64 Tasting Notes
Reordered a larger amount of this tea a while back and I’m just getting around to brewing it again. Rich, earthy cocoa flavors dominate – almost like drinking a hot chocolate/tea hybrid – so delicious! This was one of their fall 2014 teas, and I am so glad I reordered – it’s still fantastic. I usually enjoy drinking teas in the appropriate season, so it’s strange that I don’t mind drinking this one now that it’s spring, but I guess that’s the chocolate fiend in me! I didn’t even add any milk to it, and both infusions were great. This one is such a winner!
Picked this up at the San Jose Lupicia store (now closed) when we flew out to Cali earlier this year. Since there are no Lupicia retail stores where I live (BOO!), I make it a point to stop by one if I am ever in the vicinity. I take no credit for choosing this tea, it was basically a call of “Hey, you want anything?” over my shoulder to the husband as I went inside, so this was his choice.
I thought I was buying a straight black. Upon sniffing the dry leaves I got a definite sweetness and vanilla scent. Interesting! Then I looked at the ingredients on the package: black tea and vanilla beans. Duh! So now I know my nose works, at least! As I’ve stated before, vanilla blacks can be tricky – too many of them end up with a thin, marshmallow-like flavor which I don’t tend to enjoy. Not so this tea. It’s so smooth and so drinkable, the entire pot of tea disappeared effortlessly. Awesome with breakfast. Added whole milk for extra creaminess. I didn’t get any maltiness from the Assam, just a really nice smooth black tea flavor with a hint of natural vanilla. Delightful! I should have never doubted Lupicia – I find their teas to be generally of high quality. So, kudos to the husband for choosing a nice, solid, very enjoyable tea (beginner’s luck!)!
My awesome husband gave me my birthday present today, and it was…drumroll, please…a Wagenfeld teapot! So exciting! It’s gorgeous! Nice, heavy glass, Bauhaus design, perfection! Cannot wait to try it! But…not with this tea, which is in it’s own bag, or tea temple, as the people at Teapigs like to call these things. I picked up a small sample at the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival last month, and thought today would be a good day to give it a shot, as I am a confirmed chocoholic. Not much in the way of scent, dry or brewed. It’s a nice, pleasant black with a subtle earthy chocolate flavor. This will absolutely NOT bowl you over with chocolatey goodness; it’s a lightly scented black, but the chocolate is there, albeit faintly there. Very nice with my breakfast. No sugar, a bit of milk, as always. I like it, but most likely won’t be getting more.
They were having a special at T2, so I got a 3.5 oz. package of Terrific Toffee for free when I purchased their Jade Mountain. Pretty nice giveaway, I’d say. Dry leaf smells sweet, not quite like pastry, not quite the caramel I expected, but more like cake. Yep, cake. How can you not love that? Brewed, and with milk, I get more of the creamy vanilla with a slight buttery taste. Butter cake! Or maybe yellow cake batter. The aroma is definitely like a vanilla cupcake. Quite yum. I have been known to oversteep my flavored blacks, and this one was no exception, but it was all good, no bitterness or bite at all. I even overleafed just a little bit (1.5 tsp per cup). I get the feeling if I played by the rules and brewed it according to the instructions, it would have been too weak. A very nice dessert tea (but I had this one with breakfast).
Flavors: Butter, Cake, Cream, Sugar, Vanilla
This has been staring at me accusingly for months now. I open my cupboard to figure out what kind of tea I’d like to have, and this bag that I bought on impulse ages ago is just pouting at me, asking me why I never drink it. Every time I open that cupboard. Ugh. I almost threw it out I was so sick of seeing it. But this afternoon I needed a little pick-me-up, and I finally decided to give it a try.
I mean, it’s definitely a chai, so it’s got that spiciness you’d expect. But it’s a white chai, and a very gentle, mild one at that. Which is absolutely OK, since it makes it a bit more versatile (I like to drink most chai teas in the autumn and winter only – it’s a thing). I like the lightness of it. Very fragrant, but in a refreshing way, with a bit of sweetness. Maybe iced next time? I have enough of it, and that bag ain’t goin’ away any time soon.
Had a cup this morning, from a sample I got when I purchased some tea at the relatively new T2 retail down in SoHo. I brewed it in the infuser I purchased from them, so it was all very easy, but weird for me as I usually make a pot of tea at a time, not a cup. It’s a very nice black tea, with cinnamon and vanilla notes as well as something earthy going on. I can’t quite determine that component, but on the whole, it was a nice complement to my breakfast. Maybe the earthy thing was supposed to be the pancake flavor they describe, but it didn’t seem like pancakes to me. That would have been wonderful, because I just looooove pancakes. Especially for dinner.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Vanilla
It is once again sakura season in Japan. Not that I will be there to witness it in person this year as I did last year, which makes me unspeakably melancholy. So, in honor of the lovely cherry blossoms, the perfect color of optimistic, beautiful, feminine pink, and a sure sign that the warmer weather is coming, I’m sipping on Harney’s cherry blossom.
I’ve had it before and neglected to review it, so this review is long overdue. By now this tea’s a bit old (maybe a year and half), but the cherry blossom flavor is still very much there, although it never was very overwhelming, making this a bit of a sophisticated cup. I keep forgetting how pleasant it is. There’s just one weird note that always threw me and still does. There’s a funkiness going on, like musty? Moldy? Not quite sure how to describe it. Maybe it’s from the green tea. If you don’t overbrew it, this strange note will hardly come through so I’d recommend sticking to steeps lasting no longer than 3 minutes.
Nice hot, but next time I’ll try it iced. And once I finish it, I’ll most likely want to try another type of cherry blossom tea. Sakura wa utsukushii desu!