Nonpareil Anxi Qing Yiang Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea by Teavivre . . . . .

I steeped about half the sample packet (or a little over half) in about 10 ounces of water at 212 degrees for about 6 minutes.

It smells indisputably delicious as it starts to brew. Buttery, creamy, smooth, and rich. Also a tiny bit seaweedy/vegetal/grassy, but that’s subsumed by the butteriness.

The packet says to brew 4-10 minutes, which means it’s probably great for resteeping since you only need to steep it about 5-6 minutes in my experience (and with a little less water it would be less). So if you’re in the mood to re-steep, this might be a good choice for you. (As opposed to when you’re on the road or something and resteeping isn’t convenient.)

I started out using a tea ball to contain the leaves, but after a couple of minutes it became clear that wasn’t going to work out because they were just expanding too much so I let them out. Next time I’d just put them directly in the water or use a brew basket. That way I’d be able to watch them unroll too, which is always fun.

After steeping, I ended up with a nice light yellowish-green liquid (hard to say the exact shade though because I was using a green mug). It smells the tiniest bit flowery in addition to the buttery flavor.

The combo of green and creamy flavors reminds me a bit of matcha actually, although it’s gentler here and less vegetal in flavor. This is a very well-rounded flavor profile, with the bright, floral, and creamy notes complementing each other in a balanced and enjoyable fashion. Each sip is amazing. The floral bit catches your nose as you go to take a sip; the creaminess is there the whole time, and you taste the green/vegetal bit during the sip, and afterwards there’s even a slightly sweet aftertaste. And I don’t even prefer unroasted oolongs as a rule, so I’m extremely impressed with this tea and how much I enjoyed it! Teavivre has done an amazing job with this one as usual!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Teavivre

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are available.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Dragon Pearl Jasmine from Teavivre

Jasmine – Take Me Away!

I swear this stuff is better than any bubble bath for soothing frayed nerves! My jasmine vines are in bloom which set me to hankering for some delicious jasmine tea.

The first jasmine tea I ever tasted was a painful experience. I will try to distance myself emotionally enough to recount it for you. It was EXACTLY like drinking perfume. Or soap. Or something nasty that was supposed to taste like a flower but tasted like chemicals instead. It was synthetically flavored with jasmine, and it showed.

Then along came Teavivre and they sent me a sample of jasmine tea and I nearly wept for sorrow. But then I tried it and….OH JOY! I was hooked. I have had nearly every jasmine tea they make and they are all good, but this may be my favorite, although Peach Jasmine Pearls and Silver Needle Jasmine are all in the running.

The scent caresses your poor overworked brain and then you sip the tea and just taste pure, smooth green tea with essences of naturally infused flavor. It resteeps, too, stretching that tea-buying dollar a little more.

Oh jasmine, jasmine, how do I love thee? I will never be without a Teavivre jasmine on my shelf. (I hope!)

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” is a deliciously sweet green tea that combines the absolute highest quality green tea with a jasmine aroma and taste. Made from unopened bud and small leaf, this tea hand rolled into small balls, which slowly unfurl during brewing, releasing an amazing taste and aroma combination of green tea and sweet jasmine. Brewing a cup of this sweet, fragrant tea only requires a few tiny pearls!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Comparing Two Taiwanese Oolongs from #TeaAve and #Teavivre. . . . .

I’m going down the rabbit hole here with two Taiwanese oolongs, like Alishan Wonderland. The first time I visited a “Star-ba-ke” in China, I tried ordering a “tea with milk”. But they said it was too gross, several times, and they wouldn’t make it for me. I thought they had to be joking! They weren’t. My friend later told me I was insisting that “cheese” chai was a thing at American Starbucks. I could have died from the mix of embarrassment and jet lag.

Not too far away from that, around 1200 meters up Ali mountain on a foggy island with low temperatures, both the Osmanthus Oolong from Tea Ave and the Alishan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong from Tea Vivre were born to have complex flavor profiles, but nothing like cheese, I was assured. It is literally translated as Golden Daylily. I tried both these teas without adding any sweetener.
The Tea Vivre Jin Xuan Milk Oolong was so clean tasting that at first I wasn’t sure I steeped it, but the body of it feels thicker than just water and when the fruity aftertaste lingered, I was completely blown away. The flavor really crept up on me! I was able to resteep this naturally flavored tea several times and the fresh-then-orchid combo never failed to delight.


Osmanthus Oolong by Tea Ave was an equally light colored infusion but had more flavor at the front end instead. A very clean apricot flavor greeted my taste buds with this fuller bodied brew. The floral aftertaste was somewhat tannic but not as long lasting as the original flavor style. One aspect I really liked about this brand were the specific instructions for each brewing style, down to the grams for tea and mL of water. The scientist and the tea lover in me both wish I was Canadian so I could order more of this brand.

Overall a lovely experience with two drink-all-day oolongs. The best part is that now I don’t have to cringe at my bad memory when I hear the phrase “milk tea”.

Skysamurai checks out Lu Shan Yun Wu from Teavivre. . . .

After reading my review go to the webpage listed before for this tea. It is packed full of great information regarding where the tea came from, how it was processed, and even how the climate affects the leaves. One who loves tea should also love to learn. . . . .

Let’s start off with the dry leaves. They have a truly unique aroma. Mainly chocolate and malt. If you were to pass this sample around I can guarantee you that only a few people would guess that it is not flavored.

Knowing that these tea leaves are hand rolled makes me want to be extra gentle with them. Xie Xie to whoever worked on this sample of tea.

The wet leaves have no chocolate to them. Which is good. That would freak me out. Only the essences of sweet grass and a somewhat nutty aroma reside now.  The flavor is nice and crisp with a golden water color to match.

Overall the flavor is grassy. For those who enjoys grassy flavors this is a must try. It’s so refreshing.

Next time I would like to brew it Gongfu style to see if it opens any other tasting notes. Anyone who has been to China will automatically be pulled back into their memories while drinking this.

Personally, I’m thinking about the college trip I took there for my marketing major.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Teavivre
  • Grown in Lushan Mountain (庐山) in Jiangxi Province, China
  • Harvest time: April 16, 2016.
  • Lushan Mountain (庐山) in Jiangxi Province
  • Tea Liquid: bight, clean in light green color
  • Flavor: brisk and refreshing, heavy sweet flavor with light roasted chestnut fragrance. Has sweet aftertaste and long-lasting brisk fragrance in your mouth.
  • Low caffeine (Less than 10%’s amount in a cup of coffee)

The fresh tea leaves of Lu Shan Yun Wu are picked under strict requirement of one bud with one leaf or one bud with two leaves. After processed, the leaves will shape into tight, curly and strong strips. The liquid presents bright and green color while showing brisk fragrance. The scent of roasted chestnut lasts long. This Lu Shan Yun Wu is better to be brewed with big glass. It will has brisk and refreshing flavor and sweet taste. After several steeps, you will see the tea leaves tenderly stretched and showing its soft and light yellow appearance.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!


MrsPremise’s Oolong-A-Thon. . . . .

As I delved into my tea cabinet recently, I realized I had been stockpiling oolong teas.  Where did they all come from?!  

Since the season is finally starting to turn, and oolong teas always make me think of spring, it seemed like a good time to try them all.  

So I had an Oolong-A-Thon and brewed ten samples from my stores.  The numbers below aren’t a “best-of” ranking, but they roughly move from most delicate in flavor to the most potent in flavor.  . . . .


  1. Alishan High Mountain from Cameron Taiwan Premium Loose Leaf – The dry leaf smells sweet and nutty, and this sweet-oat flavor is echoed in the first steep with additional notes of green melon.  The second steep is nuttier still more oat than fruit, though a bit of the green flavor lingers on the aftertaste.  (See a review from my fellow Sororitea Sister). 
  2. Alishan High Mountain Eco First Pluck from Terrior Tea Merchant – The dry leaf smells like sweet grass and sour fruit.  The first steep is not sour at all, but very green and buttery, with more interesting notes like citrus or bok choy coming out on later steepings. 
  3. Ding Dong Oolong from Eco-Cha – Prior to brewing, this tea smells dry and earthy, like hay or dried grass.  Brewed, the first steep is roasty and savory, with just a hint of starchy sweetness in the aftertaste.  The second steep has nutty, brown rice flavors, but still remains light and drinkable.  (See a review from my fellow Sororitea Sister).
  4. Ding Ding Oolong from Cloud Nine (Spring 2015) – The first steep features fruit notes like plum, grape, and currant.  There are almost red wine or acai berry flavors.  This potent fruit flavor drops off in the second steep, with more green notes and fewer berries, more like green grapes and white wine, though the brew never got too bitter or dark even with longer steep times.  
  5. Ping Lin Pouchong from Cameron Taiwan Premium Loose Leaf  – These long dark tea leaves smelled like caramel or burnt sugar when dry, but their first steep was surprisingly green and floral.  The brew turned out to be slightly buttery, with almost-seaweed notes.  The second steep wasn’t distinctly different, with similar savory tones and a smooth, buttery aftertaste.
  6. Jin Xuan Milk Oolong from Teavivre – The first steep of this tea ended up tasting like sour grapes and bright florals, with a hint of roasted nuts and a supremely smooth mouthfeel.  The second steep increased the almost-honey flavor and feeling of the tea, and brought forward some either, grassier notes to the brew, and maintained the milky smooth texture.  
  7. Tie Kwan Yin Oolong from Tea Ave – The first steep was surprisingly roasty, with notes like warm toast or freshly baked bread.  There were no green or floral flavors, but the starchiness was well-balanced with an herbaceous earthiness.  The second steep brought out a stronger roast, and slightly bitter, dry hay notes, though the flavors were still balanced and very drinkable.  
  8. Shui Xian Oolong from Origins Tea – The tightly rolled dark leaves, smelled like hay and earth slightly bitter, though the first steep had a pop of tart currant, quickly buried under strong, roasted almond flavors.  This tea had a dry mouthfeel, very nutty and savory, with even a hint of smoke, like an oolong for lapsang-lovers.  The second steep brought out even more sweet, starchy, marzipan flavors.  
  9. Alishan Charcoal Fire Heavy Roast from T-Oolong Tea (Spring 2012) – Despite the name the first steep of this tea did have some bright notes like a greener alishan oolong but with a distinct, roasted, malty depth.  There are some charcoal notes: mineral and toasted.  Both steeps brew up dark in color, the second steep maintains the toasted rice and malt flavors as the first steep, but develops a smoother mouthfeel.  (See a review from my fellow Sororitea Sister). 
  10. Gingseng Oolong from Enjoying Tea – I tried this tea last, because it was the only flavored oolong in this grouping.  Anything with added flavor was bound to be more potent than just the leaves alone.  This tea smells sweet in the dry leaf, and brews sweet and sour with a very strong passionfruit flavor: green and slightly tropical.  The second steep is earthier, less sweet and more like wet foliage, still some lingering passionfruit notes, especially on the aftertaste.  

And there you have it– the results of my Oolong-A-Thon!  

Like black or green teas, there are many variations and flavors to be had from trying a variety of oolong teas.  From my point of view, there wasn’t a bad tea in the bunch, and each had its own flavors to suit the changing weather or my variable tea cravings.  

There is certainly an oolong out there that will fit your tastes as well.  Happy oolong brewing!