242 Tasting Notes
I was so excited to see a Tao of Tea tin for sale locally that I bought it without looking at it too closely. I’ve been really wanting to get away from so much Teavana, and so far this is the only thing I’ve found in our area. I seriously dragged my poor husband all over today, looking for tea and a new teapot, but this was it. I guess I’m just going to have to work on my patience and wait for my online orders to get in.
When we got home, I opened up the tin and all I saw were rose petals. Figuring that it might have been a mixing issue, I first tried gently rolling the can around. Still all roses. At that point I dumped it out and tried to mix it up by hand. The ingredient list on the tin includes a lot of other ingredients, but all I was able to find in the tin were roses and about 1/4 cup of tiny green specks.
Still a bit unsure, I put 2 tablespoons of tea in my 3-cup teapot and stirred in 2 tablespoons of Sugar in the Raw. Steeped, it’s a lovely rose color, but most of those green specks made their way past the strainer and are clinging to the sides and gathering at the bottom of the cup. I’m a real texture girl, and that’s an immediate turn-off for me. I don’t like chewing my tea.
Doing my best not to stir up the sediment, I take my first sip. Rose. All my senses are filled with roses. There is a bit of a lemony taste to it, but for the most part it’s sweetened rose water. It’s light-hearted and different, so I may hold on to this one for my next tea party, but I do wish I had purchased a sample instead of a full tin. It’s totally going on the swap list!
REVISION: Apparently I didn’t read the ingredients well – the tin lists hibiscus flowers, camomile flowers, peppermint, and rose petals. I looked inside the tin again, and the petals look all the same to me, but it’s possible all three flowers and their petals just look very similar dried.
It took me a while to place this as it was steeping, but I finally figured it out – it tastes like apple cider. The homemade kind, where you plug an orange full of cloves, toss in some cinnamon sticks, and simmer it in apple juice for half the day.
There’s not a hint of oolong – I couldn’t even recognize the leaves as I was measuring it out. I don’t think I’m going to be keeping this one on hand. It’s tasty, but when I want apple cider, I want real apple cider!
Teavana is the only local place we’ve found so far for loose-leaf, so we stopped by last night to add something new to our cupboard. This tea is the reason the trip was not a complete disaster!
The saleslady latched onto us like a dachshund – it really felt like a small dog had locked its teeth into the leg of my jeans and was trying with all it’s might to pull us in the direction it wanted to go. There may have been yipping involved as well, but we did our best to tune it out.
Once I had managed to detach her (believe me, it was not easy!) we were left alone for a minute or two to browse. I was talking to my husband about the double-walled glass cups when there she was again. Have you ever played that game in the arcade, where you hit the gophers that pop out of the holes? That’s what it felt like! We would very politely let her know that her help was not required, but less than two minutes later she’d pop back up and need to be knocked down again.
We finally gave up and went to go purchase our teas. I had made a list beforehand of things that looked good and were rated well here, and I am so glad I did. Last time had been a little overwhelming, and with as assertive as their salespeople are I didn’t want to be at a disadvantage.
Despite our list, she was reluctant to get some of the lower-priced teas. Once she finally brought it out and let us smell this tea, I was hooked. My eyes might have rolled back, it smelled so amazing. Vanilla and anise, coconut and cinnamon. Visions of macaroons and Thai iced tea flashed through my mind. Oh, it was good.
I couldn’t get the Thai iced tea out of my head, so I dragged the husband out for Thai on the way home. When we got back to the car, opening the door was like sitting inside a teapot. The scent had taken over, and it was heaven!
Steeping it this morning, I am surprised at how well the flavor is holding up against the hype of the smell. Mmm… macaroons. The vanilla and anise have a nice presence, but overall it tastes like toasted coconut with slight notes of cinnamon. I am in love. I don’t know how much of the black tea is actually in here – it doesn’t assert itself very well – but I just can’t bring myself to care! This is one that will stay in the cupboard on a permanent basis!
Jake and I made the trek into Teavana this evening and this is one of the teas we sampled. It had been on my list of things to try, and I’m glad I did. It’s an interesting mix, and would be a nice afternoon sip with a book in hand. The sage had an interesting presence in the tea, but in a surprisingly good and complex way.
I was shocked, however, at the look of the tea in the tin – it looks like a rather dirty, dried out fruit salad that was made by someone too lazy to cut everything up! I truly don’t know if I have any steeping accessories big enough to handle more than one of the orange wedges, so I had to pass.
I love to wake up with this! It’s sweet, smooth, and helps me slide into consciousness on these early mornings. Of course, half the fun of drinking Earl Grey is teasing my husband – he tried it for the first time because it was Captain Picard’s favorite tea. He tries to be all stoic engineering major, but sometimes, when he’s enjoying this with me, I think he’s really imagining himself at the helm of a starship.
It’s been awhile, so I figured I’d give this one another try. Ultimately, it just served to reinforce my initial conclusion: This makes a great cool concoction, but only a fairly standard cup of fruity tea.
Like the other Zhena’s I’ve tried, I used one teabag per 8oz of water – tonight I used two teabags in my 2-cup teapot, and added 2 tsp of sugar.
I’ve never had Acai berries, so I don’t know if it smells/tastes like them or not. Dry it smells like raspberries with just a hint of earthier scents, while steeped the berries back off a little, and some other flavors step in. The hibiscus isn’t shy, and I can detect just a little of the lemongrass. Both the peach and the orange stay in the shadows, and I can’t pick out even a hint of them.
There is one thing though – this tastes much more natural than artificial, which is a big problem with the other fruity teas I’ve tried. I wish it were less one-note, but its still enjoyable.
Let’s just say that for a tea who’s named after the Kama Sutra, I was expecting something a little… spicier! This is a very, very mild mix. It’s not bad, but it’s not exactly the spicy kick in the mouth you expect from a chai.
I made this in my to-go insulated cup this morning, and actually forgot about it for a good 10 minutes or so. Two teaspoons of sugar and a dash of milk later, and I’m not even sure if it qualifies as a chai.
It’s been on the shelf a while, but I don’t think that would change it to this extent. Even with the over-steep it’s so mild you can taste the flower petals more than any of the spices. I like my chai very, very spicy. This just isn’t for me.
I’m trying to decide whether or not to throw it out. I have 2 or 2-1/2oz left, and I think it’s about 2 years old. At what age should you throw out tea?
Earlier this afternoon I had the Samurai Chai Mate from Teavana, and the grittiness left me with a desperate need to grab something to wash out the little granules it had left behind. The smoothness of this tea was a refreshing succor, while its taste was perplexing.
When I see a tea with lemon in its name, I can’t seem to avoid comparing it to Lemon Zinger. This was nothing like its lemon-drop effect – in fact, it’s difficult to even taste the lemon. All I can identify is a slight aftertaste. From the name, I was expecting something a little more in your face. But that’s okay – it’s nice and soothing, and that’s exactly what I was looking for this afternoon.
The skies are going crazy. Between the thunder and lighting (who just got a song stuck in their head?) and the tornado warnings throughout North Texas, I really need a calming cup.
Our school let out early today because of the storm, so I’m home hours before usual. My husband’s college is out for the summer, so I thought I’d find him lost in the Mists of Pandaria. Instead, I discover he’s gone walkabout and is still walking around in the sheeting rain. One fetched husband later, we’re both soaked. He from his walk and me from the simple journey to and from the car. We both need to warm up quickly.
Enter the tea. I used 2 tablespoons of tea and 2 tablespoons of sugar in my 3-cup pot. I noticed right of the bat that this was stirring up differently than the last batch. There is such an odd mix of big and little pieces in this tea that it needs a good shake before brewing in order to even it out. I didn’t take the time today, and it’s obvious. There are a lot more little pieces (maybe the mate?) that made it through the filter and are floating around on top. I’m not so thrilled about that part, but a generous dollop of cream later and it’s tasty, if a little more textured than I’d usually enjoy. But ohhh…. even with the rumblings and roars up above, it’s soothing.
Eeew! I typed too soon. A bunch of those little floating pieces drifted to the bottom of the cup, and I just swallowed a very unfortunate, chewy sip. Oh, they’re stuck in my throat! Yuck!
Okay, I’m going to go drink something else. Quickly. I don’t think this one, with it’s grainy grossness, is going to be replaced when we finish it. It’s really too bad, because I love the taste, but I’m not willing to deal with this nastiness again!