979 Tasting Notes
I worked at Starbucks (I mean my work on my computer while sitting in the café) this afternoon, so once again I chose as a refill the sachet form of the Tazo Chai to follow up my Chocolate Chai Tea Latte.
The brewed chai was not quite as good today because I did not request honey and instead decided to try it with the raw turbinado sugar. It was not bad, but it was not as good as my last experience—yesterday! I’ll remember this next time. Honey will be first choice for sweetener in Tazo Chai from now on.
I had another one of these today: grande, soy milk, extra hot with whip. It tasted better in one of the big cream-colored mugs than in a paper cup. Still pretty much a meal replacement. There is definitely not enough caffeine in this concoction, but I do like the level of spices.
There is a big dose of pepper—very obviously—but lots of other stuff as well, including cardamom and ginger, two of my favorite spices. Chocolate Chai Tea Latte is pretty good, if evaluated as a dessert, which is what it really is.
Another first for me, this Liu An Gua Pian was sent to me as a sample by Angel and Teavivre. Thank you again for expanding my horizons!
The liquor brewed up light but also somehow bright—a nice green hue veering toward fluorescence, but gently so… The taste has a bit of a bite to it, but I believe that this is how it is supposed to taste—and I definitely did not oversteep…
Liu An Gua Pian tastes a bit grassier than some green teas, but very far from anything related to darjeeling (which I usually find grassy). I do find this flavor to be more grassy than vegetal, and I do not believe that it has a taste identical with any particular vegetable. Perhaps a little like peas? Yes, on second thought, I do believe that peas are the closest to this flavor. But still I find it more grassy than pealike. Liu An Gua Pian does not taste at all like sencha to me. I’ll have to compare this to some other China greens to be able to say more.
I noticed that there are tiny threadlike white filaments in the liquor. The liquid is still clear, but they are floating about, having snuck through my medium-mesh colander-style sieve.
All in all, I like this tea. It’s good!
second infusion: just like the first. Still a near-fluorescent hue of yellow-green. Same slightly grassy flavor.
third infusion: a bit lighter in flavor and more of a golden color
fourth infusion: this final round was so faint that it was veering toward hot water territory, but I was thirsty so I drank it anyway.
This was my very first cup of Gyokuro. After having heard so much about it, I was naturally very excited. To my surprise, it tasted a lot like a super-fine sencha. No complaints, mind you, since I happen to love sencha!
The liquor was more green than yellow, the dried leaves very dark green and somewhat broken up, without being powdery. I really enjoyed the first infusion earlier today and am looking forward to a follow-up tonight.
second infusion: jade dew—yes! delicious and beautiful
third infusion: still peridot-citrine perfect green, the taste is still great, and the texture is silken on the tongue. I love this stuff. Dare I try a fourth?
fourth infusion: (a first for me…) I made one more cup with the spent leaves. Remarkably, the brew was still good! I love this tea!!!
I grabbed a second refill on the way out the door from Starbucks today. So, yes, it was Tazo Refresh. I had actually requested the Vanilla Rooibos, to segue coherently from my afternoon of chai, but somehow the store was out of that blend.
In the end, I think that Refresh was a better choice anyway. The same harmony of spearmint and tarragon as always in the amply filled sachet bag. I’ll probably never tire of this herbal infusion…
For my refill at Starbucks today, I opted for the full-leaf Tazo chai, because it matched my original beverage (a chocolate chai latte).
This cup of chai was good. I let it steep for several minutes and sweetened it with honey and also added half and half. That’s my preferred way of imbibing chai, the only tea blend which I prefer with both cream and sweetener.
Today’s cup was spicy and sweet and creamy, but also had enough black tea base to taste through the chai spices. I believe that the base is the same tea as is used in Tazo Awake. In some of the earlier iterations of loose-leaf Tazo Chai, the spices overwhelmed the black tea. I used to brew it along with an extra bag of Awake to compensate. Not a problem with this full-leaf version.
A good chai!
I enjoyed a Tazo Chocolate Tea Latte at Starbucks today. Mine was a grande with soymilk, whipped cream, extra hot. It was quite tasty, with a potent dose of spices, but more of a dessert than a drink. The last time I had one of these, I forgot to request soy milk, and I felt a bit groggy after drinking it. Today’s was much better, although I’m not sure what rating to give it, since it was really a meal replacement beverage, not so much a tea…
Another truly foody beverage from Teavana, Orange Chocolate Sweet Spice was only drinkable by me prepared at about five times the prescribed strength (I used half my 2 ounce envelope for a Bodum filled about two-thirds of the way), and even then I had to stir multiple big spoons of sugar in. As usual, I found myself questioning this concept. The only orthodox tea-esque ingredient here is hibiscus. Mostly it’s chunks of food.
In the end, I feel that I’d rather use those calories for something better than a beverage like this. (How about some slices of one of those orange-shaped foil-wrapped Terry’s orange chocolates?) I will not buy Orange Chocolate Sweet Spice again—unless it comes in another Christmas package with a radically reduced price after the holidays. Actually, given my reactions to all of these holiday concoctions, I may never shop at Teavana again…