Trader Joes Jasmine Pearls Tea
Trader Joe’s products are usually pretty good. So far, their tea is too. It’s not the best, but it’s definitely not the worst, and I have to give them credit for branching out and attempting to sell something not so mainstream! This Jasmine Pearl tea caught my attention because I had seen other loose leaf versions for about three times the price. A box of 15 silken tea pouches was less than $5. I think this is great because it gives people a way to try otherwise expensive tea in an economical way! The tea leaves for the most part are whole inside their tea pouches. Pearl shaped tea opens up to infuse the hay colored water with the scent of aromatic night-blooming jasmine. The flavor is delicate and slightly floral. Do not over steep or your tea will become bitter. Also — pay very close attention to water temperature when preparing this tea. Keep your temp at 180 degrees or below. The package directions say to bring water just up to boiling. This would probably work, but if you have a tea thermometer, I would test the temperature before dropping the tea pouch in. Overall, it’s a good tea for the money. I don’t know if this is a regular on the Trader Joe’s tea aisle lineup. I may need to stock up!
Twinings Cold Brew Mixed Berry
This is a great everyday and inexpensive tea. I’m not sure how the “cold brew” aspect of it works, but it’s a really refreshing tea. I did not sweeten it, but I’m sure it would taste nice with a bit of cane sugar or honey for those of you who like it sweet. It is easy to make and virtually impossible to mess up. I forgot it was cold brew and boiled water and steeped it (oops). It was bitter…but if you follow the directions it’s great! It is a medium bodied black tea with the slight flavor of berries. It has berry-aroma and is heavy on the black tea flavor upon the finish. Not bad for a supermarket coffee and tea isle boxed tea.
Iced Bangkok Green Tea
Today I’m sipping iced Bangkok green tea from my local tea shop, Franklin Tea. It’s a great green tea perfect for hot summer weather. Refreshing and cool, this tea produces a light green liquor with aromas of spicy, tart lemon. Whole pieces of lemongrass pair with sencha green tea and result in a great mixture of grassy green and mellow yet flavorful lemon. I think this would go great with Thai food!
Teavana Teas 2010-2011 Lineup
Youthberry – The Teavana guy made me a cup of this, iced – to go. I took a couple of sips as I stepped outside the tea shop and immediately went back in and bought loose leaf Youthberry to take home with me! It is so very good! I generally don’t prefer white teas because I think they are a bit weak, but this one is full of flavor! Love it, love it, love it! It has an odd smell when you open up the bag/tin but does not at all taste bad. It’s yummy. Fruity, Light in body, delicate white tea.
Lavender Dreams – This tea was just “okay” to me. At [$] per 2 ounces – I would expect to like it more. Needless to say, I drank all of it that I bought. I thought it needed some more pizazz, however – if you are looking for a soothing, low caffeine nighttime tea,this one is for you. The lavender flavor made me think of drinking bubble bath. That, mixed with the naturally mellow white tea just wasn’t enough flavor for my tastes. Perfumy, delicate, light in body.
Strawberry Misaki – This is a blooming tea and it is as beautiful to look at as it is to taste. The taste is pretty simple…strawberry white tea. I appreciate white teas, but they are not my favorite because I think they are a bit weak. This is one of the most flavorful blooming teas I have tasted as well as one of the most flavorful white teas. This can be resteeped several times. The delicate flavor of white tea pairs well with the full bodied fruitiness of strawberry. There is nothing artificial about this tea. Expensive, but a great investment or gift. Worth the money. Light in body, berry, fruit flavors. Beautiful beige colored liquor.
To Life – I bought this because I was interested in how all of the teas in it’s description would mingle in flavor. It is a great blend of white tea, green tea and red tea. My only complaint would be the fact that I wish there was more white and green than the rooibos tropica in this blend. I would recommend this to those who are beginning tea drinkers. It’s full of health benefits and tastes really good. Medium Bodied. Citrusy with hints of lemon and orange. Light in color.
Matcha – I’ve always wanted to try Matcha and finally did when A Teavana salesperson gave me all the info I needed to know about Matcha preparation. This is VERY green, green tea – beautiful flavor, beautiful color. I’ve got an electric frothing tool that I mixed mine with and that was just fine but I’m putting a matcha whisk and bowl on my wishlist! The only odd thing about this tea is the fact that there will be sediment in the bottom of your drinking vessel. This is normal for Matcha green tea, however, some people may not like it. It tastes great, but looks like swamp sludge. Full bodied green tea with grassy and vegetal flavors. Smooth and creamy when whisked. Full in body (somewhat thick in fact). Bright green liquor.
Blackberry Mojito – I got a cup of this to go when I was out shopping one day. I’ve never tried a blackberry green tea before this. It had the characteristic light green tea flavor mixed with ripe berries. Although I enjoyed my iced version, I suspect this would be even better when prepared as a hot tea. This would be a nice introductory tea to those who want to take advantage of a green tea’s health benefits without sipping straight green tea. The blackberry flavors really compliment the green tea. Full bodied green tea with ripe berry flavors of blackberry. Vegetal and grassy. Red in color once brewed.
Sencha – Sencha is a great basic for any tea enthusiasts tea supply! It’s great when consumed on it’s own as well as mixed with other teas (especially fruity herbals). Any tea lover should make sure they never run out of this. As always, Teavana’s Sencha green tea is very fresh and very high quality. As with all green teas, make sure you pay attention to water temperature as well as steep time in order to ensure the flavor develops as intended. Full Bodied green tea with typical grassiness and vegetal flavors found in green teas. Somewhat nutty. Beautiful light green liquor once steeped. Sencha is from Japan.
Raspberry Soiree – This is wonderful when prepared iced. I bought some at my local Teavana retail shop and drank it all up within a week. I was impressed by the amount of big, succulent raspberries in the loose leaf green tea. It’s amazing that something entirely natural could taste so good…even unsweetened. My 4 year old often asks me to make this for her! Medium bodied green tea with tastes of ripe raspberries. Sweet on it’s own. Pink liquor. Better iced.
Toasted Nut Brulee – I love Oolong teas. They are among my favorite because they are so complex. There is no complexity to the Oolong leaves in this tea because they are so heavily masked by the other flavors of nuts and other added spices. It you are trying to “not taste” the Oolong tea because for some reason you don’t like it – then a tea like this would be for you. All I taste in this tea is the nuts and spices – no oolong. I’ll drink what I have in my pantry, but it is not my favorite. Full bodied, nutty, toasty, roasty and spicy oolong. Nice light brown liquor perfect served hot. Great winter time tea.
Sweet Oolong Revolution – This is such an excellent flavor combination. As with all Teavana products, it is bursting from the tin with big whole pieces of tea, fruit and spices. I could drink continuous cups of this. It’s very soothing and is the essence of what I think the Autumn and Winter seasons would “smell” like if they could have a scent attached to them. The aroma coming from my tea infuser makes my entire kitchen smell so yummy! Malty Oolong with spices and autumn aromas. Pumpkin, mellow oolong, spices and clove make this an autumn favorite.
Kimiya Papaya Oolong – This tea smells really good, but when prepared – there is something that tastes a bit artificial. I don’t sweeten any of my teas; consequently, I may be missing out on an enjoyable tea if I would just add sugar! Maybe that’s what it needs. I have prepared this one both iced and hot and concur that it is better iced! Full bodied, citrusy with heavy notes of pineapple and papaya and tropical. Light colored liquor…great iced.
Weight To Go – I love this combination of flavors. Pu-Erh on it’s own is often an acquired taste, as it is earthy, and minerally…almost exhibiting a dirt-like flavor. When paired with the other ingredients in this tea, Pu-Erh gets a much needed makeover. Pretty berry and mint flavors mingle together with rustic Pu-Erh, making this tea one of the most unique flavor experiences I have ever tasted. The added benefit of aiding in weight loss is something to feel good about as well. Full bodied black tea. Earthy and minty with slight notes of berry. Wonderful iced, this tea produces a deep ruby liquor that instantly refreshes.
Strawberry Slender Pu-erh – This is a full bodied black tea flavored with strawberry bits. It smells both musty and strawberry-ish. If the aroma and smell of a crypt could be captured…I think pu-erh tea would capture it beautifully! Pu-erh is so earthy and musty. This is a very strong, full bodied tea…not for everyone. It’s not one of my personal favorites but it’s worth trying if you are looking for something different. You will definitely not find this blend anywhere else. Strong, musty and somewhat astringent. Almost black in color once brewed. Better iced.
Peach Cran-Tango – Black tea with flavors of peach and cranberry. Like all Teavana blends, this one is bursting with fruit. Unfortunately, the fruit flavors make this one taste very artificial. Some of the fruit inside this particular blend is candied and I think that this creates an artificial sweetness once brewed. This is a very strong, full bodied black tea with full flavors of cranberry and peach.
Strawberry Lemonade – Throw out the sugary drinks marketed for your kids and introduce them to this! It tastes just like it’s name and is wonderful when prepared iced and even unsweetened. The fruitiness of this tea blend emerges as a tart as well as sweet flavor when left to steep for the maximum time recommended on the label. I made a big pitcher of it and stuck it in the fridge. It was gone within 2 days. My pre-schooler loves it and I feel good about her drinking this! Heavy lemongrass flavors steep with berry flavors in a light pink cup.
Tranquil Dream – (formerly known as Night Night Tea) This is chamomile-based, so it is very soothing. I brought a couple of ounces home with me so I would have something non-caffeinated to enjoy in the evenings. I can’t necessarily say that it made me sleep any better, but I can compliment it’s high quality whole chamomile flowers and other ingredients. It’s a nice alternative to caffeinated teas! Buttery chamomile pairs with mint. Heavy on the chamomile. Great hot…this infusion produces a soothing light yellow liquor.
Azteca Fire – Azteca Fire was the first tea I ever tried from Teavana. I couldn’t get enough of it or Teavana’s other teas for that matter. It’s the tea that started it all for me! It’s a chocolaty mix of toasty, roasty, nuttiness with a crazy little pop of pepper upon the finish. This one should not be passed up!Full bodied and spicy! If you only try one tea from Teavana…try this one. Such a fun tea.
Sweet Fruit Garden – This is a tea that is bursting with fresh fruit flavors. It is a bit sour if over steeped. Try it iced instead of hot. Sweet fruit garden is a wonderful tea for loose leaf tea beginners. Entirely herbal, this tea is even great for kids. Mix it up by the pitcher and offer it instead of juice. Sweeten if you must, but I prefer it straight-up, unsweetened. The flavors of the fruit sweeten it naturally. Bright red liquor. Heavy fruit flavors of berry and orange.
Swiss Vervaine Melange – Chamomile, rose buds, lavender, mint, lemongrass and vervaine come together in this soothing blend. Great relaxation tea…drink it before bed and drift off to dreamland. It’s a light herbal. Caffeine free. This is one to drink hot – not very good iced. Beautiful beige liquor is both soothing and relaxing.
Blueberry Bliss – Caramel, cookie, blueberry, tart…these flavors come together to blend into a great tea. Nice flavor either iced or hot. Quality is never a problem with this tea. There are whole blueberries in the mix. Good tea for those suffering from allergies. Rooibos is a natural antihistamine. Great rooibos tea for beginning rooibos drinkers. Heavy berry aromas blend with caramel-y rooibos producing a dark ruby cup with flavors of a breakfast cereal bar.
Zingiber Ginger Coconut – I’m not really into coconut or ginger but I decided to give this one a try when I was pregnant because it was one to the few teas that didn’t have odd herbs in it that I was scared of. It’s a high quality tea but I simply do not like these flavors mixed together. I think it tastes a bit like suntan lotion. It is definitely better hot than iced. I ended up throwing out an entire tin of this because I couldn’t get past the smell and taste of sun tan lotion. Not my favorite blend from Teavana. Light colored liquor with spicy ginger aromas and coconut flavors. Medium bodied with hints of pepper. Cookie-like rooibos balances out the spiciness.
Rooibos Tropica – Rooibos Tropica is a great rooibos to have on hand because you can enjoy it alone or as a base to mix your other teas with. Mild rooibos tea pairs wonderfully with tropical flavors. It’s citrusy, sunny and warm…in a cup! I’m convinced that beach bars would double their business if they served this in addition to those fruity, tropical drinks! Citrusy, light and tropical. A great light rooibos full of pineapple, mango and papaya flavors.
Apple Lemon Pomegranite – Great alternative to apple juice. The natural fruit flavors in this tea sweeten it just enough for my preferences, making it a naturally calorie-free, sugar-free alternative to drinking fruit juice. Full bodied herbal tea. This is better iced rather than hot. It is full bodied and flavorful with hints of apple and lemongrass. Not too bitter.
Rooibos Peach Bloom – Cookie/pastry flavors of rooibos mix with juicy peach. Peacy-colored, light liquor… I think this tea tastes like peach cobbler! This is better hot rather than iced and is a great tea to have on hand to make your own custom mixers and blends.
JavaVana Mate – This is a great alternative to coffee. Mate tea is a natural energy booster like caffeine, however, it won’t give you that jittery feeling often associated with caffeinated drinks. This mate blend tastes a lot like coffee and has creamy notes of vanilla and chocolate. Drink hot. Not good iced. This is a very full bodied blend perfect for the coffee lover.
Mate Vana – Roasty and chocolaty mate. Instant pick me up tea. Full bodied. Drink hot…not very good cold, as the flavors run together once cooled. Dark liquor with chocolate aromas and flavors.
My Morning Mate – Cocoa blends with roasted mate. This is an interesting blend because there is a bit of orange flavor. Almond flavors also mix well with this infusion. This tastes like a “morning” should taste like. Beautiful alternative to coffee without the caffeine crash associated with coffee. Drink hot.