I had to buy from Teavivre’s black tea sale as I bought nothing from Black Friday (also, rewards points, gift card to use). Also, a sale on the SAMPLES is perfect for me, as I love the smaller amounts of tea rather than stocking up on a ton of each. I’ve got both my basket infusers back in action after a good cleaning so now I’m at FULL STEEPING POWER once again. haha. I’m going to try steeping all these Teavivre black teas by similar parameters and I think two teaspoons has worked pretty well for me in the past with Teavivre black teas. I would probably never try this pricey tea if it wasn’t on sale, but I’m glad I did! The dry leaves are almost fully black and have the fragrance of sweet potatoes. The brew is the color of honey and the flavor has a unique sort of special quality to it: the flavor is the sweetest of sweet potatoes drizzled with something else very sweet. There is even a syrupy mouthfeel, as well as a starchy quality. So everything about this tea could almost be like sweet potatoes drizzled in honey. I wouldn’t say this has a flavor I expect from Fujian teas from what I’ve experienced in terms of flavor from Fujian teas in the past. The second and third steeps seem very similar to the first, BUT those steeps do lose that extra special sweetness that the first cup had. So maybe I should have steeped even less with cooler water on the first steep just to get that extra specialness to last through the next two steeps (of course, there is no hint of astringency at all). But that first steep was fantastic. I have to wonder though, what I might be missing in flavor when I’m steeping these western rather than gong fu. I did wait to read Teavivre’s description and they do mention sweet potatoes and caramel, so I feel a little bit justified in having that second opinion. Also, Teavivre does suggest steeping four teaspoons for a full mug, but that would be using almost all 10 grams that I have and I don’t want to risk having the flavor be the same anyway (using 2 or 4 teaspoons). But I like the resulting cup this way well enough anyway. I’m not entirely sure how much extra specialness this tea has compared to their other black tea offerings, as most of their black teas seem high quality with almost similar flavor properties.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons in full mug // 17 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 steep
Edited to add: Teavivre, as always, did a FANTASTIC job of organizing and shipping (and having the patience for) these samples. The smaller foil samples in the big pouches. I LOVE their pouches, never throw them out, reuse them for more extensive tea storing when I’ve finished the Teavivre teas in them.