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Recent Tasting Notes


Sad sample sipdown! This was one of my faves from Teavivre so far. It is especially nice in this weather, since it is so malty and rich and comforting. Definitely going on my “re-order some day when my stash can handle more tea” list!


Ahhh, this one is soooo good! I ran out recently and will definitely reorder, love how big those pearls are!


I didn’t realize how much they would expand the first time I tried em. WAY overleafed, lol!


I know, right? They grow these super long tentacles, like giant spider legs, haha!

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Haaaa, I guess I should have read everyone else’s reviews before I attempted to brew this! I used all 8 balls that were in my sample pack, brewed at 204 like the package said…luckily I only steeped for a couple of minutes ;)

I will definitely get several resteeps today, heh.

This is very nice! Reminds me of Mandala Special Dark without the puerh taste. Very rich and dark and malty! This is definitely one I will restock some day :D


Haha intense!


Yay! because I love this tea and just ordered the Special Dark, so I am pretty sure I will love love that one, too!


love these pearls!


Ah! Those leaves must have filled your infuser!


I had FIVE steeps and one to throw in the fridge, lol :)

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This tea is kind of hard to describe, but really good. I’m getting nutty, vegetal, seaweed-like flavors (but in a pleasant, unharsh way). Some other people say it reminded them of miso soup, which I guess I can sort of see in that it has a nice thick, broth-like mouthfeel, but the taste doesn’t make me think of that.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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Free sample with the purchase. Thanks Angel.
No jasmine flavor for me but knowing this from other reviews i mixed some Harney’s jasmine pearls I had. very nice delicate result. i want to try cold steep

Edit: i think i prefer it cold steeped. peach is very pronounced and very juicy. i gave it to my daughter to try and she said its also kind of minty and have cooling sensation. i think it will be great summer iced tea

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Mustn’t forget the queue! I’m not very good at not forgetting the queue, am I?

Last time I placed an order with Teavivre, I got this as a sample. I actually have a couple of samples here from them that I haven’t tried yet, including a dragon pearl one that I was rather looking forward to at the time when I placed the order. Unfortunately the first time I tried it was about an hour or so before it became very clear to me indeed that I had acquired some sort of food poisoning. I remember it tasting lovely, but it is now linked with illness in a way that makes me unable to really face dragon pearl yet. It’ll come eventually, just… not right now. (Once after having had a food poisoning it took me almost half a year before I could eat beans again)

At least I can do the other samples now. I’ve been sort of avoiding them, because I didn’t really want to have anything to do with the dragon pearl one. I didn’t even want to look at it. I know logically that the tea could not have caused the food poisoning (I’m fairly certain that was some mayonnaise), but it was still the last thing I had before it really started, so… Sometimes the mind is just not very logical at all.


You did not come hear to read about an illness I had months ago. As I said, I got this one as a sample with my order, and I was a little in doubt about it at first. Yunnans can generally swing both ways for me. Sometimes it’s awesome, other times it just tastes like a cup full of wet hay. Sometimes the same batch of a tea can give both these result even in identical brewings. I have, however, found much more luck with dian hong than I have with the golden ones, so eventually I decided to chance it and give it a go. It’s just a sample anyway, so no harm done if it turns out to be another round of straw.

It smells a bit straw-like, but it’s not the dominant note. I can’t really pick up much in the way of pepper which is another thing I associate with Yunnan, but that’s mostly in the golden types. I’m also getting a bit of cocoa and something vaguely fruity. Berry-y. Generic fruit, really.

It does have a fairly characteristic Yunnan flavour, with the straw note, but again it’s not the dominant note. There’s also a fairly grainy note with a faint hint of dark cocoa to it, but the generic fruit-note remains only in the aroma.

It’s quite nice this, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to acquire more of it. I might get some if I were shopping anyway, but it would be unlikely to be the cause of an order.

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I FIXED IT! I combined 2/3 these pearls, with 1/3 straight jasmine pearls. PERFECT! Just enough peach and just enough jasmine. Now that I know how delicious these can be I would definitely consider reordering :)


I love these pearls!


Great idea Stephanie! I get the peach also, but jasmine is totally absent in this tea for me…will try with teavivre jasmine green, ran out of the pearls.


Uh oh… jasmine and peach… that’s a lovely marriage I never thought of before… I think I can already taste it in my mind and I like it!


Sounds like a good combo. Might have to get some!


What a great idea! In fact, we never try to combine the two teas, and i can’t wait to try it now.


i do the same. not enough jasmine for me either

Terri HarpLady

I love experiments! These little peach pearls are lovely too.

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Very tasty peach tea…but where is the jasmine???

I’ll have to try next time at home where I can more accurately control the temperature and such rather than here at work. Also I might try mixing a few of these pearls with some actual jasmine pearls to try to get the jasmine/peach ratio more what I was expecting.

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This came my way before we realized that the reason my allergies were going insane was that I am allergic to apple. As such, I do want to still be able to try a sip, but we’re going to be relying a little bit more on my husband’s tastebuds for this one!

The dry blend is very, very chunky and looks like it’s nearly entirely dried fruit. In appearance it is very similar to the other Teavivre fruit tisanes we’ve sampled.

Teaware: 16oz travel mug
Measured dry: Contents of sample, approx. 3-1/2tsp
Temperature: 212º F
Steeping Time: 8min
Additives 4tsp raw sugar

My little sip is yielding a very rich, juicy hot drink. The rosehips and apple are the most prominent, with the pineapple and orange in more of a supporting and layering role.

Jake’s take on this is that it reminds him an awful lot of sugar plums. He says the elements are blending together in such a way that they create a new flavor experience, something very different from what they would taste like on their own.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Oh, hello rich earthy cup!
This has been a very long day.
First I had to go by Metro High to pick up a harp that I had placed there a few years ago for a student that was attending there. He graduated in spring, & I’ll need that Harp!
Then I went to Carr Lane, the school I’m teaching at, & got to work about 9am.
I had to move 9 harps from the far wing of the building, where they have been stored in a closet, but first I had to move a bunch of junk out of the closet, because they were in the very back. I use a dolly, & I should have turned on my pedometer, cuz I’m pretty sure I walked at least a couple of miles today!
Once the harps were moved, I had to clear all the junk out of my classroom. The previous teacher had that room for years, & she retired & left tons of stuff in there. I moved it all into the empty classroom next door, which is where everyone is putting stuff they don’t want.
That took hours, & more walking. Now I have an empty closet, lots of open shelf spaces, my harps are lining the walls, & although there’s still a ton of stuff to do, I should be good to go for the first day of classes, & I can do the other things (like spray & wipe the entire room with Ms Meyers clean day – Lemon Verbena, empty the desk drawers that are full of junk, redo the bulletin boards, etc) a little at a time.

I’m on the 2nd steep of this tea. I came home, had the first steep while I taught a student, had a rehearsal with my flute player for 2 hours, drank this 2nd cup, & I’m done for the day.
Teas I brought to school with me:
The Black Lotus
Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha
I was there for 7 hours. That wasn’t enough tea!


You should try cold steeping it. I’ve never had Teavivre’s but the Hao Ya from my local shop is super minty and refreshing when cold steeped.

Terri HarpLady

Hmmm….I might have to give that a try. Thanks!

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I’ve been suffering steepster withdrawals for the last couple of days. So many teas drank & not reviewed…sigh…So I am grateful to the Steepster Gods Who Walk Among Us for getting things back on track. I’m not gonna even try to backtrack & log all the teas I drank this week so far, but I will comment on a few of them in a little while.

For now, I’m enjoying a cup of this one with breakfast (yes, I know it’s almost noon here, & 1:00 on the east coast, but that’s just the way we roll here at Terri’s Airy Fairie World).
Anyway, this is a deliciously awesome Keemun, in my opinion. Bold enough to stand up to brunch, lightly smokey & earthy & leathery & sweet like caramelized brown sugar. There’s alot of depth to this cup, & I find this one to be much more interesting than so many of the other Keemuns out there. Kind of masculine & bassy. I’m picturing an ensemble of upright bass & cello, bass clarinet, bassoon, & the low end of a marimba.


I close my eyes and I can hear that Keemun fanfare of yours :-)

Terri HarpLady

I really need to start composing pieces for these ensemble…

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This is exactly what I need this morning!
2tsp + 8oz (194 more or less) X 2 min yielded a deep & perfect brew, rich with earthiness in such a wonderful way that I really just want to keep drinking it.
A resteep at 3 minutes yielded a pleasant & very drinkable cup, though it was a mere shadow of it’s former self.
Out to the garden…so much to do!

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I drank this earlier this afternoon, before I left to play an outdoor wedding on the 8th floor patio of a hotel here in St. Louis (photos on my FB https://www.facebook.com/terri.langerak).
It was cold up there, & windy too.


Brr! My ears and the end of my nose are cold just looking at the picture!

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My student that enjoys smokey teas came for his lesson this afternoon, & I made some of this one. It’s not really all that smokey, especially compared to teas like Lapsang, but it has a hint of smoke to it.

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I guess my Keemun ‘trials’ are beginning.
I drank the ‘Superfine fragrant’ yesterday, & I’m drinking this one today. I’d still say that this one is more masculine, more bassy, more smokey. It’s funny, but I do have trouble explaining the difference between teas sometimes.

Looking at the leaf, the ‘super fragrant’ is more tippy, & slightly bigger sized. As for this cup, I’m enjoying it’s light smoke, notes of brown sugar, slightly floral, pine mulch, red grape awesomeness. Oh…& a dark chocolate lingering after – feel.

I need breakfast!


I really enjoy this Keemun. I’ve already brewed & sipped 1,500 grams to date. It’s my daily breakfast tea.


Sounds nice, and you always give such such descriptions, Terri!


I like Teavivre’s Keemun teas, so a trial would be great fun! :) Hope you enjoy it.


That should read: such nice descriptions (not such such). :-)


To me this one is definitely more on the smokey side…I always love when you use bassy, I can’t explain it, but I understand it :-)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! I like the smokey aspect of this one, but it’s only barely smokey compared to most of the other teas that I consider smokey, lol, like lapsang.

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I’ve been composing a piece for tomorrow’s Winter Solstice gig at the Unitarian church, where we’re doing Ceremony of Carols, plus my original song, “Midwinter’s Canon”, from my xmasy CD of the same title, & this original piece, which I haven’t named yet, LOL. For the musicians in the room, it’s new agey, improvising over a framework, a little wierd, haha, starts in C minor, eventually ending in C Major, the theme being light emerging from the darkness. A little cliche, I know, but I’m known around here for my improvisations, & they asked me to create something special, so that’s what I’ve been working on.

And now I’m taking a break with this Keemun, which is tasty! I think I mentioned last time I drank this that it is a more manly Keemun than the Organic Premium Superfine. I think I love them both!
Now back to work…


Solstice—the best part about it is that the days start getting longer! More sunlight, please!

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This is one of the teas that I got in my recent Teavivre order, & I’m glad I did! I love their superfine org keemun, & I wanted to get some of this one, as well as samples of the Keemun Grades 1 & 2, so that I can eventually compare them all.

This one is robust, & I’d even go as far as to say it’s manly, in that the flavor is bold, thick, & husky! I like it! There’s a musky kind of grapiness to it, & a deep forest floor earthiness. I think I might love it. There is also some smoke, but not SO much, just some. It’s a beautifully balanced cup that is much more assertive than the superfine organic keemun, but also not as sweet. I’d say that this one is the yang to the other one’s yin, if you know what I mean.
He’s a rugged, nicely bearded, good looking, outdoors kind of guy, who likes to fire up his smoker.

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This tea has a nice dark brown color with a woodsy aroma. This tea has that earthy, woodsy flavor that you usually get with Pu-erh teas with a nice lightness at the end and a tinge of sweet to finish. The flavor is enjoyable and not overpowering with a pleasant aftertaste.

205 °F / 96 °C

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I’m drinking this with milk and maple syrup.

Yep, that’s right. Milk AND maple syrup.

I made it after work (I didn’t get home till 8pm, boo!) because I wanted to go out dancing, but I’ve been having problems with my neck and shoulder all day and it flared up pretty bad so I ended up staying home. Sadness. But I already had the tea made, so I’ve been drinking it. And I like it quite a bit, but not more than other teas I have in my cupboard. I think the “Premium” keemun is better. At least, for my tastes. But I haven’t opened that one yet because I have So Much Tea so you won’t get a comparison from me.

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With a little maple.

Yum. So delicious. I do prefer the premium, but I don’t remember why. Soon I’ll have tin-space to open that packet. Soon. ;)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Oh, this is delicious. I wanted a black tea with maple this morning, to go with my frozen berries and maple whipped cream.

This tea is just perfect for this application.

It is sweet and slightly smokey. In some ways it reminds me of Butiki’s PTA. Probably due to the maltiness (or what I’m interpreting as malt!) and the natural sweetness of the leaves. The touch of smoke makes Keemun teas go extremely well with maple. There is no astringency or bitterness. I steeped western style, but I think I could extend the 3 minutes I usually steep to 4 or even 5 minutes with just a richer flavour.

I purchased 100g of the premium keemun, and I don’t regret that at all. The price point makes it more of an everyday tea, and the flavours are not strikingly different. IIRC the premium is slightly less sweet, and slightly stronger.

Highly recommend this one. Even just picking up a sample with another order. Don’t be scared of the “smokey” comment above. It’s not a smoked tea, the flavour is extremely delicate.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

sooo good with maple


I know! The resteep was excellent too. :)

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This tea is rather wasted on me today. I can’t tell if it’s a gluten reaction (makes sense, I had a migraine yesterday and ate a GF sandwich while I was out on Sunday), but I’m having problems with food. Even food flavoured things. :( (I’m sorry Amoda Butiki box. I can’t drink you today.)

Anyways. This tea is really lovely. I bought 100g of the premium, so I’ll have to compare it to this sample. It’s sweet and rich, almost starchy, and is SO good with a little maple syrup. I only used about 1/2 tsp because of my tummy troubles, but it elevates the tea just that little bit.

I don’t really get smokey from this Keemun. I do get a bit of roasted smell, like the sweet richness you get from roasted sweet potatoes and onions that have a little char on them. So delicious.

I used 2 tsp in 16oz.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I hope you feel better soon. :(


Me too. Still haven’t managed to eat, although I’m starting to get hungry. I want roasted yams and squash please, without having to make it. :)


Sorry to hear that, hope you feel better now.


I am feeling better, thanks. :) Hopefully I’ll be able to try this tea properly tomorrow!

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drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
2217 tasting notes

Cold brewed overnight. I only had one packet, but used it to make 1L of iced tea. It was mostly tart hibiscus with a hint of blueberry this morning. Good, but not delicious. I think I’ll stick with Juicy Blueberry from Zen Tea as my blueberry herbal tea. Oh, or the Blueberry Rooibos from SOKO.


7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
2217 tasting notes

HOLY MOLY. I received my Teavivre Black Friday order today. Some of my Canadian orders haven’t even shipped yet. This is amazing.

Of course, the first thing I broke into was this blueberry tea. Just opening the package, it smells so good. It’s just dried fruits, and they are intense.

I used one package (about 3 tsp) in 16oz hot water. This dilution actually works well for me.

The roselle concerned me a bit. I’m not a huge fan of hibiscus, although it does work for me in some blends. Here? It’s amazing. The tea brews up and looks like wine. The flavour is hibiscus-y, but also of blueberries, currants and grapes. It’s pretty good with no sweeteners in it, but after adding a bit of honey, it shines. Sweet-tart blueberry juice tea.

I need to get more of this!

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample tea!

The Snow Queen has stretched her Wintry White Robe across most of North America.

Most of us Steepsterites hunker down with copious amounts of tea, hoping to melt the chill from her icy fingers. Burr!

I’ve been drinking Chai, Black Tea and Puerh by the buckets-full! My own additions of cinnamon or ginger to the Puerh warm me head to toe in no time.

Now and then, a reminder of Spring gladdens my heart, and it’s tea that’s able to take me to that golden, glowing place in no time.

While I prefer dark, roasty Oolongs that are cinder-fired and tightly rolled…I love those rare, buttery, floral/savory Oolongs that remind me of the awakening Earth in Spring.

Li Shan is such an Oolong.

Buttery and thickening as it cools, sweet, slightly floral and savory.

I’m not very fond of light Oolongs, but this is perfectly delicious. Not too light and or strong but just right with an aroma sweet enough to make you hunger for vanilla cake.

Winter may be upon us now, but we can remember warm, golden-hued Spring now, thanks to such a tea as this one.

Beethoven’s 6th Symphony http://youtu.be/34dU9RSWf28


Tea and music that bring spring to mind…lovely review and lovely symphony…
But spring never seemed so far away, I just took the dog out and I almost lost my house! It disappeared in the snow storm and I was only a few feet away, lol!
Remember that picture I posted a few weeks ago? Just imagine now!!! We are 100% sure to have a white x-mas :-)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the music, Bonnie! It’s been awhile since I listened to this one!


We only had about 4 inches last week but the temperature has been freezing cold! It looks like daytime will get warmer the rest of the week as high as 41F. Sunny and dry mountain weather! I wouldn’t mind an inch or two of snow on Christmas day because my son Aaron is coming out from California. I’m pretty sure you get worse snows than I do. Drink lot’s of tea!!!


I cannot agree with you more that drinking lot’s of tea is in heaven when cold season comes. This will definitely warm our heart this cold season.


From your description of the oolongs you like, I suggest Tender Branch from Five Mountain Tea. Its darker but very artisan, nice almost roasted coconut flavor.

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