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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

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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63

This tea was alright. I would have liked more Bergamot, though. I was at a Krispy Kreme in Los Angeles on vacation, and a ‘Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’ shop was connected.

I wanted something to help me relax after a long day of tourism at Huntington Beach. My server put the “loose leaf” tea bag in before I could check the quality of the leaves alone. I suspected to find some stems in there, as I did with their English Breakfast blend a while back.

Enjoying the lovely doughnuts, I decided to stop steeping the tea. The Bergamot scent wasn’t as strong as most other Earl Grey’s I’ve had. However, the mellow scent went very well with the base tea. When it was cool enough to drink, I went for an unsatisfying sip. It was very mellow in Bergamot flavor, and the base tea seemed to take on what little flavor there was.

This tea was pretty relaxing, but it did not yield a satisfying cuppa.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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94

My feet are feeling a bit better since I had my shoe inserts adjusted, which is good! I’m hoping for the best.

Today is a beautiful day in San Francisco, the sun is out and shining. I had cold brewed this overnight and am having it after lunch today. Mmm, there is nothing quite like an iced Moroccan mint tea to perk me up.

This is my last bag of this and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf that’s near my apt. has just closed! I am going to try making my own with the gunpowder I have from Red Blossom and loose leaf spearmint. We’ll see. I might look for this blend again someday, it’s mighty tasty.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Missy

Glad your feet are feeling better! Boo to closing of tea shops.

Mélissa

(omg, the Lama as your profile pic made me SQUEEEEEE)

Indigobloom

good luck with the inserts! and the tea blending :)

TeaBrat

Thank you, IB! I have noticed a decrease in my symptoms which is a definite plus!

TeaBrat

Melissa- I love llamas, they’re so silly and cute.

Dylan Oxford

Moroccan Mint really does make the best iced tea ever. We tossed a few leaves of some fresh mint we picked up at a local produce stand in our last batch. SO MINTY.

Bonnie

I just ordered some from Stacy at Butiki after trying a sample but I could make some from my mint too.

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19

Might be a nice tea in itself, but the iced brew at my local Coffee Bean was watery and gross.

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94

I cold brewed two teabags of this overnight and today I am drinking it over ice.

woooah – it’s really good this way! Very strong and invigorating. I’m getting the smokiness from the gunpowder and a ton of mint with a touch of sweetness. I wonder if there is some sugar in the teabag already? Anyway I highly recommend trying Moroccan mint this way!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
ScottTeaMan

its been so long since I’ve had Moroccan Mint. I really have to cold brew my teas instead of Icing them. When the cubes melt, the tea gets too watered down for me. Since I have mint, all I need is some gunpowder…….for a cold brew mint explosion. KA—POW!!

TeaBrat

I highly recommend trying the cold brewing thing. I find it works best with whites, greens and oolong teas.

Scott B

Scott-Generally, they recommend doubling the tea leaves when you add the hot tea to ice. But, if there is more ice than tea it might still get watered down anyway.

Amy-I’d like to cold brew some Moroccan Mint. However, the only container that I would be allowed to use for it is a pitcher with an open lid. Would you think a glass pitcher with saran wrap over the top would work? Doesn’t sound ideal.

ScottTeaMan

I think even for blacks it would be better. I guess I just have a problem with brewing hot tea, adding ice…….then for me the tea usually gets too watered down. Next time I want a cold tea, I’ll cold brew it. :))

TeaBrat

That would be fine as long as you don’t knock it over.. :)
I think Charles Thomas Draper uses a plain mason jar.

Missy

This is a pitcher I like to use. It fits in the door of my refrigerator and has a gasket so no spills or contamination from food smells.

http://www.amazon.com/Takeya-64-Ounce-Silicone-Handle-Avocado/dp/B003DTLNI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336687511&sr=8-1

Scott B

That’s a very nice pitcher. Would probably be a lot more convenient than this glass pitcher I was thinking of using..

ScottTeaMan

Newer plastics don’t seem to be as durable as some from 5-10 years ago.

TeaBrat

@ MIssy – I have something similar from Lupicia – it works well:
http://www.lupiciausa.com/product_p/41000607.htm

Cheryl

A cold mint tea has been one of my goals from the beginning (of the “break the Coke habit” journey). Bought a 32 oz. IngenuiTEA for the purpose, but only started experimenting with cold brew ratios and stuff. I’ll get it before it gets too hot. Mint (spearmint) is one of my favorites.

Cheryl

And in my newbie’ness, I ordered 6 oz. of (plain) spearmint from Adagio (yea, I know…go ahead and laugh). So I can add it to plain teas that are just ok, even tho Stash’s Moroccan is my current fave (haven’t tried the loose leaf yet, even tho it arrived).

Missy

@ Amy I saw those in my quest for a pitcher but Amazon just has too fast of shipping for me to move very far from it. The other plus is I can buy 2 of the pitchers at cost cheaper than the one online and they will all fit my infuser.

Dylan Oxford

Costco has this on sale recently:

http://www.amazon.com/Takeya-Airtight-Drink-Maker-Pitcher/dp/B004TJ3ZUA/ref=pd_sim_k_3

I think it was… $17? They don’t come with the infuser like the one Missy posted, but if you’re just using them to pour your stronger-brewed tea over ice, they work FABULOUSLY.

And yes, we do have three 64 oz pitchers full of tea in our fridge (have I mentioned how awesome Missy is?). Don’t be jealous ;)

Uniquity

@Cheryl, if you like mint at all, plain spearmint can be really quite lovely! : )

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94

Normally my after lunch tea is a pu-erh but I really wasn’t sure since I had Indian food for lunch. Decided to go with something tried and true… I would like to try some other moroccan mints sometime to see how they compare with this one. I think it is a bit on the light side but refreshing.

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94

still… winning!

I must admit I feel like a shmoe for liking a tea that comes from a big chain store like this one. Mostly I do support small vendors and local businesses tho’!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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94

I got my shoe inserts today from the podiatrist so I am hoping my foot pain is a thing of the past…

Wanted to treat myself to something nice so I stopped into the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and got a cup of this. I don’t normally go for minty things but I wanted to try this anyway.

This stuff is awesome – you definitely pick up the nutty, slightly smoky flavor of the gunpowder and the mint is not meek either. It is a very delicious blend which I think would also be really good iced. Loved it! I went back to the store to buy a tin of this (loose leaf tea bags), it was a bit pricey but I am worth it. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Azzrian

Yes, yes you are!!

TeaBrat

I agree! ha!

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