Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Going through my tea cabinet, I was surprised to find a sample of this first flush Darjeeling. I remember tacking it onto a larger order back in either April or May, but had pretty much forgotten about it. Needing to take a break from oolongs, I decided to spend a very hot, hectic Sunday drinking this every chance I got.
I prepared this tea using a simple one step Western infusion. The suggested brewing temperature of 175 F that Harney and Sons often recommend for their first flush Darjeelings always seems low to me, so I almost always up the temperature to around 190 F. I did that in this instance and did not notice any significant issues, so I suppose it’s okay. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 190 F water for 5 minutes. Due to the extended steep time, I did not attempt any further infusions.
The first thing I noticed about this tea was that it is incredibly light in the cup. The infused liquor showed a clear, pale gold with little sediment (I normally do not use a strainer as I do not mind a little sediment in my tea). The nose presented delicate aromas of lemon zest, straw, herbs, and Muscat grapes. In the mouth, I picked up an airy mix of herb, grass, straw, lemon zest, Muscat grape, toast, wood, and cream notes with a finish that really heavily emphasized lingering notes of Muscat grape, lemon zest, and cream.
In the end, I rather liked this first flush Darjeeling and kind of wish I had purchased a larger amount of it. I would have enjoyed playing around with the water temperature and steep time a little more. My only real qualm with this tea is that it is rather simple. It is also a little on the sweet side for my taste-I generally prefer my first flush Darjeelings a little toastier, a little more herbal, and a little more subdued. Still, I wouldn’t steer people away from this tea. I definitely think people who are fans of greener first flush teas would appreciate this one.
Flavors: Cream, Grass, Herbs, Lemon Zest, Muscatel, Straw, Toast, Wood
I am once again trying to sip down old tea, and this one has a few years on it. I have purchased two of the Harney tea chests and plan to get the the third some day. This came from the adorable little one that is $15 and makes a gorgeous gift. I have been hoarding the tea that is in it but I must drink it.
I was having Asian food for lunch a few days ago and chose this to go with it. I got two good steeps out of the little bag, about seven ounces each. It is probably weakened with age but it was still good, with a fresh, grassy taste that wasn’t sour. I even horribly oversteeped the second go ’round but it was fine.
I don’t drink much Sencha as I usually prefer Chinese green teas but this was good and I would have no trouble buying more. It is more of a daily drinker than the rare euphoric green, but perhaps that was due to the age.
I wanted to like this tea because I love green tea and coconut and lemongrass and ginger, etc. I guess I just don’t like them all together. The lemongrass is over-powering to me. I think there just might be too many flavors going on. Also, I’ve only ever had it hot so maybe it might be better iced. Either way, I won’t be purchasing it again.
The best. Absolute best.
I first experienced the delicious smell of this tea at a friend’s house. She called it her “fancy Sunday morning tea.” Boy, was she ever right.
The smell of this tea kept coming back to haunt me so I ordered a tin from Harney & Sons. (the TINS though! They’re so cute, I keep all of them for planters for succulents.) And then I ordered some for my best friend. And then I ordered a box of 50 for myself because I no longer wanted it as a treat yoself tea. I wanted to have it all the time!
By the time this arrived in the mail, I had forgotten what it was, and from the name thought it was bound to have flowers in it. I opened the package to a marvelous fragrance of pure tea, a little evocative of darjeeling but mostly a nice “golden raisin” scent (it’s easier to just call it muscatel but that’s what it smells like to me). This turned out to be a great light-bodied Ceylon, crisp and just a little sweet and everything I hoped it would be. Delicious iced, and also quite tasty hot, which is good because we’ve been having a mixture of very hot days and cool, overcast ones!
My experience with Ceylon (as with most non-Chinese teas) doesn’t go very far back—only a couple of years ago, when I started wondering why the iced tea served at a particular cafe tasted good compared to everyone else’s, did I even learn the name of this tea. There’s a lot more to explore, but this is one of the good ones I’ve encountered so far!
I’ve been having a great tea week!
A tiny part of me wishes I weren’t. I’m able to come up with MUCH FUNNIER stuff to say when reviews are dire. Alas, the stuff in my mouth tastes good, which doesn’t leave a lot of hilarity fodder.
So I’m going to tell you this is a tasty chocolate/vanilla blend with a bit flowers and coconut. If you like those things, you’ll probably like this thing. The only negative thing I can say is that it tastes a tiny bit artificial, but it’s so good overall, I’ll probably be buying more. So there’s that.
Miss my negativity? I do have a negative review about Wendy’s disruption of the Strawberry Fields salad. It was strawberries, chicken, bacon, onion, and bleu cheese crumbles gaily dancing upon greens.
It came every summer and left every fall like glorious clockwork. I spent all 9 cold months pining for it.
This year, they introduced a Summer Berry Chicken Salad instead. It’s not the same and it’s not as good.
It’s like walking into the school cafeteria on Taco Tuesday only to be handed some Sloppy Joe. What is this? Why are you deviating from schedule? I don’t want this. I want the other thing that should be happening right now. I mean, this is fine. It’s not poison; it’s just not what I want.
You want to reach across and bitch-slap the counter-lady, even though you know it’s not her fault. You want to tear off her hairnet, light it on fire, and go streaking through the woods with it aflame.
But you must stay calm and order something else.
Don’t let anyone see your lip quiver as you hold back tears.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Flowers, Vanilla
I decided to order this because I needed something added to the usual bland flavor of chamomile other than honey or lemon and this tea has not disappointed me yet. It has helped with indigestion numerous times and tastes good to boot. The orange peel is strongly represented but not all too tart at the same time. The chamomile base is still present, but evens out the citrus taste in general.
Flavors: Citrusy, Flowers, Orange Zest
If you absolutely love peppermint, this one is definitely for you, but be warned it is very strong. The satchels are filled very liberally which is great for at least 2 cups worth of tea, however the peppermint is very potent. I may need to give mine away soon after I review it on YouTube because it is not only is it too strong for me, but being a sufferer of GERD, I recently found out I should avoid peppermint in general >.<
It’s not anybody’s wedding (that I know of), but this was a nice little sample to try. It has a soft lemon and vanilla aroma that translates into exactly those flavors when brewed. The blend also contains plenty of flowers, which would make it look quite festive and wedding-appropriate, though they don’t really add to the flavor. The mild, creamy lemon flavor of this tea reminds me of one of my favorite blends, Lemon French Macaron by Butiki Teas, which is no longer available but remembered fondly. Unlike that blend, though, the tea leaves in this one are smaller and more crushed, perhaps due to being in sachet form. This creates a more astringent brew, but overall the white tea base is good and quite fresh. A nice little treat that reassures me that while it’s hard to get a flavored white tea right, it can be done!
I had this yesterday, and refrained from leaving a note because it tasted weird. I thought that maybe the genmaicha I’d had previously had tainted the gravity steeper and/or mug I was using. So I scrubbed both out and left them to dry.
Today, I used my strainer ball and a totally different mug on this mix. As a control. For science.
And the conclusion is: this is a totally weird mix that tastes nothing like cranberry, nuts, or basically anything resembling food.
It’s like the sugary byproduct of some kind of food manufacturing process. Like maybe if you went to a Fruit Roll-Up factory and licked the floor.
So I tried icing it. If you ice it, you can kind of taste the nuts. I guess. But it’s still not great.
I daresay it’s… not my cup of tea.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy
It’s malty; it’s tannic. It’s not a bad tea, but I have sipped from the Fountain of Knowledge that is Yunnan black tea, and now I can’t return. This tastes pretty one-dimensional to me now. I find it better than Twinings, but that’s about all I can say for it.
I might still enjoy it oversteeped with some milk and sugar.
Flavors: Malt, Tannic