Harney & Sons – New York Review

Tea Paradise at Harney & Sons New York City

“You don’t know what ya got ’til it’s gone”, they say. Or, in my case, ’til I’m gone.

Some backstory.

Having been raised in the fist-pumping headquarters commonly referred to as Central Jersey, my future was ultimately determined to end up at the beacon of hope known as New York. After a series of epic battles trying to convince my accountant father that I deserve to “follow my heart, just like Bill Clinton told me to”, college consisted of five awkward years at art school in midtown Manhattan. And despite the massive crash of the economy, hopes, and dreams back in ’08, I managed to wiggle my way into a graphic design job on Madison Ave – complete with cubicles, late nights, corporate-dronism, and lots and lots of coffee. It was during the “maybe I can just inject caffeine directly into my bloodstream” period where I discovered my then holy grail – Harney & Sons’ Hot Cinnamon Sunset. At Duane Reade’s, no less.

Despite the typical masochistic love/hate commuter relationship I had with New York, I certainly didn’t take advantage of what the city had to offer me while I was there. After being spirited away to Boston, among my biggest regrets was  that I never went to Harney & Son’s Soho store despite how much I had grown to love their teas.

I sought to remedy this blasphemy during one of my visits back home, and needless to say – why the heck did I wait so long to go?

Harney & Sons New York

Welcome to SoHo. After taking a hardcore nostalgia bomb to the heart, I marveled at a neighborhood that was vastly different when I started college in 2004. The recovery from 9/11 is impressive and extremely uplifting to see. Harney & Sons fits right in as a great little place with character and variety – way more than I had imagined, even from pictures I had seen online. It adds a nice flavor to an area that’s the center of a battle between local and traditional spots with high-end retail sneaking in.

Hot Cinnamon Sunset, nicknamed Hottie, ‘cause hot damn, is probably my favorite tea of all time. So when the only place up in Boston that I could find it had it for quite literally twice the price, I knew my first order of business was restocking the nectar of the gods.

The environment is like strolling into a quirky tea-lovers wonderland. It’s very Soho in decor but purposefully organized. The right wall boasts shelves upon shelves of tins for the taking – sachets,  bags, and loose-leaf options available to buy pre-measured. Behind the counter on the left are their bins of bulk blends you can order by custom volume. The back of the store is a mini-cafe where you can order a pot of whatever you want and chill out with a friend or your iPad, or whatever it is crazy kids do these days.

Scattered throughout the store are displays with various tea-lovin’ paraphernalia including brewing tools, mugs, pots to shirts and stickers.

The lucky winners to come home with me were Hottie (of course), Vanilla Comoro, and a Darjeeling blend that I wanted to try after reading a whole spiel about tea flavors from that very specific region of India. I was quite happy with my haul.

Harney & Sons is probably my favorite brand of widely available tea thus far. I’ve been extremely impressed by the quality of their product and have yet to try a blend that I dislike (although knowing my tastes certainly helps!). Their store in SoHo pretty much reflected what I expected from a quirky SoHo tea stop. Any tea-lover looking for a fun shopping experience or perhaps an alternative chill spot to Starbucks will find a good time here.

Loose Leaf by Volume • Pre-Measured (sachets, loose-leaf, tins) • Teaware
Sitting Room • Drink To Order

Photo Gallery

Harney & Sons – Soho | 433 Broome Street New York, NY 10013 | (212) 933.4853

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