949 Tasting Notes
Tea, or should I say, teas of the morning…..
I decided to do a side by side of Malachi McCormick and Supreme Breakfast. I do like them both, but am trying to decide which one to keep around. I do realize that I could keep them both, but I am going for a little more simplicity here. I need to rein in the stash and settle on a few breakfast tea choices rather than a few dozen.
I think the Supreme Breakfast is heavier on the Assam, but it could just be that it is blended with higher quality teas. I get a heavier malt than the Malachi. I brewed this one a little longer than I did last time (4 minutes instead of 3) and I think this hits the Assam bitterness threshold for me. It could probably be corrected for my palate with steeping time. I do have to say that I am leaning more toward the Malachi. What I love about Keemun tea is the cocoa notes, and Malachi has them. They are much lighter in the Supreme Breakfast. I definitely can’t say that I am sorry that I tried the Supreme because it is a great tea blend, but for now I think the Malachi fits me better. It is such a relief that I can still be happy with good basic tea, and that my tastes have not all given over to the more expensive varieties. (Malachi is currently $20 a pound, and Supreme Breakfast is $32.)
Brewed side by side by the usual mug method.
(I also ordered a Harney Mug in my shop order…it is the same as my white ForLife mug, except with the Harney logo. Since I have three ForLife infusers from my one mug and two teapots, it all works out perfectly for side by side comparisons!)
Tea of the afternoon……
I actually took a bit from the bag of this for my friend who wanted to try this and Cranberry Autumn. I know she won’t mind, and I wanted to see if this is how I remembered it. It is one of the first things I ordered at Harney long ago along with my long gone tin of Paris. You know how the palate tends to change over time….. I know my love for that tin of Boston kind of ran out well before it was gone. I am starting to wonder if it was a seasonal thing because I bought it in the Fall and my taste for it had gone by Spring. I have figured out that certain flavors of tea appeal to me the most in the proper season. I think this is definitely a Fall tea for me. I also think 2 oz. would be the perfect amount, because this would not be a daily tea for me.
Very present notes of cranberry with a light hint of almond. Actually, better than I remember.
Second tea of the morning……
I have plans for this one if I like it. I only bought 2 ounces of loose from the Millerton Shop to be sure I would like it. I am a little confused why a tin of 2 oz on the website is $13, because 2 oz of loose at the shop is just over $5. I saved enough on this tea alone to more than pay for my shipping from the shop. It only comes in a pound in loose tea on the website other than a sample, so I will probably only be buying this one from the shop.
First trial of this was using about the same volume of tea that I would when prepping a black….this is not really typical for whites. They usually recommend 2 tsp per cup rather than 1 due to the fluffiness of the tea. I used much cooler water than for a black tea, steeped for 2 minutes, and sweetened. I can tell I probably won’t need to sweeten this one. It is light and sweet all on its own which is a bonus! I love it when I find a tea I like that does not need my Splenda crutch. I think for my next cup, I am going to try a little more leaf, and leave out the sweetener. I also really want to try this one iced. I have a thing for iced Earl Greys….. I am also imagining this one with a little jasmine added…
Tea of the morning…..
Wow. Pow, right in the kisser. This one is strong. Of course I need to preface with the fact that I don’t like to add milk to my tea, so that will play a factor in my review.
This is a strong, very malty black tea. The first time I tried this, it was bagged and with water from a water dispenser that probably was not super hot. I am also sure I did not steep it all that long. For that cup, I got smooth, pretty malty, but very enjoyable. This time, it is a little over the top for me. However, I am pretty sure it can all be solved by a few tweaks on my preparation. My perfect teaspoon measure was pretty scant, but I went a full 3 minutes. I think I will try 2 next time. Then, if that doesn’t work, I can lower the water temp a bit. I just need to be sure I write it on the package so I remember next time!
Usual mug method with scant measure and 3 minute steep.
Tea of the afternoon…..
I have not had this one in the cupboard for a very long while, but have been considering getting the bagged version of this for travelling for some time now. Since it was only about $3 to get 2 oz added onto my shop order, I went for it.
I had forgotten how lovely this is. Notes of berries, vanilla, and bergamot on a fabulous black tea base. So much better than Marco Polo in my book, but kind of similar. I will thoroughly enjoy these few ounces and order bags for travel at some point. Yum!
Usual mug method.
Tea with lunch…..
Today, lunch was a ham sandwich on Italian bread with colby jack cheese, mayo, and a ripe tomato. And Palm Court Tea.
Assam, Keemun, Ceylon, and Oolong. Compared to my Supreme Breakfast this morning, it is definitely lower on the malty taste, but there is a bready taste that comes from the Ceylon in this blend. I am also getting a toastiness that is not present in the Supreme Breakfast, and I am guessing that comes from the Oolong. All of these flavors are seamlessly woven together in a well rounded cup of tea. I am pretty sure this will not make it to a breakfast tea for me, but it is still fabulous. I need the super punch of maltiness in the morning.
On an interesting note, my receipt from the Millerton Shop noted this tea as Palm Court (Titanic). I think that means this is the same as Titanic Blend.
Usual mug method.
Rated just a tad higher than Titanic because I like it better in loose leaf!
Tea of the morning…..
I purchased another round of 2 oz samples from the Harney Millerton Shop. I love getting tea in 2 oz amounts for sampling. The samples on their website work, but I prefer having a little more time to make my decision about purchasing larger quantities. Sarah was the one who filled my order, and was the one who handled my email correspondence. She was very helpful and very professional. There were questions I sent to the main website that were more easily answered by her at the shop, and I appreciate the extra effort to get me an answer.
Skip this part if you want….it is my mini-rant about online customer service in general. Not specific to Harney. (I was asking about the Black Jasmine and when it might return to stock. I have not yet gotten an answer from the web form inquiry, which I am guessing the person who handles those questions did not know the answer. Sarah asked Michael Harney for me. Sometimes it is knowing who to ask. Also, I wish that whoever answers the web form understands that an ‘I don’t know’ answer is perfectly acceptable! Just answer the inquiry rather than leaving someone hanging! I often wonder if people who have worked customer service in person realize that there is a different way of handling service by correspondence. You need to answer every single email in a timely fashion. If the customer does not get an email response in a few days, it seems like he is being ignored rather than his issue being looked into or it does not have a direct answer….. The “in person” equivalent from the customer’s perspective: You are working the counter, and they are the only person standing there having asked a question, and you are pretending like you did not hear them. )
I am in a spot where I am almost out of my 8 oz. of Malachi McCormick that is my favorite breakfast beverage, so I decided to try a few more options for my breakfast tea of choice before diving into another 8-16 oz. Supreme Breakfast sounded like it would be a good contender as it has higher quality teas of the same varieties that are in my beloved Malachi. I also ordered a few ounces of Eight at the Fort, Palm Court(Titanic)*, Organic Assam, and Irish Breakfast. Let the trials begin!
Tippy Assam and Hao Ya B. This is really good. It is a more refined version of Malachi McCormick. The leaves are finer and I can see the golden tips in comparison to Malachi. The taste is smooth and malty with a touch of smoke and cocoa, plus a velvety mouthfeel. I am glad I have more of this to figure out if I want this one or Malachi. Or maybe 8 oz of each…..which kind of defeats the purpose of trying to simplify and pick one….. I just hope I don’t end up with 5 winners plus the Malachi.
Usual teapot method with a 3 minute steep.
*Surprisingly, my receipt listed it this way, so I am guessing that means Palm Court and Titanic are the same blend. I am so not sorry I bought the Titanic Blend, though. The tin is so pretty.
Iced tea of the day……
I made this one by my usual iced tea method. No sweetener, because I am weird in that I only like hot tea sweetened. So, I am surprised at the sweetness in this one! It must be the licorice root. I get sweet, lemony, tart, and a slight bit of mint all rolled up into one refreshing drink. (Luckily the hibiscus in this one is very light and not the main player in the flavor profile!) I am a little concerned, though. It is almost 7pm and there is ginseng in this. Am I going to be up all night again?
I will definitely continue to make this one iced. It is yummy!
Second tea of the morning… (SRP #25)
Man, I am dragging to day. I was hoping that my fist pot of Keemun would wake me up, but no go. In fact, this one is not helping, either.
As far as the flavor goes, it is good enough. I don’t think this will make the purchase list. The bergamot is strong in this one, but I guess since they were aiming for extra, they hit it in my book. I agree with Cheryl that you can taste the tea in there, but just a little. It is pretty much bergamot tea. Of what I taste in the base, it is a good basic black. I might have to sample their Original Earl Grey next.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…. (SRP #25)
If you like a smokier Keemun, this is the one for you. The leaves are on the short side, kind of like something that is a BOP. Although it is not smokin’ like a Lapsang Souchong, it does have a notable smokey character that is perfect for the morning’s wake me up cup. It has a chocolate note in there, too, and a fullish mouthfeel similar to coffee. I am considering this one, because the smokiness kind of reminds me of my F&M Keemun that I loved while I had it. It is organic, which is a bonus, plus it is a bargain at just under $6 for 125 grams.
Usual teapot method with a 3 minute steep.