Harney & SonsEdit Company
Popular Teas from Harney & SonsSee All 459 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I found this through a review in the Financial Times, in which the reviewers ranked it the third best Earl Grey tea on the market, behind a Harrods blend, and something from the Rare Tea Company. The scent and flavor of bergamot was pure and bright, while the tea itself was strong without being bitter. I believe H & S add some oolong to this blend, which possibly gives it a smoother flavor than an all-black blend.
Another sipdown for today. I used 1 tsp in 500 mL hottish water with soy milk. I don’t think Yunnan blacks or puerh go with milk at all, but I had half of a soy milk tetra pack to use on something.
anyway, the leaf has pretty golden streaks and smells very Earthy. It reminds me a lot of a puerh. Soil, Earthy minerals, leather, dry oak leaves/leaf litter, roasted barley, malt. It isn’t my favourite black tea, but it was nice to try. It is very distinctively a Chinese black, more specifically it does tasty like a Yunnan tea. There is such a huge difference between Chinese blacks and Indian blacks that they aren’t very comparable.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dirt, Earth, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Roasted Barley
I let this Harney sample sit for weeks because it’s a rare desire for a single cup of tea. Low or no-caff options, sure, but but caffeinated black tea.
Well worth the wait, this Assam was rich and flavorful. Deliciously malty with an edge of honey. I’m quickly becoming a fan of Assam tea, and this well-balanced variant is just right for any time of the day.
My collection was lacking a tasty decaf. Sometimes I want a warm and cozy cup of black tea, but also want to get some sleep. I’m glad I listened to the good reviews and picked up some of this!
I was nervous when I first opened the tin, since it smelled really sugary, and I thought it might have an artificial taste. It doesn’t have the chemically vanilla that I feared though, and the nice black tea flavor comes through strongly. It tastes sweet and desserty, but still real. I’ve been kind of moving away from flavored teas overall, but this is a tasty one. This tea has a noticeable vanilla flavor, but it still tastes like a proper cup of tea.
One thing I like about Harney & Sons is that they source a number of unique black teas from all over mainland China. This one, in particular, was produced from Anji bushes grown by monks in southern Zhejiang Province. In my mind, Zhejiang Province is synonymous with green tea (gunpowder, Long Jing, and the like), so a black tea from there was automatically going to pique my interest. I found this to be an exceptional black tea, almost as chocolaty as the Laoshan black teas I love.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 212 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced lovely aromas of dark chocolate, honey, and ripe plum. After the rinse, I found rather subtle aromas of black cherry, blueberry, mulberry, malt, wood, toast, and roasted chestnut. The first infusion brought out a hint of something like elderberry on the nose. In the mouth, I immediately found clear notes of dark chocolate, honey, malt, wood, toast, and roasted chestnut. Subsequent infusions brought out all of the fruit notes in the mouth plus notes of caramel, cream, marshmallow, orange zest, vanilla, and minerals. I could also pick up soothing, cooling herbal impressions after the swallow. The later infusions were very mild. I could just pick up lingering impressions of minerals, cream, marshmallow, wood, and malt with some even fainter dark chocolate and herbal notes.
On one hand, this tea faded very quickly, and I felt like I did have to ding it a little due to its lack of longevity. On the other hand, the earlier infusions were spectacular and the tea’s fade was quick, yet rather graceful. I kept going after I probably should have stopped simply because I enjoyed the texture and color of the mostly spent tea liquor. It’s also somewhat rare for me to find a traditional Chinese black tea that packs such tremendous amounts of flavor into the early goings of a session. Definitely try this one. In my opinion, this is one of the best unflavored black teas Harney & Sons currently offers.
Flavors: Blueberry, Caramel, Cherry, Chestnut, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Herbs, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Zest, Plums, Toast, Vanilla, Wood
“Thieves Tea”…yep, looks like they swept it up off of the trading floor, seriously. There are what look to be broken bits of leaves, stems, and maybe a bit of bark. Looking closer, I see bits of leaves from green to brown to predominately black.
That aside, its a great cup of tea. It’s very generic and I don’t pick up a clear Ceylon or India regional flavor. I brewed my first cup conservatively, as reflected below, but I suspect that this tea can take a lot of abuse, because of its generic flavor.
After a questionable experience with Harney’s Big Red Sun (which I’m hoping was a prep issue), I thought I’d try another of their Kenilworth selections a shot. Good call.
This delicious and delightful Ceylon has such a pleasant aroma while steeping…I could hardly wait to get it in the cup. When I did, I was treated to mellow sips of toasted malt, honey and maybe an edge of cherry.
Glad I ordered more than a sample…
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
That line is a classic. Probably uttered in 80% of breakup conversations worldwide. But this time, it’s being offered as I reconcile my differences with Big Red Sun from Harney.
It was me; I steeped you too long the last time.
It was me; I failed to notice the toasted malty goodness you had within you.
It was me; I was expecting something other than the mellow sweetness that makes you who you are.
Forgive me. And thank you for another chance.
Most of the reviews I read before ordering Harney’s Big Red Sun were 3-4 years old. I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest “things change” – especially as they relate to growing, harvesting, and blending.
This is quite astringent. I ended up adding milk so my mouth wouldn’t pucker quite so much. The flavor is okay; the Ceylon really comes through. I won’t stop with this pot – so many spoke so highly of it, I’ll have to make some more and alter the method a little.
For now, I can take it or leave it.
I am not a big fan of Assam and only so-so for Keemun. I normally find them harsh and a bit bitter. Keeping that in mind, I cut the steeping time to about 2 minutes…the time it takes me to fill my cup with hot water and amble back to my desk at work. The full name of this tea is “Malachi McCormick’s Decent Tea” and it lives up to its name. Brewed to a red/black deep in the mug, this tea is robust, with a woody flavor; as expected, it does not have the tannic, citrus notes of a Ceylon. It still has the body of an Assam, but it is being mellowed, significantly, by the Keemun. I am drinking this as a wake-up, early morning tea and it is serving its purpose well.
It has such a nice and smooth taste, a great choice people who do not do well with bitterness. The taste a nice body to it, full of flavor, with a wonderful fruity aftertaste. I personally like the natural caffeine of tea because I am always working, but I would not leave this tea out of my list because of that. I enjoyed a lot~!! _ _