After enjoying the sample so much, I ordered a nice supply of this tea. Unfortunately, I can’t re-create what I found with the original sample, leaving me a bit disappointed.
The dry leaves have a delicious chocolaty scent, just as I remembered. The rest of the experience was different, though.
For the first steeping, I used what I had in my previous tasting note (4 min @ 200). The end result was bitter and not very flavorful. So, I tried a lot of variations, and I finally settled on 2 1/2 minutes, 200 degrees, 1.5 tsp/cup. Steeping for less time leaves me with something a bit vinegar-y, and too much time is too bitter. Stronger seems to be better.
No chocolate aroma or flavor in the tea, leaving me wondering where it went after smelling the dry leaves. The flavor is good, but nothing stands out about it. I’d say it’s close to Irish Breakfast in taste. It’s been a while since I’ve had Harney’s Irish Breakfast, though, so take that with a grain of salt.
This tea is just OK. It is a very good price, so I am not crying foul. Just expected more after the excellent sample I had last time.