1016 Tasting Notes
I’m in a mild state of mourning regarding the demise of Tazo. I just feel that Starbucks really dropped the ball on this one. They focused on coffee in the stores, where most of the people are coffee drinkers, and then wondered why the Tazo tea did not sell. The only place to buy the loose varieties (which were always the best) was online at the Starbucks site (again, the last place where tea drinkers are going to be looking for tea!), and in one store in NYC, now closed down.
Teavana, meanwhile, had their own huge network of franchises, so obviously they were bound to make more money than the Tazo acquisition, even with primary sales of “chunk o’ food” blends. The Tazo Collection series of high-quality whole-leaf loose tea came packaged in excellent ziplock foil envelopes about a million times better than the nonsensical paper bags provided at Teavana as a ploy to get customers to buy their humongous and ridiculous canisters. Bad management, and the end of yet another once good company, eaten up through the avaricious forces of corporatization.
So today’s afternoon black brew was Tazo Golden Monkey. My first Golden Monkey, and invariably wonderful. Beautiful golden shimmery leaves make up most of the dried tea, with gold dust to go with it. An unsweetened caramel flavor suffuses this rich and luscious brew. I love this stuff. Fortunately I have one more large envelope to go…
Looking more closely at the dried leaves of this lower-tier Long Jing from Teavivre, I realized that it resembles Bancha physically! Kind of disheveled and haphazard—not the “fine china serve to guests” Long Jing, but the “I need Long Jing—now” kind.
It tastes good. I drank this two-glass tetsubin after a first meal of the day (MOD) at about 3pm, having slept in past noon. Today’s culinary discovery was yet another excellent surface for Nutella: split and toasted Ciabatta!
Who am I kidding? Every surface, up to and including that of a spoon, is perfect for Nutella. ;-)
Do I really love Tazo Rest more than Pukka Love? It probably depends on my mood. This blend is much sweeter and exceptionally (for nighttime brews) contains zero chamomile, zero mint, zero rooibos, zero hibiscus, and zero lemon grass!
This is really a very original tisane, and I am sorry to say that this appears to have been my last bag. All the more since the demise of Tazo appears to be imminent. Even if they keep some of the white envelope filter bags in grocery stores, the Tazo Collection of loose leaf teas is no longer available anywhere, and I learned today that even the sachets in Starbucks stores are being taken away! This is a mild cause for mourning. (Il ne faut pas trop exagérer…)
I intended to do a steep-off chez sherapop tonight between Pukka Love and Tazo Rest (three syllables each, plus a rose connection, too!). However, as I compared the two brews side-by-side, I realized that it was like comparing apples and oranges. They are really quite different, despite some overlapping ingredients.
Love is more about chamomile than anything else. It’s a nice blend with lots of other flowers as well, but 25% is chamomile, and it does dominate.
Boy oh boy oh boy did I screw up. I stored these cellophane-wrapped sachets of Mighty Leaf Organic Spring Jasmine in the same box as some of their mint-tea sachets. BIG MISTAKE! Now the jasmine-scented green tea is mint-scented, jasmine-scented green tea.
The cellophane is a bad idea anyway, in my not-so-humble opinion, but I suppose that one needs to make this sort of mistake only once….
A lovely two-glass tetsubin of Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng was the perfect follow-up to today’s lunch of a third of a Ciabatta split lengthwise, toasted and slathered with a lobster-seafood cream spread before piling baby arugula high and then smashing the two sides together into a sandwich.
Same pale greenish-yellow, slightly vegetal but very smooth liquor as before—only even better after this meal!