The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

Snagged this tea bag from my hotel room and brewed a cup after singing a song at a hardcore show, to soothe my throat and perhaps take it down a notch. Chamomile tea usually grosses me out a bit and tastes like licking the weedeater after doing the lawn in May. This tea is smooth and actually tastes palatable. There’s a slight honey sweetness to it and a mild aroma of wildflowers.

Flavors: Fennel Seed, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

Sipdown! (92/395)

So I finally get around to giving this tea a more detailed note. It’s not going to be as detailed as some others I’ve written because I just don’t have as much to say about this tea, but it will at least be better than my last couple on this tea because I was paying attention this time! This was part of a hapatite tea swap I did a while back with a lovely girl named Mina, who as far as I know isn’t present here on Steepster. If you’re other there, Mina, thank you!

I find it weird that this tea is called ‘sunrise’ because I always associate honeybush with night time, and never really drink it in the morning. Each time I’ve drank this has been before bed, and maybe some of my issue with this comes from the fact that it was zingier than I expect for that time of day. I’ve written in a previous note that this gave me an ‘orange fondant’ sort of association, and after lookng at the ingredients and finding that this contains orange peel and vanilla it doesn’t seem so surprising! The malva flowers add a weird sort of botanticals note which I don’t think goes overly well with the other flavours, and I’m starting to think that I’m not a marshmallow fan at all. Other than that, though, it’s not a bad tea. The honeybush has a nice honey note which sweetens the orange, and added to the vanilla this creates an orange flavour which tastes something like an all-natural orange sweet. It’s not quite fresh fruit orange flavour, but it’s not artificial-tasting either.

I drank my last cup of this accidentally iced – there wasn’t as much water in the kettle as I expected, so I ended up brewing the tea bag in only around 4 or 5 oz of water, and then I got distracted scrolling through instagram and left it brewing for probably close to 20 minutes! By the time I remembered about it it was on its way to cold anyway, and with it being much more concentrated than expected I thought it would be best if I just topped it up with another 4 or 5 oz of iced water and called it a day. This turned out to be a happy accident, because even though I was more in the mood for a hot tea at the time, this is much less cloying iced and I think that I actually preferred it this way! The flavour combination just works better iced somehow, and the orange is more present than the malva, vanilla and honey which blend together to create a sweet backnote. We parted on good terms.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65

It seems my previous note on this tea was brief too, but I still have one more teabag so I’ll make sure that that one (eventually) is detailed. I’m too tired tonight and just found out some really sad news so I don’t really feel like writing much.

It’s okay. A bit cloying and a bit boring, but I certainly don’t mind drinking it. I still can’t place the scent and the aftertaste is really familiar. It’s putting a sort of ‘orange fondant’ idea in my head but I don’t know where I would have had that… I didn’t pay attention to steeping time/temperature at all and added a tiny bit of cream just because I had it on hand.

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65

Still feeling meh so I’ll keep it brief. This smells and tastes really familiar – I think it reminds me of a Bluebird blend? That’s going to bug me for a while. Surprisingly tangy, but tasty. I can’t pick out individual notes right now but I’ve moved it into my focus box so will write up another review when I’m feeling better.

Preparation
Boiling

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75

A sample from Miss B. It’s cold and wet out again today. Did someone say summer? Anyway, cold and wet to me signals chai, and I had this blend sitting in my drawer so, serendipity? The dry leaf looked to be mostly spices – whole cardamon pods, whole red peppercorns, whole cloves, pieces of cinnamon bark and ginger root, plus a few fennel seeds. There’s very little actual black tea, so I went for a pretty generous 2 tsp of leaf, mainly because I like my chai bold and the amount of additions makes me worry for the actual “tea” aspect.

Anyway, after 4 minutes in boiling water, I’ve got a pretty robust result – enough to take a generous splash of milk without appearing thin. To taste, it’s pretty much a standard chai, although with a hearty kick of spice. The cardamon and clove are predominant, but there’s a pleasingly warming swirl of cinnamon in the mid-sip. The ginger is a bit lost, as is the pepper, although there’s a warming tingle at the back of my throat that serves as a reminder that they’re there.

All in all, not bad. It’s decently spicy, which is something I look for in a chai, and the base is more robust than I thought it might be initially. It probably wouldn’t be a restock, simply because there are other chai blends that are equally good, and more readily available in the UK. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this one, though. Thanks again, Miss B!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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50

An okay tea; I wouldn’t say it is bland but nothing outstanding either. All the flavors are a bit laid back.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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82

Went wonderfully with a little milk and sugar. Would drink again!

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94

Very vanilla!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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33

I’ve been trying to save this tea – save it from the trash can. I think I’m going to fail. The flavoring of this tea is so off that I can’t come up with a good explanation. Think citrus oil and turpentine…something is horribly wrong. I’ve had this tea for several months and knew it was a problem from opening the can the first time. The wave of chemical smell was intense. I tried it anyway and got chemical taste. I have let it sit, open to the air, for two months now, All I can say is “at least my desk area doesn’t smell like solvents any more”. I’ve just shaken the can, moved the satchets around…its still there.
Pass on this one.
Edit: went back in history and found an old review of English Earl Grey (Blue Knight Special) by TeaFountain that I did a few years ago. This one reminded me of the Blue Knight Special.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70

This is a nice change from the normal black tea, though it is fairly generic. I do enjoy the tropical flavour, though not as strong as I would like it to be.

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77

My after lunch tea here… not like I don’t have enough teas from home to try, but I didn’t get out of the house early enough to even wash my hair, much less think about what teas to bring in to my temp job.

Most cherry teas are disappointing because they taste so medicinal. That’s sad to me especially as cherries are one of my favorite fruits! (I like frozen cherries on my oatmeal or just as a dessert). This has a very authentic, natural cherry aroma.

As for the flavor, well… it’s very nice. The Taiwanese green tea is light and vegetal and reminds me of a Chinese green tea. Overall the cherry flavor is present but subtle and there is a bit of a flowery component as well. This was much better than I thought it would be, but I’m not sure I love it. The Moroccan Mint from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is outstanding though. This is nice for an afternoon cuppa but wouldn’t go on a list of my favorites. I think the best way to desribe this is “nice” but not outstanding.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Have you had Cherry Blossom Green from Harney? I thought the cherry flavor was light when I first tried, but as my palate grew a bit I found that I enjoyed it a lot. The downside is that I want loose leaf, and you have to buy a pound to get it loose.

TeaBrat

I don’t think I have, will have to check it out someday!

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72

I drank a few cups of this when we visited California. As far as peach teas go, it’s pretty average – good enough to have another cup, but not worth buying a box. To be honest I didn’t really even notice the oolong.

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I am going to review this tea as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf company sells it as in a package with their vanilla hot chocolate mix.
I hosted a tea latte party with 8 friends and used this tea and the white hot chocolate mixture in a french press and it was a stunner. Sure it may have a lot of sugar and all, but it taste fantastic and I will probably buy more again when the winter comes back around.

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I didn’t expect much from this tea just because of the size and price, but I was surprised by my findings. This is in contest for the top 10 hot steeped to chilled teas I have ever had. The blueberry pomegranate works so well with the blend of leaf that is in this tea and for the price and quantity (which does not change any rating because that is about the tea only) just blows my mind after I’ve tried many fruity oolongs that don’t taste that good when chilled.

Preparation
2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

I think that this is some of the BEST tea I’ve ever had. It’s pretty spicey and very sweet, super Christmasy!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Rooibos, Spices, Spicy, Sweet

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1

The hubby and I (and our froglet) were whizzing through the Atlanta airport last night when we spied this cafe in an alcove, so we decided to check them out. I didn’t get anything, because I was dreadfully overheated, but he ordered this tea. He sweetened it and we dashed, thinking he could stir it later. In a few minutes, as we were approaching the base of an escalator, he stopped at a trash can and took out what looked to be a GIANT teabag full of WAY too much leaf. Seriously, this was enough tea for a large pot, steeped in his maybe 16-oz. to-go cup. On top of that, when we finally had a moment to tend the tea, we realized that the wooden stirrer was not long enough to reach the bottom of the cup (wonderful), so we couldn’t even properly dissolve the sugar.

What with the over leafing and the useless sugar sitting in the bottom of the cup, this was undrinkable. A very disappointing experience. I suppose I blame the business more than the tea, but I have to rate it based on something.

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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50

What’s to say? its chamomile…. tastes like it, smells like it, and puts my wee one to bed; does the trick, but’s not for me.

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67

There is a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf store on my way to class so I picked up a Chai Rooibos to try. I guess the tea buying moratorium for this month has a loophole, in that I’m not counting cups of tea I’ve bought in a store.

So, where to begin on this one… for one I was surprised that a single teabag provided enough flavor for about 16 oz. of hot water. The one strange element in this blend is that it contains licorice. I thought this would make it too sweet, so I didn’t add sugar, just soymilk. By the time I got to class I decided it wasn’t sweet enough, so I added a sugar in the raw packet. It’s not too often I find a tea that has a licorice flavor without having the cloying sweetness of licorice root. Otherwise, this was okay, lots of cinnamon and clove as well but I wouldn’t say this stands head and shoulders over other chai rooibos blends I’ve had. I would probably order it again if I was in the mood for something like this.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

Wow, what a day it has been, full of freaks and weirdos. I don’t even want to write about it, just glad to be home and there are a lot of strange people coming out in S.F. after 9 pm.

So I went into the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf looking for something to revive me before my class. I asked the guy at the counter for advice about whether to put sweetener in this and he said to add vanilla powder. I thought this was nice, it was in a mesh teabag and definitely had a good strawberry flavor as well as something “cream” like that didn’t seem too artificial. I would get this one again if I was out and about but I have a lot of flavored green teas right now and don’t need anymore in my house!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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40

I purchased this Vanilla Earl Grey limited edition at Amazon.com, unaware that it had been created specifically for Amazon by The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. There was some sort of promo, and somehow I ended up paying about $8 for six cans. Now they are selling exactly the same thing for $35. It seemed like a good gamble at the time, given my love of Earl Grey cream teas.

So the tea. From appearances, this should be fantastic: full-leaf single estate Ceylon along with an abundance of dried rose petals! There are also chunks of unknown stuff. I wish that I could figure out what they are, since they look like neither bergamot nor vanilla to me. What else could they be?

Artificial flavoring numbers among the ingredients, and unfortunately I find the scent a bit overwhelming. This does not smell like roses or vanilla. It smells like something else. I was hoping that the aroma would evaporate off and I’d be left with a lovely Vanilla Earl Grey. Sadly, the aroma is also a strong flavor.

I have had negative experiences with this company before in the past. They use a lot of artificial ingredients which seem to ruin otherwise good compositions. I’ll pass on their deals at Amazon in the future. I drank this glass but did not enjoy it very much. I’ve been spoiled by so many excellent pure teas of late. The superficial charms of flavored blends are becoming less and less appealing to me, and all the more when they boast black box artificial ingredients which do not add to but detract from the taste of the tea itself.

Fortunately, I love the sleek tins. I’ll be peeling off the labels and using them for more noble teas.

Perhaps Jeff Bezos should consider reining in his hyperactive diversification activities. Drones, the Washington Post, $500 million dollar contracts with the CIA, “My Habit”(a social-shopping company), limited edition teas? What next?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
MzPriss

I am stopping my Amazon dealings over this last business with not listing books by a certain publisher because they want a better deal.

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80

Grabbed a loose leaf tin of this at the San Jose store, and am glad I did. It’s a mild chai, smooth and mellow, with a hint of vanilla. I might be slightly biased here, as I bought it from a lovely young gent that told me I’d have to come back to try more… just to have my tell him I live in Vancouver, Canada, and that the trip I just returned from might be my last to that specific area.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

Fingers crossed that he’s there if you go back ;)

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79

Odd how the reviews for this are quite poor, yet I had it iced the other day in-house at one of the San Jose stores, and I really liked it. Couldn’t even taste the rooibos, found it sweet even with zero sweetener, and lightly spiced. I’d definitely have more if I were to find myself in that same parking lot in the middle of nowhere again.

Preparation
Iced 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Tried another iced tea at the local Coffee Bean. The tea base was rather bitter and didn’t have distinguishing qualities, and I’m not sure whether that was due to variations in in-store preparation, or the quality of the tea itself. Or maybe, as the name suggests, it was meant to be imbibed with a heaping amount of sugar. The rose fragrance was distinct, but didn’t really improve the experience. At any rate, the Pacific Coast blend is a much better example of a good iced tea from this brand.

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88

Had this while out enjoying the beautiful weather today. It turned out to be one of the best coffeeshop iced teas I’ve tried. It has a clean, robust, fragrant flavor. There are no additives or other ingredients, and the tea has a natural, unmistakeable fruity sweetness somewhere between peach and muscat, with a touch of smokiness.

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