Friday, February 8, 2013

Harney and Sons, Irish Breakfast

Harney Description:
100% Assam, like most traditional Irish blends, this is a good way to start your morning. Like cereal, it takes milk and sugar well. In contrast to other vendors, ours is a little more refined.

Price: $6.25/4oz

My Review:
I journey further into the land of Irish Breakfast teas today with this offering from Harney & Sons. The first thing I noticed was how fine cut the leaf is in this tea. I know CTC is not in itself an indicator of low quality. Still, I just wonder why India and Ceylon black teas are not usually complete unbroken leaf. Most of the Chinese black teas I sip are unbroken leaf and they are amazing for it. I really need to do some research on this topic.

Anyway, back to this tea. It is mainly dark leaf with some gold specks in the mix. I used 2/3 scoop or about 2.5g in my press with 12oz of boiling water. The steep time was three minutes. They say 4-5. I am not that brave. This is very aromatic and fruity. It is also one of the most beautiful brews I have seen in a while. Seriously, this is a deep burgundy in color. It turns darker in the mug.

Sipping this I notice something strange. My brain processes the end of the sip first. I know that doesn’t make sense, but its true. This has bite! It will make you flinch. Then I notice it is extremely dry like a red wine. Can you say milk and sugar? Wow, this is what I picture when I imagine what Irish Breakfast tea should taste like. You could remove paint with this stuff. This is one stout cup of morning tea. After surviving the initial punch in the face, I notice the fruitiness of the early sip. I don’t really detect malt in the taste although I can catch it in the aroma.

The end of the cup got cold because I got busy and forgot it. At room temperature this was extremely good.  It would probably make a great iced tea.

I tried a second mug. The taste was far weaker. I would compare it to the taste of North Carolina grown tea. Not bad but not the monster Irish Breakfast of the first cup.

This is a solid Assam at a very reasonable price. 

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