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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m surprised this is the first review of this tea. Thanks, TeaVivre, for sending it as part of a free sample promotion earlier this year. I put the entire 7 g sample in a 120 ml teapot, which it filled right to the brim. Steeps were at 200F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 120, and 240 seconds.
This lives up to its name, with honey, orchid, mild roast, and lychee-like sweetness. There’s a slight astringency in the aftertaste, which is not surprising given the amount of leaf. In later infusions, notes of wood, minerals, and veggies emerge.
Although this was by no means a complex tea, its honey and orchid character was pronounced and pleasant. I’ll have no problem finishing the two other samples I have on hand, and would consider buying more if I didn’t already own three other iterations of this type of tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Orchid, Roasted, Vegetal, Wood
This is the final Tie Guan Yin in my set of free samples. (Thanks, Teavivre!) I steeped 7 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 120, and 240 seconds.
While the first steep is slightly floral, tangy, and vegetal, the tea really gains its stride in steeps 2-3, with strong grassy, butter, tangerine, orchid, floral, coriander, and tannin notes. Seven grams may have been a bit too much leaf, since the aftertaste is bitter and vegetal. By steep six, a lot of the fruit is starting to disipate, to be replaced by minerals and grass. The astringency is a lot more noticeable in this TGY than in the two others I tried.
Although this Tie Guan Yin had a promising beginning, it didn’t have the staying power of its two siblings. It was also the most vegetal of the bunch. While this would make a good everyday tea, I think TeaVivre offers better options at around the same price point.
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Citrus, Coriander, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Orchid, Tangy, Vegetal
This is the second of the three teas in my Tie Guan Yin showdown. (Thanks to TeaVivre for the samples.) The leaf is more broken up than the Zheng Wei TGY, although the orchid/vegetal aroma is very similar. I steeped 7 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 120, and 240 seconds.
The first couple steeps feature orchids and other florals, citrus, herbs, stonefruit, and a vegetal backbone. Its heavy and slightly soapy body reminds me of Chou Shi Dan Cong from Yunnan Sourcing, which is a tea I really like. The citrus, florals, and herbs intensify over the next few steeps, and the stonefruit resolves into peach or maybe nectarine. By steep four, minerals, spinach, and possibly jasmine emerge. Can you tell I’m enjoying this tea? The flavour stays consistent for around eight steeps before experiencing the typical vegetal fade-out.
This was a very enjoyable Tie Guan Yin and a strong contender among the samples. It has the fruity tang I want in a TGY, while still possessing lots of florals.
ETA: For me, this one was the winner.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Herbaceous, Jasmine, Mineral, Orchid, Peach, Soap, Spinach, Stonefruits, Tangy, Vegetal
I took advantage of the free sample promotion that Teavivre was running a while ago to pick up three Tie Guan Yins, with the aim of choosing one to get me through until 2019. (Thanks, TeaVivre, for the free samples!) I steeped 7 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 120, 180, and 240 seconds.
The first steep is fairly vegetal, with notes of orchids, florals, and grass. The slightly bitter aftertaste probably means that I used too much tea. In the next few steeps, the orchid gets more pungent and notes of butter, lilacs, and violets show up. The aftertaste is long, with no bitterness after the first couple infusions. The tea holds steady for about eight steeps before it starts to fade.
This was a very floral-heavy Tie Guan Yin that hit most of the right notes for me. However, I didn’t get any of the fruit that other reviewers mentioned. I didn’t find it all that complex and while it’s clearly a good tea that gives lots of steeps, there might be more interesting TGY’s out there.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Orchids, Vegetal, Violet
Angel was kind enough to include this in the last batch of samples she sent me in Spring 2018. And wow. This is lovely. The dry leaf is bright green curly dry moss. Pretty to watch as it unfurls and tints the added water. The liquor is nutty sweet roast chestnut and green pea. And possibly a bit asparagus. Delicious.
If I might add a suggestion for TeaVivre in terms of packaging of samples. The packaging itself is great. However, the font in the English text is far too small to read for an English speaker and further, the letters all run in and blur together. Add to that, that the names of the teas are in Pinyin and mostly unknown. aside from the names of the most famous teas, this can make for a most frustrating experience.
This tea, for example, with my glasses on, looks like it could be La Shun You Wu or Lo Shan You Wa or Lu Shan Tou Wu and so on and so on. I tried to type this many times in steepster before I gave up and went to search for this tea on TeaVivre’s site and eventually found it. It needn’t be so frustrating. Make the font larger.
Thank you, Angel, for the sample. I really enjoyed it, aside from the challenge with the name of the tea.
Leaves: medium thin green leaves
Measuring Spoon: no
Aroma: typical green tea, although it is a yellow
Color: pale yellow almost clear
Taste: It has been soo long since I’ve brew a cup of loose leaf tea. After having a nice conversation this afternoon I though why not make a cup of tea? Deciding between a green & yellow, I have never had a yellow tea till now. I was surprised that the leaves were still green yet the brewed color was a pale yellow. As for taste and aroma it reminded me of my typical green teas I’ve had in the past with nothing to really separate it from the others. It was a very nice cup, having great clarity.
In terms of tea experiments I’ve been playing around with Twinings english breakfast tea bags – trying to make it in a British way with milk (soy) & sugar (brown).
Listening to: BTS – 134340 (Pluto)
2018- I can only compare this tea to the highest quality she feng offered by seven cups as of this writing. These tea leaves are enormous in comparison. There is a watery honey taste but nothing nutty, tho somewhat savory. While this is probably a drastic comparison, I do think there must be something affordable that is better than this tea. That being said, this tea is not trash.
2018- dry leaf: baked bread; wash: cherry with savory after taste… 1st brew smells of sweet potato, taste- sweet potato, sour, bitter, savory /// delayed astringency, mix of cherry, sour, and sweet potato. Decent savory huigan. You can do worse than this tea but i can only technically reccomend it.
Flavors: Cherry, Sweet Potatoes
This tea smells and tastes distinctly of honey, and nothing else. There is no complexity or development to the flavor, and honestly I really thought the leaves looked young (as in the wer leaf did not feel like aged leaf) but I’m not versed enough to make that call. As far as the recent teas i’ve tried from teavivre, you could do worse than this. If you had to have pure honey shomei, why not I suppose. It’s drinkable, but it is a one trick pony. I will try bpiling the leaves next time.
Cold Brew Sipdown (639)!
Yes, after that flurry of sipdowns/tasting notes this morning my cupboard number has gone up yet again. I got a handful of free Teavivre samples in the mail today though and this was included in those samples. I’m always curious about Teavivre’s fruit infusions; it seems like a sort of weird thing for them to carry – and in so many varieties too! I’ve never really spoken to a tea drinker who has gone “Yes, I’m placing a Teavivre order because I’ve run out of their fruit infusions”. It’s always one of their straight teas.
I own the Waterlillies blend they carry; that was my first “foray” into their fruit blends. I almost went with this one instead, but I was lured in by the pineapple in the aforementioned. I tried to go for a real mix of teas in this most recent batch of free samples; and that included flowering tea, some pu’erh, a straight herbal tea that I don’t think I’ve experienced before from any company, and this! Back during the free sample/Black Friday deals in November I actually kind of wish I’d gone for this one instead of Waterlillies though because I think I enjoyed this one a lot more than I do Waterlillies, which I find to be VERY tart and hibiscus heavy in terms of flavour. But at least I’ve tried it now…
So firstly, “Vanilla” is DEFINITELY a misnomer because there is nothing in this blend that tastes of vanilla _at all. However, once you accept that and move past the idea of a “berries and cream” profile it is very enjoyable as a mixed berry tea! It’s a little bit tart, but overall quite smooth and well balanced with some really nice sweet Blueberry and Elderberry notes, and then just a little bit of currant in the finish of the sip. It’s fresh and juicy, and hella refreshing! And when I say ‘a little tart’ I really do mean the bare minimum amount of tartness for this to actually make sense as a berry tea; apart from that it’s smooth, smooth sailing all the way!
Thoroughly enjoyable, and maybe I wouldn’t place a Teavivre order specifically for this blend but you can bet that I’d toss it into my cart if I was making an order for other things at the same time!
I don’t know weither I have another cold. Just got over one a week or two ago. Or if I have pneumonia. But I think the tea will help and I will try to review a tea.
Organic huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea from TeaVivre.
Dry leaf: pepper, green, grass.
Wet leaf: fresh cut grass, seaweed.
Light steep; I smell/taste:
(Smell) slight green.
(Taste) slight —> pepper, vegetal. Light green.
Medium steep; I smell/taste:
(Smell) slight —> green, pepper.
(Taste) light —> green, pepper, fresh cut grass.
Heavy steep; I smell/taste:
(Smell) light green(?)
(Taste) light —> green, fresh cut grass, metallic (iron?), pepper(?).
All in all, a delicious tea! I rate a 99/100.
Next day note: i feel quite a bit better :D
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Green, Metallic, Pepper, Seaweed, Vegetal
Gong Fu Sipdown (552)!
Finished this one off earlier this afternoon; it was a really nice session. Basically I just popped on some Beatles music, grabbed some paper to take notes and just tuned out. You can check out some photos on my instagram here:
Otherwise, the following is just what I wrote down with each infusion…
Steep One – 5 Seconds
– Buttery vegetal aroma
- Grass notes, buttered green beans, romaine lettuce
- Bok Choy???
- Lots of flavor for a first infusion
Steep Two – 5 Seconds
- Same as prior but sharper/grassier
- Has a very soft bitter aftertaste
Steep Three – 10 Seconds
- Fennel top notes
- Sweet undertones
- Still quite buttery (lettuce/romaine/green beans)
- Less bitter than the previous steep
Steep Four – 15 Seconds
- Yellower tint to liquor colour
- Ditto to steep three, but smoother overall
- Cleaner finish
_Steep Five – 18 Seconds
- Flavour deterioration, in particular with vegetal elements
- But still bean-y
- Also has a peachyness to it
- And the finish is less clean, more lingering
Steep Six – 25 Seconds
- Meh; kind of bored with this one
- Flavor is also a little more flat
- No more buttery element, but more peach
And that’s where I left things. I know I could have done more, and honestly I did really enjoy the session – the problem for me is that as much as I enjoyed this overall it is a green tea, and even a good green tea is one that I grow sick of SO quickly. Six infusions was plenty for me; any more than that and I think I would have started resenting the tea/its profile.
Nobody has wrote a note for this one yet, which is too bad. I’m late to writing a note for it too. But it’s a pu-erh so it can only taste better with age, right? I used about 2/3 of a sample pouch, so probably around 6-7 grams. (Teavivre suggests 5 grams for 12 ounces.) The leaves have a lot of gold to them and a fantastic rich scent. The flavor has depth to it as well, while still having a sweet smooth quality (and NONE of those unlovely pu-erh flavors or fragrances either). On first sip, it reminds me a little of a sticky rice pu-erh, but that disappears further down the mug. Interestingly enough, looking up the tea’s description, Teavivre also mentions a sticky rice aroma. Awesome, I’m glad we agree. The second steep is also deep and delicious. The third steep is a little weaker in flavor, even though I steeped it at boiling for seven minutes. Definitely not like the dark and murky cups of the other steeps. I think I’m finding I really like pu-erh that is around ten years old (this is 2009). This is certainly a lovely enough pu-erh for a decent price! The sample is certainly worth a try.
Steep #1 // 6-7 grams for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // rinse // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 7 minute steep