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Recent Tasting Notes
Sealed sample packet from a swap. I’m not sure who this was from, I’m guessing either Arby or Kawaii433? Thank you, whoever it was!
I’ve only ever had one other yellow tea, and it looked very different from this one. This looks like a green tea, with thin needle-like leaves. Their dry scent reminded me strongly of white tea, with light and creamy oat and hay notes.
WOW, holy crap this is delicious. It’s blowing my mind right now.
This has such a crazily nutty flavor up front, and it reminds me of deliciously roasted-but-still-creamy cashews or perhaps almonds. It also reminds me of roasted soybeans, which is a flavor that I really enjoy. There are also some soft grainy notes, like chewing on sweet raw oats. Underlying these is a sweet vegetal flavor with the deep spinach notes of a sencha, maybe with some bok choy and fresh edamame mixed in. Overall, it has a lovely thick and silky creaminess, both in flavor and mouthfeel. A hint of minerality also makes an appearance at the end of the sip, along with a clear, refreshing sweetness.
Scrumptious tea! Going on the wishlist! The end.
Flavors: Almond, Bok Choy, Creamy, Grain, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Peas, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
Another dragon ball sample from Kawaii433!
I’m steeping this one grandpa-style in a double-walled tumbler this afternoon. I started with about 160° water, as last time I felt the temperature was too high. I’m adding cooler water as I refill as well.
The cooler temperature has definitely done some good! This came out much milder and I love the soft apricot fruit leather notes I’m getting, along with pillowy baked bread and honey. I can barely taste the rose, or it just melds so well with the Dian Hong that I’m not detecting it. There is a nice sweet nectar-y note that I bet is coming from the rose as well.
Yum. I’m shocked to say I would consider ordering this one! A rose tea?! O.O
Goodness gracious, what is this world coming to…?
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Earth, Fig, Honey, Leather, Nectar, Rose, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet, Wood
Prepared this morning as bowl tea in my largest teacup. 1g, 140mL, ~185F. From a sealed sample packet, best before date of a little over two years ago.
The dry leaf smelled floral-sweet with nutty-sweet chocolate overlaying a very light vegetal-earth tone. The brewed aroma was chestnut-floral with hints of citrus and earth.
I realized with the first few sips that this tea is not to be had as a flavor experience. This tea is gestalt. By the second pour, my usual approach was dissolved by the delicate, silky-oily broth. Gentle in every way. It was cleansing with astringency and mineral salts. Beany-vegetal sweetness mingled with a very mild, underlying bitterness. The tender leaf and bud sets left a strong, sweet smell of tarragon in the bottom of the cup. I realized then that I had been misattributing as anise this aroma in other green teas. A gentle calm emerged with the arrival of returning sweetness. With the third pour, a sun-warmed sweet apricot aftertaste emerged.
Prepared in this way, the tea was perfectly balanced. Highly recommended.
Thank you for sharing Leafhopper :) What a pleasant experience. I am looking forward to drinking the remaining amount in this manner.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Beany, Broth, Chestnut, Chocolate, Citrus, Floral, Grass, Green Beans, Hay, Herbs, Mineral, Nutty, Salt, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal
This is a (long overdue) sample from Kawaii433. I miss her! I heard she’s locked out of her account, I hope that gets resolved soon! She sent me a single piece of this and the rose version in our last swap. I love the cute star-printed plastic wrappers! :3
I figured I would steep this grandpa-style as the dragon ball would like take a bit to unfurl and I don’t generally do a lot of resteeps with my usual Western style. Using one piece for a 12-ounce glass tumbler so I can look upon the loveliness as this unfurls! Starting with 175-degree water for now.
I was surprised that the chrysanthemum blossoms softened and lifted off almost immediately! They floated to the top and settled there, being lovely and fluffy and pretty. Unfortunately I don’t think I taste them at all due to the enormous amount of tea here and the fact that it’s a rather robust Dian Hong variety.
The tea itself is rather intense (due to the concentration vs. amount of water) with strong, dark earth and leather notes. There’s a powerful maltiness here as well, and some softer wet wood flavors in the background. I get perhaps a hint of a very dark wheat bread. The wood increases a bit in prominence at the end of the sip, and lingers on the palate. I think I taste a very slight menthol note among all the deeper flavors.
Overall, it’s not my favorite. The tea itself isn’t terribly complex, and I tend to prefer the slightly lighter, more sweet potato-y Dian Hong teas. Unfortunately I didn’t taste the chrysanthemum at all, which honestly doesn’t surprise me given there are four small blossoms for such a large amount of black tea.
Still, perfectly pleasant to sip on at my desk while I work. :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Hay, Leather, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Smooth, Wood
So today…. is the last episode of my beloved balm Supernatural after all these years. I will miss it dearly! I’m always having epic Supernatural themed dreams. Once, a cathedral aflame with pterodactyls flying around… IN the flaming cathedral. Fun.
Thanks again for the swap, AJRimmer! I think this is the last of the Teavivre hibiscus blends I needed to write tasting notes for. And yet again, not much to say, the blend itself is full of red ingredients, so no surprise when the flavor is mostly hibiscus. Also a slight hint of possibly orange. The second steep is much more toned down on the scarlet and tartness – but probably all of the other flavors are less as well. So more bland overall, even if I’m also losing the hibiscus. The brew is now orange. And now that I’m reading Teavivre’s description, it also mentions a heavy orange note. (My blend also looks much more full of hibiscus than the photo is.) Maybe I can try handpicking hibiscus out before steeping in the future, but I’m not sure what that leaves…
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 4 minutes after boiling // 5 minute steep
Brewed 10 berries which came out to 2.5g in 200mL boiling water. Mild infusion, lightly sweet with a faint taste of goji berries which is reminiscent of raisins. The engorged berries are a sweet treat. Let them steep forever to extract the most flavor.
Edit: I think these were marked best by January 2020. The berries were still supple and pliable. It’s dried fruit hit with boiling water. I don’t think freshness is a concern.
Flavors: Goji, Raisins, Sweet
Thank you AJRimmer! Another fruity blend from Teavivre… they have had this one in particular in stock for quite a while. The hibiscus looks like it should be overwhelming just looking at the amount of it in the dry blend, but the resulting mugs aren’t too overly hibiscus. With the first steep the brew is fuchsia, the second steep a pale pink. The flavor isn’t ONLY tartness… there is also a noted melon flavor and fragrance in both cups. Though it’s an interesting addition to this blend, I don’t think it’s quite enough to make me want to stock up on this one. (And now that I’m looking at the ingredients list, the flavor I was noticing was probably papaya rather than melon.)
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 minutes after boiling // 6 minute steep
Soo… my sister tested positive for covid yesterday. Now we are waiting to see if she passed it to our parents (or me) but they’ve had no symptoms for a week since seeing her, so far, but I know symptoms can’t always be present. She thinks she got it at a bar. Personally, not to harp, I have thought from day one that it is not the best idea to go to a bar/restaurant during a pandemic, but we have always had the most opposite of mindsets. All of my relatives on my dad’s side of the family went to a restaurant about a month ago (including 92 year old grandma) and I thought this was um, ridiculous that I had to worry about losing all my relatives at once. Please everyone stay safe and keep in mind that if there ARE uncaring people out there, who know they already have the virus, they could be being reckless and going out to bars/restaurants.
Thank you again, AJRimmer! Again, another cup of hibiscus hibiscus hibiscus, or Teavivre calls it roselle. I would hardly believe there is orange even present in this cup, in a blind taste test. But I made sure to get a healthy, lovely looking orange wedge in the infuser. The second steep was the same. It’s just a missed opportunity drowning all of these herbal teas in roselle. Too much is too much. And maybe that is the key to so many disliking hibiscus. It’s not a bad flavor, really, until it ruins too many blends that you’re expecting so much more from.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 5 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
Enjoying this one just as I finish off dinner. I really enjoy this one. A lot! I almost want to have some in my cupboard, but I don’t want it all the time like I do Bailin or TTC Yuchi Wild Mountain, so I can’t decide if I should add it into my cart. I wish I could pick up a smaller amount…I may check the website to see what sizes this one comes in.
On an exciting note, I am dropping teas off to a friend’s house this evening (no contact, leaving them on her front step with the rapidly rising covid numbers here). She said it may help her re-join the Steepster community – yay! We became friends because of Steepster many years ago, and she is one of my closest friends today. :) Plus, it’s nice to have a tea friend in the same city!
Teavivre sent me a sample of this one with my last order and I made this up as my last cup of tea tonight.
I actually really enjoy this tea. It’s smooth, not too thin and not too thick, hay-like and I love that. Hay is a favourite for sure, plus it reminds me of our two bunnies who eat all the hay, all the time!
It’s a very calming tea all round. I’d consider putting this one in my next order.
I’ve left the leaves in my infuser to do a second and possible third steep tomorrow!
Edit: I’ve just done the second steep (6.5 minutes) and the flavour has really held up.
This was another of my Adagio mini tin residents. I find those tiny tins useful for storing opened sample packets without worrying about taping them or something. It doesn’t say what year the harvest was, but the “best by” date is in late 2018, so I’m guessing it was a 2017 harvest? This was the end of the sample, so I only steeped it for 2 minutes because of the more broken leaves.
Such a yummy and comforting green tea! It has a very creamy, sweet, and smooth flavor with corn and edamame notes. There’s also a lovely grainy quality that makes me think of raw oats. At the end of the sip, a little apricot pokes its head out, and there’s a very slight astringency that accentuates it with a feeling of fuzzy skin on my tongue.
This is a great green tea to keep around, and I’m sure it was that much tastier when it was fresh. I’ll be sure to add it to my wishlist to be restocked at a later date! I’m being a bit conservative on the rating for now, since I’m just coming back to tea and this isn’t fresh.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Corn Husk, Creamy, Grain, Oats, Smooth, Soybean, Sweet
While I’m not disappointed in this tea I will say that both the dry leaf and the brewed cup smell better than the actual taste of the tea. The first steep was stronger than the second, and I was quite generous with the leaf. I should probably try and gongfu or grandpa this next time and pay more attention to the flavors. It’s just a yummy chocolate caramel cup, without a whole lot of sweetness. A very good example of a golden monkey, but I think I prefer Happy Lucky’s for repurchase.
Flavors: Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Malt
How have I not reviewed this yet haha I definitely have had it, as my sample pack is opened lol. Anyways, this is today’s #SeptemberSipdown tea, as we had to choose one to drink all day and this one fits the bill. Note that all day for me may end up only being 3-4 steeps since I’m so bad with caffeine haha, but shengs or shu are my go-to for all-day teas, and a sheng from Teavivre never disappoints!
This one is quite mellow and nice. I combined my first two gaiwan steeps (after a 15s rinse) into my little mug so I don’t have to get up to steep as much during the work day. Smells woodsy, has a nice woodsy flavor with some sweetness at the end. I always get apricot from Teavivre shengs it seems, my favorite note in a sheng I think. Getting a bit more bitter as it cools, but nothing unmanageable. Excited to get in at least a few more steeps this afternoon, but will not drink too late in the day or I’ll be up all night!
Overall an enjoyable sheng. Can’t believe this tea is already 7 years old!
A sample of 7 grams I received from ashmanra. Thank you!
Yesterday I was playing in my thoughts all the day with my travel to US. When I decided to go sleep, I was sad it won’t happen anytime soon because it goes quite pricey. I would love to see you all in real life; but studies first and then I don’t know. We want to visit Balcans with my friends; but who knows how situation will look like. I went so obsessed with it, I thouht even for a moment it will be possible somehow soon (flight tickets to US are quite cheap nowdays, which makes sense as, who the hell would fly there, nowdays).
The tea I prepared is though, dismal. For some reason I thought it will be some high end black tea (no hurt feelings, ashmanra!), it even looked so nice! But the tea is, ehm, quite basic. The brewed tea after four minutes steeps is quite astringent, way too malty and very drying! I don’t think I have overbrewed it (suggested was 3-5 minutes), or overleafed, but… It just was so strong and quite one-dimensional. LuckyMe said that it reminds Lipton and I have to agree. It is bit like coated with some tea essence making it strong and malty, but that’s all.
Flavors: Drying, Earth, Malt
Thanks so much for the try on this one, AJ Rimmer! Can’t say I’m a fan though.. it might be the nightmare Hawaii tea rather than “dreamy” because there is SO MUCH HIBISCUS HERE. And I can’t say I want coconut with my hibiscus? Luckily there isn’t much coconut here. It’s a couple pieces of other fruit with hibiscus, and the bright red cup just tastes like sour hibiscus. The description doesn’t even mention hibiscus, only roselle. The photo shows much less roselle/hibiscus than my sample contained, so maybe it’s just my sample. I guess I don’t need to stock up on so many of these Teavivre herbals if so many of them are mostly hibiscus. Without the roselle, I would have liked this blend. I did notice that Teavivre has a new hibiscus-less fruit blend though.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
2020 sipdowns: 68 (What-cha – Anxi Tie Guan Yin)
Well I drank this yesterday, but I’ll try to remember and post today.
Ancient Tree seems like it should have a more complex taste structure, but I’m not sure I prefer this to the Premium Golden Monkey or the regular Dian Hong Yunnan. It was quite smooth, with dark chocolate and malty notes that one would expect, but I only got a sample of this and I don’t think I’d be tempted to get a whole bag. I did get two good western style steeps out of the 10g sample, but the third was rather weak.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Smooth
Thank you Sil for sharing this with me!!
I was completely surprised by the fact that upon my first sip this had such amazing vanilla flavor. Vanilla and a touch of smoke.
When I get past the vanilla, which I don’t even think is supposed to be there, I get some floral orchid notes. Maybe it’s the orchid that’s evoking vanilla in my mind since my familiarity with orchid is from DAVIDsTEA’s Vanilla Orchid, which has both flavours.
Aside from the vanilla and orchid, this has a whole bunch of stone fruit to it. Plum, especially. Plum and also raisins. This is really good. I am a fan and while I didn’t really know what to expect from this, I’d get it again for sure if I were placing a teavivre order.
More like a white tea than a green. Beans and corn and much better than I thought it would be as someone who is not a fan of green teas. Thank you for sharing, Angel from TeaVivre!
Check out my full review here: http://www.sororiteasisters.com/2019/04/25/organic-nonpareil-ming-qian-dragon-well-long-jing-green-tea-teavivre-2/
Samurai Travelling Tea Box – Tea #18
Trying to try a selection of traditional teas from the TTB and not just flavoured tea. There’s nothing wrong with flavoured tea, but y’all know I like variety in my life and if I focus on TTB blends the next week or so and only drinking flavoured teas then there’s gonna be a Gongfu shape hole in my heart…
I’ve had so many teas from Teavivre over the year that it’s almost hard to believe I haven’t had this one!! This was a nice late morning session; the oolong was so smooth and forgiving with my sloppier brewing today and the jasmine leaned quite sweet and sticky on the palate! Aside from the fragrant florals, the tea also had notes of green grapes, fresh linens, and fresh cut summer grass! Six steeps total.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uEKJg1WHS0
Looks like no one else has written up this one yet on Steepster! I bought samples of this quite a while ago now, so please consider this is not a fresh harvest I’m reviewing. It does taste the same as it did a while ago when I tried it though. The jasmine is lovely, as almost always with Teavivre’s jasmine teas. It’s also very hard to taste anything of the tea itself. These are larger green pearls that are slow to unravel. I’m really only tasting jasmine, but that is why I drink these types of tea anyway: JASMINE. Jasmine is divine in summer. If I had to choose one Teavivre jasmine tea, it probably wouldn’t be this one, as I notice more of the tea fuzzies in the cup. I’d rather have a smooth jasmine tea, without that aspect. But possibly others wouldn’t notice that as much.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 35 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 56 (Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe – Green Cucumber Melon + Lupicia’s Assam Calcutta Auction)