Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

87

I had an opened packet of this that I thought I’d reviewed recently… but as I see no note, I guess it’s been open longer than I thought! It didn’t really seem to affect it, though – this was a deliciously full-bodied, rich, beany green tea. The first two characteristics are probably a bit due to overleafing a tad, but the resulting brew wasn’t astringent at all, so it was definitely worth it. This isn’t a super delicate green, though – lots of flavour. It really hit the spot last night, and I actually had finished the entire cup within maybe 20 minutes of steeping it? Rare for me.

Thanks to Teavivre for the fantastic free sample!

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This tea is amazing, even when you don’t use enough tea for brewing it. I ordered several sample packs from Tea Vivre, and this was one of the samples. On the label, they don’t give a quantity for brewing, only steep time and temperature, so I’ve been splitting the samples in half, and brewing each half with 500 ml of water. This worked okay for the first one I brewed, but not this one. I’m pretty sure I should have brewed the entire 5 grams in 500 ml of water. The first time I made it, I steeped for 5 minutes and had a not bad brew. This time I’ve steeped for 8 minutes, in the hopes that it would be a more full-bodied brew. I’m definitely going to add this one to my to-buy list. I’m pretty sure I have one more sample of this that I can brew at the proper strength another time.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 2 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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90

Sipdown and I really liked this. :)

Malty, smooth, mellow, fruity, lightly sweet of a mixture of honey, molasses and brown sugar notes. Lots of berry fruity goodness along with sweet potatoes. I got some slightly good bitter dark cocoa notes which really played well with the fruitiness. I liked that it was a stronger flavor, full-bodied. I think I would really enjoy this with a teaspoon of milk in the mornings because of the stronger flavor/notes. It’s a drag that I have to have a little milk in my tea in the mornings now but I still can enjoy nekked tea :P in the evenings since it’s not on an empty stomach.

Prepared it gongfu 5g, 6 steeps: quick rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 50s at 185℉.

Mood: A little somber, thinking of the El Paso shooting. Thinking of them and their families. I was just at a busy shopping center the other day…

Flavors: Berries, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
derk

Feeling it, too, Kawaii. The Gilroy Garlic Festival here in CA last weekend…

Kawaii433

Derk :( and now after a nap, 10 more dead and 16 injured in Dayton, OH.

LuckyMe

Same here. 250 mass shootings in 2019 already. It worries me that people are becoming desensitized to it all :(

mrmopar

A sad state our country has become with all these shootings.

tea-sipper

Is this the 2019 harvest, Kawaii?

tea-sipper

250?!?! That is terrible. It breaks my heart every time this happens, but apparently it happens so often I missed a few. :/

derk

Kawaii, that’s my hometown. Why.

tea-sipper

derk, I’m so sorry. I think of all the people affected each time, even if they are just FROM the place these shootings occurred. So much worry and negativity so many people have to go through, the victims of course, but really millions of people affected each time this happens. I will never understand why someone is okay with shooting anyone, let alone strangers or random people. No excuse.

Martin Bednář

I just heard a news about it. It is terrible and I still do not understand why laws are there so… “weak” (is it a good word?).

El Paso, Dayton… Weird.
Just… praying they will change it.

Kawaii433

derk, Dayton is your hometown? :( I’m so sorry.

Kawaii433

tea-sipper, yes I believe it’s 2019. Sorry I missed that question and am just now answering!

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77

This was a free sample from my order of samples. Thanks, Teavivre! I will say right away that this is probably the type of tea that is LEAST to my tastes. Water Sprite – I was intrigued by the name of the tea and wasn’t thinking about what the tea might actually taste like when I selected my free samples. It’s the sort of oolong that just tastes like charcoal to my palate and I can’t get past the charcoal to taste anything else. It’s just charcoal, charcoal, charcoal. Sweet, mineral charcoal, but still charcoal. Though I’m sure the quality is great, I’m not the person to ask about roasty oolongs. The leaves look like a dusty black tea. All three steeps were tasting identical. Roasty charcoal. It’s always disappointing that I can’t enjoy these roasty oolongs. Half the second mug spilled — luckily it wasn’t my favorite tea. I won’t cry over this spilled tea… I know others have a much better experience with these types of tea.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 13 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 2 minutes after boiling // 4 min
Harvest: 2018

LuckyMe

I hate ashy teas. I’m surprised the roast hasn’t mellowed out after a year.

tea-sipper

LuckyMe – maybe the roast HAS mellowed after a year? I’m just trying this one now, so possibly?

LuckyMe

Possibly, I can only imagine how charcoal-y it must have been fresh. Chalk it up to it being an overly roasted tea

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80

This tea is a medium oolong with interested leaves that are a mix of green, brown and black. It has a light baked taste with flavors of flowers and fruit. It is a good tea, but again the fruitiness just doesn’t do it for me. This is more of a personal preference than a knock on the tea, which is of high quality.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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If I were consistent and scientific enough to numerically rate what I drink, the gold standard would be 33.3% malty/bready flavor, 33.3% enough caffeine to get my eyes fully open within 10 minutes of the first sip, and 78.7% UNGOOFABLE. Can’t ruin it no matter how distracted you get trying to decide what to take to work for lunch.

We have a winner here. I accidentally let my travel tumbler stew for a good seven minutes this morning (oh, look! a bunny!) and was sure the first sip would take the skin off my tongue.

Skin is still intact and this is still tasty. Instead of three-grain wheat bread, we’ve got dark rye here (with cherry preserves?) but still sippable, even without diluting with ice.

Oh, and lunch is going to be a Lean Cuisine frozen glazed chicken entrée and lemon meringue Greek yogurt. I’m not sure that was worth almost ruining a perfectly good tumbler of tea.

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Yesterday was a hit-the-ground-running Saturday; despite my feeling like I was just running on a hamster wheel, I do have a tidier living room and a finished writing project to show for it. But before I started scrambling, I sat down and savored a good cuppa and this was in it.

My first taste and first review emphasized the baked bread notes, which I see listed in the flavor thesaurus that goes with this tea, but with a little more leaf and a little more time to let it cool, I got a sweet molasses vibe as well. Delicious, and a hint that autumn is waiting in the wings. (A pleasant thought on a day with an expected heat index in the low boil range.)

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Ashmanra was evidently tired of my bewailing and bemoaning that I could no longer buy my beloved Fujian Congou from Nature’s Tea Leaf :) and sent me a Teavivre sample as a possible alternative.

I am in rebound love. This steeps dark and sweet and I just want to keep my nose in the cup. It affects me like 19th century smelling salts to calm me down and make me docile.

There is an entire thesaurus of descriptor names that have already been assigned to this little gem by other Steepsters, so I don’t have to invent new ones, but those that trip my trigger are hay, wood, leather, and brown sugar—which intensifies as the cup cools. Sweetness. (Thanks, friend!)

ashmanra

Hooray! Hooray! This has been my breakfast tea for all those reasons! I am so glad you loved it! I was hoping you would. I was pretty sure you would. And you did! Happy dance to start my day!

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90

It is 0 dark thirty and the dogs wanted to go out, so here I am. Who knows how long this visit to the great outdoors will last, so I thought a cup of tea would be just the thing, considering that I don’t think I’m going to get back to sleep.

I’ve lost interest in drinking the August Uncommon Teas now that my order from Tea Vivre arrived. I bought one 100 gram bag of one black tea (the name escapes me at the moment), and a bunch of samplers—one gift box of green tea samples, one of black tea samples, another black tea sampler that wasn’t in a gift box (maybe because those are the less fancy black teas?), and a ton of samples, since they had a special where you could get five samples free, plus then there were another three available when I checked out. My tea cupboard runneth over into a giant silver bowl on the counter filled with silver sample packs. It’s going to take me a while to work through all of them, and I’m ridiculously looking forward to the experience. there is something deeply pleasurable to me about just plunging my hand into the bowl and grabbing a random tea for the day. It brings a tiny bit of novelty to my well-ordered world.

This bai hao tea is my first of the samples. Its taken a few days to drink it, since I’m getting multiple steeps out of the leaves. I got three steeps from my first serving of the tea. The tea leaf has a delicate aroma, and the brewed liquid has a light vegetal, rather seaweed sort of smell. Flavor-wise, it has a creamy, nutty note that I’m really enjoying. I don’t find it to have a strongly grassy taste, which a lot of greens seem to have. I don’t think my palate is refined enough to pick up any fruity notes the tea profile mentions. I feel rather proud that I can identify some, even if it is by looking at a list of potential flavors and saying, “yeah, I get that.” Anyway, this is a fabulous tea that will probably go on my buy again list for green teas. I’m really enjoying it.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Nutty, Seaweed

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 500 OZ / 14786 ML
Kittenna

Teavivre sample roulette!

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86

As soon as I opened the sample, I was hit with a strong smell of sweet hay from the leaves. The tea has a very pleasing aroma, but not as strong as the leaves. The texture of the tea is amazingly light, it takes a second or two for the flavor to hit after a sip, gradually growing. It is sweet with flavors of wheat toast and maple syrup. This tea is complex and tasty, definitely a winner.

Flavors: Maple Syrup, Toast, Wheat

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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82

This tea is a medium oolong with a faint aroma that I am having trouble placing. It taste of honey and has flavors of fruit and flowers. It is a nice complex tea.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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79

This tea has an aroma of bran flakes. It is a fruitier black tea with flavors of bran and orange peel. It is a high quality tea, but I have trouble enjoying fruity notes in tea.

Flavors: Orange Zest, Wheat

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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83

This tea is a light oolong with a sweet clean floral aroma. It has a light, smooth texture with a sweet flavor of orchids. This is a high quality TGY with a pleasing, lingering aftertaste.

Flavors: Floral, Orchid

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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72

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Metallic

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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73
drank Jasmine Oolong Tea by Teavivre
2857 tasting notes

Another sample I bought around a year ago. sigh. So this is the 2018 harvest. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I love Teavivre’s jasmine so much that I’m up for trying ALL their jasmine teas. Somehow this one isn’t as amazing as their other jasmine teas. Even upon opening the pouch, rather than the essence of jasmine, there is really only a hint of sweetness. That is also true with the flavor. I don’t think this is best quality oolong and the leaves looked a little broken in the infuser. But the flavor of the oolong is decent enough to pair with jasmine. Sweet, bright, buttery, a bit creamy. If I had approached anywhere near a two minute steep time, I think this would have been astringent. So I possibly should only use one teaspoon of leaves in the future. Though the third steep with a hot temperature and long steep time was fairly smooth and sweet anyway. Many of Teavivre’s other jasmine teas have much more jasmine flavor and seem better quality with the leaf. Teavivre is my must-go-to shop for jasmine teas, but I won’t need to buy this one. I like FULL jasmine flavor. Again, I’m happy to try all of Teavivre’s jasmine teas anyway. I’m GLAD I don’t love ALL of them.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 8 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Harvest: 2018

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92

The tiny sample pouch I had of this was opened, and who knows for how long, so my expectations weren’t particularly high. But, as sometimes happens, I got a happy surprise when trying the tea – it was delicious! Full of honey, minerals, florals. Hands down the best darker oolong I’ve had in a long time (non-green? Oxidized? I’m not sure how to say that…) I juuuust ordered DavidsTea’s Phoenix Oolong as my Frequent Steeper freebie, and I’m hoping it’s even half as delicious as this one.

Unfortunately, that’s what I remember from last night – I’m drinking this after the sticky rice oolong today, and literally all I can taste is that flavour, so I’m going to leave the last sip or two of this until my tastebuds have been cleared a bit. That sticky rice flavour is so persistent…

Thanks to Teavivre for the lovely sample!

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91

Somehow I haven’t tried this one before. I grabbed it during the black tea sample sale. The leaves here are huge and mostly black, which is odd to me for a Dian Hong. But I’m willing to try it! So the leaves are definitely different than the Yun Nan Dian Hong – Full Leaf, as those are gold and black. But this tea also looks like huge “full leaves” to me! The scent of the dry leaf is very much like a freshly harvested field of hay. Either the two teaspoons was too much, or the three minute steep was too long, as this has a little more astringency than I’d prefer. But I’ll like it even more when I adjust the parameters. It’s a unique one…. I wouldn’t say it tastes like the other Dian Hongs that Teavivre carries. It’s certainly a different flavor profile. The cup is dark and I’m tasting flavors of coffee, that dried hay, flowers, malt, and something fruity about it. It’s almost like an Assam tea. It has a HINT of the fruit flavor that is in the incomparable Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild Tree which makes since if it’s also a Dian Hong. The leaves actually look very similar, except the Nonpareil has a slight red color to the leaves. But there the comparisons end, as the flavor of the Nonpareil is very light and this tea couldn’t be deeper and stronger. I’m actually very surprised that such a dark brew resulted from these huge leaves. I was expecting a very light cup. If you like your teas strong, this is one to try and it’s quite affordable! I would certainly stock up.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 19 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Harvest: 2018

Kittenna

One day, I’ll make a teavivre order and pick up all sorts of samples of things like this! Sounds delicious.

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85

Convenient pyramid bags made of environmentally-friendly corn fiber. It was a very clean high-quality Yunnan pu’erh tea, with very light earth notes, and heavy rice aroma and light taste note. Very smooth, mellow, easy on the tummy type of tea. I only had one bag to try but it was a pleasant one. Not a complex pu’erh, but a solid daily drinker if you like rice shou.

Flavors: Earth, Rice

Preparation
3 g

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80

Many thanks to Teavivre for this sample. It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to try a new Teavivre tea.

When I opened the small sample package, I was greeted with small, tightly curled, dark brown leaves. The aroma was faint but slightly sweet.

I steeped the leaves at approximately 203 degrees for eight minutes as instructed by the package. The brewed liquor was a vivid reddish-gold. The aroma was slightly sweet and malty, but again faint.

The flavor of this tea was like malty hay with a perceptible “edge” to it. The edge was not quite astringent but it did bite into a sweet characteristic of the taste that subsisted underneath.

All in all, the flavor was amiable. The aftertaste was not obnoxious and lingered only briefly.

Personally, I prefer more robust flavors in black tea. However, this selection should be fine for those who do not need to pump up the volume.

Flavors: Hay, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

Backlog – sipdown actually 6/16
unsmoked version of this tea
small twisty leaves that smell of chocolate
2min, 205F
chocolate

dry smells – bready, yam, cocoa
1. 3min 212F – yam, cocoa, fruit
2. 3 min 200F – fruit, sweet, coating as it cools
3. 4 min 200F – candy sweetness, fruit, juicy, small sour note in background.

It’s a better at a little lower temperature. But this tea is pretty old now and a lot of the flavor has been lost. Still I wonder, why would you smoke this tea? I might order some more to try.

Flavors: Candy, Cocoa, Fruity, Sweet, Yams

ashmanra

I love this tea. It is really great unsmoked.

hawkband1

I was surprised at how much I liked this. The smoked Lapsang seems like a waste. I have some and I’ll never drink it. Way too strong :(

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85

Definitely, a tea to help relax oneself.

Tense couple of days for me. I found out that my nephew’s ex-girlfriend said he was “cyberstalking” her. After hauling him in, keeping him for 48 hrs, he’s out. His new girlfriend is there for him, said his ex is just angry and jealous. I have experience in criminal law (before I decided to put my chemistry background with my law) but he is in California, and I’m in another state but I did what I could and got the facts (or lack thereof), and spoke to people. I believe the charges were dropped. I looked at his FB and saw a few of his posts that read “Happy birthday. Will love you always.” and a few other sweet posts. Going to sound like a typical aunt here but he’s such a good kid. Good work ethics, has a samurai personality, always wants to help the less fortunate out. Hopefully, it’ll all work out for all involved.

Ah yes, the tea. :)
It’s quite savory, with chestnut aroma, slightly nutty, some floral notes, grassy and very subtle astringency, and a very nice sweet aftertaste. I didn’t get the toasted walnuts mentioned but a continued subtle chestnut flavor, floral and mineral notes. Vegetal, seaweed, marine. As I continued it got slightly bitter, but will drop it down a notch in temperature next time. Boiled chestnuts are the star here. In the later infusions, I got an interesting cantaloupe note.

Gaiwan (silver): 110ml
185℉ / 85℃
5 steeps: rinse, 15s, 25s, 40s, 60s, 90s

Flavors: Broth, Cantaloupe, Chestnut, Grass, Marine, Nutty, Seaweed, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML
mrmopar

These things usually work out in time. Sad that it comes to extremes like that sometimes though.

Kawaii433

Mrmopar. I sure hope so. Thank you <3

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68

Sipdown! 185/365!

Well, this is less offensive than I thought it could be, and as a result, I’m now a bit more interested in trying blends with chrysanthemum. This is what I’d call an easy-drinking pu’erh – it’s mild and earthy, no unpleasant fishiness whatsoever. I don’t know what chrysanthemum tastes like, as I haven’t had it straight, but based on this sample, I’d guess it’s pleasantly earthy? I think I have some straight buds; perhaps I’ll give them a shot later.

Not a favourite of mine, because I haven’t acquired a taste for pu’erh at this point, but it really wasn’t bad at all.

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90

So vegetal. Steamed green beans, spinach, asparagus, slightly nutty, buttery, slightly sweet, some nice chestnut notes, stonefruits, umami…

Really enjoyed my sample of it yesterday. Would love it get more and give it the gongfu style treatment. This time, I use my new TeaVivre glass and 185℉, grandpa style.

Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Chestnut, Spinach, Stonefruits, Umami, Vegetal

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80
drank Peach Oolong by Teavivre
4388 tasting notes

Sipdown! 171/365!

Another free sample from Teavivre – thank you! This tea is a delightful example of a well-flavoured oolong, where there’s lots of delicious peach flavour but also plenty of delicious base tea. The base isn’t specified, but it’s a probably a tieguanyin, possibly with some natural peach notes on its own. (The packet doesn’t indicate that there has been any flavouring added, but the peach is too prominent for it to be naturally occurring, or to come from the dried apple that is listed as the only ingredient aside from tea.) Not a fancy tea, but very accurate to its name. Yum!

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