Teavana’s Golden Monkey

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

20170113-teavanagoldenmonkey1

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.

20170113-teavanagoldenmonkey2

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

20170113-teavanagoldenmonkey3

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.

20170113-teavanagoldenmonkey4

My Overall Impression

2cups-2

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.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teavana’s Tung Ting Oolong

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

20161118-teavanatungting

First Impressions

20161118-teavanatungting1

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.

20161118-teavanatungting2

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.

20161118-teavanatungting3

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.

20161118-teavanatungting4

My Overall Impression

rating4

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.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teavana’s Silver Needle

Silver Needle by Teavana
White Tea / Straight
$17.98 for 2oz

20160518-teavanasilverneedle1

First Impressions

This was a Starbucks/Teavana reward that my sister picked up at Teavana. Unfortunately, she had asked for a different silver needle tea and wasn’t aware that they had given her a different one until she had gotten home – disappointing, to say the least.

Silver Needle is a straight white tea, it has a very light floral scent to it that is quite subtle. It has some grassy qualities in the dry leaf – you can definitely tell by looking at the tea leaves why the tea is referred to as ‘silver needle’. The pale silver-white down on the tea leaves is soft to the touch, and the leaves are a decent size.

20160518-teavanasilverneedle2

Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping Silver Needle in 175°F (79°C) water for 4-5 minutes.

First Taste

20160518-teavanasilverneedle3

Silver Needle is an amazingly pale tea, it steeps with a light yellow colour after about 4 minutes of steeping time. The aroma is much like the dry tea – grassy, a little bit of floral notes. The taste is very subtle, but it tastes just like it smells. The mark of a true straight tea, it’s quite nice to have a tea that tastes the way it smells. There’s a lightness to this tea that is enjoyable. While the taste doesn’t bowl you over, it’s still quite good and it’s one of those teas better suited for a mellow or lazy day.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Silver Needle several times. The Teavana website states that it can be steeped for 3 to 5 times. I steeped it for a total of 5 times – adding an extra 30 seconds for each steep. It still has this amazing lightness that I enjoy, the flavour remains subtle but present the entire time. The colour of the tea gets a little bit darker with each subsequent steep – it turns into a golden yellow.

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Teavana’s Silver Needle. The tea itself was good – the smell of the dry leaf matches the steeped tea, the taste doesn’t disappoint. There’s a lightness to the tea that is enjoyable, and steeping to the recommended time results in a tasty cup of tea. It really is the type of tea that you need to be able to sit down and enjoy, not rush through. I am disappointed with Teavana’s customer service, given that my sister had asked for a different silver needle tea to use her Starbucks/Teavana reward on and was given this one instead.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teavana’s S’mores Oolong Tea

S’mores Oolong Tea by Teavana
Oolong Tea & Yerba Mate / Flavoured
$9.98 for 2oz

20160426-teavanasmoresoolong1

First Impressions

I am going to preface this review with the fact that I, perhaps unfairly, have high expectations for this tea. I love s’mores. I love camping, and roasting marshmallows, and the ooey-gooey marshmallows with graham crackers and slightly melted chocolate. The smell of the dry tea is interesting – the only smells that I can pick out are chocolate and cinnamon, with perhaps a touch of vanilla. There’s a whole host of other ingredients that I’m not getting.

The ingredients for S’ores Oolong are: cocoa kernals, white chocolate pieces, carob pieces, cinnamon, chocolate flakes, chicory root, marshmallow, oolong tea, roasted maté, artificial flavouring, bourbon vanilla pieces, and marigold petals. I wasn’t able to make out the tea bases at all, the aroma of the chocolate and cinnamon definitely overpower the oolong and maté

Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping S’mores Oolong in 195°F (91°C) water for 3 minutes. I steeped mine for 3 minutes.

First Taste

When S’mores Oolong is steeping, it has a heavy chicory root and cinnamon smell, surprisingly I can’t make out the chocolate at all. I would recommend that you use a filter bag instead of a stainless steel filter basket, unless the mesh of your basket is very fine – I wound up with a lot of small bits in my tea. The tea is quite cloudy, and smells strongly of chicory root and cinnamon, it smells sweet and has an oily film from the melted chocolate floating on the top.

20160426-teavanasmoresoolong2

S’mores Oolong smells of cinnamon and chicory. It’s a cup of watery cinnamon and chicory root, with a little taste of chocolate, but it isn’t overwhelming in terms of flavour. There’s a bit of sweetness (from either the chocolate or the marshmallows), but I can’t taste either base (oolong or maté). It doesn’t taste very good to the point where I did not finish my cup because it just does not taste good (or taste like any kind of tea or beverage that I’d want to finish). I looked into the steeping basket after I had poured out a cup and realized that there was actually very little tea in the tea itself – the majority of what was left was just all the ingredients that show up before the oolong (aside from the marshmallow, that melted away).

20160426-teavanasmoresoolong3

A Second Cup?

I did not steep S’mores Oolong a second time.

My Overall Impression

1cup-2

I didn’t like Teavana’s S’mores Oolong Tea. It does not remind me of s’mores at all, the chocolate doesn’t come out as strongly as I expected from the dry tea. The overall flavour is underwhelming because the chicory root and cinnamon are strong and I can’t taste the base at all. If I were to try this tea again (and that is a very big if), I would probably add more tea to steep, in hopes of getting more flavour, but it isn’t a very promising tea at all. I wouldn’t recommend S’mores Oolong.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teavana’s Peach Momotaro

Peach Momotaro by Teavana
White Tea / Flavoured
$18.98 for 2oz

20151210-teavanapeachmomotaro1

First Impressions

Another tea that I got from Teavana thanks to the Starbucks rewards program, I picked up this one the same day that I picked up Blooming Pineapple as I was curious about their blooming teas. At $19 for 2oz, this is not an inexpensive tea. With the free rewards, I picked up 1oz of this tea, which wound up netting me 5 balls of the Peach Momotaro tea. What really drew me to this tea is the fact that it smells exactly like fuzzy peach candy. They’re quite well made balls, with a little peek of flower petals through the tea leaves.

20151210-teavanapeachmomotaro2

Peach Momotaro is made up of: white tea, marigold flowers, and artificial flavouring. And the smell is amazing. I can’t smell any of the white tea base though, but this really makes me want fuzzy peach candies.

Preparation

Teavana recommends using 1 ball and steeping in 82C (180F) water for 3 to 4 minutes until it blooms. It took almost the entire 4 minutes for my ball of Peach Momotaro to bloom.

First Taste

First off, the tea looks really pretty when it’s fully bloomed and it stayed pretty well intact. The tea itself steeps to a lovely pale yellow and it still smells like peaches but it’s not as strong as it was when the tea was dry. It’s not an overwhelming flavour at all – the peach taste is very light and not as strong as I expected with the great peach candy fragrance before. The tea itself is very pleasant – it’s not bitter at all and very smooth. I added a bit of sweetener to the tea and it does brighten up the taste of the peaches quite a bit and makes it more enjoyable.

20151210-teavanapeachmomotaro3

A Second Cup?

I resteeped the Peach Momotaro and found that the tea did fairly well for the second steeping. The peach aroma is less pronounced, but I’d chalk that up to the fact that it’s the artificial flavouring that was added. A bit more sweetener helps to bring out that peach taste though and it tastes lovely. It resteeped well for the third and fourth time as well.

20151210-teavanapeachmomotaro4

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Teavana’s Peach Momotaro. I just really enjoy blooming teas, and found this one to be really nice. I was a bit disappointed by the peach taste in the steeped tea compared to the dry tea, but that was something that could be remedied by the addition of a little sweetener. It is a very pretty tea to look at when it unfurls in the tea pot, if there was ever an argument to get a clear glass teapot, blooming teas would be it. I think it’s very enjoyable and resteeps very well – don’t forget to add more time with each resteep! Peach Momotaro is the more expensive side, especially when you consider the fact that if you were to buy 2oz, you’d get 9-10 balls only. But it does resteep, so you get quite a good number of uses per tea ball. It’s definitely a nice treat though, so if you have any Starbucks/Teavana rewards to use, this might be a good one to try out before committing to use your money to purchase a bag of it.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.