Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is another sample from Veronica – I really hope I didn’t mix up the tea samples… Anyway, this is another sweet smelling tea – not artificially sweet, but something like raisins and vanilla. I probably steeped this one too long too, but it smells lovely.
It isn’t very bitter, now that I’ve taken a sip of it. There’s a hint of vanilla and fruitiness that I can’t quite distinguish as any particular fruit. I don’t have enough experience with fruit tea yet. Either way, it’s pleasant. There’s also an astringent note, though not in your face. I don’t know if I would buy it, but it is good.
Flavors: Floral, Vanilla
This is my last sample from the Overboard TTB. I found it underwhelming. I could taste a decent tropical fruit flavor, but it did taste somewhat artificial to me. I also didn’t like the flavor of the blended black and green tea. I’m not sure exactly what it was I didn’t like about it, but I wasn’t really a fan.
I’m using my new mug my aunt sent me from Teavana for Christmas. (Okura Ume Blossom Infuser Tea Mug – their website picture does not do this mug justice AT ALL) I love this infuser mug – ceramic steeper is surprisingly fun, it’s so easy to clean when I’m used to metal meshes, and the design is just upping the experience for me. I’m eating two of my mother’s chocolate chip cookies she baked today for the occasion.
I have had this sample of Golden Monkey for awhile. A few years back I tried Adagio teas Golden Monkey and remember enjoying it quite a bit.
This tea really does have a comforting, golden glow about it. It just puts me in a good mood to drink it. I add a small smidge of sugar but it already has a nice sweetness that radiates from it. Very smooth and delicious to gulp up. It’s just as yummy while it cools down!
Got a sample of this and ended up using it for iced tea. We drink a lot of iced tea with our meals, even in the colder months, and I needed a new flavor to try. This is really nice iced, although the fruity, berry flavor is not as pronounced as it is in the Boston Blend. I may get it again, if only to try it hot – I used up the entire sample just making one quart of iced tea.
It’s tough to find a decent vanilla tea, at least for me. Most of them have a flat sweetness to them, no complexity or richness, kind of like a marshmallow (blech). What I usually do with these teas is blend them with other flavored teas. I find that they round out the other flavors and this way I can still get use out of them.
I wouldn’t do that with this one, though. It’s actually pretty good! The vanilla is a little too subtle, but there’s this hint of smokiness to it which is interesting. Kind of sophisticated. It doesn’t beat my favorite vanilla (Mariage Freres Vanile des Isles), but so far it’s a solid second. Had it with milk, as I tend to do. Can’t wait to try Vanilla Comoro.
Flavors: Smoke, Vanilla
My mom gave me a sample of this tea from her BF order. I’ve been curious about it for awhile, but I’m not the biggest H&S fan, so I haven’t yet tried it. The aroma and flavor are nice and cozy. It’s a good winter tea. I taste vanilla, mint, and a pastry element, which could be the almond. There’s not supposed to be mint, so that might just be me misinterpreting the cardamom. It’s not super strong though. There’s also an herbal element to it that I’m not fond of, but overall, it’s a nice afternoon or evening tea.
Overboard Traveling tea box
I love me some green oolong, so I was quite excited to try this one. The leaves get so big that they take up the entire space of the poor sachet! I kind of want to “set them free” and let them expand to their likely enormous capacity. I tried to eat some cheese as a “palate cleanser”, but I don’t think it worked since now I can only taste cheese and creamy oolong… mmmm. Buttery green oolong might be one of my favorite things ever. I can taste a little bit of pomegranate even with the cheese (and unsweetened, win!), so I think I’ll be keeping these babies.
Overboard Traveling tea box
Can I claim it as a sipdown since it was the last sachet in the box? No? Maybe?
Anyway, I steeped this per the instructions and unsweetened I’m getting a bland black/green tea combo and maybe something trying to come through as fruit, but it’s barely detectable. Also, it’s a little sour. This is a shame since the sachet smelled so good and I had high hopes.
Sweetened, it’s a bit better. I’m getting some tropical fruit flavors… maybe pineapple and guava or maybe mango, but it’s not bursting and since it hardly came through without sweetener, I’m not considering this one all that successful. There are far better tropical greens out there; ones that don’t need sweetener to taste the fruit flavors and then if you do, pow! This one just isn’t quite there.
Overboard Traveling tea box
I think this is one of the very few times I haven’t had to sweeten my black tea. I can still taste fruit even with it unsweetened. I’m getting mostly berry (I think raspberry and maybe a bit of a stone fruit – apricot?). The black tea isn’t bitter, even with the 4 minute steep and it’s quite light in color. I used exactly 1 tsp in my mug (which is about 12oz – though I didn’t fill it all the way). Pleasantly unexpected.
I did a 2nd steep, with the same parameters as above, but I added sweetener. You can definitely taste the fruit more and it almost takes on a jammy effect. I am really enjoying this prepared both ways. I’m not sure I’d keep it around, since I don’t tend to drink a lot of black tea (it can aggravate my GERD and I have to be careful with my caffeine intake), but this doesn’t seem bitter or sour or too dry. I would consider it for a future order in a small quantity perhaps. Off the rest of the sample goes though. If you “don’t like black tea” try this.
Glad I had the opportunity to try it!
My blackcyberconsumerweekend purchase finally came in! I chose five teas to get sample sizes of. There were about five more that I was interested in, but they were out of sample sizes during the sale and they now have them back in. :/ Shipping took a while, but oh well.
This one was intriguing because of the sesame seeds. I get a very green flavor in the start of the sip and it is only after the sip that the caramel and sesame flavors come out. It has a little grassy bite at the end of the aftertaste. This tea has a little sweetness of it’s own, but I wanted to try it with some sugar added anyways. I think the addition of sugar makes it less green in the beginning of the sip, a little more buttery and makes the caramel and sesame come out a little sooner. I don’t know that sugar really makes this tea better, just a little different than before. It leaves my mouth feeling dry.
It’s a really interesting tea for a slightly flavored green. At this point I think I could go either way with it. It is possible that by the end of this sample I’ll fall in love with it or loose any interest at all.
Seems that my note got eaten by the site, so I’ll try again. Really nice iced. Peachy, fruity, not as complex as Peaches & Ginger. I enjoyed it a lot, but only purchased a sample to try. I can definitely see buying more to make peach iced tea in the warmer months.
I have returned from sunny warm climes of Santa Barbara!
Holy carp it’s cold. Brrrr. I’m seriously regretting getting on that plane yesterday. I could have pitched a tent on the beach, right, after my friend got tired of me and kicked me out of his house?
On the brightside, my Black Friday order from Harney & Sons was waiting for me, and I tore into it today. I contemplated my choices and grabbed the SoHo blend for a nice, warm, filling cup of tea on a winter’s day in the DC area. (Granted, it’s relatively warm for a winter’s day, but it’s cold enough I still couldn’t feel my fingers.)
Lovely. Pure bliss. It’s chocolately, nutty, and delicious. A perfect winter’s cup of tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts
This is a light oolong, so it basically tastes like green tea, which I’ve mentioned is not really my thing. I also think I’ve had a light oolong that I liked better. I didn’t really taste any pomegranate, but it smelled rather floral. Nothing especially remarkable here for me.
This is a really tasty blend. It’s quite smooth and fruity and naturally a bit sweet. It tastes like plums, and vanilla, and something else I can’t quite identify, maybe stewed prunes. It’s yummy and seems to suit the time of year.
Scrolling through the tasting notes and laughing because practically everyone who reviewed this tea seems to have gotten it as a free sample (so did I). I guess H&S is trying hard to build up some enthusiasm for it.
I don’t like rooibos or chai, so it’s no surprise that I’m not into this — but what did surprise me is that the tea is so bland. The rooibos flavor is stronger than the spices. Weird.
When I first opened the tin for this tea, my initial thought was that it smelled just like Danish butter cookies. The resemblance is striking. Aside from the scent, I also noticed that each sachet was filled with tea leaves rather than the tiny, powdery bits I normally see in bagged tea.
This brewed up really dark and began smelling more like tea than cookies. I can still smell the vanilla but not in a big way. I’m not really tasting it either. I let the tea cool on my desk, and it has an even better flavor now. It’s even more pronounced than when warm so I think this may be a good one to drink chilled.
Overall, this tea didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It isn’t bad, but there seems to be something missing.
Flavors: Cookie, Vanilla