Saturday, February 22, 2014

superfine taiwan ali shan oolong from teavivre.

superfine ali shan oolong.

Today I am sipping Teavivre's Superfine Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong! Today is the first day it has broken freezing temperatures with clear skies. The birds were singing when I went into work early this morning, and everyone is outside soaking up the beautiful sunshine! I even opened the windows in the apartment to let some of the stuffy winter air out.

This high mountain Taiwanese oolong seemed like an absolutely perfect brew for today's weather! The dry leaves were a vibrant green and carried a delicate grassy aroma, and they unfurled beautifully while steeping. When steeped the aroma of the tea becomes more milky and smooth, but it is still very light.

My first sip reminded me of sunshine warming you up during a cool day. The color of the cup is a very pale green. The flavors are incredibly delicate and subtle, and are remarkably refreshing. The soft buttery note gives way to bright florals which linger on the palette and become more pronounced with each sip. Everything about this tea is wonderful, but you must enjoy it slowly or else you will miss the best parts of it. It's the sort of tea you would want to make after a stressful day ... it reminds you to slow down, breathe deeply, and enjoy a moment of quiet tea time.


Monday, February 17, 2014

golden monkey from teavivre.

golden monkey.

I was recently contacted by Teavivre and was sent a lovely sampling of teas! I was thrilled to hear from them as I had been meaning to try some of their selection. The first tea up for review is their Golden Monkey! I've always been partial to this type of tea ... it is hearty, full bodied, and perfect for winter!

I had been holding off on reviewing teas until a nasty chest cold passed, as my senses were completely dulled and I was too sick to really enjoy anything. I resorted to plucking any old flavored tea from my cupboard to brew in the hopes that SOMETHING would break through my congestion ... but no luck. Now that my senses have (mostly) returned I am thrilled to brew something other than a super strong heavily honeyed chai!

amber cup.

The leaves of the Golden Monkey were lovely ... lots of delicately curled golden tips amongst the black tea leaves. The aroma is earthy and sweet. When hot water is poured on top the scent becomes richer and deeper ... and now smells a little bit like toast and chocolate. It brews a bright reddish amber color, and catches light beautifully.

The tea itself is rich in flavor with notes reminiscent of wildflower honey and roasted sweet potatoes. It is malty but not overly assertive, and is wonderfully hearty. I found it particularly enjoyable after coming in from the wintry cold conditions outside! I accidentally overbrewed it (my kitty distracted me with lots of cuteness) but the quality of the cup stayed true. If anything I noticed a slightly smoky flavor come in to play with the initial sip, and it was still delicious!

tea on the windowsill.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Golden Monkey sent to me from Teavivre. You can find it on their website here! The cute teapot and cha hai were also acquired through Teavivre, although I purchased them separately as an addition to my own collection. You can find the teapot here and the cha hai here!

I am looking forward to posting the reviews for their Keemun Hao Ya, Superfine Taiwan Ali Shan Oolong, Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong, and Jasmine Dragon Pearls in the future! So many teas to taste, and so little time!