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Recent Tasting Notes
The first time I tried this I burned the leaves because I’d forgotten it was a blend of both black and green teas. Whoops. Needless to say, the green tea had turned quite bitter and there was a horrible aftertaste that I couldn’t quite place. It was very vegetal and reminded me a bit of something like asparagus (which I loathe).
It was only then that I even thought to refer back to the website to see what type of tea it was. That’d be my one criticism of Harney’s packaging, at least for the sample bags. There’s absolutely no indication as to what type of tea is inside the bag.
The second time around I prepared it properly and thoroughly enjoyed it over ice. I didn’t see or taste any hibiscus, but the combination of tropical flavors was very different from many other “tropical” blends I’ve tried. I’m so happy to send a tropical blend that isn’t a variation on the piña colada. I love coconut in black tea blends, and I’m pleased that they’ve been fairly light-handed with it (at least in my sample bag). The coconut blends really well with the guava and strawberry. I’ll finish off my sample bag before making a final decision, but I may end up adding this to my warm-weather rotation. Very nice indeed.
Flavors: Coconut, Guava, Strawberry, Tropical
It’s not the best vanilla black tea I’ve had in recent memory, but it’s not a bad cuppa. It’s got pleasant vanilla (bean) flavor, and the black tea base is really quite nice and mild. As with most vanilla black teas, it’s comforting and reminds you of baked goods. It takes sweetener and milk quite nicely too. I don’t know that this is one I’d be racing out to add to my collection, but it’s certainly a nice option (especially for the price).
i got it thrown in my order as a freebie. it was a tea sachet which was a bit weird since my order consisted of loose teas only. Well, maybe they do not have any free samples of loose tea. Still strange.
I peeked at the sachet and smelled and it was not very encouraging: no discernible fragrance and inside the sachet a half of the content was tea dust, simple and pure… And the other half some tiny abused pieces of I don’t no what…leafs? stems?
Anyway, I threw it in the mug, filled it up and waited for 2 minutes. Well, no aroma appeared and the taste was so generic, flat and forgettable. Right in the area of a typical supermarket teabagged offerings. Which was a shame because the packaging was nice, the sachet looked good enough and I really, really wanted to find a decaff Ceylon for a mindless casual drinking (and to save my caffeine daily quota for better teas).
It was kinda of a disappointment, sorry. I will certainly never buy it again, loose or bagged.
A cup of this as my morning brew has shed light on a few things. One, I am going to be a touch more delicate in my next steeping. The bergamot, vanilla and lavender were all there today, but the lavender was a bit overpowering. I shall try it a minute less, and see if that gives the flavors a better balance.
But even with a bit too much lavender, its still a good blend!
This may be my favorite Harney tea of the samples I’ve ordered (and tried).
I was planning to have this hot. I mean, c’mon, it’s called Cranberry Autumn. Doesn’t that just make you want to get into your waffle knit jammies, pull on some thick socks, and cozy up underneath a blanket? No? Well, that’s what I thought when I saw the name.
However, upon inspecting the ingredients and realizing there was hibiscus in the blend and no spices at all, I changed my mind. Iced tea it is. The first sip reminded me of a tea I loved from DT a few years ago, Pom Diggety. The two have a similar flavor profile – black and hibiscus teas and berry/pomegranate with a hint of citrus.
This is a simple tea. There’s no frills here, and that’s the beauty of it as far as I’m concerned. The combination of hibiscus and cranberry is just wonderful. Since there’s black tea as well, it’s a bit too tart and astringent for me without a touch of sweetener. With a few drops of liquid stevia, it’s lovely. I may give this a go hot, but I really love (strong word after just one, albeit tall, glass!) it over ice. This is definitely one to add to the list of teas to repurchase.
Flavors: Cranberry, Hibiscus, Orange, Tart
Holy stone fruits, Batman.
When I was selecting samples, I nearly overlooked this one. When I read Fruits d’Alsace I automatically thought of cherries, so I figured this would be a bit like a Black Forest gateau minus the chocolate. As such, I nearly didn’t add it to my cart.
The apricot and plum sold me. I love stone fruits. When I was little, we had a plum tree right outside the back door. It was, to put it plainly, heaven. This is one of the few times I’ve seen plum in a tea. It’s often paired with ginger, and I don’t mind that. Many of those blends are nice (enough). I digress.
I tried this hot and straight, and, to be fair, I didn’t love it. I could taste all the fruits featured in the blend. The cherry flavor really lingers, and I’m not the biggest fan of cherries. Thankfully, it’s not that artificial cherry flavor that gives you cough syrup vibes. Cringe.
I enjoyed my cuppa, but this tea is begging to be iced or cold-steeped. I’ll see how I get on with that another day.
Flavors: Apricot, Cherry, Plums
Oh dear, I was hoping to love this tea (primarily because the tin is so beautiful). Sadly, the vanilla and almond aren’t very discernible to my taste buds. I’m tasting mostly orange and cinnamon. It’s reminding me a lot of Bigelow’s Constant Comfort, and I’m not overly impressed.
I do have a sample of Harney’s Vanilla. I might try a mix of the two after I’ve sampled it on its own.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange Zest
Chocolate and coconut is one of my favorite flavor pairings for black tea. The addition of vanilla gives this tea a bit of warmth and depth. It tempers the coconut just a tad, and I can appreciate that. Coconut can be quite overwhelming in tea. I’m getting a bit of almond as well. It sort of reminds me of Rocky Road ice cream with coconut thrown into the mix.
It’s nice black, but I can imagine it’d be awesome as a latte. This is one of my favorite flavored blends from Harney thus far.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla
This tea smells insanely good. It steeped up quite nicely and was a tasty treat to start the day this past week. The chocolate and hazelnut flavors were both present, but it was a fairly standard, well-rounded cuppa tea. I wasn’t blown away, but I won’t have any trouble finishing what’s left of my sample bag. I’m sure it’ll make an excellent latte as well.
Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut
This is such a surprising blend. Apricot and hazelnuts aren’t ingredients I often see paired together. Straight with a 3-minute steep and about 10 ounces of water, I get a lot of apricot flavor and some nuttiness. Again, the black tea base is quite robust and slightly astringent.
Adding sweetener and milk really makes this a treat. It’s giving me holiday baked good vibes. The cinnamon is much more evident, and it just tastes like a holiday cookie – not the sort of cookie you’d find stateside, but something you’d find in Europe (Italy perhaps). The name is absolutely fitting; the smell and taste are both very festive. I imagine it’d make a glorious eggnog latte. I believe I’ll repurchase this one.
Flavors: Apricot, Hazelnut
The 4-minute recommended steep time was too long. The almond and cranberry flavors were more detectable as the tea cooled. The black tea itself was quite robust and a bit astringent, but I’ll, perhaps prematurely, attribute that to the steeping time. I’ll give it another go with a shorter steep, more water, or a combination of both.