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drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
109 tasting notes

Chance placed me in a Teavana store this afternoon-for only the second time ever and the first time in 3 years.

They had 6 teas available for sampling, but zero black teas. Then they had the nerve to tell me that they didn’t carry Assam because basically, it was crap and they only carried the best. Considering all that cheap Rooibos they sell, that was a rather ridiculous statement. However, I was not in a confrontational mood and let it slide.

This was listed at one of their top-rated teas on Steepster. Well, we know that they don’t sell in amounts smaller than 2oz, just because. So, I paid $5 to try this as a “to go” tea (in store), my first Golden Monkey. Now I see that there are TWO entries and it seems it’s not so well-liked after all.

I did briefly see the leaves before they brewed them, but I failed to take notes. Who knows what parameters they used. It was small and crowded so I couldn’t get that info. Not ideal tasting conditions. It tasted pretty good. Kinda chocolately and maybe notes of butter or caramel. I would have bought one ounce to try some more, but I wasn’t paying $18.50 for 2 ounces of something I wasn’t really sure about.

They didn’t once take me over to the cast iron teapots or suggestive sell too much and they understood that “no, thanks” meant “no, thanks.” However, they tried to overpour my 2 ounces of Strawberry Paraiso-2.85 ounces is not “about” two ounces. They had 5 employees sharing one scale and one register, add in the customers and it was a mess, so you really had to keep an eye on them trying to overpour.

If they ever get around to selling samples or at least selling one ounce of tea, I would give this another try. However, the end result of this is I will probably try a few golden monkey teas from other companies who sell their tea that way.

Overall, I’d say this was an okay shopping experience-I did get some rock sugar because I wanted some and it was there. AND they had no minimum on how much to buy! I’d go to this store again if I was around to get a to go cup of a couple of their teas, but they don’t have a lot that really excites me.

Autumn Hearth

Teavana retired a straight Assam as well as a tropical blend with an Assam base a little less than a year ago, so of course the claim that it wasn’t highest quality is bogus, it just didn’t sell well enough, mostly because they were at the bottom of the tea wall, the employees were trained to top down sell (they were both quite affordable) and though the Assam Breeze was mostly a mango black tea it didn’t have the name mango in it. I was once scolded for selling 2oz of it to a woman who came in looking for a mango black tea and only wanted to try a bit. My manager was like “why did you pull down that tea?” and when I explained she asked “why only 2oz? 2oz is nothing, if you’re going to sell that tea, you need to sell a lb”. So yeah, no wonder they were retired. Everyone I worked with was so excited when they release Sakura Allure because it had mango in it and customers were frequently asking for mango flavored tea, but you really can’t taste it, Assam Breeze was quite delicious, but we were even discouraged from drinking the cheaper teas as employee beverages. End rant.

Scott B

Not having “mango” in the name is a sure marketing error-people love things with mango in it.
I prefer straight Assams and I suppose quality Assam is cheaper than quality oolongs, gyokuros and such. Probably not as much profit margin. Besides, the types of teas Teavana carries, and the way they are marketed is probably not conducive to getting lots of straight black tea drinkers in the door. I’m surprised they still sell Keemun and Copper Knot.

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Autumn Hearth

Teavana retired a straight Assam as well as a tropical blend with an Assam base a little less than a year ago, so of course the claim that it wasn’t highest quality is bogus, it just didn’t sell well enough, mostly because they were at the bottom of the tea wall, the employees were trained to top down sell (they were both quite affordable) and though the Assam Breeze was mostly a mango black tea it didn’t have the name mango in it. I was once scolded for selling 2oz of it to a woman who came in looking for a mango black tea and only wanted to try a bit. My manager was like “why did you pull down that tea?” and when I explained she asked “why only 2oz? 2oz is nothing, if you’re going to sell that tea, you need to sell a lb”. So yeah, no wonder they were retired. Everyone I worked with was so excited when they release Sakura Allure because it had mango in it and customers were frequently asking for mango flavored tea, but you really can’t taste it, Assam Breeze was quite delicious, but we were even discouraged from drinking the cheaper teas as employee beverages. End rant.

Scott B

Not having “mango” in the name is a sure marketing error-people love things with mango in it.
I prefer straight Assams and I suppose quality Assam is cheaper than quality oolongs, gyokuros and such. Probably not as much profit margin. Besides, the types of teas Teavana carries, and the way they are marketed is probably not conducive to getting lots of straight black tea drinkers in the door. I’m surprised they still sell Keemun and Copper Knot.

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Started drinking tea for health benefits maybe 5 years ago-exclusively bagged tea. Usually went for various Celestial Seasonings type of stuff. I bought a tea infuser at a gourmet shop once and then I realized there was almost no loose tea available. Eventually tiring of bags, I started ordering loose tea online and I have never gone back. Initially, I was exploring all the wild and exotic flavor combinations, but now I mostly drink straight teas. I still enjoy blended teas-but prefer those without “flavoring”. Hope to learn here and find some new teas I might not otherwise find. Am a vegan, so “milk” generally means “soymilk” to me. If it’s almond, rice, or coconut, I will mention that fact.

I am new here, and new to reviewing tea. Many of my initial reviews will be from memory and may not be very detailed at all. I hope to write more informative reviews on current and future teas.

I won’t let external factors affect my rating of the tea-such as slow shipping, too expensive, etc. I’ll mention any customer service problems in my reviews. I also won’t let my mistakes in not following the seller’s recommended parameters affect a rating. I can’t believe people who say “I forgot about it and oversteeped it” and then give it a rating. If I brew outside the parameters, I will wait until I brew it right before I give it a rating.

TEMPORARY RATING SYSTEM- Don’t hold me to these numbers and descriptions-like George Bluth, I like to tweak.

90+ It’s awesome, right?? I’ll probably try to keep it on hand.

80-89 – I really like this and will buy it again at some point, but there are so many teas to try!

70-79 – This is a pretty good tea and I may buy it again based on my mood, what tea store I am buying from, and what kind of deal I can get.

60-69 – This is okay. I finished the bag. I would drink it again if offered, but would not buy it again.

40-59 – IF I finished the bag, I recall this tea thinking “Why in the hell did I finish the bag?”

1-39 – Did not finish the bag. Maybe not even the cup. Tea was given away or discarded.

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