77
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
2244 tasting notes

So Alphakitty sent me a bunch of H&S teas during our recent swap, which was awesome since I’m seeing everyone on here raving about them, and I had yet to try any! Also, I’m so taken by the city names… as if I needed convincing to want to try the whole line of such-named teas! Today I have brewed up Tokyo, Bangkok, Florence, Paris, and Boston. I have a SoHo blend too… uhhhh…. yeah, that’s it. Should have brewed that one up too!

I decided to make a game of this and guess the tea flavouring by scent/taste. I’m not actually terribly familiar with what each of these blends is, so this should be fun!!

Florence definitely smells quite like a fruity dark chocolate. The type of fruitiness in particular escapes me, although I could be led to believe it’s cherry, as the aroma reminds me a bit of chocolate covered cherries. I’m fairly certain it is not cherry, though.

The first sip tastes much like the aroma. I’m surprised to find that it’s a bit weak given my 4 minutes of steeping, 1.5tsp tea and 8oz. water, but perhaps it needed that additional minute that was written on the bag. It is definitely chocolatey though, with just a hint of fruity. I can’t taste the black tea base as much as I would like, and there’s definitely no astringency or bitterness, so an additional minute likely only would have helped. Still good though. Not a tea I’d purchase as it’s a familiar flavour, so I think it’s much like one of the teas from DavidsTea (Love Tea #7??), which is much more easily obtainable if I’m in the mood.

And the verdict? I think I came the closest on this one, yay! Definite chocolate, and I can see the cherry/hazelnut confusion (even if the rest of you can’t! Hmph!) One more sip and I’m more inclined to believe that there’s hazelnut in the blend than before, but I swear it’s still a bit like cherries, too :D

Thanks Alphakitty!

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

Good job testing yourself!

Alphakitty

With milk & sugar this reminds me of a Ferrero Rocher… totally decadent and delicious.

Alphakitty

Oh also I found this the weakest of their flavored blacks that I own, so definitely try with the full 5 minutes.

Kittenna

Mmmmmm, Ferroro Rocher…. haven’t had one of those in a while! They’re a Christmas treat usually, and “Santa” didn’t put any in our stockings this past year.

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Comments

Azzrian

Good job testing yourself!

Alphakitty

With milk & sugar this reminds me of a Ferrero Rocher… totally decadent and delicious.

Alphakitty

Oh also I found this the weakest of their flavored blacks that I own, so definitely try with the full 5 minutes.

Kittenna

Mmmmmm, Ferroro Rocher…. haven’t had one of those in a while! They’re a Christmas treat usually, and “Santa” didn’t put any in our stockings this past year.

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Profile

Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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