Teavana & Starbucks

Recent Tasting Notes


I wanted to hate Oprah’s tea, especially since it was the most easily accessible Chai I could get a hold of when the weather snapped. Dammit, it was spicy, warming, and delicious. But with this price, I’ll be looking eleswhere . . perhaps even to my own blend.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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I tried this two ways tonight one with milk the other without. It’s ok as Chais go but I wouldn’t repurchase it. At $15 for 2 oz I wasn’t that impressed. To me it didn’t seem to have a devolved flavor. I only tasted the cinnamon no other real flavors. I do appreciate that it’s one of the only Teavana teas that doesn’t list artificial flavors as one of the ingredients. I’m not a big black tea fan anyway. I am still saying I would recommend this tea. It’s not bad. I just like a more well rounded chai.

Flavors: Cinnamon


I really didn’t care much for this one either. Teavana’s old chai teas are much better than their new ones, in my opinion!

carol who

That’s exactly how I felt. Too much cinnamon, very little chai.

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My co-worker got me hooked on these Oprah Chais on ice from Starbucks over the summer. They have become my staple ‘treat’ when I have a rough day. However, they cost an arm and a leg. No surprise, really. A couple days ago I decided I’d just grab the chai myself from Teavana and make it up myself, because I’m over spending over $5. on these, when all it is is the tiniest amount of chai topped up with milk and ice.

I decided to make it straight and hot today, just to see if it’s as tasty as the Starbucks one with milk and ice. Not so much. It’s actually a bit bland for chai. Perhaps I need to steep longer, though I followed the paramaters the tea came with. Cinnamon is the primary flavour here, followed up by something spicier.

I’ll be sticking to making my chai on ice with milk for this tea.

P.S. The price of this tea I found exorbitant. $13.50 for 50g. And 50g doesn’t go very far with this tea – it’s nice and heavy. It will save me money for the Starbucks drink, but I would never purchase this tea for the price just to have it as straight tea.


Starbucks usually beefs up their drinks with a hearty 3-4 pumps of simple sugar as well! You’ve been warned.


I can’t do the Oprah Chai cos ROOIBOS! My nemesis!


Haha I generally go no sweetener with Starbucks, but thank you tantonino.

Stephanie the rooibos isn’t noticeable at all. I also pretty well despise rooibos. :P


Hmm, guess I could try it then :)


Wouldn’t hurt! I was actually surprised when I read there was rooibos to be honest. :)


courtney – there’s a coupon in starbucks that i saw today – buy 50g of a tea in store, get 50g free… so might be worth the splurge on this in that case..


Thanks Sil!

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Backlog – I had this iced last night from Starbucks.

Hmmm… As a die hard TAZO Chai latte fan… when Starbucks launched their Oprah Chai, not only was I pretty irritated with them, but I was irritated that they had to pick HER to be the ambassador. I personally cannot stand Oprah. I find her whole deal to be pretty fake. As much as people say she’s made strides for women, race etc… sorry I just can’t stand her.

I initially felt this way about her Chai. There is an off-putting after taste that comes from both the hot and the cold version. I can also taste the rooibus which I don’t appreciate. I like rooibus, but on it’s own merit.

So why did I order this yesterday? Well because Starbucks is giving 4 stars to registered members if they order this. Marketing ploy to get the numbers up on this drink no doubt, but I’ll take the 4 stars and put it towards my typical TAZO Chai Latte.

I do find it’s to be spicy, but I also find the other flavours just do not go well together. I wish Starbucks wasn’t skirting TAZO under the rug. I feel like they refuse to acknowledge that the original tea company that made them famous to tea lovers is probably being phased out. How about… since Starbucks owns TAZO too… they just amalgamate the brand under Teavana, but keep their blends???

I digress… After having it twice in the last couple days, I still remain faithful to my TAZO Chai… I do not like the Oprah one. It tastes more generic and like every other coffee shop Chai latte out there.

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I’m currently stranded at the airport. My flight was supposed to leave at 4:30, which was delayed to 5:30, then 6:15, and now 8:00. When we deboarded the plane, the first thing I saw was a little Starbucks kiosk, so I decided to get the passion tango lemonade since I enjoyed it yesterday. Today, it is oversweetened and heavily mango flavored, so not as great as the one I had yesterday, but it’ll do. Fingers crossed that I don’t get stuck overnight in Chicago!

Roswell Strange

Hope everything turned out ok!

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I’m killing some time at Starbucks, so I decided to try out the passion tea lemonade. I haven’t had it since it was the Tazo version, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Teavana version is fruitier. I think it’s because it’s not as tart as before, but rather has a nice jumble of flavors. The lemonade part may have been a bit of overkill considering all the different flavors already in the tea, but I enjoyed it anyway. I nice, caffeine free refreshment that comes with a guilt free spot at a table with an outlet! Wins all around today :)

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I occasionally get this in the “shaken iced tea” version with one pump of sweetener and extra ice from Starbucks in the afternoon. (I have to be VERY specific or they mess it up!)

I have no idea how they prepare the tea as by the time I see them make the drink the “tea” is in a concentrate they pour in with water and ice. I have no idea if they make this concentrate in-store or if it comes in a jug they decant to make it look fancy. Anyone know how this is made?

This has a STRONG sweet-tart flavor profile. I get a little bit of cinnamon at the end of each sip. The sweet-tart overpowers all the other flavors and I really can’t single out any fruit. I like this tea for ease of access at any Starbucks on a hot day. For that, it hits the spot.

In terms of buying this tea loose or bagged, I don’t think it would make my shopping list. Anyone else drink this beverage from starbucks?


I tried it and couldn’t stand it! Way too tart even with added sweetener. I did get the cinnamon from it too!

It was just weird IMO, maybe a little metallic/fake too. And I love Teavana so I really wanted to like it.


I MADE THIS so MUCH better by doing 1/2 passion tango and 1/2 green tea iced, extra ice, one pump sweetener. If you are at Starbucks and want iced tea I HIGHLY recommend asking for that (complicated, fussy but GOOD!) beverage!

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I recommend this tea for people who love sweet and spicy chai. I haven’t tried Starbucks’ Oprah Chai version (I don’t think I ever plan to, to be honest) because I work at Teavana and I prefer it steeped over the idea of drinking its concentrate (Starbucks). When the Oprah Chai launched, we experimented with its flavors to see what really works best and I personally prefer it steeped without any sugar. It has all the sweet elements: cinnamon, ginger, and cherob pieces that do its job perfectly. If you love the Maharaja Chai Oolong from Teavana, the Oprah Chai is crazy similar but less spicier and a bit sweeter (naturally, of course.) My favorite way of having the Oprah Chai is iced with coconut milk. It’s super refreshing!

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Rooibos

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I really liked this tea at first but now I found the cinnamon too overwhelming. It really hits in the aftertaste. Will not be restocking this one.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Tropical

3 min, 30 sec 2 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I’ve had “Oprah Chai” (boy does that feel weird to say) a couple of times now, and I must admit that it is growing on me. I haven’t had it at Teavana, but have had it at Starbucks several times, both as a hot and cold latte. I like it either way. At first the rooibos was really offputting to me, but I feel like after a while the other spices settle in and the whole thing just “works”.

Either that or I’m just happy I don’t have to deal with the Tazo chai syrup that gives me heartburn.

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I tried this at the Teavana store. That might have been a bad idea, given how much they like the rock sugar. It did smell nice though. The ginger came across way too much in the flavour (I do like ginger, just not that strong), and none of the others spices really seemed to come forward.

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I’ve had this both from Starbucks and brewing it at home. I prefer iced at Starbucks and hot at home.

I tried making it iced at home, but it always seems to taste watered down, even if I brew it with a large number of scoops of the tea leaves. It might be my infuser basket is too small. I’ll try to experiment more.

Hot is another story. It’s a magical tea. Sweetened, unsweetened, with or without milk, it’s magical.

For the rating of 95, I use about 12 oz of water and 2 teaspoons of tea. This way, it has good flavor, but I’m not plowing through tea. I set my tea maker for 212*F and 3 minutes 30 seconds. While that’s going, I warm some milk and froth it. I put ~1/2 tsp of sugar into the bottom of my glass and add in the tea. I pour in about 2 oz of milk, and add some of the foam on top. I then sip away (or chug depending on who you’re asking). I added an image of before the massacre (it’s the one in the double walled glass with the red couch in the background).

To make it a 100, I’d probably use a spiced milk instead of just plain milk (like add cinnamon, or warm it with some mulling spices). Oooh, I’ll have to try this next time with some coconut milk or something…

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Peppercorn

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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My first encounter with Oprah’s Chai was iced at the local Starbucks, as it was quite a humid spring weekend. I thought what I was given was alright, considering how most Starbucks Chai teas and lattes can be, it was comparably better. Keep in mind, a specialty tea shop had opened recently, conveniently across from the local Starbucks, so I also had much more quality tea to compare it to as well.

Both dry and steeped leaves give off the very familiar scent of Teavana’s very own Maharaja Chai Oolong, which is one of my very favorite teas, a nice robust spicy blend. It is possible there is more spice than the Maharaja Chai Oolong, as Oprah’s Chai gives a shorter and stronger kick of flavor, which might be the result of the black tea. The spices do not linger, nor do they overwhelm; it is surprisingly soft for the kind of bite it provides. Nonetheless, there is still that similar flavor of spices with a naturally lightly sweetened body.

Alone, with no milk or sugar, this tea is outstandingly great as an alternative to the Maharaja Chai Oolong, with an appropriate kick, followed by a gentle finish.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Backlog from yesterday morning.
Parents wanted to treat me to Starbucks right when my flight got in so I ordered this because it sounded interesting.

Prepared in store, no special additions/substitutes. Honestly, it was just okay. It tasted like a weak chai base, with a bit too much spice. Does anyone know if they still offer their old chai? I liked that one SO much better.


I felt the same way about the Oprah chai and I agree that the old chai is much better!


The old chai still seems to be offered in store. Agreed on the weaker base, but it also seems to be less sugary.

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A simply warm, perfect Chai blend. A more robust, bold, and spiced Chai (which I prefer). The carob and cinnamon add a gentle, natural sweetness, so it doesn’t need added sweetners. I have tired it hot & clear, as an iced latte (using the loose-leaf), and the Starbucks (pre-brewed) latte and love them all, but my favourite is hot and clear. The tea is perfect as is!
The leaves and ingredients are full and natural. The liquor is a gorgeous deep-golden/brown colour. It is full-bodied on the palate.
Some of my friends/colleagues have indicated that it is slightly pricey for a Chai/Black tea blend, but a portion of all proceeds go to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, so I don’t mind the “increase” knowing that I am contributing to such an amazing cause. Certainly a new favourite and my default Chai tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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