Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

94
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
757 tasting notes

Did a side by side this afternoon with this and Teavivre’s Golden Monkey. Harney on the left, Teavivre on the right.

http://tinyurl.com/hyqoboe

I warmed the gaiwans, put in the leaf and covered while the water was heating. Visually, there are more golden tips in the Harney tea. The scent of the warmed, dry leaves: Teavivre has a smell of hay and dark molasses. Harney’s aroma is malty brown sugar.

About 200F was water temp. 1:30 steep time.

Scent of steeped leaves: Teavivre was sweet dusty hay, Harney was a smell of cooked, wet leaf and rock.

Taste of cup: Teavivre was hay with some malt, mild with a minor, not unwelcome, sour note at the end of the sip. Harney was maltier than TV and sweeter in that brown sugar way, liquor is lighter in color by a touch.

Conclusion: I like the Harney better. Granted, however, that the Harney is fresher (2015) and the Teavivre is older (2014). So this wasn’t an optimal taste comparison, probably. I’ll still enjoy both. :)

Fjellrev

Gorgeous teaware!

Nicole

Thanks!

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94
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
757 tasting notes

Up first for today in the long weekend of not waiting to drink the favorites is this delectable GM. A practically perfect, consistent, GM. Lovely leaves and superior flavor. Such a smooth way to begin the day.

looseTman

YUM! An excellent incisive & concise review! Is this GM consistently great each year??

Nicole

TBH, since the smallest size (aside from samples) is 3 oz, I have only purchased twice so I can only speak to probably 2 years but in those 2 years, the flavor profile was very similar.

looseTman

Agreed, their GM is very pricey. When is their most signifigant sale of the year? Thanks!

Nicole

It is really hard to tell these days. Seems like it used to be that they had a sale around Black Friday and Christmas that usually included free shipping. For the last year or so, they’ve been having sales of varying kinds and specificity about every week for a couple of days only. There is usually a free shipping w/ $25 purchase towards the holidays. I don’t recall them generally having the 30-40% sales a lot of the smaller guys have, it’s usually 10-15% and it’s been on Breakfast Blends or on new teas or other similarly limited categories. Best way to tell is to sign up for their email notifications.

Nicole

And to me, it seems pricey because you are getting 3 ounces at once. The GMs I buy from other, smaller companies runs about $8 an ounce as well so it isn’t actually any more than I pay elsewhere.

looseTman

less than a minute ago
$8 an ounce = $128/lb – this makes sushi-grade yellowfin tuna look inexpensive. This is why I asked about their most significant sale of the year. I already receive their email notifications and haven’t yet noticed a compelling opportunity.

" … it’s usually 10-15% and it’s been on Breakfast Blends or on new teas or other similarly limited categories.”
This is why I’ve been patronizing other Steepster-recommended suppliers.

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94
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
757 tasting notes

Trying to ease my way back into tea taste. My tastebuds have been way off since that brief tummy thing after Christmas and my straight blacks just haven’t sounded good. :( No matter. If my taste is changing again, then I’ll either keep what I know were favorites or I’ll have mass amounts for swapping. :)

Straight, this is still very good. Still not as good as I remember it being just 2 months ago. Now, add a teaspoon of cream and WOW! The honey and caramel just pop into your mouth and transform this into a full-on dessert tea. This is pure heaven on a very cold and getting colder night.

tea-sipper

oh no! I hope the teas taste better to you again!

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94
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
757 tasting notes

I see I’ve reviewed this before. Perhaps back when I was just getting into this type of tea? I’m not sure how I thought it was light before. Maybe just a different batch. It’s been about a year.

This is simply wonderful. Deeply malty, fruity and cocoa-y. I forgot to look on here to see if I’d had it before when I grabbed the sample with this last order. If I had, I might have sprung for a full tin. It definitely goes on the shopping list now. Must have more than just a sample. Especially now that I’m looking at prices through the lens of per ounce, not just what the immediate cost is. This is comparable to other teas I like for the amount you get. The only downside is that my resteep was very lacking despite leaving it to steep about twice as long as the original time.

Nicole

Nooooo! I finally decide to suck it up and get a 2 oz tin of this (during the free $25 shipping, of course) and it is out of stock.

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94
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
757 tasting notes

Light and smooth. Pretty liquor. The dry leaves are a pretty mix of gold and black. A bit of a malty taste. Somewhat easy to oversteep perhaps. I do like this quite a bit. If it were to go on sale, I’d get more. For now, I’ll stick with a sample now and then.

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

This resteeps really well, too! To me it tastes best with no additions at all, whereas Teavana’s GM needed milk and sugar to make it interesting.

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60
drank Elyse's Blend by Harney & Sons
757 tasting notes

It does have a polleny smell when dry. The smell when steeped reminds me somewhat of these honey cookies I make – like cooked honey. The tea base seems to be very light and inoffensive. Smooth. I thought the honey tasted a bit odd. I do sometimes have honey in my tea but it’s usually when I’ve oversteeped it so maybe I just don’t know what to expect. I’m glad I tried a sample, but I probably won’t order it again. Nothing in particular wrong with it, just not to my personal taste.

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

I had a hard time drinking this on its own so I have started blending this in with a slightly smokier tea….it is yummy!

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95
drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
59 tasting notes

Delicious.

There isn’t much else to say. It’s great hot or cold. It is difficult to oversteep and holds up well to multiple brews.

It fast became my favorite tea in my cupboard. Don’t waste any more time any go order some and see for yourself!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80

I did not like this tea at the first and the second time I steeped it. I thought it was too sweet, and lacks the spice of ginger. But then I have increased the steeping time and have liked more. I have steeped since then for about 5 minutes, water at 90°C, and the sweetness have go down, and I can taste the soft taste of the oolong.
But still lacks something that reminds me of ginger. And the smell of the infusion is weird (mainly when i do a second steep of the leaves).

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

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91

Today has felt like a Monday ALL day. Thankfully it was Thursday, as work days go it was the usual frantic phone calls and putting out fires here and there. Until my mom called and in a very curt voice told me I needed to come over as soon as possible to move anything I was storing in the apartment storage out. Longer story short…my brother and his girlfriend live in the apartment and want to expand it for more space into the storage area (which is huge). Of course he apparently wants to do this now. Awesome.

So now my dear husband and I will be driving an hour out and packing all this stuff up to try and find a place for it in our basement. This wouldn’t be so bad had my inlaws not dropped off massive amount of their items as they try to sell their house. SO as you can see I’ve had a heck of a day!

When I got home I went to work making room in the basement and when I was done I was determined to have some tea…this tea. I haven’t really had manny Keemun teas. So I thought I’d throw a sample of this with my order earlier this weel. Wel, it smelled chocolaty enough when I opened the package so I opted to have a brownie (gluten free) ok two brownies! Let me tell you the brownie only brought out the chocolate even more! Yum! I also noted the toasty flavor promised in the description.

It is very different from the Assam teas I am used to and I have to say I like different, I like it a lot. I’m not sure I’d drink it very often. Maybe a “break into in case of emergency” supply of sample sizes is in order? Yes I already have another Harney order building in my head. I’m so bad. :) I’m glad I opted to pick this one up….thankfully you CAN pick your tea even if you can’t pick your family.

*Note I’m not mad at my mother…she was feeling pressure from my very impatient brother and let it out in my direction…an apology came 10 minutes later.

Azzrian

Wow hope your day got better later on!

IllBeMother221B

It did after I had the tea. Also got to talk to some of my favorite tea people which always helps!

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63

Another sample from Harney & Sons with my recent order. It isn’t horrible, but I’m not sure it is a green tea for me. The Earl Grey Supreme I had this morning had just the right amount of citrus flavor to it, but this tastes like it has too much. I’m weird I know or my taste buds are off. I would drink it again in a pinch, but I don’t think I’d order it.

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94

This is my tea of the morning. I’ve been up for two hours now on and Sunday and I’m not happy about it. But I am happy to have a whole tin of this tea in my cupboard! It’s funny it still smells like Fruity Pebbles to me – which is not a bad thing…just different! It certainly is a nice relaxing cup of tea to ease me into a day when all I want to do is head back to bed!

But I’ve got to pack up a nice flat rate mailer for TeaEqualsBliss of samples! Suppose I should go see what she’s got so as not to duplicate! :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

You totally spoiled me, girl! WOW!!!!! Awesome package! Thanks! I hope you get yours (from me) soon! It’s enroute now :)

IllBeMother221B

I will let you know! You are very welcome happy to send it!

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94

A sample of this arrived with my recent Harney order. I thought I’d give it a go this morning. I’m not a huge Earl Grey fan…I like it, but it’s a case of I like what I like and don’t often branch out. Well, I may have to branch out after drinking half the cup! It actually reminded me of Fruity Pebbles in taste which in this case is not a bad thing. I really used to love Fruity Pebbles when I was little so this brought me back to a more carefree time in my life. That is one thing I love with Harney & Sons teas, they always and I do mean ALWAYS evoke a memory of some kind for me. The Bergamot was a little stronger in this tea, but it was mighty tasty. I did add a hint of sweetener to this one, but not too much so as to take away from the tea. Look out only other earl grey in my cabinet there is a new sheriff coming to town!

ScottTeaMan

This is one of, if not my favorite Earl Grey. :))

DaisyChubb

Sounds like a winner! Super tasty :3

IllBeMother221B

Oh yes, I think I just heard my wallet weep from my purse. :) A few friends and I are planning a trip to the shop and possible factory tour in the near future…adding this one to the list!

ashmanra

My fave Earl! And Diamond Jubliee tastes like a milder version of this, with an extra flavor added that does not come across as grapefruit to me, which is a good thing. Two grapefruit haters drank it with me and liked it.

IllBeMother221B

I really like Earl Greyer from Republic of Teas, but this one may just have topped that!

ScottTeaMan

I like EG Supreme better because I can taste the base tea and the bergamot is not too much. Earl Greyer is really good iced I think. :))

IllBeMother221B

I’m feeling like that might be the case. I might have to do a side by side with them soon… perhaps this weekend! I’ve never tried the Earl Greyer Iced, but I will now!!

ScottTeaMan

I used 2 Earl greyer teabags when I iced it using a 10-12 oz mug.

IllBeMother221B

What would that translate to for the loose tea version?

ScottTeaMan

How many ounces is your cup??

IllBeMother221B

Depends anywhere from 6oz to 12oz

ScottTeaMan

The general rule is 2 x as much for iced or cold brew teas. I would start with 5-6 grams of loose tea, and adjust according to taste.

IllBeMother221B

I just put in a order for this today… :)

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80
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
46 tasting notes

Appearance: standard dark, broken, black tea leaves, with minimal stems. Liquor: dark brown – more brown than the red I often associate with black teas. Smell: So nice! Loose and brewed, there is a strong hazelnut flavor and underlying cocoa. I keep searching for hazelnut chunks. The smell is amazing. Taste: This is surprisingly sweet without milk or sugar. The hazelnut is quite pleasant, and there’s just enough chocolaty flavor that it could stand in for a hot cocoa. Like many H&S teas, as it cools the flavor develops some citrus notes that don’t really work with the other flavors. I don’t think it needs sugar, but adding it does make it very decadent. Adding milk makes it a really good hot cocoa stand in. This may be my favorite milk and sugar tea so far. Very nice way to start a weekend morning. 8/10

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91

I wanted to give this a try as soon as it arrived yesterday. But I was worried I’d be up all night as this is billed as their strongest tea! So I waited to try it on this cool (for now) July 4th morning. At first sniff of the dry leaf I worried that it was too similar to their Irish Breakfast, so much so that I took out my tin of that for comparison. Well, let me tell you they are two very different teas. This one is made from two very VERY dark black tea leaves. It says a Ceylon black tea and a strong black from India. I’m guessing Ceylon and Assam. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

Wow is it strong! But it is good. There is a tiny hint of astringency (or I over steeped – which might be true) with my first few sips. Even that isn’t bad, usually I find to be a huge turn off. I have to say it is bold, rich, and slightly oaky to taste and I like it a lot. I didn’t add anything to this tea and I usually don’t. I’m sure this would take milk and sweetener if you were so inclined to add it. I’m glad I bought the tin…would have been very sad had I only ordered the sample size!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Li Shan by Harney & Sons
4837 tasting notes

Thank you Russel Allyn for sending me some of this Oolong – it is delightful!

The aroma wafting from my cup at the moment is captivating, smelling sweet with hints of fruit, flower and honey. The early infusions also offered a very creamy element to the flavor and texture, with the creaminess waning by about the fourth infusion.

A really delicious Oolong – I love it.

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83
drank Peppermint by Harney & Sons
318 tasting notes

Eurgh. I do not feel good. Here’s to hoping this settles my stomach down a bit.

Josie Jade

Feel better!

ashmanra

Oh dear! Go to work, peppermint, and make it better!

tea-sipper

I hope you feel better!

Michelle

Thank you guys! I’m a bit better now :)

Rachel J

Glad you feel better!

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83
drank Peppermint by Harney & Sons
318 tasting notes

Today was a bad day, panicky and strung-out. I went out, drove about an hour just to get away, stopped in a Barnes & Noble for a drink. The B&N by my house has a Starbucks attached to it; they share an entrance but it’s a Starbucks. This one was actually a Barnes & Noble Café. I don’t know what it is – it might just be that I’m absolutely terrible at poker faces, or maybe just that I notice it more – but whenever I’m having a day like this the cashiers and random strangers around me all seem so much kinder than they do ordinarily.

I hadn’t tasted any Harney teas before, and the barista was incredibly sweet. She was a middle-aged Indian woman with a soft accent, and she kept recommending me teas and complimenting me on my choice of cookie. Made my night. Thanks, barista!

~Tea!

I like this one. I walked over to the condiment station and tasted it, and it was just the perfect strength, although I’d only left the bag in for about a minute – really, just long enough to pay. It’s minty and cool without much sweetness, and there’s a little hint of herbal flavors underneath it. All I added was about a half-teaspoon of honey. Perfect.

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87

This is the first Harney & Sons tea I’ve ever had, courtesy of Sandy.

I’m not the biggest fan of ‘green’ oolongs as of yet. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just kind of subtle, and not exactly that… you know… awesome.

However, the pomegranate flavoring of this tea just seems to be the flavor that tea guan yin needs. It’s not overpowering at all in this tea, but it is very apparent. It works very well. Although, I don’t taste any of the ‘juniper’ taste that I normally get with a TGY or assorted green oolongs (high mountain, monkey picked, etc). I’m not sure if that’s just a matter of it blending with the pomegranate, or if this particular TGY doesn’t have that quality at the back of the taste.

Also, if you should happen to be able to pick up a sachet of one of these… I recommend it for nothing else other than the comical value of the post-brew sachet. Missy was giggling so hard at the way the sachet expanded from the TGY almost to the point of bursting. She said it looked like a tea balloon, haha.

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

Haha, I love your posts. You almost always get me laughing!

ashmanra

Oolongs expand soooo much! A friend just bought a tin of this and loved it, so i made a glass pot of oolong and let her watch the leaves expand. I said, “See that?”. She said, “Yuh-huh, so what? It’s big. OHHHH! I should buy loose leaf oolong!”. That’s my girl. Her one pound bag arrived Saturday!

Dylan Oxford

haha, awesome

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81
drank Organic Peach by Harney & Sons
534 tasting notes

Posting from Fresh To Order in midtown on my break. I plan on trying all of these eventually.

Much like the coconut green I tried previously, it’s very lightly sweetened, which is something I like. I can’t stand overly sweet bottled teas, like Arizona’s, for example. The peach flavor is great. It’s strong and realistic, and stands out the most. It isn’t tart at all, though it is a bit astringent. The black tea they used is pretty standard, and just bitter enough for you to tell it’s there. I can’t really detect any complex flavors in it because of the peach. But this is good, especially during this heat wave. I would get it again if given the chance.

momo

Ooh, after their Black Currant one I had last week, it’s good to know other places around town that carry their bottled teas!

Tabby

Hmm, maybe I’ll try that one next!

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68

Got this in the tagalong sample. First off, this smells like orange soda tastes. It’s sort of wonderful. It doesn’t seem overpowering to me at all, but orange is one of my favorite scents.

The tea itself is a nice, smooth green, nothing special but a solid base for the flavoring. The orange is lovely, though I’d have liked it to be a little more tangy. It’s sort of sweet.

I don’t really have much else to say. It’s a nice tea, but even after all five sachets I’m undecided on whether I want to order more or not.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

This tea works really well for making Massala Chai tea from scratch on the stove top at home. The decaf has been a great option while my wife was carrying our child. The floral notes of the tea are very pleasing and blend well with the Indian spices we throw in the pot with milk. Let it cook at least ten minutes if you’re making chai…

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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89

Thin needle leaves float on top of the water, unfurling to reveal their their pale green color. The liquor is a light silvery green. The flavor is at first delicate almost to a fault, but it expands quickly on the palate, moving from spun sugar to toasted artichoke. A shorter (2 min) second steep expounds the vegetal taste, while avoiding open bitterness. The mouth-drying aftertastes are of light fresh pine and sugar.
Those chinese green tea enthusiasts interested in more assertive flavors should look first to our new Luan Guapian or the time tried classic Lung Ching.
-RA

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
169 tasting notes

Do you ever buy a tea and you are just so sure that you will adore it, but then when you drink it your feelings are hurt that you are not madly in love with it?
I was so sure that I would be just as mad about this tea as I am with Paris.
I am not.
However, it IS a good tea and I do like it.
I have a feeling that I did this to the poor tea, my expectations were too high.
I just wanted to love it too much.
Deep Sigh
The nose on this tea is strong.
Almost like its trying to make sure you know it has chocolate in it.
But, the taste it better, it is a smooth tea and I do like the taste.
You really can not identify the black tea in there though.
I drank this as is, no sugar or cream/milk.
I did not want to mask what tea taste that was there.
I can see making this tea for company who do not drink much tea normally, it would be unoffensive to them, unless they do not like chocolate.
Now, I do like some Chocolate Teas.
And this tea is not terrible, we just are going to be friends though, instead of lovers.
I have some of this tea cold brewing, so I will return with a update on how this tea holds up to that.
UPDATE
Well, my opinion has not really changed in drinking it cold brewed.
It makes an all right iced tea, but I probably will not be cold brew it again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

when I first tried this tea I loved it, but for some reason I stopped loving it.. oh well

SimplyJenW

As long as I think of this as a hazelnut tea, I like it. I agree that the chocolate is a little light.

Janefan

I think a bit of milk/cream and sugar does bring the flavor out more in this one. But, I’ve never managed to get it to taste as chocolately as when I first drank a whole pot of it myself at a teahouse dinner.

Skulleigh

Oh, I’ve been there, and recently! It’s like a personal insult, isn’t it? :D

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80

I like this one. Tried it a few years ago at the bookstore and appreciated how unique it was. Recently acquired a pretty green tin of it which smells awesome after each opening.
I like the short tea bag string, the pyramid shaped bag, and looking at the little dry pieces in it.
The tea tastes like it smells, lovely, and with a quite prominent coconut taste. Its one of the few green teas I can enjoy. I imagine this tea will remind me of the south once I move from it.

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