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WOW. I received the samples I had requested from Teavivre today, and I am blown away by their generosity! Samples of five different teas, each sample looking to be enough to brew 4 cups. I am so excited to get going on these!

My roommate has never tried a milk oolong (or straight oolong, for that matter) before, and requested we try this one first.

The dry tea definitely doesn’t smell as creamy as DavidsTea’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong, the only other one that I really have experience with, but it does smell good and a bit floral. I’ll have to take better notes next time; I’m not opening up a second packet just to write about how the dry tea smells (and I just don’t remember the details right now).

I used one packet in 250ml of water in my little steeper.

First infusion (~95C, ~2min)
Smells floral and orchidy, with perhaps a hint of creaminess. The taste is delicate and lightly floral, with just a touch of creaminess. I’m getting some vegetal classic “oolong flavour”, particularly lingering at the end of the sip, which is really tasty.

Second infusion (~96C, ~2min)
Mostly a fresh orchidy oolong smell this time. Really not getting any creaminess, just a touch of floral notes back by the delicious oolong flavour.

Third infusion (~96C, ~3min)
Very little aroma this time, and the taste is clean and a bit astringent. No creaminess and barely anything floral left, but still a good infusion because I can taste oolong! Actually, I’m getting a bit of something fruity or sweet in the finish as well. Yum.

Fourth infusion (~98C, ~3min)
Again, pretty much no aroma. The flavour is now somewhat like a fruity, astringent wood, but in the best possible way I can mean that! I’m actually getting a bit of a resurgence of creaminess although it’s a bit different this time. Perhaps buttery instead of creamy.

Probably could have gone for a fifth infusion, but I’m exhausted.

Overall, a good oolong, but the difference between this milk oolong and DT’s is quite striking, so much so that I would have assumed that this one was just a regular tieguanyin. I’ll have to do some direct comparisons to really get my head around it. If I’m looking for a tea that’s very creamy though, I probably wouldn’t pick this one. Next time I plan to keep to stricter infusion times and temperatures, perhaps trying the boiling temperature that they recommend, as it seems people have had success with it? I also should mention that my tastebuds seemed a little off today, so that could account for flavours not tasting as they should as well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I agree that I get excited to taste the tea myself but sometimes the tastebuds don’t turn on. Good thing there’s more tea! I’m finding that I have to set time aside for really having a long peaceful space or the experiece falls short. I have 4 tea’s waiting for a review because I need to dedicate half a day to each one at least. This is a new way of thinking isn’t it!

Kittenna

Yes, that’s exactly it. I need to have a good hour minimum and peace and quiet to concentrate so I can really enjoy and think about the tea, and tonight I just can’t focus, and so many distractions were making me have trouble tasting the tea properly. I also have a backlog of teas that I need to take time with trying, and I just haven’t had as much time as I’d have liked lately!

Indigobloom

Ohmygoodness, how many teas sit untasted in my cupboard for that same reason… not just that, but I need it to be when nobody else is home. The fam just doesn’t understand lol

Uniquity

I feel terrible, but I hardly ever have the time required to sit down and properly savour my samples from Teavivre (and others!) I have tried three or four of them so far, but only have managed to log 3. It’s not that I’m ungrateful, I just seem to lead a busy life. Working full time, visiting with family, fitting in workouts and really dedicating myself to cooking and health in general leaves me pretty zonked. If I get time in the evening I tend to read and therefore don’t have the focus for a proper review. I usually only have time on weekends, but I tend to be visiting out of town family most weekends. Ah well!

TeaVivre

If you want a milk oolong tea with stronger milk flavor. I suggest you have a look of this Flavored Milk Oolong Tea:
http://www.teavivre.com/jin-xuan-tea-flavored/

Kittenna

TeaVivre – I’m not sure that I necessarily want a stronger milk flavour, I was just expecting it after my one experience with a milk oolong! The tea was lovely though, and I’m convinced that my tastebuds may be refusing to acknowledge some more complex flavours right now. I’ll probably put that flavoured oolong on my list for later though :)

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Comments

Bonnie

I agree that I get excited to taste the tea myself but sometimes the tastebuds don’t turn on. Good thing there’s more tea! I’m finding that I have to set time aside for really having a long peaceful space or the experiece falls short. I have 4 tea’s waiting for a review because I need to dedicate half a day to each one at least. This is a new way of thinking isn’t it!

Kittenna

Yes, that’s exactly it. I need to have a good hour minimum and peace and quiet to concentrate so I can really enjoy and think about the tea, and tonight I just can’t focus, and so many distractions were making me have trouble tasting the tea properly. I also have a backlog of teas that I need to take time with trying, and I just haven’t had as much time as I’d have liked lately!

Indigobloom

Ohmygoodness, how many teas sit untasted in my cupboard for that same reason… not just that, but I need it to be when nobody else is home. The fam just doesn’t understand lol

Uniquity

I feel terrible, but I hardly ever have the time required to sit down and properly savour my samples from Teavivre (and others!) I have tried three or four of them so far, but only have managed to log 3. It’s not that I’m ungrateful, I just seem to lead a busy life. Working full time, visiting with family, fitting in workouts and really dedicating myself to cooking and health in general leaves me pretty zonked. If I get time in the evening I tend to read and therefore don’t have the focus for a proper review. I usually only have time on weekends, but I tend to be visiting out of town family most weekends. Ah well!

TeaVivre

If you want a milk oolong tea with stronger milk flavor. I suggest you have a look of this Flavored Milk Oolong Tea:
http://www.teavivre.com/jin-xuan-tea-flavored/

Kittenna

TeaVivre – I’m not sure that I necessarily want a stronger milk flavour, I was just expecting it after my one experience with a milk oolong! The tea was lovely though, and I’m convinced that my tastebuds may be refusing to acknowledge some more complex flavours right now. I’ll probably put that flavoured oolong on my list for later though :)

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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