2159 Tasting Notes
This morning, youngest and I took some time to enjoy a couple of tea samples from Harney and Sons 2015 offerings. She wanted to start with black tea since she had just gotten out of bed. We used a gong fu set and aroma cup set, but we were steeping just over a teaspoon of leaf for four minutes in boiling water. We made four steeps in all.
The package let out a burst of bready aroma as soon a it was opened. It was so fresh. The steeped tea had an amazing scent in the aroma cup – pure sweet potato complete with brown sugar and the barest hint of cinnamon. Maybe even a touch of butter.
The liquor is pale for a black tea. The flavor is not “pale.” I consider this to be a light bodied tea but the flavor is pure and sweet. I do not taste a lot of the classic “tea” flavor with bread and malt as the scent made me think I might. I believe it would be a terrible injustice to add sugar or especially milk to this tea. It doesn’t need it, and I think it would suffer for it, but since I don’t add anything to my tea anyway, perhaps other people would feel differently.
If you could give someone the essence of a holiday sweet potato dish in a cup, this is it. I would compare it to a fine Golden Monkey (and there is none finer than Harney’s) that has had the breadiness reduced and the malt removed.
After trying a cup of it on its own, I had it with one square of a Godiva strawberry truffle bar. The first sip after the chocolate as heavenly, so I know this is going to pair beautifully with sweets and tidbits at tea time!
Subsequent steeps are pale but flavorful.
Like the widow’s cruet of oil (for all you Sunday school go-ers) this tea never runs out. I am on my original bag. It calls for double the usual amount of leaf because of all the flower petals. It is dearly loved by the writers’ group folks who meet at my house, and we drink at least one and sometimes two or three large tetsubins of it. It is so floral and sweet. Honestly the color of the tea in the cup is not appealing. It looks a bit like dirty, slightly purple water. But the aroma and taste are lovely like the dry leaf.
I will probably have to repurchase when it does run out or there may be a well-written insurrection.
I love love love Teavivre’s Jasmine teas. I have an order of Peach Jasmine on the way and arriving next week. I think I have tried every single one now.
This has been my go-to Jasmine tea with meals. It lacked the finesse I want for solitary drinking but was perfect with a meal and tasted just as good as my favorites from Teavivre when paired with food.
Last night I had a idea and had my daughter cut the steep time to two minutes in 174F water. She made two steps and combined them, it was fantastic with the meal as always, but afterward was much, much better this way when we were drinking it by itself.
I decided to try this again. My daughter was drinking this and she likes it. She said she liked how mild the bergamot is. It seemed to her more like a tea that was badly stored BESIDE an Earl Grey and absorbed some of the aroma, which made it just right for her.
My first sip was okay, but the aftertaste still offends me. The truth is that I don’t like Earl Grey teas that are made with a Ceylon base. In fact, I really only like the ones with a Chinese base, preferably Keemun. The lemony sharp taste of the Ceylon is just too much with sour bergamot, though I like the two elements separately well enough.
If you love Earl Grey “the stronger the better”, then this tea isn’t for you. The former Nina’s Earl that had a Keemun base is still my favorite Earl, with Harney and Son’s Earl Grey Supreme running close behind.
I love White Christmas and Cherry Almond by Stash, so I expected to like this one a lot. Sadly, it fell far short of our expectations. It was just okay at first but then it began to get bitter. I poured the last two cups out and they were full of sediment. I had used a Beehouse pot with mesh infuser. Perhaps the bitterness will be solved by using the super fine infuser in the Curve ForLife teapot, but that won’t fix the meh factor. Thumbs down for me.
This needs to be the next sipdown. Three years old is getting up there for a flavored green, but it was still pretty good today. It was the last tea of tea party and even my friend who prefers black tea liked it a lot. I consider pears to have a light flavor, and this tea does, too. They didn’t try to pump it up and make it artificial.
Did everyone get the email from Frank at Southern Boy Teas? He said he tried making iced tea super fast by boiling some water and slowly pouring it over tea leaves (he used a flavored white) but not letting them sit in the hot water. No steeping! Just the pour over.
I put some sugar in the bottom of a half gallon jar. I boiled about three cups of water and set my ForLife infused basket on the jar. I thought this tea might work well since it is made up of smaller pieces and steeps quickly, becoming bitter easily.
Wowie zowie! It worked! As always, I put it in the fridge to mellow because flavored iced tea always tastes better to me after it sits a while, preferably a day or two in the fridge.
I will most definitely be doing this again. But that reviews only the method, not the tea.
The tea is great hot or iced, very fruity and good even without sugar. But you do have to keep a short steep or it just doesn’t taste good to me.
Another sipdown! I guess I should log this elsewhere as a mashup but the teas are from two different companies so here it stays.
We had very little of this left and my daughter was helping me polish off some older teas. There wasn’t enough for a whole pot so she added a couple of teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong by Dammann Freres. How could that ever go wrong. I walked by the pot and the scent teased my nostrils and I growled uncontrollably. Good golly, that was some good tea. And here I thought I wasn’t going to have any Lapsang until cool weather comes back…