At the start of each year, I embark on an annual visit to our partners and friends around the globe. On this trip, I visited Korea. A few years ago, my son, Emeric, visited Korea and the southern island of Jeju, where he learned about Korean tea production. He discovered that although the teas are similar to Japanese Sencha, they are steamed less and rolled into a curl. So, the Jeju Sejak green tea we offer is more mellow than Japanese Senchas. I had the chance to see other teas in preparation for the next tea harvest in April. They are expected to be in our collection once that process is completed.
Our importer, Patrick Choi, believes in keeping John Harney’s dream alive. He is committed to making great teas an everyday luxury. On the walls of the six stores that Patrick and his team operate, you can find many pictures of my father John (and his bride Elyse). In addition, John Harney’s signature is casted as a reminder of his dream and mission.
During this visit, I stopped at a few of Patrick’s Harney & Sons tea shops. It’s truly amazing that each shop is different and reflects the operator’s taste. In one, the operator drew our tea map by hand, which looks lovely. In another, the operator is a poet, so there will be regular poetry slams. Another overlooks a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We are grateful that our blends and creations can unite tea fans, and strangers alike, as well as connect different cultures. Similar to art and music, tea is a tradition that has various styles and modifiers, which transform the quality altogether.