Product Review: Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks

OprahLatteProduct Information:

Spicy chai blend of cinnamon, black tea and rooibos, lightly sweetened and finished with steamed milk.

Where to Buy:  Your Local Starbucks

Learn more about this product here.

Taster’s Review:

This product combines two things that I do not like with a couple of things that I do like.  I don’t like Teavana and I don’t like Starbucks.  But I do like chai lattes and I like Oprah Winfrey.  So, I decided that since I happened to be at my local Safeway and there happens to be a Starbucks inside that I’d try Oprah’s “new” (it’s not really new anymore, but it’s new to me) Chai from Teavana that has been crafted into a latte by Starbucks.

Two things that I noticed right off the bat that I appreciated – first thing: it wasn’t prepared too hot.  The very rare times that I stop at a coffee shop to get a chai latte (very rare), it seems like the drink is too hot to consume and it takes forever for the temperature to drop.  This was prepared at a slightly lower temperature, I think, and it was a drinkable temperature.  Nice.

The second thing that I noticed:  it’s not too sweet.  Yeah, it’s been sweetened.  But it’s not cloyingly sweet.  It’s not so sweet that I felt myself recoil from the overwhelming sweetness.  And there’s a nice balance between sweet and spice.

I can taste the tea here and that’s another thing I appreciate.  More often than not, when I do have that rare latte from a coffee shop, many times it’s made from a concentrate and it’s overly processed and I just can’t taste any tea.  I taste some spice but mostly what I end up tasting is warm milk and sweetener.

That’s not happening with this.  I can taste the black tea and I taste a light nutty flavor from the rooibos.  The spices are nicely balanced.  Overall, it’s a pleasant chai latte.  Not my favorite – my favorite is the kind that I make at home where I control the sweetness and the amount of dairy that goes into it.  But for a latte that I picked up at a coffee shop (even if it is Starbucks), it’s pretty good.  And it’s definitely better than Starbucks “classic” chai latte.

I don’t know that I’ll be lining up at Starbucks to get this again soon, but, if I happen to find myself at Starbucks, this is probably what I’ll order.

Chocolate Strawberry Tempation from Talbott Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Talbott Teas

Product Description:

Juicy red strawberries with a kiss of dark coca -this black tea is all about you. Bursting with luxurious flavor, it’s decadence dipped in excess with a side of unbridled joy.

All natural premium ingredients: Full-leaf black tea, strawberry pieces, cacao nibs, strawberry leaf, chocolate and strawberry flavors.

Taster’s Review:

I tried this tea back in December, but I held off on publishing the review until just before Valentines Day, because when I think of chocolate and strawberries, I think of Valentine’s Day.

The fragrance of the tea that sits before me is delicious – it is making my mouth water!  I can smell notes of chocolate and strawberry, as well as a very pleasant-smelling black tea.  The combination of these scents is fantastic.

The black tea base tastes like a Ceylon tea to me, it has a brisk flavor but a fairly even-toned taste to it.  It has a smooth, clean taste with a light astringency that lightly dries the palate in the finish.

The strawberry flavor hits strongest in the aftertaste.  I can taste the strawberry throughout the sip, but it is in the aftertaste where I taste the sweet yet tart tingle that is very strawberry-esque.  It reminds me of a fresh, delicious strawberry.

This is a tea that should be served hot… but, should not be consumed until it has had a few moments to cool.  The slight cooling will allow the flavors to develop a little bit, and I found that this tea was much more satisfying when it was still hot, but not directly-from-the-teapot-hot.  The chocolate flavor is the reason I mention this about allowing the tea to cool slightly… I find that when the tea is still piping hot, the chocolate flavor seems almost… absent.  But, as it cools a little (I’d say its now an easily sip-able temperature.  That is, it is not so hot that it scalds my tongue) the chocolate flavor develops nicely.

Overall, this is a very pleasant cuppa.  I would probably find it even more satisfying with a little more chocolate, but then, I’m a chocoholic, and I’m of the belief that more chocolate is always better.  As it is, though, it’s quite delicious.