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Recent Tasting Notes
A lovely two-glass tetsubin of Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng was the perfect follow-up to today’s lunch of a third of a Ciabatta split lengthwise, toasted and slathered with a lobster-seafood cream spread before piling baby arugula high and then smashing the two sides together into a sandwich.
Same pale greenish-yellow, slightly vegetal but very smooth liquor as before—only even better after this meal!
Today’s first TOD (tetsubin of the day) was Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng. I used a bit more tea this time (5 g for 17 oz) and steeped for only about two minutes. The liquor was pale peachy green, and I literally gobbled up both glasses.
Second infusion to follow later this afternoon…
I now have a full bag of Teavivre’s Huang Shan Mao Feng Green tea with a production date of April 4, 2014, so I know that this is a new tea to me. I reviewed the 2013 before, but today’s pot is of the fresh tea from the spring of 2014.
I noticed that the leaves are lighter in weight and color than many Mao Fengs familiar to me, including last year’s Teavivre crop. The leaves are also quite a bit longer than most Mao Fengs. They are crinkly, long and thin, creating a large volume for a small weight. This is a good example where a scale can come in handy since attempting to measure this tea by volume would be tricky indeed—there’s a lot of air space!
The appearance of the dried leaves led me to predict that the flavor would be less vegetal, and it is. I find the taste to be more smooth and buttery and light, not at all like dark cooked vegetables (as with some green teas, including some Mao Fengs…). The texture is also quite nice: like satin ribbons rolling over the tongue. This texture I have come to associate with haute green teas in general, as it greatly enhances the drinking experience.
For today’s tetsubin, I used 5 grams in 22 ounces of water at 79C steeped for about three minutes. The liquor was very pale peachy green, and I could see tiny white filaments floating about inside the glass.
I’m already looking forward to the second infusion—plus many more fresh pots on the way!
(Blazing New Rating #41)
The flavor of this Huang Shan Mao Feng from Teavivre is a lot lighter today than I recalled. Which is strange, because I thought that I had nearly doubled the leaves! Anyway, it tastes good. Maybe I got the brew right today: cooler water, short steep.
The liquor was more brown than green but quite pale, and the flavor was smooth and subtle. In fact, it did not really seem like the same tea. I have another generous-sized sample from Teavivre (thank you!), so I’ll definitely be exploring this tea some more in the future. After today’s brew, I feel compelled to increase my rating.
It’s funny, because my success with green teas seems to have much more to do with me than with the tea itself. There are so many ways to make mistakes, and so many variables involved.
For today’s pot of Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng, I used a full tablespoon because of all of the space between the crispy and knotty leaves, rather like the roots of a huge tree which I encountered while digging a final resting place in my backyard for beloved HRH Emperor Oliver on September 16, 2013. But that’s another story.
This batch has the same cooked vegetable aftertaste—similar to severely overcooked green beans, and the liquor is more golden than green—veering even a bit toward brown. I’m not sure that adding more tea for the pot will help since I don’t like the scent of this tea that much either. There is a darkness here which matches well the idea of knotted tree roots in a forest.
I’ll try again.
Flavors: Green Beans
I doubled the dose of leaves in my infusion of Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng, and the result was much better. I still find a taste of green beans in this single source Mao Feng, and I do not like it as much as the Green Tips full-leaf blend from Tazo, which seems to have more body and oomph to it.
The taste of this Mao Feng is light and thirst quenching, and I’ll experiment with further infusions later today…
second infusion: this brew was quite delicious. better than the first!
third infusion: starting to lose its oomph…
I brewed up my first pot ever of Mao Feng today, this one being Huang Shan Mao Feng from Teavivre. The dried leaves look wiry and and smell vegetal. The liquour was extremely pale yellow and the flavor so light that I concluded that I underleafed this pot. I’ll try again with twice as much…
second infusion: I tried this with half the water volume of the first infusion and found that while the liquour was quite a bit darker—albeit pale golden yellow—the taste was still extremely faint. I’ll try again soon… The spent leaves smell a bit like green beans.
Hello and happy holidays! While it’s a little belated, it has been crazy in my life. I had surgery on Christmas eve and have looked forward to drinking some tea. I decided to start with this one because it sounded so interesting. This is another sample I received from Teavivre, so thanks once again! :)
After steeping this tea, I took in the amazing smell of the warm, wet leaves. It definitely smells like a nice sweet oolong. The taste of this tea is very similar. It has a floral sweetness and smoothness to it that really complements the natural sweetness of the oolong leaves. It is a new and different kind of tea that is one example of the types of tea that keep me so interested in trying as many as I can. This relaxing tea was a great choice to come back to after my crazy, heavily medicated holiday.
I am so thankful for Teavivre’s review contest, I have won a 5 tea sampler pack and that makes me really happy this morning!
So to honour them, I have decided to drink one of my favourite of theirs.
This is my best everyday Tie Guan Yin. By everyday, I don’t mean this is average tasting, I mean it’s affordable enough to drink on an everyday basis.
Cause this TGY is absolutely fabulous, it competes with some of the most expensive ones I own, for a fraction of the price. It is everything I love about high mountain oolong. Floral, buttery and sweet, but also juicy and refreshing. There’s a pure crystalline mineral quality about this tea. I get hints of vanilla also, which makes this cup so very creamy and yummy!
Its name is representative, it truly is a TGY King!
I searched a long time before settling on this tea, I tried lower grades TGY to see if they could make a decent cup for a daily basis. But I quickly came to the conclusion that quality is proportional to the $$ you are willing to pay. That was until I got to try a sample of this wonderful tea.
It is almost at par with another one I buy in much smaller amount but would cost $60 for the same quantity!
Thank you Teavivre, no wonder I keep coming back for more :-)
And congrats to all the other Steepsterites who have won something in the contest!!
As I was about to go to bed after closing all the lights, I noticed a halo illuminating the entire kitchen. I stood in front of the bay window and realized it was a full moon tonight…Blue shadows everywhere, the moonlight caressing the surface of the snow, creating the illusion of a vast carpet made of a thousand sparkling diamonds. Breathtaking.
No way I was going to bed…took my gongfu set and boiled some water. Decided I was gonna have a meditative tea session in silence with Miss Moon.
This tie guan yin was an excellent choice. It is everything I love about high mountain oolong. Very floral, buttery and sweet, but also juicy and refreshing. There’s a pure crystalline quality about this tea, a breath of fresh air.
Stayed there for a full hour. I kept staring at the night, the imagery was picturesque, I tell you, the only thing missing was the wolf howling at the moon!
My head is full of beauty from the scenery but also, from this magnificent tea, I think I can sleep now…
(See previous note)
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect everyday green TGY. By everyday, I don’t mean not as tasty, I mean that I like it so much, I want to find one that is reasonably priced, without compromising the taste.
My luck ran out after trying multiple lower grade samples, I came to the conclusion that I must break the bank if I want to drink on daily basis the type of TGY I’m really fond of.
Well, that was before I tried the King from Teavivre! Regardless of the price, this is one of the best I have tried period, and it’s under 16$ at regular price for 100gr!!!
It is almost at par with another one I bought in a much smaller amount but would have costed me 45$ for same quantity, that’s unbelievable!
It is floral and buttery, with hints of lilac and vanilla. It tastes like the mountains. I just love those floral oolongs, and this tea will allow me to stick to the plan and put to rest those prized Oolongs that cost a little fortune. (I plan on drinking the expensive ones only once or twice a week but I always end up drinking more cause I crave them too much).
I mentioned the prices today to illustrate how expensive this little hobby of ours can be.
Then I think of all the beer I don’t drink and I make my piece with it!
(If you have the beer + the tea, well it means you either have a bigger budget or you have a bigger problem, lol)
Thank you Teavivre for this King of a tea! I will be happy to reorder without having to cry for my wallet!
Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity. Thanks Angel!
The brewed tea smells deliciously sweet. I immediately thought of wild honey.
The brewed tea tastes wonderful. First tastes that come to mind were clean, malty, wild honey flavours. As I get into the mid sip, I definitely get a sweet potatoe taste, like crispy sweet potatoe fries. There is definitely a lingering sweetness. This tea tastes full and bold. Slightly creamy taste and feel to the liquor. No astringency.
I love Fujian blacks, and this one is no exception. Next time I would like to brew for a but longer to get stronger flavours.
This is the last of my blueberry fruit tea from Teavivre! Sad!! This is perfect weather for cold-brewed or room-temperature brewed tea. I love to brew fruity teas cold or room-temperature. Yum! The hibiscus in this lends itself toward cold brewing. I didn’t try to brew it hot just because I like blueberries and hibiscus cold. Delicious! Just the right amount of smoothness and tartness.
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Tart
OK so I figured at some point I’d start working through my Christmas tea backlog… Here’s the first!
Since it was my first order from Teavivre I decided to get a number of sample packs to see what I liked and what I didn’t. I really love the sample pack idea, it gives a person a chance to get to know the company and try out teas at with very little risk. This is the first tea I tried from the Green Tea Sample pack and it was interesting… I’ve never had a Dragon Well Long Jin tea and I was curious about the reputed chestnut flavors that it contained.
Dry the tea is intriguing, straight and long they almost reminded me (visually) of over sized Fur needles. The scent was fresh but yet warm, much warmer than I was expecting. And there were definite nutty notes, including the chestnut that I was hearing about in other reviews.
After a quick rinse I steeped this (in my brand new glass gongfu pot! Yay for Boxing Day sales!) for 20 seconds; the resulting liquor was a light yellow-green color and had a very fresh scent to it with a number of savory undertones. The flavor profile was filled with chestnuts and butter with just a few darker vegetal flavors. The chestnut lingered on the tongue and while the mouthfeel was quite rich I got a mildly astringent feeling as part of the finish.
The liquor from my second steeping (40 sec) was the same color and warm, fresh scent as the first one. Flavor wise I got a few more buttery notes mixed in with the chestnuts, it was almost like drinking a chestnut pastry filling without all the sweetness (granted the tea was quite sweet on its own, but you know how much sugar is in those fillings!) The mouthfeel was a bit heavier this time around and the chestnut flavor lingered longer.
My next steeping was for a full minute and the scent profile for the pale butter yellow liquor was mellowing out a bit, still warm and nutty but just not as fragrant as it was before. Similarly the flavor profile has shifted a bit as well, warm the vegetal flavors were now showing up more and the chestnut was just a bit softer than previous steepings. This infusion also was a bit bitter while still having that touch of astringency on the finish.
I found the last steeping (2 min) almost too bitter and astringent for my tastes. The yellow liquor had a mellow fresh scent but I just wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as the previous steepings.
I’m going to have to try this one again at a later date… Personally I’m not sure about the chestnut flavor (I’m not a huge chestnut fan but I enjoy it in some things) and how it mixes with the dark vegetal notes. I could see it growing on me though and at the very least though it might not end up being a regular tea for me I could see reaching for it when I’m looking for something different.