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Recent Tasting Notes
This afternoon I’m using the Spring 2017 release of this tea. It is a midly roasted version that looks like a slightly duller version of the bright green competition grade tie guan yins. The dry leaves smell like tea. Imagine that. :-) By that, I mean the dry leaves just smell pure. I don’t pick up on anything other that pure tea smell except just the slightest roasted note. I decided to prepare this Anxi style in a small red 70 ml Jianshui clay pot placed on a tea boat bowl. The dry leaves were placed in the pot and just off boiling water was poured over and around the pot. The leaves now gave off a slightly more vegetal scent. After a fast rinse, the first three steeps were kept under 10 seconds, shaking the pot to unfurl the leaves between each steep. We have gardenias around our property, and unfortunately they are no longer blooming to do a direct one on one comparison, but I happened to smell a gardenia blossom just a week ago, and this tie guan yin scent is very close to gardenia. Gardenia can be one of those heady sweet scents that are hard to take for a long period of time, but the tie guan yin gardenia is more delicate. It does not offend in any way. The first few infusions were buttery, green, sweet. This is really delicious. Liquor is pale yellow. Infusions are now incredibly sweet. It’s as if sugar has been secretly added to the cup. Pushing the tea toward the front of my mouth, I detected what tasted like a lightly toasted marshmallow. It was fleeting, but it was there. With this tea session, I’m paying more attention to the timing, and I’m pouring around the edges and not directly into the center of the leaves. I like the results, because I got zero bitterness and zero vegetal taste in this session. I would recommend this tie guan yin, and here is a link to the instructions I used for brewing this Anxi style. Check out his other articles, as well:
Flavors: Butter, Gardenias, Green, Marshmallow, Roasted, Sugar, Sweet
No notes yet. Add one?
While purchasing a pound of Teavivre Golden Monkey tea (which I consider to be the BEST Golden Monkey of all that I’ve run across) online, I chose this Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Tree Black Tea as one of the three free samples included with my purchase. I am always excited when there is a new black tea to try!
I opened up the sample package and I was immediately struck by the rich leathery smell and the long dark fresh-looking leaves. I steeped the tea for eight minutes (the maximum recommended time) at 185 degrees.
The brewed liquor smelled rich and leathery. The color was a bright orange-gold.
The taste was extremely full and smooth, with finely blended accents of sweet potato, malt, and earth. Astringency was not in its vocabulary. The aftertaste was gentle and brief.
This is another one of those teas that goes down so smoothly I am tempted to chug the entire cup. However, I’m sure I enjoyed it even more by savoring each sip.
This is an excellent black tea. It is worthy of a prominent position on my highly recommended list.
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Dry leaves smell nice, rich, mellow. After two rinses, I steeped for 8 secs in a 100 ml gaiwan with 4 gr of leaf. Color is dark amber on first infusion. Wet leaf smell is earthy, mulchy. Taste has a tiny amount of chocolate note but subtle, musty, earthy, and has a nice sweetness. It’s very smooth, no bitterness and no astringency. It’s a very pleasant drinking ripe pu-erh. Long lasting smooth and thick mouth feel and aftertaste. By the third infusion, liquor is now dark with red tone. Leaves have expanded to reveal — no leaves. It’s all small chopped pieces of 1 cm or less.
Flavors: Chocolate, Decayed wood, Earth, Musty, Sweet
I decided to do a couple of green teas back to back, tonight. Teavivre had sent a sample of their Dragon Well Long Jing, so it was prepared after tasting First Flush Mao Feng. I prefer Dragon Well above Mao Feng for a hot green tea, but for a sweetened cold green tea, Mao Feng is my choice. I did a few infusions hot of Dragon Well, then decided since I had already gone rogue by sweetening mao feng, I’d do the same with dragon well. I kept the prep the same. Simple syrup and a squeeze of lemon, and multiple short infusions poured over ice. I kept trying for the flavor notes, and I was dancing around grapefruit, then pear. Obviously, I had added a citrus note with the lemon, and then it hit me. Canned yellow peaches. It tasted just like canned yellow peaches in heavy syrup. I’m not going to fill out the flavor profile, because I don’t want to wrongly influence someone to be expecting peach with a normal preparation of Dragon Well. If you like canned peaches, try this Dragon Well sweetened with lemon.
In the dark morning, I had stumbled upon this sample, that I had put aside some time ago, after the neighbour’s baby woke me up yet again: 3 am, 3:30 am, 6:30 am, 7:30 am on this Sunday morning. ok, I’m done. I gave sleep a valiant effort throughout the night and I congratulate myself for that, but it’s time to scrape myself off the bed and stagger through my day, feeling like a wrung out dishrag.
On to this tea. What a wonder! Floral sweet light dancing across my tongue. The first sip tasted almost like a sweet creamy milk oolong at the very beginning until the floral kicked in followed by a vegetal note.
This cup is certainly making my morning kinder and brighter.
Thank you, Angel, for the sample.
First steep. Sweet, floral, and green with a bit of lingering bite.
I don’t know how many steeps I will be able to manage as it is already late in the day and due to the caffeinated teas I have already consumed today, I predict that I’ll be up until Tuesday. To be continued.
The second steep is more honeyed bursting with multilayered florals. The vegetal bite steps far into the background. Very delicious. I am truly enjoying this cup.
Third steep. Lovely honeyed sweet and slightly vegetal.
The sweetness continues through steep four and five, but the vegetal notes are more present and the flavours begin to fade.
Thank you for the sample, Angel.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Honey, Vegetal
Short infusions of 10-15 secs in a clay pot produces a light amber liquor that is sweet, mildly earthy, mildly bitter, and woody with a slowly developing astringency. Long infusions of 30 secs+ produce a liquor that is not intensely flavored, but sharply bitter, rosinous, and drying. This sheng evokes a damp forest atmosphere.
Edit: I revised the rating up. I am getting some nice cha qi from this.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Forest Floor, Honey, Wood
i received a small sample of lemon slices from teavivre for free with my order.
it would be unfair to do a full review as it’s just lemon slices.
ru yao dragon teapot, gongfucha
one slice: yummy! just a tad weak.
two slices: much better. goes best with two slices and a 265 ml teapot and long steeps.
i even ate the slices. puckery face and all :D
i rate a 90/100. i suggest you try it :D
where to buy: http://www.teavivre.com/lemon-slices-herbal-tea/
does anyone know how to dehydrate lemon slices (or any other fruit) without an dehydrator?
does anyone know the health benefits of drinking hot lemon tea?
I started my day with Anxi Hairy Crab Mao Xie Fujian oolong from Yunnan Sourcing, and I’m finishing with Taiwan Monkey Picked Tie Guan Yin oolong this afternoon from Teavivre. This came as a free sample with my order. Thank you, Teavivre. The anxi hairy crab is much like the morning. Quiet and still. Easy. The tie guan yin is more like the afternoon, bolder, a bit of smoke in the air. Upon opening the sealed envelope and smelling the dried, tightly rolled leaves, the leaves have a lightly roasted scent on top of the fresh green note. This tea is similar to the anxi hairy crab I had this morning. In that review, I said anxi hairy crab was like tie guan yin light. The first few infusions of this tie guan yin have the roasted note, giving it a slightly nutty, grainy flavor, but also still a green note and floral, as well. I prepared this in clay gong fu style with near boiling water with longer infusions starting at 30 seconds. Liquor is a beautiful yellow in glass cha hai. There is a touch of bitterness in the finish. I get no astringency. A nice lightly roasted tie guan yin.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Roasted nuts, Vegetal
This is a nice, smooth, creamy, mellow ripe pu-erh. It was received as a free sample with my tea order, so thank you Teavivre. The sample included two generous pieces of tangerine skin. I brewed this gong fu style with an initial quick rinse, then a first infusion of 10 seconds. That produced a light, sweet, mild and mildly earthy liquor, light in color, and containing no detectable traces of citrus to my palate. The second infusion, I went for 30 secs, and this time the liquor is much darker. It is still very smooth and only very slightly bitter at the longer infusion time. I do get a very subtle hint of citrus in this second infusion, but I really do mean subtle. If I didn’t know it had tangerine and wasn’t looking for it, I probably would not have noticed it. The second infusion finishes sweet and leaves a somewhat thick coating in the mouth and on the lips. Only after 5 minutes does a small amount of astringency appear. I wonder if the tangerine was more present when it was younger. I can imagine a bit of fresh tangerine zest in this tea would be delicious, but alas, I have none on hand. Third infusion, I’m letting it steep for a minute with just off the boil water that was poured high directly onto the tangerine skin. Can you tell I’m wanting that tangerine note? :-) This pu-erh doesn’t mind being steeped longer. The third infusion is mellow. No bitterness at all, which surprised me. Caffeine content must be pretty high. It’s producing a nice feeling. Fourth infusion I pushed to 3 mins. Still smooth and mellow, no bitterness. I checked the fridge once more, and found a mandarin orange. I added a squeeze to my cup to see how it would change the tea. Interesting— it was readily absorbed into the overall tea flavor and did not stand out prominently, so perhaps the tangerine has been present all along, influencing the overall flavor, providing a touch of sweetness, but never becoming a prominent note. For anyone wanting to a try a ripe shou pu-erh, but is put off by mustiness, this one is a good one to try. If you were to do a couple of rinses first, you’d bypass the old library book found in some shou pu-erh.
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Cocoa, Earth
The first tea to start my day. It is a beautiful tea, very fine leaves, beautiful golden color. Brewed gong fu style in a porcelain gaiwan. 1 rinse, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, etc at 180-190 degrees F. The wet leaves are fragrant with a sweet potato scent and chocolate malt. The wet leaves are copper colored and the liquor takes on this bright copper color. This tea has a long lingering aftertaste of chocolate. There is just barely a hint of bitterness. It’s very mild. There is a bit of chocolate covered raisins in the aftertaste, and something nutty or perhaps pastry-like. This tea pairs perfectly with a bite of Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Almond nut bar. It is so good together.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nutty, Pastries, Raisins, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Thank you Teavivre for this sample. This tea makes me say ha cha cha cha! A number of people have reviewed this tea, but I think it has continued to improve in the last couple of years. This sheng pu-erh recently passed a decade in age. Even at 11 years old, this sheng still has a somewhat green tea character. After a rinse, the leaves give off a fresh green tea smell. I can’t say I recall any smokey character to the tea, though I had read older reviews where smoke was detected. Maybe the smoke has mellowed out of the tea. I did this sheng pu-erh gong fu style with a couple of rinses sacrificed. I’m not a sheng pu-erh expert by any means, but this tea did offer some notes I think most people associate with shengs. Initial infusions were sweet, hay/grass green, and a little bitter. Later steeps introduced a distinct sour note. When I licked my lips a few seconds after a sip, I was surprised by just how sour it “felt” on my tongue. There was a bit of earthiness in the tea early on, but it was light, and it did not last long. I kept drinking this tea all day. Infusions grew mild, but always remained sweet and bitterness subsided. I experienced no astringency in this tea. The bitterness that was present was in balance with the tea. A few years back, I couldn’t imagine myself enjoying a tea with bitterness, but it works in these sheng pu-erhs. Initially, this tea packed a punch. It’ll wake you up and give your system a buzz.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Green, Hay, Sweet, Wood
This is the unflavored Jin Xuan milk oolong from Teavivre. The tea was produced by pinching off a stem that contains several leaves, and then rolling this into a tight ball. It’s really amazing to see one of these small rolls of tea unfurl. I read a review where someone thought this teas was better brewed western style. I’ll try that next. I brewed this gong fu style. It lived up to its billing. In the first two infusions, it had a distinctive milky, creamy note. As the infusions increased, the milkiness was no longer present, and it took on more of a vegetal taste. The tea remained sweet throughout.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal
This morning, I had Planet Jingmai raw puerh from Crimson Lotus, so this afternoon I decided to have some small moons from Teavivre. Most people seem to be using 3 or 4 balls of Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea, but I went for a full 4 grams, which came out to be 6 balls in a 110ml gaiwan. I did a rinse, then started with a 30 second infusion to open the balls, then went back to 10 secs for the next infusion and began adding seconds from there. Compared to a Laoshan Black, this tea doesn’t have as strong of a chocolate note, and for me it is less of a chocolate taste and more of a faint chocolate smell. There is also that malty note that others have reviewed, and I find that it fades by about the fourth infusion. I get some sweet potato taste. In fact, this dragon pearl tasted a lot of like a more delicate version of Laoshan Black. I never experienced any bitterness or astringency. I could drink this tea as a daily, though I would go with Laoshan Black for the more pronounced chocolate note. I happened to have an Oreo nearby, and I have to say, this tea goes great with an Oreo. As most probably know, this tea is shipped directly from China. Packaging was excellent with sealed foil smaller bags inside sealed foil larger bags, the larger bags being wrapped in bubble wrap and packaged with more bubble wrap inside of the box.
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
My first pu-erh tea. I’ve never tasted something like this before (I’m new to loose leaf tea btw). The moment I tasted this tea, I remembered the vacation place from my childhood. I couldn’t understood why. I think it was because of the wooden taste which took my time to figure out. I enjoyed the tea. It was strong and has different notes to discover.
Flavors: Earth, Wood
See my full review on Sororitea Sisters:
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Grapes, Grass, White Grapes
My first ever experience with oolong tea. Used amount of 2 teaspoon, rinsed, and waited 4 minute for brewing. However for 1. steep there was a dominant grass taste and nothing else. Maybe it’s because of me since I’m new to this and can’t catch the notes.
2. steep has less vegetal taste but still couldn’t taste something special.
Thanks for having that wonderful giveaway a few months ago, Teavivre! I won a few samples and a $5 gift card. Teavivre is awesome like that. The leaves here are the longest I’ve seen, long flattened lovely green leaves, that peak out of my basket infuser while touching the bottom. The scent of the dry leaves is sweet and heavenly. The flavor is too. There is such complexity here: sugar, butter, creamed corn, even strawberries. Strawberries! And even more little flavor notes that I’m sure I missed. It’s like every sip was different. The second steep was a little more muted than the first cup. I can definitely taste the quality in this one, like I usually can with Teavivre’s teas.
Steep #1 // half sample for a full mug// 33 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 27 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
This is one from Angel at Teavivre. Thank you! I steeped this for about 5 minutes and since that only 1/2 opened the tightly wrapped ball, I probably should have steeped this for longer. Nonetheless, the tea is the typical white tea hue so I figured it might be okay. Flavorwise, it is light but flavorful with notes often associated with white tea like sweet corn, hay and butter. It is good but it is also a plain white tea, which is not something I reach for very often. So, I would recommend this for those who enjoy white teas even though I myself probably won’t revisit it anytime soon.
I’ve decided that this is a tea style (aged white) that needs to be in my cupboard all the time. So far, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have subsisted solely on samples from generous Steepster users and companies, but I think it’s high time I officially invest and stock up!
Why do I love this kind of thing? For starters, it combines my favourite floral, hay, and fruity notes of white tea styles with the smooth, creamy-earth profile of an aged tea. It also proves to the world that you can be the low-grade by-product of Silver Needles, and still retain ALL the class. Dance on, classy tea.
This shou mei has a heady sweetness that I associate with blueberry wine. I can’t say why shou mei’s and blueberries are interlinked in my mind, but there it is. Not sure anyone else would get that particular flavour. It turns into a spiced juniper berry in later steepings.
Steep Count: 3
Sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you!
Flavors: Berries, Blueberry, Earth, Floral, Honey, Lemon, Spices, Sweet, warm grass, Wood