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Tavalon Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

72
drank Great White by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

Steeping in the gaiwan brings out a bit more flavor, and this one doesn’t have the rather nasty dead plant taste that I’ve had from white peony before, but the flavor is still fairly elusive to me. I get something sort of darjeeling-y from this, but much lighter, like a pastel version of darjeeling.

I have yet to taste a white peony that really knocks my socks off and I’m starting to wonder whether as a genre, it just isn’t the tea for me unless it’s the base for a nicely done flavored white. I’m torn on how to rate this because it’s better than some other white peonies I’ve tried, but on an absolute scale it’s not as flavorful and enjoyable as some other teas I’ve rated in the 70s. So take that into consideration when interpreting the rating.

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72
drank Great White by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

It was perhaps a mistake to drink this after the Tropical Peony. I steeped it using the same time and temp I did for that one and avoided any unpleasant plantiness but I also didn’t get a lot of flavor out of it.

I’m also annoyed because I broke one of my glass mugs from Adagio in the process of getting ready to taste this one, and cut my finger trying to get the glass chips out of the sink. I’m also having to deal with a small tantrum on no. 1’s part. He has a piano contest coming up in two weeks and he’d rather watch television than practice. The afternoon isn’t shaping up well.

I should try this in the gaiwan and see if that helps. Not rating for now.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
boychik

I feel your pain (both finger and no. 1). Don’t give up

__Morgana__

Thanks, boychik. :-)

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78
drank Tropical Peony by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 118 of the year 2014.

It remained one of the better tropical flavored white teas I’ve had and served well as a commuting/toodling around tea. Today it accompanied me to Little League picture day where we accomplished two team photos, two individual photos, and one buddy photo of no. 1 and no. 2 together. Of course, I had to buy the photo package that included the mug. I’m such a sucker for these things. I briefly considered the travel mug option, but the Timolino has spoiled me and I feared that even with a picture of one or the other of my little darlings on it, it would not get enough use to justify the purchase.

And down goes the roller coaster…

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78
drank Tropical Peony by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

I reread the label on this one and discovered that Tavalon recommends using more leaf than I was. Sort of. They recommend two teaspoons per 8 oz water.

I’m using a spoon that’s a bit larger than a teaspoon and I tend to use heaping (or at least not level) teaspoons so I’m actually using more than a teaspoon. But just for fun, I put in twice as much tea as I’d been using, same amount of water, same temp and same steeping time. Then I threw it in the Timolino and drove to work.

I really didn’t notice a difference. It didn’t seem twice as strong as it was yesterday, although there might have been a bit more of the underlying tea. But the fruit and coconut flavoring wasn’t stronger.

Still liking it as a commuting tea, though.

keychange

Popping in to say that I’m a heeper too! a shameless one. More tea!

carol who

Depending on the tea, sometimes you just have to. It can make such a difference. Something that tastes insipid the first time and can really come alive. I find that a lot with the Teavana herbals. I also think that many companies just routinely say 1 tsp/8 oz.

moraiwe

Heapers unite!

Memily

I like playing around with quantities but I have to admit I get annoyed when I get home with a tea purchase and only then read that the recommended amount is 2tsp instead of 1tsp. I can be ridiculously scroogey sometimes and it feels like I’m being ripped off?

OMGsrsly

I started loose leafing with Silk Road, and they commend 1 tsp per 16 oz. Using 2 was a big adjustment to make!

__Morgana__

Yay for heaping! Carol, with the Teavana fruit blends you have to put in twice as much as you would ordinarily. I pretty much do that automatically now on the first try. Mem, I would probably feel that way too if I wasn’t up to my ears in tea, but I’m sort of secretly relieved when I find out I could be using more since I’m in sipdown mode. ;-) OMG, did you find 1 tsp per 16 oz enough? I have some Silk Road teas in my collection, I should see what they say.

OMGsrsly

Haha. I prefer a lot of my Silk Road teas that way. Maybe it’s familiarity, maybe they’re truly good that way! :)

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78
drank Tropical Peony by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

This tea made its debut as a commuting companion today. It did well.

You know how when you eat or drink certain things outside, they taste differently than they do when you eat or drink them inside? That’s certainly true of this tea. Being in the car isn’t really the same as being outside, I guess, but this tea tasted fresher and lighter in the car than it did when I drank it at home. The coconut was also sweeter and nuttier, but in a fresh-tasting way rather than a cloying way.

So, success!

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78
drank Tropical Peony by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

I’m worried because in the container the dry leaves smells an awful lot like White Tropics from Adagio. I really didn’t like that one at all.

I went low on temp and steeping time despite the instructions because 175 for a minute has worked v. well for some other flavored whites I’ve had recently.

I get a lot of coconut from the steeped aroma, and it’s a really good one. Deep and rich and not fakey or cloying. I don’t get a lot of pineapple though. The liquor is a clear, light yellow color.

Yay! This is not tasting like White Tropics. It’s very coconutty, in a green coconut as opposed to toasted coconut way, but only slightly sweet. Thankfully, it doesn’t remind me of cut flower stems that have been in water too long like the Adagio did. I’m not really tasting any pineapple, I don’t think. Maybe just a hint.

It’s a good flavored white tea, and if the idea of a green coconut flavored white tea appeals to you, you would likely be happy with this.

But I’m not really hopping up and down at the thought of having a coconut white tea in my cupboard. It doesn’t seem like something I’d pick to drink often. Who am I kidding, I doubt I’d ever pick it. The coconuts I tend to like are in flavored blacks and usually accompanied by another flavor, like chocolate.

It may find itself being my commuting tea as I seem to have quite a bit of it. Sometimes I look at the things I bought and the quantities in which I bought them and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

But at least I finished phase one of the redoing the drawers project for today, and I’m happy with that progress. I did not get to the garage yet. We’ll be going on the baseball trouser excursion in about half an hour so that will probably have to wait until tomorrow.

Maybe tonight I can sneak in some time to season the little Yixing…..

Flavors: Coconut

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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89
drank After Dark by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

Tasting note 800 and the 500th tea I’ve written a note about. If only it was a milestone sipdown as well!

Once upon a time, I belonged to the Tavalon tea of the month club. I am fairly certain this was sent to me as a part of that club.

I really love the way this looks. It’s a bit like a Teavana blend in that there are large chunks of fruit in and among the flowers that make up the rest of the blend. There’s a great dark, dried fruity smell that smells like currants and dates to me more than anything that’s actually in this blend.

It looks like cranberry juice in the cup, maybe even a bit more magenta if that’s possible. I smell mostly hibiscus and chamomile coming in the aroma. I steeled myself for the hibiscus pucker, but fortunately, this has enough sweet stuff in it to counteract that, and the hibiscus is actually serving a purpose here. It keeps the mixture from being too sweet to drink.

Cranberry and cherry are the main flavors I taste along with the hibiscus, though there’s a citrus note that floats in and out which must be the blood orange. My guess is the apple is contributing sweetness more than flavor.

With blends like this, I’m never sure whether the difference from cup to cup is going to be significant enough to change my mind, because a lot of the flavor seems to depend on how much of which ingredient gets into what you steep.

But unless things change dramatically from steep to steep, this is something I’d buy again.

Despite the wildly divergent ingredients in each of these blends, it’s in the same general category as Tazo Passion, Teavana Caribbean Breeze, and The O Dor Je M’appelle Dorothee, but it has one thing none of those have. A balance of tart and sweet rather than just tart, tart, tart.

Flavors: Berries

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML
Anna

Congratulations on 800 and 500. =)

Nattie

You did it!! Haha well done (;

__Morgana__

Haha! Ta-da!

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85
drank Jasmine Dream by Tavalon Tea
933 tasting notes

I love the way jasmine smells, and I love jasmine in tea. I just thought I should get that out of the way. ;-)

The smell in the container is of, of course, jasmine, but also a toasty note that I don’t typically associate with Chinese green teas.

The jasmine scent from the tea after steeping is really deep. It’s a sultry jasmine rather than a perky jasmine. The tea is a medium yellow and clear.

The flavor is pretty intensely jasmine, but unlike other Chinese green jasmines I’ve had, this one actually evokes the jasmine flower rather than the jasmine “flavor.” There’s a freshness to it, as though I’m tasting the petals from a fresh flower. I can also taste the green tea in and among the jasmine, and I often have an issue with jasmine greens where I really can’t distinguish the tea base. Perhaps it’s that toastiness that makes this one stand out. But it doesn’t taste toasty. It’s not smoky like gunpowder green. It’s a darker flavor though, sort of like gunpowder without the smoke but not quite as dark.

I am quite enjoying this. I have a jasmine oolong on the agenda for later this afternoon before we leave for no. 2’s birthday dinner. I’m hoping to stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond on the way and pick up some tools so I can season the little Yixing. Speaking of that, I really need to find my matcha bowl. It’s been bugging me that I can’t find it. I should apply myself to a search tomorrow.

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
TheTeaFairy

Great note, I know what you mean, I gravitate towards the jasmine flower rather than the jasmine flavour, huge difference, right? Jasmine can be as offensive as some bergamot. I love both, but just when they are done according to my standards. Personally, I love all things jasmine from Teavivre!

__Morgana__

Great to know. When I come out of lockdown I’ll be sure to order some jasmine from Teavivre!

boychik

I just love your little pot. It seems you just ordered it, right? I’m looking for some too. Just can’t decided. I need for sheng and for shu. Did you decide on a tea?

TheTeaFairy

Oh, and happy birthday little #2, and good luck on the seasoning!! Lol, matcha bowl is missing in action, are you going to use it for the seasoning?

Nicole

Might also investigate the jasmines from Shang. They are all done with flowers, not flavoring.

__Morgana__

Thanks, Nicole, I’ll definitely keep them in mind.

TF, no, I wasn’t planning to use it for that. I was planning to drink matcha out of it. LOL

TheTeaFairy

Haha! The way you mentioned it I thought you might use in as a support while boiling or something, but didn’t think it was such a great idea, lol!

Anna

I’ve picked up some new jasmines lately, thanks for reminding me to try them.

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66

Sipdown no. 83 of the year 2014. A teabag from the work stash.

I definitely over caffeinated myself yesterday so I’m trying not to drink caffeine today after 2 p.m. My line up for the rest of the afternoon at work is all decaf options, starting with this.

This is nothing but camomile, and the only other nothing but camomile I have to compare this to is the Samovar. I rated that at a 70 not because it was a bad camomile but because I don’t see myself drinking straight camomile by choice. If I was going to drink straight camomile by choice, I’d pick the Samovar (if it was still available).

This isn’t bad, though. It’s best described by what it isn’t: musty, papery, straw-like, dried flowery, pencil shavings, etc.

It’s rather sweet, and it doesn’t have the sharp, pungent note that camomile sometimes has.

It doesn’t have the deep, creamy flavor of the Samovar nor does it taste as fresh (the samples were about the same age, and the Samovar may have been slightly older). It’s a lighter, sweet floral with the definite distinctive camomile notes. On the other hand, as I’ve said, it doesn’t taste old and dusty either.

Not a bad choice if one is in the market for a straight camomile. I, at this point, am not.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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80
drank Tropical Peony by Tavalon Tea
7 tasting notes

I tried this tea after dinner at Buddakan in NYC. It was very nice, floral and clean.

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74

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74

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74

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74

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74

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74

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79

Thanks to Katiek for including this in her incredibly generous mystery box.

I started cold steeping this yesterday when our air conditioner broke and I needed something to cool off with. I’m pretty sure my house is falling apart, I had to replace the refrigerator on Saturday and I’ll need to replace the furnace before winter sets in. What little bit of money I had in the budget for tea has now officially disappeared sigh guess I’m officially on a tea hiatus that I’ll need to stick to this time. [ok, i’m done complaining now so on to the tea]

I haven’t been drinking a lot of green tea lately and for the life of me could not tell you why. I love green tea and this one is really nice. The grassy flavor really stands out and the apricot adds just a hint of sweetness. I’m not sure I would enjoy this as much as a hot tea, but it sure hits the on a warm summer day.

Preparation
Iced
K S

Hoping things improve quickly! If your mystery box looks like mine – you can go a long long time just off what you now have.

JustJames

i can commiserate: we live in a constant renovation… it’s more relaxing to be in my car than it is to be in my house most of the time. it will all be okay, i’m sorry about your hiatus. xoxo.

Short Sorceress

KS The mystery box was such a treat and full of a lot of things I have really enjoyed. I’ve been using a lot of the teas for cold steeps the last few weeks and should be able to continue doing so for a very long time.

JustJames I know that feeling. Our house was a short sale (pre-forclosure) so i’ve lived with 4 years of very slow renovations as I have the time, energy, and money (all of which are in short supply with a toddler running around.) It wasn’t in the best shape when we purchased it, but we were able to live in an area with much better schools for our son that we would haven’t been able to afford otherwise. I’m a pretty handy person, but we seem to have spurts where there are a lot of problems at once and it just wears on me after awhile. I was hoping to get a little more life out of the appliances, but it is what it is. I just have to remind myself how much better the schools are here and that it will be worth it in the end.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

It really sucks when everything happens at once. Hopefully ths is the last thing for a while!

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74

Thanks go to Katiek for sending me this in her mystery box and introducing me to another new tea company.

The lilies in front of my house are finally blooming and because of this my allergies are absolutely killing me today. I’ve decided to stick with a plain tea for a change, this has been a rare occurrence lately, and hot tea should make my itchy throat feel better.

I’ve been mulling it over trying to figure out if I have had Darjeeling before and I’m not really sure that I have, or perhaps it just wasn’t a memorable experience for me. My first impression of this was that it tasted somewhat similar to an oolong and had just a tinge of astringency to it. Over all the color was on the lighter side and I was surprised by the low steep temperature. I’ll need to go do some reading up on Darjeeling later, I really know next to nothing about it.

I’ll need to be careful of this one in the future since I’m prone to getting sidetracked and oversteeping things. I could see how this could turn bitter fast. Overall, this was a pretty nice cup of tea and it made my throat feel better.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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64

I think this is the distributor my tea is from. I do like this as an afternoon tea. Golden liquor, strong pepper notes, although either the tea has some metallic notes or it EASILY picks up the taste from the brew ball I have. Not my favorite tea, but good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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drank Assam Finest by Tavalon Tea
24 tasting notes

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89

Found it to be more sweet than sour. Great mix of flavors. We think we might try it iced for a summery drink.

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76
drank Earl Grey Reserve by Tavalon Tea
1848 tasting notes

Well the maté wasn’t as helpful as I would have liked, and I’m still feeling really sluggish. I have to lecture today, though, so I have to find some energy somewhere. I thought a nice, brisk Earl might give me the kick in the pants I need. I’ve always liked this tea a lot but I don’t turn to it all that often because I’m always trying something new and complicated. This definitely qualifies as a “brisk” Earl Grey… the bergamot is really bright and almost sharp, but it’s not bitter or astringent. A pretty good choice to get me going, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Roughage

I hope it gave you the kickstart you needed. I could have done with some today too. I think my students thought I was still asleep! :)

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76
drank Earl Grey Reserve by Tavalon Tea
1848 tasting notes

It’s the great Earl Grey tasting! I’ve been hanging on to small samples of various Earl Greys for a while now, intending to do a side-by-side tasting of them in the attempt to determine my favorite traditional Earl Grey that I have to keep around. On this rainy day it seemed like the perfect opportunity sit down and taste 10 different Earls. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them. All things considered tasting conditions weren’t optimal since I wanted only small amounts of each tea so I didn’t have too much, and as such they cooled really quickly. I think I’d like to take the top teas from this tasting and have full cups of tea under my normal conditions relatively back-to-back to really see how they play out.

Of the teas in this round, this one had the brightest bergamot flavor. It was crisp and clean and light, and the Ceylon base complements the bergamot well. It’s interesting that the Ceylon doesn’t give this one as much warmth and richness that I feel like it often brings. This and the Earl Grey from Joy’s Teaspoon had the truest, most unadultered bergamot flavor. I think this one is still near the top of the list when compared directly to others.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Summer Fruits by Tavalon Tea
4219 tasting notes

Yummy! This is delicious. Nice apricot flavor, but not overly fruity. The green tea prevails. It is grassy and light and bright in flavor. Will make a great iced tea tomorrow … but I am enjoying it hot right now.

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