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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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….
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.
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!
This tea was amazing! Right after my first sip, my brain said, “This is some good black tea”. The first thing that occurred to me were some citrus notes – perhaps like a sweet lemon or tangerine. As I sipped on, I detected a sort of muscatel flavor that you would expect from a good Darjeeling. Finally, after several cups, the incredible smoothness of this tea is what really won me over. It has a little bit of that muscatel flavor without being abrasive.
This is another excellent tea from Tea Vivre. They’re batting 1000 with me right now, so I’d say any tea in their store is probably a safe bet. Their packaging is great too! I don’t know about their larger quantites, but the little samples they sent me could not have been done better! Four little pre-measured paper sacks with Chinese on them sealed inside of a larger ziplock bag with steeping instructions and info about the tea printed on it! Each paper sack contained about 4.5 grams, so two sacks were just enough to fill my Chatsford 4-cup! All bags are clearly labeled and completely opaque to guard from sunlight. Nice work!
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a straight white tea. Actually, it’s been so long, I’m not even sure if I have ever had it…but I got my package from teavivre this morning, and I opted to try this one out first.
I’ll come out and say that I’ve never been good at picking out subtle flavours in wine, coffee or tea, but I can say that this tea is very light and mild. I admit I did add sugar, just a wee bit. After reading notes that there is a cucumber essence, I’ll have to remember this next time, and try it unsweetened.
The buds in the package are a beautiful green and white, and I can see the fuzzy hairs on the white. The smell of the outer package is somewhat buttery, though the inner package opened, is rather earthy and I suppose grassy would describe it. I can’t really discern a cigar or smoky smell from either pouch.
The liquor brewed up a lovely golden colour, and it smelled very light. In my eagerness, I took a sip right away, but…too hot! So I patiently waited, chatted with a friend on IM about floral teas, and so on, whilst the tea cooled.
There is a tiny bit of floral I suppose, but I think grassy is probably best in describing this flavour. I have a light fuzziness on my tongue.
Interestingly, I just had some leftover turkey (thanksgiving) and herb-crusted roast beef from a few days ago as a light snack, and the flavour has changed…I think it is more peppery from the roast beef seasoning. It is also possible that it has simply cooled and that is what changed the flavour.
I look forward to trying this one again, along with the other 4 teas I got. I admit I had a hard time deciding which one to try first. I opted with this one because it was in the smaller mini bags, more like single serving samples, rather than the bigger AIO bags, but also because I am out of milk, and I know I can do this tea straight, with just a dash of sweetener. The golden tip yunan and the pu-erh tuocha are ones I will probably add milk too. I look forward to trying the oolong and jasmine pearls green tea too.
This tea tastes for all the world to me like someone made tea out of nori (the stuff sushi is wrapped in)- it’s kind of vegetal and kind of oceanic in a way that manages not to turn me off despite my loathing of all things seafood. In some ways it’s a really typical green tea, and the most reminiscent of Japanese greens among the Teavivre varieties that I’ve tried.
I haven’t felt good all week and haven’t gone to class and it sucks. I think it’s a combination of actually being sick and stupid grass pollen. No rest for the allergic. So after whining about not having any soup, it was finally like hey dummy, you have enough tea to supply a small nation-state’s army. Who needs soup?
I’ve been feeling in the mood for white tea so I figured I would revisit this bai mu dan. First time around I was really getting cucumber from it, I remember. Today it reminds me of straw and some light flowers. I feel like maybe even sauteed zucchini is present too. It really is reminding me of cooked zucchini.
This is definitely feeling nice on my sore throat. And even after all the time I’ve had it, it’s still got that lovely fresh aroma and taste, like I rolled around outside in a field. Except I wouldn’t do that right now, it’s too hot.
I’ve never been much for white tea, but this one has made me think otherwise.
I always thought they were too light and delicate for my liking. Wrong. I steeped this three times, and I could probably keep going.
The first time it was so sweet and it really tasted like cucumber. The second infusion was super flavorful, less cucumber tasting and more floral and all around good. The third I didn’t like as much as the second, but I really, really liked the second steep.
I love all the information given about the tea on the package. I really like this tea.
(a sample was provided to me to review)