2026 Tasting Notes

drank Black King 2015 by Harney & Sons
2026 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!

Sil

ooooh….

looseTman

“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?

ashmanra

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 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.

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drank Cherry Almond by Market Spice
2026 tasting notes

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!

gmathis

Oh, my…a Fresh Market that close would be my undoing.

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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

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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.

Ubacat

I’ll have to try that one out. I rarely get floral notes off a sheng.

Stephanie

I love sheng with a floral note

WYMMTEA|惟餘莽莽

Thank you Ashmanra, its a great honor!:)

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drank Bogart by Leland Tea Co
2026 tasting notes

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.

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My eldest daughter gave me this for Mother’s Day. I have been having it for breakfast nearly every day since. I love Keemuns and this is a really good one.

Today I especially noticed the fruitiness, rather similar to Grace Rare Tea’s Winey Keemun. There is a tiny bit of briskness that makes me think it would be loved by people who add milk and/or sugar to their tea, but it is still smooth enough for someone like me who likes their tea sans additions. The dry leaf has the hearty tea scent that evokes a little grunt of appreciation when measuring the leaves.

Delish.

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I bought tons of this a long time ago when it was on sale. I haven’t been drinking it much lately, but cold tea season is here.

My day began at 6:45 am going out to feed the chickens. Then I started working on a bed of shrubbery that was planted over 50 years ago by the original owners of the house. Do you know how hard it is to clear a bed after that long?

I worked an hour outside and came in to homeschool daughter. When she started some extensive written work, I went back out and worked another 2 1/2 hours, digging up roots and buried bricks and saplings that have sprung up and liriope that has spread higgledy-piggledy.

By the time I came in I was red as a beet and nauseated because I am a total wimp in heat. It was past time to eat but I just couldn’t face it. I rested a while, had a small lunch, and then the thungries hit. You remember that Nestle Quik commercial? No? That is because 95% of you are too young to remember it!

I looked around for something and thought of this. Perfect! I needed to keep my energy up because we had company coming. I mixed it with my aerolatte right in the glass, and drank it through a straw. SLURP! Just right.

ashmanra

Nice – haha! Thanks for finding that!

MsWhatsit

Ah, someone else remembers that.

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I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five 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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North Carolina

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