Harney & Sons Paris

Harney & Sons Paris

Hunt down a tin, brew up a cup, and start your own intellectual revolution!

My friend D first introduced me to Harney & Sons famous tea Paris. I had stopped by her house to drop something off and have a chat, and she had just made a cup for herself. She fixed me a mug, added a small splash of cream, and handed it over.
 
The first thing I noticed was the smell. Paris is a black tea with vanilla, caramel, and bergamot flavors. It smelled like Christmas, a bewitching smell of coziness and baking and holiday spices. It was earthy and genuine, like the smell of a spice cabinet, not fake like the smell of Yankee Candle.

The flavors are subtle, but intoxicating. I have never been a big fan of flavored black teas, but these flavors are done just right. With just a hint of flavoring, not a hit-you-over-the-head mixture of fakery. It's a great tea straight, but it really comes to life with a splash of cream. 
 
Paris doesn't need a spoonful of sugar, it's a pretty sweet flavor on its own, but it wouldn't mind one if you feel like it. It depends on whether or not you are eating it with sweets. I wouldn't sweeten the tea if you are having it as an accompaniment to tea cookies. But if you are just having a cup on its own as an afternoon pick-me-up, it might be a nice sweet treat to add a bit of sugar.
 
I have never been to Paris (it's on my list), but I have had their tea, and pronounced it excellent. This blend of black tea is famously modeled after the tea that everyone drinks in Paris. Mike (one of the sons in "Harney & Sons") developed the tea as an homage to all the famous tea shops in the City of Light. (which incidentally is where he met his wife. Aww!)
 
Many months later I had my first London Fog, and noted the resemblance. A London Fog is basically a vanilla latte made with Earl Grey tea instead of espresso. It has the black tea base, the vanilla and bergamot flavor, the sweetness, and of course the steamed milk creaminess. A London Fog is sort of a tarted up version of Paris tea, a very Americanized version of the French classic.
 
This is a tea that every tea-lover should try at least once. Why not hunt down a tin, brew up a cup, and start your own intellectual revolution?