734 Tasting Notes

95
drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
734 tasting notes

I tried this last night, but ended up going out before I could write a review. So I’m having another cup first thing in the morning afternoon. And laughing a little because out of the corner of my eye, I keep reading it as “Ballin’ Gongfu”. Haha.

I read what other have said about this tea and upon smelling the dark, smaller leaves, I definitely agree with people mentioning cocoa. Cocoa is the strongest flavor I taste, along with a sort of light nuttiness that’s mostly in the scent. My brother said something about it reminded him of coffee, since it’s so strong and bold. I think he was onto something. I definitely feel more alert after drinking it.

Anyway, this is a hearty, delicious tea that I could see myself drinking instead of coffee some mornings. I kinda regret not tasting it before I placed my order last night. When I make my next one, I’m going to get some of this as well. It’s delightful.

I also wanted to mention that I love the little red individual pouches it comes in. That’s a nice touch.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

Almost all the samples I received came in “sample sized” pouches (a few came in slightly larger pouches with all four sample quantities in that one pouch) inside the larger foil bags. I was re-assured that this is only done for the samples that they send out and that if you buy 50 grams worth of tea, the don’t send you 50 individually packaged grams of tea — which would waste a lot of packaging.

But it is a nice touch for the samples, for sure.

Tabby

Hah, I thought about that. I imagined ordering the 100g and getting a huge bag full of tiny packets. I’m glad they don’t do that.

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97

Made another pot to share with my brother. We tried Teavivre’s Bai Lin Gong Fu and he didn’t like it, so I made this again. (Personally, I thought it was great and will write about it later.)

I also mentioned liking it on Facebook, to which my Dad replied that he wanted me to bring some along when I visit on Thanksgiving. But I only have one cup left!

So I broke down and bought the 100g bag. And I’m excited about drinking it all winter.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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97

The pot I made and shared last night left me wanting more, so after running my errands, I immediately came home and made another cup. It has a sort of apricot flavor to it, but only slightly. Caramelly in the finish, but still fruity in a balanced way. Still loving this tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
K S

I think this is my favorite so far by teavivre

Charles Thomas Draper

Were they samples sent by Angel?

Tabby

I’m not sure if they were. I just know that she was the one sending me messages and setting things up.

Charles Thomas Draper

Ok. I should be getting my samples soon too. PS, thats me on Twitter.

Jim Marks

Yes, Angel Chen is the person sending out the samples on behalf of TeaVivre.

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97

My thanks go to Angel Chen, who let me sample a generous amount of Teavivre’s offerings! I was shocked at how much tea was in the package! Thank you!

First of all, I want to mention that the tea geek in me loves the stickers on Teavivre’s pouches. They have all kinds of info about where the tea came from, how much leaf to use, what the perfect temperature for brewing is.

I made a pot this evening and think I have found my new favorite unflavored black tea. The leaves are long and narrow, harvested young, and gently rolled. Even after shipping, they are all long and unbroken. Mine are not as yellow as in the picture. They’re more brown and champagne colored. There is no leaf dust in the pouch at all.

It’s incredibly smooth and almost fruity in some way, like a darjeeling but more creamy and caramel-like. Hard to describe. I have had yunnan in the past before, but it was never like this. Even after such a short steep, it is very flavorful, but not bitter. There is nothing harsh about the taste. I truly love this tea. It has seriously struck a chord with me.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Jim Marks

Glad you caught the Yunnan golden bug!

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71

Upping my rating and adding a photo!

I made a pitcher of it and brewed it for thirty seconds less than I have been before. Those thirty seconds really made a difference. Before, it had a sort of spicy aftertaste that I wasn’t liking, but when the steep time is cut, it goes away. Anyway, I had it sweetened over ice. With a bendy straw, because those make everything taste better, right?

Like I said before, this is a mild and mellow Assam. Smooth and simple.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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51
drank Lavender Dreams by Teavana
734 tasting notes

I had been holding on to this tea I got from RachanaC (Rachel) for a long while and I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been so hesitant. I love the scent of lavender and the fact that it can be used in so many ways. But now that I think about it, this is my first lavender tea.

When I first received the tea, the scent was overwhelming. It filled my entire tea cabinet and hit me every time I opened it. It has since faded, unfortunately, but it was my own fault for not storing it in a tin. I kept it in a ziplock. Anyway, when I opened the package, the scent was still the clean, soothing scent of dried lavender flowers.

When steeping, the violet and lavender flowers stayed on the surface of the water, while the white tea leaves expanded and submerged. The tea brewed into a pale champagne color, like many whites I’ve tried have. I also sweetened it with honey. The result was like others have said, a stronger lavender flavor above all, with a faint white tea taste afterward. The honey mutes that subtle tea flavor as well. This tea makes me want to try a lavender/black combination instead.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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83

Made the tea last night, using a little more leaf than I should have, and left it in the ‘fridge overnight. But before I did, I blended two pinches of the DeKalb Farmer’s Market’s own apple pie spice into it. The next morning, I had a cold apple tea with the perfect balance of strong Ceylon flavor embellished with rich spices. It was a wonderful autumn treat that I will certainly be making again.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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96
drank Sweet Caramel O Mine by Liber Teas
734 tasting notes

Only have a few cups of this left in the bottom of the purple tin. Maybe one big, strong cup for work. Sad. I’m going to have to go on a hunt for a new caramel tea…

Anyway, I made a strong cup of this for the to-go cup today. Sweetened it a little and accompanied it with a harsh playlist and my morning commute to midtown. I still have so much tea to get through…

EDIT: Made the rest the next morning. Turns out I didn’t have quite enough, so I had to mix in some plain assam I have lying around. The caramel flavor was still quite strong and lovely. Sad to see it go.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I cry just thinking about the last bit I have left in my tin.

TeaEqualsBliss

I miss it in my stash too!

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76

This is basically what I expected from Celestial Seasonings. Light actual black tea flavor with a hint of pleasing bitterness at the end, but mostly overwhelmed by bright, fruity bergamot. I can see it appealing to a wide audience this way, which is what I think they were going for. Still, I’m kinda surprised that I’m the first to review it, since it’s such a common company.

I got this tea from a bank lobby in Ohio, before heading to the 1000-Mile Yard Sale with my friends and family. It’s apparently specially made and packaged for the Keurig brewing system, but I brewed it in my steel infuser and it was fine.

Anyway, this is good. Probably the only thing I’ve tried by these guys that I’d like to drink again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Kal

I’ve actually had this before through the Keurig maker, I suppose it hasn’t been reviewed before because that machine makes coffee fantastically, tea not so much…

Tabby

I had never heard of the thing until I saw it when we stopped to hit the ATM and bathrooms, haha.

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68

This is the black tea provided where I stayed with Kaliska during Dragon*Con, at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta. I took it with me, and am just now giving it a taste.

It smelled promising when I took the bag out of the packet and sniffed. Like a strong, clean tea. Upon tasting, it has a nice malty, almost savory taste that lingers in my mouth. It’s pleasant and smooth, but unremarkable. Not the best black bagged tea I’ve had, but there’s not really anything wrong with it.

The packet said that it’s a blend from India and Africa, but it tastes like a plain old Assam to me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. Living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, electronic music geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

After 10 years on Steepster, I have given up. The lack of maintenance, updates, and mobile compatibility have finally discouraged me. I still use my Cupboard and add teas to the database, but I won’t be logging teas anymore.

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