We’re still recovering from a lovely vacation here at Vicky A Headquarters, but every rainy Tuesday deserves to be a Tea Tuesday. Today we’re focusing on Harney & Sons tea makers, whose tea I managed to find at our resort all the way in the Caribbean: a most pleasant surprise!

My first introduction to Harney & Sons tea was at Miss Minerva’s Tea Room, discussed in detail over here. They serve several different blends of their teas but the first one I tried was their Paris blend. As described on their website, it was created “[i]n homage to the city … reminiscent of one of their most popular blends. It is a fruity black tea with vanilla and caramel flavors, and a hint of lemony Bergamot.” Imagine, then, a lovely Earl Grey with the added warmth and slightly sugary comfort of vanilla and caramel. Both flavors come out nicely and complement rather than overpower the tea itself. It’s a lovely blend and my first recommendation to anyone wanting an introduction to Harney’s non-traditional (traditional teas being your standard Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Jasmine, English Breakfast, etc.) blends.

The next one I tried was their Florence blend (I imagine you’re seeing a trend with the city names; they also have a Boston blend and a Tower of London blend that I’m dying to try).  This is their chocolate hazelnut tea, and every bit as decadent and delicious as it sounds. Perfect if you’re in the mood for a post-dinner dessert sip.

Another must-try is their Holiday blend, which Miss Minerva’s only brings out (you guessed it) around the holidays. Per their website, it is “a black tea spiced with citrus, almond, clove and cinnamon. Delicious hot or iced. Wonderful for a holiday table, a cold winter morning, or any time you crave a holiday-inspired brew.” I could not agree more; you sip it and it smells like the warmth and joy that only the wintry holidays can bring. They also have a Winter White Earl Grey that is intriguing me. As with all of these teas, there are many options for those wanting samples, loose-leaf sachets, tins, or even 1 lb bags (I usually go for the 1/2 or 1lb bags. THAT’s how much we drink around here. Yeah, I know, I think it’s a problem).

I also received one of their sample tea sets as a gift, which is a great way to try several of their blends at once for a decently low price for the quality of their tea. They also carry gifts and tea accessories as well. I’m really rather fond of the Keep Calm gift, which comes with shortbread, cookies, tea, and a wicked awesome mug.

Keep Calm Gift

Katherine, look! One made just for you! All hail the Queen!

In short, if you can find Harney & Sons at your local tea shop or a restaurant, enjoy a cuppa.  If not, give their sample bags a try; I think you’ll find it’s a wonderful alternative to your standard tea rotation.