Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
so last night, i couldn’t leave well enough alone after my cozy Candy Cane green tea to ease into sleep, so i brewed up a cup of Paris at 12:30 in the morning. haha.
today, i decided to try its twin: blackcurrant ‘seemingly blueberry’ jam!!! this, my friends, is Paris in its birthday suit! if only for the fact that it contains no bergamot, vanilla or caramel aside from the blackcurrant; they taste pretty much identical!
i was lucky enough to find a 50-bag box of this at Fairway for $5.49! what? i’m lucky to find boxes of 20 for upwards of $3 but i digress.. the Harney & Sons tea gods were shining down on me…what a great find. they also had some of the classics such as Earl Grey, as well as Hot Cinnamon Spice & Organic Green with Citrus and Ginkgo….all in boxes of 50 for 5.49. what an economical way to sample some of their teas. i’m impressed.
since i knew that blackcurrant was the key flavor in Paris, i thought, why not try their Blackcurrant? i figured i couldn’t go wrong; i figured right. really, if i didn’t know any better, i would think this was Paris. i also wouldn’t know it wasn’t loose leaf!
whatever they put in their bags is of very high quality, at least judging by this box. i’m inclined to throw my hands up in the air because i just struck gold with some of my favorite tea!
the color of the liquor is a gorgeous amber red that darkens pretty quickly, and the taste is just delicious. it’s luscious and fruity, with berries all around. i think the only thing you won’t get from the teabags that you would in the loose leaf is the abundantly fragrant experience upon opening the bag.
This tea has a soothing chamomile sweetness accented by other flowers. The blend is very nice but not terribly impressive. More exotic flowers that can compete with the chamomile would be an improvement. The tea tastes shy and comforting with a lasting presence after being swallowed. One is reminded of corn, wheat and somehow dry hay. Overall this chamomile behaves exactly as it is supposed to with few surprises.
Flavors: Corn Husk
This was a huge miss for me. I had to make this one twice just as I did with Boston because I thought I had over steeped it. But again, just like Boston, turns out it tastes the same when I follow the brewing instructions perfectly.
This didn’t smell like chocolate or hazelnut nor did it taste like either of those things. It just tastes like a black tea that I don’t enjoy. The base tastes the same as the base in Boston as well. Actually, I’m finding that all of the Harney black bases taste quite similar and I’m not a fan.
This is another H&S blend I tried tonight. The smell of this one was soooooo good! I was definitely getting the almond and a sweet fruity smell.I had to make this one twice as I over steeped this the first time I made it and it was quite awful. Even though it wasn’t astringent or bitter, it just didn’t have any flavour and the base was quite dull and what I would describe as dirty tasting.
Ok, second steep. Really not much better. Base tastes about the same, very tired and boring, but also unpleasant. I kept adding sugar until it was drinkable and then it was ok, but only because all of that sugar toned down the base and brought out the flavour a bit more. I would never repurchase something I have to drown in sugar to semi-enjoy.
I’m kind of upset about this. I love the idea of a cranberry almond tea and I read such good things about this tea. What am I missing? I wish that someone that loved this tea could make it for me so I could see if I’m doing something wrong.
I went off of my diet today to attend an International Women’s day breakfast, and when I go off my diet, I make it worth it. I had a starbucks latte and some dark chocolate today which are my weaknesses. So I thought I would go ahead and try the three caffeinated H&S teas a purchased a few weeks ago (I’m only allowed one cup of caffeine per day on my diet and it has to be strait and I can’t drink black tea strait).
The smell of this was very fruity, mostly bergamot and some cherry notes. I took a sip of this before I added anything and it was quite astringent, though I only steeped it for 4 mins, which is super short for me. I added some honey and milk but it was still astringent so I added some sugar as well. There we go, perfect. Well as perfect as this tea can get for me I’m sure. I enjoyed this one the most out of the three I tried. I was getting mostly bergamot out of this, just the perfect amount of bergamot for me actually. Also a little bit of fruitiness as well. I’m getting a bit of honey in the aftertaste, but I’m not sure if that’s the tea or the honey I added to it. I will have to leave out the honey nest time to be sure. I would order this one if I was to make another H&S order, but the way things are going, I probably won’t be.
I find I am hot and cold with this blend based on how prominent the bergamot is with each cup. Sometimes it is just way too present while other times this is a caramel vanilla with a nice citrus finish. Today’s cup is the latter and though it is pleasant, I think I am ready to say goodbye to the Earl. Thank you Cavocorax for supplying me with ample amounts of this tea but I think our love/hate relationship has come to an end.
ETA: 1000th Tasting Note!!!
I don’t know where I got it in my head that this had coconut flavoring. I even convinced myself I could taste the coconut. After coming here and realizing there is no coconut I decided it was a good idea to have another cup.
I’m a weirdo, this taste nothing like coconut. Berry nutty, the cranberry flavoring is nice, I’m glad it is not like pucker your cheeks like eating a fresh cranberry. This is an easy tea to drink whenever. I only wish I didn’t waste the first two cups trying to find coconut. Thank you VariaTEA for sharing!
Dude. Green tea is freakin weird, man.
See, the only green tea that I really enjoy is the Jasmine ones.
I kinda sorta just group sencha and matcha and dragonwell and those green dragon pearls from Adagio into one massive category in my brain. They all taste and look the same to me! Green… like very green in colour and taste.
This particular tea though turned out to be a bit bitter.
Today, in my part of the world, its going to be in the mid 70’s. Gorgeous spring weather. Its not supposed to last, but I should take advantage of it, while I’ve got it.
And, cue the tea! Paris is so, so delicious, and I feel an almost perfect companion for a beautiful spring-like morning.
Light, bright, fruity and elegant, its one of my favorites.
I love Paris in the springtime. ;)
You know those mornings when your significant other (or something/someone else) has to pretty much force you out of bed because you’re convinced that you’re being rudely awakened in the middle of the night, and even if someone tells you your house is burning down, all you can manage is an “well then it must be my time, peace out” before rolling back over?
This was one of those mornings. I fell asleep instantly last night, and don’t remember even rolling over at night or anything. It was lovely. But waking up sucked. I bet a fire would suck worse though.
Anyway, all comfort teas today, even though I’m in a good mood because it’s Friday and I might hit up a Balzac’s (yeah, what a name eh?) cafe to get some Mariage frères tea this evening!
I had the Queen for breakfast, but figured there’s not much more I can say about her that hasn’t already been said. Now I’m sipping this out of my timolino and it’s bringing me lots and lots of pleasure. If you’re looking for a strongly flavoured sweet cinnamon tea that will perform miracles under pretty much any steeping parameter, I’d strongly encourage you to give this one a go. And even I can take it with minimal additions, which is saying something.
One of those mornings where I woke up too early, and when I was finally dozing back off, my alarm went off, and forced me into the day.
I have got tea, though. Delicious, delicious tea. And so I am going to drink this.
Today the honey note is particularly strong, which is delightful.
It will help friday get off to a strong start!
Flavors: Honey, Stonefruits
I’ve only logged this once?!?
I had a sachet of this at work today; I would have made a second steeping, but then I absentmindedly thew away the sachet like a moron and I only have one left (CRYYYYYY!) This tea has grown on me A LOT. The more I drink it, the more its soft fruityness reminds me of H & S’s Paris. In fact, it seems like it’s somewhere between Paris and an Earl Grey; citrusy and maybe a bit floral, but with a tastefully done, rounded sweetness to the flavor. It is exactly the right balance of “wake up” and “comfort.”
Which I will need, because my boss is going to be out of state for the next 2.5 weeks – the longest I have ever been in charge of the store. Gulp.
What? How have I not logged this one yet?!?
So this is actually a sipdown. It’s quite a decent Earl Grey, objectively speaking. It’s very bergamot-citrusy in a convincing way, rather than a “bergamot flavoring” kind of way. Bright and perky… and a little soft-spoken. It’s not quite as brisk or as bold as I like my “British” teas to be. It reminds me of the sunlight streaming through your window on a pretty spring morning, and I always want one like washing your face with cold water on a foggy spring morning.
… I keep saying that I can tell the Teavana EG isn’t the best, but I think it’s the one I’m always expecting!
Definitely a “very good,” maybe not “supreme” (at least by my standards, which may or may not be in line with those of more dedicated EG connoisseurs.) Still a nice wake-up tea, and definitely worth a try if you are a fan of Earl Greys.
This tea is lovely. Definitely pick up a sample if you like sweet honey teas.
I came home from work early due to sore from my fall, and was napping until my BFF popped in and woke up the cat… and me. :) I made us this tea to have. We did a couple steeps.
It’s really nice, and it resteeps well. I don’t think I’d ever justify a tin ($$$), but it’s definitely worth picking up a sample if the tea is in stock. I had some plain, and some with honey and almond milk. I’m sort of going for comforting today.
We also went through one of my bookshelves and I found all my old D&D characters! So awesome! I have a gnome swashbuckler, who spent so much time posturing and hitting on anything that moves, that his initiative was always negative. Pretty fun. And mixed in with all of it was printed email exchanges I had with my friend who was our DM. He passed away 7 months ago now, so it’s bittersweet to see his awesome. I might be joining a game my friend is part of, if I’m feeling up to it. :) Should be entertaining, at least!
I enjoyed a lovely cup of Valentine’s Blend this afternoon. I have come to the conclusion that the Harney & Sons sachets of the flavored teas are the perfect dose for my 11 ounce double-walled Bodum glasses. I added a splash of light cream and the result was chocolate wonderfulness in a soothing brew.
Sometimes stone fruits can taste really artificial and gummy candy like, but this is quite good. It’s sweet and jammy, without crossing the line, basically.
I’m picking up peach and plum with a bit of apricot for sure. Then definitely the bergamot, which isn’t overpowering, but probably enough to turn off those who don’t care for it.
What I’ve like most about the flavored H&S blends I’ve tried is that all of them allow the tea flavor to come through and be a part of the cup. This is no exception. It’s well-flavored but subdued. Really well done, especially for a bagged tea.
A sipdown. I made a big cup (1 1/2 tsp/12 oz.) and the ratio ended up being just about perfect. This EG is amazingly smooth, with just the right amount of citrus zing and astringency toward the end of the sip. I really appreciate EGs that don’t have a strong, bitter base—I like my citrus fresh. This one is gone for now but maybe not forever; so far H&S has a high percentage of my favorite EGs and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this one.
This is my first experience with a first flush Darjeeling. I do love the soft citrus, almost-floral, sweet smell of the dry leaves. I’m not so sure about the broth flavor though. A little citrus and a lot of green grape, now I think I understand what “muscatel” means. There’s also a touch of bitterness so perhaps 200F was a bit too hot?
Second infusion is quite floral and yes, I definitely need to use cooler water for this.
Third infusion is even more strongly florally-citrus but I still have that bitterness even though I lowered the temp to 185F. Mayhaps it only needs 15 seconds instead of the 30 second infusions I’ve been doing.
Fourth infusion. I just can’t win. I have come to the conclusion that there is too much leaf in this (even though it’s my usual amount for this gaiwan) and I should just stick to using a teapot for 1st flush Darjeelings.
Not rating this because it just wouldn’t be fair to what is probably a perfectly lovely tea when steeped correctly.