1995 Tasting Notes

64
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
1995 tasting notes

There are a number of Harney teas I really love, but for some reason I’ve never been a fan of their Earl Greys. I pretty much ordered a sample of every EG they had when I put in my first order with them, and the only one that’s on my reorder list is the Winter White, actually. Nevertheless I want to love their Earl Greys, so I continue to try them. I picked up a sachet of this at the New York Coffee and Tea Festival ages ago (right before I joined Steepster!), and this morning I figured I’d give it another shot.

The sachet certainly smells lovely, with plenty of sharp bergamot aroma. In the brewed tea it’s more subdued, and I pick up more of the black tea base, which smells a bit malty and a bit bready.

Overall… too much black tea, not enough bergamot for me. Also it has that black tea base I’m not really a fan of. I’m starting to think it might be Keemun, actually, since I identify it as an “English Breakfast” flavor and I know many EB’s are 100% Keemun. I’m not sure what it is about it, but I have some kind of knee-jerk, gut negative reaction to it. I do not remember having that when I tried Keemun Mao Feng at the Soho store, which is part of what is confusing me. Then again, some EB’s are a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan leaves. I’m pretty sure I like Ceylon, and I don’t think I like Assam, but I’m pretty sure there’s not Assam in this tea. I can identify the smell and flavor of that black tea I don’t like, I just can’t figure out what exactly it is since I’ve only encountered it in undifferentiated blends. Anyway, someday I’ll figure it out.

Back to this tea. Besides the tea base that I don’t really care for, the bergamot is very bright and a touch astringent. It’s not floral, but more citrusy, including the slightly bitter citrus pith. I suppose it’s now confirmed: this one’s not really for me. I’m a fan of so many other Harney teas that I don’t really understand why the Earl Grey and I can’t be friends (especially since I like Earl Greys), but so it goes.

ETA: According to Harney, the makeup of the black tea base in this one is Keemun, Ceylon, Assam, Oolong, with Keemun being the primary ingredient. That is nearly identical to Paris, except Paris also contains Hunnan as another predominant base.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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60

Picked this one up at a Pilot truck stop a while ago. I had quite disappointing experiences with the other sachets I picked up, so I wasn’t expecting much from this one, but such is cupboard cleaning: sometimes you drink teas you’re not the biggest fan of.

The dry sachet smelled very generically tropical; I could maybe pick out pinapple? But also worringly artificial. I’m starting get a bit skittish about some fruit tea blends since they can go so wrong so fast for me. Anyway, when I brewed it, it was better than I was expecting. That’s not saying much, but the aroma is decently pleasant and not too fake or sickly-sweet smelling. The green tea isn’t obliterated in the aroma or the taste, which is nice. It tastes fairly generically tropical, like it smells, but it’s decent enough. I was surprised to see that there is mint in this, since the combo of mint and tropical fruit sounds horrible and wrong to me, but while the mint flavor is definitely noticable, I don’t hate it. Overall, it’s not a terribly exciting tea, but not so bad that I won’t drink the whole cup.

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76

This was a fantastic cold brew. It far exceeded my expectations (ETA: although I suppose it shouldn’t have, as I apparently did a quick cold resteep the last time I drank it and it turned out very well, but I’m forgetful). A lot of teas I have are very nicely tasty as cold brews, but sometimes a tea will surprise you! I find that a lot of times that if a tea has vanilla, when cold brewed the vanilla will come out and take everything else over. The vanilla on this one remained nice and light: definitely present, but not overwhelming. It played so well with the very floral orchid notes. I will definitely be cold steeping this one again, though I’m coming to enjoy this tea so much I worry about going through it too quick… it’s not available online, and since I bought it at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens on a vacation a while back, there’s always a chance it won’t be there the next time I go back. Well, I still have plenty now, so I can worry about that in the future!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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67

Ok I really have no clue how long I steeped this tea. I had my timer set up for 4 minutes, and then I forgot to hit start. I’m hoping it was about 4 minutes anyway, but honestly I didn’t look at a clock or anything so who knows!

In any case, I think the steep time was relatively long, and it certainly brought out the chocolate. The Earl Grey is there, but fairly light, just providing a bright note overall. Is this my perfect ideal of a chocolate EG? No, but it’s pretty tasty anyway. I wish it was more bergamotty, which is my main issue. Those who prefer a lighter bergamot EG would find this to be a good blend, I think. I definitely prefer it with the longer steep time, which really brings out more of the flavors (but doesn’t make the tea get too bitter). And since chocolate Earl Greys aren’t exactly very numerous, I can see keeping this one around

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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90

Just opening my packet of pearls sent a dizzingly sweet and delicious jasmine aroma my way, and I knew I made the right decision this afternoon. Mm, so sweet and jasminey and fantastic; it’s really the epitome of the jasmine flavor for me. I could drink this all day. Or at least all afternoon, which is what I’ll be doing as I steep these pearls plenty of times.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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65
drank Trois Noix by Mariage Frères
1995 tasting notes

Happy 200th tasting note to me! This was my overnight cold steep, and let me tell you, it was delicious. I decided to cold steep this one after my cold steep of Marco Polo eliminated the weird tart/acidic flavor I had gotten on both of these teas. It worked again, and this came out incredibly almondy with a bit of extra nut flavors added to it. The only drink I’ve had that is that almondy is an almond flavored bubble tea, which I love.

It seems like for this tea and Marco Polo I need to add cream/sugar or cold steep to take care of that odd acidic note I taste. I’ll no doubt try this one again hot and plain just to be sure, but if nothing else I can definitely always cold steep it.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
ashmanra

I just had a French tea today that waws delicious until it started getting cold, the it got the weird, astringent or acidic taste you mention. Must be something these French teas ave in common…

LiberTEAS

Congrats on reaching 200!

ashmanra

Good gravy, look at all the missing letters! Will I ever get used to my iPad, or at least start proofreading?

Dinosara

Thanks LiberTEAS!
And ashmanra…LOL it can be hard to get used to typing on those keyboards! I haven’t experienced the acidic taste on any of the Dammann teas, but it’s definitely there on two different MF blacks I’ve tried.

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99

So the way my tasting notes work out, my 200th note will be for my cold brewed lunch tea. I decided to go with Tower of London for my 199th since other people’s tasting notes of it have made me start to crave it. Tower was actually unintentionally my 100th tasting note as well. This was one of the teas I can credit to starting my tea obsession, so it’s only fitting.

Mm, still one of my absolute faves. I haven’t had this tea since April, but like Paris, my palate has not changed enough that I don’t still love love this one. So thanks, Tower of London, for being a consistantly delicious tea throughout my tea adventures.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
teawing

It didn’t start my obsession, but it sure confirmed it!

ashmanra

Ts is an ooey-gooey romantic tea for me, since hubby surprised me with it for the anniversary of the day he proposed! The honey sweetness is so good. I like it iced and cold brewed as well.

KeenTeaThyme

I really need to try this one. It sounds amazing (and I love the name). :)

Dinosara

Aw, what a great story ashmanra! I still have to try this one iced!

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80

Ok so this is officially the last of my “new teas” to try. I have this one thanks to QuiltGuppy! There are two things about this tea that kept me from trying it before: one, it’s decaf and I rarely drink non-caffeinated teas purely because I drink them during the day and the caffeine doesn’t really affect me anyway, so why bother? The other thing is I didn’t really know how I would like a peach tea. I mean, I like peaches, but I had another tea with peach in it that I didn’t like and I didn’t know if was the peach or what. Anyway, I’m in a peachy mood lately, so I’m now excited to try it.

The smell of the two sachets in their little pouch is so powerfully peachy, somewhere between a juicy fresh peach and peach candy. I like peach candy (it’s actually one of the few fruity candy flavors I do like), so that’s fine with me.

It steeped to a pretty dark shade of brown, and while still very peachy in aroma, it’s mellowed out and I get a whiff of the black tea now and then. There’s something about this particular peach aroma that is so familiar to me, but I can’t place it! I think in addition to the peach candy there’s a bit of peach juice (which I rarely drink on it’s own, but do in blends).

As for the flavor: I like it! It’s peachy in that way that I have tried and failed to describe above, which is very tasty. The black tea is present enough to ensure that the peach doesn’t get out of control, but it’s not the main show here. What I can taste of it is nice, and doesn’t taste particularly like a decaf (which I want to type as “decalf” every time). I’m sure it tastes delicious iced. I don’t see a great need for a peach tea as a cupboard staple, but if I did, I couldn’t go wrong with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
teawing

I like this one too, and I wouldnt have tried a decaf for the same reason.
I cheat a little on this one, I steep it with another black tea of interest. I have yet to try it iced, but will soon.

Jenn

I just tried it iced today and it’s super tasty :)

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73
drank Vanilla Tea by Upton Tea Imports
1995 tasting notes

Cold brew overnight. This definitely has the strength to still give a flavorful iced tea when cold brewed. Very very vanilla-y, and the black tea base is nice and subtle but definitely present. I think it would make a good sub with added interest for plain black tea in a big pitcher of sweet tea (which would of course make the vanilla really stand out, I think!)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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65
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1995 tasting notes

Ack, I forgot to log this one yesterday! This was actually the tea I cold steeped over the weekend. Yeah, I’m that girl that cold steeps Marco Polo. :D

It turned out very well, and I think I like this tea better iced, actually. Crazy! The strawberry was very strong, and it melded well with nice black tea base. The strawberry flavor was fresher, and less like a strawberry pie than juicy fresh strawberries. I don’t get the tartness with the cold steep (or maybe it just works better cold). I think I initially rated this one low because I was expecting more, but having it like this made me realize that it’s still a really good tea and really enjoyable. I know I still have to try it with milk and sugar as recommended, but I really like it cold, too!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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