Review: Teavana MateVana

Almond Tea, Cactus Blossom Tea, Chocolate Tea, Cornflower Tea, Mate Tea, Rooibos Tea, Sunflower Tea, Teavana No Comments »
Shelly’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"MatéVana tastes like a typical roasted maté with a mellow sweetness in the background, though I wish the chocolate and almond flavors popped a little more."
Shelly’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10, Lea gave it 8/10
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teavana-matevana.jpgI’ve come to realize that maybe I’m not such a discriminating tea lover. I love almost all the teas I’ve been sent for Teaviews. This one is no exception.

The only experience I’ve ever had with maté is Morning Thunder. Even then, I was iffy because it sounded weird! I loved it, though.

So now, I find myself in a world of flavored matés that I never even knew existed until now! This is good and bad because I already have too much tea in my cupboard, but can’t resist new flavors! TeaVana’s website has four flavored matés that I am going to try. The one I am drinking today is called MatéVana.

I got all excited when I opened the package because it had a sweet almond aroma about it. I love almond and amaretto especially, so I thought maybe I had hit the jackpot. It sort of smelled like an almond cookie or biscotti. The dried leaves were quite beautiful and colorful. The ingredients list rooibos as a key player here, and the dried brew took on a distinct rooibos look while swirling in water. Also, this tea blend contains cactus blossoms, cornflower petals, and sunflower petals. I’m not sure which I see, but there are a few huge blossom-like pieces in this blend as well.

After brewing, the smoky maté fragrance dominated this blend. Yet, there was still a slight almond quality lingering in the background. Maté tastes like it was roasted over an open fire. It has a deep and exceedingly smoky taste that is reminiscent of coffee (but better). In fact, the TeaVana website lists this tea as a good coffee alternative with a better form of caffeine for your nervous system. There is quite a bit of information about the origin of maté tea on this website including all the properties of the tea itself. It’s also a gorgeous website that I will revisit.

So, MatéVana tastes like that typical roasted maté with a mellow sweetness in the background. I don’t taste a sharp almond or amaretto taste, but it is there if you concentrate on it. The only suggestion I have to better this blend pertains to that: I wish the chocolate and almond flavors popped a little more. Other than that, a very enjoyable brew that I’d consider ordering for when a maté craving hits!

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: Shelly Shelly
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Review: Rishi Tea Dong Ding Oolong

Oolong Tea, Rishi Tea No Comments »
Shelly’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Slightly bitter, but mellow, with a deep smoky flavor. Not quite the sweet and fruity flavor described on the Rishi web site, but enjoyable nonetheless."
Shelly’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9.5/10, Babette gave it 7.5/10, Numi gave it 7/10, Kari gave it 7.5/10, Shane gave it 9.5/10
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rishi-dong-ding.jpgThis tea is an unusual specimen based on my previous experiences with oolong teas. On Rishi Tea’s website, Dong Ding Oolong is characterized as an “in demand” tea from Taiwan. The name also means frozen summit …œ taken from a nearby mountain where the original tea was grown.

While hot, the scent of this tea emanated campfire smoke. e.

The taste is somewhat on the bitter side, though hardly unpleasant. Like all other oolongs I’ve tried, even while slightly bitter it remains mellow. It is a far cry from the sweet and peachy-plum like flavor of my favorite oolong. In fact, it reminds me more of a bird’s nest tea than anything else. The flavor is smoky and deep.

The Rishi tea website lists the aroma notes for this tea as “roasted chestnut” and “wildflower”. It also lists the tastes as sweet and fruity. The aroma description is right on. I’ve never actually smelled roasted chestnuts, but the fragrance does have a distinct roasted nut quality to it with a definite hint of flowers. I don’t consider the taste sweet and fruity, obviously.

It’s a high quality tea with mediocre taste in regards to oolong. As far as tea in general, I wouldn’t turn down a cup if someone offered it, but I wouldn’t seek it out either.

— To purchase Rishi Tea Dong Ding Oolong, 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: Shelly Shelly
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Review: Archer Farms Organic Earl Grey (Loose)

Archer Farms, Black Tea, Earl Grey Tea 5 Comments »
Shelly’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"I found this tea nearly undrinkable. It was very chemical smelling and not at all natural."
Shelly’s Teaview: 4/10
Other Teaviews: Stephen gave it 7/10, Rebekah gave it 7/10, DL gave it 4/10
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archer-farms-logo.jpgI found this tea nearly undrinkable. I was looking forward to the typical bergamot fruit smell and zesty taste. What greeted my olfactory senses was remarkably similar to my father’s cologne. It was very chemical smelling and not at all natural.

I’ve come to learn that a tea’s fragrance doesn’t always indicate the exact taste. So I pushed on and gave it a try.

It was bitter. The aftertaste sucked every last ounce of moisture from my mouth and left me with the taste. There was the taste of tea, of course, but a decidedly sub par tea. What I couldn’t get past was the taste of what they probably considered the bergamot. All I could think of was raw liquor. Seriously. It tasted like someone poured gin straight into the tea. Not pleasant at all. Then, it gave me a serious case of heartburn.

That being said, I do love this brand for their white blueberry loose tea and bottled blueberry black tea which I drink daily instead of bottled water. So it’s not all bad. I would steer clear of their loose leaf earl grey, though. There are much better offerings of this flavor out there at the same price point.

Teaviews Member: Shelly Shelly
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Review: Mighty Leaf Green Tea Tropical

Green Tea, Mighty Leaf, Pineapple Tea No Comments »
Troy’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A fine quality green tea with a mild and well placed mango tang."
Troy’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: James gave it 7/10, Shelly gave it 7/10, Lynn gave it 4.5/10
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mightyleaf-green-tea-tropic.jpgEver notice how “Tropical Fruits” always seems to mean alot of filler fruits that get wholly overloaded by Mango? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a man who loves his mango (Not a Euphemism), but why not just call it mango and dispense with all this nonsense about tropical fruit diversity?

There may very well have been a bevy of fruits blended into the mix, but its all Mango and Green Tea to me. There could have been mangosteen, but that tastes like mango. Moreover there could have been all kinds of citrusy-goodness, but that would only serve to accent the Mango’s strengths, and would be lost to the taste-buds as a distinct flavor.

I really do like this tea, its a fine quality Green Tea with a mild and well placed Mango tang, but if your looking for the flavor made famous by assorted Tropical Fruit Punches your not going to find it here. Put away your little umbrellas and Tiki Gods, for this sweet nectar is not their sacrament.

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: Troy Troy
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Review: Yogic Chai Coconut Masala Chai

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Cardamom Tea, Chai Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Clove Tea, Coconut Tea, Ginger Tea, Yogic Chai 3 Comments »
Shelly’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A mellow spice tea with a hint of sweetness... nicely blended but not as spicy as I would have liked, and the coconut flavor was all but impossible to detect."
Shelly’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Laura gave it 7.5/10
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yogic-chai-coconut.jpgI was looking forward to this chai. You can pretty much put coconut on anything and I’d eat or drink it. When I opened this bag, it smelled like a mild chai with much ginger. No trace of coconut in the aroma at all. However, in amongst the tea leaves and other bits, there were large shreds of natural coconut. Okay, maybe natural coconut doesn’t have that sweet pina-colada like fragrance. That’s all right as long as the taste is there.

Well, I brewed it up nice and strong. The tea itself was pretty good as a base – a little bitter and astringent, though. It left my mouth dry quite a while after I finished it. While hot and still in the teapot, it smelled distinctly like even more ginger. Still no trace of a coconut. Not to mention, no real indication of cloves or cinnamon, either. Just ginger.

The taste was okay. Enjoyable but mild and no punch of chai spice to give me a much needed kick-start. What it tasted like was a mellow spice tea with a hint of sweetness. I’ll assume that came from the coconut shreds. Otherwise, the name Coconut Masala Chai is a misnomer.

As I’ve previously stated, I like chai tea with a more overwhelming clove taste. I didn’t pick out any individual clove, cinnamon, or coconut properties in this tea. All together, the tastes blended pleasantly but not spectacularly.

The ingredients in this tea seem to be high quality. My only qualm is there are tiny particles that didn’t suit my tea kettle infuser. To their credit, Yogic chai teas use only organic ingredients and the freshest possible as well. I am certain the coconut flavor I love is neither organic nor fresh. It is probably a mixture of chemicals that tells my brain it tastes coconutty. Regardless, that is what I was hoping for.

If you’re looking for a sweet and tropical element to this chai, you’ll be disappointed. If you want a totally natural and high quality fresh ginger tea with a hint of spice and sweetness, you’ll love it.

— To purchase Yogic Chai Coconut Masala Chai, 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: Shelly Shelly
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Review: SerendipiTea Bolivian Green

Bolivian Tea, Green Tea, SerendipiTea No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea has a light springy/grassy component mixed with an oh-so-subtle nutty/buttery component... quite refreshing and enjoyable."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Casey gave it 7/10
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serendipitea-bolivian-green.jpgWhen most people, including myself, think of green tea, it is typically of a Japanese Sencha or perhaps a Chinese Dragonwell. Serendipitea has mixed things up a bit by offering an organic green tea with an atypical origin: Bolivia. Bolivia is not recognized by many as a tea-producing nation, so I was particularly interested in sampling this tea. The scent of this tea is light with just a hint of a floral note to it. I brewed my cup for a little longer than is usually advised for green tea, but it turns out that perhaps this particular tea requires a longer steeping time, as the flavor is a little on the weak side. I can best compare Serendipitea’s Bolivian Green tea to a diluted cup of Dragonwell/Lung Ching. In fact, this tea shares many of the same flavor characteristics with Dragonwell, and if I had sampled this tea blindly, I would have bet money that I was drinking a Dragonwell. This tea has a light springy/grassy component mixed with an oh-so-subtle nutty/buttery component. I found this tea to be quite refreshing and enjoyable. With the remainder of my sample, I will experiement with increasing the tea leaves to water ratio because I think that this tea could be downright excellent if the watered-down element could be minimized. If you tend to prefer Japanese green teas, then you might be a bit disapponted with this blend. But if you appreciate Chinese green teas, then you will likely become a fan of Serendipitea’s organic Bolivian Green tea. I would recommend this tea, if for no other reason than to demonstrate that other regions of the world besides those most commonly known for tea cultivations are producing some pretty interesting tea blends.

— To purchase SerendipiTea Bolivian Green, 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: Vanessa Vanessa
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