Okay, so this time it wasn’t me, it was Chaos who got suckered into buying some samples so we’d have an even pound of tea and ended up spending $60-odd. What can I say, it’s good tea and great salespeople >.>
Sample: Raspberry Lemon Mate from Teavana
Description: A riot of fruity flavors-bright fruity raspberry meets zesty, zingy lemon creating an unforgettable twist on lemonade. The explosion of phenomenal fruit flavors are complemented by high-grade mate, red & golden delicious apple slices, and peppy lemon zest. Bold, brash, tart and terrific, it’s outstanding served over ice. SUPERFRUIT ENHANCED
Preparation: 208F for six minutes.
Review: “Wow, this smells strongly like strawberries,” commented Chaos while brewing, “Which is surprising because it’s raspberry.” This tea won’t do well for single-cups; you’re meant to use a teaspoon and a half per 8oz, but the chunks of dried fruit alone are usually larger than that. Much better for pots like we’re doing. It smells strongly like raspberry lemonade, tart and sweet. Kae took the first sip: “Mmm!” he said, short but pleased. Yami enjoyed as well – the tartness shines through first, but with sugar, it becomes much more lemonade-y. It still comes off as a touch thin, though, until a touch of soymilk (far less than normal black teas require) adds a bit of body to it, mellowing out some of the tart. Chaos says “I actually like this!”
Would Buy? Totally, all around. Which is amusing because the salesman tried to dissuade us from this in favor of more expensive leaves.
Sample: Zingiber Ginger coconut Roobois tea
Description: Set sail for a sensuous exotic journey to India. This Ayurvedic red rooibos wonder has a ginger, toasted coconut and black pepper zest smoothed over with the sweetness of cinnamon, golden delicious apple and almond. A sensually sublime and luxurious voyage of deliciousness. CONTAINS NUTS
Sweet Coconut with slightly spicy ginger undertones
Preparation: 208F for 6 minutes
Review: Smells chocolatey, in an odd way. Chaos tried it first: “Don’t like that tea as much. Seems kind of… I don’t really taste the coconut and the ginger just makes it kind of.. weird, really, rather than tasty.” Kae says it has a very mellow flavor; Chaos added “By mellow, you mean nonexistant,” but Kae replied “No, it’s there, but…. it’s very weird.” Yami didn’t expect to like it due to not liking coconut, but decided it tastes like water with a hint of ginger aftertaste more than anything else.
Would Buy? No across the board.
Sample:Spice of Life white tea
Description: With this nostalgic blend of orange peppered with toasted almond slices, spiced hazelnut and infused with a nutty cinnamon confection, you’ll feel connected with loved ones even if you are miles apart. Encounter fond memory’s warm embrace, softer with the love of white tea, creamy vanilla and caramel. CONTAINS NUTS
Sweet and spicy citrus infusion with satisfying nutty undertones
Preparation: 170F for 2 minutes
Review:It smells like Christmas to Yami. Chaos says it’s “kind of chocolatey”, and Kae says it smells like jellybeans (which he’d been eating all weekend). In other words, the scent is indescribable but quite pleasant. Yami tried a sip: no flavor. Just water. A slight hint of aftertaste. Three sugars, though, brings the potential of the scent to life in a blossom of spices and fruits. Still, a few bites of easter Apple Pie obliterates Yami’s ability to taste the tea once more — a very delicate flavor. Chaos declared the tea “not bad” and “kinda tasty”, and Kae announced that “this is kind of good, but I swear to god it tastes like jellybeans, I don’t know what’s going on.”
Would Buy? Yami has reservations, but the guys liked it.