970 Tasting Notes

85
drank East Frisian by Harney & Sons
970 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…… (SRP #26)

I have had this sample in my stash for quite some time. I have been putting it off because I am fairly sure I am not a fan of this strong of tea. Due to my fear of super hard core black tea, I did go with a super short steep time for me. Only 2 minutes when my usual is 4. It totally worked!

I am pleasantly surprised by this one. I get the Assam in a non-bitter form, plus the softening of the bite of the Assam with Darjeeling. Then, there is a hearty breadiness with the Ceylon. Really quite enjoyable, and I am sure those of you who can handle a very hearty tea can easily handle this tea steeped full on. For me, I will have to stick with the ‘hard core blacks for wimps’ steeping method. Although I don’t like milk added to my tea, one day I might give almond milk a go. I am still pretty sure I will probably stick with hot and sweet.

Usual teapot method with a 2 minute steep.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Good discription! I think I’d try cream and sugar in the A.M. to soften the tea and see if butterscotch maltiness develops. I’m going to look for this one!

DaisyChubb

So brave! Good call on the 2 minute steep.
#26… this sample thing is going awesome so far by the sounds of it!

SimplyJenW

It is good to be at #26. Bad thing is, I have hardly made a dent. :o/

LadyLondonderry

You know I add a splash of almond milk to just about all black teas, but it’s really a must for the hard-core ones! :-)

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93

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!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
970 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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87

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…

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
970 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I have to add that I heard there is a Decaf Paris on the horizon! I am thinking it will be great for iced tea.

DaisyChubb

ooo that is excellent news!

SimplyJenW

I just looked it up and it is available on the website. I am so going to try it on my next order….

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89
drank Palm Court by Harney & Sons
970 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

2 Emails I sent to Harney were never answered. One concerned my credit card which was used by someone else right after placing an order with them.

SimplyJenW

Sometimes I wonder if a web form even works when I don’t get answered…. I work in online CS and I see how the customer feels about non-answered emails because some of our customers post on an outside forum kind of similar to this. There does need to be a respect for business hours, but all emails should be answered even if it is just to say for example “we have received your email. Unfortunately we don’t have an estimated time of restocking of x at this point. Mr. Harney is looking for a tea that meets his standards and has not found any.” How hard is that?

So sorry about the credit card thing. Are you sure it could be traced back to them? I have called a few times and gotten great service. If it was as serious as the credit card, I probably would have called.

Electronic CS is a young field and the rules of in person/by phone don’t apply. They need to spend more time on it!

SimpliciTEA

I totally agree with “I wish that whoever answers the web form understands that an ‘I don’t know’ answer is perfectly acceptable! … it seems like he is being ignored rather than his issue being looked into or it does not have a direct answer.” My guess is that when they (an online business) get an electronic communication (email, webform, etc) that they can’t answer right away, they think it’s better to not answer it (and then, the world being ‘busy’ as it is, my guess is they don’t track it to enable them to get back to it at some later date) rather than admit, in same way, shape, or form: “I DON’T KNOW”. I have been a teacher and a trainer for much of my life, and it’s hard to admit it when I can’t answer a student’s question; but I have found, “I don’t know, but I will look into it and get back to you.” to be a much better ‘answer’ (and then to follow up with them, even if the response is, “I’m sorry, I looked but I could not find anything. You may want to try looking here …”) than just letting the question drop. The customer/student may not initially like an answer like, “I don’t know,” but they know at least you were honest (and if you followed up, you made an attempt to find the answer).

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85

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!

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81

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cheryl

When all else fails, do a mini workout : )
(talking to myself too)

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Profile

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.)

Location

Ohio

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