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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the one sample I have feared the most. I even turned down one jasmine sample because of my fear of it. Thus far, in my tea journey, I have only tolerated straight jasmines. Teavivre really has their work cut out for them if I am to like this one. Putting on my brave face…
I open the bag and breath in. Hey, this is different. The jasmine doesn’t make me flinch. It is a pleasant fresh floral and not overwhelming. In addition there is a fruitiness like Concord grape or maybe grape soda that is very appealing. Maybe this won’t be too bad…
Steeped 2 minutes at 80 C. Note to self, remember to only go 1 minute next time. Very light amber liquor. The fruitiness is still in the brew and the wet leaf. Even better, it is in the sip. The best part of this cup is breathing in before you sip. It fills your senses with flowers and grapes until your brain stops processing anything else but the aroma. There is even a hint of rose in here. You catch the green tea at the back of the tongue after the fragrance subsides.
Wow. This is really good. Is this what jasmine is supposed to taste like? If it is, then I have never really had jasmine before. Seriously, I could drink this everyday. Bring on cup two.
So we finally brewed our second one of these sample flowering teas from TeaVivre.
This time I filled our globe pot entirely with hot water and then gently lowered the item into it. I used chopsticks to try to hold it submerged while the air leaked out and it began to hydrate. It took a LONG time to do this.
But we did eventually end up with a completely intact flying spaghetti monster flowering tea display which was very pretty.
I think our globe pot is too big and so the ratio of item to water is all wrong.
But the spectacle of these things is pretty interesting.
Fair truth: tasting this kind of terrified me. If you’ve followed my notes regularly, you will know that I simply cannot abide anything floral in my tea. So, a fully flowering tea? This can’t be good, can it?
We don’t have, no shock I suspect, the proper pot for brewing this, but I took the center column out of a clear, round Bodum and we used that. Unfortunately, no matter how slowly I poured, the pod did get battered around a fair bit, and some of the outer leaves came loose. And, it floated for a good while, which complicated things a bit.
But it did fully expand in due time, and was very pretty.
And oddly enough, the tea itself is not particularly floral ! Just a lightly roasted white tea, very subtle. Maybe a whiff of sweetness near the finish. If this was just a loose white tea, I wouldn’t be all that impressed, I don’t think. But then, who’s going to use their finest leaves to make these things?
The dry leaf of this tea has a powerful aroma. Stronger than anything I’ve had on hand in a good long while. Oddly, the smell is all Yunnan golden. Deeply sweet, like roasted figs.
The cup isn’t nearly as bold on a short steep but there’s a very pleasant round, full presence of the tea from start to finish.
I don’t have nearly as much astringency as I did from this tea the other day. Maybe I did over-cook it a bit, then?
I’m always fascinated by other people’s tasting notes.
I did notice a bit of a hint of smoke on the dry leaf, but beyond that point I haven’t found it to be present again.
In fact, the wet leaf and fresh cup were, for me, redolent with all the tell tale notes of a Yunnan golden tea. I actually went and double checked the bag to be sure I wasn’t half asleep and brewing the wrong tea.
In the cup I get a teensy bit of that Yunnan sweetness but it is more than managed by a big whallop of assam like astringency. Not that “oh no I over steeped it” bite that puckers your sucker, just that lingering dry mouth that has you reaching for another sip over and over again.
There is an earthiness here that is completely distinct from a pu-erh. Not old, musty loam, more of a fresh, black top soil during a gentle rain.
I find myself wishing I’d done an even shorter steep in the hopes that it would have allowed for quite a few rounds on these leaves.
Very green and pleasantly floral. I love the smell in this one. Puppy sniffed my cup and wrinkled his nose though. It’s a very nIce to kuan yin that I would certainly recommend. However, I find it not very interesting. It’s good but not memorable. I’m probably jaded though. My mom only ever makes ti khan yin. Perhaps I’m too familiar with it to find it special. I’ve had many that are subpar to know that I’m drinking a good one right now.
Sip down :( sigh, but I have to make room for the next round of samples that are in route :)
I think I have always liked this one more than most folks on Steepster. I love the sweet smell of the dry leaf. I love the stew beef smell of the wet leaf. I love the fresh crisp taste with the nice bite at the end. I love the clean green lingering aftertaste. This is just a good satisfying cup with far more depth than it should have for the price. You get all this with only a one minute steep.
All the black tea I have had today, and the Diet Coke at lunch, has given me stomach burn. Time to switch to green. I can’t recall reading many other reviews on this one. The dry leaves are the tiniest little dark curls. Steeped they are tiny little whole green leaves. Brewed this is savory, if I understand the term. Not sweet on its own. Takes sweetener well. The smell reminds me of stew meat and potatoes. The taste is cooked vegetables with a grassy green twist. Its bite is a little bitter but in an interesting way. The taste and feel are sort of like melted butter. The aftertaste is fresh and grassy. This is a unique tea and yet it has characteristics of many of the teas I have tried. In a weird way that causes it to get lost among all the other teas in my drawer. I always enjoy it but seldom remember to grab it. I just stumble on it every now and then. That’s a shame as I really do like this one.
I seem to keep forgetting I have this one in the drawer. Forgetting suggests its not memorable but that simply isn’t the case. I really like this one. It’s buttery and a tad bitter in a good way. The dry leaf is small and so dark it looks like black tea until you steep it then it turns a lush green and smells beefy to me. The liquor is very clear and lightly green. Seems to turn a little more golden as it cools. Maybe this tea just needs another name so I can remember
I love the look of the dry leaf. So delicate, thin (wispy?), and dark. The leaf smell is cocoa and light grass. Add water and the leaf turns green and expands nicely. The liquor is green and the aroma, for reasons I can’t explain, once again reminds me of the beach.
Today, I am having this with homemade peanut butter cookies. What a great combination. It brings out and intensifies flavors I don’t remember catching before. The primary one being a dark rich roastiness. I recall this having a bit of bite but the cookie pretty much negates that aspect of the sip.
Cup two and three without the cookies and we are back to a pleasant amount of bite without the roastiness, but with a lot of vegative flavor.
I am glad I got to try this tea at this point in my journey. Not long ago, in my flavored tea bag days, I would have blown right passed this and never noticed or appreciated its complexity. I find Xin Yang Mao Jian to be a very enjoyable cup.
Digging through my samples this morning and didn’t remember this one. I know I have tried it before as the bag is paper clipped. The dry leaf is very dark and tiny for a green. Steeped it opens up very quickly and turns grassy green in color. The liquor is pale green and very clear. I have got to read the other reviews and find out how the wet leaf smell is described. I have used this description before but it reminds me of stew beef and spinach.
Sipping… oh I remember this now. It fills the nose with a touch of grassiness, but the taste is just mellow green with enough astringency to add interest. As you exhale, there is a brief moment that is a bit soapy – in a nice way. The aftertaste is slightly grassy with a pleasant balance of all the previous sensations. As it cools I notice this has a buttery aroma. Yes, I finally used the word buttery in a review. It’s almost like buttered popcorn. Complex but in harmony. Balance.
I don’t know if this will make sense to anyone else but here goes… You know how with some teas, you pick up the cup, you thought you had just filled, and its empty? You immediately begin to wonder who drank it. Then you realize it was you. At that moment, all you can think of is how you need another cup of it. NOW! Well, this was not one of those teas. I found myself slowly sipping this one, enjoying all the nuances I was able to detect, with my limited abilities. Then when I sat the empty cup down, I thought to myself, that was a nice cup. Then I thought, do I want another? Well yes, definitely, but not just yet. Relaxed. Introspective. Satisfied. Now that’s a good cup of tea.
The dry pure buds and leaves look so dark and delicate. The aroma is grassy and slightly sour. Steeped per instructions at 2m. Excellent clarity in the liquor. It has the palest of green tints. The wet leaf appears to me to be mostly large pieces of small leaves, stems, and some buds. It looks soft and fresh and oddly very green considering the darkness of the dry leaf. The leaf aroma is heavily vegetable – like broccoli or spinach.
In the sip I notice a bit of bitterness (not a bad thing), vegetable, then a green bite in the aftertaste. Complex. Fresh. Interesting. It reminds me of one of the previous Teavivre greens I’ve tasted. I don’t have my notes in front of me so I am not sure which one. The biggest difference from memory is the slight bitterness in this one, which I liked. It adds character.
To the green tea purist stop reading now…
At this point I added sweetener. This evened out the flavors making this maybe less complex and interesting but more to my tastes. I would not call this tea naturally sweet on its own and I have a Sucralose monkey on my back. I know, I know, I am drinking quality tea. I don’t need this stuff, but I NEED this stuff. This green takes sweetener well. I justify my actions by saying, after I establish the flavor profile, I want to just relax as I sip the rest of the cup without looking for all the nuances. In reality, I know that is just the monkey talking. Me and the monkey like this tea.
The first cup was a 90 with the most intense flavor. Steep 2 and 3 are roughly 80 as they lost the heavy vegetable and bitter edge. If I get the slider thingy right this is about an 85.
This tea is fascinating before you even brew it. The leaves are flat and green like shards of fresh palm leaves. The pre-brewed leaves also have a fragrant grassy aroma.
After brewing at two minutes (as recommended) using a temperature of 175 degrees, the tea had a pale yellow color. At first taste, I thought I was experiencing some bitterness. After several sips, though, I realized that this was just a floral and reedy aftertaste.
The more I slurped this tea, the better I liked it. The grassy, nutty flavor is light and strong at the same time. If you close your eyes while sipping, you can imagine yourself sitting in a lush green grassy meadow, surrounded by flowers and a thick forest, while a soft breeze swirls around you.
Although I’m not a huge green tea fan (I prefer the bolder black tea blends), I find this Teavivre tea likable and engrossing. For a green tea, it has plenty of flavor to hold my interest.
Amount: 1 ball
Water: 12 ounces, boiling
Steep Time: a little over 2 minutes
Dry Leaf Smell: vegetal, fruity
Steeped Tea Smell: jasmine, vegetal
Flavor: green tea, jasmine
Liquor: translucent honey yellow-brown
Like most flowering teas I feel the flavor is sacrificed for the beauty. It’s an OK cup of tea but nothing exceptional. On the other hand you can tell it was made with high quality tea as it is drinkable and pretty as opposed to many flowering teas which are for looks only.
Experience buying from Teavivre http://steepster.com/places/2857-teavivre-online—
Age of leaf: advertised as spring 2011. Received fall 2011, brewed up days later.
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Characteristic Bi Lou Chun green tea look: a mixture of fuzzy, curly light and dark green leaves and buds; vegetal aroma.
Brewing guidelines: based on past experience, I used longer steeping times that my standard green tea parameters normally call for. Loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added.
……….1st: 172, 2’
……….2nd: 177. 2.5’
……….3rd: 180, 3.5’
……….4th: 185, 5’
Color and aroma of tea liquor: cloudy greenish yellow; slightly vegetal.
Flavor of tea liquor: similar to other Bi Lou Chun green teas I have had: mildly vegetal, with notes which have a pleasant roasted flavor, or something else earthy or smoky; I don’t exactly know how to describe it, but I know I like it.
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: the leaves were hanging on top and standing on the bottom of the pot during the second steeping: very cool! Fairly decent quality leaf: a number for whole leaves and buds, a few bud sets and fewer stems, and many smallish sized broken pieces throughout.
Value: This is the least expensive Bi Lou Chun I have tried (less than $3/oz); it is a great value for the quality.
Overall: This BLC has good flavor, which held up fairly well through the third steeping (there was a little mild flavor on the forth); even on the forth steeping there was no astringency what-so-ever. This seems to me like a decent grade Bi Lo Chun. I could easily drink this daily.
This is a sweet, luscious, creamy, sunshine and hay tea. I have definitely enjoyed Teavivre’s White Peony over everyone else’s. This is where I’ll be returning when it’s time to re-stock my whites. A very enjoyable, quintessential example of this kind of tea.
White Peony Tea always reminds me of hay and sunshine. Today, it’s a little different. Today it’s dry summer grass lightly laced with salt. Yum!
It’s the perfect calming cup of tea that I need after a stressful day of packing. We’re moving in 3 days, and we’ve been packing for 4. Tonight I tried to tackle the front coat closet, which I use to store a lot of my old costumes from high school plays and musicals. Somehow, the entire closet was wet and moldy! I have no idea how, but it’s as if the water is seeping up through the carpet. I think my costumes made it through mostly unscathed, but my computer software didn’t fare as well. Mold covered the boxes that were on the floor. Ugh. What a pain.
Anyway, this cup of tea is hitting the spot nicely. After two cups, I’ve mostly gotten over the closet. Mostly. :/ Maybe the third cup will take mostly to completely. I think if any tea had that power, this would be the one. :)
My favorite part of Bai Mu Dan is the prominent flavor of hay. And with the hay always comes the sunshine. It reminds me of happier days riding horses with my best friend, returning to the barn after a long trail ride and kicking a bale of hay down from the loft into our horses’ stalls. But more than just bringing up happy memories, it promises future happiness as well. Thank you to Teavivre for this beautiful white tea!
This pretty much tastes exactly like all the other White Peony teas I’ve tried. And that’s a very good thing, because I’ve loved all the other White Peony teas I’ve tried.
This is fantastic and remains one of my top favorites. But the best part is, it’s the cheapest iteration of Bai Mu Dan I’ve found!!! Samovar is a whopping $12 per ounce. Adagio is $5 per ounce. But Teavivre? It’s less than $2 per ounce!!!!!!!!!!!
Simply amazing! I’m definitely a Teavivre convert.
An excellent Dragon Well. Very fresh flavor. Breath-taking! So crisp and clean and vibrant.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good Dragon Well (this has to be one of the very best I’ve ever tried) or even if someone might not be a fan of Dragon Well. I wasn’t a fan of Dragon Well at one point in my life but I can assure you that if someone had presented me with this tea, I would have gained an affection for it rather quickly. This is a remarkable Dragon Well.
Big beautiful leaves spilled out of a sample package from TeaVivre, and they’re so pretty! Brewed according to directions (2-3 tsp per 8oz water), I’m getting a floral taste at first, and then a pine needle crispness on the tongue. I quite enjoy this, and wonder why I still buy flavoured white teas when I can drink this; delicious and pure.
3 steeps in, and my headache is starting to disappear. Thumbs up!
It smells amazing and tastes just like it smells. Very floral wirh a slight hint of bitterness at the end which I find common with jasmine. Very nice and relaxing. I left my tea loving friend with the rest of the sample. I know he’ll appreciate it. :)
Does anyone else want to bathe in jasmine tea? I think I’d smell so good afterwards.
I drink GALLONS upon GALLONS of green tea, and Dragon Pearls are among my favorite varieties. It’s just great how the little pearls slowly unfurl steep after steep. They’re super-portable, and among my favorite teas to travel with.
I’ve had Dragon Pearls from over a dozen different tea companies, and these are among the best of them. They do what Dragon Pearls are supposed to do, and taste how they’re supposed to taste. The oily, floral taste is present on the forefront and the aftertaste, but it isn’t overbearing at all. Just perfect. This is the third tea that I’ve tried from Tea Vivre, and they’ve really won be over with their high-quality teas.