Bottom Line: Six years on, Harney & Sons’ SoHo boutique still is one of the city’s best high end tea purveyors. Yet, Harney & Sons’ 2016 anniversary party was noticeably subdued compared to the frenzy last year.
Review: Reliably delicious yet affordable, for over 30 years Harney has built a worldwide reputation run by pure quality and its personal relationships with international tea producers. Store owner Michael Harney, himself, travels around the world, including a recent visit to Korakundah, India, establishing partnerships with tea estates, many of whom are certified Fair Trade or collaborators of the Rainforest Alliance.
With teas from some of the best tea estates across Asia, Harney offers visitors freshly brewed cups at its tasting bar.
This year, Harney showcased a green Sencha from Shizuoka, Japan, Paris Herbal – a slightly spicy herbal ribos-like flavored take on its popular Paris Blend, Milky Oolong and its SoHo blend both using Chinese teas.
With Christmas approaching, Harney also sells Tates Tea gift sets and other accessories that would put a smile on any tea lover’s face. Including decorated tea containers and packaged biscuits, Harney’s Holiday tea packages are also a surprisingly good deal for around $35 and all are beautifully packaged. Our favorites include the Earl Grey tea and Scottish shortbread and Holiday Tea gift sets. The latter really screams Christmas with a fragrant, warming black tea.
In the back tearoom, guests munched on madeleines and the most amazing shortbread biscuits from Lafayette Bakery while sipping Californian wine. The only thing was missing were its signature vanilla scones with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry jam!
Although customers enjoyed both the tasting bar and wines in the back, the event seemed much more scaled back than last year, which featured an inventive bourbon and tea cocktail along with hors d’œuvres and unlimited samples of Harney’s top selling lines. And while this year shoppers received free tea tin samples, there was no 10% off all loose-tea purchases.
For more information on upcoming tasting events and promotions, please visit Harney & Sons SoHo shop.