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Gray

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Member since Feb. 9th, 2018. Reviewed 13 teas.

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10-Year Aged Raw Pu-erh Brick Tea (2005) from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 2nd, 2018

I'm not sure how others determine their point ratings for tea, but for me, an 85 is an above-average everyday tea. At first, when I tried this, I didn't like it. Something about the notes just didn't appeal to me. It took getting more used to rougher, young raw pu-erh for me to really start to appreciate this one. It ...

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Picture of Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2012

Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2012 from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 2nd, 2018

When the holidays came around (and the holiday sales) and I was treating myself to one of the more expensive cakes, I picked this one out of all of those available on TeaVivre. The reason that I picked this one was that it's drinkable now, it tastes like it has potential for the future (not all currently drinkable cake...

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Picture of Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013

Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013 from TeaVivre

Style: Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh – Region: Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 2nd, 2018

I'd rate this one pretty high, but most of the flavor is in the breath, not in the taste itself. I think it's a matter of personal preference as to whether one prefers one, the other, or both. I prefer both because it gives more of a rounded experience. This just doesn't have enough in the taste to appeal to me. There ...

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Picture of Menghai Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2018 - Dog Year

Menghai Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2018 - Dog Year from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

25 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 26th, 2018

I liked the Monkey Year tea, but before I could order a cake, they sold out and were replaced with the Dog Year tea. I'm very glad that I opted to get a sample first because this tea is completely different, even though they were listed for sale on the same page.

First of all, the notes of the Monkey Year tea were f...

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Picture of Fengqing Daohua Xiang Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013

Fengqing Daohua Xiang Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013 from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 24th, 2018

When I first tried this tea, I used a Western brewing method and it came out terribly. At that point in time, I also had very little experience with the bitterness of younger raw pu-erh. Well, I let some samples of this sit around for about six months to a year and gave it another try. I was so happy I tried this again...

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Picture of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

30 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

I'd really like to say something positive about this tea, but it's really just not good. I gave it several chances. I brewed it first using the method that worked reliably with the Maeda-en gyokuro, but it was bitter and made me extremely jittery. I tried converting the annoying, proprietary "perfect spoonful" measurem...

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Picture of Gyokuro Reserve Green Tea

Gyokuro Reserve Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Select go hand-in-hand. This is the sweet one of the two while the Select is more savory/umami. Both brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had good results with the following brewing m...

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Picture of Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea

Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Reserve go hand-in-hand, because one is more savory and the other is more sweet. One of my favorite things about both of these is that they brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had go...

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Picture of Organic Silken Pu-erh

Organic Silken Pu-erh from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 8th, 2018

I was in the area, so I decided to check out a David's Tea shop. In all honesty, it looked more like a candy store than a tea shop. It had all these colorful spoons and containers and most of their "teas" looked more like trail mix or confetti than tea (some of them had the ingredients to trail mix in them). I'd writte...

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Picture of Liu Bao Tea Cake 100g

Liu Bao Tea Cake 100g from Three Cranes and Six Forts

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Guangxi, China

0 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Apr. 18th, 2018

I had some very bad results with this tea, I'm sorry to say. It made me feel as if I'd been poisoned. The cake itself didn't smell too bad, it actually had a decent scent to it — like pu-erh, but different in a way. I wasn't sure if the scent was sweet in the way that some pu-erh can mature into having a sweet, sugar...

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Picture of Zhu Xiang Ji brand Yu Lei dark tea

Zhu Xiang Ji brand Yu Lei dark tea from ESGREEN

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Hunan, China

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 15th, 2018

If you could brew the experience of sitting in a lush pine forest after a light rain, with a distant, vague scent of wood fire smoke on the air, this would be it. This tea has a clean, dark, wet earth note that underlies a pine note with an almost menthol-like quality to it, and a touch of smoke that comes in at times....

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Picture of 1953 Fucha Anhua Dark Tea Royal Fu Tea Brick

1953 Fucha Anhua Dark Tea Royal Fu Tea Brick from Baishaxi

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Hunan, China

78 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 13th, 2018

Okay, third time's a charm... Finally, I got something more drinkable out of this one! In the end, it actually reminded me quite a bit of TeaVivre's organic gunpowder green tea, with its smoky, almost pepper-like flavor. Here are the measurements that worked for me:

Temperature: 100ºC
Water: 110ml
Instrument: gai...

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Picture of Organic Gunpowder Green Tea (Zhu Cha)

Organic Gunpowder Green Tea (Zhu Cha) from TeaVivre

Style: Gunpowder Green Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 9th, 2018

The first time I ever tried gunpowder tea, I hated it. So, I came to this tea very skeptical. I also don't like smoky flavors, so that was another potential issue. But, even with all of that working against it, I ended up loving this tea. It has a spicy note like black pepper, there's a moderately rich, buttery quality...

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