152 Tasting Notes

96

This morning I was excited to try another sample of Teavivre tea. The Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea – Golden Tip did not disappoint me one bit. It has a wonderful, light, flowery, fresh fields taste to it.

So far, Teavivre’s black teas have amazed me with the great amount of flavor they produce at low brewing temperatures and short steeping times. I brewed this one for three minutes at 185 degrees as recommended. The result was plenty of flavor, although I think my worn out tastebuds may need about three and a half minutes of brewing to obtain the full flavor effect. Regardless, this is another excellent tea.

This tea has a bright light amber color like wildflower honey. There is also a hint of sweetness to the flavor that makes this selection refreshing for black tea.

I continue to be very impressed with Teavivre teas. They have skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list. I’m already counting the hours until tomorrow’s new sample!

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98

This is my first taste of tea by Teavivre. Samples of this and four other Teavivre varieties came in the mail yesterday all the way from China.

I have to say, I am blown away by the great complex flavors of this bold yet very gentle tea. It’s one of the best black teas I have ever tasted!

This premium tea has a wonderful woody and smoky taste that is fully realized, but not overpowering, after just three minutes of steeping at 194 degrees. I find that worthy of note because I usually have to brew black tea for five minutes at 212 degrees to wring a level of flavor strength from it that even approaches this fine gem from the East.

The rich flavors of this tea are very clear without any bitterness creeping onto your palate. The bright amber color foreshadows the outstanding tasting experience that awaits you.

I am excited to try another tea offering by Teavivre…TOMORROW!

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89

Yesterday I found myself back at the mall and once again I was drawn to the Teavana store “just to look”. I don’t know if the sales people are very good or I’m just an easy sell. In any event, this time I purchased the Slimful Chocolate Decadence blend. All you have to do is mention chocolate and my wallet seems to pop out of my pocket. This is my first experience with oolong tea. Following Teavana’s instructions, I brewed it at 195 degrees for three minutes. The flavor is an agreeable combination of chocolate and ginger. As Tamm commented, I did not see or taste the presence of rose petals in my selection. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to oolong yet, but the flavor power of this tea is weaker than my preference, particularly early in the morning when I’m trying to slap awake my brain and tastebuds. Am I sorry I purchased it? No. Do I like it? Yes. Will I drink it again? Yes. Next time, though, I will experiment with brewing it a little longer or adding more tea.

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55
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
152 tasting notes

UPDATE: I blended Azteca Fire with Matevana yesterday morning. I used 1.5 teaspoonsful of each variety per cup. Wow! After my first sip, I heard music playing, birds singing, and sweet voices! Then, I turned off my radio. Seriously, though, the two varieties go together better than Abbott & Costello. It was like drinking a rich and sweet cup of hot chocolate with a fine tea chaser. The multiple flavors complement each other perfectly! So, I’m raising my rating for Azteca Fire because it is a great friend for other blends.

The DJBooth

I do like this one! I like mixing it with English Breakfast

Stoo

Hi DJBooth! Yes, it’s better blended with something rather than as a stand-alone tea. I used to be a radio disc jockey for several years too!

The DJBooth

Ha ha awesome! What format?

Stoo

Top 40 rock and roll!

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55
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
152 tasting notes

I’ll make this Tasting Note short and sweet because that is how I feel about this herbal tea blend. The chocolate taste is sweet but the rest of the flavor falls short. It is similar to hot chocolate, with either four times the apppropriate amount of water, or only one-fourth the amount of recommended hot chocolate mix. Take your pick. It smelled so misleadingly wonderful in its unbrewed state in the cannister. I’m disappointed with this one on its own. However, I have a feeling that it will be a great complement to another blend. Next time, I will mix this selection with Teavana’s Matevana blend. Hopefully Azteca Fire will then sigh, turn to Matevana, and whisper seductively, “You complete me.”

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97

I was extremely psyched this weekend when I discovered that the mom and pop peach stand down the road sells Charleston Tea Plantation teas! Now I know how Columbus felt in 1492! I had just learned about these teas during my trip to Charleston last week and I figured I’d have to wait until my next trek to that great city before I could buy more. What made my discovery even sweeter was when I found that I can buy the teas locally for about 25% less than what they cost me in Charleston! So, needless to say, I picked up an additional variety of this wonderful tea.

The Governor Gray tea, like the other selections from this company that I’ve tried so far, has a very smooth and full flavor. The bergamot presence is light, but you know it is there by the citrus undertones that exist in every sip. Perhaps it only seems light to me because I am accustomed to the supercharged double bergamot tea blend produced by Stash. In any case, this is a very nice and tasty tea. I steeped it for four minutes at 212 degrees. This seemed to result in a hint of bitterness, but nothing to detract from my pleasure in drinking this tea. Next time I will lighten up and cut a minute off of the steeping time.

UPDATE: I did diminish the steeping time to three minutes to see if the slight bitterness that I experienced at four minutes would disappear. The results are in. To quote Goldilocks, “This one is just right!”

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Stoo, so happy to read your post on your recent discovery! We love to hear how the simple joy of finding a new flavor, or an existing favorite can bring our consumers pleasure! Thanks so much for sharing your experience
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Stoo

It’s my pleasure, Kathy. I love sampling new teas. This has really become a fun adventure for me! Happy New Year!

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100
drank MateVana by Teavana
152 tasting notes

I said I was going to just enjoy the loose leaf teas I have now and not buy more until I finish what I have. But…I was at the local mall last night and passed a store that I hadn’t noticed before…TEAVANA!!!

TEAVANA became NIRVANA for me! The incredible aromas that filled the store, as well as the many free tea tasting samples, were just too much for me to resist. I didn’t want to go crazy (yet) so I only bought two types during this stop. I know I will be back…soon.

I was very excited to try the purchased MateVana tea this morning. The odor that arose from the cannister contained the only thing that I like about coffee, its great aroma. I hate the taste of coffee and have always wished that coffee tasted like it smelled. This tea does just that and more!

The sweet, almost chocolaty, aroma that wafted from the tea maker while brewing, again screamed out the qualities that I always envied in coffee. This divine smell was not even slightly diminished in the cup that followed. And, the bold, sweet, and polished flavor of the tea is beyond adequate accolades. It TASTES exactly like fine coffee SMELLS without the harsh and often bitter flavor of coffee. It is tremendously rich, vibrant, and smooth. I drank three cups of this wonderful nectar this morning. I can’t wait to pop open the cannister again soon, just to sniff it, if I don’t have time to brew it.

Now I know why they give you so many free tasting samples at Teavana. It’s to get you hooked on the fine stuff! In my case, stay tuned. I’ll let you know how things go at my TA (Te-a-holics Anonymous) meetings.

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97

This is another one of the Charleston Tea Plantation loose leaf teas that I picked up while I was in Charleston, South Carolina, last week. Although I like several strong cups of potent black tea in the morning to get my remaining brain cells chugging, I decided to give this green tea a try today. I am so glad I did! I set the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker for medium-strength green tea, with a brewing time of three minutes at 175 degrees. The flavor of this tea is smooth as silk. The taste of mint is cool and refreshing without overpowering the light but steady essence of the tea. Bitterness is not part of this tea’s vocabulary, even 40 minutes after brewing. I drank three cups this morning and still yearned for more!

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82

I was in Charleston, South Carolina, last week and just couldn’t resist picking up some loose leaf tea grown on the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea plantation in the United States. The Charleston Breakfast Tea variety brewed for four minutes, resulting in a vibrant amber color. The flavor is pleasant, although not multi-dimensional or particularly bold. The taste is slightly nutty but lacks sweetness that my worn tastebuds are able to detect. All-in-all, this is a kind and gentle breakfast tea that will softly stir you from your slumber.

Alan Mueller

I wasn’t a big fan of it,but reading this review makes it sound insatiable for the morning;so i’ll give it another try. Thanks. :)

Kashyap

Just so you know…not the only tea plantation in the USA…Sakuma Brothers in Skagit Valley Washington is also produced in the US…FYI

Stoo

Hi Alan!

Yes, give it a try. You won’t be sorry! Thanks for your comment!

Stoo

Stoo

Hi Kashyap!

I heard about the Sakuma Brothers several months ago. It is a fairly recent tea venture. I believe they are calling themselves a “farm” and haven’t reached “plantation” status yet. However, they are tea growers nevertheless. Thanks for keeping me straight!

To learn more about the Sakuma Brothers tea farm, go here: http://shop.sakumabros.com/tea.aspx

Stoo

Kashyap

yeah…I already know and work with Richard and offer the Green and Oolong through our website and store…

Stoo

Very cool, Kashyap! Please send me the link to your website. I’d love to take a look at it!

Stoo

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97

I was going to wait until next year to evolve from tea bags to loose leaf. However, thanks to my wonderful girlfriend, who bought me the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker for my birthday yesterday, I’m ahead of schedule. I’m a gadget kind of guy and I would love this very cool machine even if all it did was boil water. Of course, though, I need loose leaf tea to properly play with my new toy. I ran out to the store last night and chose Rishi Earl Grey for my inaugural launch. As the tea was steeping for four minutes at 212 degrees, I immediately noticed a richer aroma than I had ever experienced with bagged tea and 192-degree water. The color of the tea was also more vibrant than I had encountered with bagged Earl Grey teas. As I excitedly took my first sip, I tasted a cornucopia of tea, bergamot, malt, and spice. The experience reminded me of when I first emerged from black-and-white to color television. I love this tea, I love my new tea maker, I love loose leaf, I love my girlfriend, I love life, and I love you. All is well with the world today. :-)

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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)!

Location

South Carolina, USA

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