Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: Teavana
Glasses lifted high in moments of celebratory triumph- the inspiration for this most coveted ‘champagne of teas.’ Refreshingly young black tea leaves, featuring vibrant gradients of green colors yield a high content of silvery tips and buds. Each and every single leaf is scrutinized for purity in taste and features a harvest of the first flush of leaves from six of our bountiful private reserve tea gardens. Taste a floral aromatic sweet ending with each sip of this victorious crème de la crème of Darjeelings.
Learn more about this tea here.
I wanted to … I really, really wanted to! I wanted to hate this Darjeeling de Triomphe Black Tea from Teavana. I admit it. I usually go in to my tea tastings with as open a mind as I possibly can, but, I have to admit that I am not particularly fond of Teavana.
I don’t like that when I enter a Teavana store, I am greeted by and then pressured to buy … by a clerk that most likely knows relatively little about the tea they are selling in the store. I don’t like that Teavana is grossly overpriced and that coupled with the fact that they try to “ounce your wallet to death” by adding just a little bit more than the 2 ounces you’re buying and then asking, innocently “is that alright?”
And then they try to upsell you an overpriced tin by telling you that is the way you have to store the tea. You walk into a store, expecting to pay maybe $25 and you end up leaving with $95 less in your bank account because of their sneaky upsell tactics. (These things don’t happen when you’re shopping online with them, just an FYI.)
Finally, I didn’t like that this particular tea – this Darjeeling I’m sipping now – is one of their pricier teas. It’s marked $19.98 for TWO ounces! That’s insanity.
OK … ok … I’m stepping off my tea box now.
There are a lot of things that are wrong with Teavana … but there are some things right with them too. I like that they’re opening up the public awareness to tea. More and more people are learning more about tea – that there’s more to tea than that yellow, white and red box that has been sitting on the grocery store shelf for the last year. That is definitely a positive aspect of this company. I just wish … they were less “corporate.” Tea should be a passion, not a bottom line.
Anyway … on to my thoughts about this tea. It really is good, despite my desire to dislike it. I just can’t. It’s a mighty fine Darjeeling. Is it better than some others that I’ve tried that are less expensive than this one? No, it isn’t. But it is still a good Darjeeling.
It’s a six estate blend of first flush teas. So, we have a nice fruity tone to this cup, but not as much muscatel as you would experience with a second flush. There are some really nice floral tones to this tea and it has a pleasantly crisp taste with a fair amount of cleansing astringency. My mouth feels clean after a sip.
With each sip, I experience a nice complexity. There are layers of wood tones, earth, high notes of flower, and sweet fruit notes. It’s a really nice cuppa.
My final thoughts on this tea? It’s a good Darjeeling. It is a blend, though, so it certainly doesn’t deserve the price tag with which it’s been marked. If this were a single estate tea and Teavana was working closely with the farmers to ensure quality and if it were an organic and fair trade selection, then I might be able to understand the high price on this one. But, for a six estate blended first flush? No. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to you. It’s good, but there are better teas out there.
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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