Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

Very light tea that was perfect after dinner on a day that was in the 90’s. Refreshing and soothing. I tried it hot and chilled, with and without cream and sweetener. The vegetable taste is there no matter how you make it. It is a general veggie taste. I couldn’t get a good fix on a specific vegetable, nor the water melon rind flavor the maker says it has.

Maybe I need to eat more watermelon and then I could identify it???

While I still favor fruity or brisk blends over this, it is nice and I did enjoy it. No bitterness on either the first or second steeping. Just a smooth lightly flavorful blend. Not boring, either. I drank two 32 oz. steepings because I liked the flavor and really wanted to identify it better.

Flavors: Vegetables

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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75

This tea has a distinctive roasted fragrance. That roasted note is also evident in the first sip of the tea. A dash of sweetener brings out a fruity flavor. If you like smoky, toasty blends this might be one for you. It is not a weak tea, but not the eye opener an Irish Breakfast tea is.

A bit of cream really turns this into a smooth roasted cup. The cream compliments the blend, as opposed to drowning out the flavor. The second cup was made with just a little cream and it too had a smooth, toasty cream flavor.

Going to try it iced in a bit.

A good solid tea. Not as fruity as I thought it would be, but maybe that will come over ice?

Just finished a glass of it iced. Not bad. The toasty flavor still comes through. The ice doesn’t water it down, it just blends it better with a little cream & sweetener. I think this could be a nice change of pace tea in the summer or with a meal. Not something I would keep as a main stay but something to get a sample of once in a while.

Flavors: Roasted, Toasty

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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100

If I ever can’t find Yorkshire, this will be my everyday brew. Strong, and delicious with. Milk & sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

This is divine hot with honey & milk. The honey enhances the peach flavor exquisitely.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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68
drank Yellow and Blue by Harney & Sons
13 tasting notes

The flavor is primarily chamomile, though the lavender is still noticeable. The texture is a bit waxy.

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85

Grapefruit lovers will enjoy this tea, hot or cold. It is brisk and takes sweetener and cream well. Though I liked the more lemony Diamond Jubilee blend slightly more, this is a good tea for morning or to revive in the afternoon, when taking a break at work.
Of course the pretty tin was the main reason I wanted to try it and it is a nice tin (design is not a paper label). I would buy it again without the tin, though, if I wanted something with a perky grapefruit flavor.

Flavors: Grapefruit

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 1 OZ / 17 ML
teepland

Sounds good! I am adding this to my “to-buy” list!

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80
drank Kenilworth by Harney & Sons
39 tasting notes

I bought this tea last week but finally am getting around to having it today. I like the color of the dried leaves when I opened the tin—very dark and consistent with only a few tips. I know this means it isn’t a “tippy” tea, but that isn’t always a bad thing.

I steeped 9 grams of leaves in 20 ounces of near boiling water for 4 minutes. The brewed liquor came out very dark as well—brown, like the color of coffee. It looks appealing!

When I first smelled the tea’s liquor, I immediately picked up a woody scent, with a hint of cream or milk to it. I didn’t add anything to the tea so I was surprised by that. When I tasted it, I could also taste both the woody and creamy flavors I found in the aroma. Along with these, I also noticed very slight molasses and cherry flavors. The taste was very fresh and smooth. I did not taste any malt to it; since I normally drink Assam teas in the morning, I was mistakenly expecting it. This was a nice change from the normal for me.

Overall, I enjoyed it and will be glad to add this to my regular drinking routine. It has a flavor similar to other black teas, but different enough to make it unique. That really is all I hope for when I try new teas. :)

Flavors: Cherry, Creamy, Milk, Molasses, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 9 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
Teatotaler

Damn, you have some good taste in tea, teepland! Kenilworth is a wonderful Ceylon – One of my personal favorite teas.

teepland

Thanks, Teatotaler! Unfortunately, I can’t say I had much to do with these choices; I have been picking teas that I see others on Steepster recommending—people whom I know have similar tastes as I do. Do you have any other brands/varieties which you recommend? As a fellow Darjeeling fan, I’d be happy to try any recommendations you have! :)

Teatotaler

You’re quite welcome, teepland! :)
Okay, fellow Darjeeling dude, here you go!
From Harney & Sons, Nilgiri Frost – Very much like a Darjeeling, muscatel and all. Nice sweetness.
Temi Sikkim – From just north of Darjeeling. Very Darjeeling with a very pleasant nutty flavor.
From Arbor Teas of Ann Arbor, MI, Darjeeling Makaibari first flush and Darjeeling Makaibari second flush. The second flush is especially good! I’ve ordered from Arbor many times and have yet to be disappointed. All of their tea is certified organic.
Steven Smith Teamaker’s No. 47 Bungalow is a very fine first and second flush Darjeeling Makaibari blend.
What-Cha in London, England usually has a good selection of fine Darjeelings. Very nice vendor with a personalized touch. Fast and cheap shipping. Their Darjeeling Autumn Flush Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold Black Tea is the best Darjeeling I’ve had so far!
Hope this helps. I’ll add more as they will inevitably pop into mind.

teepland

Teatotaler: Thank you so much! I have copied these teas into my list for future orders and will certainly try them. I am especially intrigued with the Darjeeling Autumn Flush Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold Black Tea (what a name!)—I saw you rated it with a 100 score, so I am definitely going to try that one! I’ve also been impressed with other Steven Smith blends, so I will be sure to add that to my next order with them. Thanks again, and have a good weekend! :)

Teatotaler

My pleasure, teepland! We Darjeeling people have to stick together. I am very happy to pass the happiness along. You have a good weekend too, my friend! :)

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78

“During the holiday season, Michaels (the craft store) gets a smell. A distinct scent. I don’t know if there’s some “holiday smell” that they’re pumping in. Maybe it’s like Abercrombie & Fitch, where they dump perfume through the vents.
If you’re not familiar with that smell, and don’t have a local Michael’s, I will attempt to describe it to you as gingerbread-y. It has a chai-and-clove, spice-and-sugar vibe. It’s a delicate balance of every gingerbread house and Christmas cookie tray you’ve ever eaten. It feels like something your grandma made.
When you smell it, you have a manic desire to make your very own from-scratch Martha Stewart holiday for yourself. You do not sleep for days, considering how gold-foil could best be used in an array of handmade ornaments.
Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons is Christmas music and that smell stirred together into one kit-and-kaboodle. It’s like they ground down Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’s very essence for you to boil and sip.”

All this and a HUGE tangent about “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/12/16/holiday-tea-alert-holiday-tea-from-harney-sons/

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90

I love the color of this tea as I take it out of the bag. The dried leaves are much lighter than what I’d expect for an Assam tea. I know this is because it is entirely made of golden tips (picked that up from the name, ‘cause I’m smart like that!), but still—I was expecting the leaves to be somewhat darker since it is, after all, an Assam!

I brewed 4 grams in 12 ounces of nearly boiling water. I meant to steep the tea for 4 minutes but forgot to set my timer right away, so it ended up being about 4 minutes, 30 seconds. The finished liquor has a tone of straight bourbon—very pretty to look at.

Wow—this tea smells so good! A strong honey aroma, along with a malty tone—not unexpected for an Assam. I also am smelling sweet potatoes in the aroma. I like it!

The flavor is also excellent. There is almost no astringency to the tea at all. The flavors match the aroma—honey, malt, sweet potatoes, with a hint of wet grass in there as well. It’s also not as sweet as I’d expect from an Assam.

Overall, this was a delight to drink! Given the price, though, I don’t think this will be part of my regular tea rotation. I’ll savor the small amount of tea that I have left, enjoying it on days when it is needed to brighten my day a bit.

Flavors: Grass, Honey, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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59

“Cold” steeped 2 bags on the counter in a camelbak bottle with filtered water from the refrigerator while I ran errands in the morning.
.
Served with straw and a generous spoonful of simple syrup, after shaking it with ice in a cocktail shaker and pouring over more ice in a giant coffee mug*.
.
Refreshing and tasty; I am, however, blaming it for the bizarre dreams about British attack owls I had during my afternoon nap.
(Did I tell you my work schedule was bonkers? It is bonkers.)
.
.
Side note: Holy cats, now that I’ve discovered cold steeping, its all I want to do anymore! It helps that its already in the mid-high 80’s here and will only get worse.
But so much forethought – I’m generally not that organized with my food/beverages.
.
*Seriously, that thing is huge. It can hold an entire regular bottle of wine.
Or half a day’s worth of tea.

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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85

Vanilla Comoro has a distinct taste, I love it for a couple of hours after a meal.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 350 OZ / 10350 ML

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90

The name immediately brought flashes of William Boyd’s Bond novel (Solo) and a trip to London I had taken years ago. Obviously, I had to order a sample.
Well, it doesn’t have the flavor of Vesper martini but this tea did not disappoint.
The taste is not overwhelmed by cream and sweetener. It is enhanced. It plays a close second to the Irish Breakfast blend as my go to morning tea.
It is a brisk, robust blend with a mellow yet distinct malty note.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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100

Just had this tea again this morning, using my NEW tea machine (hopefully this one won’t rust on me in a month:) Such a great blend!

Nice red color, brisk scent and taste with absolutely no bitterness. I added a dash of sweetener and a dab of heavy cream…oh so good!

Nice malty, first thing in the morning tea. If you like a brisk black blend, this is a nice one to try. As much as I’ve enjoyed the flavored teas lately (chocolate and vanilla have been great dessert substitutes) it’s nice to drink something that is just a great tea…no fruity flavor, no extra sweetness, just good tea.

I have to raise my score because the more I drink it the more it is becoming one of my favorites!

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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100

This a good, solid tea. Great for starting the day with. As with all the Harney’s I’ve tried so far, no bitterness. Full bodied traditional red. The only possible negative is that it seems the flavor comes through the best when made as a pot, as opposed to a single cup.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
ashmanra

Have you tried Big Red Sun yet? It is the same tea as Royal English Breakfast in sachets in the Historic Royal Palaces tin but loose leaf. I think you would like it.

cuddlesmom

I haven’t tried Big Sun yet but it’s on the list. Right now I have the Royal Palace blend in the pretty turquoise and white canister on order. Those canisters get me every time :) Thanks for the recommendation. I will let you know what I think of it.

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75

I do not normally buy many herbal tisanes but this one intrigued me. I think it is because I love the smell of the lavender oils my wife uses around the house. Oh, and the beautiful purple liquor in the picture on the Harney website!

That said, my brew turned out green! I was a bit disappointed by that. :(

The drink itself is very good. Naturally, one first notices the lavender aroma and flavor. Behind that, though, I am also tasting a chamomile flavor and a slight sweet mint note—reminding me of a brewed peppermint tisane. The combination of these flavors makes this a wonderful drink to have right before bed. It is quite calming as expected.

I am glad I bought the sample and will likely purchase another shipment of this sometime. I won’t drink it regularly, I’m sure, so I can’t imagine buying a whole tin of it, but it is good to have a small quantity on hand for those occasional evenings when I am in the mood for it.

Flavors: Floral, Lavender, Mint, Peppermint, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

It is great mixed with tulsi on high stress days, and mixed with other teas just for a change!

teepland

Oooh, I will definitely have to try that—thank you! Do you have a specific tea that you recommend for a mixture?

gmathis

I use bulk tulsi from our local health food place with great success.

ashmanra

I, too, buy loose tulsi in bulk. I like how the tulsi tames tension and the lavender tames tulsi! Lavender mixes with Earl Grey teas pretty well. Experiment and have fun!

teepland

Thanks, ashmanra and gmathis! I will be making a trip to our local health food store and will look for tulsi. I’ve never had it so I am insterested in trying the mixture. Thank you both for the recommendation!

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85
drank Wuyi Black by Harney & Sons
22 tasting notes

The Harney’s site description talks about this tea having sweet notes of honeyed, whole wheat toast. When I used my sample packet this morning I picked up more of a woodsy flavor. As the tea cooled (brewed at 212 for 5 minutes) I began to pick up the wheat flavor. I added a bit of sweetener and a dab of heavy cream which gave this tea a nice richness.
Being that I had tea left over I chilled the rest of it and had it this evening. I really liked this chilled, though hot tasted full-bodied and made a nice substitute for morning coffee. As nice a substitute for an Irish Breakfast blend would be for me.

Flavors: Wheat, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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80
drank CTC Assam by Harney & Sons
39 tasting notes

I had this tea again this morning. This time, I mixed a cup of the tea with a bit of 2% milk. I loved it! I think the milk seems to have taken some of the astringency away from it. I’m usually not a fan of milk in tea, but I am certain I’ll drink it again with this one.

The best part: the milk made it easier for me to handle the tea on an empty stomach. I apparently have developed a sensitive stomach over the years, so having a bold, black tea on an empty stomach usually causes me to feel ill. The milk today seems to have helped with that, so I could drink it when I first woke up and didn’t have to wait for breakfast. Score!

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80
drank CTC Assam by Harney & Sons
39 tasting notes

I have been looking for a good quality, inexpensive Assam which I can have on a daily basis for my morning cup(s). This one is perfect for that!

The quality is very good, even though the price is cheap and the leaves are CTC rather than whole leaf. I have brewed it for a few days in a row now and the taste is consistent each day. I taste the usual maltiness and slight astringency of a quality Assam, along with a light toast flavor. It has a full body and caffeine so this will certainly get you started in the morning! As far as CTC or bagged teas go, I’d rather have this tea than nearly all other brands/varieties which I’ve tried for my morning cup (one exception off the top of my head is No. 18 Brahmin by Steven Smith, but that is a bagged, full-leaf tea, not bagged fannings/dust). I still prefer an orthodox, loose-leaf tea as frequently as possible, but I am recognizing that I can’t do that and still stay within my monthly budget! :)

Overall, it is an excellent quality Assam for what it is. I recommend it for anyone else looking for an inexpensive Assam to have on a regular basis.

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Toast

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 11 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
gmathis

Everybody needs a stash of cheap steeps!

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drank Birthday Tea by Harney & Sons
1978 tasting notes

Also posted on Facebook:

Some kind, thoughtful, and creatively sneaky someone is behind the tin of Harney and Sons Birthday Tea that showed up in today’s mail. You realize it’s going to drive me absolutely nuts figuring out who you are, right? When I do, can I call to say thanks? At 2 a.m., which is when random stuff like this generally comes to me?

(Looking forward to trying this little box full of cheerful!)

gmathis

Mystery solved! Now on to opening and sampling!

CrowKettle

Aw, love it!

mrmopar

Happy Birthday!

gmathis

Birthday was 2 weeks ago—that’s what makes it even funnier. With my besties, we have a “2 weeks either way and it still counts” rule :)

Evol Ving Ness

Happy birthday! And hurray for birthday surprises! More or less around the time.

Sil

Happy belated!

mrmopar

A change to belated then.

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75

Brewed in a gaiwan. The liquor has a reddish-brown color once it is brewed. Has an earthy scent and taste—like wet wood. Also has a cooked spinach scent and taste—but not in a vegetal way, like a green tea would. Cooked spinach. Different.

It is a bit similar to the pu-erh I had from a different vendor previously, but haven’t decided if I like it or not. Still not sure if it is the taste of this particular tea or of pu-erh in general so I am not marking this tea down yet because of it. I think this just isn’t “my cup of tea”, as they say. I like Assams. And Darjeelings. And I am not going to fault a pu-erh for not being a Darjeeling or Assam, since this is clearly a good-quality pu-erh that I am not crazy about. Maybe it is just me—and I am fine with that. Now I know.

In the end, it meets my expectations, but I think I just don’t like pu-erh tea. But, it is definitely better quality than the other variety I have tried, which had a different taste—like wet mud. This was different from that—earthier, more like a good spinach.

Flavors: Earth, Spinach, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 15 g

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95
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1429 tasting notes

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95
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1429 tasting notes

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95
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1429 tasting notes

I’ve been eyeing this on the site for ages, but I can’t afford the shipping to Canada. Luckily, I found this in a Target in the US!

Delicious flavourful base with brown sugar and fruity notes. The vanilla flavour is really authentic, too. It tastes like thick vanilla ice cream and vanilla sugar perfume. Flavourful, a hint of natural sweetness, great cold or hot brewed, and it would take milk well. I think soy or almond would work extremely well with this blend. No sweetened needed due to the natural sweetness in the base.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cream, Creamy, Malt, Tannin, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Shae

Love this one!

Teatotaler

Me too!! :)

VariaTEA

You can sometimes find this at Chapters/Indigo

Evol Ving Ness

But then, unfortunately, the Vanilla Comoro is not available in 2 or 4 oz bags, so with loose leaf, you’d have to find others to go in on a pound bag. I might be game.

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