Review: Tavalon Serenity

Chamomile Tea, Herbal Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Peppermint tea, Rooibos Tea, Tavalon, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Laura’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Oh, Serenity, how happy I am to have found you! I have several herbal teas that are my go-to night time teas. This one will be joining them soon."
Laura’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Cindy gave it 8/10, Numi gave it 6.5/10, Vanessa gave it 6.5/10, David_A gave it 7.5/10
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serenity.jpgOh, Serenity, how happy I am to have found you! I have several herbal teas that are my go-to night time teas. This one will be joining them soon. I do enjoy a relaxing tea with chamomille at night after I put that 2 year old wrecking ball to bed…lol. Tavalon lists the ingredients for Serenity as chamomille, peppermint, lemongrass, rooibos and vanilla. When I initially read them I was concerned that the peppermint would totally dominate the blend and that the vanilla would be an afterthought if at all detectable.

This one is prepared like a typical herbal–212 water temp and steep for 5 minutes. It brews up to a nice yellow-orange color and smells wonderful. Obviously, peppermint is the dominate scent and taste, but I can also detect some chamomille and vanilla! The lemongrass and rooibos aren’t too prominent for me, but this wonderful. I do like that it has a little rooibos because one can never get enough antioxidants. I tasted this one both with and without a little sugar and could drink it either way. I also love having a bit of peppermint with my night time tea as it is naturally soothing to the tummy and it leaves your mouth feeling clean. However, for me it is that hint of vanilla that makes this tea special though. It is a little subtle but makes it even more soothing and delicious.

I could stand for this to have a touch more vanilla and may add a bit of vanilla rooibos to the concoction so that I can have it. However, I just love this and am pleased that I think I can still get two more cups from my sample! I suspect this one will be a regular in my tea stash. It is a tiny bit pricey unless you order it in larger quantities so I am gonna hurry and place my order while that 20% discount for Teaviews readers is still available! If you are seeking a good night time herbal with rooibos, then you should too!

Special Offer! For a limited time, Tavalon is offering 25% off for Teaviews Readers. Use the promo code: teaviews when you order at Tavalon

Teaviews Member: Laura Laura
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Review: Teavana Formosa Nut Oolong

Almond Tea, Apple Tea, Oolong Tea, Pistachio Tea, Teavana No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Rather than melding tea base and flavors together, the oolong tea was first on the palette, followed separately by a general fruit-and-nut flavor."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Babette gave it 6.5/10
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formosanut.jpgTeavana’s Formosa Nut Oolong is one of those teas that, based on its online description and appearance, had me beyond excited to sample. Teavana describes the blend as “A complex combination of Chinese and Taiwanese oolong teas with sweet fruity and nutty overtones from apples, pistachios, almonds, and candied violet flowers”. My first reaction to this description was: “Candied violet flowers?????” Sure enough, when I received my sample, the candied violet flowers were the visual star in this sample. Covered in pastel purple sugar, the flowers almost resembled shriveled Peeps marshmallow candies. The blend also contained large pieces of apple, slivered almonds, and pieces of pistachio. The fruit and nut ingredients are all flavors I really enjoy, and I was intrigued by the candied violet flowers, so needless to say I was really looking forward to tasting this tea. I prepared the tea as recommended by Teavana, steeping the tea in sub-boiling water for 3 minutes, although I used a little more than the recommended one teaspoon of leaves. As with many good-quality oolongs, the leaves, when infused, became very large and voluminous. So far, this was looking to be a tasty treat. But, eventually my high expectations gave rise to some minor disappointment. My first sip of this tea produced a very awkward aftertaste, although as I progressed through the cup, the aftertaste became less noticeable. The aftertaste was a sugary-almond flavor, but was just a little too strong. I felt as though rather than melding tea base and flavors together, the oolong tea was first on the palette, followed separately by a general fruit-and-nut flavor. Additionally, I was surprised that the tea seemed watered down, despite my using more than the directed amount of leaves. I never really tasted much of the candied violet flowers…perhaps the sugar contributed to some of the sweet flavors, but I couldn’t really taste any violet notes in the blend. In all, although this tea was certainly drinkable and a bit different than your average oolong, I didn’t love it nearly as much as I thought I would. I think this is one of those teas that sounds good in theory, and whose appearance looks impressive and appealing. But, as many of us have noted before, ultimately, tea is for drinking. If the blend can’t deliver on the flavor, than not even all of the candied violet flowers in the world will redeem it.

Special Offer! Free Shipping on orders over $50! If you're interested in purchasing this tea or others from Teavana, shop now by clicking this link: Shop Teavana for Teas and Tea Accessories

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Mighty Leaf Mountain Spring Jasmine

Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Mighty Leaf No Comments »
Kari’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The jasmine flower aroma came though strongly with the dry leaves but when they were infused, more traditional green tea undertones were presented."
Kari’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Nicole gave it 7/10, Barbara gave it 6/10, Numi gave it 6/10, Sophie gave it 7.8/10
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mightyleaf-mountain-spring.jpgIn researching and reviewing this tea I learned that Jasmine tea pairs well with Chinese Dim Sum foods such as pot stickers and dumplings, I am going to give that a try the next time I go to a Chinese restaurant.

The jasmine flower aroma came though strongly with the dry leaves but when they were infused, more traditional green tea undertones were presented. You could definitely taste the jasmine in the tea, but the floral notes were kind of flat and had an almost artificial feel to them. It was richer then the average green tea but I had hoped for a fresher authentic jasmine feel. There were some astringent undertones with a little bitterness. It was somewhat refreshing so I decided to try it iced. Unfortunately, when cold, the artificial taste became more pronounced and the tea became bitter – don’t try this. The tea is okay hot, but there are better jasmine green teas out there.

One interesting note: I found that jasmine tea can stay fresh up to three years because of scenting process.

Special Offer! For a limited time, Mighty Leaf is offering deep discounts on their product line. If you're interested in purchasing this tea or others from Mighty Leaf, shop now by clicking this link: Mighty Leaf on Sale Today!

Teaviews Member: Kari Kari
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Review: Lupicia Fukamushi Sencha Matsuri

Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Lupicia Tea, Sencha Tea No Comments »
Nicole’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"It was too astringent for my tastes. I like my green teas to be much more vegetal than this."
Nicole’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Shane gave it 6/10, Vanessa gave it 9/10
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lupicia-fukamushi-matsuri.jpgAccording to Wikipedia, Sencha is a Japanese green tea that is made without grinding the tea leaves. It is first steamed and then the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried. Finally, after drying, the leaves are fired to aid in their preservation and to add flavor. This tea came packaged in a silky tea pyramid that was very similar to the kind several other companies use. The leaves were a deep green color. I was a little disappointed to see that most of the leaves were not whole. Iʼm not sure if it is supposed to be that way or if the leaves were broken en route .

There was no detectable aroma from the leaves before brewing. When I added water it instantly became a cloudy, almost neon green color. The taste seemed a bit off. It was too astringent for my tastes. I like my green teas to be much more vegetal than this. A large amount of leaf particles had settled on the bottom of my cup before I even finished drinking. That was a bit of a turn off for me as it reminded me of algae. I would probably not recommend this tea.

— To purchase Lupicia Fukamushi Sencha Matsuri, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Nicole Nicole
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Review: Tea Guys Papaya Ginger White Tea

Ginger Tea, Papaya Tea, Tea Guys, White Tea No Comments »
Lea’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea smells like papayas and lemons, with honey-like undertones. It's scent is both uplifting and relaxing."
Lea’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: David_A gave it 9.5/10, Nicole gave it 9/10, Christine gave it 4/10, Kari gave it 6.5/10, Kendall gave it 8.5/10, Numi gave it 7/10, Laura gave it 7.5/10
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tropical-sunset-copy.jpgI selected this tea to sample because you usually don’t see such an interesting combination of flavors in a white tea. I love tropical flavors, and ginger’s warm bite.

I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Tea Guys thus far, and this tea continues the trend. It smells like papayas and lemons, with honey-like undertones. It’s scent is both uplifting and relaxing.

The papaya flavor is what’s dominant here. I wish the ginger had more of a presence, but it’s there nonetheless, and it gives the tea pleasant depth. Quiet citrus undertones add to this. This tea has full flavor, and is almost like a tropical fruity herbal tea.
I am really pleased with this tea. It’s great hot or iced, sweetened or unsweetened. This is a great blend for summer, refreshing and bright. This one is a keeper for me.

— To purchase Tea Guys Papaya Ginger White Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Lea Lea
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Review: TeaGschwendner Rooibush Cream Caramel

Caramel Tea, Rooibos Tea, TeaGschwendner No Comments »
Laura’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"TeaGschwendner's Rooibush Cream Caramel is a creamy and delicious cup. I loved every last drop!"
Laura’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Cindy gave it 10/10, Numi gave it 8.5/10, Nicole gave it 9/10, Dan gave it 9.0/10
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creamcaramel.jpgCaramel Rooibos is one of my favorite dessert teas. My first experience with loose tea was a caramel rooibos and toffee rooibos mixed in a hot drink and I was hooked! Now, it is always in my tea cabinet and is one of things that I don’t ever want to run out of. I have purchased it from a couple of different sources and have kinda started to subscribe to theory that once you had one, you’ve had them all. Mind you, they are all good. However, out of curiosity, I decided to compare TeaGschwendner’s version to my current supply to see if there are any negligible differences.

TeaGschwendner’s website lists the ingredients for this cream caramel rooibush as rooibush tea, caramel bits, and natural flavor. My sample did not contain any caramel bits, which is unfortunate. By the way, rooibush is aka rooibos and red tea. The ingredients of the caramel creme rooibos in my personal cabinet were red rooibos, candied hazelnuts and safflowers. Thus, there are some differences between the two.

So I boiled up enough water to steep a cup of each. While I was waiting for the cups to cool I did a sniff test. TeaGschwendner’s has a more of a creamy aroma while my personal stash is that more of a hazelnut aroma. Based on smell alone, I would prefer that of the hazelnut version. Intrigued, I did a side-by-side taste test and thoroughly enjoyed the merits of both versions of the tea.

The difference in the aroma holds true for the taste as well. TeaGschwendner’s is more creamy tasting, almost as if a splash of cream has been added to the cup. The one in my current stash is a bit less creamy and lends itself to more of a hazelnut flavor. Both are delicious–it would just be a matter of your personal preferences, whether that be more for a creamy taste or something that errors on the side of tasting a little like hazelnut. I think my experience with TeaGschwendner’s version would have been further enhanced by having a few of the caramel pieces to melt into the drink. This caused for a small point deduction in my overall rating of the tea.

TeaGschwendner’s Rooibush Cream Caramel is a creamy and delicious cup. I loved every last drop! In case you are wondering, TeaGschwendner’s creamy version of caramel rooibos was my favorite!!! While I didn’t prepare any of my sample this way, the website does indicate that it is great iced–and I have had caramel rooibos cold–Delicious! I can also tell you that this type of tea is great blended with many other teas such as Formosa oolongs, spicy teas, and toffee rooibos to name a few. TeaGschwendner offers free shipping on orders over $35 and I would encourage you to make this a part of your order.

— To purchase TeaGschwendner Rooibush Cream Caramel, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Laura Laura
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