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Recent Tasting Notes
I had been wanting to try this for a very long time and finally did so today!
I loved that this chai didn’t list black peppercorns in the ingredients. I just don’t love them in chai unless there are just a few to add a tiny tiny bit of warmth.
This smelled heavenly but I was shocked that it looked mostly like powder. Maybe I should have stirred the tin up and looked for bigger leaves? But in spite of the amazing aroma, the taste was a bit bland to me. To be fair, I had already had a couple of different Dammann Freres teas first and would have more after. I was so disappointed that I decided to add milk and sugar, because chai typically has both. It really didn’t improve it much. I am sad it wasn’t something to love, and glad I didn’t give in and order myself a tin when I was tempted to do so.
Geek Steep S3E5 – The Music of Disney
So this is the tea I drank while recording this episode, and I think the theme is probably preettyyyy obvious. I mean, it was just such a perfect excuse to break out the Disney themed Harney blends. If I owned Micky, that’s definitely the one I would have brewed but I think Minnie is the next best thing…
I love a rose tea, so this simple blend of black tea and roses is pretty spot on for me. It’s very smooth and floral, but because of the addition of caramel there’s a hint of dense sweetness that adds some depth to the aromatic rose. What I like the most is that it’s somehow playful yet elegant and sophisticated which does feel like a perfect encapsulation of Minnie’s character.
Drank this tea with the monthly prompt of “A limited edition or seasonal tea” in mind. Come to think of it, just about all of my teas I could consider to be limited edition or seasonal, simply because I buy most of my tea seasonally and the rest aren’t available to be purchased anywhere anymore lol. Chose this one because I sort of felt bad for this tea, it had been chilling unloved in the tea cupboard at work for so so long, languishing in it’s special edition tin since the beginning of time.
I am getting some ghostly white tea notes, but its mostly a faint cardamom spice lingering in the taste. not much else here in this poor forgotten tea.
Doesn’t feel fair to rate this tea, after all it’s been though >w<
This is, I think, the first flavored oolong I’ve had.
It certainly struck me as “very different” as soon as I tasted it (being mostly a black tea drinker, but have had most all kinds by now).
Description says it’s oolong with Ginger, lychee and red cornflower; it strongly reminds me of a oolong-mint mixture.
I can’t say I’m a great fan, but it is certainly different. It does taste very “herbal” to me, and I’m not a herbal tea fan.
Medium chopped mixed black tea.
Nice “classic black tea” nose to the raw tea.
With a short steep (I use no milk or sugar), it’s a nice light black tea. No one taste that stands out or differentiates it from the mainline black teas, but nice and smooth and not tannic.
The Queen has been with me through thick and thin. Most memorably the year preceding a cancer diagnosis and through treatment. Long love the Queen!
I see in your bio you are a woodworker! We are not far away from you and Ashman loves woodworking and has taken a number of classes with Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School! Small world.
At first sip, there is a candy-esque flavour here, but not one that’s too overwhelming. There’s also a slight edge of bitterness, but again, not too bad. As the tea cools, there is a jamminess that comes forward and it’s really quite nice. I could only find this available in a sachet, but that makes it easy to take a few in to work!
I keep this one at work. Especially vibing with it today, for whatever reason. I swear I am picking up on a cocoa note (two fresh western brews in a row now) that I’ve never tasted before in any genmaicha. It’s a nice example of the style.
May Sipdown Prompt – a limited edition or seasonal tea
A few weeks ago a friend stopped by and gave me this tin. Apparently Harney and Sons had a special promotion where you got a free tin of this with a $50 order or some such. I assumed it was actually their 30th anniversary but I see that there are reviews 9 years old, so this is a special reblend. It is no longer showing on their website and apparently the only way to get it was a free gift this time.
The tin is gorgeous. The front has the classic black and gold label style but there is no paper label. Instead it is embossed and highlighted in gold paint. The back is embossed with their logo, no gold paint, and just says Harney and Sons black tea, so I will definitely keep this and refill it with other teas. I have a small, wall mounted Chippendale shelf that can hold ten 4 ounce Harney tins and tea cups and saucers. Right now with all my sipdowns, this tin is all alone on the top shelf. (I only use their black and gold tins on that shelf) There is still room to add two small tins on each side, and when I begin to restock my Harney teas after enough sipdowns, I will be buying smaller amounts. One thing that gets me in cupboard-trouble is thinking I HAVE to have the biggest tin of something I love, and I just can’t drink it all.
As for tea inside the gorgeous tin – Ashman really, really likes it. He baffles me. I will think a tea is fairly smooth and he will want milk and sugar with it. Another that I think needs milk and sugar, he says he likes without, and he likes this one without.
I like this tea, but I would not purchase it myself. The combination of teas here really is classic taste that screams TEA. But there is an edge to it like darjeeling has, and that is something I enjoy when I am in the mood for it, but I am rarely in the mood for it. Assam usually hurts my tummy unless it is all golden tip or has a bit of milk, but this one doesn’t bother me. The high Ceylon silver tip notes are probably what make me think of darjeeling.
It is a fine, well made tea of quality ingredients, it just isn’t my favorite type of tea. It is one that, on the right day and in the right mood, would make me sigh and say, “Now this is a cuppa tea!”
ashmanra shot me this little ditty in response to my rose curiosity.
I wonder how many teas I’d care for less, if not for nostalgia. My grandmother had rose bushes growing up the side of her porch on a trellis when I was a kid — the dry leaf scent takes me back to standing in that pea-gravel driveway and stuffing my little nose into the petal pillows. Nostalgia can be tricky… but when tea trips it, I mostly just feel very lucky and very cozy.
The base is more assertive than I expected! Almost feels like the holidays, as the first sip gave me some baking spices, actually — I first thought cinnamon, but then it smoothed into more of a warming blend.
The rose is wonderful and so, so different than any florals I’ve found hiding out naturally in unflavored teas. I’m definitely down to poke around some more rosies after this example. Thank you for indulging me, ashmanra!
Making a second note on this one today to log the SIPDOWN! And I beat the best by date by six weeks! After a long day of driving (total of 4 1/2 hours round trip) to visit family, with the trip out having hard rain the whole way, I decided to unwind with the last of Decaf Paris and some M&Ms.
Tomorrow I have an appointment that is almost certainly going to involve a biopsy, possibly two – sus spot rapidly changing in the area where I had radiation eleven years ago – so tonight I am going to do what I want and eat what I want.
I felt a bit panicked about being out of so many Harney teas – this one, regular Paris, Apricot, Midsummer’s Peach, Decaf Ceylon. I almost rushed outside to tell Ashman WE HAVE TO PLACE AN ORDER IMMEDIATELY!!!! I reeled myself back in and realized I prefer Decaf Muscat to this, I have some decaf Carol left, I still have some Parker’s Blend left which is a great stand in for Paris, I have Celebration which is an apricot blend….so yeh, I’m good for now. I will get at least a few more sipdowns in and then make an order list after really examining what I love.
April Sipdown Prompt – a tea you give to tea newbies
All I have left is the decaf version of this, and to a tea newbie I would probably give the caf version. Also, this is a tea for the person who is coming to have tea and chat and maybe, just maybe get introduced to tea. I did actually use this about two months ago for a tea newbie who is now outfitted with all sorts of tea things.
If someone is truly interested in tea, I first pepper them with questions before their visit. What foods and drinks do they like? Which do they hate? Any allergies? (Pollen allergy folks can react to chamomile and such.) Then I choose a whole tea flight for them. And coffee drinkers get puerh, and that has only failed to be a favorite one time.
But for a casual visit with someone who says they occasionally drink tea and they really don’t want to “get into” tea, Paris is a great choice. It is Harney’s number two selling tea, right behind Hot Cinnamon Spice which has long held sway as number one. That one is too strong for me – I don’t even like Red Hots, but one question I ask tea newbies is whether they like Red Hots, and if they say yes and I happen to have some HCS on hand for the family members who love it, they get that one, too.
Paris is an Earl Grey family tea, with black currant and caramel flavors added. It is smooth and flavorful, and although I drink it plain it does take milk and sugar very well. It has an elegant feel and can even appeal to most people who dislike Earl Grey.
This has some of the alcohol flavor that I noticed the last time I had Florence. I taste some chocolate, but it’s not as strong as the alcohol. I only bought the sample size, so it wasn’t a problem to finish this one, but I don’t really recommend it.
I love this tea! I love Jasmine tea but usually it only comes in Green tea (I’ve seen it in White too). My favorite tea is black though. Love it, love it, love it! The perfect floral notes to it. Smooth and goes down nicely with just a touch of sugar, Nice hot or cold. Too bad it’s a limited one and they don’t have this one in stock all the time.
I have a little (ancient) bit of Pumphrey’s Blend from Peet’s Tea and Coffee—now discontinued. It was also a really nice green/black blend with a little jasmine.
To be honest, based on the way I’ve seen some people on Steepster describe this tea, I thought the notes of pear in this white tea blend were going to be a little more juicy. However, I still thought this was a really beautiful cup. Very, very direct flavours with a lot of clarity and crispness to them; sweet green pears, a hint of warming cinnamon in the undertones and finish, and a delicate yet not thin white tea with a bit of a floral honeysuckle type note to it.
I do think I have nicer pear teas in my collection that have a lot of the same qualities to this one, but just a smidge more of the juiciness I expected. However, I totally get why this blend has the fan base it does!
Steeped this up to drink tonight while working on tasting notes and then promptly forgot about the mug once I’d removed the sachet, so now I’m drinking a cup of cold tea. Since the most prominent notes is a sweet and floral lychee, this actually really isn’t half bad cold at all. I like the hint of lemon too; lychee and lemon is such a great and under utilized flavour combination! It’s just so vibrantly sweet and fresh tasting! Plus an oolong base with floral notes and a bit of a mineral toastiness? Oh, be still my heart!
The game changer for me is the ginger, though! I don’t know that I’ve ever tasted lychee and ginger together before but there’s something about this ‘contrast pairing’ that is so lively and dynamic! Because the ginger is a bit more hot and earthy I feel like it makes that fruit note really pop and sing while the spice is this immediately grounding anchor. Really cool how they come together!
Need to try it hot now, though!