2063 Tasting Notes
I went to Barnes and Noble tonight and just couldn’t stay away from the Harney tins. I have had tea there and they RUINED it, though, so I asked if they would sell me a couple of bags without making the tea so I could make it at home. She looked at me like I had two heads! But then she said, “Suuuuurrre, I don’t see why not.” And she sold me two bags for the price of one cup of tea!
I tried this one first and it was delicious! It is going on my next order because it is the best green tea I think I have tried to date. It is very, very smooth. I tried my 12 ounces first hot, then over ice, then over ice and sweetened. All were good, and even my hubby (!!!!) liked it. Buying!
Just for JacquelineM, I put this together before leaving for a wedding in Charleston, SC. She suggested the pairing, so I used one tsp. of each, thinking that my mug was 12 ounces. I found out later that it only holds ten with the infuser in it, but it didn’t do any harm. The extra leaf didn’t make this bitter or too strong.
The first thing I noticed was how peppery the rose smelled, just like what I get from some Yunnan teas. I didn’t notice this when I made Rose Scented plain, but picked it up when I mixed it with Mao Feng yesterday and today with Queen Catherine. Perhaps it was there and I just didn’t notice the first time I made it.
The tea itself is very, very smooth. I added no sugar or milk but it is sweet and good. The rose has taken a back seat, almost too much so. I picked it up more in the aftertaste, but as I continued drinking I tasted it a little more. Perhaps a better ratio for blending this for me is 2/3 rose with 1/3 other black tea.
For the last half of this mug, I added sugar to see what effect it would have. I actually DISLIKE it with sugar! The light rose was all the sweetness this needed.
For my morning cup, I think I still prefer to make Queen Catherine or English Breakfast (100% Keemun) and add milk and sugar. For an after breakfast cup, this is VERY nice. I don’t think that I prefer it over the Rose Scented by itself, but changing things up is good!
So Jacqueline, the final verdict is…..Rose Scented tastes great mixed with Queen Catherine, and no additions needed!
I will try to find out the source of this tea, but even looking at the photos and descriptions I can’t say for certain which company this tea came from originally.
The first impression – Oh, the aroma! This smelled like gardenias to me, so I am guessing it is one of the ones that have jasmine flowers added. I couldn’t stop sniffing that lovely aroma from the cup! The taste was sweet and good, the tea was slightly astringent, but the gardenia scent combined with the sweet floral flavor made it well worth the drinking! This was very enjoyable. I need to try it again, because so many of these contain prange peel or orange oil, and I did not pick up orange flavor in this – just floral, but a good kind, not cloying, sickening, or soap-y.
Now, because I love Harney and Sons so much, I want to try their Osmanthus Oolong and see if it is similar!
Just four months ago, I stated that I needed milk and sugar with this one because it is so strong. Today I took sans additions and did a double take. It was delicious – plain! There was an almost minty high note – probably a high grown Ceylon in there somewhere – and the assam really grounded it and added earthiness. Everyone enjoyed this one.
Taking a cue from JacquelineM, we prepared this one today with 3 parts Rose Scented to 1 part Keemun Mao Feng. It was delicious, it was lovely, it was sweet! I could not tell a big difference from how it tasted when steeping just Rose Scented by itself, so I think I may try it again with a 1/1 ratio. The experimenting is fun, but I do also love this one just as it is. Today I noticed more of the spicy-peppery rose scent than I did before, and perhaps it was the addition of Mao Feng that brought that out for me. We took it sans additions – this is sweet and smooth.
Comparing the Rose Congou with this, I would say Rose Congou is slightly bolder (but not brash!) and maybe has a tiny touch of astringency, but a good kind that lets you know you are drinking TEA! They are both great teas. I agree with JacquelineM, there is a place for both in the cupboard!
Feeling adventurous yesterday, I decided to try this one as a cold brew iced tea. It is….the same tea only cold! What surprised me most is how the smokey flavor is just as strong. I always take my hot breakfast teas with milk and sugar, and after tasting it plain, I decided to try this one iced with milk and sugar. (My father started adding milk to his iced tea – he called it “tilk” – when I was a teenager because he got ulcers. HEY WAIT! It wasn’t my fault! The timing just hit me…)
Anyway, it isn’t terrible, but I definitely prefer this one hot. It is smooth, just strong enough, and comforting while bracing you for the day when it is prepared as a hot tea.
My youngest daughter was asked to prepare tea for a tea party for 5 adults today at the home of a neighbor who is not a tea drinker. She chose Paris, Florence, and Royal Wedding by Harney and Sons, and Marco Polo by Mariages Freres. The results surprised us!
The hands down winner was….Royal Wedding! I wonder if the 99 degree heat today made them love the coconut, which I think of as summer-y thanks to memories of Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil. Most surprisingly, Paris was liked but not one of the favorites, even though it is my go-to tea for non-tea drinkers and usually gets people hooked. Florence was the second favorite, drawing lots of ooo’s and aah’s. Marco Polo was the first tea they tried, and they didn’t say much about it other than loving the aroma of the dry leaves (she encouraged them to get the full experience!) but she think perhaps they were just getting warmed up and were getting a “feel” for tea! She said it was probably tied with Paris in popularity.
I am so happy that my “little one” had this opportunity to make tea, share her tea love with a group of adults, and have a fun afternoon meeting all these new ladies! They asked her if we go from home to home making and selling tea. When she told them that we just enjoy having people over to share tea, they told her she should make it a business! Hmmm, maybe a variation on the old lemonade stands???
We tried a new pitcher of this at “little tea party” today. It was cold brewed overnight and I added the simple syrup beforehand because the Tuesday crowd always adds sugar to everything! I thought it would simplify things to have it pre-sweetened. We also had homemade lemonade, made the way my mother taught me with simple syrup! At 99 degrees without accounting for the heat index, I thought it would be a great day to go iced! Also, youngest daughter was asked by a neighbor to hostess a tea party in HER home today, so I am without my kettle and five of my teapots.
This was very well-received. Everyone loved it and commented on how the vanilla flavor came through. And it does! It is so crisp and fresh. This is definitely going on my next Harney order by the pound. The 8 ounce tin isn’t going to do it! It was served with McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits, Chocolate Flavor Kedem Tea Biscuits, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.I am LOVING the cold brew method, though I know it doesn’t work for all teas….like that pitcher of decaf I just poured down the drain as undrinkable.
Bleh. Do not use this to make cold brew iced tea, even steeping for twelve hours. Well, unless you enjoy the taste of cold water with a molecule of tea flavor added. Even when I added simple syrup, then more syrup, then more syrup, it just wasn’t tea. Pouring it all out and starting a new experiment. This time, Harney and Sons English Breakfast. Now THIS should be interesting!
I made this one iced using the cold brew method. Youngest daughter loved it, but I found it to be a bit weak. I think that may be partly because I grew up on highly sweetened Lipton iced tea! (Mom was proud of how all the Yankees loved her tea and asked for it as soon as they walked in the door! It was practically syrup…we made a gallon a day in summer.) Also, I am using glass pitchers which are much colder than plastic, and the colder it is, the less you pick up on the flavor.
I just purchased the Bodum ice tea pitcher and was measuring my leaves based on the statement on the box that says it is a 40 oz pitcher. I decided I needed to check for myself. When I filled it modestly, keeping the water level below the strainer, it held about 48 ounces, so I really need to use more leaf.
I understand that when Bodum (and other manufacturers) say something is a four cup or six cup container like the Bodum French presses, they are referring to 6 ounce cups and not 8 ounce cups, but the box actually says 40 ounces. I am hoping that increasing the leaves will make it stronger for me. It was good, but I want a little more punch from it, and even though my youngest likes it this way now, I think she will like it even better when we get it just right. She is drinking so much Vanilla Black that I am going to have to start ordering it by the pound!