1443 Tasting Notes
This is a sample I received from Teavana with an order I placed online back in October. It’s unique in that it has rock sugar mixed in with the tea leaves. I’ve never used rock sugar before, but supposedly it dissolves into the water as the tea steeps. Aside from the rock sugar, which looks and tastes just like the rock candy I used to eat as a kid, the tea has bits of apple, orange peel, and what I’m guessing is hibiscus. There are a few thin pieces of tea but definitely more fruit. It’s very fragrant and smells sweet, fruity, and a bit tart.
Immediately after pouring over the water, the liquid showed streaks of pink and peach. The tea leaves opened and the rest of the mix began to turn a ruby red. The rock sugar seems to have dissolved into the tea so we’ll see how sweet it is on its own. Hopefully the temperature and steep time are right.
There is a slight sweetness, but nothing like the samples they have in the store. I’m also not really tasting any citrus here. It’s definitely more berry.
A little bland, a little tart. Somewhat astringent. It’s not my favorite, but I think with a little honey it might be better.
Flavors: Astringent, Berry, Fruity, Sweet, Tart
When I first opened the tin for this tea, my initial thought was that it smelled just like Danish butter cookies. The resemblance is striking. Aside from the scent, I also noticed that each sachet was filled with tea leaves rather than the tiny, powdery bits I normally see in bagged tea.
This brewed up really dark and began smelling more like tea than cookies. I can still smell the vanilla but not in a big way. I’m not really tasting it either. I let the tea cool on my desk, and it has an even better flavor now. It’s even more pronounced than when warm so I think this may be a good one to drink chilled.
Overall, this tea didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It isn’t bad, but there seems to be something missing.
Flavors: Cookie, Vanilla
I’ll give it this – the tea leaves are beautiful. They twist and curl about, long strips of green and cream, supremely fragrant. I saw an infographic yesterday from chinalife that showed the many differences between loose leaf tea and bagged tea. On one side, two slumped, sodden bags of brown in a shallow puddle of tea. On the other, a mix of beautiful multicolored leaves unfurled to show their natural shapes. Don’t get me wrong – I like bagged tea. But there is something amazing about seeing tea as it’s meant to be, it’s pure form opening up in front of your eyes.
I mentioned above that this tea is very fragrant. It seems to lose that fragrance once steeped. It’s there, but lightly so. After a thirty-second steep (with no dipping), the liquid is a pale amber color. The leaves are slightly damp and have become a bright green.
And at last, all traces of bitterness are gone. I feel like I’m tasting this tea for the first time. Even without honey (which I almost always add) it is enjoyable. The flavor is gentle. It tastes entirely of tea. I’m not getting any of the bergamot here.
Side Note: I usually flush the caffeine with a thirty-second “pre-steep” but since Teavana says that white tea has an extremely low amount I decided to leave this one as is. I can definitely feel the effects of the caffeine since I never have it in my system so I’m not sure Teavana associates should be telling customers that this is virtually caffeine free. For those of us who are sensitive, even this small amount is noticeable.
Even at a super low temperature, this tea is still bitter on the aftertaste and is now leaving this weird drying sensation on my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Not only that, since I used a lower temperature it cooled much more quickly. This is quite undesirable.
I was surprised when I opened the bag and smelled mint first and foremost. I’ve had this tea before, but it’s been so long that I guess I forgot it had mint. It isn’t a menthol smell like I’ve had in other teas recently but more of a sweet mint.
This is very good. I can taste the chamomile but the mint also adds a little something extra. I don’t really taste the other ingredients (hibiscus, rose, sarsaparilla, licorice) but only chamomile with a bit of mint. It’s a good combination and a nice change from a basic chamomile.