Review: Teavivre Oriental Beauty Oolong

Oolong Tea, Teavivre Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Generous yet delicate fruit, grass and malt notes are constantly evolving with the temperature of the water. The flavour profile seems to veer towards Darjeeling territory, rather than what I would expect from a fermented oolong. In the end, the results make for an engaging and enjoyable cup. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.7/10
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This Taiwanese oolong consists of buds and leaves that have been exposed to leaf hoppers, tiny insects that like to feed on young tea leaves. The insects' bites change the chemistry of the leaves, producing a honey-like flavour. While this tea isn't certified organic, no pesticides are used for obvious reasons. Afterwards, it's highly fermented (between 65-85%) to produce a smooth, sweet tea. For more information I encourage readers to visit Teavivre's website. While the level of English used isn't always stellar, the quantity and depth of details are. Taking a look at my sample, the leaves are mostly a dark chocolate brown, laced with a striking combination of gold, silver and green slivers. Their aroma is grassy and sweet, like a field of wild flowers.

I brewed 4 teaspoonfuls of leaves in a 8 ounces of water heated to 85 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes, as recommended on Teavivre's website. The pale copper cup has a surprising amount of down floating at the bottom. The tea is light in feel but very flavourful, with delicate malt, raisin, grass and honeydew melon notes. There is a wine-like quality to the profile as well, reminiscent of the musky muscatel flavour of some Darjeelings. For the most part, it has a rather smooth feel, but it does become more drying and astringent as it cools. This is a hard tea to describe, as it's flavour is rather complex and changes quite a bit along with it's temperature. In the end, the results make for an engaging and enjoyable cup.

I steeped the tea again for 3 and a half minutes. It's a little less complex and thinner in feel this time, but makes for a pretty solid cup nonetheless. The more astringent grass notes are pleasantly offset by the sweet bread and malt background. Again the flavour profile seems to veer towards Darjeeling territory, rather than what I would expect from a fermented oolong, but I am not complaining!

After 4 and a half minutes, my third steep is simpler and less complex still. A mix of tannin, malt and grass notes dominate. It's still entirely palatable, but much less interesting in comparison to the two previous steeps.

Generous yet delicate fruit, grass and malt notes are constantly evolving with the temperature of the water. Considering the labour intensive process to make this tea, this offering is very reasonably priced. My one caveat is that it does have a tendency to go bitter if over-steeped, especially as it cools, so it can be a little tricky to brew. However, this is an offering that is well worth trying, for fans of lighter black teas and oolong lovers alike.

— To purchase Teavivre Oriental Beauty Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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