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Recent Tasting Notes
Yeah, more samples from Teavivre! Haven’t even tasted it yet and I am loving it. I used half of one of the 4 sample packets. The dry leaf looks small but smells amazing. First, I noticed malt. As I waited for the water to heat, I keep wondering where is that chocolate scent coming from? Oh yeah, it’s the tea. Steeped 2 minutes (increasing on later steeps) with below boiling water per instructions furnished on the sample label. The brew has a slight caramel aroma and is a deep reddish golden color. The wet leaf has a bit of a coffee edge and swollen leaf reveals small broken pieces.
I tried this without sweetener and thought is was a bit beige. So as is my custom, I used sweetener. Now the sip is what I would classify as medium bodied. You don’t have to work at tasting it, but it doesn’t grab you by the throat and kick your teeth in either. Nice. Smooth caramel taste, lightly malt, and creamy. The aftertaste lingers without being offensive. A civilized cup for when you have the time to enjoy it. Three infusions from the leaves.
I don’t normally drink a lot of straight black hot tea. This is my second black from Teavivre. These teas are really winning me over. I honestly didn’t know a black tea could have this much depth. Only problem is my cup keeps going empty! Very nice tea.
I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I really do enjoy the packaging on TeaVivre’s teas. I enjoy knowing where each tea is from, all the manufacturer and storage and use details, right there on the label. It’s a nice touch!
This one smells a tiny bit like sweet clover to me. Very nice, but not purfume-y like a lot of floral teas. Just a nice touch of sweetness.
This one’s a little bit sharp if you drink it too hot, but once it cools enough you won’t burn your tongue, it gets nice and sweet and smooth. It keeps getting sweeter and even a little juicy as it cools, too.
This is my first taste of tea by Teavivre. Samples of this and four other Teavivre varieties came in the mail yesterday all the way from China.
I have to say, I am blown away by the great complex flavors of this bold yet very gentle tea. It’s one of the best black teas I have ever tasted!
This premium tea has a wonderful woody and smoky taste that is fully realized, but not overpowering, after just three minutes of steeping at 194 degrees. I find that worthy of note because I usually have to brew black tea for five minutes at 212 degrees to wring a level of flavor strength from it that even approaches this fine gem from the East.
The rich flavors of this tea are very clear without any bitterness creeping onto your palate. The bright amber color foreshadows the outstanding tasting experience that awaits you.
I am excited to try another tea offering by Teavivre…TOMORROW!
I’ve been enjoying this tea for the past week in all different kinds of steeping scenarios and it’s delicious! Like the others, I’ve noticed notes of citrus. It’s very smooth, slightly sweet, and steeps into a dark, rich cup, but it retains a delicate body.
More thoughts and pics in my full review http://bit.ly/sXlcaY – this is definitely a tea that will take you from your wake-up into your workday. That’s how I’ve enjoyed it – a big vacuum mug that stays warm and flavorful for several hours.
I don’t know that it resteeps as well in the traditional teapot method. Gong-fu style with very short steeps brought out more flavor profiles when I sampled it that way this past weekend.
Definitely one to add to your cupboard!
Another offering that I received from Teavivre. I have tried a few Ti Kuan Yin Oolongs and they all seem have different characters. Some more green. Others more oxidized. Some having a nutty or honey characteristic. There is a beauty in watching the Iron Goddess unfurl to present her glorious nectar. I do like how this is packaged, I can make a pot with one package. Opening up the dry leaves….whoa! Very floral. Very green. Smells like packaged summer. I know this is not a jasmine scented or flavored Oolong but it smells very similar. The leaves produce a pale yellow liquor. The smell and flavor remind me of that first part of June when you can really start to smell the Jasmine. Another great offering from Teavivre.
Updated on 1/4/2012
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: similar in appearance and smell to other Chun Mee teas I have had before: small chopped and tightly curled leaves, with a grassy and somewhat smoky aroma.
Brewing guidelines: Based on two different steeping sessions; I used a little hotter temperatures than the standard parameters for my green teas call for due to Teavivres web directions. Loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added.
2 tsp, 2 cups of water (4 tsp, 4.5 cups)
……….1st: 180, 1’ (187; 1’)
……….2nd: 180. 1.5 (178 trying it cooler; 1.5’)
……….3rd: 185, 2’ (185; 2’)
Color and aroma of tea liquor: cloudy, light honey color, mild vegetal aroma.
Flavor of tea liquor: standard vegetal green tea flavor; minor astringency on the second steeping.
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: Looks and smells fresh.
Value: Roughly a $1/ounce, and you can’t really beat that for fresh green tea anywhere.
Overall: My wife and I changed our mind on this one after the second session: the flavor is not as good as the flavor during the first session. I am not very taken by the flavor (too astringent, or something). It did hold up with the flavor it had through three steepings. Nothing else really notable about it other than that it is fresh and inexpensive.
This is the first tea I’ve tried from this company, which graciously sent me a number of yummy samples. Boy, am I impressed! A couple of items to note as I wait for the tea to cool off a bit: the packaging of this tea was superb. Individual bags inside a larger bag (which were then inside a box)… and each individual bag looks like it will yield at least two cups, more if you resteep.
The aroma of this tea is so nice. There’s a hint of caramel and lots of hearty warmth.
Now on to the taste: toasty caramel, strong and bold. Now this is an awakening cup of black tea! Lately I’ve been trying to drink my tea straight up with no sweeteners, but honestly, even a sweet-tooth sugar queen like me doesn’t need anything to enhance this tea’s flavor. It’s robust and sweet at the same time.
This is a new cupboard essential. And a new addition to my morning wake-up call.
WOW! This is wonderful! As far as the strength of the black tea base I would have to say it’s around medium strength but it’s the other things that are happening with this black tea that make it special.
It’s slightly woodsy but a tad smokey, too, I would say a bit more smokey than woodsy but I can taste both characteristics. And it’s not a heavy smokey like a Lapsang Souchong but it’s still present! At the beginning and then again on to the aftertaste it’s velvety and creamy. The malty notes are in the middle of the sip!
This is grand! I like this a lot!
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
This morning I tried a long steep with a lower temperature to see if I like the flavour change any better.
I noticed it doesn’t have such a profound “tea” flavour, and it tastes more green obviously. With the second steep, I’m already preferring the higher temperature/lower steep time. The flavour is different with the temperature change, but not in a way I prefer.
I think it’s funny how differently my other Bai Mu Dan behaves with a low temp (it’s good). Perhaps I’ll have to try my CS stuff with a high temperature sometime. Anyway, I like Teavivre’s batch at 95 Celsius the most. I love the feeling Bai Mu Dan tea gives me, but it’s definitely more of a spring time thing for me.
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
This is a follow up to the last tea tasting I did. Before I did 4 short steeps, today I’m just doing one long steep.
One of the first things I noticed, is that it has a familiar “tea” taste. Then fresh greens, melon, something a bit muscatel, with a very fuzzy, velvety texture going down.
Overall, I think I prefer the short steeps but it tastes good either way. I have 2 more sample packs, so I might try brewing those at a different temperature to see if I like it any better. Because I’ve tried this type at 75 Celsius before and enjoyed it even more.
Brewed in a tall glass (about 6-8oz of water), one pouch (5g?), 1 steep
Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
I generally like Bai Mu Dan, so this tea didn’t have to try hard to please me. If you’ve never had “plain” white tea before, I highly recommend trying it out at some point (from your retailer of choice obviously). My experience with flavoured white tea and this regular stuff is different. I like both, but Bai Mu Dan has a lovely spring greens feel to it.
Tonight I made 4 quick steeps, which all generally had nice notes of cantaloupe, fresh greens, pepper, honey, tea “fuzzyness”. The last steep was my favourite, and hubby enjoyed sipping alongside me.
Next time I’ll try a longer steep in a bigger tea vessel.
100ml gaiwan, one pouch (5g? 2tsp?), 4 steeps (45s +15s resteep)
After getting another tea tasting e-mail from Teavivre (which I’m very excited about), I realized I need to clear out some space in the tea cabinet. I still have a few tidbits to finish up from my previous Teavivre sampling, so I’m starting with this one.
I had forgotten how much I like this oolong. I’m always a little hesitant with this variety, even if it’s flavored, but this tea reminds that I need to be more open-minded. It’s floral with a smooth mouthfeel. There’s no harshness or bitterness in it. And it isn’t heavy on that nutty oolong flavor that I’m still getting used to.
This is my second Tie Guan Yin, the first from my local farmer’s market. I’ve been wanting to get into oolong, and I think I’ve found the first that I truly like.
This oolong is fresh and highly floral in a way that reminds me so much of spring. (Which is a little depressing in November, I have to add.) The flavors remind me of gardenias, honeysuckle, and jasmine. There’s also a note of sweet, clean hay.
It still has that nutty oolong flavor, but it’s mostly in the scent. At first I was a little nervous, since the vegetal scent was so strong. But no, after a little honey, this is lovely and satisfying. I’m going to have to start trying oolongs to Teavivre’s brewing instructions, I think.
My morning cup as I open the shop and get ready for tomorrows big day. I just love this tea. It has everything I like in a morning tea. A nice malty flavor, natural sweetness, no bitter taste. Not to mention being able to get at least three steeps out of it. I’m still not picking up the sweet potatoes, but maybe that’s the sweet I’m getting, further tasting is required. :) Nothing but love for this tea! (Upping the rating too)