Saturday, March 26, 2011

Worth the Wait - Tea and Orchids (Harney & Sons SoHo)

Waiting happens. It's the involuntary part of every process and it's included in every endeavor. For example, there is no tea without waiting for it to steep. The wait itself is involuntary and out of our control. How we respond to a wait, however, is voluntary and completely within our control. Sometimes we respond to waiting well and other times we do not. Yet the insights we gain during each wait is what distinguishes us from each other. I call this process character building.

Orchid Overtures

Orchids take their time to develop and those who cultivate them must develop patience in the process. The elegant orchid that captures a room's attention begins with very tiny seeds. In fact, the microscopic seed size is a distinguishing characteristic of the orchid. Then, these tiny seeds must be caught, mixed with a sticky substance to keep the seeds together, and then watched in hopes of it being germinated. The process is complex and at times tedious, but those who engage in cultivating orchids believe that seeing the resulting blooms will be worth it.

Like tea, orchids are the result of a labor-intensive process that goes beyond the pot which contains it. An orchid's silent and graceful presence in any room testifies to the fact that it not only survived the wait, but it also thrived beautifully. It also signifies that someone recognized its worth and was willing to pay the price. As a result, we all benefit. The purple orchid (pictured above) greeted me during a recent visit to SoHo's Harney & Sons tea tasting room.

Harney & Sons Tea SoHo (433 Broome Street, NYC)

In 1970, John Harney decided to found Harney and Sons Fine Teas. Even though we can view the news clippings and other documents from its beginnings, we are not the ones who endured the process. We are beneficiaries of a process that started more than 30 years ago. Harney & Sons Tea SoHo's general manager, Emeric Harney, continues the family tea tradition offering tea, teaware, books and a place to lounge. Find Harney & Sons SoHo on Twitter (@HarneySoHo), Facebook places and Foursquare for upcoming events and special offers.

Worthy Sips and Edibles
> Kenyan Milima (black tea) - rich, fragrant and full-bodied
> Ham and Gruyere Scones - served with Dijon mustard, these savory scones make taste buds smile