Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Ost for the sale! I hope it was you that sent me this tea, since my e-mail draft that I saved all the teas I didn’t try yet was lost. I’ll have to work on that at some point. I’ve never had a yellow tea before!
The dry leaves are wirey and actually do seem yellow in color when they aren’t darker…. kind of like a Yunnan tea. They are also the hairy type leaf. I had NO idea how to steep a yellow tea so I went with two vastly different steeps:
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 20 min after boiling // 2-3 min
The taste much like the dry leaf fragrance is LEMON. Also fits the yellow name! The color of the cup is also yellow. A yellow tea in all aspects! There is also a floral hint. I’m surprised by the lemon of it though, it’s like a sugary dessert lemon and the dry leaves smelled very sweet as well. It reminds me of a bai mu dan but the leaves are VERY different between the two teas. The fuzziness of the leaves is drying out my mouth though. Otherwise, I’m very happy with this one.
Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
This one is much less lemon. I think the first cup had a lot more character. This one actually tastes like a tea I’ve never tried before. It’s different but I can’t say why. It’s very sweet, certainly not oversteeped unless it would have had more of that lemon flavor otherwise. There is a creaminess while still having a crisp freshness, again like a quality bai mu dan. I’ll enjoy the rest of the tin of this one!
Got this one a month or so ago…whenever I was getting over my last cold. I tried it then and didn’t taste much but sourness. Finally giving it a decent chance.
I can taste the vanilla in this one now! XD Totally missed that last time.
But it’s a lovely peach tea.
Wouldn’t buy it again, the it’s still nice. the 50 bags I have will last long enough, I’m sure! Another good tea from H&S!
Flavors: Peach, Vanilla
I love chai, so consider me totally biased.
This was delicious. It was bold and spicy, but not too spicy. Well, for me, there is no such thing as too spicy. But in this sort of summer but easing into fall weather, I am definitely drinking less cold tea and more hot, and craving the spicier flavors (and scents) for tea and candles. This to me is a perfect medium spice level chai, perfect with a dash of sweetener and almond milk.
I got this as a sample sachet in a recent order. It’s not as bad as David’s Snickerdoodle, but still too much sickly sweet cinnamon. Keep in mind I am definitely prejudiced on this point — I don’t like spice tea — but still, I think H&S, a company notably good at balancing the ingredients in their blends, could have done a better job balancing this one. Like maybe you get a hint of the black tea that’s supposedly in this? If people just wanted to drink cinnamon, they could probably get it from their spice rack.
To all past reviewers who said this was Earl Grey-ish? High five, y’all. Totally on point! This tea has a light, citrusy twist that reminds me of a cup of Earl Grey with a wedge of lemon squeezed haphazardly into it. It’s a delicate, fragrant tea—the scent, when I pop open the tin, is kind of Nestea-ish, or like Bath & Body Works’ London Calling candle—and I’ve learned that a short steep is the way to go. Still, there IS a dryness to this tea, no matter how you leaf / brew. The aftertaste makes me think I just sucked on some fresh lemon peels: really mouth puckering, but fresh and pleasant, all the same.
Oh Paris I’ve missed you! I wish Harney & Sons didn’t use artificial flavorings I can’t taste them I just want them gone. The tea tastes wonderful but I’d prefer all natural. This is my second cup of black tea for the day which is rare but I wanted the soothing vanilla scent with the spicy fruit undertones the brisk somewhat malty tea base is helping too. The aroma has more floral and fruit then I’d like but the flavor delivers a lot of vanilla with some plum and cherry and that’s perfect for me. On a whim I put in some maple syrup this time and that makes it the perfect fall treat. I think it will be fall for a few more minutes before the raging hot winds outside start making it hot inside too!
Flavors: Cherry, Plums, Vanilla
I was expecting Magnolia Oolong to be similar to Jasmine-scented oolong, that is, a medium-grade, medium-oxidation oolong infused with flower petals. I’m not sure that this Harney & Sons is that, but there is a floral scent off the surface of the liquor.
The dried tea is dark and twisted rather than gnarled and green, so this is pretty clearly a medium to high oxidation oolong. The flavor is slightly smoky. To be honest, I was struggling to find magnolia, which is a scent very familiar (and beloved!) to me from perfume.
I also do not find the flavor to be very light, despite the company’s characterization of this Feng Huang mountain oolong in that way. I like it, but do not recommend it as specifically magnolia-esque. It is a less green, somewhat smoky oolong to me.
Sooooooooo. Smooooooooth. Like, hot damn, Catherine. Way to be stepping it up like a true Queen. I finished the last of my H&S English Breakfast the other day, and if comparing these two, there’s really no competition. This is sweet and smooth and more of a gentle poke in the morning, rather than a full on slap to the face. A great morning cup. I’m especially loving the slight smokiness at the back of the sip.
It’s been an unusually cold fall here, with the temperature falling close to freezing at night and a bitingly cold wind during the day. Often we’ll have warm weather up until mid-October, but not this year apparently. I guess I should consider myself lucky – Calgary was hit by a blizzard.
I’ve heard of soba-cha from time to time but I’ve never had the chance to try it myself until I got a sample via the Traveling Teabox. The flavour is quite distinctive – very roasted-malty with undertones of raw, slightly bitter cocoa and something that’s a bit like coffee. It’s a warm, pleasant brew that’s perfect for warming me up on a chill evening like this.
H&S sent me a sample sachet of this; I’m not crazy about darjeeling but neither do I hate it. Unfortunately I screwed up my one shot to try this as immediately it was done steeping, I got distracted by people and dogs and didn’t remember the tea till it was decidedly tepid. At that point it tasted like very standard bagged darjeeling, nothing special. And maybe it IS standard, but I’ve no way to tell now, so I’m just noting the fact that I don’t know. This is a non-note. A note of what wasn’t noted. (Sorry guys, some people always have to take a thing too far.)
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees my H&S order finally came today!! My very first experience ordering from them, and overall? Would do again! The processing time might have been a week, but when it finally got to the shipping stage, I had tea at my door within two days. Impressive, I’d say.
I splurged on quite a few tins—I’m justifying it with, “Well! September is my birth month and and and this is the year of An Official Quarter Life Crisis! I DESERVE TEA AND HERMITHOOD, I JUST DO!”—and this is the first tea I broke into. Oh my goodness, the smell is amazing. So toasty! So coffee-ish while still being TEA! (Note: I’m usually on the fence about coffee-imitating teas. DT’s Coffee Pu’erh / Jumpy Monkey were . . . okay, but there was no incentive to re-buy.) Taste-wise, this is delicious: a nice, full mouth-feel, super roasted wood-y/bark-y, and so naturally sweet.
I’m going to be tearing through this tin like no tomorrow. Good thing this has a lower caffeine content than other greens . . .
Thank you Cameron B. for sending me a pretty generous sample of this one! Another Genmaicha crossed off in the quest to try them all, and I have enough left to send some to VariaTEA – it appears she hasn’t had this one before (or at least hasn’t reviewed it, if she has)!
I thought this was a little more green than toasty – and the first few sips had a faint bitter edge to them, but on the whole this was definitely enjoyable and a nice way to kick start the day (it may be afternoon technically, but I just woke up about an hour ago).
Does anyone here watch Big Brother AUS? I’m guessing not. Their season just started though, and I think I’m going to watch it. I’ve never seen an Australian season of the show, though I’ve watched every American and Canadian season, and a couple UK ones. It looks like it’ll be interesting though.
Also, last night/this morning at about 3AM the perfect URL for my teablog on Tumblr just magically popped into my mind. I haven’t updated in ages, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a URL I really, really love. So goodbye “Looseleafy”; my new URL is “Kissmyassam” which is just so much better and indicative of my personality.
I thought this tea might be super tart because of the cranberries, but as it happens, I don’t think I would guess there were cranberries in this if I hadn’t read about it. The tea is extremely fruity in a general berry kind of way. It reminds me of Paris, but it’s like the balance of flavors has shifted. Paris tastes like an equal blend of berry, vanilla, and chocolate. It’s smooth and mellow, and like the dancers in a chorus line, no one element particularly stands out. In Boston, the berries are dialed way up – it’s sweeter and there is a touch of tang, and the vanilla, almond, and chocolate have been given a minor role. (I can’t find anything that says there should be chocolate notes in this, but I am tasting them nonetheless). They’re both delicious, and while I wouldn’t expect to need two such similar teas, I do. I must have both. As soon as I finish up this sample I’ll be putting in an order.
When I ordered this, I had expected more of a familiar Earl Grey aspect to it because of the bergamot. In the end, that is not what I pick up on. I mostly get the black tea, a little fruit, a little vanilla, and something sweet or caramelly (yeah…that’s not actually a word, is it?). Nice, but I’m pretty sure I oversteeped a bit. My second steep tasted totally different and was void of the vanilla and caramel flavors. Hmmm. I’ll have to give it another go and rate again later.
The first thing I tasted was a caramel/honey sort of thing going on. Otherwise, this shares similar flavors with Paris, which I tried first (even though I’m pretty sure I’m writing these tasting notes out of order). This was nicely sweet without adding anything to it. I’ll try this cold next!
Flavors: Fruity, Honey
This has a really heavy base type taste to it! It is heavy like coffee, but the spices lighten it up a bit. It has an earthiness to it for a split second before the cardamon takes over. I made the mistake of adding a little sweetened creamer and it totally changed the taste. Hrm. Not really sure what to make of this tea.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this sample, mostly because I have such mixed feelings about chocolate tea, but this is delicious! It’s like a rich, buttery tea with a touch of macaroon. I don’t know if the pink flower petals are contributing anything to the flavor, but the they do dress up the leaves
This is a fairly tasty, slightly bittersweet tea. There is a slight bitterness that might disappear with lower temp water but it is not overpowering. The vanilla in this tea gives it what I would describe as a savory character and a slight sweetness. I picked this one today because it is decaf, for little other reason.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 200 degree water, 3 tsp leaf for 3 min. It is pretty good as decaf goes, they never seem to taste as good as caffeinated tea, I guess that’s because they use lower quality leaves.