Teavana

Black Tea Review: Teavana Copper Knot Hongcha

Copper Knot Hongcha

Company/Brand Name: Teavana

Name: Copper Knot Hongcha

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan Province of China

The Leaves: A beautiful black tea with lots of golden tips, all of which are hand-curled into a spiraling knot

Additions: None

Flavor: A rich, malty and earthy black tea with notes of dark chocolate and just a touch of sweetness

Overall: I found this tea to be absolutely captivating cup after cup. The Copper Knot Hongcha has wonderful depth and complexity that makes it quite intriguing. In addition, I really enjoyed playing around with different infusions in an attempt to acquire the perfect cup. I would definitely purchase again!

Tea Review:

I’ve been drinking the Copper Knot Hongcha for about a week now and I still find each cup to be a bit of a mystery, which made drinking this tea lots of fun! However, I think I may have unlocked one or two of the secrets this tea has to tell.

For instance, when using water just under boiling, the tea reveals its chocolaty undertones and malty flavor. But, when its lovely leaves are steeped in boiling water, a rich brew is produced with some bite too it; reminding me of my coffee drinking days.

In addition to this tea’s interesting flavor profile, I found it quite entertaining to watch the leaves unfurl as they steeped. Not to mention the imagery that came to mind when sipping this tea.

I often imagined a log cabin nestled in the woods on a cool spring-like day, when the snow is just starting to melt. This imagery came to mind, I believe, because this tea has sweet-earthy taste to it, reminding me of how the ground smells when it is allowed to see the sun after several months of a snowy, cold hibernation. A perfect tea on a cold, dreary winter day when springtime seems to far away.

Washi Tea Tins from Teavana

Packaging:

I had purchased the Copper Knot Hongcha from the Teavana store at the Mall of America. Since I didn’t have any canisters at home, I decided to also purchase a Washi tea tin. I had the friendly Teavana guy place my loose leaves in the red canister for safe keeping!

Preparation Tips:

Teavana suggested using one teaspoon of tea per eight ounces of water, heated to 195F. The leaves should steep for about 2-3 minutes. I found these directions to be fairly accurate.

I used my one-serving, glass teapot to steep the leaves, which worked okay. However, I would recommend using a larger teapot to give the leaves even more room to expand, because the unfurled leaves are quite large.  Adagio’s PersonaliTEA teapot worked very well for this purpose; I took out the brewing basket, which gave the leaves plenty of room to unfold.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – You’ll want to play around with different infusion times to find your perfect cup. I personally found that I was able to get two delicious infusions from the Copper Knot Hongcha. For the first infusion, I steeped the leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, for the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to brew for a good 5 minutes.

I do like my tea on the stronger side, so if you prefer a lighter brew you may be able to get a few more infusions out of the leaves than I did.

Oh, I even forgot about my brew a couple times. When I finally remembered to check on it, the leaves had been steeping for a good ten minutes or more. Yet, this tea never got bitter.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea or shop for over 100 types of other healthy, gourmet teas, as well as teapots and other  accessories, then click the link below. Teavana offers free ground shipping on orders over $50.

Teavana

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Rooibos Tea Review: Teavana Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos

Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos

Company/Brand Name: Teavana

Name: Zingiber Ginger Coconut

Category: Rooibos (Tisane)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown, but rooibos is native to South Africa

The Leaves: Not Applicable

Additions: Coconut Chips, Ginger Bits, Cinnamon, Apples, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Almonds

Flavor: A spicy, slightly sweet, aromatic tea that also has a touch of creaminess

Overall: Ginger and spice and everything nice, describes this rooibos tea blend perfectly. I really enjoyed the overall experience, which was entertaining and unique. Yet, this is not a tea I would gravitate to daily. Although, it does provide a nice departure from the mundane.

Tea Review:

First off, I have to say that the Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos leaves have a complex bouquet that has a fruity-spiciness that makes the smell both energizing and mesmerizing.

Quite frankly, the smell is addictive. I would find myself opening the tea canister several times per day just to take a whiff of paradise. Not only does this tea pack a punch with its sweet, exotic fragrance, it is also beautiful to admire.

It’s not the kind of tea that you look at and say, “Yeah, that’s tea.” It’s a blend that has you standing there for several inquisitive minutes trying to comprehend what you see in front of you.

Like a fine painting, where each individual brush stroke creates the resulting masterpiece, this tea cannot be understood by studying each ingredient. It needs to be appreciated for the elegant combination that creates the final product.

When I finally get around to steeping a cup, the room fills with a wonderfully warm and enchanting aroma that heightens my anticipation for the first sip.

When I finally took my first sip, I was quite disappointed. The tea seemed quite weak tasting compared to the almost overpowering fragrance of the tea blend. But then, the fieriness kicks in and I taste a hint of ginger mingling with other spices.

Way in the background, a subtle hint of fruitiness reveals itself. The coconut makes an appearance too, as an ever so slight texture of creaminess.

Based on the intriguing aroma of the tea, I was quite expecting a sweet-fruity flavor to be playing the leading role, instead it was the understudy. It was the spice that truly stole the show and became the star.

As it turns out, the flavor profile is just as interesting and intricate as the aroma; it’s just much more delicate and elusive. The taste doesn’t provide the “Wow!” factor I was anticipating. Yet, still an interesting tea that is worth a try.

Washi Tea Tins from Teavana

Packaging:

I had purchased the Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos from the Teavana store at the Mall of America, where I was swept off my feet by its visual appeal and intoxicating fragrance. I decided to purchase a Washi tin to house this tea to keep it fresh.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the label given to me when I had purchased the tea, but the Teavana website also provides excellent directions: Use 1.5 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces of water. Heat water to just boiling (208F) and steep for 5-6 minutes.

This tea blend can be a little tricky to brew because the rooibos is tiny, especially compared to the huge curls of coconut. Therefore, I highly recommend using a Finum Brewing Basket to contain all the rooibos shreds.

Additional Notes:

Iced tea – As the tea cools, it becomes less spicy and a bit more fruity and creamy. I’ve found that I much prefer this tea when it is mixed with a basic black tea and then chilled.

Dessert Tea – A delightful spicy blend, that reminded me a bit of spice cake.

Other – This tea blend is caffeine-free, making it a perfect evening treat.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea or shop for over 100 types of other healthy, gourmet teas, as well as teapots and other  accessories, then click the link below. Teavana offers free ground shipping on orders over $50.

Teavana

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

A Trip to Teavana at the Mall of America

Mark Gstohl via Flickr CC Attribution License

It was a beautiful fall day to take a trip to Bloomington, Minnesota for a little shopping adventure at the Mall of America (MOA).

Finding Teavana at the Mall of America

Upon arriving at MOA it was quite the feat to find Teavana, after consulting several kiosks and walking for what seemed like forever, I finally found my way to the west side of the mall. As I got closer to my destination, I saw an inviting, warm-glow emanating from the Teavana store front that quickened my pace in anticipation. Just before reaching Teavana a wonderful scent captivated my senses and enticed me to come inside.

Entering Teavana is like taking a step into tea heaven. The décor is natural-chic with warm-earth tones. And a soft, sweet fragrance of tea fills the air, perhaps from the variety of brewed teas lying about ready to sample, and did I sample! Yum!

Turning my attention to the stylish and Asian inspired teaware, I made a mental-note on what I liked and planned to purchase at a later date. Today, I was here to buy tea.

Tea Tins or Sampler Bags?

As I approached the counter, I saw a wall filled with huge round tea canisters that were all color coded. Upon closer inspection, each canister was marked with the tea name and cost per two ounces.

After assisting other customers, the friendly Teavana guy came over and I inquired about purchasing some sample sizes.

Tea Tins from Teavana

He said that he could certainly hook me up with some sampler bags of tea, but encouraged me to buy tea tins instead, stating that the tea canisters would help the tea stay fresh for up to a year.

He also shared with me that the sampler tea bags tended to not keep the tea fresh for very long, about two weeks to be exact.

This wouldn’t have been a concern, except that I had just purchased about thirty sampler bags of tea online the previous week.

Plus, I had been admiring the exquisite tea tins located throughout the store just moments ago. I thought to myself that this could be the perfect opportunity to indulge a wee bit.

Once I had chosen my favorite four Washi Tea Tins, the fun really began. I got to decide which tea would fill each of them.

Picking the Perfect Tea

The Teavana guy asked me a few questions, then swiftly went and picked out a large tea tin labeled Gyokuro Imperial. I saw the cost per two ounces was $15.00. Yowza! But, once he opened the lid and I saw that bright, fresh green color and took a deep breath, I knew it was worth every penny.

Next, I decided I wanted a black tea. He first introduced me to Golden Monkey which looked amazing with all the golden tips. It also smelled like chocolate when he fanned the tin lid over the tea towards me. But, for $18.50 per two ounces, I decided to try a less expensive black tea, especially since I had just splurged on the green tea.

Next, he pulled a black tea from the shelf called Copper Knot Hongcha. This tea didn’t smell as chocolaty as the Golden Monkey; actually, the smell was quite subtle overall. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the dark and light brown leaves that were rolled into tight little balls. For only $9.80 per two ounces, we had a winner.

Then I decided to go for a dessert tea. The Teavana guy pulled down something called Zingiber Ginger Coconut. He took off the tin lid and swooshed it over the tea, so we could both get a good whiff. Between the sweet, intoxicating smell and exquisite display of curled coconut and red rooibos, I was spellbound. I had to try some and for $6.00 per 2 ounces I thought it was a no-brainer.

Finally, I thought I would go for one more dessert tea. Without a moment of hesitation the Teavana guy pulled down two tea canisters: White Ayurvedic Chai and My Morning Mate.

The smell was amazing as he waved the two canister lids, back and forth over both tea blends. It was like stepping into some exotic candy store; where sweet and spicy intermingle creating a scent that tickles the soul.

The Mate tea was $6.80 per two ounces and the Chai was $10.00 per two ounces. I didn’t even have to think about it, before deciding on my final purchase.

The total came to a whopping $114.00 bucks, but I felt like I had gotten my money’s worth. Not only was I leaving with four beautiful tea tins, I also had some amazing tea to sip all winter.

As I left the store I thought to myself, “Wow, that was a lot of fun!”

Buy Teavana Tea Online

Just in case you don’t have access to a nearby Teavana store, you can always purchase their tea online. If you’re interested to see Teavana’s online tea selection just click on the link below. Enjoy!

Teavana

Note: Teavana offers free ground shipping on orders over $50.

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Additional Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Have you ever visited a Teavana store? What was your experience like?