Queen Catherine

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Spices, Earth, Hay, Malt, Raisins, Smoke, Smooth, Cocoa
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 oz / 243 ml

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302 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have reviewed this tea 57 times already. Why do it again today? Several reasons! First, we had this yesterday at tea party. We tried a new recipe for French Silk Pie which my guest promptly...” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea is perfect. I am hoping so, so hard that I never get sick of it the way I can with many a tea, because it really is as perfect as its “back story” makes it out to be. I read the back story...” Read full tasting note
  • “This morning I decided that I absolutely, positively had to have Queen Catherine with a Toasted Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese. There could be no substitutes. Nothing else would do. Of course...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tea of the morning…. It has been a while since I have had an audience with the Queen. I love the way her subtle strength nudges you into action for the day. Cocoa notes, light malt and a hint of...” Read full tasting note

From Harney & Sons

We created this blend of three Chinese black teas in honor of Queen Catherine, who introduced her love of tea to the British. We are privileged to have this tea featured in the Museum of Tea in Hangzhou, China. Harney & Sons is the only Western tea company to receive this honor.


About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

302 Tasting Notes

25 tasting notes

This could easily replace coffee as my morning cup. Robust, but not overpowering. Smooth, but not weak. This tea is anything but finicky and yields a pleasingly sweet, malty full-bodied flavor.

Sample provided by my local enabler, ashmanra, and resulted in a purchase at Harney & Sons. Perfectly timed, by the way. Just got an email offering 25% off Breakfast Blends.

0 OZ / 0 ML

Perfect timing, indeed! With their frequent specials it is easy to load up on favorites and save a little while still getting good stuff and not settling for mediocre. A coupon will come along soon for that matcha, and if you ever need someone to “go in with you” to pad an order so you get free shipping, there are a few people local people who would probably be game!

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2 tasting notes

One of my favourites, strong and flavourful.

Flavors: Spices

Boiling 6 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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53 tasting notes

“Queen Catherine” is a basic black tea with a hint of floral scent, but thankfully none of that came out taste-wise. I added some honey (which I never do) and it elevated it to a whole other level. HOLLA. I really must rethink this whole honey business. An enjoyable cup.

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331 tasting notes

This is another old sample of unknown origin. It’s a really solid blend, but I think my interest in smoky teas has wanted since I requested this sample. Fortunately the smoke isn’t too overpowering; there’s a lot of earth and malt and cocoa and maybe even a hint of sweetness. It reminds me a bit of a smokier Keemun. I’m enjoying this cup, but at this point it’s not a blend I’m likely to restock. Maybe someday my tastes will swing back to the (mildly) smoky, though, and if they do I may give it another go.

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280 tasting notes

I must say that this is a good tea. I’ve been needing a good tea to take to work. The kids are getting excited about the weekend, so they’ve been celebrating too hard, I think. And I figured, there MUST be a cure for this madness (my madness). And there is: Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons.

It’s very earthy, the way I like a black tea. But it’s smooth going down. At first, I thought, “This is average.” And then I took several sips before realizing that it was purely great. It gave me a jolt of energy, but it wasn’t the shaky kind of jolt that you get with a cup of coffee. I’m definitely going to buy more the next time, rather than the sample. It’ll help on the days when I need an extra kick to get through the day.

(Side Note: You don’t need to add anything to the tea. It’s a solid tea by itself.)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

It is also nice with a tiny bit of their Rose Scented added, just to shake it up a little now and then! I love this tea.

S.G. Sanders

I can see how that can be good. I’ll have to try it. Thanks for the tip!

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100 tasting notes

I’m glad I ordered a full tin of this. I’m a black tea fan but I’m picky on breakfast and afternoon blends. This one isn’t labeled as such really, but it works perfectly as either of those. It’s a pleasant, appealing, aromatic black tea that will work well as a staple in my tea cupboard. I haven’t tried adding any cream or milk to it, but a small drop of sugar adds a nice enhancement.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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184 tasting notes

Harney was the second tea purveyor that I explored during the beginnings of my journey with the cup of brown joy. I thought I’d managed to taste my way through most that I was interested in, but after reading a few reviews recently, I realized that I’d never flirted with the Queen. Thanks to a swap with TeaTiff, this is now in my cup and I’m quite pleased it is!

My go-to cup from Harney is Malachi McCormick. I love the way the earthy deep blend conjures up visions of Dublin in late winter for me. Queen Catherine is quite different. There is still a light earthy keemun flavor here that creates the base note for the tea, but it is lighter than my beloved Malachi. The flavor profile is more mid-palate…a bit dusty hay, a touch of raisin and a lighter malt than you find in assam. Lurking at the finish is a slight touch of gentle smoke. The description of this tea states that it’s all Chinese tea, but it certainly has the lighter profile of a ceylon, without the drying astringency that comes with most ceylons for me. If Malachi reminds me of Dublin in late winter, Queen Catherine reminds me of London in late spring. The light smooth profile is an invitation to a cup of tea that would even be welcome on a warm day. She is not cloying, this Queen. She is gentle and graceful….and lovely.

Flavors: Earth, Hay, Malt, Raisins, Smoke

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

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972 tasting notes

This one also came from cookies’s lovely holiday package. I’ve heard good things about this blend, so I’m happy I finally get to try it. For some reason, I never seen to be too tempted by straight tea blends, and I always end up ordering single origin teas instead. Not sure why that is! Anyway, the leaves here are very thin and somewhat small, and they’re more than a little broken. Dry scent is sweet and hay, and it’s comforting in a way. It makes me feel like I’m snuggling into a floofy pile of dry, sweet-smelling hay.

This is quite nice! It’s a good combination of earthy with a touch of smoky and some malty/raisiny Assam goodness. I don’t know what teas are in this, but I’m assuming the earthiness is probably coming from some kind of Chinese black, whereas the malt and raisin-ish notes come from an Assam. Overall, it’s good, and it would be tasty with sugar and milk or even maple syrup. No astringency at all!

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Raisins, Smoke, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I think the smoke might be from a Keemun. I tried this one before I liked keemun and was weirded out by the smoke, but now I like Keemun…ha!

Cameron B.

I haven’t had many Keemuns that are actually smoky, but I do hear them described that way often. I guess they just vary a lot. :)


I think they do vary…the ones I’ve found smoky are A&D spring Keemun, TeaVivre organic fragrant Keemun, and I think Stash’s too. I also get that same smokiness from TeaVivre’s Bailin gongfu black tea.


Keemun, Panyang, and Yunnan are the three teas in here. I get smoke from Keemun a lot, though I haven’t had Harney’s on its own.


I just ordered a tin of this to try. Had to reach the $25.00 for free shipping and was ordering tins. Hope I like, the combo sounded interesting.

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334 tasting notes

A while ago, I asked for recommendations on everyone’s favorite black tea blends, and this one was mentioned quite a few times. I’m quite happy to be finally trying it now!

The dry tea is a blend of different types of black tea leaves, some looking distinctively golden. There’s a rich malt aroma even with the dry leaf, which I don’t often find in Chinese black teas—outside of, say, Lapsang or very cocoa-note-heavy teas, even the best-tasting black teas often have very little dry aroma to me. The tea brews to an amber golden color, and is surprisingly light in body. The taste is malty, but not too rich, without the “buttery” or heavy mouthfeel found in some similar teas. There’s a touch of roasty, or smoky flavor to it, almost like a Shuixian, and just a hint of sweetness. It’s a very well-balanced tea that is a great—and not too strong—start to the day.

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436 tasting notes

This is a lovely smokey, fruity tea where the elements of the blend really shine through. I probably used a little more leaf than my preference but the resulting brew is not bitter. I mostly taste the smokiness of the Keemun and possibly the panyong, a slightly woody fruitiness from the Keemun which has hints of dried stone fruit and sweet red wine, which may be enhanced by fruity elements of the panyong and a sweet cocoa note which is mostly Yunnan but may again be enhanced buy the panyong. There is a very faint floral note from the Keemun and a touch of frankness enhanced by a honey note and a bit of malt. The aftertaste is reminiscent of wine mixed with a touch of honey and a bit of smoke. Overall a nice, robust and bold blend. Thanks so much Nicole for giving me a chance to try it!

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