I had no idea this ginseng oolong was going to be so different from Teavivre’s. There are a couple of obvious reasons why it is, though.
First, this is a Chinese oolong, while Teavivre’s is from Taiwan. Second, this uses Siberian ginseng root, while Teavivre uses American ginseng. I really thought there was licorice root powder on the Teavivre leaves but I asked them some time ago and was told there was not. I taste something similar here but no licorice root is mentioned and it is lighter.
This tastes like a Tie Guan Yin, and the ginseng is adding just a hint of flavor that comes as a sweetness after the swallow. It doesn’t even come close to the floral sweetness that follows with Teavivre’s, though. This is the level of ginseng flavor I would expect on their third steep.
Second steep is sweeter than the first, but still milder than Teavivre’s.
The Tin Roof leaves are still tightly balled up and coated with ginseng after the second steep. Now I have done the third steep and they still haven’t unfurled. I think something about their ginseng powder must have more sticking power and dissolves into the tea more slowly.
The leaves are still dark pellets, but the tea is getting a little sweeter with each steep – just a bit. I think this gives the tea a consistent level of flavor with lightly growing sweetness each steep.
Several people mentioned disliking ginseng. If you want ginseng for its benefits and like TGY, this would be the way to go. Personally I love the BANG POW of the first steep of Teavivre’s Taiwan ginseng followed by the gradually calming down of the following steeps.