1998 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.
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!
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!
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.
I bought this on a whim at The Fresh Market. The bottom line is that if I had sampled it first, I would not have purchased it. It wasn’t terrible, but it was nothing special. I did not read the instructions, so to be fair I will say that maybe it tastes better made just under boiling like they say. I used 174F water for three minutes. I want to be done with it, so I will make a pitcher of it iced and give the rest to my daughter to see if she likes it.
My best friend tried it, too, and said it was just meh.
Thanks to GMathis, my best friend and I got to try this and compare it to Chery Almond from Stash Tea. We had it this morning for breakfast with a strawberry cloud pastry from The Fresh Market. What a breakfast, right?
These two teas are completely dissimilar. Stash is more highly flavored with predominantly almond, then cherry, then the smooth base tea, while this one is smooth black tea with cherry, then almond flavor. Both very nice, both very different. If you are a purist, the Stash would be too much for you, and if you love flavored tea this might be a little on the light side for you. I think this one may be more economical than the Stash.
Thank you, GMathis! It was a fun comparison!
This is a free sample provided by *Teavivre*f or review.
I made this to accompany Asian takeout supper for hubby and myself. I knew from the first sip it was a good choice. As hubby passed by the table I told him the tea was really good. He said he thought so, too, and I was surprised. “You already tried it?”
“I finished my cup and refilled it.”
The leaves were deep dark green, long and thin, the scent strongly vegetal. The liquor was creamy and smelled of green beans and peas at first. It started out so smooth. As it sat, it became more brisk. The grassy note increased as well, but it was never unpleasantly brisk or grassy.
One sample pack – 24 ounces water – 185F – 3 1/2 minutes
I am going to start by saying that this is my favorite sheng to date. As in, ever.
I gave it a five second rinse. I steeped and used my aroma cup. The scent at first was typical sheng but with a secret sweet sparkle. I expected just another sheng. But this has the complexity I find in some of the nicer oolongs. Wow.
There is a sense of having an herbal tea with floral notes, and maybe a little honey. It reminds me a little of getting the flower nectar out of petunias when I was young. With short steeps, this is smooth and sweet enough to entice even the most fearful puerh novice. Steep it longer for extra zing and briskness if that’s how you roll.
Thank you, Wymm Tea, for this delightful sample.
My youngest daughter has become obsessed with old movies and old time stars. Her number one favorite is Fred Astaire, followed by Jimmy STewart, and then Bogie.
She also loves lapsang (of which this blend has a little but not tons – don’t worry, if you don’t like lapsang you will still probably love this tea) and she loves this tea. So much so, that I am a little apprehensive about approaching the bottom of the tin. She is so accommodating that she always asks if I have “lots left” of a tea before she requests a specific one, so I am going to have to reorder soon so I can keep saying, “Yes, we have plenty!”
The hazelnut is the dominant flavor to tea but I find it more palatable and in better balance than Florence by Harney and Sons, which I loved at one time but it could sometimes be a bit much for me, especially after I quit adding sugar and milk.
I am grateful to Doulton for recommending this one! I miss her being on here.