87
drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

This has been in my cupboard for a few weeks, and I am just now getting around to trying it out. Really, ashmanra should get some kind of kickback from Harney…there were a few things in my last order where I just skipped the sample and bought a tin. I think I did that in my web order before this one, too, come to think of it…..

This is really good. It is definitely different than Vanilla Comoro. The vanilla is lighter, but oh the tea base is sooooo smooth….. I do think I might add a little more leaf to the next pot. 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect teaspoons- level (aren’t these really a tsp and a half? I bet that throws all of my previous notes off for readers, because I always use this spoon to measure tea), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

I never realized that about the perfect teaspoon… I never check it’s volume when I got it, but I guess that would make sense given the measurements I’ve ended up using to brew most teas (1.5 perfect teaspoons for 12oz water… so actually 2.25 tsp?)

JacquelineM

I’ve never heard of the perfect teaspoon! Where do you get it?

SimplyJenW

It looks that way…..my perfect teaspoon holds as much as my 1/2 TBS. measuring spoon, which calculates out to 1 1/2 tsp (because there are three tsp in a TBS). The scientist in me had to check into it based upon how much water they hold, but I digress……

SimplyJenW

Harney has one….
http://www.harney.com/Perfect-Tea-Scoop/productinfo/72775/
I got mine at a local spice shop last fall.

JacquelineM

I’ll have to order one next time! I have been skimpy with my leaves, and I bet this will help!

Dinosara

Well thanks for the confirmation! That may definitely change the way I measure some teas. I ordered my perfect teaspoon from a random merchant on amazon.com; they seem to be all exactly the same no matter where they come from, but they all say “1 cup of perfect tea” on the handle.

SimplyJenW

I wonder if it was made for those of us who view a cup of tea as an actual cup in volume, rather than the 6 oz. traditional size.

Dinosara

I’ve always been frustrated when tea directions say a certain amount “per cup”… per traditional tea cup (like you said, 6oz), or per volumetric cup (8oz)? Or per some nebulous 6-12oz cup/mug/glass that you might brew tea in? “Cup” is a pretty vague word, but I’ve always treated it like an 8oz cup.

SimplyJenW

I go volumetric, too. And it looks like my spoon has been compensating for me all along…. :)

Indigobloom

same… 8oz works for me so that must be right!

ashmanra

I bought my spoon at A Southern Season and we always use it to measure our tea. The one Harney sells is the same.

LadyLondonderry

This spoon issue is something that never even occurred to me. Jen, your tasting note prompted me to measure my own “perfect cup of tea” spoon (which happens to be half of a two-ended tool with a tablespoon coffee measure at the other end). Turns out it’s just about the same as a measuring teaspoon … whew! However, I usually use a little extra leaf anyway, because I’m seldom drinking from a 6-oz teacup.

ashmanra

I just checked my Perfect Cup spoon and mine is also exactly one regular teaspoon, which would be the right amount of leaves for six ounces. I would really love to have the cup weight scale from Upton because some tea leaves are so large that they don’t measure out properly. I know it is about the weight of an American dime per six ounces, so for my Beehouse pots I weighed several dimes, noted it on my scale, and use the scale to measure for a whole pot when it is really fluffy or long leaves. The Upton scale is more sensitive and face it…way cooler. Plus they had it programmed so that you can put your available leaves on the scale and it will tell you how much tea you can make with them! Want! Want!

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Dinosara

I never realized that about the perfect teaspoon… I never check it’s volume when I got it, but I guess that would make sense given the measurements I’ve ended up using to brew most teas (1.5 perfect teaspoons for 12oz water… so actually 2.25 tsp?)

JacquelineM

I’ve never heard of the perfect teaspoon! Where do you get it?

SimplyJenW

It looks that way…..my perfect teaspoon holds as much as my 1/2 TBS. measuring spoon, which calculates out to 1 1/2 tsp (because there are three tsp in a TBS). The scientist in me had to check into it based upon how much water they hold, but I digress……

SimplyJenW

Harney has one….
http://www.harney.com/Perfect-Tea-Scoop/productinfo/72775/
I got mine at a local spice shop last fall.

JacquelineM

I’ll have to order one next time! I have been skimpy with my leaves, and I bet this will help!

Dinosara

Well thanks for the confirmation! That may definitely change the way I measure some teas. I ordered my perfect teaspoon from a random merchant on amazon.com; they seem to be all exactly the same no matter where they come from, but they all say “1 cup of perfect tea” on the handle.

SimplyJenW

I wonder if it was made for those of us who view a cup of tea as an actual cup in volume, rather than the 6 oz. traditional size.

Dinosara

I’ve always been frustrated when tea directions say a certain amount “per cup”… per traditional tea cup (like you said, 6oz), or per volumetric cup (8oz)? Or per some nebulous 6-12oz cup/mug/glass that you might brew tea in? “Cup” is a pretty vague word, but I’ve always treated it like an 8oz cup.

SimplyJenW

I go volumetric, too. And it looks like my spoon has been compensating for me all along…. :)

Indigobloom

same… 8oz works for me so that must be right!

ashmanra

I bought my spoon at A Southern Season and we always use it to measure our tea. The one Harney sells is the same.

LadyLondonderry

This spoon issue is something that never even occurred to me. Jen, your tasting note prompted me to measure my own “perfect cup of tea” spoon (which happens to be half of a two-ended tool with a tablespoon coffee measure at the other end). Turns out it’s just about the same as a measuring teaspoon … whew! However, I usually use a little extra leaf anyway, because I’m seldom drinking from a 6-oz teacup.

ashmanra

I just checked my Perfect Cup spoon and mine is also exactly one regular teaspoon, which would be the right amount of leaves for six ounces. I would really love to have the cup weight scale from Upton because some tea leaves are so large that they don’t measure out properly. I know it is about the weight of an American dime per six ounces, so for my Beehouse pots I weighed several dimes, noted it on my scale, and use the scale to measure for a whole pot when it is really fluffy or long leaves. The Upton scale is more sensitive and face it…way cooler. Plus they had it programmed so that you can put your available leaves on the scale and it will tell you how much tea you can make with them! Want! Want!

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Bio

My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

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