Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
In a word, this tea is superb. I adore this tea. I ordered it loose, and the fact that it comes in a beautiful 4 oz tin is icing on the cake. Everyone has a different opinion on the ideal Earl Grey, but I’ve been testing a lot of them lately, and this is my favorite so far. I made it exactly as recommended, 5 min. steeping with boiling water. I used 1 tsp in 8 oz. Not the least bit bitter-just the right amount of bergamot. Excellent hot or cold. Perfection. I can’t wait to try the other 7 selections from Harney & Sons, my first experience with this company.
Slightly tainted tasting note, sorry. I didn’t get a chance to try the unadulterated tea as Mum was waiting for her steaming cuppa, so these are my thoughts on my remix…
I’m getting a lot better about not sticking my nose in the whole tin/packet. Still, the fragrance is off-putting. This doesn’t smell like lychee and ginger to me. At all. It smells really quite like perfume, which isn’t something I seek in my food or drink. The brew also smells perfumed, but less so, thank goodness.
Flavour-wise, the lychee-ginger combination is really nice. Overall, the tea tastes pretty good, but every once in a while that perfume sneaks in and casts a pall of artificiality over everything. (Note that I don’t know whether in fact any artificial flavour has been added. It could be that this is just a side effect of the combination of natural flavours in the tea.) It has a really nice black tea-lychee aftertaste. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, be careful with this one, it’s hitting me pretty hard.
In the end, I like this tea enough to finish it, probably not enough to buy it again. I do really love both lychee and ginger, though, so I’m looking forward to trying other blends. If I can find a flavourful, natural-tasting lychee blend, I can always grate fresh ginger into the infuser. The ginger is easy, it’s the lychee that’s hard to get right.
Tea amount: 1 sachet
Water amount: 6oz/~175mL
Additives: ¾ tsp/~3.5g Demerara sugar and a few thin slices of fresh ginger
What a fun tea- so different from my previous experiences. The longest leaves were as long as my index finger and impressive upon first sight. I brewed about 8 leaves in about 10 oz of water at 170F or so and found the flavor to be light with a subtle baked and vegetal undertone, and quite enjoyable, although a little weak for my taste. I added four more leaves and brewed the next round at 180F. This created a more assertive brew, although still mild compared to other teas in my cupboard. Whenever I come across a light tea that forces some concentration it becomes a meditation tea for me and reminds me to take the time I need to be mindful and aware.
I read that leaves from the true Taiping Houkui cultivar have a red vein down the middle of the main leaf, and a vibrant color when wet. I cannot say that these leaves possessed those qualities. I don’t know if that means Harney has a lower-quality houkui, but I do know I’m gonna buy some from hojo.com, since they are the ones making the statements. This will give me a little compare-and-contrast opportunity.
I was in Corning NY, and strolled into a tea & coffee shop. They had open tins of loose teas that you could smell. As soon as I lifted the tin with Pomegranate Oolong I was hooked. Took some home and brewed a cup. I’ve had it at least once a day since then. I love the lightness, the fragrance, and the smoothness of this tea! You will not be disappointed.
Oh my heavens.. I have not even began to log any of my H&S teas yet!
I brewed this up as I couldn’t put down the container after taking a sniff – it smelled like delicious caramel green tea with sesame notes. I’m in!
soo…3 minutes later with ~85˚C water and what do I get?
Mochi… sesame caramel mochi. I think the bancha is contributing a nice supportive flavour.. I don’t want to say vegetal, because it’s not really vegetal. Maybe a nice mineral note. Hmm..
Either way. The more I drink this and let my tongue rest in between sips.. the greater the sweetness builds with caramel notes. Delightful. Just what I was looking for =)
First holiday dinner down, one to go. Such a full tummy. This is a good tea to wrap up the day with.
Lighter than standard blacks, this has a dryness that builds after a few cups. A nice, refreshingly clean taste. A good, uncomplicated way to round out the evening and prepare for the cooking marathon tomorrow. :)
I tried this tonight again because of another tea that I wanted to compare this against, not that they share the same ingredients or anything lol but it was an excuse to try this tea. I’m pretty sure I’m about done with this one, so the remainder of my sample will be going to a good home. Bergamot and I do no seem to dance well together. :)
Thank you Travelling Tea Box A! I do know who included this but i know by the time i get around to reviewing all of the items I snuck out of it, i’ll have forgotten it. So consistency and all you know :)
I was totally distracted while making this. I lost about an hour of my work day this morning when the mailman showed up early which meant i HAAAAD to open my travelling tea box, sort through it, package up teas i took from it etc… you know how it is. PLus i received 2-3 other packages in the mail and i was like it’s CHRISTMAS!!!!!! well as close to it as I’ll get since this year won’t be really christmassy with all our friends being out of town and no time to visit either set of our parents.
Anyway…i’m rambling. This tea… i made while trying to grab lunch and takle 13 different things at work. i distractedly picked up the team to sip and WOAH! HELLO! It was like WOMAN! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! YOU WANTED ME! NOW LISTEN UP!
I’m not sure what I was expecting with this tea. I think I pretty much had decided i was either going to hate it or love it. The jury is still out on how i feel about bergamot. Well folks, i love this. Its not a tea i’d drink all the time, but it IS a tea i will thoroughly enjoy and likely replenish when I run out. It’s vanilla..and citrus and smooth. It isn’t a dessert tea but it’s not quite a MORNING tea if you know what i mean. I feel like i should be drinking this with a scone. of some sort. it’s fruity..and yet not.
I will have to give this even more attention when I have less urgent things from work. All in all, a giid first step in my travelling tea box!
Just received the new 2012 batch this week and it is sublime.
This is tea for the purist. An absolutely delicious aroma, classic assam color, perhaps slightly on the darker side. The taste provides just enough sweetness, just enough honey notes, and there is very little astringency. This is quite simply how I like my tea – unaided by external forces, so no sugar, no milk (or in my case almond or coconut milk). It is full of body yet smooth and soothing that you just want to keep it in your mouth and savor it just a while longer.
This is what a cup of black tea should taste like. Next up is the full leaf assam, and I’ll provide a comparison in that tasting note.
I purchased this on a quest for a daily yet versatile cup of black.
The aroma of the dry leaves is somewhat smokier than I had expected, yet the more I inhaled I sensed a bit of sweetness as well. The aroma is about as full bodied as the tea, and complex enough to make you consider exactly what’s going on there.
The cup brews fairly dark and like the dry leaves has a somewhat smoky scent. Oddly enough, I don’t really taste the smokiness, which came as a surprise. Instead I sipped a round, rather full bodied cup of black in which the assam and keemun flavors battled one another for dominance.
It’s a solid tea, enjoyable at that. Better after a meal than on its own.
Picked this up at the local tea shop. This is a delightful fruity tea. At first sip, I tasted the guava, but then I got a hint of coconut. I’m sure the other flavors are in there too, but I’m having trouble finding them. I may not have the best palate for them. I like that it’s a blend of green and black teas – might be the only way for me to enjoy a green. A great way to start a Tuesday!
When I was younger my mom and I had a tradition on Friday nights. We would make tea in our fancy teapots, buy small cookies, and put everyone on nice plates while we watched our favorite show, Providence. For years after the show was cancelled we were still looking for the tea we drank during that time, it was a sweet, spicy cinnamon flavor that tasted even spicier with sugar.
I found it! I have tried so many cinnamon teas to get to this one. This tea is incredible, you do not need any sugar to taste the sweetness of it. It’s rich and warm, perfect for cold days and a little jolt of caffeine.
I especially look forward to drinking it with my mom when I go home for Thanksgiving to relive our memories :)
This is an ancient sample that came from Jenn and it’s probably over a year old now so I don’t know how this is influencing the tasting. I don’t know about this tea though… normally I am a fan of fruit flavored teas but this is just o.k. to me, I feel like the flavors are just clashing with each other and not coming together in a cohesive way. It’s kind of like a rummy cough syrup. Okay, I will stop whining now. It isn’t something I would buy from Harney and Sons but it’s drinkable…
Following hurricane Sandy and over a week without power, I was forced to camp out in a local Barnes and Noble on numerous occasions for two of life’s great necessities: hot tea and wifi. Harney supplies B&N with tea, and while consuming hours of free wifi, I had the opportunity to try some new teas. The one that lifted my spirits the most was Harney’s Holiday Tea. Days later, I was compelled to order a tin of said tea from Harney to celebrate the return of power!
Back in civilization, sitting with a hot pot brewed, I just love the wild mixture of scents from this blend. Each stage has differing smells: With the dry leaf, it’s orange-cinnamon that dominates, with the wet, it’s the toasty underlying black tea, and with the liquor, the flavors that hit my nose the hardest are the vanilla and almond. Sipping this, I get the spiced cinnamon and cloves early in the sip and at the front of the mouth. While the back half of this sip, the orange-almond-vanilla shows it’s face. A little bit of spice sits at the tip of the tongue and the back of the mouth after swallowing. It’s a very wild medley of flavors, but it finds a way to work. I can fully understand anyone who considers this blend to be over-the-top. Overall, I find this tea, fairly comforting and warming.
I’m one who usually does not care much for these sorts of wild blends; I’m more of a tea purist at heart. But this is one blend that I can enjoy. It’s not something that I could drink daily though. But, cuddled up with a good book, on a cold winter night, this tea finds a home. Oh, and it works well too in the midst of post-hurricane madness, ehh.
I bought the little tagalong tin of this, smelled it and went “WOOO!”. It smells like red hot cinnamon candies :D So I was going to save my little tagalong bags for when I’m out and about but I had to have one this morning. I was in desperate need of an urgent wake me up.. and this certainly did the job! It’s a lot more sweet than I thought it would be but it’s still got that cinnamon kick to it. It’s still spicy :] MMMMMM
This one is crazy dusty. I’ve never seen a tea quite like this before, it’s almost as if a little cloud of cinnamon bits follows this around wherever it goes. Extremely cinnamony flavor, a very dry flavor. I am deffinately a cinnamon lover, but the first few sips of this where absolutely repulsive. It deffinately rated about as well as my first abysmal attempt at a milk oolong. Blech. It’s got a bit of an off flavor to it, one that I can’t quite place. I’m going to say that the cinnamon is almost soggy. I can’t explain it, not entirely sure if it’s an accurate description. It tastes more like something that got wet on accident and fell into my cup.
However, I’ve got a whole tin of this and it’s gotta dissapear somehow. So I’ve kept at it, and I’ve found that over time it’s grown on me a bit. It’s not completely horrible, just mostly horrible. An aquired cinnamony taste, perhaps?