For one reason or another, Harney & Sons is probably the most popular loose leaf vendor in the Ann Arbor area. I don’t have any real beef with Harney & Sons per say, and I’ve attended their Tea Affair at TranquiliTea for two years in a row. That being said, it’s still not what I’d call my favorite. They definitely have some really fun teas though and I’ve brought several to share with my coworkers at our Tea Table. Anecdoteally, my upstairs coworkers have a puzzle table, but my department has a Tea Table (So yes, I will take some small responsibility for its coming into being…). I guess I’m just not sold on their company focus.
Harney loves to do Black and one notable example is SoHo. It was a recommended my some fellow tea aficionados as being pretty good and I’d definitely agree with that assessment. SoHo is a chocolate coconut Black with vanilla and amaranth petals. Amaranth is actually pretty rare when it comes to building a tea so it’s exciting to see and it does little to affect the overall taste which is nice. SoHo has a medium amount of caffeine for a Black which is also nice. The scent is somewhere between an Herbal (vanilla amaranth notes) and a Black (chocolate notes). In terms of taste, I’d say the chocolate and coconut notes really come through well. It almost reminds me of a hot cococa, but one would have to add milk for that, which i refuse to accept as a tea additive.
Also, probably the most fun thing about SoHo comes from the fact that it was created to promote their adorable SoHo shop. Harney actually refers to it as a “tasting room” which really makes me want to visit the next time I’m in NYC. Add to this the fact that the eponymous SoHo tea comes in a ridiculously cute tin that I couldn’t resist snatching up when I saw it. xD