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