Harney & Sons

Recent Tasting Notes

88
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
135 tasting notes

YANA! Dr Who S3E14.

With Paris tea? Perfect blend. Distinctly spicy tasting this morning. I think Paris adapts well to my mood.

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94
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
150 tasting notes

I’m sick of being sick and I’m sick of drinking crap tea. Florence is one of my tried and true favorite teas, and I could really use some comfort about right now. I’m feeling a little less congested so I was actually able to taste this tea pretty well. I deserve a chocolaty treat and I shall have it!

At first sip, the promise of a chocolaty treat is delivered. That chocolate flavor quickly moves to a biscuity, smooth, black tea body. A nice, creamy, hazelnut tone quickly follows and the finish is all rich chocolaty goodness.

Ah, chocolaty goodness…

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80
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
505 tasting notes

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80
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
505 tasting notes

My first Harney & Sons.

A little back story, Uniquity dropped a hint that I could pick up H&S at my local Chapters! So I ran there as soon as I could, and the only kind was Paris. It sounded intriguing (although I’m dieing to try Florence), so I picked up a canister and never looked back.

Wow. It is delicious. I feel grown up! It’s delicate but has body, a little fruity and a little bergamot. I’m also in love, along with all of you!

Now tomorrow in my birthday and I have to choose what tea to have! Will it be Paris or Buttered Rum? A very difficult decision. Well, not really. I’ll have both, but which to have first?!

Please please tea-gods, may you bless me with more Harney & Sons one day.. one day..

Erin Hurley

Hm… I have some om nom nom Florence that I think is BETTER than Paris. Great-big-swap time?

Ashley Bain

you MUST try Queen Catherine and Vanilla Comoro. Everyone’s favs.

Erin Hurley

I keep passing over Vanilla, and I don’t know why! I bought that Coconut Rum instead…..

DaisyChubb

Ah yesssss! I want!
I’m not going to do a swap until after my birthday party (I may have told everyone to get me tea. I may also be having a giant themed costume party, even though I’m turning 23. I may also do that every year)
I digress! I want to have lots of yummy teas for swappage, so I will totally message you guys when I’m ready! Sometime next week perhaps?

Erin Hurley

Sounds perrrrfect. I actually have some shipments coming in this week so it’s a double bonus for you :D

Uniquity

I’ve had a handful of Harney teas, but Vanilla Comoro and Tower of London are the two that really stuck with me. I even ordered a pound of vanilla comoro in my one and only H&S order!

DaisyChubb

I am looking forward to the day where I order a pound of tea.
I’ll have to keep trying so I can find a pound-worthy one for my tastebuds :D

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95
drank Kenya Milima by Harney & Sons
120 tasting notes

Today was hectic, so to relax a little this afternoon, I decided to try a sample I had been keeping back. YET ANOTHER sample from the thoughtful, dependable, generous, and friendly QuiltGuppy. Her tasting note made this tea sound so good to me, the tea exceeded my expectations, which were fairly high in the first place. The tobacco aroma is there at the beginning, but also black tea, maltiness is present. Steeped, the color is golden, a beautiful cup. The hint of tobacco at the start of the sip is incredible. Not a cheap cigarette grade, but a fine, aged pipe tobacco. In no way is it too strong, just a hint. The tobacco quickly dissolves into a malty assam-like flavor but very smooth.
The smoke at the end is a trace, faintly there.

I like this, and will be buying some with my next H&S order.

ashmanra

I must purchase this! Your description sounds enthralling.

teawing

Reading your reviews and seeing what you like, it does sound like a good fit for you.
I am about to have another cup…

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81

Another yummy one. It reminds me a bit of Market Spice’s signature tea; it’s not quite as strong, but it’s also much smoother and less acidic, and it leaves a nice, toasty feeling in your stomach. I can’t decide which I like better.

It’s delicious and cinnamony, with just a hint of orange, and the cloves come through, too. It’s sweet enough on its own and doesn’t need anything added.

While the Market Spice Tea is one of my favorites to wake up with, I’d prefer this in the afternoon. I don’t know if that makes sense. But it’s definitely delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Jenn

I love this tea as well. It’s really refreshing iced!

PeppermintPlant

I bet it’s amazing iced. I have not been real fond of iced tea until recently, but it’s starting to grow on me. :)

Jenn

Do it! Do It! Do it! :)

PeppermintPlant

I think I’ll have to, now. It may be a few weeks for my next order, though, I just got another bunch of samples. >.>

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81
drank Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
974 tasting notes

I picked up a little of this at Millerton to see how it compares to Earl Grey Supreme and Viennese Earl Grey. I do like it. It is a very good Earl Grey, but I think I like the other two just a little more as they both have something more interesting to offer in the tea base. The bergamot is light, and the tea base is pleasing to the palate. Since I am not one for an overpowering bergamot flavor, I will happily drink it all up.

24 oz teapot, 4 1/2 tsp actual tea, freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85

I am dragging a little today….. I decided I needed a stronger tea than I normally drink, and this one fit the bill. It is good and malty, slighly astringent, but tasty! (I have noticed I seem to be going for the bolder teas as of late…) I only have about an ounce of this left and am on the fence about it being on my immediate shopping list. I just have way too much tea. However, the next time I order from a Harney Shop, I will definitely get a few ounces.

3 minute steep, lightly sweetened.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Tea of the afternoon…

I need a serious pick me up and this is it! The last time I had Brigitte, it was very strong. This time I added a small amount of milk….just enough to turn the color caramel and the tea slightly murkey (how do you describe the clarity loss by the addition of milk?…pull in the token gross lake water example…good!)

This is so much better than last time. It is rich, maltey, and strong. I don’t have many teas in my cupboard that stand up to milk this well. I also think I have been adding too much milk when I have added it in the past. A small amount does the trick. This tea is moving from the chopping block back to the general population.

Steeped by my usual parameters. Plus milk!

I also have a new kettle. After the fiasco that ended with two non-functioning VarieTEA kettles (Adagio’s customer service is stellar, BTW. They must be ripping their hair out.) I bought the UtiliTEA after returning the duds (The VarieTEA was a really nice kettle when it was working! It just seems they have a few kinks to work out.) Love the little kettle. I just wish its functioning consistency was paired with the bigger volume and sleekness of the other.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

I love my UtiliTEA kettle! I maybe wish I knew exactly what temps the dial corresponded to, but I think I have it figure out by now. :)

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85

My “Second Breakfast” tea…..

This one is a little more flavorful than I normally drink. Malty, fruity, and very full flavored. The Assam is there and smoothed over with the Ceylon. Definitly one to perk you up.

24 oz teapot, 4 actual tsp tea, freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Kenya Milima by Harney & Sons
1310 tasting notes

Good morning Steepsterites.

I mentioned yesterday this new budding habit of sharing a morning pot with the boyfriend. Well, it has downsides when as today I get up two and a half hours before him and get to sit here and wait for my morning tea. AFTER having decided what we’re having this morning. And no, I can’t just make me a cup myself, because that would be cheating.

Anyway, it appears that I am actually getting through the sample basket more than I thought. I had a look at the Steepster cupboard, went all the way to the last pages and looked at those never posted about yet. Only two untried, unflavoured blacks left! This was one of them, so now there’s just a Yunnan left. Still a fair number of oolong and green and such, though.

I can’t work out what the boyfriend actually thinks of Yunnans. I’ve seen him drink it, but I’ve also seen him drink other things with more enthusiasm. So chosing between the two was pretty easy.

I was pleasantly surprised by the smell of the leaf when I opened the sample. It was sort of a leather-y and dried berries sort of aroma. Maybe some associations to how pipe tobacco smells as well, but the dried berries, cherries in particular, were my first association.

This is pretty much the same in the aroma of the steeped tea. It’s cherry-y, leather-y and sort of fragrant wood-y, but still primarily cherry.

When it comes to the flavour, it definitely gets the stamp of Boyfriend Approval, as he just called out his appreciation from the other room. He doesn’t do that every day.

And it is an interesting flavour. It’s slightly astringent, just the merest hint of dryness to it. It comes across as slightly floral and quite pseudo-smoky, which is enhanced by that note of fragrant wood that I found in the aroma as well.

The whole cherries note is sadly not as prominent in the flavour, but if you are searching for it, there is still some of it to be found. It’s a slightly tangy note just hovering around the edges of the sip. It is not to be confused with the way sencha sakura has cherry in it, this is much less flower-y and more berry-y, especially if you would imagine a dried cherry. Or possibly dried cranberries as well, to a smaller degree, but mainly cherry.

Very nice indeed. I could drink this on a regular basis.

Megs

As soon as you said the association with pipe tobacco and dried fruit, you had me. Ordered a sample this past weekend. Can’t wait to try it!

Angrboda

I was surprised by how much I liked it. I haven’t got much experience with Kenya so far and the ones I’ve tried haven’t otherwise been memorable. But this was really nice. I hope you will like it too. :)

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70

A shop down the street was unloading its stock of Harney and Sons tea, so I bought up the rest, which was mostly their Dragon Pearl Jasmine. There were a couple tins of this, though, and the owner threw them in.

I wasn’t a fan when I first tried this. However, the smell is actually not medicinal and awful from the tin like it was out of the little plastic sampler pack, so I’m thinking maybe that was a bad combination rather than the tea itself (I have noticed that plastic-wrapped teas tend to smell/taste off to me). It’s actually become one of the few teas I open the tin just to take a whiff of now and then.

And I was right in my first assessment; this is absolutely DELICIOUS iced. It is so juicy that it is a good choice when you’re craving that 300-calorie bottle of Snapple. Still not a huge fan of it hot, though.

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70

I can’t lie: I was overwhelmed and a little grossed out by the smell of this one when I opened the packet. It was very medicinal smelling. I continued on this pomegranate oolong path, though, because I am nothing if not stubborn. Once it was brewing, the smell was much less overwhelming and maybe a little nice, though it was still pretty strong.

The tea was much better than first whiff. The oolong was pretty light, but it was strong enough that the pomegranate didn’t completely stomp over it. The pomegranate itself is nice and juicy, though there is a very slightly sticky aftertaste (maybe that’s not the word I’m looking for?).

I was really disappointed I’d only had the one sachet, though. It was a decent cup hot, though I don’t think I would go out of my way for it, but I have the feeling it would be incredible iced, and I don’t have any more to test that theory.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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96

Matsua’s Sencha is a truly sublime sencha experience. However, this tea is quite fussy, and easy to brew wrong. When brewed at a correct temperature and time, a beautiful balance of sweet and vegetal will enchant the taste buds.
-RA

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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93

The scent from the 2013 Meijiawu is deep and strong. Roasted vegetal tastes combine with a sweet and nutty aftertaste to make for a deeply satisfying and lasting Lung Ching flavor. This delicious green tea is more reasonably priced than last year.
-RA

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

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93

The 2011 crop of Meijiawu Lung Ching is very impressive. The smooth nutty flavor is light and sweet. The beautiful flattened leaves are made in the traditional fashion of drying in a hot wok.
-RA

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

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93

This 2011 crop of Da Hong Pao is something special. Bursting with lightly toasted peach aromas, this dark jumble of twisted leaves brews into a beautiful liquor with a rich fruitiness. The flavors become more and more toasty with subsequent infusions.
-RA

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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93

This delightful Chinese oolong is reminiscent of the oolongs of twenty years ago, with darker and smokier flavors. The aroma is also rather smokey, but has a gentle sweetness of stone fruits, specifically grilled peaches. Its body is medium heavy and its flavors combine peach compote sweetened with brown sugar and a dark edge finish. Fans of the Chinese black tea Lapsang Souchong or the charcoal-tinged Chinese green tea Gunpowder will truly appreciate and enjoy this oolong.

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93

When teas are fired over three hundred degrees, the Maillard reaction occurs… and what that simply means is that there will be nutty and sweet undertones which will make your life that much better.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
fcmonroe

Is this the same reaction that causes meats to brown?

Jillian

That sounds more like it would turn it to ash – Wait, are we talking three hundred celcius or farenheit?

Harney & Sons The Store

@fcmonroe- Generally speaking, yes it is!

@Jillian- We’re talking about Farenheit! That’d be a hot hot furnace otherwise.

Jillian

LOL, I figured that was the case, otherwise you’d be steeping tea cinders. ;)

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87

Tea of the afternoon……

I decided to have this today while Lupicia’s Earl Grey was fresh in my mind. This one is bright, too, but more because the base is a Darjeeling blend rather than the bergamot notes being bright. I think I favor Lupicia’s Earl Grey a little over this one. This one is certainly priced a little better……

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87

Tea of the early morning…..

Oh so smooth. At some point I need to check out some Darjeeling tea. I have less than half of the 2 ounces from this that I bought about a month ago in Millerton. For all the choices of EG in my cupboard, that is saying something. In fact, I don’t think I have had any Earl Grey Supreme since this one came home with me. It goes on the shopping list, but I need to drink some of the other handful of EG varieties in there first!

Brewed at my usual parameters…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

I liked Teapigs’ Darjeeling Earl Grey too, so if you get a chance to try that one you might enjoy it!

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87

My tea of the late, late afternoon… I can’t decide if I like this one more than Earl Grey Supreme. Light bergamot, very smooth base. I think it will require more testing……..

No idea on my brewing parameters as I am out and about, but it is yummy!

Preparation
Boiling
ScottTeaMan

I’ve always wanted to try this. Maybe I’ll get a sample next time I order from Harneys.

SimplyJenW

I only bought a few ounces to try, and am bummed I did not buy more. On the shopping list it goes.

ScottTeaMan

I just received a pretty big order from Upton Tea, so maybe a small order in the Fall. I like that they nearly always stock Mangalam Assam, but I’ll probably order the Nahorhabi Assam, due to the fuller leaf. HaHaHaHa….I guess I could start ANOTHER shopping list! :))

ashmanra

I haven’t tried this one…yet. I may have to add this to my list!

ScottTeaMan

Hey OHIO, look for some of my tea reviews on Upton Tea, I use the name Scott from Ohio. I reviewed a few White teas for starters. I’ll probably use them to guide my reviews here, unless I have the tea in stock of course.

SimplyJenW

@Scott…I will look for them. So far, I ave mostly ordered Chinese Blacks from Upton.

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80

Just finished up a tiny pot of this. When I opened the sample the other day, the strong, smoky scent — almost reminiscent of smoked salmon — made me set it aside until I was in the mood to be a little more adventurous. Apparently, that day is today.

I was, once again, very pleasantly surprised. I can see why Harney and Sons has such a great reputation after working my way through these samples!

The smoky aroma mellows a lot once it’s brewed. The tea itself is still very smoky, but it stops short of being overwhelming, giving it a nice, strong flavor (just like I prefer!). It’s a good, complex tea, too, a real eye-opener that would be great to wake up with. I’m sorry I didn’t try it earlier.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
247 tasting notes

This was my first taste of Florence and I’m so happy to have finally tried it. I ordered it as a sample package and upon opening, my inner Nutella detector went off. Ooh, it’s so scented of chocolate and nuttiness that I can’t wait to try it.

I didn’t steep it too long, and I think this is one of the few that may have been better if steeped longer. But, no matter, even this way it’s really good.

The taste is a warm chocolate with a definite accompaniment of hazelnut. The tea itself has a slightly thinner mouthfeel and doesn’t coat my mouth as I would expect hot chocolate to do. (And, I know this isn’t hot chocolate, but the richness of the flavor is so true to it, that I can’t help but expect the hot chocolate experience.) Even with all of this flavoring going on, it’s still fairly easy to detect the black tea. It’s not bitter, or even astringent, which would work against the flavor. It’s really nicely paired with it. In fact, it’s so good that I’d like to try it without the flavors. One of the first times I’ve said that about a black tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

All you had to say was Nutella. I’m sold!

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