974 Tasting Notes
Tea of the morning…..
Not sure why I keep trying to like these strong breakfast teas. This one is definitely more brisk than I normally drink. Chinese black teas tend to be less brisk and more smooth. This one is a kick in the pants for the morning. The leaves are fairly broken up. I would not call it a CTC like Harney’s Irish Breakfast, because it is missing the last C. I also get strong malt.
I decided today was the day to try adding some almond milk, so I splashed some in there. My almond milk is the flavored vanilla type. I am trying to cut back a little on my dairy, but still can’t live without small amounts of real cheese, real butter, and Greek yogurt. It did take the edge off a little. One thing that is weird compared to adding milk, the almond milk doesn’t lighten the tea as much. It is not a bad addition to tea for me, but honestly, I like my almond milk in a smoothie with frozen bananas and raw cacao powder……tastes more like a chocolate milkshake!
Mug method with a 3 minute steep. Sweetened and with a splash of almond milk.
Tea of the late afternoon…….
I have been on the search for a black jasmine tea ever since I tried the Jasmine Yunnan Tea at thepuriTEa. Why not just order the tea that started the obsession? Well, 4 ounces of that tea is $16 and then flat rate shipping is another $7.50. Plus, Yunnan would not be my first choice for such a scented tea as Yunnan is typically more peppery and malty than what I wanted. Harney was out of stock without prospects of a replacement for a while. This tea from Dragon Tea House on ebay was the first possibility that caught my eye at $12 shipped for 100 grams, but of course the shipping from China is rather long. In this case, I do think it was worth it. I had ordered some teaware from them in the past without issue, so I thought I would try some of their tea.
I ordered on April 24th. They shipped out immediately. It arrived today. That makes it almost two weeks even with a holiday. Pretty decent for free shipping. I am guessing prices are a little higher than what you would spend if you were there, but that is fine by me. It makes small orders much more possible, which I really appreciate. There was not much available in the way of tracking, but then some forms of post don’t update until the package arrives. I do have to sign for packages shipped by them if it matters.
On to the tea….. I really like this. It is not super floral, just lightly floral. The tea base is a good quality black tea. I do have to say that the smell of the tea itself was kind of strange, but the tea is wonderful. How this differs from my own blend of gong fu black tea and jasmine pearls…this is much more subtle. There are no notes of chocolate in overdrive, or heavy floral with the jasmine. I am sure I could play around with other black teas in my cupboard for a black jasmine blend, and I probably will at some point. But, I am so glad I took a chance on this one. It is lovely.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…..
This one is very pretty! The leaves are long and slightly curly, and very orange. Definitely all tips. I get mostly notes of honey and light notes of cocoa. Very nice, and I will have to enjoy it while I have it, as it is almost gone on the website. Last I checked, there was one 40 gram bag left.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the afternoon…… (SRP #27)
This is my first yellow tea! It comes from my foodzie box from LiberTEAS.
Brewing parameters for this are very similar to green teas. Leaves are long, and bright yellow-green, and somewhat curled inward toward the center spine. I used about 170 water for three minutes. I am amazed how much this reminds me of Long Jing. I think similar to Long Jing but not nearly as vegetal. It has the buttery mouth feel, but not super heavy buttery like some oolongs. I can drink this one without adding sweetener which is a bonus.
Very lovey and enjoyable. Just what I needed was another kind of tea that I need to buy!
Mug method with 170 water for 2 minutes. No additions.
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.
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.