1204 Tasting Notes
John Harney Appreciation Tea #21
The first time I brewed Winter White Earl Grey, I oversteeped and the result was less than felicitous. Today, I kept the steep time short, and the result is very pleasing. On reflection, that principle (mutatis mutandis) may hold for ever decent tea on the planet: it all turns on the preparation parameters. Get them right, and you’ll be satisfied. Get them wrong, and you’re likely to cry foul, when in fact you are at fault!
I have already been noticing that white tea serves as an excellent canvas for flavors. In this case, Winter White Earl Grey lets the imbiber really get in touch with the essence of bergamot: lemony goodness with no sharpness whatsoever. I know, it sounds impossible, but here it is!
I also taste the white tea in this blend. In hot weather such as today’s, I prefer not to have a heavy cream-doused earl grey. This one was just right.
John Harney Appreciation Tea #20
I bought a tin of this Lover’s Leap a few months ago but somehow it got lost in my cupboard. It’s easy to succumb to temptation at the H&S website because their teas are so reasonably priced!
Happy to report that this light-amber liquoring tea is very smooth and refreshing brewed hot on a warm day! It almost has a lemon accent built into it, and so tasted great au naturel (I have already finished my large glass…). The color is gorgeous: yellowish amber, and the infused leaves are torn into pieces and rather green. This is a high altitude Ceylon tea, but I find overlaps with darjeeling as well. Think: darjeeling without the grass and with a dash of lemon added. The dried leaves, too, reminded me a bit of darjeeling, which is why I kept the steep time shorter than I would for a darker black tea.
I would not think to adulterate Lover’s Leap. Its smoothness and fine flavor make this a stand-alone for me.
John Harney Appreciation Tea #18
I found a few of these wrapped sachets of Organic English Breakfast tea from H&S (I believe that they came in the beautiful red linen covered gift box), and just noticed that the tea is actually completely different from the HT tin English Breakfast. In this case, the tea is straight organic Keemun. In the HT tins, the English Breakfast is a multi-origin blend.
Well, I prefer this one (although the other one tastes more like my “concept” of English Breakfast). I am drinking this orange liquor au naturel, and the flavor is really nice—as good as some of the haute single origin black teas I’ve tasted recently. But of course that’s what this is: Organic China Keemun!
I wonder why the ratings are lower for this than the standard H&S English Breakfast? Perhaps because this tea tastes less like the English Breakfast we’re all so used to, from Twinings, et al…
John Harney Appreciation Tea #15
I’ve been mainly preparing loose leaf chamomile since I acquired a big 1 lb bag of it, but now and then I still brew up a sachet. It’s just as delicious and not as messy, plus it’s a good method for portion control. Seriously, I sometimes really go overboard with my loose-leaf brew. I also love to use the spent sachets for eye masks. When my Historic Palace tin is empty (I have a few more sachets), I’ll be filling the gorgeous and generous-sized tin with the rest of my loose-leaf supply.
John Harney Appreciation Tea #14
This Yellow and Blue is aesthetically pleasing on so many levels. Olfactorily, the lavender and chamomile mingle together most enticingly. The dried tea is visually gorgeous with the cornflower and lavender mixed in with the chamomile. The liquor has a brief yellow opening but then quickly becomes somewhat green—it’s the mix of the blue and the yellow. It becomes a bit more golden after a couple of minutes. The tin is beautiful (it’s one of the HT tins with copper accents and inside and a matte blue outside color with adorable embellishments).
Then there’s of course the taste. This is basically the perfect balance of lavender and chamomile. Very soothing and delicious, too.
Flavors: Flowers, Lavender
John Harney Appreciation Tea #13
The first time I tried Fruits d’Alsace, I found the brew too weak. Today I weighed out the tea, and the result was much better! Once again, I was able to enjoy a flavored black tea sans crème. I guess that adding cream became a habit after so many scratchy blacks. These ones from Harney & Sons, however, I find to be smooth. They do not need to be camouflaged.
Fruits d’Alsace dried smells exactly like Bonne Maman Fruits Rouges Preserves, with a big emphasis on raspberry! The dark amber liquor does not taste specifically like raspberry to me, however. Instead, this is a red berry-flavored black tea. Very smooth and enjoyable.
John Harney Appreciation Tea #12
Breaking news: I just discovered that Boston is better than Paris! Seriously, I imbibed this glass au naturel, and it was totally delicious! By force of habit, I reach naturally for cream when I prepare a flavored black tea, but I occasionally remember to take a sip plain before adulteration. Today I discovered that Boston tastes great with nothing added! Now I must increase my rating…