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Recent Tasting Notes
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
I opened the packet and smelt a rather lovely grassy, late spring aroma. The leaves were light green and looked very inviting. Upon steeping they became a very bright pale green. The aroma from the wet leaf was nutty and vegetal, perhaps buttered squash. The liquor was a pale yellow green, hinting at a delicate flavour and it did not disappoint.
Note to self: Make sure the cup is the right way up before you start pouring.
Once tidied up I was able to sample the tea properly. Although the wet leaves had a strong, pleasant aroma, the liquor was far more delicate. It hinted at both floral and nutty notes and did not hit me in the face strongly with them at all, although these notes became stronger as the tea cooled. It was very refreshing with a lasting sweet aftertaste that made me feel like my breath smelt of spring flowers. Lovely.
Additional notes: A sad sample sipdown. This one is lovely and I’d certainly consider ordering it. One of the best from Teavivre, but there aren’t many bad teas. I remember this being lighter for some reason… the cup is very dark red with two teaspoons 20 minutes after boiling. I guess the Tan Yang is a lot more sweet potato.
2/10 sipdowns to go until 1,500 tasting notes!
Tasting note #700! Wow, already? I think they will start slowing down though… not as many new-to-me teas lately!
Another sample I just know will be good from Teavivre – thank you so much! I was in the mood for a Yunnan “golden leaved” black tea. This was it! (Then again, I’m usually in the mood for Yunnan.) The dry leaves had the aroma of that sweet potato with marshmallows concoction that I know some people like to make, but sadly, I’ve never tried. Teavivre’s steeping instructions are 185 degrees with two teaspoons for 8 ounces of water with a rinse and 1,2,3,4 minute steeping times. So I used two teaspoons — it looks like each sample pouch has four teaspoons. Perfect!
I waited for the water to cool about 35 minutes before pouring. After a rinse, I steeped for one minute. This one definitely doesn’t have a strong black tea flavor. It is not like the burnt dark chocolate at all like the Bailin Gongfu I had from Teavivre the other day. It’s a flavor all its own, probably because of the golden buds. The flavor certainly does taste like extra sweet sweet potatoes. And the color of the cup was even the closest color to sweet potatoes that I’ve seen.
Waited another while for the water to cool and steeped for three minutes. This cup had more of a traditional black tea flavor. But still a lot of sweet potato. I don’t love these leaves as much as I love the bailin gongfu, since I am partial to dark chocolate. (And I might be unfairly comparing the two since I just recently had the perfect cup.) But it is a nice change from chocolatey black tea leaves.
Dark Oolong that is light orange in color. I can’t really place the aroma, it is pleasing though. Slightly sweet and mellow, I feel like there are a lot of flavors going on in this tea that I can’t really describe any in particular. Kind of an olio of flavors. It is quite delicious. I think it taste a little like graham crackers.
Light Oolong that is greenish yellow in color. Very pleasant floral aroma. Sweet floral taste that is very creamy and buttery. There is no vegetal flavor that you can get with the light Oolong teas. It is sweet but not overly sweet and is balanced well with the creaminess. I am a big fan of this tea.
thank you Angel for this sample!
I am trying to really get into plain blacks. It is a strange thing to love pu’erh, but not like plain blacks…
Once steeped, this mainly smells like hay to me. Hay and maybe a tiny, tiny bit of chocolate. I think that this may come out more in a second steep.
Ahhh. Although it smells like hay, that note is actually quite subtle. The chocolate tones are far more evident. I also taste some of the sesame that I associate with the Laoshan black from Verdant. This is much more mellow than I expected sigh of relief.
I received my first Teavivre order today. I usually have strict rules about drinking open teas first. Not today. I opened this one right away. I have so been looking forward to this, and it was so worth the wait.
This is a great tea. This is what I think black tea should be. It’s rich and chocolaty, not astringent at all. Just soothing goodness in a cup. This is going right back on the shopping list to pick up more.
Thank you Angel for the sample!
So when I opened this and was inspecting the cute little leaves, my husband asked to smell them and remarked that the smell reminded him of licorice. I hadn’t picked up on it at first, but I think I might smell it just a tiny bit as well. Mostly this smells nutty and toasted to me.
The liquor looks extremely light to me. Almost like white wine. It kind of smells like dragonwell to me (forgive my limited green tea knowledge!). I also almost messed up the temp. on this one (165 instead of 185).
I am reeling. This is so amazing. No, really. I mentioned in one of my recent posts that my taste/smell has been off and I’m trying to recover, so these aren’t my most perfect posts, but this is dang good. I’m having trouble describing it, but it is light, roasty, and nutty. I think I’m in love with the nut notes that are coming through on the back end of the sip. Very excellent tea that I will continue to steep and enjoy the rest of tonight.
Not easy to find a Keemun that isn’t one dimensional. Usually flavor falls flat…somewhat like a mediocre merlot. Bleh!
I don’t care much for who scores the best Keemun as long as I can find it and brew it up!
So happens, that the best I’ve found thus far is Teavivre’s Organic Superfine Fragrant. (And yes it is in stock!)
This tea is layered…like an old vine wine. Smooth and not harsh.
I prefer plenty of leaf when I brew and 2-3 minute steep. Don’t steep longer!
There’s nothing wrong with drinking Keemun any way you want to. Tea snobbery is vulgar!!!
Plain, with sugar and/or cream is outstanding! Robust!
Hello to old friends!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample tea!
My first tasting was gongfu style with Eric and Sam at Happy Lucky’s Tea Shop on the eve of the USA Pro Am #6 Cycling race.
It was quiet because the streets downtown were about to be closed off in preparation for the next day’s huge racing event!
Sam was loading a big cooler with ice for the tea booth (to be located in front of Happy Lucky’s) when my granddaughter Schey arrived to join the tea tasting.
We tasted three other tea’s, finishing with the Keemun.
There was an audible ahhhh with this final tasting.
I showed restraint, appreciative of the sweet aroma before I slurped once, twice then three times from my small cup (splaying the tea throughout my mouth, catching air). We only taste tea the ‘loud’ way among ourselves when the shop is quiet, not to startle anyone. I mention how this is done because it’s worth trying out (quite a bit like tasting wine).
We all liked this tea, and I couldn’t wait to have a whole pot of tea to myself the next morning!
The next day, Saturday morning which was race day, I made a pot of Superfine Keemun…Western Style…with a slightly longer steep than most people would do.
This is the best Black Tea I’ve tasted from Teavivre! Fragrant, with sweetness, slight black pepper and barley, cocoa with almost no smoke.
I added cream and sugar which enhanced the sweet cocoa flavor and
revealed the richness of this fine Black Tea.
This is the Keemun I want in my cupboard! It’s not dry or harsh but has depth and complexity.
After my pot of tea, I was ready for the Cycling Race! I drove close to Old Town and walked to the Finish Line area around the corner from the tea house.
A big TV screen showed the race (ABC I think), and I watched the racers fly behind my house from Horsetooth Reservoir, then down Mulberry the next street over, through town and past me sooo fast! Here are some photo’s!!!
The day was FUN! Vendors gave away samples of Ice Cream, Yoghurt, Jelly Belly’s, Dried Fruit, Cow Bells, Beef Jerky, Water Bottles, Chips, Cliff Bars, Healthy Snacks…all kinds of things. No sales, just free STUFF!
Next week, Tour de Fat! http://youtu.be/DjJlWZgWuUU
It hurts my body to get out like this and park far away and walk and stand even with my cane. Real pain.
But if I stop and stay in my house 24/7 I’ll lose my joy!
Nobody is going to come to me, I have to go grab what I can and do what I can!
The day ended as I began the evening before, with a stop for tea with my friends at the tea house. They gave me free iced tea and scones. Much needed relief and the joy of friendship!
Mmmmm, soooo yummyyyyyyy. :). I wouldn’t dream of sweetening this tea. It’s divine on its own. I get notes of honey and sweet hay, with the mouthfeel of honeydew melon. Yep, this tea is JUICY! I will be buying more and keeping this on hand. Even after I accidentally let it cool all the way (and I’m talking colder than just lukewarm), it was still delicious and refreshing. The first steep was only about forty-five seconds, while the second steep was a bit longer, maybe a minute and ten.
The beautiful golden color of this tea really set it apart. Although it resembles Golden Monkey (one of my favorites), it isn’t quite as strongly scented or flavored as GM. The soft scent of yeasty bread with just a slight vegetal aroma wafting around in the background.
I brewed this lightly tonight, 2 tsp per cup @ 205 for 2 minutes. I’ll resteep tomorrow for 3 minutes, then compare with fresh steeping @ 205 for 3 minutes. It will be fun to compare the tastes of the three brews.
A typical black tea color of reddish brown filled my cup after the pour. The steam lifted the mild aroma of malt and yeast heavenwards, while the first sip was amazingly sweet. No bitterness or astringency apparent. Then the wonderful taste of malt caught my attention. Not too pronounced, but definitely there. A very pleasant, fresh, mild cup of tea.
I know from the samples I tried before that this tea can be big and bold, perhaps an extra minute of steeping is the key to the boldness capable. But I’m really liking this lighter version. A restful cup before bed, with a couple of cookies. This is what tea drinking is all about.
8/25/13 Resteeped yesterday leaves for 3 minutes at 205F. The tea is very similar to yesterdays’ brew; mild, sweet, less malty than yesterday, but still a good mild fresh cup. I seriously doubt any goodness is left in these leaves, but i will steep a second time with this tea in the future.
This was just a little sample with my last order, but I requested it because I thought it would make a nice iced tea – and it did. The baby and I have been sipping away at it all day. I get a lot of the orange, but there are bits of apples and other fruits hiding away in the back. I can’t remember how much this one costs, but I could see this one being an easy one to drink down in the summer. It’s just a touch tart, but not unpleasantly so.
My teavivre order from like June finally arrived so i’m back up to 50 teas and well over my weight goal haha. I picked up a few samples this time around and at the time of the order i had no fruit teas, so that’s what i picked up. I’ve had this one before apparently but didn’t rate it – i am a fan of this one cold brewed. It reminds me of kool-aid from when i was a kid but without all the sugar my grandma used to add. Really refreshing in this humidity.
Tying to catch up on things, though it won’t go well. I have company for the next week or so and I’m sick. So yeah. My order from teavivre came and I’m trying to drink a few of the sample sizes I picked up so that I don’t technically have to add them to my cupboard :) saving a couple of them for mornings when we’re in the hotel.
A far as this one goes, it’s not blueberry enough for me (though that may be the sick factor) and I don’t like the tartness in it. I was hoping for something a little sweeter. However, if you add a little sugar and don’t tik of blueberry, this is would be a great cold brew for summer. :)
Very excited to try this tea. I don’t mind jasmine teas but I do not like very strong jasmine. I read good reviews of this tea so wanted to try it, and couldn’t pass up on Teavivre’s anniversary sale.
I couldn’t smell much of the dry tea. However, this package was opened by Canadian customs – yes they opened the actual bag holding the tea – and taped it shut. All I could smell was the chemical smell of the tape. Slightly worried the tea is contaminated, but I figured I am using hot water so that should kill any biological contaminates anyway (whatever makes me feel better – right?). In good news, the rolled tea pearls are so cute!
The smell of the brewed tea is not very strong, almost no smell. But as the tea begins to cool it starts to smell like grassy peach, or like peach leaves. Very subtle scent. The hot tea is very little taste. But as it begins to cool the fruity peach taste takes form. There is not too much sweetness. You can taste the jasmine underneath the peach but it is very subtle. To me this green tea is more roasty, so there is not too strong of a vegetal or floral taste. The peach blends well with the jasmine and green tea.
I liked this one best when it was luke-warm. Looking forward to trying it cold.