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65
drank Raspberry Mint Herbal by Teavana
258 tasting notes

I very rarely acquire teas I don’t know I will at least enjoy to some degree – I know what I like, buy nothing un-sniffed, and my nose rarely deceives me. So when I hit the post-Christmas Teavana sale and found a couple of super cheap, much-needed thermoses, I seriously tried to haggle my way out of the four (2 oz./56 g.) gift canisters included in the gift set. ‘You can just knock off another $5!’ Obviously, Teavana being what it is, I had no luck. (Incredibly, however, the included teas were NOT overmeasured! A miracle!)

Accordingly, it is with some trepidation I now set about trying these. The first one is the Raspberry Mint Herbal Blend, the ‘night’ tea of the bunch. (There’s also the Soothing Strawberry Oolong for dusk, the Golden Needle Black Tea for noon, and the Samurai Chai Maté for dawn.)

I love the scent of the dry tea. I rarely go for straight-up raspberry teas, as they often tend to be unbalanced and a little too tart for my tastes. I’m also not overly enthusiastic about mint teas. Combined, however, this has some promise – at least nose wise.

The first taste of the blend is actually really good. It doesn’t quite live up to the lush ripeness suggested by the scent, but it’s nicely rounded off. As it cools, however, the familiar raspberry tartness becomes far more dominant and overpowers the mint/berry harmony entirely, which is a shame.

Cooling it de-tarts it almost entirely, but leaves it tasting more or less like artificially sweetened, watered out lemonade. No.

[Purchased/gifted at Teavana in Honolulu, January 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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