Written by Eric Rasmussen on November 24, 2009.
In my posts about tea I will primarily focus on varieties of loose leaf tea, which may seem unusual given that this, my first such post, highlights a blended tea available in upscale markets. I am writing this partially as a companion post to my first music review, the Trio Wanderer performance of Piano Trios 1 & 2 by Saint-Saëns. What more perfect tea accompaniment to the works of a Paris-born composer? A music trio meets the sachet-filled trio of blended black teas, bergamot, and vanilla.
But I am also writing this because the Harney & Sons Paris blend is exemplary. Prior to discovering Harney & Sons, I developed a personal rule about tea: never follow the printed brewing instructions. Too many times did vague “3-5 minutes in boiling water” directions result in a bland or bitter brew. Harney & Sons is the exception to this rule. With each blend of their teas, the carefully devised brewing instructions have always produced the perfect balance of flavors.
Their Paris blend has a rich aroma of orange and vanilla, which at first seems as if it may overpower the tea. On further sips, the aroma stays, but the fullness and body of the blended black teas gives the drink a wholesome and satisfying finish. If you find yourself tiring of Earl Grey or a hundred different uninspiring blends with bergamot or lemongrass, consider this fine alternative.