Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

32

The only H&S I’ve tried that I didn’t like. This was a bland oolong for me. No discernable fruit.

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87

Husband loves this one, too. I serve it brewed with fresh mint added, and a twist of lemon. This comes out a rich red liquid, tangy with raspberry and delightfully refreshing. A summer favourite.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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99

I keep a box of this at work for sipping during long, cold night shifts. It’s a grassy green with a smooth pineapple under flavour. It is delicious piping hot but I often don’t get to my cup until it’s at room temp, if drinking at work — and this brew is just as pleasant at room temperature, too! I’ve not tried it iced, but I am willing to bet it’s lovely.

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67

Chinese Flower was one of the first blends by H&S I tried after I fell in love with their “Bangkok” tea. It’s a bright citrusy green tea with strong floral flavours. This one is pleasant at almost any time.

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100

My love for this tea is ridiculous. It’s a rich, warm black for me, and the honey in it comes out deep. I love this with a little milk.

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88
drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

I’m finishing off the last of this sample tonight… sniff

It’s okay to have a belated Christmas in MAY, right?!?!

For some reason this seems minty to me tonight and I can’t quite understand why. I just hope I washed my teacups out well enough. I do like the almond-y cardamom flavor in here along with the white tea, very nice for after dinner and I only hope it doesn’t keep me awake. As much as I like Christmas, I’m so happy to be getting 14 hours of daylight!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Not so fast. It happens to still be snowing up higher tonight in the great state of Colorado! I’m dreaming of a White May Christmas! The ski resorts must be jumping with joy!!!

TeaBrat

Bonnie – Wow-za! It might be snowing somewhere in the Sierras still but I’m far away from there. :)

Bonnie

You should play hookie!

Scott B

Sounds good-love the tin. TG has a pretty good White Christmas too.

Rebecca Lynn

I always get a tiny bit of mint in this one.

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88
drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

I forgot I had a sample pack of this lying around… I steeped some this evening for my nightly treat and I still think it is very yum, almond & cardamom are some of my favorite things.

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88
drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

It’s very yummy. Makes me want to go put some mittens on and sip tea in front of a fire. :)

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88
drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

Another sample from my tea pimp, Jenn…. ;-)

I rather liked this but I am a fan of chamomile, almond and especially cardamom. It really smells like a yummy white chocolate dessert!

The flavor here is kind of subtle which is nice – I felt it needed something to “round it out” a bit so for me it was vanilla soymilk. Voila, perfection! I would like a small tin of this, do you think Santa will bring me one? :)

Preparation
Boiling
Mercuryhime

Ask a couple of the right people that question and he just might. :)

Amariel

That sounds awesome. Wonder if my pimp sent me any.

ScottTeaMan

Sounds like you liked this one Amy :)). I’ve been wanting to try this, but it’ll have to wait til next year.

GalInTheGreyHat

“Tea pimp” this brought a smile to my face. Sounds like a winner to me.

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79
drank Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
101 tasting notes

Years ago I purchased Yamamotoyama’s Genmai Cha from Stash Tea and I did not like it. It was horrible-I couldn’t drink it and returned it. It is the only tea I have ever returned to a company, & looking back on it I wish I would have kept it. I also wish I would have brewed it properly. I used boiling water…ssttrriiiikkke one! I steeped it at LEAST 3 minutes…..ssssttttrriiiike two!! I probably used too much tea and failed to experiment with different water temps and steep times…..sssttttrrriiikkkeee three!!! I was so bush league back then-a mere amateur.

Finally I bought this sample from Harney & Sons and had a completely different experience. Enter glass tea press and Genmaicha tea. Open packet, sssnnniiifff deeply, and enjoy the deep, nutty aroma. Steep parameters below are for first infusion, filled with 8 oz filtered water. What a nice medium deep, yellow liqueur-perhaps not as clear as that of the Buckwheat tea. Nutty aroma very present in the wet leaves as well as the cup, lingering on the palate. The second cup-approx. 195* for 1:15- was the strongest (not bitter), very nutty with a natural sweetness. They don’t call this tea popcorn tea for nothing, and I find that to be accurate. My last steep at 205* for 2 minutes was weaker, but still exhibited good nutty sweet characteristics.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tea, but the second cup was almost too nutty for me….and I’m CRAZY! :)) I would drink this occasionally, perhaps with a meal, and try lower temps and steep times. I wish I had more Genmai Cha….oh wait…I DO! Anna sent me a sample. Wish granted! :))

Until we Genmai Cha Cha Cha again.

Cupped Mon/Tue, Oct 24-25, 2011. Reviewed Thu, Nov 17, 2011.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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80
drank Indian Spice by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

I was actually craving a chai today and then I forgot I had this little sample in my desk provided by the ever generous and lovely Jenn…

I think I learned something from my cinnamon spice experience with H & S, their flavor is strong so there is no need to overdo it. I believe I used about 1/2 tsb of this in 8 oz of hot water about 206 degrees.

This is a pretty good spicy chai type of tea. I did add my usual soymilk to mine and then after tasting it I felt the need to add some sugar which is kind of rare for me. On the website it says assam is used as the base for this. I am not picking up too much on the cinnamon or cardamom here and instead am getting a lot of clove and something else, I think perhaps it is black pepper. In any case, I like it but when it comes to chais I am partial to Rishi’s Masala Chai and West Cape Chai, they set the bar pretty high for me. :)

ScottTeaMan

I bought H & S Indian Spice tea a few yrs ago, and it is pretty good, I do remember the clove, but not so much the pepper (which I tend to like). The Masala Chai I have now is better than H & S-IMHO. ;)) The Assam H & S uses is like pellets- which tend to be stronger in nature. I ordered Tea from them 0n 9-7-11 and just checked their site, & they’ve raised their prices by .50 on the teas I saw. Oh well, such is life. They haven’t raised prices in 5-6 yrs. I check out the other Chai’s you mentioned too-I love Chai Tea!

ScottTeaMan

I was checking to see if Harney’s still had the Assam I ordered-Nahorhabi Estate- and they have some new Assams. I hope theyre not sold out formy next order.

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34
drank Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

I’m still here housesitting and trying to finish off some samples I got at the SF International Tea Fair. I remember this tea made me totally nauseated, but at the time I thought I might have used too much tea. I decided to try it again – brave or stupid?

This is one of their little tea sachets so I thought I’d use a big 12" mug of water. I do think it is better when it’s mellowed out a bit but it is still quite an overwhelming experience of sweet clove and cinnamon. It is like drinking a cup of liquid red hots. I rather like spicy things (chai, for example) but this is still way too much for me. I hope I can convince my BF to drink the other sample. Otherwise if anyone wants it, let me know.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

No thanks! So many people adore this tea that I have to keep it on my tea shelf, but the only way I can drink it is half and half with a plain black tea to tone it down. I tried the green version and it was like drinking pure cinnamon syrup, but oddly I found that more palatable than the black tea. My oldest daughter couldn’t drink it, though, even though she loves cinnamon. She said it was way too sweet and syrupy.

TeaBrat

I’m glad I’m not the only one who has the same reaction! I can see it would be better mixed with some plain black tea.

K S

I love the way its fragrance fills the room (even when its sealed up in the drawer). I even like the intensity of it in the cup. That said, it is like divinity or some other really rich food. A little goes a really long way. I can see where toned down would be a plus with this. Have either of you tried the Market Spice version? I believe it has orange in it. @ashmanra, I have the pepper mango and am waiting to steep it at work where I have a better set up.

TeaBrat

no, I haven’t tried the Market spice version, might be worth a try someday. I do like cinnamon but not when it’s this strong!

ashmanra

I haven’t tried the MS version either. I try the Harney one about twice a year to see if my tastes have changed, but so far, no, still the same. I have made it half and half with Southern Season Ceylon Extra Fancy and it was more civilized!

Dylan Oxford

Marketspice does have orange in it. MS is one of my favorite teas, but a few people have been turned off by it though… they kind of spray flavoring oils over it, and the look of the ‘dry’ leaf is a little disconcerting. I use little quotey thingies around dry because the leaf never looks dry, because of the amount of flavoring oils used. It’s that flavored.

It also seems to be systematically destroying any tin I put it in. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but we’ve had it in three different tins, and the lids slowly get harder and harder to open. It’s like a scooby doo mystery.

ashmanra

Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice can not be washed out of any tin it is in. I called them and asked for a new mini tin for my wooden chest because I could not refill the HCS tin with any other tea. It would have just tasted cinnamon, too! The person I spoke with told me you simply can not get the scent out, and it also ate the black paint around the outside of the top of the tin!

ScottTeaMan

Amy, your description of red hots is how I imagined it would be, and while I like cinnamon, this would be too intense for me!

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34
drank Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney & Sons
2657 tasting notes

Thanks again to Jenn for sending me a sample of this. I LOVE cinnamon and this tea certainly packs a wallop. It is like drinking red hots candy! Sweet and cinnamony and hot and spicy all at once. Definitely seems like a winner for moi.

A few minutes later: I’m not sure my stomach is going to agree with my assessment of the tea. I am getting nauseated. Are there flames coming out of my ears?? I feel like I need to lie down and have a glass of water, geez! Downgraded a lot for the nausea factor… boo. I do love the taste of this but if it makes me ill, I’m afraid it’s got to go in the yuck category… :(

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ninavampi

I had the same experience with this tea. Weird… I really liked how it tasted by my stomache hated it. Too bad : (

TeaBrat

It made me a little sad, actually… bleah

K S

Try it with a light snack before giving up on it. Red Hot tea is just too cool to abandon without a fight.

TeaBrat

I don’t have any left so no more experiments for moi.

ScottTeaMan

I have a few stories about tea not sitting well with me too. A couple times the samples were new,or just from old samples, or from "stupid " here

ScottTeaMan

Rough times!!

aisling of tea

Their Vanilla Comoro did this to me last time I had it, boooo. I’ve been too scared to try again.

TeaBrat

@aisling – weird. I wouldn’t think vanilla would have that effect?

aisling of tea

I think it was the tea base more than the vanilla.

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67

The dry leaf smells very fruity. Yes, possibly the ‘stone fruit’ mentioned in the description. While steeping, I don’t get much aroma at all. Maybe a little fruit and tea. But I have to almost submerge my nose to get it. The actual tea is not impressive. I don’t get much flavor from it at all. Though there does seem to be something ‘fruity’ at the back of my throat. This is my second cup of this tea and it seems weaker than the first though time spent steeping it was roughly the same. This requires more experimentation.

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66
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
78 tasting notes

After several cups, I’m still not sure what to make of this tea. It’s vanilla. And it’s pretty sweet on it’s own. I think it might make a better tea latte than drinking it straight. Still haven’t decided it it’s worth a re-buy or not.

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

This tea has firmly cemented its place in the ‘old friends’ tea category. I first tried it years ago and instantly liked it. It has come and gone from my cupboard over the years, but I’ve never had a bad thing to say about it. It’s consistently delightful with its malt and cocoa notes as well as hints of dry hay and smoke. As much as I love trying new teas (and I do!), I also love having a set of teas that I can always turn to with great results. This is one of them.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

I’ve spent the morning working on a spreadsheet for my teas while sipping on this. I enjoy this blend a lot. It’s smooth with nice deep cocoa notes and just a little bit of smoke at the end of the sip. Perfect for today’s rainy cold weather.

Back to spreadsheets… I’m thinking about having a separate spreadsheet for my samples/swap teas. Does anyone else do this? I’m trying to find a way to stay organized, but I think I might be making this overly complicated.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kittenna

Yes. I have two spreadsheets – one for tea I buy, which contains approx. purchase date and size (samples do still go on there), and one for swaps, because I used to track what I sent people in return. Now, it’s so haphazard that I only track what’s been given to me.

Veronica

Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I think I’m going to use two spreadsheets. I might even use three since I participate in several ttbs and I don’t want to put the same tea into the same box over and over again.

Kittenna

Good idea! I haven’t participated in any of those quite yet.

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

I love the thickness of this tea. The deep cocoa notes and touch of smoke at the end of the sip were just what I wanted to help me wake up.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. This one continues to be as good as ever. There’s depth in the cocoa and malt notes which mingles with a sweet hay-like flavor and the tiny whisper of smoke right at the end. Really, really nice. This is also a tea that resteeps beautifully and has a consistent flavor from one steep to another.

Long live the Queen.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

I am using this to make my first kombucha! I love the Queen!

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. Every time I drink this I wonder why I don’t drink it more often. It’s so good with its notes of malt and cocoa. There’s a sweetness, too, and just a whisper of something smokey-like at the end of the sip. A great morning tea. It does an excellent job of helping me shake off the sleepiness and get moving.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

Backlog.

Last night I was tired and sore from some work I had done around the house. I offhandedly asked my husband if he knew how to make a proper cup of tea. The look on his face was priceless. He’s been a tea drinker far longer than I have, but he uses tea bags, Tetley tea bags to be precise. I guess he thought I impugned his tea honor because he made a beeline for the kitchen and was determined to make my tea. He asked me which tea I wanted and after choosing this one he banished me from the kitchen. The whole thing was really funny. Plus, I was served tea in bed. What’s not awesome about that?

The cup of tea he brought me was wonderful. Slightly smokey with a rich cocoa note. I also really like the strength of the malt note in this tea. It’s strong, but it doesn’t overwhelm the cup. So good! As a bonus, we both had a good laugh over the whole tea making process which made the tea even better. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

Too funny!

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. Insanely good. Cocoa, malt, a bit of smoke… love it.

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

My little town is celebrating its 100th birthday, so each weekend during the month of May there is some type of “celebration” going on. Last weekend there was a parade. Today there was a classic car show along Main Street. Along with the really awesome cars there were the typical vendors, bouncy houses, and craft tables. My kids and I had a nice time walking, looking around, and playing games. And then I saw it. A tea table!!! A wonderful lady who owns a tea house is Woodstown brought a variety of her teas to sell at the fair. Among them were several Harney and Sons teas including this one. It was meant to be. I had to have it. After talking tea with my new friend (and getting the address of her tea shop) I bundled up my little tin of the Queen and happily headed home.

It has been years since I’ve had this tea, and I think it is even better than I remember. Perhaps I am just able to appreciate it more now. The cocoa notes are deep and rich, there is a thick malty flavor, and there’s a hint of smoke at the end of the sip. The feel is full and silky. So, so good. I’m so happy to have this back in my cupboard!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Seemed like the perfect day :-)
I received my H&S order this week and had Queen Catherine for the first time. It’s very tasty, perfect tea of the morning.

Veronica

Our time at the fair was really fun, and tonight they’re having a boat parade and fireworks along the river. :)

I’m already planning on drinking Queen Catherine tomorrow morning. It definitely has the heft I need to clear the sleepiness out of my brain.

Christina

Sounds like a lovely day!

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97
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1021 tasting notes

I had Queen Catherine and a slice of blueberry lemon bread for lunch today. I consider such choices one of the joys of being an adult. The tea was as wonderful as always. There seemed to be more chocolate notes today, and the smokiness was far more pronounced. It could be that I brewed it slightly longer than I normally do (closer to 5 minutes than 4). No complaints though! I enjoyed it very much.

CHAroma

Blueberry lemon bread! Wow, I’m jealous!!

Veronica

It was really good. :) I picked it up at a farmer’s market that is heck and gone from where live, but they have such delicious things that I keep going back.

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