Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
I did not sleep well last night. I dont know why, exactly, but thats the case. Bleh. And its going to be a very long day indeed.
So its time for delicious and failsafe tea. Oh Tower of London, your honey and fruit notes are the perfect companion to my breakfast of english muffins and local honey.
Yesterday was such a nice day that I took an actual lunch break and walked the 25 minutes to Harney’s location in SoHo from work. It was pleasingly empty so I had 3 employees all getting teas for me to smell. :D I didn’t really go in prepared like I usually am when I plan a teashop visit. It was a rather impulsive decision to go there. I just sniffed a couple of teas, tasted Tokyo, and then decided I just wanted something simple and wonderful. Enter Vanilla Comoro. I got 3oz of this and an order of cheddar and chive scones to go.
I had the scones after returning to my desk. but I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. I thought they’d be savory, but they were sweet.
This tea though! I had a lovely first steep with no additions. I forgot that it was a bit finicky about temperature so it was a bit more drying than I would have preferred. Still lovely. For the second steep, I let the leaves sit, nearly forgotten, in the water for a long while. Then I added a bit of cream and it was heaven! I kept thinking I was having vanilla ice cream except that it wasn’t sweet. Yum! Such a lovely tea.
Love the natural vanilla taste and caramelly undertones. I think I’ll bring this tea home to enjoy. Too stressful to appreciate at work really.
I received this one as a free sample in my recent Harney order. They actually gave me two free samples, both this tea. The description of the tea on the package doesn’t sound too bad. This was the usual Harney sachet.
The dry tea looks like crushed up chammomile. So I brewed it up. The tea smells like frozen fish sticks. No jokes. It is very pu’erh, fishy. Also very deeply woody. But unfortunately like the old rotting wood and pine needles that have been laying on a forest floor for a few years. The kind when you step on it, you kind of sink in a bit.
Before I tasted it, I added some honey, lots of honey. I don’t usually add honey to my tea but I just couldn’t stomach the smell of the brewed tea.
To be honest, it is a bit hard to tell the taste. I also just ate a piece of pickled garlic because I am getting a sinus infection. Garlic works wonders for my immune system. I also love garlic. Mmmmm.
Ok back to the tea. Even though I have garlic lingering on my palate, I am getting a very woodsy type taste. More like cedar mixed with pine. There is a tingling feeling that I sometimes get with mint but there is no mint flavour. Even though I put about a TBSP of honey in the tea, it is only minimally sweet. This tea is very reminiscent of chamomile and chrysanthemum teas. Neither of which are even close to being on my “meh” tea list.
I think this is a good herbal tea, its not fruity, not spicey, definitely different. But I am not liking different tonight.
Today was a tough work day, so I broke my rule about no black tea late in the day because I NEEDED a tea to hold my hand and make me feel better. Today I got a ginormous trade box from the wonderful MissB and this was the one I picked.
It’s really nice! Strong black base, very fruity. I couldn’t quite place WHICH fruits so I cheated and looked at their site. Cherry, plum, apricot. Yeah, I can see that. The fruity smell is almost alcoholic, like a liqueur. It was a little sweeter than most base teas, since I added my normal amount of sweetener and found the end result was pretty darn sweet. Still liked it though!
Chocolate and coconut?! Why do I not have, in my obscene amount of tea, have a chocolate and coconut tea?! Thanks to VariaTEA for this sample!
The first sip was heavy and left a chocolate aftertaste, but there was no coconut to be found. Sweetening it a little… aaaah, the coconut hides in the creamy flavor! I am really liking this tea, but I do with there was more coconut to compete with the level of chocolate. It almost has an alcohol scent to it. Maybe a rum? I like it! I have a few more cups worth to decide if it is a must have.
This is my favorite tea right now! Well, my favorite of two; I can’t pick just one. The coconut is the dominant flavor and scent with a hint of chocolate. It’s like dessert in a cup! I like a strong tea, and this one isn’t all that strong so I leave the tea in while I drink it with around 4 minutes of steeping time beforehand.
Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut
Cranberry and almond?! I would not have thought cranberry and almond from a name like Boston Blend! For some reason I would have expected something coffee related. Is Boston even associated with coffee?
Anyways, a little bitter at first and much nicer after the addition of sweetener which makes sense since cranberries are so tart and bitter. It is really an interesting mix and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Almost perfumy for a second in different parts of the sip. I get more cranberry than I do almond. I have to admit I’m not a huge cranberry fan, but I had never tried it with almond which sounded intriguing. Tiny bit of cranberry tartness in the after sip. I think I can sum it up as an interesting experiment in flavor pairing, but not a winner for my tastes.I almost ordered a sample of this on Harney’s website a month ago, but ended up swapping with VaraiTEA instead. Thanks for the chance to try this!
P.S. I still have a faint taste of cranberry in my mouth 20 minutes after finishing this cup! I bet this tea would go great with turkey!
I almost added this to my H&S order in Janurary, but was on a mission for flavored blacks so left this off for the time being. Now I am kicking myself for not adding 2oz to my order. I found one last cup in the box today and made this for my morning cup. It was a wonderful cup. I am not sure how to describe the taste. I usually describe this sorta flavor as a bit “meaty”. Weird I know, but that is the only way I can think to describe it. It wasn’t too strong, it had hints of coco and malt as well. This will be on my next order. I am glad there was just one more cup.
And that’s a sipdown of this tin. Honestly, this tea has been consistently tasty and warming, and has fared wonderfully in a travel mug, and has suffered all sorts of random steeping parameters. And it still holds its own. I’m not at all surprised that this is Harney’s most popular tea, and it will absolutely be making a reappearance in my cupboard next fall and winter. For now, it’s a perfect farewell to a great winter tea.
I spent the better part of this afternoon and evening at the mall. I am not a big mall loving person, so I was happy to get home. I was even happier to be able to settle in bed with a cup of this beauty. I’ve had so many cups of this tea, but I’m still impressed (and happy!) that this is a decaf tea.
Today’s batch of Harney & Sons Pan Asia tasted a bit more floral than I recalled this tea having been. I also noticed that the floral aroma was much stronger at the beginning of the glass than about half way through, so the floral essences must be volatile and wafting off the surface of the hotter but not the cooler tea. Looking forward to the second infusion of my two spent sachets after dinner….
My friend put through a H&S order recently and gave me a one cup sample of this, I’m not sure if she bought some or just got a sample from them herself.
After a few mugs of light oolongs and green teas I was definitely in the mood for something substantial as my last tea of the night. I figured an Assam would do the trick. I didn’t read any reviews first so I wasn’t expecting this to brew up so light compared to other dark and stormy assams I’ve tried, but when I took a sip I was pleasantly surprised at the nice taste.
Actually I was pretty pleased with myself in general because I immediately pulled a dominant sweet potato note out of my cup….Bready and mildly roasty and quite unique.
I tasted it straight but did end up adding a splash of milk, as I am usually wont to do.
So, it wasn’t quite the dark and “substantial” cup of tea I set out looking for, but I enjoyed it and will try the resteep tomorrow!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes
Well, it’s not the sipdown I thought I was going to get in today, but it is a sipdown and I guess I’ll take it. I must say, I’m pretty heart broken this is gone now – it was a really delicious late night option, one I’d hoped to keep around for longer. But, with how tasty it is, this sipdown was inevitable. It simply had to happen.
We’ll be reunited again though; my future (when I run out of Boston) H&S order is building:
- Wedding Tea
- Soba Cha
- SoHo Blend
Ok, so I quite literally had a dream about this tea pretty recently and that meant that I kind of had to make a cup of it. You don’t dream about a tea (in a good way) and do nothing about it…
Thankfully, this cup (despite the fact I’m drinking the last half of it cold) lives up to my “dream cup” in flavour. It has sweet cranberry, and a smooth nuttiness, and loads of vanilla; and it’s just so rich and wonderful overall. This still reigns supreme as my favourite H&S blend!
Also, you all have to watch this video:
Too freaking cute!
1.25 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds.
Maybe I’m missing something in the information provided by Harney and Sons here, but what has this tea being from the “lapsing area” got to do with any smoky notes? Lapsang soughong is made smoky in the processing; it’s not smoky because of the soil the tea plant is grown in. Is it?
I only ordered a tiny sample packet of this tea, and I’m finishing it today. I’m getting much more of the fruit notes, fruit and honey and smooth black tea. I’m changing my mind on it being worth its price. I don’t think I’ll be ordering any soon, but I wish I could keep this on hand.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dates, Grapes, Honey, Plums, Raisins, Stonefruits
We also enjoyed a pot of this tea yesterday. I usually find teas that are supposed to taste like apricot mostly taste like peach to me. This one does not disappoint. It has a “warm” fruity flavor, with a nutty-ness that definitely reminds me of apricot. Nicely done. Wouldn’t scoff at another cup of this.
I should have been paying more attention…. I set my tea timer and then got caught up in reading reviews of this tea…and didn’t hear the timer go off! I ordered a sample of this from Harney, so I have one more cup to do this right. For this steep, all I’ll say is that it’s a bit on the astringent side, but with milk and sugar it is a good honest cup of Assam. Nice and malty, and gone from my cup rather quickly!
Alas, I love this tea as an afternoon treat. I started drinking samples without knowing the ingredients. I like bag teas for ease in transporting and for others to make for me. So I kept purchasing more until I realized it has artificial ingredients (flavor). I don’t think that should be in my tea so now I must find a replacement. The tea when lightly steeped in cooler water (150 and under) tastes of green tea, warmer water releases the cherry flavor I like so much. Sweet, fruity and a bit of tobacco when steeped this way and some honey taste on the back of the tongue you wouldn’t know it was a green tea unless you steep it with the cooler water. If brewed lightly its a floral green with some grassy qualities. I remember a cherry sakura tea I bought many years ago in Virginia (and smelling the blossoming cherry trees then) this reminds me of it but with a much stronger cherry taste (less scent).
Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Grass, Honey
This tastes a little bit too “generic fruit tea” for me to want to stock up on it, but at the same time it was a very flavorful, nice cup. Something to go well with a meal, when one usually doesn’t ponder upon the complexity of tea flavors – because there isn’t much of it here.
I did enjoy it, though!