169 Tasting Notes
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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)!
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed the last Teavivre Pu-erh tea that I sampled so I was excited to try the mini tuocha rose injected version. I’m not a flowery tea enthusiast but Teavivre seems to do a great job in keeping the flower from running away with the flavor.
This tea did not disappoint me. It has a very deep, woodsy, earthen taste. The color is a dark rich brown, like molasses.
I had salmon for lunch yesterday and I guess it is still very much on my brain and tastebuds. With my first sip, I thought I detected a salmon-like flavor within this tea. Then, I came to my (tasting) senses and realized that this was just the subtle rose attribute peeking out from the other strong and dominant musky flavors.
It is fascinating to me that the flavors of this tea seem to contradict each other yet are in perfect harmony. The light and delicate rose flavor blends exquisitely with the rugged and powerful earthy taste.
This is a pleasing complex tea. Teavivre has once again proven to me that flowery teas do not have to taste like perfume.
After visiting the dentist yesterday, I started bleaching my choppers last night. If I had known in advance that this process requires a temporary halt to tea drinking (two weeks! – yeah, right, like that is gonna happen!), I would have postponed the bleaching indefinitely. The rebel in me was not about to let the dentist’s sadistic demands prevent me from trying this Teavana tea. Necessi-tea is the mother of invention, so today’s tasting note comes to you while I suck this Nine Dragon Golden Needle tea through a straw.
I steeped this tea at 195 degrees for three minutes. A nice nutty aroma emerged while brewing. The color was a bright amber.
The flavor of this tea (even through a straw) is nutty and woodsy. The taste also has the underlying earthy characteristics that I’ve begun to recognize in other Chinese teas from the Yunnan Province. I haven’t encountered any bitterness. In addition, there is a slight sweet honey quality to the flavor.
I wouldn’t call this a strong blend. There is plenty of steady flavor, though, to never question its identity as a solid black tea.
This is an enjoyable black tea. I’m looking forward to experiencing it again. I know it will be even better without a plastic tube middle man between the cup and my lips.
NOTE (Addendum): This marks my 50th (golden?) Tasting Note since I joined Steepsters in August of 2011! I’m ready to celebrate! Break out the party tea! Pass me another straw!