Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review

First steep had a chocolate smell to the liquor. Upon drinking it, I am reminded of other wonderful yunnan black teas I’ve tried. It is smooth, velvety, with a deep body and notes of chocolate, flowers, maltiness, and spices.

The second steep continued to strength in flavour and body. I also started to pick up on some caramel flavour and a “woody” quality to the familiar yunnan earthy body.

As I was moving onto sipping the third cup, I kept thinking about how strong the tea body tasted.

Fourth through sixth steeps  were great and only weakened subtly with each steep.

The first noticeably weak cup was the seventh. I kept steeping until the ninth just to see (taste) how long it could last. When I short steep this again, I will probably stop on the sixith steep.

This might be a bold statement, but I think this tea is a clear example of black tea done right. It’s smooth, velvety, has a strong body and is full of character.  It’s not the best resteeper, but still worth short steeping for an excellent six cups. Out of the five other Teavivre black teas I have tried this is my second favorite (first being the yunnan dian hong golden tips)

100ml gaiwan, 4 balls, 9 steeps (rinse, 30s, +15s each resteep)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

How I rate tea:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.


Ontario, Canada

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