2236 Tasting Notes

Yes, I just clicked “add to cupboard” on this one. For a while, the number one selling tea for Harney and Sons, Hot Cinnamon Spice black tea, was my nemesis. It was simply too hot and spicy for me, yet everyone who tried it at my house loved it. I have gone through several tins of it loose leaf and a whole box of bags that were given to me for Christmas last year by a friend and I have just purchased another tin of the loose leaf because my future son in law loves it so much that I need to keep it on hand. He is getting the fifty sachet bag for Christmas, too.

Even though I don’t like Red Hots Candies, even though the black version was too strong and spicy for me, I liked the sample of the green version, which seems more syrupy, thicker, and sweeter to me. So when I ordered my tin of loose leaf black I got the green version as well because I need to take in more cinnamon and drink something hot for this perpetually sore throat of mine. Darned allergies.

The nice thing is that I can make eight ounces in my tiny pot with just one teaspoon of tea and resteep right away for sixteen ounces, and it gives me a fantastic level of flavor, plus I can still taste the green tea, which is pretty impressive with cinnamon this strong.

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It seems like ages since I had this one. It is a beautiful sunny day and warm for this time of year, but this morning was very cold and I had to be out and about. All I could think of as I ran my errands was, “Get home, make tea, have some smoked cheddar.” So I did!

This is a milder Irish Breakfast tea. Assays can be too harsh for me, but this one was just right even when I was new to hot tea. It possibly wouldn’t satisfy a lover of good, strong, Irish breakfast blends, but people have liked it when I serve it here and it was a favorite of youngest daughter for a long time.

It is a little malty, a little fruity, not too harsh, and I can drink it as easily plain as with milk and sugar.

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This tea is a favorite of Hubby and myself. My eldest daughter came to town today for an appointment and her car broke down just when I was about to start teaching. I sent middle daughter to pick her up, called the mechanic, taught, and then got some Asian food because the poor thing had to miss lunch and was about to miss supper. I asked youngest daughter to make a couple of steeps of this to go with our food.

My two eldest kids never liked tea, any tea, not even the super sweet Southern iced tea. A couple of years ago, after begging them to take sips of everything I thought would “turn” them, they both took a liking to puerh, and then matcha, two teas I would have least believed they would like.

Thus it was quite a moment for me tonight when my eldest daughter drained her cup and shook it in my direction for refills of this lovely green tea. Miracles happen, people. Miracles happen.

It helps that this tea is smooth, mellow, amazing with food, and fresh.

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Alas! I am out of this one! I think this means I am now officially out of ALL Keemun tea, which means an order is in order. I just placed a Teavivre order but didn’t realize I was so low on this one and didn’t get more. I am considering placing an order for several of their Keemun teas to try side by side.

I served this with Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs and they were delicious. The flavor was much more subtle than I expected, but the great thing is that you don’t need to salt your eggs at all even with the subtle flavor. And they are beautiful! My guest loves eggs so they were a hit with her. I used fresh eggs from my fluffy ladies who live in my backyard. :)

This is a classic Keemun, more wine than smoke, gentler than many and smooth, needing no additions.


Oh, it’s a great idea to compare side by side, I love when people do that:-)

I’ve had only this superfine fragrant and Premium Keemun Hao Ya from Teavivre, and they are the only 2 Keemun I keep in permanent stash cause they are the best I have tried. Very different from one another though.
Can’t wait to read your comparisons!

Amy Alice

IS it really delicious?I don’t know…how can i make with Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs….


Amy Alice, Call me ignorant but I just checked what Chinese marbled tea eggs were cause I had no idea…they look fabulous!!!! Wow, I found an easy recipe with star anise and I am definitely making a batch for the holidays to impress friends and family, thanks for mentioning that. Oh, and yes, this tea is REALLY good, and I think it will be perfect for the eggs…


I hard boiled the eggs. I ran cold water over them and cracked them by tapping them with a spoon, though I have read to use a dinner or butter knife sideways. Then you simmer them for a couple of hours in a water with 1/2 cup of soy sauce, two star anise, some tangerine or orange peel, and a cinnamon stick. I saw one recipe that called for pepper but I didn’t add pepper. I chose to store them in the liquid in the fridge until serving them today but I think you can store them in a container, peeled or unpeeled. I just wanted to see how dark and how strong they would get.

Amy Alice

Oh,Thank you.I also want to enjoy with a cup in this festive season.My request to let me know the recipe for an easy making…


Thanks again Ashmanra for that, I just love what people share on Steepster… The recipe I found seems to be the same as yours!


But I’m thinking Lapsang might even work better, the smokiness should go well with eggs and that list of ingredients. You mention the subtlety, do the different flavours really transfer to the eggs?


I think Lapsang would work well. I saw one blog where they used oolong instead of black tea. They don’t recommend using green because it would become bitter. The eggs really do take on some of the flavor, and more so the longer you soak them. I might try Lapsang nectar time around! Anise was the dominant flavor I got but it really wasn’t overpowering and the eggs just didn’t need salt, perhaps because of the soy sauce?

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I have not been taking the time to sit quietly and resteep tea, focusing on the experience. Tonight I remedied that with a long and fruitful gong fu session with this tea. It looks like I am going to try it once a year until the cake is gone! I got out a knife but the cake is loosely compressed and I realized I could just break off a chunk with my hands rather easily. Yay! I plan to order a breaking tray from Garrett really soon.

For such a young sheng, this is very drinkable. My favorite steeps were the later ones, and I actually felt almost as if I were drinking warm wine. About five steeps in I heard my stomach start gurgling. Ah yes, the tea was working its magic! Puerh usually gives me the gurgles and it makes my tummy happy.

This was a fabulous way to end a nice day of shopping out of town with hubby, and technically, also a nice way to start Tuesday since technically it is after midnight now! This is tasting more like white wine with each steep and especially as the temperature is dropping.

I think I am on steep eleven and still going. There is a lot of flavor here. I will probably wait a year again to taste it and experience it!


I’ve been wanting to taste this one! :D

Oolong Owl

I just got mine in the mail today, I can’t wait to try it!


Oh, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, Awkward Soul!


Thank you for the review!! I CANNOT wait to introduce everyone to the new pressings that are being done by me right now, either. This Heart of the Old Tree is really going to begin opening up in this next year and I’ll never forget the tea farm and tasting the mao cha there. More to come! Grateful to each of you, Garret




Yesterday I made some clever comment about this name reminding me of Ents and it never posted…then again, maybe it wasn’t so clever and it’s better that it didn’t :)

Terri HarpLady

GG, I love that! Ents! Love em!


LOL! I love it! You know, someone posted a recipe online for the Ent Draught and I thought it really just needed to be a good, smooth sheng puerh!

Oolong Owl

I get around to steeping Heart of the Old Tree I’m now gonna think of drinking giant walking trees, LOL

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drank Christmas Tea by Gurman's
2236 tasting notes

My girls bought this for me when they were in Dublin because they knew how much I liked the teas from Gurman’s on the last trip. In addition, when some of us in the US wanted tea that wasn’t available on their website, they made it available to us. I thought that was great customer service.

The ingredient list was pretty exciting to me because it had all of the things I love in a Christmas spice sort of tea. Other Christmas teas have disappointed me sometimes by having an astringent or finicky base or artificial tasting orange flavor with a bite. This is very nice, however, and tastes well balanced to me. The orange is clean and fruity, the almond is soft and smooth, the ginger is not bitey, the cinnamon is light, the clove is peeking at me just the right amount, And the cardamom is sweet and exotic.

I am drinking this with no milk or sugar, but for those who take sugar in their tea I suspect this one would be super sweet and Christmas-y. Well done!

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I am up to my eyeballs in chicken eggs. My young Marans started laying and one of the hens that was molting has started back and I am getting five or six eggs a day. In self defense, I made a pound cake with caramel frosting for Writers’ Group tonight and used six eggs.

What would go well with something so sweet? I usually choose a black tea or a oolong that is a bit roasty so that it doesn’t compete with the sweetness but instead complements it and enhances it through contrast.

We drank four large steeps of this tea and it was fantastic. Everybody really liked it, and the one serious tea drinker of the group who has actually spent a bit of time in China was pretty impressed with it. Five of us drank eighty ounces. (Some of the folks chose to drink Voltage, instead. The younger ones, of course!)

This is excellent tea, and I am really excited because I am going to my first tea flight Monday night at their shop. It will be a puerh tasting and I love me some puerh!


yay chickens! go girls go!

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The lady I had not seen in about five years who came for tea last month wanted to come again. She was picking up feed bags for a Pinterest project. Of course, I wanted to serve tea again because she was so stunned at how good the high quality tea tastes last time! I chose this one for today because she mentioned that she and her mother were interested in tea for the health benefits.

Twice now I have had trouble getting people to understand that white tea is higher in antioxidants than green. They keep insisting on green because of all the articles they have read. As I served this one I read the description and details from the Teavivre website. She was very excited when she heard the part about antioxidants.

We tasted the tea and she declared it to be the best tea she has ever tasted in her entire life, and asked me to order one bag for her and one for her mom. She even stayed for a resteep of the pot and we finished that one, too.

This is one of those teas that would be in my shelf if I ever had to have just five teas. (Gasp!)

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Don’t we all wish that. Back in the day when we didn’t even know any of this existed ha ha.

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drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
2236 tasting notes

First of all, I got my FIRST THANKSGIVING CARD today! Thank you, GMathis, it is displayed on my secretary at the moment and as soon as I dust the mantel in the kitchen it will become part of the Thanksgiving display!

I have wanted to try this tea for a long while because it has some really good reviews on here. To be honest, I used to be fairly picky and didn’t eat peaches or apricots, so I wondered if I could tell much difference.

I ordered the absolutely amazing, perfect little sample box made of wood from Harney and Sons. I think it had about 22 different sample teas in it and this was one of them. I had not tried any of them yet, but I took them out to use the box temporarily as our November “Thankful box” in which everyone in the family plus any guests or visitors who desire to do so can place a slip of paper naming something they are thankful for/about. We read them on Thanksgiving night. It was our way of making sure that Thanksgiving didn’t become just the inaugural dinner of the Christmas season, but was actually a time of thanksgiving. The Canadians have it right. It really should take place in October!

This is a tea bag rather than a sachet. I steeped it for 3 1/2 minutes in boiling water. Yes, I can tell a difference between this and peach, and I prefer this. This was fantastic! I do taste the black tea, but I feel like I have bitten into a ripe, juicy apricot and have juice running down my hand. It seems more natural than the peach flavor one to me. This will definitely be on a future loose leaf order. I can’t even imagine how great it would be iced and slightly sweetened.


I liked this one, too. It’s good iced.


I like that idea of having a thankful box. I might have to purloin that idea (as my favorite knitting podcast would say)


Love this one iced.


Purloined! Ha ha! Great one for knitters! It looks unanimous – I need to buy more so I can try it iced!

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My son wanted to try matcha with chia today as part of his clean eating/training program as he prepares for a Spartan Trifecta. I only have one serving of KaiMatcha Premium left and I didn’t want to ruin it if the chia didn’t work out well.

While this is extraordinarily inexpensive and really great in lattes, it doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite as a traditional hot whisked matcha. I did add about 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey to each cup since we had just finished a run. By run I mean he ran three miles and I walked and ran one mile. LOL!

It was drinkable and not very bitter but didn’t have the fresh green vibrancy of KaiMatcha. Teavivre says their green tea powder is fried rather than steamed like matcha, so perhaps that is true of this tea as well.

I highly recommend it for lattes, it is really excellent in them, but for a hot cup of matcha with no sweetener, pay the difference if you can and get the great stuff.

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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