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Recent Tasting Notes


I had started the day out with a random tea which I had blindly chosen before deciding to get everything else in order before heading to work. I’ve not updated on anything that I’ve sipped lately, so I figured I’d catch up on today’s session and hopefully a few more.


Dry leaf was very nutty.
Wet leaf had a buttery-asparagus note.

I had noted that the tea even tasted a little like butter asparagus, with a touch of seaweed, too. On the third infusion, the tea became quite mouth drying, and slightly bitter; however, the bitterness left was only present in that infusion. I had stopped brewing after the 5th steep and plan on letting the tea ‘rest’ before finishing the rest of it up after work tonight.

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Sample from Angel Thank you!

I had gongfu’d this on Sunday and finished the session before work yesterday morning. I first noted that the tea was bitter; however, after realizing that my water temperature was still at 195 F after the sheng I had brewed, I switched the temperature to 165 F. After a couple of steeps with the new temp, the leaf had managed to change. There were grassy & buttery notes, with a touch of astringency. I got to about 9-10 steeps before giving up. At that point, I was pushing the tea, but it was pretty much hot water with a touch of flavor. I had enjoyed this once I realized the mistake with the water temperature.

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200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Angel full hand made rare organic she qian long Jing green tea. Limited edition from Teavivre.

Gongfucha review. Ru Yao dragon teapot.

Dry leaf: green, vegetal, sweet.

Wet leaf: green, chestnut, vegetal, sweet.

Light steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight —> green, vegetal, chestnut. (Taste) light -→ green, vegetal, sweet, grass, chestnut, mineral, smooth.

Medium steep; I taste/smell: (smell) light —> sweet, green, vegetal, chestnut. (Taste) medium -→ smooth, green, grass, sweet, vegetal, chestnut, mineral, metallic (unknown), green peas, asparagus, beans (?).

Heavy steep; I taste/smell: (smell) light something but I can’t put my nose on it. (Taste) medium to strong —> metallic (iron and copper). slight to light -→ grass (?) green (?) I don’t know…

All in all an amazing tea! I’m not sure if it’s worth the rare status but it’s yummy :D. Nice cha qi! I rate a 75/100.

Flavors: Asparagus, Chestnut, Grass, Green, Metallic, Mineral, Peas, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This one falls a bit flat for me. Missing the roasted sweetness while also not offering much in the way of florals and green notes. Maybe this is old tea, as I don’t know when it was harvested. There are better Dong Dings out there.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Thank you, Teavivre, for this sample! I don’t think I ever tried a yellow tea before. I anticipated that it would have characteristics similar to green tea since it was on the lighter side of the color spectrum.

When I opened the silver sample package, long green tea leaves greeted me from inside. The aroma of the unbrewed leaves was grassy and, yes, similar to the grassy smell of green tea.

I brewed the leaves at approximately 185 degrees (I had to estimate using the office microwave machine to heat the water) for eight minutes as recommended on the package. The steeped color was light yellow. The odor was again definitely like that of green tea.

The flavor of this tea was surprisingly full-bodied, distinct, and satisfying. Yes, the taste was similar to green tea, but this yellow tea had its own flavor signature as well. The taste was a bit grassy like green varieties but there was also a blended sweet potato attribute that lay comfortably on my palate. As is common with Teavivre teas, it was extremely smooth without a glimmer of astringency. The aftertaste was light and airy and it quickly dissipated.

I didn’t expect to like yellow tea too much since I almost exclusively favor the robust, high octane, black teas. However, I REALLY enjoyed this one…A LOT! I don’t have a long list of preferred afternoon and evening teas yet but this offering is definitely high up on it!

Flavors: Grass, Sweet Potatoes

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Another sample from Teavivre, the first oolong I’ve tried!

I always approach oolong thinking I am not a fan, but I forget that I have always enjoyed the green type, but not the roasted/dark sort. Not sure of the terminology for that, sorry.

This tea was packed amazingly well, and when I opened it the bag was full of little rolly twirly balls of oolong. I made a cup at work, and it was nice to watch it all unravel as it steeped.

I really enjoyed this. It’s floral and sweet and I was struck by how “creamy” it tasted. A nice thick mouthfeel. I never thought I’d say this about an unflavoured oolong, but I might have to put this one on my wishlist!

So glad to get to try all of these delicious teas!

As I was drinking this one I thought I should probably quit my job and move to China and beg someone at Teavivre to teach me everything about tea and give me a job :)

So, I guess that means this is quite the tea!


haha, welcome come to China!

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Another Spring 2017 green tea sample from Teavivre!

Of all the three greens I have tried so far, I found this one the greenest, least buttery and least sweet. I first steeped some in my Contigo to take to the movies and was surprised the lack of amazingness compared to the others, but thought maybe it was the mug not the tea, so I tried again at home.

It’s still good, but I didn’t get the sweet bready flavour burst with this one. A bit too vegetable like without the butter and sweetness I enjoy.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to try it, because it’s helping me decide which ones to wish list!

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I used more leaf this second time around which resulted in far more caramel and far more sweet potato, like caramelized sweet potato. Delicious.

Really enjoying this sample, Angel. Thanks.

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The golden tips are so plentiful that the dry leaf is soft and spongey, like dry moss. making it a bit challenging to scoop out the dry leaf with my teaspoon.

Beautiful smooth bready caramel sweet way to begin my morning here where the rain either silences or muffles the sounds of my neighbourhood. Already a heavenly day. The sip ends with the slightest bit of stone fruit.

More and more of the sweet potato note emerges in the second and third steep.

Thank you, Angel, for this sample and the chance to try this delightful tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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We made two pots Western style last night to go with Asian take-out. The dry leaves had such a fresh, powerful aroma. I love the promise that it is easier on the stomach as mine gets angry easily.

The tea is pale, clear yellow and very sweet and creamy tasting. It was served to a large gathering and everyone enjoyed it. There was no sour taste and no bitterness. This will probably be one of my go-to recommendations for people wanting easy to drink tea.

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Another Friday, another sample from Teavivre to try. Things are looking up.

These “dragon ball” teas are pretty cool. This one was individually wrapped in clear cellophane and fastened with a little baggy tie. It was a tightly rolled ball of dark leaves and pinkish flowers about the size of a gumball. The unbrewed knob had a pronounced tea smell with a slightly rose/flowery accent.

I followed the instructions on the silver sample package and brewed the ball for five minutes at 195 degrees. The package actually said 194 degrees but 195 was the closest my One Touch Tea Maker could get. What’s one degree between friends anyway?

The steeped liquor had a bright gold color. The odor was very much like its unbrewed incarnation: tea with a rosy accent.

The taste was completely consistent with its smell, before and after brewing. The tea flavor was full-bodied and robust, yet it was remarkably smooth. A rose bud undertone melded into the taste perfectly. This was a relief for me as I am often overwhelmed by flowery-tasting teas. There also was the presence of a sweet attribute to round out the extremely harmonious blend. I did not detect any astringency and the aftertaste was quite light and pleasant. If the 195-degree liquid temperature hadn’t been capable of producing blisters on my gullet, I would have chugged my cup down even faster than I did.

This is another outstanding tea from Teavivre that I can easily recommend. It worked extremely well for me with my breakfast but I’m sure it would also be a fantastic lunch or mid-day selection as well.

Flavors: Rose, Sweet, Tea

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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hmm, I can’t remember if I tasted ming qian or she qian longjing. Thank you to Teavivre for the free sample! Backlog from last month. 2 tsp (half the package, about 3g I think?), medium temperature water, multiple steeps using smaller amounts of water, but brewed western style in a teapot.

These are the notes I took compiled from three of us doing a group tasting:
Fruity – reminds us of apricot or peach
Vegetal, but not grassy
Nutty, but no specific nuts
Very delicate, aromatic, quite flavourful
Slight sweetness like that of fruits
A good green for those who don’t enjoy greens. Two of us don’t like greens very much, but all three of us enjoyed this one.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Nutty, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Backlog from last month. Thank you to Teavivre for the free samples!

These are the notes I took compiled from three of us doing a group tasting:
This is a very flavourful green tea and it has a strong green flavour.
Notes of seaweed, but it isn’t salty.
Kind of sweet like the scent of honey
Umami (seaweed/kelp) but not buttery
Not astringent at all in any of the steeps.
Gets more floral, honey, seaweed flavour in the 2nd and 3rd steeps. The first steep was the greenest.

Flavors: Green, Honey, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

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This is a sample sent by Teavivre for review. Many thanks, Angela and Teavivre!

I used my eight ounce pot and about half the sample. The dry leaves smell wonderful, and remind in appearance and scent of a nice white tea, one of the bolder ones like a shou mei.

I did rinse this and pour off the very pale liquid quickly. My first steep was thirty seconds. I have a bad habit of drinking all types of puerh too quickly, forgetting how much more I like them after they have cooled for a minute, so I used my thinnest cups. The heat on my fingers will remind me to wait until it is cooler so I can taste the full flavor profile better.

This is a nice golden color. The scent surprisingly has apple notes! I am thinking of Granny Smith apples with their tart juiciness. The scent of white tea is now mixed with the characteristic scent of raw puerh, or perhaps the scent of a brisk green tea.

The flavor is mild, slightly astringent and lending a tingle to the tongue, and has the delightful rising sweetness that occurs when drinking certain greens.

I raised the third steep to 45 seconds but it is more astringent here so I will be sticking to 30-35 seconds for this one henceforth.

There is still a fruity flavor now on the fourth steep, with a hint of smoke and a good bit of dryness. This is a very interesting tea, and I find it very drinkable even at this young age. My daughter is drinking this with me and didn’t know it was raw puerh. She was quite surprised when I told her because she had one at a tea festival that did not please her! She likes this one.

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2017 harvest sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you!

Had a gongfu session, brewing 3g in a 60ml porcelain gaiwan with 180 degree water (the ratio is a bit higher than the recommended, which is 1g:30ml). No rinse. Followed the website’s steeping directions directions: 10 seconds, 15, 20, 25, 35.

The dry leaf aroma is lightly sweet with notes of corn silk, white sugar, and hay; and transforms into butter and fresh blueberry muffins after I let the leaf sit in the pre-heated gaiwan. (I triple-checked – yes, blueberry muffins!) The wet leaf aroma is drastically different: vegetal and savory. I didn’t let the leaf rest in fresh air as usual when they’re packaged in these packets, and that may explain the bizarre yet fascinatingly scrumptious aromas.

With a fresh and lively feel, the liquor is bright green in color and full-bodied. It has a sometimes thick, sometimes creamy texture. Though clean tasting, there are many bits of bud fuzz floating around. The liquor tastes similar to the wet leaf aroma in that it is vegetal and savory. Heavy in flavor, but not in substance. Tops off with a sweet finish. No aftertaste. The taste and feel are consistent throughout the session.

I went beyond the recommended steeping times: 45 seconds; 1 minute, 2, 5. I could have stopped with 45, the sixth infusion, which tastes lighter and sweeter than the previous five and has a cooling sensation. Thereafter, the liquor tastes cooked.

Teavivre continues to offer excellent green teas. I’m not much for savory green teas, but I really like this one. It’s a little more high-end for the pricing of 100g, but seems worth it.

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Another delicious green tea sample provided by Teavivre!

I brought this one to work because the Brew Guide said 194 degrees and I figured it would be less easy to ruin it using the crappy kettle at work than one that required a lower temp. Also because drinking tasty tea at work makes my day a little bit brighter!

I probably oversteeped this but it still wasn’t bitter. I found it mellow and sweet and still has the umami type brothy flavourful appeal that these fresh greens seem to.

Still need to do a great comparison between all of them to test myself on noting the differences, but as of now I’ll give this one a great big thumbs up for sure. I’m so spoiled now, freshly picked green tea leaves?! Yes please!! Forever!


This one is lovely.

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This super floral tea has soft notes of lilac, violet, orchid, and other sweet and mild flowers. Second steep has an aftertaste of mint that I quite enjoy. A tart note crept into the third steep; it has a “fresh” tang that makes me think of rhubarb, with maybe a hint of strawberry. As the cup cools the tart not fades and notes of butter and cream creep in.

Side note to self: don’t start a gongfu session at 10PM. It’s a waste of good tea. Things were just starting to get good too.

Steep Count: 4

(2016 Fall Harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Mineral, Mint, Orchid, Rhubarb, Strawberry, Violet

205 °F / 96 °C 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

Love this tea.


Teavivre “guanyin” 2/14, and I think I’ve already sampled the good stuff. :)

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Brewing up a sample this evening. There’s a mix of white and darker leaves, with small fuzz on them. Aroma of the dry leaves is kind of chocolatey. The wet leaf is lightly malty with a fruitiness to it, and the first steep comes out a very pale amber. Lots of presence in the high notes here, with a sweet fruit onset and some kind of sweet lasting aftertaste. There’s a little bit of a low, malty note in the background here.

The second steep follows quite closely in the steps of the first, with a little bit more body coming through.

It’s quite enjoyable! For me personally, it has a lot of the qualities I like from a black tea without the malty heaviness I get from a lot of them.

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Sipping this sample down by drinking it western (3min) and gongfu style (10sec, etc) simultaneously. Lots of seaweed and umami notes ensue. Would it be too much if I drank my seaweed tea while eating my seaweed snacks? Only time will tell.

Steep Count: 3 (x2)

(2017 spring harvest)

Flavors: Beany, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

170 °F / 76 °C
Evol Ving Ness

I have been all over my toasted seaweed snacks this week.


I’ve been on a roll with them since the beginning of spring. Buying enough and keeping them in stock around the house has been… tricky.

Evol Ving Ness

Also most excellent with leftover Korean rice and a dash of sesame oil. Yeah, addictive.

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This is much sweeter and softer than the Organic Bai Hao (White Downy) Green Tea I finished up yesterday. Gentle notes of soft grass, spinach, beans and flowers are like a clean balm. It’s a refreshing cuppa in the afternoon sun (starting to get hot). I’m starting to get a sore throat, so smooth, mellow and fresh is ideal right now!

This is the kind of green tea I give newbies who believe straight greens are all bitter and yuck. It’s not all bad!

Steep Count: 2

(2017 Spring Harvest)

Tea sample provided by Teavivre. Thank you!

Flavors: Beany, Floral, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, warm grass

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Drinking up an entire 10g sample of this in my yixing pot. Dry leaf is sweetish, wet leaf smells quite Menghai-y. Ripe fruit smell, and a hint of smokiness.

First steep comes out quite as a light amber, definitely lighter than I was expecting. The flavor is quite smooth and creamy, with no bitterness yet. Relatively mild in flavor profile, with a sweet mid-note cream aftertaste holding throughout. No particular high note presence.

Second steep is much darker in color, with a mid bitter note starting to appear in a mildish level. Still definitely a smooth creaminess to it, and a sweetness around the back of the mouth and in the aftertaste. I’m enjoying this one quite a bit.

Third steep loses a little bit of the creaminess and the bitterness gets a tad sharper. Fourth and fifth steeps, despite a longer steep, lose a bit more of the flavor and become watery with bitterness becoming sharper. After this point, it’s mostly fallen off. Around steep 7 I was able to get a little bit of sweetness out of it by steeping for a long time, and the bitterness faded off, but it was mostly done by that point.

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