TeaVivre Tea Reviews

by cazort

Reviews of TeaVivre as a company, and their teas. TeaVivre specializes in loose-leaf tea direct shipped from China.

TeaVivre is an interesting tea company, a recent startup, which immediately got my attention. The company sells exclusively loose-leaf Chinese tea, and it ships directly from China.

I have sampled quite a few teas from TeaVivre, and I have found them to be consistently fresh. Perhaps more importantly, I also find them to be "true to the style", which means that teas of a particular type tend to taste like typical examples of that type. This is particularly useful for people who are already somewhat familiar with Chinese tea, and have a sense of what types of tea they like.

This page gives an overview of the company, and then delves into reviews of specific teas that I and others have sampled.

Company Overview: How Does TeaVivre Stand Out?

With hundreds of tea companies that sell loose-leaf tea, it can be hard to locate the ones that offer top-quality tea.  Through my work on RateTea, I receive dozens of requests from startup companies wanting to be listed on the site, many of them wanting to offer me samples.  TeaVivre stood out among these hundreds of companies.

TeaVivre is one of several of a new type of tea company, Chinese companies that direct-ship from China.  (One of my favorite other companies along these lines is Yunnan Sourcing, which specializes in teas from Yunnan province.)  The advantage of this model is freshness, quality, and price: TeaVivre is closer to the producers, and is thus able to offer both superior quality control and lower prices.  The disadvantage is shipping costs.

Of course, if you're a fan of British-style teas, TeaVivre may not be for you.  This company specializes in Chinese teas, and while it does carry a few strong black teas that may please lovers of teas from the English tradition, this area is not its focal point.  But for people who are a fan of Chinese teas, including green, black, white, and oolong, TeaVivre is a

The TeaVivre Website

Review of the TeaVivre Website

Well-organized, with clear photographs and detailed information about the origin of each tea.

TeaVivre's website is well-organized and easy to use.  Some of my favorite aspects of the site:

  • The tea is organized by category; it's easy to locate green teas, black teas, oolong teas, and the like.
  • There are clear photographs of the loose-leaf tea, the brewed cup of tea, and the spent leaves after brewing.  I find these helpful to assess quality.  Having sampled over 20 teas from the company, I can say that the pictures on the website very closely match what the tea actually looks like.
  • The website provides extensive information on each tea, often down to the level of individual towns and counties of production, which goes much deeper than the level of detail which most tea companies provide.
  • TeaVivre describes each tea's flavor, aroma, and other characteristics, and gives recommendations for brewing.  I found the descriptions to be quite accurate, about as accurate as one can get, given that different people can perceive tastes and smells in very different ways.

The website also contains information on the health benefits of tea, but I found that this information was not as reliable as that found on some other sites.

A Collage of TeaVivre's Teas

Chinese Teas, True To The Style or Type

I have found TeaVivre's teas to be typical examples of the types of teas they represent.

One of the things that I think makes TeaVivre an outstanding company to buy from, especially for first-time buyers, is that their teas are true to the styles or types of teas that they sell.  What I mean by this is that if you order a particular type of tea, like a named variety like Keemun black tea or Dragon Well green tea, TeaVivre's tea will tend to taste like a typical example of this type of tea.

This makes the company particularly attractive to buy from from people who are familiar with Chinese teas, but who have never ordered from this particular company.

If you aren't as familiar with Chinese teas, but want to get more into them, or if you're still wanting to test the waters before you make a larger purchase, TeaVivre offers small sample sizes of each of their products.  You can also find numerous reviews of TeaVivre's teas on RateTea.

The dry leaf of TeaVivre's teas is often stunningly beautiful!
Green Tea Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) Oolong from TeaVivre
Green Tea Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of M...
Lu An Melon Seed Green Tea from TeaVivre
Lu An Melon Seed Green Tea from TeaVivre

Recent Reviews of TeaVivre's Teas on RateTea

TeaVivre's teas do favorably on RateTea.
My first tasting of this tea was in my gaiwan with about 3 grams of tea and 2 grams of tangerine peel. I did a 5 second rinse then 3 infusions. The aroma was sweet and...
A lovely tea, mellow, and complex, among my favorite Lapsang Souchongs ever sampled. Thank you again to TeaVivre for the sample! This is a traditional Chinese lapsan...
I thoroughly enjoyed this tea, all the way from the beautiful tea leaves to the aftertaste. I wanted to try Tai Ping Hou Kui due to its intriguing leaf shape. It is de...
This was my first experience with Raw Pu'erh, so this review may be biased on that. I was initially opposed to this tea. It has an overwhelming bitterness to it that...

Highlighted Reviews of Specific Teas

The most popular tea from TeaVivre vs. my personal favorites

If I had to point to a single tea from TeaVivre that seems to be popular, it would be the Bailin Gongfu black tea.  On RateTea, this tea currently holds the highest percentile of teas from this company, but perhaps more importantly, I have also seen a near consensus among tea bloggers and reviewers both on RateTea and other sites that this tea is a relatively straightforward and accessible tea.  While some people like it more than others, no one seems to dislike it.  It has favorable reviews on Tea For Me Please, It's All About the Leaf, and Tea Guy Speaks.

My personal favorites, however, are their Keemun Grade 1, a classic Keemun, and Xin Yang Mao Jian, a rather brisk green tea.  These are both lower-priced teas from this company, and while their higher-grade counterparts are certainly smoother, I thought they offered outstanding value.

Did You Know of TeaVivre Before This Page?

Updated: 07/01/2013, cazort
 
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marciag on 09/17/2013

Quite an interesting review, I have to admit I haven't heard of them either, but like you say, they're a new company startup. I know teas from China are very good, but I admit I don't think I bought this type of tea before. Something to look into..

katiem2 on 03/19/2013

I buy most of my tea from the world market and yet enjoy a good site honoring great tea from China. Thanks for the review and heads up on a good resource for delicious tea, I haven't had silver needle for some time and now find it a very appealing idea. Thanks :)K

cazort on 02/21/2013

Thank you! I am glad that I am helping people to learn more about tea. One of my goals with RateTea and the various tea reviews and material on tea that I publish on other sites is to help people learn about the different types of tea. I find that when people know a little bit about the different varieties of tea, they're able to make better purchasing decisions, both in terms of quality, and finding teas to suit their particular tastes!

2uesday on 02/21/2013

By visiting your tea articles, I am learning the names of teas I had not heard of before.

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