Thursday, March 31, 2011

Flight of Teas! April 2nd and 3rd!

This weekend we are presenting staff favorites. Our employee, Celia, has chosen her favorite  teas to share with all of you!

Scent of Mountains

Scent of Mountains is a Japanese Sencha (green tea) that is aptly named as it grows in the village of Kawane, which is one of the highest tea-growing spots in Japan. The cooler and foggier atmosphere of the high altitude forces the tea to grow slower, resulting in a lovely vegetal aroma and taste. The body is clean and crisp while a pleasant salty grassiness arrives at the finish. For lovers of Japanese Senchas, this tea is a must!

Dong Ding Dark
An oolong finished with a charcoal roast, Dong Ding Dark has a unique smokiness that is quite different from that of teas such as Da Hong Pao and Lapsang Souchong. Celia describes this smokiness as "ashtray-like," and though she is not a smoker, she very much enjoys this prevalent quality of Dong Ding Dark. As the name would suggest, this oolong lies within the darker part of the oolong tea spectrum.

A blend of black teas blended in honor of Malachi McCormick, Irish-blooded author of "A Decent Cup Of Tea," which concerns the difficulties of finding well prepared tea in hotels. Malachi McCormick (the tea) is a wonderfully smooth cup of tea which is void of any bitterness or astringency, and is equally delicious with or without milk and or sugar. This tea reminds Celia, who lived in London for many years, of "a good ol' cuppa."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flight of Teas! March 26th and 27th!

This weekend we are presenting staff favorites. Our employee, Will, has chosen his favorite green, oolong and a brand new black tea to share with all of you!

Tropical Green, a Hand-blended green tea with marvelous tropical notes - pineapple is the dominant flavor, and that's why we love it. Discover this fresh twist on traditional greens. Bancha is the base of this tea.  It is delicious and does not carry the same vegetal and all-encompassing green-like qualities that the Sencha does, which allows us to add these delicious flavors to it.

Dong Ding is a famous tea from Taiwan. Its buttery, floral and gardenia-like disposition can evoke a sense of tranquility. This is one of Taiwan’s highest mountain teas. The tea plants must battle cold and frequent mists (sometimes even snow prompting the name "Frozen Peaks.")  This makes a haunting brew with echoes of honey and cream which linger on your taste buds.

NEW!  Golden Snail is a terrific Chinese black tea from the Hubei Province.  It has curls of dark and gold tea, thus reminding one of snails. We can assure you that no snails are used or hurt with this tea. The dark cocoa and sweet flavors bring to mind chocolate. Golden Snail is already a hit, so we invite you to try this newcomer to the Harney line-up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flight of teas! March 19th and 20th!

This weekend we will be hosting a book signing and lecture by Sarah Rose author of the book For all the Tea in China! Come on in and enjoy one of our flight of teas inspired by the week's events!

for all the tea in china
Book Signing and Tea Lecture:
Sarah Rose 
Author of "For All the Tea in China"

Sunday March 20th 3pm-5pm

 For All the Tea in China tells the story of Robert Fortune, the nineteenth-century
Scottish botanist who, in stealing 
tea plants and seeds from China, committed 
"the greatest act of industrial espionage in history."

Guy Raz, of National Public Radio's All Things Considered, called it "a wonderful combination of scholarship and storytelling," and the Associated Press said it was "a story that should appeal to readers who want to be transported on a historic journey laced with suspense, science and adventure."

Sarah Rose will be joining us for an hour long discussion about her book and Chinese teas.  Afterwards she will be available for 
one-on-one questions while signing her book!

The function of this weekend's flight is twofold: Chinese Panyang Congou and Indian CTC Assam to help us demonstrate Robert Fortune's handiwork and Scent of Mountain Sencha to keep our dear friends from Japan in our thoughts.  

Sencha Scent of Mountains comes from high above Kakegawa, where our Ichiban Sencha comes from, is the village of Kawane. It is one of the highest tea growing spots in Japan. Up there, its cooler and foggier, so the tea grows slower and has a lovely vegetal aroma. This tea has been steamed for the traditional time (just 30 seconds), so the tea leaves are larger than the Ichiban, which is deep-steamed. We choose this in homage to all those in Japan and the terrible tragedy that the country is facing. 

Panyang Congou,  those who prefer full-bodied British Legacy teas with toasty flavors will find much to like in Panyang Congou. From the same area in northern Fujian province, Panyang Congou is a close relative of Panyang Golden Needle and Golden Monkey but slightly older and made in a more traditional style, with the least amount of tips. Congou is a corruption of the Chinese words Gong Fu, or Kung Fu, which mean “Highest Mastery.” A tea trade classification for Chinese black teas with this particular twisted shape, the word refers to the masterful skill required to produce the teas by hand. Today, the teas are made almost entirely by machine. The leaves are expertly rolled into a tight twist before slowly oxidizing to take on the fruity but unsweetened flavors of baked apples and spring hay.

Assam "CTC" has a striking amber color, rich flavor and full body as well. It is a key ingredient in several of our blends, including the East Frisian and Indian Spice. It takes milk and sugar and can also be enjoyed solo. An “espresso-style” fully astringent tea! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flight of teas! March 12th and 13th!

For this coming weekend we will presenting three jasmines:  Dragon Pearl, our regular Jasmine and Yin Hao Jasmine.

Dragon Pearl is a light and subtle jasmine, made of green and white tea,which not only tastes great, but unfurls into beautiful little tendrels.

Our regular Jasmine has a smooth and light body.  Jasmine petals and oils are added to Pouchong tea (between Green and Oolong) to make this tasty, floral brew.

Yin Hao Jasmine has a fuller body than the previous with a nutty and honey-like sweetness.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Flight of Teas! March 5th and 6th!

For this coming weekend we will be doing an exposition on some of our favorite black teas from across the tea belt regions.  We will start in Northern India, in the region of Assam.  Assam produces some of the finest black teas from northeast India.  The high rainfall and Brahmaputra river give this region a very wet growing season.  Assam teas are known for their larger leaves, smooth infusions, slight maltiness (akin to a good beer) and wonderful sweeter notes of honey. We will then travel east to China's Anhui province for a taste of Hao Ya 'B' Keemun.  Keemun teas are some of China's oldest and most renowned black teas.  Hao Ya 'B' is harvested later in the spring, when the leaves are bigger and more flavorful.  This allows the tea to have a more intense flavor profile.  Lastly we will be trying a blend of the two teas, Supreme Breakfast.

Mangalam Broken Assam is a vibrant broken leaf tea from India. Perfect for mornings, this tea has both briskness and body. The sweet and malty Mangalam Assam is a fresh sophisticated mixture of strength and dark honey flavors.  The more a leaf gets broken apart, the more intense and robust the flavors can be. If you haven't tasted its smooth body or admired its sweet aroma, please come in for a tasting of it.

Hao Ya "B" is harvested in the spring allowing the tea to have dark, chocolatey notes and an intense, roasted aroma.  Hao Ya teas are processesed much like Keemun Mao Feng where the makers attempt to accentuate the subtelty and sweetness, while harnessing the intensity notes of some of the very best Chinese black teas have to offer.

Supreme Breakfast is like having the best of both worlds. Fantastic tea from India and China are combined to create this breakfast blend.  A wonderful tippy Assam is used which gives it a full, almost sweet body that is then smoothed by the rich distinctive flavor of Hao Ya 'B' Keemun.