85

Apparently I’m on a bit of a Harney & Sons sampling kick. I’d like to say I’m going to be methodical about it and stick mostly to these for a while but that would probably be misleading. I have just as much of an urge to go on an Earl Grey, Breakfast Blend, or oolong or pu erh or chai comparison kick, or to do a methodical French tea sampling. I can see myself doing a lot of H&S for a while, but I doubt we’ll be in an exclusive relationship. ;-)

100% Keemun. Hmm. Not sure I’ve had that before? In the sample packet the dry leaves have a dark and sultry smell. Not sweet, more earthy or planty, at least to me. There’s also an interesting sharp note that seems like …. vinegar and salt? Seriously I’m having a flash to potato chip seasoning. I’m getting that note in the steeped aroma as well. Pretty interesting and not something I’ve experienced before. I’m intrigued.

With that aroma I’d expected a sharpness to the taste, but that’s nowhere to be found. It’s incredibly smooth! There’s a sugary sweetness in the finish that follows a woody flavor. No salt or vinegar in the taste. There’s a fullness to the mouth feel, though I wouldn’t describe it as quite full-bodied. Closer to medium. There’s an interesting, almost smoky note in the aftertaste. The tea is a little drying, but I kind of like that so it doesn’t bother me.

Hmm. Not sure exactly how I feel about this. It’s good, but I think I need more Keemun experience before I pass judgment. I’m not sure I’d pick it over a richer, fuller breakfast blend. But you never know.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Auggy

So your last two tasting notes have pretty much guaranteed I’m going to have to place a H&S order soon!

JonTea

I love your tea notes.
A great tea company which I love is David’s tea. Some really interesting great teas from there. I agree with Auggy, your tasting notes are really making me think I have to try myself some H&S !

__Morgana__

Haha, well, I’m having fun trying them — I’ve had my order of samples since around the beginning of April and I’m just now getting to them. [sigh] Too much tea!

JonTea

Too much tea? No such thing for me :P

Auggy

Gotta agree with JonTea there – no such thing! Okay, so sometimes I tend to look at my pantry and have an OMG moment but I get over it. :)

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Auggy

So your last two tasting notes have pretty much guaranteed I’m going to have to place a H&S order soon!

JonTea

I love your tea notes.
A great tea company which I love is David’s tea. Some really interesting great teas from there. I agree with Auggy, your tasting notes are really making me think I have to try myself some H&S !

__Morgana__

Haha, well, I’m having fun trying them — I’ve had my order of samples since around the beginning of April and I’m just now getting to them. [sigh] Too much tea!

JonTea

Too much tea? No such thing for me :P

Auggy

Gotta agree with JonTea there – no such thing! Okay, so sometimes I tend to look at my pantry and have an OMG moment but I get over it. :)

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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