I said I would never try Awake again, but I heard that Starbucks had switched to full-leaf teas and I was in a bind. A tea bind.

I got two bags of this in a Grande cup, and steeped it for about 2:45. Then I added a ton of 2% milk. I was really pleasantly surprised; it was a very robust and flavorful drink. I think I need to try this method with other teas that I know I like – load up on the leaves, keep brewing time super short, and be generous with the milk. I would guess the brewing temperature was a fair bit under boiling because it brewed in a cup, but I don’t know for sure. This is the tea served in large, silky bags in Starbucks; the flat bags are trash, I reviewed them in another note.

The finished tea was thick and bracing, with more raisin than malt. In overall character I would say it was like a slightly more nuanced and less astringent PG Tips. There was some astringency as one would expect with so much leaves, but not excessive like the flat Tazo bags or other poor-quality black teas.

I’m not sure where to put the rating on this, as I may be rating the method more than the tea, but it was good in any case. I’ll come back and modify the score depending on how other teas fare with the same technique.

But damn, I hate Tazo’s overly-cute marketing. This tea making tea shamans remember words? Ugh.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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I work as a web coder guy. I eat primal/paleo; I love math, science, gaming, and of course tea. I’ve been drinking tea since I was 3! I started with looseleaf in 2004 and have had lots of fun trying all sorts of new things since then.

I mostly drink black tea, and that usually with milk and sugar. I also enjoy, in more or less descending order:

cooked puers
rooibos, lighter greens, oolongs
whites, raw puers
some other herbals
darker greens


Somerville, MA



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