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Harney & Sons

Recent Tasting Notes

90

I was looking to make a quick cup of tea this afternoon, so I grabbed my tin that’s chocked full of random tea bags and quickly decided upon this one.

Since this is called Earl Grey Supreme I was expecting to get hit in the face with a lot of bergamot. I wouldn’t consider this a bad thing. I like bergamot and the citrus in pretty much any Earl Grey. I was pleasantly surprised however when it wasn’t an extra dose of flavoring that made this tea supreme but rather very nice ingredients that were expertly balanced. The base tea was smooth and more robust than I expected. All of the citrus flavors were evenly balanced and melded together beautifully. It was such a good cup.

If this is what Harney and Sons can do with the bagged version of this tea then I can’t wait to get my hands on the loose leaf version. My next H&S order is going to be huge!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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71
drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
596 tasting notes

Oh Steepster, I’ve been kind of neglectful these last couple weeks. I hope you can forgive me. You know I can’t quit you, baby.

This was the last of my sample of this, but it’s a very nice cup. It’s slightly sweet, and a but nutty and very vegetal. I never did pick up the caramel notes, but it’s still a comforting and satisfying cup.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I drank this earlier and enjoyed it very much. I didn’t take notes while I drank it though so I’ll have to do that next time. Thanks boychik!

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92

I had time for a leisurely breakfast with my friend before I had to go to work, and she had to head off on other adventures. So it was time for two pots of tea, favorites of mine, new to her.
Started off with a classic, with the fruit and honey goodness of Tower of London. (It does seem to be all I’m drinking lately, too, which is funny). She liked how obvious the honey note was. Yay for tea friends!

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40
drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
7 tasting notes

I don’t really know what to think of this tea. I am a big fan of Harney & Sons and until now have not found a tea I didn’t like from them. I guess there always has to be one.

The smell of this absolutely socked me in the face the first time I opened it and I was not a fan of the smell. I didn’t even try it for a good month after we got it (my fiancé is the one who actually picked this one out). I finally got around to trying it this morning and I was pleasantly surprised by the scent once it steeped. It was much more pleasant and smelled like something I actually wanted to drink.

I grappled with how to even describe what it tasted like to me. The initial flavor I got was decidedly black tea and then it sort of moved on to what (and I really hesitate to call it this, but) tasted chemically. The finish was pure apricot to me and was a nice flavor to be left with, but in the end I actually poured out the last third of this cup.

I will let the fiancé finish this one, or pass it on to someone who will appreciate it more than me, as it does seem to get pretty high reviews from most people. Just not a tea for me.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Sungma Autumnal by Harney & Sons
195 tasting notes

Thanks goes out to boychik for sharing a large sample with me!

I had a bit of insomnia last night. The brain gets churning and all the relaxation techniques in the world sometimes just don’t do the trick. So, I did what I am not suppose to do when I can’t sleep, drank caffeine and watched the boob tube. I know, I should stick with caffine free warm drinks and I should do house chores instead, but oh well.

Boychik sent along so many Darjeeling to try. This is the first of many. This was very nice. It was medium bodied. The first part of the sip was sweet followed by a hint of fruit, and then a musky finish. This is only my second or third Darjeeling and I am not sure how to describe them yet. As I work my way through these Darjeeling I am interested to fully understand what taste profile defines a Darjeeling and what sets them apart. For now this was an enjoyable cup!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89
drank Indian Nimbu by Harney & Sons
195 tasting notes

I received a sample of this from boychik! Thank-you!

This is a wonderful cup! Before reading the description of the tea, I had a slightly sweet, lemony cup, which matches the description pretty well. This makes me very warm and happy inside as I settle down to do a little bit of reading. This will definately stay on the wish list and be added to my next H&S order!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

Glad you liked it:)

MissB

I’m also loving this one. It’s just sooooo yummy!

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85
drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
11 tasting notes

This has been my work tea for a while- it satisfies my need for something sweet in the afternoon and wakes me up! My body’s circadian rhythm insists that around 3:30pm is nap time, but this tea helps me to not sleep at my desk and get kicked out of my lab. The main flavor you get is peppermint, peppermint, peppermint. I normally dislike peppermint teas because they’re a little too intense. However, the chocolate tones really mellow this peppermint nicely. The peppermint to chocolate flavor ratio is more York peppermint patty than thin mint. All in all, a very pleasant tea that I have bought again and again!

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100

In a travel mug at work with me. At first it was too hot for me to really notice anything aside from my singed tongue. Then as it cooled, I got more smoke than I’ve ever gotten. Then it cooled even more and accompanied me while I ate my tuna sandwich lunch. But ultimately, I’m thinking she is best enjoyed in an ordinary mug. Also, as a few of us have mentionned before, I think she doesn’t age particularly well, because I’m noticing a difference in the complexity of the tea as I near the bottom of the tin. It’s ok though. Nothing really diminishes her perfection ultimately. Long live the queen!

Marzipan

We all wish we aged better.

ifjuly

haha, Marzipan.

Kat_Maria

Oh no, I should not hoard it like I do, then!

keychange

‘aint that the truth, marzipan! and sadly, this might mean I can’t horde as fervently as I do, either.

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75

Free sample with my not so current purchase.
This cup is smooth and a little bland. I would not buy it but wouldn’t turn down if offered.

Preparation
8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

I like their regular English Breakfast better, and their Keemun Mao Feng even more!

boychik

Is it possible it’s bland because its in a sachet? Kusmi for instance taste different in loose and muslin bag form. I should try Keemun Mao Feng. On wish list it goes

ifjuly

i felt the same way about this one, not terrible but nothing to write home about. they def. have better breakfast blends.

boychik

Cold it’s not that bad at all. Very smooth and chocolaty and zero astringent. Could be a perfect candidate for iced tea.

ashmanra

I don’t know if it is because it isn’t loose leaf but perhaps so. I remember I found it bland and unremarkable, but not undrinkable.

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82

Aroma: Spicy cinnamon
Liquor Color: Brown
Liquor Flavor: Cinnamon with a light sweet aftertaste, smooth base that doesn’t compete with the cinnamon flavor
Notes: I thought the cinnamon would overpower the black tea base but it didn’t. They were both represented very well. The sweet cloves added a nice hint of sweetness which I didn’t expect.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

A friend of mine, who I met when I lived in England, is coming over to visit tonight! I am very excited, but I do need to do some cleaning. And writing, and excercising.
Time for a no holds barred tea.
Tower of London is clearly one of my very favorite teas. The honey and fruit notes is like the perfect flavors, like a fruit tart pastry. Yum. And its a 365 tea, perfect for all times of the year.

TheTeaFairy

Have some good quality time (and tea) with your friend tonight :-)

Terri HarpLady

Yay for hooking up with old friends! :) Have fun!

keychange

Have lots of tea and fun with your friend!

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I didn’t log anything I drank yesterday (or over the weekend, for that matter, but I always fall behind on the weekend…), feeling off-ish and not as attentive to what was in my tea cup as I’d like. So, it’s nice to ‘think’ more about that today….it’s calming and meditative. :)

It was sunny and 80°F for most of yesterday, and now it’s 37°F and rainy, so I figured a cup of The Queen would do me some good.
I love this tea. I love opening the tin, with the soft smoky aroma and bright edges of the blend.
Your Majesty, I am honoured to be in your presence, Ma’am.
You know what I love so much about The Queen? She’s sophisticated, but so comfortable…..so welcoming. She’s equally right at home in my finest tea cup, or doubled in my biggest mug (with my feet up, cuddled under a blanket, with Netflix all queued up and ready to go….). She’s layered without being overly complicated.
Yeah, she needs a permanent place in my tea drawer. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
keychange

I will follow you now and we will worship the queen forever more!!

Marzipan

Looks like one I need to find!

DeliriumsFrogs

I’m all for shared Queen worship! lol

Marzipan

Soooo what else should I order from Harney?

ifjuly

I totally agree about how she’s fancy/complex, yet comfortable. Yes! That is exactly why she’s so wonderful, and unique. I can haul her in a to-go tumbler for Saturday errands just to get me awake, or I can sit alone at the breakfast nook and enjoy the balance of smoke with brightness with sweetness.

I hope you’re feeling better. teahug.

DeliriumsFrogs

Exactly, ifjuly! And teahug right back at ya’. :)

Marzipan, I’m by no means a Harney expert, only having bought a tiny bit of what they offer. But, I love Florence, and Paris is delightful. If you didn’t hate coconut (and, I totally understand how that flavour could be one of those bad memory type flavours….I loved how you said if you taste it, all that you think of is suntan lotion. lol!), I’d tell you SoHo is a great flavoured tea…but it’s coconut, so stay away!. I ordered the Rose Scented on a whim, and ifjuly told me afterwards that it’s a ‘thing’ to mix Queen Catherine with Rose Scented (it’s really good!). Harney is great…. :)

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78
drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
4026 tasting notes

soooooo i keep drinking this and forgetting to log it. Mostly because it’s “ok” but nothing out of this world. I think i’ve given up on finding the perfect black base chocolate mint since i have stacy’s herbal – peppermint patty. it seems to be all i need in a mint chocolate tea. That being said, this one from Harney is one of the better crafted minto chocolate blacks, so i’d be likely to land on this one if i had to pick one from the bunches i’ve tried. the chocolate and peppermint balance out well, the base is present but not astringent and it’s nicely done on the whole.

ifjuly

i feel the same way about peppermint patty! but as choc-mint teas go, i do like this one sometimes. it tastes like a thin mint to me. and it’s good as a latte, yum.

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drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
606 tasting notes

Rained all day and cold—frost advisory tonight despite the 80F sunglasses n’ crawfish weekend—had this as a remedy when R got home for afternoon tea with Orange Chocolate Chippers (here: http://atlantishome.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/07/orange-chocolate-chippers.html the fresh crumb is what makes them; it’s a little like a drop biscuit or scone at first, pale and piled somewhat high in jumbles, not like a flat chip cookie, plus the orange oil works well with a nice not-too-sweet chocolate without being tart or fruit juice kid-like…the only thing I’d change in the future is maybe cutting back on the number of chocolate chips—seems extravagant to me though husband thinks not, ha). Not a heady vanilla tea at all, just mellow, lets your baked goods shine as it stands back gracefully in the wings. Not exciting and I doubt I’d want it solo very often, but good when you kind of want something black, mild, sweet, and blandly comforting to go with early dessert. Doesn’t have that alcohol burn some vanilla teas do, which is a bonus.

DeliriumsFrogs

Those cookies look like they’d be perfect with that tea! (and your mention of ‘no alcohol burn’ is great, since I really hate that in vanilla teas…). Lovely.

Stephanie

We’ve got a frost advisory too…so glad I didn’t plant my seedlings! hides them in the house

ifjuly

DF, vanilla burn is THE WORST! yuck. in anything…

phew, Stephanie! sadly my neighbors spent Saturday and Sunday doing the whole front of the house. ahh.

boychik

This looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I’m off to baking;)

ifjuly

i hope you like them, boychik! they are not very sweet, as a heads up. and they make a zillion, at least i thought so (though with a full family maybe that’s not a problem for you :)—next time since it’s just the two of us i’m going to split the recipe. it made 2 and a half trays, 50 small cookies for me.

TheTeaFairy

OMG! You made me look at the forecast and here too…cold with snow possibly, WTF?!??

boychik

We are Cookie Monsters! I have to hide sweets fr hubby and kids;)
We made them. Soo delicious. Everybody liked them. I put some away for tomorrow ;)
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe;)

ifjuly

TheTeaFairy, i am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :/

boychik, i love to hear you guys liked them! yay cookie party!

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
52 tasting notes

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89

Sipdown on the Queen. I enjoyed this one, but I really don’t know that it ages well. It has definitely lost some of its oomph and complexity that I loved so much at first. I still enjoyed my last pot this morning with nice malty notes, but there are other straight black teas that hold up better over time. If I had the opportunity to get this on sale or something, I’d give it another go, but otherwise goodbye for now Queen Catherine!

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
keychange

I agree. This tes is best consumed quickly.

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73

TTB&C #17

I have seen this pop up quite a bit lately. Not sure why, so I had added it to my wish list not that long ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. It is nice. It is sweet, cocoa, grainy flavor. I also want to use the word popcorn. It is kinda like drinking popcorn. I like it but I am not sure if it would be something I would crave.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

MMMMMMM, this is my favourite H&S tea I’ve had. I find most of them have the same base and there is something about them I don’t like, but this one is different. And the black currant flavour is really natural and the perfect strength.

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93
drank Rose Scented by Harney & Sons
671 tasting notes

Morning cuppa. I’ve got writing, excercise, and cleaning to do today, so I need my fuel.
This is an excelent spring tea, soft and fresh and rosy, but not at all perfum-y. Very good.
Well, I’ve got seven hundred words yet to write, and then I need to work out, before I clean.
Off I go, then.

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94

I like this tea. It has a nice flavor.

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65
drank Bamboo by Harney & Sons
709 tasting notes

I quite like bamboo teas. Of the teas I have tried so far, the bamboo leaves seems to be quite large. By that I mean, there were quite large cut up/chunked up pieces of light green leaf. This tea, however, looks quite different. It is very skinny, long, slender dark green leaf, look very similar to flattened out pine needles. There are quite a few bunches of leaves that are still attached to a stem.

This tea definitely has a bamboo taste. But there is also something else there. Something very deeply vegetal, deeply woody. I know this is strange but the first thing that came to my mind was beef boullion, but without the saltiness, I am also thinking popcorn – its a bit weird. There is a thick, buttery quality to the tea that is similar to other bamboo teas I have tried.

This one is ok. I am not sure if there are different types of bamboo, but I am assuming there are different parts of the plant. But This one is ok, not my favorite bamboo tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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99
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
709 tasting notes

So with my last Harney order, I ordered their K-cup style Paris and Earl Grey Supreme to take to my parents house. My parents don’t have a decent way to make tea at their house, but they do have a Keurig. I used to carry a large box of tea making supplies and teas with me, but had finally just settled into drinking Keurig style Twinnings Earl Grey, or coffee.

So I thought I would give these a try. The Paris k-cups are fairly decent. Of course, not as good as a loose leaf brewed with appropriate parameters, but it will do, and it is better than what I was drinking before. The Earl Grey Supreme was also pretty good. They both had that tinge of coffee flavour as that is what the Keurig is mostly used for.

I think Harney did a good job creating these k-cups as the flavours are pretty decent and very similar to the loose leaf versions, but I think after these boxes are done, I will just stick with the cheapy cheapy teas, as it is not worth the price, in my opinion.

I also asked my parents to hide this tea so that no one else would drink it up before I visited again. Hehe.

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