I probably should have had another sachet for cold steeping this tea, but even with only one for 16 oz of water it was very very tasty. So peachy and delicious! I could see buying some of this for only iced tea. I mean, it’s good hot, but I really think it makes a fantastic iced tea. It’s a great blend of a nice black tea with fruit. And I could drink this one in the evenings too!
1224 Tasting Notes
The last time I drank this tea I found it a little weak in flavor. I steeped it for longer this time to see if I could draw it out, but I’m not sure if it really worked. The vanilla and jasmine are still really light in the aroma, and what seems to have been brought out is the black tea. I don’t find this tea to be very good while still relatively hot, but the vanilla certainly comes out as it cools. The jasmine never really makes itself known in the way I’d like; it kind of sits back and provides a very slightly floral flavor to the blend.
Did I seriously not realize that this was a black/green blend until just now? Apparently not, because I usually steep those at a cooler temp. Thankfully my sample from JacquelineM is big enough for me to try it at different steeping parameters once again. I assume the jasmine is part of the green tea, so that may help bring it out
I went back and read my first tasting note of this tea, and wow I was impressed with this tea the first time around. Which is funny because although I remember really enjoying it, I didn’t remember being totally blown away, which is why I hadn’t gone back to it yet. But I was tasting a lot of new teas during that time period, including a lot of other incredible ones, so I guess it makes sense that I might lose track of how much I liked things. Anyway, the aroma of the dried leaves and of the steeping tea smells incredibly delicious, like tropical fruit and flowers.
It doesn’t take long to remind me why I found this one so entrancing in the first place. It is so my kind of tea (especially right now): intensely floral, a touch of fruitiness, a grounding tea base that isn’t completely overwhelmed. I love how mixed florals all taste a bit different based on what flowers are in the tea and what’s the dominant flavor, and it also means that I never feel like multiple floral teas duplicate what I already have. Which is one way of saying that this is going to have to be a cupboard staple.
After my cup of Rosy Earl Grey yesterday, I took the spent leaves and dropped them into my cold steeping cup along with enough new leaf to make up the balance of the 2 tbsp I put in usually. The last time I had Rosy I “cool steeped” the already steeped leaves and got a pretty tasty tea in only an hour. With an overnight steep, the flavors really came out. The jasmine green tea in this really comes to the forefront, but the bergamot will not be left behind; what you end up with is really more of a Jasmine Earl Grey than a rose one, but that’s just fine with me. I was surprised that after a night steeping the liquor wasn’t oranger, like it usually is with black teas. This one looked more like a cold steeped green than anything else. There wasn’t a distinct black tea flavor, but the Earl Grey flavor was definitely there. I really enjoyed this cold steep, and using the spent leaves saved me an extra cup of tea!
A chocolate tea this morning? I guess so. I wanted to have one of my Paris teas this morning, so I thought I’d give this one a try again. I steeped it a little longer this time just to see how the flavors would come out, and I think it smells a bit orangier this time. This tea stood up fine to a four minute steep time, with no hint of bitterness. It’s rich and choco-hazenutty, with the added fruity citrusy brightness (but not too bright) of the orange. It’s an excellent blend of flavors.
Another attempt to clean out some samples from my cupboard. I have less than a cup’s worth of leaf after this cup, but I already have ideas for that. This tea seems toastier than I remember every time I have it. Today the aroma of the brewed tea smells almost exactly like chocolate chips that have been slightly burned onto the cookie sheet. Or maybe even a caramelized sugar aroma, like a chocolate creme brulee. I can also smell the sweet cream in the background, adding to the creme brulee illusion.
For whatever reason this is probably the best cup of this sample I’ve had so far. The aftertaste is chocolatey, creamy, with that touch of caramelized sugar that really adds to the depth of it. It’s still a touch bitter at the base, though, and I wish the main part of the sip had a richer mouthfeel. Still, it’s a pretty decent chocolate tea, especially if you like them to air on the roasty toasty side of things.
It never fails, I always forget on Friday afternoons that the tea I put in the fridge to cold steep will be there for several days. Always! Last Friday I decided to cold steep this magnolia oolong, since I should be getting a full 2oz of it soon in replacement for the disappointing Lavender Earl Grey. I think that the 72 hour steep is more successful with black teas, but this one was pretty tasty just the same. It was intensely floral; just lifting the lid off my steeping cup resulted in a wash of sweet magnolia aroma. The liquor was fairly dark green. The lengthy steeping (I think) caused it to be a touch bitter, but only a little, and otherwise it was tasty. I’d definitely cold steep this one again, but I think I’d go for only one night next time.
Today was a Rosy Earl Grey kind of morning. The heat this past weekend made me finally break down and buy a window air conditioner for my tiny house, but even with that it was way to hot to think about tea. I still need to get a pitcher or something for home so I can cold steep tea occasionally. But now I’m back in the hyper-airconditioning of work, so hot tea is back on the table.
I’m definitely in love with this tea. After having my lovely Lavender Earl Grey taken away (since Tea District’s current blend is no longer the same), this one has stepped up into the floral Earl Grey spot. I just love Earl Grey mixed with Jasmine, and the rose is an added bonus.
I don’t usually have two cups of tea in an afternoon (unless it’s resteeping a jasmine pearl or nice oolong), but I wanted more chocolate tea, dammit, and I didn’t want reduced chocolate flavor from a resteep of Florence. At least this is healthier than diving into my chocolate candy stash here at work.
This will always be my first chocolate tea love, and my tin seems to be getting dangerously low. Nevertheless I brewed up a cup and immediately I was rewarded with a rich, sweet chocolate aroma. Florence is chocolatey, but it’s tempered by the hazelnut or something; for whatever reason, this one just seems even more chocolatey to me. It doesn’t even have chocolate chips like some chocolate teas, just cacao nibs. Anyway, yum!
Harney day? It wasn’t intentional, but I guess so. I thought I would want a floral tea this afternoon, but then this afternoon came and I really wanted chocolate. Enter Florence.
I really have very little to say today except that this afternoon Florence is serving it’s purpose to perk me up a bit and motivate me to get some work done!
Again! This time I finally cold brewed it. The tea got a really unexpectedly earthy quality, and was surprisingly subdued; I expected more fruity and honeyed notes, and they were there, but they mostly played background to the black tea. Thankfully this is a black tea base I enjoy! Still, I think I prefer this one hot. I did make it with a bit less leaf than I usually do because I had to use sachets, so perhaps that’s part of it. Now I’m curious to see how Paris would turn out cold steeped too.
I’m going to add this to this note as well, since it references this tea: I finally just asked Harney & Sons about the black tea blends and got this reply:
“The bases for those three teas are very similar.
Earl Grey: Keemun, Ceylon, Assam, Oolong
Paris: Keemun, Hunnan, Ceylon, Assam, Oolong
Tower of London: Keemun, Hunnan
I can’t give exact amounts but the Chinese black teas [Keemun and/or Hunnan] are the predominant teas in all three blends. The Oolong in the first two blends is a very small amount that we use to soften them up a little."
Intriguing! But I would guess the Keemun is not my problem since ToL is primarily Keemun. Maybe I need that Hunnan in there for it to be to my tastes!
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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!
Being pretty much done trying new teas means that I’m starting to think about cleaning out my cupboard a bit from all the older samples I still have lying around. This was one that had probably just barely a cup of tea left in it. I added a few Jasmine Pearls, also from a TeaFrog sample, to fill it out a bit.
The brewed tea still smells a bit fruity, but the jasmine pearls have gone a long way to up the jasmine content of this tea. I got rid of most of the tea “dust” that was left before brewing it, so thankfully it didn’t brew up too bitter, though there is the faintest hint. I like this tea for all it’s florals, but I’m not quite as enchanted with it than I was before. I can definitely see myself looking for blends like this in the future, but I the indistinct sweet-tart candy fruity flavor in this one is throwing me off a bit. Still, it’s an enjoyable cup this morning.
This is truly one of the last tea samples I’ve gotten recently that I haven’t tried yet. Guess I’m going to have to go back to drinking all the teas I actually have, oh the horror! But seriously it will be good to go back to some of my favorites again.
The dry leaf of this tea smells a bit fruity, and definitely like green tea, but it also has some unexpected minty notes. Brewed, however, those minty notes disappear (thankfully), and it’s a much more straight up green tea with fruit in aroma. The fruit smells not like pear or apple individually, but some kind of hybrid pear-y apple-y fruit. Like, it’s not berry, and it’s not citrus, and it’s not tropical, so what’s left? Apple-pear.
The taste is much the same. It’s pretty light; a bit of green tea and a bit of fruit, but not much. I really prefer my tea to be more flavorful than this, so perhaps I will up the leaf or steep time next cup to see if I can improve it. Otherwise it’s pleasant enough, but not very satisfying.
The handle of the steeping basket of my Kati cup just broke off! Boo! Getting that thing out of the cup now requires a knife and hot fingers. :P
I really loved the sample I got of this tea before; the lavender and the Earl Grey were in a good balance, and the addition of the jasmine really rounded the whole thing out. I ran out a while ago but it was always on my list, so I ordered 2oz of it with my last Tea District order.
Upon opening the package I was a little concerned. This didn’t really smell like the tea I had before! The dry leaf smells very very lavendery, in a very herbaceous way, but there’s also a lot of other things going on in there that I can’t quite place (but don’t really smell like just bergamot and jasmine!). The brewed tea is similar: lavender, yes, but also almost spicy?
Um, what?? This is horrible!! WTF is this?? This is totally not the delicious Lavender EG I had before. It’s bitter and kind of like a spicy lavender, but overall just terrible to me. Like they mixed in a chai base instead of an Earl Grey. There is no hint of bergamot whatsoever. What on earth happened?!
ETA: I have sent this package of Lavender Earl Grey back to Tea District for replacement by another tea. They claim that there could be no error as far as the blend goes, so I’m going to have to remove my previously high rating of this tea.