drank Florence by Harney & Sons
149 tasting notes

I’ve had a rather stressful day today, so I was thrilled when I got a message in my inbox saying that I’d received a package to be picked up over at the dorm office. It was my sample for this tea!

I opened the packet and out came the delicious scent of hazelnut and chocolate. I could have sat there for an hour just enjoying the aroma from the dry leaves.

One hour (just kidding, more like three minutes) later:
I brewed a cup of this following the suggested temperature and steep time— 4 to 5 minutes with boiling water. I opted for 4 minutes, since I added an extra half-teaspoon to the suggested amount of one teaspoon per cup.

I took my first sip. For those who have seen the Pixar film “Ratatouille”, I’d like to point out the scene where Anton Ego, the food critic, has his first bite of the ratatouille he’s served. Time stops, and he’s transported back to memories of his childhood and his mother’s cooking. I basically had one of those moments. Minus the food memory. Time just stopped and there was nothing except for me and the cup of tea in front of me.

The chocolate and hazelnut complement each other wonderfully, and there’s never a moment where one flavour really overpowers the other. There’s a sort of creaminess to the tea, which is lovely, but I honestly don’t really know where it comes from— the chocolate or the hazelnut.

There was a lot of happy, incoherent babbling here that got edited out, as I was sipping away at the tea while writing this note. Bottom line: If you like Nutella or Ferrero Rocher chocolates, this tea is for you.

I’ve gotta get more of this tea. Excuse me as I go and place an order.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I have far too many interests. Tea is one of them.

Background in bioethics, medical anthropology, and evolutionary biology with aspirations of eventually going into a medical field. I also have strong interests in theater, computer science, and food (which shouldn’t be particularly surprising).

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

The final iteration of my rating system before I stopped (note: I never did get around to re-calibrating most of my older notes):
99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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