171 Tasting Notes

92
drank Assam by Newby Teas of London
171 tasting notes

I stumbled upon this tea the other day while my fiancee and I were strolling through the local Asian food market. It’s a fun and interesting place to visit.

The fish that you can buy there could be no fresher. They are alive and swimming around in huge tanks. When you select the one that you want, the staff bops it on the head with a mallet, wraps it up, and sends you (and it) on your merry way. I wondered if it would be a huge (and dangerous) shock to the purchaser if the fish were only knocked unconscious, and it woke up and started flopping around your car while you drove it home for dinner. But I digress…

I’m obviously still a newbie in the world of teas. I had no idea what Assam tea was and had to look it up so I would know what I was drinking.

For those as uninformed as I was, Assam is a black tea grown in India that is used for English, Scottish, and Irish Breakfast teas. The leaves are dark green in color and are glossy and fairly wide compared to those of the Chinese tea plant.

As recommended on the package, I brewed this tea at 212 degrees for five minutes. It may be due to my recent cataract surgeries, but this tea seemed to produce a unique brownish orange color.

The aroma of this tea is both nutty and malty. The flavor is bounteous and powerful without bitterness. The taste is very much like the smell, nutty and malty. The aftertaste doesn’t seem to hang around for as long as some of the Chinese morning teas that I frequent, but it is pleasant just the same.

This is an excellent blend and I enjoyed it a lot. I will definitely rotate it with the other members in my collection of morning teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cheryl

As I was reading, the “oh!, what if it isn’t really dead?” thought popped into my head too.

Angrboda

Well, even if it was initially only unconscious, it would most likely die of suffocation anyway before it could have had time to wake up. Being unable to breathe air and what not.

Stoo

They bop them pretty hard, Cheryl. I’m pretty confident that they won’t revive, but great minds think alike! ;-)

Stoo

You’re right, Angrboda. Even if they were to wake up with only a headache, I doubt they could hold their breath that long to survive. :-)

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89

After being exposed again to automated bagged tea at the office, I felt an urgent need for the finer teas in life. I picked up this blend at the local Teavana store on Saturday after the salesperson waved the container’s lid in my face until I was hypnotized.

I’m very new to oolong teas so I’m still getting used to their much milder taste, compared to the robust black teas that I favor. This selection, though, has a very smooth and even flavor. The chocolate sensation is subtle but potent enough to recognize. There is also an almost creamy quality to this tea. If you didn’t know better, you might think that milk had been added to it.

All in all, this tea presents a peaceful and tasty sipping experience. The only thing I will do differently next time, is enjoy it in the early afternoon instead of the morning. I still prefer the aggressive working over that black tea gives my brain as I attempt to emerge from my nightly coma.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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52

Well, what can I say? I was back in the office which meant I was also back to bagged tea. Again I decided to have one on the company’s dime.

I popped a Lemon Herbal cartridge into the breakroom Flavia machine. I guess Flavia’s tea selections are now undercover using the “Bright Tea Company” label.

At first sip, I found this concoction to have a very sour taste. However, after my fifth or sixth sip, my tastebuds were numbed enough to ignore the sourness and focus on the lemon flavor. Lemon doesn’t just dominate the taste of this tea…it owns it!

I can’t say that the flavor is great or terrible. I will say that it would not be necessary for this selection to be on my “teas I would want to be stranded with on a deserted island” list.

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94
drank Spice of Life by Teavana
171 tasting notes

This was the second tea that the Teavana sales staff talked me into purchasing last weekend. Curiously, they didn’t try to sell it to me as a standalone tea, but instead as an added ingredient for other blends.

The staff recommended that I blend this tea with Teavana’s Honeybush Vanilla selection. I did and the combo was great! However, to give an accurate review of the Spice Of Life tea, I felt that it needed to be judged on its own merit with a solitary steeping.

After brewing this white tea for two minutes at 175 degrees, as recommended, a dark yellowish color emerged that reminded me of…well…never mind what it reminded me of. I don’t want to negatively (and unjustly) prejudice this review. I guess my upcoming annual physical caused that thought to come to my mind.

The aroma was very nice, almost like potpourri. The taste of this tea is absolutely divine! It is a complex smorgasbord of nuttiness, sweetness, fruit, and spices. The flavor is smooth and it leaves a gentle sweet aftertaste on your palate.

I am amazed that Teavana didn’t advertise this white tea as BOTH a fantastic individual blend AND a terrific supplement to spice up other varieties. I am ready to go back into the lab and splice this tea into some of my morning black tea favorites!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Honeybush Vanilla by Teavana
171 tasting notes

I am a major sweets fan. Actually, I’m really a fan-atic. If I hear about a naturally sweet tea, I’m there! The sales person at our local Teavana store placed the huge open cannister of this tea under my nose while she waved the lid to force the incredible aroma of this blend up my nostrils. I was immediately sold!

While brewing this tea, a wonderful sweet smell filled the room. It wasn’t distinctly vanilla or honey, but a nice combination of both. After six minutes of steeping at 212 degrees, a rich dark amber color appeared.

The flavor of this tea is incredibly smooth and sweet. The vanilla is not overpowering and the taste is very natural. The honey flavor is definitely active and integrates perfectly with the honeybush and vanilla. The aftertaste is sweet and lingers with no bitterness to report.

This is a delicious sweet herbal tea. I also tried brewing it with an equal portion of Teavana’s Spice Of Life tea. That produced an AMAZING sweet, nutty, and fruity blend! This Honeybush Vanilla tea may become my go-to variety when I feel the urge to sweeten up ANY of my morning teas.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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61

When I first launched my journey into the world of tea in August of 2011, I was such a babe in the (tea) leaves and so unsuspecting that I actually thought the Flavia teas in our office machine were great! Then, as I began experiencing the finer teas in life, I started having trouble even swallowing the Flavia teas anymore.

Today, while I was in the office breakroom, I noticed that White With Orange Tea injection packets were added to the flavor lineup at the Flavia machine. My last Flavia foray was not a memorable one so I almost didn’t give them another thought…ALMOST.

Curiosity got the better of me. But, like the cat on his ninth life, I feared for my existence, well, at least, for my tastebuds. But, I trudged ahead anyhow since I really did want to know if white tea with orange was anything to drink about.

As I took my first sip from the provided paper cup wrapped in an also provided paper coozie (so THAT’S what happened to my bonuses and raises!), I’m not sure which emotion was stronger, anticipation…or dread. The first flavor sensation that registered was the usual BLAH Flavia tea taste. However, I guess self-preservation kicked in after that because I began to like the pleasant orange/tangerine flavor behind it.

From then on, I directed my brain to filter out the blah and focus on the pleasant. If you can accomplish this feat (you may not want to try this at home), you too can squeeze some pleasure from this tea.

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85

This is only the second flower tea that I’ve tried. The other one also was a great Teavivre sample.

This Two Dragons and a Pearl Flower tea has a mildly sweet and grass-like flavor. The color is light yellow. This tea tastes very similar to one of Teavivre’s green blends.

I don’t go out of my way to sample flower teas. I find the flower brewing method a little bit of an intrusion. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by my one touch tea maker which does just about everything for me except drink the tea.

This tea does have a nice mild flavor without bitterness. And, I did enjoy watching the little rolled up tea bundle open and “bloom” into a flower nestled in leaves during the brewing process. In fact, I think I like WATCHING flower teas more than DRINKING them!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I loved this one so much that now I want a little dedicated pot for it! There is a Taiwan glass pot on purepuer.com and a small glass pot from Harney and Sons that are both in the running to come live with me. This was my favorite of the flowering teas. I didn’t realize before that you are supposed to put so little water, but it makes sense.

Stoo

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I thought it had a nice taste but I found the flavor similar to green tea.

Have you tried this flower tea?: http://steepster.com/teas/teavivre/21625-true-love-flower-tea

I liked this one better because, to me, it had more complex flavors and it leaned toward the sweet side.

I hope you do adopt a glass pot. I used a large clear Tervis mug which was ok, but I’m sure the glass pot will be much nicer.

Thanks for your comment!

Stoo

ashmanra

I have! These are a far cry from the first flower teas I ever bought, but then I probably didn’t know how to brew those properly back then. These were very good!

Stoo

Both of the Teavivre flower teas were tasty. I haven’t tried any others yet. Maybe they will start to grow on me (no pun intended) as I sample more.

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90

I hate to keep going on about how much I love these Teavivre teas, but I can’t help it! Teavivre has completely eliminated my negative predispositions about flowery and white teas.

On the top of my most shunned list was Jasmine tea. When I tried some other (not to be named) brands, I felt like I was swilling cups of perfume. Not only is this Silver Jasmine Green tea a pleasant sipping blend, but it is also full-flavored and sweet.

The color is a semi-deep amber when steeped for two minutes at 195 degrees. I didn’t expect that hue from a green tea.

The manifestation of jasmine is strong in this tea, but when combined with the sweetness in the flavor and the subtle green tea taste, everything works together peacefully to produce a very palatable experience. Altogether, you are rewarded with a rich sweet jasmine tea without bitterness.

I only have one more Teavivre tea to sample. I am sad because I always look forward to the tasty surprises that these teas spring on me and I will miss them. But, the good news is, my shopping list is loaded and ready to order more of these great teas from China!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

My next order from a tea company will be from Teavivre. I was not planning on ordering their Mo Li Yin Hao, because I usually order the Jasmine Pearls and the Yin Hao doesn’t resteep as well as the pearls-IMHO. I just might reconsider though, and I’m glad you enjoy it!

Stoo

It seems that you can’t go wrong with any of the Teavivre teas, Scott! I hope you enjoy this one too!

ashmanra

My first jasmine tea w a jasmine black from Southern Season. It almost made me sick! Too much perfume! I am glad I tried some GOOD jasmine tea!

Stoo

That was my gripe about jasmine teas. The ones that I had tried before made me feel like I was doing perfume shooters!

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95

There is no doubt about it. I have become a Teavivre groupie. Not only do all of their teas have delicious and outstanding flavors, but they are also fascinating and fun. Some come in little tea cakes that incredibly expand while steeping, others have unusual flat leaves, some are hand rolled into little pellets that unfurl during brewing, and still others appear as flowers that “bloom” during the brewing process. Teavivre also does an expert job with packaging to ensure that your tea arrives from China undamaged and fresh.

The Chun Mei Green Tea carries on this tradition by requiring the shortest brewing time that I’ve experienced so far – less than 30 seconds! If you think that half a minute can’t be enough time to coax satisfactory flavor from this tea, you are as wrong as I was.

This is another splendid green tea. The flavor is somewhat grassy with sweet undertones. The color is a surprisingly vibrant orange-yellow. The taste is extremely steady and full. There is no weakness or bitterness to it. A very pleasant sweet aftertaste remained on my palate after each sip.

A long time ago, whenever a new record album by The Beatles was released, I would just buy it without listening to it, because I knew it would be great. This is now how I feel about Teavivre teas. Any tea that Teavivre wants to throw at me, I will be willing and ANXIOUS to try. I am confident that, just like The Beatles, Teavivre won’t let me down. I love you Teavivre, oh yes I do (yeah, yeah, yeah)!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
chaijeeyah

I feel the same as you towards Teavivre regarding The Beatles albums :))

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90

Teavivre keeps forcing me to re-evaluate my prejudices about my least favorite teas. I’m not a flowery tea fan and, of all the flowery teas, the one that I disliked the most was any with the word “jasmine” remotely connected. However, I am shocked to discover that I like this particular jasmine tea…a lot!

This full-flavored green tea does have a strong jasmine taste. But, there is a wonderful inherent sweetness to the flavor that simultaneously permeates my throat and nostrils with each sip.

After brewing this tea for only two minutes at 175 degrees, I was surprised by the robust flavor that was produced. The total experience is without bitterness of any sort. It’s just a long delightful sweet ride.

Teavivre is also compelling me to change my green tea philosophy. I once believed that green teas were usually weak in taste. This green tea registers just as high on the flavor meter as some of my favorite black teas.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

This one is on my order list, too. Hey, I need to make more in my little glass pot that I don’t own yet than just flower teas! :). These pearls are adorable as they unfurl!

Stoo

Great idea! I hope that is more incentive for you to bite the bullet and purchase the glass pot! Go ahead! You deserve it! :-)

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Bio

I ventured into the world of serious tea drinking in the Summer of 2011. I started out slowly and gently with bagged tea but climbed to the incredible flavorful heights of loose leaf teas in October of that year. Once you go leaf, you never go bag (except when you get free samples)!

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South Carolina, USA

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