Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
As is the case for so many of us, I have to thank QUILTGUPPY for the chance to try this.
I love rich, full-bodied black tea. This blend is so smooth, yet it seems to have a little extra up it’s sleeve. You can tell that flavor is there, it just isn’t in your face.
I may try a little milk or cream with this just for effect, but it stands well on it’s own.
It is a beautiful golden elixir when steeped.
A keeper for sure!
Backlog from the weekend…… (SRP #17, a sipdown)
It was a very busy weekend. I kind of felt like we were running in all directions. Saturday was Solo & Ensemble contest for both of my kids (a flutist and a violist), and Sunday we had a short program with the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW for a writing contest in which my son participated. I know I did not get my usual amount of tea in (and my headaches proved it!)
This, however, was memorable. It is the end of my tin. So sad. I will miss Mr. Dark & Mysterious (and currently irreplaceable) . Perhaps Harney & Sons will find some to offer again.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…….
This one is getting close to the bottom of the tin. Too bad I can’t replace it, but there are so many other black teas out there that are also complex and wonderful! In a way, it is a good thing, because it will make room for more tea!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning……
Oh, yum! I forgot how wonderful this tea is. It is definitely a little darker and more mysterious than the gong fu blacks I have been drinking. So sad I have only about an ounce left, which is why it is not in my Steepster cupboard. I was very indulgent and made a whole pot of this! I do hope it comes back in stock at Harney some day.
I am also going though my cupboard. I have so many teas that are close, especially in the Chinese black tea category. It is time to resample and hopefully edit! I am getting close to having my flavored blacks under control, but the traditional blacks are another matter. Time to start working on another list for swap!
Tea of the morning……
Hello, Old Friend. This is one of my ‘savor it’ teas. It seems like it was only available for a short time, and the tins were only two ounces. I am not even sure the last time I had this one! I think I made a mistake by trying to go a little lighter on the leaf. It is not quite as dark and mysterious as the last few pots that I remember. Oh, well. It will still be loved.
The tea of the afternoon.
It is hard to know what to write about this one. It is very roasty, complex, chocolatey, slightly smokey, and wonderful. I am a little put off by the cost, but not much once I taste it. Worth every penny! I can’t believe I made a whole pot today. What a treat!
This one is a winner. I agree with JacquelineM…that it is like Golden Snail’s tall, dark, and handsome brother. I want to add, the smoother and more sophisticated brother, you know the one that you swoon over every time he leaves the room. It is very dark cocoa, a little earthiness, and slight smoke. Very rich and deep. But oh so smooth and sophisticated.
I have been reading a bit of Michael Harney’s book (it was on the shelf at my local library!) and he mentioned that one of his tea mentors (I know you did not exactly call him this, Mike, but it sounds like he shaped a good deal of how your decide which teas to buy) said that he only buys and stocks teas that make him happy on sampling. Yes, this is a long, drawn out way to say: This is a tea that makes ME happy!
The other day, I brewed a cup of this, but forgot as I was rushing to get my kids ready for day camp. Packed them up, buckled up in the car and we took off with a huge list of to-do items that needed to be done without children… and halfway to camp, I realized I forgot my tea. So, naturally, as I’m driving, I’m neurotically thinking about all of the reviews I’ve read about this one. I’m weighing the cost of driving 15 minutes back to the house to pick it up and then another 15 minutes back to the freeway. My long list is looming on the passenger seat, and I turn back toward home.
It turns out that it was one of the best decisions of my day! (My sunglasses ended up being made with the wrong prescription; I got lost on the way to a new knitting shop, then found I’d have to hike a while to get there as the entire street was closed for construction.) But, I had finally had the chance to try Golden Monkey, and I have the lovely ashmanra to thank for this experience! (Not the forgetting, wrong prescription and getting lost and finding construction experience, but instead the tea experience.)
Golden Monkey is an appropriate name for this one. It’s a beautiful tea to look at. Dark, black tea leaves intertwined with golden, curled leaves. Like guilded curlicues found on the frames of beautiful artwork. It has a mellow scent that belies its strength. The tea itself smells lovely. Of course, I didn’t get to smell it immediately after steeping, but it still had a nice, sweet aroma to it. Upon tasting, I was surprised at the vegetal taste that I normally get with greens. It is earthy, but not in a pu-erh way. Instead, I would say it’s almost mossy. The element that really makes this tea, though, is the caramel taste that unfurls just after sipping and develops gradually on my tongue. It’s amazing! Sweet and full. This is one tea that should be taken without any additions. It’s very, very lovely and I can now see why Harney & Sons is always sold out of this one.
Thank you, ashmanra, for this wonderful tea! (Now I have to try the new crop, too, as I read your tasting note yesterday.)
I wish that I could give QuiltGuppy a HUGE hug for sending me this tea! Her generosity has put to rest a long running tea mystery involving an unmarked grey clay urn, the most incredible cinnamon tea I’ve ever tasted, and my crazy friend Rachel.
First, you shall have a story. I once had a friend named Rachel who was a sane(ish) individual. Rachel was from NY and she would go back home for the holidays every year. We would exchange gifts after the holidays, and one year she gave me an unmarked grey clay urn with the most fantastic cinnamon loose leaf tea inside. I asked where she purchased the tea and she said, “An Asian place in NY”. What?! That’s not an answer! But, I let it go and I figured that I’d ask again another day.
I did ask again. Rachel became more and more vague until she eventually began to deny that she’d given me the tea at all. Now, that’s just crazy! I eventually gave up asking and I resigned myself to parceling the tea out as if it were gold. I kept the tea in a special “safe” place in the cupboard. Safe until one day it fell over, rolled out, and smashed on the kitchen floor. Destroyed! My favorite tea ever was gone and crazy Rachel wouldn’t tell me where she’d bought it. I was so upset!
Decaf Hot Cinnamon Spice is my beloved anonymous cinnamon tea reincarnated. Its wonderful sweet spicy flavor fills my heart with joy. This tea has a name and I can buy more! I can’t thank you enough QuiltGuppy :)
I should be asleep but I napped off and on all day because of the muscle relaxant I took. Now I want to go to bed but I just feel too restless. I have two bags left of this one that my friend sent, and they are awfully old but I decided to go ahead and steep one and see if it helps.
It has been a very long time since I had Celestial Seasonings Chamomile, but if I remember it correctly this one is a bit better. There is still a minty taste, and it is surprisingly sweet and honeyed when I sip it. I haven’t had much chamomile of any kind but I am enjoying this.
A friend sent me some sachets of this tea a couple of months ago and I never tried it. It is nearly 3am and I have to get up early tomorrow to drive my daughter to an airport over an hour away and I simply can not sleep! That is something that hasn’t happened in a while. I made this is hopes that it would soothe me right off to slumberland, but it doesn’t seem to have done much. The warmth did soothe a slightly irritated feeling throat, but unfortunately I can’t that I see much difference between this and the cheap stuff I bought at the grocery a couple of years ago. The flavor is bright and almost minty, which I suppose is what they call the green apple flavor. I suppose if I drank this often I might develop a deal taste for it and crave it, but as it is, it isn’t doing much for me. Perhaps I need to find out the name of the wonderful chamomile Jacqueline mentioned!
I’m revising my rating for this one. The guava is omnipresent. I don’t taste any of the other flavors but maybe I’m just not sophisticated enough in palate to detect them. It still smells like pineapple to me before brewing. It has a sweetness without adding anything. I like this better when cold. It still won’t be anything I order again, but better than my previous taste.
Tea of the morning…..
Yes, an odd one for me these days. Right now, I feel like I am coming off of a sugar high from Halloween. Plus, I have decided that I am slowly going through my flavored teas to eliminate some as I rarely drink them. I know I will never drink all of the flavored teas I have in stash. I just don’t crave them at this point. I am down to about 20 non-traditional flavored teas. (I am not including the jasmines, straight Earl Greys, and straight rose scented teas as I consider those traditionally flavored/scented.)
At first sip, I was thinking this would be a good one to give to my teenage tea friend. Well, maybe she can have half of it. ;) While I will never get thought the whole tin, I am kind of glad I pulled this one out again. I get light cocoa notes…a little more so than my favorite Fujian black teas. There is also a sweetness from the roses. Really, as flavored teas go, this one is well done. Yes, I can’t completely pass this one along…..I will be drinking some of it for sure!
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning……
I have mostly been drinking cupboard staples the last week or so (and how many reviews do you need to see about something I have reviewed 8+ times!). Lots of crazy things going on, and I do finally feel better! Yayyyy! It will soon be time for experimentation and sampling, again. Fortunately, my sample stash holds some really finteresting stuff!
I haven’t had this one for a while. I do like the chocolate and subtle rose notes. Definitely one of my favorites.
Steeped by the usual parameters…..
Tea of the morning with a little experiment…..
I have a jar! I decided to make up a mug of this and try it with some frothed skim milk. I think I will probably have to play around with it a little… I did skim milk in the jar in the microwave this time around. I might try half & half next time. What I ended up with was a chocolately tea that was mostly just frothed on top. It probably could have used a little more sweet, too.
12 oz mug, 2 tsp tea, freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetend and made into a latte!
Notes on the froth: about 2/3 c milk in a jar. Microwave 1 minute with the lid off. Put the lid on and shake! Poor man’s froth! (I did just use the foam on top….I hope that was the right thing to do as I have not had that many lattes in my life!)
My breakfast tea… Yes, I know this is completely out of character. I cannot remember when I had more of a dessert tea on its own for breakfast since the first days of my tea obsession.
Good.chocolate.tea. Love the light sweetness that comes from the rose. This is my chocolate tea, as it tastes of tea and chocolate, but mostly tea. I also love that the liquor is clear, and not cloudy like some chocolate teas with the addition of bits.
My tea of the afternoon.
There is a new chocolate tea in my cupboard, and it will have a permanent place as long as chocolate tea appeals. I knew that Harney’s Chocolate Tea was good, because I got a sample of it long ago from Fairyfli. I consumed that sample in record time. When it came time to replace some of my chocolate teas, it was definitely on my list, but I decided the addition of roses would be right up my alley. I am definitely not disappointed. The chocolate flavor and rich tea base is very much like I remember in the Chocolate Tea, but the addition of the roses gives a slight sweetness and light floral note. Tastes like chocolate, tea, and lightly of roses all at once. Perfection.
It is also working wonders….it kept me out of the ice cream for the afternoon! And my sweet tooth is sated.
24 oz pot, 4 1/2actual teaspoons of tea, freshly boiled water, 4 minutes.
Sipdown, 138. I am sad to see this one go, but I also have had it for quite a long time. I won’t rush out to buy more but I will definitely restock once my cupboard settles down even further.
I love the coconut-almond-vanilla blend of this, which creamy and sweet and delicious. I also love this one cold-steeped, and it always turns out wonderfully. Definitely a yummy tea!
Today I moved into a new office that is a pretty sizeable upgrade from my previous desk. The only thing that does suck is that I no longer have a sink super near, so cleaning my tea infuser is a little more of a hassle. I think I will get another infuser mug, that way I only have to clean them out once around lunchtime… my max tea drinking tends to be twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
Today I steeped this for two minutes instead of three and it took care of the surprising bitterness that I had last time. Yay! Back to it’s delicious, coconutty, almondy, vanilla-y self. I think its the combo of those notes with the white tea that almost give it a chocolatey note. This is an old one that definitely needs to get used up.
Cold steep of this was pretty good, although I think I would use 1 sachet for 12oz instead of 2 like I did this time. I used to always do that but perhaps my tastes in even iced tea are changing! At least I know I can definitely cold steep this and get a delicious vanilla-coconut white.
Hmmm, this one is also old, and as a white tea I would expect it to age worse than its black counterparts, but I wouldn’t have expected it to gain an odd bitter note. I wonder if its the coconut? Other people have complained about coconut teas going rancid after a while (coconut oils not as shelf stable I guess?), so I wonder if this one is suffering the same fate? It doesn’t smell off or rancid though. That would be very sad if its the case. It did stay good for quite a long time, I just seriously neglected it.
Well, it was ok, just not as good as it once was. I wonder if I can steep it for less time and tame it a bit. Also will try cold steeping, as I always liked this tea cold steeped.
Rosy tea No. 3. It’s been forever since I’ve had this tea! And damn, I forgot to start my timer. Ah well, it’s still tasty.
Creamy coconut, almond and vanilla, with a hit of rose. Yum! Sure, it’s maybe a bit oversteeped, but not by much is combo is delicious and I am glad that it seems to be part of Harney’s permanent stash.