Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Teavivre, Taiwan Osmanthus Oolong Tea

Teavivre Description:
Crafted with the tea leaves from Qingxin Oolong tea trees, mixed with natural fragrance extracted from fresh osmanthus, this Osmanthus Oolong Tea has high floral scent, as well as the mellow taste of oolong tea. When brewing this tea, you will first smell the refreshing osmanthus fragrance, and then taste its flavor in the liquid in the mean time feel the sweet flavor. The aroma of osmanthus and oolong will stay in your mouth for a long time. The floral fragrance also brings richer flavor to the oolong tea.

Sample provided by Teavivre

My Review:
I have tried one other Osmanthus Oolong. Afterwards I still was not sure what osmanthus was supposed to taste like. That is definitely not going to be the situation here. When I cut off the top of the sample bag a floral almost perfume scent filled the air. To me, it resembles lavender. Very fragrant.

The pellets are compact with a partial stem showing. They look pretty much like any Taiwan oolong. I used a healthy half scoop in my press and added boiling water for a two minute steep per Teavivre's instruction. I often play with other companies parameters but for my tastes Teavivre gets it right pretty much all the time. The only change I generally make is I use less leaf than they recommend per my tastes.

The result is a white grape colored liquor that is bright and clear. The wet leaf is only partially relaxed. The leaf scent is floral and green. The cup aroma is osmanthus.

The sip starts with the osmanthus, then the green fresh oolong flavor kicks in. This is sweet with no bitterness, bite, or rough edges. I was concerned at first that the dry aroma was so perfumey that the cup would be overpowered. Happily this is not the case. It is far less in your face flavored than most any flavored commercially produced tea. Compared to say a black tea, this is a very lightly flavored cup. It is more intense than a white tea.

The aftertaste is very long lasting, floral, and very sweet. This is one of the few hot teas I have not wanted to add sweetener to the cup. I always try to review them without additions first. If you add sweetener it is kind of too much even for a sweet tooth junkie. However the addition causes the osmanthus to taste something like grape candy.

For round two I steeped another 12 ounces for two minutes. On this cup the oolong moves to the forefront and the osmanthus recedes, still present but not dominant. This cup has an earthy or woodsy quality to it. The aftertaste is still very sweet of osmanthus and it lingers on and on.

At first I was not sure what I thought of this, but it sips easily and as I sipped I noticed the cup went empty very quickly.

Visit the Teavivre website.

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