Hao Ya 'A'

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Keemun Black Tea
Bread, Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Malt, Smoke, Almond, Apricot, Cedar, Cherry, Cream, Dark Wood, Grain, Leather, Mineral, Molasses, Nutty, Pine, Plum, Walnut, Cocoa
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Harney & Sons The Store
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 oz / 290 ml

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44 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Tea of the morning…… And ‘Happy Friday!’ of the first week of DST where I am. I know why DST is so hard to adjust to this year….it perfectly coincided with the onset of my seasonal allergies. So...” Read full tasting note
  • “Hmmm. I really haven’t been a huge fan of Keemuns in the past but I felt like I should try this sample again, plus I feel it’s good to broaden one’s horizons. When I look back on my tea tasting...” Read full tasting note
  • “Happy Steepsterversary to ME!! Yes, on December 1, 2009, I joined this cool looking tea site thinking maybe I’d check it out every once in awhile. Who would have thought that it would become such a...” Read full tasting note
  • “What a big (tea) baby I was when I first tried this! I thought it was too strong! Today I wanted a good, assertive but not aggressive black tea to serve with homemade peach dumplings. (And I had...” Read full tasting note

From Harney & Sons

This Hao Ya A tea is the most intense Keemun loaded with light chocolate and toasty flavors. The city of Keemun was a highlight of Mike’s 2009 trip to China. He was there for the start of the Hao Ya A season.


About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

44 Tasting Notes

985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

And ‘Happy Friday!’ of the first week of DST where I am. I know why DST is so hard to adjust to this year….it perfectly coincided with the onset of my seasonal allergies. So tired and congested and sneezy. Now that I have made it to Friday, I needed the tea that is gives a super jolt. I actually brewed this a little stronger than normal, because I usually go a little light on the tea and shorter on the steep. What I have now is a very strong cup of tea. It is better when I brew it properly, but this is really doing the trick for getting me going today.

Usual teapot method….wish I had remembered how I usually brew this one (light leaf and short time), but it is working. Perhaps it is time for a sticker on top of the tin to remind me. It is getting difficult to remember optimal steeping parameters for the number of teas I have in the stash….

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Picked up stickers, just for this reason. Once I get something “just so”, on goes the sticker. We probably have different allergies, but when I went out and about yesterday, I flared up too. Breezy, warm, and had just rained (a LOT) << mold/mildew heaven (plus new pollens). Ugg. Feel better!


Happy Friday!


Yeah, I find I almost always have to check steepster before brewing something unless it’s one of my favorites. A sticker on the top sounds like a better idea than waiting for steepster to load in the morning!


I washed my car yesterday. It was yellow again by the time I was done, but then, I knew I was just getting the dirt off and would have to rinse it every day!


I found the fix for DST and allergies. Benadryl at bedtime! I actually go to sleep instead of staring at the ceiling and I can breathe. Side benefit I can taste my tea.


K S, I just started doing the same thing! I have never taken anything for my allergies before but I needed it to sleep a few weeks ago when this started and it worked. Losing sleep makes everything worse.

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2816 tasting notes

Hmmm. I really haven’t been a huge fan of Keemuns in the past but I felt like I should try this sample again, plus I feel it’s good to broaden one’s horizons. When I look back on my tea tasting journey, I used to hate a lot of things which have recently grown on me.

This tea is very dark and I’m definitely getting the chocolate here. The aroma is a bit… interesting. Getting a bit of tobacco here, reminds me slightly of cigars and I’m also picking up on the smoke in the finish. It isn’t really a sweet kind of smoke like you might get with a lapsang, it’s more sturdy and earthy and as my cup cools I’m picking up on some bitterness so I’m going to try a shorter steep next time.

I know a lot of people love this one but I’m finding it a bit strong for me. I can definitely see why people put keemuns in breakfast blends, I think I might enjoy this more with a little something to help mellow it out. I definitely don’t hate it but I also don’t think it’s destined to become a favorite of mine.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

Don’t give up on it. :))


I am nothing if not persistent! :-P


It is so funny that you think this is strong and I have issue with the East Frisian. Do you add soy/almond milk to East Frisian?


normally, yes but I don’t seem to like keemuns with soymilk…

Doug F

I’ve never tried a Hao Ya ‘A’ I hear they are wonderful, if you like Keemuns.


Triumph – they are not my favorite for some reason but I suppose that’s ok. We can’t all love everything, :-P


Amy, I think you would enjoy H & S Supreme Breakfast Blend. I remember it being a rather well balanced blend of Assam & Hao Ya B…….so you get some malt and some smoke. I really enjoyed it.


I got a sample of their Supreme Breakfast with my last order so I suspect I’ll be trying it soon.


I hope you enjoy it.

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1112 tasting notes

Happy Steepsterversary to ME!! Yes, on December 1, 2009, I joined this cool looking tea site thinking maybe I’d check it out every once in awhile. Who would have thought that it would become such a rich source of happiness and fun for me! :) Thank you Steepster Overlords – you’ve created something wonderful :) and thank you Steepsterites! It’s been so great to read what’s in your cup each day and talk tea. I like you guys enormously!!! :)

I chose Harney & Sons Hao Ya ‘A’ for my Steepsterversary cup, because it typifies how my tastes have changed AND stayed the same over the year I’ve been on here. What has stayed the same? My favorite place to order online was Harney & Sons when I joined, and it still is :) (and I ordered A LOT of tea from all over the place to come to this conclusion). Also, I loved black teas the best when I joined, and that still holds true.

What has changed (dramatically!) is that I used to favor Assams and flavored teas with lots of milk and sugar, and now my absolute favorites are Chinese teas taken without milk and sugar. Now take this Hao Ya A. I think I would have just about died if I drank it on December 1, 2009. Now, I’m swooning over the dark roasty chocolate notes, deep sweetness, and slight smoke. It’s absolutely delicious and so satisfying. I adore it! It reminds me of Queen Catherine alot, but richer and more…single minded. Catherine has quite a few things going on, but Hao Ya A is a laser beam of roasty chocolate smoke. I think now that I’ve had both, I understand better why I thought Catherine would make a good afternoon tea.

Ah, I’m a happy Steepsterite today :)

Two more funny facts before I close this note. 1. One year ago today, I didn’t know that you could resteep tea! 2. Since December 1, 2009 I have had 552 cups of tea (NOT counting resteeps!).

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Congrats! Happy Steepsterversary!


Happy Anniversary! Steepster-ites are enriched by your presence here!


If I could, I’d pour it up for you in the December Cup of the Month. (Holly, of course.)


gmathis – Awwwww!!! :) I am imagining it :) :) :) We can pour yours in your birthday month cup :) I made some scones too! ;)


YAY! Happy Steepsterversary! :)


Happy Steepsterversary!!! Loved reading about how things have changed/stayed the same!!


Happy Steepsterversary, Jacqueline! Maybe someday I’ll evolve to the point you’ve arrived at!:)

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3233 tasting notes

What a big (tea) baby I was when I first tried this! I thought it was too strong!

Today I wanted a good, assertive but not aggressive black tea to serve with homemade peach dumplings. (And I had vanilla ice cream with mine. Breyer’s Lactose Free Vanilla, not because we are lactose intolerant but because it is SO sweet and good with the lactose already broken down into…is it galactose and lactase?) I needed something that wouldn’t disappear beside the sweet fruity dessert but hopefully would compliment it by contrasting with it. I have several peach teas but didn’t want them to compete with the peaches in the dessert. This was my pick.

I think it was a perfect pairing. The cocoa notes were especially welcome today. There was no bitterness or astringency so I guess I made it just right this time! It was great with the dumplings and we did not add milk or sugar. Delicious! And all gone, so I guess I need to order more.

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294 tasting notes

I had my first job interview today in 25 years and I felt I needed a tea that would truly lubricate me without making me tea drunk. This was a good decison. I am now at home [ The interview went well] and I am enjoying the second steep throughly. The flavor and aroma are without a doubt some of the finest in the world of tea….




Good luck with the interview. I hate them, they are emotionally exhausting!


Congrats on making it to the interview stage. I probably sent out a million resumes before I got asked to even one.
Good luck on the rest of the process too. :)

The DJBooth

good luck!

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735 tasting notes

As I prepare this, my hopes are high. It smells like it’s going to be a very good, strong black tea. The fine, narrow leaves have a sharp, dark, lightly smoky aroma. It’s almost like a lapsang souchong, but not piney. As it steeps, I smell notes of wheat and cocoa. Almost like kid’s cereal, but smoky.

The dark tea’s flavor is malty and toasted. Great for this wet, chilly day. The smoke also plays a part to strengthen and compliment it, lingering in the aftertaste and exhale. The cocoa does come through, but it’s not the most prevalent flavor. It’s a tiny bit on the astringent side, but not really that bitter. There’s certainly a lot going on in this Keemun, but I like it very much. It’s very satisfying. I will probably get another sample next time I order, along with the Hao Ya ‘B’.

EDIT: Coming back to say that this might be a tea to avoid if you’re caffeine-sensitive!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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421 tasting notes

Today has felt like a Monday ALL day. Thankfully it was Thursday, as work days go it was the usual frantic phone calls and putting out fires here and there. Until my mom called and in a very curt voice told me I needed to come over as soon as possible to move anything I was storing in the apartment storage out. Longer story short…my brother and his girlfriend live in the apartment and want to expand it for more space into the storage area (which is huge). Of course he apparently wants to do this now. Awesome.

So now my dear husband and I will be driving an hour out and packing all this stuff up to try and find a place for it in our basement. This wouldn’t be so bad had my inlaws not dropped off massive amount of their items as they try to sell their house. SO as you can see I’ve had a heck of a day!

When I got home I went to work making room in the basement and when I was done I was determined to have some tea…this tea. I haven’t really had manny Keemun teas. So I thought I’d throw a sample of this with my order earlier this weel. Wel, it smelled chocolaty enough when I opened the package so I opted to have a brownie (gluten free) ok two brownies! Let me tell you the brownie only brought out the chocolate even more! Yum! I also noted the toasty flavor promised in the description.

It is very different from the Assam teas I am used to and I have to say I like different, I like it a lot. I’m not sure I’d drink it very often. Maybe a “break into in case of emergency” supply of sample sizes is in order? Yes I already have another Harney order building in my head. I’m so bad. :) I’m glad I opted to pick this one up….thankfully you CAN pick your tea even if you can’t pick your family.

*Note I’m not mad at my mother…she was feeling pressure from my very impatient brother and let it out in my direction…an apology came 10 minutes later.


Wow hope your day got better later on!


It did after I had the tea. Also got to talk to some of my favorite tea people which always helps!

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141 tasting notes

The multicolored short, choppy leaves are slightly smokey with an underlying sweet grassy note.

Steeping produces a dark cup. The spent leaves have a somewhat unpleasant acrid smell. The tea itself, however, is a smokey vanilla caramel.

Many of the reviews here mention chocolate notes. I didn’t get that and the flavor of this tea is new to me; it was like a mild lapsang with a touch of vanilla. It’s of medium body with a slight astringency.

This is a bold tea and I like this one a little more than Queen Catherine. The more I got into the cup the more I enjoyed it.

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I had a sample of this when I first started drinking tea and I thought it was waaaayy to strong! Then I ordered the sample again and I really loved it, and didn’t find it strong at all. I already have it in my cart for my next order. Half the fun is putting things in the cart and taking them out, and changing the amount…there is no telling what my eventual order will be!


Eeep! That should have been “t-o-o strong.” I should proofread before I hit “enter.”

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168 tasting notes

Wafts of dark chocolate, with a much more intense roasted aroma than other Keemuns. Hao Ya ‘A’ also has a much stronger body than most other Chinese black teas, with a bit of astringency. The aromas carry through to the cup with notes of dark chocolate.

Keemuns are some of China’s oldest and most renowned black teas. They come from the rolling hills surround the small town now written as Qimen. The tea fields lie between the Yellow Mountains and the Yangtze River. This particular Keemun is made in later April or early may, after the Mao Feng harvest, when the leaves are bigger and more flavorful. Whereas Mao Feng is harvest for only a week and a half, Hao Ya’s season goes on for as long as a month and a half.

Hao Ya teas are separated, primarily for the U.S. market. The best tips go to A, and the second best to B. They are processed similar to Mao Feng. Mao Feng makers accentuate the bud, drawing out the subtlety and sweetness of the tea, Hao Ya makers go for power.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
toasted toads

Do you ever start the day off with something else? ^_~

Charles Thomas Draper

I enjoy it very much….

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193 tasting notes

Decided to give this a try for breakfast. I ordered a loose sample with my most recent Harney order. This is a very nice bold keemun tea. I did detect a slight cocoa taste more like a dark semi bitter chocolate taste. I enjoyed the rich “roasty” taste of this one. I drank it without any additions. It was great on this dreary, rainy morning. Unfortunately the rain canceled our outdoor egg hunt plans with the girls.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I ordered the sample of this one quite a while ago, and now I wish I had some. Next order is already in the planning stages, even though I got a box from Harney and Sons yesterday!

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