I posted a review of Florence by Harney & Sons here last November. It was my first review and Florence was the tea that launched a thousand tea orders….and still remains one of my top five teas. If we were forced to go to an unlikely dessert/desert island and only allowed to bring 5 beverages, Florence would be one of mine.
I’ve got some notes to add: I’ve been drinking Florence (I’m now on my third tin since November) regularly. It never disappoints; it never fails to evoke richness and wonder. I do love that taste of chocolate.
When I was in the real Florence I used to zip into Robligio’s -http://www.robiglio.it/index_ing.asp - several times a day for a coffee. They had lovely thick little slabs of chocolate that you could put into your coffee as well as many other accoutrements. It was easy to make the chocolate dominate the coffee. (Aside—thank that Italians for not allowing Starbucks within their borders!). So I have a lot of great taste memories that this tea evokes.
Today I tried Florence iced for the first time. And despite my trepidations, it was simply brilliant. I feared I would get some watered-down chocolate concoction or something akin to a sugar-free melted fudgsicle. Oh, me of little faith! How wrong I was. This is a new and unique drink for me. It’s certainly related to my lovely hot Florence tea, but the chill seems to crystallize the chocolate taste in place. The black tea stepped forward to make certain that there was a good dash of caffeine. I added no milk but a certain creamy taste remains. Florence has a natural sweetness and I rarely add sugar. To add sugar to Florence is gilding the lily and I absolutely love to gild my lilies frequently but this is not essential. With the iced tea, I get the natural sweetness.
So here I am with a sweet, creamy, chocolatefull, caffeinated taste-filled beverage and the expenditure in calories is miniscule.
I want to stress that Florence has been there for me on cold days and hot days; on sick days and ebullient days. Like the ancient city itself, this tea endures with elegance, beauty, panache, and true artistry. Meraviglioso! Rivelazione divina! Voglio baciarti, Signore Harney (e figli)!