Friday, June 27, 2014

Harney & Sons: Kenilworth Garden OP, A Tea Review

I have been window shopping for a new gaiwan but have hid a real road block. There are just too many that I want, I narrowed my list down to seven that I would be quite content having. I have a feeling that it is going to be a long process trying to narrow it down further. On a fun side note, when searching for 'green gaiwan' bing was convinced I was trying to look up Gawain and the Green Knight.

Today's tea is Kenilworth Garden OP from Harney & Sons, from one of the oldest tea estates in Ceylon...err...Sri Lanka. I am going to admit, whenever I see OP I have myself a little giggle, in tea terms OP means Orange Pekoe and is in reference to the grade of tea. In gamer terms OP means over powered, so it is hard to not assume that this tea is really an overpowered weapon in a PVP game. Enough nerdiness (for now) and onto aroma! The aroma of this tea is rich and sweet, with notes of caramel, malt, molasses, and a tiny hint of cocoa. This aroma has a presence, and that presence is richness. It also has a slightly brisk finish of oak wood which adds a touch of lightness to the smoldering richness.

Once the tea has been steeped and removed from its happy little bath, the aroma of the wet leaves is less sweet and more robust. There are notes of oak wood, molasses, and a touch of pepper at the finish. The liquid is creamy sweet with notes of brisk oak wood and dried leaves on a forest floor (specifically not wet loam.)

Tasting time, let us see if this OP tea is Over Powered! The taste is quite intense and brisk, yet very smooth, with no astringency at all. It starts out brisk and oaky with a touch of loam, this fades to molasses, and lastly loam and pepper at the finish. The mouthfeel is dry, in a lip-smacking good way. In a not terribly surprising turn of events I decided to add some cream and sugar. Doing so cause a minor mouth explosion of happiness, it is so rich with the cream and sugar! The briskness is still there but reduced a great bit, so it is mostly rich and malty. I feel an overpowering need for scones and tiny sandwiches now.

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