It’s still light outside, at 7; it’s already June, it seems! It was back in February that I first read about the Harney & Sons flavored teas on Steepster, and I’ve since been wanting to try them! So, Maria, thank you for making a mini tea wish come true with this swap, haha!
But this first step into Harney & Sons is coming with high expectations. I’ve heard so much, and Florence, in particular, is loaded. For one, I was drawn to this tea because you all were mentioning dreamy things like Nutella, and I can’t help but expect that… For two, despite the milk chocolate hazelnut pre-conceptions, I was very unimpressed by the dry leaf aroma, which was like Teavana’s Cacao Mint Black – my most terrible tea nightmare, so far. So, which is it? Dreamy, or nightmarish? Nutella in a cup? Teavana gone wrong?!
Turns out, this is neither. It’s definitely not a terribly artificial tea, thank the universe. But then it’s not my beloved Nutella, either… And I don’t want it to be. Because then it wouldn’t be this: a smooth, elegant chocolate hazelnut tea, so refined and restrained in flavor, but not ‘fantastic’ or ‘dreamy’: more accessible, so everyday, so candid. And somehow, the ‘Florence’ name is spot-on – it’s definitely reminiscent of Italy. Maybe it’s that same candid decadence I’ve found in every other chocolate hazelnut Italian anything I’ve ever had, too. Dessert sweet, but from the cocoa and hazelnut themselves, and not just plain added sugar. Creamy, a flavored creme, not just milk, soft and smooth. And that hint of caffeinated bitterness from the cacao-coffee notes, making this more mature, but also more balanced. An everyday goodness…
I initially intended to brew just a cup. I thought better of it, and opted to brew a teapot. The second infusion is gone, now; now, despite other tea plans for the night, I want to brew another pot. Florence is not perfect, but it doesn’t attempt to be. It seems happy to be Florence. What a creation you have here, Harney & Sons. Definitely more of this in my future.