I got this sample with my first ever Teavivre order last week. Only one packet… 7 g of tea… I wanted to make sure I did everything right. There was no room for error.
I opened the package and smelled the dry tea. The scent was largely vegetal with a hint of creaminess. I wanted to compare so I popped open the package of Quangzhou Milk Oolong from David’s Tea, the only other milk oolong that I’ve tried. DT’s milk oolong dry tea smells very sweet and milky.. there is no doubt about it and very different from Teavivre’s.
I agonized how to prepare this milk oolong. Teavivre calls for boiling water, whereas I’m used to steeping milk oolong at 82C. After reading some of the reviews on Steepster I decided to steep it at 82C because some people did notice that the subtle milkiness of this tea was compromised when steeped over boiling water.
1st steep: 7g of leaf, 8 ounces of water, 82C, 3 minutes. I wanted to do shorter steep but noticed that at 1 or 2 minutes mark the leaves didn’t even unfurl. Given that I was steeping at a lower temperature I decided to give the first steep full 3 minutes.
The resulting liquid was pale green/yellow with delicate vegetal and floral scent. The tea itself tasted delicious. It was smooth, vegetal, slightly floral with a hint of a cream. The milkiness of this tea is definitely more subdued than that of David’s, you can’t really compare. I’ve come to the peace with a fact that David’s milk oolong is probably infused at some point of production, just like many other milk oolongs probably are. What I’m tasting in Teavivre’s milk oolong is natural milkiness, I’m quite sure of that.
2nd steep: 82C water, 4 minutes. The leaves are beautifully unfurled now… they take up most of the space in my little steeping pot. The liquid is still pale yellow but stronger than the first steep. All the flavours from the first steep are still present although I think it’s less creamy now. Still very delicious though and full of body. I detect lovely, very well balanced astringency throughout the sip. Given another chance I think 3 minute second steep would have been sufficient. This tea packs a lot of flavour.
Overall this is delicious tea definitely deserving of a shelf space. It’s so different from DT milk oolong though, I would have to own them both to be perfectly content. I definitely couldn’t replace one with the other.
Edit: 3rd steep 82-85C, 3.5 minutes. The milky flavour is back in all it’s glory. I think I definitely over did the second steep, should have stopped at 3 minutes.