Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teavivre, True Love Flower Tea

This sample is one of 15 provided by Teavivre,  a tea distributor located in China.

The most beautiful flowering tea I have seen to date. Silver needle green tea cradling a white bouquet with twin white spires rising up topped with red globes. The flowers look like they were just picked. The picture does not do it justice.

To brew this I poured boiling water through a strainer so as not to damage the pod into an 8 cup clear glass carafe. The bloom began expanding immediately. Not a single leaf or petal came loose in the pot. Once steeped I poured the brew into the cup through the strainer. Clarity is excellent. Color is from pale amber to deep golden depending on steep time. The jasmine flavor is way in the background. One of the other two flowers – the globe amaranth I think – dominates and it is not a flavor I particularly like. Letting this steep longer and letting the cup cool brings out the jasmine a little more.

Visually this rates a 100.

Second pod. After reading other reviewers had used only a 7 oz glass to steep this, I wanted to try it but didn’t have anything that small, so I used my 4 cup French press and added 12 oz of water. That is about a third of what I have used in the past for flowering teas. 1 minute steep in boiling water. The globe amaranths were poking out of the water. The bloom was spanning almost the width of the press. A taller and narrower glass would be better. Using less water brought forth the jasmine scent but the globe amaranth still dominates. I do think less might be more with this tea. The flavor is much more intense. I did two steeps.

I have read many reviews of floral blend teas warning of the dreaded hibiscus flower, well here it is the globe amaranth. If you aren’t a fan you will have an issue.

Curious and admitting globe amaranth is never going to be a taste I crave I decided for the third steep to cut the string holding the bloom together and remove the flowers. The floral scent is still present in the brew but much reduced. I can even taste tea. What was a beautiful center piece is now a more pleasant drinking tea. I know it kind of defeats the purpose.

This tastes far better than it has to for a truly beautiful centerpiece.

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