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Recent Tasting Notes
You know, I pretend to be a sophisticated woman, who in theory eschews things like themes, but its all a lie. I love a theme. I make little in jokes to only myself, to line up things that seem thematically correct to me.
So, hence this Diamond Jubilee tea for the day of the royal wedding. Sure, it doesn’t perfectly “match” the day, but when I needed a cup my brain helpfully reminded me that this tea is at least a few degrees away from the royal wedding, and boom, cuppa tea.
However I will wear a sophisticated hat while drinking it.
I had forgotten, when I cracked this open and steeped it for my first morning tea today, that this wasn’t a straight black blend. Surprise!
The first hint should have been the smell of the dry leaf in the bag (I bought a huge one because they were out of the small ones and I haven’t met a Harney tea I couldn’t drink). There’s definitely a strong citrus zest smell from the bag, along with a bit of a stone fruit aroma. Bergamot and stone fruit right there in my nose first thing was the first hint.
After steeping, some more interesting aromas came to the fore. The very dark berry aroma, the cocoa aroma, the bready aroma (which combined with the cocoa made me think of croissants) and some bergamot and honey. The tea is a medium coperry-red with a slight haze to the liquor.
It tastes about like its smell. Perhaps a bit more on the berry side than anything else, which is fortunate as if it had been more to the bergamot side most of the other flavor might have been lost.
A very tasty tea to accompany the news coverage of the Royal Wedding.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Berry, Citrus Zest, Cocoa, Honey, Stonefruits
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I am now leading a team at work including a new person who just joined us last Monday. I haven’t “officially” been a people manager before so this is a new thing for me. I hope I’ll be good at it. I’ve seen the effects of toxic management on people and my goal is to at least not be that.
As a result, my workload has increased exponentially rather quickly. Last week was essentially back to back meetings all day long and trying to get work done in the interstices. Next week looks like a lot of the same. It’s a good thing I love my job.
As a result (yeah, I know I used this to start the last paragraph, too), I haven’t slept all that well this week. My fitbit is telling me I got eight hours last night and the quality was pretty good, but I feel pretty beat. Maybe that’s why I’m excited by this tea.
The dry leaves don’t reveal much about the tea in their scent — pretty typical earthy/leafy smell, but dude — once steeped, what an amazing smell! It’s pretty much pure chocolate to me, with a tiny bit of smoke and fruit around the edges. The liquor is reddish brown (emphasis on the red) and clear.
The aroma is, oddly, better than the flavor. But the flavor is still lovely. The chocolate isn’t as strong in the flavor, which is probably why I love the smell more. I was telling someone the other day I’d rather die than live in a world without chocolate — which is, ok, an exaggeration, but not by much.
The flavor has more bread/malt in it. I looked back at my note on the Hao Ya B which indicates that I found that one sweet. I don’t find this one sweet, but it isn’t sour or bitter either. I can see where some have said this has a leather note. It’s more savory than sweet, and the smoke and savoriness together produce something reminiscent of leather.
But I generally think of leather notes as making a tea somewhat heavy and potentially rock like in the stomach. This one is substantial, but not what I would call stout or heavy.
I like it quite a bit. Without tasting it next to the B version, I can’t say which I prefer. So I’ll rate it the same.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Malt, Smoke
A bought a sample of this and I’m going to order more. It’s soft and creamy from the vanilla. It tastes great with milk and is sweet on its own. I think I can taste the lavender. It has a floral thing going for sure, but I don’t taste the citrus. That is ok, it’s just yummy as it is. I overbrewed it by about five minutes and it did get a little bitter, but nothing extra milk couldn’t fix.
I was looking for a good iced tea ans mango seemed like a good one to try so I got a sample. It smelled really good in the bag and it has one chuck of dried mango on the sample i got. I did first and second steeps and they both tasted differently. I enjoyed the second steep much better. First steep tasted like a black tea with a hint of a fruity flavor but not specifically mango. The second steep had more of a fruity taste and the black tea wasn’t as strong which was more what I was looking for. I don’t think I would buy more but I will enjoy the rest of what I have.
I found this in the back of my tea cabinet. Pretty sure I moved with this tea to my current house, so that makes it at least 6 years old, probably older than that. I tried it and surprisingly it doesn’t taste off after so long as it is a flavored tea.
Unintentionally aged flavored darjeeling tea is not that good. It’s drinkable, but pretty flat. There’s also kind of an mouth coating affect that appears after finishing it. I’m sure that’s due to the age of this tea and flavoring. Not a sip down yet, but I should finish this sometime in the next couple of weeks.
So I’ve been drinking this at work, and its a great work tea. Its pleasant to drink, but its not distractingly good, its light flavor being a pleasant companion to my morning work.
I think this tea will be one I enjoy and not necessarily get again, but I’ve got plenty of cups of it between now and the end of the tin.
So this is the first tea I got a tin of after trying the sample size. I think this is my favorite basic black tea. I like thst it’s sort of like a less intense earl grey. I’ve had it hot with sugar and milk and as a latte ans both were pretty amazing. This will be my go to breakfast tea if I’m not drinking a chai.
I love chai. This one is pretty good. Not as good as my fav from another brand but that was to be expected. I made it with my normal sugar and some milk. It kind of reminds me of a flavored coffee. I did a second steep with half the water and more milk to enjoy later iced and that was much better. It was steeped a little longer because i forgot it but had a different flavor profile to it almost. There was a more cinnamon flavor. Not sure if it was because it was a second steep or it was sterped longer or the milk ratio but it was much better. Though it’s no where near as a replacement for my masala chai from golden moon it’s good enough for me to enjoy the rest of my sample size, which because the tea is so small and has no big pieces was quite a bit. I think it was the most I’ve received I’m a harneys sample so far. If you like chai I would definitely give this a try.
Had a floral ans fruity flavor. It wasn’t bad but I wasn’t in love with it. I thought since it had a slight sweet flavor it would be good iced. It was better that way. Made a second steep and it was just as strong as the first.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity
This was gross. I ordered a sample for both my husband and I and tried it one morning because the description seemed like something he might like. Nope. I couldn’t even finish the cup. My husband also said it looked like a cup of blood. Which highly amused me. I did a second steep to try cold just to see and that tasted every bit as gross too.
Not a fan, but it’s drinkable. I added my normal sugar amount (3tsp) and a bit if milk. I think it was the floral note that made me not like it. It’s almost like it had a bitter taste. I was hoping for more if a chocolate flavor with a hint of floral.
This is my last free sample from my H&S order that I have to use up. I prepared it hot with no additives. It came in the form of a sachet.
This is quite pleasant. It definitely would make a great breakfast tea or bedtime tea. I’m definitely enjoying it a whole lot more than the Tao of Tea Black Spiral I drank the other night.
While drinking this cup I didn’t pick up on any astringency or bitterness. I find the flavor to be extremely pleasant. It’s hard to describe though. It’s sweet, bold but not so much as some black teas. I noticed that someone described it as fruity but I wouldn’t say so. It’s also slightly rich.
This is really delicious. The dry leaves smell earthy and bready, but the aroma opens up into so many layers in the steeped tea. The bread is still there, but there’s also a toasty sweetness that is sometimes caramel and sometimes brown sugar, and there are notes of chocolate and molasses as well. It’s a pretty, clear, cherrywood red color.
I would call both the aroma and taste more toasty than smoky. I’ve been drinking a fair amount of lapsang lately, so I have a high threshold for smoky — this doesn’t give off enough smoke for me to notice it. But toasty, definitely yes.
Someone else referred to this as stout. I don’t get that from it. It’s hearty, yes, but stout to me means thickly bready like stout beer. I’d say hearty but more medium bodied than full.
It’s not head-blastingly strong, but it’s flavorful and a nice wake up tea.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Chocolate, Earth, Malt, Molasses, Toasty
This was a sample from my Black Friday Harney & Sons order during their free shipping on all orders event.I still haven’t opened any of the sample pouches I bought from that order. Since I’m trying to sipdown other teas first. So this is really my second tea that I’ve ever tried from them so far. It was a free sample from the order. All of the 3 free samples from them came in sachets.
I brewed this hot with no additives.
Tasting Note: This is pleasant but not what I expected at all. I don’t taste the pomegranate at all so the name is definitely misleading. Its creamy and quite sweet with strong honeysuckle notes coming through. It’s slightly floral tasting. It’s definitely not a fruity oolong whatsoever which is what I would expect if I hadn’t read the tasting notes before brewing this up. There are also some lovely buttery & grassy notes similar to a sencha. This tea needs to be renamed in my opinion. It’s a lovely tea but the name doesn’t fit it whatsoever. This reminds me a lot of Steven Smith Teamaker’s Jasmine Silver Needle tea that I love so much but it’s less complex, less floral, and lighter tasting.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Honeysuckle
I gave the black tea version of this an 88 a number of years ago, which makes me want to try it again because this herbal version is awesome.
I have to be in the mood for cinnamon, but I was in that mood today. The smell out of the tin is spicy, sweet, cinnamon. Very candy like.
That aspect carries through the aroma and taste of the steeped tea. It’s like drinking liquid candy, which, when one is on a portion controlled and calorie restricted diet, is rather like nirvana.
The best part is, the candy isn’t nearly as hot as red hots, but just as sweet. It’s like someone took the hottest aspect of red hots and removed it, leaving a strong cinnamon flavor that is very candy like but doesn’t hurt the membranes in your mouth.
I wish I was in the mood for cinnamon more than I am. If this was something I’m often in the mood for, such as, oh say, chocolate, and I had this same reaction, this would rate a hundred.
Flavors: Candy, Cinnamon