Saturday, March 3, 2012

Teavana Honeybush Vanilla

At the social tea parties I've been attending recently Teavana has been a very popular choice, and I noticed I haven't done any of their products in a long time! So tonight I've chosen to relax with and write about their Honeybush Vanilla herbal tea. I'd like to start by noting that my sense's attention was caught before water even touched the tea. It would make a fantastic potpourri.

Don't think the title labels the taste of this tea though because if you want a dessert level of sweetness you'll have to add some sweetener. The tea is actually quite malty and the vanilla isn't vanilla extract, but vanilla beans! This malty aspect has an overtone of walnuts and gives the body a round feel. There is a touch of sweetness to this tea in the taste of a clover honey. The sweetness and malty aspects are the same element in the taste, and the true vanilla is most sensed in the aura and aftertaste.

This is not what I would expect from a tea with such a name, but I doubt a honey and vanilla-extract tea would be best for a loose leaf tea. As a hot tea I'm grading it with C (decent), but cold brings out more of a balance with a stronger vanilla. And perhaps it could blend with others to taste as an A?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Katahdin Specialty Coffee Maine Whoopie Pie

It would be silly of someone to ask "where is this made?", even if it didn't say Maine. Katahdin and whoopie pie should give it away alone because one is a famous location in Maine, and the other is the official Maine treat! This morning I decided to sip Katahdin Specialty Coffee's Maine Whoopie Pie coffee because we just had a true nor'easter, another Maine trademark.

You can tell this isn't any typical coffee with just your nose. Something robust is happening, but not just a conventional coffee. Bringing this up to your lips fills you in on this secret: Chocolate, which is a major element in whoopie pies. There is some sweetener to this chocolate flavor, but not at the same level as many other flavored coffees. The coffee taste itself isn't a dark roast or some rare import, but probably Colombian. Balance in body and taste with little acidity. Good choice to match the chocolate.

This combo isn't your typical big-name chocolate flavored coffee because it's not sweet in the same sugary way either. This fit's Maine because Mainers are strong and sweet, but in an unorthodox way. I have to leave this with a C (decent) because it's a simple blend and if coffee is my focus of the morning I'd probably choose a bean with many more levels. (Like Katahdin's Baxter Blend). If it's an un-typical coffee occurrence, it could be best though. Example: with a desert or a coffee cake.