The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

100

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85

Just had a cup of this while powering through my paper corrections. It’s just like Christmas in a cup! Hands-down the best mood enhancer -

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89

Served: Iced
Amount: 1 sachet
Brewed In: 1.5 cups
Cup Size: 23oz tumbler full of ice
Sweetener: stevia in the raw
Temp: boiling
Steep Time: 4 min

Notes:
So a bit of back-story on this tea…

It was December 2011 and my husband & I had just landed in Detroit for a layover on our 24+ hour flight from Incheon (South Korea) to DFW.

We were returning to the States for the first time after 3 years of life in Korea & with us was our 14 year-old cranky cat (the 140 lb. dog shipped ahead of us 2 weeks before) & my husband was beyond sick & constantly coughing. (He wound up being hospitalized with a rare strain of pneumonia a few days later.)

Everything we owned was in 4 suitcases, we had no home, no car (it was being shipped back by boat) & I was beyond exhausted trying to care for a sick husband, a stressed-out cat & traveling for hours.

Turned out there was a Coffee Bean & Tea Company in the airport & I bought us two tall, hot cups of Vanilla Ceylon.

I can perfectly remember how buttery-hot it was – almost to the point of carmelization & it was heaven. It was my one moment of tranquility in a chaotic month.

Once we got settled in our new home, I quickly ordered 3 tins of it. And even though it’s almost summer now, I’ve really been enjoying it iced.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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94

Tea of the afternoon. Now we have Interpol playing on the radio at work which just makes me pensive. This tea is delicious though. It’s definitely one of my “desert island” teas that I would take with me if I was marooned forever. Do you have any?

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94

The weather is warm today and I love drinking this particular blend ICED after steeping it in my glass tumbler. See my previous tasting notes for more details…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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94

Backlog – had some of this on Saturday with a cute guy I know. :-P

This is actually a classic tea for me and will be a staple for years to come I think. It’s really good iced and it also tastes good hot, just a perfect blend of smoky gunpowder and peppermint. I only wish I could get it in loose leaf form instead of the sachets.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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94

Tea of the afternoon here…
I haven’t had this one in a while but I got it at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf a month or two ago. It’s a nice day for Moroccan Mint!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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99

This tea is amazing. It is truly Christmas in a cup. The spices can be warmed down by adding simply milk and sugar. Grab a blanket and cozy on up by the fireplace.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

I am a tea novice, still trying to decide where my overall tastes lie but i have to say that i really enjoyed this tea! It is decaf and comes in a bag, not a loose leaf, but it is great to curl up with in the evening! The flavor is very strong with a fruity aroma. I brewed it at 170 degrees ( there was no suggestion on the package) and it came out quite tasty. I highly recommend it.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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74

I haven’t been interested in Genmaicha lately and forgot how great it smells! This one is very aromatic. I love that warm, soothing roasted rice smell. It tastes ok but the green tea flavor is too light for me.

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65

This is really strong. As other reviewers have said the cinnamon is a little overpowering. But when I made it as a latte it was a lot better. The milk tames down the intensity a little bit. I love the smell of it. It definitely smells like winter. This was given as a gift to me for Christmas, so not something I would buy again but still tasty.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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98

For iced tea this is easily my favorite. The rose pedals remind me of a sweet bourbon-y taste for some reason. Mixed with some raw sugar, perfect Summer drink. It’s o.k. hot. The high score is for this tea iced, and the memories it brings back (I drank it a lot in college).
I don’t even know if they make this anymore, I just checked and don’t see it on their website, but I think a store was serving it as recently as this past Summer.

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58

The store made version latte:The immediate smell conjures up a crackling fireplace, cozy blanket and Christmastime. The taste is at first applealing, but as you drink it more, the spices seem to take over. Sipping it sparingly becomes necessary not to have the clove take charge and be overwhelming. There may be just a hair too much cinnamon as well, but clove really stands out a bit much. For the home version, I will steep 15 sec less to see what that yields.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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46

I got this on the way to work this afternoon, I have been feeling a little bit down so I thought the jasmine might help. This jasmine tea does not seem to be near the quality of Mandala’s or Teavivre’s. Perhaps the way they prepared it had something to do with it. Certain jasmine teas seem to be very drying and bitter and this is one of them… not destined to be a favorite, oh well.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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68

I needed to escape my office for lunch.
I needed a place with comfy chairs with hot corporate blond women with ponytails buying their afternoon coffee.
This place fit the bill.
I sat down and let my mind fill up with emptyness.
My eyes got heavy, and I woke up and went back to the corporate grind.
The tea was “meh”
I added three sugar in the raw packets.
I’ll sip it for the rest of the afternoon.

I wanted this tea to remind me of the time I was in Egypt.
I crossed the checkpoint from Israel with three girls.
And hung out in the desert under a tent by the ocean.
The beach in Egypt was filled with garbage that no one picked up.
The restaurants were empty, and there were like five servers assigned to your table.

TheTeaFairy

Ha! your description sounds like the beginning of a movie! Very graphic :-)

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67

I went to go see an odd surrealist film tonight called “Alice” by Jan Svankmajer which is loosely based on the ALice in Wonderland book. It was complete with creepy dolls, stuffed animals, playing cards and skeletons. This is what pseudo intellectuals do for fun in San Francisco :P

Anyway after the film we went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and I decided to try this. Its a mix of black tea and rooibos, and it has lots of spices including cinnamon and clove and maybe some nutmeg? It was very spicy and a bit too much for me… not sure I would get this again but I can see how it would be nice for cold weather. A little simple syrup made this more palatable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Nik

I haven’t yet found a tea that’s too spicy for my tastes, so this sounds intriguing. Was it the combination of spices that was a bit overwhelming, or was it a particular one? If they all worked together, that might be cool, but I get irritated when cinnamon tries to take over the whole show.

TeaBrat

perhaps the combination of spices but there was a lot of cinnamon for sure. Sorry if that isn’t too clear, lol

Nik

No worries, I’ll just try it for myself. Thank you! =)

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90

Got this in a latte today from CBTL and it tasted just like the name. I really got a nice strawberry taste.

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77

I was Mr. Fancy (Haggar actually) pants today, took the three block stroll up Park Ave with my necktie to check out The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cafe. Teas any size is $2.45.
I chose the Genmaicha since I had such a good experience with the Takaokaya Genmai-Cha yesterday. I really like this store. There are comfortable chairs, lots of honey, sugar, and condoments for your teas. There is a cold water station that is a nice touch.
The whole leaf tea is in the pyramid bags string and tag
The cups have a pink lid (Breast cancer awareness month I think)
This is a good place for me for a Lunch or Afternoon break when I need to get out of the building and need to tarry somewhere. Even though the teas from this company are not highly rated, there are a few that I’ll investigate.

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58

In spite of the “limited edition” claim on the tin, I was surprised when I couldn’t find this on the TCB&TL web site. I guess it really is gone. Hunh, go figure.

Upon opening the tin for the first time, I was naturally knocked out by the powerful cherry fragrance. It smelled natural, for the most part, like smelling a bottle of cherry extract/concentrate/whatever, but there was still a very slight medicinal tinge to it. I’m learning, with experience, that I shouldn’t judge fragrance and flavour immediately, especially fragrance. It’s concentrated and not true to reality. So I gave it a minute, and slowly the strong cherry started to subside and the black tea fragrance began to come through, until the two struck a decent balance. I didn’t smell any mango or lily blossom, but I did discern a vaguely floral aspect to the black tea part of the fragrance, which I don’t usually associate with black tea (and which actually reminded me a bit of green tea).

I haven’t drunk tea in a while, and it’s because my new tea tasting adventures have been more unsuccessful than not. I was thinking about it, and I was thinking that possibly, irrationally, my disappointment with specific teas turned me off to tea in general. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this disappointment: you look forward to holding that warm cup or mug in your hands, inhaling the fragrance, sipping the yumminess, immersing yourself in the ritual and experience, only to be betrayed by a tea that’s not really up your alley. I’ve had too many of those, lately. One of the things that I’ve begun doing is drinking 8oz at a time1 instead of my usual 16oz, so that if I’m sipping a tea I don’t love, at least it’s not 16oz of it. Another thing I realise I need to do start doing is having a cup of one of my favourite teas after every few new tastings so that when I think of drinking tea, I think of my favourites and not the disappointments.

This tea isn’t wonderful, but it’s not terrible. To its credit, the tin does not say “naturally and artificially flavored,” just “naturally.” To its credit, the tea does not taste like cough syrup or maraschino cherries, but more like cherry Jolly Rancher and black tea. Given this, in theory I should love this tea. But I dunno, there’s something about it that—sweetened or unsweetened—misses the spot.

For now, this is the type of tea that I’d stick in the back of the cupboard, the type I’d pretend didn’t win the “eenie meenie minie moe” lottery. But like many of the fruity blends I’ve tried in recent weeks, I’d really like to try this one iced, and possibly that will improve its rating. In the meantime, I need one of my security blanket teas to make me feel better.

Tea amount: 1 sachet
Water amount: 8oz/~237mL
Additives: 2 tsp Demerara sugar (note to future Nik: um…that was too much)
Dry mouth factor: 6/10

1 Halp. I use a 16oz travel mug that is awesome. It keeps my tea hot for like 12 hours. Now that I want to drink 8oz at a time, though, I haven’t been successful in finding something like it in that size. I don’t like teacups or mugs because I tend to drink my tea slowly and it just gets cold way too quickly. So basically I want an 8oz sippy cup for hot beverages. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I’m all ears. Thanks!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Thanks for sharing this, Nik. For years I’ve mostly just drank unflavored teas: greens, blacks, etc. Recently I’ve been inspired by various glowing reviews on steepster to try some flavored teas again. For the most part, I’ve been disappointed.
I like to start each day with something I know I like. Then I pick a tea or 2 to experiment with. I’ve also decided that if I don’t like something, I don’t have to drink 15 infusions of it.

Ellyn

DELETEless than a minute ago
Nik – starbucks sometimes has mini-travel mugs.
For example http://www.starbucksstore.com/starbucks-ceramic-traveler-8-fl-oz/011020547,default,pd.html?prefn1=size&cgid=tumblers-and-travel-mugs&prefv1=Short

or

http://www.starbucksstore.com/create-your-own-scratch-tumbler-8-fl-oz/011010442,default,pd.html?prefn1=size&cgid=tumblers-and-travel-mugs&prefv1=Short

I linked you to the smaller mugs that are 8 oz but they also have mugs that are 10oz, etc.

I have quite a few travel mugs from starbucks (travel mugs and tea being my weaknesses, weird I know) and always wait to they go on sale. However, I think the sale is only usually at the stores and not online.

Nik

Thanks, Ellyn, I appreciate the links!

Nik

Terri: Ha! Yes, I don’t think I have the stamina to go for 15 infusions, even if I love the tea; after a cup or two, I’m itching to try something different. (I suppose to could keep the leaves around, since I have several infusers, and I’ve tried that, but I never end up going back to them.)

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9

I gave this one another try, but now I’m giving up on it. It smells like potpourri and tastes like cinnamon something. There are soooo many amazing teas out there for me to try and love, that I’m not going to waste any more time working to like something I just don’t. At some point, I’ll put together a swap list, and at that time I’ll add this to it. I think someone who likes cinnamon and rooibos might actually like this, and every tea deserves to be adopted by someone who will appreciate it.

Tea amount: 2 sachets
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: omglotsofsugar. In reality, about 1 tbsp Demerara sugar.
Dry mouth factor: 0/10 (The only good thing I can say about it, really.)

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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72

Green tea and 100%-natural-cherry-Juicy-Juice sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g…

Sometimes, I love being wrong. The “naturally & artificially flavoured” label on some of my other TCB&TL teas kind of turned me off, so I was a bit sceptical of this blend from the get-go. On top of that was the further concern, again based on prior experience, that the cherry fragrance and flavour would be very chemical in nature, or like cough syrup.

It turns out that I needn’t have worried. The tea is naturally flavoured. The fragrance of the dry leaves is two parts cherry Juicy Juice and one part green tea. The fragrance of the steeping tea is much more balanced, with the traditional “greenness” of green tea coming through clearly.

The flavour can best be described as “luscious.” It tastes, accurately, like a blend of cherry juice and green tea. Not maraschino cherries, not cherry cough syrup, just cherry juice. It’s a surprisingly lovely combination of flavours. As nice as it is brewed hot, though, I feel like it would be even nicer brewed cold. I’ll have to remember to put aside some of the bags so I can try this tea iced.

Tea amount: 2 bags
Water amount: 16oz./~475mL
Additives: ~1 level tbsp Demerara sugar

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Sounds YUMMY!!!

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65

Does ginseng have a fragrance? I do not know. This CB&TL tea’s dry leaves have a pretty subtle fragrance. They have that fresh, clean, green tea smell, but much of green tea’s usually vegetal aroma is missing, perhaps because of the lemon.

I haven’t had the greatest luck with bagged teas, lately. It seems like no matter how long I steep it, it still ends up tasting pretty weak. This tea is no exception, and I used two bags for my 16oz. mug. The flavour is actually really pleasant, and I would have rated it better if only there were more of it.

In spite of how long I steeped the bags (I meant to do 5-6 minutes, but forgot and left it for about 12), there was no bitterness, which was nice. But the dry mouth factor is middle of the road, a little bit more than my comfort level.

This is one of those teas that I won’t mind finishing, but that I won’t be buying again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more

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9

This has been a real disappointment. I should’ve read more carefully before buying it; if I had, I would’ve seen that it’s naturally and artificially flavoured. And that’s the problem: it tastes artificial. I’ve had simple, pure rooibos, and I’ve drunk plenty of chai. This, unfortunately, retains the beauty, freshness, and lovely flavour of neither. I’ve tried steeping it for more/less time, more/less/no sweetener, some/no milk, but nothing I’ve tried so far has made this tea actually taste good.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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