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Recent Tasting Notes
Round two of guess the flavouring, courtesy of Alphakitty!
By scent, I’d guess this is a strawberry-flavoured black. However….. the first sip makes me question whether it’s strawberry or perhaps raspberry?? Yum! I like this one! I’m going to go with raspberry, I think. This cup, unlike Florence, does have some astringency, but it’s quite manageable. I think 5 minutes would have been overdoing it here, so glad I stuck with 4. I want to say that there’s a touch of chocolate in here too, but I could be wrong. It’s certainly not as prominent as in Florence, if it’s there. I quite like the flavouring here. Again, I’m not always huge on the flavoured blacks, so I probably wouldn’t pick it up myself, but it was lovely to try! I bet it’s amazing with milk and sugar, but I just had three bowls of hand-picked strawberries covered in Greek yogurt and brown sugar, so I really don’t think I deserve any additional calories right now. I have enough for a second round though, so perhaps then!
Ok…. so I was way off. I do remember thinking that one of the teas smelled like an earl grey when I was steeping them, but forgot entirely by this time. It still reads as a fruity black to me, and less like an earl grey, but that’s ok! Hee… if I’m this terrible at flavours all the time, I wonder what they must think of me on the cheese panel….
Last of the three tonight from Alphakitty! (Ok, I lie, I brought down a couple others, but in this series it’s the last of the three :D)
Ok… now this one smells like chocolate raspberry too! My nose is so confused! Doesn’t help that I seem to have developed a bad case of the hiccups in the last few minutes. Bugger. Does not make it easy to concentrate on flavours.
Well, whatever this one is, it’s definitely my favourite! It’s smooth and without astringency, with a tasty fruity flavour. I want to again say there’s chocolate, but it could easily just be the black tea. Ok…. time to look!
Huh, cranberry and almond. I wouldn’t have guessed it, but the cranberry definitely fits – I was getting a tart sort of fruit, which is why I went with raspberry. Not really getting the almond, but that could be coming out as a nice creaminess. Given that there isn’t chocolate in this blend, I have to say that there’s a great base tea here! And this is definitely my favourite of the three, probably the one I’d most likely seek out again as the flavour is distinct and blends wonderfully with the tea. Thanks again Alphakitty!
Post-morning jaunt to local farmer’s market, I thought maybe I’d get a pot of this going while I snapped green beans.
Dry, the leaves smell very earthy and slightly smoky. I’m not sure I’m a fan of yunnans – but I was getting my last Harney order up to the free shipping level and this was something new to me.
Liquor is a dark reddish brown, I think you could easily oversteep this and end up with something really, really dark and forbidding.
I taste… earthy notes, dusty hay, a hint of smoke but that may still be in the smell more than the actual taste…The flavor is actually pretty light for my expectations of a black tea. The bulk of the flavor vanishes on the back of the tongue and after the swallow you are left with a bit of earthy notes and a slight tad of astringency.
Not bad, and it will be used up eventually, but this wouldn’t be one I’d turn to over other blacks I have in my stash. I’ll share it at work and see what the other tea person thinks. My mom will probably like it – she’s a fan of slightly smoky teas.
Off to mess with the fresh corn purchase from this morning to get it ready for dinners next week!
This is my first of Harney & Sons’ bottled tea line.
First of all, the flavor is light and it isn’t over-sweetened like most bottled teas I’ve tried. In fact, there are only 10 grams of sugar in the whole bottle. The taste immediately makes me think of pairing it with Thai food and how this would go well with panang curry, tom kha gai, or pad Thai.
There is enough lemongrass in this to be the dominant flavor, which is nice, but I was expecting a bit more coconut. The vanilla falls short, as well as the ginger. There is barely a hint of it, so sadly no ginger burn. The green tea might as well be water, because you can’t taste that at all, either. It’s like it’s just there for color. Anyway, it’s refreshing and different, but if you’re looking for a tea that tastes like tea, you might want to try something else.
The dry leaves of this lovely Darjeeling-style tea range from deep brown curls to fuzzy silver tips. The light spicy notes reveal the Darjeeling influence, while the rich and smooth honey body sets this tea apart from its lemony neighbors. This tea endures well in the mouth, with the rich tea body outlasting the spicy notes. My preference is to drink this tea in the early afternoon and think of distant mountains.
This blend was reccommened to me by several people, so of course I had to pick some up at my last trip to H&S! I got more of this than usual—with a new tea I usually go for 2 oz, but based both on reviews and the fact that I plan on mainly cold-brewing it I went with 4 oz. I was expecting more of an in your face flavor with this, but the leaves smell very subtle, just a hint of caramel and sesame.
The brewed tea is similar, with a very mellow caramel flavor that’s quite soft. It’s not stick to your mouth sweet at all, it’s actually refreshing and light! The sesame is a nice counterpart, adding a touch of nuttiness. It really reminds me of the less-sweet Japanese confections, like the subtly green tea flavored buns or sesame rolls. Very pleasant, and I’m really looking forward to trying this iced.
So I made this for the bf tonight (since he requested “something black”). Usually he waits a while to drink any tea I make for him since he’s pretty sensitive to hot drinks, but this was downed in less than a minute. He was practically chugging it! Upping the rating since I think this is one of the few teas that we absolutely have to have on hand at all times—our cupboard rotates pretty frequently but some teas deserve to be here constantly!
After a god-awful tea experience today, I needed something that I know I like. Funny enough I’ve never even had Paris, but the reviews are so glowing I can’t imagine NOT loving it. And the leaves smell amazing. I’ve been sniffing them since I bought this but haven’t tried the tea itself yet… honestly, I’m a little worried that nothing can live up to the smell of the dry leaves. I want to take a bath in them and smell like Paris.
Steeped the flavors aren’t really as in your face as the leaves, but it’s still intoxicating. The base is a deliciously balanced black, and that’s really what you taste the most. A teeny bit malty, with some yeasty, bready qualities. H&S is so good at blending blacks! The vanilla and fruit flavors come into play at the end of the sip—a burst of fruity goodness followed by wonderfully smooth vanilla that lingers long after you’re done drinking. I can’t quite place the fruits, which is interesting—I usually dislike fruity teas like peach or strawberry. This tastes berry-ish, but not like strawberry. More like a brief hint of fresh-picked raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Almost jammy! But there’s something else too that’s really intriguing. It reminds me of some of the pastries I had in Paris. With the yeasty base and the vanilla/jammy flavors, this is like a baked dessert in a cup!
As SimplyJenW noted, the tin is beautiful! A keepsake for sure.
The floral notes when opening the tin are very powerful and the grapefruit smell is also very noticeable.
The tea is very much like a Lady Grey but with more citrus and a stronger floral component. If you don’t care for Lady Grey, chances are good that you won’t like this much. Lucky for me, I love Lady Grey. :)
My regret, also like SimplyJenW, is that this is only in sachets. Loose leaf would be great to try so I can portion my own and experiment. I guess I can do that anyway, just have to open the sachets, hm? :)
I didn’t sweeten but it would handle it well, I think.
I am still undecided if I will be adding this to my “always restock when low” list but I would not hesitate to recommend to friends.
This is a sample I got from Harney and Sons and thought I’d try it out this morning. I noticed the leaves have a musky-melon kind of smell, is that a characteristic of a passionfruit?
I steeped this for around 4 or 5 minutes and I admit I did put soymilk in it. :) The black tea base is nice here and the tea is lightly fruity, tropical, still kind of musky, mostly sweet but a tiny bit tart. It’s enjoyable enough but I don’t think I would need to keep any on hand but if someone offered me a cup, I would not turn it down. I think I might be more of a black currant or mango kinda gal. This would be really nice as an iced tea, however.
Okay, so. I love cherries, a lot, and I’ve been wanting to try this tea forever. But there are no samples, and every time I place an order, I talk myself out of it because what if I hate it, right? Then I’m stuck with 19 sachets and I hate wasting tea, so I would have to drink it anyway if I couldn’t find someone who wanted it.
Until I made my last order, and I was running way low on work tea (i.e., tea in sachets or bags from anywhere) and went for it.
I thought for sure I had made a mistake when I opened the tin and got a face full of cherry cough syrup scent, so I decided to try one before I even bothered taking it to work.
I am so glad I did. It isn’t the very best tea I’ve had, but it’s still pretty darned good. The green tea is solid and very smooth, and there are definitely cherry notes. What I’m getting is CHERRY, mmm green tea, oh there’s the cherry again! It’s pretty nice, it doesn’t taste artificial (which was my worry when I smelled it). It’s not perfect, but for the price I’d definitely buy it again.
And it’s definitely tasty with the last of the fresh cherries I got over the weekend!
I tried steeping this tea for 5 minutes today, it is a bit better but I was definitely hoping for more, considering the price I paid for it. I was hoping for something with a bit more floral darjeeling essence. It is light but without the sweetness in most white teas I’ve had. See previous notes for more info.
So far this tea has been a disappointment to me, which is a bit sad. It is a beautifully handcrafted tea but they were not offering samples of this, I broke down and bought a tin.
I used four pearls at around 175 F in my 10 oz. mug and was thoroughly unimpressed by a tea that was like dishwater.
Second steep, the water was more around 185 and then it got better – a very light floral aroma with a touch of lingering sweetness and a melonish flavor. I was really expecting more because all of the white teas I’ve had from darjeeling have been really good, and it wasn’t cheap.
I’ve emailed H & S to ask about the tea to water ratio so I’ll wait to put a numerical rating on this for now. I might also try the gong fu method with this at home.
Harney & Sons has such nice black tea blends. I got this as a sample and was looking forward to trying it this morning. I may have used a tiny bit more leaf than usual because I wanted something to wake me up!
What I got was a very dark cup that is smooth and rich. The assam lends a malty and stout note while the ceylon seems to have a fruity, chocolate and sweetish note. Well, I liked it, really works for me! I did try sipping on it plain just to get the mix of flavors. but then added soymilk to it because that’s normally how I would take this type of tea, it’s such a great breakfast blend. I will be tempted to get more the next time I order something from Harney. It would certainly be good to have around for the every day and the BF would like it too…
But then I also like the Palm Court and there’s a few others I haven’t even tried. Such difficult decisions. :)
Sipdown! I thought I had more of this one left, but apparently not.
Anyhow, cold-brewed this over the past couple days, and it’s quite tasty. Green tea, caramelly, and a bit nutty (more likely from the tea than sesame, I think). I also think I prefer Tokyo to Bangkok… hopefully that’s the same conclusion I came to prior. One day I’ll get more of it, but that day is an awfully long ways away.
Also, my sipdown list is quite mucked up right now as I haven’t been properly updating it lately. Gotta add my new Butiki teas, perhaps delete a few teas I left with my mom, and then I’ll be back on track. No significant increases or decreases, thankfully… Butiki order added less than 10 teas, the majority of which are not significant amounts (other than the 4.5 oz. of PTA/PTA blends).
I almost forgot to log this today!! Whoops.
So I have to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been talking about icing/cold-steeping Tokyo and Bangkok, because I tried both today and they were absolutely wonderful, probably the best cold-steeped teas I’ve had yet!
I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.
The resulting brew was so delicious. Initially, the primary flavour I was getting was a seaweedy green tea, which I liked well enough, especially as it was followed by a lovely caramelly aftertaste. As the tea started to warm up a bit (I brought it on my 3 hour drive to get the Absolute Last Batch of Asparagus today), the sesame appeared and the caramel flavour intensified a bit. Truly, it was lovely, and there were no off-flavours.
I may need to acquire some more of this in the near future. I definitely need to raise the rating; this was so much better cold-brewed than it was hot, although it wasn’t bad hot either. Yay for a cold-brewing success!
Five samples from Alphakitty tried today? Yup! Seriously guys, all I’ve done today is sit at home at the kitchen table, drinking tea and putzing about Steepster/watching How I Met Your Mother. Laziest awake day EVER.
I can taste a delicious green tea base (makes me think sencha, although I know it’s bancha) with just a bit of a seaweedy flavour, and hint of sesame. It’s a sweet blend, which works really well with this combination of flavours. I am getting a little bit of astringency, enough to make me reduce the infusion time by 30 seconds in the future.
I do agree that this is reminiscent of some Japanese sweets… and saying that, I’m positive I recently said that about some other tea! Will have to check and see which one. Like with the Bangkok Blend though, although I like this one and will enjoy finishing off my large sample, I can’t see myself purchasing it in the future. Flavoured greens don’t seem to be my thing, although citrus flavours are the biggest problem (the one exception is Den’s Sakura Sencha… now that one was good!)
Now if I recall correctly, this is another tea good for icing/cold-brewing, so once I get my act together to do some of that sort of thing, it’ll be close to the top of my list! Thanks for obliging me with a taste of this one, Alphakitty! Feels good to take a few things off my Steepster shopping list (AKA want-to-try list).
Eh the sun is apparently out here in Albany….but from my office cave your wouldn’t know it (lots of vines + huge garage blocking view = gloom) from where I am sitting. Right now I’m trying to stay awake at work. I REALLY need a nap. So I plucked this out of my World Tea East samples I brought to work. I picked it because I wanted something familiar and comforting this afternoon as I plug through very boring things at work.
This cup brewed up a nice autumn orange/brown color. This time I’m really getting a nice mix of the sweet/spicy and I am loving it. I had forgotten about this tea all summer. But now it’s time to dig it out of the back of the tea cabinet. :)
I enjoyed this tea earlier this afternoon at The Tailored Tea with a good friend. It is a favorite. I love that there is no need to add anything to it. The cinnamon adds the right amount of sweetness to the tea. All around a great cup of tea! I probably should not have had a half a pot of it to myself! Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. ;)
A review of Dragon Pearl Jasmine (floral) Tea by Harney & Sons Fine Teas
I have had Harney & Sons Teas and note the bags are made of silken sachet, which is a nice effect as one can watch the leaves unfold as tea is brewing and steeping. This effect is nicely demonstrated with this Dragon Pearl Jasmine.
When examining the tea bag I can see the curled up leaves, actually they are rolled into individual little rounded pearls. And one can smell the Jasmine at once.
I place the tea bag in a cup and pour hot boiling water into the cup and left to steep for two minutes. Tea’s color is lightly golden dew and there are hints of Jasmine permeating one’s nostrils. It is kind of over powering.
I don’t want to sip tea right away, but instead to take in what I smell, and to get pass it. I leave the tea alone for several minutes while doing other things. I am reminded of reviews I had read of Jasmine tea, wordings like: ‘light tea loaded with delicious Jasmine’; ‘naturally scented with jasmine flowers creating a soothing aromatic experience while enjoying this tea’.
I like that the leaves are shaped like pearls and how nice an effect it is to watching them unfurl as they steep and having experience this makes it special in some small way. I decide to have a sip of tea and not think of odor but the taste. I am reminded it is green tea and this is usually astringent in taste; tasting like cut grass but with the jasmine it is not astringent and does not have that drying aspect either. It is not bitter but it does have smoothness to it and something of the taste reminds me of the Hemani Brand teas I have tried. As they all seem to have that medicinal quality, smelling pungently strong.
With the 2nd steep of this tea the aroma of the jasmine is somewhat less.
With the 3rd steep, it is faintly in the background; hovering, a lingering effect enhancing this green tea experience.
At first, the fragrant jasmine tea can be overpowering/overwhelming but in time with several steep it does become tolerable and palatable. I am guessing those liking flowering teas will enjoy the many folds found in this one cup of Dragon Pearl Jasmine tea.
I am reminded of another reviewer going as far to say that this tea: “my mouth literally waters every time I think of or smell these jasmine pearls.” Well, I cannot say this.
I can attest to the Harney & Sons saying: From tea garden to tea cup! As it does seem to be taken directly from the garden.
Sipdown! Despite its age, the coconut in this blend is still amazingly delicious (which is relieving), and therefore the tea is pretty amazing too. It’s kind of like DT’s Coco Lemon Thai, but definitely not as strong, and the green base makes it a bit different too. It is quite delicious, though, with its lemongrass/coconut flavours. I believe I had cold-brewed some of this at one point and found that to be quite excellent as well, so this should go on the list for a future H&S order.