Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Tribute to a Wonderful Man

I was saddened to learn that Mr. John Harney passed away while I was on vacation and blogging break.  It just seems fitting that I should write a post in his honor before I begin sharing any of my vacation travels and activities.  

I first met Mr. Harney in October, 2002 at the American Tea Society Conference in Denver, Colorado.  I remember that Omni Hotel's food service staff didn't know how to properly brew tea, so Mr. Harney went into their kitchen and personally trained them.

When blogging about the Conference I said of Mr. Harney: "For such a giant in the U.S. Tea Industry, he's such a humble man, and so willing to share his knowledge."

[Mr. Harney and Me]

I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Harney again in March, 2003 at the first Take Me 2 Tea Expo [later renamed World Tea Expo] in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

[L-R:  Friend and tea room owner, Shirley Walker, Mr. Harney, and Me] 

In 2006 when I was doing tea consulting for a local hotel, Somerset Inn, I called Harney Teas and was amazed to be put directly through to Mr. Harney.  He was so friendly and helpful, and mailed me a copy of The Seven Cardinal Sins of Hotel Tea Service.  More than one phone call was placed to him during that time, and he was always eager to share his time and expertise.

I will always be grateful for his assistance in promoting quality tea service, and for his significant influence upon the world of tea.  He definitely left it better than he found it, and his legacy will continue with every sip of Harney & Sons Fine Tea!

[Harney Teas currently in my tea pantry]


  1. A nice tribute to a man who will be greatly missed.

  2. Welcome back, hope your trip was nice.
    I didn't realize your life had intertwined with Mr. Harney so many times Phyllis, a kind tribute to a man that had an impact on your tea education.

  3. I saw the notice and was saddened as well. I only met him once at a tea expo, but have been influenced by him and his teas. Indeed a lasting legacy that will live on after him...

  4. What a lovely tribute -- and such great photos! I keep reading over and over how very generous he was with his tea knowledge. He will definitely be missed!


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