November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In the spirit of the month, instead of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I’m going to write a short review every day, up to a maximum of 300 words. Think of it is NaNoReMo (National Novel Review Month). This month I’ll do short reviews of books, varieties of tea, and even individual short stories as the mood strikes. So read on!

Teavivre is one of my favourite vendors because their tea is pretty good without being too expensive. I’ve been a customer of theirs for at least a few years. However, tonight’s tea from them, Black Tartary Buckwheat Tea, is a miss for me.

What surprises me is that I normally love this stuff. Roasty, toasty, grain-y, warm — buckwheat tea is comfort food in liquid form. So where did this variety go wrong?

It looked pretty good from the outside – the buckwheat grains looked whole and plump and golden, with a slight patina of dust after sitting in the packaging for so long.


It smelled decent, too: warm, rich, and savoury, like peanut butter slathered on hearty bread.

I boiled some water, took the entire 10-gram package, and let it steep for 2-3 minutes. The brew bubbled merrily all the while.


The smell while it was brewing was good, too: warm and toasty and like cereal. However, this was when I noticed some problems, as the aroma lacked depth. It felt very top-level inside my nose.

The final brewed product was a rich yellow liquid. But oh man, that lack of depth really came through on the first sip. I wanted to be kicked in the mouth by the savoury, grain-like punch of buckwheat, but all I got was something weak and flat. I want my buckwheat tea to give me the kind of depth and maternal comfort that you’d expect from Molly Weasley. But I got something pale and flighty like Luna Lovegood. (I’m sorry, HP fans, but while Luna is awesome, I’d never feel comfortable with anything she gave me to drink.)


So, yeah, this tea was a  disappointment. If you’re looking for something better, I’d recommend this buckwheat tea from Yunnan Sourcing or this one from Yunomi.