Tuesday 8 April 2014

Chinese Teas from TeaVivre - Review

Tea as we know it today originated in China. According to tea supplier TeaVivre, the ancient Chinese discovered the tea plant and its medicinal uses, and then evolved into drinking tea for pleasure. Teavivre sent me some samples of its teas to review; I like tea but normally just make a cup of PG Tips so I knew this would be interesting!

TeaVivre is a group of tea aficionados from China, Canada and France, so the name is a play on the French phrase 'joie de vivre', meaning joy of living. They want to share their enjoyment of Chinese teas with the wider world and have a wide range of teas and other products available on their website.

 The website is easy to navigate and allows you to browse different types of tea and read about their health benefits and also learn about tea in Chinese culture.

I was sent the following types of tea:
- Bi luo chun green tea
- Yun nan Dian Hong black tea
- Anxi monkey-picked ma liu mie tie guan yin oolong tea
- Taiwan oriental beauty bai hao oolong tea
- Premium tai ping hou kui green tea

I was particularly excited about trying the monkey-picked tea. I learnt from the TeaVivre website that oolong tea is somewhere between a black tea (what I would call 'normal tea') and green tea; the tea leaves are shaken and deliberately bruised so the edges of the leaves are brown or red, having oxidised, while the middle stays green. I'm not sure if the tea was actually picked by monkeys or not - the website says the name comes from either the fact that monkeys were trained to climb high cliffs to reach the tea, or from the fact that farmers tied a rope around their waists during the process of picking, 'just like a monkey'. This tea is supposed to have a scent of honey peach and is good for digestion

This is the Taiwan oriental beauty tea - here are the leaves inside my teapot before I poured on the water. Definitely more interesting than a teabag!

This tea has a mellow, slightly sweet taste and is low in caffeine. The TeaVivre website offers recommendations for brewing time and the temperature of the water which is very good; this is definitely a useful website!

I don't have the most refined palate when it comes to tea,  and normally I drink very milky tea which I'm sure changes and probably masks the flavour of the tea. But I enjoyed the samples that TeaVivre sent and I am impressed by the information on their website, so if you fancy trying something a bit different, or you are already a tea connoisseur, check out TeaVivre.

I was sent the tea samples free of charge, but was not asked to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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