20 Tasting Notes
Mmmmh. I had forgotten that I had this tea until I was doing some tin-cycling. Skinny Chai Pu-erh has a very spicy smell to it and the flavor is fabulous. I didn’t have to sweeten it at all, it was so flavorful. It has a really good tartness to the flavor and a sweetness to the beginning of the sip.
I don’t think it makes you lose weight but it tastes pretty awesome and is a good tea to start the day with.
So this tea is pretty much my favorite tea ever. Like, when I woke up feeling all ‘Blerg’ this morning, I made this.
I don’t know why its my favorite. I generally do not like Earl Grey anything. But this I adore.
I made it this morning for me and the boy who came over to chop off the top of my lawn with a big machine. As I was brewing I said, “Oh, and this is my Earl Grey Creme” and he said, through a mouthful of whatever the heck I made this morning, “I know. I can smell it.”
….y’all. This boy knows only about three types of tea. “Sweet Tea” “Sweet Tea with Lemon” and “The Froo-froo stuff you’re drinking.” So if that tells you how often I brew this bad boy, then you know that I love it.
So I totally intended to write this last night when I made this tea.
I bought it because I wanted to see what it tasted like after reading some reviews for it here. since it’s been on my list due to the fabulous smell, I just went ahead and got some last time I was at Teavana.
Well…I got three sips in and promptly dropped the entirety of it on my floor and had to panic clean up my computer, ipod, and purse.
You guys. That was pretty fail.
So while I really liked the three sips I took, I don’t think it was enough to give a good review. So for now, this tea has an 80 score with me because I barely got to TASTE any of it.
But it smelled so good and I do remember the chocolaty notes.
At the end of this rambling, there will be a tea note. Skip past the stars if you want to ignore said rambling.
So when I was first introduced to tea, it was World Market’s brand of bagged teas. I loved jasmine as my first ever non-Red Diamond or Brisk tea. It led me to explore many more teas of the herbal variety and finally, after about a year in college, my sister introduced me to Teavana. My opinions about the company are for some discussion thread somewhere else, as teas go, they were my first experience with loose leaf tea and brewing a tea based on temperature and steep time instead of, “Just stick the bag in some boiling water until the water turns dark.”
Its taken a lot of years of practice, tasting, drinking and exploring to just get to know the difference between what I like and what I don’t like.
And that is where Garden Aria comes in.
While its not a straight white tea such as silver needle, it is very delicate. It was also the first white tea I ever bought.
Sadly, I bought this when it went on its 50% sale of retirement about a year ago. I still have about 1/2 of my tin left, but when it goes, I shall be a very sad panda.
I really recommend being careful with your water temperature when brewing this one because it has a temperament to it. I love the taste of it sweetened or not, but generally, I prefer it with a sweetener. This morning I used honey. Plain ol’ in the bear-shaped bottle honey.
When you first sip this tea, it comes to the tongue with a warm tartness. I can taste the raspberry and cherry notes, but the white comes through very well. I know there is some strawberry in here, but the raspberry really is stronger.
It was my morning tea today, and since I had to work, I made a 2-cup travel cup AND 2 cups to put in my briefcase thermos. (I really love these things. Its a Thermos brand I got on sale at Target ages ago and it perfectly keeps my tea hot. When I have finished what’s in the travel mug, I can just refill it! Huzzah for a quart of tea!) When my day was getting annoying or stressful, I’d zip back to the back of the store and get a mouthful of happiness.
If anyone has tried this before, can you suggest anything similar to it? I’ve probably got at least 24 to 20 more cups left in the tin, but since I usually brew 4 cups at a time…well. Replacements are going to be searched for soon!
So the description calls this a ‘Dinner Tea’ which is not an opinion I share AT ALL. For me, this is a breakfast tea.
Today I made this before I headed out the door to meet a friend for some shopping. I brewed it in my ‘Perfect Tea Maker’ infuser and kept it in my travel mug for the day. It took me several delicious hours to drink my CM, but I have learned something that I didn’t really think about before.
One: Do not, and I really do repeat this, DO NOT drink this lovely, piping hot cuppa with your food that you got from the food court. Because as delicious as this tea is, it does not do a good job of washing down the spicy potatoes from the Manchu Wok at the mall’s food court.
When I first drank it this morning, I tasted a lot of the mint. But the aroma of the chocolate gave the tea the cocoa undertones. It was so smooth and yummy. I sweetened it with rock sugar and really tasted that great chocolate flavor after I got to the bottom of the cup. Its a comfort tea and a great one to start your day with.
Just…maybe not if you are going to eat spicy food.
So I found this tea via Teavana’s ‘Tea of the Week’ in their newsletter. I usually ignore those due to not having one close by, but since the store finally opened in my area, I was able to go and being what I hope will be a tradition of getting a cup of the ‘Tea of the Week’.
This week it was the Yuan Dynasty Golden Tips. What a mouthful! My first impression of the tea was brewed a little too hot but had, at first sip, a really spicy sort of bite to it. After it cooled just a bit though, I found its flavor to be VERY similar to the ‘Snowy Peak Downy Tips’, which while a good tea, is one I already had.
I don’t think I will be buying this tea until my Snowy Peak runs out.
Alright so this is a tasting note not just on the tea but on the brewing process. So first of all, I usually brew tea in my ‘Perfect Tea Maker’ infuser from Teavana, but since I found myself over at the boy’s house for the weekend and he didn’t HAVE an infuser, I had to improvise. Teavana and other tea places try and convince us that we NEED their extra fancy equipment to make a delicious cuppa, but I find that this isn’t true. So, since I was going to make this tea into a cold brew, first I decided how much to make. Since I wanted to share it and make use of it for a couple of days, I made a 12 cup batch. I boiled up 6 cups of water in his dinged up old kettle and when the water got to the 208 temp (I guessed. I’ve been brewing tea long enough to guesstamate the right heat level) I just took that bad boy off the heat, tossed in four tablespoons of tea and then let it brew.
The great thing about the kettle method is that while his kettle isn’t the newest or the fanciest, it keeps heat really well. Plus, it holds more than my 32 oz perfect tea maker, making life a bit easier in terms of brewing up a big pitcher.
Something I’ve had to learn by trial and error is the perfect concentration of tea and water when brewing a cold tea. I used to think it was silly to add two teaspoons or whatever the doubled amount was, but really…weak cold tea doesn’t taste as good as a strong iced brew. At least in my opinion.
Anyway, after that little beastie was all nice and steeped, I just held a hand strainer the pitcher and added 6 cups of icy cold water to the brew then stuck it in my fridge. I chose to sweeten it with white sugar but you could use any method you want for that. I also add my sugar while the tea is hot so that it dissolves easier.
This ended up making 12 cups of Strawberry Lemonade Tea and I am going to enjoy drinking it for the next few days instead of my usual black sweet tea blend!
Well Birmingham finally got a Teavana today! It’s really hard to get quality tea in the area since Mrs. Rosemarie’s closed last year and I was thrilled. Since it’s been very hot outside, I ordered the Strawberry Lemonade tea iced. I am still getting the trick of brewing iced teas from leaves, but my Teavana barrister Sam did a fab job. I love the tangy fruitiness of this tea and adding the Teavana rock sugar really brings out the notes of strawberry. Over all, it’s my favorite tea this summer.
So I like this tea a lot. Its got sort of an earthy taste to me. I usually add some white honey or regular honey as a sweetener instead of a sugar because the taste can be really delicate, what with it being a white tea and all. Its really sad that Teavana doesn’t sell it anymore, but maybe they will bring it back. Over all one of my favorite white teas.