Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teavivre, Silver Jasmine Green Tea (Mo Li Yin Hao)

Silver Jasmine Dry Leaf
Silver Jasmine Green Tea (Mo Li Yin Hao)

Teavivre Description:
Hugely popular in China, Silver Jasmine Green tea is produced by adding jasmine flower petals to the tea buds during processing, so infusing this premium green tea with a subtle fragrance and taste of jasmine.  After drying the flower petals are removed, leaving the tea with its unique taste and fragrance.  TeaVivre's Silver Jasmine is made from premium Fuding Da Bai and Da Hao tea trees grown in Mt Taimu, Fujian.

My Review:
Seems like forever since I have posted, and indeed it has been over two weeks. I had a bout with allergies that turned into a lot more serious lung infection. I'm feeling a lot better now but the medicine I'm on is taking a toll on my senses. We'll see how it goes today.

You've no doubt heard the expression, you get what you pay for. Many times this is true. Often the secret to bargain hunting is to understand what you are after. This tea is a prime example.

I have had several versions of Jasmine tea from Teavivre. Their Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls remains my absolute favorite jasmine ever from anywhere. Slightly more expensive, The Jasmine Silver Needle White tea comes in a close second. Interestingly, for my tastes the highest grade Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls comes in third for me. I guess that means I have beer tastes instead of champagne. I'm OK with that. So that kind of makes today's tea the light beer of jasmine teas as it is the lowest priced version Teavivre offers.

Steeping Silver Jasmine
Opening my 100 g bag and removing around 2.5 g, I am met with the familiar scent that won me over three years ago with the Premium version. Before then I thought I didn't like jasmine as it was too fake or perfumey for me.

Looking closely, there are some silver tightly wound buds in the mix along with the green leaves. I used my clear glass teapot and 5 oz of water heated to 194 F. The steep was a little over one minute.

Teavivre calls the liquor color pale yellow mint. It looks a touch darker in my picture but their description is pretty accurate.

If you notice on the spout side in the picture that arc is actually water vapor condensed on the inside surface. Sadly, I did notice a crack running along the top of the spout. I couldn't get a good shot of it. I must have hit it on the sink while cleaning. I think it is safe to use, for now.

OK, back to the review:

I have prepared this tea a few times already. Here is what I have learned. On the bag, Teavivre recommends 1-2 tsp of leaf for 8 oz. 2 tsp will produce a very strong jasmine flavor. It isn't perfume but it is too strong for me. The taste reminds me of blooming jasmine teas in fact at first I swear I taste globe amaranth.

Wet Leaf
So I tried again with 1 tsp (roughly 2.5 g) and found it is plenty. Now the cup is nice and inviting with just a hint of bite from the green tea. There is no bitterness and only a slight cheek tingle.

What it lacks is the depth of the Premium Dragon Pearls. Then again it is $12 for 100 g compared to $19 for the Premium.

This version is better than any I have found in bag form and better than much of the loose I have sampled. Whether this tea is a bargain treasure depends on what you are after. If you are looking for an everyday jasmine that will go great with a meal, then this is an excellent choice. If you are looking for a tea to sit and ponder, I suggest kicking it up a notch. After I tinkered with how to steep it per my tastes, I found this to be a very nice, less complex, tea.

You can find this Silver Jasmine here.

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