Harney & Sons

Recent Tasting Notes

75
drank Magnolia Oolong by Harney & Sons
1082 tasting notes

I was expecting Magnolia Oolong to be similar to Jasmine-scented oolong, that is, a medium-grade, medium-oxidation oolong infused with flower petals. I’m not sure that this Harney & Sons is that, but there is a floral scent off the surface of the liquor.

The dried tea is dark and twisted rather than gnarled and green, so this is pretty clearly a medium to high oxidation oolong. The flavor is slightly smoky. To be honest, I was struggling to find magnolia, which is a scent very familiar (and beloved!) to me from perfume.

I also do not find the flavor to be very light, despite the company’s characterization of this Feng Huang mountain oolong in that way. I like it, but do not recommend it as specifically magnolia-esque. It is a less green, somewhat smoky oolong to me.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 13 OZ / 384 ML
Tamarindel

Good to know! I was wondering about this one.

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98

Yummy, refreshing, delightful! Perfect to have at any time of the day

Flavors: Grass, Green, Melon, Spinach

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Marco Polo TTB

Nice Earl nothing outstanding but something I could see myself impulsively adding to an order to reach free shipping.

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
17 tasting notes

Sooooooooo. Smooooooooth. Like, hot damn, Catherine. Way to be stepping it up like a true Queen. I finished the last of my H&S English Breakfast the other day, and if comparing these two, there’s really no competition. This is sweet and smooth and more of a gentle poke in the morning, rather than a full on slap to the face. A great morning cup. I’m especially loving the slight smokiness at the back of the sip.

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80

It’s been an unusually cold fall here, with the temperature falling close to freezing at night and a bitingly cold wind during the day. Often we’ll have warm weather up until mid-October, but not this year apparently. I guess I should consider myself lucky – Calgary was hit by a blizzard.

I’ve heard of soba-cha from time to time but I’ve never had the chance to try it myself until I got a sample via the Traveling Teabox. The flavour is quite distinctive – very roasted-malty with undertones of raw, slightly bitter cocoa and something that’s a bit like coffee. It’s a warm, pleasant brew that’s perfect for warming me up on a chill evening like this.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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H&S sent me a sample sachet of this; I’m not crazy about darjeeling but neither do I hate it. Unfortunately I screwed up my one shot to try this as immediately it was done steeping, I got distracted by people and dogs and didn’t remember the tea till it was decidedly tepid. At that point it tasted like very standard bagged darjeeling, nothing special. And maybe it IS standard, but I’ve no way to tell now, so I’m just noting the fact that I don’t know. This is a non-note. A note of what wasn’t noted. (Sorry guys, some people always have to take a thing too far.)

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drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
17 tasting notes

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees my H&S order finally came today!! My very first experience ordering from them, and overall? Would do again! The processing time might have been a week, but when it finally got to the shipping stage, I had tea at my door within two days. Impressive, I’d say.

I splurged on quite a few tins—I’m justifying it with, “Well! September is my birth month and and and this is the year of An Official Quarter Life Crisis! I DESERVE TEA AND HERMITHOOD, I JUST DO!”—and this is the first tea I broke into. Oh my goodness, the smell is amazing. So toasty! So coffee-ish while still being TEA! (Note: I’m usually on the fence about coffee-imitating teas. DT’s Coffee Pu’erh / Jumpy Monkey were . . . okay, but there was no incentive to re-buy.) Taste-wise, this is delicious: a nice, full mouth-feel, super roasted wood-y/bark-y, and so naturally sweet.

I’m going to be tearing through this tin like no tomorrow. Good thing this has a lower caffeine content than other greens . . .

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74
drank Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
1945 tasting notes

Sipdown (130)!

Thank you Cameron B. for sending me a pretty generous sample of this one! Another Genmaicha crossed off in the quest to try them all, and I have enough left to send some to VariaTEA – it appears she hasn’t had this one before (or at least hasn’t reviewed it, if she has)!

I thought this was a little more green than toasty – and the first few sips had a faint bitter edge to them, but on the whole this was definitely enjoyable and a nice way to kick start the day (it may be afternoon technically, but I just woke up about an hour ago).

Does anyone here watch Big Brother AUS? I’m guessing not. Their season just started though, and I think I’m going to watch it. I’ve never seen an Australian season of the show, though I’ve watched every American and Canadian season, and a couple UK ones. It looks like it’ll be interesting though.

Also, last night/this morning at about 3AM the perfect URL for my teablog on Tumblr just magically popped into my mind. I haven’t updated in ages, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a URL I really, really love. So goodbye “Looseleafy”; my new URL is “Kissmyassam” which is just so much better and indicative of my personality.

TeaBrat

I like the new name!

Shadowfall

Love the name. I’ll have to follow you, though it’ll be on my main name and not on my tea/food name….or at least I don’t think I can follow you just with my tea blog….I’ll have to check. XD

Tealizzy

LOL! Great name!

OMGsrsly

That is an AWESOME name!

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90
drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
194 tasting notes

I thought this tea might be super tart because of the cranberries, but as it happens, I don’t think I would guess there were cranberries in this if I hadn’t read about it. The tea is extremely fruity in a general berry kind of way. It reminds me of Paris, but it’s like the balance of flavors has shifted. Paris tastes like an equal blend of berry, vanilla, and chocolate. It’s smooth and mellow, and like the dancers in a chorus line, no one element particularly stands out. In Boston, the berries are dialed way up – it’s sweeter and there is a touch of tang, and the vanilla, almond, and chocolate have been given a minor role. (I can’t find anything that says there should be chocolate notes in this, but I am tasting them nonetheless). They’re both delicious, and while I wouldn’t expect to need two such similar teas, I do. I must have both. As soon as I finish up this sample I’ll be putting in an order.

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

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90

Love this so much! What a delicious Earl Grey. Right up my alley. But, forget about the winter part because this will be greatly enjoyed year round.

Flavors: Bergamot

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70
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
34 tasting notes

When I ordered this, I had expected more of a familiar Earl Grey aspect to it because of the bergamot. In the end, that is not what I pick up on. I mostly get the black tea, a little fruit, a little vanilla, and something sweet or caramelly (yeah…that’s not actually a word, is it?). Nice, but I’m pretty sure I oversteeped a bit. My second steep tasted totally different and was void of the vanilla and caramel flavors. Hmmm. I’ll have to give it another go and rate again later.

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80

The first thing I tasted was a caramel/honey sort of thing going on. Otherwise, this shares similar flavors with Paris, which I tried first (even though I’m pretty sure I’m writing these tasting notes out of order). This was nicely sweet without adding anything to it. I’ll try this cold next!

Flavors: Fruity, Honey

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drank Indian Nimbu by Harney & Sons
469 tasting notes

TTB PTS

This has a really heavy base type taste to it! It is heavy like coffee, but the spices lighten it up a bit. It has an earthiness to it for a split second before the cardamon takes over. I made the mistake of adding a little sweetened creamer and it totally changed the taste. Hrm. Not really sure what to make of this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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88
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
194 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this sample, mostly because I have such mixed feelings about chocolate tea, but this is delicious! It’s like a rich, buttery tea with a touch of macaroon. I don’t know if the pink flower petals are contributing anything to the flavor, but the they do dress up the leaves

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

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79
drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
138 tasting notes

This is a fairly tasty, slightly bittersweet tea. There is a slight bitterness that might disappear with lower temp water but it is not overpowering. The vanilla in this tea gives it what I would describe as a savory character and a slight sweetness. I picked this one today because it is decaf, for little other reason.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 200 degree water, 3 tsp leaf for 3 min. It is pretty good as decaf goes, they never seem to taste as good as caffeinated tea, I guess that’s because they use lower quality leaves.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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79
drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
138 tasting notes

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79
drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
138 tasting notes

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90

Not quite as heady as Tower of London (another Harney and Sons blend that I’ve seen compared to this one), with a nice, sweet fruity taste and a very light-but-juicy mouthfeel. The most dominant flavor was this nice mellow apricot-peach; while there were cherry notes in the dry leaves’ scent, I didn’t pick up as much cherry in the cup as I did plum and apricot. A very nice dessert tea; would also probably be very good iced.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Peach, Plums

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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95

First, let me say that I will DEFINITELY be buying this in my next H&S order! I got a sample of this in my recent order and am blown away by how much I like it. I immediately smelled the peach when I opened the bag. It’s lightly sweet and so so good. I brewed it hot this time, but I imagine cold would be lovely, too :)

Flavors: Peach

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60

Had high hopes for this one, because I love peachy ginger tea, but I am getting no peach and barely any ginger. I checked the other reviews, and while no one’s particularly raving about it, they don’t seem to have this peachless gingerless problem, so I don’t know if I just got a bad batch or what.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Capri by Harney & Sons
498 tasting notes

Miss Marzipan was sweet enough to send me a sample of this once after she ordered a tin during their free shipping sale. Thanks Marz! :) Visually, it’s generic black tea leaves with itty bitty chunks of something, which I assume is fig? A couple of them look like they could be citrus peel, so maybe it’s both. Dry scent is delicious strong and sweet fig with vanilla – I don’t really smell lemon here. I did a 4 minute steep at 200 degrees.

Mm, the brewed aroma is also strong figs (which to me, includes a honey scent) with sweet and woody vanilla and a touch of lemon. To be totally, I’m a little bit disappointed by the level of flavor here, I could have used a little bit more. I can taste all three flavors, which is nice, but I was hoping for more fig. I added a teaspoon of honey to mine, because I feel like honey and fig is a natural combination, and it did help to bring out the flavor a little more. I actually really like the lemon here, it adds a nice top note and really freshens the whole thing up. Something in the base tea tastes a little odd to me, almost mineral? Maybe I should have stopped at a 3 minute steep. Luckily, Marz sent me enough of this to try it a few times! :)

Flavors: Fig, Lemon, Oak wood, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

I would definitely like to try this someday!

Veronica

Sounds nice!

Lariel of Lórien

It reminds me of scones. Even though fig is an odd flavour.

Marzipan

I thought it was a little light on flavor too.

mj

Because of this tasting note, I bought figs at the store today. I couldn’t stop thinking about them!

TeaBrat

I had some figs for breakfast today…. :))

Marzipan

I have never had an actual fig. Just Fig Newtons!

Lariel of Lórien

Try the mission figs.

mj

I got Turkish brown figs and caramelized them in honey. Noms

Cameron B.

I’ve never had a fresh fig, but the dried ones are delicious. :)

Ost

This tea has always perked my interest…but we have a fig tree in our front yard…and as often as I’ve tried it over the years, I cannot get myself to be a fig fan. Think it’s mainly the texture that puts me off…Wasn’t a bad taste though, someday I’ll have to get this tea. xD

boychik

I love fresh figs but they are expensive. Brown are the best. Don’t really like green ones. Dried ones are good substitute in winter. If I had a nice backyard I would plant my own.

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100

Silver needle is special to me.
I like the clear colour, I like the body, I like the smooth taste, sweet aroma.
And I feel I can get the most of it if I steep it for longer than the 3 minutes recommended in the packaging.
Never add nothing more than just the tea and water.
I enjoy the ‘magic’ each silver needle cup of tea brings me! :) Its delightful!

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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95

This tea it was such a discover to me, this week. I am so glad I have a pack of it at home.
I don’t really like to put things as ‘the best I’ve ever had’, but this one is for sure one of the best black tea I’ve ever had, indeed!
Golden Monkey has body, smooth taste, could notice some cocoa in it. Package label said to steep for 5 minutes, but you could even steep for a bit longer, once it does not get bitter that easily

Flavors: Cocoa

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80
drank Yanagi Premium by Harney & Sons
115 tasting notes

Another sample I ordered recently. The leaves are dark green and flat, and the dry aroma is similar to sencha as well as powdered matcha. The brewed tea is a vivid light green. The taste is vegetal, with a very identifiable spinach broth quality, as well as the nori seaweed taste common to sencha. It can have a slight bitterness which is absent in cold brew, and is overall quite mild, yet rich flavor-wise.

The official page for this tea says that it is considered not good enough to be sencha, but I found it quite enjoyable as a light green tea. It has been a while since I tried the H&S sencha, so I am not sure how they compare, but this one seems a touch less strong.

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