Ambessa (by Harney & Sons)

Recent Tasting Notes

85

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Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85

This is from The Cookie Lady’s Christmas card. Thank you!!

I wish the website would specify where the leaves came from, but this tastes very Kenyan/Tanzanian. Of course, I drank this plain. The liquor has a lovely burnt orange color – sunrise! Full-bodied, smooth, bold, malty, a hint of honey. It was also somewhat bitter for my taste, but that’s most likely from steeping a bit too long (3 minutes would have sufficed). Absolutely perfect for the morning, as your first cuppa of the day.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yeah, I really hate it that most websites don’t tell you what kind of tea it is… :(

KiwiDelight

Maybe a lot of people aren’t quite at the level as we are as tea enthusiasts.

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81

I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and I snagged a bag from the last TTB that came through. It’s good. It’s darker than a traditional Earl Grey, the bergamot is more subtle and works really well with the dark – almost smoky – flavor of the tea. YUM. I wish this was available loose.

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89

Delightful, mmm. Glad I bought this. I can sense chocolate, caramel, vanilla, raisins and a nutty taste and aroma. A tsp of brown sugar and a splash of almond milk really brings out the flavour. Another fine Harney’s tea, hope I can find it in a larger size (I got the tagalong with 5 pyramid sachets). A nice alternative to a sweet treat any time you feel peckish. Went well with my mini matcha kit-kat.

Flavors: Apricot, Caramel, Chocolate, Nutty, Raisins, Vanilla

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76

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #26
I feel like I rate teas like high school grades- under 55 is definitely failing. 75 is okay. 80s are exceptional and 97-100 you are acing the class!
A Harney black tea in a teabag… I’ll give it a try! This one is perfect for breakfast. Robust while not being CTC. The wet leaves really fill up the teabag. Malty, bready, a bit of a bite. A very solid black tea.. almost hints toward the tomato flavor but thankfully the tomato doesn’t fully make an appearance!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #2 // half mug // just boiled // 4 min

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81

From the Round 3 Here’s Hoping TTB

Tea of the morning. This is a tea to wake you up! Robust and full bodied, it has a steel cut oats flavor that I enjoyed. This could easily take milk and sugar, but it’s really good plain. No astringency or bitterness. Just a simple dark tea to give you a kick in the pants and send you on your way.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Mmm! There’s a grocery store (Whole Foods clone) within occasional driving distance that carries several Ambessa varieties. Wonder if this is one of them…

Cheri

This sounds good.

Veronica

Gmathis- I wish I had a store near me that sold it. All of the tea shops around here are going out of business. :(

Cheri – It’s very nice, and it comes in a tea bag which can be helpful on those mornings when I’m running behind.

gmathis

The store I’m referring to is about an hour south; probably a good thing because it’s too far for me to blow my grocery budget on nothing but tea. Locally, the tea selection is expanding a little (can actually find a few Harney & Sons basics at our Target) but still isn’t as elegant and eclectic as I’d like it to be.

Marzipan

Veronica The Fresh Market has this.

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Thanks to Liberteas for adding this to a box at my request.

I am a big Marcus Samuelsson fan, so I was intrigued when I saw his teas at The Fresh Market. Of the four, this was the only one they didn’t have, and the one I wanted to try the most. Go figure.

I love Earl Grey teas. I realize that they aren’t necessary popular here, but they are what set me off on this tea journey. I like the Earl part of this, but the smoky taste is a bit of a turn off. I am enjoying the sips for the most part, but as the cup sits here under my nose, I am not enjoying the aroma, which reminds me of an ash tray.

To be fair, I don’t really like ash or smoke in any form – not burnt marshmallows, not cigarettes, and not the smell your hair gets after going to a smoky bar (and I don’t anymore). So I’m not going to rate this since that’s a personal preference for me.

boychik

I love good EG

Megan

Same here!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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77

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

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77

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!

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77

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

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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!

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