Queen Catherine

Tea type
Black Tea
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Cocoa, Hay, Malt
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 g 8 oz / 249 ml

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267 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 toilet...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1848 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 back story...” 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 malt and a...” 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.

267 Tasting Notes

22 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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226 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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507 tasting notes

I bought this because everyone on Steepster seemed to rave about it. And I’m a follower.
Well I’m not, but I don’t have enough money kicking around to buy too many teas blindly. I would rather let others try them out so I can read first hand accounts and decide based on those whether or not it would be worth it to me, something I’d care for.

I only really buy tea these days if I think I will love it.
And aside from Lupicia, I’m not into heavily flavoured teas much anymore. I’m really digging the straight black ones or the flavoured ones that are done in a very natural way. (Butiki, Whispering Pines).

So, I was wanting a bold tea to have with milk or cream for breakfast. This was a popular one, and I’d wanted to order from H&S, so I got a tin of Queen Catherine.

Honestly, I do enjoy it for breakfast. And it IS growing on me with every cup….but I think there is a bit too much of that “hay” note present for my liking.

It’s a bit smokey, also.

I don’t find it entirely unpleasant, but I didn’t love it at first sip like I’d hoped to.

However, it is slowly worming its way into my cold black heart.

I wish it was slightly less hay-like and maltier instead.
I don’t think the smokiness bothers me.

Adding milk or light cream really turns it into something nice, though.
I bet a smidge of sugar would transform it into another tea altogether. Maybe I will try that next time :)


This tea wasn’t love at first sight(taste) for me either . I love it now. I also love to mix it with Rose Scented H&S and I’m not floral tea person

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1453 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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248 tasting notes

Saw a few different reviews for this tea on H&S Appreciation Day. So I had to try it, of course. :P And I’m sooooooo glad I ordered this one!
It definitely has an earthy bent to it, kinda one of those teas where the after taste reminds me of hay. xD That doesn’t sound nice, does it?
But it has a mild malty taste with hints of cocoa when you drink it. It’s just they hay-ish aftertaste that throws me off a bit. It’s a good tea though! I’ll probably get more. (:
Now I can understand why everyone seemed to write about this tea on H&S Appreciation Day!

Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Malt


MMMMM Hay :p


I know, that sounds really bad, huh? XD


Hahahahaa no. It’s just one of the great things about tea. I never thought I’d like a tea that smells like a campfire, but it was really good. :)


Haha it’s crazy what you end up liking! XD

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137 tasting notes

From the Unflavored TTB

Dry leaves smell good. Rich, smoky aroma in the cup. The flavor is fairly strong, very smooth, and slightly smoky, with hints of cocoa. Very big, very long finish may be the best part of this tea. Astringent and slightly tannic without being bitter. This is one of those teas where the flavors change as you go through the sniff, sip, swallow, finish process. Very interesting, but on the subtle side. I get the sense that this is a tea one could enjoy experimenting with steep times, temperature, etc. I may need to buy more. Just checked the price: I REALLY have to buy this one. Great everyday tea for someone who likes a bit of smoke in their tea (like me: addicted to Keemun).

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

I enjoy this tea a lot. I’ve spent many an afternoon with The Queen.


I need to get some of this—so many rave reviews!


And so nice mixed with Rose Scented – two parts Catherine to one part Rose.

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219 tasting notes

Swap from Keychange that I’ve finally decided to try. (along with the other 2 she sent me) Wasn’t sure anout the brewing parameters so I went with my basic measures that I tend to fall back on.
Didn’t really have much of a dry scent, but that could just be the baggie it was in.
Brewed it’s kinda malty, fruity, smoke/spicy? Not sure on that last note though. XD
Taste wise it’s kinda fruityish, with that almost smokey/woody/spicy note to it. It’s also more astringent than I’d prefer, but still a nice cup.
Sitting here next to me on my warmer it’s gotten a touch on the bitter side, even with a bit of Truvia added and the astringency is like I swallowed cotton. Bleh.
But it was still a nice cup before it sat, though I can’t see myself ordering it myself.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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137 tasting notes

Such high hopes I had for this tea. All y’all love it so much. I like it fine. I just don’t love it. It is slightly too bright to be a tea I love and the smokiness to me went a little too far in the creosote direction at the back of the sip. It’s not off-putting, but I like a smoky flavor a bit rounder, more mellow and a bit less sharp.

More about it (and its song) here:


I’m going wait to rate it because it could grow on me.


Hmm I took a risk and ordered it, I won’t get it until July though, hopefully I will like it!

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406 tasting notes

Following on mj1851 ’s great suggestion of having a Harney & Sons tribute day, I’ve decided to drink Queen Catherine this morning…

I have placed my first H&S order only this year. I had been looking at their teas with envy for quite a while before that.

Buying H&S teas feels like buying fancy French teas. They are the only North American store that makes me feel this way.

They just ooze elegance and sophistication. Mr. Harney left quite a legacy to his sons…

Queen Catherine is the quintessence of what morning tea should be.

it’s bold enough, strong enough, full bodied enough, tasty enough.

But it also feels fancy and luxuriously rich. It’s royal and majestic!

She is The Queen , after all.

What a great idea mj1851 ,

Happy H&S tea day everyone!


I will be having the Golden Monkey. Sadly, I don’t love the Queen. Don’t hate her – but won’t order again after the 4 oz I have is gone. But the Golden Monkey is dreamy! And I am home where all the tea is. Happy me!


Yay! Home sweet home :-)
That Golden Monkey sounds dreamy, will make it part of next H&S order.


I’m pretty sure you will LOVE the GM. And pssssst…I’m sending you a message :)

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274 tasting notes

Somehow I managed to delete my earlier note when I was trying to correct a typo. Anyway, I got this in a trade today from DeliriumsFrogs, thanks! I liked it so much I finished it all in one sitting. While it was a hearty dark tea, I don’t know that it was that different than others I have had.

In other news, I ordered my first gaiwan and cup set, in anticipation of the Butiki educational boxes. So exciting!


I think this was the first non-flavored black I fell in love with. Soooo good.


ooooh! I’m so excited that you’re getting a gaiwan! I absolutely love mine. The way it transforms the tea drinking experience is unreal—that it divides it into acts instead of one infused cup… it’s really magical. :)

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