Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

I don’t care for grapefruit, so it’s no wonder why I didn’t like this. However, I’m reviewing this for those that DO like grapefruit in a rather backwards way. The white tea and vanilla are lovely and delicate. The grapefruit, to me, tastes a lot like actual grapefruit. Which of course makes my entire face pucker and unavoidably jerk my head to the right. So, point being, grapefruit aficionados, give this a shot, as it passed my spastic test =(

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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1

Blergh! Definitely not for me. I love pomegranate, but this just tasted like cough syrup!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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93

I’ve just had Indian take-out (from an amazing restaurant called Masala. If you ever find yourself in Wellington,New Zealand, definitely give it a go) so that may be influencing the spices somewhat, but I’m loving this. I’m not overly big on cinnamon as a single note, but this is lovely. Far sweeter than I thought it would be. I bet it would be amazing with a cider or chai.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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70
drank Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
99 tasting notes

Wow, that’s a strong Bergamot! I would expect bergamot enthusiasts would love this! Personally I could take or leave it on the whole.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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80

I went on a bit of a sampling kick and ordered 2 of the boxed Harney samplers, so I was able to compare Decaf to straight Earl Grey. On the whole I prefer Decaf. It’s significantly lighter than Harney’s Earl Grey. I haven’t tried a Lady Grey, but I’m suspicious it may fall into that category as it’s a heck of a lot lighter than Earl Grey. I thought it was lovely and it might end up being my new Earl Grey.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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50

I’m on the fence about this one. Not being a caffeine drinker the “tang” was certainly something different/a distraction. I could definitely see this being an acquired taste for me personally.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65

This is my first Chocolate tea and on the whole I liked it. I’m not a fan of rose, but somehow it pulled it off quite nicely, much to my surprise. That being said, the chocolate didn’t make make swoon, which, let’s be honest, is what I’m looking for. I’m reserving final judgement for my third steeping.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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100

Oh, wow. This is fantastic! Lovely and light and, dare I say, perfect. Dry the rose scent comes through a lot stronger, but mellows nicely when steeped and the vanilla gently escorts your nose into the first sip. I get a titch of what seems like a hint of almond? But all the flavors are so even, dancing with each other politely. No sign of a drunken uncle at this wedding ;)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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96
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
4833 tasting notes

This is awesomely amazing! Absolutely amazing. So rich, malty, and delicious. Bold, a little smoky, and sweet. Well-rounded. Chocolate-y undertones, earthy, and with a good amount of heft to it – this one has some get-up-and-go to it.

Definitely a great tea to start the day.

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83
drank Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons
109 tasting notes

Brew temp 208

I HATE the heat.

Although I love hot sauces and spicy food, hot weather and I do not get along. Cold Miser? I’m more hard-core than him-I’d be happy to never have a day above freezing.

Anyhow, living in the States usually guarantees hot summers and for some reason I love Lapsang in the summer. When it gets really hot (like today) I can be sure to sit outside and drink a cup or two. It’s like I’m saying to the heat “Bring it on!”

This is a good solid Lapsang. Campfire smoky. Not tarry. If you absolutely must be so overwhelmed with smoke as to require a respirator, this is probably too mild for you-it’s more of a middle-of-the-road smoky.

Right now, I’m starting to think Lapsangs are like local Chinese take-out/away restaurants in the States. Sure, the restaurant/tea company name is different wherever you go, but the menus/flavors are all pretty much the same. Maybe some minor variations, but not enough to be noteworthy. It’s reliable, inexpensive, and predictable. Now, sometimes predictable is a good thing-very reassuring. However, I’m hoping to find something that keeps the essence of Lapsang but is a little more unique in its flavor. I really like Lapsang, so I don’t mind trying different ones in hopes of finding something distinctive. Only bought an ounce of this, so I’ll try something new soon.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
525 tasting notes

Fridays at work are soooo slow! I have plenty of time to sip on my tea. :)

I got a free sample of Ali San from Harney the other day. They are doing this thing where they’ll give you a sample size to take home if you Check In with Yelp while you’re there. I chose this tea to take with me since I can always do with more oolongs. And I had such fond memories of the ali shan from Canton Tea.

This one is quite good even if it’s not getting the gong fu treatment I usually give first tries on oolongs. It starts out light and floral. Sweet and a bit vegetal. Typical green Taiwan oolong, only more floral, I’d say.

The flavor gets stronger and more vegetal as we get into the third steep. The flavor is going strong. My scant teaspoon full of leaves have taken over half my 12 oz mug. holy cow can these things grow!

I’m really liking this since I’m always a fan of Taiwanese green oolongs but I have to say that Canton’s ali shan is better. I love this floral veggieness here though. very tasty!

On an unrelated note, a couple of people are getting sick at work here and I’ve been offering people tea. One of them mentioned that he’s been trying to get into green tea for health but hasn’t liked any that he’s tried. Opportunity! I don’t know if I should offer a flavored green or an awesome delicious unflavored Japanese or Chinese green. I happen to have all those options in my drawer by my desk… Please tell me this is normal!

I think I’ll go with the Chinese green and hope for the best!

Azzrian

I would allow him to choose one himself. Usually people tend to like things more if they have some input. Ego perhaps – not wanting to dislike their own selection lol anyway let us know if he likes it!! Whatever is selected. :)

Mercuryhime

Well, I asked him what he would prefer but he had no idea about anything and told me to pick my favorite. And that Chinese green did happen to be my favorite green that I had at work. He didn’t seem to like it much. Said it was “very light.” Ah, coffee drinkers… haha. Maybe it would be easier to get him with black teas and slowly work from there.

CHAroma

I have about 10 different kinds of tea in my desk drawer at work too. ;) Tea lovers unite!!

Mercuryhime

Oh man, imagine a work place where all your colleagues loved tea as much as we all do! I won’t be the only weirdo with a glass tea mug with a built in filter basket. We’d all be like, “Hey, I got this awesome sheng puerh the other day, wanna try?”

Oh wait, this is what it’s probably what it’s like if you work in the tea industry… My dream job does exist!

Fong Mong Tea

You’ll never know what tea fits your taste until you have it a try.

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88
drank Bangkok by Harney & Sons
2809 tasting notes

This came as a free sample from Harney & Sons and it’s a pyramid teabag…

Lately I’ve been feeling so “meh” about flavored green teas so I wasn’t looking forward to this one so much.

This is sweet and lovely and I am very fond of this combination! Firstly you get a nice coconut and vanilla flavor followed up with the lemongrass and ginger. I’m not getting a lot of green tea flavor here but I do like the flavor. I was pretty fond of the Thai rooibos from Upton as well so I guess it’s no surprise I am digging it.

I only wish this came in decaf form, then it would make a great dessert tea (no they don’t have it, I checked the website).I think it would be great with some soymilk or coconut milk. I might need to order some of this when I get more things from Harney – and you know it is only a matter of time…. hee!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec
ScottTeaMan

I was going to send you this one. I’m glad tou like it. Maybe you need to steep it longer to taste the light Bancha tea?

TeaBrat

If I get some more I’ll keep that in mind. Have you ever had this iced?

Infusin_Susan

Sounds good. I think I might have to try this.

ScottTeaMan

No, I’ve never iced it-would probably cold brew. I may have enuff for a quart or two.

ScottTeaMan

Making it hot & then icing it would bring out nore of the Bancha flavor though.

Invader Zim

I really enjoy this one, but I prefer it hot. For some reason it just doesn’t taste right to me cold. If you like coconut with green tea you might like H&S new tea called Love Life. It has coconut and strawberry, it’s quite yummy!

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89
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
109 tasting notes

Brew temp was 208

It’s in the water.

So many times I read how important quality water is for good tea. My parents neighbor-who knows less about tea than me-was going on about it this weekend. Myself, I have been using filtered water for so long, I can’t remember drinking tea made with straight tap water. So there I am at my parents house making this new tea for dessert last night and something was not quite right.

It was the water.

Unfiltered tap water that I had grown up on and thought tasted pretty good was overpowering this wonderfully aromatic and sweet tea I had just bought earlier in the afternoon. I could taste the potential here, but rather than enjoying the tea, I couldn’t wait to get home and try it with better water.

I’ve been looking for a dessert tea to have besides masala chai (which I enjoy, but not every night) and mint chocolate tea-which doesn’t go with everything and I get tired of anyway.

This is one of those teas that I knew as soon as I smelled the dry leaf, I would love it. It smells just like you would expect-of hazelnut and chocolate. This tea tastes almost like coffee to me. At least what I think I remember coffee tastes like as I have never really been a coffee drinker. It’s smooth and kind of heavy, it’s hard to believe it’s straight and translucent. Zero bitterness. Liquor is a nice shade of chestnut. As advertised, it tastes like chocolate and hazelnut. The flavoring is so natural. It’s really sweet and rich with nothing added. I imagine it would be exceedingly decadent with soy milk/cream and sugar added-which I will have to try soon. Water problem solved

Masala chai has some serious competition here.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Scott B

This is not nearly as decadent with vanilla almond milk and sugar as I thought.-although nice for dipping an oreo in! Fortunately, it is plenty good and needs no additives. Still, might try it with plain soy at least once.

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87
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
109 tasting notes

Hope all the mothers out there had a great weekend!

So, we traveled to see my parents this past weekend but they had a surprise for me-they took me on a short trip to a mom and pop tea shop they recently discovered. There are zero teashops anywhere near where I live, so getting to go to one is kinda a big deal.

The shop is in an historic building built before the Civil War. It had an unusual but not unpleasant aroma inside-like a mélange of spices that I smell when I go into the health food store-more about the aroma later.

Anyhow, the shop is all Republic of Tea, Stash, and Harney and Sons. RoT was in tins only and Stash was just bags. Harney was the big attraction since I have never tried any of their teas before and the only tea sold in bulk. Armed with notes from Steepster reviews, I began checking out the tea. This is just a shop-no food or drinks are served, but they brewed a cup of tea for my parents the last time they visited. Today (Mother’s Day), it was just pop there and he said no, they don’t offer samples. Fortunately, he sells tea in amounts as small as one ounce and the prices are about the same as Harney’s web site-so it’s no big deal if I don’t like any one tea. Disappointment right off the bat as they don’t carry Golden Monkey. They had most of the others I was interested in. The teas were in 1 or 2 pound zip-locked foil-lined sacks which were then placed inside giant Harney tea tins. I was at least able to smell the teas before purchasing. I’m not convinced the owner was that passionate about tea-he knew enough to suggest Lapsang if I liked smoky teas, but he had never actually brewed a cup for himself. He also didn’t have any First Flush Darjeelings. I think maybe a financial planner recommended the tea shop as a business for them to run when they retired. Still, I was comfortable enough with my own knowledge and the collected wisdom of Steepsterites to buy 7 teas.

First up-Queen Catherine tea. All dark and a few medium brown leaves. Maybe one or two golden tips. I wish Harney’s wasn’t so mysterioso about what is in their blends, but I did catch a whiff of what I think is Fujian black in the dry and brewed leaf. I also thought I smelled a bit of malty Assam in the dry leaf-that should not be possible as this is supposed to be all Chinese teas. Maybe it’s a Yunnan black. This is smooth and lively. I taste a bit of chocolate. Body is medium-full. Maybe a touch tannic in the aftertaste. This is very enjoyable. Maybe I can come up with better descriptions after a second cup. I could definitely drink this as a breakfast tea-probably always cupped plain, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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77

I enjoy a good flavored green tea now and again and I’m noticing that I like the ones with coconut in them. When I went to order some tea for my mom for mothers day I saw this and knew I had to get this for myself…and am I glad I did. I enjoy Harney’s Bangkok green tea but this one is a bit different, in a good way.

The tea is in sachets and I can see that there are nice, mostly unbroken leaves with an occasional stem. There are also some tiny pink flowers and petals that I cannot identify and a few coconut pieces. Dry this tea smells predominantly of coconut and sweet from strawberry and some vegetal notes from the green tea base.

My initial reaction to tasting this was coconut. What I would guess is fresh coconut, at any rate it is not roasted coconut. After getting over the initial reaction I could taste the green tea. I’ve never had Bancha by itself before so I cannot compare this or say that it’s definitely what I taste in there. But I’m getting a nice grassy note with an almost woodsy note. At the tail end I get the sweetness from the strawberry.

The strawberry and vanilla show up more in the second and third steepings. I don’t really get any of the popped rice, unless that’s the woodsy note instead, but I didn’t taste anything that jumped up and said “Hey I’m popped rice, nice to meet you!” At any rate I still find this a delicious blend from Harney and Sons and I like that half the sales go to a good cause.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
gmathis

This sounds like all my favorite tea flavorings rolled up into one little packet of goodness!

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86

My dad got a sample of this at work and generously decided to gift it to me: I actually have H&S’ herbal cinnamon blend but it’s pretty much just for the bf as the combination of rooibos and cinnamon makes me sneeze. I brewed this with milk & sugar—unusual and a little weird for a cinnamon tea, yes, but I wanted it to taste like a cinnamon bun!

I was definitely successful on that endeavor. This is smooth & creamy with a strong cinnamon taste that doesn’t make me sneeze! The clove and orange are nice and mellow in the background, and the black base definitely stands up to the strong flavors. I’m definitely going to pick up a few ounces of this next time I visit the SoHo store (along with about 10 other flavors that are on my list…. thank god they let you buy in 2oz quantities!).

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82

Wow! This tea is good and strong! Definitely a good tea to get one going in the morning (and even though it’s 2:56 pm, it’s morning for me). Robust and deliciously malty. There is some bitterness to this (I steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water), but I’m not finding it to be off-putting or undrinkable because of it. Rather, I think I find it just jolting enough to kind of help invigorate me.

There are some wonderful smoky tones to this, not a strong smokiness, but, in the background, somewhere beyond the malty tones, the hint of sweetness and the bitter mid-point. It all works together quite nicely, and forms a decent breakfast blend. Not the best breakfast blend I’ve tried (the best breakfast blend I’ve tried would be my own breakfast blend, aka LiberTeas Breakfast Blend, if you’re wondering), but it is enjoyable enough, and it would be a good tea to reach for on those days when I didn’t want to wake up but needed to.

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92
drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
10 tasting notes

I really like the nice red tin :D I honestly chose the tea because I like the tin.
I love the soft warm spicy-ness, but this is unfortunately one of those teas which tastes like water when brewed too short, and undrinkable when brewed too long D;

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
10 tasting notes

I originally got this as a Christmas present for my father but kept it for myself (sorry dad!) as it was just too good.
It smells diviiiiiiiiine, a little like mint when in the packet, but tastes like biscuits.
It’s looooooooovely, I can’t get enough.
Even though it’s double use, like many of Harney and Son’s teas, I tend to make a big mug of this rather than save the bag.
I love this first thing on a cold morning with a cinnamon quill…mmmmm :D

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

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79
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
807 tasting notes

Thank you ashmara for sending me so many H and S samples to try! This is totally helping me decide on my shopping list with them!
This is not one I will order.
Its good – don’t get me wrong I knocked back two full cups quickly however there are better chocolate flavored teas for me.
Thank you again ashmara I am enjoying the H and S experience!
I just realized when I went to rate this that I have in fact tried it before Mercuryhime had sent me some.
I would have kept the rating the same anyway – its good – just not the best I have tired and others I like FAR MORE from H and S that I want to get more as well!

Indigobloom

I hear you on this. The chocolate was good here, but not quite up to par for me. I almost wonder if there is any chicory flavouring

Azzrian

Yeah I wanted to like it more than I did.

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79
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
807 tasting notes

What a lovely easy to drink tea! Thank you MERCURYHIME (capitalizing since I don’t know how to bold) for sharing this sample with me! Also thank you for sending enough for a second cup – I really like it! This has been on my shopping list It think since I joined steepster! Don’t know why I have not picked any up yet. Some things just got stuck on the list.
It is indeed chocolaty and I also happened to have a bit of chocolate here to eat while sipping! YAY! Also tasting the nuttiness!
Now I am not saying it is THE most complex tea ever but it is nice, it is exactly what it says it is and we need more of those teas out there in flavored teas!
As for the base, I am not sure what kind of black tea they are using, but it is very light which is fine, I think I would not mind a bit bolder of a black tea though.
All in all – I am pleased with this one!

Missy

I think you use an asterisk on each side.

Missy

Yup or copy and paste the name.

Azzrian

WOOOO FREAKING HOOOOO thank you Missy!!! :)

Lynne-tea

Ooh yummy! Chocolate and nuttiness! Yay for tea! =)

Missy

Your welcome ;)

Azzrian

Yeah I let my daughter have the last of it though I HAD to share :)

Mercuryhime

Glad you liked it!

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87

Tea of the late morning……

I have yellow tea! I do think this tastes somewhere between white and green. I am actually not really sure where this is supposed to fall, but It tastes like a mix of Long Jing and Silver Needle White. Kind of like green tea without astringency. I get vegetal notes, and notes of hay, and maybe a note of honeysuckle sweetness. No additions.

I might be brewing this one wrong. I just checked and Harney recommends boiling water for 4 minutes. I did about 175 water for 2. I guess I will try hotter and longer for the second steep.

Very cool! I have yellow tea!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
985 tasting notes

Iced tea of the day…..

Oh, this is perfect for a late night pitcher of iced tea! We have been working in the yard today in the heat, so water was definitely the main drink of the day, but about 7 pm I decided I needed iced tea. I also like the idea of a good night’s sleep, and too much caffeine at this point could really hinder how easily I can fall sleep. So, I chose this! It is perfect. Refreshing, notes of black currant and bergamot with a hint of vanilla…..yes, I can taste them all!

Usual iced tea method, just with a 3 minute steep.

LadyLondonderry

This was my iced tea of the day today … and just about any day I make iced tea!

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90
drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
985 tasting notes

Tea of the evening……

It is a bittersweet day. Tonight was the last official meeting of my scout troop for good. The girls are going into High School next year, and have all become pretty busy to schedule much of anything. I have had most of them for 8 or 9 years, and they have grown up before my eyes. Luckily, for my daughter, they are all such good friends and I am sure they will be spending a good deal of time together in other school activities. While they are ready to move on, and I am completely out of new material to keep this going, it has been a fun ride.

Decaf Paris is quickly becoming my top choice for decaf. It is a little lighter of a flavor profile and cannot replace the richness of regular Paris, but still very tasty for when I need an evening black. Yum!

Mug method with a 3 minute steep and 190 water.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

awww that is a sweet memory! you must be so proud of your baby girl growing up!

ScottTeaMan

Great story Jen!

Bonnie

Maybe a shot of somthin in the tea…and hand the girls some black nail polish and you’ll be ok. It’s worse when they’re driving! (what do I know…mine is 39 now but all her girls are getting driving age one by one…eeks).

SimplyJenW

Oh we have done all kinds of nail polish, about every craft you can do with duct tape, t-shirts, beads, a sewing class, and I even did a little short course on emulsions and how to make lotion (my chemistry/skincare background coming out!). Plus camping and normal scouting stuff. I think we covered most of it multiple times. It was tons of fun.

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