Taste of Tea :: White Christmas Tea from Harney & Sons

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays fellow tea drinkers! I hope you’re having a splendid week and enjoying the holiday season. With the Christmas holiday just around the corner, I thought the White Christmas Tea from Harney and Sons would be a good choice for today’s Taste of Tea entry. The version I purchased is actually the bagged version, making this my first post with a bagged tea. I picked up a tin of 30 sachets of this tea a few weeks ago at my local Barnes and Noble; they had these tins on sale for 2 for $15 (US dollars) at the time so I picked up this tea and one other to try.

This tea came in an attractive tin.

Ingredients: handpicked white tea, cardamom, natural almond, vanilla and cardamom flavors, white chamomiles (accents)

Dry Tea: The scent of the tea wafted out of the tin when I opened it and was quite strong. It was kind of sweet and definitely had a wintery spice character, mostly from the cardamom I think. However, some of the vanilla came through as well.

The tea bag was one of the nicer pyramid tea bags.

I went ahead cracked one open to have a better look at the contents.

There was a mix of material, including the leaves and what looked stems and some other accents. The blend had a visually interesting variety of greens and browns. Most of the leaves were smaller bits, but overall it looked like it could have been a loose leaf tea; indeed, as far as I could tell from the Harney and Sons site, the tea in this bagged version is more or less the same as what you would get in the loose leaf version.

Preparation: For this tea I more or less followed the directions on the tin: infuse in less than boiling water (I boiled it and let it cool for a few minutes) for 4 mins.

Tea liquor: The scent off of the liquor was sweet with some roasted and nutty notes. Hints of the vanilla and almond flavoring also came through. Overall, it was a pleasant scent. The color of the liquor was quite dark for a white tea and was a kind of golden honey or caramel color; the color did seem to fit with spice and flavorings in the tea.

The flavor of the liquor was warm and spicy, presumably stemming mostly from the cardamom. I couldn’t really pin down the vanilla and almond flavors in the flavor. However, the tea had a sweet aftertaste. There was also a bit of bitterness as well. As for texture, the tea was rather astringent, but not unpleasantly so. I think the tea might benefit from a little shorter steeping time than the reccomended 4 minutes, but further testing will be required to test this suggestion.

Quick summary:

  • Tea: White Christmas, bagged, white tea, flavored
  • Retailer: Harney and Sons
  • Current Price: $10 for a tin of 20 sachets
  • Texture: astrigent
  • Flavor Notes: wintery spice (cardamom)
  • Finish: sweet, touch of bitterness

Overall, I thought this was a nice blend for the winter holidays. The tea had a nice strong spicy flavor from the cardamom, and the added natural flavors (presumably extracts) were not overbearing but added a pleasant touch sweetness and nuttiness to the scent and flavor of the infusion.

Thanks for reading! As always, these are my tasting notes, and since the perception of taste and aroma can be quite personal your experience will likely, and indeed probably should, differ from mine. But regardless, I hope this post inspires you to get out there and to keep trying new teas. And if you don’t already, I’d encourage you to try making your own tasting notes as you do!

What tea should I try next? Drop me a line down in the comments and share your suggestion.

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