I finally went by the Harney & Sons Soho store this weekend; I’ve been meaning to go for a while now, but I was finally able to convince my non-tea drinking boyfriend to come along with me. I was able to sample a bunch of different teas (since he didn’t want it, I got his choose-your-own sample) and generally had a very nice time. I refilled my stock of this tea, plus picked up a couple of others and an adorable teacup covered in British birds (I’m a total bird nut). I wish I had gotten more!
My new pouch of this tea smells so fresh! I’m definitely going to try to buy my loose leaf direct from the store when I can; the only issue is that the pouches don’t come with steeping instructions, and Harney’s website doesn’t provide them for each tea. I guess if I pick up a pouch of tea I’m unfamiliar with I can ask at the tasting counter and write it down on the pouch (the pouches are foil-lined, but have a simple brown-paper outer layer). I noticed that for the samples, the water for the black tea was 202-207ºF (we could read the temp on the water tank, and it was 202ºF when he poured the water for my sample, but as we stood there the temp climbed a bit), and the water for the green tea was 175ºF. Which confirms my thoughts that I should brew my Harney blacks a bit under boiling. I did with this one, and it came out great. The nutty, chocolatey, roasty flavor I totally love!