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Recent Tasting Notes
Got some of this from the Here’s Hoping TTB and drank it the other night. Very warming, soothing and easy to drink. It had a subtle, robust, nutty sweetness and sort of reminded me of houjicha. I could definitely see myself drinking more of this from time to time.
Flavors: Grain, Nutty, Sweet, Toasted
A sample from Teavivre. The first thing I noticed about this one, other than it’s long, thick, twisty leaves, was how light it is. Even after 3-4 minutes, it’s still a medium golden brown. Most of the Yunnan/Dian Hongs I’ve tried have been similar, but still usually darker (at least on first steep) than this one gets. It’s actually quite refreshing, because there’s none of that black tea “heaviness”, and (of course) no bitterness or astringency. There’s no impact on the flavour, either – that’s still full and surprisingly fruity.
I was expecting bread/chocolate, but this one’s a little different. I’m getting mostly stone fruit flavours – apricot, maybe a touch of plum. There’s also a mild earthiness that reminds me a little bit of ripe pu’erh, but it’s by no means overpowering. Subsequent steeps have a little breadiness in the mid-sip, and a touch of honey towards the end of the sip, but the main flavour for me is the fruit. It’s light and juicy, perfectly smooth, and just right for a warm summer afternoon. Another win from Teavivre!
This tea is a medium oolong with a baked floral aroma, which is contrary to its name. Ya Shi Xiang, according to Teavivre’s description, translates to Duck Shit Aroma. I guess the person who named this tea only fed his ducks flowers. It has a buttery sweet taste with flavors of flowers and a little creaminess. There is a touch of savoriness and the flavor is quite complex. This tea is definitely something I would drink again.
Flavors: Butter, Floral
Picked up a sample of this in my last order and i have to say, i didn’t realise there was peppermint in the brew. Cold brewed this overnight and while it’s not a bad tea, i actually don’t like the peppermint in it. It might be better hot, but cold brewed fruit peppermint is not what i’m looking for haha
Purchased a sample. Prepared in a gongfu session with a porcelain gaiwan. Followed Teavivre’s steeping instructions: flash rinse, 10 seconds, 15, 15, 25, 35, 60.
I was not expecting to be blasted by such a cocoa bean-like aroma from the dry leaf. So sweet, a touch bitter. The heated leaf uncannily resembles those times in which my house is filled with the smell of brownies in the oven, then you take those brownies a douse them with chocolate syrup. Hit with hot water, the leaf initially smells of sweet potato skin, clove, and malt. Later in the session, the aroma comes back to cocoa.
The liquor is a beautifully clear golden orange and has a full body and smooth texture. The flavor profile doesn’t undergo change throughout the session. From the first infusion to the end, I taste honey, molasses, and sweet potato (no skin), leaving me with a grain-like aftertaste and a slightly dry mouth.
This is another excellent hongcha offering from Teavivre. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
A sample from Teavivre. I’ve been excited to try this one for a while, since Yunnan teas are a favourite of mine. Somehow, though, I’ve just never got around to it. Call it life, maybe. Today is as good a day as any, besides.
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in almost-boiling water. The scent is malt and honey with a hint of chocolate, and the taste is similar – it’s always nice to find a tea that lives up to its scent! The initial sip is brown sugar and malt, but a dark chocolate flavour develops in the mid-sip and lingers nicely. It’s super-smooth, with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. I’ll be resteeping this one!
Teavivre makes a really lovely smokey Lapsang Souchong, one of my favorites, and although I know that all Lapsangs aren’t smokey, I kind of assumed this one would be.
It is not smokey, but it is delicious!
I dumped the 7G sample into a 16oz teapot and steeped 3 min, resteeped 5min.
The aroma of the leaf is sweet, bready, fruity, and a little floral.
The tea is essentially the same: honey, molasses, malt, stone fruit, and roses (in the 2nd steeping). I’ll have to remember to add some of this to my next Teavivre order.
Full disclosure: My sense of smell is not functioning at 100%, today.
I read a description on another tea vendor’s website, and he described the tea’s profile as smelling like cannabis. Bingo! That’s one of the unusual smells I think some raw pu’ers possess that I could never put my finger on. Not that I’m any expert in cannabis, but I have smelled it a few times in my life, and it’s a very unusual and distinct smell, and that is exactly what the wet leaves of this tea smell like. I also get some more dry grassy-hay notes, as well, and a bit of pepperiness. Wet leaf quality appears high. Whole leaves dominate.
One might note that my flavor/aroma notes are contradictions, but yet that is not a mistake. Steeped for under 15 seconds, the tea produces a pale oak liquor that is smooth and wet and sweet with no bitterness. Steeped for 1 min+, it’s bitter and astringent. I prefer this one steeped for shorter durations.
I’ll have to keep this one short. It’s probably me and my under-performing sense of smell more than the tea, today, but I am just not getting much past the 4th infusion.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Cannabis, Smooth, Straw, Sweet
I don’t drink a lot of green tea. I prefer the high-octane black teas, particularly while I am working. But, I liked the name of this free sample from Teavivre and knew (based on the great track record Teavivre has, with me enjoying virtually all of their offerings) that this one was worth a try.
When I opened the silver sample package, the long wrinkled green leaves strongly reminded me of something that is smoked instead of drunk. The unbrewed odor also kind of reminded me of the same…uh…herb.
I followed Teavivre’s guidelines and brewed the leaves for five minutes (the recommended maximum) at 195 degrees (the instructions said 194 degrees but what’s one degree between friends?).
The steeped color was a brilliant gold. The flavor was nutty and slightly grassy but exceptionally smooth. I didn’t detect any other flavors riding piggyback on this. However, there also was an underlying tangy sweetness to the taste that I liked immensely. The slightly sweet and airy aftertaste floated gently on my palate until it regrettably drifted away.
Teavivre has done it again! They have taken a tea that is usually low on my priority list and made it so enjoyable that I heartily recommend it.
If I ever get to retire one day, and no longer need the full-body thunderbolt that black tea gives me in the morning, I will positively include AT LEAST ONE green tea to leisurely sip while I slowly churn back and forth in my rocker. Thank you, Teavivre!
Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Sweet, Tangy
So this is a sample I got from Teavivre. I wasn’t sure if I would like it as I am wary of all things with flowers in the name. Too many times in the past that has led to tasting flower petals in my mouth. I am so glad that is not the case here. My first and only steeping (made it for work in a contigo) tastes like fuzzy peaches. The jasmine is ligt enough that I don’t really notice it. All in all I would say this is a great tea and I would consider ordering it myself in the future.
I grabbed this from the drawer because I wanted some Pu-erh without having to break it off a cake. Probably around 7 grams or so per cake, and easy to handle.
I found it to be both pleasant and generous. Several rich mahogany infusions off the cube so far, and the latter seem to be a bit sweeter than the first, but all were very nice. Earthy, but sweet – like a light molasses. Only slightly musty, not at all unpleasant. Smells more like a barn at the feed end of the cow instead of the other…
I have several more of these cubes from a Teavivre Pu-erh sampler, and will definitely put this on my ever-growing reorder list.
Flavors: Earth, Molasses
This one came to me as a free sample from Teavivre ages ago, and I’ve only got around to trying it now. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – some extreme form of lethargy, apparently. I’m drinking tea, but I’m not writing about it; there are a lot of things I’m just not feeling at the moment, sadly.
I used half the sample pouch – 5 pearls – for my cup (I’ll be resteeping for sure!) I gave them 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. To taste, it’s pretty much as I expected. I feel like I’ve tried something very similar from Teavivre before, but I’ve no previous notes on this specific tea, so it can’t be this one. Maybe it wasn’t organic, or something? Anyway, it’s malty, with all the thick-tasting sweetness that suggests. There’s also a chocolately, cocoa-like flavour, which, if I’m honest, was what I was hoping for when I picked this one out today. Delicious! This is a dragon pearl I’ll seriously consider keeping around.
Oh my goodness, this is heavenly with half and half. It tasted even breadier and more raisiny than when enjoying it alone. I’d make another mug but I’ve already been horrible today with my calorie consumption. Does anyone ever run into a problem where you buy a bunch of ingredients you normally don’t have for a recipe and then feel obligated to use them up, so you’re led down this long path of making different foods? That’s my issue with buttermilk. First time buying it, as I bought some after buying five pounds of blueberries for a great price and thought I’d make blueberry oatmeal muffins for the first time which required buttermilk. Not to mention, I made lavender violet blueberry tarts. Leftover buttermilk led me to buy cheddar cheese to finally make the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuit dupe recipe I’ve been meaning to try for literally eight years. Still having buttermilk and extra cheese (oh, and butter too), that led me to buy cornmeal to finally try making jalapeño cheddar corn muffins since I’ve also been meaning to try to make something cornbread-related for many years.
Then yesterday for breakfast, I used the last of the cheese to make cheesy grits for the first time (and no, not going to get into a redundant linguistics argument over the usage of the term ‘grits’ when hominy isn’t involved).
So finally, today, I used up the rest of the buttermilk and cornmeal to make heart-shaped cornmeal waffles, and with that, I used them in place of sandwich bread to make a honey garlic chicken sandwich.
Seriously, isn’t that nuts? Reason #244 why I avoid buying ingredients I normally don’t use.
This is embarrassing. I bought this tea during a New Year’s sale at the beginning of 2015 when I was still living on the west coast, but I moved a few months later, packing it up and sending it to my mom’s place in the middle of nowhere, where it sat until she sold her home a couple months ago and got sent to my new place here. The harvest time was March 2014 but at least has been sealed until now.
The dry leaf is so fluffy and dainty with pretty golden accents. Smells a little grainy. I’ve had two infusions and both were very similar, yielding starchy, sweet potato notes. There was a touch of astringency but nothing cutting. The grainy notes came forth more so in the second infusion. I look forward to trying it again and seeing if I can pick up on anymore notes.
Ever feel like you’re the last one to get in on a secret? That’s how I felt moments after water came into contact with this tea! The pleasant aroma of jasmine was wafting from the pot before I could even get the lid on. I could hardly wait for it to finish steeping, and when it did, the taste was even better than the aroma!
This is blurring the lines between tea and tisane in taste alone. Lightly floral and sweet, with a refreshing edge like mint or something. Every breath I take is cool and fresh after drinking a cup. My wife downed her cup almost immediately. I had brew another so she could slow down and savor it a little.
This sample from Teavivre was a ringer…I will definitely order some of this.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Mint, Spearmint
Here’s another delicious tea I drank up without realizing. I drank this weeks ago too, so..
Err. (pie on face)
I recall at the time that it reminded be a lot of my Shan Lin Xi from Camellia Sinensis: grassy coconut notes, mixed with thick butter and almost nectar-like sweetness. It may have had a bit of seaweed/marine note, too?
I’ll just have to order more next time. For verfication purposes, of course!
Steep Count: who knows? I was blissed out on it, which is what’s important.
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Floral, Grass, Seaweed