This morning, youngest and I took some time to enjoy a couple of tea samples from Harney and Sons 2015 offerings. She wanted to start with black tea since she had just gotten out of bed. We used a gong fu set and aroma cup set, but we were steeping just over a teaspoon of leaf for four minutes in boiling water. We made four steeps in all.
The package let out a burst of bready aroma as soon a it was opened. It was so fresh. The steeped tea had an amazing scent in the aroma cup – pure sweet potato complete with brown sugar and the barest hint of cinnamon. Maybe even a touch of butter.
The liquor is pale for a black tea. The flavor is not “pale.” I consider this to be a light bodied tea but the flavor is pure and sweet. I do not taste a lot of the classic “tea” flavor with bread and malt as the scent made me think I might. I believe it would be a terrible injustice to add sugar or especially milk to this tea. It doesn’t need it, and I think it would suffer for it, but since I don’t add anything to my tea anyway, perhaps other people would feel differently.
If you could give someone the essence of a holiday sweet potato dish in a cup, this is it. I would compare it to a fine Golden Monkey (and there is none finer than Harney’s) that has had the breadiness reduced and the malt removed.
After trying a cup of it on its own, I had it with one square of a Godiva strawberry truffle bar. The first sip after the chocolate as heavenly, so I know this is going to pair beautifully with sweets and tidbits at tea time!
Subsequent steeps are pale but flavorful.