224 Tasting Notes
I have to say first that this tea has beautiful leaves: tiny twisted dark brown and golden leaves tangled together. They smell sweet like raisins and honey with a slight floral note. Brewed there is a slight bitterness combined with the taste of raisins and tea. It is reminiscent of Golden Moon’s Sinharaja (though I like Sinharaja better since it lacks the bitterness).
I’m a sucker for long twisted leaves and this tea has them in spades. The instructions call for this tea to be steeped for two minutes but I think it would probably do better a bit longer. As is the tea is sweet with fruity notes and the slightest frisson of cinnamon. I do not taste the maltiness that the package claims. It is an excellent tea. I will definitely put this one on my shopping list.
The tea presents a dark brown liquor. It has a strong malty smell with notes of leather and fruit and the barest hint of smoke. It brews into a powerful wake-up tea with a bitter back note combined with maltiness and a very slight sweetness. It’s not really for me except for those few mornings where I need something truly powerful to wake me up.
A very tasty tea with a similar flavor profile to Dawn. There is the same cocoa note along with notes of caramel and musk. No bitterness or astringency. I’m hoping this is not some sort of delusion brought on by Dawn deprivation. I’ve saved a small amount of Dawn for comparison purposes and I’ll do a tea-off with these two in coming days. Even if it’s not exactly the same, it is very, very good and I can see having a happy morning ever-after with it.
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.
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.