Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
I came home from work today and I felt like I needed a cup of tea. I made a bit of Harney & Son’s Tower of London Blend (Review on that one later) and then felt like having another. This tea smelled like strong wheat – very rich, roasted and hearty grains. The taste isn’t very different from the smell. It’s a starchy kind of tea with a whole bunch of toasty flavor. What I dislike is that there is very little dimension to the tea. It’s just relatively flat.. toasty, almost like bread.. but not the good kind. I think this would be good if you paired it with some kind of food. On its own, I’m not impressed and a bit underwhelmed. Soba Cha isn’t necessarily BAD, it’s just uneventful for me.
The first of many teas I received in a swap with our beloved QuiltGuppy (who, yes, she may be a tea pusher, but I know it is about her love of tea and wanting to share the experience with kindred spirits). Thank you for your generous heart! And the awesome tea, of course!
I had really been wanting to try this one. It is a white tea blend, so not typical of what I normally drink. And for a white tea, I have to say it has the most complex flavor profile that I have sampled. I did slightly sweeten mine, just enough to bring out the vanilla, coconut, and almond. I do taste all three flavors, and I love that the vanilla or the almond (two flavors which can easily overpover others) are light enough that I still can detect the coconut. This blend works because it is all light, and really does blend well with the lightness of the white tea base. If I were a steady white tea drinker, this would definitely be high on my list. But, alas, I love the tea of foreigners and barbarians (remember that the Chinese mostly drank green tea, and made their black teas for foreigners and barbarians.)
This is an even mix of bright green mint and dark choppy tea leaves. It smells just like a York Peppermint Patty but slightly heavier on the mint side.
The light copper colored tea smells of mint but no chocolate. In flavor, the mint is initially subdued. I can’t fully describe the initial taste but it’s not chocolate; instead, it’s just a flatness. The lingering mint aftertaste is typical of any other mint brew.
H&S does so well with the chocolate flavor in Florence that I would have expected a greater presence in this tea. It was really just a mint tea with a little something extra.
This is usually my “first tea of the workday”. It was recommended to me years ago at Harney, because I was obsessed with Paris at the time. Similar in flavor, this one is now my idea of a great cup of tea to get me going in the morning.
Picked this up on my first official visit to the Harney & Sons Soho store. I told the salesperson that two of my favorites were Paris and Winter Earl Grey, and this was her recommendation. She said that instead of the vanilla hints found in Paris, this one had honey. One whiff of the canister, and I knew this would be right up my alley! Its a tough call whether I prefer this or the Paris, but both are simply lovely black teas with a little something sweet, and I can detect the berry tinge that some of the other tasters were commenting on. Mellow, full-bodied and wonderful anytime!!
Dry, this tea smells vaguely of… tobacco. Hm. It’s interesting. It’s a darker tea, but not quite black in color. 205/1.5 min.
The aroma of tobacco is still present. In the taste, as well. It’s a slightly smoky tea, but with a tanginess as well that is surprising and pleasant. There’s a slight astringency to the tea, even at a lower temp and shorter steep time than recommended. The tea is well-rounded and has some complexity as I’m finding that the finish tends to change, beginning with a malty flavor, to tanginess, then the touch of smokiness lingers for a moment or two.
I had a really lovely Chamomile & Lavender blend the other day, however it’s been discontinued so was hoping this would be similar ..
Unfortunately the Chamomile was so dominant that I wouldn’t have known anything else was in there had I not seen what was in the bag prior :(
The dry tea smells like dried lemons or oranges mixed with a fresh, leafy green scent. The tea is powdery and there are lots of little bits and pieces that slip through the filter on my Breville One-Touch. 160/3 min.
Wow. This is one cloudy tea. It looks almost swampy with a light olive green color and a murkiness that makes me hesitant. The lemon scent and taste are very pronounced in this tea. It’s difficult to discern the green beneath it, but it’s there. The ginkgo comes through in the aftertaste. I drank this tea about an hour ago, but I can still taste the ginkgo on my tongue.
Backlogging a tea of yesterday….
I have not logged this one for over 2 years. Russel from the Millerton Shop sent me a small sample of this recently, and it was nice to revisit this one. I know it should be a favorite of mine. It has the perfect kind of tea base (this is super yummy!), but the flavors are just the wrong blend for me. I have an allergy to fresh stone fruits. Yes, I am an oddball. Since flavorings are not really fresh versions, I am ‘allergically’ safe. However, even eating/drinking the flavors too much kind of feels unsettling. The same thing happens to me with anything that is hazelnut or walnut flavored. I made a pot and was able to drink a mug full but that will probably do it for me for another two years. Oh how I wish it were different. I love the tea base and hope that one day they will make a China black version of Earl Grey with orange. Thanks again to Russel!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the afternoon…..
For some reason this does not taste as good to me as it has in the past. The thing is, it should be a good one for me. The base is, (I think) Keemun and Yunnan. I am thinking, though, it is the stone fruit flavors. I have a weird sensitivity/allergy to fresh plums, peaches, and apricots….any of your basic stone fruits. I just did not make the connection before. It is not like I am actually reacting (the tea uses essences that have likely been heated. This pretty much denatures the proteins to which I do have an allergy, into something I can consume without issue), but the flavor is leaving me uneasy in my head. It is a feeling like I should be reacting to it, but I am not. I know. Strange. The same thing happened with a black tea with notes of walnuts because I react to raw walnuts is a very similar manner. So sad. I loved this one. I need to rehome it.
Who needs Tower of London, about 4 ounces? (US only, please…the recent international mail rate increase was kind of big…)
Tea of the afternoon…..
I can’t believe how long it has been since I last had this….. I seem to be gravitating more toward unflavored teas these days. However, this is a lovely honeyed berry flavored tea. Truly lovely with the holiday cookies my neighbor just brought over!
Usual parameters for the new mug! (2 tsp tea, boiling water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweet.)
Yayyy! My first taste of Tower of London loose leaf. Thank you to the Harney Millerton Shop for getting this in stock for me, so I did not have to buy a whole pound!
Berry and honey notes with a rich black tea base. What more could I ask for? I definitely like the loose over the sachets. Not as convenient, but I like having control over the amount of leaf. 2 level tsp. of tea in an infuser, 16 oz freshly boiled water in my jumbo mug, 4 minutes.
My last sachet of this (for now?). I am trying to decide what to do. I love this, but I am not sure I love it 16 ounces worth. It is kind of funny, because the tins sort of work out to be around 36 cents for a double cup (the sachets make 12 oz) and the loose does make it a little cheaper.
If I were to buy the pound, is there anyone who would want part of it? It works out to be about $1.50 per ounce, and I might ask that you pay around a dollar for shipping. I am just looking at my options right now….I am not sure I will go this route. I can always buy the sachets for a while.
Update: It sounds like they will be able to get it at the Millerton Shop!
Thank you to ashmanra for graciously sending me a few sachets to try. This is a wonderful tea, and I do agree with other reviewers that it is like Paris Light. There is a solid and full black base with hints of honey, berries, and the ever so light hint of bergamot. Lovely and very rich tasting.
It is on my shopping list! And will be my replacement for Paris….. Paris is good, too, but I am really liking the lighter bergamot.
This is very similar to my favorite green tea, Rogue Wave from White August. Bangkok has very large, bright green leaves and huge pieces of dried coconut. However, it lacks the intensity of spice of Rogue Wave.
The leaves smell fresh and the coconut is readily apparent and somewhat creamy. The lemongrass is very subtle which I appreciate. I’m not a huge lemongrass fan. I can take it as an accent but not a main component.
The tea brews to a grassy, spicy, coconut blend. Just like Rogue Wave, the fragrance and taste are very similar to those found in many Thai dishes. This is another tea that is great iced.
Both H&S’s ‘Apple & Cinnamon’, and ‘Apricot’, are great fruity flavoured blacks teas, and I enjoy them both hot or cold .. Thinking outside the cup, they could also be an interesting flavouring ingredient; for example in what is currently being described as ‘The Best Fruit Crumble Ever!!!!!’ :D
You can use any fruit, but I spontaneously decided to soak some dehydrated Apricots, Apples, & Cranberries in what was left of this Apricot Tea (still warm) .. Then ladled it evenly into ramekins and put a layer of this mix on top:
3 cups Rolled Oats
1.5 cups Stone-Ground Wheat
1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon Ground Clove
2 handfuls (shelled) Sunflower Seeds
1 cup Brown Sugar
- Rub together with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs ..
- This makes heaps so you can store left-over in fridge for next time ..
- Alternate Flavours: (add) Lemon Rind, Ground Ginger, Ground Cardamon, Walnuts ..
- Bake at 170°C for 15min, and serve at desired temp ..