Backlogging (and, based almost entirely on my longer term memory. This one, too, has been a long time coming …)
Experience buying from Teavana http://steepster.com/places/2895-teavana-st-louis-missouri
Date of Purchase/Age of Leaf: Purchased at their 2010 end of year sale at a discount, and brewed up during most of 2011.
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: pretty standard for a decent quality green tea: nice looking medium-sized dark-green leaves, with a sweet vegetal aroma.
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’
Color and aroma of tea liquor: A clear yellow, tinged with green.
Flavor of tea liquor: A good sweet, vegetal flavor. It always held up well through three steepings (which is my standard number of steepings for my daily green teas).
Appearance of wet leaf: After buying and analyzing the leaves of unflavored green teas from Tea Trekker and Seven Cups, I noticed how most of the leaves and buds of the teas from those tea retailers were unbroken, and very fresh looking (even their older teas which I got on sale). So when I looked more closely at the leaves of this tea from Teavana I was surprised to see that the color of the leaves was a little pale, and that there were a number of bits and broken leaves, not many buds or bud sets, and quite a few stems (the teas from Seven Cups and Tea Trekker had almost none). I don’t exactly know how that affects the overall taste, if it does at all, but I suspect smaller/broken pieces won’t keep as long as there is overall greater surface area which can be exposed to air. But then again, who knows? Maybe it doesn’t matter. At least it didn’t seem to affect that taste.
Blends well with: I often blended this with other higher quality/fresher green teas, and it gladly took backstage to support the more noteworthy flavors of the accompanying tea!
Value: Although it is no longer available, it was not bad even at its regular price (I think it was a little less than $4/oz), but at the 50-75% discount, this tea was a bargain.
Overall: This was more or less the standard unflavored green tea I brewed up for much of 2011, and I am grateful for it’s exposing me to what a decent green tea has to offer. It was not finicky, had no off-tastes, or was ever astringent. Although I have a little of this left, having in the intervening months learned much about what to look for in a quality green, I have since moved on to other teas (strange, but in a way I feel like someone who just ‘dumped’ this tea for another. : – } ). Still, Teavana’s Three Kingdoms Mao Feng was my my first reasonable-quality, pleasant-tasting, loose-leaf green tea, and I will never forget it for the joy it gave me (I almost feel like I am giving an epitaph! Weird …).
This was my very first experience buying from a Teavana, and I will never forget it. It was the day after Christmas, my wife and I were walking in the mall, and she (not me) noticed Teavana had a 50% off sale. It never occurred to me to go into their store, as their teas are all beyond my price range. We met the best tea sales person I have ever met (Sean), bought four tins of tea at 50% off, and we walked out happy (and remained happy), having bought the Three Kingdoms Mao Feng and The Citron Sinota without even having tried them (A big risk, that happened to pay off). Anyway, it was a joyful experience, and I want log it as such. ; – )