141 Tasting Notes
The short, twisty, multi-colored leaves have the same sweet, biscuit fragrance I’ve been getting from a lot of H&S teas. This one is dead-on for a Lorna Doone cookie.
The dark copper colored tea has a clean tea fragrance that’s sweet but also has a slight burnt paper quality. The flavor is very mild; it’s light in body and has little to no astringency. There’s a subtle lingering sweetness.
I had this first thing in the morning but I need something bolder to kick me into gear. This would, however, make for an excellent afternoon tea.
This is another sample I received with my recent H&S order. I don’t typically enjoy bagged tea and unflavored decaf teas always seem bland. This tea, however, was different.
The fragrance of the tea is somewhat biscuity and peppery. The flavor is clean and crisp with a fair level of astringency but then has a subtle, lingering sweetness. It’s a nice contrast.
This now makes three decent bagged teas I’ve had recently from Harney and they’re starting to change my mind that all bagged tea is awful.
The leaves are dark and crumbly. The fragrance was unexpected. My initial thought was raisin bread. As I tried to dissect that further, I realized it was malty, yeasty and had notes of fig.
After steeping, the fragrance simplifies. The flavor is malty, slightly sweet and had a high level of salinity. I’m not getting much of the smokiness that has been mentioned quite a bit with this tea. I can see how this tea would take very well to lemon or light cream and sugar. It has a bit of a weak finish. However, as the cup cools, it develops more body and character.
Overall, it’s not a bad tea but it’s also not at the top of my list.
I received a sample of this in silken sachet form with my most recent order from Harney & Sons. (I didn’t realize how much I had ordered until I started unpacking the box. It was like a circus car full of clowns.)
When you first open the packet, there’s a burst of a bright and fruity fragrance with a bit of tang. This was a perfect representation of pomegranate at its most ripe state. The sachet was full of bright green rolled oolong nuggets.
Upon steeping, the leaves plumped so that the bag was almost bursting. The fruity and nutty fragrance was strong and wafted from my desk; no need to get your nose into this tea.
The tea brews to a very pale champagne color and the fragrance in the cup is even more nutty.The tanginess of the pomegranate compliments the butter and nut oolong very well. The lingering aftertaste of the fruit was a little surprising since it wasn’t overly prominent in the tea.
Usually the free samples from H&S don’t do much for me but this one goes on the reorder list!
Based on some major detective work, LiberTEAS and I discovered that this tea is also served as “Desert Grapefruit Green” at the Tohono Chul Park Tearoom in Tucson.
The fragrance of this tea is incredible. The green tea base is strong with a clean, grassy, nutty, and sweet foundation. On top is a strong grapefruit that is very natural. Living in Arizona, I’m surrounded by citrus and this is just like driving past an orchard in the Spring.
The tea brews to an opaque, turbid, fluorescent green. The flavor of the green tea is rich and sweet and the grapefruit adds a perfect balance of bittersweet tartness.
The steeping instructions took me by surprise as they said to use boiling water instead of the 175 degrees I usually use for green teas. I followed Lupicia’s instructions and it turned out fine. I put this over ice and it was perfect!
You work with what the Universe gives you. I was stuck in an auto service waiting room and needed a caffeine fix. Luckily, since I have a MINI and they’re very “British” there, they had quite a bit of tea available. It was all in traditional bags however.
I picked this one because I thought it would have the most flavor even if the bag was stale or the water wasn’t quite hot enough. It was a good choice. The tea brewed very dark and the chai spices were very pungent. I wish the tea base was a little stronger but, given the minimal room available in a traditional tea bag, it wasn’t too bad.
Fortunately, they finished my car early (love MINI service!) so I didn’t have to move on to the Earl Grey. (I like EG but didn’t want to be disappointed by a bag.)
I’m not sure how this one has escaped tasting for so long. I was looking for something appropriate to try out my new cast-iron tetsubin and this was perfect.
The leaves were tightly curled and bright jade colored. Unfortunately, they were somewhat cramped by the pot’s steeping basket so I didn’t get the full unfurling effect.
The tea was very pale green with a vegetative, buttery and nutty fragrance. The flavor was very light and delicate; it’s possible that my sample may be aging. However, subsequent steeps were for longer periods and the flavor deepened. It’s buttery, slightly saline and finished very sweet.
I don’t drink a lot of oolongs but every time I do, I really enjoy them. I drank an entire pot of this one. (And the tetsubin is awesome. However, I need to build up calluses to use the iron cups- ouch!)
Thanks to ashmanra for sending me a sample of this so I could face my fear of roses in tea.
Since this was in a sachet, I can’t say much about the tea prior to steeping. Once prepared, the fragrance was of vanilla, carrot and banana, with the faintest floral note. I may be carrying the wedding metaphor too far, but the overall aroma can be summarized as clean linen.
The tea was pale amber in color. The taste was on the grassy, vegetative side with a slight astringency- but no rose. (Yeah!) While it’s a blend, everything is so well balanced that it doesn’t come off as noticeably “flavored.”
The ingredients list includes coconut and almond, but these didn’t present themselves until the cup cooled. However, they lingered providing a pleasant aftertaste.
This may turn out to be one of my favorite H & S teas. (Which would figure since I just placed a large order and didn’t include this one.) I hope they keep it around past the Royal Wedding this weekend!
This is another not-so-chocolatey entry from the ESP Emporium chocolate sampler. The picture shows chocolate chips but I don’t think this bag has been within 10 miles of a cocoa bean.
The fragrance of the blend, both in the bag and prepared, is of caramel and rose. While not unpleasant, it’s not what I would expect from something called “chocolate cake.” The flavor is a strong caramel (there are actually mini caramel chews in the mix) and there is a lingering tart, floral aftertaste. Again, the flavor isn’t bad but I really wanted something with an obvious chocolate note.
The initial fragrance leaned towards cream and berries with little indication of chocolate. Prepared, there was a subtly sweet, baked-goods aroma.
The taste was disappointing. While the tea base was of a fair body and the slight slick of coconut oil gave it a creaminess, there wasn’t much flavor. The ingredients list includes both cocoa bits and chocolate chips but I couldn’t detect these in the slightest.
This was part of a chocolate sampler pack that I purchased. I hope I have better luck with the remaining teas.