184 Tasting Notes
I was afraid to try this tea. I’ve smelled a green Sakura of a lesser quality and thought it smelled really bizarre and intense. So after a failed cuppa this morning ( I only usually allow myself one cup of caffeine a day, as doctors have said NONE) I decided to tempt fate and go with something I probably wouldn’t like and wouldn’t drink the whole cup.
This is a tea that you probably want to steep exactly as directed on the package. I was lucky to get the tea bags in my 2014 Happy Bag, so I didn’t have to worry about the perfect scoop. When reading the instructions, the ingredients were listed: Black tea (vietnam, china, india) pink pepper, rosemary, flavorings. Now I add milk and honey to all tea….it’s the only way I can move my hypersensitivity to bitter (aka tannins) away from my tongue. I was sure that adding milk and honey to something with pepper and rosemary would be a complete fail. wrong. surprisingly wrong! I am really quite surprised by the PLEASANTNESS of this tea!! The cherry is tart, not like a life saver/cough syrup/gummy bear. It it not sour. The rosemary and pepper lay behind the cherry to give it depth and complexity. The black tea blend is perfect to float the above flavors on. This is the first tea that I’ve actually felt had a complexity to it similar to wine. The mug is almost gone and I still can’t believe I like it. It probably won’t be an every day tea for me, but I’ll have to keep it around as I can already tell I’m going to have cravings for it on the odd day when the world just isn’t complex enough for me already.
I seem to have problems with teas that are black with vanilla… I when I taste/smell them my brain assign a label to them that is not far off from a smell you might encounter in a car mechanic’s garage. A bit “petrol”-ish. Can anyone explain this to me? Is there a note that my nose is reading wrong?
Anyhow, on to this tea. There was obviously a hint of that smell here, but then there’s the after note of vanilla that is over-riding the petrol thing. I take milk and honey in all tea, and the vanilla stands up quite well to the tea. I liked it better as it cooled as it tempered the Assam and became less bold. Definitely worth another try, but will I buy again? Probably not til the combo of black tea and vanilla becomes a better friend to me!
There is a lot to be said about this tea. First off it’s NOT Harney & Sons regular English Breakfast. Instead of a stereotypical IN YOUR FACE english breakfast taste, this blend offers something brisk but smooth. I am a fan of African teas and the lovely things they bring to my mouth. They are smooth, have a gorgeous body and a warm toasty/malt flavor. So I was thrilled to see that Harney had used African tea in several of their blends. I was not disappointed by this tea and I had high expectations. With milk and honey it is creamy, relaxing and yet still carries the vigor of what English Breakfast tea drinkers expect. I will buy again. And yes, the tin is lovely!!
The other tasting notes for this tea are confusing to a beginner (me)….some said it was Assam, some Ceylon….but I was getting something stronger from this tea….so I went to Harney & Sons website and this is what they said about this particular tea:“The mellow dark honey flavors of the Kenilworth (Sri Lanka) and complemented by the citrus and spice of the Kenyan Milima. They work perfectly with milk and sugar.”
Well kiss a fat frog on the butt, they are right! I love African black tea, so it all makes sense now. And this is a smooooooth tea. Royal English Breakfast isn’t just a “slab” of taste….there is some “space” in the taste that makes it more refined somehow. There’s a teensy touch of citrus that is just barely noticeable, even through the honey and milk that I use in all my tea. Don’t get me wrong, this is nowhere near a pinky in the air cup of tea. This is a bright alternative when an English Breakfast tea drinker wants something just a bit different. No teacup. Get a mug. :)
I am a sucker for almond. Whenever I travel to colder climes, if I see a coffee cart on the street I’m all over an “almond steamer”….which is just basically steamed milk with Torani Almond syrup. How could I go wrong with this tea?
I couldn’t. Opening the foil packaging…well…it was NOM. Amaretto and nice tea. After steeping for 4 minutes (I knew I would be adding milk and honey)there wasn’t much almond smell, but after I added a bit of the above accoutrements, and took my first sip….well….it was NOM!!! If you drink flavored teas on a regular basis, you’ll be able to tell that there is a NICE tea backing the almond flavor. It’s not the usual garbage that they used for flavored tea. The ceylon is lighter and brighter than the tea used in most. It lets the almond flavor float a little lighter on your tongue….like a flaky pastry…..NOM. I’ve already ordered two more tins from Amazon. I’ll be keeping this in my pantry as a gorgeous alternative for tea and toast!
I purchased one of Lupicia’s Tea Bag Sets so that I could affordable try some of the company’d offerings without breaking the bank. Today, I pulled Lupicia’s Sri Lanka from the box. Since I’m a strong tea drinker, I wasn’t expecting much from this tea. Lupicia’s notes state “A Ceylon blend with a distinct aroma and body that goes well with both milk and lemon.” Well, at least I knew enough to know not to use milk and lemon at the same time! I accidentally let this steep for longer than the recommended time, but did use milk and a touch of honey, so it probably evened out in the long run. I was gloriously surprised by this tea! The taste of the tea is much lighter than my usual brew, but there was a smoothness and vague citrus note that made this a extraordinarily lovely cup of tea for a late morning chaser to my usual brutish brew. I live in Southern California, where chilly winter days are very few, and long months of scorching summer rules supreme…..I can see this tea becoming a wonderful alternative to my heavier breakfast blend in the sweltering summer months. LOVELY!!
I was gifted with this tea, so it wouldn’t normally be something I would purchase. I am not currently a “fancy” tea drinker (but working on it!)….my tea of choice is usually a breakfast blend, which is quite sad to diehard tea drinkers, so this was my first time trying to experience a true ceylon. In the tin (a really niiiiiice tin, by the way!) I could certainly smell the mandarin….not fakey mandarin, but bright and a bit tart. It complimented the smell of the tea well. After leaving the tea to agonize for 2.5 minutes, I smelled the cup….where did the juicy mandarin go? I couldn’t smell it as much as when it was in the tin, but it was there. Once I added the touch of milk, there was just the faintest hint of mandarin. This tea is smooth. Very smooth and lighter than what I’m used to drinking. I got a bit of a bitter taste, but I am hypersensitive to even the smallest amount of bitter in tea (which can sometimes just be the tannins, I’m guessing!) and that’s why I add milk and usually some honey. Perhaps on next tasting I will try adding some honey to this tea, but I couldn’t to this cup, as my husband grabbed it, drank it and LOVED it. He said the difference was similar to two buck chuck at Trader Joes and a nicer wine. There was a smooth depth to this tea that made for easy and enjoyable drinking, even though he really couldn’t find the mandarin note either. Husband also said he won’t have any trouble finishing the tin off.