Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #29
I noticed this looked partially CTC, and I knew Harney’s teas are usually brisk regardless, so I went with a short steep! East Frisian should be brewed with rock sugar in the bottom of the mug and cream at the top without mixing. Though DrJim kindly supplied a couple sugar crystals with this one, I had a honey stick that Maria recently sent with teas I bought so I thought I’d use that instead. The honey is in the shape of a spoon! So cute. A little difficult to get the plastic off without melting the honey in my hands! I tried a little of the tea without sweetening first, and it WAS very brisk and astringent so the honey could only improve it and it did. It seems like the honey may have had another flavor in it too, but I couldn’t tell what it was. The tea itself is a lovely bready malty cup. The second steep was much tamer even without the honey, and even sweetened itself up a bit.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Thanks to Cameron B for the sample!
This is my first H&S tea, and I’m a little sad because I don’t love it. I use one sachet in 208 degree water for 4 minutes. The instructions said boiling for 5, but I always get a little nervous about long steeps at high temps, so I bumped it down a bit.
This one has some pleasant flavors, but it’s rather bitter on the finish. So the sip starts nicely, but then I go BLARGH! at the end.
I have one more sachet, so maybe I will try a low temp, short steep, for the heck of it!
Edit: So, I lied. I did this for 5.5 min at 200 degrees using Cam’s suggestion and it IS less bitter. Mind=blown. How does that happen? I still wouldn’t call it a fave, but it’s definitely better, so I am bumping up the score a bit. TEA TWILIGHT ZONE!!!!!
This is usually my “first tea of the workday”. It was recommended to me years ago at Harney, because I was obsessed with Paris at the time. Similar in flavor, this one is now my idea of a great cup of tea to get me going in the morning.
Sample cube 4/18
Brewed cold for work on a very hot day. Tastes like a very smooth green tea with mint in it. Not being a big proponent of mint in tea, I don’t have much to add about it, but it is nicely refreshing and will be enjoyed by those who like mint. I can’t imagine what this would be like hot, though…
A bit seductive that this is the tea served at such an upscale NY hotel, and it was recommended at the Harney store, but it’s my least favorite of their teas that I’ve tried. To me, it lacks interesting flavor, kind of, as Marlena mentioned, bland. I like the concept of blending different types of teas together, but it just fell flat in the cup.
I ordered a couple samples of this with my last order. I was hoping it would be a less pricy alternative to the Golden Monkey.
I love love love Golden Monkey.
This tea is not Golden Monkey.
I can see where it has that bold Assam aspect to it, but the only real notes I can pick up are a slight smoky note, subtle spiciness, and vague raisins. No maltiness, no cocoa for me.
Nothing like the flavour explosion of GM.
I had this straight up, but I think it begs to be tried with milk or cream.
That’s how I like my Assam. To my tongue, this is more of an Assam than a honey golden tippy type of tea.
I have more than enough to try again! But when it comes down to my next H&S order, it’s the monkey all the way.
Wow, this tea is so creamy and delicious. Not at all sour or bitter like I imagined it might be, based on the cranberry aspect.
I’ve had Boston Blend on my wishlist for awhile, I’ve seen raving reviews for it pop up every now and again in my feed.
I am not disappointed! The very second I cracked open the tin to sniff the leaves I knew I would enjoy it. I was right.
It’s creamy and fruity and the almond adds a nice sweetness to balance off the cranberries.
It’s a flavoured blend done very well.
I bought this because everyone on Steepster seemed to rave about it. And I’m a follower.
Well I’m not, but I don’t have enough money kicking around to buy too many teas blindly. I would rather let others try them out so I can read first hand accounts and decide based on those whether or not it would be worth it to me, something I’d care for.
I only really buy tea these days if I think I will love it.
And aside from Lupicia, I’m not into heavily flavoured teas much anymore. I’m really digging the straight black ones or the flavoured ones that are done in a very natural way. (Butiki, Whispering Pines).
So, I was wanting a bold tea to have with milk or cream for breakfast. This was a popular one, and I’d wanted to order from H&S, so I got a tin of Queen Catherine.
Honestly, I do enjoy it for breakfast. And it IS growing on me with every cup….but I think there is a bit too much of that “hay” note present for my liking.
It’s a bit smokey, also.
I don’t find it entirely unpleasant, but I didn’t love it at first sip like I’d hoped to.
However, it is slowly worming its way into my cold black heart.
I wish it was slightly less hay-like and maltier instead.
I don’t think the smokiness bothers me.
Adding milk or light cream really turns it into something nice, though.
I bet a smidge of sugar would transform it into another tea altogether. Maybe I will try that next time :)
H&S sample cube 3/18
This one smelled like fresh fruity sweetness the moment I opened the package—which made me a little wary, because flavored teas often don’t taste nearly as good as they smell. In fact, I’ve started to think there is an inverse correlation between the two…
Fortunately, this turned out to be much better than expected. I got enough out of the sachet to make one glass of iced tea and a small cup of hot brew. The iced version is very much your standard “tropical iced tea”, but the black tea adds more body to it, so that there isn’t the bitterness or tartness that you often find in a fruity iced green tea. The color of the brew is somewhere between that of a green and black tea as well. The hot brew is much richer, with a strawberries-and-cream effect. When hot it’s more reminiscent of a black tea (think a blended breakfast brew), but tempered out just a little by the presence of the green. Overall I’m pretty impressed!
I blame (and thank) VariaTEA for reminding me that I hadn’t had this one in a while; I made up a timolino full for work with milk and the resulting drink was so delicious! Very silky, smooth cranberry/vanilla tea with sweet almond notes and the most gentle black base. This is a favourite for a reason!
My new teas have arrived! Hurrah!
I picked up a friend from the airport super late last night, and I am ready for a good pot of sensible tea. I chose this, opened it, only spilled a little over my kitchen floor, and brewed up a pot.
Firstly it smells very strongly of citrus. Very, very strongly. And it does not loose it when it brewes up.
This isn’t a sweet citrus tea, theres no sugar or lemonade type taste, which is actually just fine. It tastes rather like Lady Gray tea, which is the version of Earl Grey that I like the best.
You really can taste the separate citrus fruits as well, the bright lemon, the subtler bergamot, and…. orange? Is there a hint of orange in here?
The upshot is that I am enoying this.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Lemon
I found the Harney & Sons sachet sampler cube waiting for me when I got home…but as it was rather late, I decided to try something decaffeinated.
This tea is honestly pretty good. Not having had a decaffeinated black tea before, I can’t really compare, but it doesn’t seem like anything was lost in the process. It tastes just like a crisp, fragrant black tea should. There’s a smooth muscatel sweetness, almost peach-like, and the slightest bit of astringency. What this tea reminds me of most is CBTL’s Pacific Coast Blend, which is also a Ceylon. Which means this one could also be quite good iced.
I’ll be trying the rest of those samples over the next few days/weeks, but it seems too much effort to add them to my cupboard if they’re all single-serving…
Sample cube 1/18
[2/18 will be Paris which I’ve already logged (and just bought a tinful of), so no note this time!]
A few things to mention here. I put off trying this tea for so long, despite knowing it was one of their most popular teas. Although, I had grown up loving everything and anything that had to do with the word “cinnamon” I’ve drifted away from it in recent years. I’ve come to find the artificial cinnamon flavor to be nauseating. However, this tea was available at a work event I attended about a year and a half ago, and I figured I may as well give it a try, since none of the other flavors available tickled my fancy.
WHAT HAD I BEEN MISSING!? It was in tea bag-form and was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted. In the coming months I found myself drinking multiple cups of it a day. I had feared I would reach a point where I would become sick of it, and ruin it for myself for forever, but although I came close, I still have not reached that point.
Many things have changed since that day; I have a new job, that’s a mere 10-minute walk from the Harney & Sons Soho Store, I moved around the corner from David’s Tea on Bleecker Street, so I am constantly surrounded by amazing quality teas (isn’t that the dream??) However, I’ve also been negligent in my activity on Steepster, and for that I apologize. Fear not, I have been enjoying my fair share of fabulous teas, and have plenty of reporting back to do. Starting here, I still save this for my late afternoon tea. I have a cup of it at about 4pm at work, and look forward to this break every day to reflect and get me through the remainder of my day!
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Spices
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.