Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea by Tea Vivre
Happy Labour Day! As my Facebook page fills up with all the “Back to School” excitement (parents) and angst (teachers), I am taking the day to be extra super thankful that I’ve left the whole thing behind! It’s been a year since I left teaching and a year of total personal transformation. Everything is starting to fall into place. My new job is taking me nearer to where I want to be, my evenings and weekends are my own, and I have more time for me. It’s a beautiful day for flowers and trees and a cool summer breeze, and tea!
Today I’m trying this Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea from Tea Vivre. They sent me this a while back, and I’ve been saving it for a special day because it looks really different from their usual packets – and it’s ‘nonpareil’ – literally unrivaled. I’m expecting it to be amazing.
It’s in a little vacuum-packed beige packet, as opposed to their usual silver foil packs. When I open the bag, there is a second layer of plastic vacuum-pack, so they have gone to great lengths to preserve the aroma and flavour of this high quality tea.
When I inhale, the aroma is heavenly; orchids mostly, and a bit of roasted chestnuts. It’s not as strong as other Tie Guan Yin, but seems a bit more delicate, with cleaner orchid aroma. Can’t wait to steep it!
Because it’s a Tie Guan Yin, I’m steeping it in my Bloggy Froggy teapot… 1 minute. The tea is a clear, delicate yellow with a light floral aroma – not overpowering in any way.
The flavour is very mild at first, but it changes in the mouth as the floral notes start to seep in. By the time I swallow, I have the most delightful sweet orchid taste left in my mouth. It’s not nearly as strong as the other Tie Guan Yin that I’ve tasted, but that’s actually a good thing. It’s super light, clean, and sweet.
I steep the second cup a bit longer: 90 seconds. The leaves have opened up a bit more and the liquor is a bit darker in colour. The aroma is stronger now – more like the Tie Guan Yin I know and love. The floral taste is just beautiful. It’s hard to believe that tea can taste like this when I consider the usual supermarket stuff that I grew up with. This is like it’s from a totally different planet… where tea tastes like flowers. So good! The aftertaste is just sweet sweet orchids, with zero bitterness or astringency. I can see why it’s called nonpareil. I don’t think I’ve had many teas that taste so fine.
Let’s do a third cup. Ahhhh yes – this is the perfect one. It’s clean, sweet, floral, and completely uplifting. It’s perfectly balanaced. It’s everything I expected it to be. Definitely a special tea for a special day. I’m so glad I don’t have to spend this day preparing for a new class!
Great Big Thank You to Tea Vivre for providing this sample. This was elegant!