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20 Tasting Notes

89

What a wonderful, wonderful green tea! In my third installment of ‘Drink Teavana’s Tea of the Week’ I went and tried this today after running an errand. The leaves were nice. This one is a pure tea with nothing but the tea so help you gods of tea. The scent was a bit smokey with a lovely sweet undercurrent to the aroma.

The first sip was just lovely. E’sC&M has a flavor is smooth the aftertaste is a flavor I have a hard time describing with words? It sounds stupid to say, ‘It tastes like green tea’ because, well, DUH, it IS a green tea Nerdette! So can I say that a flavor is Green? This is the first non-flavored tea that I’ve had in a while and so accurately reviewing its taste is just so difficult. The mouth feel is also very good. The tea goes down buttery smooth and just makes my eyes cross!

I’m not sure if anyone else likes to eat things while drinking a hot tea, but I had some cinnamon flavored pretzels and I found it to compliment the lovely, light golden tea perfectly. Basically…if you like a good green tea, I can’t imagine you not liking this one.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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78

Oh I love chai blends. I also love Oolongs! So what could be better than the two of them blended together into something delicious? I went to World Market yesterday and used some coupons to get my first cast iron tea pot! I also sprung the extra 10 bucks for the trivet and warmer. While I know I should probably use a tried and true tea to test the differences between my ‘Perfect Tea Maker’ and my new cast iron, I just was dying to taste my newest teavana acquisition, Maharaja Chai.

The scent of the tea leaves is spicy and pungent. I can pick out the cloves, cardamon and pepper. The color is a beautiful and deep brown with a golden tint and the first sip just bursts on the back of my mouth. After the warm swallow, I can taste the sweetness of the cloves. Its smooth on the tongue and sweet without adding any sugar or sweetners. I usually don’t sweeten oolongs because the leaves just add such a delicate flavor that added sweetness can mask, but I can tell this one is going to be a favorite.

It reminds me a little of Sweet Oolong Revolution, but the spices are way stronger, giving it that lovely chai flavor. I am very pleased with this one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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80
drank Jasmine Oolong by Teavana
20 tasting notes

A delicious Jasmine Tea! This is one of my favorite oolongs of all time. I get it pretty infrequently though so I tend to brew it infrequently. Still, yesterday seemed like an Oolong type of Saturday.

Unfortunately, it didn’t get quite as strong as I usually like it to get, but that’s ok. The great thing about Oolongs is how the flavor changes based on the steep time and which infusion you’re on. I am going to make a judgement call though: This is not going to be my average morning, out the door tea and instead be reserved for sitting and enjoying the different flavors tea. It didn’t do well for a good ‘all purpose’ tea yesterday and I really think that was because I rushed through the brewing process.

Still, its got fantastic flavor and when done properly, really makes my toes curl in happiness!

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

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30

So as a part of my, ‘try the Teavana Tea of the Week’ challenge I have laid out for myself, I went in to get myself a cup on Pineapple Kona Pop a few days ago. I wrote down some notes to post here for everyone. It all sums up to whether or not you enjoy and like pineapple. If you like Pineapple, you will like this tea a lot. I am not generally fond of pineapple. Sometimes though, I do really enjoy it and just because I don’t USUALLY like a flavor does not mean that I will always dislike said flavor, hence going ahead and trying the PKP from Teavana this week.

I bought the drink cold and non-sweetened so as to not let anything other than the tea shine through. The pineapple is bursting on the first sip. Its very strong and sadly, due to the strength of it, I did not like it. However as herbal cold teas go, if you are a fan of the tropical pineapple, you will love this one. Alas, for me, it was not to my taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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18

So! Forgive me for posting this a day late, but I did try the Mojito Marmalade sample that Tea Forte sent out. I had some apprehensions about this tea because I’m not a huge fan of orange and mint together. It reminds me too much of a stomach med my mother used to spoon into me. However, I pushed those pre-conceived notions aside because you never know if you will love a tea based on the description. Only on the taste. So I set up my water, grabbed my infuser and then ripped this one open.

The first thing I noted was that the tea smelled more like Citron than actual oranges. I work at a spice store and we have orange peel. This orange peel didn’t smell fresh at all to my nose, but bitter. I also detected other citrus flavors underneath the aroma, sort of a lemon something.

It brewed up to a beautiful dark brown with orange tints and was much lighter in color than I’d been expecting. My first taste was of a very strong mint. On the back of the sip I could taste the orange. I did not know before this tea that I really do not like orange and mint together in a tea. AT ALL.

All the mojitos I’ve ever had were with lime, not orange. There was just something…off about the orange and the mint for me. I love mint! And I love Oranges! Just…not together. I wish there had been some cloves, or that the oranges had been swapped for limes or lemons. I wish that this tea was mint julep instead of Mojito Marmalade.

So to rescue the cup, I added some sugar. After all, whoever liked sugarfree marmalade? And since when do Mojitos not have sweetness to play off the rum, lime and mint? I appreciate the sample and the experience. I feel like even when I drink a tea that I don’t like, I learn something more about tea and where my tastes are.

If you are a person who loves citrus and mint, you will adore this tea. Its not bad in terms of flavor, but it just wasn’t to my taste.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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66

Earl Grey White has a musty smell right out of the tin and the Lavender in the Lavender Dream is very strong after it is opened. But when I put them together they make such a beautiful tea.

The bergamot in the Earl Grey White really compliments the lavender and since they are both white teas and have the same measurements and steeping temps and times, it makes brewing this tea in the morning a cinch. I used three tsps of each and some rock sugar for a four cup brew. (Four cups is my usual morning tea consumption) It’s important not to over steep this one, because it can turn bitter rather quickly, but when brewed at the right temperature for the right time, the reward is a fabulous flavor.

The flavor is a complex on first sip. At the beginning of the taste, the white tea’s muskiness hits the tongue and at the back of the swallow, the mouth is met with a very floral aftertaste. I used this brew as my ‘good morning’ tea. There isn’t a ton of caffeine in this blend, but just enough to get the day started off smoothly.

Most to the teas I drink in the morning are tried and true blends for me, so while this isn’t the first time that I’ve had this blend, it is the first time I’ve dipped into this month. Unlike my Dragon Phoenix Pearls with Rooibos Tropica, I store these two teas separately since they are good blenders with other teas.

Looooved this in my cup yesterday morning!

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

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67

So its Tuesday and I am ready for my second go at the Tea Forte samples that I was sent. Today’s tea is the Blueberry Merlot. Opening the package, my first smell impression is the blueberry. I can also smell the rosehips and sage pretty strongly through the blend. I’m smelling something that smells a bit like currant, so that could be the merlot coming through.

Water is going to be boiling and the steep is going to be 5 minutes since that is what the package recommends.

When the tea brews, it comes out very dark purple, almost like a wine! The smell isn’t very strong in terms of blueberry, but I’m looking forward to the first sip.

But oh! It is in the first sip. My tongue exploded with that blueberry flavor…oh and the second too. Alright, so far, out of the five teas that I received from Tea Forte, this is my favorite. I am going to have to buy some more of this one.

I also really like it because it doesn’t need any sweetness added. That blueberry really just gives it exactly what it needs. The more I drink, the more I like. I can also taste something of a currant something in the aftersip. The aftertaste is also a really fruity blueberry. Its official. I want some more of this one.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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52

I received a sample of this tea along with four other herbals that I will be reviewing this week. Since I had five of them, I decided to begin with the Apricot Amaretto. My first impression was that I really loved the smell. The aroma is sweet, and I could immediately pick out the apricot, peach and almond notes. The fruit dominated the dry leaves and I was pretty interested in how it would taste. I used my perfect tea maker to infuse it. I generally brew herbals around 208ish and the instructions on the back said to let it steep for 5 minutes. I loved out dark it got when it brewed, but the fruit smell began to fade as it steeped and the almondy flavors became much stronger.

I let it cool to about 140 degrees and took my first sip. The almondy amaretto was very strong, so much so that it really overwhelmed and took over the apricot and peach notes that I’d smelled when I first opened the packet. I drank the cup with no sweetener, because I try not to sweeten a cup of a new tea when I first tried it. However, while it wasn’t a terrible tea, I was really hoping for that fruit that the title promised, leaving me a bit disappointed. Its tasty enough and would be interesting to try iced or sweetened, but I only had enough for the one cup. By the time I’d finished my first, I wasn’t interested in trying to re-steep it and see. I might pick up a small amount on my next tea order and try it again, but at the moment, I’m not that impressed.

Still, a lovely almond flavor so if that is what you are hoping for, you’ll be satisfied.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
20 tasting notes

Its like a cookie in my mouth! I love this one both for mornings and breakfast. It brews really easily and can be enjoyed with or without sugar, depending on how you’re feeling. The smell of the tea when you open it is great and sugar-cookie like. When I brewed it, it made my whole kitchen smell like I’d been baking and the taste is just addictive. Over all, a high rated tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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91

This was the first Teavana tea I’ve ever tasted. Everywhere down here, they keep huge amounts of this one in sample containers and so as a first tea to try, its a pretty good one.

First, the smell. I ignored the Teavana sales person when he told me not to store my pearls with my rooibos because I love the way it smells blended. I can see their point in that if you keep them separated, you can blend your pearls and rooibos, yada yada. Whatever for them. If I want some pearls to brew with something else, I’ll go buy some. Nope. I keep my r/p in the same tin and man, I am not sorry I did.

When you store some teas together, especially teas that compliment each other as much as these two do, they take on a lovely blended flavor. I love to smell them together before I brew them.

Today I used my kettle for brewing since I’m at the boy’s house and I found that the Rooibos bits have traveled a bit more than they do when I’m at home and use a finer mesh strainer, but its ok. A few tea leaves never hurt me.

Over all this is a high 80s tea for me. Its one I use as an old standby and usually the one I bring with me when I’m introducing a new tea-drinker to the wonders of loose tea. But also, its a good ‘Hello Day! I am gonna kick your butt!" tea. It has a great jasmine flavor at the first of the sip with the Rooibos just filling out the back of the sip. I brew it at the temperature for Roobios, but I don’t let it steep too long at risk of making the pearls bitter. I have tried this tea sweetened and unsweetened and I prefer it sweet. (But that’s not a real surprise for me!) I use all sorts of sweetners so I really don’t care how it gets sweet, though I do prefer the brown rock sugar. However white sugar cubes do well when you’re using it for an English Style tea ceremony. :D

Anyway, if you’re looking at this tea and wondering if you should get it, I’d definitely recommend it. Its full and delicious and just right for new people coming into loose teas and blending.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
LiberTEAS

I tried this blend first as a sample in a local Teavana store, and really enjoyed it. It was my first experience with Teavana and still one of my favorite blends from them.

PS: I love your user ID name… made me smile!

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Profile

Bio

(I was going by my Facebook name which is April but I wanted a more tea-like handle!)

Sheesh, what does a girl write?

I’ve been drinking loose leaf teas for about four years and bagged teas since I could digest it. I live in the southern United States where ice cold sweet tea is called “The Table Wine of the South”. Even though it might not be as refined as some of the more exotic teas that I sample, I love brewing it, drinking it and sharing it.

I am always exploring new teas and new flavors. I have discovered some fun ones over the years, but my location has really prevented me from sampling some of the greater opportunities out there.

So joining this site is a step towards new teas, new friends and new tastes.

Current Tea Shops:
I have experience with very few tea retailers but I hope that this space will soon have more names

Mrs. Rosemarie’s Special Teas (Sadly, a tea house that has closed)

The English Tea Room Teas (http://www.englishtearoom.com/)
This is a fabulous teahouse in Covington, LA.

Teavana

Tea Forte: They were really nice and sent me some samples to review! I look forward to shopping at their online shop sometime soon!
(More forthcoming!)

Tea Ratings:
1-25: Bleck! Never again! See, I have to really, really dislike a tea to give it a rating this low. It has to be gross. I probably won’t even finish the cup.

26-50: Meh. It was not the best. I might drink it down if I bought it, or finish it off, but I won’t purchase it again or recommend it to anyone.

51-75: Pretty Tasty! I would try this one again! I might also buy it. And tell people to try it. And move it around and blend it with other teas because its so good I can’t imagine it being bad!

76-100: GET IN MA BELLY! I own this tea. I will never not have this tea. This tea is my best friend and the companion to my soul

Location

Alabama, USA

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