11 Tasting Notes

85

I picked up a tin of this at our local tea store in the mall. It’s not the very best hojicha I’ve had, but it’s still really good.

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85

I’m actually sampling the bagged tea version of this, which I snagged from our hotel room last week, hoping the caffeine heads off the migraine that’s nibbling on my skull just over my left ear. This is really nice for a standard tea bag-type tea. It’s very smooth, with a hint of smokiness on the back of it.

I even broke out my new kettle I got to use at work, so that I could do at least a decent job of brewing it.

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drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
11 tasting notes

I tried to try this one this morning at school, but I ROYALLY goobered it up with our less-than-ideal brewing conditions. It’s not as forgiving as a lot of teas I’ve tried here at school, and I ended up making it far too strong and ungodly bitter. I’m reserving judgment for now, and will try again at home where I can take the time and effort to brew it correctly.

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95
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
11 tasting notes

I’ve liked every Harney and Sons tea I’ve gotten at Barnes and Noble quite a lot, so I finally got around to ordering direct a few days ago, primarily so I could try their hojicha and genmaicha. I also bought a small tin of Tokyo, some Queen Catherine, and Paris, because it is the one Harney tea I’ve seen so many raves about.

Initially, I wasn’t sure this would be a big hit with me. I like bergamot okay in small doses that aren’t overpowering, but I have to be in the mood for it. This morning I decided to give it a go, no matter what the flavor.

And…I’m glad I bought it. I’m not really getting a lot of bergamot from it, and I think that’s because there is just so very much going on in a mug of Paris. I taste all kinds of fruit, but have trouble isolating this one and that one (though in a good way). The best analogy I can make is to Dr. Pepper, where you can’t tell what each of those 23 flavors are, but together they blend and balance precisely to equal WOW.

I’m also impressed that it’s lighter than I expected with all those flavors going on. It isn’t cloying at all. I can see why I’ve read reviews of it being comforting and refreshing and all of that. I bought the sachets just to try it, but when I eventually do reorder, I will definitely be buying the loose tea, and in a bigger quantity.

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85

After a chaotic morning and early afternoon of middle school, I popped down to the lounge to fix a big mug of this to regroup with because genmaicha equals comfort in my little corner of the tea world, and I’m trying to use up the last few bags of this while I wait for my Harney order. It’s not the very best genmaicha I’ve ever had, but I think it’s decent for a bagged variety, and it is very forgiving on long steeps. I haven’t ever had it go bitter on me.

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90

The catalog claims a taste profile that includes a bit of muscatel, a bit of oolong, and a bit of malty Assam flavor. I get all three. This was a pretty nice black tea, and didn’t get bitter, even though my brewing conditions were not at all optimal.

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I do not like vegetal greens. I do not like them, Sam I am. I love toasted greens, like Hojicha and Genmaicha, which are probably my two very favorite teas ever.

The descriptor mentioned a “nutty” flavor to this tea, and I decided to try it, thinking it might have a bit of toastiness to it. Oh, but the drooliemeister guessed totally wonky on that one!

This is a very vegetal, very spinachy tasting tea. If there’s one tea flavor I have a big aversion to it’s spinach. I cannot abide it, and this tea is almost exclusively spinachy. I also tried it at school, where brewing conditions aren’t optimal, and overbrewed it, so I got a bitter note on top of spinach. And it lingered. Three generous sips, and the rest went down the drain on my way to try the other tea we ordered.

Someone who likes spinachy notes may well like it. It is simply not for me. I don’t feel right leaving a number rating and skewing the data, so I won’t. I can say a friend of mine likes it quite a bit, and that’s good, since she can drink the rest and it won’t go to waste.

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95

I do not like red rooibos at all, but there are several of the green rooibos flavors from Republic of Tea that I rather like. Orange Red Carrot (or maybe it’s Red Orange Carrot) is my favorite of them, but Lemon Chiffon Cuppa Cake runs a close second. It reminds of of a Confetti Cupcake Pop Tart with an undercurrent of vanilla running through it.

To be fair, I didn’t brew it very well, since I was at school and had my oversized mug, but only used one teabag. It ended up on the weak side, but it was still really nice. I imagine when I brew it a bit stronger next time it will be better yet.

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90

This is one of my staple basic teas, particularly at work. In comparison to my other British imports PG Tips, Yorkshire Gold, and Barry’s Irish Breakfast), I gravitate toward Builders. Builder’s tends to be smoother and less astringent, and is more lenient to accidental over-steeping than the others. Today I’m drinking it with vanilla simple syrup.

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100

I absolutely love genmaicha. If I could pick only one tea to have around, it would probably be genmaicha. I like it with a couple of sugars, but today I got the notion to add some of the vanilla simple syrup I made the other day. It was rather great with a touch of vanilla on top of the toastiness.

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