62
drank Scarlet Cloud by Teavana
300 tasting notes

Wow, no love for this tea on Steepster. Not terribly surprising, it’s very hit or miss, luckily today it produced a nice cup. 3 tsps in a glass infuser mug with 175F water for a little over a minute uncovered. Brewed up a beautiful pink and yes a tad cloudy. No bitterness to speak of, no soapy peach, berries are a bit tart which is fine, mint is mild but present. Overall a very lightly flavored white and since Teavana doesn’t seem to believe that white tea leaves themselves should be anything other than light, I can see why others think this is bland, I just don’t mind at the moment as I know what to expect and wasn’t really looking for fruity. This might be more interesting with a bai mu dan or shou mei base. May try this cold brewed as I believe I bought it with the summer in mind when it was 75% off. Would never buy this at full price though. Just the handful of Verdant blends I have been drinking lately have spoiled me, I don’t know if I want to venture trying David’s or 52Teas blends, though that reminds me I need to place an order some honeybush for my mother-in-law.

chadao

I completely agree that a Shou Mei would round this tea out much better, but I wonder if the teaologists at Teavana even know the grades of white tea. Every time I look into one of the bins of blended white teas, the leaves always look the same— little grey, twisted leaves. I wonder what grade they are anyway?

Autumn Hearth

Heh, complicated question. I imagine some people at corporate are aware of the grades of most teas and decide to only promote the top of each grade as straight teas: Silver Needle, Gyokuro, Huang Shan Mao Feng, Monkey Picked Oolong, Golden Monkey, Keemun Premium Grade Hao Ya, Darjeeling SFTGFOP or whatever it is and don’t provide more affordable alternatives (except some greens) like other companies. Why offer White Peony when you want to pitch Silver Yin Zhen Pearls as being the highest in anti-oxidants, most hydrating, detoxifying etc?

But then they use lesser quality leaf in the blends, yet they still claim is the top of its crop which is the reason for the price of the whites. Drum Mountain White Cloud is listed for several of them, this one is supposedly a White Mao Feng and is actually a bit more impressive leaf than some of the others.

These may actually fall outside the traditional four step grading if they are a different varietal. I’ve heard these other teas are not true whites but are still called such as they use a similar processing. Most of the examples that I am thinking are a little to obvious like White Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan (which are all quite lovely) but they are also in China.

Now another complication is Teavana used to have their blends made for them, at least some if not all by SpecialTeas, which they bought out over a year ago and now does not exist supposedly. I’ve heard people who have been to “the home office” talking about the master blender, who knows where she is from and who influences what she can use. But the average employee and probably most managers have never heard of the different grades of white tea, which is just sad really.

Anywho, I highly recommend you try some of the teas in Verdant’s Alchemy line, they are very thoughtfully made and the bases shine through. Of the ones currently available I’d say get the Eight Treassures Yabao and order some straight Yabao while you’re at it, like I said in my notes it tastes like Shou Mei on crack and if the Laoshan Apothecary Green is anything like Taping Temple Green (more mint less spice), it will be amazing!

chadao

I just got to reading this post. Thanks for all the info! It really helped me to understand what was going on in the Teavana world. On a side note have you ever tried gong-mei, the lowest grade of white tea? I’ve heard from many people that it is hardly worth seeking after…

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chadao

I completely agree that a Shou Mei would round this tea out much better, but I wonder if the teaologists at Teavana even know the grades of white tea. Every time I look into one of the bins of blended white teas, the leaves always look the same— little grey, twisted leaves. I wonder what grade they are anyway?

Autumn Hearth

Heh, complicated question. I imagine some people at corporate are aware of the grades of most teas and decide to only promote the top of each grade as straight teas: Silver Needle, Gyokuro, Huang Shan Mao Feng, Monkey Picked Oolong, Golden Monkey, Keemun Premium Grade Hao Ya, Darjeeling SFTGFOP or whatever it is and don’t provide more affordable alternatives (except some greens) like other companies. Why offer White Peony when you want to pitch Silver Yin Zhen Pearls as being the highest in anti-oxidants, most hydrating, detoxifying etc?

But then they use lesser quality leaf in the blends, yet they still claim is the top of its crop which is the reason for the price of the whites. Drum Mountain White Cloud is listed for several of them, this one is supposedly a White Mao Feng and is actually a bit more impressive leaf than some of the others.

These may actually fall outside the traditional four step grading if they are a different varietal. I’ve heard these other teas are not true whites but are still called such as they use a similar processing. Most of the examples that I am thinking are a little to obvious like White Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan (which are all quite lovely) but they are also in China.

Now another complication is Teavana used to have their blends made for them, at least some if not all by SpecialTeas, which they bought out over a year ago and now does not exist supposedly. I’ve heard people who have been to “the home office” talking about the master blender, who knows where she is from and who influences what she can use. But the average employee and probably most managers have never heard of the different grades of white tea, which is just sad really.

Anywho, I highly recommend you try some of the teas in Verdant’s Alchemy line, they are very thoughtfully made and the bases shine through. Of the ones currently available I’d say get the Eight Treassures Yabao and order some straight Yabao while you’re at it, like I said in my notes it tastes like Shou Mei on crack and if the Laoshan Apothecary Green is anything like Taping Temple Green (more mint less spice), it will be amazing!

chadao

I just got to reading this post. Thanks for all the info! It really helped me to understand what was going on in the Teavana world. On a side note have you ever tried gong-mei, the lowest grade of white tea? I’ve heard from many people that it is hardly worth seeking after…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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