Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to ashmanra for a sample of this! I didn’t sleep much last night and this is really helping to perk me up in a gentle way.
I steeped it for 3 minutes in boiling water. Yum! I really like this. It’s a lighter bodied black tea with a lot of maltiness and sweetness. I’m reminded a bit of sweet potatoes and caramelized sugar. Exceptionally smooth and fine. You get a delightful aftertaste and rich mouthfeel. I would not recommend having this with any milk or sugar, it really doesn’t need it! Naturally sweet and delicious.
note: I went back for a second cup and found that I accidentally left my tea leaves still steeping in the pot – steeping this for 10 minutes, I do not recommend. ;-) But on the upside my whole kitchen smells like a molasses cookie!
Many thanks to Scott for a sample of this one!
I steeped this for around 3 minutes today in around 205 F water. This is a really nice and gentle Assam. Sometimes i have found they can be a bit bitter in the finish but this one was very bold but also very smooth. I suppose the shorter steeping time helped. This is the first Assam I’ve met that I can drink plain, without any soymilk and what not.
The predominate notes here are definitely chocolate and malt, though the malt is not hitting me over the head like some other tea of this varietal tend to do. In that way it reminds me a bit of a Chinese black tea. It does indeed have a tiny bit of sweetness, very yum! I will definitely be tempted to buy this when payday comes around, although I do have a few other assams I should probably finish off first…
I have yet to try a H&S tea that I truly dislike. I picked this out of my samples because I wanted a tea to give me a kick in the pants. I expected it to be harsh and jolting, like coffee, but I was surprised… pleasantly surprised. I always thought Assams were a bit on the harsh, sharp side, but this one is great! It’s bold, smooth and a bit sweet. It’s just strong enough to be a great morning tea without making me cringe. And it doesn’t really need milk or sugar! This is likely to become one of my staple morning teas.
Special thanks to ashmanra for this one – I had noticed other people talking about it but it doesn’t seem to be on Harney’s website anymore so I guess they sold out of it.
I am trying to take more of my black teas without soymilk. I steeped this one at 205 F for around 3 minutes. It’s amazing how much this tea expands when you steep it. It definitely has a delicious cocoa nose. The flavor is robust but smooth, with flavors of cocoa. A cup of roasty and malty goodness and ever so slightly sweet! I hope Harney gets more off this but I’m glad I got the chance to try it…
This reminds me of another favorite of mine, the Black Spiral from the Tao of Tea. :)
This is the last of the tea samples that the lovely Ashley gave to me. The liquid is deeper this time since I used my press and there are no big particles in my cup. Lovely. Favorite part about my press so far.
It is a goregous red-brown. My first cup of this using my tea ball sure didn’t look this way. I’m taking that as a good sign. This tea smells like liquid red hots. I could spend all day just smelling this tea and I would be happy. It tastes like them too, but something is off about it. On the forefront of the sip is the sweet and spicy cinnamon, but then there is a strange taste. It almost tastes chalky.
Something about this isn’t quite melding for me. I think it might be the rooibos that I am tasting, but I’m not sure. I think I might like this better as their black tea blend. It isn’t bad, so the rating is going up. I wouldn’t reach for this on my own. I think the flavor needs to be with a stronger base to get it to meld together for me.
I have two samples of this. I brought one to school and the other I left at home. The dried leaf smelled just like a red hot candy, but the rest of the tea fell a bit flat for me. I generally like my herbals brewed longer for a lower temperature and it really didn’t do it for me this time.
Since I have another sample of this, I’m going to try boiling water next time and see if that makes a difference.
Disappointing. Smells lovely in the tin, but it brewed up to taste weakly of chamomile, with the other spices pulling a disappearing act. I steeped for 4 minutes at 180 F. It does have a dark coloration, but the flavor is sadly absent. I’m not a huge fan of white teas, but I usually find them tolerable. I don’t think I like chamomile by itself either, so I wish the vanilla or almond promised by the scent had come out a bit!
This tea doesn’t really remind me of tea. It reminds me of something else, but I’m not sure of what. It smells nuttier than the last time I made it and I think it is a darker amber color than the last time I made it too.
I am getting a fair amount of chocolate and a good amount of hazlenut when I sip this. I had to let it cool for a little bit before the flavors developed. I think it doesn’t register as tea for me because it doesn’t taste watery. Even though it doesn’t have the thick body of cream, I am getting a more creamy mouth-feel. It feels like I am getting something rich, creamy, and decadent when I am not actually getting something thick and creamy. It is decadent though.
I think I have to boost the rating because it really feels like I am sipping on cocoa instead of tea. I am falling more in love with it every minute I sip this. Thank you Ashley! I will have to remember to actually get some of this when I have the tea funds.
Why did I wait so long before ripping into the samples that Ashley sent to me? I was inspired by my Italian High Rennisance art history class, so I decided to try this one first. I brewed my small two cup pot and sat down with my copy of Beowulf to go with the tea.
The tea brewed up to a nice light honey color. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was tasting because it didn’t taste as strong as the teas I am used to. The flavor is very light. Once I relaxed I tasted the hazelnut. Light, nutty, slightly bitter and sweet at the same time. Then a small hint of chocolate drifted in with the black tea. Then I was getting a nice cream taste with all of the other flavors even though there was no cream in it. By the time I had finished my first cup I learned how to taste my tea.
I sweetened the second cup with a little bit of honey because I wanted that rich dessert taste. The honey brought out the chocolate more and the whole cup smoothed over. I was going to ask my roommate if she wanted a taste, but I wanted to drink this all on my own. The flavors are very balanced and I enjoyed every drop.
My only regret is that I only brought half of my samples to school with me. Granted, I did that on the request of my boyfriend so he can share a pot of each flavor with me when I get home, but I still wish I had brought it all for myself. Now I know what a high quality flavored tea is like.
Trying a second cup from my sample. Hmm… I think I like it even better this time! I steeped 30 seconds longer with no ill effects. I let my husband try my cup, and he said “I would drink that. Buy some.” and that’s unusual for him – he usually has no opinions, and just drinks whatever I don’t care for! It isn’t super chocolate-y, but it is creamy and comforting. I had a rather bad day, and it’s making me feel better. Prepared with milk and sugar, and I don’t think it’s nearly as good without. I think I might have to buy a bag!
Chocolate mint is one of my favorite combinations. I love mint tea, but I have to say that chocolate teas have yet to impress me. I wasn’t expecting much from this tea, but I had to try it after reading the mixed reviews.
The leaves smell awesome – just like chocolate mint candies! I have enough experience now with chocolate teas to not expect them to be really strong, so I expected the mint to dominate the finished brew (mint is like that… I once had a friend give me a selection of mint liqueurs, and it ages to use them up, as everything I put them in turned to MINT in big capital letters.
I steeped in boiling water for 5 minutes (2.5 tsp of tea for 14 oz of water… I thought it would need extra due to the mint. I was right I think.) The initial taste had a strong blast of mint (as expected.) I smelled the tea, and I could smell the chocolate in the background. I added milk, having read reviews here that said that brought out the chocolate. I’m happy to say that it did! The addition of a little sugar helped to tame the mint as well. The result was really lovely – sweet and lightly minty with chocolate and caramel notes. This is a nice dessert tea, though I confess that a little more chocolate might be better. I’m not sure it rates buying more after my sample runs out, but I did enjoy this cup!
I’m really loving this tea, and it’s fast becoming one of my favorite after-dinner brews. It’s pretty much as described, kind of like a more tart creamsicle with a bit of the depth of white tea.
Do be careful though, it is sensitive to overbrewing, where the overbrewed tea leaves clash nastily with the grapefruit and gets extra bitter.
It should be amazing on ice, though I haven’t tried it yet.
Thanks to QueenofTarts for a sample of this!
I am enjoying this as my after lunch tea. I like the fact that it’s decaf so I can enjoy it anytime. The vanilla is good in this blend, subtle but not artificial tasting. I steeped mine in an infuser mug for about 3 minutes and then added some plain soymilk. It’s dark and rich, and not bitter, it definitely did not need sugar. I quite liked this as a dessert tea and I think it WILL go on my list of things to order from Harney and Sons.
So I slept in late, and when I awoke, my order from Harney was on the doorstep. My day was off to a great start, was very excited to get my goodies, I ordered lots of trial sizes, and a tin of guayusa. Given that guayusa is supposed to be well endowed with caffeine, I gave it the honor of first brew. I used 2 tsp in my 1 liter polish pottery teapot. It made a nice color, about the color of strong mint. It has a vegetable scent… kinda grassy, or maybe yard waste— depending on your mood first thing in the morning.
After drinking my cup, and noticing my energy picking up, my words comming a bit faster, I’d conclude it makes a fine first brew. Yes, this stuff has potential. The leaf is tiny, shredded like confetti. It does tend to scatter on the countertop. This tisane also has flavor— and I like it better than chamomile, which I’ve never seen the attraction, but the husband likes chamomile…I associate it with sickness, upset stomach, recovering from the flu, or for people who can’t have caffeine, something you use to make do or otherwise go without…. but I digress… this is guayusa, not lame old chamomile. I am not at all sorry to have bought 4 ounces, it will definitly get used. Taking a liking to it, and Wide Awake Now!
Though, I must tell you, this is my second order from Harney, and it’s great fun to anticipate getting a parcel, and track it’s movements across the country until the day it finally arrives, like being a kid again, counting down the days to my birthday. So I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed. In the first order they threw in a few teabags to sample. But today, all they gave me was one lousy teabag. One. Chamomile. Why did it have to be chamomile? because they can’t sell enough, they have piles of it laying around or something? Underwhelmed. Anticlimactic even. Pooey on your lousy chamomile. Husband can have it, next time he feels sick.
Everyone I know loves this tea and tries to give it to me. “I remembered that you like tea, and I just LOOOOVE this, so Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday/etc.” So I always think, “I’ll give it one more try” and then remember everything I hate about it. The thing about this tea is that it takes away from the actual tea experience for me. It tastes like a red hot. If I had any sugar or honey, it tastes like a sweet red hot. It doesn’t go with milk. I cannot influence the tasting experience of this tea in any positive way. While I like red hots, I don’t want to drink them.
Thanks very much to SimplyJenW for sending me a sample of this, I really wanted to try it!
As for me, well I’m not really sure chocolate goes that well in tea. This blend is nice though, it looks like it has some pink flowers in it, I wonder what they are? It has a light cocoa flavor that seems to go well with the black tea base but is ever so slightly “chalky”. I did not sense a lot of coconut until I added soymilk to it, which seemed to bring out the coconut flavor for me. I’d definitely have this as a dessert tea but I’m not sure I will buy any when I still have a big tin of Florence, their chocolate hazelnut tea, it’s tempting though!