Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

93
drank Gyokuro by Harney & Sons
115 tasting notes

This tea looks like Pine Needles! I am also told that this tea has a vegetal aroma and taste to it. If it tastes like Taiping Hou Kui, I’m sure I’ll love this tea.

Leaf Quality
The dry leaves are very thin, and deep green. They are also very delicate- the slightest touch of one of these leaves could brake it in 3 pieces. They smelled sweet, and floral. The wet leaves had the smell and consistency of cooked Spinach. I even noticed a very slight sulfuric aroma, as in cooked broccoli or cabbage. This tea, just by the leaves, was very vegetal indeed.

Brewed Tea
The brewed tea smelled of buttered Brussels Sprouts, which I happen to like (I know! How strange!) The color was a hue of lime green, but very clear. I could mistake this for a vegetable base in a soup. The taste was vegetal, and almost savory. However, this tea was also slightly sweet, and it reminded me of Sugarsnap Peas. How much vegetables have I mentioned so far?

This tea is very different in character to Taiping Hou Kui, which is more sweet, and less vegetal. Also, this tea is more robust. The taste does not change very much between steeps either. This tea still succeeds in pleasing the palate.

Preparation
2 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Love B-sprouts!

Scharp

Thank goodness I’m not the only one! LOL. So many people give me weird looks when I tell them I like Brussels Sprouts.

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72
drank Anji Baicha by Harney & Sons
39 tasting notes

This tea was being offered for tasting at the Soho location, otherwise I doubt I would have selected it on my own. Nonetheless I was pleasantly surprised.

The leaves are drier and more needle-like than most Japanese greens, keeping with the motif of many Chinese greens. The brew is lighter than I expected, and tints yellow, with a pleasant and soothing aroma reminiscent of yellow teas. In fact, the aroma is rather more complex (and subtle) than most other green teas I have tried.

The taste is smooth, an oasis between a sweet white like the Ceylong Silver Tips and the highly vegetal Heavenly Gyokuro. The flavor has doppelganger properties – when you think vegetal it is apparent; when you think light sweetness, it is apparent. Hence there is something here for fruit and vegetable lovers.

Steeping time: 3.5 minutes
Temperature: 176 degrees F

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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62

This was a free sample that came with my order, so thank you Harney & Sons!

Leaf Quality
This sample tea was in a sachet. However, I could still see the individual leaves. They were cut, so there were no full green tea leaves. Also, the picking and processing region in China was not specified. Upon opening the sample, I got a very wonderful Margarita-like aroma. It smelled like lime.

Brewed Tea
It smelled just like the dried leaves- like a margarita. The color of the brew was a yellowish-green, and bits of tea and herb dust fell to the bottom of the cup. It was very citrusy, and tasted as if lemongrass were somewhere in the blend. This tea wasn’t too bad, although I think I would prefer it as an iced beverage. There really isn’t a very green tea flavor in this tea. The typical green tea flavor is overcome by the Ginko and citrus. I would have liked more green tea, or perhaps a stronger one.

I’m glad I got this one for free, as I would not have been satisfied paying for it.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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89

I can’t believe this is a decaf tea! My husband can’t believe there really aren’t cookies baking at 11pm at night! Silly hubbins. But this time around I really, really smell the vanilla and it does smell a little like yummy vanilla sugar cookies! The taste is rich and sweet. But not too sweet. It just has a really nice balance between the black tea and vanilla. Perfect end to one of the first real Fall days we’ve had here in NY.

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

I get that a lot. When I make a chocolate tea, or a vanilla tea … my youngest daughter comes in saying “are you baking cupcakes?” and my hubby says “that smells good, what are you making for me?” They’re both pretty disappointed when I tell them it’s tea. LOL

IllBeMother221B

My husband gets pretty bummed out when he learns it’s only tea too!

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89

My second cup of tea today…second of many. I opted for this one as I find it pretty calming and I needed that today on my lovely (and now super rainy) day off. I spent the morning doing a little laundry and watching episode one of season 2 of Sherlock. Thank you Netflix! I also needed the sweet calming vanilla tea to remind me that not all the Sherlock fandom is off their rocker. Sherlock didn’t win a thing at the Emmy’s last night and that seemed to set 95% of the fandom off on a rip…YIKES!

I was bummed out, but they were nominated…so that is something! ANYWAY this tea is a lovely vanilla flavor that always seems to settle and relax me. Perfect for rainy day lounging. Now off to shop!

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89

Starting my Monday off with this tea. I was not feeling well this morning…long story after one of our cats was locked on the porch and showed her disgust with that… So I wanted something light to quiet my tummy. I know you might be thinking, this tea to quiet your tummy? But it does seem to be working. I made it with maybe a teaspoon in a 6oz cup so it’s just enough to taste but not too vanilla to turn my tummy more.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
IllBeMother221B

Oh yeah….what was seen cannot be unseen!

Bonnie

Hope you feel better!

ashmanra

Oh noes!

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89

While visiting the Millerton shop yesterday I was in the tasting room faced with the daunting task of selecting my second tea to try from the wall of 300! So I asked one of the ladies behind the counter what she would suggest in decaf black tea. This was her first choice which a few others quickly agreed with.

I have to say the vanilla smell of the dry leaf sold me long before I even tasted the tea! I really wanted to eat the leaves they smelled that good! (I did not) But when the tea had been properly steeped I took my first sip and was in love. A few other tasters even asked for a sniff of my tea. :) The flavor is nice and light and very soothing. It made me forget all about the storm outside.

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81
drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
115 tasting notes

I believe this specific grade of Hojicha is called 雁ヶ音ほうじ茶 (Karigane Hōjicha), which is similar to Kukicha. The difference from Kukicha is that this form of Hojicha is roasted over a charcoal fire on porcelain.

This is one of the teas I ordered just before I went on my vacation.

Leaf Quality
This tea was only stems, as it is supposed to be. I did not find one leaf, so they did a good job of separating the two. The dry leaves smelled like the Genmai Cha I recently tried. Very toasty.

Brewed Tea
The color of the brewed tea was that of a Brandy or Scotch with a pinkish hue. It was also toasty, but not smokey. The flavor was very light, and savory. I could still taste the typical green tea flavor amid the toastiness. However, as toasty as the brewed tea smelled, I expected a stronger beverage.

I’m pretty satisfied with this purchase. Next time I’ll break the rules and steep longer to bring out more flavor. This tea was not very bitter, so I suspect that not much more bitterness should come out if I do so.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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86

Iced tea of the day….

This is the last of the goodies sent to me by Russel at the Harney Shop in Millerton, NY. Thank you for the wonderful treat! I was excited to try this one, because on occasion I have a need for a decaffeinated iced tea. As I get older, I have become more sensitive to having caffeine too late in the day. It affects my ability to sleep well. Since this has been such a brutally hot Summer, iced tea is always a welcomed beverage for me into the evening.

For decaf, this is really good. I can usually detect a hint that a tea is decaf, but not so in this version. I get light notes of passion fruit that I am sure would come out a little more with the addition of something sweet. I take my iced tea unsweetened, though. The tea base is smooth, but not quite a smooth as the Peach Iced Tea I had earlier this week. I do prefer the Peach and need to do another run of Midsummer’s Peach (decaf) iced to see which of the two decaf versions I prefer. The pouches are pretty handy, so Decaf Passion Fruit might win just for convenience.

Thanks again, Russel, for my introduction to Harney iced tea pouches. There will be some iced tea pouches in a future order for myself, of that I can be sure! The next time I brew up the Peach, I am going to save the pouch in the refrigerator for a second brew the next day. Something tells me that they will do well on a second steep.

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86

The Purrfect Cup sent me a lovely sample of this and I think it’s just great! It’s wonderful hot and iced, both. It’s sweet with a HINT of ‘coal. It’s fairly citrusy especially for a straight-up oolong. Gotta LOVE those natural surrounding and notes that a tea picks up, eh!?

This is lovely!

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67
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
2 tasting notes

So, I just joined Steepster and this is my first tasting note. I can’t pretend that I have a ton of tea knowledge beyond Lipton’s tea bags and fishing through the giant crazy plastic bag of teas that moves with my roommate from apartment to apartment. Which is where this came from. I liked this tea, a nice flavor if a little weak, but then I have no idea how old it was when I found it (I’m going to have to have to alter our tea storage situation I think). I tend to lean toward black tea over green or herbal teas, and this one was not too bitter or anything. It was very good with my weird breakfast of leftover cabbage and potatoes. Wow, that is crazy English isn’t it? Anyway, I hope that in the future I’ll be able to provide some more insight and knowledge on my tea!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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78
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
38 tasting notes

Bonnie was so kind to send this (and many many more) in a swap. Thank you so very much! This was just ok to me. I can not really pinpoint any specific dislikes except perhaps the hint of bergamot (of which I am not a fan).
However, I do appreciate getting the chance to try this tea.

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93

Thanks to The Purrfect Cup I was able to try this one!!!

This is a strong and sturdy Scottish Breakfast! YEAH!!!! Another busy day writing and LOTS of tea needed! This is the type that kicks ya in the ass in the morning! I LOVE IT. It has attitude!

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77

The first time that I tried this sample was for my first cup of tea in the morning. I’ve drank it a few different ways: with milk and sugar, without milk and some sugar and without milk and sugar(that time I ran out of sugar that day).

I brewed the Mangalam to 208 degrees Fahrenheit. I steeped the tea for about 4 minutes. I added approximately one and half to two teaspoons of loose tea.

What I experienced was a smooth yet brisk flavor. It has complex flavors to it; from having a bit of honey to being reminiscent of the experiences that I used to have when I was a coffee drinker( the nice dark and richness in taste).
The liquor was a caramel color(when I drank it with milk) to a deep brownish-red color. The aroma was a mix of fragrance,which included light honey.The body this tea was a medium, fullness.
This in my opinion has the possibility of being an alternate of my much loved English Breakfast blend in the mornings.

Russel from Harney & Sons sent me this tea sample.Thank you once again. :)

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I love Mangalam Assam teas! I buy most of my Assams from H & S. I usually drink mine with no milk or sugar. My water temp is about 195-200F, and I steep for 3:15 to 3:30. I love the aromas and flavors. Sometimes with a longer steep I add a touch of milk. I also enjoyed their 2010 Nahorhabi Assam I reviewed here:

http://steepster.com/teas/harney-and-sons/19065-nahorhabi-full-leaf-assam-2010

Erika M.

Thanks for the tip! I just read your review on the Nahorhabi Full-Leaf Assam (2010). I’m going to put it on my list of teas to try in the future. I look forward to trying it.

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82
drank Bangkok by Harney & Sons
82 tasting notes

I’m really not sure how to feel about this tea. I got a sample on a whim, because I was curious to find out if I like coconut. I hate the texture of actual coconut, and I’ve never really had coconut-flavored anything. But I do like tea, ginger and lemongrass, so I figured there was a decent chance I would like Bangkok.

Scent-wise, I don’t care for the dry leaves. There’s just enough vanilla to be able to smell it, and I loathe the smell of vanilla. Once the water hits the leaves, though, the scent of everything mellows and I mostly smell the lemongrass, coconut and the tea, so it’s not bad.

I can taste lemongrass, grassy green tea notes, and a sort of rich, almost heavy sweetness I am assuming is the coconut. The vanilla is not very strong; it mostly seems to mellow the other flavors. I’m not tasting any ginger, but I have yet to drink a tea from Harney and Sons where you can actually detect the ginger, so that’s not surprising.

It’s a pretty interesting tea. I’m not really sure that I personally like the flavors. The vanilla is sort of ruining it for me, but again, I hate vanilla. However, it’s a complex tea and it would definitely go really well with some pad thai, so I’m going to rate it well anyway. And as much as I’m unsure about the flavor, I have to admit I’m more than willing to give it another go.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

I had to move this to a corrected tea page, but I did not want to loose the info on the other page by editing it, so this is a double post.

Iced tea of the day….

Another sample from Russel at the Millerton Shop. (Thank you!) I was really glad to get to try this, because I have gifted it to friends and not even had a chance to try it for myself. I am a big fan of their Midsummer’s Peach decaf blend in loose leaf. MSP was the tea that introduced me to the Millerton Shop since I was not prepared to buy an entire pound of it, and that is how it is offered online in loose leaf other than a sample. Midsummer’s Peach makes a great iced tea, but usually, I want the caffeine during the day. Enter, the Peach Iced Tea in 2 qt. pouches.

I must say, the convenience of the pouches is wonderful. It makes the perfect gift for those who don’t have the patience or tea obsession to mess with leaves. I like it, too, actually. I made the iced tea in a pyrex measuring cup right along side my first morning cuppa. Then I added the super-strength brew to my favorite pitcher full of ice plus a little more water to bring it up to about 2 qts. Notes of fresh peach and oh so smooth and refreshing. It definitely holds a place in my top favorite iced teas, and readily nudged out Midsummer’s. I will have to purchase some….for me and more for gifts. Did you see how cute the tin is?

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88

Iced tea of the day……

I just noticed the one they sell now is not Organic…..I will be moving this tea note to the proper tea page soon. My review is for Peach Iced Tea which is the offering as of July 2012….probably sooner, but it needed a date!

Another sample from Russel at the Millerton Shop. (Thank you!) I was really glad to get to try this, because I have gifted it to friends and not even had a chance to try it for myself. I am a big fan of their Midsummer’s Peach decaf blend in loose leaf. MSP was the tea that introduced me to the Millerton Shop since I was not prepared to buy an entire pound of it, and that is how it is offered online in loose leaf other than a sample. Midsummer’s Peach makes a great iced tea, but usually, I want the caffeine during the day. Enter, the Peach Iced Tea in 2 qt. pouches.

I must say, the convenience of the pouches is wonderful. It makes the perfect gift for those who don’t have the patience or tea obsession to mess with leaves. I like it, too, actually. I made the iced tea in a pyrex measuring cup right along side my first morning cuppa. Then I added the super-strength brew to my favorite pitcher full of ice plus a little more water to bring it up to about 2 qts. Notes of fresh peach and oh so smooth and refreshing. It definitely holds a place in my top favorite iced teas, and readily nudged out Midsummer’s. I will have to purchase some….for me and more for gifts. Did you see how cute the tin is?

ashmanra

So you taste a difference in this one compared to MSP iced?

SimplyJenW

I do….I notice the difference between any decaf and regular versions of just about anything now that my palate is a little more experienced. I will take the fully leaded any day…..

ashmanra

I’ll have to try this then! I only have MSP.

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87

Special Thanks to Amy Oh for this one – I got your envelop today! Thanks so much!

This smells like a gentle LS. I agree with Amy Oh on this completely!
With the gentle LS – it seems to be paired with something else…like…maybe, a Breakfast Tea…Scottish or English, maybe…or something slightly bakey-cakey, even…not sure.

I like the mystery, tho.

And this is tasty. I like it! It’s satisfying without being overly smoke.

TeaBrat

I’m glad you liked it!

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68

To me, it tastes almost exactly like Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasonings. I’ll let it steep a bit longer next time.

Preparation
4 min, 15 sec

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81
drank Kaimosi CTC by Harney & Sons
765 tasting notes

So… I really need to look through my reviews before buying tea on impulse. I added this on to some order in the past to make the free shipping level. Just now getting around to opening the tin. Yeah… a whole tin. I can see cold steeping for the whole summer with just this tin to use it up. :)

Anyway, it’s still an fine tea-tea. I still don’t get any special notes from it. I had some without to taste it on it’s own. Then I indulged and used some cream leftover from the last tea party and dumped about a tablespoon into a For Life mug amount of it. It’s really good with cream. Or, I suppose you could say that the cream is really good and adding this tea gives it depth. :)

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81
drank Kaimosi CTC by Harney & Sons
765 tasting notes

Very dark brew. Quick steep, as can be expected from a CTC, I suppose.

No notes of anything to my tastebuds other than just basic black tea. Not astringent at all.

Probably won’t get this again. Nothing at all wrong with it. Simply don’t need another good basic black in the pantry.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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78

When I was younger I had a very nasty Lapsang experience.
I only recently started purchasing them again, because it was a tea that my coffee drinking husband had shown some interest in.
I purchased this and then a Lapsang from Mountain Rose Herbs.
I enjoy the polite or elegant Lapsang from MRH over this one.
This one seems a tad rough or harsher to me.
I am glad I started with the other Lapsang though, because I can appreciate this tea and enjoy it when I am sharing a pot of it with my husband (who declares this tea..“Now this is a Manly Tea!”)
I just noticed that the smokiness in this tea almost tasted a little bitter compared to the last tea which the smokiness was smooth.
I feel rather silly doing this review since I have only three Lapsangs to compare too, and one of those was over 10 years ago and terrible (or my taste buds hated it at the time, maybe it was not all the tea)
But, this is not a bad Lapsang, maybe not one to try right away as a beginner of Lapsangs.
To all those Lapsang Lovers out there, I am supposed to ask you if there is any stronger Lapsangs than this one from H&S…apparently if there is a more manly Lapsang out there, my Hubby wants to know about it. (long suffering sigh inserted here)
Brewed in my Bodum for 4 minutes.
The color is a beautiful amber.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Lots of folks like Black Dragon from Upton, I love Baker Street Afternoon from Upton but don’t know if it is really stronger than this one but it is soooo good. I thought Russian Country by Harney was stronger than this one but it was too strong for me. How about Manteas from Frank at 52teas? Some of the maple bacon ones might appeal to your hubby. And coffee drinkers often love puerh!

Hesper June

Thanks!
I will look into these.
I have not tried any Puerh’s yet, I hear y’all talking about them on here, but it is not a tea I have explored as of yet.

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86

When the going gets tough, the tough drink tea.
What a awful week.
The mediation on Monday went awfully, then I went to the funeral of a friend, and got cornered and verbally attacked 3 different times by 3 different people over something I had nothing to do with, came home, wept bitterly and then had a 36 hour long migraine.
Today, I am feeling better.
Decide to treat myself with this tea, I make a ceremony with the preparation.
Hoping it will bring the tranquility and strength I need.
Only to have 2 wasps promptly sting me as I just get situated on the porch with this tea and my book.
I spill the whole glass and nearly break my cup.
I come in the house, sad and depressed over this whole dad blame week, but as I am grabbing ice for my stings I think “NO! Screw this!” grab a handful of ice and throw it in the blender, add milk and a large scoop of this matcha and a bit of agave syrup and ferociously blend.
Pour into a glass with a straw and AHHHHhhhhhhh!
Its like a large Malted Milk Shake. SO tasty and decadent.
So screw tradition, Hesper June is doing it her way!
Which I think is paying off, because a friend just called and said we are going to get our nails and hair done tomorrow, her treat.
So, here to the rest of the week being wonderful, even if I have to throw it in a blender and add ice!

Azzrian

Sometimes when meditation fails it helps to take something into a field and smash it with a sledge hammer.

Hesper June

Ha! Thanks Azzrian! I might have to try that;)

TeaBrat

I’m so sorry to hear about your bad week. I hope things get better!

Hesper June

Thanks Amy:) I am determined to not let a couple of days ruin a whole week!

K S

Awesome. I was thinking salvaging this week would require C-4. Who knew it could be turned around with a blender…. I wonder where ours is…

ashmanra

May the rest of the week be wonderful, indeed! I have found that funerals often bring out the worst in people…sorry you were in the line of fire.

Hesper June

KS, Blenders are awesome. I use mine to make my Healthy Breakfast Smoothie every morning, plus you can blend Matcha Ice Lattes and if all else fails they blend up Margaritas;)
Thanks Ashmanra, I am thinking you are right, it was just a highly emotional time and they needed a punching bag:)

Skulleigh

Oh man, I’m sorry this week has teeth. I hope it’s better for you soon!

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86

With sweet DaisyChubb cheering me on, I had teetering entered the world of Matcha Tea.
My first experience made me feel like a Cow in a Hay Barn, but I wiped the green mustache off my upper lip and powered on through to my second Matcha experience.
It was not till this particular Matcha that I finally understood what all the fuss was about.
From the moment I opened the very tiny little container, I knew this was going to be a very different Matcha experience than my first.
I smelled a deep grain odor and then something almost chocolate like.
It is very creamy on the tongue and also froths better than the first Matcha I tried.
But, there was still this malty chocolate smell and taste I could not place till this morning when I was making this, it dawned on me.
Ovaltine!
That malty chocolate beverage Mothers use to get their children to drink more milk when they are young (My Mother tried this with me too:)
It obviously is not strong in the Matcha, but there is hints of that malty goodness on the tongue, I think the creaminess of the matcha also adds to this particular memory as well.
I like this Matcha, and it makes me want to delve more into the Matcha world and spend money on all things that surround this green powdery substance:)

EDIT
Ohmygoodness!
I just made a iced matcha latte/bubble tea thingy with this Matcha.
When you add the milk to the Matcha, the Ovaltine flavor REALLY emerges.
Very tasty afternoon treat:)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Azzrian

I LOVE Ovaltine! Even still :)

ashmanra

Same here! I think we have chocolate and chocolate malt right now. Lesson learned the hard way – Don’t let your toddler get away with their sippy cup of Ovaltine and hide it under the sofa. O.O Ick. Green Ovaltine not a good thing, or a good smell.

Hesper June

Hmmm…now you ladies got me thinking about picking up some Ovaltine on my next shopping trip:)
Um, yeah, finding old sippy cups of ovaltine does not sound like much fun:)

DaisyChubb

yummmm iced matcha latte! Now I want one :D

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