Harney & Sons

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Recent Tasting Notes

73
drank Organic Assam by Harney & Sons
285 tasting notes

Grabbed a single sachet from the TTB 2022.
This one brewed up nicely fruity and malty for an easy travel cuppa. Not astringent for a 5 minute brew in about 16 oz of water. It’s nice to be able to count on a good cup of tea in stressful travel times as I’ve been stuck in Denver for a while :(

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94

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83
drank Pu-erh by Harney & Sons
8 tasting notes

First impression:

Surprised by the strong fruity flavor. The puerh teas I have tried have been dark, earthy, dirt, musty and full-bodied, or a pale, light version of those. If someone enjoys fruitiness in the flavors, this tea is fruity.

Tasted at one-minute of steeping: the fruity flavor was markedly there.
Took out tea ball at 4.5 minutes. More of the earth taste I expected, and fruity flavor still dramatically present.

If someone is looking for that very earthy, musty, dirt flavor and texture experience of puerh, I would not recommend this tea for that experience.

If someone drinks flavored black teas, or fruity black teas, then Harney’s Puerh might be an introduction to puerh for them.

For me, this tea is useful for the health benefits of puerh, but will consider combining it sometimes with a plain black tea, such as Harney’s Special English Breakfast.

Might post updates after subsequent tastings.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 8 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
mrmopar

You should try a puerh gong fu sometime. Lots of variance between the steeps most of the time.

AuntTea

Thank you for the puerh suggestion. I appreciate it.

mrmopar

Absolutely, no worries and it is a big field this puerh stuff.

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39
drank Chai by Harney & Sons
235 tasting notes

Not a fan. Almost has a bit of a Star Anise taste to it but not listed in the ingredients. Mostly tea dust with little bits of spice. I do smell the cardamom. Mostly I make this with water but I think it might be better with milk. Just adding a bit of milk didn’t work for me, I had to switch to evaporated milk. There are better chai teas…I don’t like most of Vadham teas but their Assam Chai is amazing…would get that over this any day.

Flavors: Star Anise

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drank Island Dreams by Harney & Sons
2774 tasting notes

A new tea that I had high hopes for, but feel like something is missing. July prompt – a pineapple tea

The description is mouth watering – green tea with coconut, pineapple and rum flavor. All things that scream summer and should be delicious iced.

The coconut is too mild here for me, the pineapple could be stronger, and I taste no rum flavor, though I do smell it a little. Will try again as a sweet iced tea and see if it improves, but right now I would say you need to add actual rum to this if you want it to really have rum flavor.

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74

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – July Tea #2 -A peach tea
 
So many fruit teas on the prompts this month that it will be easy for me just to look at my “penultimate sipdown” email draft list and just pick those… low hanging fruits of sipdowns from that list (pun intended).  Here’s one!   This cute tagalong tin is finally finished.  Sadly even such a small amount of tea (only a few teabags in that tagalong tin) has already lost so much flavor.   I have hardly tasted peach or ginger these last couple of steeps. The black tea seems muddled and generic tasting. Ah well, it’s gone now. It looks like I never wrote a note for this when it was fresher. It was better then. Thanks for sharing, Skysamurai!
2022 sipdowns:  79

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98
drank Scottish Morn by Harney & Sons
8 tasting notes

Not an extensive review as there are many other reviews.

I bought a four-ounce tin of loose leaf tea.

First impression:

Steeped 3 minutes to endeavor to discern more than the kickstart factors that come out at five minutes. Still came out kickstart strong.

Water boiling. Used Pyrex glass for steeping, and stainless steel mesh ball. Drinking from Corelle glass tea cup.

First cup drunk black to discern what I can.
This is a jumpstart, get-up-and-go tea. Bit of astringent pucker, but mostly full caffeine slam.

Harney’s website states:
Briskness 4 (out of 5)
Boldness 5
Aroma 1.

I agree with that assessment.

Here is the description from Harney’s website:

“Dry Leaves: A mixture of dark brown leaves, the smaller pieces of Assam and Ceylon and Assam CTC (cut, tear, curl) method make for a stronger tea.
Liquor: This is one of our darkest teas, brewing a very dark brown color. Many Scots would lighten it with milk.
Aroma: Aroma is not the point of this tea, so there are only hints of suggestions of malt.
Flavors: Strong and simple, this tea is meant to be drunk with milk.
Caffeine Level: Caffeinated
Body: Full-bodied. A strong, full body is the purpose of this tea, and it delivers. It is perhaps the strongest tea we offer.
Brewing Time: 5 minutes
Brewing Temp: 212º”

I am rating this tea a 98, because, to me, it is exactly what Harney’s states that it is. (Somehow rating teas according to how much I like them does not seem as though it would be very useful to others, as age, diet, DNA, and many other factors determine ability to discern flavor/aroma, texture, etc, and preference. So, I am rating according to how accurate the company’s description is.)

I think this tea would also do very well with cream, or Kerrygold butter, or clarified butter and salt, or to add meat/bone broth, if one is looking for a nourishing winter tea broth recipe.

It is not unpleasant drinking it black, but one can tell the choice of leaves is intended for dairy and perhaps something else to be put into the cup.

If you want a jumpstart tea, this one will do well.
If you are looking for complex bouquet, multi-faceted wonders to enjoy, this is not, in my opinion, the tea for that kind of experience.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Aiko

At first glance I read the title as “Scottish Mom” and that caught my attention, hah!

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72
drank East Frisian by Harney & Sons
285 tasting notes

TTB 2022

A nutty and strong brew good for a morning wakeup. Not bitter or astringent. Might be enticed to add a tin to an order from Harney. I like the darjeeling nuttyness as a change from my regular yunnan brew. Thanks for sharing (looks like Shae’s handwriting on the pack)!

gmathis

I like this one for the very same reasons.

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92
drank Scottish Morn by Harney & Sons
235 tasting notes

This is a strong black tea!! I like it. Small crushed leaves that looks visually different from all the other teas. Takes milk and sugar very well. I think I favor the Irish breakfast over this just a bit more but I do really like this one! I went to Barcelona for a few days and didnt bring any tea, I was so happy to come back home to this!!! Next time I am traveling with my tea.

gmathis

Haven’t tried this one, but I’m glad to hear it’s a strong one — most Scottish breakfast teas I have tried in the past have been surprisingly mild.

AuntTea

Roxy, can you say what it is that you like more about the Irish breakfast?

Thanks.

Roxy King

I think it’s one of the strongest teas I’ve tried

Roxy King

I think it’s stronger than Irish breakfast. I think I prefer Irish breakfast because it’s a little more mild but this one is nice, I don’t really need something quite so strong. since I’m caffeine sensitive but I didn’t have toooo many issues with this one :)

AuntTea

Roxy, thanks for posting more. I have tried both the Irish Breakfast and the Scottish Morn several times now, and I also prefer the Irish Breakfast. The Scottish Morn is stronger and the Irish Breakfast seems to be more complex in flavor in a way I like.

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96

I bought Harney’s Special English Breakfast, looking for a replacement for PG Tips which no longer has the flavor and tea experience it had in earlier years.

Using filtered city water, and an electric tea kettle, steeped in Pyrex glass and drunk from a Corelle glass cup. Steeped three minutes.

First impressions: smooth, friendly, pleasant, strong, nice Breakfast Tea kick, bit of a pucker that, to me, calls for milk or half-n-half. But, I give first impressions the respect of drinking them plain.

First report: I will be trying this again and again, to see what steeping time suits me best, and what kind of milk/cream or how much I will add, etc.

The Harney website states that this tea consists of:
“Small dark leaves from the British Commonwealth: India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Kenya.” Harney gives part of the profits from this tea to a charity for low-income people in New York who come from the British Commonwealth….

I am rating it at 95, because, to me, the tea is exactly as described on the website.

From the Harney website:

“Liquor: Dark brown.
Aroma: Light toasted notes.
Flavors: Toast, citrus and hints of dark honey.
Caffeine Level: Caffeinated
Body: Full-bodied. The small leaves make for a strong tea with lots of body.”

Website gives following measurements:
Briskness 4 (out of 5)
Body 4
Aroma 2.

Harney says to steep this five minutes. The label on the tin states “4-5 minutes”.

I found that the second cup, with my usual goat’s milk, could have used a longer steeping to take the milk. Just my preference. Others, of course, will have their own preferences.

If someone is looking for a basic, good, get-going tea, I think this one is worth trying. It is not a multi-faceted, multi-layered taste or experience. It is a decent strong cup of tea, which for me, has a place in the tea cupboard.

I bought a four-ounce tin of loose tea, and have ordered another pound.

ETA: Another test: I put a bit of Harney’s Supreme Breakfast in with this tea, which gives this one a bit more flavor and interest, giving it a bit of a “fancy” tea experience.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Citrus, Malt, Winter Honey

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 13 OZ / 384 ML
Shae

It looks like the 4 oz. tin is on sale right now!

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96

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97

Have tried this three times since buying a 4-ounce tin.

The multi-faceted bouquet of aroma comes through even with milk.
It seems like a holiday tea to me, with its strong layers of aroma and taste.

It almost seems as though there are added fragrances and flavors, although all that is the tea leaves themselves.

For me, it is not a daily morning tea, due to the plethora of smells and tastes.

If someone cannot drink teas with added flavors and fragrances, and would like to have a tea that has many aromas and multi-layered flavors on it own, this would be a good one to try.

If one wishes a basic, strong breakfast tea, this has so much more going on that the abundance of aroma and flavor might come as a surprise.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Celebration Tea by Harney & Sons
2774 tasting notes

Reviews for this one are all over the place. I only bought it because it was on sale for $4.40 a tin and the tin is pretty, plus it would be something new to try that I thought both Ashman and I would like.

These are sachets and Harney recommends 12 ounces water for their sachets, and I resteeped and combined. I had the first cup as a hot tea with breakfast, no additions. I was having oatmeal with a pinch of brown sugar and some freshly ground cardamom. The first sip was like a burst of fruity sunshine. The apricot flavor really was the star of the show and it was quite enjoyable.

I put the remaining tea in the fridge and had it unsweetened with lunch. Again, this was a really good, really fruity tea. I have their plain apricot tea and this isn’t terribly different to me so far, but perhaps when I am paying more attention I will pick up more hazelnut.

All in all, this was a good investment. I didn’t get any of the astringency that some people mentioned.

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93

Rich, full-bodied, little astringency, complex flavors. I loved it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
mitzi-in-maryland

What fun! I’m happy to be a part of this group! I have two cups of tea a day, and often try different ones in the morning and afternoon. In my past, I was a wine-tasting enthusiast, but this is more fun, costs less, and I get to do it twice a day.

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drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
2594 tasting notes

First, a very overdue thanks to Lexie Aleah for this sample (shame on me for taking so long)!

Next, it’s just “plum” luscious. The immediate sensory snapshot that accompanied the first sip was one of those dark 19th century still life oil paintings with a fruit bowl, like this one:

https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/object/103RF8

As to the flavor (and the scent, which is equally strong), it’s just a sweet and lovely melange of plummy, dark cherry, peachy, grapey fruit punch—no tartness, nothing standing out, including the tea base; everything playing nicely together. This cup is not going to last long.

ashmanra

This makes a fabulous sweet tea for summer.

gmathis

Ooh, I’ll bet it does!

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drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
2594 tasting notes

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84

Another from Kawaii433! Thanks so much! I was curious why ‘Duck’ happens to be in the name for this, and it looks like the description says that ducks like this rice? hmm. So it’s a decent genmaicha then, with a memorable name. :D A balance of popped rice and green tea. It was never astringent for me, but I was really being careful with the parameters. Everything here that I love about a great genmaicha. I wanted that toasty comfort yesterday, on probably one of the last cooler days of the spring. And for my no caff choice today, Bird & Blend’s Figgy Pud for that same reason. Now it will be hot out today!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 50 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep

Kawaii433

Probably the type of rice they feed to ducks hehe.

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drank Ruby Black Tea by Harney & Sons
2774 tasting notes

I had this for the third time a couple of days ago. The first two times I drank it, I made it western, and last time gong fu.

I delayed writing a note because it is nothing like my first Ruby 18 or any others I have had since. My first was from A Southern Season. It was supposed to be black tea, but when I steeped it, it was pale yellow. I had even forgotten to time it! I was sure I had done something wrong, as these were my early tea drinking days. In spite of oversteeping, it was marvelous. I kept it on hand as long as they were open and had it in stock.

With excitement I ordered this one (rather expensive as good Ruby 18 can be) using mostly my reward points, and… it is good, but it is not remotely like the one from A Southern Season. It looks like black tea, tastes like black tea. It is good, but it isn’t what I was expecting.

Since I was a little put out at the difference between the old and new Western, I made it gong fu last time and it steeped more times than any regular black tea I have done, not counting ripe puerh. It was good with our dessert, so I will accept it for its positive points and not dwell on the fact that it is not what I expected.

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76
drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
1586 tasting notes

This tastes a little like raisins. I enjoy it more after it cools. I taste the vanilla, but I don’t love the black tea. It’s a little drying and not malty or delicious. Sweetened enough, it starts to taste kind of chocolatey. I like it cold. I wouldn’t order it, but I enjoyed the evolution of the flavor in this TTB sample.

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