Harney & Sons
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Recent Tasting Notes
Trying this for the first time, and it seems very reminiscent of H&S’s Paris, but not quite as strong in flavor. I have a feeling that my tastebuds are not at their best today though — this weather system has parked itself over me for days and I’ve just been feeling slightly off — so I’ll do a fuller review after another tasting.
I absolutely love this tea. It’s strong, but not astringent. It fills the mouth and feels substantial. It’s my go-to tea for all occasions. Enough caffeine for the morning and afternoon. I can drink it all day long. Although I drink it black, it’s strong enough to hold up to milk and/or sugar. And it makes a hella good cup of iced tea in the warmer months too!
Flavors: Apricot, Caramel, Honey, Peppercorn, Plants, Tannin
I am on a diet that only allows me to have one caffeinated drink per day, so I ordered a bunch of decaf teas from H&S. I bought this so I could mix it with their roasted buckwheat tea to make a makeshift decaf genmaicha. It’s not bad at all! You can definitely taste the wheat in this, but it still has that toasty, seaweed flavour. This will definitely work as a good decaf substitute for the regular version.
I live in Boston, so naturally I had to pick up a can of Harney & Sons Boston. It’s good: a fruity black in the same general spirit of Paris and Tower of London. The sweetness in this blend is in part due to a smidgeon of vanilla, so there is more overlap with Paris, though the flavor is definitely different.
There are clear similarities between all of the fruit-scented teas chez H&S, above all, that most of them appear to use the same black tea base. This becomes especially apparent upon examining the spent leaves. Plus the liquors all brew up dark amber colored.
Well, I like this one too! I expect that eventually I’ll work my way through their entire collection. High-quality flavored teas are especially appealing to me in wintertime, served with cream as a cold weather comfort beverage. It’s nice to have so many choices. I doubt that I’m alone in having first encountered black currant tea as a flavored black. I recall that at one period in my life I tended to have a tin of Twinings Blackcurrant around. Not anymore, but I’ll have to try the Harney & Sons version at some point.
Flavors: Berries, Nuts, Vanilla
I got a small sample of this to see how it compared to the Bangkok tea; I think I was expecting pina colada for some reason, but there’s no coconut — it is distinctly a pineapple tea. For me it falls slightly short just because I find blends with several flavors, like Bangkok or Lime Gelato, to be more interesting. I feel about this tea the same way I feel about pineapple — it’s delicious from time to time, but not something I want every day. It’s good to have some variety in the cupboard though, and I bet this tea would pair beautifully with zucchini bread.
Thanks to NayLynn for a lovely sample of this tea. This is one I’ll be adding to my cupboard. Nice black tea flavor with mild bergamot, vanilla and carmel. I added a bit of stevia. It’s a lovely cuppa on a once again, very cold morning (-3). I’m quite enjoying it. Yesterday I had to brew 4 different teas before I found one that was what I was really in the mood for. All of them seemed flat and dull even though I had them before they just weren’t right. This is a much better way to start the day!
Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla
I know, I know. It’s such a shock that I had the Queen this morning. Had her with a bagel and cream cheese, and experienced a small slice of heaven before having to change into stupid work clothes and then plunge myself into the god-forsaken outdoors.
Stay warm, guys!
Also, is anyone else watching jeopardy? Holy smokes, Arthur!
Like I said in my other tasting note, I went to afternoon tea where they served Harney & Sons! The tea I ordered became bitter very quickly, so I stole a few cups from my friend’s pot of this lovely tea. I’m pretty picky about my jasmine teas because I can be on the fence about jasmine in general, but this one really hit the spot. It had a very clean jasmine taste that wasn’t too perfume-y or astringent like ones I’ve had in the past. It did become bitter, but only because the leaves were left to steep in the teapot between cups. When I finally put in an order with H&S, I will be sure to include this one! Oh, and the restaurant used the same teapot (but in white) that I have at home to serve the teas in! It was so nice seeing my teapot in a fancy place :)
I finally went to one of those afternoon teas at a cafe at the Boston Public Library (beaautiful). Anyway, they had Harney & Sons teas, which I was really excited about. I think my mistake was ordering this tea since they left the leaves in the pot and it way oversteeped, getting bitter. It was good at the beginning, though, so I will refrain from rating until I try it properly later.
Should I have been drinking a black tea at 5 pm this evening? Probably not, but I threw caution to the wind and brewed up a cup of this lovely chocolate-nutty black tea blend.
I have been pining for Harney & Sons Florence for some time now, having seen so many glowing reviews of it here at Steepster. I could not resist adding a can to my latest order, which arrived only yesterday.
The nutty quality is very notable, but I’m not sure that I would have identified it necessarily as hazelnut. It does taste very good—especially with light cream. I have had hazelnut-flavored coffee before, but this was the first time that I tried a tea with this combination of flavors. Florence really is quite distinct from Valentine’s Blend, which features a much stronger chocolate flavor and is decorated with rose petals (although I do not personally taste the rose in that blend).
The liquor is amber colored, and to my delight the brew tastes even better than the dried tea smells! I’ll have to have a steep off between Florence and Valentine’s Blend one of these days, now that both dessert teas grace my cupboard.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts
This was an unimpressive tea. Although the idea is great and the official description very promising the resultant tea does not live up to the hype. The tea base is a relatively boring green tea and would not get a good rating on its own. The addition of flowers is beneficial but the orange zest somehow overpowers. Something in the tea is very bitter, likely the orange or green tea base, and the orange masks the smell of the flowers. The bitterness is preserved after swallowing. One can clearly taste plants, flowers, and orange with evocative notes of cinnamon, and bitter spices. The direct small of the tea without imbibing is not particularly great, none of the flowers come through. I think that the tea could be improved by lessening the orange and improving the quality of the green tea that is used. Although the idea of the blend is great, it is overall a disappointing product.
Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Orange Zest
Thank you Rosehips for the sample of this. For whatever reason I had always assumed it was a straight black, which I guess isn’t the case at all. So, when I tried it I was really surprised at the flavour notes I picked up.
I made this in a timolino to take with on Tuesday for a day or errand running, and it was really nice; definitely niced that Fruits d’Alsace, though not as nice as Boston. I got the black Harney base that I’ve noticed is similar between all three, and then honey, currant, and very light bergamot notes. Very calming, for a black tea.
The next little bit will be a sipdown. I’m going to make it in a mug at home to see hwo it differs when not prepared for travel…
This is one incredibly powerful cinnamon tea. I’ve finally found a tea that is perfect, without fail, every time I take it in my timolino. Although I won’t be restocking this immediately upon finishing the tin (which will happen very quickly), it will absolutely feature in my cupboard come fall and winter of next year. we’re having record lows again today, although I frankly shouldn’t even be surprised at this point. But hot spicy cinnamon makes even this awful weather feel slightly more palatable. I love, love a tea’s ability to soothe ruffled feelings.
And how the heck do i still have four hours left at work? aaahhhh.
I only had a little bit of this, so it is my first review of it and a sipdown. :)
Dry: This tea is made up of small to medium black tea leaves. The fragrance from the bag is divine and reminds me of a fruity bakery concoction for some reason. Fresh with black currants and is that a touch of citrus and honey?
Steeped: Dark brown clear liquor. I used a heaping tablespoon for the 24 oz teapot, so it was roughly 1.5 tsp per 8oz. The fragrance of the tea coming through in the steeped tea blends nicely with the fruity notes from the dry leaf.
Taste: This is a great fruit tea and a very nice blend. H & S has these kinds of teas down for sure. Reminiscent of Paris with a stronger stonefruit and honey base, it is very flavorful and has complex nuances. I can’t tell if I am getting a touch of vanilla in this or if I am imagining it. I am getting that bergamot-y background that I enjoy so much with Paris though. I added a touch of honey after drinking it straight and it was a delightful addition for sure. I might try a little agave with the next cup. If I ever tire of Paris, this would probably be my fallback blend from H & S. I wish they offered smaller tins of the loose leaf though- who wants 1lb of tea to start after the sampler? It has been like that for a whole on their website now, too. If you like black currants and honey in a nice medium-bodied black tea base though, then this is for you.
Flavors: Honey, Stonefruits
Round two with this tea this morning. And, although I’m not nearly as desperate to pawn it off on other unsuspecting souls, I dare say that I’m just not all that fascinated with it myself. It is strong, yes, with a slightly pervasive raisiny note that’s slightly reminiscent of the scent in Butiki’s Wild mountain black, although that’s exactly where the similarity between these teas ends. I doctored it up with a healthy dose of sugar and cream this morning, but it still didn’t do much to make the tea taste “better”—it just tasted like a slightly less intense version of itself, which wasn’t exactly what I was going for. Anyway, like I said, not a bad cup by any means, and I imagine with a bit of sharing I’ll make it through this tin, but it won’t be a reorder.
I decided to imbibe a cup of the filter bag Harney & Sons chamomile right after a sachet brewed cup, and confirmed that the latter is better than the former.
To be really sure, though, I’d have to brew this one in less water, because it obviously contains less tea. The difference is not merely that the filter bag contains powder while the sachet contains buds—which in any case I have crushed between my finger tips because I love the texture! The sound is needless to say much softer than that of popping bubble paper. .. More appropriate for bedtime. Au lit!
My Harney & Sons binge continues with the sachet chamomile tonight. The sachets are generously stoked with flowers and produce beautiful spongy pillow-like eye compresses.
More importantly for tea lovers: the liquor is bright yellow and has more flavor than the filter bag-produced brew.
Deeeeelicious! Fruitier than fruit. Definitely getting the plums and cherries, though I think it also tastes like apples and pears. I’m also pleased as punch with whatever H&S is using for the base tea — it’s smooth, doesn’t draw to much attention to itself, and compliments the fruits flavors beautifully!