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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve opted to do a follow-up note on this tea as I am steeping it Western style and am curious how it will hold up. I am also happy to report that this samples doesn’t have any of the crushed leaves or powder that I encountered in my earlier sample. I feel badly for suggesting that it is a broken leaf tea when I apparently experienced an anomaly.
As per Teavivres Western instructions, I am steeping the whole pouch in my Perfect Tea mug for one minute in boiling water. I’ve got to admit that despite my innate specticism about some of these steeping parameters, Teavivre is REALLY good about making them accurate to the specific tea. I tend to brew per my own general guidelines but following the exact directions for each tea yields a different (and sometimes better) result for the Teavivre teas. The dedication to optimal brewing per tea and per batch is remarkable, and much appreciated – even from a brewing sinner.
After this minute in the boiling bath, I have a boldly aromatic tea with hints of cinnamon, spice, hay. I can smell it from across my desk, it has a note that suggests a potential bitterness, but is generally appealing. It also maybe smells a bit roasty, and perhaps a bit floral.
First sips reflect the flavour quite well. Some sweet baking spice flavour, some roastiness, no bitterness or astringency. It reminds me of the Taiwan Oriental Beauty I sampled the other day. Very nice!
EDIT: Second steep: As usual, I got distracted with work and this went 2 or possibly closer to 3 minutes with boiling water. This results in some astringency, a very dry tongue with the start of bitterness. I don’t like that, but I know it is my fault so I shan’t try a third. If I can get past the self-inflicted astringency, it tastes much like the first. Bakey and roasty with a bit of sweet and spice. Like snickerdoodles or cinnamon buns.
On this stormy day, the beau and I are steeping up a gongfu session of this oolong, provided to us for free by Teavivre. I am a roasted oolong/black tea kind of girl so this is one that I expect to be a bit more familiar with than the others Angel sent. I followed Teavivre’s steeping directions with the 7 gram sample in my small gaiwan with 95 degree water. The dry smell is quite green, like sweet hay. The leaves are rolled pretty tightly, but there are a lot of broken crumbs as well.
I sifted it before putting it in the gaiwan to take out most of the crumbs and that removed about 1/3 of the volume. Since this is my first sample I don’t know if it just happened to get crushed or if that is typical with this tea, but it was a lot more broken leaf than I would expect in any tea, let alone one that costs $26/100grams. I’ll try to remember to update this once I’ve opened the other two samples and see if it was an anomaly.
Anyway, after a quick rinse to awaken the leaves I gave this a 15 second steep. This is a very pale steep, barely a hint of colour but the aroma is very strongly of a Big Red Robe. The beau is addicted to Red Robe, so he is pumped. The taste is a bit spicy and sweet on the end of the sip, lingering on the tongue. It’s very full bodied and much more intensely flavoured than the colour would have you think. I am very glad I sifted off the crumbs as there is absolutely no bitterness here. Roasty oolong, light sweet hay and notes of spices cookies like snickerdoodles.
Steep 2 at 15 seconds again, surprisingly the leaves haven’t fully opened yet. At the moment there seem to be a lot of sticks and about 3/4 length leaves (haha!) rather than fully intact. Again, this may be an anomaly, so I’ll try to compare the others after. This steep smells much the same but with a bit of smoke. The beau says this is more green tasting, with a hint of black, tending to taste more like a black at the bottom. I disagree and find this more like a roasted oolong with a hint of smoke like the aroma. Not as much sweetness and I don’t really get the spice from before. Again, I am reminded of Big Red Robe, probably because that is one I am very familiar with.
Third steep at 20 seconds remains a light yellow and smells more of smoke than anything else. Not offensive and not strong, but like someone might be having a bonfire in the distance with some sweet smelling wood. I think that what I keep identifying as sweet is probably a floral note which I really enjoy. We both agree this tastes more smoky. Certainly no lapsang souchong, but there is smoke there from the roasting.
Fourth at 30 seconds – Getting a bit more smoky again, but the sweet floral aroma is back as well. Makes me think of colts cigarettes my Dad smoked when I was a kid. I used to lick the white part cuz it tasted good to me. This reminds me of that but I swear it is a positive association. Ahh, memories. The taste on this is a little more roasty than I would prefer with the floral taking a backseat. It almost comes off as astringent, but doesn’t quite develop. On the other hand, the beau says it is the best so far. Clearly there are different reactions to this one, just like all the others. :)
I’m worried about Steepster eating this massive missive so I shall save for now and enjoy a few more steeps offline. Will report back if anything amazing happens.
Summary: I preferred the first steep while the beau loved the last. It’s a pretty solid mix of roasted oolong and floral green oolong so it can appeal to both types of drinkers. I would like to see a lot less crumb, but that may be a fluke. Pretty nice drinking tea with no bitterness.
I ordered a sample of this tea with my latest Teavivre order mainly to get to the free shipping threshold, and because it’s one of their newer TGYs that I haven’t tried yet. It looked like a traditional-style TGY, and I’m interested in trying more and more of those.
A western style steep of this one on this cold morning. Wow, these leaves are super dark, and the tea brewed up dark as well. It’s dark enough to look like a black tea. It smells roasty and charcoal-y. This is most definitely a charcoal-roasted TGY, and while I am definitely getting more in to traditional, lightly-roasted TGY, charcoal roasted is pretty much roasting a bit too far for me, haha. It is smooth, with light vegetal notes and roasty notes. If you enjoy charcoal-roasted oolong, I would definitely suggest checking this one out.
It’s the perfect day to relax with some green oolong. I love this lightly floral and summer flower flavor. It tastes like youthful innocence. Definitely is one of the loveliest green oolongs I’ve tasted. Then again, I have pounds of mediocre green oolong I’ve been trying to get through at work so…
Anyway, this tea somehow fills my soul and makes me feel like the world is a good place.
I’m having a hard time describing this tea objectively. :/
It’s just good, okay?!
Peace out. :)
Earlier today my friend Lisa & I sampled the Duck Shhh Dancong from the White2Tea tea club. There isn’t a listing for it, & I don’t really feel like adding one right now, but I’m happy to report that it was tasty, with almost a milk chocolate kind of essence, & no, it didn’t really taste or smell like duck droppings (ok…I don’t know what that would taste like, but I’ve ducks before, so I do know the smell, LOL).
This afternoon I’ve been enjoying multiple steepings of this oolong, with it’s bakey warm taste, smooth greens, & a roasty nutiness, its a pleasantly warming & cozy afternoon tea. I swear I taste a hint of nutmeg in it this afternoon, & that’s one of my favorite spices. Thanks to Angel & Teavivre for the sample.
I’ve been missing you, my tea friends. Life has been busy, & will continue to be for the next couple of weeks, as the Harpy HoliDaze gigs started yesterday, with me playing from 7:30 – 9am in office buildings, but I have a few minutes to stop by, read a few reviews, look at some instagram pics, & comment about this tea.
This is a lovely oolong, kind of nourishing today, & a pleasure to drink multiple steepings of after I came home from this morning’s gig. Something about this tea reminds me of rice crispy treats. I haven’t had them in years, but that’s what this tea brings to mind, today, anyway: popped rice, marshmallow cream, & a kind of fruity sweetness.
Thank you to Angel & Teavivre for including me in the oolong sampling.
I love the tea sampling program from Teavivre. Angel has been very generous in sending me teas to sample, & although I haven’t bought everything I’ve sampled, I’ve found & purchased several teas that I love.
The quality of all of Teavivre’s teas is excellent, & this one is no exception. It’s very smooth, with a natural baked bread kind of flavor, along with a green floral kind of taste to it. With Oolongs, I tend to favor the darker roasted Wuyi kind of profile, but this one is very nice!
I love Teavivre. They have some of the best teas available anywhere. So it probably goes without saying that I find this to be an excellent Dragon Well.
Sweet, vegetative, nutty (chestnuts!) with a nice buttery note. A savory tone that is almost like salt. (Nice contrast) This one holds up well through many infusions too.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/09/29/organic-nonpareil-ming-qian-dragon-well-long-jing-green-tea-teavivre/
Sipdown! Finished the last of this today. I’d wager this is still my favourite black tea from Teavivre. Nice honey and cocoa notes. I made some for hubby today after we came in from the rain outside. This tea, plus the space heater by our table and desk made it nice and cozy. Low on sugar, for my second steep, I used maple syrup, and whoa dude! Serious noms!!
I have tried a pervious harvest of this tea, and I seem to recall really liking it. Anyway, it’s been a long while since I last reviewed any of the Teavivre samples from my most recent batch that Angel sent.
I’ve been terribly distracted with new shiny teas…yes, flavored, and I have not been in straight tea moods as much. But today, seemed like a good day to start breaking some out.
This one would probably be better with regular milk, rather than the coconut milk creamer that I have. I got that stuff to try, but I really don’t like it in my teas, I’m finding. I may like coconut milk in cooking better, but it changed the taste of the tea in the same way that the other milk subs do, but it isn’t bad. If I had to give up dairy milk, I could probably get by with this, though I might pick teas that it works better with, or just find blacks that I don’t want to add milk to.
I think I want to try this one again, with no milk, but also regular milk, to see how I feel about it then. I’ll see how it is then, since the last time, I used regular milk, but also tasted straight.
My general impression of this batch is that it is not as chocolatey and rich as the last batch, but that could be the coconut milk creamer messing with my taste buds…I expect I’ll re-rate this higher in a future tasting.
I got a couple samples of this tea in my first Teavivre order… I didn’t realize I’d be the first one reviewing it, though!
I would say that everything they say is true. It has a strong smell, the flavour turns to sweetness, and it stays in your mouth.
There is no fishy odour, which is very nice.
Generally I think I prefer a more “forest loam” tasting straight puerh. This one tastes as I would expect a puerh to taste… which doesn’t say much, as I’m still learning about them. There is certainly nothing about this tea that makes me dislike it, and I’m really enjoying my steeps this morning.
1 – rinsed twice for ~5 seconds each
2 – 1 minute steep with approximately half the sample pack and about 175ml water
3 – I cheated on my tea and had a small mug of coffee
3.b – 1 minute steep, the flavours are more… even, and the colour is darker as the pieces are starting to fall apart. I’d almost call the tea “smokey” at this point.
And now I have to head out to the post office, and pop into work for a bit. Depending on how late it is when I get home, I’ll continue the tasting!
Looks like Riimu and I are the only two brave enough to give this a go on Steepster. It is my first glass almost every morning. Today was different though. Started with my usual frappe – 1 tsp green tea powder, 12 oz of 2% milk, and a small splash each of vanilla and caramel sugar free syrup. Then I toasted a bagel and smeared cream cheese. Here is where it turns different. Looking at the bagel, I thought I’d rather have had my usual wheat toast and honey, but since it was fixed, I just squeezed the little plastic bear over the cream cheese. I kind of thought, this can’t turn out well. I thought wrong. The strange combination brought the green tea powder to life. It tasted the most like fresh green leaves of any time I have made this before. One morning I should try dissolving the honey directly in the frappe and see what happens.
Steepster is behaving badly today.
Wheat toast drizzled with clover honey and my morning glass of green tea powder in 2% milk, with caramel and vanilla syrup. It sounds healthy, and whether it is or not, it sure was satisfying. We had our thanksgiving meal at home last night. My wife does some kind of spice rub on the turkey and it is delicious. Later today we will be at my niece’s were most of the family gathers for thanksgiving. It will be a rough one this year as we buried my brother’s wife and soul mate Monday. I don’t mention that for sympathy. I’m reminding you to be thankful for those who are with you – even if they occasionally drive you nuts. Be thankful for the memories of those who have gone on ahead. In all things rejoice. I say it again rejoice!
Kind of laughed at myself this morning. Chinese green tea powder is what many companies call their food grade matcha (check the label). It is kind of the white package, blue letters version (you know, Walmart Great Value) of matcha. I’m OK with that because I like it. The syrups I am using in it right now are name brand (Torani) and I don’t care for them – I miss my more generic version. So any way, this morning with this I had GV brand wheat bread toast with GV brand peanut butter. I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the name stuff that costs twice as much. I guess I am not much of a champagne and Cadillac kind of guy, at least not this morning.