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Recent Tasting Notes
This is my second sample of Tan Yang Gong Fu from one of Teavivre’s black tea sample packs. Wow, this tea surprised me this time. It has a smooth, sweet taste reminiscent of caramel, with an accompanying satisfying faint aroma. I had a hard time sipping instead of gulping. Very pleasant tea, I’d highly recommend it.
When I read the description I was a bit confused on the aroma of sweet potato, as I’d never perceived such a thing when brewing tea before. Well, now I understand.
Upon completion of steeping this tea’s initial aroma is very similar to boiled sweet potatoes, before fading to a more typical black tea aroma. It is a delicately sweet tea with no real bitterness and just a slight tug on my tongue from a light astringency. This is on my growing list of favorites.
I am pretty sure I wrote a note on this one before, but as happened yesterday, that note seems to have disappeared.
I had never heard of osmanthus until a few years ago when I ordered an osmanthus puerh. It was very good but I had nothing to compare it to so that I could really separate the flavor. I have since had a couple of teas with osmanthus and I think I can recognize it better now. It isn’t nearly as sweet or as strong as jasmine to me, nor does it have the thick mouthfeel that rose can have.
The oolong here is not a dark roasted one, and it combines beautifully with the floral. I believe that this tea would have been rather floral on its own, and the addition of osmanthus just sweetens it a bit more. This was a lovely oolong for a late night treat, lasting about six infusions and really could probably have kept going for more.
Thanks Angel of Teavivre for my strawberry oolong sample. On opening the sample package there is a nice strawberry scent accenting the oolong. I steeped in hot water watch the leaves unfurl a nice strawberry with hint of green rises from tea together with oolong scent.I added a teaspoon and end up with a honey tone tea taste of nice strawberry and nice oolong together in balance.This is just the second oolong I ever tasted but I like oolong has a warming quality to it. As I write this note I am re-steeping the leaves is lots of them looking forward to a second cup. Glad I got this sample. Hope teavivre adds more fruity oolongs in the future.
Dry leaf aroma initially reminds me of raisins, but once brewed becomes incredibly deep and floral.
Taste is just slightly malty with a wonderful, rich floral sweetness that fully remains even on the second steep. This is so lovely, and it’s like the tea has been softly scented with red rose petals; very smooth, fragrant and sweet.
Back to school and back to studying! The perfect time to sit down with some class reading and sip some tea!
This tea starts out in tight coils and blossoms into full, thick leaves. The taste is warm and toasted, Just what I was looking for on this cold afternoon. The major taste of this tea to me is the roasted oolong flavor which there is a perfect amount of. It allows the natural oolong flavor to blend in with the warmth.
As I said earlier, I decided to drink this while reading for class and the taste of the tea really matches the atmosphere. To me, it resembles sitting down in my warm apartment reading and trying to keep the cold at bay. It is definitely a good quality tea. I steeped this one twice and so far it manages to maintain the taste very well.
I’m pretty confused by this tea so far. The first time around, I remember it was sweet, smooth, and a very nice green oolong in general. The second time, there was something damp-tasting about it. I’m getting that weird dampness again this time around. I know that’s not really a taste descriptor, but I really can’t think of how else to say it. I do have an unopened sample, so maybe a fresh start will help? So far, I’m just chasing after that first time, hoping it will come back around again.
So I made myself a pot of this early in the morning before heading off to class on a rare day when I was actually awake early enough to make and drink tea before leaving. It is as floral, sweet, and smooth as I remember. Although, this time it also tasted damp? I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense because all tea is liquid, but something about it tasted extra wet or damp. Anyway, other than that, this is a nice greener oolong, but doesn’t have anything super special about it compared to other green oolongs that I’ve had.
Backlog from yesterday, so this will be a quick note. The first steep was sweet and smooth, delicious! Second and subsequent steeps got a little to vegetal for my preferences, but still very nice. After all the bagged teas I’ve had lately from vacation, it was extra nice to see the unfurled full leaves in my glass teapot. They seriously expanded like no other. Now I’m just sitting here wondering which tea I’ll steep up for this morning..
Thank you again Angel for this sample!
I put the whole packet into my new glass teapot that my mom got for me. I am not sure how many pearls there were… perhaps 5-8? It brewed a nice light-medium amber. It smelled warm and roasted. Delicious! It tastes like a yunnan black tea. Delicious! I love the slight nutty and chocolate undertones. It doesn’t need sugar or milk at all. This was so good!
additional notes: This harvest is ANCIENT but it is still so shockingly floral. I’m so glad it hasn’t aged too much. (Teavivre’s amazing packaging probably helps). I adore this oolong. <3 <3 <3 Yeah, little hearts. It might be my favorite oolong. Have I said this before? Bonus for the newer tasting notes on Teavivre.com for the current harvest also saying that this particular oolong is still floral! I love how consistent Teavivre teas usually are.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Flowers, Orchids
I also had to try the new harvest of my favorite oolong! I love the super-floral quality of the previous harvests. Right away, even with the dry leaf I can tell this one is completely different. There isn’t any hints of flowers. Steeping exactly the same as I usually steep this oolong, the flavor is completely different as well. No flowers. The flavor is now slightly savory, creamy, buttery. It actually has a different flavor than many oolongs, but I can’t quite place what that is. The dry leaves look the same: tightly coiled dark green bundles. This oolong is still very good, but not the absolute favorite cup of flowers of previous harvests. I still have a ton of my 2014 stock though! My rating would be much lower for the 2015 but I’ll keep this rating for the 2014.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a mug // couple minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 minute steep
Additional notes: Sipping this one again from my 100 grams I just had to buy from Teavivre after the best-oolong-ever sample I tried. The sample was a garden of the most beautiful flowers in a cup, though this time there doesn’t seem to be as much floral flavor or fragrance even from the dry leaves. Not sure if that is from a different harvest or because the sample was fresh from the foil wrapper (though the 100 grams is still wrapped REALLY well). I tried to follow the parameters as much as possible. Steeping it this way seems PERFECT with each steep, no astringency at all and plenty of flavor. It’s still probably my favorite oolong, even without all those flowers!
Two tsps. // rinse // just boiled // 1 min // 2 min // 3 min
I wanted a fresh bright oolong, so this was the one I went with in my three tea order (with $15 discount with coupon and reward points!) The leaves are such bright green little bundles! Ages ago I had the Iron Goddess with honey from Teavivre, that they don’t sell anymore. I had to get this one because I was amazed when I had a sample pouch from two years ago that was already opened (and in a sandwich bag) and it still tasted SO fresh… like the leaves had just been picked!
Teavivre’s instructions: 212 degrees – 2-3 teaspoons – rinse 1,2,3 min
Steep #1 // right after boiling // rinse & 1 min steep
I used two teaspoons of leaves because three teaspoons would be pouring out of my infuser basket! The dry leaves smell AMAZING – like many different kinds of flowers – orchids, a bit of gardenia (and I don’t really like gardenia but it sure is lovely here.) It’s also kind of grassy and spinachy (I like spinach more than gardenia.) The flavor is less grass & spinach but a ridiculous amount of these flowers! It’s like a garden in a cup! There is a TINY flavor that is off, like it shouldn’t have been boiled, but I’m still shocked that boiled water doesn’t ruin oolongs. Note to self: Wait around ten minutes after boiling next time. This is such a lovely oolong though – one of the most floral I’ve had. Exactly the oolong I wanted in stock!
Steep #2 // right after boiling // 2 min
As expected, the leaves are taking up the entire basket! I might try this one with three teaspoons at some point anyway, just to taste the difference. This is a nice cup, but it doesn’t have the super-florals that the first cup had. This is actually a light oolong. I kind of was looking for a strong flavored oolong, but the floral aspect of this oolong makes it special, so I don’t mind if it doesn’t have a stronger flavor. This one still doesn’t taste burned at all. This cup, I’d say the flavor is a very mellow lemon.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
This cup went back to the florals a bit! I don’t know what happened with the second cup. This cup is also very buttery. Only a hint of that flavor that the leaves have been steeped three times. I’m very happy with this oolong!
A sample with my Teavivre order! Their article on pu-erh helped me figure some pu-erh stuff out, and I wish I had seen it before I ordered, because I probably would have requested a ripened sample rather than a raw. Ah well, I will try this anyway! Though this is supposed to be a cake, the leaves have already fell apart in the sample bag… they are long, black and dusty. The leaves actually smell like spinach which I just happened to have for lunch today. Teavivre’s instructions:
10 grams for 8 ounces of water – 212 degrees – rinse, 30 sec, 1, 2,3,4 min
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // rinse, 1 min
I went with half my sample package. The brew is light.. a lighter brown. I expect raw pu-erh to have this color now which means I love the others – the dark color of the ripened pu-erh, and the flavor. The flavor of this one is a hint of spinach and also like cedar, which is probably why I dislike them more. I don’t like the woodchip flavor. Maybe a bit like apple and/or chamomile is here too.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
This steep seems a bit overdone – a little too tangy and astringent for me. But the flavor isn’t my favorite anyway. I wonder if everyone willing to sip pu-erh has a preference to either ripe or raw pu-erh. This reminds me of Fengqing Paddy Flavor Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2006, but I prefer the flavor of that one better, unless the steep on this one was just terrible on my part. This isn’t a terrible pu-erh, but I know that if I bought any pu-erh for my cupboard, it would certainly be ripened. It’s just to my taste better! I appreciate that I could try it though!
This tea is distinctly sweet and a little earthy, and I wouldn’t stop drinking it if I had an endless supply. It is quickly becoming a favorite. The last two times I’ve prepared it I’ve done two steeps, the first for 2 minutes at the recommended temp, then the second adding just a pinch more tea and using boiling water. The second cup is not as strongly sweet in aroma or flavor, allowing more room for the more earthy, malty components to shine
This is a nice cup of tea -however, for milky creaminess, it doesn’t compare to DavidsTea milk oolong, of which I am a big fan. I am trying other milk oolongs for comparison purposes. This one is more delicate and vegetal than I prefer. I made this Western style according to the directions on the package, which are for a much longer time than the directions given in this blurb on steepster.