Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
I tried a few new teas yesterday thanks to my well meaning family. Unfortunately they dont know my taste in tea.
This tea was jammy – it felt like it should have been a hibiscus/zinger tea, but its not. Its black, I didnt feel that it worked.
This tea is very pretty and fragrant. It can be quite common as it is mainly composed of chamomile and lavender, but somehow the two together makes a very pleasant aroma that contains the two, yet very different compared to each of them separately. The corn flower leaves actually add accent to the color of dry leaves rather than the lavender. The product was very fresh, the scent was pretty and full bodied, and the taste was comforting and satisfying. When you open the product you can see that the tea satchels are fully filled. Brew about 1 minute the first time, leave out the bag and a little bit longer second and third time around. For me it was okay to brew up to 3-4 times. Quality wise, this tea is great. However, I suspect the satchels are made of nylon, and even though this is a very pretty tisane blend that is healthy, I didn’t give it a full 100 because I don’t think it takes extra creativity to come up with this blend. Chamomile + lavender blend is something I made often at home on my own using the stock tea I had at home. Purchasing of this product was more for convenience rather than trying something new or to add to collection.
I had to yell that because I’m now at 80 teas, but with what I’m expecting from Black Friday purchases, tea swaps, and whatever Sil has, I’m looking at 40-50 new teas for my cupboard. So, with that in mind I figured it best to drink this last sad little bag of Vanilla Comoro.
I went through a period where I didn’t care for this tea as much – it fell flat – but I realized it was because I was under-leafing by using one bag for a 16 oz mug. Yeah, no wonder. Now I’m using more like 10 oz, and just a tiny little bit of milk and this is just wonderful. Creamy vanilla that just soothes and relaxes you.
I will restock this eventually, but the earliest would be in the spring.
thank you to ifjuly for this sample….
it took me a minute to switch gears! i’ve been caught up with french apothecaries since my mammoth swap with ysaurella few months back!
i like the layers in this. there’s a sweet smoke— not a lapsang, almost a hickory dipped peach, an earthy warm tobacco, and then a crisp straightforward black. i like the fact that each layer is distinct but also mutually flattering.
thank you ifjuly! a lovely experience! i would say it’s nice to get back to basics but this really isn’t basic, lol! sneaky is a better descriptor!
My previous note for this tea was when I first received it and I was so enamoured. I am not one to write multiple notes and will do so only if one is warranted.
I have had this quite a few times since that first attempt and while it was pretty much what I expected and remembered, I don’t love it as much. Usually when I do drink it, it’s not with excitement, it’s only because I have to keep it in rotation.
I will not be replacing this, there’s an element about it, a particular fruit I can’t put my finger on, that’s no longer doing it for me.
Tea #8 from Another TTB
The tea almost promises a good flavor at the start of the sip, but it finishes kind of blah. The flavor is sweet, but I wouldn’t describe it as cherry. Maybe it’s trying too hard not to be cough syrup as is the bane of most cherry teas. Also, it leaves a funky aftertaste.
Mmm, macarons. That’s what this tea smells like. The taste isn’t far off, either. I love this tea, and I never ever want to run out of it. Mostly, I like how this is very dessert-y but still tastes like black tea. My preferred additions are almond milk and sugar.
Can anyone compare the taste of the sachets vs. the teabags? I’m considering trying the bagged version for everyday use since it’s cheaper.
This is a nice vanilla black but I feel like it’s needing a bit more “something”. I do like to taste black tea and not have flavoring overpower the basic tea, but this needs just a smidge more. I’ve enjoyed my sample but will look for other vanilla alternatives. Mighty Leaf is okay but I wasn’t too enamored with that one either.
In all the years of buying tea from Harney and Sons, I have no idea why I’ve never tried this tea. Well, that is all about to end today with the sample size I got to try.
Smells very much like cranberries in the bag, but I have to say, a bit artificial. Flavor is a bit more subtle than I thought it would be, I think that’s a good thing. The brewed cup has a faint fruity aroma and the tea itself is definitely berry with a bit of tartness. I would say there is a richness underneath, I’m not sure I would pick that out as almond if I was in a blind taste test.
It is an enjoyable cup, especially if you are looking for one to sip on plain. I like it but I’m just not sure I need a cranberry tea in my stash.
First time I tried it several months ago i over-steeped it. At 4 min this tea became bitter and i disliked it immediately. didnt want to try again until last night I was reading Nicole’s review Golden Tip Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop which inspired me to try again. This time I steeped it only for 3min. 1/2 of a brew I made with whole milk(didnt have a cream) and 1tsp of maple syrup . Another half was plain. This tea is amazing both ways. Milk+ syrup is like creme brulee , so rich and satisfying. Plain is very malty, thick, muscatel flavors. the smell is intoxicating. Who needs a dessert after such cup of tea? not me;)
Beware, a small rant today-
I have three jobs, and usually they dont cross over. Usually I teach a class on Thursday, but as tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my boss rescheudled my classes to the Wednesday before- today. Gah! I work today at one of my other jobs! This took some monumental rescheduling, to make it all work.
I needed nothing less than the best to get me going. I do love you, Paris. A bright cup.
Lets hope today goes well.
Oh Thanksgiving time, good food…alright family..and new teas to try.
This being a combination of the latter two (tea that a relative has brought). They’ve stored it in a tin, they don’t remember when it was bought though.
That aside this is probably one of the worst Darjeelings I’ve tried in a very very long time. There is absolutely no muscatel to it, no flavor, nothing. As I hovered above the pot, I was hit with a distinct fishy smell. Luckily this did not taste in the tea. It just tastes like a black tea. I’m really quite disappointed as I’ve have plenty of good tea from Harney and Sons before.
And this might be why I’m giving it such a harsh rating. I know Harney and Sons can do better, and I know Darjeelings (or at least I like to think I do). So both the estate should be ashamed of this tea, and Harney for buying it.
This would be a “Darjeeling” that people would add milk and sugar to. Maybe I should do the same as I don’t need to worry about masking or ruining any flavor.
Tea of the morning here — I probably should have read the reviews before I bought a 4 oz tin. of this. I keep trying to find an African tea that I LOVE and I don’t think this will be it, although it’s a decent cuppa.
Tea liquor is dark red and the tea itself is very brisk and assertive. I am getting some winey notes as well as a definite spice flavor. I am getting a bit of malt as well but there is also some astringency in the finish. I wonder how this would be mixed with an assam, I may need to try that. This is one I will definitely need to drink with milk and sugar.
By the 2nd cup I am getting more used to the flavor, it is a very bracing and eye opening tea for the morning time. I think maybe this will grow on me over time. I definitely prefer my black teas to be a bit more on the mellow side.
I had a cup of this while waiting for someone I collaborated with on a styling shoot. I’m slowly starting to realize that maybe tarter teas are not my thing. I didn’t mind this oolong, but I wouldn’t try it again.
In theory Pomegranate sounds like it would be wonderful flavor, but upon opening the packet I found myself not liking the scent at all. It smelled like cough syrup. Thankfully it steeped much better than the scent, although it continued to be overwhelming. I honestly think it would have been much better iced, but considering it’s been under 30 degrees (in Texas!) I won’t be trying that anytime soon.
I had a
cup giant mug of this with just milk in it today. I still really like the Harney and Sons chocolate flavour. It’s not as good as teas that just have cocoa nibs and shells in them, but it’s still the best flavouring I’ve had.
With a little sugar it turns into a super sweet milk chocolatey tea, but with just milk it was dark chocolate goodness. Yum!
Tea #3 from Another TTB
I was really underwhelmed by this tea. After the yummy cinnamon spice tea from H&S, I thought that the addition of orange to a cinnamon and clove blend could only make it better! Apparently not. It sort of smells like a pomander, but the aroma doesn’t pop and say “hey, it’s the holidays!” It’s just sort of there, hanging out in a shady corner saying,
" ’sup." I hardly detect any orange in the flavor, which is unusual b/c orange usually stands out. The flavor as a whole is murky and even less exciting than the smell. Oh well.
Harsha leaves one wondering. Wondering if the bliss you feel comes from the tea you just drank. Quality tea for me is the good clear uplifting feeling I get after drinking it. Harsha lives up to its name, Bliss. Bliss because its such a bargain, bliss because its not to strong, bliss because of its beautiful liquor. This is not experience tea for me, like a pure darjeeling, its an everyday tea, thats close enough to an experience. More than a nice in between tea. Harsha lives up to its name for me. Malty Assam, cut with astringent 2nd flush darjeeling, the normal darjeeling taste wasn’t there, but the champagne buzz was, and thats Harsha!
There is one scoop of this left in my tin. One! How did we get to this point! Argh!
Despite all my big talk about seasonality, I feel like I might get some more Boston in the black friday sales, I love it so much. This is just such a lovely tea. Almond, cranberry, and just the taste of fall.
I don’t have a ton of time to write a tasting note, but I’d just like to say that third time’s the charm. I tend to brew by the sound the kettle makes rather than time or temperature, so I can’t give exact specifications, only that I let it be under boiling temperature and steeped for about 4 – 5 minutes. And I’m eating it with cereal, which probably helps. It certainly feels seasonally appropriate today – it’s snowed and very wintry gray outside!
Oooh, I am so making this pumpkin spice loaf again soon. Its so good! And so easy too. Thats the best kind of good. I had a cup of this along with an extra slice of loaf for dessert. Yum. But this tea pairs really well with all sorts of thing, doesnt it?
I have been hoarding Florence but this morning I allowed myself a cup. I have exactly one cups’s worth left in the tin and am really hoping Black Friday deals will allow me to get some more. I’ve been in a holding pattern with teas recently.
Anyway, something interesting happened this morning. After not having had Florence for a good month or more, and having other teas in the meantime, well, it is not as good as I remember. Total shocker. For a brief moment I even thought to myself maybe I won’t get more. But then the Florence fan inside me screamed and I perished the thought. Yes, I will get more, but just for the record, me thinks the honeymoon is over.
Attempt #2. Per JustJames’s advice, I let this cool a bit before I steeped it. I think it helped. It’s still a little underwhelming in flavor, but there’s more cinnamon. Yay.
Harney & Sons Blind Date #2.
I was fairly unimpressed by the smell. It’s just “pumpkin” enough to call it pumpkin and that’s about it. As far as the flavor goes, I’m really getting more of the rooibos than anything. If I hadn’t been expecting pumpkin, I would have a higher opinion of this. It’s really a rooibos with a subtle autumnal flavoring, if you ask me.
I’m seeing people suggesting trying this with mulling spices. You’re giving me ideas!!! And I DO have 29 more sachets of this stuff!
…Hey! I now have rooibos in sachet form! So I don’t have to fiddle with cleaning up all the stupid little rooibos loose leaves that are so damn hard to get out of infuser baskets! JOY TO THE WORLD! … OK wrong season but still.
To be perfectly honest, I’m kind of in the mood for flavored teas in sachets now. I just like having something that I can enjoy without having to… overthink it. Heat the water, drop the sachet, sip, smile, don’t lament missing out on all the weird little nuances that everyone else is getting. And I’ve heard many good things about Harney & Sons, flavored and non-flavored. Recommendations?