Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
Let’s just call this review a “my bad.”
I had my daughter make this yesterday by SOP. Three teaspoons leaf, boiling water, 4 1/2 minutes, 22 ounce pot. I knew better, because this tea tastes just plain weird to me when made that way. It is Fujian, but doesn’t taste it. It gets a strange taste like…grapefruit that isn’t very good and you hope you don’t have to eat them for breakfast every day.
I enjoyed it when I made it gong fu style. I should have read my tasting notes first!
I have very little left and it is old, so now I am trying to decide whether to throw it away or go ahead and use it for gong fu serving. Why when there are about 200 other teas that I enjoy more? I suppose I can pass it in to someone else and see if they like it, but I hate to do that with teas I don’t enjoy…
In addition to catsitting, my brother is in town. I hardly ever get to see him, as he lives on the other coast, and so I’ve been spending time not drinking tea, or working on my Camp Nanowrimo novel. But I banked some words earlier, so I’m on target still, at least in the writing.
I’ve bought some new teas, and I cant wait to see the new ones arrive, or to have time to actually drink them! Sheesh.
But my friend, for whom I am catsitting, will return tonight. Maybe then I can sleep and drink tea!
Another review on a tea that I love. It is truly one of my anytime, anyplace, any reason teas. I’ve never made a bad cup. I added a little French Vanilla Stevia and all my cares have just melted away!
I’m visiting my very grumpy 88 year old mother in FL. Oh joy! It’s hot and sticky. I’m staying in a guest apartment in a “Senior Residence”. There are is no real kitchen and making tea is going to be a pain. Luckily I brought my big ice tea pitcher with the infuser so in 12-24 hours I’ll have some lovely cold brewed tea.
I’m still trying to do my exercise program of walking 3-4.5 miles a day. Ya know what… it’s really hot out side! I’ve ended up walking up and down the halls, over and over, back and forth, up and down stairs. Luckily, I can listen to Doctor Who and Orphan Black podcasts while I walk so the time goes faster.
One of the best parts about this trip is that there are several tea shops in Sarasota that I’ll get to visit! Uh oh, there goes all my money.
Sipdown.(Yay, since I bought more teas and stuff… :) )
This morning I got up, not feeling well at all, made some tea, sliced some GF bread for breakfast, and took it all back to bed… and fell back asleep. I was glutened over the weekend and I feel so incredibly awful. I even slept on the bus/ferry yesterday on my way home, which is something I wouldn’t normally do.
So now I’m drinking this cold, with almond milk in it. I do like the tea, but I don’t know that I’d get it again. It’s not a flavour that I crave often, or feel a strong need for. That being said, I really did enjoy the 2 oz I got. Yum, tea.
Pass the Stash TTB 2.0
I really should have looked up this tea before I tried it, hah! It’s in sachets, so I don’t pay much attention to what the tea inside looked like. I just smelled it and thought it was kind of fruity and sweet and tart. Steeped 5 minutes like I always do for Harney & Sons teas.
Turns out, this is basically liquid hibiscus and rosehips… Of which I am not a huge fan. There’s some berry flavor in there, but it’s hard to differentiate because of how strongly tart this tea is. The addition of the mint is interesting, I can taste it just barely at the end of the sip, and it’s nice and refreshing.
Overall, I would suggest not trying this one unless you like hibiscus and rosehips. Those two combined are definitely the bulk of the flavor here, and even with sugar it’s quite a tart tea. Drinkable, but not something I would ever choose. Luckily, there are several more sachets in here, so I don’t feel too bad for trying it! :P
Flavors: Berries, Hibiscus, Mint, Rosehips, Tart, Vanilla
There was so much hype about this. I bought it in sachet form from iHerb and it didn’t taste like anything! I figured maybe it was a very old tin or it was damaged by light or heat. So I went ahead and bought another tin. I can taste the vanilla, kind of like a plain vanilla cupcake, but it still seemed weak to me.
Perhaps all the rave reviews were for the loose leaf, which I’m now desperate to try but is sadly unavailable in Australia. Will have to wait until I go on exchange in the U.S.
At least the tin is pretty.
For the past few months, I’ve been writing about tea through my Sunday Tea and Books posts, and how the various flavours I encounter bring up memories for me of the books I’ve read. Smoky, sweet, tangy, tart, fruity, malty — each of those sensations has meant something to me.
Today, I’m doing something a bit different. Today, I’m telling you about a flavour and a memory from my own life, rather than something pulled from the pages of a book or e-reader.
Today, I’m going to tell you about linden tea. Forget Proust and his madeleines, though; when I think of it, it takes me back to 1998, when I was 13 – the year my father died.
Of course, I’m not going to go into all of that here. It’s better to read the entire post on my site: http://christinavasilevski.com/2014/07/sunday-tea-memories-linden-tea/
So how does Harney & Sons Florence compare with Adagio—let’s see which one was it? Aquarius, I believe. Funny that i have no difficulty remembering that Florence = hazelnut + chocolate, but that same connection doesn’t work with a name as truly and utterly arbitrary as Aquarius. I realize that one might consider Florence to be arbitrary as well—though I have been there and find it closer to the warm and cuddly choco-hazelnut veering Nutella feeling than, say Rome—but Aquarius contains the root AQUA, that is: water. What could water have to do with such a tea to begin with that it does not have to do with every other tea as well?
Enough about names. I find that Florence is sweeter than Aquarius. It’s more of a milk chocolate than a cocoa nib taste to me—and that’s not only because I added cream. I added cream to Aquarius as well! I give extra points for the visuals of Aquarius, which includes beautiful cornflower petals (is the blue color supposed to be the water reference, perhaps?). But they add nothing to the taste, as far as I can tell, so on the flavor front, Florence wins this semi-steep-off chez sherapop.
It’s not a full-fledged, bona fide steep-off because I did not prepare the teas at the same moment and drink them side-by-side. I did, however, use similar steeping parameters. If anything, Florence should suffer, having come later in the day than Aquarius. I could by now be tea-sated, after all. (Did I just hear you snicker?) On the other hand, perhaps my evaluation has been be elevated by my BCC (blood caffeine content)? It’s possible, but I gave this tea a higher rating before as well, and I feel that it was fair.
Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut
This sample is from Nicole. It was one of the teas that she doesn’t like or doesn’t reach for enough, so I asked her to send me some. I haven’t been a huge fan of chocolate teas in the past, but this one seems to have a good reputation around here and I do love nutty teas. Dry, it smells quite lovely – sweet and very hazelnutty. I steeped it for 5 minutes because I’ve had bad experiences with Harney & Sons flavored teas if I try to steep them for less time.
Overall, I found this to be a perfectly nice tea. The chocolate is definitely the dark variety, more like cocoa powder than actual chocolate. It’s very nutty, which I love. I’m not sure my palate is quite good enough to pinpoint the exact types of nuts, but hazelnut sounds close enough. The nuts give it a nice creamy flavor.
I expected this tea to be like liquid Nutella, but the chocolate flavor is definitely more of a bitter cocoa than a milk chocolate. I added sugar to mine and it was quite tasty, especially with the creaminess. I tried adding some half-and-half at the end to see if I could bring out a milkier chocolate, but it totally ruined it. Stupid half-and-half, why do you always do that? :P
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Hazelnut, Roasted nuts
I am operating on very little sleep today, but I have much to do. I have repairs to do on my car, and I must take someone out to the airport this morning.
So its time to pull out the big guns. I am going to drink this tea, one of my favorites, and not even think about the lesser teas.
And I’m not even making sense! Babbling! But what can you do?
The last time I had this it was in the little Harney’s sampler pouch. I ordered a 4 oz tin a while ago. I finally got around to opening it up. There are moderately large pieces of candied ginger in the tin which there wasn’t any in the sample pouch :)
Really this is just a ditto of my last review on this one. The ginger is nice, it is definitely candied flavour, but there is also a spice to it. The peach is gentle underneath the ginger and black tea base. Today I am finding the black base to be a bit strong, but that may have been how I brewed it.
This is now one of my favorite ginger peach teas, that is a black tea and not a herbal.
Meh, returning to this tea after trying many Yunnans over the past couple (few?) weeks and finding it sub-par. I have clearly been ruined by all of those lovely tippy, golden Yunnan teas I’ve ordered and received (all Nicole’s fault). This just can’t compare. It’s very harsh and somewhat bitter compared to what I’m now used to. I’m not really getting honey, just strong malt and “tea” taste. I tried this one yesterday with the 1/2/4 steep method and while it was improved, it was nowhere near my new favorites…
Oh no… I’m a snob!
This is one of my absolute favorite teas. I love hojichas in general, but adore hoji-kukichas even more. You can oversteep for what seems like days and never encounter any bitterness. Just a beautifully roast-y, caramel-y, toasted brew. Because of the low caffeine I often choose this one at bedtime or later in the night when I can’t sleep and I’ve never had trouble falling asleep afterwards. This is one of my always-on-hand teas that I just can’t imagine being without.