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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
day off today and i’m hoping to get a bunch of stupid things around the house done. i hate all the little things that pile up but they need to get done every now and then. For the most part, we’re pretty good about things but we could really use some down time to tackle our “garage” bedroom. It’s a bit of a mess in there between the bikes, the car tires, the square foot garden project my husband has started etc… lol While it’s a little crazy in there, it’s nice to have the extra room for that sort of thing since i can close the door and pretend nothing’s happening there. haha the joys of apartment living!
Part of my to do list includes looking at trying a few more puerh today but i wanted to start things off with a delicious straight tea that i’m super close to a sipdown on. I’ll need to pick up more of this once i’m out (and my cupboard is back under control!)
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 :)
Sipdown! I got this as part of a prize pack from TeaVivre… at some point, I no longer know when. But it’s still tasty! I made this gong fu style on a brisk evening. The first steep reminds me of a savory rice porridge (so, basically, congee). As the second steep cools, I swear there’s a sweet potato note too. I expect to get a few more steeps out of this but it will have to wait until after dinner.
Another sample I have yet to write a note for, so keep in mind this is not the freshest tea from Teavivre but it’s still the 2017 harvest. It’s a crime not to write a note while it’s fresh though! I think I received if from another one of their lucky draws but I think it was in spring? Or else they waited to ship the spring teas until I ordered. I may have used too many leaves on accident but it definitely didn’t harm the flavor! There was only a slight hint of tanginess with the DELICIOUS green tea flavor. This flavor just says “high quality”. The dry leaves: they had a very sweet fragrance and look like short flat blades of grass. Definitely not as long as some of the green teas that Teavivre carries. The flavor is so very good. You can tell it is of the highest quality, whatever the heck makes it so different from other green tea. Such a sweet leaf with very nutty flavors. It is divine. The lingering aftertaste is even amazing. So the 2/3 of a sample packet didn’t ruin the cup but I definitely don’t want to waste these amazing leaves. Complex flavor, tasty and refreshing! Thanks Teavivre, for allowing me to try this one. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
Steep #1 // 2/3 sample packet (too much!) for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Harvest: Spring 2017
Flavors: Nutty, Sweet
A very pleasant tea. The aroma is complex: it does have some puerh earthiness and roses but also some hard-to-differentiate sweetness. Fruity, perhaps. The same with taste: it is a complex, comforting sweetness.
Also, there are multiple tiny particles of rose petals floating around: it looks good and creates a very interesting sensation when you drink the tea, adding some “volume”. In general, it is one of my trusty, “comfort food” type of tea. You are likely either love or hate it, but surely need to try.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Rose
This had a lovely, true strawberry flavor and almost separately, a lovely mellow oolong flavor. Somehow they didn’t seem to combine quite right, but it was still very nice. I’ve been kind of drowning in artificially flavored and sweetened teas lately, so this was a nice refreshing change. I would like a bit more of the strawberry if I ruled the world, but still nicely done.
Flavors: Strawberry, Toast
Teavivre always has such great Black Friday events! Love Teavivre. I haven’t written a tasting note for this one yet. I used 2/3 of a sample packet. The leaves are very dark and have a rich bread fragrance. There is barely any small particles in the mug after a rinse, which means a lot less small particles of tea than I usually see in pu-erh. The flavor is lovely, though doesn’t have as much depth as my favorite shu pu-erhs usually have (like most of the pu-erh that Teavivre carries.) The deep burgundy cup has a very sweet flavor, thirst quenching, with a slight hint of biscuits. All three steeps stay pretty consistent in flavor, despite the vastly different steep times. This is a high quality shu, but I prefer a deeper flavor, especially for the amount of leaves I used. (Though I have certainly tried less flavorful shu!) The leaves from the cake were definitely unraveled by the end of the third steep, but I’m sure I could have kept steeping.
Steep #1 // 2/3 sample packet for a full mug// rinse // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 8 minute steep
Somewhat a disappointment. The leaves are broken into pretty small pieces. the fragrance is muted, with flowers, tropical fruit, malt and earth in it. The taste is really underwhelming and weak, with some sweetness, floral notes, cacao,and mushrooms.
I expect my keemuns to be more bold and defined. There are much better ones in that price range, including other keemuns by Teavivre as well.
Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Malt, Mushrooms, Pineapple
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #39
I was thinking this wouldn’t be as delicious as it is! But it’s a pretty tasty no caffeine option that I wouldn’t mind stocking up on. It’s kind of like the toasty part of a genmaicha without the green tea and it’s also very sweet. So toasty flavored and sweet flavored! It’s fantastic. Give it a try! It’s a unique option for night time.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // just boiled // 7+ minute steep
Flavors: Sweet, Toasty
Thedry leaves are visually pleasing: large and gnarly. The smell is sweet (reminiscent of the field of wild flowers in the spring) and spicy.
The liquor is very fragrant. The fragrance of fall leaves, burned leaves, spices, sandal wood, honey. The smell is quite distinct and uplifting.The taste is mild but complex. There is some woodiness and sourness, plus malt, floral and honey notes and lots of other components. It also has a lingering and pleasant aftertaste.
It was a sampler and I will certainly order it again and in larger quantity. A keeper.
Many years ago, I had such enormous faith in the quality of music by The Beatles (still my all-time favorite band), that I would buy their new record albums (the vinyl kind) before I heard any of the songs. I was never disappointed. I always loved every track on every album.
During the last six years, I have grown to have the same confidence in teas by Teavivre. I’ve tried a lot of their teas and I don’t remember ever being disappointed. So, for the first time, I actually bought a pound of this Yunnan Gongfu Fragrant Black Tea without seeing, smelling, or tasting it. My wife expressed skepticism and astonishment when I told her I sent our hard earned money all the way to China for a whole pound of a product I never even sampled! I gently assured my more sensible half that she need not worry. I know what I’m doing (I hope).
When the pound arrived, it was shipped and packaged in five 3.5-ounce silver zip bags. So, it is in reality a total of 17.5 ounces- more than a pound. I decided not to convey this fact to my sweet spouse just yet.
After consolidating the five bags into one tall metal container, I noticed the sweet and fragrant aroma (hence its name) of the long black leaves with golden accompaniments. The smell was like honey and chocolate.
I steeped the leaves for five minutes at 195 degrees. These settings were within Teavivre’s recommended brewing range. The resulting liquor was a deep amber color. The aroma was sweet like honey.
As I hopefully and optimistically took my first small sips, my palate was flooded with the sensations of honey and chocolate. These flavors were perfectly blended and the entire experience was smooth as silk with no astringency lurking under the covers. Through my entire first and second cups, the very pleasant tastes remained consistent, smooth, and steady. The aftertaste was light and amiable. It seemed to softly dangle on my tongue until it tenderly dissipated.
I am very pleased (and relieved) to report that this is another exquisite tea from the folks at Teavivre which I highly recommend. If you like sweet, smooth, and full-bodied black teas (and who doesn’t?), you will love this one. Now I will tell my wife how brilliant her husband is to purchase 17.5 ounces of this terrific tea! ;-)
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey