Review of Eight At The Fort

8 of 104 of 53 of 5100 of 100

From Harney's website: "A medium brown blend of the 8 different teas... This is a medium bodied tea with full bodied Assams offset by the lighter Darjeeling and Formosa Oolong." I was eager to try this tea after reading it's description so I ordered a sample, as the next available volume is an 8oz box.

First steep: 212F, 4 minutes, 8oz, 1tsp loose.
The tea dry has subtle notes of sweet and stone fruit over it's stronger earthy tea smell. When steeped, the tea takes on a much more noticible sweet stone fruit aroma (fig and plum) rounded out with a deep malty tea aroma characteristic of Assams.

The flavor is thin to medium bodied, which most likely takes it's lightness from the Darjeeling and oolong teas. There is a subtle fruitiness that strikes more of apple for me than fig or stone fruit. Honey, malt, and tea flavors are all present, but the blend is mellow enough that you don't pick them out individually. Instead, these flavors harmonize together in a well balanced and pleasant way. It's difficult to pick out the Assam over the oolong for instance, and in moments where one is more dominant, the flavor rolls into the next on the tongue as it fades away, so that each sip is a unique mixture of the same flavor notes. At some points, the malt is in the middle, then the end, or the beginning. No two sips are the same.

I wouldn't say that this is an extraordinarily complex tea for it's cost. Rather, the real delight is in the balance of the blend. Truthfully, one could be surprised to learn this blend has 8 teas, and an inexperienced drinker may think it's a single origin tea.

In terms of value, it is priced lower than some of their more popular teas like Irish breakfast and lapsang souchong ounce for ounce, coming in at $15/8oz. But at the moment they're not offering a 4oz tin, so the commitment level is a bit higher. Then again, it's an enigmatic tea to drink, and one that keeps me coming back. Over all, I like it.

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