1695 Tasting Notes
Backlogging from yesterday: We had an extra tea time this week, as I found out that the mother of one of my students is friends with a Moroccan lady who moved back to Moroccan. This mom has been missing having Moroccan Mint with her friend so I invited them to have tea with us. We made Moroccan mint and I tried to choose other teas that I thought they would like.
This tea was the favorite of the daughter, and I think her mother liked all three very well, but she must have liked this one a lot because her husband mentioned it when I saw him later.
I am liking this more every time I drink it, and I have decided it has to be on shelf at all times! I may order it from Gurman’s, but if Tin Roof Teas gets their delivery of Fuzzy Navel and it is the same, I will purchase it there. I am pretty sure it will be the very same tea, as the description is identical and both are sourced from a German distributor.
Fresh, smooth, sweet, delicious, and pretty darned near perfect. I can find no fault with it.
I came home from writers’ group soooo hungry. I didn’t want caffeine this late but I didn’t think I should have a chocolate shake, which is my go-to night time I’m hungry snack.
Instead I made the pinterest popcorn in the microwave – pour 1/2 cup popcorn kernels into container, stir in one tsp. oil, pour into brown paper lunch sack, fold top of bag over and microwave on high for 2 1/2 minutes. you can spray it with Pam or pour melted butter over it, salt or season to taste.
To go with it and cut down on calories I had this herbal tea blend. Very refreshing, almost no calories since I only added a touch of sugar, and no fat. Hooray! And I finished the pitcher! My next iced tea I think will be Passionfruit by H&S.
This is a free sample provided by Russel Allyn and Harney and Sons. Many thanks!
What can I say about this tea? It is a green tea but the liquor is paler than most of my white teas.
The aroma is buttered spinach.
I used city water to make this tea, but I swear it tastes like pure snow melt with spinach and a little dab of butter. It tastes as though the tea has cleansed the water to a purity not seen in ages. It has that high mineral note you get when you eat frost. (All you young folks – kids used to scrape and eat the fine frost that formed in freezers before they started making them frost free. Mom always told me it was going to kill me one day. LOL! I think food poisoning or something.)
I steeped it for the full three minutes in 170F water, and there is no trace or bitterness or astringency.
This cup is an escape. No more writing. Time to turn inward. Thank you, Russel and Harney and Sons!
This is a free sample provided by Russel Allyn and Harney and Sons.
I have had this a few times already, but it still takes me by surprise. When I served the Luis Darjeeling that is very dark and earthy at tea party, my guest wasn’t a fan. It was one of only a few teas she put on her “list.” And I don’t mean a good list. Puerh is also on her list.
I served this as our middle tea of three. I only poured her a half cup and told her if she liked it we would top it off. It is so surprising to see a black tea that has a yellow liquor! She tasted, and said it was good, not her favorite tea but nothing like the last Darjeeling we had.
Then she had a cookie and sipped again. She said, “Fill ’er up!” Apparently it was just made to be paired with sweets. She was very taken with it. It had a very vegetal taste to me today and was reminding me a bit of my first Ruby 18. So here is yet another tea that I need for my Harney Tea shelf.
Many thanks, Russell and Harney and Sons!
What a big (tea) baby I was when I first tried this! I thought it was too strong!
Today I wanted a good, assertive but not aggressive black tea to serve with homemade peach dumplings. (And I had vanilla ice cream with mine. Breyer’s Lactose Free Vanilla, not because we are lactose intolerant but because it is SO sweet and good with the lactose already broken down into…is it galactose and lactase?) I needed something that wouldn’t disappear beside the sweet fruity dessert but hopefully would compliment it by contrasting with it. I have several peach teas but didn’t want them to compete with the peaches in the dessert. This was my pick.
I think it was a perfect pairing. The cocoa notes were especially welcome today. There was no bitterness or astringency so I guess I made it just right this time! It was great with the dumplings and we did not add milk or sugar. Delicious! And all gone, so I guess I need to order more.
This was the final tea served at tea party today. I didn’t want food interfering with tasting this one so I held it in reserve.
This is a free sample provided by Russel Allyn and Harney and Sons. Many thanks!
The aroma is definitely predominantly chocolate, but the taste is much more. I didn’t remember exactly what I read about this blend other than chocolate, caramel, and peanut. I tasted all those things but there was something more. That something was keeping the dark chocolate from being a cloying taste and lending a bright flavor that made this rich dessert tea really dance for the palate. I wondered if it could be an extra lemon-y Ceylon base but that wasn’t it. The tea base was so smooth and wasn’t quite the same as that sort of Ceylon, which can be a little astringent. Besides, this was sunny-bright, not citrus-bright.
I looked at the official description. Apricots! That was the bright, sunny flavor! There are also marigold petals, but I don’t know how much flavor they add or exactly what the flavor they add would taste like. They may have imparted some brightness to the dark chocolate as well.
Another winner for the new Ambessa line of teas by H&S!
When I first saw the name of this one, I came up short. Whaaaaat? That’s an odd name for tea, thought I. Then….oh! Old World Haarlem! So Dutch tea which means probably a little smoky with bergamot added! This made my mouth water, because honestly I have become a little disenchanted with some of my Earls and just don’t enjoy bergamot as much as I used to. The thought of bergamot with smoke, though….now I was drooling!
These are sachets, so I used my biggest mug, which isn’t very big by big mug standards but was about the right size for this. There MUST be some oolong in this (is that right, Russel?) because I have never seen black tea alone swell this much in a sachet. This is one DARK cup of tea! And oh joy, joy! This is a nice, fresh take on Earl that is definitely worth having on shelf.
The black tea base makes itself known very well, and it is a good base, too! I passed the cup around for all the teens to sniff. “Honeysuckle? Bread! Maybe a little chocolate? A little grain!”
I gave it a good, solid slurp like Michael talks about in his book. Is that the bergamot, or is there a little lemony Ceylon in this, too?
I drank mine plain, but this could easily handle milk and sugar if that was your bent. Don’t overlook this as just another Earl Grey. If you like Earl Grey tea, I think this one is with trying. I bet it would be great iced, too!
Edited to add: I decided to try it with sugar since that is how my daughter’s bf will probably drink it and I plan to send him some. I don’t usually add sugar, and personally I liked this better without it. The citrus and floral flavors are enough!
Then I iced the remaining sweet tea and…..OH YES! Very nice!
Further edited to add! – so I was wrong! I said the name perplexed me because I couldn’t think of a flavor that would be identified with Harlem in New York, so I decided it must be Haarlem and the famous smoky Dutch tea this was referring to. Well, it is probably both! The chef who designed this blend has a restaurant in Harlem! Definitely look up his bio. He seems like an amazing young man with an amazing life. Born in Ethiopa, contracted tuberculosis along with his sister and mother, adopted (his sister, too) after his mother died of the disease and raised in Sweden, taught to cook by what must have been an amazing grandmother, studied culinary arts in Sweden and France, and now has a restaurant in New York. These blends are even more special to me now, seeing all the things that each flavor encompasses for him! Bravo to your blends and your spirit! How inspiring!
This was a free sample provided with my last H&S order. I received the large sachet for iced tea. It makes 2 quarts.
The description states that this is a hibiscus blend but doesn’t go into as much detail as the description of Raspberry Herbal loose leaf, so I don’t know if they are identical mixes or not.
When I was at Barnes and Noble a few months back, an employee was encouraging me to buy a tin of this. I asked if she had tried Tazo Passion and she said yes. I asked how this differed and she said it didn’t. I think she was wrong there.
While the two are similar, this is a bit more restrained than Passion. The hibiscus is there, don’t get me wrong, so if you hate hibiscus you probably won’t like this. But it isn’t so….well, like a kids’ drink.
There is more than hibiscus to this blend and while I think children would enjoy it, I think it has a little more refinement than some such blends.
This is not one I am likely to buy unless the family just goes crazy over it, but I will enjoy this pitcher of it. I would really love to try their other iced blends that have a tea base, black or green!
I made a pot of this for after breakfast today, but it didn’t have the pizzazz of last time. Must be me. It was still good, but there was less earthiness and no fruitiness, none of the Muscatel notes one looks for in a Darjeeling. Ah well, better luck next time!
I am almost out of this one. GASP! Open the pouch and sniff and you will swear you are sniffing a box of rich chocolates. The ingredient list is even more complex than the description at the top. The label says there is green apple in this, and yogurt.
This isn’t a cloying chocolate but a complex one. Delicious plain, decadent with milk and sugar.