I am striving to get these reviews written as soon as I can, which means it may initially be missing some data which I hope to supply later.
Experience buying from Teavana online http://steepster.com/places/2822-teavana-online-atlanta-georgia
Date of Purchase/Age of Leaf: Purchased at their 2011 end-of-year sale at a discount, and brewed up my first pot right away; no information on date of harvest available (I don’t like that they can’t—or won’t—tell me the harvest date on their green teas, and I don’t like to admit it, but it’s honestly a little annoying to me).
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: I was in the store a few days prior to buying this tea online, and when I looked at it and smelled it, I thought it was a Huang Shan Mao Feng (it’s not a part of Teavana’s name for this tea, but it looked like one to me). I asked about it, the sales associate looked it up, and she verified that it was indeed a Huang Shan Mao Feng (HSMF). Having said that, this tea looks and smells like any other HSMF: wiry, slightly twisted leaves, with a somewhat sour smelling vegetal aroma overlaid with some smokiness (Although I generally like the appearance and the taste of HSMF, I don’t really care for the smell of any of them).
Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot with metal infuser/plunger. Stevia added.
……….1st: 170; 1’
……….2nd: 175; 1.5’
……….3rd: 180; 2’
……….4th: 185; 2.5’
Aroma of tea liquor: < later >
Flavor of tea liquor: Sweet, mildly vegetal, and surprisingly smooth; I don’t think there was any smokiness, either (my wife does NOT like smoky green teas, and so she normally does not like HSMFs, but she liked this one). No astringency or bite in it what-so-ever. Yet, I don’t think it had great flavor on the forth steeping.
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: The leaf in this tea was not as impressive as the leaf in the Golden Jade (it had a few broken pieces), but it was still clearly from a quality pluck; standard vegetal aroma.
Value: This tea is a steal at 75% off the original price (what they state as $9/oz.) -> $2.25/oz.
Overall: I suspect that this tea is some slightly lower grade version of their HSMF Reserve (which goes for $10/oz.), and that they don’t want to discontinue this tea, so they just renamed it, and put it on sale (they did not carry this tea until their end-of-year sale. Interesting, huh?). One piece of evidence to support this: the picture for both teas is EXACTLY the same on their website. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most is that this is an exquisite tea for those who want a sweet green tea without the normal vegetal/astringent notes that are commonly present in Chinese green teas. And it is sweet. I look forward to brewing it up as a treat every now and then this winter.