Tag Archives: Harney & Sons

Review: Harney & Sons Black Currant Fresh Brew *Iced Tea*

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged –  1 over-sized iced tea sized bag
Temperature: Iced
Served: Nothing added

Here we are again, smack in the middle of iced tea season! My favorite style of iced tea is unsweetened black tea with a hint for fruit. I like other styles as well, don’t get me wrong, but this is my favorite. Which is why I was so excited to try this Black Current iced tea from Harney & Sons. This tea is specifically packaged for making iced tea with an over-sized tea bag stuffed with tea.

When making it I followed the directions precisely, see below, and I ended up with a tasty iced tea ready to go. This tea has the strong flavors of black tea that I love and the slightly sweet fruit flavor of the black currants. The blend for me is spot-on, with the black tea as the star and the black currant just noticeable. This tea would be great for a crowd because its pretty mellow with a traditional blend. I enjoyed it a lot and expect to go through the 8 cups that this batch made pretty quickly.

Here’s how to make this tea properly: Boil 2 cups of water and pour over tea bag and let steep for 15 minutes. Then add 6 more cups of water and you’re done!

 

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves – quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

 

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Review: Harney & Sons Wild Pu-ERH 1998

Harney & Sons Wild Pu-erh 1998

 

Abby says:

Tea type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @210 (boiling point)
Steeped: 3-4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

While visiting the Harney & Sons tea shop in New York, Katie and I spent some time talking to one of the wonderful tea experts in-house. I told him that I’ve tried a lot of various Harney & Sons teas over the years and was looking for something a little different, out there. I have several go-to Harney & Sons tea that I always keep in stock like Paris, SOHO and Organic Bancha, but on that day I was looking to try something outside the norm. Our tea expert came through for sure! This tea is very different and so delicious!

Pu-erh tea is a type of fermented black tea from China. After processing the tea leaves are then pressed into a cake. I love this because before steeping you break into this pressed cake patty to get the right amount of tea.

The flavor of this tea is unique. There are earthy hints of beets and grass.  There is also hints of something else, that I can’t quite put my finger on. Although the flavors are earthy and vegetal, they remain very clean and crisp. this is not always the case for pu-erh teas and certainly appreciated in this tea.

If you are looking for something try that taste wonderful, but isn’t the traditional black tea we think of here in the USA, give this one a try. Keep in mind that if you are pairing this tea with food, head to the savory side instead of sweet.

Taste: 5 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – This tea is easy to make.

Harney & Sons Wild Pu-erh 1998

 

 

Winter visit to Harney & Sons, New York

Whenever we visit NYC, Katie and I love to visit Harney & Sons. The experience is something that we both look forward to every time. This year we visited on a chilly winter day. The perfect type of day to find yourself is a bright and beautiful tea shop. Harney & Sons is such an inviting place, its smells divine and everything is pretty. The walls of tea will never cease to impress me. I just love looking at all the tea varieties stacked up next to one another, all the way up the wall.

Our tea guide was amazing. He knew his stuff about tea and had some deep and hilarious quips for us. He found the perfect teas for each of us: an espresso of tea for Katie and left of weird tea for me. I loved them both, Katie loved hers and agreed that mine was, in fact, weird.

You will see some reviews of these two teas pop up soon.

We didn’t have time to sit for tea and snacks this time around so we ordered some tea to go from the cafe in the back and browsed all of the lovely tea-things while we waited for them to be steeped. Then we were off, with our Harney tea in hand, for more NYC adventures: tacos, shopping, Santacon, Bryant Park and the most delicious Italian tapas in Brooklyn.

Until next time, thanks for the experience Harney & Sons!

Black Friday #Tea Deals Online

Stay home and shop friends, there are plenty of deals to be found!  Here’s a short and of course, incomplete list of online tea deals for today…

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1. Rishi – 20% of site-wide using code Holiday20 today only

2. TeaForte – select items on sale and free shipping on order $24 or more

3. Chateau Rogue – Black “Tea Tin” Friday Sale – 20% of online sales using code 8WQ5UA3YRCBL at checkout

4. Amonda Tea – Black teas are 25% off today using code BLACKFRIDAY

5. Harney & Sons – 10% off tea gifts

6. Stash tea – up to 50% off select gifts – whatever that means

7. David’s Tea – FREE shipping on all online orders.  Also three samples with every order AND with $75.00 purchases get a white timolino free using code FREETIMOLINO (Ends 12/1)

8. Teapigs – Black Tea Friday, 20% off black teas using code BLACKTEA

Happy shopping!  If you come across online tea deals please post them in the comments to share the love 🙂

 

Review: Harney & Sons Holiday (HT Tea Blends)

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.25 of 5 tea leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 tea leaves – This tea requires very little effort

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Better late than never. That’s what I say! Here is a holiday tea from Harney & Sons, called “holiday”. So appropriate for today – when the holidays are officially over! Enjoy…

When I first opened the tea tin I was overwhelmed by the spicy aroma of this tea. I smelled some clove and what seem to me to be licorice. Licorice is not my fav, I did not enjoy that but decided to steep it anyway. And I’m glad I did. Though the aroma was strong, but the tea was not. It was flavorful and spicy and thankfully did not taste like licorice at all! I liked that it was light with mild spice flavor because so much of what we eat and drink over the holidays is heavy and rich or over-the-top. While still festive, this tea provides a much need break from all that with something lighter without being dull. The flavor might be strong if steeped longer, so that could be something interesting to try next time.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 tea leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 tea leaves – This tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: With cream & sugar

The spices in this tea smell and taste similar to chai with strong notes of clove and cinnamon. Chai is one of my favorite teas so when I opened the tin I was so excited to try this similar-smelling tea. I thought this tea was good, but what kept it from being great was the strength. I found the favors, while nice, to be very mild. I’d suggest steeping it longer or using two tea bags if you like a strong cuppa!

Taste: 3 of 5 tea leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 tea leaves – This tea requires very little effort.

Review: Harney & Sons SOHO

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.9 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @ 212 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

We have already posted about Katie’s sampling tea from our trip to Harney & Sons in Manhattan this past spring and now we are going to talk about mine! When I saw that they had created a special blend to celebrate the opening of the store we were standing it at the time, how could I have chosen anything else? The wonderful aroma of black tea, chocolate, vanilla, coconut and amaranth flower petals didn’t hurt either. The bright pink petals give striking contrast to the rich black tea. The blend creates an interesting and complex scent and as the tea steeps it changes slightly so that the different elements shine.

The flavor is nice too. It isn’t too sweet, which is my favorite part. Sometimes with blends like this the sweetness can overwhelm the tea. Not so, for this tea. There is a hint of sweetness but you are still clearly drinking tea! Instead of the tea flavor getting lost, it adds balance to the other sweet ingredients. Tea with hints of chocolate, coconut and vanilla from one of our favorite tea makers? Delicious! This very tasty tea is certainly worth a try if you are looking for something a little different.

Taste: 4.75 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make!

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Katie says:

Temperature: @ 212 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Sometimes I buy things because they are pretty. I can admit that! As a commercial photographer, I’ve decided that gives me a free pass to be influenced by beautiful products, photos & packaging. Abby and I sampled this tea, along with many others, at Harney & Sons in SOHO so I knew it was beautiful inside that gorgeous tin. With flower petals mixed in this is one of the prettiest teas that I’ve ever seen! How could you not love the little pink petals inside? Seriously. LOVE!

Oh, by the way, it tastes great too. This a black tea with hints of chocolate & coconut. I like that it is still a black tea and gives you a caffeine boost. The chocolate and coconut flavors are present but not overpowering. I like tea that tastes like traditional black tea. This doesn’t taste like an herbal tea; you get the richness of black tea accented with some wonderful flavors. And it’s pretty & pink. Bonus!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make!

Since this is Harney & Son’s SOHO store namesake tea, we’re thinking about our friends in NYC today. We hope that you are all safe & sound and weathering the storm. From the photos that we’re seeing up here in ME & MA it must be a crazy few days in New York City! We’re hoping for the best and that life in the city will return to normal sooner rather than later. Be safe everyone!

Review: Harney & Sons Paris

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Overall Rating:

Taste: Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @ 212 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Harney & Sons Paris is everything you could want in a tea. Fragrant, robust and great tasting… it has it all! Katie picked up this little gem on our trip to Harney & Sons in NYC. We sampled it while there and decided we couldn’t possibly live without it. I love that this tea has both fruity/flowery side and a more pungent side thanks to a little bergamot. These two components come together prefectly to create a blance and clean taste. Though this tea has some sweetness, there isn’t one stand out flavor here – they are all blended nicely which makes it easy to pair this tea with both sweet and savory foods. I could go on and on forever about how much I like this tea, but would still probably not be able about describe it well enough.

If you are at all interested in trying interesting black tea blends, give this one a try right away! It is a bit tricky to acquire here in Maine as we don’t have a Harney & Sons tea shop and there are only a few varieties available in other stores here. However, by clicking the link above it will take you right to the amazon store where you can purchase a tin(or two) for yourself.

Taste: Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Temperature: @ 212 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This is an Earl Grey based tea with floral notes that is fantastic! Typically I like my earl grey with cream & sugar but this tea is so flavorful that it is simply wonderful with nothing added. Warning, do not over steep this tea! It is just perfect plain so don’t let it get bitter.

When Abby & I were at Harney in NYC I picked this out as my “tasting” tea. What a good choice! Anthony & I had already has several cups of tea so I was over-caffeinated but still had to finish the cup because it was so tasty! Now I’ve been on vacation and lost my voice and I swear a cup of this tea helped bring it back. Enjoy this tea year round…it is also nice iced! Also, make sure to take a look at the pretty tea sachets, the packaging on this tea is excellent too!

Taste: Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves – This tea is easy to make!

Review: Runa Amazon Guayusa

Overall Rating:

Taste: Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!:

Abby says:

Temperature: @ 210 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Nutty, earthy and a little sweet, Guayusa is a nice change of pace from green and black tea. Though it gives you plenty of energy like black tea, it drinks more like an herbal tea. It is so easy to drink and with no bitterness (even if you forget to take the tea bag out of your mug, like I often do). When I drink traditional guayusa I don’t add anything to it. You are thinking, ‘Yeah, what’s new?” I know, I know. But I just want to stress how much flavor this tea has on its own and how different and unique it is from what most people typically think when they hear the word “tea”. It is different , but wonderfully tasty. Back in March I did a post about several other guayusa teas in my Final Four Edition post. Katie and I also reviewed a couple of guayusa blends (a chocolate and a peach cobbler) in February, so if you are interested in trying different guayusa blends check those out too!

As borrowed from their website http://www.runa.org/, “RUNA means “fully living human being” in the indigenous Kichwa language of the Ecuadorian Amazon. It is a term of immense cultural pride for the Kichwa people, and represents our company’s commitment to sharing the Kichwa’s rich cultural heritage with a global community”. I thought that was pretty cool and of course, I have to give more props to Runa, this tea is USDA certified organic!

Taste: Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Temperature: @ 210 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

What the heck is Guayusa? I know I found myself asking this question the first time I heard of it. Well, lucky for you I’ve already researched it. Guayusa is a naturally caffeinated herbal tea. It is said to give a balanced energy boost without the shakes or typical caffeine crash. It’s also, like most teas, a good source of antioxidants.

This a a very different tasting tea. It’s got an almost earthy taste and it steeps to an odd greenish-yellow color. Guayusa isn’t for the non-adventerous tea drinker. That being said, if you like to try different and unique teas than this one is for you! It has qualities of both black and green teas with a unique nutty-earthy taste. I do like it on it’s own for a change of pace. I also think Guayusa makes a nice base for bending flavors. As Abby mentioned, we just loved the peach cobbler guayusa that we reviewed a while back. Go ahead, live on the edge & be adventurous, give this one a try!

Taste: Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Review: Harney & Sons Hu Shan Yellow Buds

Overall Rating:

Taste: Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves – this tea is a bit delicate

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Abby says:

Temperature: @ 212 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Yellow tea has been on my radar for a little while now, but somehow I hadn’t had the chance to try it until our trip to the Harney & Sons SoHo tea shop. Yellow tea is actually fermented white tea. With it you expect the lightness of a white tea with more earthy flavors brought out by the fermentation.

The Hu Shan Yellow Buds might be the prettiest tea I have ever seen! The beautiful white Harney & Sons tea cup (I couldn’t resist picking one up in the store) is the prefect canvas to show off the colorful radiance of this tea. In the cup it was light shade of yellow with a pale peach aura around the edge. I found practically no aroma, but a great taste. As expected it was very light with a hint of sweetness – easy to drink, yet had enough complexity to keep it interesting.

Taste: Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves – this tea is a bit delicate

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Katie says:

Temperature: @ 212 (boiling)
Steeped: 4 minutes (about 6 minutes for 2nd steep)
Served: Nothing added

I’d like to echo Abby’s sentiment of prettiest tea ever! Can you tell by all of the photos that I took? In my glass tea jar when I tilt it from side to side the light reflecting off this tea has an almost iridescent look. Also, the leaves unfold during steeping to be quite lovely themselves.

Not to worry, this tea is more than just a pretty face. The flavor is clean like a white tea, but has more complexity from the fermentation. Like Abby, I had yet to try a yellow tea but I’m so glad that I did! Yellow tea, to me, is the best of green & white teas. I like green tea’s complexity but I also love that ‘clean’ taste of white tea. This yellow tea has that nice subtle complexity along with the delicate white tea flavor. Oh, and did we mention that it’s gorgeous? 😉

Note for steeping: this tea is a bit tricky. If you don’t steep it long enough it won’t have any flavor. Steep it too long and it will get bitter. I recommend using a good amount of tea leaves with a 4-5 minute steeping time. It will hold up to a second steep but will need 6+ minutes to reach a nice flavor.

Taste: Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves – this tea is a bit delicate

Like the photos of the to-go tea jar? Get one for yourself by clicking on our “gadget of the moment” in the right column of the blog.

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Harney & Sons SoHo

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Last week we told you about our trip to the Roebling Tea House in Brooklyn, NY. Another stop on our trip to New York was the wonderful Harney & Sons SoHo! This is an amazing tea shop that has a little bit of everything and all of it’s good.

While there we sampled as many different things as we could possibly manage. We tried tasty vanilla scones served with devonshire cream and jam;

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rice crackers topped with cucumber and green tea cream cheese; a Chai tea ice cream milkshake; Earl Grey ice cream; green tea ice cream and TEA TEA TEA! We will briefly review one of the teas we tried in house.

Russian Country

Overall Rating 3.75 of 5 leaves

Abby says:

Temperature: Hot
Steeped: Arrived steeped
Served: Nothing added

Russian Country is a black tea blend including lapsang. Anyone who has ever tried lapsang tea before already knows this, but for those have yet to try it – lapsang is smoky! This was my first experience with it and I am glad it was in a blended tea. I’m still not convinced I could handle it alone! For this blend the smokiness really comes out in the aroma (think sitting around the camp fire), but isn’t so much present in an actual taste which I found very interesting and pleasant. With every sip I was reminded of the smoke, but it didn’t overwhelm the tea. I really enjoyed trying it and liked drinking it, but because I am not a smoke flavor/aroma lover it will not become a staple. However, if you love smoke, please try this tea!

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 this tea is easy to make.

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Katie says:

So, back to the ice cream cones for a minute. Do you see how they look like REGULAR cones? The menu may advertise them as a mini sampler, but, prepare yourselves my friends…these cones are like a small at the ice cream stand. 3 smalls — and 3 cones! Yes, they were delicious, and I ate 2 of them! At only $6 for all three I propose that this may be one of the best snack deals in NYC. Needless to say when Abby ordered a milkshake and I ordered the ice cream sampler trio I was half excited and half overwhelmed at the thought of trying to eat all three! Worth it!!! I am now considering buying an ice cream maker just to eat more earl grey tea ice cream. Ok, back to the tea review…

Russian Country

Temperature: hot
Steeped: Arrived steeped
Served: milk & sugar

Abby & I choose to try this tea because it was a blend of 4 black teas and had one of the highest aroma ratings of any of the teas on the list. “Briskness 1, Body 3, Aroma 3” 3! How could we not try an extra fragrant tea? Thoughts of some of my favorite black & earl grey blends began to drift through my head.

Harney & Son’s describes this tea as “a softer version of Smoky Lapsang Souchong.” If you’ve ever had a “Lapsang Souchong” before you know that unblended this tea can taste a bit like campfire. This tea is supposed to be smokey, but that flavor isn’t for everyone. I have to say that I wouldn’t choose Lapsang on it’s own, but I did very much enjoy this blend. For me the Russian Country is smoky enough to be able to enjoy the flavor of the smokey tea but blended in a way that even if you’re not a fan of this peculiar flavor that you’ll still enjoy it. From the reviews on their website I’m willing to go out on a limb and say  that if you’re a lover of Lapsang Souchong you’re really going to enjoy this tea!

Taste: Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 this tea is easy to make.

Even if you don’t go to the tea lounge (the tea room at the back of the store) there are plenty of chances to sample tea. When you come into the store you are given the chance to try teas from the tea flight (if they’re offering it that day) and any one tea of your choosing. They’ll bring down the big tin of your choice and make a cuppa just for you!

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 So, lets say that you’d like to sample more than the flight and one free tea. Luckily, I found a way! If you check in on the Harney & Son’s SoHo Facebook page then you’ll receive an extra tea tasting! Yep, that’s 5 free cups of tea! And trust me, Abby & I needed it after trying to keep up with our friend Hope’s tour of the night life in Williamsburg!

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Stay tuned for more reviews of Harney & Son’s tea. Between Abby & I we took home 3 tins of tea, an early grey hand lotion, and cups/mugs. We’ll tell you more about them soon!