Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

I’m rather liking this, which is a good thing, since I ordered the 8 oz. tin and they accidently shipped me a whole pound. This strikes me as a great choice for those days when I stand in front of my tea mountain and I can’t for the life of me figure out what kind of tea profile I want to revel in. On first sip I’m getting the malty Assam, but then it breaks away into the subtle smoky, chocolaty keemun. I understand from other posters that this can go bitter in a hurry if it’s not watched, so I stuck with four minutes for the steep, and I’m glad I didn’t go over that. My initial impression is that this is a good, sturdy start-to-the day tea without being overly malty. This morning I’m drinking it hot. This afternoon I might make some iced in my Takeya pitcher, and perhaps stick a mason jar of cold brew in the fridge. Might as well try it all kinds of ways. It’s not like I’ve got a shortage!

gmathis

Before I read your last sentence, I was already thinking, “Ooh…bet it’s good iced!”

dragondrool

I did some in the flash-chill pitcher. It was pretty good, though I might lean toward liking it hot a little bit better.

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95
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
8 tasting notes

I picked up a sample of this with my most recent Harney order. I’ve only had a couple cups’ worth, but it has left a definite impression on me.

This tea steeps a nice dark brown. The aroma and taste are both loaded with cocoa. Very bold and very smooth.

This may replace Teavana’s Golden Monkey as my go-to tea! I will be ordering a tin and reporting back.

Flavors: Cocoa

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
25 tasting notes

I enjoyed this! I thought it smelled like coffee cake when I first opened up the sample I got, which was from the almond extract.

Delicious, intending to buy more.

Edit: I’m wrong, no almond extract. Still tasty.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Harney & Sons The Store

Glad you liked it, but no Almond Extract in this tea! c:
The flavors are Vanilla, Caramel, Black Currants, and Bergamot.

Zwi

I stand corrected. I only bought a sample and I didn’t look closely at any ingredient list. Guess my tongue needs more training!

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80
drank Palm Court by Harney & Sons
286 tasting notes

Not My Cup O’ Tea TTB

This is a nice, basic black tea blend. I found it to be smooth but flavorful and aromatic with notes of baked bread, honey, and stonefruits. Whoever placed this in the box included a note recommending a 3-minute steep instead of the 4-5 minutes prescribed on the bag and I agree…it was definitely strong enough after 3 minutes!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

I got this in a teabag sample from Midwest Tea Fest. I don’t drink much in the way of herbal blends these days, but as a preteen and kid I was all about them, so it’s a bit nostalgic for me.

This one smells lemony, as you’d expect with hints of holy basil (not sure if that is actually in here). The flavor is an interesting blend of grassy, reminding me of unsmoked yerba mate, juniper berry, reminding me of gin, and of course lemon. It’s not tart and the lemon flavor isn’t too strong. It blends well with the others.

This is not my typical cup of tea these days, but I didn’t mind it at all. Wouldn’t buy it, but enjoyed the cup I had. Thank you for the sample, Harney and Sons!

Flavors: Grass, Lemon, Pine

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Well, I guess I need to make it official. I am now a Darjeeling drinker. It was practically the only type of tea I didn’t enjoy for a long time. Then I had a Margaret’s Hope 2nd flush that almost won me over. And now these two Harney and Sons offerings for 2015 that I have tried have done it.

I tried this alone a few days ago, and then served it tonight with supper. My husband really liked it and drank cup after cup, and he doesn’t like black tea plain and therefore doesn’t drink it anymore. But Darjeeling really isn’t like black tea, even though it is classified as such and I finally have that through my head.

This was a lovely tea, with a nice briskness that was not astringent or puckering, but very enjoyable. It went very well with food since it had enough gumption to be tasted even through the Korean sweet chili sauce chicken wrapped in lightly steamed cabbage leaves and served with fried rice. It was also nice for sipping on after the meal was over. It really was a much better pairing than a standard black tea would have been, in my opinion, and was as good with the pseudo-Asian cuisine as a green tea would have been.

Thank you, Harney and Son, for the opportunity to sample some of the new 2015 teas!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
boychik

I recently rediscovered Darjeleeng FF. you have to try Arya Ruby FF from Happy Earth tea. It’s amazing!

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
195 tasting notes

I had this one simply steeped a while back and it didn’t impress me. However, I am beginning to get into the “tea latte” thing and this as a latte, very yummy! I believe I am getting more vanilla out of this than I remember, it’s also the creamiest latte I’ve made yet.

I brewed 3 tsp in 1 cup of water while I had 2 cups or milk and some sugar warming on the stove. I put whatever amount of the milk fit in my mug after the tea and the final concoction is wonderful.

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80
drank Gyokuro by Harney & Sons
8 tasting notes

Ohhh….this tea. So delicate and lovely and confusing all at once. As others have mentioned, it looks like pine needles when dry. After steeping, it reminded me of cooked collards or spinach. The taste is also vegetal, but not overwhelmingly so. I also got some grassy hints in there, as well. There’s some butteriness in there, too, just to round things out. The finish was pleasantly, refreshingly sweet. I have just enough in my sample pack for one more go, so I think I’m going to steep at a lower temp next time round.

Flavors: Butter, Cut grass, Green, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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45
drank Vietnamese Black OP by Harney & Sons
710 tasting notes

So this one is woody, with a hint of bread to it. Might be really woody because I over-steeped it a bit, but It wasn’t a long over-steep so I think that that note kinda already existed there. :/
So yeah, not really a fan. Think I’ll just list this one as a freebie on my sale list. xD It’s not that it’s a bad tea, I guess I’m just not in the mood to play around with it tons to make sure that it can’t be a really good tea that I fall in love with. :S

Flavors: Baked Bread, Wood

OMGsrsly

You can make Hong Kong Milk Tea with this one… DavidsTea had a recipe a couple years ago. :)
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/57843176436838071/

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75
drank Kenya Milima by Harney & Sons
710 tasting notes

So I over-steeped this a wee bit today.
I’ve had this sample for a while now and I’m finally getting around to trying it. Figure I needed black tea in my system. Only got like two hours of sleep over all today and I’m feeling really stressed with having to move like everything in my room over to my gparents’ room so my dad’s worker can update my bathroom. Which I’m not super happy about for a few different reasons. :/
And valid ones at that!
The guy just came over and basically said this is gonna take a lot longer than a couple days, so not thrilled over that either. Oy. This isn’t my day.

On the bright side, other than this having that weird inky taste from over-steeping, it’s pretty malty. Which I love! Has a touch of bready notes which I also like. Definitely going to be trying this one again. I have a feeling that when I steep it right it will be an amazing black tea! :D

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt

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drank Snow Bud 2015 by Harney & Sons
1999 tasting notes

I made and served this tea in relative darkness. Hubby and I had finished yoga and we’re going to have a quiet cup. I had the idea that I was making white tea, thus I was delighted with how much flavor It had. Then I turn on the lights and look it up and see that it is a green tea.

I am still delighted with it. Obviously, I couldn’t see the first steep in the dark, but the second is very pale, almost clear. The first steep was soooo creamy. Oh my goodness, it was good, with light notes of hay, lots of lip licking cream, and a far off vegetal flavor like baby spring peas. I don’t know what sweet white rind of watermelon would taste like, maybe this is it.

Bottom line – sweet, creamy, nice body, light vegetal notes, light hay. Definitely a contemplative, spa experience type of tea. Savor it.

Thank you, Harney and Sons, for the generous sample!

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88

Snow bud is very subtle. There is very a minimal vegetal flavor, and a good deal of light sweetness. This is a limited batch, so be sure to give it a try before the stock runs out.
-RA

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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95
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
17 tasting notes

I adore this decaffeinated vanilla black tea, so delicious. The flavour is delicately sweet. Perfect for anytime of day but especially in the afternoon accompanied by a sweet treat.

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85

Picked this up because I realized that I have almost no caffeinated bagged delights to drink at work! How did that happen?

I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. But it is abundant in everything about chai that I love (cinnamon and cloves!), and lacks everything about chai that I hate (looking at YOU, nutmeg!). It’s smooth, full of delicious cinnamon, and the orange peel adds a nice bite of citrus. Num num num.

Only complaint is that the cuppa didn’t last long enough! Time for another.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Orange Zest

Christina

If you like that flavour profile, have you tried Just Organic Tea’s Just Outstanding Orange Spice blend? It might be perfect for you.

teaqueen

I haven’t! But I will now. Thank you for the recommendation :)

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I made Egg Fu Young and rice with vegetables tonight and thought this would be great to go with it. I also have my dog on homemade dog food right now and between making his meal and preparing mine and my husband’s, I completely forgot the tea. I guess I just didn’t hear the timer go off.

When I checked to see if I had removed the basket, it was still there full of leaves, much to my dismay. My daughter said it would probably be okay but I thought not, since it had probably been steeping for fifteen minutes or so.

Miracle of miracles, I tasted it to see if I needed to make another tea and it was perfectly fine. I waited a few minutes after sipping to see if that burn would start to glow in my tummy region from having oversteeped tea in an empty tummy. Nothing.

Merrily, merrily, I served it and no one could have guessed it had been so sorely neglected.

So this tea has racked up several points with me – 1. Great price for a smooth green that makes it perfectly affordable to drink every single day even if you don’t resteep. 2. ORGANIC! 3. Very forgiving.

If someone asked me for a recommendation to replace their grocery store green with something healthier and tasty that wasn’t too expensive, this would be it.

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YUM!! Harney and Sons consider this a daily drinker. It is organic, even though they do not trumpet that fact. The price point is really great.

I made this to go with our supper and hubby and I both enjoyed it very much. It was so smooth, without sourness, bitterness, or astringency. They describe it as squash or zucchini, and I second that although I would add a hint of the juice from cooking green beans. Hubby said he had five (small) cups. I had about the same.

I resteeped it and it was okay but not as strong as I would have hoped. For this price, it doesn’t have to resteep, but I think I will still play with it and see if I can achieve an extra steep. Probably buying this one again.

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drank White Fairy by Harney & Sons
1999 tasting notes

True to type, this is a very delicate and subtle tea. The scent is hay, and there is a little nutty flavor. This time it is the sweet nutmeat I taste, whereas often it is nut flavor with slight bitter walnut skin that I pick up in tea. The bitterness of nut was not present. This is one that had hubby repeating, “This is good” over and over. He is pretty picky so I consider that a recommendation!

We used one teaspoon of leaf and stopped at five steeps. We still had good color and flavor at that point. I think we could have gone one or two more but it was almost midnight at that point and we needed to go to bed.

This is one to enjoy when you have time to pay attention, not something for washing down our Asian buffet takeout.

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86
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
5 tasting notes

One of my favorites! This one is a yummy flavored black tea without overpowering added flavors like so many teas that are popular. It’s delicious and reminds me very much of the French Line tea.
Good with milk, but I have to brew it extra strong to stand up to it. I tend to go through a tin quickly because I brew it nearly double strength.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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100

I’ve finally come back to the world of tea reviewing, I’ve actually been making a point to brew a pot before I start my day, sort of a grounding before I distract myself in the fight against ever present boredom (being unemployed sucks) in any case, here we go and as always I start off with my favorite a blend by Harney and Sons.

Tower of London – There’s something terribly comforting about this tea, especially in the morning, a blend of bergamot (cuz English love them some bergamot) good black tea, honey and other secret things H&S have mixed in, the first thing you’ll notice when opening the tin is the strong, wrapped up in warm in blankets scent of honey, in all reality I cant describe it properly it really smells more like honey than…well honey does, and it easily overpowers the aroma of the bergamot and tea, although there scents are there to lend some complexity, as an English style black tea mix its pretty in a dark browns and blacks kind of way.

Portions were 1 teaspoon per 7oz – Steeping 5min at 190° with a prewarmed pot.

Steeping seems to take some of the punch out of the honey sent but its still the main player in the steep’s aroma, although the heavier body of the black tea and sharper notes of the bergamot do shine through better.

As for taste it’s a bit of a surprise but the honey is just barely there, despite being such a diva in the aroma on the tongue the main player is the excellent blend of black teas Harney & Sons used, there is the delicate if sharp taste of the bergamot, but this seems to me a primarily a breakfast tea its strong a little bitter caffeine rich and full bodied, its really really good for waking ones ass up, ironically I did this brew without any sweetener and while I drank the whole pot that way in the end I think it may need…well a little honey.

Also if you wanna see some pictures (Since I cant figure out how to insert them into tasting notes) Check out the tea and gardening blog me and http://steepster.com/tabby run, contents been a little sparce lately but were fixing that promise.

http://gardensandtea.tumblr.com/

Flavors: Apricot, Bergamot, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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80
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
50 tasting notes

From the Not My Cup TTB

A nice chocolate tea. I wish Harney had free shipping to Canada.

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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77

Unusual tea. When drank fresh and very hot, it’s almost a hot tea with a slight cheerios flavor. When it’s cooling, at first i thought it was growing bitter, but was actually the malt and honey coming out. Not bad at all but not a favorite from the company. The taste is certainly not boring or average, it is smooth and in no way artificial, but I’m not crazy about the maltiness that comes through when it starts cooling.

Flavors: Bitter, Honey, Malt

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
Nichole

Sounds interesting!

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77

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There is so much I do not know about tea, and I know the least about Darjeeling.

The first one I had was from A Southern Season. I thought it was “normal” black tea and I made it that way. I got a stomach ache. Then I read that it should have a shorter steep and tried it that way. It was better, but I still preferred Chinese teas and focused on them, having only a few Indian teas over the years. So I feel ill equipped to tell a Darjeeling lover about this tea, but I can tell what this tea lover found.

Dry Leaf Scent: bright, high, green, fresh, sharp-ish, with a hint of latex like a good oolong has.
Liquor: golden yellow, which always surprises me since Darjeeling is a “black” tea.
Taste: I am surprised to find myself thinking, "What magic is this? A Darjeeling that reminds me of Chinese green, a Darjeeling that has me thinking that this would be good to serve to my picky husband who only likes black tea drowned in milk and sugar, or green, white, or oolong plain. Yes, I am thinking that he would like this with our Asian takeout dinners.

The body is listed as medium in their description, but it has a creamy mouthfeel that makes me lean toward saying it is really creamy medium. The flavor is much like the scent of the dry leaves, but there is a little nut flavor underneath it all, with a tingle of citrus and grass, especially as it cools. I am reminded of Chun Mei. The taste and creamy feel really linger, like my tongue is swaddled in the last sip. It really fills the mouth and sinuses. And yet, it is light!

Having tasted it, I looked at the company description on their website. Chinese tea bushes, lighter style of processing… well, of course it all makes sense now!

My youngest daughter is drinking it with me. This is her first Darjeeling and she says that while she is not good at identifying and describing scents, she is on her second cup and says, “This is really good.”

And now we have polished off the whole pot! Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons, for the opportunity to expand my palate!

K S

I generally use water at 195 F or there abouts. I’m no Darjeeling expert but for me that helps alleviate the stomach issue. Anyway, glad to see you have found an apparent keeper.

ashmanra

Thank you, K S! I did try 203F for three minutes with this one and had no stomach ache. With heftier, darker ones I will try that lower temp for three minutes.

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92

From the Not My Cup TTB

Dreamy. Earl Grey with a hint of blackberry. I have to find more of this.

Flavors: Blackberry

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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