1797 Tasting Notes
I agree with Teaplz! This tea blends the chocolate and hazelnut flavors very nicely. I didn’t like flavored teas at first and then found one or two that I liked. But CHOCOLATE tea sounded like an abomination to me! I didn’t think I would ever try any…until I read the description of this one. Also, the fact that I had just fallen in love with Vanilla Comoro gave me the courage to try Florence.
The chocolate is subtle but not hidden. I thought of Godiva chocolates with hazelnut filling when I drank this tea. It has enough body to be satisfying but not so much chocolate and hazelnut as to be cloying. Vanilla Comoro is still my first love, but I will be drinking this one when I want toswitch things up a little.
This is one of the best Irish Breakfast teas I have tried. It is nice and strong as it should be, but not at all bitter or astringent. I don’t even add milk to this one, just a touch of sugar. This is sold as one of their daily teas and is very reasonably priced. A good bracing cup for morning or to lift a sleepy afternoon. Lots of gold sprinkled in these leaves.
Just had three (small) cups of this delightful tea. Aaaaah. The dry leaves smell like caramel, vanilla, and maple syrup. And by caramel, I mean the very best soft vanilla caramel you can get, like Godiva’s soft caramel centers. The sediment in the bottom of your last cup? The first time I made this tea I rinsed that out, thinking it was some fine tea dust. No. EAT IT! Stick your finger in there and get it because it is sweet, light, vanilla goodness.
How good is it? The friend who was trying it with me just ordered a whole pound!
Had my first cup this morning. This is a good Keemun tea, but I think I like Winey Keemun by Grace Rare Teas a little better. I detect a woodsy, slightly bitter scent, but I wasn’t getting dark chocolate. I think I would like this tea a LOT more if I lowered the water temperature just a hair and shaved about 30 seconds off the steeping time. Will add a new note when I try that. That being said, I think this tea is supposed to be a bit bracing. After all, it is supposedly on the breakfast table of the Queen of England, and we know how the British usually take their tea – strong, with lots of milk and sugar! I added no milk and only a little sugar to mine. It could grow on me….
Okay, so this stuff was making me nuts! There was something about it that I just couldn’t put my finger on! So tonight I did a little experiment. I have seen this tea described as a dessert tea, as sugar cookies, etc. but I was picking up something familiar – and beloved – and I think I have it. This tea reminds me of pure maple syrup. In the best way possible, too. I actually heated a tiny amount of maple syrup, stuck my finger in it and tasted, and alternated tasting the syrup with deeply inhaling the aroma of the tea. As I combined those two experiences, I not only detected some maple scents in the leaves, it also seemed to make me zero in on a bourbon-type aroma in the dry leaves like a fine bourbon vanilla. Just heavenly. Not sickly sweet, at least not to me. This stuff is great. Oh when will my big bag arrive? Sigh.
Tried this for the first time tonight. Hubby says buy the one pound loose leaf bag on my next Harney order. It’s that good.
This is my first vanilla tea. I opened the sample pack, and wished I could stick in a spoon and just eat what was in there! It was heavenly. Hubby was intrigued by it. Then we tasted it with a friend. All three of us said, “Oooooo, ahhhhh.” My twelve year old said it was too strong for her -she doesn’t like flavored tea and prefers black tea with milk and LOTS of sugar – so we gave her a re-brew of the leaves and she loved it. This is heaven sent since I can’t handle caffeine at night, and my husband is trying to cut way back on caffeine. Can’t wait to get more….
This tea has me confused! I think I like it. I liked trying it. But it isn’t at all what I expected.
I was trying to find a substitute for A Southern Season’s Super China Black Zhen Quo which is as smooth and mellow as a Ceylon, rich and full-bodied without being strong. Golden Monkey comes from the same general area, the Fujian province of China, Wuyi mountain region. The appearance was very similar, but Zhen Quo has a lot of fuzzy golden buds, the fuzziest I have ever seen.
I expected Golden Monkey to be very similar in taste, but it is VERY different. I expected a honey taste from the other reviews I have seen, but I didn’t expect a strong clover honey aroma and taste without sweetness. That isn’t bad, just unexpected. The tea changes as its temperature changes as well.
If you smell the wet leaves, you will note the honey aroma, almost a caramel scent, and the barest hint of smoke. As the tea in the cup cools, you can taste the smoke, but only a little.
I will have to say this is a complex and interesting tea with a lot of personality, but not the smooth and soothing cup to cradle when I need to de-stress that I was expecting. My friend who tasted it with me liked it and felt that it grew more and more like the Zhen Quo in flavor as it cooled. It is worth a try. If you love oolongs, I think this is a black tea you would love.
I think when I make this one again I will use a slightly lower water temperature, as this tea seems to delicate for a full boil.
I can see why Harney and Sons says that people who try this never go back to regular Earl Grey! I was not a big Earl Grey fan, and when this one came with my tea chest I expected the “Supreme” to mean that they had added a lot of extra bergamot. Not so! They put all the Supreme into the leaves themselves! This is a beautiful base of black tea, oolong tea, and silver tips. I believe Mike Harney’s book said they order Formosa Oolong especially for the base of this tea. The bergamot is a lovely addition, but not overwhelming and only enhances this tea. It isn’t there to cover up the use of inferior leaves, as is often the case with flavored teas. This one will definitely be kept in stock in my cupboard.