Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My favorite tea in the world, but definitely an acquired taste. Also it’s a great deal. After having this tea at Samovar Tea Lounge while in San Francisco, I was hooked. I was determined on getting some of my own. After looking on their website I saw that the tea was $13.00 (on sale from $16.00) + $7.00 shipping for the 3.5 ounces. However when I was ready to purchase the tea a week later it had disappeared from the website (discontinued?). Either way, I decided to look for another option and found Harney and Son’s Lapsang Souchong at $19.00 for a pound of tea, (4.6X’s as much tea for only $6.00 more). It’s every bit as good as it was at Samovar and at a great price.
However, a warning to first-time drinkers, this tea taste exactly how it is described: smokey. Tea connoisseurs much like wine snobs always insist that a tea/wine “has a hint of” this or that, but sometimes it takes a pretty refined and trained palate to know what they’re talking about, without just nodding your head in skepticism. Not so with Lapsang Souchong, it literally is like drinking a campfire. As a vegetarian I like to refer to it as my “bacon tea”.
This is a super old tea, a year past its “best before” date but it is still so good, I just can’t bring myself to throw it out. I could go to chapters and get a new tin but I guess I am a bit of a hoarder. I also might save those harney tins and use them for windowsill herbs!
Anyway, I wanted to try this as a cold brew because I really have to use this up and figured I might as well try it. I used 2 bags for my Aladdin tumbler. It was of course, delicious!! It tastes sweeter somehow? than the hot brew….I think. I will have to do a side by side comparison I think.
This review is for the bagged version. I couldn’t find a different listing, so I will just review here. Not much attention was paid to steeping parameters today because I brought this in a restaurant (yes, I am THAT person!). It was delicious even without proper parameters, or maybe I was just so tea craved I would have drank anything! Lol…long night.
This is probably one of the best bagged teas that I have tried. The bergamot isn’t too strong, the currant tastes fairly natural. I wasn’t able to pick out vanilla or caramel notes specifically, but there was a sweet/creamy note. Those notes might be more prevalent with better steeping parameters.
Thanks to Emilie and Will Work for Tea for these samples.
4 minutes is where it’s at. Last time, I steeped this for 5 minutes and found some astringency. At 4 minutes, no astringency!
Upping the rating a little! Delicious!
EDIT: I put the remainder of my cup in the fridge to cool. It is actually pretty good chilled.
Thanks to Emilie for this sample.
There was a note on my sample sent from Emilie that it smells like it got contaminated by a lapsang. It does smell like a lapsang along with an earl grey. I guess we will see how it tastes!
So tasting now, this is a nice earl grey, but not the typical earl grey. A lot of vanilla taste, a tad bit of caramel and berries. The bergamot is definitely there in end of the sip and in the aftertaste. It is a tad astringent. Maybe a shorter steep next time.
I don’t think that I am getting any lapsang taste, but I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. lol, I am over-thinking it!
I really like this and have my eye on a H&S order sometime in the future when I don’t have so many teas in my cupboard….if that ever happens.
Apparently not to be confused with the gold/black tinned “English Breakfast” tea from Harney and Sons, this one is in a silver tin and is labeled as “HT Blend” on both the tin and their web site and is different from the gold/black tin which is 100% Keemun. The silver HT tin says it is a blend of Ceylon and African teas.
Steeped this for quite a long time – 5 minutes or more – after which it became more tannic. However, even at 4-5 minutes the tea is not as strong as some other English Breakfast teas I have tried. It’s quite good, though, and I love the nice tin it comes in and the high-quality pyramid sachets. However, I have now seen this on the web for between $5-$6 (US), but I bought it at a Biggby Coffee shop for $9.99… clearly marked up more than it might be at a grocery store or online shop. I would say that I prefer Twining’s English Breakfast Tea over this tea, but I like my tea relatively strong with milk/creamer and sugar/Splenda.
Overall on my scale of common English Breakfast Teas I have tried, I would rank this somewhere between Republic of Tea and Stash at the bottom end of the scale, and Twining’s at the upper end of the scale.
I just received this tea today after much anticipation and it’s divine (as all of the teas I’ve tried so far from Harney are)! It’s beautifully fragrant (apparently with natural rose essential oil) and a very delicate rose flavour infuses the tea—it’s not over-powering—the rose flavour enhances the tea flavour very nicely. There is absolutely no bitterness when brewed as directed.
So as Amy Oh said, I too am getting a little first flush Darjeeling bonkers these past few months. I have always been a bit fan of the astringent and bright quality of Darjeeling teas but never had an unblended, tea-bag version. Harney’s Puttabong was not my first, and is not my favorite (Harney’s previous Singbulli was absolutely terrific, review forthcoming), but I do have to say, the complexity of this release is really quite wonderful.
First, the leaves, as with most of Harney’s teas, are beautiful. Such a wonderful blend of colors in these rolled leaves, the first view doesn’t really give the impression of a black tea. The smell of the dry leaves is quite floral, yet slight (I get zucchini blossoms, vegetable + flowers).
I decided to do a full temp, and a moderate black tea steep (~200F @ 4 minutes). I typically like a strong cup but decided to go with the traditional style. I poured the tea and smelled the steeped leaves, which greeted me with a very earthy, deep tones, which mellowed as they cooled. By the smell of the leaves, I was concerned, but my fears were quickly abated with the first sip. It brewed up with a light golden yellow liquor and I drank it without any milk or sweetener of any kind. The tea has more body than I expected, coupled with a nice astringency. The aroma is very nice, and less floral than others, which may be a benefit to many of you. I actually like the citrus and flower quality that many Darjeelings possess, but the subtlety in the combination of numerous qualities, without an overwhelming character, make this tea very round and pleasant.
After a busy day at work, learning of new things I must accomplish, this was a wonderful way to unwind and begin my evening homework. I am currently listening to a bit of Sia and Imogen Heap, which paired delightfully with this brew. Again, I am a bit more partial to the floral and fragrant quality in the Singbulli first flush previously released by Harney, but this is finding its way in my cupboard as a terrific replacement. If for nothing else, I am being more and more encouraged that this may be my favorite style of tea, hoping to fill out my collection with a few more.
I simply do not often reach for this tea, not because it is a particularly bad offering, but rather of the other options available that I’d rather enjoy. The leaves are a mix of brown and dark green, characteristic of a typical first flush darjeeling. The nose of the dry tea is actually very pleasant, however the tea brews relatively light and I have yet to experience something noteworthy when sipping this tea. I think this can be equated to a reasonable first flush offering, commendable but not noteworthy.
Purchased this in my first ever H & S order and SO glad that I did!
What a lovely bancha base with an amazing caramel flavor!
Yes sweet but as others have said not too sweet but really if you are one to typically add sweetener to your tea I don’t believe you will have to with this so at least give it a couple of sips before adding by nature.
I do not get the sesame as much as others have – only slightly – but I am one to sit and eat sesame seeds like a snack just plain lol so maybe I am desensitized!
Although this is caramel flavored I totally taste fruits in this tea.
Love it. So happy that I included it in my small but awesome order!
I am sending a sample to Amanda to enjoy as well! :)
well done for sure. this tea is rich, black, and really warming. it reminds me of a brisk fall night sitting outside a cafe in…well paris haha. I was there last summer and this tea reminds me of the small cafes that line the streets; small, cozy, homey, and interesting. The notes are a whole lot of bergamot, candied fruit, Anise and a Mild citrus. its got a surprisingly creamy taste without even adding milk. Imagine a bolder and deeper Earl Grey that has lemon zest, a dash of cream, faintly tasting candied apples and a splash of vanilla and cinnamon and you have Paris. Its perfect for fall and winter and a great alternative to a morning cup of coffee.
Time for a quick spot of tea while I wait for my ride and the 1.5 hour drive to the airport for the 4 hour flight to Ottawa. It seems fitting that I’m visiting the capital for the first time on Thanksgiving, when I’m grateful for this new job and new path in life.
Anyway, I love this tea. Today I had it with 1.5 teaspoons of sugar and some soy milk. I find soy milk makes my teas feel creamier, and I need less sugar. (Remember, my mug can hold 24 oz of yummy, delicious tea.) I think the vanilla notes come out more in this version. I’ll need the caffeine of this black tea to hold me up till I can sleep on the plane.
Oh, gotta run! See ya!
I first tried Paris at a friend’s house last year in the spring. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. So when I found it at Chapters, the tin definitely came home with me.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve brewed up a bagged tea at home. It almost felt like I was cheating on my beloved loose leaf tea! In the tin, it does smell like cherry cough syrup as another reviewer said. But I like cherry scent, so that didn’t throw me off. Brewed, it reminds me of a gentler version of Earl Grey. As much as I love Earl Grey, I sometimes find it too astringent so this is wonderful. I barely pick up the fruit accents but there are there. For a bagged tea, Paris is excellent!
When I found out that Harney & Sons had a 7-year old, compressed green tea, I had to buy it.
I know this tea is not a Pu-erh, so I am not expecting the characteristic earthiness of one.
The leaves were tightly compressed, and arrived in a tin, pre broken into medium-sized chunks. These leaves had lots of color to them. There were pale green ones with white hairs, dark green leaves, and light green leaves together. The unwashed leaves smelled very sweet, and very floral. The washed leaves smelled more brisk. Slightly earthy, but still sweet. Their color still showed through that first wash. The leaves after steeping expanded quite a bit, and were more uniform in color. They smelled nutty, grassy, and not sweet nor floral anymore. It had also lost its earthiness.
The brewed tea was a beautiful golden-yellow with a hint of green. There was also a honey-sweet, nutty aroma, similar to that of cornbread.
I thought that the earthiness had left, but it showed up in this steeping. It was welcomed, as it went well with the floral notes. This tea was slightly brisk, with a sweet finish. If a green tea and a Pu-er were blended together, I’m sure it would taste something like this.
This cuppa was more sweet. Very sweet actually. Both the smell and flavor were light- no briskness at all. The aftertaste was very floral, and pleasant.
This steeping was the most floral of them all. It retained all the sweetness from the second brewing, and still smelled a bit nutty. All earthiness was gone at this point.
This tea is wonderful. My favorite from Harney & Sons so far. It evolved greatly with each brew, and became very sweet. I’m going to save some pieces of this cake to age. I hope those pieces turn out good as well!
This is my last Harney and Sons sample that Russel, from Harney and Sons, had sent me. I must say that this is my favorite! This is my first experience with drinking Oolong, but I doubt that it will be my last.
I brewed the Ti Quan Yin to 195 degrees fahrenheit. These tea leaves were neatly rolled up into tiny balls. I was amazed at how much they expanded after the leaves were steeped.
I steeped it for approximately four minutes. The aroma has a lovely floral scent. The liquor was a light yellow/gold to a medium gold. The taste was a fresh taste that reminds me of green tea with a floral taste that isn’t overpowering. I also tasted a slight vegetal flavor but there is a sweetness that balances it out. This was a smooth cup that I really enjoyed. I would recommend it.
I would like to thank Russel from Harney and Sons for sending me this sample. I really appreciate it!
I will start this review by noting that I am not a big fan of smokey qualities in my food. From BBQ to tea, it sticks in my throat for some reason; needless to say, I am not a Lapsang Souchong drinker. However!, I really did enjoy this tea :)
I bought it for my boyfriend who loves a Lapsang (also from Harney) and who was looking for a nice breakfast tea. I decided to take the dive this morning and try it. First, this tea has a terrific body, great feel and really “fills” your mouth with each sip. I really enjoyed how warm it made me feel (and no, not because it was hot). The steeped leaves had a aroma that was a bit too intense for me, but was pleasantly surprised how the smell of “camp fire” did not translate to taste in its full strength. I did not add any milk or sweetener, and really didn’t feel the need. I do drink my breakfast tea with milk (typically) but decided to forego dampening the true taste. I believe I could have steeped it a bit longer, and still enjoyed myself. While this is certainly not my favorite style, I think my like of the smoke undertone is maturing. I recommend this to anyone who seeks a full breakfast tea, with a great round character, and a nice tease of several Chinese black tea features.
Tea of the morning….. and (SRP #49)
It has been almost a whole month since I destashed something. Schedules have been weird, as they are over Summer break, and it has just been easier to grab favorites. This is a sample I received from JacquelineM quite some time ago. (Thank you!) Now it goes out with a bang….a whole decadent pot of this tea. It is probably my favorite Golden Monkey by taste, but the frugal gal in me also pays some attention to price, and this one is pricey for my pocketbook. However, it is worth it, too. Once I cut down on the amount of general China black tea in my cupboard, I will probably buy this one. I also like that for me, it requires less sweetener than others!
Usual teapot method. Resteep coming up!
So this will be my first note on this tea, and the first one in quite some time (as school has been dragging me down). I say this will be my first post because I will need to brew this again some time. I made a big boo boo: I forgot that I had made tea and steeped this for what must have been 10-15 minutes. It has brewed up quite dark and some of the more subtle aromas I remember from my last cup have vanished. I have to say this is one of my favorite teas, normally, and the extreme tannic quality it has taken on after this excessive steep time have not entirely ruined it. This first flush still holds up, albeit is a bit overwhelmed. I still get the typical Darjeeling qualities, but not as nuanced as you would expect. I look forward to finishing my last cup (only a teaspoon or so of leaves left) and posting on it.