Harney & Sons

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78
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
2809 tasting notes

Finishing off this sample from Harney today. I keep telling myself I am not much of a keemun person but perhaps my tastes are changing because I like this better than I remember. It still has a smoky top note with a bit of tobacco, but today I am noticing some fruity notes I don’t remember. Good with milk or plain, I still think I prefer the keemun mao feng from Harney though. It is nice for an afternoon wake up call.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
2809 tasting notes

Thanks to The Purrfect Cup for sending me a sample of this tea.

I’ve had it before and Keemuns are not my total favorite but I am enjoying it this morning. Being the wimp that I am, I added vanilla soymilk and liked it that way. See previous notes for more details.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
2809 tasting notes

I decided to finish of the rest of this sample today… as my previous note stated, I do not love keemuns but this is a nice tea for the winter time. I am enjoying it this morning but probably will not get anymore.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Hao Ya 'A' by Harney & Sons
2809 tasting notes

Hmmm. I really haven’t been a huge fan of Keemuns in the past but I felt like I should try this sample again, plus I feel it’s good to broaden one’s horizons. When I look back on my tea tasting journey, I used to hate a lot of things which have recently grown on me.

This tea is very dark and I’m definitely getting the chocolate here. The aroma is a bit… interesting. Getting a bit of tobacco here, reminds me slightly of cigars and I’m also picking up on the smoke in the finish. It isn’t really a sweet kind of smoke like you might get with a lapsang, it’s more sturdy and earthy and as my cup cools I’m picking up on some bitterness so I’m going to try a shorter steep next time.

I know a lot of people love this one but I’m finding it a bit strong for me. I can definitely see why people put keemuns in breakfast blends, I think I might enjoy this more with a little something to help mellow it out. I definitely don’t hate it but I also don’t think it’s destined to become a favorite of mine.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
ScottTeaMan

Don’t give up on it. :))

TeaBrat

I am nothing if not persistent! :-P

SimplyJenW

It is so funny that you think this is strong and I have issue with the East Frisian. Do you add soy/almond milk to East Frisian?

TeaBrat

normally, yes but I don’t seem to like keemuns with soymilk…

Doug F

I’ve never tried a Hao Ya ‘A’ I hear they are wonderful, if you like Keemuns.

TeaBrat

Triumph – they are not my favorite for some reason but I suppose that’s ok. We can’t all love everything, :-P

ScottTeaMan

Amy, I think you would enjoy H & S Supreme Breakfast Blend. I remember it being a rather well balanced blend of Assam & Hao Ya B…….so you get some malt and some smoke. I really enjoyed it.

TeaBrat

I got a sample of their Supreme Breakfast with my last order so I suspect I’ll be trying it soon.

ScottTeaMan

I hope you enjoy it.

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74
drank Keemun Mao Feng by Harney & Sons
2182 tasting notes

A while ago I would read tasting notes for unflavored black teas with descriptions of notes of chocolate and such, and I would wonder what on earth these people were tasting because I never tasted that when I tried black teas. I’m pretty sure I tried this tea at the Harney Soho store ages ago after reading notes on here about it, and I didn’t really get it. Now I’ve gotten into Tan Yangs and other Fujian blacks, and lately I’ve come across a lot of tasting notes about Tan Yangs talking about how a particular tea is like a Keemun minus the smoke. Thanks to SimplyJenW, I get to try this Keemun again now and make the comparisons!

Honestly, the descriptions of smoky notes in Keemuns have me figuring I won’t like them as much because I’m not a big fan of smoke in my teas. And the steeped tea certainly smells smoky! It reminds me a tad of the wood-fired tieguanyin I had once in levels of smokiness… not like a campfire, but something roasted on one, perhaps. I do also smell more Tan Yang-like chocolate and molasses notes underneath it. The flavor delivers on the scent, and I can definitely see the resemblance to a Tan Yang. I first taste very delicious chocolatey and molasses-y notes, and then the light smokiness grows in the latter part of the sip. Definite sweetness present here.

This is partly rated on the fact that I can objectively tell that this is a very good tea and I can appreciate it as such. But it also falls into the range of teas that I wouldn’t seek out again… I’m just not a fan of smoky notes in my teas. But I’m really thankful to get to try this tea to further my tea education and also narrow my black tea searching!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I did think you needed it for comparison. I did not really think it would be your cuppa, but you are right that it is good to be exposed to those flavors and be able to taste the differences.

Dinosara

Yeah I’m so glad I got to try this one in quick succession after the Tan Yangs. Palate education!

Vortegne

Oh, I like smoky ones. And you’ve made me curious about this one :)

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79

While I’m not sure I got so much Passionfruit from this, it was a really nice sweet fruity tea. Similar to what I had hoped Harney’s Apricot would be. I’m sad that I only had the one sample as I’m sure this would be absolutely amazing iced.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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70

A really nice blackcurrant. Drinking this today has reminded me that NZ’s currants taste differently than currants from North America, which I haven’t had in nearly a decade. I bet this would be great iced as well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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68

Thanks to Peppermintplant for giving me some of this! I found the scent very pleasant out of the tin and after it was steeped. It probably could use a bit of honey but it really was a nice tea. The pomegranate was really strong, but in a good way.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
PeppermintPlant

Have you tried it iced yet? :)

Amy Berkebile

No, not yet. I would love to, but I left it at work. I guess I need two tins.

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54
drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
99 tasting notes

A decent Apricot. It was more nutty than fruit hot I felt, but I set some aside to cool after reading reviews and I’m sure glad I did. The apricot flavor comes out a lot more cold. I would imagine this would be lovely as an iced tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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95
drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
82 tasting notes

I got this as a wrapped sachet with my first Harney & Sons order last year, and never bothered opening it. For some reason, it just didn’t sound appealing. However, I’m trying to clear out my samples drawer to make room for more, and figured I’d give this a try.

Holy strawberry yum.

It smells so juicy and amazing, right off the bat — sort of like strawberry kiwi Snapple tastes, if that makes sense. And steeping it doesn’t mellow the aroma a bit, but actually makes it stronger and fresher and juicier.

The strawberry is definitely there in the flavor, as is the guava. The tea isn’t very strong, but it’s still pretty evident, mellowing the fruit flavors a little and keeping this blend from being cloying. (In fact, this green/black blend probably would have been better with the H&S mango tea, instead of the black they used.) I don’t taste the coconut, but I hate coconut so I’m fine with that.

This is so delicious, seriously. I am definitely including a tin in my next order.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

I bought a tag-along of this as I really wanted to give it a good test run. It smells AMAZING! It’s almost not fair, as I’m not sure anything could live up to that scent. The taste is pleasant and smooth, but I do find myself willing it to be more vanilla-ry to match the scent. I’m still on the hunt for my perfect vanilla, but this is a nice place filler for now.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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17

The mint is quite light, which would have made for a nice cup but whatever green Harney has used for this blend doesn’t suit it at all I’m afraid. It’s bitter, almost like gunpowder and the mint definitely doesn’t compliment it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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74

One of the best peppermints I’ve tried. Medium-strong, very light and refreshing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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20

This had a delicious citrus scent dry, but is lacking when steeped. I can understand why this is recommended to someone new to greens, but the artificial citrus is way to sharp and fake for me. Leaves the tea a little bitter as an aftertaste.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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60

Beautiful English Breakfast. Smooth and mellow with a lovely body. Normally I’m an Earl Grey gal, but this definitely growing on me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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50

This was a rather tasty mint tilleul. The mint isn’t as sharp as a peppermint tea, but quite nice nonetheless. If you’re after the benefits of Tilleul, but don’t care for it on it’s own, give this a shot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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30
drank Tilleul by Harney & Sons
99 tasting notes

After reading the reviews I was prepared to toss the cup after the first couple sips, but it’s actually not bad at all. Full disclosure: freshly brewed, I think it smells like fresh cat urine. But if you can get past that… it’s alright.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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85

Mmm, now this is good Sencha! Mellow, buttery, grassy, just a titch sweet. Gorgeous!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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86

I was expecting this to be quite sharp, but it’s very smooth and and a little bit sweet. I’m going to have trouble picking my default black now that it’s entered the fray!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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87

Yum! This was an excellent jasmine.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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87
drank Bangkok by Harney & Sons
99 tasting notes

This was surprisingly strong. I didn’t expect the flavours to come out nearly as much as they did so I was pleasantly surprised. The ginger and lemongrass lingered nicely. It’s quite smooth and creamy, which will be the coconut. Being a coconut lover I wish it came out to play more, but a lovely drop all the same.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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72

This was a pleasant citrus Green. The Ginkgo lingered for me, but wasn’t overpowering.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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63

Quite a lovely Darjeeling, no question. Flavor is smooth and pleasant.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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52

In the [comedic] words of Robin Williams: Irish men will kick each others ass and then sing about it afterwards. That’s kind of how I feel about this tea. It kicked my ass, no question.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
TheTeaFairy

hahaha! question is: Did you kick back?

HFDWOOD

I agree…one of the strongest I have tasted!

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