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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh happy day, my Teavivre order came in! This was one of the samples. I think I might be getting a bag next time. It’s really good, but how to describe? I’ve gotten some really unusual tasting teas from Teavivre, but this is not one of them. This has got a really classic profile. Rich, smooth, dark. I wouldn’t have thought ‘sweet potato’ on my own, but when I read it in some of the other notes, I could kind of see how that fits. No astringency at all, which is nice. I want to say this reminds me slightly of Golden Fleece, but I drank that so long ago I’m not sure that’s an accurate memory.
This tea has a nice bready aroma. It is rich and sweet with flavors of raisin bran cereal, molasses, and maple syrup. I really enjoy the flavor of this tea. It has a nice balance to it and a pleasing aftertaste.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Raisins
This is only a temporary sipdown; I actually ordered 100g of this on Black Friday. I’m somewhat frustrated with myself though because I ordered it because I thought it’d be really interesting to try, and then immediately after placing my order I went downstairs to find a tea to drink and I saw that I did in fact have a sample ball of this one. D’oh! So lets hope I like it, since I have more coming in…
I’m gonna Gong Fu this one today; but if I’m being honest it’s still very early in the day and I’m still quite tired so I already know this is likely gonna be a sloppy Gong Fu session without a lot of precision. With that said, lets get into it!
Starting with a double rinse; ten seconds x2! Mostly I just want to give the ball its best chance to open up before really digging into this one. After the rinses, we take a rest and we’re ready to really begin!
Steep One – Ten Seconds
Very sweet and mild, with some floral/honeysuckle notes. Not much actually going on yet in terms of flavour, though.
Steep Two – Twelve Seconds
Stronger flavour from this steep; floral undertones and some malt/cream in the body; I still get honeysuckle but it’s also a bit headier than honeysuckle would be. Straw/hay as well.
Steep Three – Twenty Seconds
Kind of the same as steep number two, but a little sweeter and I feel as if I’m getting traces of almond in the finish?
Steep Four – Twenty-five Seconds
Ooh, yes – this is VERY good! Top notes are hay and fresh cream and the body is very sweet honey, almond, and jammy preserves. I want to say more of like a light cherry thing, but I think that’s just ‘cause almond always make me think of cherry (it’s the almond/cherry/marzipan connection). Very soft, jammy red fruits anyway! Really smooth and pleasant!
Steep Five – Thirty(ish) Seconds
Possibly best infusion yet; very, very sweet with strong notes of fresh cream, hay, malt, almond, and honey throughout. Overall I find myself thinking of marzipan or almond infused sugar cookies? Which is a delightful tea session experience. Hints of fruitier undertones here but focus point is definitely on the former notes.
Steep Six – Forty-five Seconds
Same notes are represented as the previous steep but with less overall sweetness. However, there’s also a sharpness to the top of the sip here that makes me think more of a grassy/cucumber skin sort of thing. It feels a little out of left field, in terms of everything else that’s been experienced thus far.
Steep Seven – One Minute
This one will be my last infusion, I think – the flavour is actually still VERY good but I’m getting very bored with the session and I’m ready to move onto something else. It’s still got a fair bit of sweetness and strong notes of malt, hay/straw, almond, honey, and cucumber skins with some really, really light floral things (honeysuckle) going on in the undertones. I know I could very easily continue to push the session and still get several good steeps for this but I’m happy with the experience I’ve had.
So, overall I actually kind of really love this!? The almond was such a pleasant surprise but a really delicious note in this session and I’m very happy that it was so consistent throughout all of the infusions. I can very safely say that grabbing that 100g of Moonlight Dragon Balls on BF wasn’t a mistake at all! This will be a delightful thing to have in my cupboard!
I got this sample because I didn’t notice that I could get black tea samples. I’m really glad I did. I keep thinking I don’t like green tea much, but some of the samples I’ve tried (this especially included) are changing my mind.
The dry leaf was colorful, ranging from deep green to the soft white down of its name. It smelled kind of vegetable, like sugarsnap peas maybe. I steeped it on the lighter end of the recommended time, 3 minutes.
The tea has the same veggie taste I smelled, but only lightly. It’s mostly sweet, and mild. Nothing too sharp or grassy, but definitely flavorful. I think I taste something floral, too, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to steep it again and see. This is one I’d be curious to try gongfu, because I think it’d be fun to explore all the flavors.
I still prefer a rich and comforting cup of black tea, but this is lovely for the evening. I appreciate the chance to try it.
This is a very nicely done tea, I just don’t personally care for it. However, I do think it is high quality – so I won’t leave a numerical rating since it doesn’t seem fair to rate an objectively good tea low. To me, it had too much of the vegetal flavor, almost like (I imagine) toasted spinach tastes like. It was very smooth and somewhat sweet and toasty. Again, high quality, just not my…cup of tea.
Very buttery taste and a strong floral aroma that lingers in the mouth. Slightly “green” taste due to the light roast, and a mild fruity sweetness. I’m having a hard time picking out any specific notes on this tea, but it’s quite nice.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green, Nectar
Moderately sized, dark green twisty leaves that look more like a Baozhong than a regular green tea. Sweet, slightly vegetal aroma. The taste is very clean and predominantly vegetal. Somewhere between kale and edamame. Somewhat buttery and also reminds me of sugarcane and (oddly) pumpernickle bread.
This is a nice green tea, very mellow and refreshing.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Green, Kale, Sugarcane
My five free samples from Teavivre came in the mail yesterday, and I was really craving a roasted oolong so I brewed this one up. The flavor is fairly nice. Mineral, red clay, roasted barley, and ripe plum flavors with an unripe plum tang and astringency. Slightly burnt tasting though. The aroma however is awesome! My cha hai smells of osmanthus and daffodil flowers, burning candle warmth, and something being baked with lots of butter and brown sugar.
This is a nicely aromatic and economical Wuyi oolong with very “warm” tastes and aromas.
I do wish the roast was a little more subtle. I’ve read that a little aging can help heavily roasted oolongs to “calm down” a bit; perhaps this one would benefit from that.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt, Butter, Clay, Mineral, Osmanthus, Plums, Resin, Roasted
OK – yellow tea. Has to be a gimmick, right? So elusive and mysterious…hidden long-lost recipes and all that…
Well, I was still excited to see what the hype was all about.
First, it is not a gimmick. This thing is crazy good. Imagine a vegetal and sweet, nutty bi luo chun crossed with sweet floral Anxi green oolong. Oh, and some sweet grass and fruit flavors of Xinyang Mao Jian. There was incredible complexity to the tea – from the dry leaf scent all the way through the experience in-mouth.
The flavors are strong, but complementary – switching from nutty to sweet, vegetal to floral. Incredibly dynamic. The mouthfeel is thick and unctuous. The aftertaste is expansive and long-lasting.
This is an excellent tea, and the price is great for the quality of the tea. Highly recommended for green tea lovers especially.
Dry leaf – sweet corn (like Bi Luo Chun), creamy fragrant floral (like Anxi oolong), popcorn, speculoos, orange flower. In preheated vessel – candied pecans, praline, sweetcorn, tomato vine, sweet grass
Smell – sweet corn, sweet grass, tomato vine
Taste – arrival of sweet vegetal – sweet corn, green oolong leafiness, sweet grass. Development of complex but muted sweetness (marshmallow, graham cracker) and fragrant floral. Finish of sweet floral – orchid, orange flower, rose. Aftertaste of sweet floral, candied pecan, coconut, with hints of orange soda and red fruit/raspberry.
I picked up some green teas from Teavivre this spring, and am only getting to them now. Maybe I’ve just been grumpy lately, but this dragonwell doesn’t seem as sweet as the one from 2016. I steeped it both gongfu per the website’s recommendations (4 g, 120 ml, 20, 30, 40, and 60 seconds at 185F) and Western style (3 g, 12 oz., 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, and 6:00 at 185F). Like last year’s, this year’s leaf is well formed and has lots of downy fuzz.
Gongfu, this was almost completely vegetal. I remember notes of broccoli, bok choy, and maybe asparagus, with some astringency in the background. It almost tasted like a sencha.
Western brewing produced a sweeter chestnut profile that was more in line with the dragonwells I’ve had in the past. The vegetal elements were still present, but they were more balanced. The tea never got bitter.
I found this dragonwell to be a much tougher customer than its 2016 counterpart. I’ll try steeping it at lower temperatures and using fewer leaves to bring out the sweetness.
Flavors: Asparagus, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Chestnut, Green Bell Peppers, Vegetal
This is simply a bouquet of buttery lilacs. It feels like such a luxury to have rich flowers like this on the verge of winter. I particularly enjoy the sweet, rich scent that the leaves and broth give off.
It’s too bad I put off drinking this one for so long. For whatever reason, I thought it was roasted. Good job for reading comprehension, Crowkettle!
I’ll add more insight to this note if anything interesting pops up in later steeps.
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Grass, Honeysuckle
While I was steeping (and sniffing) this baby, I thought I was going to have to go over how Roasted Oolongs don’t seem to work for me again. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when that overdone roasted aroma turned into a creamy cup of nuts and barley, with fruity and floral accents.
At first, I feared that the cream and nut notes were residue flavours from the cup’s previous resident (Coconut Carrot Cashew- It’s Operation Sipdown and I’m running this ship like a dirty fastfood joint). It appears these flavours are this tea’s own, however!
I still vastly prefer green oolongs, but this makes me less hesitant to try the roasted fellows. Teavivre Dong Ding Oolongs appear to be a win for me too!
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Floral, Hay, Honeydew, Melon, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts
Now that I’m over my cold, I can review again!
Award winning superfine jasmine downy dragon pearls green tea by teavivre.
Dry leaf: floral, jasmine, spices, green.
Wet leaf: floral, jasmine, spices, green, pepper, roses.
Light steep; I smell/taste
(Smell) light —> green, roses, floral, jasmine, spices.
(Taste) light -→ spices, pepper, green. medium —→ clay(?), roses, floral, jasmine.
Medium steep; I smell/taste
(Smell) light —> green, roses, floral, jasmine, spices.
(Taste) light -→ spices, pepper, green medium —→ roses, clay, floral. Strong jasmine.
Heavy steep; I smell/taste
(Smell) light —> green, roses, floral, jasmine, spices.
(Taste) slight -→ clay(?), spices, pepper. light —→ jasmine, roses, floral, green.
All in all: what a yummy tea! Nice flavours/aromas, cha qi, and warm fuzzy feeling. Best jasmine tea I’ve ever had so far. Thanks Angel Teavivre, for this amazing tea.
I rate a 100/100
Where to buy: http://www.teavivre.com/superfine-jasmine-dragon-pearl/
Flavors: Clay, Floral, Green, Jasmine, Pepper, Rose, Spices
Courtesy sample from, Angel. Thank you so much!
I brewed 4.6g in a 60ml porcelain gaiwan and followed the website’s steeping instructions: rinse, 30 seconds, 40, 50, 70,90, 120.
I divided the sample into two sessions just to be sure the leaf got some air. The aroma of the dry leaf is surprisingly oceanic and seaweed-like, delicately sweet. The leaf starts to smell more like Chinese rolled oolong after I enhance the aroma with the pre-heated gaiwan: intensely floral, with a sweetness of uncooked sugar snap peas. The wet leaf aroma is, again, floral, but also buttery. It also reminds me of the fragrance of full green leaves at the height of summer.
The liquor is a clear, bright, and pale yellow. The leaf doesn’t open completely until the third infusion, though the first and second infusions are quite flavorful of floral and fruity notes. The second infusion noticeably had a medicinal sweetness. After the third infusion, the flavors don’t evolve – they are consistently floral and sweet till the end. The texture is creamy throughout the session. The aftertaste is powerfully juicy, tasting of white grape juice. The website description says that this Tie Guan Yin produces a salivating effect, but to me it dries the mouth rather, and I salivated a little in consequence. The caffeine/qi kicks takes a bit of time to kick off; I began to feel both after the third infusion. I noticed an increase in alertness and my palms sweated a little.
I went through quite a bit of this today using both western and short steep methods. I have to say I think I may prefer the western, which resulted in a sweeter, less marine cup, but both were pleasant! I don’t know how this ended up as the last of my free samples from Teavivre; it’s probably my favourite of them all! Both of my parents (including my exclusively Red Rose-drinking father) enjoyed drinking this smooth and vibrant green tea, which is incredibly novel.
Thank you again, Teavivre, for the lovely samples. I can’t believe they’ve lasted this long.
Steep Count: 3
(2017 spring harvest)
Flavors: Beany, Butter, Peas, Seaweed, Sweet
Brewed at 203˚F this time. Much smoother, mellow taste with no astringency. Flavour remains very subtle but it’s much more enjoyable. Still not as memorable as the 2007 Palace Ripened Pu Er, but much better than my first experience with this tea.
Updated Rating: 80FIRST BREW --
Rinsed once for 2s. Unfortunately I didn’t read the instructions and brewed this with boiling water. It tasted astringent (not burnt) but the flavour was very light after brewing for 30s. Tasted slightly herbal, not objectionable. This tea smelled better (more mellow, more soothing, less sharp) than the 2007 ripe Pu Er I tried previously, but the taste is nothing special.
Second infusion at 212˚F, 50s tasted horribly bitter and astringent. Probably overbrewed it badly. I will make sure to brew the remainder of my sample at 203˚F.
Initial Rating: 72
Didn’t rinse. I dislike the smell of pu-erh teas in general, but the taste was pretty smooth and unobjectionable.
Second and Third infusions:
Very smooth and drinkable tea. Goes great with food. In three infusions I drank about two full gaiwans of tea and am beginning to feel the caffeine jitters.
Kicked the day off with this one to go with breakfast. I’ve been feeling pretty run down this week without feeling sick, so i needed something to encourage me to get out, since Sunday’s are the fatbike rides that my other half leads. Since it’s an excuse to get me out and i can help him with things, i am trying to go every weekend. But today was COLD and windy… so this tea helped. I’ll be sad when this is out of my cupboard but since i have so many straight blacks at the moment, i think i’ll be ok :)