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249 Tasting Notes

42

I had just recalled drinking this tea over the past weekend.

We had decided to take a trip Saturday to see Taken 2 in a better local theater, so we decided to also have dinner in a favorite seafood place that faces the Pacific Ocean.

Besides the Starbucks Chai latte, I did not have any other tea that day, so I decided to compliment my salmon seafood salad with a green tea.

While steeping, I wasn’t really sure why the green tea didn’t necessarily smell like a proper green tea, as it had a healthy scent of mint.

After about 5 minutes of steeping, I removed the teabag from the tiny pot and noticed the tag read “Chai Green”.

I kind of laughed, as it wasn’t a green tea I had asked for, but I don’t mind Chai teas at all… but I do mind Chai teabags.

The flavor is a little off, as it is trying to be two things it can’t, and there isn’t enough of either to give a concrete body or actual flavor.

You cannot taste the green tea, let alone smell it, and the Chai spices are barely there, giving it quite a weak flavor.

The teabag had a stronger scent than it’s proposed flavor, but fortunately I didn’t really have any expectations.

I should have used sugar as well.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Silver Jade by Silk Road
249 tasting notes

The leaves are quite large and full. There are very deep green details, very natural. There is also a nice woody scent with a subtle sweetness. Very clean.

Steeping gives a very bright, clean and blonde brew that is quite striking. The aroma is more woody, less clean, but still maintains a subtle sweetness.

And that subtle sweetness carries on into the flavor, with a very clean woody body, refreshing and mild.

Fitting I give a simple tea a simple note, as it is not so much about being surprised as it would just be about being satisfied of a very clean Chinese green tea that is very refreshing and relaxing.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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66

The leaves are varied shades of deep green, with a sweet yet toasted grassy aroma. There is little detail, as the leaves are very light and very flat, which is kind of a disappoint, but they are full leaves nonetheless.

Steeping brings out more of that nice sweet toasted aroma, overpowering the grassy scent, which is less of a disappointment. The brew is a nice light jade color, with pieces of leaves floating to the bottom.

I like the subtleness of the grassy flavor, appropriately pulling to the backseat, allowing the sweet toasted flavors to come through.

There isn’t really much else to this tea. It is a very toasty green tea, with subtle notes of grass, but sweet, and toasted.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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85

For some reason, in late July, I decided to buy over $400 worth of tea from Teavana, mainly from their heavily promoted Summer iced tea line. I had also mentioned that Chai teas are very much a favorite of mine, so I was recommended the Zingiber Ginger Coconut rooibos tea.

This tea has a pale but sweet and gingerly coconut aroma, subtle and quite lovely, which is strange as I do not particularly like the smell of rooibos, but the coconut and ginger sold me almost instantly.

The tea has been sitting on my tea shelf since then, untouched and unsteeped. Until now.

It is a bit odd that I chose to blend it before steeping by itself, but when I looked it up on Teavana’s website, I was surprised to see that they say it blends well with one of my very favorite teas, Maharaja Chai Oolong.

Both teas blended, the aroma is quite outstanding. The ginger and Maharaja Chai really give it a nice spicy delicious scent. I could not wait to try it.

It does blend rather well; as the spiciness of the Chai can overwhelm everything else, the rooibos seems to settle it down, allowing a hint of coconut to peek through the Chai and ginger. But, oh my, it is all about the Chai and ginger.

Yes, I usually have a reluctance to rooibos teas, as my experiences with them are not the best, but blending with an already outstanding Chai makes it pretty good. Hopefully, it is just as good by itself.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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52

This blend was a sample that came with a recent order I had made.

Not a lot of rooibos teas catch onto my radar, much less rooibos blends, but it is summer and this is one of the teas that Teavana is heavily promoting, one must give it a try.

The leaves, both dry and steeping, give off a faint fruity aroma. I can tell this is a very sweet tea, and I believe the scent is quite dark. It isn’t a familiar sweet scent, rather interesting and made me all the more curious.

The first initial sips give a very fruity rooibos flavor, the blueberry very dominant. I like that there wasn’t much rock sugar in this sample, as complaints of it being too sweet had me a bit worried, but I can see how more rock sugar can make this blend sickeningly sweet.

This could probably use less rooibos and rose, and more pineapple, as it is too dark. It also might be that this blend probably shouldn’t be consumed hot, but rather iced, which I could see making this more enjoyable.

Despite, through the rooibos and rose, there are nice fruitful flavors that I do enjoy, and it seems there are more details that I might catch with second or third brewings.

A rather middling blend, but I’d reserve a final decision after trying this iced.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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84

A co-worker, who is working on waning herself off of coffee, purchased this tea from a local heath store; and seeing as how I’m the recognized local tea connoisseur, she had peaked my curiosity.

The aroma given from steeping is extremely promising, with an almost rich woodsy atmosphere, deeply green, very dark, and a slight smokey tinge. The color is a very satisfying deep and handsome red of pu-erh.

The flavor is amazingly rich, with a smokey earthy taste that empowers it’s roasted base; this is the flavor of a fresh forest.

There are times when a teabag tea surprises me. This teabag is one of them.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I have this too and was amazed at how good it was.

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82

This was one of the few personal favorites I had been advised to try by Laura at Teavana’s Park Royal North location, as I had pointed out their Gyokuro Imperial green tea. She had said that most do not like the strong grassy flavor of Gyokuro Imperial and mentioned Emperor’s Clouds and Mist.

As she described Emperor’s Clouds and Mist, I had mentioned Darjeeling green tea being similar, which surprised her as she didn’t know that existed.

And, that is exactly what this tea reminded me of, was DarjeelingTeaXpress’ 2011 Darjeeling Autumn Flush Puttabong Green Tea.

The leaves are beautifully and tightly rolled, with light to deep green colors. The scent is light and soft, very smooth and sweetly earthy.

Steeping gives a very light greenish white liquor, with a light and delicate grassy aroma.

The flavor is a very smooth earthy taste, very bright and delicate. There is very little astringency, more a slight freshness in the aftertaste.

It is surprising how overall delicate this green tea is, but it is not surprising how overall delicious and enjoyable it is as well. Because of it’s delicacy, I can see myself drinking this at any time of the day.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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65

I tend to make it into the office every morning earlier than expected. Usually, co-workers arrive roughly around 9 AM, where I make it in at 8:30, sometimes even earlier. One of the great things about arriving early is having extra time to properly make tea.

I’ve been drinking this tea early in mornings since I bought the 50 gram tin, and early on I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, this is the last of the buttered rum tea.

The scent of the leaves whenever you open the tin is impeccably buttery, it never seems to go away opened, scooped, steeped or consumed.

The handsomely deep red tone is a great touch, contributing to it’s early evening rum appearance rather than giving an early morning pick-me-up face.

It is unfortunate that the flavor has become less consistent. At first, it had burst with sweet buttery goodness, the coconut and vanilla giving a feisty Caribbean feel. As the months wore on, so did the butter, fading to a paler and darker flavor, which I would probably credit the cornflower petals.

Believe me, it is still much better than Teavana’s Amandine Rose, which is more pale flower petals than a proper alternative to the holy grail Almond Biscotti. I still enjoy every cup, but the diminishing returns tell me this requires less leaves in a smaller tin and enjoyed more infrequently for a rarer taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
249 tasting notes

I had about half a canister left of this tea, which I had not touched in quite some time. I decided I had better finish this and start looking for a better marzipan.

So, I have been drinking this tea multiple times every day all this week.

This tea is still pale, not very sweet, or at all buttery, and at times can be an unhelpful bitter.

It requires more sugar than I would prefer to use to better sweeten, almost a wasteful amount.

It’s probably going to get annoying, but I still long for Teavana’s discontinued Almond Biscotti, the buttery flavor just cannot be beat.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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66

I wasn’t expecting this tea to actually have full rolled leaves. I also wasn’t expecting this tea to look as good as it does, with nice deep green colors and surprisingly lovely silver needles. The scent leaves a lot to be desired, a light woody scent, but it is quite lovely to look at.

Steeping gives a nice golden color, with a light and planty aroma. Very promising.

The flavor, although very surprising as well, is also a little disappointing. There are light hints of earthy and woody flavors, and a bit of astringency, but it is not strong enough, and because of the light flavor, can drop out once the pale taste takes over.

This could be due to a mass production process, but if the tea were fresher, the scent would be stronger and the flavor more full bodied. A very promising tea that just couldn’t go further.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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