765 Tasting Notes
I would like to start the day but saying Thank you John Harney and family, Thank you!
Harney is one of my fav tea companies. So I was super excited to be able to pick up this special edition 30th Anniversary blend. It came in the usual Harney sachet form.
This tea is SOOOO good! The assam is bold and malty. But the Yunnan gold tips and silver tips definitely add a lot of silky smoothness the tea. It is lightly sweet, very natural tasting. There is a slight earthiness to the tea but it mixes well with the maltiness of the assam.
Definitely no additions needed for this tea. I will be drinking this on all day, and will shed a few tears when it is gone.
I received this one as a free sample in my recent Harney order. They actually gave me two free samples, both this tea. The description of the tea on the package doesn’t sound too bad. This was the usual Harney sachet.
The dry tea looks like crushed up chammomile. So I brewed it up. The tea smells like frozen fish sticks. No jokes. It is very pu’erh, fishy. Also very deeply woody. But unfortunately like the old rotting wood and pine needles that have been laying on a forest floor for a few years. The kind when you step on it, you kind of sink in a bit.
Before I tasted it, I added some honey, lots of honey. I don’t usually add honey to my tea but I just couldn’t stomach the smell of the brewed tea.
To be honest, it is a bit hard to tell the taste. I also just ate a piece of pickled garlic because I am getting a sinus infection. Garlic works wonders for my immune system. I also love garlic. Mmmmm.
Ok back to the tea. Even though I have garlic lingering on my palate, I am getting a very woodsy type taste. More like cedar mixed with pine. There is a tingling feeling that I sometimes get with mint but there is no mint flavour. Even though I put about a TBSP of honey in the tea, it is only minimally sweet. This tea is very reminiscent of chamomile and chrysanthemum teas. Neither of which are even close to being on my “meh” tea list.
I think this is a good herbal tea, its not fruity, not spicey, definitely different. But I am not liking different tonight.
My dad gave me a pyramid tea bag of this a while ago.
I am already irritated by this tea and by this company. For starters there are several websites that are called Tea of Life, or something similar. When I finally got to what I assume to be the correct site, there is really no correct site and it all leads to facebook, amazon, ebay, etc. There is also no info on soursop tea from this company. So very irritating.
I figured out what soursop was from other teas with the same same. It is a custard apple. So this tea is supposed to be an excellent tasting green tea with a fruity flavour and a bitter aftertaste.
The dry tea smells funny, reminds me of soup broth.
The brewed tea is…different. The green tea is brisk. Not smooth or buttery. There is quite an artificial chemical taste which I am assuming is supposed to be the soursop. There is a slight sweet/sour taste. A bit like a granny smith apple but not quite strong and certainly not natural tasting. There is a bitter aftertaste but it is not bitter as in overbrewed green tea. More bitter, like how a fruit can be bitter.
I think it is safe to say I do not like this tea. But I also need to admit that this review was tainted by bad experience before I even tried the tea.
Made a resteep with last weekends tea bag. It was a bit week from the first steep so I did this one boiling in 2 cups for 3 minutes, with about 3 tsp white sugar, but added only half the amount (the pitcher) of water than usual. I am happy I did. It is quite weak. I find you can resteep most of SBT’s a second time but there are a few that just don’t hold out, and this is one of them.
It is still good. Just tastes like really weak iced tea. A bit of artificial lime flavour. Not so much cherry. Very mild black tea base. If I made this one again, I wouldn’t bother with the resteep.
Made this one again. Used 1.5 tsp per 8 oz and steeped for 2 minutes at approx. 90C. I figured that was the best of both worlds. Definitely much more bergamot in this taste this time. It lost a bit of its sweetness but it is not bitter. The base tastes much more of a black tea, I am not getting any greeney flavours, but I think the green smooths the base out a little. The base is just bordering on woody tasting this time. Much better this way.
This tea smells so super delicious. It is deliciously bergamotty. The dry tea even has little shreds off orange peel in it, so it must be good.
I was a bit disappointed in the taste of the tea. It is still a great earl grey, but a bit of a let down considering the smell and that it is a Fauchon tea. It was definitely woody tasting. The bergamot is sweet but very light.
In writing this review, I just noticed this is a mix of black and green tea. In both times I tried this tea, I made it too hot. I will have to adjust my steeping parameters and try again.
This one was part of the SBT kickstarter way back in October 2013.
On first viewing, the tea bag is quite small as compared to the “older” SBT’s. I was not necessarily concerned about this, but it is just an observation. Both “new” and “old” packages list the same weight, so it is most likely the newer version is just more economical.
I am unsure if I have ever had cherry limeade. But I can imagine what it tastes like. Or what I think it should taste like.
Brewed this one up as per usual, 1 bag in 2 cups boiling water, white sugar added, brewed for 2 minutes, then filled the jug with cold water and chilled.
I was expecting a super tart cherry-lime-lemon-citrus flavour. But on first sip I was sadly disappointed. There are definite cherry and lime flavours but they are quite blunted and not tart or sour. Definitely artificial but not in a horrible way. I also felt it wasn’t sweet enough. But as I kept sipping, I thought, this is actually quite good. It is more along the lines of a real iced tea, vs a sugar crystal drink mix. (Duh!)
I can taste the black base a bit, it gives a smoothness and creaminess to the tea. No astringency or bitterness at all.
I have changed my mind, and I like this one now.
Well I am going to give this a try. I have been kind of MIA lately. About a week and a half ago I had to have eye surgery. I haven’t been able to really use a computer a whole lot since because of blurry vision and trouble concentrating. But it is getting better. So bear with me on this review.
I had been saving this one for last from my recent Red Leaf order. I am a total sucker for delayed gratification. This was the flavour I was most looking forward too. I love ginger. And the more gingery the better. I absolutely love drinks like Jamaican ginger beer.
I got this one as distinctive only for the reason that the order also contained some fruity flavours and I did not want to make the order complicated by getting some flavours distinct and some robust. But I would have liked to have gotten robust.
The smell of the dry matcha is very gingery. Not so much like a gingerale soda, but more like an alcoholic ginger beer. Delicious.
I mixed this one up cold, 1tsp per 8 oz water and a bit of white sugar. The taste was…ok. A bit different. I think I need to change my parameters a bit. There was a sweet ginger taste. But not really ginger spicey at all. It was almost as it the flavour was a bit floral and perfumey. Some bitterness that could be the matcha or could be the “ale” part. Not as strong as I would have liked but that may be due to the flavour distinctiveness I chose.
I think next time I make this, I am going to try a bit less matcha.
You can purchase it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/ginger-ale-matcha.html
And now my eyes are all blurry from looking at the screen :(
Edit: This one is slightly better with using a bit less matcha. More than 3/4 tsp but less than 1tsp.
Made this one iced.
It was ok. The anise was settled down a bit and the fennel was stronger but the flavour was still predominately black licorice. Surprisingly I had to add quite a bit of sugar to sweeten it up.
I initially thought this one would be better iced vs hot but I am not sure. Still need to try it as a cold brew though.
I am a bit disappointed in this one. I think it is my fault though. I love wuyi oolongs, they are so roasty and toasty and comfortable. But I think I failed to properly read the description of this one before I purchased it. I was tea-blind.
This one taste much more of a green oolong. It is greeny tasting with a lot of floral notes. Not terribly much roast or toast or comfort. It did brew up quite thick with a lot of honey notes.
It is still quite a delicious tea, just not what I was expecting. I would normally reserve a tea like this for the afternoon, not the first one of the morning. So I feel like I am not quite wakened up yet.