Queen Catherine

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Chocolate, Cream, Smoke, Honey, Smooth, Bergamot, Malt, Sweet, Tannin, Leather, Peat, Red Fruits, Cocoa, Creamy, Autumn Leaf Pile, Tannic, Spices, Earth, Hay, Raisins, Molasses
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Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Jessica
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 9 oz / 277 ml

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354 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 Queen Catherine, a Harney & Sons signature blend of three Chinese black teas (Keemun, Panyang and Yunnan), in honor of Queen Catherine of Braganza, 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 who has received this honor.

Black tea.

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.

354 Tasting Notes

3286 tasting notes

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 renamed “Death By Chocolate” and said we needed to put it on the rotation and this was the unflavored black served with it. We followed with Dark Obsession Chocolate Rose.

But I had made a lot of it and we had eight ounces left, which I heated and put in my Thermos and took to the Cancer Center with me. I wasn’t really thinking when I did that, it was just the first tea handy. But Catherine has given me fortitude through some though times. She was with me every morning after radiation and kept me going strong. So how fitting it was that she was with me this morning when the doctor released me – FOR GOOD – from coming to the Cancer Center! I am not officially at the five year mark but he said he felt that my primary care physician could take of things from here on!

Nice to have her there for my celebration!

In addition, I noted some changes in flavor from drinking it in the thermos. The maltiness seemed amplified and there was also an element of hearty green tea about her today. Back in the day when I used to put her in a thermos I also added milk and sugar but I don’t use them anymore. So it was a pleasant little surprise to discover the little change of nuance in my reliable Queen.

Doug F

That’s great news! Congratulations. Tea is indeed more than just a drink.


So good to hear! Tea is a great companion :)


Congratulations! I’m glad you have a tea to have kept yourself going.


I just did an out loud Woot! Awesome news.


Congratulations! That is amazing!!

Roswell Strange

Congratulations! That’s absolutely fucking amazing news! It’s lovely how tea will always have connections and ties to positive memories like this one – now every time you sit down with The Queen you’ll get to relive the feeling of hearing that great news :)


I am astoundingly happy for you!

Christina / BooksandTea

That’s awesome! Congratulations!


Congrats!! That is wonderful news! It’s always great to have a great tea by your side for excellent news! I am very happy for you :D




Fantastic news! so happy for you!!!


How wonderful! Congrats!


Congrats God has blessed you again!


Fantastic! Congrats!


Thank you, everyone! I was pretty excited when I went in, thinking this was my next to last appointment and that I would get released from the center next February when it was officially five years since the end of treatment. It was really neat to get “set free” today!

Maddy Barone

What awesome news! Congrats!


That’s great news!! :)

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513 tasting notes

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 last night (about how it was part of a project to improve Portugal’s image and is the only Western tea to be featured in the Chinese tea museum) and dreamed really, really big.

Last night was perhaps the first night in a long while that i’ve had decent sleep, and although I’m still feeling a bit tired this morning, I actually slept through the night and woke to the sound of my alarm, and excitedly got out of bed because I’d planned for this tea this morning.

The dry smell of the leaf was actually a bit misleading. It sort of has an earthy, barn-yard-esque quality to it that was reminiscently evocative of the keemun I sampled from art of Tea and didn’t quite like, although the barnyard factor was significantly less pronounced in these leaves. I brewed it up as per keychange, so about five minutes and my usual cream and sugar, and was blown away.

This is perhaps the first tea I’ve ever tried that tastes sort of like a campfire, with sweet hints of maple and a fresh, rain-soaked wind that has whipped through a dense forest. It is not astringent in the slightest, and I can absolutely see what all the fuss is about (which is a relief, let me tell you. I always feel like a bit of a failure when I don’t get what the fuss is about over a beloved tea on steepster).
Seriously, if any of you guys want to try some of this, let me know. It’s amazing. I want it in my collection forever!


I like this one a lot, too. :)


Isn’t it so wonderful? I knew upon drinking it that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice in a tasting note, but my god it’s perfect.


Yay! I recently fell in love with the Queen too, and now we hang out regularly. (:


So do we! She is so graceful and inviting and perfect!


Hooray for the Queen! (beautiful with a teaspoon of the Harney Rose Scented mixed in as well.


oh man i’m gonna have to try this one soon! your delight is contagious.


Try it try it try it! Want me to send you some?
and shmiracles, so does that equal two tsp of tea? one of each? it isn’t too strong?


sorry, that question was to rosehips!


Hehe I love this one. Glad there are some fellow Queen admirers around now… there was awhile there when nobody was posting about her!


We should always post about her! she deserves it!


Right?! Dang I’m craving a cup now lol


Me too!!


I use one tsp of the queen with one of rose scented for a small pot of tea, and it turns out beautifully.


That’s good to know! I usually brew a mug at a time, so maybe i’ll do half a tsp of each an see how that goes. I have yet to try rose-scented, but I have it in my cupboard, so it won’t be long!


That sounds like a good ratio. I cant wait to hear what you think of this combo.


You’ve sold me on trying this – love your description and tasting note.

Haley Dee

I would love love love to try this one if you are up to send!


This is a dearly beloved of mine. I always have some Catherine on the shelf. When I was having radiation for breast cancer, my daughter had a pot of Catherine ready for me when I came in the door, and it really picked me up. Just reading the story of the real Catherine, her courage, and her very different kind of honor and love than we are used to hearing in today’s love stories, really are inspiring and worthy of thought.


I’d love to send you some, Haley D. Send me a pm if that’s even still a feature here (haven’t been on in ages!). I should have the Queen with breakfast tomorrow!

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1112 tasting notes

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 we had a crazy fog morning which delayed the train, then there’s the construction going on in the station delaying everything even more. It seemed that everywhere that a Toasted Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese could be procured had a line from Here to Eternity, but I could not be stopped. I was a full half hour late to work because I had, had, had to have a Toasted Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese along with Queen Catherine today!

Readers, I have just finished my Toasted Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese along with my first steep of Queen Catherine and IT WAS WORTH IT! I don’t know anything that pairs so wonderfully! The slightly smoky, bracing Queen with the garlicy, oniony Circle of Heaven and that creamy Spread of Delight playing off both?


On to another steep of the Queen. I only wish I had another bagel!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Your post made me smile. I used to live in Collingswood, and when I got stir crazy I would load my kids, the stroller and myself onto the train and walk around the city for awhile. My son was fascinated by the water towers and the high speed line. :)


Glad to know I’m not the only one whose brain gets stuck on ONETHOUGHTONLYAND…CAN’T…UNSTICK!


OK, enough – I must order this Queen Catherine I hear so much about! :)


I understand completely!


Veronica – neat! How long ago did you live in Collingswood? We moved here from Philadelphia in 2007 and like it lots. I still work in Philadelphia which is why I am always on the high speedline :) They are redoing the stations at 15th and Locust and you never know where to get in or out! The bridge was absolutely surreal in this morning’s fog – it was like a dream sequence in a movie!


gmathis- I haven’t had a bagel in weeks and must have been going through bagel withdrawal. I was even talking about bagels all weekend but we were so busy in the house I didn’t have time to make them!! Next weekend I hope because now I have my husband talking about them too!!


We lived there five years ago. We moved to Westville, so it’s not too far away. Still, I haven’t walked around downtown Collingswood in… years. Yikes! I’ll have to fix that soon.
My husband and I were going to hear the orchestra a couple of weeks ago. We took the train and pretty much everyone in our car was going to the Kimmel Center, too. None of us knew about the construction at 15th and Locust. The looks of confusion on people’s faces was pretty amusing. I’m sure my face mirrored theirs’!


Veronica – I work at UArts right next to the Kimmel! It is a treat hearing the orchestra there, isn’t it!?

The downtown area in Collingswood needs a tea room!!!! :) There is a coffee shop that serves tea (Grooveground) but just a few teas.


Small word! It is a treat hearing the orchestra at the Kimmel. It is one of my favorite places.

Collingswood does need a tea room. I know that Haddonfield has one, though I have never been. I didn’t know that the Treehouse was gone. It used to be my favorite coffee shop. It was a bit more kid friendly than Grooveground. :)


I’ve been meaning to go to Haddonfield for the day! So many cute places and just two stops on the train. We did go to the British Chip Shop though!


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985 tasting notes

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 smoke. With those kind of flavors, you would think it a hearty cup, but it is still on the light side. One of my favorite Harney blends. Happy Monday!

Usual teapot method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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15131 tasting notes

oh man…. thank you so much Hesper June! Seriously…this makes me want to go place a Harney order now. I love this one even more than the florence that Hesper June was SO AMAZING about sharing (seriously folks, she’s pretty damn awesome). I’m not sure if this is exactly what i needed this morning or what but this is a damn fine mug of tea. It’s rich and smooth and chocolatey and malty and delicious! There’s another flavour going on in here too…almost like a breadier taste than the malt taste you get in say laoshan black. I don’t pick up on the “spice” notes that harney says are in this tea, or maybe it’s just that when i read the world spice my mind wanders towards things like chai. yep…i could easily move this into my morning black rotation with some of my other favorites.

Thank you again Hesper June


I LOVE this one! It got me through radiation like a champion coach. There is a hint of smoke to me. This tea is like Catherine herself, strong, tough, well bred, brave, and having such unadulterated love as to overlook all wounds and continue to pour out love. Sigh.


i totally agree ashmanra :)


(I believe I need to do some hunting for some good Cathrine-centric historical fiction.)

Hesper June

Aw! You are too sweet:) I am so glad that you like it!

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1015 tasting notes

The Queen has definitely been my go-to tea lately as she is divine plain or with milk/sugar. I decided I needed her undivided smoky attention this morning so I’m drinking it sans additions. I’m getting a lovely sweet, slightly smoked aroma this morning that I think I’ve been overlooking in my zest to quickly drink this delightful tea.

Taken plain this tea is bold, but not astringent. At the beginning of the sip, you would definitely expect there to be some bitter edge to the end of the sip, but nope, not with the Queen. I’m really loving the smoky edge to this tea this morning! I never thought I would enjoy smoky teas but I’m definitely liking them more as of late. I believe a rating increase is in order for this delicious tea!

5 min, 30 sec

I think this will be my next H&S priority, I like the sound of it!


The Queen has gotten me through many a rough morning! The light smoke is perfect, and you are right – no astringency, no bitterness, just great tea.

Paul M Tracy

My first taste of this tea will be tomorrow, There have been so many great reviews that I feel like I’m behind the curve just trying it now.

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612 tasting notes

Broke down, currently on the Steepster favored “Queen Catherine and a toasted bagel” (with lox and cream cheese) diet, ha. All of this Queen Catherine love got to me. And I’m glad, because this is exactly what I needed. Was in a foul mood this afternoon, sick of everything, hungry, cold, wondering where my husband was, stressed about our plans to be on the road for 11 hours tomorrow in icy rain…this made things better. So much better. Thank you keychange for your wonderful contagious enthusiasm.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

add capers and sliced fresh tomatoes and i’m totally on board for that snack….. okay, tomatoes negotiable, lol. been fighting that mood myself lately. good tea and lox and bagels will help…. xoxo


oh man JustJames, you just described my favorite sandwich in town! seriously, that’s what it is, that exactly. SO GOOD


as always, my dear, our tastes are spot on the same! i’m debating (can;t believe it) finishing up the black lotus you sent me…. happy/sad sigh. lol,


dude, if you want more i can send you more! i am wildly obsessive about that tea, so i bought a TON from Stacy. would be no problem to send some more your way.


Reading this review made me smile so much! Ifjuly, I’ve always related a lot to your posts, so I’m so flattered that you found my enthusiasm re this tea contageous! And I’m so glad you and the Queen had some quality bonding time. It sounds like you needed it!!


Lox is my fav with slice of cucumber and spig of dill
This will be my breakfast tomorrow


keychange, it really made me feel like a whole new person, whew! and it’s neat to know someone a zillion miles away is loving the same cup of tea as me on any given day. steepster is so fun!

boychik, that sounds fantastic—i love dill (don’t have any on hand right now, mine died earlier in the season) and cucumber. now i am jealous of your breakfast!


Oh capers! I haven’t had those in forever.
(And only heard of them because a character on King of the Hill made a big fuss about them!)


Drive safe
I hope you heading to some warm place. We are freezing here


that makes me laugh about king of the hill, Cavocorax! i wonder which character it was, i don’t remember that…

boychik, thanks! it’s cold here too, though not as cold as i keep hearing about on steepster from the canadians (: stay warm!


it’s not too bad in BC…. =0)


It was Bobby Hill. I think in that episode they were at some resort that gave out free capers and he wents nut for them.

And then I did. :)


Also, I miss BC weather. I don’t have the right clothing for Ontario, but I just haven’t gone out to buy any yet.

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169 tasting notes

The Queen!
She is here for breakfast.
I have heard good things about this tea and am delighted to finally get the chance to try it myself.
Dry leaf smells slightly smoky, and even a little floral.
I brewed this for 4 mins, instead of 5.
There was almost something about the dry leaf that hinted some astringency if brewed to long.
I am enjoying smelling this tea, this is a wrap your hands around the mug and inhale kind of tea.
I smell hints of smoke and maybe a bit of chocolate.
On first sip, I was surprised to taste fruity notes.
I don’t find this tea astringent at all, in fact next time I think I will go the full 5 minutes.
I am very glad that Queen C. is here, and I just think she might be someone I invite to stay around for a good while.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

bah! I really want to try this one sometime. Sounds delish!

Hesper June

I could send you a bit, if you would like?


that would be amazing! If there’s anything in my cupboard you’d like to try in return I’m totally open to sending some your way. Cupboard’s up to date heh

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314 tasting notes

So on my second mug of this (using fresh new leaf—not a resteep), I used slightly less tea, lower temp and longer steeping time. Aroma of freshly baked pie crust! Taste is much sweeter and feels somehow “lighter”. Hints of caramel and molasses—with a dash of pepper. Less of that yummy malt, but still very pleasant and absolutely delicious!

195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 45 sec

I have a sample of this I need to make!


That sounds delicious. It seems like Harney & Sons teas have been tempting me lately. Might need to make an order. Hmm.


Yep! I’m rediscovering Harney & Sons. They really do make some wonderful blends.

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6768 tasting notes

This tastes exceptional this morning! I’m not picking up on the slight smoke like I did last time I had a cup of this but that’s ok…it’s DARNED good!


Catherine has gotten me going on many a rough morning!

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