2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea

2005-Changtai-Yun-Pu-Zhi-DianTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Crimson Lotus Tea

Tea Description:

This is a very special puerh prepared by the Yunnan Changtai Tea Industry Group. The blenders who work for Changtai are true masters of their craft. The leaves in this puerh are a blend of 15 mountains, Spring picked in 2005. The name for this cake “Yun Pu Zhi Dian” means “Top of the Clouds”. Since Yunnan means “Southern Clouds” this name has a double meaning. It refers to the heavenly experience and also that this puerh contains the best from Yunnan.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve often thought of pu-erh as a cooler weather type of tea because it’s a tea that I prefer to be served hot.  As the tea cools, I find that the flavors begin to mute and become lost.

And yes, I do drink hot tea even in the summer months, in fact, I drink more hot tea than I do iced tea in the summer months, but, I don’t drink as much hot tea in the summer as I do in the cooler months.

2005-Changtai-Yun-Pu-Zhi-Dian2So when I drink a pu-erh, I’m often reminded of the cooler days of autumn and winter, but as I sip this 2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea, the tea seems to be evoking thoughts of late spring and early summer.

Perhaps it’s the lovely notes of fruit that develop throughout the infusions, starting off with a soft hint of apricot and in later infusions, I notice that the sweet apricot notes are accentuated with a contrasting sour note of tart apple.

Perhaps it’s the lovely background note of flower that seems to bring to mind thoughts of floral aromas filling the air in the spring.  Or maybe it’s the delicate woodsy notes and hints of vegetative earthy tones that remind me of the trees as signs of their springtime foliage begin to grow.

This tea is beautifully smooth and sweet with notes of fruit and honey.  In the earliest infusions, the fruit notes are strongest, but as I continue to steep, the honey develops and the fruit begins to wane somewhat.

Meanwhile, the woodsy notes are developing.  These aren’t musty wood notes, but clean, vibrant woodsy tones.   The tea has a sweetness to it that is balanced with the aforementioned notes of sour apple.

I’ve only just been introduced to this company – Crimson Lotus – but I am quite impressed with this tea.  They specialize in Pu-erh teas.  Those new to Pu-erh will find this a fantastic resource of teas that are good ‘starting out’ Pu-erh (and since they specialize in Pu-erh, they’ll be a great resource of knowledge for you too!)  And for those of you who are more experienced with Pu-erh, I think you’ll find that Crimson Lotus has an amazing selection of intriguing teas.

As for me, I highly recommend this Top of the Clouds Sheng!  It’s delightful!

Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea Golden Tip from Teavivre

Yun Nan Dian Hong Black TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Dian Hong black tea, also known as Yunnan black tea, is one of China’s most famous black teas.  This is the highest grade Dian Hong generally available in China – called Golden Tip Dian Hong.  It has lots of orange pekoe in the dried tea, and brews into an absolutely great tasting, golden coloured tea, with very rich taste and aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I reviewed this tea a couple of years ago, but I’m revisiting it because it’s a new year and a new harvest!  Plus, it’s a chance for me to taste this amazing tea again – how could I resist?

Because mmmmmM!  So good!

Rich!  Smooth!  Delicious.

When I first opened the sample pouch, I could smell notes of sweet molasses.  The dry leaf aroma reminds me a bit of freshly baked cookies – like rich molasses spice cookies without the strong notes of spice.  I can almost smell the cake-y notes of the cookie in the leaves!

To brew this, I used my Breville One-Touch.  The sampler pouch is just the right amount for my Breville, so I poured the contents of the pouch into the basket and added 500ml of water to the jug.  I set the parameters for 212°F and 2 1/2 minutes – and the tea came out perfectly!

This is a wonderful, full-flavored tea.  It’s nicely round.  It’s got a really robust flavor with notes of earth and leather with hints of smoke and spice.   And then I pick up on the sweet molasses-y, caramel-y notes with hints of cream.  It’s got a really delectable balance between savory and sweet.

A truly remarkable black tea – definitely something I’d recommend to all tea drinkers who are looking for something exceptionally excellent!

Nonpareil Anxi Yun Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong Tea from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Yun Xiang (韵香) means roasted. Roasting is the key for Yunxiang Tie Guan Yin’s feature: sweet and mellow flavor, very bright liquid. Usually, people who want to drink Tie Guan Yin will start with Qingxiang Tie Guan Yin, which is the base of Yunxiang tea. By roasting the Qingxiang tea, we can get the Yunxiang tea. Yunxiang tea has long-lasting aroma, but requires 120% more skill and patience for the makers, especially hand-made tea. During the roasting process, the tea will be roasted for 3 or 4 times, for over 8 hours of each time. The maker must control the temperature carefully, and judge the tea’s quality with his experience. We may say that fine roasted oolong tea is made under a strict “fire” trial.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I enjoy a good TieGuanYin Oolong.  And I think I like them even better when they’ve been roasted like this Nonpareil Anxi Yun Xiang TieGuanYin from Teavivre!

The tea becomes sweeter with the roasting process.  The vegetal notes become morph into a nutty flavor.  The floral notes become sweeter.  Sometimes, I notice a “sharp edge” to the floral notes in a TieGuanYin, but with a roasted TieGuanYin, the flavor is soft and toasty and the texture is smooth and creamy without feeling heavy on the palate.

AnxiYunXiangTo brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and “eyeballed” about a bamboo scoop’s worth of the tea into the bowl of the gaiwan.  I heated the water to 180°F and I performed a 15 second rinse.  Then I strained the liquid and discarded it.  The first steep was 45 seconds, and with each subsequent infusion, I added 15 seconds.  My cute little ceramic “Oolong” teacup holds 2 infusions, so I combined the first two infusions for the first cup of tea.

And the first cup has a really lovely, full flavor.  The roasty-toasty flavor is delightful.  Warm and comforting, this is just the kind of tea you want to enjoy on a chilly autumn afternoon.  The flavor that the roasting imparts evokes thoughts of falling leaves.  I taste a strong, roasted nutty flavor with hints of orchid in the background.  TieGuanYin Oolong teas can sometimes taste (and feel) buttery, this has more of a toasty, browned butter type of flavor.  Notes of honey are also presence as well as a hint of orchid.

My second cup was even lovelier than the first, I think, because I started to pick up on some caramel-y notes this time.  Sweet, luscious caramel mingling with the honeyed notes to create a delightful taste.  The nutty flavors are starting to meld with these sweet honey caramel notes, the flavors are becoming seamless.  I’m noticing a slight astringency toward the tail, but it’s very slight and only really obvious when I am trying to find it.  The aftertaste is sweet with hints of fruit.  Roasted peach, anyone?

Later infusions became smoother and more unified.  The third cup was deliciously toasty and caramel-ish.  Delicious nutty tones.  The creamy notes have subsided, but the flavor is so smooth and mellow.

A really wonderful Oolong – a perfect autumn drink.


PLEASE NOTE:  Sorry, this giveaway is now over.  Please keep watching our blog for more giveaways to come!

Teavivre has been so kind to offer us a number of $5. gift cards to give away to readers of our blog!  Yay!  And I’m going to give away FIVE $5.00 gift cards right now!  Well, not right now, as in right now as I type this, but right now as you read this, you can register to add your name to the pot and be part of the drawing for one of the $5.00 gift cards from Teavivre.  Here’s the fine print on the gift cards:  

  • It can be used to purchase any teas or teawares on the Teavivre website
  • By using this particular gift card, the customer can also get an extra sampler pack which includes 2 kinds of our premium grade flower teas.
  • The card can also be used to pay the shipping fee.
  • One gift card per order, please.
  • It can be applied on international. 
  • No minimum purchase required.

By now you’re wondering, COOL!  What do I have to do to enter?  Am I right?

Well, we like to make things easy around here, so, you can earn your first entry by simply commenting on this review/contest announcement post.  Just post a comment and be sure to include a way to contact you if you’ve won.  If you’re already registered with TeaTra.de – cool!  I can contact you via PM on TeaTra.de  If you prefer a Steepster PM, that’s fine too, just tell me who you are on Steepster.  If you prefer a private email contact, then you need to register when you comment and be sure to include your email with the registration and tell us that’s how you want us to contact you.  

Well, that’s the first entry, but, how about bonus entries?  You can earn them too!  Here are a few easy ways to earn more entries:

  • Like Teavivre on Facebook.  
  • Follow Teavivre on Twitter.
  • Post the contest information on Facebook *Be sure to give us a link!*
  • Tweet about this contest!  *Be sure to give us the link of the tweet!*

See that?  That’s five easy ways to get a cool five bucks off your next purchase from Teavivre!  How awesome is that?  

This contest will run through November 19th.  I’ll be contacting the winner on November 20th.  And another contest will be starting shortly thereafter!  Woo hoo!

Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea from Teavivre

Lu Shan Yun Wu Green TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

The fresh tea leaves of Lu Shan Yun Wu are picked under strict requirement of one bud with one leaf or one bud with two leaves. After processed, the leaves will shape into tight, curly and strong strips. The liquid presents bright and green color while showing brisk fragrance. The scent of roasted chestnut lasts long. This Lu Shan Yun Wu is better to be brewed with big glass. It will has brisk and refreshing flavor and sweet taste. After several steeps, you will see the tea leaves tenderly stretched and showing its soft and light yellow appearance.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I mentioned it in a previous post, but, I LOVE when spring arrives and with it – the new flushes of spring teas!

That’s actually my favorite part of spring.  Oh sure, I love the flowers and the fresh new buds of life on the trees and bushes but I’m not particularly fond of the pollen that comes with all of nature’s new spring life.  Or more accurately, I’m not particularly fond of the allergic reaction that comes with the arrival of the pollen.  Then again, there’s really very few things that are more soothing than a cup of hot tea!  Yeah … like I really need inspiration to drink more tea!

So I was more than happy to try the new spring teas that Teavivre has added to their collection, including this Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea.  Oh yum!

When I opened the pouch, I inhaled deeply to take in the fragrance of the dry leaves.  While dry, I noticed a leafy green type of scent, evocative of a trip to the produce market – the smell I notice when I’m walking along the wall where all the leafy greens are housed.  But once the tea starts brewing, I noticed less of the vegetative aroma and more of something much more exciting . . .

Chestnuts!  Yep.  The description above suggests an aroma of chestnuts, and this does have a strong chestnut fragrance.  There’s also a delicious chestnut flavor to go along with it:  sweet, nutty, roasted.  It even has that creamy taste and texture that I’d experience if I were eating a freshly roasted chestnut.  Mmm!

Most green teas have a vegetative flavor to them, and this is no exception to that, although I’m finding that this Lu Shan Yun Wu has less of a vegetal note and more of a sweet nutty flavor.  For those of you who tend to shy away from green teas because you don’t really care for that overly vegetative taste, I think you’d do well with this tea.  It’s really quite sweet and wonderful!

As I continue to sip, I notice the roasty-toasty flavor developing.  By the time I was nearly finished with the cup, this sweet, roasted flavor was intense, and it kept me sipping and thirsty for more of it.  It’s a very comforting flavor, and it seemed to nourish my soul.

Nice, especially after enduring these bouts with my allergies.  And yes … I take allergy medication and I even use locally harvested, raw honey that I drizzle on my morning toast, but, I still have a few days when the pollen just wins out.  Not fun.  This tea makes these days not only more tolerable, but a JOY!

A really BEAUTIFUL green tea from Teavivre.  I have a few other reviews of Teavivre’s new green teas from this spring’s harvest that will be featured in the coming days … watch for them!

Lin Yun Green Tea From Infussion


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Infussion

Tea Description:

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to find refreshment just by smelling the tea? Experience it for yourself with this quality Lin Yun. Very strong taste and excellent potency. Does outstanding price/quality ratio really have to be mentioned?

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Before brewing this Lin Yun Green Tea from Infussion, I did some checking into my past notes to see if I had ever tried a Lin Yun Green Tea … and I can’t see that I have.  Unless Lin Yun is known as a different tea … this is a first-time experience for me!

The aroma of the dry leaf of this Lin Yun Green Tea from Infussion is stunning – it smells just like freshly cut grass.  You know those very first lawn clippings in the spring, when the grass is brand new and the smell is so unbelievably fresh and exhilaratingly clean?  Yeah … that’s what this tea smells like when its dry.  In contrast, the brewed tea has next to no fragrance whatsoever … with only mere hints of the vibrant grassy notes of the dry leaf, it’s difficult to believe that those leaves brewed this liquid!

But after tasting it … yes!  Yes, those leaves brewed this tea!  The flavor is delightfully vegetative … sweet and crisp!  It’s really refreshing; I can feel it energize me from the inside out.  It’s really wonderful!  If you’re one who tends to not like the strong vegetative tones of a green tea … then this is not the tea for you, but if you’re one who really likes that delicious veggie taste that is a little bit sweet and a little bit savory … you’ve really got to try this!  It’s a dazzling cup of tea!

I’m really g lad that I got a chance to try this tea … it’s was a delightful treat to not only be introduced to a tea that is new to me, but, also be able to try yet another wonderful tea from Infussion.  I’m so impressed with this company!