I usually love Yunnan/Dian Hong teas, but this one has left me a bit puzzled. I can see why it’s called “Pine Needle” because the leaves look like exactly that. They’re long, straight, and pointy. The colour is right, too. That’s probably partly why I was expecting a lot more in taste terms than I actually got.

What I got, in very blunt terms, is nothing. I’m reminded most of white tea, in that it has the “sweet water” quality I often find with those. There’s also a coolness on the palate, after repeated sips, which I associate mostly with raw pu’erh. Flavour, though? Really none. Perhaps a very light maltiness, but otherwise…considering the variety of tea it is, and that it brews up a delicious looking amber, it’s a disappointment.

I’ve never found this before with a Teavivre tea, and I’m more than a little surprised. I’m pretty sure this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, but never having tried it before I can’t really comment.

Ah well.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

Interesting, I got this one as well and while isn’t super bold it seems to have plenty of flavor

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Interesting, I got this one as well and while isn’t super bold it seems to have plenty of flavor

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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