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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Sipdown! Finished the last of this off at work over the last couple of days. It’s all that’s been keeping me going at some points, let me tell you. If I ever come across a strawberry tea as amazing as this one, I’ll be stunned. I think my previous tasting note says it all in that respect, though. It’s amazing stuff.
On a related note, I can’t work out how to “like” on here any more. Sad face.
A sample from KittyLovesTea! I haven’t been the greatest oolong fan thus far, but I’m definitely getting there thanks to Steepster! I have to say straight off that this is one of the best flavoured oolongs I’ve ever tried. It smells just like strawberry while brewing, and it tastes just like strawberry juice while drinking. I’m not getting the slightest hint of oolong flavour at all, really, it’s just sweet, juicy, awesome strawberry wonderfulness.
I can appreciate that not being able to taste the base tea isn’t always a good thing, and part of me would like it to have poked through a little. I like strawberry, though, and it’s just so perfect-tasting here with not a hint of artificiality. I could drink this for the rest of my life and die happy, I think. I can see myself really enjoying this on a warm summer day, if my sample lasts that long!
Tea of the morning…..
I am so glad this one finally arrived. Shipping times were slow due to the holidays, I imagine. I saw it was routed through Chicago, too, and they have had some pretty frigid weather. I usually spring for the shipping so it will get here faster, but I am thinking that was not such a good idea in this case.
Well, the tea is worth the wait. I get a floral note, there is a roastiness (ashmanra and JacquelineM- this kind of reminds me of Emperor’s Red from Premium Steap, but more floral), and a lingering sweetness. Really, it is like tea candy. I know that is a weird description, but the cocoa notes come across like a rose chocolate. I am not sorry at all that I just jumped in ordering 100g of this. It will be savored.
Usual mug method so I can try a resteep and not be tealogged.
Wow no tasting notes yet, and i’m certainly not going to set the bar high lol Working from home today but i’m pretty much exhausted beyond belief. My words aren’t working so well today. This is a decent cup of tea from Teavivre. It’s sweet, with a strong edge that i lik, without being bitter or astringent. Sadly, while i will enjoy this a bunch, it doesn’t knock others out of the top of my list for teas to keep on a permanent basis. I can see ordering this from time to time though to rotate through my cupboard :)
Edit: Also a sipdown because Terri hasn’t tried this one haha. Maybe i can hit 165 today…
My first wuyi, thanks to Angel at Teavivre!
The leaves are fragrant and dark, almost like a black tea. They’re rolled into narrow, pointed strips and are the color of dark chocolate. They smell like an oolong, but nuttier and with a hint of hay and cocoa. There’s also a scent that reminds me of new wood.
I let this one steep for three minutes. In that time, the water brewed up to a lovely golden brown. The color of a perfectly toasted marshmallow. The scent of the brewed tea is very different from the dry leaf. It smells toasted, like unsweetened cereal. Again, I think of Cheerios when I smell it. As far as the flavor goes, it’s very similar to the scent. However, I’m getting notes of roasted seaweed, too, but it’s faint. For an oolong, this is a pretty hearty cup!
I spent yesterday drinking this tea and really enjoying it. I find that it is a tough tea to get the best out of but when you do manage it, it is sublime. There are honeysuckle, peach and spice notes in it that make it really refreshing, while vegetal undertones keep it grounded. I like this tea and find it worth the effort. That is probably just as well, because I have a whole tin of it!
Flavors: Honeysuckle, Peach, Spices
I really liked the Oriental Beauty I bought from Canton Tea Co back when I first started buying from them. It was expensive but was absolutely lovely, so I bought a tin of this from Teavivre with some trepidation. After all, how could this cheaper tea live up to my previous experience?
So, the first steeping was not good. Too much leaf and steeped for too long. It had a metallic edge to it that I have noticed with oolongs when I get the steeping wrong. Not particularly pleasant and certainly not the delicate honeyed notes I was hoping for.
The second steeping went much better. It was like honeysuckle nectar: floral, sweet, light with apricot or peach notes. The third steep went equally well, and has left me feeling very pleased that I have a whole tin left in the cupboard awaiting my attentions. This is a tea that belongs permanently in my cupboard for when the mood takes me.
I steeped the remaining tea from the sample (about 5 grams) in my 150 ml gaiwan doing a wash and adding stevia on each steeping, water at boiling:
1st – 45 seconds
2nd – 75 seconds
3rd – 60 seconds
4th – about 90 seconds
I like the flavor. Somewhat cloudy orange-ish colored liquor, lots of little pieces of tea, no bitterness on the 1st steeping, but some on the 2nd (that’s why I backed off on the time on the third), none on the third, and just a little on the forth.
Managing the bitterness is the only downside here; I think this is a tea I could easily enjoy.
Until I get more of a reference point of what I like in a raw pu-erh, I am leaving off the numeric rating.
This is the 4th pu-erh toucha I have tried over the last two days, and the second from a sample pack I bought through Teavivre this past November, 2013.
Age of leaf: July, 2006.
Ceramic 4 cup teapot, no sweetener, 5 gram toucha, ~1 cup of water, 5 second wash.
……….1st: Just under boiling, 2.5’
……….2nd: Boiling. 5’
Appearance and Aroma of dry tea leaves: Right away, I could tell this tea was a very different type pu-erh than the last three I have brewed up. It was loose (as a sample, I am assuming it is broken from a larger toucha), and of a much lighter color than the last three pu-erhs; ‘spicy’ was one of the first words the came to mind. The aroma was also worlds apart: milder, lighter and clearly fresh. My initial impression of this one over the other pu-erhs: I like it better.
Aroma of tea liquor: mild but pleasant aroma.
Flavor of tea liquor: clean, light and spicy.
Overall: Generally speaking I prefer my tea to be light, natural, and fresh (that is why I mostly drink Chinese green tea). This ‘raw’ pu-erh is a refreshing change to the last three ‘cooked’ ones I had. I am now beginning to think that first two touchas I tried yesterday—the SpecialTeas one and the one from Taobao—were ‘cooked’; the color of the last three was very dark brown, almost black, and this one is orange and much lighter in color. I liked the flavor; the second steeping was a little bitter, but still enjoyable. Overall, I like this tea.
Fortuitously, I kept a little of the second steeping of the last cooked pu-erh and heated it up so as to compare it side-by-side with the flavor of the second steeping of this raw pu-erh. Its obvious now how different the two are: the cooked is fishy, heavy; the raw is spicy, light, perhaps woodsy. It’s hard to say which I prefer. I like each one for different reasons.
I’ll leave off the numeric rating until I try it with shorter steeping times and possibly in my new Yixing.
This is the 3rd pu-erh toucha I have tried over the last two days.
Age of leaf: May 2007.
Ceramic 4 cup teapot, no sweetener, 5 gram toucha, ~1 cup of water. I did a 5 second wash this time.
……….1st: Just under boiling, 2.5’
……….2nd: Boiling. 5’
Aroma of tea liquor: About the same as yesterdays touchas, but a little more, eh, ripe?
Flavor of tea liquor: definitely stronger than the other 2 touchas: like mulch, perhaps woodsy, and a little bitter.
Appearance of wet leaf: Like the SpecialTeas toucha, tiny little dark bits of tea.
Overall: The first steeping was not exactly to my liking. After reading one review on Teavivre’s website stating you need to keep the steeping times short, I thought maybe the 2.5 min. steeping time was the problem. Still, for comparison purposes, I decided to follow the advice of the ‘scientist’ in me and stick to using consistent parameters for comparison purposes and so did the second steeping time ~5 mins. Generally speaking, not much of a change from the first steeping.
There seemed to be lots of good reviews about the tea, and, although that doesn’t change my own personal experience with it, the reviews do indicate that I may have done something ‘wrong’ in brewing it. It may also be my tastes don’t match the reviewers’ tastes, but I doubt it. I have lots of respect for the quality of tea that Teavivre sells (having had at least 20 teas of theirs). So I will try brewing this one again sometime (I have three more ‘pieces’ of it) with the shorter steeping times: a wash, 20-30 seconds, adding 10 seconds for every steep after that. So, I’m leaving off the numeric rating for now.
I wish I knew if the SpecialTeas toucha was ripe or raw, but my guess is it is raw; if it is, I realize comparing a ripe toucha to a raw toucha is not the best comparison. Still, I like SpecialTeas toucha the best so far of the three.
What really strikes me most about this experience is what a difference adding a little sweetener did to the taste; on the second steeping after trying it without sweetener I added a touch of Stevia extract to it, and it seemed to smooth out the edges very nicely. I was astonished at the difference: it was barely drinkable without sweetener, and yet much more drinkable with it. I still hold to the philosophy, or general guideline, that it is best to try the tea first w/o sweetener; yet, this experience also emphasizes how easily sweetener can transform the taste.
On to the forth toucha.