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Recent Tasting Notes
This is my first order from TeaVivre (excellent company by the way), and this is the tea that I chose to brew first.
It has a lovely, clear, golden hue to it. It looks fantastic in my fancy new tea mug. The aroma is very faint.
I probably could have brewed a tad longer, but by Jah is this a lovely tea. I wasn’t sure what to expect (I’ve recently fallen in love with Assams and have been drinking them all day non-stop) but this has a certain… something to it.
It’s kind of hard to describe. It’s like a savoury, slightly creamy, mellow, and very light and clean cup of deliciousness. I think that I also want to say caramel?
I can totally see myself ordering a large bag of this once my sample runs out.
Flavors: Caramel, Cream
This tea was surprisingly nice. The leaves are frail with sweet roasted scents of caramel, roasted fruits, plum, and tobacco. I grabbed my wee lil jianshui and warmed it up. The sauna’d leaves give off distinct roasted oats, dark wood, and a burnt sugar aroma. I was really diggin this tea. I washed the leaves once and began my steepin. The taste was of sweet nectar with some mild roast underneath. The base was heavy brown sugar and a yielded a nice oily aftertaste. Also, I noted a hidden peach tone that peeped up later on. This was really good, and I liked this tea. The price is superb, and this makes a wonderful daily drinker.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Dark Wood, Nectar, Oats, Peach, Plums, Roasted, Sweet, Tobacco
I drank this during an oolong binge.
The leaves are tightly rolled with smooth dark grass notes, kale, spinach, and some floral (chrysanthemum?) . I warmed my teapot and placed what I had inside. The warmed leaf gives off some odd roasted tones along with stir fried veggies. I washed the leaves twice and began my steeping. The brew brings some strong bean notes of the palette along with a slight astringent grass note. The brew is bit drying but it has some agave sweetness that lingers in the back of the throat. A minor floral note peaks through (pompoms?), and the brew continues with wet grass, dry, and agave. This was a okay daily drinker for me.
Flavors: Beany, Bitter, Floral, Kale, Spinach, Sweet
Sample obtained from purchase. Brewed in a gongfu session with a porcelain gaiwan. Since I decided to brew the entire sample, I slightly changed the website’s steeping directions: flash rinse, 20 seconds, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 4 minutes (the gaiwan overflowed with water at the last infusion).
The dry leaf smells a little bit floral but mostly of ginseng, the latter of which is intensified when I let the leaf sit in the pre-heated gaiwan. Once rinsed, the wet leaf smells roasted, absent of ginseng and floral notes. (Both the oolong – the Four Seasos variety – and ginseng were roasted for 4-6 hours, according to the website.)
The liquor looks beautiful in morning sunlight: clear golden yellow. Halfway through the session, though, when the ginseng has completely dissolved, many small leaf bits pour from the gaiwan. Of all the infusions, the first tastes most like ginseng. I’ve never had ginseng before. It’s like a sticking sweetness, reminiscent of stevia and licorice, and clings to the back of the tongue. Beginning with the second infusion, vague floral notes from the oolong appear. The ginseng and oolong are balanced for the remainder of the session and complement each other. The sweet aftertaste lingers for at least half-hour.
This is my first Ginseng Oolong. I’m not sure what to think of it and this particular one that Teavivre sells. It seems like it can grow on me. I think I should try it again Western style to see how it steeps. It didn’t undergo much evolution during the gongfu session since the quality of the oolong wasn’t great (totally understandable given it’s meant to be coated with ginseng in this case). For what it is to me now, I remain neutral about the taste but I am positive about the quality. It wasn’t off-putting at all. I commented on the numerous leaf bits in case you wondered you should use a strainer or not prior to trying this out for yourself and didn’t know what you were getting into (I didn’t myself).
Here’s Hoping TTB
What a fantastic start to my tea box sampling adventure! The flavor is sweet and fruity (almost wine-like) and the mouthfeel is silky smooth, reminding me of an oolong. Love!
Flavors: Fruity, Red Wine, Smooth, Sweet
This was a very potent puerh. The brick gives off a strong scent of intense tobacco, menthol, and dense wood. I warmed my yixing up and placed what I had inside. The scent opens up into mild smoke, savory tones, and wet wood. I washed the leaves once and began brewing. The taste starts sweet with medium smoke, and it is very meaty. The brew continues in this manner, and it is decent tea. I note some nice neck prickling as the qi begins to sink in. However, the tea grows very strong and bitter with intense smokiness. There is still a sweet aftertaste, but the harsh notes overwhelm me. Although, I do enjoy the qi. There is a nice head pressure and heat along my body; this is a high energy tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Meat, Menthol, Smoke, Tobacco
I did a red tea tasting:
This one stood out the most out of the three that I drank. The tea was alike the regular dian hong; however, it was spotted with brilliant crimson leaves. The leaves gave off a spicy and sweet aroma with dark coco dust and burnt resin. I warmed my gaiwan and scooped them inside. The aroma heated into some cooked meat savory tones along with spices and roasted dark fruit. I washed the leaves once and prepped for brewing. The drink was thick and tasteful with roasted berries along with some leather and malt. The mixture was very interesting, and I noted that I continued to keep reaching for more. The soup was savory, sweet, pungent, and rustic. I really liked this tea.
There is multiple pictures, so you have to scroll to see them all:
Flavors: Berry, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Meat, Roasted, Spicy, Sweet
I did a red tea tasting:
This was a very fluffy and large leafed tea. The fuzzy golden curls gave off a baked bread aroma with sweet coco, cherry, and vanilla mixed together. The tones were very sweet and smooth. I warmed my gaiwan up and placed these inside. The aroma inside my gaiwan reminded me of angel food cake and cherry coke. The scent was sweet but “bite-y”. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The drink was smooth and easy to sip on. The texture was thick on the tongue and had a sweet “breadiness” to it. The base was of soft wood along with caramel and resin on top. The next steeps cause the tea to get a bit maltier, but it still carried a good smooth taste. I liked this tea.
It’s multiple photos, so you have to scroll to see them all:
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cherry, Malt, Resin, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
I did a red tea tasting, and this is one of the teas.
The tea leaf is slightly small and reddened with roast, malt, and dark wood tones coming off from the leaves. I can hint at a slight mild dry dry cherry tone in the background. I warmed my gaiwan up and placed some inside. The hot leaf gave off an intense scent of strong roast and malt with bittersweet dark coco. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. This tea was filled with heavy dry wood and malt tones. I could taste a slightly sweet flavor with rough vanilla tones, but it was primarily rough and woody. It was a decent tea, but a bit too rugged for me.
It’s multiple photos, so you must scroll to see them all:
Flavors: Drying, Malt, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
Drank this one iced today;
I really didn’t think it would work well iced but at the same time I wasn’t super impressed with this one as a hot tea either so I knew I had to try something different to coax out some more rose flavour from it.
It actually brewed up significantly lighter as an iced tea than I’d expected it to; though I guess it was still full bodied/robust overall. The flavour was very, very muddy with notes of mushrooms and some dankness. There was sweetness in the undertones, and this whisps of brown sugar and cocoa, and rich earthiness but I felt like I was violently grasping at them and only managing to grave them with my finger tips.
As for the rose, I do think it was a little stronger this why but not by much. I’m not sure what to try next, honestly…
This is a queued tasting note.
So, I finally got the chance to try this one out at work on my lunch break – Value Village work, not DAVIDsTEA. I have to say that while I enjoyed it, I definitely expected the rose in it to be stronger/more present as a flavour. Instead I’d say that this was like 90% really nice, smooth earthy pu and around 10% rose undertones/whisps of rose in the aftertaste. If anyone has recommendations for how to make this one taste rosier, I’m definitely open!
Also – speaking of Value Village work, I actually gave my notice last week. As it stands, I only have three more shifts there before I’m completely done. I just think at this point in my life, it’s more important to me to continue working and focusing my attention on DAVIDsTEA where I’m just happier overall. Plus, it feels good to close the chapter on Value Village. I’ve grown a lot since working there and met some REALLY good friends but at the same time I don’t see any more potential for growth within the company nor do I really want to progress any further with it. As well, it just reminds me so much of Trey/James – the two former roommates who just evicted me, as well as my ex. I met all three of them there, and will probably always associate the store with them. It’s just time to move on.
So cheers to that!
This is such a great flavour idea. I love jasmine pearls, and I love peach. It is a lovely combination, really.
I found the jasmine much stronger than the peach, I either oversteeped the green tea or it is slightly bitter (I probably oversteeped it). Vegetal base, but the jasmine us very well done. The peach is very slight as an undertone, it provides a nice touch of sweetness. I’ve enjoyed this hot and cold, so I believe it to be very versatile.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Jasmine, Sweet, Vegetal
Tried this yesterday as my first flavored Milk Oolong. The scent from the leaves was milky and sweet, but also had a bit of a buttery popcorn or caramel corn vibe to it. That taste came through pretty strongly for the first three steeps, after which it tapered off for a couple more. I have heard that these flavored Jin Xuan are often pretty low quality leaf, but this seemed to transition into just a pleasant and slightly creamy floral tea after the flavoring was mostly steeped out of it. Not bad, but personally I think I prefer unflavored Jin Xuan.
Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Floral, Milk, Popcorn, Sweet
Darn, accidentally pressed escape and all my text disappeared. Lovely.
In short for my future self, this mainly tastes like wood with a very slight ‘dark chocolate’ taste to the overwhelming wood taste. It’s a little fruity regarding a slight raising taste, but this tea mainly tastes like wood. Wet wood. Mmmmm…
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Raisins, Wet Wood, Wet wood, Wood
Mmm, buckwheat. It looks like these little guys would be at home in a genmaicha. I can hardly resist chomping on a couple of these while I wait for my water to heat up! Crunchy!
I’ve never tried a tea of this type before. The smell as I brew it reminds me of cornbread or some kind of baked good. As others have mentioned, the flavor is oaty and bready, though not bitter. It’s kind of sweet, actually!
I don’t expect this to be a particular surprise or a wow, just a smooth, mellow, bready drink without caffeine. Good to maybe relax to, but not for focused drinking.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Oats
Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2012 By Teavivre
Dry leaf: spices, musty.
1x short rinse.
Light steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight floral. (Taste) light —→ spices, roasted, floral.
Medium steep; I taste/smell: (smell)
Little to no floral. (Taste) light floral. (Weird at the lack of flavors)
Heavy steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight fruity. (Taste) light —→ roasted, floral.
All in all an ok tea. Nice taste to it. I rate a 80/100.
Where to buy: http://www.teavivre.com/fuding-shou-mei-cake/
(note: either this tea did not have that many flavors, or it was just me)
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Roasted, Seaweed, Spices
Received from the 2016 Black Friday sampler box. Very cute and very pretty, but as the tea opens up, there are many broken leaves. There is the hinting of an apricot sweetness, but a heavy and somewhat bitter body and aftertaste tends to mask it. It is quite astringent and unfortunately, not quite my cup of tea :)
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter