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Recent Tasting Notes
We had a trip to the big city of Raleigh today (they are filming Iron Man 3 there right now by the way!) to help oldest daughter look at apartments. Yes, another child of mine is moving to Tea Land! LOL!
I bought some new cheeses to try at Whole Foods there and wanted a nice tea to go with them. The cheese I purchased was the 1833 Aged Cheddar and an Emmentaler. I wanted a black to accompany them and couldn’t decide what to have until I remembered that I still have a good amount of this sample left. I started to make a big pot, and then decided I needed to treat myself to a real tea event and make this in my tiny glass teapot. I am so glad I did!
I took the teapot to let hubby watch the pearls unfurl with me. My perfect teaspoon had scooped out four pearls, my glass teapot is eight ounces, so I didn’t fill it all the way. The pearls would release little bubbles of air, then one or two slightly larger ones as they began to unfurl. The water slowly turned a medium amber color. Already the aroma is…complicated. This is hard to describe for me. The tea has a dominant cocoa note, but then I think, no, it has a dominant honey note. This is sweet, and at the same time reminds me of unsweetened cocoa. This is a tea with a lot of personality. You may WANT to just drink tea, but if this is the tea, it will arrest your attention. Yet it is not a strong tea, but a gentle one.
I think I will be clicking “In My Cupboard” soon. I have steeped these four little pearls three times now and will do one or two more tonight. This is another winner from Teavivre, and will be making appearances at tea party regularly in the future.
My new samples from Teavivre arrived today! Hooray! Since my tea party guest loves black tea, I thought this would be a great one to include today. Youngest made all the tea, and I had instructed her to use nine pearls for the pot and go the maximum listed 2 minutes.
The liquor was of a medium amber/orange color. The aroma has a sweet high note that reminds me of honey as well as a hint of sweet potato aroma with a wee bit of maltiness. The overall taste is really elegant. I would consider this to be an afternoon tea, and would have no problem serving it by itself or with really nice daintiest to eat. My guest was really taken with this one, but all three of today’s teas were declared winners! I expect this will go on my next Teavivre order.
I haven’t tried resteeping it yet, but we saved the pearls and I will make another pot soon, I also want to try a longer steep and see if it results in a heartier breakfast style tea.
Excellent! Thank you, Teavivre, for sending this one for me to try!
Thanks again, Angel!
This is a backlog from Saturday afternoon and……..I really, really, really hope I steeped this wrong. Truly. I don’t even want to put a note out yet, but feel it can pass as my cry for help. Because………..I couldn’t even stand to drink this. It definitely had that fishy smell and it tasted like that. It was just….not good.
I’m not rating or reviewing this until I know I have it right. So this is my call for help. HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS RIGHT?? Please. I’m begging. All of the other Teavivre teas have been awesome so far, and I don’t want to mess this up.
I have really liked every Puerh I have tasted from Teavivre. I have saved this sample that I purchased for almost a year, but my best friend came over to try my new flourless chewy chocolate cookie recipe and I thought this would be wonderful with them. It was!
I gave it a rinse because it is such a tight chunk. It is pretty large, more than I would normally chip off for my little gong fu pot. The first few steeps were kept quite short, maybe 20 seconds. I made four steeps, filling a larger pot, and made four more after that. The fifth steep was super dark, really quickly. It tasted great, too. Dark puerh doesn’t scare me, I like it! I saved the leaves because this doesn’t look like it is even close to quitting.
Delicious, refreshing, moist, clean leaves on a forest floor with streaks of sunlight streaming down on you. That is this tea.
I think these are steeps eight and nine.
My son and I are drinking more puerh tonight and I saved these leaves from last night since they still seemed to have plenty of flavor. This is mild and I think it is getting a little sweeter. I am still saving the leaves as I think we have one or two more steeps we can get from these. This sample packet was $2 (it comes two packs at $4) and the three of us have shared it for two days and I see one more day in its future. Not bad at all, and pretty much makes $48 for the large cake a real bargain, especially considering what a smooth, drinkable puerh this is. Again, no horse-y, no dirt, definitely no fish, just clean, sweet, fall leaves.
I bought the sample of this tea with my last order. It came in two 7 g packs and there is a generous chunk of the tea cake in each packet.
I made this in my gong fu set following the Teavivre instructions for a gaiwan. The result was a very mild, sweet puerh. I did a 20 second rinse, followed by a fifteen second steep. That was almost too mild for me since I like a good, earthy, horsey puerh! But it was quite good. The second steep was about 30 seconds, and on each successive steep I really didn’t add much time. This is very tasty.
Some puerhs are fishy. This one has not the slightest hint of fishiness. Some puerhs are horsey, with a lot of saddle leather aroma. This one is sweet forest floor, leaves breaking down into rich soil that will soon be laden with mushrooms. Have you smelled pecan tree leaves as you rake them in fall and they break underfoot and release their sweet scent? That is what I am reminded of, the best scents of a clean forest path.
And boy, does this ever resteep! I think we are on number seven now, and it doesn’t look like it is thinking of quitting on me! This is so mellow and even though we had a meal of eye of round roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and steamed asparagus with butter and lemon pepper, my mouth feels light and fresh. Don’t worry, I am about to go brush! But the tea is so CLEAN! Definitely one the puerh lover should consider, and one that may win over the reluctant puerh drinker.
I just placed a Teavivre order and I should have bought more of this. This is so good. This is a tea I can sip, but end up almost gulping because I love it so much. I bought a Ginseng Oolong from another company once and it didn’t hold a candle to this one. I think I gave it away, but I sure didn’t drink it.
This resteeps really well and seems to help when I feel a sore throat coming on or feel like I might be coming down with a virus. (I’m not, but it does seem to help.) I had it today in hopes of pacifying my still angry body, trying to adjust being without proton pump inhibitors after sixteen years. It is going well and I am nearing the time where rebound reflux is supposed to stop. Happily, I have not had reflux, only heartburn. And that has been pretty manageable.
I have been avoiding green tea and Indian tea as those have sometimes irritated my stomach in the past, and I am starting DGL later today to try to get my stomach lining happy and healthy.
I love this tea. I don’t have it often enough. A long time ago a friend came over – the one who introduced me to Harney and Sons, albeit it was the sachets at B&N rather than their loose leaf – and I gave her some of this. She had a strange reaction, saying she wasn’t sure if she liked it but she absolutely had to have it. She has had me order it for her several times and I have given it to her as a gift in the past. She knows now that it is a tea “true love.” Both of us have tried ginseng oolong from other companies and not liked it nearly as well as this one from Teavivre.
Today she came over for one last visit before she moves. She said she is out of this but won’t let herself buy ANY tea until she is settled in the new house. She asked if we could have this old favorite for our tea time today. Of course, of course. The sweet, rich flavor lasts through multiple steeps, so it’s a great choice for a long chat.
You see, she isn’t just moving away. She has had health problems for a long time, and was finally diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis. She will be fine for a while, then have long periods of being unable to walk, or of having no energy, and now short term memory problems have started.
So we are not sure if we will see each other again, but have promised to email and send letters, and if she feels like receiving visitors I will hopefully get to drive up to her new home and take a walk with her and drink tea. It isn’t far, but when an episode hits she may not feel like having a visit for months at a time.
There are lots of happy tea moments; this one was a little bittersweet.
This was my first tea after surgery yesterday. For some reason I have always associated this tea with healing. It is addictively delicious. I have had one other ginseng oolong and it couldn’t hold a candle to this one. It was such a comfort to have favorite teas from my favorite tiny cup away from home.
Backlog from last week: There is one student to whom I offered at every week, but he never took me up on the offer. He is eighteen, and when his mother and little sister used to come with him, they would always get a china cup and have tea together during the lesson.
He drives himself now, so the past few weeks I didn’t offer tea. But this time he came in and said, “I know you always offered me tea and I never took it, but today I really need some because my allergies are making me feel terrible.” Yippee! (For the tea, not for him feeling terrible.)
I steeped pot after pot of this and he said it made him feel better. It was his first time having tea other than fruit flavored black, except for the one time he accepted (and liked) some puerh.
He ended up staying an extra two and a half hours, watching YouTube with me. I introduced him to Steam Powered Giraffe and he introduced me to Foals and David Garrett!
I love this tea. Way back when I first got it, I had a sore throat, the kind that hurts when you swallow and means you are getting sick, not just a scratchy throat from allergies or drainage. I drank several steeps hoping the warmth would soothe my throat, and instead, the sore throat never fully manifested. I noticed that the pain stopped and didn’t come back.
A friend came over and tried it and I told her about what had happened. She said at first she couldn’t figure out if she lately liked the tea as it was very unusual to her, but then she couldn’t stop drinking it. She ended up ordering it…twice…. And still drinks it when she feels a cold coming on.
Yesterday my bestie came over and she sounded AWFUL. She has terrible allergies and was slurpy and sniffly and miserable. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons and made several steeps of this tea ( about a liter total) and served it with pound cake and strawberries. She stayed a really long time. When I called later that evening, she said that she felt really good for hours and hours after drinking this tea. Maybe it is the ginseng? She said she normally doesn’t like tea that leaves an aftertaste but she really loved this one.
I have offered her some of mine to tide her over through allergy season. This is one I hope I will ALWAYS have on hand. I tried one from another company once and it wasn’t even close to being as tasty and delicious as this one. It really turned me off, but this one is addictive.
Taiwan Ginseng oolong! I love you I love you I love you. You are delicious. You are addictive. When I make you, I make a lot of you, and I drink and drink and drink.
Tonight I served you with homemade lomein.
Now I asked if there is licorice root powder in this and was told no, and I am sure whoever it was doesn’t know it is there, but it HAS to be there. I taste it, and I have never seen a ginseng oolong that didn’t have at least a bit. I don’t care. I love it.
I tried another ginseng oolong and it was nothing compared to this one. I scoff at it. Buy this one.
Hubby and I drank a whole lot of steeps of this tonight. A single teaspoon in my little glass pot and over a liter of water, and it just kept giving with each resteep. We are drinking this because we love it and also because middle daughter has caught a nasty cough and cold and this tea seems to help me stay well when I feel something coming on.
On a side note, my eldest daughter married her Irish fiancé Friday. We had the wedding dinner at the Pit in Raleigh, NC. I didn’t realize it had been featured on a television show as one of the best restaurants, and it was amazingly reasonably priced. But best of all, the food was unbelievably good. If you ever have a chance, go! My son’s girlfriend is vegetarian and had the barbecued tofu and loved it so much she wants to go back with her mom.
Superanna, my daughter, congrats to you! You have chosen a fine young man who is a great addition to the family.
Tuesday is Ike day, the day we keep Ike the puppy for my friend. When my friend comes to pick up his dog we often tea. Until recently my friend had only had Lipton black tea, hot with with milk and sugar. He has enjoyed puerh, smooth black teas with no additions, and oolongs, so I tried this one out on him today.
A loaf of bread was just coming out of the oven, so we paired the tea with hot bread and butter.
I love the lingering aftertaste, like exotic flowers at the back of the swallow, blooming well after the sip and staying for quite a while. My friend liked the tea but said he couldn’t taste the floral note much, probably due to being a smoker. A big surprise to me – after he got home he texted that his blood pressure was 127/88. This is phenomenal for him, as he has spectacularly high blood pressure and is about to have kidney surgery in an effort to lower it since his meds are not controlling it well anymore.
I would have thought that ginseng would raise, rather than lower, blood pressure, but it didn’t have anything to do with the tea at all.
I love this one, and since my tin is half empty I plan to reorder on Friday!
I didn’t know anything about ginseng when I first tried this tea. I fell in love with the way it coated my throat and tongue, the way the sweetness grew in volume with each swallow, the way the sweet somewhat floral (to me) flavor blossoms, going from a pianissimo on the first sip to forte after the third little “shot” from my Teavivre double walled glass cups.
Subsequent steeps become less ginseng and more oolong. The color stayed a good solid golden shade through all three steeps, and I will probably steep these leaves some more tomorrow.
My guests loved loved loved it! I love it, too, and right now I am wondering how I keep myself from drinking it every day.
I love this tea. Did I already say I love this tea? Because I love this tea!
One of the ladies who didn’t like green tea just a couple of weeks ago said today that she doesn’t like ginseng. I said, maybe give this a try! Several cups later, this tea is on the list of tea she wants me to order for her! The taste of ginseng blossoms in your mouth and you are hooked! Hooked, I say!
Edited to add: I found this link about how it is made. They don’t mention sugar, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there! This really describes the tea well…lingering floral sweetness, although one person drinking it said she wouldn’t call it sweetness, but rather a cooling sensation, followed by hearty toasted nut flavor. The sweetness really can linger for a while!
I LOVE THIS TEA! And to be honest, I am the only one around here who does! My son said Bleh, my daughter said ick, and my guest today said it was as bad as puerh. LOL! I like puerh. And I love what the ginseng does – that sweet, floral, herbal taste and FEEL that coats the palate and throat! It feels similar to licorice root to me, which the kids also dislike but I enjoy. More ginseng tea, please! This is great!
This is the tea I was most excited about in my new order from Teavivre. I had never had a ginseng oolong. The manager at A Southern Season had recommended theirs to me months ago but I was already buying all I should and didn’t get it. The next time I went, I tried to buy it and they were sold out and didn’t know when they would get more. I was so excited to see it in Teavivre’s website.
I steeped it in my gong fu pot, poured the first steep into a pitcher and immediately resteeped. It was that second steep that I tasted first since I wanted to try each steep separately, not mixing them in the pitcher, and I wanted to pour the second steep so I could go ahead and make a third. I took a sip….roasted oolong. I took another sip…roasted oolong. I was thinking that I really didn’t know what ginseng tasted like anyway when suddenly BAM! On the third sip something sweet blossomed in my throat and along the sides of my tongue. Every sip from that point on was a new adventure in delight. As soon as I finished my little cup, I went to the first steep in the pitcher. WOW! This is great. I am so glad I got this one. Sometimes you get excited about a new tea and then it lets you down. This one has lived up to my hopes. I do get the licorice root-like flavor that Dorothy mentioned. I find it very soothing and it seems to coat the throat.
I am going to have to label this as a favorite of hubby soon. We had it with Asian buffet take out again last night and he emptied the pot before I hardly had any! Then he….yes, HE….resteeped. I don’t know if he has ever made loose leaf tea by himself, but he went in the kitchen and made another pot. He was being sweet to me so I could have seem more, and of course he sat down and had more as well.
It is hard to describe how good this is with food. I am surprised I like it so well with food because it is a mild tea that you would think would get lost under the flavors, but instead it swirls across your palate and tastes so fresh and sweet, like sweet well water. I think this would have to go on the “if I could only have ten teas” list!