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Recent Tasting Notes
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #13
I’ve heard lovely things about this one! The dry leaves are dark with hints of gold. Before taking a sip, the fragrance was chocolate followed by smoke. It’s a smoky chocolate tea! There isn’t much info in the description for this one but the milk chocolate flavor seems like there could actually be some sort of chocolate flavoring, but there isn’t. No dark chocolate here. There is a fresh, bright flavor, if that makes sense. Smoky chocolate with a bit of malt: seems like the perfect tea for me! The second steep wasn’t as magical.. it seemed to lose much of the chocolate and smoke.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
This tea was left to me by a visitor some time in the last year. Its bagged and doesn’t smell that fresh but still I get a lot of vanilla. Its a decaf tea and the tea base seemed a little light but pleasant its an orangy color (orange pekoe like) the vanilla is very present in both scent and taste even though its probably pretty old. After the previous vanillas this one has much more but it doesn’t have the more robust flavors of the ones with carob and other ingredients. It was my night time tea so I didn’t get to posting about it until now. I like it enough to plan to get some more from Harney, I hope it comes in a loose leaf! The second steep wasn’t very interesting but again that could be bagged tea & age!
Flavors: Orange Blossom, Vanilla
July 15th came and went, and unfortunately sherapop was not the winner of the Harney Fest sweepstakes! That’s okay, because my consolation is having purchased a tin of this fine black blend in a gorgeous black and gold embossed tin, complete with a raised escutcheon!
The dried tea in the sachet is beautiful with all of the different kinds of leaves. One might say that this is something of an ecumenical blend, since it combines Ceylon, Assam, Yunnan Gold Tips and China Silver Tips. Well, they left out Africa, but as a British legacy version of an ecumenical blend, this is a pretty good effort.
The scent of the brew is malty like Assam, but this is not just another English breakfast blend. For one thing, I am drinking it au naturel, while I generally drink Assam-rich blends with cream. The liquor is not reddish but golden amber, a clear indication that there is Ceylon and Yunnan in the mix.
I like this blend and am grateful to John Harney and Family for all that they have done for the world of fine tea! May Mr. Harney rest in peace.
I am very tired, and need to go to bed, because its very early up tomorrow, but I had to have some tea. And I had a bit of milk left, so milk tea day is apparently a thing!
I cant say that I find that this brought much to the tea. It doesn’t detract, but its not a noticeable improvement.
Tea, and then bed.
First question for myself: Why drink tea when it is 30 degrees Celsius out?
Answer: Harney and Sons.
This particular tea has been sitting on my wish list for a tad too long. So following an afternoon at the office, I braved an arduous bus trip (who am I kidding, I’ve survived 10-hour Greyhound trips) to East Vancouver to pick up this baby, along with a second box of Clippers White Raspberry.
Classy box aside, this is positively the most deliciously-scented tea I’ve had the fortune to come across. I followed the instructions on the box and steeped for 5 minutes (well, 7 to be exact), and the result was delicate but flavourful. Another 5 minutes of steeping and I had myself a strong black brew. DO NOT OVERSTEEP!
Given the steep price (*slow clap) of the box, silk sachets and all, I’ll probably save this for special occasions and stick to Twinings for the daily cuppa.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #11
The leaves here are dusty, dark and twisty and have a fruity fragrance. It’s always a surprise when the brew turns out so light. The flavor does have hints of fruit: I want to say blueberry but there is also a tiny hint of a bakey flavor and also tangy. Very sweet and juicy. I noticed the syrupy texture first and foremost. It’s very funny that this reminds me of 52Teas Blueberry Danish. The leaves are similar too… at least with my older pouch. It’s almost like most of the flavor of that tea could be in the leaf itself: sweet, blueberry and bakey. The second steep was almost the same as the first. No muting of flavors on that one. I’m not sure if I steeped this one correctly, but I wish I could experiment more. But it’s another tea from the teabox with one teaspoon left!
Steep #1 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Edited to add: Oh my gosh, I just checked the price of this one on Harney’s site and now I’m wishing I didn’t dump out the last half inch of this from my second steep!
I went with my sister to her friend’s wedding and while we were in Honolulu, we went to the Kahala Resort & Hotel for afternoon tea at The Veranda. It was nice, we were seated outside and had a really good view of the beach side and dolphin pools so that was entertaining. I had the pomegranate oolong and it was good. A little fruity and tart but went well with the little sandwiches and desserts. Our service was good, they were out of the Hamakua Springs Farm Mushroom Turnover so we were sad because it’s what my sister wanted to try but then our waitress said they could make them if we were willing to wait. It was really good. My favorite was the Blue Hawaii Macaroon though. I was hoping they’d have a bigger selection of tea but I’m happy I got the pomegranate oolong. I looked it for it when we went shopping but luckily didn’t find it… Haha.
I half expected this to come out horribly bitter, since it was the bottom of the packet and there was quite a bit of dust. But it didn’t! It’s quite lovely, and the bergamot is subtle but I can still taste it (unlike Paris). However, after trying Nosy Bey, the peach and vanilla elements are just nowhere near as amazing. Although I do concede that this has a slightly different flavor profile, I wouldn’t feel the need to stock both of them. And Nosy Bey definitely wins! This is a lovely tea, but sometimes those Frenchies just can’t be beaten! ;)
I will, however, increase the rating to 85 (previously 83).
Edit: After finishing this, I realized it was mysteriously missing from my Steepster cupboard. And thus I was denied my moment of triumph! Poop!
It’s funny because it seems that so much effort is put into complicated chamomile blends, when straight-up fresh loose leaf is really the best! I don’t think that I’ll ever tire of this golden infusion. And now it is time to retire…
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #8
Oh the first cup of this was what I had wished the Single Origin Nilgiri tasted like the other day – very sweet, mid-level depth of flavor, mostly cherry with a hint of hay. So delicious and thirst quenching! I would love to have this in stock in my cupboard. But the leaves sat over night and somehow the second steep was really odd… it had a plastic note to it and everything from the first cup was gone. I don’t think I steeped it in a weird way. Such an odd flavor I didn’t find in any tea before. The rating is for the first steep!
The lemon grass really elevates the tea: big lemon nose, and the lemon is strong in the taste, though the green tea comes through underneath, with subtle hints of something else, though I can’t really detect discrete coconut or ginger flavors. The overall effect is light and refreshing; I use it as a pallate-cleanser when I want to get away from the tannic black teas I tend to drink
I haven’t had a straight-up comfort tea in a while, so I decided to brew some Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro this evening. Sure, it feels like a sweat shop downstairs, but with the aid of air conditioning in my third-floor space, Vanilla Comoro becomes a year-round treat! I always drink this blend with cream, which happily I had on hand. I suspect that this would be good au naturel, but by force of habit I adulterate before finding out. Maybe next time…
I only have a couple of sachets left, but I’ll undoubtedly be purchasing this tea again—in the loose-leaf form. Definitely on my wish list for a future Harney & Sons order!
It was such a busy weekend! I wen’t to the local Shakespeare company production of Comedy of Errors, which was fun, and then spent the rest of the time indoors, whining about the heat.
Its very hot. Almost too hot for tea. Gah.
This was this mornings cup, but I’m drinking one now. I’m tired, and could use a delicious cup of wake up juice right now.
And I can sleep a bit longer tomorrow. That will be delightful.
First tea from Another Traveling Tea Box
All I can taste in this one is bergamot honestly. Maybe something vaguely vanilla, but mostly just bergamot. Which I dislike, though not as much as I was originally thinking.
This was better with some truvia, but didn’t really enhance the tea in general. Just made it drinkable. Lol!