Harney & Sons

Recent Tasting Notes

52

There was so much hype about this. I bought it in sachet form from iHerb and it didn’t taste like anything! I figured maybe it was a very old tin or it was damaged by light or heat. So I went ahead and bought another tin. I can taste the vanilla, kind of like a plain vanilla cupcake, but it still seemed weak to me.
Perhaps all the rave reviews were for the loose leaf, which I’m now desperate to try but is sadly unavailable in Australia. Will have to wait until I go on exchange in the U.S.
At least the tin is pretty.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
sherapop

It might have been old. Iherb has a huge inventory, so who knows what the turnover is…

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85

incandescent globe
faster than the speed of light
turns to liquid gold

Marzipan

Pedantic English major me loves that you always get the syllable count right.

NofarS

beautiful as usual

sherapop

Thank you for supporting my bedtime haiku, Marzipan & NofarS!

Terri HarpLady

Nice job!
I love writing & writing Haiku :)

mj

I also support your bedtime haikus! I like them a lot :)

sherapop

Thank you, Teri HarpLady and mj! xxxooo

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drank Tilleul by Harney & Sons
402 tasting notes

For the past few months, I’ve been writing about tea through my Sunday Tea and Books posts, and how the various flavours I encounter bring up memories for me of the books I’ve read. Smoky, sweet, tangy, tart, fruity, malty — each of those sensations has meant something to me.

Today, I’m doing something a bit different. Today, I’m telling you about a flavour and a memory from my own life, rather than something pulled from the pages of a book or e-reader.

Today, I’m going to tell you about linden tea. Forget Proust and his madeleines, though; when I think of it, it takes me back to 1998, when I was 13 – the year my father died.

Of course, I’m not going to go into all of that here. It’s better to read the entire post on my site: http://christinavasilevski.com/2014/07/sunday-tea-memories-linden-tea/

yyz

I’m sorry you lost your father so young. That must have been very difficult. My father died when I was too young to remember him. So my grief for him is more an absence and a wondering. I too wish that I had had the opportunity to learn more about both sides of my family, but my mother in some ways was a very private person, and when together my family is more likely to dive into politics and philosophy rather than discuss family history. Linden does smell glorious. I haven’t yet had a tea that captures it, but admittedly I haven’t tried many.

ashmanra

Scents bring back memories so vividly. I am sorry you lost your father.

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80
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
889 tasting notes

So how does Harney & Sons Florence compare with Adagio—let’s see which one was it? Aquarius, I believe. Funny that i have no difficulty remembering that Florence = hazelnut + chocolate, but that same connection doesn’t work with a name as truly and utterly arbitrary as Aquarius. I realize that one might consider Florence to be arbitrary as well—though I have been there and find it closer to the warm and cuddly choco-hazelnut veering Nutella feeling than, say Rome—but Aquarius contains the root AQUA, that is: water. What could water have to do with such a tea to begin with that it does not have to do with every other tea as well?

Enough about names. I find that Florence is sweeter than Aquarius. It’s more of a milk chocolate than a cocoa nib taste to me—and that’s not only because I added cream. I added cream to Aquarius as well! I give extra points for the visuals of Aquarius, which includes beautiful cornflower petals (is the blue color supposed to be the water reference, perhaps?). But they add nothing to the taste, as far as I can tell, so on the flavor front, Florence wins this semi-steep-off chez sherapop.

It’s not a full-fledged, bona fide steep-off because I did not prepare the teas at the same moment and drink them side-by-side. I did, however, use similar steeping parameters. If anything, Florence should suffer, having come later in the day than Aquarius. I could by now be tea-sated, after all. (Did I just hear you snicker?) On the other hand, perhaps my evaluation has been be elevated by my BCC (blood caffeine content)? It’s possible, but I gave this tea a higher rating before as well, and I feel that it was fair.

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut

Preparation
3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

Tea twins! Same rating and everything!

sherapop

Nice work, Cameron B.! ;-)

Cameron B.

Nice work yourself! Clearly we are amazing. :P

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80
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
236 tasting notes

This sample is from Nicole. It was one of the teas that she doesn’t like or doesn’t reach for enough, so I asked her to send me some. I haven’t been a huge fan of chocolate teas in the past, but this one seems to have a good reputation around here and I do love nutty teas. Dry, it smells quite lovely – sweet and very hazelnutty. I steeped it for 5 minutes because I’ve had bad experiences with Harney & Sons flavored teas if I try to steep them for less time.

Overall, I found this to be a perfectly nice tea. The chocolate is definitely the dark variety, more like cocoa powder than actual chocolate. It’s very nutty, which I love. I’m not sure my palate is quite good enough to pinpoint the exact types of nuts, but hazelnut sounds close enough. The nuts give it a nice creamy flavor.

I expected this tea to be like liquid Nutella, but the chocolate flavor is definitely more of a bitter cocoa than a milk chocolate. I added sugar to mine and it was quite tasty, especially with the creaminess. I tried adding some half-and-half at the end to see if I could bring out a milkier chocolate, but it totally ruined it. Stupid half-and-half, why do you always do that? :P

Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Hazelnut, Roasted nuts

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Bamboo by Harney & Sons
1844 tasting notes

GCTTB Rd 3:

I was worried this would be over-the-top vegetal given the leaf but honestly it is just a smooth, slightly sweet, slightly vegetal drink. It is very, very subtle though and not something I would reach for often. It was fun to try though so thank you Lala.

Roswell Strange

Mmm, bamboo tea! :)

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92

I am operating on very little sleep today, but I have much to do. I have repairs to do on my car, and I must take someone out to the airport this morning.
So its time to pull out the big guns. I am going to drink this tea, one of my favorites, and not even think about the lesser teas.
And I’m not even making sense! Babbling! But what can you do?

sherapop

What can you do? Drink more tea! ;-)

Rosehips

You speak wisdom.

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79

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Grapes

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92
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
185 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88
drank Peaches & Ginger by Harney & Sons
754 tasting notes

The last time I had this it was in the little Harney’s sampler pouch. I ordered a 4 oz tin a while ago. I finally got around to opening it up. There are moderately large pieces of candied ginger in the tin which there wasn’t any in the sample pouch :)

Really this is just a ditto of my last review on this one. The ginger is nice, it is definitely candied flavour, but there is also a spice to it. The peach is gentle underneath the ginger and black tea base. Today I am finding the black base to be a bit strong, but that may have been how I brewed it.

This is now one of my favorite ginger peach teas, that is a black tea and not a herbal.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
6 tasting notes

This is one of my favourite teas, a nice quality black tea with a lovely vanilla fragrance with delicate flowery notes. Very good black, with milk, or iced! I highly recommend it and will certainly buy this for birthday gifts and wedding showers.

Flavors: Bergamot, Flowers, Vanilla

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80
drank Yellow and Blue by Harney & Sons
889 tasting notes

yellow blue green gold
back and forth and back again
nodding off to sleep

Amaryllis

A tea review in the form of a haiku. Very appropriate.

NofarS

I love your haiku reviews

sherapop

Thank you, Amaryllis and NofarS. xxxooo

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82

dried tumbleweeds spin
cottonwood fluffs float above
nothing can be said

Amaryllis

Best tea review I’ve ever read.

NofarS

beautiful!

sherapop

Thank you for the kind words, Amaryllis and NofarS! ;-)

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90

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78

SIPDOWN! (103)

Meh, returning to this tea after trying many Yunnans over the past couple (few?) weeks and finding it sub-par. I have clearly been ruined by all of those lovely tippy, golden Yunnan teas I’ve ordered and received (all Nicole’s fault). This just can’t compare. It’s very harsh and somewhat bitter compared to what I’m now used to. I’m not really getting honey, just strong malt and “tea” taste. I tried this one yesterday with the 1/2/4 steep method and while it was improved, it was nowhere near my new favorites…

Oh no… I’m a snob!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

LOL sneaky snobbery

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Tea snobbery is a sneaky little thing, isn’t it?

TheTeaFairy

(Haha! Had not seen your comment mj, we said almost the same thing!!!)

mj

Well, you know what they say, great minds think alike. This proves it :)

Cameron B.

I’m just an incognito tea snob… Like a ninja. ;)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! NinjaCam, sounds great!!

whatshesaid

Oh no! ;)

(The way I look at it is my money can go towards teas I love instead of “meh” teas)

Cameron B.

I jump from roof to roof! …and get my friends free cable. Badass.

mj

Can you please come jump to my roof then because I pay way too much for internet!

boychik

What does it make me? This tea is GROSS. Period. Enough said.

Cameron B.

boychik I thought it was the Tippy Yunnan that you despised. :P And I totally got a little fuzzy aftertaste from this one this time.

boychik

Oh my bad. You are absolutely right. Not enough caffeine, should drink something ASAP.

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98
drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
35 tasting notes

This is one of my absolute favorite teas. I love hojichas in general, but adore hoji-kukichas even more. You can oversteep for what seems like days and never encounter any bitterness. Just a beautifully roast-y, caramel-y, toasted brew. Because of the low caffeine I often choose this one at bedtime or later in the night when I can’t sleep and I’ve never had trouble falling asleep afterwards. This is one of my always-on-hand teas that I just can’t imagine being without.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
332 tasting notes

I do a good chunk of my tea drinking at work, but for some reason I have convinced myself that I should only drink flavored teas, or teas that can take a beating here, leaving a lot of the wonderful oolongs and blacks at home. This tea however sits in a tin in my desk at work and I keep finding myself going directly to THIS tin. My 3oz tin is over half gone in less than a month. Maybe I need to rethink my tea strategy?

This tea is so comforting. A great morning cup, a great post lunch dessert it is all around perfect. Thanks for getting me addicted MzPriss

MzPriss

You’re welcome Tiff. I find this really comforting as well. I think it’s cuddly tea

whatshesaid

I cannot wait to buy this tea. I hope H&S has some sort of Canadian sale at some point

Suziqzer

I can understand why you would venture to flavored when your at work… However I do think there are a probably a few non-flavored that would fit the non-fussy, always good category… Good find!

MzPriss

Also the Wee Snaily Yums (Golden Snail) from Whispering Pines is a nice work tea I find

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92

My little brother and his girlfriend are in town. We’re all going to a baseball game tomorrow, which will be fun, and we all had dinner last night.
My father likes to wonder where he went wrong. Of his three children, none drink coffee. None can even stand it! My sister, my brother and I are tea drinkers for life! Ha. And my dad is a confirmed old coffee drinker, so its extra funny.
But I don’t even like coffee flavored things. Nope! Bleh. Tea, please.

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85

I have determined that traveling with loose leaf is not for me, too messy. Not to mention the odd stares I get from the non tea drinkers. In order to get through the next few weeks of travel I ordered some sachets from H&S. I am beginning to love H&S. They are reliable, decent priced, and so many options.

This tea came in a HUGE beautiful tin. I brewed up a cup this morning and it smells wonderful. This tea taste malty, slightly sweet, slightly astringent. It is full bodied and rich. I am really enjoying this. I look forward to spending the week with you 30th Anniversary Blend.

MzPriss

I love H&S. I may need to order some of this for the same reason. I have a teastick that is not optimal for travel – it’s hard to get the tea into it without spilling. I want some of their soba anyway so maybe I’ll just order some of this. I WISH their Golden Monkey came in sachets.

TeaTiff

Oh Golden Monkey how I love thee. I almost placed an order for another tin when I put in this order, but held off. I do wish the GM came in sachets for travel. That would be really nice. I looked at the 1lbs price for GM to order next time, but that truly would be a “shitload” of GM.

Cheri

I’ve been there. I’ve done both, traveling with tea and things were fine, and traveling with tea and I had no good way to deal with leaves and messes, and people looking at me funny.

TeaTiff

Cheri – yeah it the depends on the kinds of accommodations. For my trips coming up I will be living out of the bags on my bike or backpacking, so taking the extra stuff to make loose leaf happen is not worth it:)

sherapop

I love this tin, too!

Nicole

I would split a pound of GM with you if you wanted. :) Eventually. When I can buy tea again. :) I was going to grab the 30th Anniv but put my foot down about another order so soon. Glad to hear it is good. On the list it goes!

MzPriss

A shitload of GM would be beautiful, beautiful thing

TeaTiff

Nicole I would take you up on that! I can totally justify half a lbs if GM. Sherapop. It is soo big, but a great addition to the tins. MzPriss a beautiful thing indeed.

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90

Really tragic sipdown (135/142)…

It’s heart breaking to finish this one off, again. I want to have it stocked up SO BADLY! It’s the perfect mug of hot roasty goodness (plus it’s good iced to) and the best late night comfort cup. Thankfully I’ve really stretched out the samples I’ve received of this one and managed to get so many good cups!

And, I know I’ll have this one in my possession again eventually! I can’t justify a Harney order right now, but as soon as I can you just know this is going to be included! In fact, it’ll probably be the first thing I include! So. Damn. Good.

Flavors: Cocoa, Roasted, Toasted Rice, Toasty

Dexter

I have 250g of what I’m hoping is something similar from Yunnan Sourcing enroute to me right now. If it’s as good as this I will pass some your way. :))

TheTeaFairy

Dex, I hope it will be as good and roasty as this one. I always think of you when I drink it :-)

Dexter

LOL Here’s hoping, if not I have 250g of cereal….

Cheri

This is one I really want to try. H&S has a lot of teas on Amazon, but not this one. (I can sneak in a tea on an Amazon order on occasion.) I’ll have to wait until I place a H&S order to get this one, but I really, really want to try it.

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91
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1287 tasting notes

MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #13
I’ve heard lovely things about this one! The dry leaves are dark with hints of gold. Before taking a sip, the fragrance was chocolate followed by smoke. It’s a smoky chocolate tea! There isn’t much info in the description for this one but the milk chocolate flavor seems like there could actually be some sort of chocolate flavoring, but there isn’t. No dark chocolate here. There is a fresh, bright flavor, if that makes sense. Smoky chocolate with a bit of malt: seems like the perfect tea for me! The second steep wasn’t as magical.. it seemed to lose much of the chocolate and smoke.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
34 tasting notes

This tea was left to me by a visitor some time in the last year. Its bagged and doesn’t smell that fresh but still I get a lot of vanilla. Its a decaf tea and the tea base seemed a little light but pleasant its an orangy color (orange pekoe like) the vanilla is very present in both scent and taste even though its probably pretty old. After the previous vanillas this one has much more but it doesn’t have the more robust flavors of the ones with carob and other ingredients. It was my night time tea so I didn’t get to posting about it until now. I like it enough to plan to get some more from Harney, I hope it comes in a loose leaf! The second steep wasn’t very interesting but again that could be bagged tea & age!

Flavors: Orange Blossom, Vanilla

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98
drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
35 tasting notes

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80

July 15th came and went, and unfortunately sherapop was not the winner of the Harney Fest sweepstakes! That’s okay, because my consolation is having purchased a tin of this fine black blend in a gorgeous black and gold embossed tin, complete with a raised escutcheon!

The dried tea in the sachet is beautiful with all of the different kinds of leaves. One might say that this is something of an ecumenical blend, since it combines Ceylon, Assam, Yunnan Gold Tips and China Silver Tips. Well, they left out Africa, but as a British legacy version of an ecumenical blend, this is a pretty good effort.

The scent of the brew is malty like Assam, but this is not just another English breakfast blend. For one thing, I am drinking it au naturel, while I generally drink Assam-rich blends with cream. The liquor is not reddish but golden amber, a clear indication that there is Ceylon and Yunnan in the mix.

I like this blend and am grateful to John Harney and Family for all that they have done for the world of fine tea! May Mr. Harney rest in peace.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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