Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

Ambessa (by Harney & Sons)

Recent Tasting Notes

I confess, I got this (and Safari Breakfast, and maybe I will get choco-nut as well) for the tin. Tins, ohh I had drooled about these tins ever since I first saw them and when i spotted these on sale at iherb, thought it a good excuse to test their cheap shipping ( not bad at all, around 3 weeks to Europe for 4 dollars up to a certain large weight).

And the tins, oh they are as nice as I hoped, and they look so wonderful in my kitchen. The teas, being teabags kind of fill a need, I have a lot of tea, kilos of tea, but I do not have a lot of teabags and sometimes it´s just more practical for when making tea away from home. Individually wrapped teabags would have been even nicer, but then I guess there would be no justification for packaging it in tins.

This is a earl grey with some jasmine. I am not a earl grey person, and I am very much not a earl grey made with my local tap water person (weird alchemy, my tap water and bergamot, I just do not like the mix). I got to try this with mineral water next.

No rating till then, but first impressions, not bad at all.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

And thaaat’s a sip down, thanks to the wonderful Sil. This reminds me too much of Florence, of which I’ve had my fill, so it was nice to try this and know that’s it’s essentially another H&S tea in disguise.

One more sip down and I’ll be under one hundred again, and I’m totally going to do that today.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

Sitting in a training, listening to the drone of those with expertise, but who have forgotten how to speak in regular people language… Glad I brought my .48l zojirushi filled with this tea. I’ve reviewed this before, but I’ve been having trouble with teas feeling like they are coating my tongue lately…. Maybe it has to do with the tea, maybe it has to do with my health, who knows. But today, from this thermos, comes bliss. The zojirushi is brilliant. I filled it at 6 am, and the tea is still “blow on it” hot. And it’s gooooooood! It’s full, earthy flavor makes it easy to disappear from boredom for a few minutes…. Priceless.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

Not only did I defend my thesis proposal today, but Canada won gold in women’s hockey. Best day this year!

Thanks to the fantastical Sil for this! I’ve been curious about Marcus Samuelsson’s blends, seeing that he is… also… a Swedish chef and all. I’m also a fan of chocolatey peanut stuff (Peanut Buster Parfaits are the king) so I’ve been especially interested in this one, and in the lingonbery green too.

Chocolate peanut, eh? I don’t taste peanut in here whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I momentarily forgot this was supposed to have peanuts in it, and get the same vaguely nutty, but mostly chocolatey nuances I get from Florence. That signature Harney chocolate note takes everything over, which is unfortunate because I seem to be one of the few who doesn’t care for it. When I add milk, it’s seriously like Florence. I just finished you a few weeks ago, Florence! Get out of my life, already.

I’m incredibly grateful that I have been able to try this, and have a teabag left still since I’ve been experimenting with it twice now and Sil gave me a few teabags. :)

Sorry, Marcus, no peanuts. I banish thee to Börköarna.

Sil

LMAO

MissB

Congrats on defending your thesis!

Courtney

Yes, congrats on the defence. :)

OMGsrsly

YAY! Congratulations!

Kittenna

Congrats on getting through your proposal! Is that along the lines of a comprehensive, or something?

We also won women’s curling gold! A very good day overall, assuming I don’t look outside… (terrible weather. I haven’t left the house!)

Fjellrev

Thanks, all! Kittenna, it was for my Master’s. Finally haha.

I heard they won gold too! But I wasn’t sure when they played. Apparently the men’s final is early tomorrow morning. Let’s gooooooo.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68

This is one I specifically requested when I ordered a box from LiberTEAS, and she sent me two sachets. Thank you!

When I first smelled this I was a little scared, because it smelled a lot like the Lapsang Souchong I hated. Once it brewed, though, I got a lot more bergamot out of it. The taste is interesting. Definite bergamot and there are some honey and wood notes, but there’s a moderately strong smokiness throughout that puts me off. I’m starting to think that true smoked teas aren’t for me and I only like smoke flavors when they’re naturally-occurring. Still, I’m glad I got to try this one!

ETA: This is much better as it cools, and the fruit takes over the blend more. The smoke is still there and I’m sure that that’s what’s throwing this off for me, but it’s more manageable this way.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

There is something about African teas that I love. Since I’m new to tea “tasting” (something I consider different from tea drinking) I can’t tell you exactly WHY this tea matches what my tongue wants, but I’ll try. There’s no dryness to this tea….like sometimes wine is too dry for me. Dry translates to a bit bitter to me and I do not like any bitterness in life. In general. Let alone in my tea. This tea also made my nilla wafers seem obsolete. THAT, my friends, is a good sign. There is a wholeness to this without being heavy….others have mentioned “grains”…but I have more to learn before I can throw words like that around. I can tell you that I just ordered a bag of 50 teabags from Harney after only 3 cups…. that’s saying something!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

I love african teas. Did I say I love african teas? Well I do. So this blend from Harney & Sons was a VERY welcome addition to my tea collection! There is a wonderful earthiness….almost maltiness to this tea. And milk and honey do something magical to round out the earthy flavor. I’m not sure what it is, but DANG it’s nom! If you are a Breakfast blend drinker, don’t pass up the opportunity to try a pure african blend breakfast tea. This will be a standard in my cabinet for years to come! Harney has a travel “tagalong” of this tea for $4 that holds 5 bags. Worth every penny!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74

sipdown! (182) my cupboard WOULD have been at about 155 today and I easily would have made it to my dec 31 goal however i received my package from Miss B yesterday and now i’m up at 182 haha. that may change a little if i get enough energy to pull my swaps together that need to go out but i’ll consider my goal achievable and just aim for 140 by the end of January. I had a rare thought that i would try to get my cupboard down by 10 every month in 2014 so that by November i’d be able to order 60 teas and still be under 100 haha. I’ll probably still aim for that, along side of my goal of not having teas older than 10 months in my cupboard. :)

I had the last couple of bags of this tea as a latte and i’m glad that i did. it makes this a MUCH better cup of tea by making it a creamier, stronger chocolate tasting tea. Not a restock for me, but it was tasty to drink.

Fjellrev

This yo-yo tea cupboard diet sounds like quite the struggle. Yikes!

Sil

Not at all. Lol it makes it fun for me :) another thing to plan and organize!

Fjellrev

haha right on, then!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Backlog:

I don’t think I’ve found a tea quite like this one before … one that focuses only on the Lingonberry. I’ve had a few teas that feature lingonberries in it, but, not one that highlights the lingonberry quite like this. Maybe I’ll have to look at Ikea the next time I’m there to see if they have a lingonberry tea.

I like. Tart, yes, and I’m not usually a fan of tart, but, the tart softens somewhat with the sweetness of the green tea. The berry really brightens the cup. Softly textured, silky. A really good tea … I’ve enjoyed all four of the Ambessa teas!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Word to the wise: there will be times when life is messy and the weather stinks and you are weary…too weary to make educated tea decisions. When those occasions arise, it is prudent to keep good, easy-to-steep bagged tea on hand. No thinkie, just dunkie and go. And if it’s as good and fruit-nutty as this one, you’ll never know you didn’t fuss with loose leaf.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74

I need to work on some of my older tea bags so I pulled this one out of the cupboard this morning as well. I find that the strength of this one isn’t all that great so i usually double up on the tea bags. overall, not a bad brew but nothing i need to restock when in finally finish up!

Cavocorax

Twice the bags and it’s gone that much quicker! :D Win!

Sil

shhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell them my secret!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Backlog:

I really like this one from Ambessa. I actually enjoyed all of the Ambessa line.

This is a good, solid black tea with a lot of heft to it. It is a good breakfast blend because it will give you what you need to get going. (It’s really good with biscotti!)

Rich, invigorating, and it has that yummy bake-y kind of taste to it. A really good breakfast tea.

TeaBrat

I wish these came in loose leaf…

LiberTEAS

Me too. That’s the main reason that these ambessa teas didn’t get an even higher score from me, because as much as I did enjoy them, I don’t like that they were sachet only.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Backlog:

I was excited to try this one. I like this twist on my classic favorite. Chef Marcus Samuelsson did my beloved Earl Grey proud.

It does have a smoky profile, but it’s not overtly smoky. It’s more of a gentle presence of smoke, and the smoke doesn’t interfere or block the wonderful bergamot tones which are also not overdone here. Not a soapy or cologne-y taste from the bergamot, just a tangy-sweet citrus note.

Very nice.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Wow. Can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this yet. I bought it right after they started the Ambessa line – I’m a sucker like that…

I didn’t like it when I first had it. But in the intervening time, my tea tastes have been changing apparently. I dropped one of the bags in my cup at work a couple of weeks ago when I was in a hurry and didn’t really want to pick a tea from my work stash for the morning – I just wanted some brown leaf juice as gmathis would put it. :) I really liked it. So much so that I’ve worked my way through the whole remaining tin in the last week and a half.

It’s a bold, strong blend that smells wonderful in the cup. I’d easily replace this one if I needed to hit the shipping level though I’m not positive I’d place an order specifically for this one – I just have tons of really good basic black teas, even African ones.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Backlog:

This one is really yummy. I’ve been wanting to try these teas for quite a while so when Harney offered free shipping a few months back, I grabbed a small tin of each of the Ambessa teas.

This one is deliciously chocolate-y and it’s a dark chocolate note. The nutty tones are sweet and accent the dark chocolate flavor very nicely. There are some caramel undertones and a hint of apricot in this blend. The apricot came around about mid-cup. A wonderfully complex and delicious blend.

The only thing I don’t like about this line from Harney is that it’s only available in sachets. I want loose leaf!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

The more I drink this, the more I am in culinary awe of the maker: who sat down and thought Aprcots + chocolate = (approximately) nuts? Loving it with milk this morning. Have y’all tried this?

Sil

i like this one…it’s not blow your mind out of the water tea, but it’s decent :)

gmathis

Yep. Needed bagged because I slept in and needed a quick start; but something special because, confound it, it’s Saturday!

Josie Jade

Yum, this sounds delicious! I don’t know how I missed this one when I placed my last Harney’s order? I got the Ambessa Ligonberry one and wasn’t impressed. :(

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Tried this with a little milk this morning. Gives it a lovely nice, creamy texture—apricots, chocolate and cream. Sounds odd; tastes superb.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Yay! I finally get to try this one! Back when the Ambessa line first came out, Russel generously sent me some of the teas. They were great, but this wasn’t available just yet and I really wanted to try it. Then I put myself on a small buying restriction until I can get some of my tea stash drunk up, but today I got to break my rule.

If I go somewhere like the Fresh Market or A Southern Season or Tin Roof Teas, I allow myself to buy a SMALL amount of tea. I nabbed this one today at The Fresh Market.

I have never had lingonberries, and I don’t think I had even heard of them before this blend. The tin smelled sweet and fruity. And while I am loving the tea, it has thrown me for a loop because no one can smell what I am smelling.

When I poured my cup, right away I thought of cough syrup, eucalyptus, rosemary, or those little cedar berries that are all bumpy. I thought of Mentholatum. I tasted rosemary and eucalyptus, mild and smooth. I handed the cup to my daughters and asked them to smell it. They said it just smells like tea to them. One of them sipped. She said it tasted like something from the yard. I think she means the giant rosemary bush, and doesn’t realize it! Husband said it tasted fruity to him,

Maybe something is wrong with my sense of taste and smell, which wouldn’t be too surprising since I have a stuffy nose.

So does anyone else think lingonberries have a savory aroma like rosemary? I can really see myself craving this tea as a comfort tea when I have a cold or don’t feel well. I must like it pretty well. I am about to finish 20 ounces and I just got started.

TeaBrat

I’ve only had lingonberry jam and it didn’t taste like rosemary from what I recall.

gmathis

We have a Fresh Market just over an hour from us now. Next trip, we are tapping our savings account and taking a cooler ;)

ashmanra

This is the closest Fresh Market we have. It is in Southern Pines, right by Oinehurst, the “golf Capitol of the world.” We usually go to the ones in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Cary even though they are farther away, simply because we are in that area more often than Suthern Pines. We often take a cooler so we can buy the wonderful cheeses! Their flowers are magnificent, their produce is gorgeous, and their bakery is drool worthy.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

awww my boss gave me one of her tea bags :)
i get to tell her this is tea # 497.
she will probably be confused. but it will mean i’ll get to talk about tea for maybe 5 min instead of work. so win win!
the tea is very meh. smells way better than it tastes.

(kinda related i had a chocolate peanut butter beer yesterday) https://untappd.s3.amazonaws.com/photo/2013_09_11/4dfa180d4133cc7fd5c56240e8f03191_640x640.jpg

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Having a cup this morning, and since I anticipated the smokiness, it’s far less overwhelming. Also goes well with Biscoff cookies!

ashmanra

This is a lovely tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

73

Choco and nut work very nice here(nut flavor is a little bit more dominant here on my palate),plus the tea taste mild,even when I keep the teabag in the cup for more than 10 minutes,it doesn’t go bitter or too much.So I would like to use the same teabag to make a second or a third brew for some longer time,and it works out quite good.

Since it reminded me of a nice cup of chocolate milk or pecan flavored milk when I was a kid,I tried a splash of milk ,and some honey ——but it turned out this blend is best drink plain I think.
Plus,I know there are Calendula officinalis here,from whose Hydrosol I I used to get a lot of chocolate scents~!So maybe I should buy some of this flower alone to try blending some interesting teas .

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Smokier than I would have guessed, but an interesting cup. More notes with future tastings.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.