50 Tasting Notes
It’s nowhere near morning, but that’s not going to stop me from drinking this. I’ve had a tiring week and I need a little pep!
I was very intrigued by this one due to the triple-tea mix of mate, black tea AND rooibos. I suppose there might be potential for something to go wrong there, but I find that they don’t clash whatsoever. Immediately upon opening the package I find that I am going to like this one much better than Matevana: whereas Matevana’s leaf smell was overpowering chocolate, this one is a much more complex spicy nuttiness.
After a couple sips I added a splash of cream because that’s generally how I prefer my mate. This is a very pleasant tea to drink. The teas blend very smoothly, with lots of roasted nutty flavor. There is a hint of chocolatey sweetness, but it’s downplayed by the earthiness in a good way. This is definitely my Teavana mate of choice.
Such a sweet, simple little tea. Only three ingredients, but they blend so wonderfully. The Bai Mudan white tea isn’t the star player of the trio, but it provides a warm and buttery background. The mint leaves are the main flavor, supported by a rosy aftertaste. So bright and clear, not even the slightest bit musty. I do feel a sense of peace drinking this tea. Highly recommended to mint and rose lovers.
I drink so much flavored tea that sometimes I forget just how good a cup of the basic stuff can be! This is definitely a good sencha. The dry leaf has a perfect grassy scent, but the brewed tea doesn’t taste very grassy at all. It’s very clear and bright, maybe a hint of leaf and pistachio somewhere in there. The mouthfeel is so smooth and pleasant, it’s easy to drink a cup without even realizing it! I will definitely be enjoying more of this, especially whenever I make Japanese food.
Confession: I know that the little red things are pink peppercorns (which I do like) but I really, really want to picture them as tiny cherries. I just can’t unsee it.
This is one of the best-smelling teas I’ve ever had, both dry and brewed. It’s tart, delicious cherries down to the pits. Not the juicy sweet kind, but the little sour kind. Which I am more than okay with. Unfortunately, I am not super into the inclusion of rosemary. While the taste is also rather cherry, I just feel like the rosemary is dulling it down and drawing it away from that vibrant tart cherry I smell before I sip. It’s more than drinkable and it gets less grassy as it cools, but I just can’t help feeling wistful about what this tea would be like without rosemary.
So sad. I could have LOVED this tea. I love marzipan, roses, violets, black tea, saffron, cinnamon, almonds… What could have possibly gone wrong? SUGAR, that’s what. Obviously Teavana makes sweet teas. I would never order from them expecting anything else. But I have my limits!
Even the smell of the dry leaf gives me cavities. I actually pulled out a misshapen lump of purple sugar about an inch long when I opened the bag. A candied violet gone wrong, I presume. The tea itself has some lovely notes of rose, violet, cinnamon and almonds… but it’s all buried under a thick layer of tooth-aching sugar. This is without me adding ANYTHING to it. I couldn’t even finish my cup.
If I want a cookie tea, I’ll stick to Cha Yen Thai. This one isn’t even getting a second chance.
Oh… Oh my. Color me pleasantly surprised. Looking at the ingredients list I had been all prepared for another snarky “Oh look, it’s another Teavana candy-tea” review. And as most Teavana teas are, it is very sweet. Open the package and the scent of an almond cookie wafts right out.
But the ingredients are intruiging: pink peppercorns, entire star anise, slivered almonds. Brewed up to a lovely deep amber, it’s like sipping on a delicious almond spice cookie, and I love it. I can see the chai, kind of, and I can see the thai, kind of, but really let’s call a spade a spade. This is a cookie tea, and a tasty, complex and drinkable cookie tea. It’s plenty sweet with no extra sugar needed. I’m enjoying the combination of red and black tea. It makes for very good sipping.
You’ve done right on this one, Teavana. Let’s hope you can make more like this.
This one had a lot of potential to be a Celestial Seasonings Zinger clone, but I was intrigued enough to try it at a steep discount by the inclusion of beetroot and chunks of dried grapefruit. And sure enough, it’s much better than any Zinger. The hibiscus dominates as it tends to do in teas like this, but the citrus is also a prominent player and I believe the beets mellow things out a bit. It’s tart, but not as insanely unbalanced tart as Celestial Seasonings and Tazo go. I don’t think I’m ever going to be over the moon about a citrus hibiscus, but if that’s your kind of thing this is one of the better ones.
I’ve learned to be wary of chocolate teas over the years. They always seem to promise a lot more than they deliver. Republic of Teas chocolate always tastes artificial and waxy, and Teavana knows no restraint when it comes to sweetness.
Enter a sample of this tea. What’s this? Simple black tea with real quality chocolate curls (I may or may not have tasted one straight out of the packet) and a hint of vanilla? No mockolate flavor? Only 3 simple components? Promising!
This might be one of the best chocolate teas I’ve had. It isn’t perfect; there’s a certain dusty aftertaste that I’m not loving. But the chocolate melts into the tea, giving it a smooth and creamy texture, and the tea and chocolate combine wonderfully. This is not hot chocolate masquerading as tea. This is real chocolate-infused tea, and a very balanced one at that.
I’ve found that adding a bit of milk and cream cuts down the dusty/bitter components. Overall, a great tea for dessert.
One thing I love about Zen Tea is that they include the steep times right on the package. I’ve been spared many an over-steeped tea thanks to companies that take that extra step (putting the info up on their website just isn’t the same!).
I was worried that the tea would be a bit cough-syrupy from the very powerful dry leaf smell. Fortunately, that’s not the case at all. The tea retains the cherry smell once steeped, but the taste itself is much more subdued. It’s rather floral, rather grassy, just a bit fruity. Everything is in moderation and it’s very smooth on the palate.
I wish I had ordered more than a tiny packet of this now that I know it doesn’t taste like candy, but c’est la vie. I’ll enjoy what I have and hope that it’s a tea that comes back when they restock.