Harney & Sons

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drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
2576 tasting notes

First, a very overdue thanks to Lexie Aleah for this sample (shame on me for taking so long)!

Next, it’s just “plum” luscious. The immediate sensory snapshot that accompanied the first sip was one of those dark 19th century still life oil paintings with a fruit bowl, like this one:

https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/object/103RF8

As to the flavor (and the scent, which is equally strong), it’s just a sweet and lovely melange of plummy, dark cherry, peachy, grapey fruit punch—no tartness, nothing standing out, including the tea base; everything playing nicely together. This cup is not going to last long.

ashmanra

This makes a fabulous sweet tea for summer.

gmathis

Ooh, I’ll bet it does!

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drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
2576 tasting notes

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84

Another from Kawaii433! Thanks so much! I was curious why ‘Duck’ happens to be in the name for this, and it looks like the description says that ducks like this rice? hmm. So it’s a decent genmaicha then, with a memorable name. :D A balance of popped rice and green tea. It was never astringent for me, but I was really being careful with the parameters. Everything here that I love about a great genmaicha. I wanted that toasty comfort yesterday, on probably one of the last cooler days of the spring. And for my no caff choice today, Bird & Blend’s Figgy Pud for that same reason. Now it will be hot out today!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 50 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep

Kawaii433

Probably the type of rice they feed to ducks hehe.

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drank Ruby Black Tea by Harney & Sons
2720 tasting notes

I had this for the third time a couple of days ago. The first two times I drank it, I made it western, and last time gong fu.

I delayed writing a note because it is nothing like my first Ruby 18 or any others I have had since. My first was from A Southern Season. It was supposed to be black tea, but when I steeped it, it was pale yellow. I had even forgotten to time it! I was sure I had done something wrong, as these were my early tea drinking days. In spite of oversteeping, it was marvelous. I kept it on hand as long as they were open and had it in stock.

With excitement I ordered this one (rather expensive as good Ruby 18 can be) using mostly my reward points, and… it is good, but it is not remotely like the one from A Southern Season. It looks like black tea, tastes like black tea. It is good, but it isn’t what I was expecting.

Since I was a little put out at the difference between the old and new Western, I made it gong fu last time and it steeped more times than any regular black tea I have done, not counting ripe puerh. It was good with our dessert, so I will accept it for its positive points and not dwell on the fact that it is not what I expected.

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76
drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
1483 tasting notes

This tastes a little like raisins. I enjoy it more after it cools. I taste the vanilla, but I don’t love the black tea. It’s a little drying and not malty or delicious. Sweetened enough, it starts to taste kind of chocolatey. I like it cold. I wouldn’t order it, but I enjoyed the evolution of the flavor in this TTB sample.

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75

This is a really nice sweet orange and passion fruit tea. Great hot or iced. I can see myself drinking a lot of this over the summer as it’s pretty refreshing. Bought this as a sample and will probably order a larger tin to have around.

Flavors: Orange, Passion Fruit, Sweet

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80
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
36 tasting notes

This was pretty good with a bit of creamer! Although I didn’t really taste much in the way of flavor until it started cooling down to room temperature a bit. Definitely willing to give it another try though because I quite enjoyed how vanilla-y and creamy it was once it had sat for a bit.

Flavors: Creamy, Vanilla

Shae

This is one of my favorites, but I’ll admit I didn’t understand the hype until I’d had a few cups.

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37

This tea is marked as Most Loved on Harney & Sons website. But it was gifted to me by someone who didn’t love it. Sadly, I’m not sure I love it either. I do enjoy the coconut and chocolate blend but it feels like a very heavy tea. I have been trying it in the morning but maybe it would be better as a dessert tea later in the day with a cookie.

Flavors: Coconut, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

I haven’t tried this one, but so far their chocolate flavoring is hit or miss for me, and Ashman hates the smell of it.

Jen vB

Yeah, while I love chocolate, teas with chocolate blends generally haven’t been a hit for me.

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drank East Frisian by Harney & Sons
1709 tasting notes

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30

In a recent note by Kawaii for another tea, she mentioned some teas tasting like paint thinner. I can’t recall what paint thinner smells like. Maybe this smells like acetone? It’s a note both Kiki and I can get in teas with roasted buckwheat or roasted rice. I don’t mean to imply there is a chemical in this tea, but I do think that processing can produce the chemical aroma. Beyond that, it has those sweet, nutty, grainy notes that I like with a clean tone I want to call grassy. This isn’t something I want to drink but I do want to eat it. So, on top of my next rice bowl it goes!

Flavors: Caramelized Sugar, Chemical, Grain, Grassy, Nutty, Roasted Nuts

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Chocolate, Maple Syrup

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I can not believe there is no tasting note on this tea from me. It has been included as a sample in my orders for about ten years now. The first time I tried it, I found it bland and a little weak, so all subsequent samples were given away. Some of the recipients said they really liked it.

I am trying to at least neaten my cupboard so I am drinking lots of sampke and swap teas right now. I was going to give this one away and decided at the last minute to have it for breakfast.

In the past, I feel sure I would have made it with near boiling to boiling water and steeped long just because it is a sachet. Today I decided to treat it how I like Keemuns best – 190F for three minutes for most of them.

This is a different creature. I won’t say I am going to buy a tin of it, as I still prefer other Keemuns, but I am actually enjoying this today.

It is definitely weaker than the other Keemuns I have on the shelf right now, but it is very smooth and comes across as mild more than weak today. There are coppery and fruity notes. I think there are some grain notes as well.

Just for fun and to really give it a fair shake, i poured some into my silver lined cup and some into a Jianzhan cup. My usual china cup and the silver cup had higher notes, bright and tinny, while the Jianzhan increased the low notes, making it feel more like a breakfast tea in heft and raspiness.

In future, I will glad to see a sample of this instead of groaning, “again?”

Michelle

You Almost make me want to try the Earl Grey sample they included in my order. I don’t see that happening, but its a nice thought :)

ashmanra

I am eyeing a teabag sample of organic Earl Grey Supreme they sent. Is it the same one?

Michelle

It was Earl Grey something, my eyes glazed over as I wondered what in my purchase would make them think I liked earl grey. As if.

gmathis

OK, that made me laugh! I think this should be the year I just try to stop liking EG. Ain’t gonna happen.

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72

Wasn’t expecting this tea from Kawaii (thank you!) to fit one of the sipdown prompts but it did.

March 2022 Sipdown Challenge – A tea with spinach/artichoke notes

The two ingredients together gave a smooth, muddled mix of seawater and artichoke tones mixed with the grainy sweetness and fragrant, nutty nature of roasted buckwheat. I like sobacha and matcha better on their own. Fine to have a mug but not something I’d go out of my way for. Matcha and buckwheat, for me, are best kept separate.

Flavors: Artichoke, Caramelized Sugar, Grain, Marine, Nutty, Peanut, Silky, Smooth, Wet Rocks

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML
gmathis

Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a good combo…

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90
drank Amba Ceylon by Harney & Sons
232 tasting notes

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90
drank Amba Ceylon by Harney & Sons
232 tasting notes

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83

A nice Earl Grey with scents of vanilla, but just scents. No actual vanilla taste. I can’t taste the lavender, but I’m okay with that.

Flavors: Bergamot

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76

A sachet from Kawaii, thankee!

Bright and assertive flavor with a depth that’s carried by a smooth, medium-full body and some lifting astringency. Not too malty, not too metallic. Got a case of that ‘just right’, at least with hot water from the work dispenser.

First hot sips reminded me of pond water but as it cools, the Qimen definitely comes through with its malty-rosewood-grainy-floral rose aspect, but then there’s a mild raisin-cherry layer that reminds me of Assam and also the brightness reminds me of a coppery Ceylon. Restrained honey sweetness. I wouldn’t have guessed this to be 100% Qimen but pretty close.

Good straight up after a heated disagreement at work that drained my energy — Bah!

Flavors: Cherry, Cinnamon, Floral, Grain, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Metallic, Raisins, Rose, Rosewood, Smooth

Preparation
10 OZ / 295 ML
Mastress Alita

I had a disagreement at work today too, and have been in a foul mood since. Bah indeed!

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drank Lemon Herbal by Harney & Sons
2720 tasting notes

Very old sample.

No.

Poured it out. An entire carafe, iced and sweetened. It was that bad.

derk

I have never seen such a note from you. This must’ve been abominable.

ashmanra

The tea was powder and went through my finest infuser. It may have been due to extreme age that I disliked it so much. I also had not realized there was hibiscus in it Nd was shocked when it looked the color of black tea. It tastes like something I would use to clean the house.

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drank Golden Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
1219 tasting notes

Light-bodied, nutty and gently tangy-sweet with comforting notes of toasted rice and things sugary and caramelized with the tiniest hint of burnt bitterness. A grassy-marine midtone can pop through. Very easy to drink, though I’d like a more intense dark and roasty flavor from the hojicha. Compliments of Kawaii, it served its purpose well as a nightcap on a rainy eve. Thank you :)

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Grassy, Marine, Molasses, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy, Toasted Rice

Preparation
Boiling
gmathis

Oooh, nice!

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1 tasting notes

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80
drank smiling monkey by Harney & Sons
88 tasting notes

Small, round (balled) tea; nice for measuring!
Light green-ish brown; nice aroma.
Earthy taste, and rather light.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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73
drank Bee's Knees by Harney & Sons
734 tasting notes

Method: Loose leaf
Steep Time: 1.5 – 2 mins
Water Temp: 65 F
Brew Style: Western, in my Kati mug

Let me preface this review by mentioning that I have had (and enjoyed) an actual Bee’s Knees cocktail before, at a speakeasy-style theme bar. So I went into this with that experience in mind. I also do not generally like white tea, but this flavor intrigued me enough that I decided to overlook my prejudice of its base and give it a go anyway.

The dry leaf does not have a strong scent, which surprised me, as this is an alcohol-flavored blend. It smells mostly of juniper, dry hay, a bit of a chamomile-esque note, and maybe a hint of vanilla.

The tea steeps a pleasant yellow color; cheerful. The liquor’s perfume has notes of juniper, spice, honeysuckle, clover honey, and a hint of alcohol. There’s also a faint delicate fruity quality to it that must be from the lemon peel.

Upon the first few sips, I get mostly hot, medicinal, boozy juniper, as if I’d heated a shot of gin. Very herbaceous and fairly bitter. As the tea cooled though, the alcoholic edge wore down and I got delicious sweeter notes of honey, vanilla, lemon, and some of the floral, fruity white tea base.

This isn’t an everyday tea for me— much like actual gin, I’ll need to be in a very specific mood for it— but I’m glad I tried this. I’d say Harney definitely captured the essence of drinking a Bee’s Knees cocktail. It’s whimsical, delicate, quirky, and grows on you the more you drink it.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Pleasantly Sour, Spicy, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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