The high end wine shop experience gets translated over to a shop dedicated to tea.
This week marks the grand opening of the Harney & Sons flagship store in Soho, NYC. The dominating feature of the large space is a tasting bar which will allow visitors to sample some of the over 250 varieties of teas offered for sale. The teas are prepared and served by master brewers. Water for brewing is carefully boiled in special units which can be calibrated to the exact degree necessary for each type of tea. The experience is set up very much like tastings at a winery. Behind the bar is a floor to ceiling shelving unit containing all of the varieties of teas offered by Harney & Sons. The teas are sourced from across the globe and include special blends developed by Harney & Sons.
Adjacent to the tasting bar is a retail area where packaged teas can be purchased as well as specialty tea kettles and drinkware. In the back of the space is a cafe and kitchen. A menu for the kitchen is still in the works but will eventually feature items to compliment the teas offered. For now the kitchen is providing samples of roasted nuts which are traditionally paired with Chinese tea and a sampling of baked goods.
Harney & Sons is a family run business started 25 years ago by John Harney in upstate New York. Having worked for Sarum Tea for 13 years, he decided at age 53 to start his own company which would be focused on selling high quality teas new to the United States. Soon his sons Michael and Paul joined the business and later his grandsons Emeric and Alex, making it three generations now participating.
The Soho shop will eventually have a calender of special weekend tastings and brewing demonstrations. For any one who considers themselves a tea connoisseur, the Harney & Sons Soho flagship is definitely a place you’ll want to experience.
Harney & Sons Soho
433 Broome Street (btw Crosby and Broadway)