18 Tasting Notes

34

This tea is such a disappointment to me. In the bag and in the cup it smells absolutely heavenly, like the spicy chocolate bar of my dreams. Think Theo’s coconut curry chocolate bar, it smells a lot like that tastes, just blissful. But it honestly doesn’t taste like anything much. I’ve tried making it according to Teavana’s directions and it was so insipid I couldn’t finish my cup. Making it much stronger (one tablespoon of tea to one cup of boiling water steeped for 10 minutes) makes an infusion that I can finish, because it smells blissful, but that is still a sad disappointment. Next time I brew it I think I will follow a suggestion I read here and brew it alongside some decaf black tea to give it some actual flavour. But I’ll never buy it again, it’s just not worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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73
drank Shanghai Orchid by Teavana
18 tasting notes

This is a lovely light floral tea, with gorgeous notes of blossom and melon. I’m very fond of it, but I find it a bit insubstantial on its own, and I love it best when blended 50/50 with Teavana’s Peach Tranquility which accentuates its mellow nature but gives it added depth, sweetness and complexity.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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62
drank Peach Fuzz Chai by 52teas
18 tasting notes

I’m sad to say I was a bit disappointed in this one – there isn’t anything wrong with it, and it does live up to its name, its very peachy and fuzzy, it just didn’t grab me. Too much peach and not enough chai. It kind of reminded me of a peach cobbler so if that is your thing this may be the tea for you!

Edit: I ended up giving this one away to a good home. It’s too nice to sit unloved in my kitchen, but I just can’t imagine wanting to drink it again.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
18 tasting notes

This is a light black tea with a yummy marzipan undertone, along with a slight biscuityness that I could honestly do without. I’ve read that there is supposed to be some candied violet in there (one of my favorite things!) but I’ve not seen or tasted any hint of it. The rose is definitely present and works really well with the almond. Owing to my issues with caffeine I never have this as a desert tea but I bet it would work really well. Instead I often have it as a first cup of tea in the morning on days when I need a gentle introduction to the waking world. Then I follow it with a cup of something with a kick like 52teas’ Mayan Chocolate Chai.

I tried this first at the recommended 195 degrees for 2-3 minutes, but it tasted slightly off and undeveloped to me, the way black teas do if the water isn’t absolutely boiling. Using boiling water really brings out the best flavor in the tea leaves, and doesn’t harm the marzipan notes at all. I usually steep it for 3-5 minutes before drinking, but if there is another cup in the pot after my first one that cup usually tastes just fine too (though there’s a stronger contribution from the black tea) so I wouldn’t worry about over-steeping.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Ginger by Yogi Tea
18 tasting notes

This is a standard tea in my house, all of my family love it and we drink it pretty much every day. Every now & then when we are running low I go to Trader Joe’s (who sell it for a dollar less than I’ve seen anywhere else) and buy ten boxes at a time. This is a tea for people who really LOVE ginger and licorice, it is firey, peppery and bold with a strong licorice undernote. To let you know where I’m coming from when I need the curative powers of ginger I just eat ginger root raw and I grew up being given licorice root to chew on as a “candy” by my hippie mother. Ginger & licorice make me very, very happy. When I’m going out on an expidition I often throw a bag of this into a thermal flask, fill it up with boiling water and let it steep for hours, it just gets better the longer you steep it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Barb

Haven’t tried this yet but found it at a local grocery yesterday evening. We are supposed to be getting a couple of Trader Joe’s later this year. How’s the tea selection overall?

SuperHrefna

Not that great I’m afraid! But everything they do have is very reasonably priced. The TJs I’ve been to usually have two flavors of Yogi tea, some boxed pre-made chai and a range of (bagged) green, black & herbal tea. Sometimes they have white tea and flavored teas as well. I’ve tried a variety of their teas but the only one I really like is Yogi ginger – but then I love that and am so grateful they have it cheap, so I can’t complain too much!

Barb

I think I’m going to have to start mail-ordering to support my growing tea/tisane adventure. It’s good to know that TJ has good prices, though!

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79

This is a staple for me, I always have it around and when I go on trips I always bring a few bags of it in a ziploc, along with a few bags of Yogi ginger. On a plane I just ask for hot water and then I can brew myself a cup of apricot decaf or yogi ginger, depending on what I’m in the mood for. Apricot Decaf is not the world’s most complex tea but it is a dependable cup of easily brewed apricot tea with a top fruity note and good bottom note from the black tea. It doesn’t need any milk or sugar, it is delicious just as it is.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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98

Oh yum, this tea is so tasty! I wasn’t too convinced when I first opened the packet because the first scent that reached my nose was a strong chocolate-almondy note that I just didn’t find too convincing. But I went ahead and brewed up and boy is this fantastic. On brewing the chocolate is still there but it is less predominant, and the chili takes the lead followed by the ginger and cardamom and then the chocolate. If you want a tea that tastes strongly of chocolate this may not be for you but if you would like a really kicky chai with a subtle nuttiness and a chocolate finish then you will love this as much as I do.

Edit: I just have to add that I’ve finished half my pouch of this already & I’m ordering a second, bigger pouch today so that I can keep treating myself to this yummy cup of tea. It is just about the perfect breakfast tea, all those spices really get me up and moving in the morning.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Peach Tranquility by Teavana
18 tasting notes

Right now this is just about the perfect tea for me, because I am stressed out, reacting badly to caffeine and in need of a gentle pick-me-up. I find Peach Tranquility to be a soothing, luxurious treat on its own and it blends really well with other teas (especially Teavana’s Shanghai Orchid or Wild Orange Blossom teas, the first accentuates Peach Tranquility’s mellow notes and adds floral overtones while the second adds contrasting peppy citrus notes). It is sweet and fruity and mellow, with a strong taste of peach, but lots of other notes to give it complexity. And when I say sweet I mean it has quite a bit of sugar in it from all the candied fruit in the blend! The way I prepare it is to add 4 tablespoons of tea to my pot and steep it for about 10 minutes in four cups of boiling water – if it is a little chilly after that I just heat it up in the microwave. Not the way I would treat a fine tea, sure, but this is a fruit infusion and it can stand up to that sort of treatment, it is pretty robust. The resteep is often a little weak for my taste so I add one more tablespoon of tea to the mix and then it is just fine.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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Profile

Bio

I’m an expat Brit in America, a lifelong tea lover in that British “milk and two sugars” way, who 6 years ago learned to love her tea without sugar, and now is learning to love it without milk. Two summers ago I learned how to make a proper glass of American iced tea. I’m new to indie tea and having an alarming amount of fun trying out all the amazing blends I keep finding! I used to just drink the black tea I brought home from my visits to the UK plus things like Yogi ginger, and now I am finding a whole new world of tea out there to explore.

Right now I’m mostly interested in flavoured teas as I find those the easiest to enjoy without milk and especially in teas with little to no caffeine as too much caffeine can really send my body chemistry into a tailspin. In the early morning I indulge myself with a couple of cups of something caffeinated but after that it’s noncaf all the way. My teacups are pint sized and I usually have one near me.

Location

Near a beach in NY

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