chill that it leaves well after you’ve swallowed.
This is so amazingly good. I’ve never had fresh, straight, high quality peppermint tea before… and this really blew me away.
I think I’m going to have fun with this.
The third and final Teavivre Jasmine tea for our face-off… dun dun duuuuuhhhh!
This feels a lot more like the soothing, relaxation medicine that jasmine tea should be. The jasmine flavor is smooth and sweet, but not overpowering. It blends in with the soft, delicate green tea flavor coming from the cute little wrapped up pearls. It really is a great experience.
This will be our permanent collection jasmine, methinks :)
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample, and all of the samples. It is truly awesome that you do this kind of service for your customers.
Another very flavorful, fragrant, jasmine tea from Teavivre… but this one is green!
Thanks again to Angel and the team! Or wait, did I buy this one? Hrmm. Ah well, thanks to them anyway!
Compared to the pearls, I think this one is just a little bit less awesome. The jasmine is much stronger in this than on the pearls, and the green tea seems a little less delicate, a little stronger.
Missy and I both prefer a tad more subtlety in our jasmine teas, so I believe we’re going to be sticking with the pearls. However, this is a very strong contender.
This was a sample (to Missy!) from the wonderful Angel and the Teavivre crew.
The first thing you notice about this tea is WOW, JASMINE! It is very heavily fragranced, they definitely do not skimp on the jasmine for this particular batch.
The tea itself brews into a beautiful, placid, lightly yellowish-green color. You think for a second that maybe you haven’t brewed it long enough. Especially when you pour it into a big red mug!
The flavor is a really strikingly powerful sweet jasmine flavor, with a secondary flavor that sits somewhere near golden apples. Sweet and fruity, powerfully so. Beneath that, there is a lightly hay flavored, dry white tea taste, with a hint of that brushy-pepper aftertaste that I associate with many white teas.
Overall, a very tasty brew if you’re fond of jasmine. I think I prefer Teavivre’s jasmine pearls to this, but in general I would prefer most green teas over white, methinks.
And after one 2-minute brew, these leaves barely look touched. You could easily go two or three brews off these babies.
This tea is simply too good. I started writing this review, and then took a sip, and then another sip and relaxed… and then started putzing around online, daydreaming…
Anyway, we’ve been hoarding this tea for special occasions, since I don’t think we’re ever going to see it again. And today is a special occasion, so Missy brewed it up for me. She’s awesome, that woman of mine.
This tea is just divine. The sweet cherry flavor rolls in first as a bit of a treat, followed by the toasty goodness of the rice. The creamy cheesecake flavor comes in with the sweet vegetable flavor of the green tea at the end, really rounding off this cup. It is just so good.
It’s taken me about 22 ounces of tea to write this review, just so we’re all aware. It is that good.
And our last contender, Keemun number 4! Or maybe I should call it Neg One (-1). There’s Grade 2, then Grade 1, then Hao Ya must be Zero, and this would be -1. Anyway, Neg One was courteously provided by Angel and the Teavivre team as a free sample to Missy. Continuing with the Steepster’s Digest layout:
-Similar to the Grade 1 Keemun, I’m kind of thinking of it as 1’s cooler brother
-Sweeter than the other Ks
-More grainy than malty at this point, share’s some similarity with the Bailin Gongfu
-That sweet fruitiness has returned with a passion
-Smokiness has gone away (sad face)
It’s tough to decide between this one and the Grade 1 for third place. The flavors of this tea are probably the most complex out of the Ks I’ve tried today, but I really feel like it’s missing something without that smokiness that I so enjoyed out of the “lesser quality” Ks. I put lesser quality in little quotey bits because calling any of these teas anything but awesome quality is a disservice.
This would be the K from Teavivre I would recommend to someone that was appalled by the thought of smoke flavor in their tea, but still really wanted a K in the cupboard somewhere. I still stick by what I wrote under the K Hao Ya post: depending what you’re looking for, any of the four grades of Teavivre’s Keemun are excellent choices.