Teavana’s Dragonwell

Dragonwell by Teavana
Green Tea / Straight
$15.00 for 2oz

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First Impressions

I snagged a large bag of Dragonwell when I went to a local Teavana storefront earlier this month (180g at 75% off) due to their Canada-wide store closing. This was the last bit of Dragonwell that the store had left and I was more than happy to take it off their hands. I’ve become a big fan of Dragonwell (also known as Dragon Well, Long Jing, Lung Ching) so I was happy to get a good amount of this green tea.

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Dragonwell is a straight green tea, with some decently sized pieces. Each piece of dry leaf is pressed and quite flat. The dry leaf has a very soft aroma to it, it’s very subtle and so easy to miss. It smells a lot of dry grass, a bit vegetal at times. The subtly of the aroma of Dragonwell makes it a very unassuming tea.

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Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping in 79°C (175°F) for 1 minute. I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep of Dragonwell.

First Taste

Dragonwell steeps to be very pale after just a 60 second step. The tea itself is a very pale, clear yellow. It has a light aroma to it that reminds me of grass and vegetables. The taste of Dragonwell is just as it smells – grassy, vegetal. There’s a surprise honey taste at the end of each sip that is quite welcome. There was no astringency noted as I drank this tea, so 60 seconds was a good length of time for steeping.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Dragonwell four times for a total of five steeps, increasing the steeping times by about 30 seconds per steep. I found that the colour was deepest for the second and third steeps of these tea leaves. The aroma becomes stronger and the taste becomes more bold compared to the first steep. Steep four was beginning to get a little bit weaker while the fifth (last) steep was woefully boring. I would say that Dragonwell was good for three resteeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Teavana’s Dragonwell. The subtle changes in the flavour profile of this straight green tea are a delight for the senses, and I quite enjoyed drinking this over the course of a morning. It resteeps decently well, and I did manage to get it at a good price (hello, clearance prices), which makes it an even more attractive tea. I’ll be quite bummed out when I run out of this tea (although I suppose it will be a while before I finish up the entire bag). The best part of Dragonwell was the honey finish to each sip.

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Teavana’s Peach Tranquility

Peach Tranquility by Teavana
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$10.95 for 44.4g (12 sachets)

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First Impressions

I received this box of Peach Tranquility from a friend who gave it to me and said “I thought you might like this”. Well, it’s a form of tea so chances are pretty high I’ll love the fact that someone saw tea and thought of me. That said, this isn’t one that I’ve tried before. Peach Tranquility comes in a fairly large box for the fact that it only contains 12 individually wrapped sachets (spoiler: most of the box was completely empty/filled with air).

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Peach Tranquility came packaged in tea pyramids, and each pyramid comes in an individual foil packet. Not entirely the greatest for the environment, but what can I do about that? The smell is amazing, Peach Tranquility smells strongly of peaches with soft floral notes in the background. In reality, peaches are actually low on the ingredients list. Peach Tranquility consist of: apple pieces, candied pineapple pieces, rose hip peels, chamomile flowers, natural flavour, peach pieces, citric acid, and lemon verbena.

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Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping Peach Tranquility in 96°C (205°F) water for 5 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for my initial steep of Peach Tranquility.

First Taste

Peach Tranquility steeps to be remarkably pale, with a light orange-yellow colour. The aroma that comes up from this fruit infusion is divine though, smelling sweetly of peaches and pineapple – it’s a nice tropical blend with a floral background, much like with the dry leaf. On first taste, I mostly taste the peaches. There’s a nice sweet pineapple flavour that lingers in the background, and the floral notes were mostly found at the end of each sip. Despite all the fruit in this tisane, and the fact that the pineapple was candied, it’s not as sweet as I was expecting.

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I did try a cup of Peach Tranquility with a touch of sweetener added (I used agave syrup) and I found that the peach flavour was even stronger once boosted by some sweetness. I also poured out a cup to be iced and found the fruit infusion to be even better when iced than hot.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Peach Tranquility. I found the flavour to be lacking from the peaches, pineapples, and floral notes that I enjoyed in the initial steep. I would say that Peach Tranquility is good for one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Teavana’s Peach Tranquility. I really quite enjoyed the first steep of this tisane, especially with some added sweetener and iced. I’m always going to be a bigger fan of fruit infusions iced over hot. I found that the peach flavours were quite refreshing, but it needed just a touch of sweetener to boost the fruit flavours. Unfortunately, this tisane did not do well for a second steep. Luckily, I’m not head-over-heels in love with this tea, as I suspect that I would have issues finding more of it as the Teavana retail locations are closing this month in Canada.

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Teavana’s Black Dragon Pearl

Black Dragon Pearl by Teavana
Black Tea / Straight
$15.00 for 2oz

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First Impressions

I’m a bit bummed that Teavana is closing its locations across Canada (and from the rumblings on the internet, I believe the US locations may be closing soon as well), but that didn’t stop me from stopping into a local Teavana location to see what they still had in store. As far as I can tell, they don’t even have a Canadian website anymore and the US website does not deliver to Canadian addresses (whomp, whomp). Anyways, I digress. I saw this one up on the shelf still and was intrigued.

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Black Dragon Pearl is a straight black tea. As per the Teavana website, it says that the pearls each consist of 30 leaves tightly rolled together. I didn’t count them, so I’ll pretend that the number 30 is factually accurate. The product page also suggests that there are cocoa undertones to this tea, which I do not smell at all. The overall aroma from the pearls is an earthiness.

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Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping Black Dragon Pearl in 196°F (91°C)water for 3 minutes. I steeped 3 pearls in my teapot for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Black Dragon Pearl steeps to a beautiful golden orange for the first steep. The aroma that comes up from this tea has primarily earthiness, with a touch of malty aroma and a tiny bit of honeyed sweetness. Thankfully, the tea also had the same flavours that the aroma hinted at. There was earthiness in the flavours that went well with the maltiness that is familiar with black teas. The sips I had of this finished off with a touch of honey and a hint of floral sweetness.

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A Second Cup?

The sales associate at Teavana suggested that the Black Dragon Pearl could be steeped upwards of 3 times, which of course meant that I had to attempt at least an steep (which meant that I did a full 3 resteeps, for a total of 4 steeps of the same leaves). I increased the steeping time by 30 seconds per steep and found that the colouring of the tea was significantly lighter for the first resteep. The floral and honey notes in this tea were more forward in the resteeps than in the initial steep. I still didn’t find any chocolate/cocoa notes in this tea in any of the steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Teavana’s Black Dragon Pearl. I really wish I didn’t love this one because the store is closing, which means I’ll need to get my hands on just a little bit more to keep myself happy until I find another source for a good black pearl tea. The flavours of this tea are delightful, and I love how well it resteeps with the increasing honey and floral flavours. Plus, the big bonus is being able to watch these tea leaves open up – I just love pearl teas.

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Teavana’s Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey by Teavana
Black Tea / Straight
$19.98 for 2oz

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First Impressions

Golden Monkey is a black tea from Teavana, and one of my Starbucks Rewards choices. The dry leaf has wiry leaves, twisted together, with golden/yellow tips. Inhaling the scent from the dry leaf is a sweet honey, floral aroma. It’s quite inviting. I like the look of this tea leaves with the golden tips. The ingredients is made up of black tea. It’s nice to see a straight tea option, and the name makes me smile.

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Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping Golden Monkey in 205°F (96°C) water for 3 minutes. I steeped this tea initially for 3 minutes.

First Taste

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Golden Monkey has a malty aroma to it when it steeps. On first sip, the first thing I notice is the very malty taste to it. There’s no bitterness to the tea when it’s steeped for 3 minutes. The honey smell to the dry leaf is present in the steeped tea, there’s a very light honeyed sweetness to the tea that is enjoyable. The floral notes I first smelled from the dry leaf isn’t present in the taste though, which is a bit disappointing. Oddly enough, I found that Golden Monkey has a bit of a sour aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. While the tea itself is fairly pleasant, the sour aftertaste is not. I steeped a fresh cup of Golden Monkey at a shorter steeping time to see if the sour aftertaste would disappear.

I steeped the tea at 2 minutes and the sour aftertaste is not present. I steeped it for 2 minutes and 30 seconds and the sour aftertaste is present. I would recommend steeping it for just 2 minutes initially to avoid the aftertaste.

A Second Cup?

Golden Monkey resteeps fairly well. I did it once and the taste remains fairly close to the first steep. If you opted to steep it at the recommended time (3 minutes), I’m sorry to report that the lingering sourness is still present on the second steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I thought that Teavana’s Golden Monkey was just okay. Golden Monkey is a decent black tea, I quite like the honey malty flavours of it. However, the recommended steeping time of 3 minutes is far too long and the sour taste leaves me not overly ecstatic about this tea. It’s a decent straight black tea, that has a great taste as long as you don’t steep it for the recommended length of time. Because of that (and honestly, the price – there are less expensive straight black teas out there!), I had to give it a lower score.

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Teavana’s Tung Ting Oolong

Tung Ting Oolong by Teavana
Oolong Tea / Straight
$19.98 for 2oz

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First Impressions

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I was at Teavana last month and I had some Starbucks rewards to use up so of course I went and opted for 1oz of tea rather than getting a free drink at Starbucks. I got Tung Ting Oolong (as well as Golden Monkey, a black tea, which will have a review coming up soon!) as one of my rewards. It has this subtle vegetal smell, with a light buttery quality to the aroma that the tea has. Tung Ting oolong has a nice lightness to the dry leaf smell which I’ve come to appreciate in oolongs.

The ingredient list for Tung Ting Oolong is simply oolong tea, it’s a straight tea that Teavana has not added anything extra to.

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Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping Tung Ting Oolong for 3 minutes in 195°F (90°C). I steeped Tung Ting Oolong for the recommended three minutes.

First Taste

Tung Ting Oolong steeps to a pale yellow, and has a beautiful subtle flavour. There’s a milky creaminess to the tea that reminds me a bit of the creaminess that butter has. There is a light sweetness that lingers on the tongue at the end of each sip, and the floral notes in this tea are quite welcome. At the recommended temperature and steeping times, I’ve noted no bitterness or astringency in the tea. I do appreciate it when the recommendations lends to a good cup of tea.

With the recommended three minutes, I noted that not all of the tea leaves had fully unfurled. Because the first steep was delicious, I was very curious about how it would do for one more steep.

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A Second Cup?

Whenever I resteep tea leaves, I generally add another 30 seconds per steep, this is what I did with Tung Ting Oolong as well since I am not steeping it gong fu style. Steeping Tung Ting Oolong for a second time resulted in a brighter, deeper golden yellow tea. The flavour is more buttery and creamy for the second steep. I find that the second steep is more flavourful than the first, what a tasty cup of tea! I steeped this tea for a total of seven steeps, the flavour of Tung Ting Oolong for the sixth steep was waning and watery compared to the first five.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Teavana’s Tung Ting Oolong. I’ve definitely become a fan of oolongs since I began the journey of chronicling my tea tasting adventures here on One More Steep. While Tung Ting Oolong may be expensive compared to other teas, especially $20 for 2 oz, I think it has value because of the ability of tea to be resteeped over and over again. Because of that, it is a fantastic tea to have when you’re at home and able easy access to a kettle so you can resteep it over and over again.

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