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Recent Tasting Notes
From my experience this summer, the light sweet grass dry scent and subdued cane sugar and fruity, malty notes in the dry leaves’ heated scent seemed promising for a great session. The first steep confirms my expectations. Strong gao shan flavor with a potent, lingering aftertaste and rear-mouth cooling in addition to what seems like a unique Dong Ding character, distinct from other high mountain Taiwan oolongs I have tasted previously.
Although it isn’t entirely impressive flavor-wise, the development was smooth and interesting. There was a nice “green” bite in the introduction of each sip with a tart finish felt on the roof of the mouth. Complexity was relatively straightforward, but the balance was excellent. The scent remaining in the empty cup was weak and nearly monotonous. However, the gaiwan lid’s scent was well-developed, if perhaps a bit too grassy.
I missed some it the deeper bass notes common in some gao shans in this tea, leaving the first few steeps to feel somewhat unbalanced. The lack of depth is odd considering this is another autumn harvest, yet, when the session lasts upwards of 7 steeps, I cannot complain.
I don’t know much about osmanthus, but I definitely know that I love the scent of it. This oolong’s aroma is an interesting mixture of sweet cream, floral, and gao shan character. The strength of the osmanthus mainly remains in the aromas, primarily adding mouthfeel and aftertaste when it comes to the liquor, which I appreciate. The Ali Shan leaves are nice and I am always happy when added flavors refrain from overpowering the natural components of the leaves.
So, as far as flavored teas go, this one is quite excellent. Great body, nice flavor profile with classic high mountain flavor and just enough added florals to round out the character. While the osmanthus is a little too potent in the wet leaf scent and the aroma trapped under the gaiwan lid, the balance in the liquor is just right. I am perhaps most pleased with this tea’s progression through steeps. Neither the osmanthus or the Ali Shan flavors “win out” at any point during the session, instead gradually rising and falling together. Many times with some jasmine green specimens, for example, it seems as though I am drinking two overlapping teas during one session, as the floral aspect is very strong in the beginning, while the actual tea’s characteristics take a few steeps to shine through. Not so with this tea.
My thanks go to Angel at Teavivre for including me in this tasting again! I always get so excited when I see I have a message from her.
It looks like this time it’s all oolong! Which is great, because I’ve been very impressed with everything I’ve tried by Teavivre in the past. As I open the sample packet, I get the sweet scent of flowers and spring. There’s also a gentle nuttiness. The leaves, to me, don’t look roasted at all. They’re dark green, rolled into little clusters. They must be only lightly roasted?
I followed the pack’s instructions and used boiling water. It says I can let it steep from anywhere between 1-5 minutes, so I went for dead-center at 2.5. I loved watching the little nuggets bounce in the in glass teapot as they unrolled. The water slowly changed from clear to a greenish yellow hue. The spent leaves look like a serving of spinach in my infuser, fully unfurled.
The scent is very different from the dry leaf! It smells like nutty bread, almost. Or cereal! Sort of like plain Cheerios, oddly enough. The flavor is delightfully satisfying and smooth. The hints of floral flavor are still there, but not in the forefront. I can certainly taste that this was roasted instead of dried more gently like other oolongs I’ve tried. I suppose the loss of the fruity/grassy/floral flavor comes with that kind of processing. Which makes it come out tasting warmer and heartier. I like it! It really makes me think about the subtleties of harvesting and preparing raw leaves.
4 pearls in a 200ml glass pot
I like short steeps when I’m drinking any Chinese tea. I tried longer steeps like 1min, but it doesn’t work for me. It becomes too bold, sometimes bitter, welcomes some unwanted flavors ( I don’t really like mineral taste). With short steeps I can notice some subtle changes, how flavors and smell progressed.
This tea is no exception to my rule. I tried longer steeps but didnt like it much.
rinse 10/15/20/30 to be cont
Starts kind of earthy but later on i got dark chocolate. Wet leaves smell of pure chocolate. Delicious. Some sugar or agave syrup would transform it into sort of dessert tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth
I’m surprised it wasn’t in my cupboard, I bought it last summer during Anniversary sale. I’m sure I got lots of unaccounted teas. Time to do inventory, my cupboard is exploding( nothing new). Today I decided to compare it with thepuritea Red Dragon Pearls( got few samples just before they went out of business). I always feel sad when small business companies close down.
Well, I had total of 5 steeps 1,2,3,4 and 5 min apart side by side. It’s cocoa, bready,sweet with some slight peppery notes at the end. The Teavivre was more flavorful and potent. By 3rd steep thePuritea exhausted itself and was watery.
I’m sure if I wouldn’t compare them and had only thepuritea on hand, I would like it a lot. But Teavivre is a winner
I must thank Teavivre for sending me this sample to try. It reminded me how rarely I actually make green tea for myself lately. Partially that has to do with the season (it’s -19C outside right now) but it also has to do with my tea collection. Green teas last so much less time in storage than oolong and puer that most of my drinking at home is within those two venerable categories. The result? I forget how important the proper water temperature is for a classic green like Dragon Well (Long Jing, Lóngjǐng, 龙井, or 龍井 — I love the traditional character for Dragon).
I played around a bit with the temperature to see if I could find the right balance. First, 75C for 45 seconds. The wet leaves have the aroma of dried figs and moss in the rain. The taste was of coriander and rosemary with a bit of osmanthus flower, quite pleasant. The texture is powdery a bit, drying the front of the tongue (I associate this with Lóngjǐng) and full bodied in the mouth. There’s a gentle sweetness in the aroma and the aftertaste.
For a second infusion I tried 60C water for 1 minute. The tea definitely had a lighter body from the decreased temp. I detected much more of the aroma in the taste this time: more grass and figs and less of the rosemary. My third try was 80C for 1 minute and I noticed that it was sweeter this time with some black cherry in the taste and less grass.
Read my full review here: http://someteawith.me/2014/01/03/premium-grade-dragon-well-from-teavivre/
Whoops! I got confused among the various superlatives and brewed up a pot of Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing, though I meant to brew up one which I had not already tried!
As always, very good. Seemed more chestnuty than usual today.
In today’s steep-off chez sherapop, I have confirmed the “superfine” quality of this Dragon Well Long Jing from Teavivre. The liquor is a pale green, the texture smooth and silken, and the flavor addictive!
I love it!
second infusion: just as good as the first infusion of other, lesser Long Jings…
third infusion: still flavorful and satisfying. I examined the spent leaves and discovered that there are very few twigs…
I made a large pot of this delicious Long Jing (= two cups followed by two cups, followed by two cups…). It’s still my favorite of the Long Jings I’ve tried so far. Also my inspiration to try more!
second infusion: same beautiful pale yellow color, same refreshing taste, same lilypad-like leaves floating at the surface, like a placid pond in springtime. (meanwhile, it’s subarctic freezing outside!)
Talk about delicious. Wow! The scent of this gorgeous tea sent to me directly from China by Teavivre is quite vegetal and reminiscent of something like green beans. The taste is superb. Light, crisp, and refreshing. Right up my alley, since I am a major sencha aficionado. One, I might add, with very limited experience with the fine teas of China and a pretty longstanding pro-Japan prejudice when it comes to green tea. Teavivre has arrived on the scene to rectify this situation posthaste!
I am using a small cast-iron pot and was meticulous about the water temperature and timing. At first I thought that I had under-brewed the tea, or perhaps had not used enough of the dry leaves, as the color was extremely pale green, and I worried that it would be weak. Not so: it’s excellent.
I love the flat shape of the dried leaves and how they blossom into large vibrant sheaths upon infusion.
The second infusion is just as good as the first.
Dry leaf has the scent of sweet and salty dry-roasted green peas which carries over into the wet leaf and brewed tea. Leaf is moss green and fluffy.
Brewed tea color is yellow. Taste is salty, vegetal and slightly nutty. Extremely tasty and flavorful, although it isn’t my favorite.
Not a huge fan. Compared to the Li Shan Oolong I’ve been drinking, this just doesn’t hold up in my opinion. I used a whole 7 gram sample in my 5oz Finum. Found it ultimately unremarkable. Pale color. Pale on flavor. Maybe I’m missing something here? I won’t be coming back to this one. Making this note so I’m more dialed into what I don’t like, rather than what I do.
Steep times started at about 1 min, thereafter increasing the time by roughly 1/2 − 1, 1 1/2, 2 1/4, 3 3/8, etc).
I’m a fan. One of my favorite oolongs. I don’t have much to say in regards to a description. I just shut down my critical mind I was so taken by this tea.
I’m almost exclusively a green tea guy. But this fall and winter I’ve found myself losing the taste a bit and longing for something different. I enjoy oolongs every now and then, along with some black teas and pu-erh, but I was looking for a departure, without going too far from green.
This tea gives me much of what I enjoy about greens while bringing a more overt profile. It has a complexity and some light spice notes along with floral qualities that don’t overwhelm. The liquor has a lovely, golden hue and the substantial, almost meaty leaves steep for many a forgiving infusion (starting at about 1 min, thereafter increasing the time by roughly 1/2 − 1, 1 1/2, 2 1/4, 3 3/8, etc). The mouthfeel is viscous and yet light; strangely paradoxical.
OK… maybe I had a thing of two to say. Maybe I’ll have more to say… I’m off to Teavivre to stock up before this find is a thing of the past.
Tea brewed in my double wall glass Finum. Nice balanced stimulating effect. Not sure of the theanine content of this guy, but I’m guessing the mouthfeel is a result of amino acids. Hoping that includes theanine. It feels like it to me.
It’s been a cold few days. Pups are very clingy heat leeches lately. :)
THere’s nothing like a hot cup of tea on a cold day. It just warms you from the belly out.
This is a particularly nice green. The first impression is of a savory green. Like toasted soy beans. But there’s also a nice surprising sweet floral finish. I had two pieces of mint chocolate with this tea. very nice combo. :D
Happy New Year!
Second keemun of the day, comparing to the keemun grade 1 I just tried. The leaves of this premium keemun were a bit smaller than the grade 1 but they appeared to all be the same shape and size.
The smell of the brewed tea is slightly smokey but also a lot more of a sweet smell. The tea tastes very smooth and clean, no astringency. There is a slight bitter smoke taste, but it is a good taste. There is a sweet, red fruit taste, maybe a bit of currant. There is not much earthy taste like I had with the grade 1. There is a bit of a metallic aftertaste that lingers, it tingles on my tongue.
I referred to the grade 1 as a gulping tea, and this one is more of the sipping tea.