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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank u to Teavivre for this sample!!! This has a lovely creamy scent. There is a tiny tiny hint of floral and I like the floral being subtle. The floral notes are mainly when you breathe out and not in the flavor.
Small cleansing amount of astringency.
The creamy “milk” flavor really comes out as the tea cools a bit. This is a lovely and balanced Jin Xuan!!!
Flavors: Cream, Flowers
Thank you to Teavivre for this sample!!
Delicious , slightly creamy and floral. I do catch a subtle amount of roastiness but it is moderate as the title says. There is also a cleansing astringency if you steep it longer. I thought three minutes was perfect and then I steeped the tea for one more minute and I wished I had stopped at three minutes but that’s why I like to taste at every minute when I am sampling so I learn!! :)
The aroma of this tea is smelling so lovely!!!!!!!!
Flavors: Cream, Flowers
So… this is a sipdown, running me out of Teavivre teas before my order arrives. :) I didn’t replace these but that doesn’t mean they were bad. I had mixed results with this tea but overall I liked it more than I didn’t like it.
Sweetish, caramely, thick, malty. For me, this tea was very water and temperature dependent. Too much temp without the right water and way too much smoke came to the forefront. Maybe it isn’t smoke I get from these teas where no one else gets it, maybe it’s burned tea from my improper prep! :)
These cups today were done with Hinckley Spring Water at about 205F and I used 10 balls for 16 ounces, steeped for about 3 minutes.
I have never had a tea that changed so radically with a change in water. My mom was up last night and she always says she can taste my water when I steep tea for her. So I did this for us with bottled water, refrigerator cold level, heated to boiling. Allowed to cool about 45 seconds then steeped 8 balls in 16 ounces of water for about 5 minutes.
The very first, immediate flavor I got was a faceful of brown sugar. Sweet, dense, sticky brown sugar. Not even caramel but brown sugar. Then the next flavor that hit me in the face was the alcohol malt. Both Mom & I sat and snuffled into our cups, trying to identify the smell we both were finding strongly but couldn’t name. All of a sudden it hit me – it was like inhaling in a warm summer room where malt alcohol has been spilled for years. Wood infused with malt.
Then I took it into work today to share with Tea Coworker. Hot water from filtered system, put into microwave and heated to just below boiling. 12 balls for 24 ounces. Steeped about 5 minutes. Didn’t get any brown sugar and the malt wasn’t as strong, but it was still more present than my first steeping with tap water and at a slightly lower temperature. We both still liked it a lot and Tea Coworker said it was a pretty amazing tea. But I want to try again here at home to reproduce the second set of parameters – that was truly the most amazing result.
Edit: just realized that I never wrote a note for the first steeping. Oops. The first steeping was malty, cocoa-y and very good. It was done at 190F with tap water and for about 3.5 minutes. Nothing super awesome, but good enough. Glad I tried again though with different water, temp and time – it revealed something beyond good enough. :)
Well it finally happened, I saw the inevitable coming for months now, but it seems the end has finally arrived. My iron has kicked the bucket. Of course it decided to die in the middle of fusing a massive project (luckily it was for myself and not for my shop or worse, a custom order) so my epic tea mat is fused unevenly. It is frustrating but salvageable (I think) when I am able to get a new iron (no idea when that will be, curse you lack of money!!) but I am mostly frustrated because I was feeling inspired to make some awesome perler creations and mini hama creations and now I can’t. Darn. Ah well, at least I still have my origami stars and of course tea to occupy myself with.
Today’s tea from Teavivre is Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005 and has the honor of being the oldest Puerh that I have tried. This lovely tea hails from the land of Yunnan, China, an area that is famous for its tea (especially Puerh), it is made from 30-40 year old large leaf arbor tea trees and was picked between May and June of 2005. The aroma of the dry and compressed leaves is sweet like pine wood, loam, and vegetation. It smells like a forest in late summer, mixing abundant growth and decay, humidity and wood. It is a wonderful smell for someone who spent many a day like that deep in a forest drinking up the various aromas that nature provides. I think the best teas are the one’s whose taste or aroma transport you to a place in your memory. Poetic waxing aside, there is a finish of peanuts and cocoa that is extremely faint, almost the ghost of a smell.
Once I rinse and give the leaves a brief steeping the aroma becomes a blend of cooked spinach, rich oak loam, sweet old hay, and a touch of barnyard. This tea took a walking tour of the forest and walked into a farm, a fascinating transition. The liquid is sweet hay in both appearance and aroma, with a sprinkling of pine needles giving it a slightly sharp green and pine sap aroma as well.
Ok, I hope you all are ready because I got a whopping seven steepings out of this tea and I took notes on them all! The first steeping is nothing short of fascinating (I feel I will use this word a lot with this tea) the mouthfeel is thick, not oily, but thick. It feels like with each sip my mouth fills with saliva along with the tea, it is an odd sensation but not unpleasant. The initial taste is faint, like old straw, but by the time it reaches the midtaste it picks up notes of spinach and peanuts. The aftertaste is bold and lingers leaving the taste of faintly sweet peanuts and mild vegetal.
The second steeping has a powerfully vegetal aroma, mixing cooked spinach and beans, it took me a moment to place the specific bean but to me it smells like lima beans. There is also the loam and forest aroma from previously. The liquid, well in my notebook I wrote ‘it smells like hay and liquid gold joy’, I still think it is an accurate description. The taste is still a blend of peanuts, cooked spinach and lima beans, but there is a sourness, like a hint of tamarind, which certainly makes me salivate a lot. It fades to a subtle sweetness at the end.
Third time around the aroma of the leaves and liquid is much the same as the second, except there is a honey quality to the liquid that was not there previously. The taste is a blend of old hay and lima beans with a slightly metallic quality. The midtaste is vegetal like cooked spinach and the aftertaste is sweet and like fresh hay.
The fourth steeping’s leaves are mildly vegetal and fresh hay, not as potent as the previous steeps but still full of aromas. The liquid is honey sweet and fresh hay, golden and pretty. This steep was pretty interesting, there is a bitterness that was not present before, vegetal qualities of lima beans and cooked spinach, it is quite the savory veggie broth. The mouthfeel has gone back to being thick, like the first steep, and the aftertaste is like loam.
The fifth steeping has a faint vegetal and mild, slightly sweet hay aroma to its wet leaves, the liquid has very little aroma, just a hint of sweetness and hay. The taste is initially sweeter, it fades to a sweet vegetal decay (it sounds gross, but think Black Trumpet mushrooms, so yummy) and hay. It now has a dry mouthfeel and sourness to it that lasts into the aftertaste.
The sixth steeping’s leaves have only the aroma of faint vegetal left, the liquid is the same as last steep, faint and barely there. This is the first time the tea starts to loose its footing, it is starting to taste watery with hints of lima beans, spinach, and hay. The aftertaste is faintly sour.
The final steeping is truly the finished tea, there is very little aroma left at all, just the ghost of previous scents. The taste is faint honey sweet hay and a hint of sourness, that is all. This tea was fascinating, I am not really sure I liked it, but I did certainly enjoy the experience. I spent the entire day with this tea and I do not regret it, especially since it gave me a little golden piece of summer.
Flavors: Lima Beans
I respect all the work that goes into preparing this beautiful tea! I love the luxuriously long leaves with their deep green color!!!!!!!!!
There is a light pea flavor and maybe potato and slight green bean flavor. It has a tiny hint of clover flower in the spring but an ever so tiny amount.
Thank you Teavivre for this gorgeous sample and will definitely be getting some of this tea in the future!!
Flavors: Green Beans, Peas, Potato
Enjoying a cup of this with my ultra late 2pm breakfast, consisting of steel cut oats with brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and coconut milk. I haven’t had this tea in like half a year, but it’s a nice refreshing oolong. The milky notes are on the light side, as I find that this oolong leans more towards floral. But it’s mild and soothing when you want to drink something to warm you up.
Continuing the Battle of the Milk Oolongs from yesterday, I’m going with this one today. The sample is courtesy of Angel, which I very muchly appreciate!
Compared to the Della Terra one I had yesterday, this one is on the floral side and not as buttery. Rather, it’s fresher and lighter. I know this sounds contradictory, but even though I always look for that luscious creaminess in a milk oolong—so the creamier/more buttery the better—overall, I prefer this one over previous milk oolongs because it’s fresher and lighter, and lacks that heavy butteriness. Maybe this is a sign that I simply prefer lighter floral oolongs over milk oolongs? Who knows.
Simply put, this is a dainty floralesque milk oolong. It’s beautiful, but like yesterday, I’ll reserve rating until I’ve tried all the milk oolongs sitting around. Thanks, Angel!
I am allowing myself to drink more of this one because I just ordered another sample pack with my Teavivre points (can’t afford a whole cake, much less have anywhere to store it! boo!) I also picked up some more jasmine peach pearls, and a sample of tangerine ripe puerh which is exciting!
I love the energy and wildness of this young sheng. Perfect pick me up for an EXTRA EARLY Monday morning. Not a big fan of daylight savings time, heh.
Thanks again to Angel and Teavivre for providing me with these samples for review!
I am still fairly new to puerh, and sheng/raw style in particular. I have only tasted a handful. Luckily they have all been very high quality GOOD teas. However, I already very much feel like I know what I personally am looking for in a raw puerh and this one delivers! It has SO much energy! It is sweet but also has a bright fruity TANGY zing that I just love. I would say this is a close 2nd to my very top favorite sheng of all time, the Mandala Wild Monk cake. If you are a fan of that, you may like this one very much. This one has less of a smokey taste for sure. Almost no smoke element in this tea.
I am going to savor the rest of my sample and put more of this on my shopping list ASAP! :)
I love the speckled color of the leaves. Beautiful Earth tones of cream, brown, moss, ash. Then after brewing, the leaves open up and present even more assorted color.
The liquor is a golden color with sweet Moscato wine scent & stewed fruits.
The flavor has malt, sorghum, cereal, touch of almond milk. There is no tannin or astringency and I like that about Oriental Beauty.
I have a beautiful purple Zisha Yixing for this tea that I am getting ready to season. I love it.
I love the legends about the Queen and the braggart farmer. I love the lower brew temperature. I love that the leaf hopper (tea jassid) gets to enjoy his breakfast and bite the leaves to add some of the particular flavors.
Everything about this tea is beauty and this one from Teavivre is very delicious!!
Had a cup this afternoon. Haven’t had Oriental Beauty in a while bc I burned myself out on it but I’m back!! The liquor is absolutely gorgeous, a pineapple golden yellow. It has flavors of pineapple and honey too. Flavors of cooked pear, stewed peaches,,this one is so balanced and flavorful!! Love it!!
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Pear, Pineapple, Stewed Fruits
One day I will be brave enough to steep this for a full five minutes. It’s light enough (probably because I steeped it at the recommended temp this time) that I think I could handle it. Anyway, it’s robust in flavor without hitting your palate like a falling piano. Good way to start the day!
I made this one to have with some gluten free scones this morning (which came out really tasty!). It seemed like it would be a good pairing , because the leaves of this tea are very dark in color, almost completely black, with just a few streaks of brown. Another thing I noticed, as I was scooping it, was that the leaves are very very skinny and brittle.
The dry leaf doesn’t smell like much, mostly just that toasted almond-y orange pekoe smell. The brew, however, smells quite good—I’m getting chocolate and honey and a little hay. I didn’t sweeten it at all, just had it straight and black (which is, as I understand, how you’re supposed to enjoy Chinese blacks?). I do have to say, though, that even though I know the Chinese call black tea “red,” this doesn’t really look red to me, lol. Oh well. Not criticizing, just observing. Anyway, it was rather a smooth cup going down, great for if I’m looking for something a little nondescript. Thank you, Angel, for the sample!
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey
Um.. wow. I don’t know why but for some reason I was scared to try this. I thought it would be like eating a bowl of salad or something, I guess I took ‘vegetal’ the wrong way. HOWEVER, this is amazing. I don’t really know how to describe the flavors but it’s delicate, smooth, and a little sweet. Guess this is going on the shopping list…