Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My best friend came over for tea, but she has terrible allergy problems and was getting a headache. When she feels like that, she can’t stand anything that is even lightly smokey and she doesn’t want any strong flavors. She drinks a lot of flavored whites and I had several on hand, but I thought it might be best for her to try an unflavored white since I don’t think she had tried but one or two ever.
I served this, worried that it might be too light for her, but she said it was just right. The gentle white tea tasted good to her and didn’t have anything that would further irritate her tender head and sinuses.
True to type, this is a very delicate and subtle tea. The scent is hay, and there is a little nutty flavor. This time it is the sweet nutmeat I taste, whereas often it is nut flavor with slight bitter walnut skin that I pick up in tea. The bitterness of nut was not present. This is one that had hubby repeating, “This is good” over and over. He is pretty picky so I consider that a recommendation!
We used one teaspoon of leaf and stopped at five steeps. We still had good color and flavor at that point. I think we could have gone one or two more but it was almost midnight at that point and we needed to go to bed.
This is one to enjoy when you have time to pay attention, not something for washing down our Asian buffet takeout.
One of my favorites! This one is a yummy flavored black tea without overpowering added flavors like so many teas that are popular. It’s delicious and reminds me very much of the French Line tea.
Good with milk, but I have to brew it extra strong to stand up to it. I tend to go through a tin quickly because I brew it nearly double strength.
I’ve finally come back to the world of tea reviewing, I’ve actually been making a point to brew a pot before I start my day, sort of a grounding before I distract myself in the fight against ever present boredom (being unemployed sucks) in any case, here we go and as always I start off with my favorite a blend by Harney and Sons.
Tower of London – There’s something terribly comforting about this tea, especially in the morning, a blend of bergamot (cuz English love them some bergamot) good black tea, honey and other secret things H&S have mixed in, the first thing you’ll notice when opening the tin is the strong, wrapped up in warm in blankets scent of honey, in all reality I cant describe it properly it really smells more like honey than…well honey does, and it easily overpowers the aroma of the bergamot and tea, although there scents are there to lend some complexity, as an English style black tea mix its pretty in a dark browns and blacks kind of way.
Portions were 1 teaspoon per 7oz – Steeping 5min at 190° with a prewarmed pot.
Steeping seems to take some of the punch out of the honey sent but its still the main player in the steep’s aroma, although the heavier body of the black tea and sharper notes of the bergamot do shine through better.
As for taste it’s a bit of a surprise but the honey is just barely there, despite being such a diva in the aroma on the tongue the main player is the excellent blend of black teas Harney & Sons used, there is the delicate if sharp taste of the bergamot, but this seems to me a primarily a breakfast tea its strong a little bitter caffeine rich and full bodied, its really really good for waking ones ass up, ironically I did this brew without any sweetener and while I drank the whole pot that way in the end I think it may need…well a little honey.
Also if you wanna see some pictures (Since I cant figure out how to insert them into tasting notes) Check out the tea and gardening blog me and http://steepster.com/tabby run, contents been a little sparce lately but were fixing that promise.
Flavors: Apricot, Bergamot, Honey
Unusual tea. When drank fresh and very hot, it’s almost a hot tea with a slight cheerios flavor. When it’s cooling, at first i thought it was growing bitter, but was actually the malt and honey coming out. Not bad at all but not a favorite from the company. The taste is certainly not boring or average, it is smooth and in no way artificial, but I’m not crazy about the maltiness that comes through when it starts cooling.
Flavors: Bitter, Honey, Malt
I served this tea to my eldest daughter, who really doesn’t drink black tea at all, only green, white, and puerh. I told her we were going to have a black tea that wasn’t like black tea at all.
She agreed that it seemed like drinking a Chinese green tea to her. I like this one very much and she was pretty impressed with it, too, especially with the idea that this plantation uses Chinese tea bushes and uses an older style of lighter processing. I think that is what adds up to make this a successful tea for green tea lovers to enjoy.
There is so much I do not know about tea, and I know the least about Darjeeling.
The first one I had was from A Southern Season. I thought it was “normal” black tea and I made it that way. I got a stomach ache. Then I read that it should have a shorter steep and tried it that way. It was better, but I still preferred Chinese teas and focused on them, having only a few Indian teas over the years. So I feel ill equipped to tell a Darjeeling lover about this tea, but I can tell what this tea lover found.
Dry Leaf Scent: bright, high, green, fresh, sharp-ish, with a hint of latex like a good oolong has.
Liquor: golden yellow, which always surprises me since Darjeeling is a “black” tea.
Taste: I am surprised to find myself thinking, "What magic is this? A Darjeeling that reminds me of Chinese green, a Darjeeling that has me thinking that this would be good to serve to my picky husband who only likes black tea drowned in milk and sugar, or green, white, or oolong plain. Yes, I am thinking that he would like this with our Asian takeout dinners.
The body is listed as medium in their description, but it has a creamy mouthfeel that makes me lean toward saying it is really creamy medium. The flavor is much like the scent of the dry leaves, but there is a little nut flavor underneath it all, with a tingle of citrus and grass, especially as it cools. I am reminded of Chun Mei. The taste and creamy feel really linger, like my tongue is swaddled in the last sip. It really fills the mouth and sinuses. And yet, it is light!
Having tasted it, I looked at the company description on their website. Chinese tea bushes, lighter style of processing… well, of course it all makes sense now!
My youngest daughter is drinking it with me. This is her first Darjeeling and she says that while she is not good at identifying and describing scents, she is on her second cup and says, “This is really good.”
And now we have polished off the whole pot! Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons, for the opportunity to expand my palate!
Harney and Sons sent this as a generous sample to try. I didn’t know how generous until I looked it up just prior to steeping – $36 for two ounces! But all it took was opening the pouch to know that this was no ordinary black tea.
I am reminded of a tea that JacquelimeM and I fell in love with several years ago from them. I believe it was called Golden Snail and yes, I bought it because it was worth it. Sometimes you need to buy a really special tea. Just make sure that it IS really special and makes you feel magnificent when you drink it. You can have ordinary any old time.
There is a generous sprinkling of gold among the rich, black leaves. I followed their recommendation of four to five minutes with boiling water, going just over four.
The aroma is thick and full-bodied, as is the mouth feel of the tea. The nutty notes are high ones, they say pecan but I also am reminded of walnut. There is an incredible smoothness to this naturally sweet tea. (Remember all those golden tips!) It goes down so easily! My youngest daughter and I drank this at breakfast and she said, “Mom, I can tell this is really high quality tea.”
As I drink this, the thick body almost comes across as a creaminess, and the nut flavors lend a high note to the rich caramel smooth midtones. Think of the midtones of their Golden Monkey, specifically theirs because I have had Golden Monkey from places like Teavana that tasted nice enough but were more like a lower grade Keemun. The rich and creamy sweetness that I taste and feel is probably what they refer to as caramel, and I get that.
This may be going on the next shopping list, and I am pretty excited that my eldest and my youngest girls will be at the Soho Harney and Sons on Saturday! I can’t wait to try the other samples. Thank you, Russell and Harney and Sons!
One of my weekend guests so generously shared her nasty cold with me, so I’m binge drinking the teas in my house in an attempt to feel better. In all fairness, I’ve had this tea before but just never managed to write a review. Now that I’m laid up with this horrible illness, I’ve got plenty of time! First time I had this tea was at the H&S tea room in Soho, and I ordered a pot of it on a whim. Such delicious fruitiness! I was happily surprised. I’m not really getting any apricot – just plums and cherries, but that’s just fine – it’s delightful. Kind of my idea of a perfect fruity black – almost sweet with lots of beautiful aroma. No need for sweetener nor milk, it’s just perfect on it’s own. And not at all medicinal, which is amazing considering how often flavors like this end up. Would I try this iced? Maybe, but it’s so good hot that I don’t feel compelled to change a thing. Maybe when the weather gets really warm. For now, it’s doing me a lot of good just as it is!
Flavors: Cherry, Plums
Honestly, my first thought about this tea was that it tastes like Trix cereal. It could almost be a breakfast replacement, what with the cereal taste and the caffeine content needed to get my engine going in the morning. I take it with a splash of cream, and it’s fruity to begin with, but finishes with caramel and vanilla notes. The only downside is that it only produces 1 good infusion (the 2nd is very weak), but I’ve found this is a common trait among black teas.
Flavors: Black Currant, Caramel, Vanilla
Sooo the second time my boyfriend came to visit me, I let him try a Harney & Sons tea-the SoHo Blend, and he loved it. Also this year him and his bro and his bro’s gf came out as a birthday surprise for their mum (my boyfriend and his bro lived in England at the time and his parents live in NY, where he is now), so I sent him a package full of some tea samples I’d wanted him to try for the longest time-I had to get him off of the classic English Breakfast tea with milk. :P He can’t go back anymore! Muahahahahahaha!
Anyway, one of the samples I gave him was Paris, and he loved it too!
So he finally graduated Uni about a month ago and I get to see him on Monday, he’s coming for a short visit-Monday to Saturday since he’s planning to come for this Christmas anyway. Had to place a H&S order for his graduation present. Got him the SoHo blend and The Tower of London-but the 5 satchets little tin. Oh my goodness, When I opened the package I almost missed the tin because it’s so tiny! XD
But anyway, since it’s like Paris I thought he’d like it. (: I just gotta finish a cross stitch for him and then his graduation gift will be complete! :D So excited!
Got three samples with that order. Two were the same old boring teas, like the chai one and the pomegranat one plus an iced tea pouch. This one was the only new one-so I had to try!
And all I really gotta say is that it was minty. Very very minty. Tried really hard to find another flavor or something, but no. It was just a crap load of mint in that mug for both steeps! It wasn’t bad-I mean, I had two cups of it. But it wasn’t amazing either. Was a fine tea, just not something I’d buy or drink again. Kinda a boring tea to be honest :P But hey, better boring than bad!
I only had a sample of this that I ordered with my last restock of Florence, Paris, and Scottish Morn, so this is already a sipdown. A pleasant one for sure though- at least for people who like strong black teas. This blend is more in line with Scottish Afternoon if I had to pick another Harney tea to compare it to, but I still prefer my beloved Scottish Morn to either. I think it is the Darjeeling- I just tend to gravitate away from it towards Yunnan, Ceylon, etc. If you love Darjeeling though, then this might be perfect with the soft hints of it around the edges. East Frisian is traditionally enjoyed with cream and rock sugar from what I understand, but I only added milk and it was quite tasty. A touch of citrus and strooooong malt to welcome the new day. Yum!