I started drinking Harney & Sons tea a couple of years ago during a visit to my favorite tea house. The reason I selected Harney & Sons tea at the time was because this tea house brewed their Harney & Sons teas using a tea sachet rather than loose leaf — which goes against my usual preference — however, because I was at a tea house where they give you a full pot of tea, but not a spare, empty pot in which to strain your brewed tea, the tea leaves that do not exit the spout when you pour your first cup of tea remain in the tea, rendering the remaining tea undesirably bitter.
So, I would opt for the tea sachet, which I could easily remove from the pot, and enjoy the entire pot of tea during my visit. And, I must say, that although it is essentially a tea bag, Harney & Sons tea sachets are quite nice, the tea inside remains whole (rather than minced to uniformity which you’d find in a typical commercial tea bag), and enough room is provided for proper tea leaf expansion. (In other words, if you must use a tea bag rather than loose leaf, opt for a tea sachet!)
My favorite Harney & Sons tea — Indian Nimbu — is a tea that I discovered during a visit to the aforementioned tea house, and I think I fell in love that afternoon!
Harney & Sons describes this tea as:
Nimbu is Hindi for lemon and that, together with caramel flavor, is what was added to Darjeeling to get this wonderful tea.
The complexity of the Darjeeling tea plays very nicely with the tart lemon. The lemon takes center stage in this blend, but the presence of the caramel cuts through the tartness just enough to provide a smooth, slightly sweet finish. My taste buds seem to dance when I sip this tea!
The brewing instructions for this tea recommend a 4 minute brew time in boiling water. However, I prefer to brew my Darjeeling teas at a slightly lower temperature, so I pull the kettle just before it reaches the boiling point, and I allow this tea to steep for about a minute less than the recommended time. The result is a less astringent tea with a slightly lighter body, which is more reminiscent of a good Oolong rather than a classic black tea — making it a perfect afternoon tea, served with a drizzle of agave nectar. Unforgettable!