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Recent Tasting Notes
Today’s refill chez Starbucks was Tazo Refresh. It’s been a while, as I have been obsessed of late with their Green Tips. But today I needed something minty fresh after my grande dark roast, so Refresh it had to be! Very satisfying and aromatherapeutic, as always.
I was at a different Starbucks today, the one at Central Square, where all sorts of curious people from all walks of life and socioeconomic strata hang around. It really looks like a completely different city from the Harvard Square crowd. I enjoyed people watching while exploring my new neighborhood, which is poised equidistant between Central and Harvard Squares, which means there are about six Starbucks within walking distance from my new place. I see many more cups of Refresh in my future!
If LeafSpa Eagle’s Nest Ever Drop has been my commuting to work tea lately, this has been my commuting home tea. I am down to my last eight bags of this, two currently steeping, four in my work stash and two in my home stash. So there will be a sipdown coming next week.
I really will be sorry to see this one go and I expect I’ll buy more, eventually. I have to get closer to sipping down all my decaf options before I do, though.
It’s such a pleasant light floral flavor that really isn’t like anything else I’ve had on a green tea base that can be abused with impunity and which doesn’t taste at all like a decaf. My association with this tea is floating on my back in a swimming pool that’s deserted and still except for me, in the late afternoon while the wind is rustling the leaves of the trees around the pool.
Loveeeeee this floral, fruity blend. The hibiscus is such a nice touch, and it makes a great sweetened iced tea! I had it the first time at Starbucks, then tried making it at home on my own – haven’t stopped since! One of my favorite summer beverages.
Today’s brew was a bit weak as the barista gave me a venti ceramic mug (she probably thought that she was reaching for a grande) with only one sachet. Then, bizarrely, when I asked for two bags for the refill, she charged me 30 cents for the extra bag, saying that a grande comes with only one bag. That was definitely a first chez Starbucks.
Usually the baristas have no problem with requests for any form of hot or iced tea or coffee in any size as a refill. Oh well, maybe she was having a bad day. Perhaps she should brew up a large ceramic mug of Tazo Green Tips with a few ice cubes in the bottom and two sachets infused for only two minutes. That should lift her spirits!
A venti iced Zen was my first tea of the day. It’s rather warm out, so I decided to seize the moment and drink something cold rather than hot. The barista must have misunderstood the order because I was first given a sweetened cup, so I returned it for unsweetened. As a result, I now know what the sweetened version tastes like: too sweet for me!
I almost forgot to log this afternoon’s Tazo Green Tips.
Today’s discovery was that I really do prefer drinking this brew from the big ceramic cups, not in the take-away cardboard. In the future I’ll enjoy my Green Tips in the store. I did remember to ask for a few ice cubes in the bottom of the cup so that the water would not be too hot, but somehow it did not taste as good as it does when I carefully monitor the brewing process in an open ceramic cup and gaze at the perfect pale green liquor while sniffing the lovely fumes.
This fruit-scented black tea blend from Tazo, Sultry Strawberry, packs a mighty punch of strawberry parfum in the dried form, but the taste of strawberry in the brew is quite light. The tea base is also rather light. I used a hefty 2 tsp for my single glass and the liquor is definitely on the lighter side of amber. The base is apparently a blend of teas from India, but Assam does not appear to be implicated, or if it is there is a lot more of some milder teas.
This is one of those cases where the dried tea builds up great expectations which may be dashed in the brew. In the end, it’s a decent black tea with only a slight fruitiness on top. I drank mine with cream. The flavor of the tea itself is good, but perhaps this would be better named Subtle Strawberry.
I would not recommend this as a fruit tea per se, but it’s fine as a medium-bodied black.
I didn’t realize this was a blend, otherwise I would have altered my steep a little. Nonetheless, I shall judge this as it is, and hopefully not be committing too much of a steeping sin as a result.
I was actually surprised by my first sip, as the waves of flavour seemed to hit me individually. I was expecting the richness of the black tea, but then there was a hit of something else, and then the lingering flavour of the oolong. Overall, it’s a little sweet, much better sipped than gulped, and apparently at its best while hot.
My laptop was reset to default settings when I got it back today (new hard drive), and that stupid “tap to click” function is enabled and I can’t figure out how to turn it off, so I just lost a long and detailed tasting note because I accidentally tapped near the “X” button and cancelled out of my own tasting note. I’ve also been inadvertently highlighting and deleting paragraphs all day. ERGH!
Tre brought me back a single bag of this from Regina (he got back today) – and I kind of didn’t want it, so I just got the sipdown out of the way. I feel bad when he gets me tea because he tries really hard, but often is really egotistical about it/pretends to know way more than he does or he just gets things completely outside of my personal taste – and if he payed attention to what I say about my tea he wouldn’t have either of those issues.
Take this one for example: he gave it to me and was really trying to play up the tea brand, and I just totally shut him down with what I know about Tazo (which he was mispronouncing horribly, and I was quick to point out). I don’t really drink Tazo not because I ’don’t know it exists’ but because I’ve been less than impressed with the few teas I’ve tried from them.
This isn’t an exception: it’s pretty weak in flavour and is underlying bitter – though there is a subtle fruitiness to it which I’ll admit tastes natural (a win), albeit also kinda generic. Personally, I don’t think I’d drink it again though and I sort of feel like I’ve wasted a bit of my time in trying it.
Also, speaking of mispronouncing things it really amuses me how much the three isolated potential houseguests are butchering the contestants names. I mean, they don’t know any better – but it is a little amusing. My favourite is the pronounciation of “Adel”. It’s supposed to be like the singer “Adele” but they’re saying it like “Ladle” without the L. With a hard A. Heh.
I made a big pot of Tazo Earl Grey Blanc today to help me to survive the arduous first day of moving. I’ve decided to take a staggered approach, moving stuff in waves. Today was small kitchen appliances such as bread machine, ice cream maker, toaster oven, etc. Plus a bunch of seasonal clothing. Naturally I did not move any of my tea-making supplies yet!!!!
Three Bodum glasses of creamy Earl Grey Blanc (with light cream), brewed strong to produce a caramel-colored liquor, was just what I needed! Now I get to move the other 95% of my possessions accumulated over ten years. Eventually I shall finish!
The first time I prepared a pot of Tazo Pogo, I found the brew less than appealing and ended up using it as the liquid for a chocolate rice pudding, which ended up being delicious.
Today I opted for a single cup not a pot, and I was somewhat more prepared than last time. Pu-erh and chicory impart a dark, almost subterranean quality to this brew. The scent of the dried blend is highly redolent of chicory, for better or for worse, depending upon one’s estimation of chicory. I suppose that mine is pretty low. Chicory is used to cut coffee—most famously in the French Quarter in New Orleans, but it’s definitely an acquired taste and works best served with powdered-sugar-dusted beignets.
In Pogo, the brewed tea does not really taste like chicory so much—at least not after it’s been doused with light cream, which for me is a necessity to the appreciation of this dark brown liquor. There is a real richness to it, an almost chocolate texture, though the flavor is far more complex and not at all sweet. Basically I find it indescribable, but I did enjoy this cup.
This blend seems intended for pu-erh gringos like me!
Hey, a maté I actually really like?? Sweet!
I have been on the fence about maté in general for a while, but THIS tea is solidly in the “Love” category. :) I really appreciate that both spearmint and peppermint are present, because it just rounds out the minty experience. The chocolate and the roasted maté just complete each other so smoothly. Delicious!