Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Trying the fourth out of five samples Teavivre sent me to try. At first I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to save for Chinese New Year. But considering how bitterly cold it has been lately, I put off trying the two ripe puerh teas. Having black tea is nice in the winter, but ripe pureh is so earthy, dark and heavy that it uplifts any thoughts of bad winter day I have.

There were no steep suggestions on the website, so I chose the gongfu steeping from another ripe puerh and steeped Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2008, 10 times.

First steep brought out all the flavours I expected; deep earthy, mellow, woodsy. The cake piece hasn’t completely unraveled yet.

Second steep really cranked up bold flavours. And the cake finally unraveled on the third steep. It was a bit stronger than I anticipated. Not in a bad way, but it’s a very bold ripe puerh flavour. It maintained a really bold flavour up until the seventh steep. Then flavour of the tea weakened a bit, and I could taste some more subtleties; licorice, anise, pepper, leather, herby. And finishing on the tenth steep, it had a bit of a nice sweet aftertaste.

Overall it met my expectations. Ripe puerh is always a good pick for resteeping gongfu style. It maintains its flavour over many resteeps, and it’s a very strong flavour.
There’s nothing that impressed me about the tea, but it didn’t have any negative or unwanted flavours either (aside from being really bold, which could be a pro or a con for another person).

Flavors: Anise, Earth, Herbs, Leather, Licorice, Menthol, Pepper, Wood

Boiling 9 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

How I rate tea:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.


Ontario, Canada

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