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Recent Tasting Notes
Second tasting of the day is the Chrysanthemum Mini Toucha Pu’erh from Teavivre. I tried one of the other pu’erh’s from this sample pack the other day, and it was lovely, so I had high hopes for this.
I started this tea like the other with 2 quick rinses. I then did a 5-8 second steep for the first real steep and got a light clear brown liquor. It was absolutely heavenly, caramel, floral, smoke and sweet and just mixing wonderfully with none of the off aromas of some ripes. This tea was well rested and ready to drink. The second infusion was a little better, and I did that one for like 4 seconds, just water in , leave it for a 3 count and then out, and it was slightly darker than the first.
The third and fourth infusions, I poured the water in and out as fast as I could, and I got a dark almost coffee colored liquor that was quite strong. This one was a little too intense for my tastes, but I expected this as this is fairly normal in compressed ripes, as the leaves open up and suddenly burst out with flavor and aroma.
The fifth infusion was slightly stronger to the second and was by far the best.. strong, but not overly so, lovely aroma and taste. Slightly sweet aftertaste at this point as well.
I havent gotten past this but I expect a slow release and even with increasing steep time, to get slightly less and less potent, but I expect to get at least 8-10 infusions , probably more if Im in the mood for a less intense tea later in the day.
I highly recommend this one for value and taste.
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Oak wood, Smoke, Sweet
First tasting of today is Ripened cube mini brick 2006 by teavivre and again they impress me. Using a 110 ml gaiwan I brewed this at just under boiling, probably 208. Doing 2 rinses because the brick was having trouble opening up, the first infusion produced a nice clear reddish liquor, that smelled faintly of smoke, caramel and wood. There was no hint of the fermentation smell that can sometimes happen with ripe, just smoke, wood and caramel which is wonderful in the morning.
The second steeping was very similar, after that it got much darker and produced a dark red going into black liquor, and the smoke and caramel went up a few notches,still pleasant but a tad strong. After that it mellowed slightly, and this was with flash infusing it too, pouring the water in and right out. And its got a nice little caffeine kick as well, Im awake now.
My recommendations for this are your best brews are going to be the ones around fourth or fifth where its opened up and either just before or just after the big dark infusion. And the price is very reasonable on this too, as you will get A LOT of infusions from this, and you get 4 bags of different mini cakes and about 200 total grams of tea.
Highly recommended, for the price you cant beat this.
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Oak wood, Smoke
Sipdown! Thanks to Teavivre for the sample. My notes on this tea are chaotically scribbled all over the package but I’ll do my best to organize them into something coherent. I got 7 gong fu steeps out of this leaf. I used 180-185f temp for all of them, starting with a 20-second steep and ending with a 50-second steep. I overdid the third steep at about 60 seconds and it came out undrinkably bitter. Other than that, the flavor profile ranged from brothy seaweed to sweet water chestnut. Not bad!
This tasting is Jasmine silver needle by teavivre. I was really anxious to do a tasting of this after getting the sampler pack. Ive always loved jasmine tea, and it goes so well with the light sweet vegetal taste of silver needle. Doing a very quick brew at about 20-30 seconds with 175 degree water, I got an almost clear liquor, very similar to the regular white needle.
The first thing that I get is a nice mellow jasmine aroma and flavor, then a light sweetness and just a touch of vegetal flavors. Its so sweet and mellow without overstating it, I just adore jasmine silver needles, this is going down as one of my favorite tea’s. The silver needles are a beautiful silver color, that turns a lovely shade of green.
I highly recommend this tea if you enjoy jasmine aroma and flavor, its intense enough without being overpowering.
Flavors: Jasmine, Sweet, Vegetal
I bought samples of this with my last order. A few grams goes a long way with this one. So many leaves in the sample pouch! The scent is very strong, it almost blew me away with the mintiness right from the pouch! The leaves of mint aren’t too broken apart, which is a good thing, as it is already very strong. I figure the same rule applies to mint that applies to small leafed tea: stronger flavor. On Teavivre’s site they suggest 10 TABLEspoons of leaves for a teapot, which seems a little impossible. Even 10 teaspoons would be a lot. I went with 1/3 of a sample pouch of leaves for a mug which ended up being many teaspoons anyway. The taste is so complex, so many layers which is odd because it is simply leaves of peppermint! There is an earthiness, but also obviously a mint flavor, but then there must be a large amount of peppermint oil that lingers in my mouth as it is still very strong after drinking. I probably could have waited a few more minutes after boiling to steep, but the result is fine as is. Basically this was everything I was hoping from a mint leaf. Absolutely perfect herbal and I can definitely mix this with other teas! This could certainly be a mint herbal I’d stock up on, especially for my headaches. I should have went for a second steep with these leaves.
Steep #1 // 1/3 of a sample pouch for a full mug// few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Finished this one Gong Fu last week as part of my weekly Gong Fu session resolution that is still on going; I’m very pleased that I’ve been able to maintain the ‘1/week’ goal I set but I’d like to increase that to two a week eventually. Working towards that…
These are my notes from the session (stream of consciousness style):
5 Sec rinse, though it appeared to do nothing so I followed up with another 5 Sec rinse which did start to open up the bloom…
- Very light
- Has a super delicate peachyness to it
- Sweet peach & floral jasmine
- Some hay and a finish that tastes like nectarines
- Still light but not nearly as much as the first sip
- Bolder though still medium bodied, at most
- Strong floral front notes of jasmine and lily
- Peach/nectarine finish and supporting notes
- A little vegetal
- The same but more vegetal/jasmine
- Picking up something new in the finish but not sure what flavour it is
- Mostly nectarines and jasmine at this point
- Still getting that odd, new note; and I greatly dislike the taste of it
- A little sour in the top notes but otherwise the same
- Whatever the new note I dislike is, it’s only getting stronger
- And so even though there’s still life in the leaf I’m ending the session here
Also, I took a picture or two of the tea (before and during session):
This was originally meant to be a food pairing, hence the
veggie hotdog. However I actually ended up finishing the hot dog before my water had boiled for the tea and so the pairing never really ended up happening. It was a good hot dog, though. You can kind of see the bloom in the second picture though; it was really pretty even if I didn’t end up loving the tea.
My second tasting of the day is Lu Shan Yun Wu green tea, also known as clouds and mists, and this is awesome. The leaves are tiny, deep green and blossom when put into the water. The first aroma that hit me was an intense buttery vegetal scent that made me not even want to wait for the steep.
A 30 second steep at 175 produced a clear light yellow green liquor that has a wonderful mouthfeel and a full strong buttery vegetal aroma and taste with a hint of asparagus. It also had slight sweet, astringent and bitter flavors as well, but none of them are overpowering.
The second infusion also at 30 seconds was a bit more intense in both sweetness and astringency, Im guessing the leaves needed to open up a bit more, as I found the second infusion more pleasing, but dont get me wrong the first was good as well.
I highly recommend this tea for people who have struggled with bitter greens as the bitterness and astringency are there, but are mild enough for even the most bitter adverse person.
Flavors: Asparagus, Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Sweet, Vegetal
First tasting of today is silver needle from teavivre. I got this as part of their white tea sample pack and decided to start with the basic silver needle before moving to the scented or high quality one. I started by examining the needles and they look excellent, very few broken ones and a nice silver color. Steeping this at 175 for about 45 seconds I got a very pale white yellow color liquor. My first tasting I was a little surprised, I was having trouble picking out the flavors. This is my first experience with unflavored silver needle, and was a bit taken aback by how subtle it is.
My second steeping produced a slightly less pale white yellow liquor and a slightly stronger aroma and taste. It took a few sips but I finally got the flavor, white bread and rice, with just a tiny hint of sweetness. It also has a very pleasant mouth feel and now I understand why this type of tea is so often blended or scented, its incredibly pleasant, but the flavors and aroma’s are very very subtle.
I do recomend this tea, and since I have a second package for another steeping next week, and I want to see how it tastes on the second attempt, because I have the feeling there is more flavors here that Im missing.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Rice, Sweet
Today’s tasting is Tai Ping Hou Kui from Teavivre, and no im not going to try to actually say that. These leaves are large green and luscious, and produce a very pale yellow liquor. There is a sweet grassy flavor and scent with a hint of butter, there is also a general vegetal flavor to it, and surprisingly a very mild astringency and bitterness, but it works for the tea, not against it.
The first infusion had a mild taste and the second was slightly more intense. Im incredibly impressed with my first sampling from Teavivre, and look forward to trying the rest of this order.
I highly recommend this tea!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Grass, Vegetal
Received some of this from Steph in a tea swap and decided to bring it to work this morning, along with the sticky rice one for rhinkle, who is a fan of puerh blends with pandan.
I didn’t really know what to expect, as I’m not really familiar with crysanthemum (I have a crysanthemum pu cake, but haven’t tried it at all yet). The aroma was an interesting one that reminded me of the dried goods/tea aisle of the asian market I most often frequent. Now that I think about it, it also smells like one of my containers at home that has a bunch of dried ingredients stored in it, including dried lilies. The other one smelled just as expected…like pandan!
It was tough waiting like 10 minutes for this to steep, but once it was ready it was super dark. The taste was kind of like a light coffee up front, with that rich, earthy shou taste and smoothness rounding out each sip. I am not really sure if the chrysanthemum flavor came through much since I’m not sure what it is supposed to taste like, but it didn’t take away from the pu at all in my opinion.
Thanks again for sending this Steph! I can see something like this being a good option for situations where having a good tea setup won’t be an option, or for easy drinking in a mug any time!
Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Smooth
Dry leaf has an amazing charcoal aroma mixed with a savoury green oolong scent.
The brewed tea has the creamy, sweet, and floral aroma of the oolong at the forefront which is surrounded by an aura of the toasted charcoal.
The flavour of the tea is a great mix of the notes from the aroma which blends together wonderfully. I like the smokiness to curb the sweetness of the oolong but all the flavours seem to be equally present. There is a lovely oolong grapefruit flavour that lingers in the aftertaste. Thin to medium mouthfeel.
Flavors: Char, Floral, Grapefruit, Smoke, Sweet
GCTTB Round 6 tea
This is a lovely white tea (mellow, just the right around of tannins, and gives a much fresher flavour than black jasmine teas in my opinion).
The base is mellow but flavourful. The jasmine is quite aromatic, such that you can’t make out the individual notes in the white tea very well. That’s ok, though, because I sipped this hot and cold, and I enjoyed both very much.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Sweet
Had this sample from Teavivre from awhile back and just found it and decided to make it the other day.
Reached a conclusion – I love jasmine tea!! Can’t say I’ve had many others to compare it to, but I’ve added this one to my wish list. It’s smooth and not overpowering at all. I found it very relaxing to drink.
Evidently I’m a floral tea lover! Jasmine, rose…. Just need to revisit a violet tea!
I got this as a sample. It was just an okay silver needle. I was ruined by a silver needle tea I had from Grace Tea Company, and from looking at my other reviews, I have yet to find one to match.
This one doesn’t, either. The jasmine isn’t overpowering, and at a good balance. It fills the void for the need I want something light and mellow.
I hate saying this, but the first time I had a similar tea was in Teavana. I am proud to say I have never actually bought one ounce of their tea. I am still so VERY ANGRY over them taking away and buying SpecialTeas. I will always hold a grudge against them…ok, rant over.
This tea fits the bill, and I tend to recommend and sway those away from buying it from Teavana. It’s just a lovely Tie Guan Yin oolong. Gives me a lot of extra brews, lovely spring flower flavor, sauteed greens flavor. It’s been my go to for study breaks.
Jasmine dragon ball black tea. By Teavivre.
Ru Yao dragon teapot. Gongfucha.
Dry leaf: no smell.
Wet leaf: spices, pepper, floral (?).
forgot to take photo
1x medium rinse.
Light steep; I taste/smell: (smell) nothing. (Taste) slight
-> spices (?), pepper.
Medium steep; I taste/smell: (smell) slight pepper (?), spices (?), roasted.
(Taste) slight earth. light
-> spicy, spices, pepper.
Heavy steep; I taste/smell: (smell) light
-> pepper, spices, nutty.
(Taste) slight spicy. strong
-> pepper, spices, nutty, earth, floral, jasmine.
All in all; what an adventure! Lovely taste/aroma and cha qi. I rate a 95 since I’m not much for black teas.
where to buy: http://www.teavivre.com/jasmine-dragon-ball-black-tea/
Flavors: Earth, Floral, Jasmine, Nutty, Pepper, Roasted, Spices, Spicy
Omigoodness, yes! This one is just smoky enough without the harshness of char. I steeped this in my Libre travel mug. I went light on the dry leaf and long on the steeping and it was perfect. Just the right amount of body and smokiness. Smooth, smooth, smooth. A very enjoyable cup and I am aiming to have another very soon.
Thank you, Angel, for this sample. This is likely one that I would include in my next order.
Flavors: Smoke, Wood
My Teavivre order arrived yesterday!!!
That means that for the first time in a long time I actually don’t have any tea related mail things en route which is kind of weird? It also really makes me want to place an order, but I’m trying really hard to leave that itch alone.
Since this tea was the whole reason I placed this order in the first place it had to be the first thing that I tried. I’m just in love with the sticky rice scented green oolong that I own, but I’ve heard so many people say that this is better so I desperately needed to try it out. Now that I have tried it I don’t know that I’d say it’s ‘better’ necessarily but it is 100% equal to, in my opinion.
The rice aroma/flavour is VERY strong and clearly defined: it’s glutinous and conveys that somewhat sweeter and more distinct taste of “sticky rice” over general white rice in a phenomenally accurate and pleasant way. Really, to me, it tastes exactly like the sticky rice flavour/scent in the green oolong version that I adore so much. The key difference just comes down to the base. Because this is a pu’erh tea, it’s obviously very earthy and I think that note compliments the rice really well. It’s also a thicker, and heavier brew while the green oolong is more light bodied comparatively, and has floral notes which this does not. Underneath all the rice goodness I also tasted wet wood, and a light roastiness.
I also did a food/dessert pairing for the second half of the mug because I was hungry; I whipped up a quick chocolate mug cake soaked in a 50/50 coconut milk and Rumchata mixture. I picked rumchata because, firstly, it’s alcoholic but also because I figured since it’s rice based there would be a nice tie in flavour while still having differentiating sweet notes. And I was correct, this paired REALLY well. The vanilla and chocolate from the
booze and cake respectively worked with the more robust, full bodied earthy Pu’erh because they were equal to each other in richness but the cinnamon, coconut and rice of the milk/Rumchata mixture really tied together well with the rice notes in the tea.
It was excellent, and very indulgent, overall!
EDIT: I forgot to add that I really like that each tea bag comes individually sealed in one of Teavivre’s “sample” styled bags instead of just a generic package or loose in the big bulk bag they come in. That makes a HUGE difference to me because it still has all of the detailed information about the tea instead of just a pretty logo or the name.