Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks BrooklynSheep for this sample.
I was at the August Steepster meetup.
I met BrooklynSheep
She had a lot of interesting stories and brought some sample teas.
She was a wizard of tea.
Her daddy worked at Lipton but was forced to drink sweet-touch-nee brand as a young girl.
Years later, she escaped and eventually made her way to London, and there is a tea store there that you can sent tea via postcards.
Brooklynsheep knows how to read those crazy tea labels, what batch, year, and quality tea.
I learned that she was sensitive to caffeine and liked decaf teas.
So BS told me that East Frisian by Harney & Sons was one of her favorites.
I read the package, Harney and Sons are Master Tea Blenders.
BrooklynSheep has a blog and been drinking and reviewing teas for awhile now.
She’s also into food, but that’s for another review
I have ample sample to try out.
Harney’s address is
5723 Route 22
Millerton NY 12546 – perhaps Road trip one day?
Back to the Tea – Tastes like orange pekoe.
This tea is nice and strong.
Very plain strong tea.
I liked it.
No fancy schmancy tea here – its Orange Pekoe.
It was nice meeting you BrooklynSheep!
This tea is a rarer version of da hong pao, and the price reflects both this fact and the exquisite quality of the tea.
The scent of the dry leaves differs subtly from Harney’s less expensive option, foretelling of a sweeter flavor when brewed. The scent itself is anything but subtle, so one should inhale the dry leaves before making a decision to purchase this tea. The olfactory characteristics are reminiscent of what a combination of a Fenghuang Shuixian oolong and da hong pao may taste like (I may try this and compare and revert).
I tend to steep my oolongs longer than what is typically suggested but for this review I went with 175 degrees for 2 minutes, which was plenty sufficient to generate a robust light rust colored brew, again with an unmistakable aroma that suggests a hint of sweetness. The taste delivers – it is more complex and refined than the less expensive version, and somewhat sweeter, and it is this ‘dark fruit’ sweetness that I believes rounds out the cup rather elegantly. Downright sophisticated and close to parfait.
I tried a batch of this one yesterday afternoon. Mary and I were both feeling the need of a mid afternoon Chai lift. I tried adding a few thin slices of fresh ginger and I took the seeds from 3 cardamom pods and crushed the seeds in a mortar and pestle and added the powder to the milk/water mixture before adding the tea. I think it really improved the tea. That being said, it is also very fine without the additions when I don’t have the time to fiddle around.
I have been sort of off chai all summer but with the cooling weather, yesterday afternoon I decided to brew up some of this chai. It is as good as I remember it. I did note however that I wish it had a touch more cardamon and a touch more ginger. Cardamon is a tough one to put into a tin. Ideally it should be fresh ground as it has aromatics that decrease markedly over time. The same with ginger. Dried ginger just cannot compete with fresh ginger.
That being said I really enjoy this one a lot. I might try this afternoon crushing a cardamon pod and adding a slice of fresh ginger. In India they only add the ginger during cool weather since it is very warming. This morning the temperatures dropped significantly so maybe more ginger is the ticket.
OK, I don’t like flavored teas. I don’t even have any Earl Grey in my tea closet. I was given this by an Indian friend of my daughter and I love it. We went to India for 7 weeks two years ago and we fell in love with the chai there and drank it at least 5 or six times a day. I have occasionally made chai from scratch myself, but this tea is so good I have given up making it myself. How they manage to get the spices evenly distributed through out the tea is a mystery.
This is as good as it gets if you love chai.
Ah! An Afternoon first flush experience! My timer says it’s done!
One thing I love about this one is when I pour the water into my Bodum carafe, this wonderful flowery aroma comes wafting up and smells so good. I was never a great fan of first flushes, but the last few years they have become one of my favorite afternoon teas. This one is really special: flowery and soft with a light brown-green liquor.It has no need of sugar or milk. It is wonderfully subtle with that magical Darjeeling perfection. Ah!!!
Special thanks to CupOfTree for this one!
Random 90’s Dance Trance Flashback! Just because!
I might have to do a Bagged Tea Bonanza for at least the rest of the morning…I have LOTS floating around…so here is #1.
This is slightly warming. The Green Tea base is a bit grassy-bitter. The coconut is subtle and pleasant enough. The Lemon grass is a nice touch. The Ginger is not really natural tasting but also subtle so that doesn’t bother me as much as it could.
This one is ‘alright’. I am VERY glad I got to try it. I must say my fave part is the coconut in this.
This is my first Darjeeling that I’ve tried. I would like to thank Nicole for sending me this loose tea. :)
I brewed the Decaf Darjeeling at 195 degrees Fahrenheit. I steeped it for approximately four to five minutes. I personally have a preference for black teas, so I was excited to try this tea. I also thought that it would be perfect for times when I do not want to consume less caffeine.
I enjoyed drinking this tea especially during mid-day. It has a calming effect on me while giving me just enough alertness. The flavor of the Darjeeling was a smooth, while having a bit of an astringent taste.
The liquor was a shade of gold/champagne. In the future I would love to try this tea, iced.
I was so excited to find this in the organic section of my grocery store—this is by far the fanciest tea I’ve ever seen them stock. (I also noticed they’ve gotten in Twinings Earl Grey looseleaf tea! They’re really stepping up their game, tea wise.) This tea smells insanely delicious—I was floored when I opened the tin, it smells like a bakery, all warm and sugary. When brewed, the smell becomes a bit lighter, and vanilla and caramel become the most obvious notes. The tea itself is great—the black tea is rich and bold and spicy, and it pairs well with the sweet, mellow vanilla flavors. I think that’s what I like best about this tea—the push and pull between the bold and the sweet. It has a great silky mouthfeel, and a bit of a bite in its aftertaste.
I really appreciate the complexity of this tea—it manages to feel elegant and primal all at once, and is immensely satisfying. The perfect rainy day cup.
I do not often like to stray from ‘pure’ teas into the realm cross-bred or sweetened teas, but my reward circuit lights up when I read the word grapefruit – such a satisfying flavor in teas.
This is simply a majestic tea. I find it wholly unbelievable that any Earl Grey aficionado would not applaud this blend – the grapefruit addition makes it delectable. Steep it as any EG and you are all set to enjoy a good to the last drop treat.
Fortunately, this is available now in loose leaf, and I picked up 1/4 pound at H&S Soho location. Since this is a great tea to share, I wonder how much of that amount I’ll actually consume…
Thank you Bonnie for this sample.
This tea came in a mesh tea bag, string, and tag that said Harney and Sons.
It’s the weekend, and I paired this tea with my breakfast – breakfast was a leftover salad bar from the night before.
I was excited to try this, so many positive reviews on steepster!
I asked my mom if she wanted to try, she said yes.
So I boiled the water.
Two cups, one tea bag.
The tea tasted smooth. It smelled good like flowers? maybe chocolate?
This teabag had mystery ingredients – guess the flavor!
This was not a strong tea, and I am thankful that Bonnie sent it to me.
There is a Harney and Sons in NYC that I will have to check out eventually.
Alright ! We’re on to The August Tealog Catchup ! (Which will hopefully be completed in August instead of mid-September. =P )
My first cup in August was of this one as an iced tea. Well, actually no, it was a cup of Rishi’s Wuyi oolong leftover from the night before. But, this one was my first new tea of August.
Okay, so this was my second time hot steeping this Earl Grey and chilling it for iced tea. This time I steeped 3 slightly rounded teaspoons in 16oz of water then added 14oz more. I made two steeps and combined them. I think this is pretty close to the right process for hot steeping this for iced tea for me, with maybe some minor tweaks if needed.
It came out stronger. Maybe a touch too strong. I’m unsure yet. Distinctly Earl Grey and refreshing.
This will prolly be the way I use most of the rest of this Earl Grey up. It’s definitely less my cup of tea when hot. I’d had other Earls I prefer more, though this one is just fine itself. But I down it iced!
The July TeaLog Catchup !
This is my second jug of this one as an iced tea. This time I hot steeped then chilled. I did one rounded and one heaping teaspoon in 22oz (what a Pyrex measuring cup filled nearly to the brim holds). I did two steeps and combined them. A much stronger iced tea this time and less floral.
The July TeaLog Catchup !
Can I use iced tea as a way to use all this up? (My mom gave me 8oz of it after she brought it on sale at William & Somona.) Why, yes, I think I can!
For my first jug of it, I cold steeped 2 rounded teaspoons and 1 heaping teaspoon in 32oz of water for 8 hours then re[cold]steeped the same leaves for another 24 hours and combined the two steeps. It was very light in color and faintly orange, faintly tea, and a bit floral.
Now I hate the taste of water. I know, how can I hate the taste of water? It tastes like nothing, right. I know, but I do. So even a tiny bit of added flavor makes it palatable to me. I will drink hot tea/liquids all winter long. But summer hot weather is another story. I rarely like things very cold and am picky enough to add only 2 ice cubes when at home. But where this was going is that I can drink chilled water with only a drop of Mio added just fine. So the faintest tasting tea works well for me, and was quite good.
But I still want to try hot steeping this then chilling it because I think it will take less time/work or something. That doesn’t actually make sense now that I’ve typed it out. But I think the iced tea will be stronger that way too.
Backlogging. 2 days ago. Tuesday morning.
I had been thinking the previous day about trying to make a cowboy earl grey again since I was starting to run low on Caravan. My previous attempts came out more smokey obscuring the bergamot. So this time, a normal amount of leaf of earl grey and a pinch of Caravan.
First steep came out like earl grey and a cigarette on some sips and I’m-just-not-sure-what-this-tastes-like on others. Second steep came out more like I thought/expected this combo to taste like. I will have to experiment more.
Backlogging. 11 days ago. Wednesday morning.
I’ve been reading about people blending two teas to create the smokey cowboy earl grey. But I’ve put off trying it even though I was intrigued. I did this as a half and half with DFT’s Caravan and that was all I could taste. The resteep was odd and not all that enjoyable.
2nd steep: 6 mins
Yet another tea that I cannot believe is not in my cupboard and I’ve never logged. =P The general overview is that this is a solid enjoyable Earl Grey with a black tea based that gets too strong and bitter for my tastes if steeped much over three minutes.
Yesterday morning, I steeped it 30 seconds over that with the intention of making a London Fog and wanting the tea a bit strong to counter the addition of some milk. But when I went to make it, I discovered I had no vanilla. =( It’s on the grocery list now. And the Earl Grey with still quite nice with just a splash of milk.
2nd steep: 7 mins.
Early afternoon. No milk.
Additional notes: ICED! MMM… this one is my favorite iced so far… except for, you know, the tea that was actually an iced tea (52Teas Plum but that may have been because it had more flavor from the cut-tear-curl). But this takes on a whole nother flavor profile when it is iced! I want to try it hot brewed, double the water, and then added to the fridge too. This way it was two teaspoons in a mason jar for two days. Very nice!
Additional notes: So I ordered EIGHT ounces of this from a shared order that Yssah did a while back. (thank you!) Yes, eight ounces is a lot of tea for me, since I love my small samples with only a few teaspoons each… or two ounces of the same tea at the most. But I LOVED the other sample of Paris I tried. But this one isn’t quite the same as the other batch. It doesn’t have quite as much of a buttery, pastry, berry flavor. It seems a bit off… a bit tangy. I remember Yssah said Harney was taking a while to mail the order since they were waiting for a few ingredients and had to make some of the teas fresh. So I think they might not have let the tea sit a while, since they didn’t want to wait to mail it any longer, so the flavor isn’t quite the same. My guess! I heard from 52Teas that a tea might taste better after airing it out. I don’t want to air out my full eight ounces, since I’m paranoid about dust or bugs or moisture getting in the bag, but I put a teaspoon in my infuser and had it out for about 24 hours. That seemed to help the flavor a bit but it still isn’t quite the same. How sad! I still love this blend, just not as much. It just shows how even different batches of the same tea can be so different.
Thanks so much to WillWorkForTea for sending this along! I REALLY appreciate it. This is one I’ve wanted to try. First, the color of the unsteeped leaves is very very dark. The flavor of the black tea isn’t too strong, which is good because it lets the other flavors stand out. It’s like a buttery pastry with blueberry/raspberry jam on it! So so good. Now I wish I had one, but this tea will have to do! Don’t let the ‘bergamot’ description scare you. I was worried too.. but the bergamot isn’t strong. It’s barely noticible and what is there probably enhances the pastry-like flavor. The second steep was just as tasty. There really wasn’t any flavor loss for me. I LOVE this tea and now I feel like I have to try everything from Harney & Sons! (Like I didn’t already want to…) One of my favorite teas is Hot Cinnamon Sunset from them! And these two are the only two I’ve tried, so I have work to do!