I have drank this tea after having fantastic plain oolongs, but I haven’t had it since I’ve really become obsessed with oolongs. This is a kind of generic formosa oolong base, neither green nor particularly roasted (though it is dark in color). I still really enjoy this cup even though I can tell the oolong base is nothing fancy; it’s still dark enough to add some heft and body to the sip, but still light enough to play well with the fruity and floral notes. I’m not big on plain “formosa” oolongs, just like I’m not big on plain black teas, but I do really like them as a base for flavorings like in this tea.
1212 Tasting Notes
I’m a bit disappointed that even with a low temp and short steep this one is still a little bitter… it’s kind of just a character of the black tea base, I guess, which is unfortunate. The florals are so powerful on this one it’s crazy, and I can definitely see people thinking it tastes perfumey, but it’s not quite there for me yet. It’s almost rosey, but not quite… orchidy, I guess. :) Fortunately this is really great cold steeped, so I will definitely enjoy it that way even if I can’t quite get the hot steep right. I did drop my rating since the hot steep is tainted by a bitterness I can’t seem to fix.
This was totally awesome cold-steeped. It was sweet and creamy and citrusy… really very delicious. I really love an Earl Grey Cream iced… there’s something about that combo that is great when combined with cold black tea. The flavors in this one were so bold and strong, and yet not artificial tasting. This seems to be a pretty solid EGC tea.
This is another tea that I love and haven’t had for a long time. It is just so chocolatey with a lovely nutty almond accompaniment. Actually this is a tea I would consider a really good chocolate tea (though it’s not plain chocolate) and I would want to try mixing it with an Earl Grey. I love that this tea is just chocolate flavored with cacao nibs, no chocolate chips or pieces which I feel like can muddy up the flavors and make it seem like you are drinking watery hot chocolate. Wow this tea is good. It’s been so long and I’ve tried so many teas in the intervening time that coming back to this one is a bit of a surprise… a happy one! The chocolate is rich and not too roasty, the almond flavor is almondy without being overly marzipanny (not that I would mind if it was). I don’t think I ever realize that there was caramel flavor in this one as well, but it totally makes sense. The caramel doesn’t stick out as a distinct flavor, but adds to the richness and slight sweetness, mimicking some really caramelly black teas. Bumping this up to 99 because it is just that good.
I guess I’m a little off season! It seems like I should be drinking Christmas blends, but I will soon enough and I wanted to try this one since I restocked on it a while ago and still haven’t gotten around to drinking a cup yet. I tried this one initially in sachets, so I am interested to see how I like it loose in comparison.
This is a toasty, tasty chocolatey tea… the kind of tea that brings people into your office saying, “what’s that chocolate smell?” It’s also a little bit nutty. I wish there was more rose to the flavor, since I hardly get it at all. I haven’t tried Harney’s plain chocolate tea, so I’d be interested to compare the two. Looking back, I seem to have gotten more rose from the sachet, so who knows what’s going on. Maybe the mystery flavors that played havoc with my earlier cups today are still at work, though a thorough cleaning of everything seems to have taken care of it as far as I can tell.
Yup, there’s definitely something off today, because I’m getting a slightly bright metallic taste from this one too, except not quite as much as the Passionate Rose earlier. Not sure what it is because I had a cup of the water plain with lunch and I didn’t notice anything odd about it. Perhaps the kettle, or my steeping basket (but neither of them look different from normal)? Who knows, but I hope it goes away soon. I have a ton of new tea coming to me, and I want the best conditions to taste it!
Hmm, something is up with this one today. For some reason it tastes kind of metallic, which seems more like it’s a problem with the water or something than with the tea itself. I hope so, because I love this tea… passion fruit and rose together, yum! The way these go well together made me think of combining passion fruit and lychee, since lychee has those rose notes as well as some citrusy-type notes. I just ordered some passion fruit tea from thepuritea (yay cyber monday sales… through some weird math I ended up saving 55% on my order), so I will probably try that with Harney’s lychee when it gets here!
Another sachet I brought with me while traveling this holiday weekend. Having it this morning with a homemade apple cider donut, and it’s definitely taking the edge of a headache incurred after rocking out too hard at a They Might Be Giants show last night (why don’t I ever learn that I get dehydrated at concerts?)
A little while ago I was wondering about a mangosteen flavored tea because I love mangosteen. There aren’t many out there! This is one of the few, and so when I found a bag in my boyfriend’s mom’s tea stash, I grabbed it to try. It’s definitely not steeped under the best circumstances… water that’s probably too hot since I don’t quite know how long to wait for the water to cool (I’m so dependant on my variable temp tea kettle).
Of course, this isn’t merely a mangosteen flavored green tea… it’s full of other things like lemongrass, hibiscus, orange, rosehips, and pear. That’s a lot going on! Still, the flavor is nice. Sweet and fruity and tart but not too tart. I do get a mangosteen flavor overall, but there are definitely identifiable pear and citrus flavors. I do get a slight sweetness to this tea as other have noticed. I wish that it was just mangosteen and green tea, but it is a very tasty tea nonetheless.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m spending the weekend with my boyfriend’s family, so I have a reduced tea selection for the weekend. But this one is one I always bring with me whenever I travel! One of my absolute faves. I can never mess it up and it’s always delicious.
From dark and rich to sun-shiny and fresh today. This is my second tea that features a large number of somewhat indistinct mixed florals + fruits, but they have totally different characters. This really is a “blue sky” tea… it makes me think of springtime flower-filled fields and ripe, juicy orangey-yellow fruit (you know, citrus, tropical fruits, the like). The green tea base just adds to that fresh feeling. An all around delicious, if slightly unseasonal tea!
Mm, I love the rich florals over the fruits in this tea. The citrus and the fig and the lotus and the rose all blend together so well. There’s something so luxurious about it; I think it’s partly the fig, which grounds what might otherwise be bright citrus notes, and partly the rose/lotus, which I think in general are pretty “thick” florals. This is no light flowery tea… these are heady, intoxicating aromas and flavors. Definitely recommended for fans of floral teas.
This morning as I was driving to work I had a bag of new tea samples in my car, and one of the teas in the bag was emitting a powerfully chocolatey aroma. It was tempting to try it, but I said I would be drinking my faves now, not new teas, so I grabbed Florence to fill the craving. It definitely worked… this tea is so chocolatey and nutty and delicious, like chocolate hazelnut cream in tea form. It’s also robust enough to serve as a good wake-me-up breakfast team, which is good for this morning since I am dragging. Go Florence go!
Going back and trying all of these teas is amazing because I’m pretty sure I forgot how awesome they were in the intervening time, but I also feel like have nothing to write for my tasting notes. But I still write them because I like tasting notes.
This one is almost sweet today… it’s a tantalizing, lingering sweetness that isn’t as much in the sip as in the aftertaste. The main part of the sip is mango-y and a bit floral and lightly almondy (like a macaron, of course), but I can taste the vegetal grassiness from the Sencha as well and it’s a nice grounding note. They combine well but also remain distinct, as if you were eating a macaron and drinking a cup of green tea at the same time. Delish.
This is one of my top top teas, and I haven’t had it in forever! Yet another one of those “but it’s kind of expensive so I don’t want to use it up too fast” quandries. Not to mention I’ve been wandering the lands of tasty floral green oolongs for a while, which has generally filled my cravings for floral teas. There’s just something about jasmine pearls, though… it’s been long enough that I think I didn’t remember exactly what I was missing from a tea that was really all about the jasmine, not jasmine + other flavors. Oh that honeysuckle sweetness! This is really a tea I would be happy to drink every day if it was feasible.
Last Friday I said that this week I would be revisiting all my favorite teas, which I haven’t drank in a long while. Of course, this week I will only be around my stash for two days before traveling for Thanksgiving, so perhaps I will need to stretch my “favorites” resolution to after this week. In reality I’d like to revisit a lot of teas that I haven’t gotten around to in a while, not just my absolute faves, so I’m going to try to mix things up a bit in general.
Anyway, what better way to start out than this one? So almondy and floral. This is one of the few teas I’ve encountered that really does give me that sweet almond marzipan flavor I look for in an almond tea. I love this tea but I don’t want to drink it up so fast because I have to order it from France when I run out! On the other hand, that means an order to Dammann Fréres in which I can order all kinds of other teas as well. Maybe I should drink it up to make an excuse for myself! :D
This is definitely one of those teas that I wasn’t super excited to go back to. This one less because it was bad than because it just didn’t wow me like expected. But everyone also says that you have to try this one with milk and sugar because it’s like strawberries and cream and so delicious… so I had to bring it home and try it!
I think I do enjoy it more with the milk and sugar… the strawberry flavor is very nice, and I actually get more florals with it this way, which I wouldn’t have expected with the milk. The milk helps to smooth out the odd tartness that I taste with MF black teas. Overall a very tasty pot of tea.
So I never put milk and sugar in my tea, partly because I drink most of my tea at work and I don’t have those things there, and partly because I like drinking my tea straight. A tea has to taste good on it’s own for me, without additions. That’s not to say that I haven’t come across several teas that I didn’t love straight, and then never get around to drinking them even though they would probably taste good with milk and sugar. So I finally brought some of these teas home to have on the weekend with additions.
This one is tasty with milk and sugar. It wasn’t horrible without it, but it was kind of lackluster. Now it’s way more nutty and a lightly chocolatey, and the slightly bitter tea base is smoothed out and covered by the milk. I think the weekend milk and sugar teas will definitely be a way for me to use up teas I wasn’t very fond of straight.
This tea is mind-bendingly good. It is almost unbelievable! I went through my first steep so quickly because I couldn’t stop drinking it, I was surprised when it was gone! Thankfully I can get lots of steeps out of this one because I am going to need them today. It gets especially delicious as it cools down to just warm, and that incredible buttery, caramely sweetness comes out. I have yet to rate a tea 100, but this one has joined the ranks of my 99s, which are the teas that I truly and utterly love. And now it’s out of stock! I am eagerly awaiting the reblending.
I bought a whole tin of this a while ago, and I’m just now getting around to having some. I can be really weird about my teas sometimes. I get so wrapped up trying all the new teas, I hardly go back to my favorites. Today I saw this one in the drawer and wanted it, but then thought that I should try to drink up a sample instead. This tea kept nagging at the back of my mind, so I pulled some out. Like some others on here, I’ve had an up and down relationship with white tea; a lot of times I just can’t seem to get the steeping right. I’ve had good success with Harney’s whites though, this one included. I love the coconut-almond-vanilla blend in this that almost tastes chocolatey.
Coming back to this one has made me think that maybe next week I should do a return to all my faves, at least the ones I haven’t had recently.
‘Monterey Berry Blend’: 1.75tsp each blackberry, black currant and raspberry black teas from Monterey Bay Spice Company.
This cold steep was surprisingly really tasty! I worried that it wouldn’t be because the Monterey Bay black teas have generally tasted low quality to me, and sometimes that can result in nasty cold steeps. But this seems to indicate that the flavorings are of decent quality, it’s just the black tea base that’s not so great. Cold steeping tends to smooth over ills in tea bases, and so it has here. This one is definitely very berry flavored; they all mesh together very well, but I can also pull them out individually. The blackberry, which was kind of odd hot, here provides a nice earthy, berries-from-the-bush note that is very pleasant. Glad to know that these cold steep well, and I’m looking forward to playing with blending these!
Oh this tea, the tea I want to love but never quite lives up to my expectations. It is neither chocolatey enough or bergamotty enough for me, and those jasmine flowers listed in the ingredients always tease me but never deliver. Actually now that I brew it at 4 minutes it’s probably chocolatey enough, but I want more of a sense I’m drinking an Earl Grey, not just a chocolate tea with some lemony citrus. Nevertheless, it’s still a perfectly decent cup of tea, and I have no problem drinking it. I just had such high hopes for it!
I had some problems with consistance early on in my sample of this tea, but this cup seems very similar to the last cup I had, so maybe I just wasn’t getting a good mix the first times around. This cup is rosy and lemony with a hint of ginger, all with a pleasant green oolong base to back it up. I’m really, really enjoying this one and if my last cup of the sample is as good as this one, I think I might have to order some more… this flavor combination doesn’t seem that common!
I tried cold steeping this one this one to see what I might get from it, but unfortunately all I got was cherry candy. Which would be not so bad if I liked cherry candy, but I do not. A hot steep was better for this tea.