It has a nice sweet caramel, fruit, and tea fragrance and the leaves are of a nice size. It’s not the long twisted leaves of Dawn, but still very nice. The liquor is a deep ruby color. It has a slight bitterness but no astringency. There is an additional taste that I cannot identify along with the tea taste. It is an acceptable tea but not stellar.
223 Tasting Notes
Kristin said, “You rooibos haters stay with me. I didn’t taste any rooibos in this tea.” And that was the reason I chose to try it. She was talking to me. I’m the total rooibos hater.
Wow! I’m so glad I put aside my pre-judgement and tried this. It is chocolate and absolutely delicious! Full chocolate taste with no unpleasantness. No bitterness. Little astringency. Not even that awful dusty taste that rooibos often has. Even the aftertaste is yummy. The smell is pure hot cocoa. I will be ordering more of this. Thanks to Kristen’s great review I’ve found a new favorite for the no-caffeine part of my day. Mmmmm!
Slight smoky, malty fragrance coming from a ruby black liquor. There is a powerful yeasty taste and a fair amount of bitterness. I’m really not tasting the oolong in this but it does have a nice complexity to the middle-taste (that taste you get immediately after swallowing as the liquid evaporates from your tongue but before the after-taste).
It’s an ok tea.
I’ve not had a good night’s sleep in almost a week. Each night I wake at 3 am and obsess about stressful matters at work and then don’t get back to sleep until 5:30 am. Since I must rise for the day at 6 am, this is completely inadequate. As a result of this lack of sleep my husband told me this morning that I look like a particularly ill raccoon.
I pulled this tea from my collection of samples because it looks like it can work caffeinated magic on my sleepy soul before a critical vendor contract meeting this morning. Straight from the envelope it smells strong and bracing. The malt rises to my nose and slaps me around a bit as if to say, “Wake up, Sleepyhead!” Once in water the flowery fragrances of Darjeeling mingle with a musky tea aroma. It smells appealing.
It brews up into a dark burgundy liquor with a nice no-nonsense sharp malty flavor with very little bitter and no astringency. I can feel it filling my veins with liquid power enabling me to negotiate well.
It is not a Dawn substitute since I wouldn’t want it strong musky malt every morning, but it’s great for mornings like today when things must get done and I lack the strength pre-tea to do them. This is truly a sturdy cup of tea.
The Search for a New Dawn continues today: One of the first things I did after bemoaning the evil fate that had befallen one of my two favorite breakfast companions (Dawn tea) was to check on Steepster for a set of teas to try to replace my favorite morning cup. I quickly came upon this one which looked promising. I love chocolate and hoped this would be a good Dawn replacement. Since it received rave reviews here, I ordered it and a few other Harney tea possibilities.
It smells more of hazelnuts than of chocolate in the envelope but once I brew it the fragrance changes to a more complex meld of scents that include nuts, chocolate, sweet tea, and some undefineable sweet note. Chocolate is among the fragrances but it is a softer chocolate than what I think of when I think of chocolate. (I like the darkest of chocolates so that is my benchmark.) The smell is pleasant.
The taste is better. There is a slight bitter edge that adds to the rich feel of chocolate in the tea and it combines nicely with the nuttiness and tea. It is more of an afternoon tea in my opinion since the flavors are a bit too rich and demanding for the morning and would do best with time to sip and a bit of bread or croissant to have along with the tea, but I’m happy with it today since today is the one day we don’t go for our run in the morning. I can’t really see quaffing this tea to get my pre-run caffeine and then haring off. However, it would work marvelously as a post-run treat after one of our long weekend runs, especially in the fall and winter or as a treat prior to going to the theater.
Will I buy it and add it to my unmanageably huge supply of flavored teas? Yes. I will.
Update: Out of curiosity I added a scant bit of creamed cinnamon honey made by a local woman to the tea. I just had the feeling it would work well and it does. It transforms the tea from a delightful chocolate treat to a wonderfully complex dessert. Now if I only had a croissant to go with the tea.
It smells delightful in the package, like some sort of sweet maple cream candy. Once drenched in hot water the smell begins to include the typical tea fragrance. It darkens very fast, turning a coffee-black so I remove it from the water before the three minutes are up. There is a slight astringency to the taste but no bitterness. Mostly it tastes of warm, cozy vanilla or like marshmallows with a bit of tea. I like it. I’ll probably be ordering some since it is a very nice, undemanding decaffeinated tea I can have anytime in the evening to calm after a difficult work day.
It is, of course, not a Dawn replacement since it’s decaf, but I like to try a company’s decaf tea in hopes of finding the perfect tea for night drinking and this one is definitely worth spending more time with.
Update: Now that I’ve spent more time with it (have almost finished the cup) I find that I need to upgrade the rating a bit. It really is comfort in a cup. All the emotional pain of the week has been bandaged up and kissed away with this tea. I will need to order more, but not until I finish the rest of my Harney & Son’s samples. At least waiting would be the responsible thing to do….
Welcome to the first day of Seeking a New Dawn: Carolyn’s quixotic search for the tea that probably doesn’t exist any more. I’ve ordered several batches of trial black teas from various companies: from inexpensive to pricey. In truth I really don’t care how much the tea costs as long as it fills that Dawn-shaped hole in my morning.
Today we start with an inexpensive Yunnan. The leaves are somewhat pretty with little golden bits. It has a classic tea fragrance with something light and fruity in the offing. It darkened up reasonably fast in the cup so I removed it. I’ve had a enough of over-steeped bitter tea after yesterday’s shenanigans in which no less than 3 cups of tea were ruined by my over-anxious boss’ sudden demands, which caused me to ignore the tea until it had reached the toxic stage.
There is a slight astringency but not so much as to be offensive. I’m not getting any bitterness but I suspect that it would not stand up to much more time steeping before the bitter set in. There is a very slight raisin after-taste. Overall it is an average tea. I would’t toss it, but it is not the Holy Grail of teas. I’ll finish my sample today (hoping it gives me strength for what has been a very difficult week) and move on tomorrow. It’s not a re-buy tea.
Slightly smoky fragrance with a leather undertone. The first cup was bitter so I dumped it and poured a second which had a leather taste but not much more. (Puerh improves with re-steeps.) Third cup still has a strong leather component and a slight bitterness but is developing something fruity in the fragrance. Third cup the fruitiness is gone replaced by a sober, rich flavor and fragrance as if apricots had dried without their classic sweetness.
Throughout this tea has a nice calming quality to it with just a little of the puerh buzz, that sense that one can be both meditatively alert and drunk on summer flowers at the same moment.
No notes yet.
This is my favorite breakfast tea. I’ve had it most mornings. The taste has a lovely chocolate note that wakes as it soothes. It is also difficult to oversteep it. I don’t think I’ve had a single bitter morning when Dawn was in my cup.
I steeped the tea and sniffed it only to recoil with an “Oh no! It’s kasha tea!” Kasha is a strong-smelling Eastern-European grain dish that my family makes. My father loves eating kasha mixed with eggs and fried onions and served with a side of pickled herring. (The kasha smells stronger than the onions or the herring.) My husband loves eating plain kasha. (I consider kasha to be a man-dish. One of those strong tasting things that only a man could like.) A few times a year I make kasha for my beloved and then pray for the smell to leave the kitchen soon. Once I made a cinnamon bread at the same time in the hopes that the cinnamon would defeat the kasha. No dice. Nothing defeats kasha. Nothing.
So, here I am sipping the kasha tea, I mean soba-cha. I’m surprised. It tastes good. The tea is roasty and sweet like cereal grains and it makes me feel good to drink it. But it still smells like kasha. I don’t know if I can get over that part. I’m going to share the rest of this tea with my kasha-loving beloved when I get home. Won’t he be surprised and pleased!
Much thanks to takgoti for sharing the experience!
Update: I’ve given my beloved a cup of Soba-Cha and he sniffed it and said, “It smells like kasha” then happily began sipping. He says it is wonderful and a very soothing tea. So I’m upping the rating to acknowledge his liking of the tea.
Andrea sent me this and I can see why she likes it. It is sweet with a fragrance redolent of cinnamon, cloves, and apple. I can barely taste the white tea base, but it is there and adds its own note. It was a nice calming drink for a difficult afternoon meeting. Thanks, Andrea!
It’s been a long, somewhat difficult day. So I pulled out this decaf to try tonight in hopes of a calming effect without the caffeine. It has a strong artificial flavor and taste. I guess I don’t really remember what grenadine tastes like. Somehow, in my mind, I thought grenadine tasted like maraschino cherries. I’m probably wrong about that. On the good side, there is very little bitterness to this tea. Every other possible taste is covered up by the strong strange taste that I am assuming is grenadine. Meh.
Is one especially patriotic if one drinks 1776 tea in the morning? Or would it have to be drunk on July 4 to get the patriotic points? It is a silly name for a tea.
The ingredients don’t seem to match what I think of when I think of revolutionary history either: strawberry, maple, Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas.
None of them are even the teas tossed into Boston Harbor, which consisted of 240 chests of Bohea, 15 of Congou, 10 of Souchong (all black teas), 60 of Singlo, and 15 of Hyson (both green teas). Green tea accounted for about 22% of the shipments’ total volume, and 30% of the value. Now if someone wanted to create a Boston Tea Party blend in honor of the event in 1773, those are the teas to blend.
But I’m delaying telling you about this tea. Either I brewed it too long or it is naturally this bitter. There is a strong strawberry taste similar to Marco Polo. I don’t taste the maple. In truth, I’m not anxious to taste anything more from this tea.
Off to brew something else.
This tastes remarkably like a cherry cordial. Or at least it tastes like a cherry cordial if it were coupled with very dark intense chocolate. In the end, I added honey to the tea to take down the slight bitterness of the tea. Just a smidgeon brought out the decadent tastes of chocolate and cherry and satisfied my cravings for the afternoon. Much thanks to Janefan for steering me toward Culinary Teas. If this is indicative of their quality, I think I will be extremely pleased with their teas.
I think I just don’t like this one. The base seems fairly bitter to me and the weird artificial smell and taste just kind of bothers me. I brewed it for only three minutes this time just in case it was the brew time.
Nice sweet grassy aroma and taste. Brews into a greenish yellow murky liquid. It is soothing.
I’m finally beginning to understand what is meant by a tea having a “strong cha ‘Qi’”. I’m normally a pretty thorough rationalist so talk of a tea’s qi just makes me roll my eyes. However, I’m beginning to see that something real is meant. The tea brings a great sense of relaxation, sensuality and feeling of happiness and well-being as I resteep and drink it. I think I understand why PeteG is able to drink puerhs at night without harming his sleep. Perhaps I could with this tea as well.
As I move through the steepings and re-steepings of this tea it develops a sweet, fruity, slightly floral taste. There is a tiny bit of sharpness with a note of resin as well. It has fragrance notes of apricot and lychee and sweet honey. Very nice tea.
This is definitely not a maidenly tea. The first steeping has notes of musk, cheese, and a surprising bitter bite for a puerh. Subsequent steepings are sweeter.
Update: As I’ve continued on with the re-steeps this tea has transformed into a sweet, floral, slightly peachy tea. It’s very nice.
This is very nice. It has a sweet honey melon flavor. The liquor is pale yellow moving to golden as the tea resteeps. I’ve resteeped it several times and each time the sweetness and fruitiness are more pronounced. Sometimes it is more like honey. Sometimes the flavor is fruitier.
Update: Apparently 12 resteeps are enough to overwhelm the leaves. My twelfth re-steep was listless and barely flavored. So I’m moving on to another raw puerh.
Yesterday was such a great adventure that I feel that I should be a bit more adventurous in my morning tea choice. So I’m trying this Tanyang Gongfu black, which is quite a pretty tea with small twisted leaves and little golden tips mixed throughout.
Later on I’ll be doing more puerh exploration with my new Xiying tea pot which I seasoned day before yesterday. More on that later today.
In the meantime this tea is quite nice. It has a very sweet fragrance with notes of a very light fruitiness and a slight coconut or vanilla note. It brews up into a reddish brown liquor with some slight murkiness. A slight bitterness and astringency mars the sweetness of the tea but it is otherwise a fairly nice black tea with complex notes of fruit, cocoa, raisins and something else I can’t identify. It gets sweeter as it cools.
We just returned from a five hour trek through a frozen swamp. It was exhilarating crossing logs, creating our own shaky log bridges across treacherously deep swamp waters and then walking (him) or crawling (me) over them.
It was terrifying when we fell through the ice and ended up in deep water and even more frightening when we realized we were lost, soaked, the temperature was dropping down to 12 degrees and we might not get out of there. Our bones might decorate the swamp just as the skull of the small creatures we saw going in decorated it.
Thankfully we’d packed Clif bars as emergency rations and we ate them to get enough calories to encourage our bodies to make heat to dry our jeans and clear our minds. Not that it worked all that well as a heating trick. Our jeans froze hard as boards when subjected to temps in the teens and a brisk wind. But it did clear our minds sufficiently to find a way out again.
Once we arrived home the obvious question for me (that I’d been contemplating since our fourth hour slogging through the swamp) was what tea was suitable to serve as a warming celebration beverage after such an adventure? I picked this one and added a bit of honey. Mmmm. It tastes like victory. Swampy victory.
It really is a yummy coconut tea and the addition of the honey and Silk creamer makes it even yummier!