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47
drank African Autumn by Harney & Sons
186 tasting notes

First Harney from the loose leaf order! I threw this sample in as a kind of throwaway to meet free shipping, and to have some more caffeine-free/decaf options in my house. I wanted to cry when I steeped this up, as I picked up the sample packet upside-down, open, and dropped about 3/4 of it all over the place.

:(

:( :( :(

But I managed to salvage most of it, and it’s back in the bag. Anyway, the tea smells delicious. Like cranberry and orange, with a little woodsy flair. It also looks pretty rooibos-ish, with little bits of orange things and whatnot. I used Adagio’s tea filters for the first time, since rooibos doesn’t need to expand, and I think it was a smart choice. The last time I made rooibos in the pot it got all stuck in the filter and was incredibly annoying to clean out.

So while cleaning the rooibos off my floor, I steeped this up for myself and the boyfriend. The resulting infusion is a very beautiful red color, rich and pretty. The boyfriend thinks this looks like cough syrup. WHATEVER.

Anyway, the wet leaves and the tea itself doesn’t smell as strongly as the dry. On the first sip, I was midly pleased. I could taste cranberry and orange, and under it all, as an aftertaste, that woodsy sweet rooibos taste that I’m really growing to like. But as my cup cooled down, things took a turn for the south.

I’m tasting hibiscus. I’m not sure if it’s really hibiscus, and it’s just my head playing tricks with me, or my tastebuds revolting, but it’s got that tart hibiscus taste that’s pretty different than cranberries. And now I can’t get that thought out of my head, and all this tea makes me this of is an upscale Celestial Seasonings Zinger. A type of tea that I’m definitely not a fan of.

I think there’s a lot of subtle nuances of flavor in there that elevate it above a typical Zinger, but the forefront of the flavor is pretty much that dreaded flower. Followed by some orange notes, and finished with rooibos goodness. It’s a bit tart for me, overall… this might actually be better iced, or gasp even finished with a bit of sugar to round it out.

Is it a bad tea? Not at all! I just don’t think it’s stellar, and I couldn’t imagine ordering more once this little sample packet is done. The boyfriend says that it’s good. “Very tart. Not a favorite, not very smooth. I can’t see drinking this all the time.”

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I’ve so done that. Several times. That’s the one thing I absolutely hate about samples.

Ricky

At least these samples are resealable, unlike Den’s tea and GM. I try saving half, but I put them on a high shelf and I end up spilling them every time when I take it down. Time to invest in some zip lock bags.

Cofftea

And forget rooibos samples. I have a hard enough time w/ Adagio’s sample tin. HUGE mess. Yet another reason for me to not like it.

Ricky

I’m tempted to try Rishi’s blueberry rooibos. I have no clue why…

takgoti

It makes me sad when I spill tea, too. Thank the FSM you managed to salvage most of it.

denisend

Hibiscus? Granted, I’m not as sensitive to it as you are, but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted hibiscus in this tea (and this is the one that taught me that rooibos doesn’t have to be bad). I do drink it with sweetener, though.

teaplz

denisend, I’m pretty sure it was there… of course, I could be wrong! I’m not a big fan of super-fruity teas in general since hibiscus always seems to play a part.

Doulton

I can relate to your review. Some teas that seem like they will be wonderful are marred by too much hibiscus and/or rosehip. Those flavorings must be like the Jove and Zeus of the tea world: they take away all the power of other scents and tastes and become KING of it all. Too bad because I tend to really like Harney & Sons.

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Comments

Cofftea

I’ve so done that. Several times. That’s the one thing I absolutely hate about samples.

Ricky

At least these samples are resealable, unlike Den’s tea and GM. I try saving half, but I put them on a high shelf and I end up spilling them every time when I take it down. Time to invest in some zip lock bags.

Cofftea

And forget rooibos samples. I have a hard enough time w/ Adagio’s sample tin. HUGE mess. Yet another reason for me to not like it.

Ricky

I’m tempted to try Rishi’s blueberry rooibos. I have no clue why…

takgoti

It makes me sad when I spill tea, too. Thank the FSM you managed to salvage most of it.

denisend

Hibiscus? Granted, I’m not as sensitive to it as you are, but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted hibiscus in this tea (and this is the one that taught me that rooibos doesn’t have to be bad). I do drink it with sweetener, though.

teaplz

denisend, I’m pretty sure it was there… of course, I could be wrong! I’m not a big fan of super-fruity teas in general since hibiscus always seems to play a part.

Doulton

I can relate to your review. Some teas that seem like they will be wonderful are marred by too much hibiscus and/or rosehip. Those flavorings must be like the Jove and Zeus of the tea world: they take away all the power of other scents and tastes and become KING of it all. Too bad because I tend to really like Harney & Sons.

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Bio

22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

Location

New York City

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