Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
This one came from boychik. She knew I wanted to try this tea, so she kindly sent a couple of sachets my way in her holiday package. This one sounded right up my alley when I read its description on the H&S website – I love apricot and hazelnut, and the cinnamon could make a nice accent. We’ll see if it lives up to my expectations! Inside the sachet, I can see small black tea leaves and a couple of different colors of flower petals. Dry scent is yummy apricot with a bit of cinnamon.
The steeped tea smells very apricot-ish with just a touch of cinnamon warmth. Hm… the flavoring is more subtle than I expected in this tea. And for some reason, it came out a teensy bit bitter even though I used a conservative temperature and time. The main flavor is definitely the apricot, and it tastes more of dried apricot than fresh. The cinnamon adds a little bit of warmth, though unfortunately it seems to be a cinnamon candy type of flavor. So, it’s a little bit less effective than it could have been. I don’t think I taste hazelnut at all here, which is unfortunate since it’s one of my favorite nut flavors. I’m a little bit disappointed by this one. I’ve definitely become very picky about flavored teas lately.
Flavors: Apricot, Candy, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit
Last one from teafiend Marzipan! To be honest, I’ve gotten a little burnt out on these “holiday spice” type blends. They usually sound amazing and list flavors like orange or almond, but then they end up just tasting like cinnamon or clove. We’ll see if that’s the case here! I have the sachet version, and inside I can see small black tea leaves and tiny red flower petals. Dry scent is mostly just cinnamon.
The steeped tea also has strong cinnamon/clove notes, but I can also smell a bit of orange and perhaps some almond. Hmm, I mostly taste clove. The base tea is slightly earthy and musty, and I can taste perhaps a little bit of orange, but otherwise it’s mostly clove. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon too, but certainly no almond. Oh well. :P
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Earth, Orange, Smooth
I’m trying to drink more greens and oolongs this year, so when I packed up my bags, I scooped some of these leaves into my handy dandy cloth sachets and stuffed them in a box to take with me. This is one of my favourite flavoured greens, partly because it’s more toasty and subtle than it is fruity and cloying, and partly because it somehow always brews a satisfying cup. Sweet, clean, nutty, and seaweedy all at once, I suspect I should have brought more than 7 sachets with me. This is just the thing when my stress and anxiety pile up into YOUR BODY IS BREAKING, MAYDAY MAYDAY, mode.
Ordered a sample of this with my last Harney order and have been dying to try it. My chance finally came last night when I had it with a few ginger thins as my after-dinner sweet fix. Dry leaf smell was very strong, very marshmallow-y, which got me a little worried as I dislike vanilla teas that taste more like marshmallow than vanilla. Brewed, the scent tuned to – and I know this sounds crazy – vanilla pudding! In the end, the tea was really nice, very drinkable, but I was wishing for a bit more of a stronger vanilla flavor. That being said, I enjoyed it enough that I will definitely be ordering more, so I can have a nice dessert decaf tea to drink at night.
This is a bit of a backlog, because I finished my last sachet of this . . . at the end of November? Maybe? I remember being so very disappointed with this tea. I got it because I was desperately trying to find a clone of DT’s Checkmate, which I remember loving a few winters ago, and because I enjoy cardamom, and it’s surprisingly hard to find outside of chai-blends. This tea smelled like white chocolate and wet hay, followed by a really weird and harshly bitter mint note that was very out of place. I didn’t get much of an almond note at all, and I’m thinking everything else overpowered it. On the up side, this really did smell like winter mornings. But while I thought I WANTED to drink a liquid winter morning, it turns out that I really did not.
I wanted more almond and vanilla and spice. I wanted coziness. The mint dashed all those wants, and I just couldn’t get over it.
All in, I’ve had a lovely-ish past two weeks. If I could, I’d turn back time and do it all over again. Buuuuuuut, magic has overlooked me this lifetime, so I’ll have to make do with being simply brave, and determined again. Heading back to work & the city later this afternoon, and as the thought of it gives me worry cramps, am taking a moment from haphazardly packing to sit down with a cup of tea. I wanted something warm and maybe slightly indulgent, so I dug this tin out from the depths of my pantry. I got this back in November, in a gift box with White Christmas, and between the two, Hot Cinnamon Spice blows its neighbour out of the water. Zippy, tingly, this is essentially liquified cinnamon heart candies, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I won’t be finishing the tin any time soon—this is much too sweet to be an everyday brew—but I love knowing I have it to fall back on.
I’m glad I didn’t look at the other ratings before I tried this! I might have been scared off. I actually liked it a bit. Not my favorite of all time, but the flavor was interesting and with a bit of sugar it was nice. However, I have very little sense of smell and couldn’t really smell the tea at all, so maybe that helped!
I’m 99% sure this is my first time drinking chamomile so the brew time was pretty much a guess based on my experience with other herbals.
The aroma is pretty minty with a hint of sweetness. Maybe honey or something. Not awful but not my favorite aroma.
This tastes better than most herbals to me (mostly because my complaint about herbals is generally that they’re flavorless, while this has a pronounced taste). Again, there’s a hint of mint and honey, but this also has a pronounced floral flavor, with a lingering minty aftertaste. Interesting.
I’m not a big fan of herbals but I would consider drinking this again if it was offered to me.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Mint, Perfume
This was a sample from my Steepster Secret Santa. I’m not a big earl grey person, but I don’t hate it. I’ve liked earl greys where there’s another flavor added in, like H&S Paris, which, to me is a fruity vanilla earl grey.
I surprisingly really liked this one. Steeped for 3 minutes, it had a nice citrus flavor….a bit more complex than just bergamot. The black base wasn’t anything special, but it was smooth. The bergamot was not too pronounced, more mild. It reminded me of the Twinnings Lady Grey that I used to like. Pretty good as a breakfast tea, actually.
Mmmm, cranberry. This tastes just like it, but isn’t too tart or sour. It also isn’t too sweet – cranberries aren’t sweet, so this is spot on. It is great hot, it is great iced. It isn’t bitter. I really have nothing negative to say about it.
This is the only Chinese sample in my Harney order. I feel like having a nice, smooth tea after drinking a more astringent one (astringency isn’t my favorite and I’m not used to it). The leaves are dark grey-black and twisty, and they have that fragile, brittle look about them. Dry scent is hay, honey, and a touch of herbs.
Wow, the steeped cup smells like pure honey! This is an interesting tea, it has very strong honey notes which makes me very happy. Honey is one of my favorite flavors in tea, and the reason I love Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) so much. There’s also a touch of earth providing a base for the other flavors. This has a bit of that Fujian caraway or dill note that I find often, and it makes for an interesting mix with the rich honey. Yummy! Perhaps a tiny slight astringency? Odd since I don’t generally get that with Chinese teas.
Flavors: Dill, Earth, Hay, Honey, Malt, Sweet
Another of the samples from my Harney free shipping order. This tea is from Tanzania, a region I don’t think I’ve tried before. According to the description, it’s similar to a high-grown Ceylon, but I don’t know whether any of the Ceylons I’ve tried fit that description or not. (I’m a Ceylon newbie…) The leaves are small and dark brown, but there’s a reddish hue that’s especially visible in the stems. Dry scent is quite fruity! Strong plum or peach notes with a touch of floral and spice.
Hmm… This one is interesting. The beginning of the sip is somewhat generically malty with a touch of acid and some astringency. I’m not really getting those fruity notes from the dry scent. But near the end, I get an interesting buttery bread-like flavor that I think it what people mean when they describe a tea as having biscuit notes. Not something I would purchase, but it was interesting to try.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus, Malt
Good morning Steepster! I ordered some black tea samples from Harney & Sons a week or so ago when they were having free shipping. I love it when I can get away with some samples for just a few bucks and not have to pay for shipping! Anyway, one to the tea! I picked up a few lower-priced straight blacks that sounded interesting, this being one of them. I’m not too familiar with Vietnamese teas, but the leaf looks similar to an Assam to me. Dry scent is a combination of malt, hay, and dried fruits.
This does remind me of Assam. It’s a somewhat generic malty tea with some earthy tones as well. However, there’s no astringency, which is a nice change of pace. I can taste very light bread and raisin notes. Sort of like an Assam with a touch of Keemun? Not bad!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Malt, Raisins, Smooth
I am glad this ended up being pretty tasty – reviews suggested that it was assam and darjeeling melded. Which is funny, given how much I am drinking both and how I am finding they are often not for me, at least not without milk. I brewed this short and cool to make sure it didn’t get bitter and that worked well. Still not my favorite, but a pleasant cup.
This is my first Harney & sons tea!! Exciting! I saw they were selling it at my local bookstore and since the ratings were so good and they were almost out of stock I could not resist getting a tin of this yesterday… I’ve been meaning to order from their site for quite a while but shipping to Canada is too expensive :(
So this was great as my NYE tea while I was waiting for midnight. I’m not a fan of berry teas usually but this one is not too artificial and may very well change my mind. It reminds me of St Petersburg by Kusmi teas which reminds me that I should add some Kusmi to my cupboard… They are perfect for winter, maybe some Prince Vladimir or that new Tsarevna one which has such a beautiful tin… Anyway, happy new year fellow steepsterites!! :D
Thank you for the swap a while back, TeaTiff! Gray days mean Earl Gray. Haven’t tried this one yet! The blend looks like it has some sort of white tea that isn’t on the ingredient list. The scent has a very strong citrus but sadly the flavor does not. The black tea is on the lighter side, and the citrus is subtle at first, but then gets stronger and more enjoyable as the cup cools. There is a touch of flavor that reminds me of grapefruit. I was a little worried there would be more grapefruit, as I don’t love it. So acceptable grapefruit level here! I’ve been Earl Grey spoiled though, so I think they have to be special at this point. And I love STRONG bergamot. The second steep was light as well but still had the same amount of bergamot.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 3-4 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 7+ min