I absolutely adore a cup of tea, and will always choose tea over any other drink–coffee, soda, juice, alcohol, etc. It’s the one type of drink that wakes me up, gets me pumped when I’m low on energy, and at the same time relaxes me and puts me to sleep.
Over the last year or so of travel, I’ve encountered a new brand of tea I have never seen before in the Delta lounge in JFK–Harney & Sons. After giving them a try once or twice in the lounge, my significant other bought me a couple of boxes of tea from H&S, and I immediately fell in love with the flavor of their English Breakfast tea, with the Japanese Sancha being my second favorite, which surprised me as I’ve strongly disliked green tea. H&S’s Earl Grey was also a slight upgrade of Bigelow’s Earl Grey in that its flavor wasn’t as strong and off-putting for me. We enjoyed the teas so much that we ended up buying a second batch of the same teas.
Then, on one fateful morning, we went to Soho in New York because I had business in Fjallraven, and we wanted to check out Arc’teryx, both of which are outdoor brands. By chance, while looking on google maps, we discovered that Harney and Sons has a store in Soho, within a few blocks from Fjallraven.
We knew we had to visit and so after dropping off my red backpack at Fjallraven, we went to the store.
My biggest concern was that it was going to be loud, as my previous experience with such tea and coffee blending places is that they are noisy due to the sheer amount of people that are in those shops at any one time.
To my utter surprise, the store was quiet. Even though there were clients, the store was long enough to fit enough people while being quiet enough. In fact, the store is separated into three sections: purchase of tea and goods, cafe/restaurant, and tea tastings.
We wandered around almost aimlessly, before we found ourselves at the tea tasting counter. You get to try one type of tea for free, and every tasting after that is a certain amount that you have to pay; however, if you are a fan of tea, this is absolutely worth it. The people behind the counter are all knowledgeable in teas, all types of teas, and based on conversations, and your preferences, they can even recommend you the teas that you will absolutely love. That’s what happened to us–the gentleman serving us talked to us about all types of things including flights, and great locations to travel to. Our forty-five minute conversation started out with tea…and more specifically, Lipton Tea. If you know anything about Lipton, it’s that it’s a very weak tea, but also Lipton in the US and Lipton overseas are different types of tea. This subject lead us onto the topic of Ceylon and Assam teas, which then lead to the tea expert to recommend me this tea called Scottish Morn. I loved the bitterness, strength and caffeine level of the tea. It immediately transported me to rainy days in London, and more specifically made me daydream about drinking the tea while looking out of the window of a cottage onto the moors.
Needless to say, we walked out with several types of tea that day.
If you are in New York and love tea, highly recommend checking this place out and trying some teas. I know that this will become my go-to for trying new types of teas in the future. On top of all that, the store has amazing acoustics that makes it easy to converse.