400 Tasting Notes
Well, after the whole car door falling off today, I had waited a few hours to hear from Volkswagen about getting my Golf today, rather than on Saturday, so I can go back to work tomorrow. They said it’ll be “topped off with oil and gas, and cleaned up for a 6 o’clock pick up.”
That’s something good to hear!
Anyway, this tea is magical. I bought the sample of this tea, and truly wish that I picked up more. That’s the benefit and downfall to samples: You like them so much you want more, and can’t have more. Or, you just don’t like them, and were happy to get a sample.
Overall, I think I bought a pretty great selection from H&S this time around. I don’t think that I tried anything that I hadn’t liked. It’s all good. I have a few more samples to finish, then I’ll probably buy more. My goal is to buy something every month from them. And when I get to it, I’m buying this in bulk. That way I can keep it close at all times, and never share with anyone! Muhhaha! Or, I’ll share it so often that my friends will assume that there’ll be a party every weekend, and that THIS will be the tea I MUST serve them! I’ll also have to buy some for work because elementary students expect you to have so much (an unnatural amount) energy, you need something to keep you going.
Well, my fellow tea connoisseurs, give this a try if you haven’t yet. And if you LOVE a solid black tea, this really is a great one! I love, love, love, love it!
Happy tea drinking,
P.S. I gave this tea a few re-steeps. Yum! I like it the second, third, and fourth time much more! Who’d’ve thought this couldn’t get better than the first time! Superb tea, Harney & Sons. Great job! And thank you!
P.P.S. I got a total of 5 steeps out of this. The second and third were the best. However, I was happy with this tea.
I woke up late this morning and wanted tea. However, I didn’t have time to make any, but remembered that the wife made some iced tea on Sunday. I filled a tumbler full, got ready, and went to work.
When I was at work, I thought, “Gee, this is nice, but on the account it’s cold outside, iced tea was a terrible idea.” After a few minutes of settling in, and getting the students ready, I got a phone call from the wife, telling me that the door became unhinged while she was driving to get gas, and that it had fallen off at the gas station. So, I told my assistant to prepare the students for the day, and left.
While on the road, I called my director and told her that I had to leave. She thought the situation was unfortunate and told me to take the day off; she’d get a substitute in for the afternoon. We both had a good laugh about it, though. I mean, who has a car door fall off?!
When I finally made it to the station, there were plenty of people standing about looking at my wife sitting in the doorless car. I felt awful. I told my wife that I would drive home (which was less than a mile away from the station) in the car, and that she should go to work. Meanwhile, I was cold and wanted a hot cup of tea. My fingers and face were numb, but fortunately the drive was less than 10 minutes. I had to drive slowly and cautiously.
When I got the car home, I noticed the tumbler of iced tea. And decided to finish the tea off before making another cup. And it was soothing, but cold. I think this tea is good cold. However, as a hot tea, it doesn’t work. Plus, as far as bagged teas go, I’m too picky when using them. I prefer loose leaf.
Anyway, this is good iced. And that’s all I’ll say about it.
I bought a sample of this tea to give it a try. It smelled like butterscotch, with a hint of a fruit. However, once you add the water, the apricot aroma comes out of the tea a little more. The tea is like a dessert tea, though. It’s sweet, fruity, and does have a butterscotch-esq flavor.I asked my students to give it a whiff, and one student said, “It smells like candy.” I agree. It’s is a nice tea to have when cutting out sweets, and overall good to have with or without sugar. However, mine was without.
(Side Note: I might purchase some more for my wife. She likes flavored teas more than I do, and this would be nice for her to have in the mornings.)
Flavors: Apricot, Butterscotch
If I were to introduce someone to Pu-erh tea, I would probably suggest this one to them. It’s very sweet, light, earthy, slightly nutty, and it has a fruity aftertaste. I resteeped this one about four times today, and I like it more with every resteep. It’s a good “starter” Pu-erh, and it’s inexpensive for a quality Pu-erh.
I’ve been on a H&S kick, so I thought, “Well, I like a Pu-erh, and I’m sure this will be nice.” It is nice. However, as a Pu-erh snob, I’ve personally grown into other types/ages of Pu-erh, but this one is a nice balance in between those flavors. It’s like trying Pu-erh for the first time! Although, my first cup of Pu-erh was not as nice as this could’ve made it.
I might offer a cup to my Dad tonight, who avoids Pu-erhs. I think he will like this one, though. It has the right amount of Pu-erh for an avid drinker of this tea, but it also has a bunch of other stuff going on with it (as I’ve mentioned, it is nutty and fruity). I will probably bring out the right hardware to make the tea with (a gaiwan). I think when making Pu-erh tea, there has to be a proper way of serving it to guests. Plus, it’s a fun way of preparing tea!
(Side Note: The first steep was approximately 45 seconds; the second was 60 seconds; the third 90 seconds; and the fourth was 120 seconds. Also, the temperature of the water was just under boiling.)
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Nutty, Smooth
I must say that this is a good tea. I’ve been needing a good tea to take to work. The kids are getting excited about the weekend, so they’ve been celebrating too hard, I think. And I figured, there MUST be a cure for this madness (my madness). And there is: Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons.
It’s very earthy, the way I like a black tea. But it’s smooth going down. At first, I thought, “This is average.” And then I took several sips before realizing that it was purely great. It gave me a jolt of energy, but it wasn’t the shaky kind of jolt that you get with a cup of coffee. I’m definitely going to buy more the next time, rather than the sample. It’ll help on the days when I need an extra kick to get through the day.
(Side Note: You don’t need to add anything to the tea. It’s a solid tea by itself.)
I wanted to try something different with this last purchase of Harney & Sons. I was in the mood for a chai tea, but I figured that a chai tea wasn’t what I really wanted. Luckily, the Holiday Tea was on sale. I read the list of flavors, and thought, “Well, I like clove, vanilla, and almond.” So, I bought a 4 oz tin.
I must say, the aroma is very Christmasy. Just the smell reminded me of the times when my family would visit my great aunts in Tennessee over Thanksgiving breaks. My one aunt loved making hard tack. She especially loved clove hard tack.The aroma took me back to those times. I closed my eyes while smelling this tea, and I just pictured my Aunt Gerry cracking the hard tack candy and giving me a piece. I literally had tears build up in my eyes while smelling this tea. Nobody can say that the smell of tea made them cry!
Anyway, I love the flavor. It’s rich, spicy, Christmasy, and it has a nice clove kick. I had my first cup with the tea on its own, and it’s a solid tea. The second cup, I added sugar, which was still good. The third, I added cream, but it wasn’t necessary; the cream overpowered the tea. All in all, I think I’ll buy more while there’s still a chance. It’s good to have a lot of a great tea when it’s unavailable throughout the majority of the year.
Flavors: Almond, Clove, Spicy, Vanilla
I must say, for not being a fan of Japanese greens, I enjoy this one. It’s liquor is light in color, but the taste is very smooth and buttery. I like the quality of the tea. I’ve noticed that Harney & Sons bagged selections have a tendency to have higher standards than most other teas. They have fuller leaves in the bags, rather than the “bits” and dust that come in a “normal” and/or basic tea bag.
(Side Note: I’ve been trying to hold off on having heavy meals throughout the day. So, I “snack” more often, and have healthier food choices in my diet. I must say that this tea pairs well with veggie stir fry. It’s light, buttery, and smooth.)
Tower of London reminded me of the Paris tea, but with less vanilla, and more of a fruity base. It’s sweet, smooth, flavorful, and refreshing (?); which is surprising for being a black tea.
(Side Note: I truly enjoyed this tea, and regret buying the sample. However, I just went onto the site and ordered more. My wife wanted to get a few fruity teas, but I wanted to get the free shipping, so I figured, “Why not get more of this?” I did. Plus, I got other samples to try. I’m pretty pumped to get the opportunity to drink this again. Now that it’s going to be getting cold again, I’d like a great tea to have to warm me up in the morning commute to work.)
Flavors: Bergamot, Fruity, Honey, Vanilla
This tea reminds me of a non-alcoholic Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout. It’s creamy,sweet, smooth, malty and of course, chocolatey.
My wife said it reminded her of a milkshake, with more than an average amount of malt added. She didn’t care for it as much, but I thought it was stupendous. The amount of maltiness, with the sweet, smooth, and chocolate aromas/flavors made this tea for me. When I want something sweet, and don’t want a Samuel Smith’s, I’ll drink this tea instead.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
I just finished this blend today. I’m usually not big on flavored teas (call me a tea “purist”), but this one is a nice blend. It reminded me of apple crisp, with a heavy dash of cinnamon. However, it’s a good dash of cinnamon.
The best way to drink this tea is to steep it for approximately 10 minutes. 6-9 minutes is good, but the 10 minutes is just right. I find that the apple/cinnamon start to form a perfect apple crisp-esq quality. Therefore, if you want to cut out the dessert, but want the flavor, drink this. Plus, it’s great for kids!
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon