54 Tasting Notes
Comes in 1" cubes of pressed leaves. Is more in the Taiwanese/Green leaf production style which might be surprising if you’re expecting to see a blacker tea. But the flavor notes are wonderful. Floral top notes are very subtle, a somewhat grassy finish, but not overdone. Won’t be everyone’s favorite oolong, but my palate appreciates the grass/floral combination and I could imagine it pairing well with savory foods vs. sweets. I’ve gotten at least 3 fine steeps from my single-cup measure, TeaSource’s instructions recommend using 1/3 of a cube.
This is also offered in a “pearl” version, which I tried this week and am completely a fan. The jasmine fragrance isn’t overwhelming, it has an almost “rock candy” aroma in the cup. It begins with sweet, but it doesn’t deliver as strongly in the finish, which is why I enjoy it. A tea that my complicated palate can appreciate, and one that younger members of my family also enjoyed for it’s unique ‘sweet’.
Maté-vana is a my compromise between coffee and tea. I tried it more than a year ago as a stand-alone tea and liked the chocolate and earthy undertones. I recently re-purchased it and decided to try it the traditional way with the Cuia Gourd and Bombilla straw, and it’s taken the drink to a new level. The floral/grassy notes of the yerba are enjoyable and complement the initial wave of chocolate as you sip. It has the caffeine equivalent of coffee, but more of a nutrient boost.
Best experienced with the gourd and metal straw if you’re feeling adventurous. The only thing to remember about the gourd is to take the time to “cure” it first by pouring boiling water into the vessel with a generous amount of the maté and scraping the inner peeling of the wall to eliminate the excess “skin.” If not cured in advance, you’ll experience a bitter taste immediately. Once cured, the gourd absorbs the maté flavor and no longer interferes. Others have even discussed adding fresh citrus peelings or a preferred brand of rum to the gourd during the curing process to have those flavors infused into future servings of the tea.
This was the first blooming tea I had tried and I was hooked. I’m the primary tea drinker in my household, so I often find myself steeping one blossom in my 16 oz. tumbler and re-steeping, though it’s done just as well in my 32 oz. pitcher with one steep. Also does well iced! A longer steep will get a stronger, sweeter flavor, though it can get a slight bitter aftertaste if you leave the bloom to steep for an hour or more. It’s best to remove the bloom and store it in a small zip-loc in the refrigerator if you plan to use it for multiple steeps. Also of note: Teavana has switched to offering peach and strawberry-infused blooming teas for sale in their stores and online. Blooming Tiger is a floral/jasmine white tea, and you may not be able to walk in or purchase it online at present. Unclear if it’s seasonal or if this is a permanent switch.