Ambessa (by Harney & Sons)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
A random impulse purchase from Harney! Don’t ask me what I was thinking, I don’t even like most chocolate teas…
It’s pretty bland really? Or at least it’s more subdued than I expected. The base is fairly strong, and has an odd musty note to it. I definitely get some chocolate, though it tastes like artificial chocolate flavoring, not the real thing. Nuttiness, maybe a hint?
Not a fan.
Flavors: Artificial, Chocolate, Musty, Nuts, Wax
The first (and maybe only) time I tried this blend, I was disappointed by the lack of smoke that was promised in the description. I failed to notice, however, the floral notes that were also indicated on the tin. Now, the jasmine is pretty much the only thing I can taste. No bergamot. No smoke. It doesn’t taste bad or anything, but it’s so inconsistent and not at all how it’s described.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine
A quick note after the fact -
I was pretty excited to try this one because I love Earl Greys and I love smoky teas. And this did taste like your standard EG, but I didn’t get any smoke flavor. Pretty disappointed about that, but I’ll try again later and see if something changes. Overall, a pretty basic Earl Grey for me.
I found dark chocolate caramel whipped cream in the fridge and I tried to figure out which tea would go nicely with it. This came to mind. It’s more nutty than chocolate and the chocolate it does contribute is semi-sweet and coupled with the bass. It’s slightly astringent but combined with the whipped cream it made for a decadent and rich nutty dark chocolate caramel dessert.
i kept forgetting i had this to try – but remember this afternoon whilst watching the most delightful ASMR tea video. unfortunately discovered we’re out of milk AFTER brewing up a small pot, but even just sugar, this was a really nice everyday cuppa. brewed nice and strong without being bitter, has a lovely full taste. not quite as much depth as i like for a strong black tea, but i think will be easier on my tummy if i drink the whole pot than some.
I made some of this this morning since I didn’t feel like using my ingenuitea and I remembered how much I love love love this. I’m running a little low on this one but I’m already worried that I won’t be able to get it ever again…
This is one of the few teas I have that can do both chocolate and nutty flavors well but it is definitely one that has to be had when it’s still hot.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nutty
I picked this up from the H&S store in SoHo yesterday (I had them check in the back for me and only 2 of the Ambessa blends were to be found but hey, I’ll bite.) I wasn’t expecting to like this one all too much, honestly, I mainly picked it up for the tin. But I was pleasantly surprised, the chocolate note was very nice compared to others I’ve had and it wasn’t terribly peanutty as I was anticipating, more of an aftertaste/undertone to the chocolate.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts
I judged this tea kind of harshly at first, maybe I have acquired a taste for it…something that happens often. The strength seems to be good, strong enough, but it won’t punch you in the face. The maltiness is at a pleasant level that is not overwhelming as well…good standard tea. The only limitation to this tea in the cost. I purchased it when it was on sale, but it was regularly $8.99 for 20 sachets. I would consider purchasing it again if it is on sale, but there are several other teas that I enjoy more that are available at half the price.
This is a pretty solid standard breakfast tea; good strength, malty without being bitter. The one other plain Harney & Sons black tea I have had, Ceylon and India, is one of my favorites, so I have to say, while this is good, it is not quite what I expected. Also, as I always consider cost, $9 for 20 sachets is fairly steep considering what else can be found for that price. I’m glad I gave this tea a try, and will enjoy drinking it, but it won’t be added to my regular inventory.
I’m winding up the weekend with my favorite aristocrat, The Earl of Harlem. What an enchanting guest to accompany me for my Sunday evening supper! We shared a vegetarian vegetable pot pie, a green salad with a my homemade creamy herb dressing, and chocolate dipped madeleines for dessert. Considerate gentleman that he is, he complemented each course. As always, thank you, my debonair friend. The pleasure was all mine.
My throat is scratchy and my eyes burn like coals. Runny nose and cough coming on too. Yep, the nasty cold that is going around work has apparently claimed another hapless victim. I need a cup of comfort. I seek solace in my benevolent lord, The Earl of Harlem.
He possesses a restrained strength in is subtle smokiness. There’s a playful cheerfulness in his citrusy bergamot. There’s a gentle sweetness about him in his lightly floral jasmine. Oh my – He even brought me some chocolates! He certainly is one class act. My dear Earl is a gentleman through and through. He’s come to my rescue once again. The galant Earl will see me through this cold just fine.
Harney describes this tea as smokey, rich and fragrant and it certainly is! Chef Marcus Samuelsson stated that his homeland of Ethiopia was the inspiration for this tea and I can understand that. This tea, like Ethiopia, is complex and mysterious – an exotic brew that I could easily imagine being imbibed by the late emperor himself! The name though, I think, was chosen as a tribute to Harlem in the golden age of jazz. That makes sense because the Earl of Harlem is one jazzy tea!
It’s smokey for sure but not overly so. Along with bergamot, other citrus flavors of lemon, lime and grapefruit emerge. Notes of bittersweet chocolate also come into play as you sip. There is subtle but definite jasmine flavor too that helps to soften and sweeten things up a bit.
Earl of Harlem actually reminds me of a smokey, floral version of Kusmi’s Anastasia. I think that this tea could easily pass for a Russian style blend. With Kusmi taste and Harney money I believe that I have found an affordable and amazingly delicious alternative!
This is a hearty brew that worked beautifully with my Mexican food this evening. Four and a half minutes brewing time yielded a nice, strong mug of tea. I expect that this bold and complex tea could work quite well with breakfast/brunch too, jazzing things up a bit. It can handle milk and sugar if that’s your preference. A dollop of orange blossom honey compliments this tea exquisitely – Oh, yes!
Earl of Harlem is going to be one of my forever teas for sure.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Dark Chocolate, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Lime, Smoke
Got a sample of this from the lovely The Cookie Lady!! Love trying more H&S teas, and she gave me a LOT in the last swap. I’ve always wondered how this one would be.
But like I’ve said, before, I’m not into chocolate flavored teas. This one was more nutty than chocolate, so that was kinda surprising. Almost reminded me of a chocolate flavored peanut. Not any other nut that I like-but a peanut. I really don’t like peanuts all that much anymore. They’re in everything it feels like! Especially with chocolate. Peanuts are life ruiners. D: Unless they are in their shells and salted, then they’re good. well the shells are…okay, I’ll stop talking about peanuts now, sorry. xD
Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts, Nutty, Peanut
As another reviewer pointed out, the smokiness intensifies as it cools, which I find a good thing. There is still too much floral happening here for me; reminds me of perfume as I sip. I know that’s appropriate for an Earl Grey— years ago double bergamot EG was my favorite— but every time I revisit it just doesn’t work for me anymore.