950 Tasting Notes
(2nd) Tea of the morning……
Ahhh. That is the sigh of happiness. My first pot of tea this morning was a dump out. You know those teas that you keep trying to like because you have a slight bit of buyer’s remorse…. well, this is the reward tea, because I finally got rid of the tea that was no longer making my tea journey a happy one. I should probably do even a little more stash editing, but I think my tea drinking friends are tealogged themselves!
Then, it was onto the tea that I know can fix any bad mood…..my first black tea love….Harney’s Keemun Mao Feng. I love this one any day. And really, I should drink this one more often. I still have a full tin from when they were sold as 4 oz (rather than 2) to enjoy.
Definite notes of cocoa and malt. The slightest hint of smoke. Very rich and wonderful. This is one of which I never tire.
On a super wonderful note, we are finally getting some much needed rain. I did not know my grass could turn gray in spots…..I have seen brown and crunchy, but never gray and essentially flat. I am thinking it might need reseeding in places. Actually, I have been more worried about the trees. Such an odd Summer. But I guess it was time for the extreme warm weather. I remember a summer here when we were lucky to get up to 80. Now 80 seems like a cold spell. Anyway, I will enjoy the rain and this wonderful tea. Life is good.
Usual teapot method….yes, a whole teapot with a resteep! Soo happy!
Tea of the afternoon…..
I am a lucky girl. Russel at the Harney Tea shop graciously sent me some teas to try….a couple of the new Ambessa teas and some iced tea sachets. It is funny on the iced tea sachets…I have always given them as gifts and never kept any for myself to try. Reviews of those will be up within the next week, as what else is there better to drink in this abnormally hot Summer we are having?
I have to admit, I was most excited about this tea, though. I love the subtlety in Harney’s Earl Grey blends….the perfect level of bergamot with the particular tea base of choice. I was very much drawn in by the mention of this being a smokey version of Earl Grey. Can we just say it is love at first sip? I wish I had tried more smokey Earls to compare this one, but then again, this will probably be the standard to which I compare all others. For comparing to other more standard Earls, the tea base is just heftier and more dark. I would even call it more mysterious and, of course, very lightly smokey. For some reason, I think this tea would be the perfect complement to a period mystery….. I definitely need some, but I think the tea base will lend itself better to cooler temps. Who am I kidding?….I bet I can’t hold off for more than a month.
Thank you, again, Russel for your generosity!
Usual mug method.
Have I mentioned how perfectly the Harney logo mugs go with my Forlife Curve teaware? They are the same mug as the tall infuser mugs! And it is a good way for me to have a few more cups to go with my infusers. Life is good.
Tea with lunch…..
I have been reading ashmanra’s reviews of this tea and decided I needed to give it a shot. I wanted another ForLife tall mug and a refill for my Malachi McCormick tin, so I decided to order from the Millerton Shop. As always, their service is great, and very personal. I have come to accept that if I value the personal service, it makes sense that it would be more evident in interactions from the shop than the website. Once a process becomes mostly automated and takes out more of the human element, it just becomes more impersonal. Both definitely have their place, though, and I do appreciate the simplicity of both, and that my favorite tea comes to my door. It is a wonderful thing!
I tend to think Assams are a little on the brisk side for me, but since this one is blended with the golden variety, I thought it might work. I get notes of malt, super light smoke, and I do sense a slight note of chocolate which I would not expect, along with a light briskness from the Assam. I do see why she thought there was a hint of Keemun in this, and it was actually that part of the review that intrigued me the most. My favorite blend for breakfast tea is Malachi McCormick, and I am amazed how similarly they taste. This one is a little maltier and brisker than Malachi, and lower on the cocoa notes, but still pretty smooth. In comparison with Harney’s Organic Assam, the Anniversary Blend is sweeter and more cocoa-ey with the Organic Assam having the edge over Anniversary Blend in briskness and body. While I don’t think it will replace my beloved Malachi, this is definitely a good one. It is like Malachi, but with an extra kick in the pants! Sometimes, that kick is very beneficial, especially on Monday. I also have to say how well this held up in a pairing with a ham, salami, and American cheese sandwich. Some teas get lost in strongly flavored food parings.
Usual mug method.
Backlogging iced tea from the weekend…..
I am loving these new iced teas offered by 52teas! Nicely done, Frank! The berry notes in this are at a perfect level for a very refreshing pitcher of iced tea. I love the tea base. There is just the perfect amount of Darjeeling to make it bright and I am sure that adds to the refreshing quality of the tea. So happy that I have some more en route to me in the mail!
Usual iced tea method.
Tea of the morning……
Even though this is the end of my sample, there is no SRP* count on this because I bought some for my stash. This one has become my smokey tea of choice over the version I had from Upton. It is a little smokier and maybe brothier…..I kind of want to call it slightly bacony. The version from Upton was a great starter Lapsang for me. I would call this a little more in the medium smoke range and could be a little more long term for me…..or at least for 100 grams worth!
Usual teapot method.
*my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan
Tea of the afternoon…..(loose leaf version)
….immediately after the UPS man stopped at my house! I am so happy to have Diamond Jubilee in loose leaf and I have a whole pot to myself. It is just as wonderful as the sachet version….well, perhaps even a little better and you can see the tea. Oh my, the silver tips are huge! I still get the wonderful scent and taste of sweet grapefruit and lemony bergamot. Thank you, Mr. Harney, for listening to our pleas to offer this loose. I am still squeeing!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…..
I have enough of this for a few more pots of tea. I love the malty chocolate notes, and it is always fun to watch these open. It is definitely a good resteeper. In fact, it really takes two steeps to get the pearls to open all the way. Not sure I will purchase here as there seems to be a few vendors of very similar tea. It will depend on where I am shopping at the time. This is not the most convenient place to shop for tea in small amounts.
Usual teapot method….12 pearls in my 24 oz pot.
Iced tea of the day, again!
This is for the resteep. I put the used tea bag from yesterday in the refrigerator overnight and then steeped it all over again today for 5 minutes…..
The verdict: It is nearly as good as the first steep. I still get notes of creamy, citrusy, sherbert-i-ness. I do think the flavors might be slightly diminished, but not by much. Definitely ordering more. So refreshing!
Iced tea of the day……
I am so glad I decided to try a few of these. Iced tea is a necessity in the Summer, and what better way to get teenagers interested in good iced tea than Rainbow Sherbet flavor? It sounds so much more fun. I definitely get a creamy, citrusy, sherbety sweetness and the tea base does not compete with the flavor. Well done! While these fun flavors won’t completely replace my usual iced teas, I will be picking up a few more bags of this and trying a few more. How fun!
Usual iced tea method…one bag. I did add ice and water to close to 2 quarts. Definitely trying a resteep later.