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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Tea Cookbook: Interview & Giveaway

Ever since 2737 B.C. when leaves from an overhead tea plant drifted into Emperor Shen Nung's cup of boiling water, tea has been recognized and imbibed by many cultures around the world for its capacity to soothe, restore and refresh body and mind.

In The Tea Cookbook Joanna Pruess and John Harney harness the amazing power of these versatile leaves and take them from the teapot into the soup pot, frying pan, and mixing bowl to create dozens of elegant and easy-to-prepare dishes. In addition to delectable recipes, The Tea Cookbook includes a lesson on all types of tea, including black, green, oolong and herbal tea, as well as John Harney's expertise on the correct way to brew tea, proper tea storage, and the "seven cardinal sins" that result in inferior tea drinking and cooking.

This unique cookbook will change the way you think about seasoning food and add a new and exciting shelf to your spice cabinet.

You can purchase The Tea Cookbook at

About the Author, John Harney

It’s been nearly four decades since John Harney developed a passion for fine teas. John began his journey in mastering the art of tea blending in his basement. The proprietor of an inn at the time, John served his distinctive blends to his guests; the rest, as they say, is history. Today, the Harney family carries the torch passed to them by the founder of their family business. With a bottling plant, warehouse, two stores and a thriving international e-commerce business, John’s passion lives on in his family.

 About the Author, Joanna Pruess

Joanna Pruess is an award-winning food and travel writer who has written extensively for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Fine Cooking, Food & Wine, PBS’ online magazine: and the Associated Press.

Today we are excited to interview Mike Harney, Vice President of Harney tea and cofounder of The Hemp Division. You can also enter to win a copy of The Tea Cookbook below!

-- Interview by Nicole Pyles 

WOW: Tell us a little bit about The Tea Cookbook and how it came about.

Mike: My father, John Harney got to know a cookbook writer named Joanna Pruess in the last few years of the last century. She suggested that they collaborate on a cookbook. John was never one to turn down a challenge, besides he had a soft spot for Joanna. So, they came up with 52 recipes that involve tea and published the book almost 20 years ago.

WOW: That's incredible! I have to admit - I never thought of using tea in cooking! What does tea do to recipes that no other spice can do?

 Mike: Tea serves many purposes. It can add an Asian twist like Oolong Boiled Shrimp. Or it can add an unusual twist like Glazed Acorn Squash with Hot Cinnamon. 

WOW: That sounds so tasty! What kind of recipes are found in the Harney cookbook? Who does this appeal to?

Mike: There are recipes for appetizers, main courses, vegetables, desserts and beverages. This is for someone that loves tea and wants to explore other uses of their favorite beverage. There are tea vinaigrettes and of course tea-smoked duck. There are recipes by tea world luminaries like Jane Pettigrew of London. There is a take on traditional Indian beverage: Mango Chai Lasi.

WOW: I'm getting hungry just thinking of those recipes! What can people expect by reading this book?

Mike: The first section is all about tea. Starting with the basics about the types of teas. Also included is a timeline about important dates for tea and tea with food. John discusses the Seven Cardinal Sins in making tea.

WOW: I love that! What type of cook is this cookbook for?

Mike: John ran a county inn for many years and he was always in the kitchen. Joanna has written many cookbooks, so they knew about food and Joanna could make recipes that anyone could make.

WOW: I love this includes recipes for anyone. For those who love tea, what do you hope they gain from trying out this cookbook?

Mike: This cookbook should give them the confidence to explore and enjoy the world of tea with a different light. My son Alex, has taken the tried and true recipes and used them as the basis for some of our most popular dishes at the flagship in Millerton, NY.

WOW: How amazing is that! What is your favorite recipe in this cookbook and why? 

Mike: Japanese Noodle Salad with Bancha green tea. I love going to Japan and seeing the tea gardens that make our teas. This reminds me of those fun trips.

WOW: What a walk down memory lane! What are you working on next? 

Mike: My son Alex, after using the book extensively in our little restaurant at our flagship shop, is exploring recipes using the dried hemp that comes from the plants that The Hemp Division grows a mile from the restaurant.

WOW: I absolutely can't wait for that! Thank you so much for chatting with us today. 

***** Cookbook & Tea Giveaway *****

Enter for your chance to a copy of The Tea Cookbook and some teas from The Hemp Division. Enter using Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends on July 1st at 11:59 PM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. While I'm a coffee lover, I do enjoy a good cup of tea from time to time. This sounds like a great book to have.

  2. Thank you for the interview! The Japanese Noodle Salad with Bancha green tea sounds amazing. I make a cold soba noodle salad but never thought of putting green tea in it. I love the thought of adding it in for all the health benefits! :) I'm also a huge fan of CBD products. It helps a lot with my joint issues and I can't wait to try all your teas. The cookbook is a smart idea and it looks gorgeous! :)

  3. Nicole--Thanks for doing this interview. Doing one about recipes? That's tough--drooling over your keyboard or pad of paper can end up badly.

    Mike--A fascinating book is "The Botany of Desire." It covers 4 plants--the tulip, apple, potato and hemp. I thought 80 pages on a single plant would be boring, but it was far from that.

    Integrating tea into different foods is intriguing. Good luck!

  4. I just love Harney and Sons, this tea seems really unique!

  5. I love tea abd this book looks interesting .

  6. Anonymous5:20 PM

    I love tea but have never thought of cooking with it. It sounds really interesting.
    Flyergal82 (at /yahoo !dot ?com

  7. This book looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing!


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