Tag Archives: Rose Violet Calendula Oolong

An Oolong in Germany Moment

It’s always so lovely to hear of other tea lovers discovering new teas or wanting to share their own tea moment. So, of course, I was delighted to hear from Abadia in Germany and her experience with one of my favorite Oolongs, Rose Violet Calendula Oolong from Naivetea:

Hi Jen!

This tea was really nice!
I was sceptical, because I don’t really like teas with flowery flavours.
But I was surprised!
I loved it!
I think these three flowers complement each other in a very harmonious way.  And the Oolong basis emphasizes this composition perfectly.

Greetings from the very cold Northern Germany!

Abadía

Thanks Abadia – I love this one too! But I guess that is no surprise, as it won An International Tea Moment’s Best of 2009 award for Oolongs. 

Keep sharing your tea exploration and tea moments with me! I love to hear all about them!

An International Tea Moment is having a holiday drawing! Learn the details here.

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An Event-ful Moment

Thank You, Sponsors!

Neither rain nor sleet nor flooded roadways could keep these women away from my first tea event of the New Year (thank goodness!), An International Tea Moment’s Best of 2009 Tea Event.  Torrential rains have hit Southern California with a vengeance not seen since 1995, so while tea may seem the perfect antidote to gloomy weather, I was a little concerned that hurricane-force gusts of wind may deter my guests. Luck was on my side, though, and the rain stopped just long enough for the guests to arrive.

Some were new to the different varieties of tea, some had some old stand-by’s in their cupboards, and all of them were more than happy to have an excuse to step away from their places of work and enjoy a tea party of any kind. Here, they would be introduced to my favorite discoveries of 2009, including:

Best of 2009 Black Tea: Mokalbari Estates, by American Tea Room

Best of 2009 Black Tea Blend: Tangier, by American Tea Room

Best of 2009 White Tea Blend: White Tiger, by DAVIDsTEA

Best of 2009 Oolong: Rose Violet Calendula, by Naivetea

Best of 2009 Green Tea Blend: Jaded Julip, by Lavender Lounge Tea Company/Pangea Tea Company

Best of 2009 Herbal Infusion: Andes Breeze, by MyTeaShelf.com

Upon arrival, guests were met with score cards and asked to step into the tasting room. Each of the 6 award winning teas was laid out with small tasting cups. Everyone made their way through each station, jotting notes and asking questions about the differences between teas: white, oolong, green and black, and why an herbal tea was usually not really considered “tea.” (There are no actual tea leaves in most of what we refer to as “herbal teas.”) Cards were collected – during lunch, guests would be served the tea they chose as their favorite.

The rain fell during lunch, and then came the hail! Everyone commented they were glad to be inside with a hot cup of tea rather than dealing with the weather outside. Conversations ranged from the effects of tea on teeth, to birthday makeovers, to academics, to teapots, tea cups, collections and my lovely experiences with each of the event’s wonderful sponsors and award winners. The lunch menu included roasted red pepper and tomato soup with basil; four sandwiches: cucumber, tuna salad, egg salad, and pear and brie;  a savory ham and cheese-filled puff pastry, an orange and cranberry scone to be topped with fruit preserves and Devonshire cream, strawberries and blueberries, and assorted chocolates.

Before the end of our time together, we tallied the cards and identified the “Fan Favorite” of all the award winners.  Now, you all know my bent toward black teas and tea blends. So when it comes to tea parties that involve finger sandwiches, the obvious accompanying tea is always a black one, right?  To my surprise, there was not one Fan Favorite, but two. And neither were black teas!

Congratulations to Naivetea for Fan Favorite #1, Rose Violet Calendula Oolong, and to DAVIDsTEA for Fan Favorite #2, White Tiger!

Fabulous prizes!

And then, the icing on the cake, each guest got to take the tea party home with them! Due to the generosity of the award winners, everyone left with a sample of each of the six award winning teas, a tea cup with infuser, a discount code for MyTeaShelf.com for 10% off (Enter code TEAMOMENT at checkout), and an assortment of tea samples from DAVIDsTEA to further explore some exciting and creative tea blends.

As I wrapped up this event, I reflected on what this moment was all about. Yes, I have been introduced to a plethora of amazing, exciting, unique and nuanced teas, each with their own distinct personality. But even better, I got to share a select few with a collection of amazing, exciting, unique and nuanced women who have become treasured friends over the last 10 years since Gene and I moved here. For me, that is what made this moment most successful.

Are you an existing fan of any of these award-winning teas? If so, you are invited to submit your own ‘tea moments’ through photos, videos or written note!

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I Long, You Long, We All Long For Oolong!

I am a die hard fan of black tea and black tea blends. This is no secret. And over the past year, my new friends in the tea community have helped me to open my eyes and palate to other teas, much to my delight. My newest tea exploration is into the world of Oolong. I was unwittingly plunged into this adventure by Naivetea – a new face in the tea world, who has already made quite an entrance by not only launching the Oolong-focused brand at the 2009 World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, but also winning first place in the Blended/Flavored Oolong category for their Lychee Green Oolong. (You can read my ‘Moment’ with this award winner here.)

In order to truly immerse myself in the world of Oolong, I chatted with the founder, Lawrence Lai, to learn as much as I could about his fascination with this particular type of tea. His easy, comfortable manner made me like him immediately. No pretention here! He shared about his early love for the tea during his childhood in Taiwan, watching his parents and uncles drinking Oolong, something Taiwan is known for.

Now having lived in the United States for many years, he and his friend, Tony Wu (who still lives in Taiwan), began discussing how they could introduce this tea they enjoyed so much to a wider U.S. audience. After working with some choice facilities in Taiwan, with an eye for the highest quality and practices as well as best flavors, Naivetea was born.

Their infused teas, in particular, are enchanting. As Lawrence said, “Infused Oolong is a good way to introduce people to Oolong. They are very friendly and can be enjoyed hot or cold.” He especially loves seeing the surprised faces of first-time Oolong drinkers. They typically have no idea they will enjoy the flavors so much.

I can say I am among those who approached Oolong with skepticism. And as has happened frequently in my explorations this year, I am happy to say I was so, so wrong. Oolong. Where have you been all my life?

This photo showcases the US corporate team.  As Lawrence introduced them, the two little ones, Chloe and Egan, are the supreme executives, Ann is  the lovely spokesperson, and Lawrence himself is proud to have been named employee of the month 8 times in a row!

Lawrence noticed I was still getting over a bit of flu when we visited, so he recommended drinking the Osmanthus Oolong, a high altitude Oolong infused with natural osmanthus. Osmanthus has a refined, floral fragrance, that is not over powering or overly grandmother-y. Don’t be fooled by its medium golden color. This Oolong is smooth and full of body.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I could even see myself having this in the morning to start my day! It is considered to have great healing effect in Chinese medicine.  Even without the health benefits, this smooth and buttery tea is now a must-have for my tea cupboard.

I asked Lawrence what was his favorite Oolong this week (you can’t possibly expect anyone to have a one-time favorite! With so many options, a favorite tea is a moving target!), and he laughed and said he was currently really enjoying the Mint Oolong.  For him, the mint and sweet finish seems to go with the holidays. I savored this tea and agree it goes very nicely with the holiday season – a light gold liquid, minty fresh and fragrant, this one will invigorate you as you finish your shopping, baking or decorating! For green tea lovers especially, you must try.

But my very favorite is the Rose Violet Calendula Oolong, a high altitude Oolong infused with natural rose, violet, calendula and jasmine. I’m typically not drawn to overly floral tea blends, but this was such a subtle bouquet of light, sweet scents, I was not overpowered by any of these potentially bold flowers. Not only was the fragrance an aperatif for my nose, the slowly unfurling leaves and bursts of violet blossoms in my steeping cup plunged me into a visual feast as well.  Oh, the first sip. Glorious. Smooth, with the slightest whisper of sweetness, this tea took me to my happy place immediately. Serve it at a bridal shower, a baby shower, or during tea for two between you and a closest friend, and I guarantee the world will seem shinier and happier, if only for the hour. Or on my own, reading a favorite book… this new friend is sure to be a life-long companion.

Releasing color, flavor and fragrance in a most delightful way.

I long, you long, we all long for Oolong!

Thank you to my Oolong mentor, Lawrence, and both the US and Taiwan corporate teams! America, it’s time to welcome a whole new world of Oolong with open arms!

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