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16 Tasting Notes

89
drank Earl Grey White by Teavana
16 tasting notes

Anyone who takes a glance at my tea cupboard would probably hypothesize that white tea isn’t really my thing and they would be right. Periodically I’ll read about the health benefits of white tea (less processed then black! Less caffeine to drink a pot of later in the day and not feel like the energizer bunny at bedtime! Whoo-hoo white tea!), smell a sample in the store (the white doesn’t over power the other scents, so I get lured into believing at the vary least it shouldn’t be less flavourful then a tisane), or read a great description online (yes Butterscotch tea I mean you). And then I’ll taste them, and promptly swear that I’ll never buy another white tea again (over priced, high maintenance, liars, each and every one of them!), and the tea will be set aside for guests … or my mother (sometimes I really think I must have been adopted, how can someone like white tea and hate black tea? And not just anyone, but my own – supposed – flesh and blood).

This was another buy from my Teavana Boxing Day sale it was pretty cheap for a white tea with the 75% discount and then my %15 quantity discount (I was I’ll keep how close I was to the %20 discount a secret between myself and my addiction), $2.13 for a white tea is pretty amazing, and if that wasn’t enough to sway me the promise of bergamot was.

When I opened the tea my first thought was ‘holy bergamot batman!’ (don’t judge me) the smell is fantastic, my second thought was please please don’t let the tea be a lie. Good news, the teas wasn’t a lie. The bergamot flavour was as strong brewed as it was dry. Admittedly I didn’t taste any actual TEA flavour, but I’ve resigned myself that between white tea, and, gee, I don’t know…water, there is no difference. (Sorry white tea fans – white chocolate fans too, I’m sure I owe you an apology for all the times I’ve campaigned to get white chocolate disqualified from being called chocolate – I’m sure to you white tea has a distinct and lovely flavour, or perhaps you like it for it’s lack of distinguishable palate).

I happen to love bergamot having a tea dedicated to that taste alone is ok with me.

I’ve also brewed this with a few leaves from my bergamot mint plant, which adds a pleasant fresh taste to the brew.

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drank Earl Grey Creme by Teavana
16 tasting notes

I’m generally an earl grey purist: hot water, tea leaves, no cream, no sugar, and please no lemon juice (that’s for orange pekoe, or any of the UK breakfast teas). I feel like I’m cheating on the classic when I have my Lady Grey tea. I tried the Earl Grey Crème because it was in the DAVIDs tea advent calendar and I loved that it was creamy without having to add actual cream. I was planning on stocking up on the tea from DAVIDs but then after Christmas Teavana had a huge sale, and after the quantity discounts it was close to $1 for 2 oz, I think I got a total of 10 oz (just of this tea, don’t ask how much I got all together, it’s embarrassing). SO what all of that ramble meant was that I got this tea with really high standards. Which this tea didn’t really meet.

Not that this tea is bad, please don’t think that. It’s a good light tea, I just happen to prefer stronger teas. I find the bergamot and vanilla-esque cream taste stronger in the DAVIDs version.

A point in the pros column for this tea is I don’t think it’s possible to burn/over brew it. Throw some leaves in your tea travel mug of choice, toss in some boiling water, drive to work, and you can drink it when you get there (well you probably can, I have to pour it into a small tea cup so it doesn’t melt my tongue off).

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84
drank Almond Biscotti by Teaopia
16 tasting notes

I don’t know how much of a reason there is in reviewing Teopia teas anymore, since I don’t think Teavana has any intention of bringing them back, but someone new who isn’t my mother is following me, and I’ve had about 5 cups of this today, so colour me inspired.

This tea has a great sweet, nutty, smooth smell to it both dry and brewed. In all honesty it isn’t that different from Teaopia’s Fireside S’mores tea. Obviously it’s stronger as it’s all black tea (which makes brewing it easier actually, the s’mores tea has white, oooling and black tea in it which makes determining the best brewing temperature to bring out the plethora of tastes without turning it bitter very difficult).

It can go astringent if you forget to pull the leaves out in time (I typically leave it in for about 4-4.5 minutes – makes it nice and strong), but even at its most bitter it’s still drinkable.

Obviously I don’t need to worry about if I’ll buy this again, but I can be thankful that I stocked up on this before Teaopia ran out (at %75 off, and yes that DOES make it taste better)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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98

So this was the first tea in my DAVIDs advent calendar, and I can already see that it was a mistake to buy it, if every tea in it is like this one I’m going to be out of A LOT of money when I have to buy bigger quantities of them.

A quick aside from my actual tea review, the thing that worried me the most about my advent calendar wasn’t the actual tea, but the amount that could fit into the little thimbles that hold the tea. They look really tiny, and the people in the store I bought mine from told me that they were only intended to hold about a cups worth. Well when measured with liquid they actually hold 30 ml, otherwise known as one ounce to anyone who speaks imperial measurements, which is a pretty decent sized teapot’s worth or several cups. Needless to say there’s more than enough of each tea to properly try it (or share it) in whatever sized cup you wish to use, and I’ve pretty happy the information I was given was wrong. I’m also really excited to be able to re-use to little containers for when I bring tea with me to work.

I didn’t find the dry smell of the tea too exciting, basically your normal mildly/blandly flavoured black tea. I should also mention that for my first brewing of all my advent teas I’m choosing not to look at the ingredient list to try and keep some surprise/magic in the process. For all the dry smell didn’t excite me the brewed smell/taste did. It smells like the warm creamy drink that you sip on while sitting beside a window wrapped in a warm blanket while watching the snow, or in my case sitting in a gallery and watching people have to walk their dogs in the pouring (cold) rain – even the dogs looked unhappy. Which I’ve since learned is what I associate with the smell of vanilla and coconut. I got more of the buttered taste then the rum while drinking it – the richness probably coming from the coconut – and I loved it. If you like the lifesaver Buttered Rum flavour you’ll like this, I found them both really similar, and yes I did a side by side comparison.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Cherry [Kids] by Teaopia
16 tasting notes

Obviously to make up for my previous silence I’m going for quantity of reviews rather then quality. You’re welcome?

I got this from the last 30% off sale at Teaopia (hopefully they’ll have at least one more before they close) and I’ve already finished it.
Dry it smells like cherry lollipops, closest to Jolly Ranchers. No, I am not being facetious.
I brewed this with 1 1/2 tsp in my 16 oz travel mug, and let it brew until it was cool enough to drink, and it tasted like cherry Koolaid. So obviously I think this drink is awesome.

Unfortunately it only comes in the tiny 20 gram sample within the child’s tea pack, so I won’t be getting any more.

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42

I got this with my Exotic Blends Iced tea collection, my first ever Teavana collection (wow look at me ignore the multiple months I’ve been too busy, and then too lazy to post) and it’s the first tea I tried from the collection.
It’s pretty nice, but warm it’s also pretty much warm pineapple juice, unless I drink it cold…then it’s cold pineapple juice.
Without the added health benefits of actual tea leaves or rooibos, I don’t really see the point in buying this one again, straight pineapple juice is cheaper, with more vitamins.

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100
drank Sunset Honeybush by Teaopia
16 tasting notes

This is the first honeybush tea I ever tried, and despite its wonderful smell I was still worried about how it would taste due to its relation to rooibos. Thankfully not only were my worries unfounded (homeybush tastes nothing like rooibos) but HONEYBUSH ROCKS!!

That’s pretty much all there is to this tea. It tastes like what I’ve learned honeybush tastes like (sweet, but not sickeningly so) with a pleasant fruity twist. Shortly after I bought this tea I got Autumn Breeze online from Teaopia ($3 for 50 grams plus 20% off…I so should have bought more than the 200 grams I did buy) and I find that they taste so similar that they’re pretty much interchangeable.

I’m not finding myself very eloquent this review, or at least less eloquent than usual, and for that I sincerely apologise. So here’s my final thoughts: this tea re-steeps very well (for at least three cups), its great cold (although I prefer warm for all my tea), and I can be lazy with how hot the my water is (in fact boiling is what’s needed) as well how long my leaves steep (no bitter taste ever).

Now to answer if I’ll re-buy this tea: if I didn’t have 150 grams Autumn Breeze remaining the answer would be absolutely yes. As it stands unfortunately unless it goes on sale before/after the change over, I’ll be saving my money for other teas that I stand a higher chance of running out of.

Preparation
Boiling

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100
drank Ginger Green by Teaopia
16 tasting notes

Following my tradition of procrastination I only have a couple teaspoons of this left and am debating between writing this and just letting this sit in my tea chest indefinitely. Unfortunately I really need the space for new tea – it has crossed my mind to just get a bigger tea chest, but then I’ll have to start considering when a chest can start being classified as a trunk, and how much weight can sit atop my fridge. So time to get off my butt (actually I’ll still be sitting on my butt so there’s a bit of a bright side) and share my opinion.

This tea is a great combination of green tea and ginger, and I’ve found that the taste carries through all the way to the third steeping.

On the negative side, I have messed up this tea more then once. Both by over steeping and using water that was too hot. Yes I know to be careful with water temp, and I’m OK with being careful, but I don’t want to have be uptight about it, a little leeway would be nice. And as I’ve mentioned before I do appreciate teas that will let me just throw the leaves into my travel tea thermos and leave them there, this one won’t cooperate with that.

Finally, the most pressing issue with my Teaopia teas: will I stock up on this one? The answer is no, and it’s not even an “I need to win the lottery” issue. I simply have found I get the same flavour from plain green tea with some fresh ginger thrown in.

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85

Suddenly my reviews on Teaopia teas have become very important to me, mostly because I don’t know how many of them will still exist after the Teavana takeover. I’m hoping the arrangement is similar to the La senza/ Victoria’s Secret takeover (both stores basically operate the same with their own lines and websites) but considering that Teavana has stated the main drive behind their acquisition was the prime store locations and the lack of a need to renovate I’m not placing any money on that hope. So with every Teaopia tea I have I need to ask myself “Do I like this enough to really stockpile it sometime over the next couple of months?” Considering how I don’t have unlimited income, and I do like teas from other manufactures this is pretty difficult for me. Life would be so much easier if I’d just win the lottery (although my odds aren’t looking particularly good, which has more to do with the fact that I’ve never bought myself a lottery ticket, than the actual odds of the lottery).

Although I’m sure I’ll be revisiting that little rant with each Teaopia tea, for now I’ll put it aside and get to what you actually wanted to read: my opinions of the tea (ok you wanted to read ANYBODY’S opinions of the tea, but my way makes me feel all special.). I’ll try to be more to the point now to make up for my rambling.

Pro’s:
-I really liked the raspberry mint taste; I think they blended really well together. I’m not sure I’d call it ‘Mojito’ because it lacks the syrup-y (nasty) taste I associate with a true mojito. On the other hand from first smell to last sip, what the taste reminded me of most strongly was –and I don’t mean this in a bad way – Dukoral. That fizzy raspberry flavoured drink you take before going on a tropical vacation to prevent …let’s call it upset stomach. As I said I don’t mean the comparison in a bad way, the only thing I disliked about the Dukoral was the carbonation and syrup-y-ness of it, which are absent from the tisane.
-Also I took this when I had an upset stomach and it actually managed to calm it better than just mint.

Con’s
-It’s really heavy. It’s really really heavy (from the fruit bits) and not one of the cheaper teas either. I got 65 grams of this and it was like 25 grams of plain green tea. I’m actually curious to try getting just some dried raspberry leaves (Probably from Art of Tea) and using my own mint leaves to see if I can get a similar product minus the berry chunks.
-and with all teas with this amount of fruit chunks and the bottom of the cup is fruit sludge. Which is saying something considering I double strain this tea.

Now to answer the question on no one’s mind but my own: “will I buy this tea again”
Unfortunately the answer is probably not, not unless it goes on sale, it just costs too much, and there’s too many other teas I want to get. I really need to win that lottery.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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Bio

OK I’m just going to do a short bio now so I can follow other people’s tea blogs without seeming too creepy, I promise to do a better (and more interesting) one soon. So probably in a couple of years.
I recently finished my college degree and and have my fingers crossed to get accepted into my grad school of choice. Once my education is all finished I want to be a librarian, mostly so I can drink tea while surrounded by books all day (and get paid for it!!) while encouraging all librarian stereotypes with my knit cardigans, pulled back hair, and glasses.
I’ve been drinking herbal tea with my mother (who I also got onto this site – HI MOMMY!!) for as long as I can remember. I started buying Orange Pekoe grounds (let’s face it there’s nothing leaf like about them) for myself in high school for the caffeine boost, and have been buying loose leaf teas ever since.
When I have to explain my love of tea to others these are generally the reasons I give:
1.) It’s like a hug in a cup, there’s something incredibly soothing about holding a warm mug and smelling your favourite scent.
2.) Although I didn’t start drinking tea for the health benefits, I will definitely enjoy them. Lower LDL levels? Protection against heart disease? Healthier skin? Yes please, sign me up.
3.) I’m a celiac and was diagnosed when I was 13, which was late enough in life that I know exactly what I’m missing out on. I don’t really care that cake tea, or s’mores tea has less calories than the actual product, but I do LOVE that I can sit and smell things I’ve missed while tasting something that’s similar (and often better than their gluten free replicas).

Location

British Columbia, Canada

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