Love Life/Harney and Sons

My beautiful, foolish husband let me into a Harney & Sons store in upstate New York. I placed a few carefully chosen items into my basket, and moved toward the checkout.

“Is that all?” the doofus queried.

“I can have more?” I asked.

“That doesn’t seem like much stuff,” he said.

I tripled the amount in my basket.

One of my picks was this flower-fruit-coconut concoction that’s basically a bar in the tropics, distilled down into one alcohol-free mug. I felt like I was swimming up to a swim-up bar (I’ve never done this) with a big flower in my hair (I’ve never done this) in the background of Lilo and Stitch (I’ve never done this).

When it comes right down to it, I’m more of a forest/lake/inland kind of girl than a beach girl. I like how trees smell. I don’t like sand between my toes. But this tea, man, this tea almost makes me reconsider my stance. Almost.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons

Description

Delicious, refreshing tea with a charitable twist. Named for GMHC’s slogan and logo, our Love Life tea is a refreshing blend of Japanese Bancha green tea with fresh flavors of strawberry, coconut, rich vanilla, and puffed rice for a light, fruity brew. 50% of the sales from this tea benefits GMHC, an organization devoted to fighting for an end to the AIDS epidemic and uplifting the lives of those affected.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Comoro/Harney and Sons

Drinking this today, a friend asked me why it is called Vanilla Comoro. I told her that the Comoro Islands are a source of vanilla, sugar, ylang ylang, cloves, and spices. Can you imagine what that place must smell like? And although it isn’t publicized on the label, this is a decaffeinated tea. Harney and Sons makes a tea called Vanilla Black that is not decaf and is very similar, but to me it is not quite the same flavor as this one.

When I poured the tea, my friend mentioned that it didn’t look very dark. She had already sipped and swooned, so the news that it was decaf hit her with a shock! “What? It’s so rich and good!”

A lot of decaf tea goes wrong. A decaf tea can be disappointing and even sometimes disgusting. This tea? Love love love. I don’t ever resteep this one, but the price is so reasonable that I don’t need to. It needs no sugar, no milk. Even though it is decaf, a little maltiness builds up as you drink – a lovely foil for that sweet, rich vanilla.

Fair warning and this is my opinion – I have had this tea in bags, sachets, and loose. I will probably never buy it any way but loose again. I don’t know why, but it is so much richer tasting to me. But if you have to have it convenient for on the go, my preference would be the sachets. To each his own, and try them all and see what you think!

If you see bits in the bottom of your teacup, have no fear. Those are not dregs, those are VANILLA BEAN SPECKS! We sometimes jostle to get the last cup from the pot so we can have all the yummy vanilla bits at the end.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney and Sons

Description

We’re pleased to offer Vanilla Comoro, our popular decaffeinated version of Vanilla Black tea! Now you may enjoy our favorite vanilla dessert tea to your heart’s content, and still get a good night’s sleep.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Li Shan/Harney and Sons. . .

This tea tastes like it was poured out of a very delicate porcelain teapot by an expert. It’s a delicate green pollen, pooling in your cup, soothing you during difficult times. It’s classic; it’s timeless; it’s fancy. It’s exactly what I’d expect to taste at a non-matcha tea ceremony.

When I was in Phildelphia’s Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, I actually accidentally walked into a class where they were teaching tea ceremonies. I didn’t realize it was a class. There was no note. There was just a person speaking to some other people, sitting on a mat. I thought it was a tour guide or something and got — unceremoniously — thrown out.

I think that, if I had stayed, I would have learned the art of distributing this tea to my companions with grace. These leaves deserve fine treatment after, as Harney’s site claims, “battl[ing] cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists,” resulting in a “rare and haunting” quality. I could have poured this pale yellow tea with a delicate wrist motion. People would have sipped it out of clay cups like these.

Alas, I’m drinking it out of a mug I got from Hot Topic for $5. I guess I’ll never be as classy as my tastes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons

Description

Li Shan, considered to be among the best oolong teas in the world, comes from one of Taiwan’s highest mountain areas. The tea plants must battle cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists. This makes a rare and haunting brew, with echoes of honey and cream.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Capri/Harney & Sons

Oddly…it’s been a while since I have sipped on a new-to-me tea from Harney & Sons so when I received this little gem from fellow SororiTea Sister ‘Super Starling’ I was pretty jazzed!

Upon opening the package I could easily see it was a black tea with bits of lemon peel mixed in. While reading the company’s website description I learned the rest of the flavor profile – while taking my first sip…fig and vanilla! Oh! Fig! Yay! Not enough flavored teas featured fig in my opinion. At this point I’m even more excited to try it.

The post-infusion liquor smells like a nifty breakfast croissant of sorts. Very delicious – to the nose…but what about the taste? It surely follows suit! The black tea base was of medium strength. Not overly strong. The lemon, fig, and vanilla flavors all mesh together to create their own SUPER FLAVOR!

I’m REALLY enjoying this…I mean REALLY REALLY enjoying this flavored black tea. I can’t want to take another sip…and then brew another cup! YUM!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons

Description

A wonderful naturally flavored black tea, Capri combines dried figs and tart lemon reminiscent of the Isola di Capri in Italy, with a hint of vanilla.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Christmas from Harney and Sons. . . .

White Christmas announces on the tin that it is white tea with almond and vanilla flavors. When I opened the tin, there was an aroma that was none of the above. Then when I steeped the tea, the aroma was even stronger. It wasn’t white tea, it wasn’t vanilla and it wasn’t almond, but I couldn’t place it and thought at first it might be some kind of mint.

Time to cheat! Looking at the list of ALL ingredients in the tea, I see it! Ah ha! Cardamom! Of course! Ooooo, I really like cardamom! More lemony than mint, but still a high note rather than a deep one. There are also white chamomile blossoms, to remind one of snow.

Someone asked me tonight what white tea tastes like. I told them it often tastes the way hay sitting in warm sun smells, and that’s why some people prefer it flavored. I think this white blend should have plenty of flavor for anyone. Just don’t expect it to be merely almond and vanilla, since the cardamom is a powerful player here.

Harney’s sachets are intended for twelve ounces of water, not a mere five or six like most teabags. And since this tea resteeps, you can get quite a lot of tea from this tin of thirty sachets.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons
Description

Recline in front of a glowing fire while the snow drifts, and the tree lights twinkle. A sip from this warm and nutty blend completes the perfect winter wonderland. Features hand-picked white tea blended with almonds, vanilla and cardamom, accented by white chamomile flowers. Tin of 20 sachets. Each sachet brews a 12 oz cup of tea. Caffeinated.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!