Sunday, October 5, 2014

Teavivre, Strawberry Oolong

Sample Bag
Teavivre Description:
The dry tea of this Strawberry Oolong Tea has strong sweet strawberry fragrance. By mixing natural extractives from strawberry with Oolong Tea, this tea tastes sweet-sour as well as smooth and mellow. The brisk and fresh feeling of this tea makes it suitable for summer drinking.

Price: $8.90/100g

My Review:
There is no question that Teavivre is one of my favorite tea providers. Their teas are generally excellent and the service is top notch. So it is with much enthusiasm that I'm reviewing the Strawberry Oolong I ordered during a recent purchase.

Yummy Strawberry Aroma
I find the label on Teavivre's samples a little difficult to read. The font is tiny and my eyes are old - not a good combination. In fairness, the labels used to be huge and contained every bit of information one might want to know from where and when the tea was harvested, to steeping instructions. Feedback from people concerned about excessive environmental waste prompted the change. I can adjust.

Opening the sample I catch a delicious strawberry aroma. The leaf is tightly wound pellets with stems projecting. Some are very dark while others are a light green.

I placed the nuggets into the press and added water heated to 212 F! That's what the label says. I steeped for four minutes. The range is a wide 3 to 8 minutes.

Welcome To The Jungle
The result is huge green leaves floating in the press. Some float high in the water and most stay low covering the bottom like the jungle floor.

As I began to pour I could smell fresh green oolong. Nice in itself but I was concerned about the strawberry. Where did it go?

Not to worry. As I pulled the top of the press the strawberry aroma poured out to greet me.

The mug is bright yellow, clear and bright. As the liquor cools it turns more of a golden shade.

Liquid Sunshine
At a four minute steep, I thought this would be very strong. My normal steep is maybe two minutes. Instead it is a lighter, far more delicate cup, than expected. This, as Teavivre states, is smooth and mellow.

The main flavor is strawberry. It is not a candy type flavor but not as tart as biting into the real thing. They have gone very easy on the natural 'extractives' and produced a light refreshing cup. I do taste the oolong as well. That doesn't always happen with flavored teas. The oolong tastes fresh, green, and light.

The light hand on the flavoring of this tea has been done intentionally. As found on the product page  - Talking about the making of this Strawberry Oolong Tea, the natural extractives from strawberry are added after the Oolong tea is made, in order to keep the original flavor of Oolong tea, and ensure that both the strawberry fragrance and Oolong tea’s unique flavor can be tasted

This is an adult take on strawberry oolong. If you are looking to relive the flavor blast from your childhood Strawberry Kool-Aid days, you might well be disappointed. If you add sweetener in hopes of boosting it into that childlike drink, you will not get what you are seeking. In fact I found sweetener actually detracted from the natural refreshing nature of this tea.

I might also add - the cooler the cup gets the more fragrant the strawberry becomes. Be patient and you will be rewarded.

I waited until fall weather to try this tea. It would have been perfect for an iced drink in the summer heat. Instead, I will use it as liquid sunshine to make the coming chill a little more bearable.

You can find Teavivre Strawberry Oolong tea here.

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