2114 Tasting Notes

drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
2114 tasting notes

I just restocked this last time I went to Raleigh. This is the same tea as the TeaGeschwendner. I hope I spelled that correctly. My youngest gets cravings for this and we had run out, and it is really popular at tea times, so I like to keep it around.

When I first had Marco Polo I really liked it and so did my husband back in his lots of milk and sugar days. We both noticed that it MP could be really finicky – bitter one time and excellent the next.

Well, this little lady isn’t finicky at all. They bill it as strawberry and yogurt flavors, and I do detect that tangy flavor like a sweetened sour cream or yogurt. Bottom line is I like it much more than Marco Polo and it doesn’t matter if I leave it a little too long.

My daughter and I drink it plain and find it perfectly sweet and smooth. It will take milk and sugar well if you prefer it that way. You can add a little more leaf and a little more time and have a hearty but well behaved breakfast tea. Love this blend.


totally agree on this one!

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Well, I guess I need to make it official. I am now a Darjeeling drinker. It was practically the only type of tea I didn’t enjoy for a long time. Then I had a Margaret’s Hope 2nd flush that almost won me over. And now these two Harney and Sons offerings for 2015 that I have tried have done it.

I tried this alone a few days ago, and then served it tonight with supper. My husband really liked it and drank cup after cup, and he doesn’t like black tea plain and therefore doesn’t drink it anymore. But Darjeeling really isn’t like black tea, even though it is classified as such and I finally have that through my head.

This was a lovely tea, with a nice briskness that was not astringent or puckering, but very enjoyable. It went very well with food since it had enough gumption to be tasted even through the Korean sweet chili sauce chicken wrapped in lightly steamed cabbage leaves and served with fried rice. It was also nice for sipping on after the meal was over. It really was a much better pairing than a standard black tea would have been, in my opinion, and was as good with the pseudo-Asian cuisine as a green tea would have been.

Thank you, Harney and Son, for the opportunity to sample some of the new 2015 teas!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I recently rediscovered Darjeleeng FF. you have to try Arya Ruby FF from Happy Earth tea. It’s amazing!

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I tried this with hubby last night. I did a rinse of about 5 seconds and then kept this tea at 30 second steeps based on the description.

The first steeps were grassy and had a little “bite”, but not unpleasantly so. It was the same sort I get from Chun Mee, which usually finishes with a late rising sweet note. Hubby said he didn’t notice it, but most reviewers on here mention it and I definitely got it in the first four steeps.

The fifth and sixth steeps were sweeter, lacked the bite, and became ever so slightly creamy. These were my favorite steeps of the evening. Strangely, the sweet aftertaste came in here instead of on the early steeps where I expected it, and it was light and fleeting.

If you like sheng with a little muscle but no real violent tendencies, this could be a hit!

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In spite of the fact that I have way too much tea, I do tend to be very frugal and try to use what I have or give it away, not just toss a bad one. This one was a little bitter and sour to me hot. I honestly didn’t know anyone who would just love to get their hands on this, so I decided to try it iced. If I make a few big pitchers of it, it will all be used up and I will have saved some of my favorites for more special occasions.

My youngest daughter and I tried it today and it was good. I don’t mind drinking this at all now that it is cold. I used four tea bags for my Bodum iced tea pitcher. I poured a liter of 174F water in and steeped for three minutes, removed the bags, and added water to the top of the pitcher. Then I chilled it in the refrigerator.

The tea is now smoother and I do taste the green. The pineapple is okay but when hot it has the bitter pineapple taste and I wanted a sweeter, more candy like one. With the tea cold, the mint is more refreshing and I am enjoying it more, especially with our 105F heat index. That’s around 40C for you metric system folks. My daughter was just sure I had sweetened it and was surprised when I told her it was absolutely plain.

I have a feeling we will be done with this whole box of tea really soon.

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drank Snow Bud 2015 by Harney & Sons
2114 tasting notes

I made and served this tea in relative darkness. Hubby and I had finished yoga and we’re going to have a quiet cup. I had the idea that I was making white tea, thus I was delighted with how much flavor It had. Then I turn on the lights and look it up and see that it is a green tea.

I am still delighted with it. Obviously, I couldn’t see the first steep in the dark, but the second is very pale, almost clear. The first steep was soooo creamy. Oh my goodness, it was good, with light notes of hay, lots of lip licking cream, and a far off vegetal flavor like baby spring peas. I don’t know what sweet white rind of watermelon would taste like, maybe this is it.

Bottom line – sweet, creamy, nice body, light vegetal notes, light hay. Definitely a contemplative, spa experience type of tea. Savor it.

Thank you, Harney and Sons, for the generous sample!

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YUM!! Harney and Sons consider this a daily drinker. It is organic, even though they do not trumpet that fact. The price point is really great.

I made this to go with our supper and hubby and I both enjoyed it very much. It was so smooth, without sourness, bitterness, or astringency. They describe it as squash or zucchini, and I second that although I would add a hint of the juice from cooking green beans. Hubby said he had five (small) cups. I had about the same.

I resteeped it and it was okay but not as strong as I would have hoped. For this price, it doesn’t have to resteep, but I think I will still play with it and see if I can achieve an extra steep. Probably buying this one again.

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drank White Fairy by Harney & Sons
2114 tasting notes

True to type, this is a very delicate and subtle tea. The scent is hay, and there is a little nutty flavor. This time it is the sweet nutmeat I taste, whereas often it is nut flavor with slight bitter walnut skin that I pick up in tea. The bitterness of nut was not present. This is one that had hubby repeating, “This is good” over and over. He is pretty picky so I consider that a recommendation!

We used one teaspoon of leaf and stopped at five steeps. We still had good color and flavor at that point. I think we could have gone one or two more but it was almost midnight at that point and we needed to go to bed.

This is one to enjoy when you have time to pay attention, not something for washing down our Asian buffet takeout.

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There is so much I do not know about tea, and I know the least about Darjeeling.

The first one I had was from A Southern Season. I thought it was “normal” black tea and I made it that way. I got a stomach ache. Then I read that it should have a shorter steep and tried it that way. It was better, but I still preferred Chinese teas and focused on them, having only a few Indian teas over the years. So I feel ill equipped to tell a Darjeeling lover about this tea, but I can tell what this tea lover found.

Dry Leaf Scent: bright, high, green, fresh, sharp-ish, with a hint of latex like a good oolong has.
Liquor: golden yellow, which always surprises me since Darjeeling is a “black” tea.
Taste: I am surprised to find myself thinking, "What magic is this? A Darjeeling that reminds me of Chinese green, a Darjeeling that has me thinking that this would be good to serve to my picky husband who only likes black tea drowned in milk and sugar, or green, white, or oolong plain. Yes, I am thinking that he would like this with our Asian takeout dinners.

The body is listed as medium in their description, but it has a creamy mouthfeel that makes me lean toward saying it is really creamy medium. The flavor is much like the scent of the dry leaves, but there is a little nut flavor underneath it all, with a tingle of citrus and grass, especially as it cools. I am reminded of Chun Mei. The taste and creamy feel really linger, like my tongue is swaddled in the last sip. It really fills the mouth and sinuses. And yet, it is light!

Having tasted it, I looked at the company description on their website. Chinese tea bushes, lighter style of processing… well, of course it all makes sense now!

My youngest daughter is drinking it with me. This is her first Darjeeling and she says that while she is not good at identifying and describing scents, she is on her second cup and says, “This is really good.”

And now we have polished off the whole pot! Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons, for the opportunity to expand my palate!


I generally use water at 195 F or there abouts. I’m no Darjeeling expert but for me that helps alleviate the stomach issue. Anyway, glad to see you have found an apparent keeper.


Thank you, K S! I did try 203F for three minutes with this one and had no stomach ache. With heftier, darker ones I will try that lower temp for three minutes.

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drank Black King 2015 by Harney & Sons
2114 tasting notes

Harney and Sons sent this as a generous sample to try. I didn’t know how generous until I looked it up just prior to steeping – $36 for two ounces! But all it took was opening the pouch to know that this was no ordinary black tea.

I am reminded of a tea that JacquelimeM and I fell in love with several years ago from them. I believe it was called Golden Snail and yes, I bought it because it was worth it. Sometimes you need to buy a really special tea. Just make sure that it IS really special and makes you feel magnificent when you drink it. You can have ordinary any old time.

There is a generous sprinkling of gold among the rich, black leaves. I followed their recommendation of four to five minutes with boiling water, going just over four.

The aroma is thick and full-bodied, as is the mouth feel of the tea. The nutty notes are high ones, they say pecan but I also am reminded of walnut. There is an incredible smoothness to this naturally sweet tea. (Remember all those golden tips!) It goes down so easily! My youngest daughter and I drank this at breakfast and she said, “Mom, I can tell this is really high quality tea.”

As I drink this, the thick body almost comes across as a creaminess, and the nut flavors lend a high note to the rich caramel smooth midtones. Think of the midtones of their Golden Monkey, specifically theirs because I have had Golden Monkey from places like Teavana that tasted nice enough but were more like a lower grade Keemun. The rich and creamy sweetness that I taste and feel is probably what they refer to as caramel, and I get that.

This may be going on the next shopping list, and I am pretty excited that my eldest and my youngest girls will be at the Soho Harney and Sons on Saturday! I can’t wait to try the other samples. Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons!




“The aroma is thick and full-bodied, as is the mouth feel of the tea. … There is an incredible smoothness to this naturally sweet tea. … As I drink this, the thick body almost comes across as a creaminess, and the nut flavors lend a high note to the rich caramel smooth midtones. … The rich and creamy sweetness that I taste and feel is probably what they refer to as caramel, and I get that.”

Sounds wonderful! When is their most significant sale of the year?


looseTman: I don’t know! They offer free shipping over $50 every day, and frequently offer free shipping with a $25 order. They have sales of one sort or another at every major holiday and then some. Have you signed up to receive their emails? Perhaps someone from the store will see your question and answer! Otherwise, shoot them a message and see if they have any big sales coming up.

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This is one of our favorite green teas. It is so smooth and sweet. There is no bitterness, no grassy taste, no sour note. There is a fresh mineral quality that makes it taste so refreshing to me. Years ago when I first tried this type of tea, I thought it was a little bland, but once my palate recovered from years of Dr. Pepper and learned to pick up the delicate flavors I loved it. Hubby prefers smooth greens, so this one and Bi Luo Chun are his two favorites.

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I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about six years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


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