85
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
112 tasting notes

I’ve had a rather stressful day today, so I was thrilled when I got a message in my inbox saying that I’d received a package to be picked up over at the dorm office. It was my sample for this tea!

I opened the packet and out came the delicious scent of hazelnut and chocolate. I could have sat there for an hour just enjoying the aroma from the dry leaves.

One hour (just kidding, more like three minutes) later:
I brewed a cup of this following the suggested temperature and steep time— 4 to 5 minutes with boiling water. I opted for 4 minutes, since I added an extra half-teaspoon to the suggested amount of one teaspoon per cup.

I took my first sip. For those who have seen the Pixar film “Ratatouille”, I’d like to point out the scene where Anton Ego, the food critic, has his first bite of the ratatouille he’s served. Time stops, and he’s transported back to memories of his childhood and his mother’s cooking. I basically had one of those moments. Minus the food memory. Time just stopped and there was nothing except for me and the cup of tea in front of me.

The chocolate and hazelnut complement each other wonderfully, and there’s never a moment where one flavour really overpowers the other. There’s a sort of creaminess to the tea, which is lovely, but I honestly don’t really know where it comes from— the chocolate or the hazelnut.

There was a lot of happy, incoherent babbling here that got edited out, as I was sipping away at the tea while writing this note. Bottom line: If you like Nutella or Ferrero Rocher chocolates, this tea is for you.

I’ve gotta get more of this tea. Excuse me as I go and place an order.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often. I’ve had limited experiences with white, mate, honeybush, matcha, and rooibos teas/tisanes. I’m not much of a fan of jasmine teas.

I’m still trying to figure out a rating system to go along with my developing tea tasting skills, so pardon any inconsistencies in my numerical ratings. At the moment, my rating system is as follows:

96-100: This tea is a must-have (or at least, a must-try).
90-95: This tea is amazing. I love it!
80-89: I really like this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
60-79: While I like this tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-59: I dislike this tea. It’s tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 50: I don’t like it at all. (Ranging from “I avoid it” to “You couldn’t get me to drink it if you paid me”)

Current favourites:
Irish Breakfast (Butiki, Adagio, or Golden Moon)
Grandpa’s Anytime Tea (Butiki)
Premium Taiwanese Assam (Butiki)
Special Dark (Mandala)
Xingyang 1998 Golden Leaf (Verdant)
Golden Fleece (Verdant)
Silver Buds Yabao (Verdant)
Milk Oolong (Mandala)
Hu-Kwa (Mark T. Wendell)
Paris (Harney & Sons)
Manistee Moonrise (Whispering Pines)
Coconut Pouchong/Oolong (Golden Moon or Zen Tea Life)

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