403 Tasting Notes
This is a good vanilla black tea. I find the flavor a good balance between authenticity (Adagio’s in particular always tastes fake, more like frosting, to me) and strength of flavor (vanilla teas flavored just with vanilla bean tend to be overpowered by the black tea). This will likely be included in my next order to Harney.
I’m backlogging from a weekend w/o internet, so I can’t remember anything more nuanced about the flavor. It was very satisfying though.
Beautiful deep red hue in the cup; I think someone pegged it as garnet. I think my water was a little too cool, because the flavor is very mild: sweet, smoky, a little bit of an earth/pine taste, but with none of the heft I’ve gotten from Jackee in the past. Will try to remedy this on the next steep (Jackee always gives me two, if not three).
2nd steep (with slightly hotter water) is a little sweeter, less smoky. The color is less intense, but the flavor is still strong, and smoother.
3rd steep is amber, sweet, and mild. Definitely got a dark/sweet flavor on the last couple of steeps that could be called burnt sugar. Any hint of astringency is gone by the 3rd, so it’s just a round, mellow, yes caramel-y, flavor. Almost starting to remind me of honeybush, but not as woody.
This is hands-down the strongest tea I own. Fruity, brisk, energizing. I think describing a tea as a “coffee converter” is a bit cliched at this point, but that is what comes to mind – it has the caffeine and the strength of flavor. It was fruitier before adding milk, but a little harsh for my taste. I think maybe I have been oversteeping this, because at 3 minutes (and 1 level tsp/8oz) I’m getting a lot more of the fruity/winey taste, so bumping the rating accordingly.
First thing I notice about this one is the CTC leaves – the dry tea looks like a bunch of tiny pellets. The tea itself brews up a nice dark red/brown, and certainly smells the way chai should: warm spices and black tea. A nice blend of spices too, not too much cinnamon. I find this too bitter to drink plain; honey helps a little, milk helps more. With both, it is tasty. A very solid chai choice – might buy again, but I’d rather find something that doesn’t absolutely require sweetener.
Minty, slightly sweet, not bitter, and impossible to oversteep. The only way to ruin this is by not using enough leaf – I like one heaping tsp/8oz. This makes a nice bedtime tea for those of us not fond of chamomile (…is there anyone other than me?) I can’t do caffeine at night, and since learning that white and green teas aren’t actually lower in caffeine and most decaffeinated things taste like crap (in addition to not being completely caffeine-free) that leaves herbals.
Anyway, bumping this rating a bit because of how often I drink it, and the fact that I will absolutely be buying more when this 4oz bag runs out.
A light golden color in the cup, this smells toasty and a little fruity, but the flavor is sweet/smoky. The leaves unfurl beautifully from their pellets. This is nice, and I’ll steep it as long as it goes, but it’s not wowing me. Still, it’s definitely a step above the tea I’ve received in (American) Chinese restaurants.
Mmmm, this is a bedtime tea. The tin smells like fancy flavored coffee (aka hazelnut), the taste is much milder (of course – it’s honeybush), and the aftertaste is the best part. Close your mouth, exhale through your nose, and feel your mouth water for more. This is fairly subtle, with no real tea, but sweet and delightful. The hazelnut and honeybush really blend well.
1st steep, 4oz water, 4g leaf (after 15 second rinse)
It’s a rather lovely reddish-brown color; there’s certainly a barnyard aroma, but it’s bringing back rather fond memories of a brief spate of horseback riding lessons I had in middle school, so I’m okay with that. I’m not going to try to break it down further – barnyard=hay/dirt/manure/horse. I’m not getting the fish that some others mentioned, fortunately. There is zero bitterness or astringency, and some sweetness. I’ll be curious to see how the flavors evolve.
2nd steep: I didn’t imagine it, there is a bit of an oily sheen on the surface of the tea, just after it’s poured. This faded as the tea cooled. Same dark red-brown color, same sweet barnyard taste, but slightly lighter in flavor and texture.
ETA: Ended up getting 5 steeps out of this, all 20-30 seconds, before it started getting weaker. My tin was very old, inherited from a former roommate and buried in a drawer, so your mileage will likely be better.