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80

Steeping this at the time and temp shown in the Harney note.

I’m on a mission to try all my Harney samples so I can place an order for the ones that make the cut. This is the last black tea sample I have from my two orderings. I also have a white, and some greens including the green sampler set, and the oolong sampler set.

The problem so far is that most of them, except for the tisanes, are making the cut. Which means I’m likely to end up with more tea than one can possibly drink in a lifetime (and I already think I have more than that). Especially since I like two decafs and they seem only to come in teabags or 1 pound loose leaf. What’s up with that? Suggestion box entry: 4 oz tins of the loose decaf blacks please.

Anyway, black teas and oolongs are apparently my weaknesses, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to put the breaks on after this one and the oolong sampler.

I enjoyed reading the description of this in the H&S note here on Steepster. Very interesting story. The dry leaves are quite pretty. Very delicate and spidery looking. I do get a cocoa note from the smell of the dry leaves, but mostly I get a fruity smell. Yeah, it could be apricot. I don’t think I’m being overly suggestible here.

The tea is a really gorgeous color. It is a sunset red/orange when seen through a glass cup. The tea’s aroma is very honeyed, very fruity.

It has a bite to it. It’s grabbing me in the back of the throat a bit, not a sensation I’m ever overly excited by. Which is odd, because it otherwise gives the impression of being quite smooth. It has a very “tea” flavor, by which I mean (and I know this is going to sound bad though I don’t at all mean it that way) it tastes like Nestea smells, that superconcentrated slightly sweet quintessential (for an American) black tea essence. Now that I think about it, there is something very apricotty about that smell, and that’s what I taste here. I’m not getting a ton of cocoa, but that could be because I got distracted playing a game with the kids and this was a little cooler than it perhaps should have been when I tasted it. I do get some in the aftertaste, which is very nice. I have enough in the sample packet to try again and drink it a bit hotter.

I’m torn on this one as I really dig the flavor, but I don’t dig the bite. Rating it on the low end of excellent for now and will see how the next steep plays out.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Go on facebook and make the suggestion to Harney and Sons. You might be surprised. I asked for Florence in an 7 ounce and got it. David Homa asked for a 50 count sachet bag of something and got it! Give it a try!

__Morgana__

Cool, sounds like something to try! (Can everyone get Florence in 7 oz now? I only saw it in 4 and pounds.)

ashmanra

Hmm, I just ordered a 7 oz and it is supposed to be here Wednesday. It was on the site last time I checked. Maybe I was the only person who ordered it?

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Comments

ashmanra

Go on facebook and make the suggestion to Harney and Sons. You might be surprised. I asked for Florence in an 7 ounce and got it. David Homa asked for a 50 count sachet bag of something and got it! Give it a try!

__Morgana__

Cool, sounds like something to try! (Can everyone get Florence in 7 oz now? I only saw it in 4 and pounds.)

ashmanra

Hmm, I just ordered a 7 oz and it is supposed to be here Wednesday. It was on the site last time I checked. Maybe I was the only person who ordered 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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