Queen Catherine

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Earth, Hay, Malt, Raisins, Smoke, Smooth, Cocoa
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 oz / 244 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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286 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Overslept because I didn’t sleep well last night. Muscles already sore from coughing. Nose and ears still stuffed with cotton. Nauseated from coughing fit. Sneezing fit. Main household...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1937 tasting notes
  • “This tea is perfect. I am hoping so, so hard that I never get sick of it the way I can with many a tea, because it really is as perfect as its "back story" makes it out to be. I read the...” Read full tasting note
    keychange 451 tasting notes
  • “This morning I decided that I absolutely, positively had to have Queen Catherine with a Toasted Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese. There could be no substitutes. Nothing else would do. Of course...” Read full tasting note
    JacquelineM 1112 tasting notes
  • “Tea of the morning…. It has been a while since I have had an audience with the Queen. I love the way her subtle strength nudges you into action for the day. Cocoa notes, light...” Read full tasting note
    SimplyJenW 974 tasting notes

From Harney & Sons

We created this blend of three Chinese black teas in honor of Queen Catherine, who introduced her love of tea to the British. We are privileged to have this tea featured in the Museum of Tea in Hangzhou, China. Harney & Sons is the only Western tea company to receive this honor.


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.

286 Tasting Notes

179 tasting notes

Harney was the second tea purveyor that I explored during the beginnings of my journey with the cup of brown joy. I thought I’d managed to taste my way through most that I was interested in, but after reading a few reviews recently, I realized that I’d never flirted with the Queen. Thanks to a swap with TeaTiff, this is now in my cup and I’m quite pleased it is!

My go-to cup from Harney is Malachi McCormick. I love the way the earthy deep blend conjures up visions of Dublin in late winter for me. Queen Catherine is quite different. There is still a light earthy keemun flavor here that creates the base note for the tea, but it is lighter than my beloved Malachi. The flavor profile is more mid-palate…a bit dusty hay, a touch of raisin and a lighter malt than you find in assam. Lurking at the finish is a slight touch of gentle smoke. The description of this tea states that it’s all Chinese tea, but it certainly has the lighter profile of a ceylon, without the drying astringency that comes with most ceylons for me. If Malachi reminds me of Dublin in late winter, Queen Catherine reminds me of London in late spring. The light smooth profile is an invitation to a cup of tea that would even be welcome on a warm day. She is not cloying, this Queen. She is gentle and graceful….and lovely.

Flavors: Earth, Hay, Malt, Raisins, Smoke

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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972 tasting notes

This one also came from cookies’s lovely holiday package. I’ve heard good things about this blend, so I’m happy I finally get to try it. For some reason, I never seen to be too tempted by straight tea blends, and I always end up ordering single origin teas instead. Not sure why that is! Anyway, the leaves here are very thin and somewhat small, and they’re more than a little broken. Dry scent is sweet and hay, and it’s comforting in a way. It makes me feel like I’m snuggling into a floofy pile of dry, sweet-smelling hay.

This is quite nice! It’s a good combination of earthy with a touch of smoky and some malty/raisiny Assam goodness. I don’t know what teas are in this, but I’m assuming the earthiness is probably coming from some kind of Chinese black, whereas the malt and raisin-ish notes come from an Assam. Overall, it’s good, and it would be tasty with sugar and milk or even maple syrup. No astringency at all!

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Raisins, Smoke, Smooth

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

I think the smoke might be from a Keemun. I tried this one before I liked keemun and was weirded out by the smoke, but now I like Keemun…ha!

Cameron B.

I haven’t had many Keemuns that are actually smoky, but I do hear them described that way often. I guess they just vary a lot. :)


I think they do vary…the ones I’ve found smoky are A&D spring Keemun, TeaVivre organic fragrant Keemun, and I think Stash’s too. I also get that same smokiness from TeaVivre’s Bailin gongfu black tea.


Keemun, Panyang, and Yunnan are the three teas in here. I get smoke from Keemun a lot, though I haven’t had Harney’s on its own.


I just ordered a tin of this to try. Had to reach the $25.00 for free shipping and was ordering tins. Hope I like, the combo sounded interesting.

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273 tasting notes

A while ago, I asked for recommendations on everyone’s favorite black tea blends, and this one was mentioned quite a few times. I’m quite happy to be finally trying it now!

The dry tea is a blend of different types of black tea leaves, some looking distinctively golden. There’s a rich malt aroma even with the dry leaf, which I don’t often find in Chinese black teas—outside of, say, Lapsang or very cocoa-note-heavy teas, even the best-tasting black teas often have very little dry aroma to me. The tea brews to an amber golden color, and is surprisingly light in body. The taste is malty, but not too rich, without the “buttery” or heavy mouthfeel found in some similar teas. There’s a touch of roasty, or smoky flavor to it, almost like a Shuixian, and just a hint of sweetness. It’s a very well-balanced tea that is a great—and not too strong—start to the day.

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427 tasting notes

This is a lovely smokey, fruity tea where the elements of the blend really shine through. I probably used a little more leaf than my preference but the resulting brew is not bitter. I mostly taste the smokiness of the Keemun and possibly the panyong, a slightly woody fruitiness from the Keemun which has hints of dried stone fruit and sweet red wine, which may be enhanced by fruity elements of the panyong and a sweet cocoa note which is mostly Yunnan but may again be enhanced buy the panyong. There is a very faint floral note from the Keemun and a touch of frankness enhanced by a honey note and a bit of malt. The aftertaste is reminiscent of wine mixed with a touch of honey and a bit of smoke. Overall a nice, robust and bold blend. Thanks so much Nicole for giving me a chance to try it!

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2831 tasting notes

Thanks to whatshesaid for generously sending me a sample of this tea! I had no real idea what to expect, except that reading that it’s a blend of 3 Chinese teas makes me guess that I’ll like it. Which, as it turns out, is correct. It’s a little chocolatey, a little hay-y, a lot malty, and wonderfully smooth. The finish turns a slight bit fruity, but otherwise I’m not really picking up any fruity flavours. Overall, I’m pretty impressed. The smooth yet strong character of this tea would make this a great breakfast blend for me (if I wasn’t in the mood for something overly chocolatey, roasty, or fruity), because it definitely requires no additions to make it palatable to a hungry, astringency-averse morning tummy. Yum.

ETA: I swear I did not read the “flavours” list before listing off the flavours I picked up here. Score for my tastebuds! :P

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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54 tasting notes

I like this even better than the last time I brewed a mug of it, and I liked the bejeebers out of it then, too. I’m getting honey, cocoa, and just a tinge of smokiness. I’m drinking it from my gigantic (20 oz.) Batman mug, so by the time I finish, I may be in such bliss that I forget about all the excessive amount of snow outside. I also mean to try the brambleberry black Downton Abbey tea sample I got this past week today, but I bet it will pale in comparison to the Queen. Next time I buy this one, I’m whizzing past the 8 oz. tin and going straight to the one pound bag.

carol who

Awesome! Gotta love the queen!

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63 tasting notes

Sooooooooo. Smooooooooth. Like, hot damn, Catherine. Way to be stepping it up like a true Queen. I finished the last of my H&S English Breakfast the other day, and if comparing these two, there’s really no competition. This is sweet and smooth and more of a gentle poke in the morning, rather than a full on slap to the face. A great morning cup. I’m especially loving the slight smokiness at the back of the sip.

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303 tasting notes

T&C TTB 22/23

When I had this TTB I was about to make a H&S order and felt it was the perfect time to try this before buying it. It was good, so I bought some. I kept waiting for the Queen to speak to me before writing a note but she has not and it is almost gone. All I can say is I’ve enjoyed it in the mornings when I’m looking for caffeine and taste good with and without milk. I may order it again sometime, not sure.

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198 tasting notes

Sad sipdown on this one. Knowing I was nearing the end I almost picked up another tin during Harney’s sale this weekend, but I was a good girl and held myself back. I do really love this tea and it was a pretty quick sipdown considering it’s a 4oz tin. I have every intention of picking up more of this one when I get my cupboard under control.

Sipdown 3/75

Cameron B.

You can do it! Woop woop! :P

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614 tasting notes

I brewed this up again this morning but am still not nearly as in love with it as everyone else seems to be. I get no cocoa notes, I just find it really smoky and spicy and not at all sweet like I prefer my black teas to be. I’m not really getting any malty notes either.

I’m definitely going to give most of this away to someone who appreciates it. I will just keep enough to try a cup every now and again to see if my opinion has changed.

I suppose if you like these sorts of tastes, this would be a spectacular tea!
It’s just too much for me.


This makes me less sad that I can never seem to get my hands on this tea (:


Although this is a blend, for me this tea tastes mostly of Keemun, so if you are not a fan of this type of tea I could see it not being a very good tea.


Did you drink it w/ breakfast? I find some teas are great with the food and not very appealing on their own.


I actually drank it AS breakfast, on an empty stomach. I’m sure it would have been more delicious with a cream cheese bagel to balance it out!


Nattie I could send you a sample if you’d like!

TeaTiff that’s probably what it is…. I don’t think Keemun is really my thing!


i dont drink any tea on empty stomach. makes me nauseous. give it a try with REAL breakfast. Cheese, eggs some pita or crackers,croissant really make such tea shine. Today i had Caravan by A&D, or Red-tailed Hwak, or new Oktoberfest – i cannot take them without anything. but they really complement the breakfast


The only tea i can drink first thing in the morning on empty stomach is shou puerh ;)


you’re not alone — I didn’t love this either


Thanks for the tip Boychik, I will give it a try with some food! Though I never have an issue drinking anything else on an empty stomach :)

Glad to hear, TeaBrat, based on all the reviews I thought I was the only hater!


I would love a sample if you have enough to send some! :D thank you! ^^

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