Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tea tasting event with Michael Harney at The Townsend Hotel: A tea party even better the second time around!

Enjoying Harney tea at The Townsend Hotel with Michael Harney

This past Sunday, The Townsend Hotel hosted a tea tasting event featuring Harney teas with special guest, Michael Harney. Harney, a member of the family that has owned  and operated Harney & Sons Tea Company for three generations. started the event with a brief introduction.  After his opening remarks, he came around to each table to chat more leisurely about the Harney business as well as answer guests’ questions.

After opening remarks, Michael Harney visited with guests 

Michael Harney, son of John Harney who founded the tea company thirty years ago in Connecticut, has an easy-going style which is compatible with table-side tea chat. Although clearly in possession of a strong sense of detail regarding the tea that was served - from how it was prepared, to where it’s grown and in what conditions -  his relaxed manner,  as he shared both family and  historical anecdotes, made the event seem more like a tea party with friends than an impersonal seminar.

Amazing and plentiful afternoon tea fare included scones, sweets and savories

Along with a delicious afternoon tea menu that included scones, tea sandwiches and miniature pastries (my favorite, a sinfully scrumptious mousse in a chocolate tea cup). the hotel staff, with their always outstanding service, provided guests with three Harney teas with a fall theme:  apple cinnamon, pumpkin spice and cranberry autumn.  

The grand finale: miniature pastries, scrumptious and pretty

My favorite is always the mousse in the chocolate tea cup

Rachel and I attended the Harney tea tasting back in March of 2014, when Micheal Harney first presented at The Townsend. We were thrilled to see it back on the calendar for 2016.

Rachel and I with Michael Harney at The Townsend in 2014.

At the 2014 event, Michael Harney gave me "The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea", which I treasure, as well as a tin of the "Anniversary Blend - Thirty Years" tea. I absolutely loved that tea and Michael tells me they still have it available. It's a black tea blend that was created to celebrate the Harney family's  30th year in the tea business and it includes some of John Harney's favorite teas: Ceylon, India, Silver Needles and Yunnan Golden Tips. It's a smooth, accessible tea - not bitter or strong or fruity - just straight up delicious black tea.

My  favorite, anniversary tea, along with two new ones from Micheal Harney

Along with the compact tin of Cranberry Autumn sachets that every guest got to take home, Michael also gave Rachel and I two tins of loose tea:  Yanagi Green and Ti Quan Yin Spring Floral, with explicit instructions for brewing and steeping. (Can't wait to try these and we'll report back!)

Another wonderful afternoon tea at The Townsend. It was a treat, once again, to visit with a member of the Harney family and sip Harney tea  while being served such an delicious afternoon tea in the beautiful Townsend Hotel tea lobby.  We'll look forward to another one soon!

1 comment:

Jennifer Bliss said...

sounds like FUN!!!!
LOVE Harney's tins!!! And those teas sound YUMMERS, too!