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85

The smell out of the sample packet is rich and delicious. It made me go “wow.” Chocolate! Coffee! Sugar! A tiny bit of smoke, and some planty earth.

Deep dark reddish liquor. The many fragrances of the dry leaves smooth out into a malty, Yunnany aroma. There’s a little bit of smoke but it’s not super smoky.

The flavor is strong, bordering on intense. I wonder how it would be steeping only 3 minutes. Will try that next time. It’s definitely an eye opener at 4. The flavor has the intensity of coffee. Wonder what milk would do?

It isn’t quite as smooth and mellow tasting as it smells; it has some… not really bitterness, more a lack of sweetness that is surprising given the aroma. There’s smoke in the taste, but it’s not strong. The consistency isn’t chewy but the impression is stout, like a dark ale. There’s a kind of cocoa note in the aftertaste.

This one is going to be worth spending an extended visit with to see what variations might be possible. It will be interesting to go into a second tasting at another time now that I know what to expect.

Rating this because it has a lot of interesting things going on with it. Not sure how I feel about the intensity yet.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Yeah, you totally had me at “Chocolate! Coffee! Sugar! A tiny bit of smoke…”

Tamara Fox

This one makes me feel like a queen if taken in the proper setting, i.e., an English tea garden setting :)

sophistre

I’m with Auggy on that! It sounds deeeeelicious…though I’ve found some teas jarring in the past when they promise one thing and delivery another, especially in the ‘sweet’ department. Still sounds worth investigating!

ashmanra

I love this one on mornings when I feel sore and sluggish. It really gets me started up and brightens my day. The smokiness is slight, and it has lots of flavor. I just ordered another tin with the new Harney coupon. Catherine would have probably had tea that was much smokier, I expect, since it would have been more like a Bohea.

__Morgana__

Ordinarily, the stronger the flavor the better as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I was just having a wimpy morning, but it hit me like a ton ’o bricks and/or like Cher in Moonstruck when she slapped Nicolas Cage and yelled “snap out of it!”

See, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x-fkSYDtUY

LauraR

What coupon?

ashmanra

It is the online coupon that you enter at checkout. It is SUMMER12 and you get 12% off your order and at $50 you also get free shipping.

ashmanra

Love the Cher reference!

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Comments

Auggy

Yeah, you totally had me at “Chocolate! Coffee! Sugar! A tiny bit of smoke…”

Tamara Fox

This one makes me feel like a queen if taken in the proper setting, i.e., an English tea garden setting :)

sophistre

I’m with Auggy on that! It sounds deeeeelicious…though I’ve found some teas jarring in the past when they promise one thing and delivery another, especially in the ‘sweet’ department. Still sounds worth investigating!

ashmanra

I love this one on mornings when I feel sore and sluggish. It really gets me started up and brightens my day. The smokiness is slight, and it has lots of flavor. I just ordered another tin with the new Harney coupon. Catherine would have probably had tea that was much smokier, I expect, since it would have been more like a Bohea.

__Morgana__

Ordinarily, the stronger the flavor the better as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I was just having a wimpy morning, but it hit me like a ton ’o bricks and/or like Cher in Moonstruck when she slapped Nicolas Cage and yelled “snap out of it!”

See, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x-fkSYDtUY

LauraR

What coupon?

ashmanra

It is the online coupon that you enter at checkout. It is SUMMER12 and you get 12% off your order and at $50 you also get free shipping.

ashmanra

Love the Cher reference!

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Profile

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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