Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild Tree Black Tea from Teavivre

Dian Hong Ancient Wild TreeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This Ancient Wild Tree black tea comes from Fengqing, Yunnan. The tea garden is at 2000 meters high, is renowned as a good place of growing good tea.

The local tea tree is Fengqing large leaf species, can produce thick tea leaf. Our Ancient Wild Tree black tea then has large, strong leaves. The dry tea is glossy and dark, covered with thin pekoes. Its full aroma and bold taste can be revealed when brewed, as well as the particular strong taste which brings a characteristic of raw pu-erh to this black tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m always happy to try a tea from Teavivre, because I know that the tea is going to be good.  Not just good, but excellent!  I can’t recall ever having tried a tea from Teavivre that I’ve been disappointed by, and this Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild Tree Black Tea is no exception.  This is lovely.

The flavor is rich and smooth.  There is a delightful honeyed flavor to the cup and this honey-like flavor is further highlighted by the thick texture of the tea.

There is no bitterness to this tea and it’s very smooth with very little astringency.  By mid-cup, I started to notice a slight dryness to the finish.  So there is some astringency and it does develop but even by the end of the cup, the astringency is very slight.

It’s earthy with notes of leather and hints of mushroom.  This is a wild tree tea and I can almost taste the ‘wild’ in the tea.  It’s beautifully complex, with the sweet notes of raisin and plum, hints of flower in the distance and of course, the aforementioned honey notes.  I like the balance between the savory notes – earth, spice notes that develop as I sip and leather – and the sweetness.

Yet another tea from Teavivre that I can enthusiastically recommend to any tea drinker.  This is marvelous.

Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea (2013) from Teavivre

Fengqing Ripened TributeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This Ripe Pu-erh Cake Teavivre choose is from the representative Pu-erh production area Fengqing. Fengqing is the original place of the world-wide famous Dian Hong Tea. And it is also a classic place of Yunnan Pu-erh. It is a place in Lingcang which is one of the four famous Pu-erh production areas. The taste of Fengqing Pu-erh is mellow and sweet, deeper than Pu-erh in other production area. And it usually has the flowery flavor of Dian Hong Tea. The tea leaves used to make this Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea are all pure leaves hand-picked from 50 to 100 years old Large-leaf Arbor Tea Trees.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea from Teavivre is a really lovely pu-erh.  It’s a delightfully mild tea – very smooth and sweet!

To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan.  I broke pieces of the cake off into my gaiwan with a knife and eyeballed the measurement until it looked like about a bamboo scoop of tea.  Then I poured enough hot water (180°F) to cover the leaves and let it steep for 15 seconds and then I strained off the liquid and discarded it.  (The rinse!)  Then I filled the gaiwan with more water and let it steep for 45 seconds.

The aroma is a little loam-y but I’m not getting a strong earthy flavor, which I’m very happy about.  What little earthiness I taste is more like a mushroom than it is like ‘earth.’  Yay!  The flavor is sweet, like dates and honey.  I’m also getting an interesting contrast to the sweetness, it almost tastes ‘salty’ but without tasting briny or fish-like, it’s almost as if someone might have sprinkled a couple of grains of salt into my cup.

It’s a remarkably smooth tea with no indication of astringency or bitterness.   As I continue to sip, I pick up on notes of leather.

Before I knew it, that first cup was gone!

The second cup was a bit more earthy in flavor than the first, tasting a bit more like the loam notes that I smell.  Still pleasantly sweet, I notice the notes of leather starting to develop, and I’m also picking up on notes of raw bittersweet cacao.  I’m not getting any of that contrasting salt note that I noticed in the first cup.  The flavor has deepened and intensified from the first – it’s as if they’re two totally different teas!

Later infusions were less earthy, it seemed like that second cup was the earthiest of the bunch and then after that cup, the earthy notes began to wane.  I think the third and fourth cups were my favorite, the flavors were deep yet mellow with notes of dark chocolate, dates, and honey.  I picked up on a mid-note of leather with an undertone of mushroom.

A very pleasant cup … oh-so-smooth!

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha from Teavivre

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea TuochaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Tuocha, a compressed tea in hollowed hemispheric shape, is mainly produced in Yunnan. This 100g Tuocha is from Fengqing, Lincang, Yunnan.

The materials of Tuocha are from Fengqing large tea speices. Fresh tea leaves will be made into dry tea in traditional craft method after being picked, then will be pressed into nest shape. The appearance of Tuocha reminds you of mountain. While smelling the faint scent of Sheng Pu-erh, you will have the feelings of being in beautiful scenery of Yunnan.

Sheng Pu-erh has strong flavor for first sip. Yet the sweet aftertaste will bring you a wonderful impression. You can feel a hint of sweet as sugarcane remaining in your mouth. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

 Sweet!  This Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea from Teavivre has an enjoyably sweet flavor, a sweetness that is balanced with notes of sharpness and notes of vegetation, wood and earth (think mushroom).   As I continued to sip, I started to pick up on notes of stone fruit.

I like that with the very first infusion (following a 15 second “rinse”) the flavor is strong and well-defined.  I could taste these flavors with this first cup, I didn’t have to wait until the third or fourth cup to start experiencing the lovely flavor.  I usually find that Pu-erh tends to have a mellow flavor, but this is a bold Pu-erh, and I’m appreciating the differences that this tea offers.

Later infusions surprised me with even stronger flavors!  I still experienced the amazing sweetness, fruit notes (I think I even tasted a hint of grapefruit!) and woodsy tones.  Full-flavored with notes vegetation, but this isn’t like the same kind of “vegetation” that I’d experience if I were drinking a green tea.  This is more like the vegetal flavor you’d experience from a woodsy mushroom.  It’s deep and earthy and flavorful, but in the distance you can taste notes of vegetation.

A deep sweetness – the description above suggests a “sugarcane” like sweetness, and I agree with that assessment – is present throughout the sip, from start to finish.  It lingers in the aftertaste.

A really enjoyable pu-erh experience!  I managed eight infusions from this tea and I suspect I could have gotten even more – the flavor wasn’t quitting!  This tea has many different flavors to explore – a delightfully complex tea.

And when I visited Teavivre’s webpage for this tea, I noticed that this will be part of the #3 Sale Round from August 4 through August 5.  Mark your calendars!

Fengqing Wild Tree Yesheng Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake 2013 from Teavivre

Fengqing Wild Tree YeshengTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This raw pu-erh cake is grown and produced in Fengqing, Yunnan, which is the origin place of DianHong black tea. This Wild Tree Yesheng Raw Pu-erh Cake is harvest in spring of 2013. Between March to May, after harvesting the fresh leaves, tea workers will process them: fixation, rolling, drying, sifting, and then store the leaves in carton boxes.

As the workers use iron pan for fixation, and roll the tea with their hands, the leaves do not have good looks as machine-made leaves. Yet regarding on quality, this Wild Tree Yesheng Pu-erh Cake is a green food from nature, in the mists and clouds on high mountains. It is a tea worth being in your collection list.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf aroma of this 2013 Fengqing Wild Tree Yesheng Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake from Teavivre is almost non-existent.  This surprised me, only because I’m used to Pu-erh having some aroma, but I didn’t smell much of anything when I smelled the dry leaf.

Conversely, the wet leaves have a strong vegetal scent to them that immediately made me think of peas.  Granted, peas are not my favorite vegetable (that’s putting it mildly) and because of that, they are not a food that I’m smelling on a regular basis.  But when I smelled these wet leaves, green peas is what came to mind.

For those of you who are like me: timid when it comes to Pu-erh tea because of that strong, earthy and sometimes fishy taste and smell, you can rest assured that you won’t experience that with this Pu-erh.  This is a very young Pu-erh, and it tastes much more like a green tea to me than it does a Pu-erh.

It has a vegetal taste, but it’s a remarkably smooth vegetal note.  It doesn’t have that “crisp” or “lively” sort of vegetative taste that you might experience with a typical green tea.  Instead, this has a very mellow vegetative taste.  It doesn’t taste grassy.  It tastes like mild steamed vegetables:  like spinach, perhaps, only milder and sweeter.

There is a buttery note to this too, something I don’t typically experience with a Pu-erh.  So, imagine that aforementioned extra mild, sweet spinach, topped with mushrooms that have been lightly sauteed in butter and then topped with thinly sliced almonds … only the almonds are raw.  It has that sort of creamy, buttery taste that you might experience with a raw almond.

Later infusions brought out more savory flavors to the vegetal tones.  Notes of salt and seaweed were contrasted by some newly emerging fruity notes.  The flavor becomes deeper and more complex with each new infusion.

I like in “wild tree” teas like this that I can almost taste the “wild” in them.  There is a note to these teas that I don’t often find in the more conventional farm grown teas.

I would recommend this Pu-erh to those new to Pu-erh so that they can experience some “different” Pu-erh teas, as well as fans of green tea.  It’s a really unique tea experience … one definitely worth trying.

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005 from Teavivre

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw PuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

The Fengqing Zhuan Cha Ripened Puerh Brick Tea 2005 is small but has full weight of 240g. The brick is in the size of 13.5 cm long, 9 cm wide and 1.5 cm high, which makes the tea easy to store. Brick tea is a kind of compressed pu-erh tea. This Raw Pu-erh Brick Tea has yellow and bright liquid, stronger flavor than ripened brick with strong astringent taste. Yet the bitter taste differs from other teas’. A strong sweet aftertaste comes after the liquid fills in your mouth, as well as the long-lasting mellow flavor promoting the secretion of saliva. The sweet aftertaste still remains even half a minute later. This Raw Pu-erh Brick is picked in 2005’s spring and summer, and pressed in the same year. Aged Pu-erh Brick teas will become more profound after years of store. It is regarded as an eatable antique in China.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Although I’m not always enthusiastic to try a pu-erh, after having tried a good number of pu-erh teas from Teavivre without disappointment, I found myself actually looking forward to trying this 2005 Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea.

After a quick rinse (15 seconds), I infused my first cup for just 45 seconds and achieved a very strong, deep flavor with notes of mineral and a somewhat salty/savory note.  The description above suggests “promoting the secretion of saliva” and that’s what I’m experiencing from this tea.  The salty note from the tea encourages my mouth to begin watering.

This is earthy but not in the same way that a ripened pu-erh would taste.  This is more earthy/vegetative sort of taste.  I note hints of kelp.  By mid-cup, I start to notice some bitter/tart notes that brighten the overall flavor.

I steeped this tea eight times before I was ready to move on to something else – but I do suspect that this tea would have kept going strong for at least two or more infusions!  With each infusion, I noticed a deeper flavor than with the previous cup.  The flavor keeps developing.

I’ve often used the word mellow to describe a pu-erh but I don’t think that word applies to this tea.  The savory/bitter notes are very unique to me.  I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to pu-erh, in fact, I think of myself as just the opposite.  Pu-erh is the tea that I feel least knowledgeable about, and with each new experience, I feel as though I’m learning something new and after each experience, I feel as though I’ve so much more to learn!

That said, I can’t recall a tea quite like this one before.  It has a brine-like flavor to it … but not a fishy-brine taste.  The brine here reminds me more of a vinegar-ish type of taste, the savory/bitter/salty notes you might experience from vinegar.  The earthy notes here are very mushroom-y.

A very intriguing tea!