161 Tasting Notes
Was in the mood for a straight green while I try (once again) to get started on my last paper for the semester. It is a family case study with regard to health policy, so pretty boring to research and write about. At least to me. :/
Anyhow, I was happy to find one more sample bag of this hiding behind the flavored matcha. I used a little bit less leaf than last time and it is still great. Fresh, sweet, and a bit buttery with that hint of water chestnuts that I like so much- just what I wanted this fine afternoon.
Dry: This is made up of light and fluffy shorter black leaves with numerous golden tips. It smells pleasantly malty and sweet in the bag.
Steeped: Clear medium brown liquor. Still has that lingering sweet aroma from the teapot with hints of malt and honey.
Taste: This is a lovely tea, with a nice malted burst that becomes honeyed on the tongue with a light lingering almost sweet potato sweetness in the aftertaste. It is subtly complex and makes a nice cup. That said, I don’t plan to buy a larger tin of this. I’ll stick to some of my other H & S favorites like Paris and Scottish Morn. I tried Teavivre’s Golden Money first before I ever sampled this one and they are very similar, but Teavivre’s was my favorite of the two. It seems more flavorful and had a higher quality dry leaf, so there we go. :)
Happy Thanksgiving Steepsters!
Dry: Short black tea leaves with some stems noted. Smells like sweet and creamy vanilla. Not vanilla extract, but a sweet and lovely vanilla none-the-less.
Steeped: Clear brown liquor. Smells a little more like vanilla extract once boiling water is added to the loose leaf, but it calms down as it expands back to that dry creamy scent.
Taste: This one is a nice and sweet vanilla tea. It is not complicated nor overpowering, just rich and lovely. No bitterness or astringency noted. I have been on the search for the perfect vanilla black and I like this one quite a bit. I went back and forth, but I think in the end I like it just a bit more than the Harney Vanilla Black, too. I do not need any more tea right now, but I might snag a larger bag this weekend to keep it stocked up in the cupboard. I only had 1oz to begin with, but I think I’ve had it for breakfast the past couple of days straight plus some random afternoons this week and last so there is only enough for one more teapot. I need to try this with milk and sugar as I’ve been drinking it with nothing added this entire time.
Hope you all have a wonderful day!
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this wonderful sample!
Dry: Tightly rolled olive bundles that seem to include a bud and full leaves when unfurled. Smells green, almost grassy, and mild. I wasn’t sure what to expect at all in the brewed tea from the package because the dry scent is not anything that really caught me initially, but (spoiler alert) I was very pleasantly surprised.
Steeped: Clear light green liquor. I brewed this with the Western method and it needs even more room than most oolongs to expand as the bundle of leaves are quite large and whole. It smells sweetly floral and fresh.
Taste: As soon as I took my first sip, I was falling in love. It is my new favorite Taiwan oolong. I am greeted with creamy milk blended with soft floral notes. I am not into flower teas usually, but the flavor of this tea is lovely and elegant with a silky mouthfeel. The aftertaste is sweet and mild, leaving me wanting to take another sip time and time again. I daresay I like this even more than the milk oolong with its smooth buttery goodness and natural milk flavor.
Everything is frosted and quiet outside, the sun is just starting to peek over the towering trees, and I am sipping a taste of the mountains on this fine Sunday morning. Yes, please!
This tea somehow works beautifully for a chilly grey Fall day. Coconut meets cocoa and while it sounds summery, it is warming and delicious. If you haven’t tried it with a dash of 2% milk, it adds depth in the form of a lovely creamy note. I’m really glad a bought a larger tin of this because it is a keeper in our house for sure and is a very tasty tea overall.
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this fantastic sample!
Dry: Twisty longer black tea leaves with tons of lovely golden tips. This is not one of those teas that is supposed to have tips that has a few lighter bits sprinkled into the black leaves. It looks at least half gold in the infuser. The dry aroma is very fragrant, thick and bready.
Steeped: Dark orange-brown clear liquor. Smells earthy and almost a touch smoky-sweet from the tea pot, like roasting sweet potatoes with natural burnt sugar bubbling on the potato skin. The leaves expand and unfurl quite a bit in the infuser, so they need a little extra room to breathe.
Taste: This is my first Golden Monkey black and it is quite lovely! I brewed it with the Western method and it came out as an enjoyable cup. Very mildly fruity with nothing added and there are still those roasty, malty sweet potato notes. In the aftertaste, there is an earthy, almost bready lingering flavor that lasts far beyond each sip. I would agree that this is a distinctive leaf, completely different from the other I’ve tried before and I am looking forward to steeping it again!
Dry: This tea is confusing me a bit. I almost wonder if I have the right one in the sample bag because the description and the tea itself doesn’t seem to match up so great. On the Harney site, it says the dry leaf is small broken brown Assam leaves. My dry loose leaf looks like small broken Assam with tons of bright golden tips instead with dark brown CTC (cut, tear, curl) pellets mixed in. The picture of the tea on the site and what is in my infuser doesn’t match, but it smells nice and malty like Irish Breakfast should. When I pour water into the infuser, the obvious CTC pellets (that the Harney description indicates are not included) rise to the top. If this is the right tea, it smells nice and strong for what it is worth. :)
Steeped: Dark brown clear liquor. I added milk and it looked almost like a coffee latte sitting on the counter this morning. Nice rich breakfast blend malty aroma.
Taste: This tastes like a pleasant Irish Breakfast even after I added milk, so maybe it is the correct sample and they modified the ingredients? A touch roasty, nice malt flavor, and overall a decent strong tea. I think this sample is more delicious than the English Breakfast, but my favorite of the Harney breakfast teas is Scottish Morn. This is a nice back-up though. Sipdown!
Thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this wonderful sample!
Dry: Short and twisty black loose leaf tea with a few golden tips mixed in. Has a pleasant notably sweet and lightly malted fragrance. I really like Teavivre’s Keemuns apparently because this one is another winner!
Steeped: Medium coppery-brown clear liquor. I didn’t add anything to this and the brewed aroma (Western method) retains a bit of that sweet note from the loose leaf. There is also a touch of smoke and of course that lovely malt.
Taste: I really like this tea, just as much as I enjoyed the Grade 1 I tried recently. They are very similar, but this one seems to be a bit more flavorful perhaps. I may need to do a side-to-side comparison soon so I know which one to order a larger bag of. I love the feeling when you taste a tea and just know you need to keep it around.
Anyhow, this is a wonderful breakfast choice for a Sunday morning. Thick mouthfeel added to a rich, fruity, mellow base. There is a slight pleasant mellow floral and smoke aftertaste. The complexity makes me think of a lower cacao percentage dark chocolate with that sweet aroma and taste dancing around on my tongue. I might need to have a nibble of the hazelnut and currant dark chocolate I have stashed with this tea for just such an occasion. :)
Apparently I forgot to review this tea until the last cup as I’ve been drinking it off and on for months. So, this is a sipdown and I have mixed feelings about this matcha blend. It is quite tasty as a stand alone flavored matcha, but in comparison to the French Vanilla, it is missing something. It has the tangy notes that I associate with cheesecake, but even as a chilled latte, I would not have guessed cheesecake unless I read it on the label. I don’t think it is the flavor level itself as it was ordered as robust, but rather that it just lacks the buttery creaminess that I associate with cheesecake. I think the caramel matchaccino may have also spoiled me to some extent. While I wanted to love this one, but I am not sure it will be a reorder unfortunately.
Dry: I was really excited to try this one because.. Dorchester! Anyhow, it is a basic CTC (cut, tear, curl) in appearance with all brown chopped tea leaf bits. It smells like a nice strong black blend, malty and sharp straight from the bag.
Steeped: When steeped, this one smells like a traditional English Breakfast with stronger malt character to me. It has a clear dark brown liquor and loses some of the sharp dry notes. Almost looks like a cup of coffee with a dash of milk added.
Taste: I did not try this straight as it is meant to have additions. It tastes hearty and full-bodied with 2% milk added and I imagine sugar would contribute to a pleasant cup as well. I am not sure what the blend is made up of (and I couldn’t find it on the website), but it reminds me of a more robust version of the Harney’s English Breakfast. This is a smooth, non-astringent, and with a thick mouthfeel that all contributes to a lovely morning wake-up. That said, I like Scottish Morn better. That is just personal preference though- this is a lovely breakfast tea.