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45 Tasting Notes


I am not very familiar with herbal tisanes. I usually just stick with a good Chinese tea. Today, I went to Sojourner’s Coffee and Tea and decided to have this tisane. The ginger is not overpowering, but it is the main flavor in the infusion. It makes a wonderfully refreshing iced infusion, very smooth and well-balanced compared to other ginger tisanes that I have tried. Teatulia may not yet know how to do teas just yet, but they sure have their herbal infusions down pat!

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drank Perfectea Rock Sugar by Teavana
45 tasting notes

Are you actually rating the teas what you think they’re worth or are you just rating them bad because you don’t like the company?


Alex I am sure whatever you are going through is monumental and beyond just the stresses of this job if in fact you work for Teavana. I would however hope that if in fact you do that you realize you are the biggest fish of them all. I realize the economy is rough right now but surely you should seek other employment and not let any one company take away your power to this degree.
Its a bit alarming because your disdain is not only aimed at the company but also the consumers.
Posts like this are alarming because posts like this are often made right before someone snaps a gasket.
At first I found your posts interesting, well written and I could sympathize but at this point it looks a little frightening.
I do hope that you get some help with what is going on within you as there is certainly a huge internal struggle even if it is spiking your creative zeal.

Autumn Hearth

Thank you Azzrian! I was at a loss for words last night, debating if it was my place to say something and feeling guilty that I helped fuel this. While it has been mostly entertaining to read and I can very much relate, heck this could be my internal dialog, all these things have certainly gone through my head, except I would never think of my guests as fish (it is a very poignant analogy though) and find it rather degrading. But that’s why I decided I couldn’t work there anymore and (attempted at least to) quit.

Alex I seriously think quitting would be better for your career than getting fired. I know you are trying to push as hard as you can to get corporate to react since you know they are watching now and of course venting at the same time but I never wrote a tasting note in anger nor gave in a lower rating than I thought it deserved. I know you are a bigger tea snob than me so that’s all relative and probably were before you started working at Teavana. I also know you have a dream of opening your own tea emporium (as do I) so I would encourage you to quit now so that it’s only two years before your non-compete contract ends, you can get a decent paying job in the meantime and not loose people’s respect on here, because we would love to buy tea from such a knowledgeable, conscientious and passionate member of the tea community. So please step down from the ledge, for the love of tea…


I debated as well but I feel being part of an online community in this day and age is similar if not equatable to a “real life” society and it is upon us all to reach out to those struggling. A spiritual side of me says let everyone walk their own path positive or negative as there are lessons for us everywhere no matter the direction we take. On the other hand to ignore someone’s struggle means we are not being true to our own if it be in our nature TO reach out. That is why I posted.
I value Alex as a member here, he has been here longer than myself to add to that but I fear that he is walking on the dark side of things and he would be far better off fulfilling his dream and educating people rather than knocking people down. Its unfortunate to feel the way you do Alex but your own internal compass IS guiding you AWAY from this job! Don’t let the COMPANY keep you in their hooks! We care about you!


@Emilie: it’s a little of both

@Azzrian and Autumn: I apologize for making you feel alarmed/guilty/frightened. My discomfort for acting out of accordance with my conscience at work has caused me to write this story. Although I regret my analogy of a customer to a fish (we’re all human here), I cannot lie to myself or to you and say that I did not enjoy writing this story and sharing it here. I will take advice from both of you. Azzrian, I will seek counseling for my internal struggles, as I already have a fine therapist that I work very well with. Autumn, I will seriously consider putting in my notice in the near future. Thank you both for your input, your care, and your concern. I promise from here on out that my posts will be more civil in their language, and positive in their message.

Autumn Hearth

Good to hear Alex and best of luck! Writing can be very theraputic and like I said I did enjoy most of it, feel free to private message me if you ever need to vent/rage/talk.

yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

so is it good or bad or in between?


your stories show a great example of freud’s theory of the id, ego, and super-ego. this is so cool.

the morality is there, which means you have a functional super-ego. however, your ego (the mediator) is letting more of the id (gratification) shine through. the reason this is happening is because you’re in a situation that makes the ego act this way. the ego knows that if you don’t act this way, you may get fired. even though you know that what you’re doing is wrong, the other side of you does it anyway because of the detrimental consequences of not doing them.

when you take yourself out of this situation, your mind will adjust. however, this adjustment takes a while. in order for this to occur, you need to find another tea shop, like adagio or others before you actually quit. when you do leave the current profession you’re in, you have to realize that what your other job required you to do isn’t required for the new job you’re in. if you don’t make this realization and don’t make an effort to adjust your mindset, you might as well be working at teavana.

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This is the lament of Alex. Your fish should also be responsible. I know which chocolate company supports child labor. All the information is online so I don’t buy their chocolates. You are right that we should support companies that pay workers a decent wage for work.

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reviewed Cast iron tea pot by Teaware
45 tasting notes

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drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
45 tasting notes

darkly wow


I’m sending you a PM!


oh dear, so sad. I hope you find another job soon, that involves tea!



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Do you actually work for Teavana or is these just extremely well-written statements against the company?


With Teavana monitoring these pages, I feel that I do not have license to openly answer this question. However, your guess is just as good as the truth. I hope you keep reading. I’m planning on writing a lot more of these today :)


Very entertaining, thanks for sharing!!

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Autumn Hearth

Oh my, while I don’t condone this, I want to read more.


Poor you, it must cause pain.


Sorry to see you going through this but excellent writing nonetheless!

Dr. Laura

wow everything you said is untrue! Its obvious you are a disgruntled employee or x employee who probably is angry over something else, and wants to tarnish the business. I know for a fact most of the things you say are untrue because I have conducted extensive research on tea and out of all the tea i have research Teavana tea and whole foods tea have the highest levels of antioxidants, they are fermented perfectly “some are not fermented of course”, the white tea and oolong tea as well as green have amazing health benefits I found that the tea called Silver needle from Teavana is one of the best quality teas based on levels of antioxidants and some polyphenols and on the freshness of the tea as well. I am a Dietitian if you are wondering why i am testing tea quality, I always recommend these teas to my patients whom suffer from disease or are trying to prevent disease and even those wanting to lose weight. I believe everyone should focus on preventing disease by healthy eating and natural supplementation. Other teas i strongly recommend are Herbal and Rooibus teas Rooibus is not derived from tea leaves but is marketed as a tea it comes from an african red bush and has many health benefits. My testing revealed they are both have little to no caffeine at all. In regards to what the disgruntled employee said about the sugar they use, it is called german rock sugar and the reason it is a lot better than using refined sugar is that it has a very minimal effect on raising your GI levels i would compare it to agave nectar not by taste only by nutritional value. I prefer stevia for weightloss but the rock sugar taste much better. I will say that I have traveled around the world in search of the best teas and if you can afford to fly to Japan and argentina or africa to get the best teas then yes it is fresher so it will be better otherwise if not go to Teavan or whole food those teas are about as perfect as you can get with out having to travel to a foreign land" and when I say whole foods I am only speaking of their loose leaf teas. Now as far as the crazy sales thing I agree they might be a little pushy but that depends on the person as well, and there is nothing wrong about pushing a product you know can greatly improve health! Maybe you work at a poorly managed store or slow store because every teavan I have been to is so crowded and people are constantly sampling tea i don’t see how its possible that the sample containers could sit there all day without having to be refilled constantly. I am sorry your poor experiences there have a negative effect on the way you look at tea, but i prefer science over assumption or hearsay.

Thank you

Autumn Hearth

Hmm seems she’s no longer on Steepster, so I’ll save my breath ;) Not that I disagree that some of the claims are not unfounded, but they’re not sampling Silver Needle and there is better tea available in the states. Moving on.


So, Dr. Know it all Laura isn’t on Steepster, and was a hit and run. Figures!


I was JUST about to go off on a rant asking why her username is “Dr. Laura” if she’s a dietitian (because I am a dietetics student and that could be considered misusing professional labels and could lead to a loss of status as a registered dietitian if reported to the Academy…) Shoulda figured she wouldn’t be around for me to harass ;)


Alex, where you be at?

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drank Laoshan White by Verdant Tea
45 tasting notes

First of all, thanks so much to Bonnie for greeting me with this sample, as well as a host of other samples, when we met at the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival!

I have been super busy lately, and I have not had time to review, let alone taste, any new teas for quite some time now. Today, I finally have a wealth of free time, and what better way to use it than drinking and writing about a tea from one of my favorite tea companies :)

Bonnie gave me quite a generous sample of this tea, enough for two pots, but I decided to chuck the entire sample into my little 100mL gaiwan and put it to the ultimate gongfu test. I put the water on the stove, put the leaves into the vessel, and waited for the crab eyes to start blinking at me from the bottom of the pan. When the crab eyes caught my attention, I drenched the leaves, stirred them up a bit, and took a whiff…

It smelled like green tea. There was nothing white about it. It was beany, vegetal, and earthy. The first sip confirmed my nasal sense. It tasted just like a high quality, everyday-type green tea. This is not to say that it was not delicious. It just tasted nothing like a white tea. The second steep mellowed out the balance of tannin and sweetness. Once, again, it was very delicious. The third steep was even more mellow, with a lighter body, but still nothing white about it.

This Laoshan green tea that may have been processed as a white tea is very good indeed. It upheld its freshness very well. Every steep tells a different story, or at least chapters of the same story. Maybe I will tell the story some day. It will be a story of how there is absolutely no agreement in the tea business on what a white tea should be. Every company seems to have a different definition, and these discrepancies are enabling them to produce a wealth of different flavors, looks and aromas — essentially, different teas that all parade under the name of “white.” With all these variances, I’m becoming more and more confused. If you’re reading this, maybe you could tell me: how do YOU define what a white tea is? Do you simply submit to what every company tells you, even if their white tea tastes completely green, or even almost black (as Teatulia’s white tea tastes)? Or do you, as I do, feel the need for a little more formality in the definition of “white” tea?


It is unfortunate that you didn’t brew this tea the optimal way which would have been 20 seconds increasing the steep time by 5 seconds on further steeping. The tea leaves are steamed when picked and not wilted/oxidized.


Maybe this is true, but I do not think that this would have changed the flavor of the tea. It would not have had that sweetness that the slight oxidation from a sun dried, Fuding white tea usually has. Next time I try this tea, I’ll do it this way :)

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