734 Tasting Notes
Steep Time: Entire duration of experience
Water Temp: Boiling
Brew style: Mug/ Western
Dry leaf smells spicy.
Steeps up beige-y yellowish brown, the exact color of fresh gingerroot.
Liquor smells of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper.
Liquor has a brothlike, extremely warming mouthfeel. Sharp ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper notes are most prominent, rounded out by a sweet, haylike aftertaste from the licorice, star anise, and turmeric. It’s medicinal, good for when you feel under the weather.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Hay, Licorice Root, Spicy, Star Anise, Sweet, Turmeric
Method: Loose leaf
Steep Time: 1.5 – 2 mins
Water Temp: 65 F
Brew Style: Western, in my Kati mug
Let me preface this review by mentioning that I have had (and enjoyed) an actual Bee’s Knees cocktail before, at a speakeasy-style theme bar. So I went into this with that experience in mind. I also do not generally like white tea, but this flavor intrigued me enough that I decided to overlook my prejudice of its base and give it a go anyway.
The dry leaf does not have a strong scent, which surprised me, as this is an alcohol-flavored blend. It smells mostly of juniper, dry hay, a bit of a chamomile-esque note, and maybe a hint of vanilla.
The tea steeps a pleasant yellow color; cheerful. The liquor’s perfume has notes of juniper, spice, honeysuckle, clover honey, and a hint of alcohol. There’s also a faint delicate fruity quality to it that must be from the lemon peel.
Upon the first few sips, I get mostly hot, medicinal, boozy juniper, as if I’d heated a shot of gin. Very herbaceous and fairly bitter. As the tea cooled though, the alcoholic edge wore down and I got delicious sweeter notes of honey, vanilla, lemon, and some of the floral, fruity white tea base.This isn’t an everyday tea for me— much like actual gin, I’ll need to be in a very specific mood for it— but I’m glad I tried this. I’d say Harney definitely captured the essence of drinking a Bee’s Knees cocktail. It’s whimsical, delicate, quirky, and grows on you the more you drink it.
Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Pleasantly Sour, Spicy, Vanilla
Steep Time: Entire duration of the experience
Water temp: Boiling
Brew style: Western, in a glass mug
Finishing this box off. It’s good to clear some tea shelf space!
Teabag/ dry leaf doesn’t give off much of a scent. Mostly just the paper.
Liquor is a pale translucent yellowish color. It’s not really possible to oversteep this, so I just let the teabag stay in the water the whole time. Steeped, it gives off strong lime and ginger notes, with a hint of sweetness.
In an older note of mine on this blend, I mentioned a note of coconut on the sip. Not sure where that came from, as I’m not getting anything like that today. I taste predominantly lime. I’m still reminded of Coca-Cola, even though I’m not tasting any of the sweetness that I smell. The ginger has definitely faded in potency over time; however, I still get a pleasant tingling sensation from it in the aftertaste. I can feel this tisane settling warmly in my chest, similar to the way a good homemade broth does.
Normally, I’m not a huge hibiscus fan, but I think this white hibiscus is much less tart than the regular red type. It’s a nice vehicle for the lime and ginger. This is a great, low-maintenance blend for chasing away the sniffles and chest congestion, or for those times when you simply crave a warming, spicy herbal blend.
Probably won’t repurchase unless I’m sick, but this is definitely a solid grocery-store option in the event that that happens. It’s pleasantly medicinal, if that’s a thing.
Flavors: Ginger, Lime, Medicinal, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet
Method: Loose leaf
Steep time: 4 mins
Water temp: Boiling
Brew style: Western, in my Kati mug
Dry leaf doesn’t really have much of a scent, which is unsurprising, because I’ve had this for a few years now. Steeps up a cool-toned muddy brown color. The liquor smells exactly like yerba mate— earthy, smoky, and pleasantly sour.
The flavor profile for this medium roast Lost Maples is more delicate, complex, and green than the dark-roasted Marfa variety by the same company. I’m getting notes of hay, grass, toasted barley, very slight caramel (really more like burnt sugar), and then a bitter little punch of an aftertaste that quickly dissipates.
Personally, I prefer the more full-bodied and bready Marfa blend for breakfast, but this makes for a fairly pleasurable mid-morning pick-me-up. Re-steeps well, too.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Grass, Green, Hay, Pleasantly Sour, Roasted Barley, Smoke
Steep time: 5 mins
Water temp: Boiling
Brew Style: Mug/ Western
The dry leaf smells exactly like smoky bourbon, complete with an alcoholic bite. I also smell pine tar and a hint of vanilla bean. Once steeped, the liquor is a golden/ amber brownish color (looks like bourbon). The steeped liquor smells strongly of smoke, alcohol, and peat.
Surprisingly, the flavor is not as smoke-forward as the dry leaf and the ingredients list suggest. It’s smooth, slightly sweet, with notes of honey, caramel, cocoa, pine, and earth, with a very light touch on the smoke. In the aftertaste, I get the same delicate earthy vanilla bean I detected in the dry leaf.
I agree with what another reviewer said— this can’t be a pure lapsang souchong base, given how mild the smoke is in its flavor. It most likely does have another, milder black tea blended in, to take the edge off the smoke and allow the other notes some room to shine. However, I disagree with that same reviewer when he says that this tea is not well-balanced. I think H&S did an amazing job capturing the essences of both bourbon and tea (two very different worlds that often intersect at the points of relaxation and contemplation). This was indeed a relaxing and contemplative experience, with plenty of pleasant surprises to stimulate both bourbon and tea drinkers equally.
Flavors: Alcohol, Caramel, Cocoa, Earth, Honey, Peat, Pine, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla
Head fuzzies this morning. Hoping it’s not the onset of a migraine, although it feels that way. Advil and tea is how I choose to stave this off, whatever it is (the result of too much craft beer and Spanish wine this weekend, probably).
As far as bagged options go, Twinings is hard to argue with. This chai is well-balanced, tastes exactly how you’d want and expect it to, is low-maintenance, and takes milk and honey well. Twinings’s decaf black tea base is also done very well with this blend; it doesn’t have that horrible flat chemical aftertaste that so many other grocery store decaf options do. I’m sure it’s the wonderful, warming spices that are helping hide it, but whatever gets the job done is fine.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Nutmeg, Spices
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I discovered this one. Pandemic time has passed so strangely… like, the days and weeks drag, but then the years get swallowed up in a black hole.
I think I picked up the dandelion tea habit in order to reduce caffeine intake (and therefore decrease stress). Today, I’m just enjoying the delicious roasted flavor. Good with a splash of skim milk. Also good for the liver, good for the heart, good for the blood pressure… I’m not even 30 yet, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about these things, in my opinion.
Bumping up the rating on this one. It satisfies like a mug of hot cocoa, without all the sugar and calories. The longer it steeps, the better. My only critique is that I wish the chicory and carob base were a little stronger, to boost the roasty, umami aspect of it a bit more.
Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Chocolate, Roasty