On Sunday, January 31, 2016, I went to a wonderful tea tasting at the Teavana Tea Bar located in the University Village shopping area of Seattle.
Donna and Joe did a fabulous job presenting two of their newest teas: Comfort tea and Defense. Both are part the new Teavana Wellness teas. This was a fun tasting. We talked about what these tasted like, how they compared to each other, and other teas.
You're invited to come join a tea tasting there! The last Sunday of every month, at 11:00 AM, the store hosts a tea tasting, and all are welcome to come. There is no charge and it is open to the public (or if you're a partner wanting to learn more about tea, this is a great opportunity!). (Starbucks fully owns and operates Teavana.).
First up, we tried Comfort wellness tea:
Comfort is an herbal, caffeine free tea, with notes of ginger, chamomile, mint, and more. I got a lot of the mint in the aroma. The mint in this tea is locally sourced from the Pacific Northwest. It brews up to a beautiful golden hue. Since it's an herbal tea, you can use water that is straight off the boil (205 degrees) and steep for a full 5 minutes.
The Comfort wasn't really my cup of tea, so to speak. I'm not a huge fan of ginger, and so the ginger notes in the tea didn't appeal to me. However, ginger is very comforting to digestion. Drink this tea for comfort!
In the photo of Comfort Wellness tea, you can the tea leaves both brewed, and what it looks after you've brewed the tea.
Next we tried Defense Wellness tea:
Defense is a white tea with lots of wonderful components. It uses big pieces of oranges, a little cinnamon, as well as a some puffed amaranth.
Defense has a lot of citrus flavor to it, and is almost a little bit tart. It's interesting because the tea has a subtle chai-like flavor to it. The botanical amaranth is sometimes used to give a chai-like spiciness to drinks - it's also a big component in the Teavana Herbal Oprah Chai tea.
I really enjoyed Defense. It's a complex tea with predominately citrus flavor notes and an underlying quality reminiscent of chai.
Because it's a white tea, be sure to use a lower brewing temperature - 175 degrees is recommended. Take your water off the heat, and let cool, or consider immediately adding an ice cube or two to hot boiling water to quickly get the water down to 175 degrees.
We tried both the teas with the traditional Starbucks lemon loaf. Since we were having such comforting, delicious teas, Joe and Donna thought we should have a comforting cake-like treat with it. The lemon in the lemon loaf goes nicely with these teas!
I definitely need to go to a lot more tea tastings! When tasting tea, always be sure to notice the aroma, the hue of the tea, and smell the tea by wrapping your hand around your tea cup and holding it close to your nose. When tasting the tea, give a big slurp to aerate the tea throughout your mouth.
The University Village Teavana's phone number is 206 - 729 -4953. You may want to call ahead and confirm their tea tasting schedule. The store does smaller tea tastings on Wednesday evenings, at 6:00 PM, if their staffing allows for it.
Thank you Donna and Joe for the great tea tasting! I learned a lot!