Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

Had this again this morning for the sipdown of this sample. The bold sweet potato flavor is still pronounced. It’s good, but not something I could have regularly, I think.

Flavors: Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

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.
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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*.
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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.
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*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
34 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
52 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
52 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
1983 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
1568 tasting notes

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95
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1568 tasting notes

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95
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1568 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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drank White Peach by Harney & Sons
2236 tasting notes

A friend brought over a bag of Blueberry Green that we are splitting and brought some sachets of this tea for us to try as well. I thought I had tasted most of the teas that Harney and Sons offers, but looking at their website and new offerings, I see that I have some catching up to do!

First, my youngest daughter loves peaches and lives almost exclusively on raw fruit and carrots. Seriously. And she went wild over this tea. She said it was, “The truest peach flavor I have ever had in a tea.”

I had steeped two bags in a pot and she was pretty desolate when we reached the bottom, so I resteeped. The resteep is my preference, the first steep is her preference, though we like both. On the resteep, the color is still strong but the peach flavor has faded and the Bai Mu Dan shines through. The website says that there is a hint of vanilla in this. I don’t really taste vanilla up front but I suspect it makes the peach have a fuller, mellow flavor. Good stuff.

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90

Trying to stop buying Harney sample every other day so I went shopping…at Target. Of course, I came home with 2 tins of Harney and Sons!
While I wasn’t impressed the the blueberry tea, this one, wow!
This is an exceptional tea. Heavenly aroma, wonderful flavor and it’s decaf! I tried it hot, iced, with and without Splenda and cream….any way I made it … the vanilla came through. Smooth not overpowering or artificial. With the iced it reminded me of a vanilla milk shake that wasn’t heavy. Hot the smell is like custard. Definitely a dessert tea but a treat anytime of day.

Flavors: Cream, Custard, Frosting, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 g 54 OZ / 1596 ML
Rosehips

I love this one too. And that’s always my problem when I go to Target… I want to buy all the H&S!

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90
drank Milky Oolong by Harney & Sons
34 tasting notes

I like this tea. It has a very subtle peach after glow. I know its’s supposed to be creamy but I get peach.

Maybe I’m just weird.

It doesn’t need anything added. It’s light but the flavor is there. Just for fun I tried it with a very small amount of Splenda and it really brought out that light fruit flavor. With a dab of cream, very nice, rich brew with a creamy peach flavor that made me forget my preference for heavier teas ( fruit blends and chocolate have been at the top of the list until lately).

If I knew more about oolong, this might have hit to 100 mark but as I am new to this type of type of tea, I wanted to use some restraint. I could easily have this after dinner in place of dessert or right before bed.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 57 OZ / 1685 ML

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89

Harney had this as a sample for $3.75. After reading the description, I thought I’d give it a try, even though herbals and blacks are usually what I like.
I am giving this tea a high rating because, while it isn’t what I usually like, it seems to have all the attributes a tea of this kind should have (I did a little research). I can taste the grassy notes. Though there isn’t any real sweetness I can detect,it IS a flavorful and not at all bitter, blend. I wouldn’t call it robust but it certainly has body. This is by no means a weak tea. As it cools the flavors do come out more. I think this is something I would enjoy with a meal as opposed to my afternoon standard. A light touch of sweetener seems to mute the natural flavor. It is refreshing and I plan to try it iced soon. While I don’t taste the butter and coconut that could be because I have damaged those taste buds with years of flavored and very brisk black teas :) The best way I can describe the taste and smell is clean. Clean and like a bit of the outdoors.
It’s about an hour later and I just tried some still warm tea with a bit of real cream…wow! Really nice! Smooth with the flavor enhanced not muted. Also, I just figured out what I am tasting besides grass. It doesn’t make sense but I am getting artichokes!! Avery pleasant but very distinct after note that reminds me of artichokes. Maybe the addition of cream has something to do with it???

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 57 OZ / 1685 ML

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78
drank Cherry Blossom by Harney & Sons
51 tasting notes

Instagram tells me it’s sakura season so I had to get this tea in the adorable pink tin!

Smells a lot cherry-er than it tastes. Which is probably a good thing. It didn’t taste artificial to me. More like a nice green with a bit of flowery cherry taste. Good for a spring afternoon.

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87
drank Decaf Sencha by Harney & Sons
578 tasting notes

This company makes the best decaf options… Using decaf green tea as an appetite suppressant to help lose some weight for bathing suit season. This one is my favorite so far. It’s light and nutty and easy to deal with at work.

Flavors: Green, Nutty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

I love this tea! You open the container and wow, it smells like you just walked intro Sees! I was half tempted to save a sachet to use as potpourri! Ow can you stay stressed after a crazy day at work when you get a wiff of something this good?

As for the taste, I found it even more flavorful than Harney’s Chocolate tea. Very smooth and creamy wit an after thought of rose.

I used 2 sachets with 16 ounces of water, dividing it between a hot and an iced sample. Both were flavorful and satisfying. I added a dab of Splenda and cream but I don’t think either are essential (the flavor comes though without either but I was curious).

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Rose, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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