I’ll be reviewing a variety of TeaVivre teas over the next couple weeks, and I’m especially excited to kick it off with this review of TeaVivre’s Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong.
I’ve been hearing many good things about this Oolong on the tea forums and blogs I follow, and was really excited to be on the receiving end of a sample from Angel Chen at TeaVivre.
The “Vivre” in Teavivre translates to “living” or “life” (from the french term “joie de vivre” or “joy of life”). And, this is exactly how I would start to describe this Oolong…joy + life.
Grown and produced in Dongding Mountain, Nantou, Taiwan, this tea is very delicate and well-balanced, both in aroma and taste.
I prepared it in the traditional Gongfu style, and followed TeaVivre’s guidelines. For this tasting session, water temperature was at 212 degrees fahrenheit for each steeping, with roughly 3 ounces of water (1 tablespoon of tea). I was able to get 7 quality steeping (following the initial rinse)…starting with the first steep at 25-seconds, and the last at around 90-seconds.
(photo above: The dry and steeped/wet leafs – TeaVivre’s Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong)
I captured some tasting notes with each steep, and here’s a recap:
1st Steep (25 seconds):
- Delicate…very subtle flavor profile, not over powering…a very distant floral hint…pale amber in color.
2nd Steep (35 seconds):
- Still very delicate…well balanced…starting to note a slight sweetness…floral still faint, but more noticeable…color becoming deeper amber.
3rd steep (45 seconds):
- Noticeable honey-like sweetness starting to surface…leafs unfurling…very pleasant after taste…very enjoyable steep.
4th steep (55 seconds):
- Noticing a slight vegetal taste…nice mouth feel, butter-like flavor combined with lingering and more noticeable sweetness…continued honey-like taste…vibrant/deep amber color.
5th – 7th steeps (65 / 75 / 95 seconds):
- Maintaining robust taste and color…leafs fully unfurled…sweetness continues, tasting lingering notes of apricot (?) or plum (?).
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Overall I really enjoyed this Dong Ding Oolong, especially as prepared via Gongfu style. The tea held up quite nicely to the multiple steeps, and provided a very enjoyable drinking experience throughout. It’s very evident (in taste, aroma and mouth feel) that this is a high quality Oolong tea…sourced and produced very thoughtfully.
There are many things to like about TeaVivre, including the great customer care and the wide variety of high quality Chinese teas offered. What I especially appreciate about Teavivre are the details they provide on their website about the various teas. For example, you can learn all about this particular Taiwan Dong Ding, including details about the growing region (including a map), health benefits, history and detailed steeping recommendations.