156 Tasting Notes

66

Dry: Lovely short black tea. Unfortunately, the dry leaf smells artificial. More like medicinal fake cranberry and almond than the rich strong dark fruit or nut notes I associate with some of the other blends. I was really excited to try it when I ordered samples, but from the dry scent I am already not so sure..

Steeped: I have had good luck going for longer steep times with Harney black flavored blends. I started this one at five minutes and I think it would have been fine with six at least. Clear brown liquor. The steeped aroma is more appetizing than the dry scent to me as I can smell a little bit of tea at least in the hot tea pot.

Taste: This one tastes better than I expected, but is not a reorder for sure. The black tea is mild and smooth with no bitterness whatsoever. The main flavor though is still that fake (to me) medicinal cranberry with almond. The almond is fine, the black tea is good.. I just don’t like the cranberry in this at all I think. I associate cranberries with rich, tart, potent flavors and this one is too sweet and artificial. I don’t hate it, but it reminds me more of cough syrup than of any of my other favorite Harney tea blends. Pass!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74

This is the best rose tea that I’ve had so far, though I must admit that I am not an overall floral fan in food and drink. The grassy green notes blend nicely with the fragrant flower petals, though there is a touch of bite at the end of each steep. The bag states 3-4 minutes, but it might do better with 2. David’s must want me to like it as I get a sample with every order recently, but I’m okay with seeing it go. Sipdown!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Sugar and Spice by DAVIDsTEA
156 tasting notes

Dry: Pretty black tea with what appears to be flower petals, orange peels, and whole cloves. Smells spicy and winter-like. I’m surprised this was a Fall tea instead of being released later in the year!

Steeped: Mostly clear medium brown liquor. I read after I brewed it that it can withstand seven minutes, but I only did four minutes and thirty seconds and I only had the one sample to work with. It smells very strongly of cloves fresh from the teapot and is reminded me more of a spicy chai brew than of cake.

Taste: I first tasted this with nothing added and all I was getting was orange and cloves while hot. I’m pretty sure I’ve had something very similar from the grocery store bagged teas and my husband wouldn’t even try it. I added sugar and 2% milk and it is much more enjoyable. Getting more of the other flavors like cinnamon and perhaps a hint of carrot? I am not getting any vanilla or apple at all. I wish I had enough to try it with sweetened condensed milk or something with more vanilla power, but I’m glad I was able to sample this tea because I would have been tempted to buy a 50g bag otherwise from the name alone. Alas, I don’t think this will be a purchase for me this year, but Pumpkin Chai sure will be!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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68

Dry: The loose leaf is a mix of a few different teas. Short + shorter black leaves are apparent in the tin with some random golden tips. From the website, I am looking at Tippy Assam and Kenyan both blended Kenilworth Ceylon. The smells of the dry leaves threw both my husband and I both off quite a bit. I was expecting something a bit earthy and malty with a hint of honey, but the aroma is very potent floral bee pollen type-honey notes to where I thought maybe I had the wrong tea at first in the sample bag. It is described as “smells slightly of honey,” which I would disagree with.

Steeped: Medium red-brown clear liquor. Smells very similar to the dry leaf- strong floral wild honey notes with an Assam aroma.

Taste: I didn’t really love the smell, but this tastes a bit more rounded out than the initial dry leaf scent. I definitely get Assam and floral honeyed notes. Although it is less potent steeped, I would still describe this one as pretty flowery overall. As it turns out, I would much rather just add my preferred honey to a favorite black tea base. Glad I was able to try it though and the next pot will be a sipdown! Happy Monday, ya’ll. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
156 tasting notes

I discovered today that this tea really shines with a dash of honey. Now that’s a good cuppa!

I also found golden tips towards the lower part of the 50g bag. I shook it up and it looks much more like the sample pictured on the website than my initial trials did. Happy weekend! :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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92

Dry: Loose black leaf tea with little orange pumpkin candies and small twigs (maybe bits of cinnamon sticks?). Smells wonderful, like autumn spices and pumpkin. I love this time of the year!

Steeped: Light to medium clear brown liquor depending on how much leaf you use. I’ve made this a couple of times now and it does best when overleafed for >4 minutes or the black tea is just too weak in my humble opinion. The brewed aroma is delightfully seasonal as well with a strong cinnamon note along with other baking spices dominating.

Taste: I like this one quite a bit, but I think I am in the minority because alas it is not my favorite pumpkin tea so far. I still prefer David’s Pumpkin Chai as my selection because I get more pumpkin/squash notes. This one is tasty, but primarily tastes of pumpkin pie spices with almost a vanilla or cream black tea base. I barely taste any pumpkin, though milk and sweetener does bring out more creaminess and flavor. I am having it straight this morning with no additives and while I am thoroughly enjoying it, I think I am going to go ahead and buy a bigger bag of David’s to keep in the cupboard as my go-to pumpkin brew for now.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

Oh I’ll have to try David’s, since I LOVE this one.

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84
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
156 tasting notes

Dry: Short black tea leaves blended with amaranth petals. Pretty dry loose leaf that looks like it might taste floral (but does not). Smells like malty chocolate and sweetened coconut straight from the sample bag.

Steeped: Clear medium brown liquor. Amazing and appealing that there wasn’t an oil slick like most coconut teas have. I overleafed this a little bit as I do with many flavored teas and the aroma is quite a potent blend of black tea and rich coconut. This tea doesn’t make me think of autumn exactly, but we wanted to try it anyway. :)

Taste: If you like coconut dessert blends, this is a good one. I made it with a dash of agave first and my initial thought was that it reminded me of Mounds or Almond Joy candy. With notes of chocolate, vanilla, and coconut blended into a smooth Chinese black, it came out quite delectable and is probably one of the better (best?) coconut black teas I’ve had. The second time around I drank it straight and I actually think I prefer it that way because I don’t generally have a giant sweet tooth (unless you park a cupcake in front of me anyway). My husband enjoyed SoHo as well, so a tin of it will probably join our family before too long.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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50
drank Cocoberry by DAVIDsTEA
156 tasting notes

Dry: Brown mix of what appears to be coffee beans, powders, and dried fruit. Smells like strawberries (on the artificial side), cocoa, and maybe roasted mate? I’ve never had mate before, so I am not sure what it is supposed to smell or taste like.

Steeped: Very cloudy brown liquor. Smells like coffee scented with berries in the teapot.

Taste: Straight up, this one has a weak roasted coffee flavor to this former coffee drinker with a mix of medicinal berry aftertastes mingled in. It isn’t horrible and I can tolerate it straight, but it is more enjoyable to me diluted with a good bit of milk more like a latte. I wouldn’t personally buy this to have again, but glad I was able to sample it. I’d like to try more mate blends at some point for comparison, but this one definitely didn’t hold a candle to my good teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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83

Today I finished the 50g bag of this I’ve had for a while. I enjoyed the last little bit, but I don’t think I am going to re-order for the time being. I still have a good 2oz+ of Harney’s English Breakfast that my husband prefers and some excellent TeaVivre black teas that I want to spend some time on. David’s EB was nice while it lasted and blended very well with others teas when I wanted a dessert type less sweet though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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91

Dry: This looks like a decent black tea with dried caramel bits. Smells like creamy caramel with a hint of vanilla. I typically don’t associate caramel with autumn, but this one somehow works even though it does not have any spices, apple, or pumpkin.

Steeped: Light-medium brown clear liquor depending on whether I overleafed or not. I tend to be happiest when I overleaf a bit on most of Della Terra blends to bring out a stronger flavor. Smells primarily like black tea with a light caramel aroma blended in.

Taste: This is a decent caramel tea! It is still not the perfect blend that I have been looking for as I primarily taste black tea, but it smells like caramel and has a detectable soft caramel flavor once you sip beyond the base with no bitterness/astringency. I had no expectations after messing with David’s Salted Caramel a bajillion times and never getting it quite right, but I am pretty happy with how this one came out. I added a bit of honey to the mug to sooth my throat and it goes really well, adding a sweet note to what is already a decent dessert cuppa. I think it would also be nice if I added a dash of milk in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I am a registered nurse that worked night shift for years on a catastrophic injury unit. I just started day shift and life is good! Tea is a simple pleasure in a complicated world.

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