Teavana is the new series of Starbucks teas. It has recently arrived in Cyprus and we hurried to try it ! -Maria Th. Massoura
You go to Starbucks for your favorite coffee, blend or beverage. However, do you know that they also have a tradition in teas? Starbucks started business at Pike Place in Seattle, USA, about 40 years ago and only tea was served. In 2012, they moved a step further and chose Teavana as their trade name, something that gave the name and concept in the culture of tea that already existed.
Starbucks has created a range that includes tastes from classic to more particular ones, from green, white, black teas to herbal extracts. All teas are made from whole leaves and are kept in beautiful sheer pyramids individually packed, ensuring in this way freshness and aromas.
From the soil right into the cup
Teavana tea leaves come from the Camellia Sinensis bush. Selected buds are picked up as well as whole tea leaves, often by hand. As a living organism, the fluctuations of the season as well as the growing conditions of the plants affect the final aromatic and tasty result in a very interesting and beautiful way. Then, depending on the methods of handling and processing the leaves, the unique characteristics and flavours of each tea are revealed. Besides, as it happens with coffee, excellent quality teas can be cultivated and gathered at high altitudes. Teavana has committed to purchase the best quality teas and herbs from around the world. The delicious combinations are inspired by cultures that have a long tradition in tea, from Asia to Europe.
Teavana in Cyprus
The first range of Starbucks Teavana ™ Full Leaf Tea arrived in Cyprus in early October. In green teas, there are Citrus Mint and Jasmine Pearls, in black tea , there are English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Chai and in the herbal ones , Hibiscus and Chamomile. Note that in the case of Herbal teas, we do not mean the teas coming from the Camellia Sinensis plant, but from a combination of dried spices, fruits, roots and flowers.
Tried and Tested
Apart from Chamomile and Jasmine Pearls that are only available in store, the remaining Teavana teas can be bought and taken home. So did I. I tried the whole series and this is what I enjoyed most :
English Breakfast: This classic black tea, is ideal in the morning as its name denotes. Although it is full of flavor and body as well as rich malty notes,it has an elegance and it is very easy to drink. Ideal for black tea lovers.
Earl Grey: This is my favorite variety of tea and, for this reason, I was a bit biased! What I liked in Teavana’s version is that the notes of citrus (grapefruit) were spicy while there was also lavender- a second fragrance- that completed the bundles of perfumes nicely. In this case too, it was very pleasant to taste
Jasmine Pearls: This tea is served at Starbucks stores only, so I tried it there. A green tea with a characteristic taste which blends nicely with the floral aromatic notes of jasmine. Great in the afternoon.
Chai: If you’re a fan of spices, you will love this spiced black tea. By putting water in the cup, the room will immediately be full of clove and cardamom aromas. For me, it was like a trip to Indian neighborhoods. The blend of spices is topped with ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, star anise and whole leaves of black tea. A wonderful combination of teas that I chose from Teavana. And ,yes, here you could add milk if you want!
Hibiscus: This tea, a part of Teavana range of herbal teas, is a great walk in the rain forest ! Notes of papaya and mango, hibiscus, lemongrass, which, of course, by giving it a kick and a touch of cinnamon, are blended all together. You will like it, especially in the early afternoon, after getting off work and you want something beautiful and very aromatic to relax.
Mint Citrus: A representative sample of green tea. Here, the blend contains lemon, verbena, lemongrass and some mint. Incredible flavors, balanced and very fresh in the mouth!
Chamomile: I tried the second tea of Teavana herbal series at Starbucks store, as it is served only there. It is not just a simple chamomile tea since the flowers of chamomile, are enriched with blackberry leaves, lemongrass, mint, rose petals, lemon balm, lavender and marigold. A very special blend, very aromatic and tasty. An ideal evening drink .
Tips to enjoy Teavana teas at home
● Water quality is very important! Without salts, without chlorine smells etc. Only in this way you will enjoy all the aromas and the actual taste of tea.
● Water temperature plays a very big role. 80C is for the green tea and about 100C for the herbal and black one. Practically, just when the water boils, wait for approximately 2-3 minutes and then put it on the green tea and for about 1 minute in the case of black and herbal tea.
● Then, once you add the water, the pyramid of tea must stay inside for a certain time, depending on the type of tea. Green ones like Citrus Mint and Jasmine Pearls need 3 minutes, black ones as the English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Chai need 5 minutes. As regards herbal teas (like Hibiscus which you can enjoy at home and Chamomile only at Starbucks stores), the time of the pyramid in water should not exceed 5 minutes.