Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

96

Almost a sipdown, and I will finish this tea off by the end of the week. It is lovely but kind of old and fading a bit. However I think these are my last jasmine pearls! Sadness! I will definitely have to reorder these from Teavivre when I do get around to a big order from them. This fall!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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96

I thought I might be within one more cup of a sipdown of this tea, but then I thought about it a bit. Did I really want to try to push the amount I had left into two cups, when it was really more suitable for three? Did I really want to rush through a sipdown of these, the only dragon pearls in my cupboard right now? The answer was no, I did not want to. Now that I’ve cleared my cupboard of easy sipdowns, its easy for me to fall into rotating only through the teas I have 5-10 servings of, hoping for a sipdown, but frustrated by how far away sipdowns seem to be. I’m still going to be working hard toward sipdowns, but I also have to remember to drink some tea from the larger tins and pouches in my stash.

So yes, I will savor this lovely tea and not rush a sipdown, although sipping it now it is clear that I shouldn’t wait too long… these pearls are pretty old and getting older, and they have lost some of their sparkle. Still, they are rich and sweet, with lots of lovely honeysuckle flavor to them. My favorite for a jasmine tea. And to think, these aren’t even the highest grade Teavivre offers! I will have to try the Superfine Downy pearls sometime.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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96

Earlier today I tried this one gongfu style in my ru kiln pot. I followed the instructions on Teavivre’s site exactly, and this time I had a scale, too, so I have the amounts right.

I did a quick rinse, after which the pearls barely looked like they changed at all. After a 40 second steep the liquor was light colored and light in flavor, though distinctly jaminey. It was also not super exciting as a jasmine tea. Teavivre next called for a 1min10sec steep, and after that the liquor was dark and overly strong, edging on bitter. So for the third steep, I went for 1 minute even instead of 1min30sec. Still, it was unpleasantly strong and bitter. Then I left it for a while, and thought maybe I was done with it, but then I decided to give it another shot. This time I went only 15 seconds, and it was very nice. Jasminey, fresh. I did another 20 second steep after that, and that too was nice. Ah, yes, with 8oz in a 6oz pot, this definitely needs short short steeps.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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96

Back to floral teas, eh? I am very excited to try this one because I loooove jasmine pearls. My favorite so far has been Harney & Sons, but I honestly haven’t gotten to try too many different ones (which is partly because I am so pleased with Harney’s I don’t seek them elsewhere). Thanks to Teavivre, I get to try these pearls!

And it seems like I’m in for a treat; when I opened the package I was greeted by the most amazing jasmine aroma. Seriously honeysuckle aroma there, and rich, heady florals like sticking your head into a jasmine bush in full bloom. Yum. The liquor steeped to a pale golden yellow color, and it retains that honeysuckle-jasmine aroma, though in a more subdued way. There’s also something different about this jasmine aroma that I can’t quite articulate. Let me try: most jasmine seems “high” and “bright” in the aroma, like the equivalent of a soprano voice, but this jasmine has some serious “low” and “dark” notes in the aroma, like the equivalent of an alto or tenor, in addition to the usual high and bright notes that really make it a lush experience.

I was writing all that about the aroma, but it holds true for the flavor as well. The soprano notes are present right at the front of the sip, while the tenor notes grow at the tail end and in the aftertaste. The jasmine is lovely and fresh, and not overpowering or perfumy at all. I always look for a natural sweetness in the tea that reminds me of eating honeysuckle nectar, and it is lightly present here (especially as the tea cools), but not as much as I would have expected. Still, these are top notch jasmine pearls, and at just over $3/oz, they seem to be a bargain for the quality.

Added note: I had three extremely flavorful and tasty steeps (12oz each) of this tea before I got jasmined out. This tea definitely keeps going strong!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Speaking as a rusty alto, I like the description! (Now I’ll be humming all the good lines from “Hallelujah Chorus” all afternoon.)

Stephanie

I love the musical analogies—tea symphony! :)

Dinosara

Some people taste colors, apparently I taste sounds. :D

K S

Never considered myself a tenor fan until now. Love the description.

gmathis

Hmm … so … what tea would constitute (a) a rich, low Southern Gospel bass like whats-his-name from the Oak Ridge Boys (b) a really great scratchy pop voice like Rod Stewart or Joe Cocker. This will make me ponder all day!

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84

First of all, thanks again Teavivre for sending me this sample!

This is my first lightly-oxidized Tie Guan Yin, and also my first confirmed spring picking, so I was a bit excited. The aroma of the dry leaves was a bit fruity, with hint of flowers and nuts. The first infusion was had the same aroma as the dried leaves, but the smells were a bit more muted, which allowed them to become more harmonious. The taste was a bit fruity, with a slight aftertaste of nuttiness. The second infusion was mostly the same, but a bit nuttier overall, and with the fruity flavors starting to subside a bit.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81

Dry leaf: white downy pearls. Just as one would expect.
A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 75C for 3 minutes
Aroma: Aroma is straight jasmine. Like holding a flower in your hand.
Infusion: Nearly clear, light green liquor.
Taste: Sweet and bright with a brisk mouthfeel. The jasmine aroma sticks to the roof of the mouth. Slightly drying. A classic Jasmine Pearls tea. Not overpowering, but perhaps more jasmine than I like these days, although I used to be addicted to the style and this is as good a representative of it as I can recall.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83

A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Dry leaf: wiry and thin black with a good amount of gold tips
Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 85 for 1.5 minutes
Aroma: Aroma of a damp forest: earthy and sweet.
Infusion: Amber-gold liquor.
Taste: Light body, candy sweet, not drying. Very similar to a Bai Mu Dan, actually, although more chocolatey. This is likely due to the fact that they’re both a Fuding, Fujian leaf, possibly the same cultivar?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

That’s a great insight. It isn’t often you find leaf from the same cultivar which has been processed in radically different ways. Fascinating that one can taste the similarity despite that processing.

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82

A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Dry leaf: wiry and thin for a golden buds tea which in my experience tend to use larger leaves (perhaps this is a different cultivar than I’m used to). This does not bear to judge the tea, as the leaves are still very uniform and beautiful.
Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 90 for 1.5 minutes
Aroma: Aroma of cinnamon or bitter chocolate.
Infusion: Orange liquor.
Taste: Drying taste as it hits the roof of the mouth. Not as sweet as the aroma implies, but very rich. The taste of earthy sweetness that accompanies a bitter chocolate.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

A golden “tip” should be very small, because anything “tippy” is supposed to be the terminal, unopened leaf bud. So, I would, somewhat cautiously because I am not a true expert, suggest that these smaller leaves means this is better quality rather than potentially lower.

Payton

Well said, Jim. I agree that leaf size is far from a measure of quality and that indeed smaller leaves can carry amazing flavor (Tai Hu Bi Lo Chun, for example). Yunnan is well known for its big leaf varieties, though, even in the “buds”, and often I find all-tips Yunnan teas that seem more akin in size to a Silver Needle (well, that’s a wholly different region). Anyway, I only mentioned the size for comparison to other Golden Buds tea. Many thanks for the comment!

Jim Marks

But… Lipton insists that smaller is better…!

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92

A great sample I received from Teavivre. I set up a proper tasting with degustation sets for each of the teas. Well, I didn’t do the traditional 6 minutes, but I did my best for the type of tea. Here’s my notes.

Dry leaf: very fluffy and downy. Much more so than other White Peonies I’ve tasted recently. Good quality leaf.
Brewing method: 3g, tasting set, 85 C for 1 minute
Aroma: Classic Bai Mu Dan aroma of gently roasted walnuts.
Infusion: Light green-yellow liquor.
Taste: Very sweet and thick. Filling like – don’t take this the wrong way, because it’s really pleasant – white beans. Tastes like Bai Mu Dan should, bringing back memories of my first experiences with the style many years ago when I would drink the tea every morning.

This was the best of all the samples that I received. Definitely worth drinking in the future.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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95

I’m very new to Oolong tea so I am not sure what to expect when I try each variety. Teavivre’s Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong tea is fascinating by any distinction. I was struggling to put the wonderful flavor into words until I read the information about this tea on Teavivre’s web site.

Teavivre explains that this tea is from “an area with a mix of mountains, forests, and small creeks.” Bingo! That is also a great description of the flavors inherent in this tea.

The taste of nature is abundant in this selection. It is earthy, fresh, and woodsy. The flavor is not overpowering but just right. I steeped it for the recommended maximum time of three minutes and it was perfect for my tastebuds with no bitterness. It has a light golden color that underestimates the power of its flavor.

This tea would be great to sip all day. Teavivre says that it can typically be infused seven times. I probably won’t be putting that claim to the test today, but excuse me while I prepare infusion #2 for another four cups.

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84

I had the opportunity to taste this one thanks to PeppermintPlant My first sip reminded me of pineapple. I was intrigued. I really enjoyed the lightness of this tea. I too am not usually a fan of green teas but this one was really unique. It smelled very much like hay and grass before brewing but became much more citrus like in the cup. This one is going on the Christmas list….

TeaVivre

thanks for your taste notes, I’m glad that you like it^^

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87

First of all, thanks to Teavivre for the free sample of this tea! It was another first for me, as while I have had jasmine teas, none of them had been pearls. Also, my previous jasmine teas have been from one of three sources: Stash, Yamamotoyama, or at Chinese restaurants. Needless, to say, this was a bit different.

The first infusion was very interesting, with a very pleasing jasmine aroma. It was "softer " than other jasmines I’ve had, and was much better than the Yamamotoyama jasmine that I have. The taste was also much better than the Yamamotoyama, with less astringency and bitterness. This is probably due to using a higher quality tea, as the Yamamotoyama appears to use cheap left-overs. It is also interesting to note that after the infusion, the leaves still loosely resembled pearls, which was interesting.

The second infusion was generally a bit weaker, but with a few exceptions. First, the tea tasted more flowery and sweeter. Also, an aftertaste on the tip of the tongue and the roof the the mouth became apparent. Thus aftertaste was a touch metallic and/or mineral, but still a bit flowery, and was generally very interesting, as my other jasmine teas do not exhibit such a characteristic.

I over steeped the third infusion, and there was a touch of astringency, and it wasn’t as sweet as the previous infusion. The aftertaste also strengthened and became a touch bitter. The forth infusion was rather plain, and even the scent seemed lacking by this point. The sweetness had also all but disappeared, leaving very little in the way of taste.

All in all, it’s the best jasmine tea I’ve had in a while, and was very pleasant. It also lasted a bit longer than my Yamamotoyama jasmine, which was a pleasant surprise. Anyway, I’m actually considering purchasing some of this in the future, after my other jasmine stock runs out.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

Just finishing off the packet from yesterday. See my previous note.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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88

I finally realized how amazing this tea is, after accidentally letting it steep for 15 minutes. Even after all that time, the tea wasn’t astringent, it wasn’t bitter, and the taste still actually held a bit of sweetness! There is no way in Hell I’ll ever go back to bording old tea bags!

Regardless, this tea is also interesting because of how balanced the flavor is. The primary flavor is caramel, but it’s not as sickeningly sweet as caramel is when you eat it alone. The sweetness from the caramel does not overshadow the other flavors, and acts as I nice contrast. I am certainly going to buy more of this when my sample runs out.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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88

I really felt like having strong tea today, so I let this steep extra long for maximum flavor (and caffeine). The only real change that I noticed is that the first cup isn’t as sweet as previously, but it is still exceptional. The caramel flavors are still present, but they are overwhelmed by the other flavors.

The second infusion was even better than usual, as the caramel flavor became much more prominent, and the tea had exactly the right amount of natural sweetness.

To be completely honest, I brewed my third cup, and forgot about it for several hours. Needless to say, it was rather cold when rediscovered. I didn’t want to waste it, so I cheated and put it in the microwave for 25 seconds to warm it back up. T?he result is tea that isn’t as sweet, and isn’t as flavorful as I expected, but it was still decent tea.

If I make another cup, I’ll tell you if the above was because of the microwave or if the tea was just starting to wear out.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88

Once again, thanks to Teavivre for this tea! I only used half of a packet the first time I had this tea, so this was finishing that off. Luckily, It’s been less than a week, so the tea has lost none of it’s flavor!

The first infusion was stronger than before, as I let it steep for a full five minutes. This resulted in a very dark color, but did not negatively impact the aroma or taste of the tea. The aroma was a intense, and the flavor was sweet with a hint of caramel. Clearly this tea is a cut above normal black teas, especially because I don’t need to sweeten it just to make it drinkable.

EDIT #1:
Something rather interesting happened as I reached tht end of the first cup. The tea had been a bit broken up, and there was quite a bit of tea dust at the bottom of the cup, which usually results in a very bitter taste. When I got to the bottom, the taste was initially a touch bitter, but with an aftertaste that was a bit like semi-sweet chocolate. Never had anything like that before.

EDIT #2:
After four infusions, this is what I’ve observed: The color of the tea has gone from a rather dark brwo, to an almost caramel color. The taste of the tea has become much sweeter, and the flavor is much more balanced. The sweetness mixes with the other mellower flavors very nicely, and creates a very pleasing cup of tea. Honestly, I’m rather glad that I have three more packets of this stuff.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88

Most of my experiences with black tea has been cheap bagged stuff from Stash, Lipton, or Twinings. This has resulted in a certain dislike of black teas as a category. This tea changed that.

After brewing the first infusion (and accidentally over-steeping it), I was left with a very interesting tea. The tea itself was a very dark red color, as is typical of black teas, and it had a very strong aroma that managed to smell pleasing to me despite my bias towards Oolongs and greens. MY first sip of the tea was actually amazing: Never had I ever had a black tea that was so smooth and well balanced that it didn’t require sugar to make it tolerable.

An added bonus of this tea is that it lasts a long time. I’m on my third infusion right now, and the tea is still rather dark. I expect to get around 8 infusions before it gives out. Also, the flavors of the tea mellow nicely, and this third infusion is even better than the first two infusions. I’ll edit this post later to include the late infusions.

EDIT:
Changed the rating to bring it into conformance with my new rating standard.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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85
drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
4847 tasting notes

Wow! OK… I wasn’t really prepared to like this quite as much as I do. I thought… roselle = fancy name for hibiscus. But… even though roselle is a species of hibiscus, it doesn’t brew up tasting quite the same as the hibiscus I have known and disliked. This … actually tastes pretty darned good. Better than that, even.

Yes, roselle has a tartness to it that is very similar to hibiscus. In fact, someone “blind tasting” this tisane would likely note that tartness as a hibiscus flavor. But… it doesn’t have that same syrupy thickness that hibiscus usually has. And with that syrupy thickness, the tartness sort of clings to your palate and that’s what I don’t like. But with the roselle, it is much lighter and cleaner feeling. Very refreshing.

The blueberries are delicious in this… but what I really like is the black currant, which gives this kind of a wine-like taste … and makes me think that this would be AMAZING brewed with some mulling spices for a mulled wine-less.

Yes… it’s late. I’m creating weird names for brewed tisanes. I need to go to bed now.

TeaEqualsBliss

I totally agree with you that there is a taste difference between Roselle and Hibiscus! I really LOVE they used Roselle instead!

CHAroma

I second the mulling spices idea.

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86

Ugh, such a stressful day at work…so glad that it’s over…

Anyway, back to the tea, I needed something without too much caffeine, and I have quite a bit of this still sitting around, so why not? I filled up my tea ball a bit more than half way, and let it steep for 45 seconds in 175 degree water. The tea had a wonderful calming flowery aroma, which was just what I needed to unwind. The taste was reminiscent of smooth and delicate flowers, also great for unwinding, and the aftertaste lingered pleasantly on the roof of my mouth for about 40 seconds.

Also, the music I was listening to was a little piece by David Popper I heard on the radio while driving home. It’s called Gnomentanz, or Dance of the Gnomes in English.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_H0n9j1y4A

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

Thanks for the music! Haven’t heard it in some time!

Spoonvonstup

Love all of your music recommendations, by the way!

Joshua Smith Delete

Thanks! I find that nice classical music mixes nicely with drinking tea. It’s just a great way to unwind after a long day. As for today, I was listening to Dvorak’s 9th, as conducted by Gustavo Dudamel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo1KHr-b-CA

Honestly, half the fun of this video is watching Dudamel really get into the music. If only the sound quality was a bit better, then it would be perfect…

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86

To be completely honest, the 4 minute steep was completely accidental. I stared this tea while I made lunch, and forgot about it after I started to eat. Luckily, the results are in way unpleasant. To be completely honest, the only difference is that the flavors are more intense than usual. See my previous notes for more information, and I promise I’ll update this note if the tea deviates during later steepings.

EDIT-
Just to comment on this tea, the aftertaste lingers on the hard and soft palate of the mouth for a god thirty seconds. I don’t remember this lasting for so long last time I made this tea, but it rather pleasant, so I might brew the tea for this long again.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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86

First of all, thanks for the free sample Teavivre!

This tea turned out pretty much identical to last time, so look at that note for more information. If anything interesting happens, I’ll update this note later.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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86

Gotta do this quick, as I still have another exam to take, so check my other tasting note on this tea.

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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86

First of all, I have to thank Teavivre for sending me this sample. Secondly, this is my first white tea, so I was really excited to try this out.

After opening up the packages for this tea (it came in a Teavivre bag, with smaller sealed packages inside), I found a very interesting looking tea. All of the buds and some of the leaves of this tea still had some fuzz on them, which was rather quaint in my opinion. It also had a very pleasant aroma of spring wildflowers, if that makes sense.

The aroma of the first infusion was very delicate, with subtle flowery notes dominating vegetative undertones. The color of the tea was very light, so much so that it looks like the third of forth infusion of my sencha. The taste is much like the aroma: delicate. There are faint flowery tastes present, but they are very interesting. There is a faint aftertaste on your tongue and the roof of your mouth after you swallow, but it is kind of hard to describe. It actually reminds me a bit of the Wuyi yancha aftertaste…

Regardless, the tea very quickly loses its flavor, and only lasted three infusions, but that might be because I over-steeped the first infusion. Anothe thing to note is that i didi make a forth infusion, because the third had still been rather flavorful, but the forth was completely lacking in flavor, so I threw it out. Still, it was a rather excellent tea, one which I intend to keep on hand.

EDIT:
Changed rating to bring it in line with my new system of ratings :D

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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