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Harney & Sons SoHo Edit

16 ratings
1 2 3 4 5
Type Tea Shop
Serves Loose-leaf, Chai, Iced
Food Snacks, Pastries
Features Tastings, Free wi-fi
Good For Dates, Meetings
Hours
Mon Sun 10:00 AM 7:00 PM

Have more info about this place? Add It

Photo submitted by AmazonV
Photo submitted by AmazonV
Photo submitted by AmazonV
Photo submitted by AmazonV
Photo submitted by AmazonV
Photo submitted by AmazonV

9 Reviews

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
4/5
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Solidaritea rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

Huge selection of tea and you can try before you buy. I don’t love the decor of the place (not very relaxing). They offer a student discount which is cool.

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
5/5
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John rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

This place is fantastic. I spent a few months near New York City last year and visited this place three times. The complementary tastings are generous and fun. The staff is friendly and helpful. The cafe is great, if small. They have good scones and teas and great milkshakes! A great place to taste tea, buy tea, enjoy a traditional cup of tea, or explore some more interesting uses of tea in desserts.

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
3/5
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slygirl rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

This is a 3.5 star review. While I’m not fanatic about Harney and Sons’ teas, I do believe they are doing a “tea-rific” job of demystifying tea to the masses. I enjoyed reading Michael Harney’s “Guide to Tea” book and my work actually sells H&S teas. That being said, I do hope to find a tea that will really “wow” me enough to warrant a repeat purchase. This review is based solely on the Tea Lounge.

The Tea Lounge is located in the back of the SoHo shop and seats about 25 guests. The seating arrangements are more suited to parties of 2-4 guests, and solo sippers are encouraged to sit at the counter. This is a high volume area due to a variety of reasons:

1. The restroom is located in the back of the Tea Lounge, so guests of the Tea Lounge as well as paying and non-paying customers make their way back their to use the facilities. It’s a single toilet for both sexes. It was fairly clean when I used it myself, but I also lower my standards when it comes to restrooms in NYC restaurants. This is a clean, serviceable restroom, by NYC standards.

2. A sign instructs guests to wait to be seated, but half of the time, people view this sign as “TL;DR” and barge in to claim an empty table, only to be told by an employee that it’s not first-come, first-serve, and makes them vacate the table.

3. For guests who are waiting for a table, their name is written on a list. While they are waiting for their name to be called, they mill near the entrance of the Tea Lounge, creating bottleneck traffic. Rinse, rather, and repeat 1-3.

On top of this, they only have two employees running the lounge…for 25 guests. Now it could be that they normally schedule four employees, because we were seated there for nearly an hour and when we were ready to leave, two other employees came out to help bus tables and take orders. So it could be entirely possible that they were either on break or they were coming in for their shift.

When we arrived, there were three tables or 9 seats available, not including a couple of counter seats. I gave my name to one of the tea lounge employees and we waited about 10-15 minutes before he found us and we got seated. The tea menu, of course, took up multiple pages, while the food offerings was limited to a single page. For food offerings, it was divided into savory items, nuts, and sweet items. As tea is the main draw, the food accompanies the tea. Don’t expect to get a full meal at the Tea Lounge. But if you want a cup of tea and a snack, then this would be a good option.

Tea is offered in two sizes: small ($6) or large ($8) teapot, with a $1 surcharge for premium tea. If you want the staff to reserve your tea leaves for a second steeping, that will be an additional $3. (I think this price gouging is to discourage people from lingering longer than necessary.) The small teapot is supposed to serve one, but I was able to enjoy 4 large mugfuls of my tea, so I think a small pot is enough for two people, but most people tend to order a single teapot for themselves.

We ordered the vanilla scones, ham and guyere scones, and two small pots of tea. I wanted the Nahorhabi Full Leaf but it was unavailable, so I ordered “Hao Ya ‘B’”, which is a China black tea with some honey/molasses notes that I thought would pair well with our sweet and savory scones. My friend selected a Wenshan Baozhong oolong. The scones were small but not supersized, like the ones at Alice’s Tea Cup. They were flaky and buttery. The ham and guyere was a surprise standout. It had small cubes of ham that balanced well with the Guyere. If you enjoy cheddar biscuits, you’ll like this. You didn’t even need the mustard. The vanilla scones come with proper clotted cream and strawberry jam. Pro-tip: always spread the clotted cream first, as it allows its rich deliciousness to enter the nooks and crannies of the scone, plus it serves as a base for the jam.

While I thought my tea tasted a wee bit over steeped, I don’t have much to complain about the product. But as mentioned earlier, with two employees for 25 guests on a busy Sunday afternoon, service was slooow. A party of four was seated next to us and got up and left because no one came to take their order. As we it was our last day in NY before heading back to DC, I decided to take initiative and go up to the counter myself to close our bill, otherwise we would have been there for longer than an hour. Overall, I was glad we tried out the Tea Lounge, but I’m not anxious to experience it again the next time I visit NY.

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
5/5
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James Cheng rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Great place, great tea selection, and delicious scones!

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
5/5
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Jesse T rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Harney and Sons is just plain awesome. Wide variety of very fine teas, knowledgable staff, good atmosphere, easily accessible, and simply amazing. I plan to shop there for as many tea needs as they can supply.

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
5/5
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Kathryn Ann rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I loved the Harney & Sons store in upstate NY, how could I not love this branch? I wish it was easier to get to (since I rarely end up in Soho), but everyone is very friendly. The few times I’ve gone I have had the chance to try delicious teas (that I ended up buying). The teas are affordable and the quality is excellent. I have always loved their selection of teas and I have yet to be disappointed!

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
5/5
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Dinosara rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Finally made it by the Soho location and I’m glad I did! It was a horrible, cold rainy day yesterday, so some tea was a nice respite for a bit. I didn’t really have time to go to the cafe (although I did mean to go back and pick up some tea-flavored macarons and forgot), but I stopped at the tasting bar, which was great.

When you visit the tasting bar, you get one free tasting of any tea you’d like, plus you can taste any tea from the tasting flight of the day for free. The day I was there it was a flight of a Japanese green, an Oolong, and Golden Snails. Because I dragged my non-tea drinking boyfriend with me to the counter, I actually got to choose two teas to sample (I got his sample, basically). I ended up trying the Oolong and the Golden Snails from the flight, and the Keemun Mao Feng and the Dragon Jasmine Pearls (which are slightly larger cups of tea than the samples from the flight). The guy helping me was, well, super helpful and knowledgable, and brought down several teas for me to look at.

I picked up a few ounces of the Dragon Pearls and restocked on Florence; I love that at the counter you can buy the teas in pouches by the ounce (the by-weight price is that of the pounds of tea on the website), so I got 4 ounces of Florence for a bit cheaper than buying a tin.

Overall a very nice experience, and I am excited to go back!

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
4/5
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twiggles rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I once visited their beautifully rustic shop in upstate NY, and have been eager to visit the new store ever since it opened. The SoHo store is quite large and airy, with a floor to ceiling shelving unit for their loose teas, very different from the cozy upstate shop. This is not a bad thing, they fit in well with the other stores in the area.

There are two parts to the store. The first is the large retail space, that has the huge tea selection, and a ‘tasting bar’ where you can sample the tea of the week, as well as any other tea you would like to try. They also have tasting flights, which look like fun. There are also shelves and tables holding teaware and bagged teas. In the back of the store there is a small cafe area, which is separated from the main space with a couple of bookcases.

The cafe has 5 tables, and a nice little bar area for a quick cup, or to order a cup to go. Cups are $3, a small pot is $6, and large $8. If you prefer to drink one of their specialty teas, you can add $1 to your order. I thinkt the prices were reasonable given the quality of their tea. There are also sweet and savory food options.
There is a large tea menu, and I decided on a white tea.I had a few questions, so one of the experts was called over to explain the differences in the white teas they had available. I chose one that sounded light but still flavorful, the Mutan white. After a few minutes I heard a timer go off, and my pot was brought over. The liquid was bright yellow, similar to other white teas that I’ve tried. The liquid was bright yellow, similar to other white teas that I’ve tried. The aroma was faintly floral and nutty. The taste had the same nuttiness, and was also a bit buttery. It had a nice smoothness, with a soft texture on the tongue. Suitable for my late afternoon tea break, but not something I’d want to drink earlier in the day. The nutty flavor lingered for quite awhile, which made me smile as I relaxed and read my book. The noise from the retail area drifts into the cafe, but it is still pleasant to sit, while reading a book and sipping tea. I was very impressed with the staff throughout the store. They were all extremely friendly, helpful, and very knowledgeable.

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
4/5
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AmazonV rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

This was the second stop on our visit to Manhattan, following sushi. We were not spending long so I was keeping each stop short. I also knew the boys were not going to be as excited about the tea as I was. Here MilitiaJim and I met up with two of his friends.

When I walked in there were fabulously high ceilings, teapots and art to my right with a cooler of ready made iced teas, a register station to the left, in front of me to the left a wall of tea – a HUGE wall of tea, in front of me to the right was a wall of tea. Fabulous!

Overall the store was skinny and long. There was enough room for the current customers, but I did have to detour around the two small tables they had between the two walls of tea at various points to dodge customers.

After the walls of tea were two sets of shelves with tea and books and other assorted items breaking the store apart from the café seating area.

If I had gone alone I would have stopped in the café, as it was I’ll reserve that for next time.

I went to the sampling bar and tried an assortment of teas; the samples were in no way skimpy. The adorable girl helping me looked very like my friend Fox, and it was a little surprising. She was able to point me at the Boston blend based on the tea selections I told her I liked from H&S. The store employees were helpful and knowledgeable and very welcoming. The samples were huge and beyond reasonable.

I did notice proper tasting brewers and cups and heard about a tasting flight. I wasn’t lingering so I didn’t ask how much that would cost but I am very interested in doing that on my next visit.

I then went to browse the wall of tea with the smaller tins and sachets. I am sure there was a pattern to the location of the tins but it was not spelled out (greens, whites, etc) and so I ended up going through the selection twice, once to read all the tins and once to make my selections for purchase.

This visit I picked up come holiday, Boston blend, dragon pearls, genmaicha, and the H&S guide to tea.

The bags are thick and have cloth handles, very worth of being a gift bag not just a shopping bag.

I can’t wait to go back!

pictures: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/12/harney-sons-soho-store-review.html