I was invited to the Starbucks store in Wardour Street last night to sample their new Teavana range that is launching this week. There are a whopping ten varieties available, on top of some interesting new tea lattes, but I'll go over them later. For now I'll focus on these wonderfully presented bowls of tea leaves, which come in a nice mix of flavours.
Now, I'm not tea expert, but thankfully there was one on hand to explain the processes of tea to me. I didn't take any notes because at heart I'm unprofessional, but I think I can remember the gist. Tea leaves are picked from the same plant, with each "leaf" consisting of a bud and two young leaves. Depending on how the leaves are processed, you can end up with a lovely selection of different teas. The youthberry shown above is a white tea mixed with acai and pineapple. This is good stuff, the tea is quite subtle, while the fruity notes develop quite nicely, and they're all pretty easily noticeable. It's refreshing and fruity, with a lovely bold red colour, and definitely was my cup of tea.
The jasmine pearls create a pretty fresh green tea, leaves bundled up and wrapped in jasmine that give it a nice aromatic taste. I can't say I've ever considered myself a fan of green tea, and this one didn't particularly rock my world, but it's a nicely brewed tea with some fresh, clean flavours.
I didn't quite get to try out the whole range, but what I did taste was pretty good, certainly better than the tea bags I've dabbled in at home. There are some great looking ones on offer, from a classic English breakfast to a chai tea, so there's probably a bit of something for everyone. Unless you don't like tea, in which case I'd probably say you haven't met the right tea yet. The range is on sale now, so you can pick up a box of whatever tickles your fancy. Tune in tomorrow, when I'll be going over the tea lattes.
My rating: 4/5