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Recent Tasting Notes
Taiwan Osmanthus Oolong Tea (Flavored) has the dry scent of, as you can expect, osmanthus. Holy bells. That is some flower power right there. It’s like sticking your nose into the center of a Peachy Ring; after one whiff, you want to brush the sugar off your nostrils. The steeped aroma is much more savory, with the peach hanging subtly overhead.
Our first infusion yields that odd tongue-sensation that you get when two divisions of the flavor spectrum are sandwiched together, in a space that just too close for comfort. Sweet and Savory are crammed into a tiny elevator, forced to squeeze up against each other, and neither one is happy about the situation–which leaves the drinker… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/15/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-3/
Another “Superfine” tea, Superfine Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong Tea, hides its fragrance very well when dry. It’s like sniffing a clean table; you get nothing. Once steeped, you get some nice orangey flowers warming up your day, the delicately edible kind like marigolds and sunflowers. In fact, more than the petal part of the sunflower is the scent of sunflower seed. (If you’ve never had sunflower seed butter, go put it on your toast. Now.)
With the first infusion, its liquor the color of a watery Post-it, the sip is full of those sunflower seeds. But not just any seed… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/15/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-3/
The last of our “Superfine”s, the dry Superfine Taiwan Quing Xiang Dong Ding Oolong Tea keeps to itself, smell-wise. You get hints of possibili-teas; some petals, some mineral salt, some herbyness in the sage-y vein, but otherwise nada. In the cup, this steeps to an interesting effect: someone’s been cooking veggies all day–zucchini, celery, and bok choy–but then decided to blast the room with Febreeze and the veggies came out on top.
Definitely the greenest of our oolongs so far in the first infusion, when you get down to the sip-’sperience. Meadow-green, hot-sun-on-wet-grass green, Fifty Shades of Green. With a similarly faint yellow liquor as the Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Tea, this stuff is tailor-made for… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/15/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-3/
The dry leaves of Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Tea put us right into floral mode. Something rosier than a jasmine, though–most oolongs just hit you with white flowers and call it a day. This one, however, has got a promise of peony. Maybe even actual camellia. Once steeped, the aroma really softens up to yield greener, veggie-er notes.
For the first infusion, don’t be afraid of taking your time with it. Even if it’s rapid-fire gong fu, a solid minute should do–any less and the taste is out of sight, still stuck in the high mountains from whence it came. That initial cup is as light as dancers’ tulle. If you prefer growly, heavy-bodied oolongs, this sure isn’t one of them. Its liquor just barely blushes with color, that pale shade of an open lime. Might as well give into the temp-tea-tion to… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/15/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-3/
Our Superfine Taiwan Moderately Roasted Dong Ding Oolong Tea, however, caters right to the mouth-pleasure of ethu-tea-asts who crave a heartier cup. Dry, the roasted leaves are nutty goodness in the bag. But since they’re only moderately roasted, you still get the underlying vegetal base, so the resulting nut is a bright pistachio. Maybe even a Brazil nut or macadamia as well in there; soft-toned stuff to keep from overshadowing the garden leaves. Strangely, all the nuts disappear from the tea’s scent once steeped.
The first infusion has… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/10/15/snooty-tea-review-teavivre-round-3/
The dry leaf smells so fresh, sweet & grassy! It’s not often that a tea smells this fresh, especially when it’s traveled across the ocean, but this one is so lovely.
Sipping… oh, this is really nice! I’m getting a bit of a honey combined with the nicest floral notes. I love how the flowers complement the sweetness of the cup instead of overwhelm everything. I don’t taste a whole lot of vegetal notes that I detected in the dry leaf scent, but am enjoying the honey and flowers instead. This cup also lacks any astringency — everything is so smooth and sweet! Delicious!
Thanks to Teavivre for such a tasty tea!
Thanks to Dexter3657 for these ones.
I smell sweet maltiness as I wait for the tea to cool to a drinkable temperature.
The flavour is about what I expected. I think these ones are nicer than the ones I got from Tealux, but they aren’t really to my taste. I think I should revisit this style of tea in a year or 6 months to see how my preferences have changed. :)
Thank you to Teavivre for the free sample! I somehow was one of the winners of the oolong giveaway a while ago, but didn’t get around to trying them until now. Anyway, this oolong was a bit less creamy than I expected it to be based on the name and other reviews. To me, it had a little more of a sour and bitter taste to it. It also leans toward the greener, grassier taste than anything else. That being said, I probably could have been a little more careful with the temperature and steeping time, so I won’t give it a rating for now.
Edit: In later steeps with a slightly shorter steep time (because of the bitterness from before), I’m getting a sweeter, more buttery taste.
When Angel at Teavivre asked me if I wanted to sample some Taiwanese teas, I couldn’t reply back fast enough! There is just something about tea from this region that makes me very happy! Most of them, that I have tried anyway, have a creaminess and sweetness that slowly grow in intensity the longer you sip. By the bottom of the first cup it reminds me of caramel. This tea is quite floral, and isn’t as creamy as others I have tried but it still has the awesome aftertaste. The leaves smell very fresh, and the tiny little pellets they start out as turn out to be quite large leaves. Always fun to watch the leaves unfurl!
Thanks again, Angel! You people at Teavivre ROCK!
I am not a pu’erh expert but I liked this one. The packaging is very nice and it’s not fishy. In fact, I ordered a lot of pu’erh samples from Teavivre and so far I haven’t been disappointed by any of them. I would need to do side by side tastings to pick out my favorite.
Had this yesterday. I thought it was interesting how it was a little like a cross between the Golden Fleece/Honey Orchid Black-type premium teas I’ve tried and stuff like Bailin Gongfu, Wild Mountain Black (I call them “the sweet potato teas”, like a sweet tuber sauced with molasses). There was definite sweet potato, that all-the-edges-smoothed-out, sweet-starchy quality I associate with Chinese black tea, but it was also lighter than stuff like Bailin Gongfu, with some subtle floral notes behind the sweet potato.