Opening a canister of ToLife® is like opening a treasure chest. There’s so much to see – tiny rooibos sprigs, banana-shaped silver-green buds (Silver Needle), rolled balls of jasmine leaves, dried rosebuds, and all the little fruit pieces listed above, with strawberry being the most common. Each teaspoon of this tea differs from the last for this reason. Sometimes it brings up mostly rooibos and fruit, other times jasmine rolls with silver needles. The variety explains why each cup of ToLife® offers a unique experience to tea drinkers.
Now, ToLife®’s aroma…. Ohhhhhhh. Imagine fruity, floral, and jasmine mingling together in a seductive dance that whispers, “Come try me.” The fruitiness emerges more once the tea’s been brewed, but it’s not cloying. And, the brew’s golden-orange color is breathtaking. I’d go so far as to describe this tea as sunrise-colored, since I see a pinkish hue in there too.
I’m used to brewing ToLife® for about 4 minutes. That was Teavana’s recommended brew time when I first tried the tea, and I’ve stuck to it since then. And when steeped for that amount of time, ToLife® delivers on all its promises. You get a bright, sweet cup of perfectly balanced floral and fruit, with hints of jasmine, and a cleansing smoothness from start to finish. It’s also more delicate than the initial aroma implies. I consider that a strength, though, because the drink still presents a surprising array of flavors. If ToLife® were any heavier, it might come out syrupy (yuck!) and too bombastic in flavor, as some fruity teas do.
I was curious, though: How would ToLife® taste when steeped for only 1 to 2 minutes, as Teavana calls for now? For the sake of this review, I experimented with the shorter brew time… and it’s not bad. The color and fragrance is about the same as with the 4-minute brew, but the taste lacks the nuances it should have. (The jasmine, for example, is barely detectable.) Those extra couple minutes therefore prove to be crucial in making a true quality cup of ToLife®.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Jasmine, Smooth, Sweet