Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

69
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
4 tasting notes

To my taste, Paris is a bounty of berries. It actually smells like blueberry pie, buttered crust and all. But, it’s balanced enough that you’re not turned off, the way you can be with artificial fruity teas.

Flavors: Blueberry

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70
drank Cranberry Autumn by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

A nice basic black tea with enough cranberry to give it some flavor.

Flavors: Cranberry, Orange, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70

Yeah, its got some artificial flavors, and is a little sweeter to taste than I like, but its all cinnamon and its nice when I’m in the mood for it.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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40
drank Citrus Blend by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

I’ve had this one a few times and its always been a bit too bitter for my tastes.
The first time I assumed I had brewed it too hot and too long so I dropped both the temp and time. While not as bad, its still too bitter for my liking.

I was hoping for a bit of a pick me up this morning. If this doesn’t improve as it continues to cool, I’ll just make a cup of Lady Gray instead.

Wish I wasn’t out of Caribe.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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55

So, opening the package, this tea has a wonderful aroma. That aroma is a bit muted once it starts brewing. In tasting the tea, I can tell that there is flavor there other than just black tea, but just barely. And its not enough to identify what that is. I tried steeping it for longer, but it just got bitter.

I don’t know, maybe my sensitivity to flavors has been demolished by my passion for spicy foods. :)

One I would be ok with drinking if its what was available, but not something I would pick first or go out of my way for.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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93
drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

Every time I make a cup of this tea, I fall in love just that little bit more. The aroma is just so uplifting. I’m not big on fruity teas (not counting citrus), so every cup is like a new little surprise. :)

It works well with a second steeping but doesn’t really hold up for a third.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

Light, fruity, sweet, with just a small hint of coconut.
A nice light tea that seems to want to demand being iced on a hot summer afternoon while relaxing in the shade.

Flavors: Coconut, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95
drank Mother's Bouquet by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

This smells beautiful, looks beautiful, and even tastes beautiful.
So relaxing during a hectic day at work.

It has, however, one downside. The rose petals tend to like to glue themselves to the sides of my infuser, making it a pain to clean out. :)

Flavors: Floral, Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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43

My sister bought this.

Much too sweet for everyday drinking, but probably good as a dessert digestif… except that it’s a black tea and I’m sensitive to caffeine so I won’t drink it after dinner. It has a very artificially sweet smell like a cheap chocolate candy. The odour of this tea clings to my Thermos and it took me 5 days of washing and soaking to get the smell out.

I’ll try it with milk at some point, but I’m guessing this one won’t be coming out very often.

Flavors: Chocolate, Peppermint

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1 tasting notes

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20

The cinnamon is overpowering to the point there may as well not be any tea. It also comes across as oily, perhaps due to all the spices.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Watching Phantom of the Opera with my boys, Dennis and Forest, my kitty kids. Between doling out treats and giving tummy rubs I am enjoying Royal Wedding from Harney & Sons.
The coconut and almond flavors compliment the natural sweetness of the Mutan White base very nicely, with the merest wisp of rose working well in the background. Very creamy and smooth. As another reviewer noted, the taste is not unlike carrot cake, a carrot cake with a rich, decadent frosting! Royal Wedding is undoubtedly the best flavored white blend I’ve had.
An old movie, my kitties and a great cup of tea, life is very good indeed. I think I’ll have another cup if Dennis and Forest will allow me to get up!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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40
drank Mint Tilleul by Harney & Sons
477 tasting notes

H&S sent me a sample of this. I did not have high hopes for it, because I had previously tried a plain tilleul sample of theirs, and it was dreadful. This one is not as bad, as the peppermint helps mask the tilleul. But it still begs the question of why anyone would use tilleul at all, since this would be a 100 times better if it was just plain peppermint tea.

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drank Valentine's Blend by Harney & Sons
750 tasting notes

I normally don’t do the seasonal blends and tea that is supposed to be chocolate I especially don’t do. I went to pick up something from one of the tea festival vendors and she had this as her featured seasonal blend. I was offered a cup of something and it seemed polite to go with the feature. :)

As far as chocolate teas go, this isn’t bad. It’s still primarily scratch-n-sniff chocolate – mildly sweet cocoa with a papery taste. I don’t notice rose at all. The tea base is fine and I will finish the to-go cup of it, but I wouldn’t stock this for my cupboard. Maybe I should have taken my vendor up on her offer of a sweetened latte form. :) Curious as to whether or not the rose might have been noticeable in that form.

tea-sipper

I almost had this one the other day too.

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46

Not much of a scent or flavour, and doesn’t really resemble tea but at least it’s smooth and not bitter. Good enough for an everyday tea, but I am on the lookout for something better. Wish I hadn’t bought a box of 50 bags on Amazon.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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92

I’m not eating gluten as for the moment so perhaps my sense of taste has gone awry, but I swear this tastes like a fresh-from-the-oven loaf of brioche or challah with yam and cinnamon notes. But definitely sweet, warm, yeasty bread.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Stonefruits, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Yams, Yeast

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97

This is an extremely floral tea perfect for people like me who wake up slowly. It truly is a beautiful tea. My only qualm is that it gets bitter if the water is any more than 175 degrees.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76

Herbal & Decaf TTB

This guy is a bit drying and tannic but it could just be because my experience with peach teas is limited to mostly tisanes. The peach flavor is kind of muted under the black tea.

Flavors: Drying, Peach, Tannic

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83

I haven’t had a lot of chocolate teas but this is one of my favorites so far. I can definitely taste the chocolate in it, and it’s good with milk, making it a possible candidate for frequent drinking (there are some teas I drink without milk, such as oolongs, but I find that just a little milk with my tea helps stabilise my blood sugar, which is important for me because otherwise I tend to crash between meals). I steeped it for barely over five minutes and it’s not bitter at all. I’ll log this tea in the “evidence in favor of ordering from Harney” column. Thanks JK7ray for sharing! :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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63
drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
636 tasting notes

Sipdown 18 of 2016. Purchased 1/2016 – Finished 2/2016.

I really really really wanted to like this tea but I just couldn’t. The mint flavor in this tea was fantastic, but there was nothing to support it. There was not a strong tea flavor, and there was not really even a hint of chocolate in my opinion. At first I thought well maybe I just didn’t use enough leaf, but for my second pot of this I almost doubled the amount of tea and still it provided a really weak base. I am glad I got to try this one, but I am still on the hunt for a minty cocoa treat.

ashmanra

Could it need to be shaken or turned over a while? My son-in-law loves this one in sachets from Target. Maybe the loose leaf is weak. Our last two batches of green hot cinnamon have been weak. It was disappointing.

TeaTiff

I perched this as a loose leaf sample. Both pots of the sample were pretty weak. I am not sure if it was just a bad sample, or if it is just he way the tea is.

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100

Well, after the whole car door falling off today, I had waited a few hours to hear from Volkswagen about getting my Golf today, rather than on Saturday, so I can go back to work tomorrow. They said it’ll be “topped off with oil and gas, and cleaned up for a 6 o’clock pick up.”

That’s something good to hear!

Anyway, this tea is magical. I bought the sample of this tea, and truly wish that I picked up more. That’s the benefit and downfall to samples: You like them so much you want more, and can’t have more. Or, you just don’t like them, and were happy to get a sample.

Overall, I think I bought a pretty great selection from H&S this time around. I don’t think that I tried anything that I hadn’t liked. It’s all good. I have a few more samples to finish, then I’ll probably buy more. My goal is to buy something every month from them. And when I get to it, I’m buying this in bulk. That way I can keep it close at all times, and never share with anyone! Muhhaha! Or, I’ll share it so often that my friends will assume that there’ll be a party every weekend, and that THIS will be the tea I MUST serve them! I’ll also have to buy some for work because elementary students expect you to have so much (an unnatural amount) energy, you need something to keep you going.

Well, my fellow tea connoisseurs, give this a try if you haven’t yet. And if you LOVE a solid black tea, this really is a great one! I love, love, love, love it!

Happy tea drinking,

Rufus

P.S. I gave this tea a few re-steeps. Yum! I like it the second, third, and fourth time much more! Who’d’ve thought this couldn’t get better than the first time! Superb tea, Harney & Sons. Great job! And thank you!

P.P.S. I got a total of 5 steeps out of this. The second and third were the best. However, I was happy with this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80
drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
63 tasting notes

I bought a sample of this tea to give it a try. It smelled like butterscotch, with a hint of a fruit. However, once you add the water, the apricot aroma comes out of the tea a little more. The tea is like a dessert tea, though. It’s sweet, fruity, and does have a butterscotch-esq flavor.

I asked my students to give it a whiff, and one student said, “It smells like candy.” I agree. It’s is a nice tea to have when cutting out sweets, and overall good to have with or without sugar. However, mine was without.

(Side Note: I might purchase some more for my wife. She likes flavored teas more than I do, and this would be nice for her to have in the mornings.)

Flavors: Apricot, Butterscotch

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78
drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
1415 tasting notes

Found a tin on clearance on at Marshalls, so score! When I made a Harney & Sons order three years ago, I regretted not picking this up, and was quite surprised I didn’t since I love chocolate mint.

This is a middle-of-the-road chocolate mint black. Nothing special but not bad. This is probably because, in my opinion, Harney’s chocolate note in itself is middle-of-the-road. It’s not waxy or artificial but yet it’s not prominent and rich enough. The peppermint is fresh, and there a whisper of sweetness in the background but ultimately, there isn’t enough oomph. The base is so light, I can barely taste it when I add milk.

For the record, Della Terra made my favourite chocolate mint black teas, while Zen carries my favourite rooibos blend, with Zen’s possibly being my all-time favourite chocolate mint blend regardless of the base.

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