Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

TeaVivre: Five teas

September 11, 2012 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

I received five tea samples some months ago from TeaVivre with intention to review them all. Fortunately they sent enough quantity that I was able to taste and take notes when they first arrived, though I was too busy to write up the reviews, and then also brew fresh samples now that I do have the time.

TeaVivre is a relatively new company selling Chinese tea online into the US, Canada, and France. The principal founders appear to all be in China, with offices in Hong Kong and Fujian. I’ve written about Fujian before. It’s not one of the touristy areas of China, mostly agricultural, which means lots of tea plantations. It’s on the mainland at the same latitude as Taiwan, and has similar climate, so you find many similar teas grown in both areas. (For those using the archaic nomenclatures, Taiwan=Formosa, Fujian=Fukien.)

Today I’ll write about all fives teas I received. There were some winners and some losers.

*White Peony (Bai MuDan)
*Jasmine “Dragon Pearls”
*Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong
*Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess”
*Yun Nan Dian Hong (more…)

Today’s tea: “jian xuan” milk oolong

May 08, 2009 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

Milk oolong was the first tea I drink regularly that I noticed is best when it is a little cooler. Some teas I like to sip when they can practically scald my tongue, but the sweet creaminess of milk oolong comes out when it has cooled in the cup just a little. Upon discovering this fact, I started trying to taste all my “grassy” oolongs that way, and have gained a whole new sense of enjoyment of them.

Today’s tea is a “jian xuan” milk oolong from Holy Mountain Trading Company. It is fragrant in the cup and sweet on the tongue, but this particular batch of it is not as good as the previous year’s. The milk scent/flavor does not survive to the second steeping very well. But milk oolong is as variable as fine wine, and just like wine is dependent on the weather. Although there are some “milk” oolongs that are actually infused with milk or milk flavor, the classic milk oolong is achieved only through a trick of the weather, (more…)