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Sipdown (206)!

Tre’s being such a sweetheart since I’ve had such a poor week (well, let’s be honest – month). He’s been cooking for me on a regular basis, and not being an ass about all the tea I have, washing the dishes when it’s not his turn, and today he even brought me a bag of my favourite baked Ketchup chips.

Honestly, it’s starting to get a little suspicious! Might have to milk it a little more to see what the limits here are, heh…

Anyway, I received a nice one cup sample size of this from Kittenna that I had totally forgotten about prior to updating my spreadsheet. Of course, I couldn’t resist getting in the sipdown and trying another Harney tea.

Parameters: 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf in 8 oz. boiling water steeped for five minutes.

The smell is a light (and creamy?) black tea, with sweet and distinct cranberry notes. That’s much more than I got from the dry leaf – to me that smelled like just a plain black.

Taste wise, I was instantly in love from the first sip. It has a very smooth, silky mouthfeel and taste that fits the black base which is present but not too commanding. The cranberry taste is very fresh and present, and mostly sweet with just a tiny touch of tartness. That’s all it really needs though – too much tartness would throw off the balance here. There’s also a very rich and creamy vanilla flavour which I wasn’t anticipating but just adore and I think that it’s part of what is keeping the cranberry from becoming too tart. This is just topped off with some subtle background almond notes. As it cooled off, it acquired just the slightest bit of astringency, but in a way which worked.

I’m just so, SO in love with this! Thank God that I have some more on the way from Keychange! This is the first Harney tea I’ve found where I would gladly and confidently buy the 4 oz. tin of it.

__Morgana__

Shopping list!

Rosehips

This is one of my favs.

Dexter

Agreed this is a good one. :))

VariaTEA

I almost sent you a bunch and then I saw you had it in your cupboard so I didn’t. Had I known it was a cup size I would have sent more :P. Well, I have 4 oz of this so if you ever want more it shouldn’t be too hard to toss some into one of our many swaps.

Roswell Strange

I’ll keep that in mind for when I eventually use up what I get from Keychange. So far this is the only Harney tea I’ve found which I like, but I have a few more in my possession to try and some Fruits d’Alsace (sp?) on the way so I’m hoping there are a few more. I don’t want to pay the shipping price for just one tea…

Nxtdoor

Florence, soho blend, boston, all Harney keepers. I have a feeling caribe also, it’s on its away to me.

VariaTEA

Nxtdoor, I 100% agree on SoHo and Boston blend! We found more teas we can share :P. However, you lost me with Florence.

keychange

Oh, rs, I’m glad you love this. I’m going to send you lots now! and then it’ll be out of my cupboard and into yours, and this means i’ll be able to buy more tea, and everyone wins!

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Comments

__Morgana__

Shopping list!

Rosehips

This is one of my favs.

Dexter

Agreed this is a good one. :))

VariaTEA

I almost sent you a bunch and then I saw you had it in your cupboard so I didn’t. Had I known it was a cup size I would have sent more :P. Well, I have 4 oz of this so if you ever want more it shouldn’t be too hard to toss some into one of our many swaps.

Roswell Strange

I’ll keep that in mind for when I eventually use up what I get from Keychange. So far this is the only Harney tea I’ve found which I like, but I have a few more in my possession to try and some Fruits d’Alsace (sp?) on the way so I’m hoping there are a few more. I don’t want to pay the shipping price for just one tea…

Nxtdoor

Florence, soho blend, boston, all Harney keepers. I have a feeling caribe also, it’s on its away to me.

VariaTEA

Nxtdoor, I 100% agree on SoHo and Boston blend! We found more teas we can share :P. However, you lost me with Florence.

keychange

Oh, rs, I’m glad you love this. I’m going to send you lots now! and then it’ll be out of my cupboard and into yours, and this means i’ll be able to buy more tea, and everyone wins!

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Bio

After discovering loose leaf, I decided I had to learn as much about in as quick an amount of time as humanely possible; that led me here!

Growing up, the only tea I ever drank was bagged mint tea (especially peppermint), and mint still remains a staple flavour for me. Spearmint is my favourite. At this point in my ‘tea career’ I heavily lean towards flavoured blends; doesn’t matter if they’re fruity, chocolate, sweet, savory, etc. Blacks are my favourite as far as flavoured blends go, with whites a close second. I really enjoy everything but straight Greens though, but I’ll try anything once even if I am wary.

My favourite fruit flavours in blends are cranberry, banana, pear, lychee, melon, passion fruit and especially pineapple. I am also always excited to try anything with Saskatoon Berries, which are delicious and also my city’s namesake. I have a huge weakness towards toffee/caramel and coconut teas and a bit of a soft spot in regard to black licorice. I also adore anything creamy. I am always up for trying soda inspired blends as well because the concept fascinates me. I want to try all the Rootbeer teas! I am also currently trying to try as many Sweet Potato blends as possible.

Tastes I strongly dislike are ginger and raisins. Really, those are the only two things I intentionally avoid. I also have mixed feelings about peaches, mangoes, lemongrass, and chamomile.

In regard to straight teas, I haven’t been nearly as adventurous. I’ve yet to really explore any straight oolongs, except Milk Oolongs which weren’t really for me. In general, I really like straight black teas, especially when they have strong baked bread or malt notes. I like most straight whites, but I have a preference for silver needle teas over other types. Green teas, with the exception of Genmaicha and some Hojicha, make me feel a bit sick and I often can’t finish the cup. I can handle flavoured matcha like Red Leaf Tea sells – but straight matcha is a definite “no go”. I recently survived my first Pu’erh, and it was an alright, maybe borderline enjoyable, experience.

The ratio of cold brewed and hot tea I drink is about 50/50. As far as my cup sizes go, all my daily cold brews are done in a 25 oz. mason jar and my other mugs are 12 oz. with the exception of my Adeline infuser mug which is 16 oz. Unless otherwise specified, these are the cup sizes for all teas I review.

I prefer to drink my tea without adding anything to it, and 9/10 times that will be how I first try a blend. My belief is that milk, sugar or whatever else you add to your tea should be used to enhance an already good flavour: if the tea needs something added to it to taste good then it’s probably not good tea to begin with. The exception is Matcha; I always have my matcha whisked either into cold milk or club soda as “Matcha soda” depending on which way the flavour will be best suited. My roommate, Tre, has a very different philosophy in regard to tea, and that’s to always drown out his cup in sugar – even before tasting to see if it needs any. That’s why I don’t let him drink the good stuff ;)

I’m always up for a swap, but because I have a very low income I can’t really afford to send things outside of North America on a regular basis :(

If you’re from North America and want to organize a swap, just give me a shout and I’m sure we can work something out! Many of my teas are in large quantity so I usually have enough to spare at least a small sample or so.

I’m a vegetarian and have been for more than half my lifetime. I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms, though that isn’t something that has been an issue I’ve had to deal with in regard to tea (at this point, at least).

My roommate Tre is a huge part of my life since he’s one of the only people in town that I know. Currently, he’s taking courses at Siast to become a professional chef which means sometimes I get really nice home cooked meals. He’s a huge Whovian, which means I know way more about Doctor Who than someone who’s only watched a season or so should. Recently he’s got me into Supernatural, and now Doctor Who as well. He knows next to nothing about tea, and he doesn’t really care to learn.

The other important person in my life is my friend Robyn.

I’ve known Robyn since we were in the eighth grade – and she was in all my classes all through high school. For years she was my transportation, since I’m just plain awful at driving and haven’t acquired my license yet. She just so happened to start classes at the University of Saskatchewan the same time as Tre and I were moving here, which worked out excellently. Like Tre she’s a huge Whovian and also a fan of Supernatural (is there even a fandom term for people who like Supernatural?). She was a minor inspiration in regard to this tea obsession of mine (but now I’ve far surpassed her in tea knowledge, consumption, and quantity possessed). Often times I have her over for tea or share my teas with her (and if it’s a tea I dislike she gets first dibs before I start trying to swap it all away here on Steepster).

Some brief “IRL” interests: Clay/Sculpture (or visual arts in general), Improv, Mythology, Big Brother (USA and CA), and an absurdly large amount of TV shows – geeky or otherwise.

Location

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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