Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been having a great tea week!
A tiny part of me wishes I weren’t. I’m able to come up with MUCH FUNNIER stuff to say when reviews are dire. Alas, the stuff in my mouth tastes good, which doesn’t leave a lot of hilarity fodder.
So I’m going to tell you this is a tasty chocolate/vanilla blend with a bit flowers and coconut. If you like those things, you’ll probably like this thing. The only negative thing I can say is that it tastes a tiny bit artificial, but it’s so good overall, I’ll probably be buying more. So there’s that.
Miss my negativity? I do have a negative review about Wendy’s disruption of the Strawberry Fields salad. It was strawberries, chicken, bacon, onion, and bleu cheese crumbles gaily dancing upon greens.
It came every summer and left every fall like glorious clockwork. I spent all 9 cold months pining for it.
This year, they introduced a Summer Berry Chicken Salad instead. It’s not the same and it’s not as good.
It’s like walking into the school cafeteria on Taco Tuesday only to be handed some Sloppy Joe. What is this? Why are you deviating from schedule? I don’t want this. I want the other thing that should be happening right now. I mean, this is fine. It’s not poison; it’s just not what I want.
You want to reach across and bitch-slap the counter-lady, even though you know it’s not her fault. You want to tear off her hairnet, light it on fire, and go streaking through the woods with it aflame.
But you must stay calm and order something else.
Don’t let anyone see your lip quiver as you hold back tears.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Flowers, Vanilla
I decided to order this because I needed something added to the usual bland flavor of chamomile other than honey or lemon and this tea has not disappointed me yet. It has helped with indigestion numerous times and tastes good to boot. The orange peel is strongly represented but not all too tart at the same time. The chamomile base is still present, but evens out the citrus taste in general.
Flavors: Citrusy, Flowers, Orange Zest
If you absolutely love peppermint, this one is definitely for you, but be warned it is very strong. The satchels are filled very liberally which is great for at least 2 cups worth of tea, however the peppermint is very potent. I may need to give mine away soon after I review it on YouTube because it is not only is it too strong for me, but being a sufferer of GERD, I recently found out I should avoid peppermint in general >.
It’s not anybody’s wedding (that I know of), but this was a nice little sample to try. It has a soft lemon and vanilla aroma that translates into exactly those flavors when brewed. The blend also contains plenty of flowers, which would make it look quite festive and wedding-appropriate, though they don’t really add to the flavor. The mild, creamy lemon flavor of this tea reminds me of one of my favorite blends, Lemon French Macaron by Butiki Teas, which is no longer available but remembered fondly. Unlike that blend, though, the tea leaves in this one are smaller and more crushed, perhaps due to being in sachet form. This creates a more astringent brew, but overall the white tea base is good and quite fresh. A nice little treat that reassures me that while it’s hard to get a flavored white tea right, it can be done!
I had this yesterday, and refrained from leaving a note because it tasted weird. I thought that maybe the genmaicha I’d had previously had tainted the gravity steeper and/or mug I was using. So I scrubbed both out and left them to dry.
Today, I used my strainer ball and a totally different mug on this mix. As a control. For science.
And the conclusion is: this is a totally weird mix that tastes nothing like cranberry, nuts, or basically anything resembling food.
It’s like the sugary byproduct of some kind of food manufacturing process. Like maybe if you went to a Fruit Roll-Up factory and licked the floor.
So I tried icing it. If you ice it, you can kind of taste the nuts. I guess. But it’s still not great.
I daresay it’s… not my cup of tea.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy
It’s malty; it’s tannic. It’s not a bad tea, but I have sipped from the Fountain of Knowledge that is Yunnan black tea, and now I can’t return. This tastes pretty one-dimensional to me now. I find it better than Twinings, but that’s about all I can say for it.
I might still enjoy it oversteeped with some milk and sugar.
Flavors: Malt, Tannic
My buddy Mookit knows me really well. She recommended this tea, and lo and behold, it was in my samples. AND I LOVE IT.
This is a rich sweet berry concoction. Leading the way is a super-strong berry. Then you’ve got some sweet caramel/vanilla traipsing behind.
This tea is like the end of a movie, where everyone’s dancing. The camera slowly rises up, pointed below at our victorious protagonists. They twirl. The camera lifts, lifts, lifts, until everything is a blur. Cue credits.
This tea is ALSO notable because I broke in my Brand New Mug with it:
I saw the mug and I gasped because it was everything I needed. I didn’t even realize a new mug was in order until I saw this mug. Then I realized everything about my current situation was shabby and bad, and only the new mug would rectify the situation.
I will now be posting from a happier, better-mug state of mind.
Flavors: Berry, Blackberry, Caramel, Creamy, Molasses, Orange, Vanilla
This tea is super-complex for something so simple. It’s just a chocolate-hazelnut black tea. But there’s a variety of other notes. A creamy note, a mossy note, a molasses note. And, of course, the hot-chocolate almond-hazelnut tastiness.
This reminds me of Disney World. Did you know that, underneath the Happiest Place On Earth, there is a labyrinth that the staff use to get from place to place? It’s why you don’t see them traipsing around in between shifts. Or why Mickey appears in one spot, them shows up later in another. You’ve got all that joy on top, and then a bunch of solid inner workings underneath to make sure it functions properly.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Creamy, Hazelnut, Molasses, Moss, Vanilla
Viennese Earl Grey is the smoothest EG I’ve ever had. The bergamot is perfect – Not overpowering or perfumy at all. The Darjeeling base is wonderfully fruity. Indeed, it compliments the citrusy bergamot fabulously, adding a bit of sweetness. This medium body tea stood up well to a bit of milk and honey – Not that it needed any! I was just feeling a little decadent this Saturday evening.
Based on a blend by Demmers Teehaus in Vienna, Austria, this Teutonic take on the British classic is definitely my new go to EG. Heavenly with my chocolate chip cannoli for desert!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet
One of the handful of Harney samples I got recently. This one has the chocolate flavor similar to their Florence blend. I wasn’t too fond of Florence, but the chocolate works much better in this one. As for the coconut, I honestly thought this blend was supposed to taste like some kind of alcoholic drink before I read the description. There’s a definite heady, boozey aroma to it! While teas that taste like a dessert aren’t everyone’s…wait for it…cup of tea, this one is quite decent instead of just being a mishmash of flavoring.
This is today’s tea of the day mostly because I just had the one teabag so I figured I’d capture it before I had my sipdown. Tbh I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it because I’m usually hesitant of English Breakfast teas as I have had a couple that were just very brisk. This surprised me as it’s incredibly mellow and smooth. It paired perfectly with my waffles as it had bready notes that tied in while also having a nice dose of malt and a smidgen of stone fruit flavor. It’s quite lovely and making for a great “morning” tea at 1:00pm.
I’m finishing up my sample of this tea from a stash sale I got on reddit, along with some toast with clotted cream and raspberry jam.
I have to say that I’m surprised at how strong and full-bodied this tea is. It’s a little earthy and leathery, like a good puerh. It’s also extremely malty. The flavor reminds me of a smoother version of a breakfast blend.
But it’s not as smooth as most Yunnan blacks I’ve been drinking lately. There’s a hint of bitterness on the edge, and the flavor is hefty with almost no chocolate. As it cools, there’s a hint of smoke.
Looking up the price, I’d say this is a good everyday breakfast tea if you’re looking for something with more flavor than Twinings English Breakfast.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Leather, Malt
Old Sample from Tea Sipper.
I don’t like many green teas, and this reminds me why. This is rather bitter even though I brewed it with a splash of cold water, and I don’t like that bitterness alongside the vegetal taste of this tea. It’s not undrinkable, and might be better if I steeped it at an even lower temperature or for a shorter time, but I don’t like it enough to bother tinkering.
From JK7ray’s stash sale. I really like roasted barley, so I was excited to try this. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is for me. It has a roasted flavor and a slight sweetness, but it’s quite a bit lighter in flavor than roasted barley. There’s also something weird about the flavor that I don’t know how to describe, but I don’t particularly like. I’ll stick to roasted barley in the future, then.
Sipdown, although again this was never in my virtual cabinet. This is a very good earl grey, and reliable for everyday drinking. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time at all you probably know that I drink earl grey almost every day. This is one of my favorites, because it’s mild and easy to brew. It is literally impossible to brew this wrong; I have tried, and it has never, ever burned or gotten bitter. One bag will easily make two or three cups of tea, which is also impressive. I would definitely get this one again; Harney’s make some of my favorite black blends and this is one of their better offerings.
I recently got this as a sample. I like assams in general but have never tried the golden monkey, so I was curious as to how I would like it. I brewed it up with a little bit of milk and sugar, as my usual way to drink black tea. I definitely noticed a bit more sweetness than I normally get from assams, which I think must have been from the golden monkey. All in all, it was a pleasant cup of tea, but not a particularly stand-out one.