Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

64
drank Paris Herbal by Harney & Sons
2012 tasting notes

Thanks for another in the sale, Ost! I was hoping for the exact scent of Paris with this one, but it sadly isn’t quite. Regardless, this might not be the freshest example of this tea. I’m not sure how old it is, but it IS stored well in a tin. But that might become the problem with any tea (age, storage). Even an unflavored tea ages in flavor. I guess any tea review on Steepster might be a little unfair unless the tea is the freshest it can possibly be. And I guess I worry about that a lot, especially if my tasting note is one of the only tasting notes for a tea. ANYWAY, this isn’t a bad tea, but it certainly isn’t at the amazing flavor levels of Paris Black. It is great rooibos base though: full in flavor without throat scratchiness, deep in color. And the rooibos pairs well with the slight berry flavor. I almost want to steep up the Paris Black anyway though. This one is making me crave that one more.

drpastry

I had no idea there was a Paris Herbal! Paris Black was one of the sachets that started me on my tea journey. I’ll always have a soft spot.

tea-sipper

Sadly, not as good though. I can sell you some if you want with the Bluebird order. I have a big tin of it!

drpastry

Thank you, but I will behave and keep my little treat from turning into an indulgence!

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Warning, Earl Gray is not usually my thing, but I received a free sample of this so thought I would give it a try.

First off, I got distracted this morning and ended up over steeping this about an extra 3 minutes. It is a little overly strong, but not bitter, which is a plus.

As for flavors, not much I can say. Its bergamot. Not only powerful like in some, but its a flavor I’m pretty sensitive to, and since I don’t like it . . .
I can’t really taste any other flavors or smell any other aromas.

I’m not going to rate this tea as I knew going in that I was unlikely to like it.

Flavors: Bergamot

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77
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
87 tasting notes

This tea has such a beautiful fruity, juicy blackcurrant and floral scent. A black tea blend I actually like. Drinking this with milk it has a great velvety mouthfeel (maybe it’s from the milk but I’m loving it.)

PS: It’s always thrilling when I guess the flavours correctly. Seems like there really is a strong blackcurrant note in this tea according to other Steepsterites. It smells so much like Ribena (wonderful childhood syrup drink) to me.

Flavors: Black Currant

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75

My wife wanted a fruity tea for Christmas, so I purchased a 4 oz. tin of this for her to try. I’m just now having a cup for myself, since she rarely discloses any information about the tea (I think it’s her way of telling me to try it myself. Ha-ha).

It’s good. I like the idea of a blueberry tea, but it’s a rare occasion that I find one that I can drink consistently. This is good, but there’s something about it that doesn’t have me reaching for another cup. My wife loves it. My friends love it. I’m just not too big into fruity teas lately. My pallet is becoming a tea purist—some may call it pretension.

Anyway, I think I could drink this as an iced tea, but as a hot tea, not so much. As I said, it’s good, but I’d prefer sipping on a cup of something different and less fruity.
The flavor of the tea reminds me of a Dragonwell, with an aftertaste of blueberry. However, the blueberry is slightly lingering in the mouth. Smelling the dry leaf, you’d expect there to be more than I’m tasting; it’s more of an afterthought than the leading flavor. Perhaps if I added a tiny bit of sugar, that blueberry would come out stronger.

I’ll try it iced when the days get warmer and review it again then.

Flavors: Artificial, Blueberry, Grapes

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70

As others have noted, there is a leathery flavor to this tea, but it’s not overpowering. It kind of reminds me of Teavivre’s Fengqing Dragon Pearls, though this is not nearly as strong or nuanced as the pearls. It’s like their mild second cousin. Overall an interesting blend and I’m happy to finish off the sample, but I don’t think I need to stock this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97
drank Wedding Tea by Harney & Sons
2 tasting notes

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97
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2 tasting notes

This is one of my favorites. It tastes like cake!

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80
drank Bangkok by Harney & Sons
6 tasting notes

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80
drank Bangkok by Harney & Sons
6 tasting notes

This was my go-to tea when I was in high school over a decade ago, when I used to go to Barnes & Noble and read books and sip tea. The taste of it reminds me of burning my tongue on the inappropriately hot water but overall, this is a solid tea. The coconut flavor with the green tea is a winner with me. Doesn’t need any honey but the sweetness can bring the flavor out a bit. Try as a cold tea as well.

Flavors: Coconut, Tropical

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60

This tea is very light. It kind of taste like vanilla? To me it taste a lot like fig newtons. Not terrible, however I do not see myself repurchasing.

Flavors: Fig, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Last of this sample. I still think it tastes like grape Nerd candy, but the tea actually grew on me the more I drank it. I guess once I got over the surprise of it not tasting like blueberry AT ALL I could appreciate that, you know, grape Nerds are actually pretty tasty.

R.F. Hill

I get that flavor, too. The aroma reminds me of grape candy (or as I was told by a friend, "Grape medicine).

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75

This tastes like those grape Nerd candies! Well, it’s not unpleasant, but I’m glad I got to try a sample of this instead of accidentally buying a whole tin of candy tea.

Flavors: Candy, Grapes

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Friend lent me one and said it was too earthy. I got green, woody, and grassy, but it was actually kinda nice. Surprised this was a decent bag.

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90
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
144 tasting notes

All the good things that have already been said about this tea are true: cassis vanilla deliciousness.

Thank you, Sil. I was just waiting for the right moment, ie. when I had some tastebuds to work with and when I wasn’t flinging myself out the door in a mad dash.

Beautiful tea.

Flavors: Black Currant, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Daylon R Thomas

That’s a black currant vanilla Earl Grey? Damn, that looks good.

Daylon R Thomas

The Bergamot is light, Not quite an Earl Grey, but again, damn.

Daylon R Thomas

The Bergamot is light. Not quite an Earl Grey, but again, damn. I wish comments could be edited. That, and I need to be better at typing.

Sil

glad you enjoyed it :)

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drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

I decided to get a sampler of this because I wanted to try something just different and I needed to add a couple extra bucks to the order.

When I opened the packet, the first thought through my head was, oh, this was a mistake.
While it was brewing I could kind of maybe understand how some people might say that this is kinda similar to coffee. Not a lot, but there might be a wee itty bit of a similarity.

And then it finished brewing. I sit here smelling it, thinking, oh I do not want to taste this. But I will. I paid for it, I will give it a chance.

With my first sip, I am surprised. This tastes a lot better than I expected from the smell of it dry or the smell while it was brewing. The aroma improves as it cools.

I really have no clue as to how to describe this flavor or how to rate it. So I’m not. :)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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60
drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

This feels like its trying to be so much that it ends up being nothing.
I don’t notice the floral elements in either aroma or taste. I could smell the coconut on opening the packet, but the taste is lost in the tea.

Maybe the vanilla and almonds still stand out a little, but its not very much. I’m starting to suspect that I’m not a big fan of vanilla in teas.

Overall not a bad tea. I’m sure others would like it, but its not really my thing.

Flavors: Almond, Vanilla

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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72
drank Mint Verbena by Harney & Sons
106 tasting notes

This tea is amber brown in color and smells quite minty. It taste minty and sweet like a peppermint pattie. If you like mint, you will like this tea

Flavors: Mint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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40
drank Chinese Flower by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

Try number 2.

Aroma from the packet was all lemon drops.

Made sure the water in my kettle was fresh and made sure it never went above 170 and shortened the brewing time to 2.5 minutes.

The skunk was still there while brewing. However, the shorter brewing time may have helped as the skunk seems to have stayed with the leaves instead of being in the cup.

The lemon is more noticeable now. That’s about it though. Nothing floral. Can’t even taste the tea.

Not impressed.

Flavors: Lemon

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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40
drank Chinese Flower by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

I opened the package and the first thing that hit me was lemon. Lemon? Go back to the Harney and Sons web site and it states orange peel. It smells like lemon to me. Actually smells almost exactly like a lemon drop.

As I start to brew, the scent of lemon stays but is accompanied by another that I just cannot identify. Something unpleasant. Something that just seems wrong.

And then I take my first sip and I taste lemon . . . and something kind of unpleasant hiding just behind it. I keep sipping as it cools and the flavor profile stays pretty much the same. And I still can’t identify that component that just seems wrong somehow.

Could it be the floral elements clashing with the lemon? I don’t think so, but the lemon is strong enough maybe it is messing with my ability to tell?

Could it be the green tea? Again, I don’t think so. I’ve had green teas a number of times. Even if I had steeped too hot or too long I can usually identify that. There’s no bitterness. I swear it almost smells like a fart covered up with lemon air freshener.

I’m going to give this a try again tomorrow. I keep thinking I just had to have done something wrong this time.

- Edit -

And on my way home, it hit me, as I assume someone else had hit it. Skunk. Its like a very very faint smell of skunk.

Flavors: Lemon

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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60

This tea has a fruity floral aroma. It tastes fruity and sweet like a piece of juicy fruit gum. It is not really my cup of tea.

Flavors: Fruit Punch

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

This is one of those cases where I suspect the tea is just fine, but not really my thing.
The fruit aroma is very strong and the fruit flavor appears to dominate the tea. It possibly doesn’t help that I am not a huge fan of stone fruits to begin with.

Also, for some very weird reason, the aroma of the tea as I go to take a sip makes me think its going to taste soapy. I have no idea as to why. It doesn’t taste soapy. Maybe I am associating it with one of those scented shower gels or something similar.

This may be an excellent tea for others, but its just not my thing.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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83
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
33 tasting notes

This is a lovely black tea with a lovely dark color and pleasant flavor. I probably wouldn’t have been able to figure out that it was chocolate hazelnut flavor if I hadn’t read the product description, but I’m not very good at identifying and comparing smells/tastes so maybe it’s just me. And it definitely did have a sophisticated nutty aspect to it. After tasting it straight, I put milk and sugar in it because I’m hungry and that’s what I do when I’m hungry for some reason. The milk and sugar really enhanced the flavor, I think, instead of obscuring or muddying it. Anyway, I’m really enjoying it and I might even consider buying some for a repeat experience because the sample I have (BTW, thanks for the sample, JK7ray!) turned out to be enough for just one enormous mug/small-to-medium-sized pot. (Hopefully it’ll re-steep well, too. I feel kind of irresponsible for writing my reviews while I’m drinking the tea rather than after I’ve tried re-steeping, but I’m afraid I’ll forget how the tea tasted if I wait.)

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35

Harney & Sons is one of my favorite companies for black teas. No one puts out as many hits as them in my opinion. From their Earl Grey to their Holiday tea, they alway impress and leave me wanting another cup.

As for their green teas, I’d only ever had Cherry Blossom green by them. A surprisingly delightful tea considering I don’t tend to enjoy fruity teas.

Last night, I went to a Japanese buffet with my husband and one of our friends. They didn’t have pots of teas for the table, only cups. And only one tea: Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha.

At first, I found the tea absolutely delightful. However, when I got to the bottom, things got a little odd. Usually, I leave my tea bags in the entire time because I like it strong. Very few teas are too strong for me to handle the bag being kept in for longer than a few minutes (Yorkshire for example). When I reached the bottom of this tea, I was met with an extremely tart finish that I’d never experienced with a proper green before. When enjoying a cup of tea, you don’t want those last sips to ruin your entire cup. And that’s why this doesn’t get a very high rating from me.

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64
drank Spiced Plum by Harney & Sons
2012 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #38
I was expecting stronger flavors here overall. The hibiscus was masking as plum, which is annoying, but the hibiscus wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be. The cinnamon surprisingly light. Hints of ginger that added extra depth. This is the kind of tea I love to see in a teabox: one that sounds intriguing, but I really just want to try it rather than have it around.

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