Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
13 tasting notes

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100
drank Peach Iced Tea by Harney & Sons
13 tasting notes

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not the least bit bitter.
my milk went bad so a had to drink it straight and im glad i did. typically i dont like black teas without milk (granted i’m new to them) because I typically find them too bitter for my taste. perhaps it was the four minute steep time versus five.

this will be my go to morning cup to get me mobile.

Flavors: Cocoa, Toast

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97

This is my favorite tea right now.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 300 OZ / 8872 ML

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I am really surprised to be the first reviewing this. That is a daunting task.

Yesterday or the day before I reviewed the middle grade matcha from Harney and Sons, Matcha Senjunomukashi. I noted that the initial paste made with cold water was thicker than my usual matchas make. The froth was thick and foamy and the color a brilliant green. The tea has a light bitterness and a lingering aftertaste, much desired in matcha.

This tea was almost exactly the same with one notable difference – it almost entirely lacks the bitterness. There was very little bitterness in the mid-grade and I almost would venture to say none in this. There are some who esteem this quality, especially since the bitter bite usually blooms into an aftertaste of sweetness. But this was smooth and, I think, accessible to even a brand new matcha drinker who isn’t in love with the drink yet.

I bought it on sale and I do not regret the purchase one bit, but with money being an object in most households, I can honestly say that I would be delighted with a tin of either and wouldn’t feel cheated if I could only afford the middle grade. I am going to enjoy having a tin of each very, very much.

Fjellrev

Nice! It’s great that you are treating yourself, and glad to hear that it’s worth it.

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80
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
108 tasting notes

This always comes across as white cake with raspberry filling to me, perhaps because my taste buds translate the black currant and vanilla flavors that way. This is a really nice tea, one that I keep forgetting about, then coming back to and wondering why I don’t drink it more often. Yes, it has bergamot. Yes, I HATE bergamot. But, somehow, it works for me in this tea, perhaps because it’s very much a minor note and works to brighten and complement the other flavors rather than standing out.

Flavors: Berries, Cake, Raspberry

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Well, looks like we are sick for Thanksgiving. Hubby first, then youngest and me, now middle daughter.

I’m still cooking , though! Whatever this is, we have a cough (mine has been held at bay by drinking pickle juice), headache, pressure in face, neck pain, and extreme tiredness. No fever, no nausea, little appetite.

I realized that I feel no worse doing little things than I do lying down, so we are forging ahead, although we may actually gather on Saturday instead of tomorrow – unsure.

Hence the reason for the tea the way it is right now. I don’t really want to eat but ought to have something, so I made a piece of toast and a bowl of matcha…DOUBLE STRENGTH. Most matcha would be really bitter made double strength, but I want this nutritious drink to battle this sickness in spades, so I gave it a go.

Not only is it still good, I am sure I feel better, too. Let the cooking commence!

__Morgana__

Feel better!

mrmopar

Seconded!

Comm Guy

Hope you feel better soon! Enjoy the matcha and the belated celebration.

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I have been eyeballing the Harney and Sons matcha for a while now. I reasoned that you really should buy matcha from companies that specialize in matcha. But I was curious. Not two but three grades of matcha? And good reviews! But oy! The price of the ultra thick.

In the name of science and for all my friends on steepster, I bit the bullet and ordered not just this one, but the ultra thick grade as well, while it was on sale. So I can compare. For you guys! For science! After all, with the discount applied the ultra thick came down to about the same price I pay for everyday matcha. (Not culinary. Everyday.)

There is a plastic lid that snaps on, and under that a metal lid with a pull tab. And under that a silver sealed bag. Cutting it open, the ultra fine powder puffs out and I lament every single grain. I lost perhaps 1/2,000 of a teaspoon. Tragedy!

This is electric green. Really? This isn’t the really expensive one! Right? Nope. I opened the right one. Double check the can. Confirmed. This is the middle grade.

I add two scoops to my matcha bowl and make a paste with cold water. This is the thickest paste any matcha has ever made for me. (I check the can again. I wonder if I have confused which is the ultra thick. Nope. This is not the ultra thick.) I added the same amount of cold water as ever. And then it whisked up to a lovely froth.

It has great smooth flavor that lingers well after the bowl is empty. It was served with Brie on crackers to tide me over until hubby, who is running late, gets home from work. What will the ultra thick be like? I can hardly wait to find out!

Definitely worth ordering again.

Fjellrev

Aww, you’re a trooper! I would have never thought to try their matcha but I’m glad that it was worth the money for you.

Comm Guy

Smiling. As I mope around wondering why I can’t get a discount. Free shipping, though, so…?

ashmanra

I have a code, Comm Guy!

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85

It is very mellow smooth tea. So smooth and I can feel the texture in my mouth.
I did drink without milk. Maybe not strong enough to drink with milk for my taste.

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drank Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
553 tasting notes

I am so confident that so much has happened since my last note that I’m not even going to look at it to see how long ago that was. I do know it was long enough for me to move into an apartment with my fiance and completely lose track of all of my teas. Which caused me to go and get at least two or three of these in teabags. I think I am on my third one.

This has become my plain Earl Grey that I drink with just a bit of milk. Sometimes I put honey in it if I want to be really fancy, but mostly it is just Earl Grey with milk. Nothing fancy. Just a nice solid base that isn’t too bitter or too overwhelming. An everyday tea.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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73

This is my all-around “black tea” default for when I’m in the mood for just a straight cuppa, when making a base for an iced tea, or just when I want to add more straight black Keemun to some other blend.

First let’s be honest and admit you get what you pay for and there is no such thing as “cheap top-shelf tea”, but this tea does fulfill the category of “inexpensive but still good”. For the price point (around $7-8 USD on Amazon per 100g tin or $20 USD for half a kilo), this is surprisingly decent. I prefer it with lemon, because without the acidity there is a hint of that wet-hay flavor you can expect from slightly older teas. 75% of the time when I am making this tea it is a few liters at a time with half a lemon thinly sliced in the pitcher and then keep it in the fridge for a fresh supply of iced tea — this is where it really shines the most for me. Unlike other more expensive kinds, it doesn’t feel too expensive to just load up 6-8 tsp per liter to make a good base for iced tea and drink that in lieu of water or soda. Goes well with fruits like peaches & assorted berries, but I still prefer the sliced lemons for this stuff.

There is nearly always a supply of this in my tea pantry, I consider it a consistent staple.

The short version: A solid English Breakfast that is readily available on Amazon in bulk quantities at a low price, best used for iced teas IMHO. Better than your off-the-shelf supermarket English Breakfast teabags. What most non-tea-drinkers think of when they hear “tea”.

Flavors: Hot hay, Malt, Tea, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 240 ML

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85

After a few years of being away from my tea cabinet and passion for all things Camellia sinensis, it was a cuppa from one of my favorite mass-market purveyors of that wonderful leaf that brought me running back to the wonderful world of tea: Harney and Sons with their Hot Cinnamon Spice.

Yes, it’s more spice than tea. Yes, it’s punchy, fully of cinnamon, and tastes a lot like the winter holidays. It’s also one of my favorite “over-flavored” teas I can also share with my roommate or someone I am introducing to the huge variety of teas available and how delicious some of them can be. Doesn’t require any sweetener or additions whatsoever IMHO, as it is perfect unadulterated.

I would score it higher just because it brought me back to the old tea habit (now searching for local tea shops having just moved from Chicago to San Fran), but then one cuppa last week I felt some of those “wet hay / animal bedding” flavors in it… characteristic of improperly stored or older teas. The spices do a good job covering it over and it’s less pronounced when piping hot, but as it cools more of the undertones become noticeable.

What do you want for a USD $8.00/100g loose leaf you can subscribe to on Amazon for monthly shipments? It won’t be top-grade tea and I don’t expect it to, but the perfect blend of the orange peel, cinnamon and clove totally make up for it. Perfect for a foggy morning!!

A new score for a solid tea. Don’t have it with sandwiches, just drink it on cold foggy days or in the evenings before heading to bed.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Clove, Hot hay, Straw

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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65
drank Pumpkin Spice by Harney & Sons
632 tasting notes

H&S was giving whole tins of these away, so I snagged one even though I am leery of spice teas in general. I didn’t realize it had a rooibos base, but I probably still would have taken it because I am a sucker for free stuff.

Anyway, it’s actually not bad. All the flavors are on the mild side, so it works as a soothing herbal. The pumpkin isn’t coming through, but so often it doesn’t with pumpkin spice flavored things. Wouldn’t buy it but I’m not sorry to have some in the house (plus the tin is awesome).

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H&S sent me a sample iced tea bag of this. I decided to add some cherry tisane to it, but in hindsight I think that was a mistake. This tea is so strong it totally overwhelmed the cherries and I just got a tiny hint of vague fruit. It’s good tea overall, nothing fancy but powerful.

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83

I finally managed to finish a tin of this blend yesterday afternoon. My agency had scheduled our annual staff picnic at the closest state resort park yesterday, but we had rainstorms move in Thursday and it rained all day. I didn’t want to go anyway, so I used the weather as an excuse to skip it. Instead, I spent the day getting a couple meetings out of the way and then went home early to drink tea, play with my cats, and rest. Days like yesterday make me miss the time I spent working from home. I used to hate it because I found it boring, but now I miss the freedom of being able to work at my own pace whilst sitting around in my boxers and a t-shirt and drinking tea all day.

I prepared this tea in the Western fashion. I steeped a full teaspoon of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 212 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of malt, smoke, wood, and pine. After infusion, I began to pick up on touches of brown toast and sea salt. In the mouth, I mostly detected strong top notes of malt, smoke, and pine underscored by subtler flavors of sea salt, brown toast, leather, roasted nuts, and caramel. The finish was smoky, woody, and malty with touches of roasted nuts and leather.

This was a nice, hearty blend. It was not particularly deep or complex, but it was a great blend to just knock back. Though I kind of wish there had been something to better balance all of the wood, smoke, and malt, this was still very solid.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Caramel, Leather, Malt, Marine, Pine, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Helena

Working from home sounds nice. Especially on days when it’s +30C or more. Or in the winter at -30C…

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97

I love this tea just a tad more than its sister (royal palace). The 30 sachet tin arrived yesterday along with 2 other orders (my first from Verdant and some flowering teas because it’s just fun to watch it open and use as a mini centerpiece on the dining room table).

This tea is neck and neck with Irish Breakfast.

The lemon is nature and blends so well with the tea. When you add just a touch of creme and sweetener the tea holds up wonderfully. So smooth, so flavorful.

While I enjoy the grapefruit in the royal palace, the lemony flavor of diamond jubilee is just, somehow, brisker and smoother at the same time.

A great first cup in the morning.

I chilled some last night and as a black iced tea it is wonderful!!!

So much better than anything I tried from the supermarket. I say that because for years I thought tea was tea, especially black tea. How wrong I was!

Flavors: Bergamot, Lemon

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

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94

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Flavors: Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
51 tasting notes

It’s Paris for breakfast! So decadent but I’m on vacation and since I can’t go to the city of Paris for breakfast, Harney’s Paris is a nice alternative.

Yum. That is the word for this fruity black. Just yum!

Flavors: Black Currant, Caramel, Creamy, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Rosehips

I love this tea. A perfect escape when you can’t actually go anywhere.

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75

Thanks to Harney and Sons for the sample bag. Not a bad tea but not one I fell in love with. You get a hint of citrus and it is not a weak blend but nothing I would replace my Irish Breakfast with. Not a bitter blend…I have yet to find a Harney tea that was bitter…but just your standard black IMO.

Flavors: Bergamot, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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85

This tea is growing on me. Maybe because it is hot now and of the green teas I’ve tried chilled, this one seems to refresh me the most.

Hot, I just do not get much of a blueberry note. But the blueberry seems to come out more when the tea is chilled.

A little cream and sweetener blend nicely, though I wouldn’t over do it.

This is one I will want more of during these summer months.

Flavors: Blueberry, Green

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 36 OZ / 1064 ML

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70

I really think green is just not my kind of tea. The coconut flavor came through nicely but, honestly, I just can’t get excited about this tea. Smooth and refreshing with a dab of cream but the green tea after taste just didn’t make me want more.
Not a bad tea and I appreciate Harney sending the sample (it’s always such fun to get something unexpected with an order) but not one I plan to try again anytime soon.
If you like coconut (and I do) and green this might be worth your while.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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75

A good solid black for making iced tea. The usual Harney quality black but nothing otherwise notable. A dependable hearty tea that blended well with a little cream, sugar and ice.

Used the sample sachet Harney sent with 8 cups of water.

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95

Such a refreshing and tasty tea for a July afternoon. A little cream, a touch of sweetener and I am in pineapple heaven!

Flavors: Green, Pineapple

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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