Ok, back to the topic at hand...Tea! I was lucky enough to be invited to a media/blogger event at a Starbucks location in Boston this past Saturday. I was actually quite nervous as this blog is definitely more of a hobby/interest of mine and I am by no means a professional media person. Not to mention I still haven't shared my blog with my friends or family...I know I know... my fiance, roommate, and mom know I have it but I still have been reluctant to show it to them. I'm sure I will soon.
I finally met some other awesome bloggers!!
Well I arrived a few minutes early and knew I was at the right place when I saw this...On a table with ALL of this...
And this...My only regret was eating a big bowl of cereal after Hot Yoga class that morning...I wish I had saved my sweet tooth!!
I have seen these Tea Lattes on the menu for a few weeks and have been very curious to try them, but always had that fear that I wouldn't like it and then wished I had ordered something else. Although that seems silly since I really love tea.
The "tea tasting" was presented my Starbucks specialist Missy! She has been a manager for 10 years at the Starbucks in the Westin Copley hotel...hmmm career change maybe? ;)
And so it began...
#1 - Black Tea Latte
paired with either the Apple Bran Muffin or the Lemon Loaf
"Full leaf black teas sourced from the premier growing regions of northern India. Sweetened with classic syrup and topped with steamed milk and velvety foam."
This was delicious! If I ever do add milk to tea it's always with black tea...it's classic. This brought it to a new level though, because the tea is steeped in water (about half the cup), then frothy creamy steamed milk tops it off. The recipe calls for the addition of classic syrup...if you like to add sugar or other sweeteners to your tea this would be great...I, however, do not. I love to really taste the tea flavor, and I would order mine without any sweetener...and I did do just that at the end when we were able to get any of these tea drinks to go!
This was also the first time for me to try many of the sweet treats!! I LOVE sampled :)
The Apple Bran muffin was one of the best Bran muffins I've had...moist, flavorful, and at 310 calories and 7 grams of fiber it's a great choice for a muffin on the go!
The Lemon Loaf, however, was out of this world amazing! I guess I'm very partial to lemon-y things, but it was sweet and tart and refreshing and moist....mmm. However, this was definitely more on the "indulgent" side as a whole slice has 470 calories!
** I only had 1 or 2 bites of everything as I didn't want to get completely sick feeling...although that pretty much happened by the end. I split many of the treats with my table neighbor Pam!
#2 - London Fog Tea Latte paired with Petite Vanilla Bean Scone and Raspberry Scone
"Full leaf black tea with citrusy Italian Bergamot and a hint of lavender. Sweetened with vanilla syrup and topped with steamed milk and velvety foam."
I wouldn't exactly call it a hint of Lavender...it's much more prominent, but with an Earl Grey I think it's very fitting and very delicious! If you love the floraly tastes and aromas of Earl Grey teas you will love this...if you don't then you may really dislike it. It's a very strong tea, and although the milk and vanilla syrup makes it more mellow, it's hard to ignore the tea flavor. I really like Earl Greys and may order this tea plain with just hot water.
The Petite Vanilla Scone (on the right) was the "healthier" option merely because its pint sized...don't be fooled it's still a sweet scone.
I'd much rather have a small piece of one of the Raspberry Scones (on the left)! The Raspberry scones were much more classic (i.e. not overly sweet), with fruit raspberries scattered throughout. I went back for more on this one!
#3 - Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte
paired with the Petite Vanilla Scone again or the Red Velvet Cupcake!
"Full leaf African rooibos tea(naturally caffeine free), also known as red tea, paired with Tahitian vanilla and cinnamon. Sweetened with classic syrup and topped with steamed milk and velvety foam."
Missy said she recommends this to people who ask for a decaf version of a Chai Latte. It's definitely not a spiced as Chai, but it has a delicious subtle spice...and mellowed by the steamed milk. She also said that you can your friends it's pronounced "ROY-BUS" :)
The name may cause you to think Vanilla Syrup is added, but actually the vanilla is part of the tea infusion and classic syrup is added. I REALLY liked this one and would order it with no sweetener as I bet the vanilla would give the tea a natural sweet aroma. Although I think this particular tea would work the best as a sweetened latte because of the cinnamon and vanilla notes in the tea.
I found no picture of this sample in my camera...probably because I was more enamored with this:
Oh yeah! Too bad I was verging on sugar overload at this time and couldnt thoroughly enjoy it...but I always have room for delicious cake and icing!!
#4 - Berry Chai Tazo Tea Infusion
paired with the Low Fat Blueberry Coffee Cake
"Combines Chai Tea concentrate with a proprietary blend of aronia berry (tart berry similar to cranberry) and black currant (dark colored berry with a sharp, sweet taste) juice."
I think one of my fellow tasters put it best when he said this reminded him of mulled wine! The berry juice base is very STRONG, and combined with the spicy chai as a hot drink makes me feel like I should be sitting next to the Christmas Tree! It was good for a taste, but I definitely wouldn't be able to drink a whole cup of this. This would really warm you up on a cold day though.
So...I don't have a pic of the coffee cake so I grabbed one from google images:
Moist and delicious...classic coffee cake batter meets blueberry muffin...mmmm.
#5 - Apple Chai Tazo Tea Infusion
paired with Low Fat Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Apple Fritter!!
"Combines Chai Tea concentrate with apple juice to create a spicy sweet beverage."
MMMmmmm...this brought me back to memories of apple picking and drinking hot cider with munching on a cider donut. Delicious!! I had actually tried this before; Brian ordered it a week or so ago...I suggested it because he loves Chai and Apple anything! I was also curious because I have tried a similar drink at TeaLuxe called Apple Chaider (basically chai steeped in cider). This was SO SO SO good! Especially with the little piece of fritter...basically like a glazed apple donut :)Brian has also ordered that fritter before...this is SUCH his combo! I have a feeling I will be asking for this a lot in the fall!
Other Tea Facts/Notes:
- These drinks are all customizable... sweetened, unsweetened, whole, 2%, or skim, more or less milk/water ratio...pretty much anything you may do with your espresso drinks.
- The teas used in these new lattes are Full Leaf teas...not the normal tea bags...they are bigger tea bags with the full tea leaves for a much fuller flavor.
- They are a great alternative to an afternoon decaf coffee drink
- My mom and fiance will be very exciter as both HATE coffee! (so weird :)
- You can get any of these iced!! Although I think Missy said that the Rooibos will take a little longer as there is no pre-made iced version but if you have an extra 5 minutes it's no problem!