drank Paris by Harney & Sons
109 tasting notes

Brew temp 208

So, the tea shop I bought this at last weekend had this spicy smell which I could not identify. I’ve smelled something similar at my local health food store and I assumed it was a combination of spices or maybe incense. The tea shop had no spices, and I don’t imagine them using incense. I could picture the owner using a pipe, though. Whatever it was, it didn’t smell like tea.

The point of this is when I got back home after visiting my parents was that I noticed that the exterior of every single container of tea I bought was awash in this aroma. Worried that the aroma might be on the inside as well (he boxed my teas there) I scurried to find alternate storage for all my teas. I ran out of storage before I could put the Paris away. I figured its own aroma was strong enough to overpower this other odor and went to bed.

It’s been busy and I forgot about this tea being in that container. When I went to brew this yesterday, the dry leaf smell was pleasant enough-no hint of the offending odor. However, the brewed leaf aroma had something odd in it I felt seemed out of place. Perhaps the Paris had absorbed this other odor? Glad I only bought an ounce of this tea. I decided not to drink it just yet and I finally found a new container for this tea.

Coincidentally, a local coffee shop opened nearby this week and the newspaper article mentioned they had tea as well. So, I decided to check them out yesterday (and probably mock them for having crappy bagged tea). When I asked about the tea, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they had a dozen or so Harney and Sons. I thought it was loose-leaf, but just a bag. Still, for $2 a cup I tried this-I wanted to compare it to mine that had been in the odorous storage container for 96 hours. At least they poured the water over the bag. Flavor was okay, but promising-they put 16 ounces of water for just one tea bag so I was hoping for fuller flavor when I used an 8 ounce cup at home.

Today, I brewed this again. The dry leaves smell fine and the vanilla tempers what would otherwise be too much bergamot. Again, there is something in the brewed leaf that seems out of place. However, I failed to smell the brewed tea bag at the coffee shop, so maybe it does belong. Anyhow, the flavor of the brewed loose tea is pretty much the same as the bags (nothing that feels out of place) but it’s actually a little weaker. I put a teaspoon of sugar in this today, which I did not feel necessary yesterday. It’s good, but I feel it can probably be better. Maybe I’ll put in a little extra leaf next time. If that doesn’t help, maybe I’ll order a loose sample if Harney ever does a free shipping promo.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Started drinking tea for health benefits maybe 5 years ago-exclusively bagged tea. Usually went for various Celestial Seasonings type of stuff. I bought a tea infuser at a gourmet shop once and then I realized there was almost no loose tea available. Eventually tiring of bags, I started ordering loose tea online and I have never gone back. Initially, I was exploring all the wild and exotic flavor combinations, but now I mostly drink straight teas. I still enjoy blended teas-but prefer those without “flavoring”. Hope to learn here and find some new teas I might not otherwise find. Am a vegan, so “milk” generally means “soymilk” to me. If it’s almond, rice, or coconut, I will mention that fact.

I am new here, and new to reviewing tea. Many of my initial reviews will be from memory and may not be very detailed at all. I hope to write more informative reviews on current and future teas.

I won’t let external factors affect my rating of the tea-such as slow shipping, too expensive, etc. I’ll mention any customer service problems in my reviews. I also won’t let my mistakes in not following the seller’s recommended parameters affect a rating. I can’t believe people who say “I forgot about it and oversteeped it” and then give it a rating. If I brew outside the parameters, I will wait until I brew it right before I give it a rating.

TEMPORARY RATING SYSTEM- Don’t hold me to these numbers and descriptions-like George Bluth, I like to tweak.

90+ It’s awesome, right?? I’ll probably try to keep it on hand.

80-89 – I really like this and will buy it again at some point, but there are so many teas to try!

70-79 – This is a pretty good tea and I may buy it again based on my mood, what tea store I am buying from, and what kind of deal I can get.

60-69 – This is okay. I finished the bag. I would drink it again if offered, but would not buy it again.

40-59 – IF I finished the bag, I recall this tea thinking “Why in the hell did I finish the bag?”

1-39 – Did not finish the bag. Maybe not even the cup. Tea was given away or discarded.



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