Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh dear, my mind is already flagging. I just got up not that long ago and I already want to go back to sleep. It’s rare that I have a two-tea morning, but there it is. I chose this one because it’s been sooo long since I’ve had it (even before I went to Asia).
You know, after so much time and changing tastes, I still like this one a lot but I don’t know that I loooove it like I used to. Partly it’s the chocolate. My absolute favorite chocolate tea (The Tea Spot’s Organic Chocolate “O”) has totally spoiled me, and now no other chocolate tea seems as good. This tea is pretty chocolatey, but I feel like I want MOAR chocolate. And I just feel like the base tea, while tasty, is not so super amazing, it doesn’t contribute a ton to the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this tea, but I honestly don’t know that it’s a cupboard staple anymore. Gosh, I am getting so picky! :P
This morning as I was driving to work I had a bag of new tea samples in my car, and one of the teas in the bag was emitting a powerfully chocolatey aroma. It was tempting to try it, but I said I would be drinking my faves now, not new teas, so I grabbed Florence to fill the craving. It definitely worked… this tea is so chocolatey and nutty and delicious, like chocolate hazelnut cream in tea form. It’s also robust enough to serve as a good wake-me-up breakfast team, which is good for this morning since I am dragging. Go Florence go!
Harney day? It wasn’t intentional, but I guess so. I thought I would want a floral tea this afternoon, but then this afternoon came and I really wanted chocolate. Enter Florence.
I really have very little to say today except that this afternoon Florence is serving it’s purpose to perk me up a bit and motivate me to get some work done!
I found the reminants of a sample packet of this in my tea drawer, so I mixed what was left with enough from my big pouch for a cup and managed to finally clean a sample out of my tea cupboard. I’m really bad about not finishing the last little bits of a sample, especially when there’s not really enough for a whole 12 oz cup. It’s amazing how much more aromatic my large pouch is (acquired very recently from the Soho store) compared to what was left in the sample, which I have had for a while now. The mixed leaves still make a very tasty cup of tea; it’s very chocolatey today, with those lovely nutty undertones. Love it!
I finally went by the Harney & Sons Soho store this weekend; I’ve been meaning to go for a while now, but I was finally able to convince my non-tea drinking boyfriend to come along with me. I was able to sample a bunch of different teas (since he didn’t want it, I got his choose-your-own sample) and generally had a very nice time. I refilled my stock of this tea, plus picked up a couple of others and an adorable teacup covered in British birds (I’m a total bird nut). I wish I had gotten more!
My new pouch of this tea smells so fresh! I’m definitely going to try to buy my loose leaf direct from the store when I can; the only issue is that the pouches don’t come with steeping instructions, and Harney’s website doesn’t provide them for each tea. I guess if I pick up a pouch of tea I’m unfamiliar with I can ask at the tasting counter and write it down on the pouch (the pouches are foil-lined, but have a simple brown-paper outer layer). I noticed that for the samples, the water for the black tea was 202-207ºF (we could read the temp on the water tank, and it was 202ºF when he poured the water for my sample, but as we stood there the temp climbed a bit), and the water for the green tea was 175ºF. Which confirms my thoughts that I should brew my Harney blacks a bit under boiling. I did with this one, and it came out great. The nutty, chocolatey, roasty flavor I totally love!
I was craving chocolate this afternoon, so it was time for some Florence. I am now almost out of my sample package, which means I forsee a Harney order soon (or perhaps a trip to their Soho store!). In any case, this tastes really nutty today, and super delicious! I definitely need more teas like this.
I have a sample package of this tea and there is no way that I’m not ordering more of it next time I order from Harney! Truly delicious. It reminds me a bit of my other nut-chocolate tea, the Chocolate Almond Allure from Talbott. Chocolate and hazelnut were made to go together, and they work very well in this tea.
What can I say about this tea that hasn’t already been said in other notes? This is definitely a chocolatey tea, and it’s one that makes the whole room smell like cocoa. The hazelnut flavor is strong as well, and there’s something about the roasted-nutty taste that warms me all over. This isn’t nutella, this is those other, better European chocolate-hazelnut spread brands, the ones that are more hazelnutty. There was one I used to get when I lived in Athens for a short while that was fantastic. Anyway, this is exactly the kind of tea that’s made for me, so it’s not surprising I love it.
Now here’s an odd brewing for this tea… I got it in my mind to clean out sample packets today, I guess, and I had probably enough Winter White Earl Grey for a cup, but a measely half-teaspoon of Chinese Flower (also by Harney). Since Chinese Flower is a lemony/citrusy green, and Earl Greys are citrusy, I put the Chinese Flower in with the rest of this tea. These being the bottom of the sample pouches the leaves are broken into tiny little pieces (I actually shook out the tea ‘dust’ through my strainer before brewing to prevent it from getting too strong), so the tea brewed up strong pretty quickly. It tastes mostly like the WWEG, but the tea base is bolder from the green in the Chinese Flower, and the bergamot is extra citrusy and lemony. Not a bad cup from a mix of the dregs two teas, and I got to kill two sample pouches in the process.
(Now I need to order some more of each from Harney!)
This tea was one I got a sample pack of a while ago from Harney. I’m not sure how I brewed it before, since there aren’t many instructions with the sample pack, but this time I brewed it based on how some others had on steepster, and I think I’m enjoying it more than I remember! It’s been a while, so I my memory’s fading a bit. Anyway.
The white tea on this definitely comes through in the aroma and the taste. The bergamot is noticeable but not too powerful or astringent, just giving the tea crisp citrus notes over the somewhat vegetal, faintly nutty flavor of the white tea. I’m finding that I enjoy green/white EGs a lot, especially when I want an EG but also a light, refreshing cup of tea.
I drank this today with my breakfast. It’s really sweet on its own. I think this might be one of the sweetest green teas I’ve had. I am not crazy for the flavoring, it reminds me of Bossa Nova with the caramel, nutty taste. I love the sesames in it. The green tea itself is nice, I would of liked it without the sweet flavoring. I just haven’t found a tea with caramel I liked, it is just something that doesn’t agree with me.
Thank you Shinobicha for a taste! I have been interested in knowing what this taste like.
This tea left me unsatisfied, even after an entire box. It’s neither robust nor flavorful or complex, too quiet to drink in the morning or with milk, a touch too bitter to enjoy all day. I much prefer Harney’s “Royal English Breakfast,” which is stronger and richer than this tea, but unfortunately that’s not available loose.
This subtle, comforting tea is actually my 2nd favorite from Harney. It’s easy to drink cup after cup without thinking too much about it, as it’s not bitter or overly strong, but if you stop and think as you taste, the nose and flavors, though subtle, really come out. There is a bit of sweetness, some florals, really nice flavors.
I tried this one as a loose leaf tea sample. In the package, it smells extremely tart. Once brewed, it’s less, so, but still retains enough of the natural pomegranate tartness to stay true to the fruit. It’s not a sweet tea, but I imagine if sugar were added that this would probably taste like Kool Aid. It’s really good. I like sweet teas, but I think this is such an unusual pairing with the oolong that it works well. I enjoyed it a lot. 190/3min.
This is my default tea. Given the fact that I live above a tea shop that we own, that has to say something. I love this tea iced or hot, plain and adulterated. Brew a pot of this with a few slices of orange and pour over ice with a teaspoon of sugar (and a newer, prettier orange slice or two). Beautiful and decadent!
This tea is a very sturdy oolong, tending towards the black side. Nutty and rich, it has a wonderful toasty, smooth flavor, mild astringency, and a hint of sweetness. It is very, very good. I like this one equally as well for an eye-opener, with a late afternoon nibble, and for a relaxing evening pot. After taking a break from this one, I am always pleasantly surprised at how much I love this tea.
I am mostly getting green tea plus coconut with this one. I almost wish it had a touch of vanilla, or that the lemongrass was a bit stronger. It sounds like it should be so delicious, and I’m just finding it to be ‘okay’. Honestly, I had to look at the flavor description for this one, as I just wasn’t sure what I was even supposed to be tasting. My first thought was actually that this was just an odd green. Odd in what way? I don’t know. Maybe almost like a gen mai cha.
I can actually smell the lemongrass, but while the nose is supposed to be the key to taste, I just can’t find the taste of that component in my cup. At least not very strongly- it does appear a bit more as the tea cools.
I still want to give this one a bit more of a chance. I wonder how it’d taste with sweetener, vanilla, etc. Alas, I have but one teabag for now.
Well, it’s lemon verbena. Not quite lemon, not quite…. er, anyway. I took a sample sachet of this from the British shop in town, and it’s just okay. I suppose I could see combining this with, um, something I like better. Maybe something with vanilla. But by itself this just isn’t very interesting.
If I’m going to drink a tisane, it either needs to taste delicious, or have some sort of medicinal function. Actually, I guess that goes for anything I’ll drink, deciduous perennial shrub or no.
The British shop near Rice University allows you to buy Harney & Sons by the sachet, in addition to selling the usual tins of sachets and loose leaf tea. They even have a bag open for each flavor, so the customer can sniff them. I thought this blend smelled pretty good in the shop, so I nabbed a bag to try.
I don’t know what ‘lemony bergamot’ is, but this doesn’t taste like bergamot. It tastes mildly sweet actually, like a lemon-cream black tea. I don’t know if I associate this with Paris personally (that spot is forever taken by pear tea), but it’s pretty pleasant. I imagine this would appeal to those who aren’t much into flavored tea.
I had tried and loved a Nahorhabi from Upton during my intensive sampling of Assams a few months ago, and that one is now unavailable. So I was thrilled to find this tea at the Harney shop recently. I reserve it for weekend mornings so it’s a special treat and I won’t burn through it too quickly.
Like its Upton counterpart, this Nahorhabi is one of the smoothest Assams I’ve tasted, with the least tannic bite. Finding it was a particularly happy event because my stomach has been having trouble with tannins lately, which bodes ill for my future enjoyment of black teas in general and Assams in particular, not to mention some of my other favorite comestibles: red wine, dark chocolate, berries …. This development has prompted me to shorten my steep times, straining the brew into a thermos before the tannins come out in force, as well as to seek out mellower teas.
I’m finishing up the last of this delicious Earl Grey today – but I think I should have saved it to drink while watching Star Trek! Either way, this tea is great as a tea latte with the citrusy bergamot gently announcing his presence while not overpowering the beautiful tea base. This Earl will be missed!
Mmm! I made some iced Earl Grey Supreme using the hot brew method, then I added a bit of simple syrup and chilled it! So, so good! JacquelineM was right about this one. I took it up a notch by now having a glass of iced Earl Grey Supreme topped off with a bit of vanilla coconut milk. Definitely the way to go on this hot, miserable day!
I haven’t had this one for awhile so I thought it might be a nice breakfast tea. I was right! The tangy bergamot paired beautifully with my breakfast of waffles with natural chocolate peanut butter and strawberry jam. I think the tea really helped the breakfast to not become overly sweet and cloying. Mmmm!