25 Tasting Notes
Chocolate and hazelnut has always been a favorite flavor combination of mine. I mean, who doesn’t love Nutella? This is basically that: a Nutella tea.
Okay – it doesn’t quite have the flavor of Nutella – but it’s close. While Nutella is distinctly hazelnut-y, Florence from Harney & Sons has more of a generic nuttiness. I wouldn’t necessarily call it hazelnut flavored and definitely not almond flavored. If you served it to someone who didn’t know what it was, they would detect the chocolate/vanilla flavor of it for sure and probabaly also the nuttiness of it, but I doubt they would call it out as “hazelnut”. If you then told them that it’s hazelnut, they would probably be like: “Ah, that makes sense now that you say it”.
The dry leaves smell chocolatey, nutty and vanilla-y, and all the flavors translate into the brewed tea both on the nose and in the mouth, but they are more subtle now exactly as you would expect. The nuttiness of it makes me think of their SoHo blend which is flavored with coconut instead of hazelnut, but I think I prefer Florence. In fact, this might be my favorite of all the H&S chocolate teas.
The tea base of Florence is a mild Chinese black tea like the majority of Harney’s flavored blacks. It doesn’t interfere with the added flavors – in fact, it’s pretty difficult to taste the flavor of it behind all the chocolate, vanilla and hazelnut flavors. But then again, if I wanted to have the flavor of tea, I wouldn’t choose to drink a flavored one…
All in all, Florence is a lovely and decadent dessert-style cup of tea and a great one to try out if you want a chocolate flavored tea with a little something else – in the form of hazelnut. It’s probably also a good one to try if you love Nutella since Florence has a similar flavor profile to that famous Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut, Nuts, Nutty, Tea, Vanilla
I’m back on Steepster again!
So the American Harney & Sons website recently started shipping to my country, Denmark, which is great news since I now get to try a lot of new teas from H&S that were previously unavailable to me (the European website has only a fraction of the teas that the American website has). However, it’s not so great news for my wallet :P
Anyway – Scottish Morn is one of the ones I have always wanted to try. It’s a blend of mainly Assam CTC with bigger leaves of Assam and Ceylon, and it’s one hefty cup o’ tea! It will definitely wake you up and slap you in the face in the morning!
This tea’s aroma is kind of muted. You get that classic malty Assam black tea flavor and not much else, but that is to be expected from a tea of this style. It’s not a tea you should get if you are looking for a complex and highly aromatic tea. The appeal of it is its body, strength and briskness and it’s a 5/5 in all those aspects. The briskness and body is right up there with some of the strongest teas you can get (like Yorkshire Tea for instance).
It’s actually similar in flavor to H&S Irish Breakfast tea, which consists of small broken Assam leaves instead of CTC pellets. But this Scottish Morn tea is, due to being CTC, even stronger in terms of body and briskness but also a little less aromatic than their Irish Breakfast tea.
It has some bitterness as well without being too bitter. I add a good splash of whole milk which is in my opinion the only type of milk that can stand up to this tea. It makes it nice and creamy and tames the bitterness and briskness a little. The color of the tea before you add milk is a dark, dark reddish brown. It almost looks black in my tall Harney & Sons mug. Once you add milk, it becomes a dark beige with a noticeable reddish hue. As dark as a cup of coffee with milk but with a reddish tint.
All in all, this is the perfect tea if you are looking for a very strong, malty and plain black tea to get you going in the morning. This is one I will definitely reorder when I run out – no doubt!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Brisk, Malt, Malty, Tannic, Tea, Thick
An Earl Grey with floral lavender and vanilla. What’s not to like? I actually don’t think I have had a tea with lavender before. Maybe I have had a herbal tea before but definitely not a black one.
It’s supposed to evoke the aroma of a London Fog, a beverage that consists of Earl Grey tea with steamed milk, vanilla syrup and sometimes lavender, so the ingredients in this tea definitely make sense based on this. I don’t know what makes it Victorian, though. According to Wikipedia, the London Fog beverage was invented in Vancouver, Canada in the 1990s, not during the Victorian Era like H&S claims.
The dry leaves smell mainly of bergamot and lavender. In my opinion, there is barely any vanilla here. If I focus really hard, I can perhaps detect a little bit of vanilla, but the bergamot and lavender are the two strongest aromas by far and they are about equally strong. The bergamot is possibly slightly stronger.
The steeped tea smells mostly of bergamot and lavender like the dry leaves, but the lavender is stronger now and the bergamot more subdued. The vanilla is there as well but it’s very faint. The vanilla flavor is not nearly as strong as in their other vanilla flavored teas like Paris, Tower of London, Florence etc.
There is something about the herbacious lavender that makes this tea smell a little like hay or chamomile to me. I don’t why.
When you taste the tea, you clearly get the bergamot and lavender. The vanilla is once again very subdued. I don’t know if the vanilla is supposed to be this faint – maybe I got a bad batch. I guess I will find out when I reorder it.
The black tea base is pretty strong, just like the tea base in their other Earl Greys (EG Supreme and EG Imperial). I would say medium to full-bodied in terms of tea strength.
All in all, this is a scrumptious Earl Grey with strong, herbacious and floral lavender notes and a touch of vanilla. It’s very, very good and is an excellent morning cuppa.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Herbal, Lavender, Tea, Vanilla
This is VERY similar to Harney & Sons Paris. Like Paris’ twin. I am not sure if I can taste any difference to be honest and I don’t really get any honey flavor from it. It’s probably there but I have a hard time differentiating between the vanilla, caramel and honey flavors that are in this blend. They all kind of blend together into one thing. But I want to say that out of those 3 flavors, I can taste the caramel and the vanilla about equally and honey the least. The most prominent of all the flavors in the tea is the black currant, though. I also get some bergamot – more than in the Paris blend, I think. Black currant, caramel and vanilla are the primary flavors all in all, though – just like with Paris.
I want to say that Tower of London is more fruity (black currant/bergamot) while Paris has more vanilla and caramel but I am not sure if that is accurate. It says something about stonefruit flavors on the tin which I can’t really taste.
The black tea base tastes the same as the one in Paris, i.e. a medium-bodied and smooth Chinese black tea without much astringency or bitterness.
All in all, this is an incredibly delicious tea from Harney & Sons that’s almost identical to Paris. I can’t really say which I prefer, but if I had to choose I would probably choose Tower of London by a very small margin.
If you already have their Paris blend, I can’t necessarily see the reason to also get Tower of London and vice versa. They are that similar.
Flavors: Bergamot, Berry, Black Currant, Caramel, Citrus, Fruity, Tea, Vanilla
A Mounds bar in tea form! So delicious and decadent. It’s kind of similar to the chocolate and hazelnut flavored Florence because of the creamy nuttiness of the coconut which is not too far off the flavor of hazelnut. The dry leaves smell like chocolate, coconut and vanilla. There are pink amaranth petals in this tea which is pretty but they don’t add any flavor to the tea. The chocolate, coconut and vanilla all come through clearly in the steeped tea which is a medium-bodied Chinese black tea. The coconut is especially noticeable in the aftertaste. This tea really tastes like a Mounds bar. I think it would be delicious to drink it with coconut milk to give it even more coconut flavor. So far, I have only tried it with regular milk and I like to have it with a Bounty coconut cookie you can get here in Europe (Bounty is what Mounds is called in Europe).
This is a very decadent, dessert-style tea and probably the most decadent I have had from Harney & Sons so far.
Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut, Tea, Tropical, Vanilla
A delicious, strong Earl Grey. This has a stronger bergamot aroma than their Earl Grey Supreme and the tea base seems to be slightly stronger as well and perhaps a little maltier and not as floral. It’s so strong it’s instantly leaving brown stains on the inside of my white Harney & Sons mug. I like to drink this tea with breakfast and with a good splash of milk.
So far I have tried 3 blends from Harney & Sons that I would categorize as “Earl Greys” (EG Imperial, EG Supreme and Victorian London Fog) and they have all had considerably stronger tea bases than Harney’s other flavored black teas. Is this accurate or is it just me?
All in all, this is an outstanding Earl Grey with a lot of bergamot flavor and a strong tea base to back it up. It’s wonderful and possibly even better than their Earl Grey Supreme in my mind.
I will definitely repurchase this one when I run out. What an incredible Earl Grey this is!
Flavors: Bergamot, Brisk, Citrus, Citrusy, Earl Grey, Malt, Tea
The first thing you notice with this tea is its beautiful color; it’s deep indigo blue with a purple hue. It looks stunning. Apparently, it changes color depending on the hardness (amount of minerals) of the water you brew the tea in. Where I live, we have very soft water and when I brew the tea, it’s a deep dark blue with a purple hue. More blue than purple.
The dry leaves smell mainly like raspberry. I can’t really smell much besides that. It’s a kind of blue raspberry/candy-like raspberry smell.
When you smell the brewed tea, you get more of the lemon and lemongrass coming through and when you drink the tea, you can taste even more of the lemon and lemongrass flavor along with a slight honey note. The candy-like raspberry flavor is still primary, though, but the lemon and lemongrass is almost as strong. There is a very mild acidity at the end of each sip because of the hibiscus but it’s not overwhelming like some hibiscus teas. The body is watery and thin but that’s to be expected from a herbal tea, and there is barely any briskness either.
Overall, I recommend it if you like the idea of a blue/purple colored tea and would like to try a herbal tea flavored with raspberry and lemon. I am not a big fan of herbal teas in general, but it’s pretty good for a herbal tea.
Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Fruity, Hibiscus, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Raspberry
This is how I imagine vanilla ice cream would taste if it were a tea. The vanilla flavor is so deep and creamy. It does not have any of that fake vanilla flavor that is used in cheap ice cream. It smells very much like a vanilla bean you just scraped the seeds out of.
In the dry leaves, I get that pure, natural vanilla bean aroma mixed with something that smells a little like apple. So it sort of ends up smelling like an apple puree with vanilla which is very nice.
It’s the same with the brewed tea; I get that natural vanilla bean flavor and apple-like flavor both on the nose and when I drink the tea. Since this tea is decaffeinated, the tea flavor itself is very muted and softened, so I can barely taste any tea underneath the vanilla flavor, which is apparently a Ceylon base. Because the tea flavor is so light, it makes the vanilla flavor stand out, which is nice. Due to the decaffeination process, the body of the tea is also kind of watery and weak – I would call it a light-bodied tea with almost no briskness. This isn’t negative, it’s just an inherent trait of a decaf tea. But the thick, creamy vanilla flavor balances out the light body of the tea base.
I highly recommend this tea if you are looking for a decaf vanilla flavored tea, or just a vanilla flavored tea, period, since the decaffeination process doesn’t make this tea worse in the slightest.
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cream, Creamy, Custard, Red Apple, Sweet, Toffee, Vanilla
As promised, a black tea flavored with passion fruit. I don’t think I care for passion fruit flavored teas, at least not this one. It’s not bad, I just don’t have the desire to reach for it when I have 20+ teas that are much better.
The dry leaves have a strong, acidic and tropical passion fruit smell. So strong that it almost hurts my nostrils for some reason. The passion fruit smell in this tea comes across to me as being kind of floral, almost like ylang-ylang or something, which I don’t really like.
The steeped tea has a strong and acidic passion fruit smell too, but obviously not as strong as the dry leaves. The floral smell I don’t really care for is still here.
In the mouth, you get a strong passion fruit flavor first and foremost, along with that floral note, once again. The tea itself is medium-bodied, but for some reason it brews to a lighter brown than most of my other black teas from Harney & Sons.
I don’t have much else to say about this tea. It’s a black tea flavored with passion fruit that comes across to me as being floral which I don’t particularly like. It’s not necessarily bad but not really that good either.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Passion Fruit, Tea, Tropical, Tropical Fruit
This is pretty similar to Hot Cinnamon Spice. It’s Hot Cinnamon Spice with a twist. The predominant flavor is the hot, sweet cinnamon which reminds me of cinnamon flavored gum. The apple is there in the background both in the dry leaves and in the brewed tea but it is not very strong. The apple flavor is like that of apple cider or apple juice. It is not a fake green apple flavor. The apple flavor kind of mellows the hot cinnamon flavor to me, so the cinnamon is not quite as strong or sweet as in Hot Cinnamon Spice.
There is also a flavor in this tea that makes me think of honey for some reason, which really isn’t something I have experienced with Hot Cinnamon Spice. It must be the cinnamon and apple flavors combined.
The orange and cloves which are also supposed to be in this tea are not very noticeable at all.
The flavor of the black tea is completely lost in the sweet, spicy cinnamon flavor and apple flavor. But I would say that the tea itself is medium-bodied. It’s not a bad thing that the tea flavor itself is completely covered up, since it isn’t the point of this tea.
If you love Hot Cinnamon Spice and love apple flavor in tea, then I would definitely give this tea a try. I am not really too keen on the sweet, hot cinnamon flavor that both Hot Apple Spice and Hot Cinnamon Spice has, since I don’t like sugar in my tea. It’s nice once in a while as a change of pace, but I wouldn’t like to drink either of them on a daily basis. The sweet, spicy cinnamon flavor is just too overwhelming for that.
I prefer Hot Cinnamon Spice but not by much.
Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Cinnamon, Honey, Spices, Spicy, Sweet