Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

Thanks to Uniquity, I finally get to try this tea. It’s been on my shopping list since forever! I know I just wrote a post about how I’m not the hugest fan of black tea, but this one sounds so fantastically flavored and everyone likes it! I’m weak for hype, I guess.

So this tea is malty, sweet and caramelly. I feel like the vanilla is really there as a support for the caramel. I did add some milk and sugar, but I feel like it was better without. While I really enjoyed the flavor, I think I’m the only person in the world who’s not a fan of Harney’s black tea base. I can’t detect anything wrong with it, but somehow, I’m just not a fan. It’s smooth. It doesn’t get bitter. It’s rich but not too bold. It’s pretty mellow and comforting. Maybe I’m just crazy. Maybe I have to train my palate for black tea. Maybe it’s a subconscious fear of caffeine even though I know this one is decaf. I still keep expecting the jitters and the pressure behind my eyeballs.

Any how! Love the flavor! Love that it’s decaf! I’m sure the tea base and I will get along over time. :)

Uniquity

I don’t love the base a whole lot, but on the whole this one is satisfying…a lot of the time.

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79

This is my new favorite Green, hands down. It’s the perfect mix between Harney’s Chinese Flower (a delicious, but overwhelming green) and my previous favorite, Twining’s standard Green. The citrus is light, but present, and it brings just the right amount of flavor. With a bit of honey, you absolutely cannot go wrong!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Ziyun Pu-erh Maocha by Harney & Sons
1493 tasting notes

Sip down. I took Monday off, so I have had three days of abusive eating (my favorite kind). When I went to bed last night I knew I was drinking puerh today. It was just a question of which one. This loose leaf sheng came from ashamanra a while back so I am not sure how old it actually is but in the time I have had it, this has morphed.

The first cup @2 minutes is extremely milky in taste and feel. There is also a quality that all I can think of to describe it is shiny. Yes I know shiny isn’t a taste. Maybe mineral? Metallic? Not coppery. This has also become quite sweet. I add Splenda and this is almost sweet enough I don’t need it (almost – stupid monkey). The aroma is wet hay, which becomes part of the sip midway through. It has that wonderful sticky lip feel. Not sure why that always appeals to me. I think it is because it is followed by a rumbling tummy. Mission accomplished.

Second cup @ 1 minute, loses the milky taste. The press aroma is poo, I mean shu like. The taste now is mild sheng still with some sweetness and the shiny flavor.

Cup 3 @ 2 minutes. The press scent is back to a normal sheng like seaweed. The shiny taste is gone. Mild with just a hint of mushroom (in a good way). It is a bit like wet leaves but not yet earthy.

Cup 4 @ 3 minutes. This is the best cup yet. It is still mild but darker flavor. Sadly this is the last cup I have time for today but it was a good ending.

ashmanra

I know exactly what you mean about shiny! Exactly!

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87
drank Ziyun Pu-erh Maocha by Harney & Sons
1493 tasting notes

Drank this all day. I forgot what water temp I used previously and opted for boiling water. It wasn’t as I remembered it, so I checked my notes here and used cooler water and shorter steeps before. Interesting, it had more intense flavor with cooler water.

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87
drank Ziyun Pu-erh Maocha by Harney & Sons
1493 tasting notes

Today I tried altering my method to approximate what other reviewers did, to see if I could duplicate their experience. Used 2tsp of leaf and just below boiling water. First cup steeped 3 minutes. The longer steep and slightly hotter water gave a brew that was again very flavorful. Instead of mushroom, this time I get a pleasant earthiness and the peach notes that Harney mentions as the cup cools. It is not a strong note, only a hint, but it is there. Also quite a creamy mouth feel. The second cup I went 4 minutes. The peach notes are gone leaving a rich earthy flavor with less creaminess. Also notice the tongue tingling, followed by a cool breath feel. Third and fourth cup, is straight earthy sheng. Altering the time and temps did alter my perception of this tea. Still, my experience was different than the others reported.

Fifth cup. 5 minutes. While sitting here waiting on the tea, I started to grab a Hot Tamale (cinnamon candy) to munch. At the last instant in a fit of brilliance, or possible insanity, decided to toss a couple in the cup instead. Dude, I think I’m on to something! It was not enough to call it hot by anyone’s standards, just sweet and mildly spicy. This is good. I need to try this with a shu some time. I have never heard of a cinnamon puerh, so until I find out otherwise, I hear by plant my flag and claim this as my own blend.

Sixth cup, 5 minutes. Added 5 Hot Tamales to the cup. Turned the brew cranberry color. Smells strong of cinnamon candy but still not as hot as I would like. With a little work by someone who knew what they were doing this could be a really neat blend. What to call it? Hot and Spicy Poo? That’s probably almost copyright infringement. I know… Flaming Poo! Yeah, I like that. Hey, 52Teas or Man Teas, if you send me some, you can use the name. lol.

If you decide to try this, just be careful, the carnuaba wax turns clear and does not completely dissolve.

K S

Rats, David’s tea beat me to the idea with cinnamon hearts. Flaming Poo is a better name though.

gmathis

I love the Hot Tamales idea! Hubby brought home some valentine’s day jelly bean-ish candies that are all sorts of varieties of cherry … may have to drop a few in my next plain cuppa to see what happens.

Ninavampi

Hahahaha… Flaming Poo!!! I love it!!!

Thomas Edward(Toad)

That sounds awesome, i will try it for sure, i have a pu that would be great with hot tamales in it. I have done this with Sugar Babies to make a caramel type tea its was good :)

ashmanra

LOL! Hubby used to get a magazine, a bicycling one I think it was, that rated new products by little pictures of chili peppers. My son was little, and asked why there were flaming poos on the page. After that,, we started rating our B movies by how many flaming poos we gave them in a little notebook.

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87
drank Ziyun Pu-erh Maocha by Harney & Sons
1493 tasting notes

Thank you Ashmanra for this generous sample. I was going to wait until Monday and do a two day marathon with this, however I had cheese dip this morning and Mexican for lunch. My gut hurts now (duh) and I need this, so perfect timing. I will do a marathon later.

A raw green puerh. Except for the rose toucha from Teavivre that I loved, loved, loved, I much prefer green over ripe. It is not as in your face. The loose leaf is long and slightly twisted. A bit hard to measure with a spoon. I finally just judged how it looked in the bottom of the press. I did not do a wash. Steeped 1 minute with 180F water. The wet leaf smells of celery and hay. Fresh and green. Appears darker and thicker in the cup than the other green puerhs I have tried.

This has a bolder flavor than I was expecting. Fresh, green , mushroom, and light earthiness. There is no bitterness and nothing foul tasting (for puerh, lol). It took a moment to adjust to the bolder flavor but once I did I must say I like this. It has the sticky lip feel of other greens I’ve liked. Ashmanra told me it was a bit minty. I am not really getting that taste the way I prepared it, (cool water short steeps) but I get what she is saying as it does make the side of the tongue tingle and leaves a cooling effect to my breath. Had time for three cups this afternoon. It was still going strong when I stopped.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

So glad you liked it!

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91

I was really lookiing forward to tasting this tea. Upon opening this sample, I see multi- hued, tippy leaves that smelled oh so naturally sweet, with a chocolatey, maltiness. Steeped using info below the wet leaves smelled of woods— like acorns & fresh autumn leaves, with a light earthiness….just amazing! Even wet, I could see different brown hues in the leaves.The cup color was a lighter honey brown, and the aroma was honey sweet, with a mild earthiness in the background. I let the cup cool before tasting, and was rewarded with amazing honey sweetness on the tongue. After swirling the tea in my mouth, I tasted mild earth notes with oak like woods on the back of the tongue and aftertaste. Such a delicious and tasteful cup!

Steeping a second cup for 5 minutes resulted in a slightly darker cup, with more earthy aromatics in the leaves and cup, while still smelling honey sweet to lesser degree. The taste was more earthy, with the honeyed sweetness more in the background. The wood notes noted in the first cup were now slightly noticeable (if at all).

As you can see, this is a visually stunning tea consisting of the full leaf and buds. Aromatics and flavors are great…changing with different steep times! A fantastic tea all around!! With one more cup in my sample, I’ll enjoy it later today, with plans of a bigger purchase in the near future. :))

Cupped & Reviewed: Friday, December 16, 2011.

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

It sounds delicious!

ScottTeaMan

It really is….It is sorta malty and sweet like The Nahorhabi Assam, but with an earthiness typical of many Yunnans. I may up the rating today.

teaNsympathy

Wow you were right, this sounds absolutely amazing!! My mouth is watering; I’ll be trying and most likely buying this on Saturday!!! Thanks for the tip, I’m excited!!

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88
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

Afternoon and post-workout tea……

This one is such a reward type tea. I had set in my mind that I was going to fix this after my workout and it was great motivation to get me going. Usually, that is the toughest part. Just getting started. And you don’t want to undo all the good you have done by treating yourself with something high in calories. I love chocolate and coconut. I like to think of this one as Mounds in a cup. Mind you, it is still very much tea, but the chocolate and coconut flavors in this one are a real treat. Plus, who doesn’t feel great when you can tell your core is getting stronger by the day? The road to a better life is built on one good choice after another, and I feel a tea like this is an easy good choice. Thank you, Emeric Harney for blending this one!

Usual teapot method.

PS…. I would still send out a few more samples if anyone is interested. The rest is for me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
K S

“Mounds in a cup.” This sounds amazing.

gmathis

Yum. I’m (involuntarily) practicing tea budgetary restraint, but y’all keep posting such tempting suggestions, when I finally give up and spring for an order, I’m at a loss as to where to start!

Ninavampi

Now on my shopping list! : )

Serendipitea

Oh yum, this sounds good!
Sadly they don’t have it at H&S New Zealand, but if you’re willing to send a sample international I’d love to take you up on that offer .. And no worries if not, I totally understand! I’m happy to order internationally, Just not sure I want to invest in full tin of something I’ve not tried before ..

SimplyJenW

@ Serendipitea….I tried to pm you. Maybe you aren’t following me to get my pms. I will give it a go to ship one to NZ. We can hash out the details via pm.

ashmanra

I shipped tea to Sandy when she was in NZ several times and there was never a problem with customs or anything. It just took about ten to fourteen days to get to her.

Serendipitea

Sorry yes I got the PM, just haven’t been back on until now :)

Thanks ever so much! I’m going to update what’s ‘in my cupboard’ right now, so if either of you or ashmara see anything you would like to try, please let me know :D

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88
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon today, too!

I have a lovely friend that makes us pizzelles every year during the holiday season. This was my treat for the afternoon, so I was looking for an elegant tea to go along side….. The SoHo Blend was perfect. This is a tea I was trying to blend for myself over at a vendor that is known for its custom blends, but I could not come up with something I loved due to the quality of the tea. This blend is perfect. In fact, since I had to order some Hot Cinnamon Spice for a friend, I added on a whole pound of this to the order. Yum. And I will always be drowning in good tea!

Usual cup method with one sachet.

Once the holidays are over, I can offer a few samples! Any takers? (Edit to add, I will do at least 6!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Camiah

I’ll take! It sounds wonderful. If I weren’t drowning in tea (and getting more for christmas) I’d buy some of the SoHo blend.

Fairyfli

Oh my I would love a sample… I am always a sucker for chocolate and coconut!

ashmanra

Ooo, I would love to try it!

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88
drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon……

New tea! If you like Harney’s chocolate teas and coconut, this tea is definitely for you. I knew I would love it, so I bought a tin of sachets just because….. The tea itself is beautiful as it has amaranth petals in it, and it smells heavenly. Another wonderful detail……the design of the tin makes me feel as if I am back in the SoHo shop. The colors and styling of the tin mimic that of the shop. (Nicely done!) The tea is just as good as I imagined it would be….think of Harney chocolate tea with a hint of coconut. Yum. I will definitely buy more when my tin is gone.

Usual teapot method using 2 sachets.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

OH YUM! I was thinking about placing a little holiday order – so glad I found out about this 1st!

SimplyJenW

You have to do a product search by name to find it on the website……

Dinosara

Awesome, gotta try this one next time I’m at the Soho store!

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92
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

Tea of the morning! I probably should have picked something with a bit more heft though – oh well, I guess my next cup will be one with a big caffeine kick.

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92
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

Each time I reach for this tea, I fully expect to find that soapy aftertaste that I used to notice. However, I think time has been very gracious to this tea and that soapy aftertaste is long gone. I am pleasantly surprised each time that I brew up a pot of this tea. It has a great smooth base that nicely complements the fruit. Harney does a really good job of balancing flavor and tea bases, and this one is no exception.

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92
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

After my success with this tea yesterday, I couldn’t wait to have this tea again tonight. My success definitely wasn’t a fluke – it is great again today! On to more tea….

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92
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

I haven’t had this tea in about 3 months. It just hasn’t been anything that called my name and it seemed to have a soapy type aftertaste that just wasn’t appetizing when drank hot. However, tonight this tea WAS calling my name – so I gave in, not expecting much. I think time has mellowed this out quite a bit. All I taste now is a nice tea base with lots and lots of juicy fruit flavors. No soapy aftertaste! Maybe this tea just needed to blend a bit more together…. I think a second pot is in order! (And a slight ratings increase!)

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Glad to hear it! I liked it but also got the soapy aftertaste a bit. I haven’t had it in a while. Maybe mine has mellowed, too.

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92
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

This is a great, smooth afternoon tea with a bold tea flavor followed by a nice fruity aftertaste. This is SO good and perfect for a rainy day.

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92
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

My Harney order arrived today!! This is one of the teas I ordered based on reviews from my fellow Steepsterites – I sure am glad that I took a chance on this one. This reminds me quite a bit of Paris and Tower of London and I love both of those teas so I love this one also. I love how smooth the base of this tea is and that it is tasty both plain and with additions. I’m currently drinking it with a bit of sugar and cream which really makes the fruit flavors pop. I’m getting cherry more than apricot or plums and that is fine by me as I ADORE cherries. In fact, I also ordered Sour Cherry Preserves from Harney’s site (which I totally recommend! Also the black tea and fig preserves are good if you like figs). I don’t think this would be a good first thing in the morning tea as it is pretty smooth, but definitely a great afternoon/evening choice.

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74
drank Bangkok Blend by Harney & Sons
659 tasting notes

So, I had the rest of my Singapore Cashew Curry today, and thought this would be a nice tea to have with it. I’ve been sort of holding off on it til I had the right meal to have it with. The tea smells nice and spicy, so I thought it would match well. And it did. But it isn’t my favourite green tea. I’ll happily have the rest of the sample Jenn sent me, as it is good, but I just don’t love it.

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94
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
504 tasting notes

How did I get to the bottom of the tin so quickly?! I seriously tore through this stuff. There are two bags left for tomorrow. I have been on an Earl Grey binge, brewing a strong iced cup almost every morning for my commute/first shift. It’s been a ritual. And luckily I bought a little more EG from KeenTeaThyme on Teatra.de, so all is not lost. In the meantime, I can give the rest of my collection more attention.

Also, one of my coworkers said it smelled like Froot Loops. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
GalInTheGreyHat

I just got a tin of this in the mail yesterday and don’t want to open it because I know I will go through it like crazy!! Oddly enough I thought it tasted like Fruity Pebbles when I first had it…interesting.

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94
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
504 tasting notes

Ahh, I had been missing a good Earl Grey. I got this as a birthday gift from Kaliskaa and had it for my commute and first shift. As I’ve been doing lately, I brewed it strong and put it over ice with a little sugar. It was almost overpoweringly strong before the ice had time to melt, but I had only used 2 sachets for about 14 ounces of water! This stuff doesn’t play around!

Once I got to work, I dropped a lemon slice into the cup and gave it a good stir. Over time, it became a beautiful lemonade-like drink with the bitter bite of Ceylon. It tasted so clean, and yet so dark. I will be doing this a lot this summer.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
504 tasting notes

Mmm, this is just what I needed on this wet, cold day.

As far as Earl Grey teas go, this is a very good one. They don’t go overboard on the bergamot, and the black tea they used is nice, if not a little muted. But that’s to be expected with any flavor. It’s not bitter at all, just very tasty. Lemony, but not mouth-numbingly so. There’s also something malty in the aftertaste, which leads me to believe that this is the first Earl Grey I’ve ever had that I could taste anything besides the bitterness of the black tea and bergamot oil. Its actual flavors shine through. Kinda awesome, if you ask me.

And if it makes any difference, I’m drinking the pyramid bagged version.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

This is a top 5 EG for me…..maybe my favorite!

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79

Hmmm…I can taste the keemun and lapsang most distinctly. The pinewood forest campfire flavor is tempered by freshly baked biscuits. Yum….smoky biscuits! :)

There is a refreshing tang of astringency with each sip. Not bitter but tannic, in a good way—“brisk”.

Russian Country can be considered the “gateway” to much bolder teas. Or a lapsang blend for the uninitiated. The smokiness is there but its boldness is tamed by the other yummy black teas.

Interesting…but not too complex—pretty good choice for a lazy weekend!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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68
drank Decaf Ceylon by Harney & Sons
230 tasting notes

I had this last night as my evening cup. I am trying to cut down on caffeine after 8:00PM. Generally I stick with tisanes in the evening instead of decaff tea but a friend had given me this in a collection of Harney & Sons teabags. I was pleasantly surprised as I do not generally drink tea-bags OR decaffeinated tea. It had all the taste of a middle brow ceylon. This is surprising because I had VERY LOW expectations. Decaff tea generally tastes like mud! While I am not running out to buy this in teabag form I would perhaps order it from Harney in a small amount in loose leaf for my evening cup.

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84

When my boyfriend went to New York 6 months ago I was very new to the world of puerhs and how to brew any tea but Western style tea. I had a few shu puerhs though and really liked them.

So he picked this up for me as a gift and we were both pretty excited to try it out, but when we brewed it up (typical Western style) it became the most foul and bitter tasting concoction I had ever experienced. I almost threw it away but kept it in my cupboard.

This afternoon I dragged it out. I have no idea if it’s a shu or a sheng. When I used a small leaf to water ratio and a lower water temp this is actually kind of pleasant. It’s definitely on the fruitier side a little bit of smoke and some cinnamon-esque spice. I detect a lot of camphor here, that’s not my favorite flavor in tea but at least I found a way to brew this to make it actually drinkable. I’m glad I didn’t toss it after all! ;-)

Maybe if I keep experimenting the rating will go up!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Interesting tea…it’s about time Harney finally gets a Pu-erh cake. I think it’s the same one you have. How many grams is it?…..Do you know?? I really like Harney Teas, but I have a couple issues with them. Not enough specific tea brewing info, and not enough selections in certain areas (ie Darjeelings, Assams). They claim to choose teas from the best gardens. OK, I’ll give them that, but I usually want more choice, even if I order teas and miss the mark once in a while.

Charles Thomas Draper

Maybe it’s only at the store. It’s not on the website

ScottTeaMan

Charles, how do you feel about Harney’s selections?. For being tea experts, they sure do not offer enuff specific tea info.

Charles Thomas Draper

Well lets put it this way, They have very good tea. I personally will not order from them. When I ordered someone used my credit card number to try to purchase something. This purchase was almost the same time that I had ordered from Harney. Was it them? I would say no. When I emailed them about this they never got back to me. This is very bad customer relations. You can ask Verdant how much tea I buy. It’s Harneys loss not mine. Sorry I rambled. Plus there are too many other vendors out there with superb selections….

TeaBrat

I could not find this puerh on the website. We have a few things from Harney but I don’t go ga-ga over them like some people seem to.

Charles Thomas Draper

The Hao Ya A is very good. Shame I will not get it again from them….

TeaBrat

They are two smaller cakes packaged together in a 4 oz tin

ScottTeaMan

Yes….superb selections & customer service. I’ve never had a problem w H & S customer service. Personally, I shop alot at Upton Tea. I dig their Customer Service & selection, Man! CS is great! I will be purchasing from other vendors next year because of reviews on Steepster. I really want to try Pu-erh cakes next year. Any recommendations Charles?? Amy?? Anyone else?? Which companies, etc?

Amy…I’m not really a huge Harney fan either.

Charles Thomas Draper

Verdant has some awesome cakes. Get a sampler and see what you like. Read the reviews. I personally love Pu’er….

ScottTeaMan

Me too…I can’t wait to try some Green & White Puerh cakes too. :))

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Day #9 of 24….and tea of the afernoon.

I received this sample from my Harney dealer….I mean the lovely ashmanra. Thank you again for all the fun things to try out….

This is lightly floral and cherry scented. Really, pretty good for a green. It turns out I like them quite a bit more than I thought I would, and my taste for them is growing. I also like that they don’t require any additions for me. Good, but I still prefer the Tropical Green.

12 oz water, 1 sachet of tea, 180 water, 3 minute steep. Straight up!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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