Teavivre

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

Pure tea buds and new leaves. The inside of the sample bag is covered in a fine powdery dust. The dry leaf is shiny, grayish looking (very dark green and white mix). Smells of hay and fresh tobacco. Used one spoonful at approx 194 F for 30 seconds per instructions.

The wet leaf smells a bit like toast with a non-threatening hint of smoke. The leaf expands into a big loose clump in the bottom of the press reminiscent of a Twinings loose tea. The liquor in the press appears light yellow/green in the low light level of my office. Appears much darker in my cup.

The sip is a balance of light grassiness and smoke. There is also a creaminess to the cup. Sometimes smoke frightens me. Here it really does compliment the green’s flavor. Once again I find I am really liking this offering by Teavivre. As the cup reaches room temperature, I am reminded of the base that Ahmad uses in their Earl Green. I use to love that tea, so it is no wonder this one immediately appeals to me.

Apparently I like this a lot more than the others who rated it.

Sadly, this is my last new sample by Teavivre. Thank you Angel for allowing me to review your company’s products. I am impressed. The good news is I still have partially filled sample bags so I get to enjoy each one of these at least one more time, while I try to whittle down the must have list to a manageable level. Since I rated most of these teas at 90+ that will be difficult.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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91

Feeling a bit exhausted. Things are a little too hectic at the moment. So I could whine, or curl up in a ball and hide, or I could just have a cup of tea (maybe six). I choose the tea. I finished off the sample. I am not sure if I have more of it somewhere or not. If so I’ll stumble on it later and be surprised. I have always really liked this one. The leaf is beautiful. The wet leaf scent is so vegetal and inviting. The best part though, is just sitting quietly with the cup and enjoying it. Excellent refresher.

Christina / BooksandTea

This is one of my faves too. It gets even better on the second steep.

gmathis

If it counteracts the urge to whine, I’d better get my order in now.

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91

Bi Luo Chun how I love you. This review is for the spring 2014 production.

When I first met this tea from Teavivre it was in January 2012, so it must have been a 2011 tea. I was blown away. This was a light bulb moment tea for me. I had been drinking bagged grocery store stuff prior to this. I had no idea green tea could taste so amazing. I likened the scent to Cheerios and the leaf to the appearance of upholstery stuffing. I remember resteeping it until it literally had nothing left to give.

Today the leaf is even more beautiful to me with its green and white fuzzy leaf. I notice the temp has been revised upward to 185 F. Pretty sure it was 176 or so before. I went with a 1 1/2 minute steep. The cup looks like white wine and the wet leaf is so aromatic I want to dig in with a fork and chow down. I resisted.

This is buttery creamed corn in a cup with the good kind of lightly bitter bite at the end. The flavors is light and refreshing. It does not overpower the senses, yet you don’t have to search for it either. Very near the top of my green tea favorites list.

Now for the awwww part of my note. Yesterday, as some may have read, we got a Chineranian puppy, which is a mix between a Japanese Chin and a Pomeranian. It is a little 2 pound fuzz ball. I was concerned how Spike our Chihuahua/Russell mix would react. He goes berserk when the cats even walk into the room when he has a toy or a rawhide treat in the floor. Within just a couple hours Buffy the Chihuahua Slayer was allowed to examine and play with both.

My son brought his big 60 pound dog over to meet Buffy. JJ is blind but he could smell her. So he wanted to nuzzle and sniff her up close. Spike growled. Protective and jealous. I think he is smitten. This morning I noticed Spike hanging half out of his bed to make room for his new puppy love. He gave me a pathetic “What are you gonna do” look that us guys understand. I laughed at him. Tell me about dog.

Lala

Glad to here all the family members are getting along.

TheTeaFairy

Awwwwwwwwww indeed!!!

SimpliciTEA

Great doggie narrative! Also, glad to hear you love this tea. I have had a number of Bi Lou Chun Teas over the years, and although the flavor of this particular one is not my favorite (I’ve tried both of Teavivre’s 2012 and 2013 harvests), it certainly does have a beautiful appearance.

Cheri

I like so much about this post. The first loose leaf tea, the description of this year’s fresh tea, the canine experiences. :) I’m glad the new puppy is fitting in so well.

Mercuryhime

I love puppy stories. :)

scribbles

That dog story makes me happy :)

Angrboda

Spike and Buffy. Brings me back to my BtVS days, that does. ♥

Stephanie

Buffy and Spike!!! :D

tea-sipper

Oh my gosh, I’m awwwing just at the Buffy & Spike names!

K S

When we got the chihuahua, he fit in the palm of my hand. I named him Spike so he would have a tough name. Never made a Buffy connection at the time. The new little fuzz ball should be a blonde but she is black and white. The name was a joke but it caught on.

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91

My morning cup with yesterday’s leaf. Yes I was awake this time and yes it was delicious.

mrmopar

No syrup this time I see!

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91

The moment my feet hit the floor I knew I needed a strong black tea. I got up, went to the fridge, grabbed the milk and chocolate syrup. Poured the milk and realized the chocolate syrup was actually pancake syrup. Another trip to the fridge and as I stirred the milk I realized it was not strong black tea. That kind of morning. Chugged the milk and started looking for the tea. Except I couldn’t read the labels, or at least my brain couldn’t decipher them. Decided on this as it was the first label that I understood. It is a beautiful tea even if it isn’t strong black tea. All that to say thanks Teavivre, the life you saved this morning may have been my own.

Veronica

Lol. I have mornings like that. Usually they happen on a Monday. :)

Hesper June

Sorry, I had to smile…last week I boiled the water, poured it into the tea pot, set the timer, poured a cup, then when I took my first sip…realized I never added the tea!!! I was drinking “steeped” hot water! Oh dear,some mornings I really wish I had a Jeeves to bring me tea

K S

Lol. At least you set the timer on that “steeped” hot water. I’m just not a morning person and apparently neither are you. :)

Hesper June

Actually, I am normally a morning person. But, apparently not that morning…Haha! If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at:)

K S

Other people?…. but that would be wrong (unless you’re at Walmart then it is a survival skill)

Hesper June

Lol! Very true, KS

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91

As I opened my eyes this morning, I declared this a me day. My wife went grocery shopping and my son went to a friends. I got out my acoustic guitar and played hard and long. Now I am sipping on this most beautiful green. I think this is my favorite green tea – or at least it is at this moment in time on me day. Its buttery, sweet, grain, beans? and a spiciness that leads into a pleasant bite before the lingering aftertaste kicks in.

It may be time to break out the electric guitar and crank the distortion to 11. Hope the neighbors are in a good mood.

ashmanra

The dream of a homeschool mom for over twenty years – to be home alone. Enjoy it!

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91

Really belongs under chance combinations, oh well. I used yesterday’s leaf and added some dehydrated camellia flowers and two and a half leaves of lemon verbena. Sadly all I taste is verbena. Next time I’ll know better. Sounded like a good idea at the time.

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91

So I get to the den this morning, I’m thinking, "I really need a Yunnan or Fugian black. But there is a problem. I have a nasty I can’t think headache and my bag of black teas aren’t finding me. I did stumble upon this and it is one of my favorite Teavivre teas. The leaf is beautiful and interesting too look at. Once brewed it looks so fresh and spring like green. The wet leaf aroma is soup beans. I must be craving ham and beans with cornbread. The liquor is a lovely yellow. The taste is grain (Cheerios) and fruit. The aftertaste is lingering and sweet. This is a very gentle cup. My head is already pounding less. This will probably be my only opportunity for sipping so glad it was a good one.

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91

I went to the clinic Saturday due to an earache that won’t go away that has kept me so dizzy I haven’t wanted to brew tea. Drugs haven’t helped much yet but this morning I needed a good cup.

I previously reviewed what I recall was the 2011 version. Ain’t gonna lie to you. I freak’n love this tea. It is hard to pick a favorite from TeaVivre but this one is definitely very near the top. The leaf still reminds me of old time upholstery stuffing and the sip still tastes like Cheerios. There is a floral element similar to green oolong hiding in the middle of the sip. This turns creamy late sip. Good aftertaste. Resteeps well. My favorite part is when I sip it the world around me dissapears for a moment. Who couldn’t use a little of that now and then?

Thanks Angel for the sample.

Stephanie

Yea sounds great :) Hope you feel better!

Terri HarpLady

Bummer about the earache. I hate those!
This tea, on the other hand, is a nice one! I still have a little left to enjoy…

Rie

Welcome back! ♪

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91

Sip down. Saying goodbye to another beautiful tea.

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91

I just read Peppermint Plant’s review. I sure can’t top it. Love this one (along with the other twenty some Teavovre’s I tried).

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91

Ever have one of those mornings where it makes no difference if you have your glasses or not because your eyes won’t focus? Haven’t been sleeping, so I haven’t had much tea lately, which is ok as Steepster hasn’t been letting me post much anyway.

I swear half these TeaVivre samples are bottomless (which makes me very happy!). I think it is because they resteep so well. I pity the fool who doesn’t resteep (said in my best Mr. T. voice). A scoop of leaf and your good for the day.

Dry this smells of sweet hay. Steeped, today it is reminding me of tiguanyin. I would do a better job with a description but my brain waves are on scramble. What’s the frequency Kenneth? Look a squirrel!

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91

The dry leaf smells amazingly floral today. This leaf is now 14 months old but still makes one of my favorite delicate cups of tea. Creamy today with a pleasant aftertaste. Love it.

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91

This is my second favorite Teavivre tea. The first is Jasmine Dragon Pearls. I noticed the video on their website for preparing this tea and it looks like what I have been doing with the exception of they add the leaf to the heated water instead of the other way around. So I did just that this time. The dance of the leaf was great fun to watch. I love the look of the dry leaf. I love the smell of it. I love the vegetable aroma of the brewed leaf. The color of the liquor is pretty. I find the taste refreshing. It’s green but not too green.

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91

I noticed I rated this higher than anyone else. I love the look of the dry leaf. I love the fresh hay smell. I love the Cheerios early on, followed by a light fruitiness that reminds me of TGY, and the sweet lingering hay aftertaste. I prefer the lightness of this green over a heavy grassy cup. I drank several cups on just a couple spoons of leaf – and there is still a lot of leaf in the pouch. 4oz of this would last me forever. I would enjoy every cup.

gmathis

Sweet hay tea … you know, there’s some merit in that … :)

K S

Not how Teavivre describes it but that’s how my peasant tastebuds defined and enjoyed it… yeah tastebuds.

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91

Not sure why, but today sniffing the wet leaf made me think of the smell of the air at a beach we picnic at in the summer. When I took my first sip I realized I have a problem. I burned my tongue a couple days ago (queso). It is still very tender and apparently I am not picking up subtle tastes. Besides it hurts. This tastes only of light melon and water. I thought I would switch to Mtn Dew until my taster healed but it hurts just as bad :( Looks like room temperature drinks for a while.

ashmanra

I have to re-mail your tea. For some reason the post sent it back even though it weighed less than an ounce. I guess it was because of the thickness.

K S

I got the black tea today. Nice surprise, wasn’t expecting it at all. What brand is it? Apparently if the envelope will not fit through a 1/4 inch slot they won’t mail it even though it is less than an ounce. That’s why I had to go to the post office.

ashmanra

It is from A Southern Season. They sell it from canisters on their fine tea wall. I don’t know their source. When you mentioned the texture of the Bi Luo Chun I thought you might like to try this. They call it Zhen Quo Super China Black. It resteeps really well, tastes good hot or cold, and needs no additions. I hope this batch is as good as my last.

K S

Can’t wait to get my tastebuds back so I can give it a test drive.

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91

Backlogging. This was yesterday’s cup. The dry leaf is very different on this one. It is kind of black (dark grayish green) and white. A bit fuzzy. For some odd reason it reminded me of old time upholstery stuffing. The dry leaf smells of hay and grain. Brewed a healthy spoonful of leaf at a cool 176 F for 1 short minute. I would definitely have over steeped if Teavivre hadn’t provided clear instructions on the package.

The wet leaf on the first steep is dark green with a bit of tan. It hasn’t completely unfurled but appears to be small leaves and pieces. The smell reminds me of Cheerios. Maybe I should have had breakfast. The liquor is pale greenish and actually darker than I expected with such a short steep.

First sip, ooh I like this. It has enough bite to be interesting without being bitter. Tastes of grain at the front of the sip and spice at the back. There are some floral notes that remind me of a Ti Kuan Yin. The main thing I like about this is the green is not too green. I know a lot of people want their green to be really bright and grassy. I can appreciate a tea like that but I prefer a subtler cup like this one. It has a touch of grassiness without being overwhelmingly so. This is how I want a green to taste. I had three steeps out of it before stopping. I believe it would have gone more.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
The DJBooth

I agree on the stuffing part.

K S

Almost didn’t write the stuffing part. Glad someone agrees.

ashmanra

Oh wow, this review really makes me want to add this to my order.

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87
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
1220 tasting notes

I am not in a good mood and I am watching a panda cam from China instead of writing up something on France’s healthcare system. Except all the pandas have vacated the area so now I guess I have to do that. It’s funny, when I started this class, I was mad he was going to spend so much time on healthcare and now I’m dead set on taking a straight out health economics class ASAP.

But anyway, what goes better with watching pandas in China than Chinese tea?

I don’t know what I did this time, but this tea tastes really sweet this time. I still get a lot of caramel. It’s how I imagine a black tea creme brûlée might taste if it was strongly infused with a black tea.

This is a nice rich flavor that is really saving my day from being a total bust right now.

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87
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
1220 tasting notes

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87
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
1220 tasting notes

As soon as I opened the packaging, I liked this tea. It has that classic tea smell, earthy, smoky, sweet, all in one.

I love how much this tea tastes like caramel. I go through caramel obsession phases and I am in the midst of one right now.

It’s a good, hearty tea that is absolutely perfect to have with how cold it is here today. Perfectly smooth, just a tad sweet, and not at all bitter.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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82

This is a decent shu pu-er. I would advise to steep it a bit longer than the directions call for to get the real power of the cup. I tried it by-the-book and then with a much longer steep, and I enjoyed the second version much more, got so much more true flavor from it. Steeping such a compressed nozzle of leaf for 1 minute doesn’t really cut it – it’s a diluted version of it’s true self as the leaves are still trying to come unglued.

With the longer steep I enjoyed the traditional earthiness-ranging-to-spicy flavors, still a bit smoother than I might prefer, but very drinkable. Not bitter, even after a long steep, and no “dusty” notes either, on the flip side. I could see this being a good steep for the morning, when you want that rich, earthy kick, but still need something subtle and easy to wash down.

Pics, my steeping attempts, and other thoughts in my blog review: http://bit.ly/s7zKmj

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87

I steeped these leaves for a second time (a day later) in 500 ml. water in my Breville.

The second steeping tasted much the same as the first; that green/ summery/floral scent wafting from the cup and tasting exactly like it. By the time I got to the second cup it had gotten cold (I’m a slow tea drinker) but that brought out the buttery flavor more and was pleasant in its own way.

Oh, and the expansion of the leaves was incredible! For those of you who have the Breville, the dry leaves literally went from covering just the bottom of the infuser basket to filling it up entirely when I went to discard them. (I should have taken a picture, is what I realize now. Grr.)

My overall impression of this is that it was a lighter tea – more of a summers’ night beverage than a winter one, and closer to green teas than black. I think I may prefer the heavier TGY just because I like heavier, intense flavors as a rule, but that said, I did have two steepings of this – and I’m usually not a multiple steeps kind of girl….

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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87

Another generous sample provided by Teavivre

I like black teas and green teas, so you would think oolongs would be up my alley. I honestly still can’t answer whether they are or not because I have been hesitant to take the plunge and order enough to compare them.

That said, I have had TGY before, though it was a while ago. When I sipped this, I suddenly remembered that other tea and could compare their differences, even with that big gap in time. This one was decidedly more floral in taste (both were equally floral in smell) but the other TGY had more of a slick buttery feel on the tongue. This one was very light, and alternated between being vegetal and floral with small hints of that oily/buttery flavor on the swallow, though it didn’t coat my tongue like the previous TGY.

This was great with no additives; I finished my first cup quickly and am contemplating a second, which is atypcial for me – usually I prefer one large cup and am done.

Steeped 2 of the 4 sample sized packets in 500 ml. water at the below parameters in my Breville.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Mmmmmmm!!! This is an incredible jasmine!!! Just the right amount of floral with a green tea aftertaste. The green tea comes out more as it cools. This just might be the most perfect jasmine tea in the world!

The aroma of the dry leaves is awesome. The leaves are dark, wavy, and ultra skinny. This tastes a lot like what you get in good Chinese restaurants, except better.

The last time I had a tea like this, it was an unnamed Jasmine at a Thai restaurant. It was soooo good, but they left the tea leaves loose in the teapot. So 10-15 minutes in, my fantastic tea experience was sullied with overwhelming bitterness. This is that tea minus the bitter. Just plain deliciousness!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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