Friday, September 5, 2014

Remembering John D. Harney


I'm late in celebrating the life of John D. Harney, founder of Harney & Sons, who passed away early in the summer.

An early "missionary of tea," Harney bought a small tea company as a savvy business move and turned it into the spearhead of America's tea renaissance in the 1980s. "All we wanted to do was get out there and convert — sort of like St. John with his gospel of tea," he said in an interview, as quoted in his NYTimes obit. "That’s what I consider myself."

Tea writer Bruce Richardson elaborates more personally in his appreciation piece, describing in detail how the missionary fervor came over Harney in his pursuits.

I enjoyed a brief afternoon chat with Harney years ago. He was immanently affable, humorous, and wise. He even read my tea leaves. You can read that old post here.

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