Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
…interesting! I’ve not had Golden Monkey, so this is new for me. The tea smelled malty and a touch smoky while steeping, but now that I’ve added milk and sugar, I’m getting a caramel note with the malt and the smoky has disappeared. There is a bit more astringency in this tea that I expected by Harney’s rating of 2….for me it would perhaps be a 3 on their scale. I just had a Nilla Wafer with this tea (astringency and my stomach aren’t particularly friends), and afterwards I got a blast of almost citrus notes from the tea….that was weird! ok, I just did it again…. cookie chemistry!
Sorry, I digressed. This is a nice cup of tea, a nice option to a straight Assam. I’m sure I’ll use the sample up, but beyond that, who knows!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt
I bought this because it was one of those “Must buy tea NOW” days, I was at a supermarket with a better than Lipton selection, and the tin was cute, ok? You made me say it.
This morning as I sit in my kitchen and the rest of the house sleeps, this tea is really doing it for me. I hope my husband won’t be jealous.
Mornings for me cry out for a strong black, and my first impulse was that it was an Irish Breakfast kind of day, but upon seeing the tin again I pulled one out. It’s still almost too hot to sip, and I am getting lovely vanilla, citrus, almost caramel-y from it. Yum.
Thanks so much DigniTea! I know that some of Harney’s plain black teas are the briskest for some reason… sometimes when they cool they get almost undrinkable (well, I haven’t had those teas in a while, maybe my steeping skills have improved.) A CTC blend from Harney’s might become borderline deadly if not steeped correctly. The dry leaves here look like little bundles…a bit different from most CTC teas I’ve tried.
Steep #1 // 13 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
As I’m pouring, the cup is immediately dark, so Harney’s suggestion of five minutes at boiling is a little out there. The flavor is surprisingly not as brisk as I thought it would be. It’s bready and malty but not very astringent, even as it cools. It’s as tough as you’d expect any CTC to be. It has a sweetness to it!
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 2 min
Another good cup to go with some reading. Not astringent again! This is definitely a good CTC. I would have never guessed that a CTC from Harney’s would be less astringent than their other black teas. I think I have some resteeping to do!
Here’s a tea which never fails to put a smile on my face. Why? Because I love both the flavors and the base tea. In fact, the second infusion of these sachets offer a completely different experience, as the liquor is much more about Bancha than about Thai Flavors.
I wonder why coconut is such a feel good food. Any theories out there? I’d have guessed that it was the fat in coconut milk, but here the mere essence of coconut seems to have the same positive effect on my mood.
I had this this morning, and that feels like a very long time ago.
Early today one of my coworkers in my tiny office went into a seizure, out of the blue. It was terrifying, and my boss called for an ambulance and I got her out of her chair and onto the floor, and tried to keep her from failing into the furniture. She may not have been breathing for a minute.
The ambulance came and got her, and she was awake and talking by the time the paramedics arrived and got her out, but I’m still feeling pretty shaken. And, as we are not family, we wont hear anything unless her husband calls us.
We’ve never had anything like this before, either as an office or in my own personal life, so I’m a bit shaken.
Boyfriend came and brought me tea, something pepperminty, when I called to tell him. The heat helped.
I really hope she’s ok.
So, this is the tea I had with my meal at the Thai restaurant last night. I was eating a very rich red curry, so some of the subtleties of this tea were definitely lost on me. I was expecting not to like the pomegranate flavoring at all, but I was surprised at how pleasant it was. It reminded me a lot of currant, and it hadn’t occurred to me how similar pomegranate and currant smells (to me, at least) until last night. Anyhow, the disappointing factor in this was the base tea. I was just not liking it, and it had a weird taste in the back palate/aftertaste. I wouldn’t purchase this one again, but I remain open to trying another pomegranate tea from Harney & Sons with a different base…
Casey and I decided to go out to dinner last night, and I brought some tea samples with me. (Maybe some will think I am incredibly rude. I only do this at more casual restaurants, and I insist upon paying for the hot water as if they were serving me their tea, and if they don’t charge me, I make up for it in the servers tip. So I’m comfortable enough doing this, although I probably seem like a crazy person, which, well, is accurate.)
I was not expecting to like this at all. Harney & Sons teas are very hit and miss with me. This was really good, however. I also really liked the sachet was translucent enough that you almost couldn’t tell that it was there. It’s always a nice visual treat to watch pearl tea unfurl. I could see making this a staple jasmine tea in my cupboard.
I love black tea and this tea was ok in my opinion. I found it quite astringent and lacking flavor when I drank it plain, and when I added milk to knock down some of the astringency I felt like it had even less flavor. I honestly don’t think I’d buy it over something like Yorkshire Gold. It wasn’t bad but it didn’t excite me either.
Another save by Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha, as I needed a good tea—and fast—before departing again for more work on my new and humbler abode. I’m working both fronts here: trying to get out of this place, while trying to prepare the other place. This will sound perhaps bitchy, but I cannot abide moving my worldly possessions into a space which is covered with other people’s dirt. So I had to go do a major mopping, the serious, nitty-gritty kind, involving towels and buckets of soapy water and clean water for rinse. Why? Because it seemed pretty clear that the floor in my future bedroom had not felt the drip of water in years. It looks better now, after my furious hands-and-knees cleaning of the place, but I may have to do it again around the corners and crevices.
Sounds like I’m a clean freak, right? Actually, I’m quite the opposite. My issue is other people’s dirt. I have no problem with my own.
Well, thanks to my two glasses of Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha, I had the vim and verve to do what needed to be done!
I do have one relevant observation, for people who read tasting notes to learn about tea, not about the authors: by whom and why and where is “wood” listed as a tasting note for this tea? I scoured the other reviews and could not identify who the culprit slinging the wood epithet was. So why is that listed prominently as a tasting note on this tea’s profile? It almost seems like a competitor corporate hacker sabotage. Not to be paranoid, but how else to explain a tasting note which is not claimed by any of the reviewers?? I ask most sincerely.
Do I recommend this tea? Hell, yes. Does it taste like wood? Hell, no.
I’m trying to avoid this 1.75 L bottle of Bacardi Coconut Rum that my in laws gifted us for watching their dog for five weeks. Uuuuugh. The bloody thing is so delicious. Think of your favourite treat, your guilty pleasure. Whatever it is. Now imagine a large quantity of it in on your living room table. But it’s not good for you so you do your damnedest to resist having it. But all you can do is circle the table, like a dog, eyeballing it and trying to distract yourself. Yeah. Like that.
I made this iced this afternoon and it’s good, I prefer the iced version for sure. I never noticed before how murky the colour is though. My tea mugs are not clear glass and aside from times when I specifically want to assess the colour I never use the glass gaiwan or glass teaware; this is why I never noticed this colour until today. Mmm yeah, colour bad, taste good :) I bet it would be real good with coconut rum in it.