My love of tea started with a job interview given by a French woman
Hey everyone, I am Hillel Lowinsky from Lowinsky's NY Coffee & Tea. My wife and I opened a beautiful cafe in Hamburg right before the pandemic began. We are incredibly grateful to have a flourishing and thriving business. Thank you from the bottom of our heart for helping us get to where we are.
I had worked at a cafe / roastery and had just gotten fired. I didn't take the direct path to university after highschool. I did some construction work but I unfortunately have two left hands, as the Germans like to say when you are truly incapable of building or fixing things.
I found out that there was a job at a tea store, Harney & Sons Tea, in Millerton, NY. The interview was with Brigitte Harney, a lovely French woman, who is married to Michael Harney, the man responsible for which teas are bought and inevitably sold to their customers. She said that she had a job for me. There was this pristine picture perfect room filled with 300+ teas, white, green, oolong, black and yellow. My job was to engage with people charismatically and try to sell them tea.
Every day was a tea party with strangers, with customers that flowed into the store from the streets of a quiet yet very sweet village in New York. Me and my customers tasted teas all day. There was a limit of 2 or 3 tastings per person but we inevitably drank more than that. We were high on tea all day. I basically taught myself all that I know about tea, which is quite a bit, but is still limited. We drank teas from China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Taiwan, Korea. Of course Harney & Sons offered flavoured teas and blends, but these were of lesser interest to me.
Every day was a culinary experience for me, an explosion of tastes and aromas. The buttery quality of certain Taiwanese oolongs, or the sweet bok choy roasted walnut flavours from certain Chinese green teas or imagine the deep brothy umami that certain special Japanese green teas had to offer. And making tea was so simple: filtered water, dose or amount of tea, water temperature and time. The variables always seemed so manageable.
Tea is easy and makes every morning fair again when you feel tired. Waking up from a cup of tea with such ridiculously deep flavors was a privilege and a luxury. Tea is a practice. Tea is a way of life. And I'm in love with tea. I'm going to take you all on a wonderful journey, please come on board, drink a cup, read a story, share a chat, but make sure to buy high quality tea and promise me to get rid of all of your tea bags. That's the first step in your tea evolution.