Harney & SonsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I baked a loaf of cranberry orange bread this afternoon (don’t get excited; it was a mix) and can’t touch it because it’s to serve at work tomorrow—-but it smelled so good, I broke out its tea equivalent.
Previous reviewers don’t give it a lot of love, but I think it’s a nicely balanced triad of rooibos, cranberry, and orange. The berries aren’t tart, the orange isn’t bitter. I drank it outside in the glider watching my new little pot of lemongrass grow. (And once it does, wouldn’t that be a nice addition to this combo?)
Sipdown! (21 | 225)
Swap tea! This one was on my wishlist to try from Harney, so I’m thankful to be able to try a bit from a swap.
Honestly, it’s not my favorite. I feel like with each cup I like it less, which is never a good thing ha ha. The maple tastes quite artificial to me, and leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. The base tea is fine, with some woody and earthy notes. A bit thin perhaps?
I even tried it with milk (unusual for me) as it’s a breakfast blend, but I found it didn’t really help with the artificial taste. So not for me, unfortunately! So grateful to tea friends and swaps so I can try things in small quantities. :)
Flavors: Artificial, Earth, Maple, Sweet, Wood
Yesterday I have received an huge envelope with Harney teas (and one from Whispering Pines) from White Antlers. As a surprise and I was surprised indeed! Thank you!
And today, after an exam that I, apparently, passed (Mathematics II course exam, but still waiting for official results in the Uni system). I decided to make myself a treat + I worked in the garden after the exam till lunch.
So yeah, I am sitting here — smelling this very aromatic tea. I had it maybe twice, maybe more often… as they sell it on board of private comapany trains here. They use the sachets instead though, but loved it from first experience. This one is regular old school tea bag though. But honestly not sure, if it is in my tea bag wrapper collection! And enjoying it for first time at home!
Anyway, prepared as recommended. 5 minutes in boiling water. Oh my…
I don’t recall being it that sweet! Sweet cinnamon and sweet clove, with orange beneath. It’s so strong I don’t notice any base. But it’s a treat for me today. As it cools down the sweet clove note is stronger. Even making my tongue tingling a bit. Or it’s cinnamon? I dunno.
Anyway, I see why it’s my favourite — but I assume the sachet version a wee better. Or maybe drinking it in smaller volume.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Sweet
Sipdown! (15 | 219)
So happy to get the chance to try this one via a swap, as I was very interested when I saw it on the Harney website, but wasn’t willing to pay $15 to try it.
This is definitely the best gingerbread tea I’ve had. It really does taste like a cookie, and has oodles of molasses flavor to really sell the gingerbread angle. The spicing is light and sweet, a nice mix of ginger, cinnamon, and a touch of clove.
I’m not sure whether I’ll order it or not… It’s a bit on the expensive side and I honestly don’t really crave spiced teas often. But I could definitely see picking some up once fall and winter come around again!
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Clove, Cookie, Ginger, Molasses, Smooth, Sweet, Wood
G is for … Green Tea with Coconut!
Let me tell you I am not a huge green tea fan at all, but when I steep these tea bags just right, I am obsessed with these light, coconut flavored teas! I was gifted a baggie of four a while ago in a swap and this was my last one, sad to see them go but there’s another blend I get to see leave my collection. I won’t be officially counting this as my empty until I finish the last green tea by Harney that I kept in the same baggie. It’s not the coconut blend, but it is some mystery green tea I have loved!
Flavors: Coconut, Grass
“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – E
So this is from my rather large Harney order near the end of last year. Don’t ask my why I thought it was wise to buy five tins of teas that I’d never tried before… (facepalm)
Anyway. This is a citrus and spearmint green tea. Honestly, it’s a bit bland? I’m not sure if I didn’t use enough leaf or what, but I’m not getting a lot of citrus. More like a hint of grapefruit and that’s about it. The spearmint is definitely there, but still quite mild.
So really, I’m just getting a mildly spearmint-y generic green tea. It’s not an unpleasant base, I assume it’s a sencha by the look, and it does have that dry grassy flavor to it. Needless to say, not very impressive. Well, I have plenty of leaf to try it again, ha ha…
Flavors: Citrus, Dry Grass, Grass, Smooth, Spearmint
Sipdown! (5 | 209)
Another swap tea from Instagram!
This is a lovely, light citrus tea. The base is very gentle – earthy with some wood notes. The citrus here is a combination of grapefruit and lemon, which I can definitely taste. The grapefruit is mild, not the zingy sharp variety. Both citrus taste very authentic though, just softened a bit. Somehow the combination leaves me with a pleasant honeyed note at the end of the sip as well.
What a lovely tea for the afternoon! I’m not sure I need this in my cupboard since there are a lot of citrusy Earl Grey variants that I enjoy, but it’s definitely up for consideration.
Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Grapefruit, Honey, Lemon, Smooth, Wood
The dry leaves had a faint wintergreen aroma, and I was so eager to get into this brew! I used a mere 1.5g in an 8-oz cup of boiling water for 2 min. Got a lovely gold-brown liquor, but with a very off-putting aroma! Only after I kept reminding myself that this was a wintergreen smell did it become more pleasant. And that same flavor dominated the entire session. The leaves were fairly well spent, and a second steeping of seven minutes produced a week tea with cardboard box flavor. I dumped it. Ultimately, I have decided the tea tastes more mediciney—think BenGay—and not something I care to drink for a while. On the upside, it might be perfect for times when sitting at home recovering from a cold. I would try adding some lemon, honey, and milk. Totally changing the flavor profile! We shall see… . For now, not well-appreciated. (But still much better than Rooibos.) At least it was an inexpensive experiment!
Postscript I’ve updated the Harney description by adding their “details” section, which is more comprehensive. Especially in that they’ve don’t say just “mint” but now explain it as a wintergreen flavor, which is technically more accurate. Some of the older reviews note not tasting the claimed mint, and this may be why.
An interesting blend; fairly astringent possibly because I used a big spoonful of leaf for the mug. But also flavorful with apricot notes coming through this morning. Seems to be doing the job of waking me up! Lingering malty assam flavor in the back of my mouth between sips, to stimulate both the senses and and the mind.
Postscript: Makes a superb iced-tea, sweet or unsweet!
Although it’s a CTC, don’t look down your nose at it. Quite delicious, very fast to brew (1 minute is enough). This is what I want tea to taste like when I just want it to taste like tea! Except when I want it to taste like keemun, or Earl Grey, or dragonwell, or cinnamon spice, etc….you get the idea! Okay, It’s just one song in the album— but it’s a good song!
Bought this “Halmari Full Leaf Assam” around Halloween 2020, so I guess it is from the 2019 harvest, which must be sold out since it’s been delisted from Harney’s site. I’ve brewed this 4 or 5 times, Western, and agree with tea-sipper’s review. Good strong malty-caramel Assam flavor on the top and back of my tongue, but WAY too astringent for my likes. It lingers pleasantly in the mouth after the briskness has subsided. Harney’s CTC Assam is far smoother and less than 1/3 the price. Still, I’ll be swilling it down on bleary-eyed, early mornings. If you love brisk and care not about cost, this might be the tea for you! Some day I’ll try cold-brewing this, and will also play around with using less leaf or shorter steeps.
Sipdown! This tea is easy to brew too strong, and is less astringent as it cools. It has a nice , soothing vanilla taste, with creamy caramel undertones. But there is a harshness to the finish, and it is more pronounced if more leaf is used. If it were more forgiving, I’d be tempted to get more, but I’m not sure I need this decaf blend in my cupboard.
I’ve had this one for so long and have been super afraid to try it. I thought tonight was a perfect time because I’m up cleaning the kitchen and wanted an herbal tea. But not the herbal teas with super flavors to them.
This one is actually reeeaaalllyyy good. It reminds me of a buttery vegetable green tea. It has a nice, full body and has no hint of bitterness. This one will surely be missed when it’s gone.
Pleasant things about waking up at 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday:
a) Mork and Mindy on Antenna TV
b) Not having to hurry
c) Time to ponder over a cup of East Frisian, which has been on my tea bucket list for a long while. Bucket filled, courtesy of ashmanra :)
This is hefty, beefy, and malty and I think I’m in love. Dark rye or pumpernickel with a little brown sugary uptick on the tip of your tongue, and the uptick is upgraded by a little bit of milk. It smells heavenly—I think that’s the Darjeeling talking. Delicious to wake up with.
Of all the Harney and Sons tea, this is the one I was most excited about! Its supposed to be black currant, caramel and vanilla…but it basically tastes jUst like the black currant tea. Maybe because I drank a whole four ounce of that not too long ago, I’m just tired of the flavor and not impressed. I didn’t get much in terms of the caramel or vanilla flavoring. And there is a minuscule amount of Oolong. Eh. It was a no for me
I am big on earl grey (especially earl grey cremes) like every other basic tea bitch, and picked this up on recommendation as an earl-adjacent blend. Spoiler: I loved it so much that I gifted a tin to some friends at the next convenient holiday. The bags come in a bougie little tin that makes you want to wear a giant wig, eat delicate little patisserie, and run France into financial crisis until you’re inevitably guillotined.
Three words: juicy, bright, lush. This stuff is dreamy from the moment you crack open the tin and catch a whiff. Can we have a candle or some perfume in this scent? I want to die in it. By contrast to its citrusy cousin, this one is more red-fruit-forward to my tastebuds with a hit of creamy vanilla to round it out. Absolutely delightful. Welcome to my permanent rotation.
It’s a snowy and cloudy day in Denmark today and this tea is perfect for that kind of weather!
This feels like a proper Irish Breakfast tea – made from 100% Assam. It has lots of malty notes, tannins and some bitterness. But it’s actually a surprisingly subtle bitterness when you think of how full-bodied the tea is. The strength is right up there with the strongest bagged teas: Yorkshire, Typhoo etc. But this feels a little more refined, more aromatic and not as bitter. Unlike bagged teas, this is not dust but small broken leaves.
Harney & Sons’ says that “This tea recalls a time when the teas came from Assam, not Africa; and were small broken leaves, not CTC pellets. So this is a simple tea that can handle milk and sugar well.”.
I definitely agree with that. It is very nice and simple and takes milk and/or sugar like a champ. I appreciate that this is not CTC as I am not a big fan of CTC teas. I have not had that many, but the ones I have had where too strong and not aromatic enough in my opinion.
The brewed tea without milk is a deep dark brown. When you add milk, it looks like milky coffee but with a noticeable red/orange hue. The brewed tea smells like… tea. There are strong malty notes but not much else. This is definitely not a complex tea. It’s simple and straight-forward.
In the mouth, there is a strong maltiness again and it is very brisk, but only has a hint of bitterness. It is more astringent than bitter. This tea is a full-bodied tea for sure. It is so strong that it colors my white mug brown instantly.
All in all, this is an excellent, bold Irish Breakfast tea that fits the bill when you want a simple, plain black tea that goes well with a healthy splash of milk.
I feel like you should be drinking this tea while listening to Thin Lizzy or U2 ;-)
Dry leaves, appearance:
Small broken tea leaves with a few golden specks here and there. 100% Assam.
Dry leaves, aroma:
A very subtle aroma. Smells like a classic, malty Assam.
Deep dark brown with a red hue.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Malt, Tannic, Tea, Thick