82 Tasting Notes

I’m not going to score this one, because I knew going in that I was unlikely to enjoy it. I just hate chocolate teas. They all just taste really chalky to me, and I’m not sure why I keep trying them and expecting something else.

I figured I’d give Florence a try because if I ever liked a chocolate tea, it would be a Harney & Sons blend, especially one with hazelnut in it. Also, because I love the idea of teas that capture the essence of places, because I am a nerd.

And I really, really wanted to like Florence — especially once I smelled it, oh my gosh does it smell wonderful — but it’s just not happening, and after two days of trying to force it, I am throwing in the towel. I am done with chocolate teas. I give up.

That said, if you do like chocolate or hazelnut teas (and don’t actively loathe one ingredient), I could see this tea being really amazing. So I’m not going to spoil that for someone else by giving a low rating.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Maybe I’ve had a sachet of this at work every day since my order arrived, and maybe I only have one left for tonight. And maybe I ordered a whole tin of Tower of London five minutes ago instead of waiting until payday on Wednesday because I have a problem with impulse control.

And maybe I’m bumping up my score because there is only one other tea (Paris) I have gone through so quickly and re-purchased with such reckless abandon, and I gave it 100, too.


Either way, between this yummy tea and the Caribe I threw in because why not? work is going to be delicious for the next month or so. No maybe about that one.


Paris is delish…. you have good taste. :D


Haha, thanks. :)

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Had this a couple of days ago, but I was having loading problems, so I wasn’t able to log it. So I’ve had several cups since, and I’m actually rather glad, because I learned something: This blend is super, super forgiving if you accidentally oversteep it for, say, 12 minutes. Oops. Most of them I’ve gone a little over 5 minutes, though.

I started the British Blend sampler from the end because I am contrary, and this proved a bad idea because I’ve just been drinking this one and have yet to touch the rest. But it’s really good! It’s good, smooth cup with this really nice hint of smokiness to it. If it was decaf, I could drink it all day. It could stand to be a little stronger, but I guess then I couldn’t steep it for 12 minutes and have it come out still drinkable, so that’s alright.

Another note: When I ordered the sampler, I thought the price was a tiny bit steep, but wanted to try Upton so I bought it anyway. Then, when it arrived, I realized that each of the samples is more than an ounce of tea, closing in on 1.5 oz. That’s a lot of tea for a sample! So it gets a thumbs up for that.

My only complaint is that I like to smell my tea and none of the Upton blends in the sampler, this included, has much of an aroma dry or steeping. It’s not completely absent — that would be weird — but it does take some of the fun out of opening the tin, to not get deliciousness wafting right up to your nose.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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I don’t know why I keep doing this; I’m meant to be cutting back on black tea and switching to green because of the caffeine content.

But I got a tagalong of this along with a bunch of other samples from Harney & Sons, and oh my gosh. Of course I’ve already fallen in love with it. (My next order is going to be so expensive.)

I took the sachets to work, so I had this yesterday evening, but I took some scribbles on a Post-It: “Plum and berries, sweet — delicious, buy more.” I definitely remember the fruitiness, especially the plum, and it was absolutely perfect. I’m guessing the sweetness came from the honey flavoring, but I wouldn’t have guessed because it blended so well with the fruit. And all of it melded perfectly with the very nice tea.

Definitely going on my list of favorites, but I seem to be a Harney & Sons fangirl, so I guess that’s not in the least surprising.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I wanted to like this one — peach and raspberry! — but it’s not great. The hibiscus is too strong for the other flavors. They clash pretty terribly. Plus this one just tastes super artificial to me.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This has grown on me. Bumping up the score a bit.

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Wasn’t sure what to expect from this. I was a little surprised at the scent — I was expecting something citrusy with a hint of mint, but it smells like Moroccan mint.

Hot, that’s what it tastes like. The mint is very strong, and you can taste the green tea (barely) under it, but the rum and lime are not coming through very much at all. It’s pretty light, but still tasty. But I’m not sure it stacks up against other minty greens — it’s good, but not amazing or standout.

So I did the freezer trick — stuck the remainder in a cup in the freezer, to try it “iced” once it was cold. I can taste the rum now (and it’s not awesome), but not the mint or the lime. I’ll chalk some of that up to not having a high enough tea to water ratio for the iced version, but I’m still not impressed. And I’m not sure I want it stronger, to be honest.

Verdict: Hot, it’s a nice cup but nothing special. Cold, ick.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
82 tasting notes

I got this as a wrapped sachet with my first Harney & Sons order last year, and never bothered opening it. For some reason, it just didn’t sound appealing. However, I’m trying to clear out my samples drawer to make room for more, and figured I’d give this a try.

Holy strawberry yum.

It smells so juicy and amazing, right off the bat — sort of like strawberry kiwi Snapple tastes, if that makes sense. And steeping it doesn’t mellow the aroma a bit, but actually makes it stronger and fresher and juicier.

The strawberry is definitely there in the flavor, as is the guava. The tea isn’t very strong, but it’s still pretty evident, mellowing the fruit flavors a little and keeping this blend from being cloying. (In fact, this green/black blend probably would have been better with the H&S mango tea, instead of the black they used.) I don’t taste the coconut, but I hate coconut so I’m fine with that.

This is so delicious, seriously. I am definitely including a tin in my next order.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Another yummy tea from TeaVivre! Dragon Pearl Jasmine teas (really, jasmine greens in general) are among my favorites. I’ve yet to drink one I didn’t like. And I’ve yet to try a TeaVivre tea I didn’t like, so I was pretty much guaranteed to love this one.

First off, this is delicious. Mine came out a gorgeous golden-green color, smells beautiful, and has a lovely, light flavor with floral overtones. I don’t find the jasmine as strong in this cup as I have in other DPJs, and as a jasmine fan, that was a little disappointing. It’s definitely still there — and it adds a wonderful sweetness to every sip — but it’s not as strong as I would like.

That said, I tend to like very strong teas, and there are a ton of really strongly flavored DPJs out there, so I think this one fills a niche that needs to be filled: A lightly flavored, more balanced and very yummy cup. Those who like a little less jasmine and a little more tea will love it.

After the first cup, I got a bit distracted and the second was lukewarm. It was still tasty! And I bet it would be good iced, too.

(Sample provided free by TeaVivre.)

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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Finishing it off. This is still pretty peachy and delicious. I just wish there was a little more ginger to it.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I love tea! I still don’t know very much about it, though; I know what I like and what I don’t, and that’s about it.

Aside from tea (and food), I enjoy crafty stuff, writing, reading and playing with my cats.

About my ratings: I need to go through and redo them, because really I just sort of use that slider as a ranking system and the numbers for a lot of the teas I’ve done notes for don’t accurately reflect how I actually feel about them. :/



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