Tea Review: Teavivre Premium Dragon Well Green Tea

Teavivre Dragon Well Green Tea

  • Region: Shifeng Mountain, Zheijang, China
  • Year: 2015
  • Dry Tea Leaves: flat, long mostly light green tea leaves
  • Liquor: Pale Yellow
  • Brewing: Gongfu style using a small glass teapot

There are times you take things granted in your life! Things that are part of your daily routine but you’re blind enough to overlook and not cherish them enough! And some day when you  do not have it anymore it hits you that something huge is missing in your mind and heart. If you’re lucky enough it’s not that late and you can get back whatever is missing in your life.

Same way there are teas you drink almost every day and they become part of your daily routine; as a result you don’t appreciate them enough. Today I’ll review one of these teas: Dragon Well (aka LongJing). It’s a classic, it might be the most popular green tea in China.

This week’s tea is from Teavivre as well. Last week I reviewed another great green tea, Bi Luo Chun, from Teavivre. It was one of the best teas of this year I’ve tried so far.

Dry tea leaves of this week’s tea smell seaweed and grass with floral notes. They are flat as you expect from any Dragon Well green tea, they are wok-roasted I guess.

I brew it Gongfu style using a glass teapot in order to enjoy the leaves as they reveal themselves. The liquor is pale yellow and crystal clear. The aroma is grassy and floral as well. I went for just a minute for first infusion which produced delicately sweet and light flavor with a hint of grassiness in the background. The mouthfeel is velvety and the aftertaste was sweet yet left a drying sensation. The second infusion took about one and a half minute and it’s stronger than first infusion both flavor and aroma-wise. It’s also produced somewhat bitterness but a welcomed one. In total I’ve made four infusions. In the third infusion, which took about two minutes, flavor started to fade away yet still good. In the fourth infusion tea leaves revealed themselves fully which reminded me it’s time to go no further.

This Dragon Well green tea from Teavivre is one of the best examples of this classic tea I’ve ever tried so far. From now on I’d be more careful not to pass many days without drinking it!

Teavivre Dragon Well Green Tea Teavivre Dragon Well Green Tea

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Tea Review: Bi Luo Chun Green Tea from Teavivre

Teavivre Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

  • Region: Dongding Mountain, Jiangsu, China
  • Year: 2015
  • Dry tea leaves: Small, wiry tea buds with white tips
  • Liquor: Bright green
  • Brewing: Gongfu style using a small tea pot

Last month I ordered some black and green tea samples from Teavivre. Green teas I ordered have been produced this year so I’ve decided to review two of their green teas.  Not that I did not like their black teas, to the contrary they are great. Yet nothing like fresh tea, right? In this post I review one of the famous Chinese green teas which is originally grown in the Dongding Mountain in Jiangsu: Bi Luo Chun (aka Green Snail Spring).

Dry tea leaves are light green with silvery buds. They are curled similar to a snail as its name suggests. You can get lots of floral tones alongside with a hint of grassiness.

I brewed it Gongfu style using a small glass tea pot starting with a little over a minute for the first infusion which resulted with a little bit of bitterness. The liquor is dominated by grassy flavor with floral notes in the background. In order to get rid of bitterness in the first infusion I went exactly for a minute for the second infusion. Tea revealed its full potential at this infusion. There still is some bitterness alongside with its sweetness but not at a level that bothers me. Mostly I get is a very smooth and sweet tea alongside with grassy notes in the background. For the third infusion I increased brewing duration to one and a half minute to keep up with the taste of second infusion. There it’s again! Although grassiness started to fade away at this infusion; it’s now sweeter and smoother. I’ve made five infusions in total though it’s considerably lost its flavor and aroma in the fourth infusion.

In a nutshell it’s a fresh and refreshing tea with fruity, floral and grassy notes. Recommended to anyone who’s looking for some best teas of 2015!

Teavivre Bi Luo Chun Green Tea
Dry tea leaves
Teavivre Bi Luo Chun Green Tea
Spent tea leaves

 

Tea Review: Obubu Tea Farm Houjicha Gold Tea

Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold

  • Region: Obubu Tea Farm, Kyoto
  • Dry tea leaves: Mostly dark brown long tea leaves
  • Liquor: Bright golden
  • Price: $15 for 80 gr

For those who are new to Houjicha tea, it is a very special Japanese roasted green tea that is generally made out of bancha tea leaves. To be honest I’m not a fan of this tea yet I try to keep drinking more of it in order to develop my tea experience.  And When I come across really good one I’d like to share it with you.

This week I’ll introduce you one of these teas: Houjicha Gold from Obubu Tea Farm. This is first houjicha I really like of all houjichas I’ve drunk so far. It’s complex, refreshing tea. The reason for that might be the fact that houjicha is normally made of bancha tea leaves (which is considered as the lowest grade of all Japanese teas) whereas in this one Sencha tea leaves were used.

I brew it Gongfu style using 5 grams of tea for about 200 mm water at about 90 degrees Celsius. First brew took 25 seconds, adding another 10-15 seconds for following brews. When it’s brewed it’s produced a liquor reminiscent of Dancong oolongs. The liquor is crystal clear as well.

First thing that hits you even before you take your first sip is the dominance of roasted and nutty aroma in this tea. It’s very well balanced, it does not bother you as in some other houjichas. Similar to aroma taste is dominated by roasted and nutty flavors too. It’s refreshingly sweet, with no sign of astringency. The mouthfeel is delicately sweet.

In a nutshell, this houjicha from Obubu Tea Farm is by far the best houjicha I’ve tried so far and it’s suggested to anyone who want  to try this tea first time or looking for a great example of this tea.

Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold
Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold Liquor
Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold
Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold Spent Tea Leaves

Tea Review: Tian Shan Green Tea by Green Tea Guru

Tian Shan Green Tea by Green Tea Guru

  • Region: Fujian, China
  • Dry tea leaves: Wiry, dark green tea leaves
  • Liquor: Light green
  • Infusion: Gongfu style using gaiwan

This week’s tea is first for me both seller-wise and tea-wise. It’s coming from Guildford, UK based online tea retailer Green Tea Guru. Green Tea Guru sells loose teas from both China and Taiwan yet focusing mostly on green teas. I bought a few sample packages of their tea selection and I have decided to go for Tian Shan green tea for this week’s review. It’s produced at Lao Fu tea farm in Fujian, China.

Dark green tea leaves are uniform and smell grassy. They are also very fresh and tender. The liquor is light green. Dominant flavor and aroma in this tea is grassiness. It reminded me of steamed Japanese green teas. Alongside with its vegetable taste it’s got also some sweetness in it. That’s said you can also get a tad astringency but a welcomed one.

In a nutshell, this tea by Green Tea Guru is a nice addition to your tea cupboard for everyday use. It’s light and refreshing with sweet aftertaste.

Tian Shan Green Tea by Green Tea Guru Tian Shan Green Tea by Green Tea Guru

Tea Review: Genmaicha Green Tea by Obubu Tea

Genmaicha Green Tea by Obubu Tea

Dry Tea Leaves: Mix of roasted brown rice and bancha tea leaves
Aroma: Nutty alongside with roasted rice
Flavor: Very dominant buttery flavor with little bit of saltiness
Region: Kyoto, Japan
Brewing: 5 gr tea brewed four times at 90° for 20-25 seconds
Liquor: Between yellow and green. Crystal clear

According to the legend that goes back to 15th century; a samurai who was planning an attack on enemy ordered his servant, named Genmai, a cup of tea. While preparing tea Genmai accidentally dropped a few grains of rice into tea bowl which made the Samurai very angry and as a result servant lost his head. However when the Samurai took his first sip of the tea prepared by Genmai, he was filled with remorse and named the tea ‘Genmaicha‘ to honor his servant.

There are probably more practical reasons on the origin of Genmaicha yet it’s kinda heart-warming to hear this sort of stories now and then. Genmaicha (aka Popcorn tea) today is one of the most popular teas of Japan. Personally I haven’t been much of a fan of this tea since the blend of rice and tea felt like an awkward combination to me. If you’re well into tea world you know that there is this group of teas you could name ‘love it or hate it’ teas. Lapsang Souchong or Smoked Tea is one of these teas and I love it. Genmaicha is another tea you can put in this ‘love it or hate it’ category and you can guess which side of the scale I am inclined. However I know there are great admirers of this tea out there and I respect them. I believe Genmaicha has a character and very unique tea just like Lapsang Souchong. Furthermore some teas are like great novels you’ve got to put some effort into it and show some patience in order to cherish it.

This week’s tea coming from Obubu Tea Farm in Kyoto, Japan. Previously I reviewed their Kabuse Sencha green tea. I bought a lot of samples from them and it’s kinda hard to choose this week’s tea. For some reason I went for their Genmaicha tea. As soon as you get the hold of tea leaves you can easily understand the freshness of it. Both bancha tea leaves and brown rice have very vibrant colors .It’s full of roasted brown rice which surface up as soon as you pour water into teapot. Bancha tea leaves that are used in this tea are quite fresh as well. The sweetness of this tea comes from roasted brown rice which is combined with somewhat astringency of bancha tea leaves. As a result they made a very special tea to drink even for those who’re not into Genmaicha tea.

If you’re already fan of Genmaicha tea then I highly recommend this tea. If you’re somewhat aloof and want to give it a shot then again Obubu’s Genmaicha is among the right options.

Genmaicha Green Tea by Obubu Tea Genmaicha Green Tea by Obubu Tea

Tea Review: Kabuse Sencha Green Tea by Obubu Tea

Kabuse Sencha or shaded tea is Obubu‘s most premium green tea. Even though Gyokuro tea is known as shaded tea of Japan; there are some senchas such as this one shading technic is applied. It’s sort of a middle way between Sencha and Gyokuro. The main reason for shading tea and therefore reducing sunlight on tea leaves is to create amino acid and chlorophyll-rich tea leaves in order to get a more complex and rich tea. Obubu’s Kabuse Sencha was covered for two weeks prior to harvesting. It’s all made from %100 aracha from Wazuka, Kyoto.

Dry tea leaves are mostly dark green and have a needle-like sharpness with somewhat broken leaves. As usual for Japanese green teas it smells grassy. I used 5 grams of tea, 80 ml of water at 70 degrees for about 1.5 minutes for the first infusion as it’s instructed at Obubu’s tea brewing brochure. The liquor was very light green and you get grassiness from the liquor easily. It’s a very sweet tea with a little bit astringency. I’m quite a fan of having both sweet and bitter notes in tea. Yet sweetness in this tea is quite different from the sweetness of other teas such as sweetness of Ali Shan Oolong. This tea is distinguished with its ‘umami’ flavor which means ‘tasty’ in Japanese according to the description at Obubu’s Tea Brochure. It’s also a persistent tea with a very creamy texture.

Obubu Kabuse Sencha Green Tea Obubu Kabuse Sencha Green Tea

Tea Review: Turkish Green Tea by Caykur

Turkish Green Tea by Caykur

  • Region : Rize, Turkey
  • Leaf Appearance: Small, broken mostly dark green tea leaves
  • Steeping: 3 gr of tea with 200 ml water at 95 Celsius degrees about 3 minutes.
  • Liquor: Between green and yellow
  • Price:  Approximately 3 USD for 150 Gr

Turkey has been known with her obsession with black tea traditionally. Yet that has started to change recently and Turkish people have increasingly been demanding more green tea, even white tea. In order to meet this demand Caykur which is the state-run tea company has commenced producing green tea. This week I’m going to review one of the green teas by Caykur.

Dry leaves of this tea are small and finely cut with some stems. They are mostly dark green. When it’s infused it produces between green and yellow liquor.

The liquor is quite clear and refreshing. It tastes slightly bitter and grassy with hints of seaweed. It is easily drinkable without sugar or any other sweeteners.

This tea by Caykur reminded me Tazo green teas I used to drink at Starbucks. Provided that Caykur has just started producing green teas this tea is quite successful. It’s not gonna put you over the moon but it’d definitely satisfy your thirst for green tea.

Turkish Green Tea by Caykur

Turkish Green Tea by Caykur

Turkish Green Tea by Caykur