Harney & Sons

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1 tasting notes

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85

So I got the loose leave version of vanilla comoro, suggested by ashmanra. This does taste better than the tea sachets. The astringency is way lower and it almost taste like a light fruity tea though still not very black tea like.

I definitely recommend getting the loose leave over the sachets.

Sachets: 81
Loose leave: 85

sold for $13/ 4oz

https://www.harney.com/products/vanilla-comoro?variant=46871345926

ashmanra

I’m glad it was an improvement for you!

cathychiaolin

And I’m glad I tried it out! Thank you for the suggestion!

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85

Decaf vanilla black tea, I bought the tea sachet version a couple years ago. The tea smells a lot like boba milk tea but doesn’t taste like one. Being decaffeinated it sacrificed some of its flavors, it doesn’t have wood, floral, or honey notes like regular black teas. On its own it tastes like slightly astringent water with vanilla scent, this tea can make milk taste good and not really the other way around.

sold for $9.45/20 sachets

https://www.harney.com/products/vanilla-comoro

ashmanra

The loose version is better than the sachet and we overleaf to compensate for the losses from the decaffeination process. If you have any sachets left, perhaps try over leafing a bit to make it more enjoyable? I usually tear my sachets open and measure the leaf for most tea whenever I can.

cathychiaolin

I should try the loose version in the future. I agree with using more tea because I did think one was a bit light.

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40
drank Sweet Black Gulou by Harney & Sons
229 tasting notes

This makes a decent cold brew. I’m sure I’ll be able to finish this easily, especially now I’m back to craving iced tea as the weather warms up.

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40
drank Sweet Black Gulou by Harney & Sons
229 tasting notes

Attempting to sip down/de clutter teas from my stash.

Well looking in the tin, its obvious I’ve tried this before a few times in the year and more since I bought it. But no notes or ratings, which means I didn’t like it.

Now, its not bad, but not a flavor profile I am wild about. Its more astringent and drying than I like, which becomes more pronounced as it cools.

I think this is one I should be able to finish. Might try this as a cold brew and see how I feel that way.

ashmanra

Sometimes that profile is best with food, as the astringency can clear the palate and become almost unnoticeable…until the plate is clear!

Random

I can’t drink hot liquid with food. I know, I am weird. :)
Thanks for the suggestion though.

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70
drank Wild Wuyi Black by Harney & Sons
229 tasting notes

Bought this back in September of 2022, tried it once, really did not like it, and moved on because I had so many other teas to try and drink.

I didn’t bother rating or reviewing it at the time because it was so busy after the office move and training a new person. And, because I hadn’t liked it, I wasn’t really motivated to try it again.

But I am getting motivated to sip down/clean out teas I am not enjoying. In the office move, I ended up with new drawers which were significantly smaller, which shrunk my tea drawer. Added to this, the company I work for gave me a generous gift certificate to thank me for my work in the move and so I ended up which a whole bunch of extra tea I wouldn’t have normally purchased on my own. So tea drawer has some serious overflow onto the top of my desk and I really want to recover some of that space.

I also decided to go for cold brew as our weather has been kind of warming up (Seattle doesn’t have spring, winter and summer just battle for dominance) and I decided to try this again.

Its nothing like the description. There’s almost a lemon zest vibe to it. Not unpleasant for cold brew. I have no memory of it hot, so I can’t make any comments about it there. I’m not sure if I can honestly say I am enjoying it, but its not bad.

I do plan on revisiting this hot again at some point and will update my rating then.

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85
drank Wedding Tea by Harney & Sons
1159 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m surprised I don’t already have a note for this one! I finished off the last of it yesterday, getting two solid steeps out of it. The lemon and vanilla are definitely more prominent than the hint of rose. Altogether, it’s an airy, cakey effect that I really enjoyed. This is a blend I’d happily have again.

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drank Salted Caramel by Harney & Sons
2967 tasting notes

We’ve hit that weird part of spring where its cold and rainy one day, and warm and sunny the next. This is terribly hard one ones wardrobe, alas.
So it’s an in between season, as far as tea flavors go. But fortunately I like salted caramel year round.
Hmm, not sure what I think of this one. Its smell is stronger than its taste, but I am not tasting that sort of toasted burnt flavor that is what happens in some caramel teas, so that’s a plus.
More cups will be required to finalize my thoughts.

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75

Okay haters.
Maybe this tea has wandered into the wrong cups before, but not this time. Though the aroma, equally malty as smoky, had me in suspense for a moment, the steep makes up for it. Too many bourbon barrel-aged stouts gave me a different expectation- is the whisky in the room with us now? What I got is, I think, much better. This is essentially a down-to-earth smoked lapsang souchong with a wholesome (oaky?) richly smoked profile talked down by honey and the maltiness of the black tea underneath. Though I often like my smoked teas stronger and more monstrous, I was really pleased with this one and the smoke evades that chemical taste so often found in lapsang souchongs (which I admit I love).

Though whisky is not one of the prevailing flavors here, this tea still gave me ideas. To complement the warm smoke filling my nostrils, a few dashes of angostura bitters were an eager accompaniment to add a faintly spicy undertone, and I think this might be the way to go.

Flavors: Campfire, Honey, Oak, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

I haven’t tried this one. I meant to but samples were consistently sold out when I was checking, and I was so disappointed that Black Cask Bourbon just tastes like a plain lapsang to me that I didn’t pursue it. I am glad you enjoyed it!

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75

After a long, quiet morning filling in for the regular barista, I got home and decided to finish off the last of my Peaches & Ginger tagalong. When I steep this one at work, I taste a little more of the ginger, but making it in my apartment I find that the ginger is just a murky pair of socks in the shoes the peach walks in on – a smooth, sweet undercurrent echoing distant stories of spice is all I detect, but the peach comes through juicy and aromatic. In all likelihood, a little extra steeping time wouldn’t go amiss for this one. Good body and extremely fruity in spite of everything – I’d even go as far as to say the same for the tea.

Flavors: Ginger, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

Did you get the tagalong to transport tea to work? If so, that’s a very good idea. Easy to refill with new sachets and a quick rinse and dry is all it needs to switch tea type…unless you take Hot Cinnamon. Nothing washes that away.

"Youngest"

@ashmanra Hm. I did buy the tagalong to take to work but I hadn’t thought it through enough to keep the tin.

surefire

“I’d even go as far as to say the same for the tea.” ;)

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75

Having passed a sufficient amount of my day drawing in my notepad at my desk waiting for work to come across it, my dehydrated carcass has finally pulled itself back to my apartment. This organic assam found its way into my possession as a sample stowed away in my last order and should be a suitable restorative with which to souse my wilted corpse and transmute it back into the vivacious grape it never was.

Though Irish Breakfast was perhaps my original love, this was in the days of milk, excessive sugar, and naivety. That said, my apprehensions find no footing in this nostalgic cup. A dark, malty aroma evokes brown bread and dried fruits, promising a stark breakfast blend, and the taste is the venom you suck out of the wound after a tree bites you. There’s a caramelized and unrefined sweetness in the mouth that decries the taint of added sugar. Mildly astringent, it leaves the mouth reminiscent of a crusty, toasted rusk that I can only imagine would gratefully sop up a dash of milk but which, being without any milk, I find stands pleasantly on its own, if not aching for the complement of a little plum or blackcurrant jam. Glimpsing over Steepster’s flavor profile of this one, I can’t help but notice “leather” amongst those enumerated and must accede there is a character to this tea not unlike strips of pan-fried suede. I guzzle the last swig no less withered than I began but slightly more grizzled – this is a tea I would dip in coffee.

Flavors: Bread, Caramelized Sugar, Dried Fruit, Malt, Toast

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85
drank Wedding Tea by Harney & Sons
25 tasting notes

This tea is the current feature in the rotating cabinet of drinks I keep at my desk. Each morning starts with anywhere from 1-3 energy drinks, and eventually the workday dwindles down to a sachet of whatever tea is visiting at the time, but each cup is at the mercy of my best attempt to estimate a reasonable ratio of boiling hot water tempered with cold tap water since I don’t have a kettle with temperature control and am thereby consigned to basic breakroom amenities. Today, however, I pocketed a few sachets to enjoy at home. 1 sachet at 175F forgotten for three minutes and my cup is just blooming with the smell of warm french vanilla frosting finely tapered by a touch of lemon. Light-bodied but faintly buttery, it’s a perfect reminder that work is temporary, but tea is also temporary – tea is just much more enjoyable and maybe after work, you can have cake.

While the rose petals impart a flavor if not subtle then perhaps entirely absent, it’s difficult to distinguish this from the astringency of this tea at the back of the sip. The dry, almost gently peppery sensation lingering in my mouth evokes memories of being at a cocktail bar with a friend and daring him to eat the bitter, aromatic petals off the bouquet in front of us, until of course we were both prompted to part ways unexpectedly early in various states of gastrointestinal discomfort. Unfortunately, this is a betrayal I have yet to receive from Wedding Tea and have not been forced to truncate any workdays with thanks to it.

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Frosting, Lemon, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85
drank Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
25 tasting notes

I purchased genmaicha as a huge gamble due to my dodgy past with Japanese green teas, which I’ve come to see as the rough neighborhood I’m frequently chased out of by prowling vegetable notes and buttery flavors – a statement of preference rather than quality. That said, though my relationship with drinking veggies is unstable, my standing when it comes to rice is certain, and if there’s one thing I like more than rice, it would have to be the premium, charred rice crust I get to chip out of the bottom of the saucepan after I make rice for the simple reason that I do not know how to make rice but insist upon doing so. For this reason, genmaicha stood out as a dubious beacon of hope, but a beacon of hope nonetheless.

A whiff of the leaves did nothing to quell my reservations, evoking a somewhat grassy profile that was faintly dry and saline but unmistakably vegetal. Still, the splintery green leaves were richly interspersed with promising, amber nuggets of puffed rice and even some small, white popcorn-looking morsels that renewed my interest. The dusty breath exuding from the tin conjured a colorful suggestion that the best may be yet to come, specifically because the best is possibly locked in this bancha’s stuffy basement begging to be let out. So we return to the sketchy kitchen scale for a rough estimate of 6 grams of leaf (4 tsp volumetrically) dosed in 12 oz of 175F water for 3 minutes. The smell of the tea as it steeped is where everything changed – this was the puffed rice tea of my dreams.

Finally let out of its cage, the delectable, toasted scent of the rice has the ball! It’s mowing down any other flavors in its path! It tramples green tea underfoot! It’s broken into the end zone! Or something like that, I don’t know sports. The savory touchdown is nothing short of Orville Redenbacherian and it’s everything I could have hoped for. Though this tea rapidly grows bitter after its allotted three minute soak, as one might expect, the steeped kernels of brown rice are soft and too pleasant to waste and I must restrain myself from eating them all before the resteep.

Are there limits to this ambitious blend? Is there a law restricting me from adding more rice? How much rice can I add before surpassing the threshold of genmaicha and encroaching into congee territory? Tune in next week for answers to all these and more. As always, this has been Monday, and I am your host.

Flavors: Grass, Popcorn, Rice, Vegetables

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

You can also sometimes buy genmai (the roasted rice) by itself, which sounds like something you might enjoy ha ha. Would also recommend sobacha, which is a similarly toasty, grainy tisane that’s instead made with buckwheat. I believe Harney carries it.

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80

I told myself I would save this tea for another day, but lies wear many robes. This robe looked like a spontaneous trip to Target (where I also told myself I would buy NO TREATS!) to take my mind off the tin of plump, happy buds waiting for me. Inevitably, I would get home and allow an ample three minutes for me to sink back again into the depths of boredom and ultimately give in to temptation. What can I say? I can’t resist a snappy dresser.

In the dry buds I immediately noticed a bright aroma that caused me to say out loud in disbelief, “Coriander? Is that you?”. (I consulted my kitchen spice rack for confirmation – I can hardly recognize my old friend.) This largely dissipates into a nose that is more vegetal and floral as it steeps, but the spark is somewhat retained in the wet, tough buds, which have a strikingly bitter taste. Though the vendor listing predicts a thin, diminutive body likened to water for the steep – by no means a bad thing in my book – its arrival is accompanied by a certain, faint, buttery quality that sits sweetly on the tongue long after it’s swallowed.

Ordinarily I approach “vegetal” descriptors with caution, as they’re not my favorite with respect to teas, but as a recent and a zealous convert to the Cult of Cabbage, I profess to some partiality on behalf of your commentator, and I find it to be balanced and mild otherwise. Perhaps that will change as I let it steep into infinity. Additionally, the flavor of the buds is so pronounced in comparison to the tea itself that it seems unfair to consume them together, so I might strain this one in the future to give it a fighting chance.

For the second steep, time to put the screws on Chinese Silver Needle. I subjected it to 200F and was rewarded with a much more uniformly saccharine profile. On the other hand, the steeped buds persist in being unbearable – blech!

Flavors: Butter, Cabbage, Coriander, Floral, Sweet, Vegetables

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

Welcome back to Steepster! The dashboard is stuck…again…but will be up and running soon, we hope.

"Youngest"

Thank you! Good to be back. I don’t think I broke the dashboard, but I’ve broken just about every instrument I touch at work so I wouldn’t rule it out.

Martin Bednář

“Youngest” I also break everything I touch, but Steepster isn’t my fault this time. So I am pretty sure you’re clean too :D

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85

As a tea barbarian, I’ve braved the slings and arrows of young adult life leaning on flavored teas prepared so recklessly and uncaringly as to taste less pleasant and complicated than the concerningly flavorful supply of tap water in which it was made. This is a sure way to forget what tea tastes like, why it should be consumed, or what the meaning of life may be. Changing that begins with two things, and those are, firstly, a tea whose only flavors are the ones god gave it, and secondly, the ultimate symbol of status and sophistication: one faithful Brita filter to moderate the charming savor of PFAs.

The vendor says 175F so that’s what I gave it. It’s just as agreeable at 200F. The actual weight of tea used is anybody’s guess, including my kitchen scale’s, which seems to be notably receptive to the suggestion of minor adjustments to the position of the leaves on it. “3 grams? Or maybe 4 grams. What do you think? I guess it could be 2. 5 grams if you insist.” Assuming the FDA isn’t stopping in for a cup, I imagine that will do fine.

This tea is delicious after steeping for 3 minutes, but it’s also delicious after steeping for 2 days, so there’s that. It brews up crisp and clear, revealing a mellow tint of marigold the longer you let it play. The understated aroma of citrus and spices is a preview of the taste – each sip a gentle cruise over smooth waters scintillating with unexpected sweetness. The whole, unbroken buds are delightfully soft before steeping, like eager little ferrets in silky cashmere sweaters. I never strain these out because they’re a playfully bitter and irresistibly tender little snack, and anyway it would be a crime not to challenge this tea in all its forms through its own veritable Crucible of steeping abuses like a fresh recruit of the United States Marine Corps. I have a feeling this tea would come through just fine if you steeped it in a grease fire.

Flavors: Citrus, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

I smiled all the way through this review! I have never gotten the hang of tea that’s too fussy to take water on the full boil. This sounds like it might stand a chance at my house.

ashmanra

As much as Ashman loves white tea, I have never bought this one. Maybe I should. (He has had lots of Teavivre white tea, though.)

"Youngest"

No subthreads to reply to specific comments I see. :‘) We’re really roughing it out here.

Leafhopper

Nice to see you back on Steepster! I also have a soft spot for those fuzzy buds. :)

Martin Bednář

Welcome back! And maybe one day you will be not anymore tea barbarian :)

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74

This blend is quite nice, I am trying to limit my caffeine a teenie bit, (600 mg a day is a bit much), but this doesn’t hit the spot like the original. Though, I am quite curious how it cold brews.

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25
drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
136 tasting notes

Waaayyy too sweet for me! The “Caramel flavor” clubs you over the head. The ingredients as listed are: Green tea, toasted sesame seeds, caramel flavor. I don’t know what is in that caramel flavor but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is an artificial sweetener. It tastes like it. We are drinking it just because it is a green and we rocket through tea when fasting. Fasting sharpens your sense of taste and smell; I am at the end of a 72 hour fast and the sweetener taste in this tea is too much. Not buying again.

Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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55

I received a sample with an order. It’s an average green tea, and I could not detect any citrus notes. I also couldn’t detect any benefit of the gingko on this very short run of use (takes longer, I’m certain). I guess it wasn’t the worst green tea I’ve had, but I wouldn’t choose it either.

Flavors: Dry Grass

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85
drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
2 tasting notes

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79

Generally I tend to avoid tea bags but I just wanted a super simple cup this morning. And being that we are in a hotel they had a tea bag. I was glad to see Harney instead of the usual ugly choices they give. I quite enjoy Chinese Keemuns. Creaminess mixed with woodiness to top off thus first not raining, not super windy morning on the Big Island. But you just gotta go with the flow. Enjoy every moment. It’s even more enjoyable with a nice cup of tea

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75

Sipdown

A very vanilla heavy Earl Grey. I had two cups this morning! Once before a workout, and once afterwards. The second had a bit of oat milk to brighten the vanilla a little more.

Flavors: Creamy, Vanilla

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